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Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Searching and Applying for Jobs

Looking for a job is tough and for each job advertised there are just so many applicants.  Gone are the days when you could just go into a business and ask if there were any jobs available, and start the next day.  As it is #sharingiscaring week on this blog (check out post: Sharing is Caring Week) I thought I would post what I do when applying for jobs.  

These days you need to hit a specific essential criteria or it is unlikely you will even get an interview.  Some employers even have a cut-off point after so many applicants too.  

If you are looking for a development job opportunity then maybe you would check once each week to see if there are any jobs worth applying for but if you are unemployed and need a job ASAP, job searching can turn into a full time job.  A lot of jobs require CV's or for you to apply online which is not possible if you have no money to print or access the internet.  Some organisations, charities, resource centres and libraries offer job clubs and allow you to use their facilities for free or cheaply so they are well worth checking out, however, you have to be able to travel to them which is also a reason when lack of money can be a problem.  I'm not going to dwell on this fact too much simply because there doesn't seem to be a way around this, so we need to move on. I do ask that if you, dear reader, know of any help given to people when applying for jobs, please comment below: #sharingiscaring

After stating the obvious, I want to consider job search itself.  You can hand-out CV's into employers or email them over but sometimes this is an ineffective and wasteful method.  It does sometimes work but employers rarely have the capacity to store people's personal information on a CV.  Sometimes employers advertise in the windows of their premises so you could pop in a CV if you have some at hand, that can be effective as the employer shows it is actually looking for staff.

You can visit the job centre, but I have personally found that the majority of vacancies are advertised elsewhere.  Websites I would recommend are Indeed and JobsiteReed, and Total Jobs as these are the ones I find most useful and Indeed, tends to post most of the jobs that are posted on other sites as it collates the jobs together.  

So, what else can you do?  Well, what about uploading your CV's and information to give you an online profile.  You can do this with the above websites, but what about also creating a LinkedIn account too!  This means employers can search for you, and it works.  I often get emails and phone calls offering me work.  You can also consider registering yourself with some recruitment agencies too! 

OK, so now you have a list of appropriate jobs to apply for, have a read carefully through what the job entails and what the employer is looking for.  When you write your letter of application always ensure that you talk about how your experience matches what they are looking for and how you hit the criteria.  This part is very important because this is what the employer is measuring you against.  If you have to complete an application form, often you receive a personal specification and have to do a sort of personal statement to say how you meet the criteria of the role, and it is important that you detail exactly how you are hitting the criteria.  You need to sell yourself and say why they MUST consider you for the position!  

Looking for a job is difficult and it can be soul destroying.  But keep going, and you will get there.

In the meantime, why not up skill by doing some training.  I use a site called Alison and they offer free courses - you do have to pay if you want an official certificate but they do send you an email confirmation and you can download a list of courses you have completed to show your employer/prospective employer if you need to.  Some other companies also have free courses available if you google and there is the odd qualification that you can gain for free too if you meet the criteria for funding.  

Good luck in your search!  #sharingiscaring

Check out my CV workshop post tomorrow!

Laters, Janet :)

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