Where do you go to find suitable vacancies to apply for? It can be a challenge to know where to actually find the right kind of opportunities for you. Google is good but may just overwhelm you with possibilities! Developing a productive job-hunting strategy can really help. What worked for you as a student getting part-time work might not for finding a job that will take you in the right career direction.
Did you know?
Graduates find jobs in all sorts of ways and all kinds of places. Here is a list which shows how 2015 graduates nationally said how they had found the job they were doing (data collected as part of the national graduate destinations survey 6 months after finishing university).
Recruitment agency/website – 19.7%
Personal contacts, including family and friends – 17.3%
Already worked there (including on an internship/placement) – 15.9%
University Careers service – 7%
Media (e.g. Newspaper/magazine advertisement) – 3.4%
Other university source (e.g., lecturer, website) – 3.2%
Social media/ professional networking sites – 2.8%
Speculative application – 2.5%
Source – Charlie Ball, Graduate Prospects (2016)
So people get jobs in all sorts of ways. It can be useful to think about the ‘open’ and ‘hidden’ job markets. The open job market refers to those jobs that are advertised. The hidden job market refers to those that aren’t advertised and you might get through contacts or an internal move.
How not to find a job
In the classic careers book What Colour is Your Parachute? Richard Bolles talks about the best and worst ways of getting a job. According to him your chances of success are most likely if you make highly targeted and tailored applications, you are least likely of success if you just post out your CV to as many employers as you can and rely solely on job ads.
And I’d agree with him, job-hunting isn’t like the lottery and just hoping the more jobs you apply for, the higher your chances of getting a job may be flawed thinking. The opposite may actually be the case if you invest valuable energy in applying for so many jobs, that you can’t do justice to the ones you really want.
Enhance your chances
So job-hunting is easier if you can work out your priorities in terms of the jobs you are applying for which takes time. Find out where the jobs are being advertised for the field you are interested in. The internet made job-hunting easier but also harder as it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the volume of opportunities advertised especially by sites such as Indeed which harvest opportunities from a variety of sources. As a Salford graduate, you can also still access all the vacancies we advertise via our careers portal so make sure you do that, as employers come to us because they are targeting students and graduates.
Remember that looking for advertised vacancies is only one way people find jobs. Are there recruitment agencies that operate in the field of work you are interested in? Check our web pages for advice on using an agency, and browse Agency Central which is an umbrella search site for agencies where you can search by specialism and location. You should never pay for registering for an agency. There are loads of agencies so working out who does what is important.
Word of mouth
But it’s also possible to find jobs through the hidden job market, i.e., through your connections. It’s always worth letting people you know you are looking and to ask them to alert you to opportunities. Some people also get jobs through an internal move too, so getting a job in the kind of organisation you want to work for, even if it not doing what you want to do, may allow you to move into other positions later. We cover this further in the Grit your Teeth and Get Networking post.
Beware of fake job ads
The internet has also spawned a variety of scams that seek to trick innocent job seekers out of money and/or personal data. So be alert to this. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. As a university Careers team, we occasionally hear of specific scams, some of which are pretty plausible. The website SaferJobs is a good resource for getting information or seeking advice if you are suspicious. General good rules include never parting with money as part of an application, don’t ring premium rate telephone numbers for an interview, be sceptical of hiring agents or go-betweens that rely completely on technology for interacting with you and don’t appear to have proper contact details and a real address.
Consider the following points and questions and make some notes.
If you have not done this already, make sure your account in our University careers portal is set up. This means you can browse job opportunities that the University has been sent by employers. Ensure your preferences are accurate so we know what work you are looking for.
Salford Careers job vacancies page
Information page about job-hunting from your careers team
Information about using recruitment agencies
Agency Central – umbrella site for searching recruitment agencies
Review job vacancy sources for the careers you are interested within the Graduate Prospects job profiles. Are you looking in the right places for job ads.