The Careers Service provides an impartial, all-age careers information, advice and guidance service, to help young people and adults make informed choices about their future career paths. Find out below how you can contact one of the Careers Service’s professionally qualified careers advisers.
Looking for a job is a full-time job. Get started using our advice on job hunting, networking, jobs fairs and finding seasonal jobs.
Your new job is out there – you just need to know where to look. We’ve got some tips to help you on the hunt.
First, set aside some time each week to find vacancies or fill in applications.
Give yourself some tasks to complete each week. For example, contacting an employer, updating your CV, or looking on a website.
Make sure you note down closing dates for job vacancies, and keep track of what you’ve applied for and when.
Use our search to find the latest job vacancies across Northern Ireland https://www.jobcentreonline.com/JCOLFront/Home.aspx
Where to look
Our job search is just one of the many available – hundreds of new jobs appear online every day.
Look for job sites about your specific industries or types of work. Check the sites of employers you’re interested in working for. Look up their social media accounts.
Lots of search sites offer an email alert function. This lets you know when new jobs are added under the category you’re interested in.
Newspapers and magazines
Check the vacancies section in your local paper. The business and news sections can also be useful for spotting stories about growing companies and industries.
Look for magazines and trade journals which are linked to the kind of job you want.
Use your social media accounts to find jobs, network and show your skills. Here’s how:
Use this like an online CV to show employers what you can offer. Find out more about using LinkedIn for your job hunt.
Start following companies you’d like to work for, job sites, and recruiters. Look out for vacancies and news in their tweets. Read our guide to getting noticed on Twitter.
Got a flair for Pinterest? Could you use Instagram, YouTube, or Soundcloud like a portfolio? Find a place which helps you show your skills.
Whatever network you’re using, your bio will be one of the first things people see. Mention some skills and link to your website, portfolio or CV.
Look for job vacancies, and find accounts you can follow. Search on topics you’re interested in or career-related hashtags, like #ITjobs.
Join your school, college or university alumni groups on Google+, LinkedIn and Facebook. The people you know could help in your job hunt.
Join Google+ and LinkedIn groups connected with the jobs you want and start contributing. @ mention people on Twitter or Instagram, take part in discussions and Like or Favourite things.
Add posts, or share articles and videos relevant to the job you want. Show you know what’s happening in the industry
Either have separate personal and professional accounts, or set yourself some guidelines.
Even if your Facebook is personal, an employer may find it.
Ever heard the phrase ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know’? That’s why networking works. Here’s how you can find your way around the hidden jobs market with a little help from your friends.
Why you need to network…..
It’s simple. If you’re not networking, you could be missing out on a lot of job opportunities.
Five networking tips for job hunters
Even if they can’t help you with your job hunt, they might know someone who can. Ask if they can suggest contacts, and could put you in touch.
Family, friends, former employers, former teachers – tell them you’re looking for a job. They could help, or know someone you can get in touch with.
Look for networking events, job fairs, talks and workshops based round your ideal job. Introduce yourself to as many people as you can, and ask if you can keep in touch.
Even out at events, you’re meeting new people every day. You never know where a chat will lead.
Tell them about your goals and ambitions. Talk about your strengths. Inspire them to help you.
An elevator pitch is a short speech you could deliver in the time it takes to travel up a floor in a lift. The aim is to hook someone in and make them want to hear more.
Entrepreneurs use these to get people interested in new products or ventures, but you can use the same technique to introduce yourself.
You need to answer some key questions in your pitch.
A good first step is to note down some of your skills and strengths. This helps you think about what makes you special – and what you’d like people to know about. You don’t have time to mention everything, so highlight a few things that you think are most important.
Make a note of some of the things you’ve done – the experience and education parts of your account might help here. Read over your CV. Try to think of things you’ve achieved, or stress the amount of experience you have.
You can tailor this part depending on where you are. Think about your goal for the event. For example, if you’re at a jobs fair, you could say you’re interested in hearing about opportunities, or learning more about their company. Or you might be at a networking event trying to meet new people – so you could say you’re looking to make contacts in the industry. It also lets you open up the conversation to the other person.
Look over your notes and try putting together a couple of sentences about yourself. Don’t use jargon – the people you’re talking might not know about your job, so technical terms could go over their heads. Keep it simple and short. Write it out in a few different ways and see which one feels most comfortable.
You should know your elevator pitch by heart – so that it rolls off your tongue. Practise so that you remember it. Try to relax and make it sound natural.
Now, get out there and try it!
A CV (curriculum vitae) is a short list of facts about your education, work history, skills and experience. A good CV is essential when looking for work and it is worth taking the time to get it right so you can sell yourself to an employer.
Creating a new CV
Use your CV to make the most of yourself and your achievements. It is often the first contact and impression you will have with an employer.
How you present your CV is up to you. Use the online CV builder at NI Direct to create, edit, download and print a CV, or follow the tips below to create a good and professional impression.
You may also follow the tips below to help you create a good and professional CV.
Presenting your CV
You do not need to put your date of birth, age, or salary on your CV.
Always put your most recent job first and remember to include dates. Avoid gaps between dates. Even if you weren’t in paid employment refer to voluntary work or other experiences that added to your skills set.
If you’ve had lots of different roles, you may not be able to include everything, so prioritise your most recent and relevant details. Compress earlier roles into short descriptions or just include job titles and highlight the skills and experience you gained across those jobs (such as skills in dealing with customers or communication skills).
If you don’t have much work experience, then you can include details of temporary, holiday, part-time or voluntary work. .
What to include in your CV
Below are some examples of what you may want to include in your CV:
A personal profile
A personal profile is a short statement at the beginning of your CV used to sell yourself and to show your skills, experience and personal qualities. You can include positive words such as ‘can’, ‘adaptable’, and ‘conscientious’. Tailor the statement to the requirements of each job that you apply for, to show the employer that you’re the right person for the job.
Skills and strengths
Highlight your skills and strengths. A skill is something you gain with education and experience, a strength is something you are naturally good at. Tailor these to match the requirements of the job you are applying for.
If the job you are applying for is different from work which you have previously done, then explain why you are interested in applying for this new type of work.
Qualifications and training
Include qualifications you got from school or college as well as any qualifications and training from previous jobs (such as training in health and safety or a certificate in food hygiene). Put your most recent qualifications first.
Your hobbies and leisure activities can help support your application if they highlight responsibilities and skills that are relevant to the job you’re applying for, such as organising activities for a club you belong to, or using leadership skills or teamwork as part of an activity.
You don’t have to include references in your CV but you should state at the end of your CV that references are available.
It’s good to have two or more people who can provide a work or personal reference. Ideally, one should be your most recent employer but if you haven’t worked for a while it could be someone who has known you for a long time who can comment on your work skills and qualities.
You should ask the referees to agree to this beforehand.
Using your CV
You can send your CV to a company with a covering letter or email asking if they have any current or future vacancies. You can find names and addresses of companies on the internet, in newspapers, or in trade or telephone directories.
You can use your CV to help you remember all the dates and information each time you fill in an application form, apply for a job by phone or before a job interview. You can also leave a copy with the interviewer(s) if they do not already have one.
Recruitment/employment agencies usually ask to see your CV before you register with them.
Covering letter for your CV
It is good manners and professional courtesy to enclose a covering letter with your CV, giving the job reference and repeating your contact details.
While your CV gives the facts about your employment, the covering letter might explain why you are interested in the job and why it’s just right for you. You must try to give the prospective employer a reason to want to read your CV.
Keep it short and to the point, one A4 page is preferable.
If you have a contact name write ‘Dear Mr Jones’ and end with ‘Yours sincerely’. If you don’t have a contact name write ‘Dear Sir / Madam’ and end with ‘Yours faithfully’.
State what the vacancy is and how you heard about it, for example, ‘With reference to your advertisement in the Daily News on 2 May’.
List the skills you have that are relevant to the job. If the advert mentions motivation give an example to show how you’re motivated. Give real-life experiences or personal qualities which could make you stand out from other candidates.
Sign your name clearly. Check your spelling and grammar and make sure your letter is set out clearly and logically. Ask someone else to check it over for you.
Enclose your CV with the letter or attach it if sending it by email.
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