How to Get a Job

Planning and Research

Start by researching and deciding what you want to do. If you need help, think about the things you enjoy and the skills you have. If you have been made redundant from your last job and are looking for a similar position then you need to take the time to reflect on your skills and experience. If you are looking to return to work after a career break then you need to be aware of how that sector and market has changed. If you are looking for a change in career, then you need to think about how the skills you have obtained from your current job are transferable with the skills required for your future career.

Make sure you do plenty of research. 

  • What are the main job roles in that sector?
  • Do you have the experience, qualifications and skills to carry out that job role?
  • How can you get better skills and experience?
  • Does the job role you are applying for cross over with other sectors? Perhaps there is another way of getting into that sector through a similar position in a different sector.
  • Where do you think this post will take you? What is the next post in the sector?
  • Who are the main players in the sector and what are the main issues surrounding the sector?

Read the paper regularly to keep up to date with current affairs and issues which might affect the sector. Also, keep a look out for jobs from newspapers, websites and agencies.


Your CV should be typed, be a decent size and font making it visible to read, and attractively laid out. Make sure you have proofread your CV before you send it out, and that it is tailored to meet all the requirements of the job which you are applying for. They also need to be concise and to the point, no more than 2 sides of A4.

CVs are usually accompanied by a cover letter. A cover letter allows you to introduce yourself to the employer and show that you understand the requirements of the job you are applying for. You need to say why you are writing, why you are interested in the job and why you are suitable for the role you are applying for.

It should be no more than 1 side of A4 and neatly laid out in a clear and structured way. You should always type your letter unless specifically asked for a handwritten one. Make sure you proof read the cover letter for any spelling or grammar mistakes.

Keep a copy of any cover letters you send out to help you at interview.

You also don’t have to restrict yourself to adverts you see in the newspaper or the internet. It’s worth signing up to some agencies who can match you to suitable jobs they are recruiting for. You can also look up companies you would like to work for and find out if they have any job vacancies listed on their website or write speculative letters.

Tips for Interviews

  • It’s important to have confidence when going into the interview. Remember, they wouldn’t have asked you to come in for an interview if they did not think you were capable nor had the qualifications and/or experience necessary for the role
  • Make sure that you have all the details of the interview. The time, location and who will be interviewing you. If you do not have all the information, then ask before the interview. You need to be prepared!
  • Do research on the interviewer and the company. It is common for the interviewer to ask you if you have any questions at the end, so it helps if you have a few questions to ask them. You also need to demonstrate that you know a lot about the company.
  • Dress smartly for the interview. Leave yourself plenty of time to get ready on the day of the interview
  • Shake hands with your interviewer before and at the end of the interview.
  • Ensure that you listen to all the questions carefully. You may ask the interviewer for clarification if you are not sure. It’s good to answer as fully as you can, but try not to waffle.

Follow these rules and you will have a good chance of getting a job.

To learn more about how to write CVs, cover letters, application forms and speculative letters and where to look for jobs, please contact our Skills Support for the Unemployed team.

We also run a Skills Support for Redundancy programme, for clients facing redundancy. Speak to one of our advisers about your eligibility and to find out more about TCHC and the programmes that we offer.

How to register as unemployed

In the UK you have to register as unemployed with Jobcentre Plus. When becoming unemployed there are various benefits which you may be eligible for, but it will depend on your individual circumstances. For more information about benefits and its eligibility criteria visit the Jobcentre Plus benefits page.

To register for Job Seekers Allowance you have two options;

  1. Register online (recommended) or
  2. Register by phone

To register for jobseekers allowance please visit the Jobcentre website via this link:

Once registered you will have to attend an interview with a Jobcentre Plus adviser, where they will discuss your support options with you.

Why register as unemployed?

It is important to register as an unemployed person and to inform HM Revenue & Customs that you are out of work as it ensures that your National Insurance Contribution will be paid and your state pension won’t be affected. In addition, when registered, you may be eligible for some benefits and training schemes designed to help you find a new job.

Is there support to help me find a new job?

TCHC works with the Jobcentre Plus to assist jobseekers and those affected by redundancy in the East of England (Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire). Through our Skills Support for the Unemployed programme we offer advice, assistance and training to help you find a new job as quickly as possible. We also offer business start-up courses for those considering self employment. If you live outside these areas, please ask your Jobcentre adviser about the programmes in your area.

For further information about our Skills Support for the Unemployed or Skills Support for Redundancy programmes please complete the form below or ring 01923 698 430 to arrange a one-to-one meeting with one of our Personal Advisers who will help you get started.

Please be aware that we can only assist clients who live in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk who are already claiming benefits or who are at risk of redundancy. If you fall in these groups please use the contact form below if you'd like us to get in touch regarding further advice and training support.

To register for Jobseekers Allowance, please contact Jobcentre Plus

Where to find jobs

Not sure how and where to search for jobs?

There are a number of ways to find jobs, from social media to your local newspaper. Certain methods of looking for a job are more important than others, depending on the type of job you are looking for. Here are a few options you can consider:

  1. Newspapers – There are still plenty of jobs being advertised in newspapers. Pick up your local newspaper in the morning and apply for any adverts straight away. Most national newspapers also have jobs sections which are printed at the back of the paper or are available online.
  2. Sector Magazines – Most job sectors have a magazine. If there is a particular sector you are keen to get into, then signing up for that sector’s magazine could help you get a feel for the sector and the issues surrounding it. You can also find out who the leaders are and build relationships with them. There are usually job adverts and information about companies which you might want to work for.
  3. Job sites – There are lots of websites advertising jobs. Some of these websites are sector-specific or are just for your area. Jobcentre Plus has a free Universal Jobmatch service to help you find suitable jobs in your area. There are many others, such as, and
  4. Agencies – There are lots of recruitment agencies dealing with many areas of recruitment, sometimes in different areas. Sometimes they will assess your skills and abilities with an interview and tests. They will usually try to fill vacancies for a number of companies and will put you forward for any jobs they think you might be suitable for.
  5. Networking – Look for Jobs fairs in your area or any networking events specific to your sector. Most areas have a business network or clubs, even not related to careers, where you have the potential to meet people and potentially find your next opportunity.
  6. Contacts - Sometimes it is not about what you know, but who you know. Ask any friends and relatives if they know of any job vacancies where they work. Any friends on Facebook could also potentially know someone who has a job for you.
  7. Social Media – You can use Facebook to ask friends or acquaintances if they know about any vacancies in your area. You could find out about a job through a friend of a friend. Follow organisations that you are interested in on Twitter, they will most likely post any new vacancies straight away. Many recruiters and agencies also have Twitter accounts to tell people about current job opportunities. LinkedIn is also useful when looking for jobs, setting up a professional profile with your skills, experience and ambitions. It provides the opportunity to network with potential employers and perhaps get headhunted. There are also jobs advertised on this site.
  8. Speculating –If you turn up on a company’s door step, with a CV and are prepared to wait to speak to the hiring manager, this could be rewarded so long as you make a good impression. You can also look at directories for companies in your sector or use a search engine to find companies of interest. If they have vacancies they will normally have it displayed on their website. If not, you can write a speculative letter or email to that company. Even if they cannot offer you a job, they might let you come in for work experience or let you know when a vacancy opens.

If you are affected by redundancy or are currently unemployed and need further support with getting back into work quickly, please get in touch using the contact form below so we can get you started.

For more information on what we can offer you, please visit our Jobseeker page or our Redundancy information page.

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