Job hunting

Your new job is out there – you just need to know where to look. We’ve got some tips to help you on the hunt.

Getting started

'Search' is typed in a text field on a computer screen

First, set aside some time each week to find vacancies or fill in applications.

Give yourself some tasks to complete each week. For example, contacting an employer, updating your CV, or looking on a website.

Make sure you note down closing dates for job vacancies, and keep track of what you’ve applied for and when. 


Where to look


Our job search is just one of the many available – hundreds of new jobs appear online every day.

Look for job sites about your specific industries or types of work. Check the sites of employers you're interested in working for. Look up their social media accounts. (Check out our guide to job hunting with social media).

Lots of search sites offer an email alert function. This lets you know when new jobs are added under the category you’re interested in.

Newspapers and magazines

Check the vacancies section in your local paper. The business and news sections can also be useful for spotting stories about growing companies and industries.

Look for magazines and trade journals which are linked to the kind of job you want.

Jobs fairs

A jobs fair is your opportunity to meet employers face to face and find out about upcoming vacancies. Our tutorial is packed with tips to help you make the most of your visit.

Ten ways to use social media in your job hunt

Use your social media accounts to find jobs, network and show your skills. Here's how:

Create a LinkedIn account

Use this like an online CV to show employers what you can offer. Find out more about using LinkedIn for your job hunt.

Join Twitter

Start following companies you’d like to work for, job sites, and recruiters. Look out for vacancies and news in their tweets. Read our guide to getting noticed on Twitter.

Find 'your' network

Got a flair for Pinterest? Could you use Instagram, YouTube, or Soundcloud like a portfolio? Find a place which helps you show your skills.

Write a strong bio

Whatever network you’re using, your bio will be one of the first things people see. Mention some skills and link to your website, portfolio or CV.


Look for job vacancies, and find accounts you can follow. Search on topics you’re interested in or career-related hashtags, like #ITjobs.

Use your contacts

Join your school, college or university alumni groups on Google+, LinkedIn and Facebook. The people you know could help in your job hunt.

Be social

Join Google+ and LinkedIn groups connected with the jobs you want and start contributing. @ mention people on Twitter or Instagram, take part in discussions and Like or Favourite things.

Share interesting things

Add posts, or share articles and videos relevant to the job you want. Show you know what's ha

Keep it professional

Either have separate personal and professional accounts, or set yourself some guidelines. 

Job-proof your personal accounts

Even if your Facebook is personal, an employer may find it. Check out our tips on job-proofing your social media.

The hidden job market

One of the most frustrating parts about job hunting is that lots of jobs will never be advertised. Before they even post a vacancy, employers may look at who they can promote internally or ask colleagues who might fit in the job well. To uncover these hidden jobs, you need to make the first move. 

Speculative approaches

If there’s a company you really want to work for, try approaching them. Research the employer, and find someone you can contact directly. 

Send a cover letter and CV highlighting you strengths and explaining why you want to work for them. Don’t leave it at that – follow up with a phone call. Be polite, but determined. If there’s nothing coming up, at least you’ve made a new contact. Ask that they keep you in mind in the future.

Recruitment agencies

Recruitment agencies could help you find jobs you might not see otherwise. You can also find specialist agencies which place people in the types of job you want.

These are people who know exactly what employers are looking for – it's their job to. They can help you find jobs which suit your skills. They’re also a great source of advice and feedback. And, it’s one more way to get your CV in front of employers.

Where to look

You can search for agencies online. The Recruitment and Employment Confederation lets you find them by area and industry. After you contact an agency, they might ask you to submit your CV and arrange a meeting. Give as much detail as you can about your skills, experience and education. Be honest about what salary you're looking for, and the types of work you want to do. The more they know, the more likely it is they can find a job to suit you.

Agencies are keen to fill the vacancies they have, so read over each advert with care. Don't agree to apply for jobs you’re not interested in.

Most agencies won’t charge for helping you to find work. Some will charge for extra services like CV reviews or interview prep.

Staying safe in your job hunt

Safer Jobs logo

When you’re looking for jobs online, be aware that some adverts could be too good to be true. It's important to do a bit of research to make sure that the job you're applying for is from a genuine company. Remember, an employer would never ask for things like your bank account details on a job application – don’t give these away. Safer Jobs has more information on what to look out for. You can also report any incidents to them if you think you’ve been targeted when applying for jobs.