Finding a Job – the Ultimate Guide

Looking for a job can be a daunting task, but with the right approach and mindset, it can be a fruitful and rewarding experience. Here, we share some tips and tricks for finding a job, including how to tap into the hidden job market and how to find jobs quickly and with no experience.

In this article we cover:

  • Networking: The Hidden Job Market
  • Utilise Online Job Search Engines
  • Leverage Social Media
  • Take Part in Volunteering and Internships
  • Attend Careers Fairs and Job Expos
  • Polish your Interviews Skills
  • Get Help to Find a Job

Networking: The Hidden Job Market

The hidden job market refers to job openings that are not publicly advertised, but are instead filled through word-of-mouth, personal connections, and referrals. Accessing this market can be challenging, but it can also be a valuable way to find opportunities that are not available to the general public. Here are some tips on how to access the hidden job market:

  1. Network, network, network. One of the best ways to access the hidden job market is to build a strong network of contacts in your industry. Attend industry events, join professional organizations, and connect with people on LinkedIn. Make sure to let people know that you are looking for opportunities, and ask if they know of any job openings that might be a good fit for you.
  2. Reach out to recruiters. Many companies use recruiters to help them fill positions, and these recruiters often have access to job openings that are not publicly advertised. Reach out to recruiters in your chosen industry and let them know that you are looking for opportunities. Make sure to tailor your CV and cover letter to the specific types of positions you are interested in.
  3. Use social media. Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook can be a great way to connect with people in your chosen industry and learn about job openings. Make sure your social media profiles are up-to-date and professional, and use hashtags and keywords to help you find relevant conversations and job postings.
  4. Consider informational interviews. Informational interviews are a great way to learn more about your industry and make connections with people who might be able to help you find job openings. Reach out to people in your network and ask if they would be willing to meet with you for a coffee or a quick phone call to chat about their experiences and insights.
  5. Leverage alumni networks. If you went to college or university, reach out to your alumni network and see if they have any job leads or connections in your industry. Alumni networks can be a powerful resource for finding hidden job openings and making valuable connections.
  6. Be persistent and stay positive. Accessing the hidden job market can be a long and frustrating process, but it is important to stay persistent and keep a positive attitude. Keep networking, keep applying for jobs, and keep refining your resume and cover letter. With time and effort, you will increase your chances of finding that perfect job.

Utilise Online Job Search Engines

One of the most effective ways of finding a job quickly is by utilising online job search engines. These platforms allow you to search for job openings based on your location, experience, and other relevant criteria. Some of the best job search engines include Indeed, Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and ZipRecruiter.

Job sites have become an essential tool in the job search process, but it can be overwhelming to navigate through the plethora of options available. However, with some planning and strategizing, job seekers can use job sites most effectively to find the right job. Below are some tips and tricks to help you use job sites most effectively.

  1. Use the right keywords: Job sites use algorithms to match job seekers with potential job openings. Therefore, it’s crucial to use relevant keywords that match your job preferences. Using specific job titles or skill sets can increase the chances of the job site finding job openings that match your qualifications.
  2. Set up job alerts: Job alerts are notifications sent to your email address whenever there is a new job posting that matches your criteria. Setting up job alerts can save you time, so you don’t have to keep checking job sites daily. You can customise job alerts based on your preferred job location, job title, industry, and other specific criteria.
  3. Customise your profile: Most job sites allow job seekers to create profiles that showcase their experience, skills, education, and other relevant information. It’s essential to take the time to customise your profile to match your job preferences. Be sure to upload a professional-looking profile picture and add relevant keywords to make your profile stand out.
  4. Use filters: Job sites have multiple filters that allow you to refine your job search. You can filter job openings by location, salary, experience level, job type, and more. Using filters can help you find job openings that match your specific criteria.
  5. Research the company: Before applying for a job, it’s essential to research the company to learn more about their culture, values, and reputation. Most job sites provide company reviews and ratings, which can help you decide if the company is a good fit for you.
  6. Apply directly: Some job sites allow job seekers to apply directly through their platform, while others redirect you to the company’s website. Applying directly through the job site can save you time and effort.
  7. Follow up: After applying for a job, it’s crucial to follow up with the company to show your interest in the position. Job sites may have a feature that allows you to track your application status, but if not, you can reach out to the company’s HR department to inquire about your application’s status.

In conclusion, job sites are an excellent resource for job seekers, but it’s crucial to use them effectively to increase your chances of finding the right job. By using the right keywords, setting up job alerts, customizing your profile, using filters, researching the company, applying directly, and following up, you can use job sites most effectively to find your dream job.

Leverage Social Media

Social media can be a powerful tool in your job search, as it provides a way to connect with potential employers, showcase your skills and experience, and learn about job opportunities. Here are some tips on how to use social media to find a job:

  1. Clean up your profiles: Before you start using social media for job search, make sure your profiles are professional and free of any inappropriate content. Employers may check your social media presence before hiring, so ensure that your profiles reflect your best self.
  2. Build your professional network: Connect with professionals in your field on LinkedIn and follow companies you’re interested in on Twitter. Participate in industry-specific discussions to showcase your knowledge and expertise.
  3. Share your accomplishments: Use social media to showcase your achievements, projects, and skills. Share articles, blog posts, or projects that you’ve worked on to demonstrate your expertise and interests.
  4. Engage with potential employers: Engage with potential employers by commenting on their posts and sharing their content. This helps to get your name and profile noticed by recruiters or hiring managers.
  5. Join relevant groups: Join relevant groups on LinkedIn, Facebook or other platforms related to your industry, to learn about job openings, network with peers, and gain insights into industry trends.
  6. Search for jobs: Many companies post job openings on their social media accounts or job search sites like LinkedIn. You can also use hashtags to find job openings in your field.
  7. Directly message potential employers: Reach out to potential employers on social media to inquire about job openings or to ask for an informational interview. Be professional and concise in your messages.

Remember, social media is just one tool in your job search toolkit. Be sure to also network in person, attend job fairs and conferences, and apply to job postings on company websites or job search engines.

Take Part in Volunteering and Internships

If you’re struggling to find a job with no experience, volunteering or taking on internships can help you gain the skills and experience you need to land a full-time job. Volunteer work or internships also provide you with an opportunity to network with professionals in your field and gain valuable industry contacts.

There are many ways to find volunteering or internship placements in the UK. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Online search: You can start your search by looking up websites that list volunteering or internship opportunities. Some popular websites include Do-it, Vinspired, and Indeed.
  2. University Career Services: If you are a student, your university’s career services may have a list of internship or volunteering opportunities available.
  3. Professional associations: Professional associations related to your field of interest may have volunteering or internship opportunities available for their members. Check their websites or contact them to find out.
  4. Social Media: LinkedIn and other social media platforms are also great resources to find volunteering and internship opportunities. You can follow organisations or companies that you’re interested in and look out for their job postings.
  5. Personal networks: Let your friends, family, and acquaintances know that you’re looking for an internship or volunteering opportunity. They may have connections that could be helpful.
  6. Volunteering centres: Volunteering centres like TCV and Kent Volunteers have many opportunities that you can explore.
  7. Charity shops: If you are looking for a volunteering opportunity, consider local charity shops. You can gain valuable experience while also supporting a worthy cause.

Remember to tailor your application to the organisation you are applying to, and be sure to highlight your skills and experience that make you a good fit for the role.

Attend Career Fairs and Job Expos

Career fairs and job expos are great opportunities to meet potential employers and learn about job openings in your industry. These events often have recruiters and hiring managers from various companies, so come prepared with your resume and a list of questions.

There are several ways to find local career and job fairs:

  1. Check online job boards: Many online job boards, such as Indeed, Monster, and LinkedIn, list local job fairs in their event section.
  2. Check with your local government: Check your city or county government website to see if they have a job fair calendar.
  3. Check with local universities and colleges: Many universities and colleges hold career fairs for their students and alumni, and some are open to the public.
  4. Check with local professional organisations: Many professional organisations host job fairs and career events for members and non-members.
  5. Check with your local Chamber of Commerce: Your local Chamber of Commerce may host job fairs or have information about local events.
  6. Check with your network: Reach out to your network, including friends, family, and colleagues, to see if they know of any upcoming job fairs.

Polish Your Interview Skills

Lastly, when you do get an interview, make sure to prepare well in advance by researching the company, practicing common interview questions, and dressing appropriately. Your interview skills can make or break your chances of getting hired, so be confident, personable, and enthusiastic.

There are several resources available to help you improve your interview skills. Here are some options:

  1. Practice with family and friends: One of the easiest ways to improve your interview skills is to practice with someone you trust. Ask a family member or friend to conduct a mock interview with you. This will help you get comfortable answering common interview questions and give you feedback on your responses.
  2. Use online resources: There are many online resources available that offer tips and advice on how to improve your interview skills. You can find articles, videos, and podcasts on websites such as National Careers Service and  LinkedIn Learning.
  3. Attend workshops and classes: Many organisations offer workshops and classes to help individuals improve their interview skills. These can range from short sessions to longer courses, and may be available online or in person. Check with local community centres, libraries, and career centres to see what is available in your area.
  4. Seek support from the National Careers Service: The National Careers Service can provide you with a range of support to help you improve your interview skills. Their services include:
  • One-on-one advice: You can speak to a careers adviser who can provide you with personalised advice on how to improve your interview skills. They can also help you with job applications and other aspects of your career.
  • Online resources: The National Careers Service website has a range of resources to help you prepare for interviews. This includes articles, videos, and practice questions.
  • Workshops: The National Careers Service offers workshops on a range of topics, including interview skills. These workshops are delivered by trained advisers and are designed to help you develop the skills you need to succeed in interviews.

Overall, there are many resources available to help you improve your interview skills. The key is to practice, seek feedback, and take advantage of the support available to you.

Get support to find a job

The National Careers Service provides careers information, advice and guidance, helping  you to make decisions on learning, training and work at all stages in your career. The service is free to anyone aged 13+ and living in England.

Call 0800 100 900 to speak to an adviser (8am to 8pm Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm Saturday and bank holidays)

Or visit the National Careers Service website.


Finding a job can be challenging, but by utilising the tips and tricks outlined in this blog, you can increase your chances of finding a job quickly and landing your dream job. Remember to tap into the hidden job market, utilize online job search engines, leverage social media, take on internships, attend career fairs, and polish your interview skills. With persistence and hard work, you can find a job that aligns with your skills and career aspirations.

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