How to search for jobs

Ages 16-18

Before you start to look

It’s important to identify your strengths, skills and motivations, so you can think about what’s the best path for you. Try our Find Your Potential tool, which will help you find your key skills, passions and preferences.

Where should I look for a job?

You could keep it local and visit a recruitment agency or temping agency. However, these days, most people tend to look online. So where should you go?

Job boards

Online ‘job boards’ (websites that post up-to-date listings for job vacancies) like Indeed, Monster, Total Jobs and Reed.

These will ask you to decide the kind of job you’re looking for:

  • Full time or part-time? Are you working alongside studies, or will you be able to work full time — usually defined as 37.5 hours a week?
  • Permanent or temporary? Temporary jobs are sometimes called ‘fixed term’ or ‘contract’ when they last for a specific amount of time, e.g. six months
  • The sector you’d like to work in — which industry or area? For example: hospitality, finance or retail

Most of these ‘job board’ websites ask you to upload a CV. So if you haven’t already, take a look at our guide: How to write a CV

Other places to look online

You can also:

  • Set up a LinkedIn profile - LinkedIn is a professional social networking site where many companies advertise jobs. You can read more about this in our social media for work section
  • Make a list of companies you’d like to work for. If you’re not sure how to choose, see What to look for below
  • Visit their websites and look for jobs (this section is usually called ‘vacancies’, ‘careers’, or ‘work with us’)

Start following their socials. You don’t have to use any existing accounts you may have — you can set up a professional account on LinkedIn

Get application smart

Got a big job application coming up? Hear from recent commercial banking apprentice Amy as she talks you through her top tips to getting it right.

What to look for

What makes a good employer? What should I look for?

Sussing out the jobs market can feel like a job in itself. But don’t worry. Here are our top tips to make sure you find the right place for you.

Word of mouth

If you know someone who works for a local employer, get the lowdown before you apply. Do they like it there, and why?

Top places to work

Online ranking systems such as Glassdoor and Great Place to Work can give you a list of the best-rated companies to work for.

Feelgood factor

Top-rated workplaces tend to prioritise employee wellbeing and give their staff opportunities to develop and grow. If you’re thinking of applying for a job, check the company’s website or the literature that they send to make sure staff wellbeing and development is a priority. If you’re not sure, you can always ask in an interview!

Know your rights

It’s always good to know the hours you can be expected to work, and the rest breaks you should expect, especially when aged 16-17. Check Citizen’s Advice for details.