Job seeking. This pack aims to provide you with a few pointers and tips on searching for a job. Click on the headings to jump to that sector.

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1 Job seeking This pack aims to provide you with a few pointers and tips on searching for a job. Click on the headings to jump to that sector. What is work? Applying for jobs Employability Skills Links Searching for jobs Resources

2 What is work? Work is a hard word to define. One person s idea of work can be another person s idea of leisure. Something that you dislike doing at work, you might quite enjoy in a leisure setting. Is work still work if you don t get paid for it? People work productively in all areas of life without being paid. This unpaid work includes: housework in households, child care and shopping for the home volunteer and community work work done free of charge (favours for others) When you ask people why they work, a lot of them will say they re only in it for the money. Sometimes money truly is the only reason a person works. But most people have other reasons for working. For example: They like to spend their days doing something they re good at. They like being productive. Other people need their skills, and they feel obliged to supply them. Who would design and construct the bus? Who would supply the petrol for the bus?

3 Your way of life depends on work What would happen if no-one worked? How would we all survive? The goods and services we need to live and enjoy in our leisure time simply couldn t exist. For example, if you needed to catch a bus: Who would design and construct the bus? Who would supply the petrol for the bus? Who would drive the bus? Most of UK society is set up so that we buy essentials like water, food, clothing and shelter, rather than providing them for ourselves individually. We also need things like electricity and transport. To exist costs money, and to do any kind of activity will involve costs. Most of us work to meet those costs. Work and your values The benefits you get from paid and unpaid work are strongly linked to what your values are. When you know what your values are regarding work, you can aim for rewarding and meaningful work that allows you to: fulfill most of your material needs meet your financial obligations feel as if you fit into and contribute to society feel a sense of well-being and accomplishment meet and interact with people of different backgrounds and cultures. Return to contents page

4 Employability Skills Employability skills are what you need to get a job but they also help you to stay in a job and progress. While there will always be some job-specific skills that an employer is looking for, most employers will also want you to have employability skills. Chances are you ll be asked questions about both job-specific skills and employability skills in a job interview. These are skills that employers might want you to have whatever job you apply for. Communication Skills: Confident in speaking to people face-to-face, over the phone and/or writing well enough to be understood in s, letter and memos. Problem-solving: Finding solutions when faced with difficulties and having a way for figuring things out even if you can t think of a solution straight away. Learning: Learn new things and be able to pick them up quickly.

5 Initiative: Ability to think creatively and make improvements. Working on your own: Able to get on with your work without someone having to check up on you every five minutes. Planning and organising: Able to organise yourself, manage your time and meet deadlines. Team work: Good at working with people; both your workmates and other people that come into contact with your organisation. Technology: Knowing how to use a computer and type for most jobs but there are other types of technology that you might need to be familiar with depending on the industry you work in. Return to contents page

6 Searching for jobs Managing Expectations Whilst job searching, it is important to manage your expectations without being too influenced by other people, the media, or organisations. Be careful not to have aspirations beyond your abilities. That doesn t mean you shouldn't aim to achieve great things. The key is to have a realistic approach, allowing you the time and opportunity to learn and grow within a reasonable timeframe. It is important to research the industries you are interested working in and understand what is happening in the larger economy, setting sensible goals for finding a job, particularly in the current economic climate. Realise that employers can say no more quickly and easily because they have so many qualified applicants, and keep an open mind about what is considered to be a good job given the positions available and the industries hiring. Write down your present situation and then describe your career or job goals. Do you really have what it takes to get where you want? If not, what do you need to do to make a connection between your abilities and goals? Do you need to scale down your aims or improve your skills?

7 Know what type of job you are searching for Launching yourself at a job search without thinking through what you really want is just asking for disaster. Have a good, long think about the type of job that you are after: The type of job/job title that you desire The responsibilities that you would expect to undertake in such a job The salary range that you feel is appropriate for your work The hours that you would be willing to work The locations to which you are willing to commute or move to for work Stay active in your job search After a few unsuccessful attempts it might be tempting to give up and go home, but staying active throughout your job search is important. Not only is staying active key to keeping up your interest and enthusiasm, but opportunities probably won t land on your doorstep if you aren t out there chasing them down whenever you can. Use your days wisely and you ll have something to show for your time off: Training or retraining in a particular skill or course Volunteering within your industry or in a related area Networking with friends, family and other acquaintances at social events

8 Where are the jobs? There is not only one way to look for work. These days most advertised jobs are found online. You can also check various newspapers and publications. But advertised jobs are not the only way to get work opportunities can also come through signing up to an employment agency, networking and cold calling. Finding jobs online Online job sites are a great way to look for a job because you can: Search by keyword, industry type and region to match your skills and interests to jobs that are available in your area Find jobs that interest you and save them to look at later Create an online profile and store your CV so it can be seen by potential employers - but don't rely on this approach as your only way to find a job Job sites often have related resources such as selfassessment tools, sample CVs and job-seeking advice. It's also increasingly common for many employers and recruiters to only advertise jobs online

9 Recruitment agencies Return to contents page Recruitment agencies act on behalf of the employer, aiming to find a person with the skills, qualifications and experience to match the jobs that are available. They use a number of methods to advertise jobs, including ads on their own websites or other job search websites. Often, agencies specialise in one particular industry for example, the creative industries, administration or hospitality. You can search for jobs posted by specific recruitment agencies on the larger job search sites. This is useful if you're looking for work in a particular industry. Networking A network is simply a group of people that you know, and the people that they know, and the people that they know, and so on. You've heard of the expression 'I heard about it from a friend of a friend'? That's an example of networking. Your family and friends and their extended networks might know about jobs that are currently available or about to become available. They might be able to let you know how to apply for that job before it gets advertised. Because advertising jobs is an expensive and timeconsuming process, employers often approach their networks first and rely on referrals to find the right person. If you're looking for a particular kind of job, let the people in your networks know. They might be able to refer you to an employer who's looking for someone just like you.

10 Applying for jobs Read over any guidelines or instructions carefully before you send anything off. Be just as careful applying online as you would with something you print. Tailor your CV and cover letters for each job application. It's tempting to have a 'one size fits all' approach with your online job applications, but employers can tell if your application is too generic. Some companies use scanning software to review online applications which looks for keywords to make sure that you've addressed the key selection criteria. Use keywords that appear in the job description so your application relates to the job being advertised. Setting up your personal profile Many job sites can automate your job searches by creating a personal profile that narrows down your job preferences and sends an alert when a matching job comes up or a daily/weekly update. When you're setting up a profile pick a range of keywords. Not just title of your dream job. Try a few different related words, or even some unrelated ones. You might find out about some interesting jobs that you'd otherwise miss.

11 Tapping into the hidden job market The hidden job market has jobs that are available but haven't been advertised. Applying for a job that hasn't been advertised can improve your chances of getting that job because less people will know about it and apply for it, meaning you're competing against fewer people. Ways to tap into the hidden job market include networking and cold calling. How to spot a job scam Most of your bosses will do the right thing by you, but some might be dodgy. Anyone looking for a job can be vulnerable to scams. However, dodgy employers tend to target: Young people Unemployed people International students Travellers on working holidays They target these groups because they think that they're the most naïve about their rights, the most desperate for work and the least likely to do them in. Clues that a job is really a scam include: Claiming you can make large amount of money quickly and easily Talking about working from home Asking for money up front Insisting on unpaid trial work

12 Cold calling Cold calling means contacting companies directly to find a job. It can be scary, but most people react well and offer encouragement and further. If you are polite, very few people will bite your head off for trying. It's likely you'll get knocked back by a lot of the people you call, but don't give up. Cold calling is worth all the trouble in the world if it pays off in the long run and gets you a job, or even just an interview. Do some research into the type of company you'd like to work for so that you sound like you know what you're talking about. Ask well thought questions when discussing the kind of job you're looking for. Before calling, try to find out the name of the person you need to speak to. You may have to be persistent to get past receptionists and personal assistants. If the person you need to speak to isn't available, find out when they will be available and offer to call them back. If you manage to talk to someone about the kind of job you want, and there is a job available, find out what you need to do next. Return to contents page

13 Links The Job Search Sites document provides some websites which have job vacancy published on in the below sectors. General job All sectors Creative, arts and entertainment sector Accounting, banking, finance and IT sector Aviation work Environmental work Construction work Children and youth work Retail work Return to contents page

14 Resources The Creative Steps Signposting Guide contains a range of additional top tips for Jobseekers. This includes: Creating a CV Creating a covering letter Completing an application form Click here for more information on Creative Steps Signposting Guide- Job seekers Participants signed up to Creative Steps are entitled to further assistance when applying for work. For contact details see the below. Sources of information: Return to contents page All information and details were updated at the time of publish September Please note that any products/ organisations included in this pack are not endorsed by Shape. For advice on any of the topics in this pack get in touch with the Youth & Employment Services team on: Telephone: Minicom: Fax:

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