Finding and Applying for a Job
In these economic times jobs are even harder to get than usual, so it is important that you look in the right places for suitable vacancies, and complete application forms as comprehensively as possible.
Where to find Job Vacancies
- Local papers are the best place to start your search, most will have a day of the week where there is a job section.
- Shop windows – this is where shops/supermarkets with vacancies tend to apply, smaller shops may also have cards advertising vacancies such as babysitting.
- Websites – there are a lot of job website out there, and some are better than others. A lot will show the same vacancies, so it is a good idea to find one or two that seem the most comprehensive, and focus on those. You can usually sign up to received e-mail alerts when relevant vacancies are posted, by indicating the key words and job titles that you are looking for. There are also websites specific to employers, such as the NHS.
- Professional journals/magazines – if you are looking for a job in a particular profession, these usually have a vacancies section, although how many vacancies they contain will vary.
Filling in Job Application Forms
- Read the advert, job description and person specification before you start writing. This will give you all the information required to apply and you can therefore keep it in mind as you complete the application form.
- Answer every question – they are there for a reason. If a question doesn’t apply to you, write N/A (not applicable), otherwise it can look like you just ignored it.
- Most application forms have a personal statement section, where they give you a blank page and ask you to tell them about yourself and why you are suitable for the job. This section is very important. You need to look at the person specification and show them how you meet each point on it, the ‘desirable’ as well as the ‘essential’ because if they have a lot of applicants who meet the 'essential' criteria, they will use the 'desirable' section to short-list.
Other Useful Points
- Don’t send a copy of your CV unless they ask for it/say it is okay to send. Definitely don’t send one instead of a completed application form. If they don’t want them, they won’t look at them, however well-qualified you are.
- If you have any questions or concerns about the job or your application such as wanting to clarify the start date to see if you would be available in time, contact them. There will usually be a contact person and phone number/e-mail address, so if you need to, use them.
- If you aren't successful in one job, keep going. The reality is that it may take one application, it may take 1000, but if you don't apply you definitely won't get the job.
Obviously, following these steps will not guarantee you a job, but it can help your applications to be more focused. The more you fill in the more you will get used to it, and will hopefully be successful.