Firstly you should write a C.V. Books have been written about this subject (indeed there are many books that will tell you how to find a job), but you can obtain succinct advice from our documents entitled ‘How to write a good C.V.’ and ‘Mock C.V. It is important to produce the best C.V. you can. In fact, it should be perfect. Employers will make the decision on whether or not to interview you, based on your C.V. If you do not feel you can do justice to yourself, consult a C.V. writer. You will find these advertised in employment/business services pages of newspapers, or Yellow Pages. These people will usually charge for their services, but the cost is not great. If you register for work with employment agencies, most will create a C.V. for you for free.
Secondly, you should register with a few employment agencies. To register with more than three or four can cause confusion, and in the worst instance can lose you a job opportunity if two agencies introduce you to the same employer. Which agencies to register with? Follow the recommendation of friends or colleagues if possible. Alternatively, study the advertisements placed by agencies in newspapers and specialist magazines. Contact companies which seem to be handling your sort of jobs. Or you could ask your employer/ex-employer which agencies they use regularly. Or you could telephone the personnel department of a company which employs your sort of people, and ask them who they recommend. (Ask them if they’ve got any jobs while you’re doing it!) When you register with agencies, insist that they ask you before introducing you to any company, or sending your C.V. to anyone. If they won’t comply with this request, withdraw from the agency.
Keep a log of all events connected with your jobhunt: which agencies you’ve registered with, companies your C.V. has been sent to, when to follow up, interviews attended, results/feedback. You should treat your search for employment as a job of work.
If your agency is prepared to call companies proactively on your behalf, help them out by making a list of companies you would like to work for. These should be companies you would be of interest to, with your particular skill-set and experience. They should not be companies you fancy working at just because it sounds appealing to e.g. sell golf clubs. Help your consultant by pointing out exactly why you could be of interest to Company A, B etc. (‘I’m familiar with their equipment’ / ‘I know their customers’).
DIY – How to Find a Job!
When all else fails, you’re the only person you can rely on. Go into the local library, study a business directory – Kompass or Kelly’s are very useful – and make a list of companies in the right field and/or geographic area to suit your requirements. Telephone the company switchboard and ask for the name of the director or manager responsible for hiring people of your type and level. If in doubt, ask for the name of the managing director. Make sure you get the correct spelling of his/her name and title. If you are asked, explain that you want to write them a letter. If asked what it is about, explain further that you are seeking employment. You may be asked to direct your letter to personnel, in which case you should find out the name and job title of the individual concerned.
Send your C.V. to the relevant manager by name, with a short covering letter offering your services on any basis whatsoever, and explaining briefly what benefits you can bring to the organisation.
Dear Mr Jones,
I am a skilled Quality Controller, and I am very interested to meet you with a view to working for The Big Company. I believe my past experience would equip me to contribute immediately and effectively to your company.
I am prepared to work on any basis whatsoever – full time or part-time, permanent or temporary, PAYE or self-employed.
I enclose my C.V. for your information. I will telephone you on Friday week but if you call me first I will be delighted to talk with you.
Word-process or type the letter and C.V. ensuring that there are no spelling mistakes. Get someone to check them if necessary. Hand write the envelope in your neatest handwriting. The letter is more likely to be opened by the person to whom it is directed, as secretaries will think it is a personal letter (it is!). Also, many people like to see an example of your handwriting. Put a first-class stamp on the letter.
Do not be afraid to be assertive, by saying you will call on a specific date! Employers appreciate it. Never end your letter with ‘I look forward to hearing from you’ because, you never will!
You may want to alter your C.V. and letter depending on the company/type of company you are sending them to.
Diarise your call-back date, and make sure you call then!
Keep a copy of your letter so you can refer to it if Mr Jones or one of his colleagues calls you back sooner. Keep a careful log of everything you do. If you send out fifty letters, you should get five interviews, and at least one job offer.