If you’ve decided to go straight into the world of work when you finish school or college, you’ve got an exciting time coming up.
Starting your career is one of the most exciting times of your life, but it involves some big upheavals and new experiences, especially if you’ve not had a full-time job before.
The chances are you’ll want to keep things outside your work life as stable and familiar as possible, which means you might well be looking for jobs in your local area. This article is for anyone asking the question “How do I find jobs near me?”
How do I find the right jobs near me?
Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t have the best of both worlds. Just because you're looking for a job in your area doesn’t mean you have to take anything that’s going.
If you’ve decided to take the big leap into working life, we’re sure you’ve thought about what sort of job you want to do. Let this be your guiding light when searching for jobs nearby – but don’t forget that your dream job might be a few steps up the ladder.
At the moment, you might be thinking about regular jobs that anyone can apply for. Don’t forget there are lots of paid training roles specially designed to get young people into skilled jobs. This includes four different types of apprenticeship for people at different stages in their education or training, as well as countless school and college leaver programmes.
You should seriously think about the training route as it could pay off very well in the long term. That doesn’t mean you can’t train and progress in a regular job, so build your plan around what your own career goals are at the moment.
Searching in the right way is crucial to finding the right job in your area, and that’s what we’ll focus on in the rest of the post.
1. Can I use online job searches and alerts to find jobs near me?
Almost every employer advertises online these days. The beauty of the online search is that it’s quick, easy and free. Importantly for you, you can also filter by location, which means you don’t have to look through vacancies which are irrelevant to you.
On many websites, you can also sign up to receive email alerts for new jobs which match your search. This means you’ll get the latest relevant vacancies emailed straight to your inbox without having to do anything once you’re set up. Look out for a button saying something like “Get an alert for this search”.
Overall, the internet is probably your most powerful tool for finding a job. In fact, it’s not just one way of searching, it’s a multitude, which means we’ll be dedicating much of this article to the many ways you can use the web to help you find a job.
How to use filters
Filtering just means limiting your search based on the things you’re interested in. Most job websites will let you specify your location (which is pretty important for you), as well as the industry, job type (part-time or full-time, temporary or permanent), salary, and other things.
Since you’re trying to find jobs near you, pop in your postcode. You’ll then be asked to pick a distance from your location. Start with a short distance, like 5 or 10 miles, and then increase this gradually if you don’t find anything. If you live somewhere remote, like a village, you might need to put in the name of a local town or city where there are likely to be lots of jobs.
Use national sites
Here are some of the sites you can use:
- Success at School’s jobs search (of course!)
- LinkedIn (check out our guide to using social media to find a job)
- The government’s Universal Jobmatch
Check local sites as well. The best way to do this is to Google “jobs in” plus your local area, for example “jobs in milton keynes”. The top results will very likely be local job advertising websites, which you can use to search and set up alerts using the instructions above.
Search for local employers in the area you’re interested in. For example, you could search for “civil engineering companies in hartlepool”. Maybe there are some big local employers you already know about. Check their websites for any opportunities that are available at the moment.
There are plenty of websites which only advertise jobs in a particular area of work. For example, Charity Job advertises jobs in the charity and not-for-profit sector, whilst you can use Careers in Sport to find roles in the sport and fitness industry.
Visit our career zones to find the industry you’re interested in and look at the helpful links box on the right, which will take you to resources on other websites.
Many industries have jobs sites aimed specifically at young people looking to start a career in that area, and we’ve linked to these too. Some of them are pretty amazing and provide detailed careers advice as well as jobs listings.
Finding apprenticeships and training programmes
As we mentioned earlier, this is a really great way to begin your career in a skilled job, as you’ll take part in a programme designed to get you from novice to relative expert in a set amount of time. You may also find it easier to train further though a subsequent apprenticeship, or other qualification supported by your employer, if that’s what you want to do.
- Find out about local employers in the area you’re interested in, and look on their website for any training opportunities aimed specifically at school and college leavers.
- You should also check the Success at School website for apprenticeships and training programmes we’re currently advertising. Don’t forget to filter by location.
- Use the government’s Find an Apprenticeship website – you can put in your location.
2. How do I make the most of mum and dad?
This may come as a shock, but your parents can actually be quite useful, as can other family members and even friends’ parents (not to mention parents’ friends).
Talk to your mum and dad about what you’d like to do and see if they know anyone “on the inside” who can let you know about any vacancies or even put you forward. Being your parents, they’ll be keen to help, and will very likely to talk to their own friends as well (although you might need to suggest this).
Ask your friends as well, as you might know someone with a parent or sibling in the industry you want to get into. You might feel a bit awkward doing this, but you don’t need to be pushy, just persistent.
If you strike gold, show your enthusiasm and be proactive. Say that you’re looking for advice and ask if you can come in and talk to someone. Take baby steps – you might get offered some unpaid work experience, and if you prove yourself, you never know where it could lead.
3. Should I talk to my careers advisor about jobs near me?
If you haven’t left yet, make the most of your school or college careers advisor now! If you know what you’re looking for, the chances are they’ll be able to help. They will have connections with local employers.
If you’ve already left school or college, you may still be able to talk to the careers advisor. Your school will want to help you even after you leave, so phone them up and ask to speak to them. It might we worth talking to the head of sixth form or a trusted teacher to see if they can get you an appointment.
4. Should I register with recruitment agencies?
Recruitment agencies aren’t best known for their tact and honesty, but they will often do the trick. Agencies work for employers – they are often paid by the employer for every person they hire – which means if they think you could be a good fit, they will persevere. They are often locally based so can be quite effective in helping you find jobs near you.
You can find them online by Googling “recruitment agencies in [your area]” (side note: they generally advertise jobs on their websites as well).
Make sure your CV is nicely polished and clearly demonstrates all the skills you’ve picked up over the years, and email it over to the contact address listed to the site with an explanation of what you’re looking for. They will often have local offices, so it might be worth popping in for a chat and taking your CV along with you.
If the agency matches your CV to a job, they will contact you and encourage you to apply. They will usually handle the application for you and you won’t normally need to write a cover letter, which will free you up to do your own job hunting, while knowing you have a few irons in the fire.
An agency can be a great choice if you’re looking for a temporary role to tide you over till you find something more permanent as they often have plenty of clerical roles on their books.
Armed with these techniques, you’re now a lot closer to hunting down all the best jobs in your area. Next, make sure you know how to grab employers’ attention by writing a winning cover letter.