Where and how to search for jobs and training

Where and how to search for jobs and training

The first thing you need to do before starting to look for a job is to know what your skills and interests are. This will help you to know what types of jobs are appropriate for you, and only you.

Finding job vacancies and training opportunities

Trying to find a job that suits your skills can take time and effort. You can save a lot of time if you know what you are looking for, and focus on jobs that fit with your skills and interests.

You may already know what your skills and interests are through careers advice. If so, you can consolidate your ideas in the first activity. If not you can use it to explore your goals or develop other ideas in case your first choice of job does not work out

So start by thinking of all the jobs you’ve had in the past, any work, voluntary or paid.

What training have you had in the past?

Do you hold any qualifications, or been on any training courses recently. Your everyday life can also provide you with some skills, communication, planning…. Just because you may not have a qualification to show for something you have done does not mean that you do not have the skills.

Compile a list of all your skills past and present in the boxes below, try to give as much information as you can, for example, “I can fish in both sea water and fresh water and my skill lies in knowing where the fish are going to be at certain times of the day”

Answer the questions as honestly as you can in the left hand column. Make your notes in the Right hand column.

Have you ever been part of a team?






Have you ever given instructions to someone else about how to do something?




Have you ever had to follow instructions from someone else?










Have you ever had to care for or organise people?





Have you ever had to care for or organise people?





Can you use IT?






What qualifications do you have?






  Do you mix well with other people?






Have you any experience of voluntary or community activities?





Do you have any hobbies or interests?








Have you had any recent training?






Do you have any awards or experience of personal praise for something you did?




Can you organise your time effectively?







You should now have a list of your skills as you see them. I would like you to have a deeper think about all the things you can do, and discuss them with a friend or partner. Discussing things with someone else who knows you is often a way to avoid overlooking things that you are good at –or things that you need to improve upon If you run out of space then start a new list on a new piece of paper.


What kind of job or Training?

The next thing to decide is what kind of job, career or training you really want, and how your skills and experience fit with this.

Full time work
Part-time work
Seasonal work
Jobs that include further training
Additional qualifications
Voluntary work
Self-employment or starting your own business
Working hours
Location – near to or far from where you live
Knowing people already  working there

Job and training opportunities that appeal to you need to match your current level of skills and experience as well as your interests

Identify an area of work that you are interested in and think that you have the skills to do and write it in the next column
In the next column explain how your skills match the type of work you have chosen, why you think they do and would you need to do any further training

Now that you have a solid match for your skills, you need to know where to look for the vacancies, Tick the ones you know of, or have used in the past to look for jobs:

Job centres Word of Mouth
Recruitment agencies Adverts in shops
Local and national newspapers Local community notice boards
Job search web sites TV
Company websites Careers service offices
Trade journals and magazines

If you are unfamiliar with any of the above, do a little research later and see what you can find out about them.

Using appropriate methods to find jobs or training

The methods that you use to make your search will depend on what you want from the job. Match each example below to the correct method of searching.

Job requirements Methods of searching
It must be in my locality, or near to my home
I want to work for this particular firm
I am happy to work anywhere
a/ Use the internet, national newspapers, trade magazines b/ Use job centres, neighbours, friends, local newspapers
c/ Search the company or organisations website

Job adverts: what do they mean

Your search for the right job or training opportunity will be easier if you know what sort of person the advert is asking for; – then you can see if it matches with your skills, experience and personality.

The next activity contains words and phrases that are common in job adverts. Match each one by writing a letter from the left hand column in the box next to its correct meaning. I have done one to get you started

A Team player E You will need to pick up the job as you go along
B Proactive These are the main skills you will need for the job
C Flexible You need to treat everyone equally
D Dynamic You put customers’ needs before your own and understand what they want
E Fast learner You have to provide evidence of your skills and experience.
F Committed to equal opportunities You can work well with other people
G Core competences You can get on with the job without too much instruction
H Customer focused You have enthusiasm for new tasks
I Proven track record You may need to work odd hours or travel to other places

If you know what employers are looking for, you can match this to your skills and experience, and demonstrate it in your letter of application.


The next activity requires you to find your preferred source of job adverts and looking at the adverts make a list of the words and phrases you can identify and list them in the box. I have entered one for you already;


Wages or Salary














If you come across any words you do not understand, note them in the box below and try to find out a little more from your tutor or colleagues












Read job adverts carefully to make sure that they are appropriate for you before you apply

 You may have found that job adverts commonly include

Job description

Skills needed for the job

Any additional benefits as well as salary

Length of contract

Training opportunities available

Location of company or organisation

Type of Job: full time, Part time, etc.

Full driving license required

Sources of help in finding work or training

In addition to knowing where to look for job and training opportunities, there are people who can help you by providing support and advice.

Look at the following list and tick the ones you know about. If there are any that you are unsure about use the form

New deal advisors – will help and advise you if you are between the ages of 18 and 25 and unemployed

Social networking websites – are used by some employers to recruit employees

Employers – many jobs are not advertised, so it is a good idea to contact employers directly to ask if they have any vacancies

Family, friends and neighbours – talking to people about what you are looking for may turn up opportunities that you weren’t aware of.

Employment agencies – will keep you up to date with the latest vacancies and some specialise in particular types of work.

Careers tutors at school or college will help and advise you.

Careers coaches – can advise you about the meaning of job adverts and the requirements for specific jobs.

Jobcentre Plus advisors – can tell you about jobs in your locality and how to apply

Connexions advisors – offer practical and confidential advice to younger people.



What is networking?

Networking is simply passing on information to other people who may be able to help you. It is what we do every day in our ordinary conversations with people.

Top tips for Networking

Make a list of people you know and their job positions

Ask them about their jobs and how to get where they are

Past employers, teachers, people you have worked with, friends, family and neighbours can all be part of your network

Let them know what you can offer

Attend events concerning the work sector that you are interested in and pass your details on to people.

Are you ready tick those that apply in the list below, be honest.

I know what my skills, qualifications and interests are
I know what types of jobs or training I am looking for
My skills, qualifications and interests are appropriate for the jobs I am looking for
I am confident about using the internet to search for jobs and training
I know which days jobs are advertised in my local papers
I keep up to date with local news so that I know about employers moving to the area
I am confident about contacting employers to ask about vacancies
I know who I can ask for help and advice in finding jobs or training

If there is anything you have not ticked on your checklist, these are the things you need to develop

Identify two sources of job vacancies

Find a job from one of these sources that is appropriate to you. Note the details in the box below

Now explain in your own words why you feel this is the correct job for you

Identify two people who are able to help you find work or training in the area that suits your skills, experience and interests

When you were given advice and guidance from one of your choices above, how did you act on it, give a description of what was said and what you did.

You have now begun to apply your job search skills. I suggest you should now start to keep a record of everything you do, in your quest to find employment. (If you are claiming benefits you can use this to demonstrate how you are actively seeking work)

Also keeping a record helps to prevent you from applying twice for the same job.

Are you ready to actually make an application?

Choose two jobs appropriate for you. For each of the jobs that you have selected, make notes to

Describe how you meet the skill requirements.

Give examples of how you have demonstrated these skills before

State why you are able to perform these job roles.

 Job 1
Job 2

Answer the following Questions honestly

Do you have a positive attitude to work?
Can you work easily alongside other people?
Can you follow instructions?
Can you accept constructive criticism?
Are you prepared to be flexible?
Are you willing to keep learning and training?

If you said no to any of the above questions then you need to make steps to make changes in order to improve your chances of success.

Top tips for success:


Find out as much as you can about the organisation you are applying to

Find out as much as you can in advance about the job

Make sure that your CV is properly set out and up to date

Be prepared to spend time producing an effective letter of application

Prepare yourself for an interview by thinking about what you might be asked.

Be positive in interviews – if you expect the worst, you will not do yourself any justice.

ü  Fail to plan, plan to fail

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