Job Search Planner

Planning your search

Try to set aside some time each day for finding and applying for jobs

  • Knowing the best places to look for vacancies, developing good job hunting skills, planning, organising and recording what you do in your job search will save time and hopefully lead to success
  • Good IT skills will help your job hunting, make sure you can:

- type, save, print your CV, covering or speculative letters
- search the internet for jobs or companies you would like to apply to
- fill in online application forms and attach your CV to an email
- keep a record of online and traditional job applications you have made.

If you need to improve your IT skills, short courses are offered by colleges and community organisations.

Where to look for jobs

  • Word of mouth 79%
  • Company’s own website 54%
  • Social media 46%
  • Recruitment agencies and the press 44%
  • Government recruitment services and schemes 38%
  • Job fairs and careers services 19%
  • Paid for recruitment websites 16%

Source: Employer perspectives survey (2014) UKCES

Regularly check all the places employers advertise their

  • Local papers - find out from you local library which papers to look at and when
  • Online - many organisations such as local councils, NHS Trusts, universities and companies advertise vacancies on their websites.
  • Also check the websites of any organisations that you want to work for. You can register for vacancies on Find and apprenticeship and Find a job or the London Apprenticeship Company
  • Employment agencies - most agencies have websites where vacancies are posted. Check out the ones in your area.
  • Word of mouth - make sure family and friends know that you’re looking for work
  • Many jobs are filled without being advertised. Use directories and the internet to find companies that you want to work for. If you need help, contact the Progress Team at Lift, Platform or Rose Bowl.

Understanding a vacancy

Working out what a job advertisement is asking for is not always clear. Identify the key skills and experience needed and match it with what you have done and are good at. This will improve your chances of getting an interview. Applying for jobs you are more likely to get may be more successful than applying for everything you see.

When applying, ask yourself:

  • Can I do the job? Don’t be put off by the title - trainee, operative, assistant - check the job description to find out what does the person actually do? Have you done it or something like it?
  • Do I have the right skills and experience? Some things will be essential. This means you must have a particular skill or qualification. Other things may be desirable. Can you offer something like this?
  • Do the pay and conditions suit me? Are they offering the rate for this job?
  • Is the company right for me? What does it do? Is it new? How many people work there? Is it doing well?
  • Do I want this job?

Keeping records

Keep track of applications and to improve your job search and interview skills by making notes:

  • On what you have done to find work; the jobs you have applied for and what happened. Have you had a reply or do you need to contact them?
  • After interviews, think about the questions you were asked and the answers you gave. Could you have done better? Try asking for interview feedback.

No computer?

  • Most public libraries have computers and the internet you can use, possibly for free but you will have to pay for printing
  • Also check UK Online Centres where you can access the internet for free and do a computer course .

Need more help?

  • The Progress Team can help, contact them on 0207 527 7031 or email
  • Call the National Careers Service helpline on 0800 100 900, 8am to 10pm, seven days a week, for further help. If you use the ‘Call back service’ on the website, an adviser will call you at a time to suit you. All call backs are free of charge to mobiles and landlines. Webchat is also available.

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