How to find a job

We’re not gonna lie, it's a tough job market out there, especially for young people. You’ve gotta be prepared for rejection, tough interviews and doing some slog work if you’re gonna survive it. To help, read our guide to how to find a job so you know where and how to look for one.

Two young people are discussing how to find a job. This is a wide-angle image.

Where should I start when finding a job?

The local Jobcentre is a good place to start. Why? Because it doesn’t cost an employer anything to advertise (unlike newspapers or the internet). This means that a lot of employers use job centres to find new staff for both part time and full time jobs.

Otherwise, you can find out about jobs by looking online, in your local newspaper or industry magazines (or their online equivalent). Most regional papers’ll have their jobs pages on a certain day each week. On the other hand, national newspapers tend to have set days for certain types of vacancies.

But be warned, openings advertised in this way usually get loads of people applying for the same post. So you need to write a strong covering letter and create a good CV if you want a real shot at it. Luckily, you can learn how to write a cover letter here and how to write a CV here.

How to find a job using a recruitment agency

Agencies usually have access to tonnes of jobs that may never get advertised. Some even specialise in particular types of work, such as sales, IT or catering. Others will be more general and cover a range of roles from administration and customer service positions to driving and warehouse jobs.

Just bear in mind the agency earns a fee from the client if you get the job. So put as much effort as you can into making yourself the ideal candidate and they’ll do the same in return.

Good news is, you can register with as many agencies as you like – no agency should charge you a penny, even if they find you a job. For added security, look for a trade registered agency. And you can also check out our tips for getting a job through a recruitment agency here.

How to find a job online

There are endless job sites with a seemingly endless amount of job listings and job openings. The trick is to find the ones most relevant to you. For example, if you subscribe (either through an email address list or an RSS feed) you’ll always know when a new job matching your criteria is added to the site. Not to mention job boards can also really help with the search for jobs.

FYI, the larger job websites let you add your CV. That way employers can search for potential candidates the same way that candidates can search for potential employers.

Popular sites include:

I just keep getting rejected for jobs, what am I doing wrong?

Repeat after us: It’s not me, it’s the economy. Try not to take it personally if you’re getting rejections – it’s genuinely happening to all job seekers right now. We know that you’re thinking ‘I NEED A JOB ASAP’ but if you’re sure you’ve done everything you can (great CV – good covering letter – detail-oriented and thorough job applications) then go easy on yourself.

You shouldn’t sit around all day waiting for a response that might not come either. Go and do something more fun instead. Just remember to keep your ringer on in case you get called to that interview.

It’s easy to become unemployed and depressed, so read this for some survival tips if you’re struggling.

How to find a job: A real life example

Job hunting is never easy, so if you’re finding it tough remember that you’re not alone. Take a look at this real life example from a member of our community who was struggling to find a job after doing tons of interviews and read our response to pick up some extra tips for how to find a job.

I was made redundant six months ago and have been job hunting ever since. I’m young and have a degree, plus three years experience in advertising. But even after going to at least 50 interviews I still don’t have a job. I need a job, I’ve never been unemployed for this long and don’t really know what to do with myself. What can I do to land one?”

Initial steps

Firstly, try to remember you’re doing something right if you’re getting that many interviews. We know that it can be a punch in the gut when you don’t get offered the job. Let yourself feel that for a minute, and then get back to applying for jobs.

Never let these disappointments affect your confidence. If that seems difficult, then try to remember that there are loads of factors that affect the decision-making process. Usually these are out of your control. But that doesn’t mean you should sit back and do nothing.

Since you wanna continue working in the advertising industry you might wanna try finding work experience or volunteering placement in the industry. This could help you gain new insight into the field, make new contacts, add recent experience to your CV and demonstrate your commitment to advertising. Plus, it’ll help get you out of the house.

Other options

You could also approach people you know from a specific company in the industry, such as former employers or colleagues, for advice on nailing your interview technique. Not to mention that your family and friends can give you useful tips and information from their own experiences.

Don’t be afraid to use your close friends to create a list of potential questions and hold mock interviews either. It’s also worth considering other ways to use the experience you’ve gained. For example by getting involved in teaching or training, setting up a website or starting your own business.

You might also want to consider applying to some temping agencies to see if they can help you out. A lot of temping jobs can lead to permanent employment and it can be a great way to get a better shot at a job.

Next Steps

  • Youth Direct lets you search for apprenticeships, graduate jobs and volunteering opportunities using your location.
  • Chat about this subject on our Discussion Boards.
  • Need help but confused where to go locally? Download our StepFinder iPhone app to find local support services quickly.

By Paul MacKenzie-Cummins

Updated on 07-Jun-2022