How to get a job: Six expert tips for finding work

  • Published
Man looking at a laptop screen

If you're on the hunt for a job and not sure where to start, or how to pitch yourself you're not alone.

The rising cost of living has meant thousands of businesses have been laying off staff, with many people finding themselves out of work.

But about 10.8 million people, external are out of work, either unemployed or classed as economically inactive.

It may feel daunting to try and find a job at first so we spoke to some career experts to give you some tips.

1. Search beyond a 40 mile radius

There have been a lot of shifts in the workplace in recent years. Hybrid and flexible working means your job search can stretch a bit further, quite literally.

Yvonne Smyth, group head of diversity and inclusion at Hays Recruitment says "Proximity isn't as important as used to be, so if you're looking for a job, search far and wide in terms of geography.

"Also if you want to work part-time or say four days a week, don't let full-time positions put you off applying," she says.

"Businesses are more flexible than you might think and if you're the right candidate that can get the job done in fewer days it makes sense for them to adapt the role."

2. Use key words in your searches

Ms Smyth also says it's important to use key words when you're searching online.

"For example if there's a key skill or industry like sales or retail that you're interested in, you want the algorithms on search platforms to pick up on them.

"So daily searches on these words are important, so it identifies what you're interested in.

"Engagement as well is key and that means clicking on jobs with the job titles or a company that you're keen on so the platform yields more of the same."

3. Don't wait for a job to be advertised

Not all jobs are made public. It's always worth sending an email or having a chat with a manager at a business that you like the look of, as you never know when an opening might be coming up.

Many businesses want to avoid the cost of advertising a job formally and may rely on word of mouth.

Miranda Kyte, a career trends expert at Glassdoor says: "Another route is to utilise your network, let friends, ex-colleagues, family know that you're looking for a new position.

"They may be able to check internal job boards for open roles at their own companies and refer you or they could know someone else who can help."

4. Sell your skills not years

Lots of places still ask for a CV and a covering letter when you're applying for a job.

But now you can advertise yourself rather visibly via social media sites like Linkedin which showcase your skills and experience.

Other platforms like Twitter and Instagram can prove useful when touting yourself out to potential employers as well.

Yvonne Smyth from Hays says it's important to focus on skills.

"Lots of people look at the years required on a job description but actually it's more important that a candidate has the right skills. Try to look for parallels and make that obvious in your application."

5. Get learning

It can be a little disheartening if the jobs you want require specific very specific qualifications. It may be worth having a look at if there are any ways of picking up the experience or training that you need to land a job while you're on the hunt.

Miranda Kyte from Glassdoor says: "Lots of courses these days are free and you can do them online. Volunteering is also a great way of filling gaps on your CV or asking to do some work shadowing in companies you'd like to work for."

6. Celebrate the small wins

It's easy to get disheartened if you are knocked back after interviews time and time again, or you don't feel like you're getting through the door in the first place.

Our career experts say it's good to review how you're going about your search from time to time and try different approaches.

Career influencer, Mehar Sindhu Batra, says it's quite useful to set personal targets, like a tracker of the number of jobs to apply for in a week or a certain number of cold emails.

She's a big believer in acknowledging the little wins along the way to keep your spirits up.

"Maybe you landed an interview, received positive feedback on your resume or cover letter, or connected with a helpful contact. Celebrating these wins can boost your confidence and keep you motivated".