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Article: Job Hunting


This article looks at how to go about finding a job. It covers areas such as:

  • where vacancies are advertised
  • getting work experience
  • training opportunities

Where to start

A good starting point is to decide what will matter to you in a job, and what's not so important.

Consider your values and needs, and think about your strengths; these could be skills you have or work experience. Everyone has some area of expertise which can be applied to the world of work.

By thinking about personal experience in this way, you can identify 'transferable skills', such as organisation and time management, and personal qualities, such as patience and calmness under pressure.

The next thing to do is ask yourself these questions:

  • What kind of work environment suits me best?
  • Do I want to work flexible hours?
  • How far am I prepared, or able, to travel to work?
  • Would I be prepared to move?
  • Will I have to train or re-train before I can get a job?
  • How much do I want to earn?

Also, think about whether patterns of work other than full-time employment would suit you. For example, you could consider job-sharing, part-time or freelance work, or setting up your own business.

Finding out about training opportunities

If you need specific skills or qualifications for a job, you might want to consider doing some training. To help you find out about opportunities, there are various different options available. In England, the GOV.UK website has a search facility that allows you to search through courses in further education and higher education. In Wales, Careers Wales have a ‘Courses in Wales’ section that enables you to search for further education courses. The UCAS website enables you to search for higher education courses.

Jobs Growth Wales

If you are 16-24 and currently not in education or employment, you could be eligible for the Jobs Growth Wales programme.

The programme offers you the opportunity to become part of a company for six months. You will be paid the National Minimum Wage for a minimum of 25 hours per week and a maximum of 40 hours per week. To be eligible for this programme, you will need to be 16-24 years old, living in Wales and not in full-time employment.


Careers Wales –

UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) –

Looking for job vacancies


Job boards are often many people's first port of call when looking for a new job. Some specialise in one area of work, such as construction, while others contain job vacancies for all types of employment.

Find a Job is a good place to look for part- and full-time vacancies in the UK.

Newspapers and magazines

Most newspapers, both local and national, have websites with job vacancy sections. Usually, these websites will have a larger number of vacancies than their print version and will often be more up to date.

Specialist and professional journals have adverts for jobs in their particular field. Other places to check are Jobcentre Plus offices and adverts in shops, such as newsagents.

Recruitment agencies

Recruitment and employment agencies help employers to find appropriate staff. They usually specialise in particular types of work such as sales, secretarial or manual work. Most of the jobs are temporary to begin with, but can lead to permanent work.

You register with the agency by filling in a form, sending your CV or attending an interview. Registration is usually free.

Contacting an employer directly

Another approach is to make direct contact with employers, even if they haven't actually got any jobs advertised. You'll need to find out all about the company, and show that you have thought about how you could make a useful contribution. Letters, visits, emails or telephone calls can be successful, but be prepared to be patient.

You can also ask friends and relatives to look out for vacancies where they work.

Improving your chances of getting a job

The first step is to give plenty of thought to the job you are applying for. Find out as much as possible about the company or organisation and what it does. You should do this before you complete the application form or write a CV.

You need to be clear and positive on your application form or CV. Make sure you highlight the skills and experiences you have that are especially relevant to the job you're applying for.

If you are offered an interview, prepare thoroughly. Take time getting ready and arrive at the interview in good time so as not to feel flustered. Think about the questions that you might be asked and write down some questions that you would like to ask the interviewers. It's a good idea to check out the article on interviews within this product.

Getting work experience

Doing voluntary work is one way of getting valuable experience, and could be a route into your chosen area of work. Many towns have a volunteer centre where you can find out what's available locally. You might also check out websites of the Do-it Trust ( and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (

If voluntary work is not possible, try arranging a visit to a workplace to give yourself some idea about the work environment.

Further Information


UK government services and information



Address: Rosehill, New Barn Lane, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL52 3LZ

Tel: 0871 4680468



Volunteering England

Part of NCVO

Address: Society Building, 8 All Saints Street, London N1 9RL

Tel: 020 7713 6161



Working for a Charity

Managed by NCVO

Address: Society Building, 8 All Saints Street, London N1 9RL

Tel: 020 7520 2512



Ultimate Job Search

Author: Lynn Williams Publisher: Kogan Page

How to Write a CV That Really Works

Author: Paul McGee Publisher: How To Books


Readymade CVs

Author: Lynn Williams Publisher: Kogan Page

How to Get a Job You'll Love

Author: John Lees Publisher: McGraw-Hill


Further Education Courses - Guide

UK government services and information


Higher Education Courses: Find and Apply

UK government services and information


Finding a Job

UK government services and information




Careers Wales (Provides careers information, advice and guidance)


Croeso i Gyrfa Cymru

Dewiswch iaith


Welcome to Careers Wales

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