Money doesn’t grow on trees. And neither do jobs. It is an essential life skill to join the job market, and to do that, you must understand it. You must ask yourself: what am I facing? What are the basic requirements to start looking? Where do I need to look?
It goes without saying that the job market is competitive. In a recent case, 1,700 people applied for just eight positions available at a Costa Coffee in Nottingham (source: The Independent). But the fact remains that people have jobs. Despite the latest unemployment figures given by the Office for National Statistics – 2.52 million in the three months up to January, which is relatively high – over 90% of the population (of working age) is employed and the vast majority acquired those jobs using a common set of steps.
The cornerstone of the job search is the CV (résumé). Without one, or with a poor one, you have little chance of convincing an employer to hire you. There are numerous websites, articles, even dedicated companies to help you tailor your CV. Without getting bogged down on details here, make it honest, use clean formatting and proofread thoroughly. Never underestimate the importance of correct spelling and grammar, whose absence is more scrutinized than you may think.
Once you have a CV, you can begin your search. So – where do you look for a job? Nowadays, quite unsurprisingly, the internet is the main port of call when seeking employment. It carries the most benefits in terms of amount of jobs to choose from, speed at which you can trawl through them and speed at which you can correspond with employers, making it commonly cited as the best way to find a job. Three of the main ways to look for a job on the internet are through job websites such as the Universal Jobmatcch site, careers sections on individual websites and using social media such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Whilst social media is the utilization of networking online, networking can occur offline in the real world by developing relationships with people (however fleeting they may be). You may think that using this word-of-mouth technique may be old-fashioned compared to the sudden onslaught of social media, but applying for jobs that aren’t overtly advertised cuts down competition for vacancies and may even yield inside information which ultimately gets you hired. Another approach, more pragmatic still, is the use of job agencies, the Jobcentre, or advertisements in publications and/or newspapers. These agencies take the workload of searching off your hands.
It’s safe to say that the resources are out there for jobseekers. We live in a technology-driven world, and people have started to use that to their advantage. The internet has changed the way employers seek their workforce and the way that a potential future workforce will look for prospective employers. There are an uncountable number of jobs available online; however, with this wealth comes the struggle to organize them, and so there are cases in which people apply for jobs which no longer exist. This shouldn’t put off potential employees, however, as there are fallbacks with any method of seeking employment, and the internet has already more than proved its worth. The use of classifieds, writing to employers and visiting companies does not pale in comparison, though. In some cases, the old ways are still the best. Handling oneself in the job market is very much trial-and-error; with a little pragmatism, and a lot of persistence, you will find employment regardless of your method.
by Harry Lawrence | 22 March 2013