To help UK job seekers, we will show you things you can do to not only help your job search but show how you can meet the required amount of time required. Some of these suggestions can be done while looking after your kids and don’t require you to be stuck in front of a computer or even indoors. Firstly though, we should warn you that this is not a short cut to make things easier for you! We are only showing you how to expand your efforts and what things are included in your job search besides simply sitting in front of a computer looking for jobs and applying for them that meet within the guidelines.
No matter what, you must make sure that you are meeting your agreed up on ‘My actions for getting work’ in your Claimant Commitment (what use to be your job seekers allowance agreement). When you meet with your advisor, your actions on how you’ll look for work & what type of work is supposed to be worked out by both of you. You must make sure you meet all of these requirements no matter what. Failing to do so will result in your allowance stopped being paid to you. Some of these targets will be set as daily, weekly or ongoing. Here are some examples below:
I will use jobsites & employer websites to find and apply for jobs I can do - Daily
I will check newspaper job vacancy sections & apply to those job I can do - Weekly
I will ensure I have an up to date CV that I can tailor for jobs I apply for - Ongoing
As you know, you will have a Universal Jobmatch account that you have to use to record your job search activities on as proof you meeting your agreed targets & spending time actively doing a job search looking for work. However, you should be keeping records of your own. Firstly, using a timetable, in which you spread out the 35-37 hours over the week and plan out what activities you intend to do in your job search besides your agreed tasks (which are covered below & part 2). Plan around family commitments the best you can so you are not neglecting your family and also schedule breaks and time away from job search to recharge & refocus yourself. You should also develop a database, to help keep track of your job applications sent, interviews, networking efforts, feedback etc. These things help you to stay organised, efficient & productive. You’ll need time to plan and update them plus they are also very helpful to evidence your job search activities if needed. If you have not got any of these and looking to develop your own, we have examples on our Download Section that can help you! Record that you have updated your database and planned out daily/weekly job search activities in your Jobmatch account.
If you don’t know already, networking is an essential job search method that helps you find the ‘hidden’ jobs (jobs not advertised). There are two ways in which you can network:-
(1) In person – By networking in person at venues or events with professionals, workers in industries (employees/recruiters), career/job fair, job clubs, other job seekers (job centres, work programme) & on courses/training.
(2) Online – Network through social media e.g Facebook, Twitter etc or through LinkedIn to connect with individuals & organisations that can help you with your job search, pass on job opportunities or even recommend you for jobs. This can be done through your smartphone or tablet device!
By connecting with others you can find tips & advice to help with your job search, maybe find jobs or even be recommended for a job. Networking takes time to build up and you have to keep engaged with your network group you build up. Some people do this for an hour a day or others do it for several hours (e.g. developing your profiles can take time). You can record on your Universal Jobmatch that you have been networking & if any results from it.
Developing your job search tools is our next helpful tip. Our job search tools are our CVs, cover letters, online CVs, networking profiles etc. It is wrong to assume that once you done one CV & cover letter that’s all you need to do. The only time you need to stop is when you have the job. When applying for jobs, CVs and cover letters must be tailored for each position and for some depending on their ability can take time. You may find some advice or tips to help improve your CV etc and want to improve it. Again, this does go towards your job search activities. Where or how you choose to do this is up to you. Record on your Universal Jobmatch account what you have developed & even why if appropriate e.g. for job position etc.
We all need help when it comes to a job search & we will look for tips & advice. Yes, this is also a part of your job search. Leading professionals, helpful organisations and even other job seekers will post links, articles, news, tips & advice and even guides to help individuals conducting a job search. The tips & advice you gain can help improve your efforts. You can do this through your computer, smartphone or tablet device. Sitting and reading through the advice helps and can be even outside in the garden etc so you not stuck in doors. If you got kids, while they watch a film you can read through articles. If you been looking or reading tips & advice, record it on your Universal Jobmatch account.
Interview preparation & practice is another activity that meets with your job search requirements. You need to spend time preparing for an upcoming interview. A practice journey is included in that as it part of your preparation. Are you on the computer using an interview simulator to help you? Are you writing some questions to ask and answer to questions? Are you shopping for a new suit? These are all aspects that are covered by your job search. Even going for a mock interview with your advisor is covered as part of your job search activities. Again, you can sit in the garden and practice your answers to questions, prep questions to ask and look for help. Going to get your hair done though is not acceptable sorry!!! Make sure you record what you have done.
Check out part 2 for more helpful tips!