Help and advice when applying for a job

For most people, one of the most daunting things about losing your job is applying for a new job. But if you’ve been made redundant or lost your job it might be an opportunity to find something better and more satisfying. You could even take the opportunity to try something new.

Polish your CV

Wondering how to get a job? The first step is to make sure your CV is up to scratch.

A good CV gets attention by giving key facts about why you’re right for the role and providing additional information to back up that positive first impression.

There are plenty of resources out there which can help you write the perfect CV:

Get professional help with your CV

If you are being made redundant your employer may arrange access to a career advice service that includes help with CV writing, so make sure you check.

Start your search for a new job

Under 25? The Prince’s Trust offers help and advice if you’re under 25 and looking for work.

There are lots of different places to look for work, some tried and tested such as recruitment agencies and newspapers. But don’t forget your work contacts, former colleagues and friends and family either.

Use the internet to look for jobs

Many people don’t know that if you’re working a redundancy notice you are allowed to take reasonable time off to look for a new job.

  • There are many jobs websites where you can post your CV or search for jobs.
  • National and local newspapers, as well as trade and professional organisations, have online recruitment sections that are up to date and easy to search.
  • Most companies and businesses list vacancies on their websites.
  • Professional networking websites, such as LinkedIn, can be a great way to see what vacancies are available.

Call around for vacancies and job opportunities

Don’t be shy. Phone the companies or organisations you are interested in working for and ask who you can send your CV to.

Look around you for vacancies or opportunities

Many companies and shops advertise jobs on their premises or in their shop windows. You can always ask for an application even if you don’t see a notice.

These days many job opportunities are advertised online and professional networking sites like LinkedIn and social networking sites like Twitter can make a real difference to your search.

There are several websites that offer help, depending where you live.

Prepare for the job interview

Once you’ve got your foot in the door and you have an interview, do your homework and make sure you’re well prepared to make a good impression on the day.

  • Find out about the organization. The internet is often the best place to start.
  • Prepare for questions you might be asked. Practice speaking confidently about yourself and your abilities.
  • Plan everything ahead of time. How will you get to the interview? What you’ll wear? Do you need to bring anything with you?
For more tips on preparing for an interview see the National Careers Service website.

Consider volunteering while you look for work

Finding a new job takes time and it can be hard to keep your spirits up. Consider volunteering in the meantime. It’ll get you out of the house and you could learn valuable skills or make contacts that lead to paid work at some point. Volunteering will not affect your benefits.

Visit the GOV.UK website for information on volunteering.

Next steps

This might be the chance to make that career change you’ve been thinking about.