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Searching for Jobs

Whether it be a part-time job whilst studying or looking for employment or apprenticeships following the completion of your studies, to be successful you need to do your research properly.

Researching employers helps you to identify what kind of work is right for you, as well as being an important part of preparing for job applications and interviews.

  • Researching helps you to understand the career options available
  • To find out what qualifications, skills and experiences employers are looking for
  • Understand how employers recruit – large companies may differ in how they recruit to smaller companies
  • Improve your job search and find careers you may not have thought of

Employers will have expected you to have:

  • Researched the employer – Organisational structure, values and vision, strategies and goals. Read annual reports, investor reports, news articles not just information available on the company website.
  • Researched the environment – competitors, economic conditions, political issues and regulatory issues that may affect the business.
  • Researched the role – typical activities, skills required, training, team size, related roles and realistic progression. Read the website and any job description or skills requirements thoroughly to ensure you can sell the employability skills you have gained to reflect what they want for the role.

Finding a Job

You can start your job search in a number of places. It’s best to check a number of different resources regularly, as new listings will appear daily:

  • careers fairs, open days and workshops
  • newspapers
  • professional associations
  • recruitment agencies
  • sector-specific websites
  • social media, such as LinkedIn
  • trade journals
  • careers and employability services.

Top five job-hunting tips

  1. Stay motivated – your job hunt may leave you feeling disheartened and frustrated, but you’ll land the perfect role eventually. Learn from your mistakes, ask for feedback wherever possible and keep looking forward.
  2. Network – there’s some truth in the saying ‘it’s who you know, not what you know’ when it comes to finding a job hunting. Use social media to your advantage and visit careers fairs.
  3. Target your job application – tailor your application to the individual job specifications and values of each company. A personal cover letter showing research and passion goes a long way – a general, vague covering letter is grounds for a hiring manager to disregard your application.
  4. Sign up for job alerts – fully utilise this feature of job search websites to save you time and introduce you to opportunities you may not have previously considered. The more detail you give as to what job you’re looking for, the more likely you are to receive alerts for vacancies which excite and motivate you.
  5. Volunteer – this enhances your CV, teaches you transferable skills and says to an employer that you’re proactive and willing to get stuck into new challenges. If you can’t find an organisation you’d like to volunteer for, even pursuing passion projects and hobbies will give your application more depth.

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