For jobseekers, it can sometimes seem like trekking to the big city with its bright lights is the only answer to our job search… Until one encounters the commute. Hot, sweaty, angry passengers on a long, uncomfortable journey. Or when frustration arises as the enormity of the job market in the city becomes clear, and where to begin becomes extremely unclear. That experience may not be worth the job you find away from home, especially since your perfect job might be right around the corner.
So what are the advantages of keeping your job search local?
Of course your commute will be shorter or perhaps it will barely even exist! Staying local means more time with your friends and family, in an area you are familiar and comfortable with.
Furthermore, many of the job opportunities in your local area will be in smaller companies. This is an advantage for a number of reasons. You are more likely to meet your potential employer much quicker, and therefore will be able to persuade them you are right for the job in person, rather than with an anonymous piece of paper. You are more likely to be able to communicate with the company directly rather than through a huge human resources office. You may also have a better chance of getting opportunities to climb the company.
Many jobs require or would highly appreciate someone who has a good knowledge of the local area. You will already have contacts and connections in that area; you will know where to find resources in the surrounding area; you will be able to discover local clients and will better understand their requirements for example.
What are the disadvantages?
Since local often means smaller scale, the amount of jobs in the area may be far fewer and consequently competition may be much higher. Local jobs may go much more quickly so you must be on the ball. Do not hesitate when you spot a local job that takes your interest.
There might be a smaller range of jobs available. There may not be jobs fit the kind of job you are looking for. There may not be vacancies for the niche area you are looking for, or there may only be niche jobs when you are looking for a more established role or a more general position that allows for developing your skills.
How to find a job
There are a multitude of ways to find jobs in your local area:
- The Job Centre have a number of social media platforms that you can use to interact with your local employment agency and the jobs that they have. You can then even message or tweet them for help with your job centre online application form.
- Twitter is a great resource for discovering jobs because you can follow local companies that you would like to work for as well as jobs websites and vacancies will appear on your timeline ready for you to review.
- Your local county council will have a website which is likely to post local jobs. There may also be a .gov.uk website for your area too which can have a list of jobs on it.
- Search for a Connexions website for your local area. As well as posting jobs, they offer CV workshops and appointments for job application advice.
- Be bold and email companies you would love to work for. Most businesses will have contact details on their website or on business cards in their office. Preferably find an email for the person in charge of recruitment for the company and write to them enquiring if they have the position you would like available. Attach your CV with a cover letter and hope they reply! Many local businesses will at least reply either way, and lots will promise to alert you when a vacancy appears if they are impressed by your CV. Your dedicated and enthusiasm by actively seeking them will impress them and show that you really want to work for them.
- The easiest and most useful way to find a local job is to register with a recruitment website. Set up a job alert with your specifications of location and job type. You will then receive jobs that fit your description via email and you can apply immediately.
- Of course you can go out into your local community with your CV in hand and enter companies you would like to work for and hand our job application to the manager. You can make your first impression here, in person, and talk over your skills with them directly.
Most importantly, decide what you really want and where you want to be. Stay firm and committed to meeting those goals and you will see results.
Miriam Beard | Strike-Jobs.co.uk | Journalist