Help and advice when applying for a job

For most people, one of the most daunting things about job loss is the thought of searching for a new job. But if you’ve been made redundant or lost your job it may be an opportunity to find something better or more satisfying – or even to try something new.

Polish your CV

First things first, make sure your CV does its job. A good CV gets attention by giving key facts about your suitability and then providing additional information to back up that positive first impression.

Look at the CV builder on the National Careers Service website.

Welsh users may find the Careers Wales website particularly useful as the site is bilingual. There is also an option to create a CV in Welsh.

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.

For free help and advice on writing an effective CV, contact Jobcentre Plus on 0345 604 3719.

Start your search for a new job

Top tip

Professional contacts, former colleagues and even friends and family can be a valuable source of help when looking for a new job.

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

Did you know?

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.

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 Facebook 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 company or organisation – the internet is often the best place to start.
  • Prepare yourself for questions you might be asked – practise speaking confidently about yourself and your abilities.
  • Plan your journey to the interview, what you’ll wear and what you need to bring 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.