Nowadays if you’re looking to find a job one, of the first places you look should be online.
In the past, most people who were looking for work bought the local newspaper. You could also find jobs looking in windows for posters advertising vacancies.
Now, almost every business and workplace will post new vacancies on the internet. It doesn’t matter if it is a local restaurant down the street or a huge supermarket chain. You’ll be able to search and find their vacancies using your computer.
There’s lots of different places online where you can look for these jobs. Online newspapers, job search engines and company websites are a few things you can try. After a few clicks you can find thousands of jobs at your fingertips.
If you’re unsure of where to start, don’t worry. Below, we’ve broken down the different places to look online and how to search for a job that fits you.
But, there are a few things to do before you start. Where you look for jobs online depends a little on what kind of job you want.
You should sit down for a few minutes before you start your internet search with a pen and paper. It is important to write down some details about you’re looking for before you start. Try things like what kind of job you want and how far you want to travel.
These things will help you find the best places online to search for the job for you.
Before you start searching
Like we said above, it is important to figure out what kind of job you want before you start your internet search. Grab a pen and paper and think about some of these questions:
- What is your ideal job?
- What’s the minimum salary you could take?
- What’s the maximum salary you have in mind?
- How far do you want to travel to work?
- How will you travel to work? Do you have a car, or will you use public transport?
- Do you want to work for a small company or a bigger one?
- Do you want shift work or more regular hours?
- Do you want to work full-time or part-time?
- Do you need a job with flexible hours because you have kids or other commitments?
It is also important to test yourself and your skills to see what jobs you would be good at and what you would enjoy.
If you write down certain skills you have, you might find they are the perfect fit for a job you hadn’t thought about. So here are some things to think about:
- What do you enjoy?
- What are your skills?
- What are your weaknesses?
- Do you like working with other people in a team or do you prefer working alone?
- What qualifications or experience do you have that could be useful?
- What makes you stand out?
Another important thing to consider before you start searching is internet connection. Do you have access to a computer or laptop at home? Do you have a working internet connection? If not, don’t panic. There’s lots of options you can consider.
You can check:
- Your local library: this will have computers you can use to search for jobs online.
- Your local jobcentre. They will either have computers or they will tell you about places where you can access the internet.
- Internet cafes. There should be some local internet cafes nearby where you pay a small amount to go online.
- Neighbours or friends. If one of your neighbours or friends have a computer, you could ask them if you could use it for an hour or two.
- Phone: most smartphones now will allow you to look at job websites. Most job websites also have applications you can download to use from your mobile to search for jobs.
Once you have figured out the details of the kind of job you’re looking for, you’re ready to start your search. There are lots of different places you can look. We have broken each place into different sections and explained each one below.
If you have a specific company in mind that you would like to work for, then their website is the best place to start.
You can start by making a list of the names you can think of. For example, if you want to work in a supermarket then your list might look something like this:
Companies to check:
If you can’t think of many companies, you can do a quick Google search to find more inspiration and grow your list. For example, you could search something like ‘supermarkets in the UK’. Then you can see what other companies you can add to your list.
Once you finish your list, you can start visiting each company’s website to look for vacancies.
Often you will find the current vacancies in the ‘Careers’ section. This is either at the top or the bottom of the homepage. If you can’t find the careers section on their website, use Google to type in ‘Asda vacancies’. You should be able to find the careers section from there.
Some company websites will have a filter section. This will allow you to narrow the number of jobs that appear to only things that are relevant to you.
You can also use keywords to search if you know what you’re looking for. If you are searching for a specific job as a hairdresser or as an electrician, you can use these as keywords. This will narrow your search so other irrelevant jobs don’t appear.
Once you start searching, it may be a good idea to have a pen and paper with you. Write down the results of what you find so you can keep track of everything.
For each job vacancy you find, you can write down things like:
- Name of the company.
- The job title.
- The job description.
- Application deadline.
- What experience they need.
- How to apply.
- Location of the job.
If you can’t find any vacancies on the website, or you can’t find their careers section, you can call or email the company. You can ask where they post their job vacancies and what time of the year they tend to hire most people.
You will find that before any busy periods, most companies post a lot of jobs and then don’t hire again for a few months.
These are things you can ask the company in your phone call or email to help you find the job for you.
The newspaper website will have job listings just like the print version you can buy in the shop. Whether it’s your local paper or a national one, you can often find some job listings on their website.
Not every paper will upload jobs online, so you can try a couple of different ones to see which lists the most jobs.
If you are looking for a job in a small business nearby, you might not find anything you want in a national newspaper. You should search online for your local newspapers and check job vacancies there. These will be much more relevant to you.
You can check national newspapers if you are open to work in bigger companies and travelling. They list a lot of jobs all over the country, in every sector. You can check newspapers like the Guardian, which posts hundreds of new jobs every day:
All newspapers will give you contact details of the employer or more details about how to apply.
Job search engines
After company websites and local newspapers, job search engines should be next. Job search engines are websites that include job listings from all over the internet. They work a bit like Google, but for jobs.
When you’re using them, don’t worry if you find the results a bit overwhelming at the start and too much to take in. A lot of results will pop up but not all will be for you. For example, if you type in ‘plumber’ to one of the websites, you might find 5,000 results returned, but only 10 in your area.
Take some time to use the filters and keywords to make sure that only relevant jobs pop up. You can use the filters to put in information like what salary you want and how far you want to travel.
There are a lot of search engines out there so don’t limit yourself to one. Try lots of them and see which one is more relevant for you and the job you’re looking for.
You should create an account with each one. This will allow you to store your details which will make searching in the future faster. They also allow you to upload your CV and personal details which will make applying for jobs easier.
You can also sign up to email alerts from them. This means they will send you an email to let you know that a job like what you’re looking for has become available. This is definitely helpful if you’re too busy to spend lots of time each day refreshing the website.
Some of these job search engines also have an application you can download on your phone. This makes it easier to look for new jobs while you’re on the go.
Wondering where to start? There are a lot job search engines out there, but here is a list of a few to begin with:
If you finish with the options above, the next place to continue your internet job search is Gumtree. It is an online marketplace but it also has lots of job listings. It is especially good for local jobs in your area and casual work.
You do need to be more careful on Gumtree than on official recruiting or job websites. Make sure that the employer you are talking to is genuine and the job is real and genuine.
Recruitment agency websites
Recruitment agencies are a definite stop on your job search. You can go to recruitment agencies in person, register and they will search for jobs for you.
Or you can register with them online and search job vacancies that way if you prefer.
There are large recruitment agencies which work all across the UK. There are also smaller ones you’ll find in your area. You can register with both, or one, depending on what kind of work you’re looking for.
Some of the bigger recruitment agencies in the UK which you could search for jobs online with are:
If you want to try a local one as well, you can do a simple Google search: “your area + recruitment agency” to find a local one.
Unsure of a new employer?
If you’re looking at a new job and you haven’t heard anything about the employer before, you can try a website called ‘glassdoor.co.uk’.
It allows you to see reviews of the business from previous employees. They also provide interview experiences and questions and information about the managers.
You might not find smaller, local companies on that website but you can search and give it a try.
You should take some of the information you read with a pinch of salt as people have different opinions. But it will give you an idea of the company you’re looking at.
Top tips for job searches
- It is better to stick to your local newspaper or local recruitment sites if you’re looking for a job in your area. If you look in national newspapers or in large recruitment firms, you might find a lot of the jobs aren’t relevant.
- If you’re using a job search engine then you should create what’s called a ‘candidate profile’. This is an account on the website with your personal information. You can also upload your CV and save it for future use. That means the next time you log on to apply for jobs, all the information you need will already be there. If you’re not sure how to create a CV, check out our guide here:
- You should sign up for job alerts on whatever website you decide to use. This will let you know when jobs like what you’re interested in become available. This will save you time checking the website again and again. It may also give you an advantage because you’ll be one of the first to know this job has come online.
- Be open to new ideas. If you see a job role online and you’re not sure what it is or if it fits you, read the description that’s given with the vacancy. See if you have the skills to try it out and broaden your chances.
- Timing is key. Some companies only post job vacancies at certain times of the year. If you’re looking to apply to a supermarket, you’ll find most jobs pop up before Christmas and the summer, for example. Try calling or emailing the company to find out when they’re most likely to put vacancies.
- Double check the details. Double check when the deadline is for applications. Some job search engines keep vacancies on their website even though they’ve expired. Make sure it is in your area, and you fit the requirements for the job.