How to find a job - The Careers Group, University of London


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The Careers Group, University of London helpsheet outlines the different ways of finding a job and gives tips and advice. - See more at:

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How to find a job - The Careers Group, University of London

  1. 1. HOW TO FIND A JOB Online This is where most students start their job search. The Careers Group, University of London’s own sites are called JobOnline and International JobOnline There are specific vacancy sites for most job sectors - the job profiles on are a good way to source these. As well as for finding vacancies, sector-specific sites are useful for getting a sense of the range of jobs and organisations. Use them to help build up a list of employers you would like to work for. This is also a good strategy for sourcing smaller employers that can initially be overlooked by some graduate job hunters. Use employer sites to get a sense of their organisational culture and to directly source vacancies. is an excellent portal to take you to these and other sites. Internet recruitment sites cover the complete range of occupations and businesses and normally allow you to search using broad occupational categories or tags. Many employers and vacancy sites have a presence on Twitter. Follow them to keep up-to-date and read our separate leaflet on How to Use Social Networking in your Career Search. If you are finding it difficult to know what vacancies to search for read our Beginner’s Guide to Choosing a Career. Recruitment agencies Some organisations will pay agencies to advertise jobs and shortlist candidates. You can register with these agencies in person or online. Your CV will go on to a database which is searched by a recruitment consultant when they get a vacancy from an employer. For temporary positions you can register with the University of London Temp Agency. There are different kinds of agencies: High Street and general agencies, which recruit into a wide range of areas often to both temporary and permanent roles. Specialist agencies deal with particular sectors. In addition, head-hunters are tasked with finding experienced people for specific high-level roles. Find the right agency by looking on sites such as If you want to find a specialist agency, the websites of professional associations often advertise agency vacancies. Some online agency sites such as Reed host vacancies from other smaller more specialist agencies. You can also talk to people working in the job to get advice.
  2. 2. Is the agency any good? Look at their website and consider the number and type of jobs. Do they have vacancies that match your level of skills and experience? Can you easily find out how to contact them by phone and email? Do they have testimonials from clients and candidates? Maximise your chances by registering with the agency that has suitable vacancies for you. Keep in touch, don’t hassle, but emailing every 2-3 weeks is fine. Keep checking their websites for new vacancies and contact them if you see one which matches your skills and experience. Try to speak to the right consultant for your level of experience and sector. Be easy to contact and avoid turning down interview opportunities without good reason. Graduate fairs These are a good way to meet a number of graduate employers in a small space of time. Employers often send relatively new graduates working for the company to talk about their experience. The Careers Group runs a number of fairs, open to all, throughout the year, see for more details. General and specialist fairs might also take place in your own institution. Many of the employers at graduate fairs are from large organisations but there are also fairs such as Silicon Milkroundabout which cater for smaller companies. Prepare for a fair by researching the employers beforehand. Draw up a hit list of those you want to talk to and plan a couple of questions. Make an effort to look presentable, try to check how smartly dressed you are expected to be. Unadvertised jobs It is common knowledge that many jobs do not get advertised. Some experts say it is most jobs. Jobs in design, publishing, crafts - creative jobs in general are rarely to be seen on job boards, websites or recruitment fairs. To access this hidden labour market, read our How to Find and Apply for Unadvertised Jobs leaflet. Job-hunting tips • • • • • • Employers say that enormous numbers of applications are badly written and full of errors. Are yours? Popular job areas receive large numbers of applications. Do elements of the job you want also appear in less popular less over-subscribed areas? It’s worth some research - perhaps in an information interview. Work at job-hunting like a job. Get up early. Work at it for a set number of hours. Take breaks. Take days off. Get out of the house. Do networking, job-shadowing, information interviewing, volunteering or casual work. Improve your skills. Look for short, cheap courses that will make you better at - for instance IT, interviewing, finance management - all helpful in a range of jobs. Join GradClub, The Careers Group’s service for post-college support. © 2013, The Careers Group, University of London This material can be provided in alternative format upon request. An electronic version of this document is available at For further formats, please contact your college careers service or email