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Job Search

012 Job Search

Focusing your search

The first step in your job search should be to identify the sort of vacancies you are looking for, and gather as much information as possible about them. Start to think about the following:

Start answering these questions by beginning your research on these websites:
Prospects Occupational Profiles and Industry Insights
Target Jobs
Gov.UK on jobs

Graduate Routes

Graduate Schemes

These schemes are usually run by large companies, tending to follow a structured development plan. These programmes can fast-track you to a senior level role within the organisation and an ongoing career after the programme is finished - as a result, competition for these roles is fierce.

Many schemes are advertised in the Autumn term with closing dates before Christmas. It is beneficial to start your research early:

The University of Lincoln’s Careers & Employability Centre will usually also have free copies of Prospects Guide Books, Times 100 and other guidebooks that you can read in the Centre or take home.

Graduate Careers Fairs

These are great opportunities to find out more about relevant employers and build your network with different companies.

Find Your Feet

University of Lincoln’s Careers & Employability service hold this fair every year, hosting a range of employers.

External Fairs

You can find opportunities to attend general and industry-specific Careers Fairs around the country, broadening your search. Find out what’s on by visiting our events page or checking Prospects' Careers Fair page.

Places to Look

Search engines, generic career search websites and graduate focused websites like Prospects or Target Jobs are great places to start, but use some creative thinking to broaden your search.

University of Lincoln Careers & Employability

We work with employers across Lincolnshire and UK to find vacancies especially for University of Lincoln graduates. Visit our Centre, or explore opportunities on this website.

Recruitment agencies

Seeking out recruitment agencies who work in your sector of interest can give you a useful addition to your search tools. Target your CV to your specific area of interest, and keep in contact with the agency for regular updates.

Social media

Use your online presence to your advantage and seek out what employers are doing online. As well as giving you the opportunity to connect with professionals in your field through various groups, LinkedIn offers a job search function which can tie your hunt to your professional profile. Many employers also advertise roles on platforms such as Facebook or Twitter - many use hashtags like #jobs or #vacancies, but keep an eye on what employers in your sector of interest are using to keep ahead of the curve. Ensure your public-facing online presence is an employable one, and
start engaging.

Specialist publications and websites

Consider national & local news publications (whether online or in print) to identify opportunities that may not have made it onto career sites - many have their own careers sections.

Specialist newspapers, magazines or journals can also help find roles within  your sector or location. You can even find specialist websites (such as GoingGlobal, found under ‘International’ on the Blackboard ‘My Careers’ tab) for international careers and opportunities.

Professional bodies and associations

Many career sectors have professional bodies associated with them. Membership in these associations will often give you access to learning courses, networking events and specialised job vacancy postings among other offerings.

Sector specific sites such as the Lincolnshire Talent Academy which delivers proactive services to aid recruitment and skills development of our current and future workforce are an ideal place to start your job search and role exploration.

Information Gathering

Sometimes employers don’t widely publicise their vacancies, or aren’t fully aware of their employment needs until presented with a suitable candidate. You can take advantage of this through a creative job search (read our guide on speculative applications for more information).

Identifying contacts

Explore the sector you wish to gain experience or work in, using business directories and current vacancies to find relevant contact details for those in hiring positions. You can also ask family members, friends, lecturers and other people you know if they have any contacts in your area of interest.

Information Interviewing

This is a process of arranging an informal meeting to ask people about their work - it is a good exercise to gain insight into companies and job roles as well as develop your network. Most people will respond positively to requests to talk about their position as long as you are not going to ask about your own hiring potential. A good approach to arrange an interview is to email a contact - or the company in general - saying that you are interested in working in their field, and are looking to gain more information about the industry. Make it clear that you are after information and insight rather than a position within the company.

Once you have arranged the meeting, think about what you wish to know. Some possible ideas are:

After your meeting, follow up with a thank you letter. Keep any notes you made for future reference.

Additional Tips

  1. Take Responsibility
    Make your job search your responsibility. While the people around you can support you, give advice and contacts - it isn’t for them to get your job for you.
  2. Maintain Balance
    Your job search is important, but so is the rest of your life. Making time for family and friends, playing sport/exercising and keeping up with your hobbies will save you from feeling too stressed - and additionally help you in being a well-rounded, highly employable candidate. Set time limits for your job hunting to look after your wellbeing.
  3. Develop Resilience
    Everyone has knockbacks. Take this as an opportunity to improve, or simply reflect that it’s not your fault - you are up against tough competition, and not everyone can win when there is only one role available. Sometimes being rejected from a role can be a good thing - the role or environment may not have been as appropriate for you as you first thought.
  4. Get Feedback
    Seek as much feedback as you can. Whether it be from your friends, the University’s Careers & Employability service or lecturers. If you get knocked back from a role, it’s always worth asking for feedback to find out areas you missed - but respect when a company says they cannot provide it.
  5. Stay Focused
    Applying for every single job you come across could hinder your search. You may find yourself confused as to what you’ve applied for, which could lead to issues when you find that one of your applications has been successful - don’t be the person who shows up to a job interview not knowing which role or company you are interviewing for. Taking more time on fewer applications will give you higher quality applications, and an easier time knowing what you have done.
  6. Be Confident
    Push yourself - tell people how good you are. Show employers the value you will bring to their business. A job application is not the place to be humble - developing your confidence and self awareness of your positive qualities is essential to impressing employers with your application.

Get this guide as a PDF


Work Experience Work Experience
Step Two Workbook
Sector Specific Vacancies Sector Specific Vacancies