Skills Support for the Unemployed

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.