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16 October 2014
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Applying for jobs

Where to find job vacancies

Unless you’re very lucky, nobody is going to come knocking on your door with a job offer! Before you can wow prospective employers with your amazing CV and interview skills you must find out where the job vacancies are. There are all sorts of ways to look for jobs. Some are ‘formal’, like visiting the Job Centre, and others ‘informal’, like asking your friends to keep a look-out for you. The more methods you try, the greater your chances of success.

Careers Centres

Since April 2001 all the Careers Companies have merged to form Careers Wales. However each company still offers services to a distinct geographical area. Careers Wales offers an all-age guidance service. This means whether you are in education, training or employment, whether you are young or not so young, you will still be able to get help and advice. This could mean finding jobs, apprenticeships and other work-place training, or getting advice on courses, subjects and qualifications you need. You can also get advice on vacation work or where to spend your gap year. Vacancies both local and national are advertised and staff are trained to help and advise people with all aspects of job hunting.

Job Centres

Government-run employment agencies. Anyone can use Job Centres, you don’t have to be unemployed or claiming benefits. As well as job vacancies they offer advice on training opportunities for unemployed over-18s.

Employment Agencies

Private businesses which charge a fee to employers to find people to fill their job vacancies. They often specialise in temporary or casual work or in particular types of work like office work or catering. The good news is that their services are free to job seekers. You can find addresses in Yellow Pages.

Newspapers

Local papers usually carry job adverts on a particular day of the week. If you’re a young person, look for phrases like ‘school leaver’, ‘trainee’, ‘apprentice’, ‘no experience required’ or ‘experience not essential’. Adverts in national newspapers are mainly for older, more experienced people.

Magazines and trade journals

If you’re trained, skilled or experienced in a particular type of work, trade journals, like ‘Caterer and Hotelkeeper’, are useful sources of national job vacancies. They may also carry adverts for trainees.

Notice boards and shop windows

School or college ‘career’ notice boards often advertise job vacancies so you should check them regularly. Large stores like supermarkets may have job vacancy boards, and shop, café or hairdresing salon windows occasionally display signs advertising jobs within.

Friends and family

A surprisingly high number of jobs are filled through informal networking. If you’re looking for work, make sure you let your friends and family know so they they can keep an eye open for you.

Work experience and part-time jobs

Work experience placements and part-time jobs sometimes lead to offers of permanent work. If you’re interested, make sure you let the right people know. The worst that can happen is they’ll say no! Even if they can’t help you now, something may come up later and they may be able to advise you on how to improve your chances of getting in.

Speculative applications

Many job vacancies are never advertised. You can try writing speculative letters to employers, on the off-chance that they might have a vacancy or be planning to recruit in the near future. You’ll need to find out which companies might offer the sort of work you’re looking for, so you can target your letters. Your local Careers Centre or Job Centre may be able to help.

The Internet

Web sites which carry job vacancies are one of the fastest growing areas of the Internet. Some allow you to display your CV to potential employers. Most adverts are for experienced applicants or graduates rather than school leavers. Your local Careers Centre may have its own web site which advertises vacancies for young people.

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