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Step 3 – Apply for jobs

Visit websites that show vacancies from thousands of employers

By now you will have a good idea of your skills and strengths, and you will have these written down in your CV. You are ready to apply for jobs.   

Some industries will have more jobs available than others. You can read more on JobHelp about some types of jobs that are more likely to be available. There is also information to help you get started in an industry that you have not worked in before.  

If you are on Universal Credit your work coach will be able to help you work out which types of jobs could be right for you, and will help you find out the job vacancies that are available in your area.

There are also lots of online tools to help you find a new job. Online job searches are generally free, available 24/7 and should be one of the first places you look for your next job opportunity.

Use the Find a Job website service. With Find a Job you can create a profile, upload your CV and receive email alerts about new and existing jobs.

There are plenty of other job sites available too. Try searching for ‘jobs’ in Google, or make your search more specific to find the right vacancies for you, like ‘retail jobs in Leeds’.

If there is a particular employer you are interested in, you can also check their website for vacancies.   

Let friends and family know you are looking for work in case they hear of anything. Lots of jobs are found this way – you never know! 

Reading job descriptions will help you to understand what level of experience or skills the employer is looking for. While this is useful, do not be put off if you are not sure that you have all the experience or skills that are listed. Not all of these will be absolutely necessary to the employer, and they may be happy for you to learn on the job if you have other skills or experience that they like.  

It may take some time to get an interview as each job often has many people applying for it. If you did not get an interview it is always a good idea to email the employer and ask for their feedback. This can be useful in improving your CV and applications, and shows that you really are interested in working for them.  

Not all employers will let you know if your application has been unsuccessful. This can be upsetting if you are sending out many applications but not hearing anything back, but try not to be put off by it. It’s nothing personal and is only because they are so busy.  Keep going – if you keep doing the right things, eventually someone will see that you are the right match for them.  

The more suitable jobs you apply for, the more you improve your chances of getting an interview (although don’t forget to tailor your application or CV to the job – quality is more important than quantity). It is best to check job websites every day and apply for jobs as often as you can. Do not wait to hear back from your applications, keep applying for other jobs in the meantime.    

Some jobs are more difficult to get than others. Speak to the National Careers Service or your work coach about what you can do to help you get through the door. This could involve volunteering, training, or maybe starting a different job that will build your experience.  

Now that you’re applying for jobs, move on to Step 4 to see what you can do to improve your chances of finding work.