Finding a job
First things first, what are your strengths? Finding your first job can be daunting in terms of where to start. It may be helpful to identify where your skills are as well as what motivates you.
How to search for jobs
Now you're starting to have an idea what's important to you, you can begin to do some online research to identify companies that seem like a good fit and find where their open jobs are listed. There may be jobs that you didn't think existed, so it's important not to rule out sectors at this stage.
The internet puts thousands of job ads at your fingertips, with many companies and agencies advertising their open roles via their own company websites or posting to job boards.
Well-known job boards in the UK include Indeed, Universal Jobmatch, Monster, Total Jobs, LinkedIn and Reed. Job boards are updated regularly with new vacancies and they often allow you to register and upload your CV. You can upload your CV so that employers and agencies can contact you directly. Most job boards allow you to set up alerts for any new jobs that have been uploaded and match your search criteria.
To search for suitable positions on a job board:
- Be specific about your job requirements such as location or working from home
- Identify key words that relate to the role such as the job title
- Be specific about whether you're looking for a permanent or temporary job
- Specify whether you're looking for full time or part time hours
- Set up job alerts to make searching easier
- Make sure you have a version of your CV ready
If there's a specific company that interests you, they may have their own careers website that lets you make applications directly. Looking at their website will also provide valuable insight into the company, which you'll need if you're successful in getting an interview.
Companies often advertise on social media too - on platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. If you're interested in a specific company, it's worthwhile following them on social channels – specifically their careers or jobs accounts if they have one.
You can use LinkedIn to search for jobs as many companies post their jobs on the platform, but companies also use LinkedIn to search directly for candidates. It's also a professional networking tool, so it's worth setting up a profile if you don't have one already. The LinkedIn website has useful guidance on how to set up and create an impactful profile. Keeping your profile up to date is key as it will help you show up in key searches and recruiters will check your profile when they are looking for candidates. The site is also useful if you have any interviews – for example you can research into the company and you can look up your interviewer to understand a little bit more about their background before you meet.