Job Search Part 2:Where are you looking for work?

This is the second in our new series on Job Search. In last week’s post at this link said that you have a decision to make! The clearer you are about the kind of work you want, the more likely you are to be successful.

I asked you to decide

  • Whether this was going to be a career or were you looking for work so that you can pay the bills and keep yourself?
  • What you really enjoy doing and what do you dislike?
  • What you are good at?
  • What kind of organization do you want to work for?
  • How much do you need to earn?
    Now you have the answers to these questions, you are ready to begin your job search. This week we going to consider where you should start looking. I am going to list your options and tell you little about each one.

Recruitment agencies

These days most people sign up with one or more recruitment agencies. It is a good idea to make contact with several – you can find lots of them on-line. They are a good way to keep up to-date with what is going on in the job market. Many agencies will have a mix of permanent and interim/contract roles. There are specialist agencies so check whether there is one in your field. Register with the agencies you feel comfortable with. They will keep you up to date with their vacancies. Most recruitment agencies do a good job for employers and job seekers. But be aware that high levels of job searchers has meant people without real expertise have set themselves up as recruiters. Ask plenty of questions and ask friends and relatives for recommendations

On-Line Job Sites

On line job sites give you immediate access to all kinds of jobs and you can search them in your own time at home. More and more employers are using sites like to find new staff. You will usually find these sites provides lots of other resources to help you in your job search. Take time to browse and get a real feel for what is available. Before you search think carefully about the key words you will use to find possible jobs and use their user guides to make the most of the sites.

Contacting employers directly

The word on the street is that most vacancies, particularly in the private sector are never advertised. They are filled by people already known to the employer. So of course it is worthwhile making yourself known. There is no reason why you should not ask about jobs available. If an employer can fill a job without advertising, it saves them time and expense. Even if they don’t have vacancies now and you make the right impression, they may contact you in the future. Find out as much as you can before you approach them, then tailor your CV appropriately. Most people try to find out the name of person responsible for hiring new staff and write to them. Others have success by approaching a senior executive in the department they want to work in directly. If you have done your home work and show a real interest in the company you can find this direct contact can be a good way in.

LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter

Social networking is an incredibly powerful tool for the job seeker. LinkedIn in particular is a powerful business networking tool used directly by employers to find staff and by head-hunters and recruitment agencies. Keep your own profile clean, up to date and professional. Use social media as well and LinkedIn in particular to help you research organizations in your job search.

Follow the organizations you are interested in, for possible recruitment activity as well as other news. Make sure that your social activity doesn’t weaken your opportunities. Remember it is all out there for a prospective employer to look at – make it work for you.

Local newspapers and bulletin boards

Local companies still advertise with local newspapers and use their online bulletin boards, so don’t ignore them. Find out which day your local paper is published and, more importantly, which day they advertise jobs. Contact them and let them know the type of work you want, your skills and your experience. They may know of a suitable position or let you know if anything comes into the office.

Graduate and Intern schemes

If you are a recent university graduate (or about to become one) you should consider graduate schemes in your field of interest. They can be a fast track to the top but sometimes they have a high rate of attrition – find out as much as you can about them before you commit. There will be information about how to apply on the organization’s website. They are usually very heavily subscribed so don’t take it personally, if you are not one of the very lucky few. But it is always worth giving it your best shot.

Internships are usually unpaid or very poorly paid. But they can provide valuable experience and a way into particular fields – for example, in the media, If you are young, don’t have work experience and you can afford it, they are a good option. Again, you can research them on-line and you will find them on sites like Reed and Monster.

The Best Method – Word of mouth – Networking

I’ve said above that most jobs, particularly in the private sector are never advertised at all. You can find out about those jobs through your friends and relatives and through networking. I’ll cover networking in the next post in this series. Networking events, conferences and exhibitions can be a rich source of new contacts.

Organize Your Job Search

Be methodical in your approach. Make sure you keep track of who you have contacted and the stage you’ve reached with each one. This means you will be able to follow them up effectively and not duplicate your efforts. Keep a mini-file for each job application and record feedback if you are unsuccessful. Keep background files on the organizations you would like to work for . When you tailor your CV, keep a copy in your portfolio file for future use.

In Part 3 at this link, , we’ll see what networking can do for your job search

I know you can get that job you have been hoping for and I would like to help you. Email me now to arrange a free half hour coaching session by Skype.

Wendy Smith (formerly Wendy Mason) is a personal coach and writer at Wisewolf Coaching. She is a qualified coach and a member of the Association for Coaching as well as being a member of the Institute of Consulting and a graduate of the Common Purpose leadership programme.  Wendy is author of “The WiseWolf Job Search Pocket Book: How to Win Jobs and Influence Recruiters” as well as two novels and a number of articles on management and well-being. Her latest publication is a little eBook; “How to Get on With the Boss.”  You can contact Wendy at


  • Job Search:What kind of Work Are You Looking For?

3 thoughts on “Job Search Part 2:Where are you looking for work?”

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