How to find a job

How to find a job
This leaflet aims to help you to identify the main sources of
graduate-level vacancies. It also offers information on the socalled hidden job market that could help you to discover
alternative ways of getting a job.
Companies and other organisations have different ways of
filling their vacancies. You will need to use a variety of sources
to find the most relevant vacancies for you. You also need to be
prepared to be creative and proactive with your vacancy
If you are looking for a job locally you might also be interested
in the Working in Sussex and the South East leaflet and
You may also want to visit our Researching Careers web
pages, many of which give information on where you can find
vacancies in specific employment sectors.
Finding Vacancies
The University of Brighton advertises graduate vacancies, internships
and other opportunities through its online Vacancy and Events Service.
Current students and graduates are invited to register to use the
service at:
Artyfacts is a monthly news and vacancies bulletin produced by the
Careers Centre for artists and designers. It is available by subscription
for £10.00 for ten issues to UK addresses or £14.00 to addresses in the
EU. Mailing prices for other destinations are available on request.
Please contact the careers centre at Grand Parade to subscribe.
Contact details can be found at the end of this leaflet. For current
students and staff, Artyfacts can be accessed through studentcentral,
you will need your login details to gain access.
You can access a wide range of local vacancies via our Brighton-area
Twitter page. We'll be updating and expanding this page on a regular
basis so make sure you follow us and keep in the loop.
The Careers Centres also receive a number of publications throughout
the year that also contain vacancies:
Prospects Finalist
Target Jobs magazine
Real World magazine
Arts Professional (Grand Parade only)
Artists Newsletter (AN) (Grand Parade only)
Jobs advertised in the press usually have a closing date within a few
weeks and the opportunity is usually available immediately. Therefore
these jobs are more suitable for those about to graduate or who have
already graduated. The university libraries have a collection of
newspapers available for reference. Details of these jobs can also be
located through newspaper websites. See below for details for the
days certain jobs are advertised.
Regional Press
If you know which part of the country you want to live/work in, you
should consult the local press in that area. A full list of UK newspapers
is available at:
In addition to this, Fish4Jobs and Jobs Today contain vacancies from a range of regional
newspapers, including The Argus for Brighton and Hove, Eastbourne
Herald and Hastings Observer.
Most national newspapers carry advertisements for graduate
vacancies. Different sector opportunities are advertised on certain days
of the week (see below). You should also look at newspapers’ websites
and sign up for alerts when relevant vacancies come in.
Creative & Media
Guardian/Observer - Mon
Independent - Tues
Times – Thurs
Education & Research
Guardian/Observer - Tues
Independent - Thurs
Times – Tues/Thurs
Marketing & Sales
Daily Telegraph - Thurs
Guardian/Observer - Mon
Independent - Tues
Times - Thurs
Business & Finance
Daily Telegraph - Thurs
Guardian/Observer - Sun
Independent - Wed
Times - Thurs
Public Sector
Daily Telegraph – Thurs/Sun
Guardian/Observer - Wed
Times - Tues
Guardian/Observer – Thurs/Sun
Independent - Mon
Times - Thurs
Jobs Supplement
Daily Telegraph - Thurs
Guardian/Observer – Sat/Sun
Times - Thurs
Science, Engineering, Technology
Daily Telegraph – Tues/Thurs
Guardian/Observer - Thurs
Links to on-line newspapers world-wide are available from AJR
NewsLink at: or
Prospects Careers has information, starting points and contacts for
different countries through the country profile section of their website
The book Best Resumes and CVs for International Jobs is available
for reference at careers centres in Brighton and Eastbourne.
Other Print Sources
Periodicals and Journals
Many job vacancies appear in specialist journals. Whilst experience
may be required for these jobs they are still worth investigating to give
you an idea of the companies recruiting in your field.
For periodicals and journals in specific occupational areas see the
Researching Careers section of our website. Willings Press Guide
also has details of journals. The current edition is held at Aldrich and
Queenwood libraries.
The University of Brighton libraries have copies of or access to many
professional journals that relate to the subject disciplines of the
university, see
Jobs on the Internet – Regional/National/International employers
Increasingly companies are prioritising internet-based recruitment
methods. Sites that specialise in graduate vacancies are listed on our
We also have a list of regional vacancy sites covering the UK from
Scotland to Cornwall.
We review new sites and add links on a regular basis so be sure to
check in often.
Many of these sites will have a sign-up service. Jobs that meet your
criteria can be emailed to you or made available via an RSS feed. It is
very easy to get overwhelmed by the number of emails and vacancies
you are sent. It pays to be selective about which sites you sign up to.
Make sure the sites offer vacancies in your area or sector, and that ask
for a suitable level of qualification.
If you don’t know what you want to do career-wise you might find our
leaflet or webpage Getting started with your Career Planning useful.
Employers’ websites
Look up the human resources/personnel section and check regularly
for vacancies. To find a company website use Google, or use a local
employer directory or trade association directory. If the employer isn’t
currently advertising vacancies you are interested in, you could try
making a speculative application – see the information on finding
employers and speculative applications later in this leaflet.
You may find smaller companies don’t use newspapers or vacancy
sites to advertise because of the costs involved. You may have to
make more effort to seek out these employers, using the directory
resources mentioned above.
Professional Bodies
Professional bodies sometimes advertise vacancies within their
profession – this might be on their website or via a mailing list.
The Researching Careers section on our website has details of
professional bodies in each sector. Alternatively you could search the
Trade Association Forum site or consult the Directory
of British Associations, the current edition is held at Aldrich and St
Peters House Libraries.
Recruitment agencies
Larger employers often use recruitment agencies to promote vacancies
as well as manage the selection and recruitment for those vacancies.
Some agencies offer general recruitment and some more specialist;
focusing on graduate recruitment or specific sectors or locations. See
our web page on recruitment agencies – which offers details of
agencies and advice about using them in your job search.
Sector and occupation-specific websites
The Researching Careers section of our website contains careers
information on sectors and occupations. As well as much of the
information above, this area also includes links to websites that
specialise in recruitment in specific occupations and sectors.
Graduate Prospects also has links to a wide range of sector-specific
sites in These are
found in their A-Z directory of generic role profiles ‘Types of Jobs’.
Other types of vacancies
See the Looking for work page on our website which contains
vacancy information if you are looking to:
Work or volunteer abroad, including taking a gap year
Undertake a placement or work experience
Find a teaching post
Find and apply for part-time, seasonal or vacation work
Research workplace issues – vacancy sources that seek to
address imbalances in the workforce and promote diversity.
If you are considering undertaking a graduate scheme, please see the
information on our website for specific vacancy sources.
RSS Feeds and Social Media
RSS stands for ‘Really Simple Syndication’ and is the technology
behind social media resources such as Facebook and Twitter.
By setting up RSS feeds vacancies can be sent to you as and when
they are advertised. This saves you the trouble of remembering to
check sites daily for new jobs.
Browse job sites offering the kinds of vacancies you’re interested in and
look out for vacancy lists that can be captured by RSS feeds. Look for
this icon (displayed in orange):
Click on this icon to set up a feed to
your web browser’s ‘Favourites’ list.
Alternatively you can use an RSS Reader such as Google Reader,
Pageflakes or Netvibes. Right click on the orange RSS icon and select
‘copy shortcut’. The RSS feed’s URL address can then be pasted into
the RSS reader to display the feed.
For help with setting up an RSS Feed in Google see the Google
Reader Help Page:
Increasingly Employers are using social media networks like Twitter
and LinkedIn to advertise vacancies and often accept applications
direct through these sites.
Twitter is a useful source of real-time information, including job
vacancies. You can view most content without having your own
account. However, if you sign up you can contact recruiters directly and
‘follow’ them to receive automatic vacancy updates.
TwitJobSearch is a vacancy search engine powered by Twitter. You
can search by job title, location and keyword. You can also search via
an interactive ‘job map’ to focus on jobs in specific locations.
LinkedIn has been used by job seekers to contact employers directly
and show off their skills and experience to organisations looking to
recruit. Linkedin Jobs is a new feature which lets you search and apply
for jobs advertised on the site.
To find out more about using social media to network with employers
see the section below on Networking Online.
Other ways of finding a job – Finding employers
Finding employers within an employment sector
Professional Associations: Associations such as the Law Society or
the IET have details of member firms on their websites.
Our Researching Careers web pages have more details on
professional bodies operating in each sector. Search the Trade
Association Forum site or consult the Directory of
British Associations, the current edition is held at Aldrich and St Peters
House Libraries.
Graduate Scheme Directories: Even if you are not sure about
applying for a graduate scheme these can provide details of companies
recruiting graduates. Popular directories include the Real Prospects
Directory and GET Directory. Copies are available to take away at
Careers Centres and Partner Colleges.
The Careers Centre also receives a number of sector specific careers
publications in areas such as Engineering, Finance, Law and Property.
They include details of companies recruiting, job profiles and case
studies. Copies are available from careers centres; see also our
information on ‘Graduate Schemes’
Employer directories/databases: Available online or in paper form
and giving lists of employers within an industry sector.
General directories include Kompass, Kelly's Industrial Pages,
Key British Enterprises, Who Owns Whom and DIAL Industry –
available for reference in university/public libraries.
Graduate employer directories include the Times Top 100, The
Guardian 300 and Ireland’s Top 100 Graduate Employers.
Available as reference copies or to take away at Careers Centres
Sector-specific publications – for example Hollis PR &
Marketing Handbooks, Willings Press Guide, Consultant
Engineers 500, Environmental Consultants Directory, Solicitors
Regional Directories and Benn’s Media UK. Details of directories
within specific sectors can be found on the relevant Researching
Careers page on the Careers Centre website.
Online is and internet database of some major UK
Applegate Directory for industry, technology and manufacturing in
the UK and Ireland
Hoovers Online for company, industry and market intelligence and
market intelligence
Destinations of Leavers of Higher Education (DLHE) report - This
is a report detailing where graduates are working or studying six
months after graduation. All UK universities conduct their own
survey, the University of Brighton survey is online at:
Finding employers within a geographic area
Careers Centre web pages: See the leaflet or webpage ‘Working in
Sussex and the South East’ for information on local
employers and business directories.
Careers centres at other universities: will usually have local careers
and labour market information and may produce directories of local
firms. A list of UK university careers services can be found on the
Prospects website click on ‘careers advice’, then
‘Your university careers service’.
Local Councils: Often have business or economic development
resources with information about local industry/employers. An A-Z
listing of local councils is available at - search for
‘local authorities’.
Local Libraries: Search their catalogue for business directories. To
find your local library service, use to find your local
council, as above. Libraries will be listed with other council services.
Employer directories/databases: Many of the resources mentioned in
the previous section can be searched and sorted by location as well as
sector. In addition, directories of local information include:
Brighton & Hove Business Directory:
Cadia Business Directory - Gatwick Diamond Business
CDEC: University of Sussex employer database
County Web:, search locally and nationally
for businesses.
ESCIS: information about community organisations and charities
in East Sussex
Kompass Directories: Only the paper versions are searchable by
geographic area. Available at Aldrich Library.
South East Media Network (SEMN): collective group of agencies
supporting the media sector in the South East
Sussex Enterprise
Sussex Innovation Centre - technology businesses
Wired Sussex - new media jobs and directory
Yellow pages: Visit
See our web resources on ‘work/volunteering abroad’ for information
on employers operating abroad:
Other ways of finding a job - Making speculative
You may be having difficulty finding vacancies in your field. You may
also be interested in working in a very competitive field; for example,
media or the arts. If so, you may wish to contact employers directly
about the possibility of working for them – this is known as making a
speculative application.
A speculative application involves approaching an organisation about
the possibility of working for them. It is an unsolicited application rather
than in response to an advertised vacancy.
Some jobs, for example those in media and the arts, are so popular
that employers often have enough good speculative applications. As a
result they do not need to advertise vacancies.
Once you have identified the employers you wish to approach you will
need a high quality CV, tailored to that company and a concise
covering letter written specifically for them. Emphasise your knowledge
of the company and the skills you have that may be of interest to them.
If you are applying for a creative role, be aware that there is a huge
amount of competition and your application must be of a very high
standard to get noticed. If you are a designer (in any field; web,
product, graphics), include good quality examples of your work - this
could be a link to an online portfolio, showreel or story board, or
previous projects that you have worked on.
See our website section on ‘Applications and Interviews’ for
information on CV and letter writing, as well as some information on
creative applications
The Creative CV Guide is available for reference at the Grand Parade
careers centre.
Tips for making speculative applications
Always address applications to the most relevant person, using their
name. A phone call to the company is an effective way to get this
information. This will avoid your application being passed around and
ensures it gets to the most relevant person quickly.
Research the company and establish why you are interested in working
for them. Is the company one of the most reputable and successful in
its sector? Do you share their ethos and values? What interests you
about the projects that they have worked on?
Whatever your reasons for your application explain them clearly in your
covering letter. Be clear about what you want to do and explain what
you can do for their company. Don’t just send your CV and ask if they
have any jobs! Tell them what you would really like to do and
emphasise your strong interest in them.
Always follow up your application with a phone call. Try to arrange a
meeting to discuss any opportunities. This shows you are serious about
your application and are keen to work for them. Say you will do this in
your covering letter and do it!
For guidance about researching the company you are interested in visit
our website page ‘Do your research – researching a company’
Other ways of finding a job – Networking
Networking is the process of making appropriate contacts in your
profession or sector that can help you while you build up skills, gain
experience and eventually secure the type of job you want.
Networking occurs in many settings, both formal and informal, such as
at professional events, careers fairs, conferences, workshops and
parties as well as online via social networking.
Effective networking
You might equate networking with schmoozing and recoil at the idea, or
you may think you don’t have any contacts to network with. Don’t
despair; your networking opportunities may be more extensive than you
Work experience: Does the company or organisation you want to work
for offer work experience? For example the BBC has a section
dedicated to offering work experience. They get so many requests each
year from people wanting to work for them that they ask people to look
at what they offer and apply. Work experience schemes can be very
competitive so it’s really important to submit a high quality application.
Temping: This can be another good way of getting your foot in the
door and making contacts within an organisation that you want to work
for. If you have a clear idea of the type of company you want to work for
you could find out which recruitment agencies they use to find
temporary staff. This would allow you to work there and to get an inside
view of the company.
Getting information on actual posts: Get a clear idea of the job that
you want and see what it actually involves. Send off for application
packs and job descriptions to gain more details. Research the
occupation/industry so you know about the issues or trends on the
sector, including current events or news, emerging markets, hidden
opportunities. This insider information will help you to demonstrate
genuine interest to an employer as well as giving you conversation
Who do you know in the field?
Did you make contacts on a work placement?
Do your tutors have any contacts?
Do you have friends or family with contacts?
Approach the Brighton Graduate Association They could put you in touch with
former Brighton graduates working in the sector/job that interests
Have you met any contacts at careers fairs or visits?
Networking online using social media
The term ‘social media’ includes networks like Facebook and LinkedIn,
blogging sites like Wordpress and Twitter, and new 'social' technology
like RSS. However its function is not just 'social'.
Businesses have already started to realise the potential of marketing
and recruiting through social media. Employers are now screening
candidates, posting vacancies and even hiring directly in this medium.
If you are considering whether to use social media to network and look
for jobs it is important to bear in mind that:
Research suggests that social media will continue to grow and
develop, becoming almost ubiquitous in business and recruitment.
The world of social media is constantly changing, so experiment,
explore and try and keep up with the trends.
Whilst social media can be a powerful job hunting tool, you
shouldn’t ignore other methods of finding work - some employers
won't use social media at all.
You can stay up to date with all the trends and developments in social
media at, a social media news site, or for more specific
news on the world of online recruitment visit
Social media can be a very effective networking tool as one of its
primary functions is communication. Whilst the principals of networking
are the same in every medium, social networks like Facebook and
LinkedIn have made the process easier and more accessible.
This section shows some of the ways that social media can be used to
network and provides some tips to help you stay ahead of the
LinkedIn is a social networking site for businesses and professionals.
Your profile is effectively your online CV, and you interact with other
users in order to share business ideas, increase your contacts and look
for work.
LinkedIn is probably the easiest place to start networking and is
common practice to sign up as a student and start connecting with
employers, groups and organisations. To get started with using
LinkedIn to network and job hunt, visit the LinkedIn learning centre for
students - - or their career services site
As the most popular network for students and graduates, employers
are increasingly turning to Facebook for their recruitment needs.
Sometimes this is as simple as promoting their vacancies in a
graduate-rich environment, though it is becoming more and more
common for larger employers to expect direct involvement from
potential candidates.
In the past Deloitte and T-Mobile have set up Facebook groups for their
graduate interns to get to know each other, and recently advertisers
Saatchi & Saatchi recruited via a competition to create the most
popular Facebook group.
By making your profile recruiter friendly, searching for the employers
you are interested in and taking an active involvement, where
appropriate, in their Facebook page, you open up another possibility of
securing graduate employment.
With the introduction of career networking application BranchOut, it is
likely that Facebook's potential as a career tool is yet to be fully
Twitter is a micro-blogging site in which users can post updates of no
more than 140 characters. Another hugely popular social network, it is
used by many employers.
Networking on Twitter can be as simple as following someone - they
will get a message letting them know you have shown an interest and
may even follow you back. Twitter also gives you the option of
'mentioning' a recruiter in a tweet by putting @ infront of their
username, re-tweeting something they have posted or joining in with a
hashtag trend that a recruiter has started.
Not everyone uses Twitter, so think about using an application which
displays your tweets on your LinkedIn or Facebook profile. Alternatively
if you update another profile most frequently with 'employer friendly'
statuses, then use an application that sends these messages to Twitter.
It will save you have to post updates more than once whilst increasing
the chance that you are seen by a prospective employer.
If you are unfamiliar with Twitter or some of its more advanced
functions then the Twitter Basics help centre page should be able to
answer all of your questions.
When networking online:
Just having a social network account isn't enough - you need to
use it. The more effort you put in, the more you’ll get out of it.
Be polite, courteous, respectful and helpful. Show that you're
interested in the employer and their opportunities.
Always write professionally, with accurate spelling and grammar.
Use the right level of formality to suit the occasion.
Don't go overboard and hassle an employer too much. Interact
where appropriate and do enough to help you stand out and prove
you're a good, confident communicator.
Remember, social networking is no substitute for the real thing. Don’t
be tempted to hide behind the anonimity of a social media account. Try
and back up online contact with a face-to face meeting when
Using social media and your online presence
Your online presence consists of all the information about you on the
internet - this usually comes from your social network profiles, blogs
and other interactions on the 'social web'.
Before you begin to search and apply for jobs, it is important that your
online presence says the right things about you. With over half of
employers now using social networking sites to screen candidates
(source:, what you say and do online could prevent
you getting an interview or even cause you to lose your job.
However don't be put off using social media - having lots of social
networking profiles and regularly engaging with social media is
generally seen by employers as a good thing. It shows you can use
new web technologies and also allows employers to get an idea of what
you are like beyond your CV.
Here are some points to bear in mind:
There’s no such thing as a completely private social media site.
Search engines can find posts years after publication – even ones
you have deleted.
Check your privacy settings - make sure any negative information
(a compromising photo from a night out for example) is not
available to the general public.
Think about having separate accounts for 'business' and 'personal'
use, or using different sites for different functions. Use LinkedIn as
your professional profile and Facebook for your personal
Make sure your various social media profiles are connected in
some way. Use applications to link your profiles together, mention
your other profiles in your contact details or have a theme running
through all your sites (by using the same avatar or colour scheme
for instance).
Don't talk negatively about your current or previous employers
using social media. If in doubt, don't mention your job at all.
Show you know what you're doing with social media - be
confident, use the right terminology and get to know all the
applications, sites and trends that social networkers are using.
Make sure your achievements, success stories and good qualities
are out there for potential employers to see. Build a good online
portfolio, write an interesting blog or get recommended on
LinkedIn - when employers put your name into Google, ensure
they see you at your best.
Most importantly be aware of your own privacy and the need to
protect your identity. Don't give out information that can be used
against you.
For more information on your online presence, read the University of
Brighton article 'Want a job? Clean up your e-profile!' on the
Information Services website.
Arrange a meeting
Once you have some contacts, try and arrange a meeting to gain
advice and discuss any possible opportunities. Before the meeting,
plan some questions/areas for discussion such as:
Can you describe a typical working week?
What do you enjoy most?
Would you recommend any particular experience/training relevant
to this field?
How did you get into the role?
Has the role changed?
If you get the opportunity you could show the contact your CV or
portfolio and seek advice on how to pursue your occupation. You
could ask:
How does my CV look? What would you change or modify?
Do you have any advice or ideas for me?
Who else should I be talking to?
Are there any groups or events I should attend?
Are there any publications I should read?
What would you do if you were me?
Do not expect your contacts to help you and don’t ask directly for a job.
If you are enthusiastic and optimistic, you can start to build up
relationships. If they like you, they are more likely to want to help or
even give you a job.
After meeting a contact
Always thank them for their time and advice.
Make a note of what you have found out to remind yourself when
applying for jobs.
For more information other ways of finding a job see our pages
Making speculative applications:
Further Information:
Can I have a few minutes of your time? For tips on how to
approach people, and on the whole topic of networking. (AGCAS
video: Moulsecoomb, Falmer, Eastbourne)
Successful Networking: How to Build New Networks for Career
and Company Progression
Kogan Page 2010 (copies at Brighton and Eastbourne sites)
Brilliant Networking: what the best networkers know, do and say
Pearson, Prentice Hall 2008 (copies at Brighton sites)
Contact your Careers Centre
Come and carry out your research, make an individual appointment to
discuss your plans (or lack of them).
Moulsecoomb Careers Centre
First Floor, Manor House,
Moulsecoomb Place, Brighton
(01273) 642855
[email protected]
Falmer Careers Centre
E Wing, Checkland Building Village
Way, Falmer, Brighton
(01273) 643584
[email protected]
Grand Parade Careers Centre
Student Services, 1st Floor, Grand
Parade, Brighton
(01273) 643187/3
Eastbourne Careers Centre
First Floor, Room 113, Trevin
Towers, Gaudick Road, Eastbourne
BN20 7SP
(01273) 643845
University Centre Hastings
LRC, First floor, UCH, Havelock Road, Hastings, TN34 1DQ.
(01273) 644636
[email protected]
A careers counsellor is usually available on Mondays.
Careers Centres are usually open Monday - Friday 9.30am - 4.30pm
studentcentral: select ‘Careers & Part - time jobs’ from the ‘Student
Life’ menu on your home page
This leaflet is available online at or in
alternative formats – please ask for details.
December 2010