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How to find advertised job vacancies

Spread your job search as wide as possible, as there are lots of places to look. On this page you can read about the main sources of advertised vacancies. Remember that many jobs aren’t advertised at all, so you’ll have to use networking to find out about them by word of mouth.

The internet

When looking for work online:

  • check the closing date for applications - employers can leave closed vacancies online by mistake
  • browse related job categories and search by alternative job titles
  • widen the geographic area of your search
  • beware of recruitment sites with jobs that seem too good to be true, or that ask for money
  • be sure that a site is secure and reputable before posting your personal details
  • draft your applications offline so you can check spellings and keep a copy
  • unsubscribe from job alerts that aren’t relevant and check your spam folder if job alerts don’t arrive in your inbox

You can find out what it’s like to work for a company you’re interested in by checking company reviews on sites like:

On business networking sites like LinkedIn and Spoke you can promote your skills and develop relationships that can lead to finding unadvertised vacancies.

Newspapers

You can find jobs in national papers as well as local and regional papers. Ask your local newsagent to find out which papers are available in your area.

Industry magazines

You can find advertised jobs in industry journals or trade magazines for your area of work. With these publications you’ll often find:

  • subscription is often free if you're already in the industry
  • large newsagents and libraries stock them
  • they include news on which companies are expanding

Expanding companies might particularly welcome speculative applications so they can fill their vacancies without needing lots of adverts.

Jobcentres

Most Jobcentres offer access to computers to search for jobs online. Universal Jobmatch is the government’s job vacancy search site.

Personal advisers can help you find the vacancies that are right for you. They can also tell you about available government training schemes. They’ll take into account any additional needs you might have, like childcare or if you have a disability.

National Careers Service

Staff at National Careers Service offices offer careers advice interviews, and they may also know which employers in the local area are recruiting. These may be job vacancies or training vacancies, such as apprenticeships. 

Contact a National Careers Service adviser to find out where your nearest office is and make an appointment.

Recruitment agencies

Organisations employ recruitment agencies to find suitable people for their vacancies. They may specialise in temporary work, permanent work or specific sectors.

Agencies can be useful to help you find jobs that aren’t advertised to individuals online or in the press. They take a fee from the company that hires you, so they should be motivated to find you a role.

When choosing which agencies to approach, check their websites to see if they have the type of vacancies you’re interested in. You can sign up with more than one agency - this way you’ll get access to more jobs.

When using an agency:

  • ask if they commonly deal with vacancies in the kind of work you’re looking for
  • treat an interview with the agency like an interview with an employer
  • ask for feedback if you’re not placed in a job
  • keep in touch with the agency regularly and let them know your availability
  • be open to temporary work if you can, even if you’re looking for permanent work, as temporary jobs can lead to permanent work
  • depending on the job, the agency might check your typing speed, your ability with computer packages and your spelling accuracy

You can use sites like Agency Central to search for agencies dealing in vacancies in your industry and in your local area.