How to do a job search

Searching for job can be a job in itself. It can be very time consuming and frustrating.

The main thing to remember is to stay positive!

We have some top tips to help get you started.

This may seem obvious but taking time to write down what you want to do may be an eye-opener for you. When you write down the things you want to do you may discover that the jobs you thought you wanted are not what you want after all. You may also reveal some facts that lead you in a different job search all together.

Write down on a blank piece of paper things like your interests, your skills (including soft skills), your achievements, your experience, goals and values.

Now answer as honestly as possible – what is important to you, what are you enthusiastic about? What do you want from an employer?

By doing these things you will realise what you really want and give you more focus when applying for jobs.

One of the most important elements of a job search is your CV. In many cases this is the first thing a recruiter or potential employer will see. It is an essential tool of the job search.

Typically a CV is scanned for around 10 seconds so it needs to make an impact. Limit filler words and include relevant keywords that either are the areas of work you want to do, or appeared in the job advert.

Remember many companies now utilise specialised software to scan CVs for key word search as their first screening process. If your CV does not have the right words it could be rejected before a person even sees it.

And style matters – if your CV is boring, hard to read and visually unattractive there is a chance you won’t get through the first screening process.

Different types of CVs work in different areas so have a read of our “what type of CV is best for you” to get some ideas about which one would suit you best.

Important – Do make sure a potential employer can reach you. Provide your home phone, mobile and email address on your CV as well as any covering email or letter.

It is now easier than ever to get information on the latest jobs. Just sign up for job alerts from sites that list openings in your area of interest.

In order to get notified about the right jobs fill in as many details as you can on the registration form. These details are important as that what is used by the online job boards and job board aggregators (such as Indeed) to send you emails.

You can easily sign up for job alerts us and we will keep you notified of jobs that might interest you.

As internet job boards continue to evolve it is important that you keep up to date with the functions they offer to help you in your job search – such as email job alerts.

Most job boards now offer you the opportunity to register with them and upload your CV to their database. Again this is an excellent way to get found by prospective recruiters and employers. Key is to make sure your CV is optimised with the relevant key words and that you have filled in all the location (s), salary band and sector information that they ask for.

Only provide the essential basic information on your online CV and do not include any personal or security information e.g. national insurance number, home address etc.

REMEMBER – check every sites privacy policy to make sure your information will be stored securely. By law anyone saving your information must comply with the data protection regulation GDPR which protects your personal data. For more information on this go to

Why not download a news aggregator or reader software to your mobile or PC. There are lots around to choose from and you can download as many as you wish.

New job posting that match the criteria you stipulated will be automatically delivered to you usually at the same time as the job was posted so you can get your application in early.

There are usually lots of filters options such as industry, location and job type on these apps so that you only get the relevant jobs sent to you.

If any particular site does not provide you with the information you want you can always disable them.

You know the saying “sometimes it’s not always what you know but who you know”. Lots of people find jobs through people they know rather than by traditional means.

Talk to friends, family and anyone else who may be in a position to know about, or hear about, a job that would interest you. Even better, there is a chance they could “put in a good word for you” with the employer which would give you a greater chance of securing at least an interview.

You can also network online through social media channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook and even Twitter. This can be a great way to alert your contacts to your job search and to potentially share your information.

Depending on the type of industry you are in, you could consider getting a bit creative with your job search approach on social media. If you have a portfolio of work it might be worth creative a presentation of this. If you are looking for a job in customer services, hotel work or any other people orientated business then a video presentation might be worth considering.

As with all online interactions, pay attention to what information you provide and investigate any invitation before responding. Always protect your safety and personal security online.

Rather than wait for the job advert to appear or the phone to ring you could get proactive and start contacting your ideal companies and business directly.

If you do go down this route investigate the correct person to contact and send a personalised cover letter with your CV.

Use the covering letter to not only sell yourself but outline what you could do for the company. End your letter with details of the direct action you will take e.g. I shall give you a call next week to discuss any potential opportunities you may have”
For more help and advice have a look at our “How to write a covering letter” section.
And make sure you follow up – call them the following week. Apart from anything, this demonstrates your commitment and follow through skills to any company.

Recruitment agencies are specialists in recruitment and can be a valuable source of information, support and job opportunities.

Check out our “Using a recruitment agency” section for more information.

Now you can check the job boards, sign up for job alerts, contact companies, sign up with recruitment agencies but just you may not find out about a perfect jobs.

You can’t just assume that you have done everything you need to be find out about any job opportunities.

You need to keep on it by searching online every day through one of the major search engines. Use different words to search for the same types of jobs. Doing this enhances your chance of finding that wee gem of a job that, for whatever reason, has not made it to your inbox.

One thing you’ll learn along the road of job hunting is that it takes time and it’s easy to let negative responses (or worse no responses) get you down.

Remain positive. We all get a few knock backs when we are looking for work. Do not take it personally.

Just keep going! Do all you can and know that, when the time is right, the perfect job will find you!