Searching for jobs

The hardest part of the journey to employment is looking and applying for work. 

Whilst maybe more challenging, it’s also the next exciting step where you get to decide where your career will go. It’s also the second to last step before successfully finding work, so it can be very rewarding.

We all want to find our dream job, but to do so, you first need to know where to search and how to do it. Our tips below will help you find the job you’ve always wanted. If you have a learning disability or autism, our support employment coaches can help you with your application.

The basics

Your interests and CV

Before you start looking and applying for jobs, you need to have a knowledge of the type of work you want to do and you need to have prepared a CV so you can apply. Luckily, we have guides on how to do each of those. Just follow the links below.

What career do I want

Preparing a CV

Job searching websites

The most popular way to find work today is to use a job website. These websites allow employers to post vacancies that everyone can see and apply for. Many of them also allow you to set up alerts to tell you about new job that you might be interested in. Below are our favourite websites for finding jobs:

As well as these websites, remember that specific employers will also have their own website with their jobs listed. So, if you have a particular company in mind, try searching Google for their job website, for example, “Tesco jobs”.

Physical adverts

Whilst most job adverts are now online, many employers may still choose to advertise in other ways too. This can include:

  • Adverts in a local newspaper
  • Posters in shop windows
  • Adverts on social media
  • Word of mouth

Be aware when you’re out and about and look out for signs everywhere. Many businesses will make it very clear that they are looking to hire new people, especially if they need urgent help.

Don’t forget the power of social media. Some businesses will use their big following online to share opportunities, so make sure you like or follow employers you might want to work for.

Searching online

Using the websites we’ve suggested above, it can be quick and easy to search for work. Most of these websites look very similar and make it easy to find jobs that are relevant and interesting to you. There are normally two options you need to complete. We explain what they mean below.

Job title, company or keyword

The job search website will want you to write exactly what job you want or what company you want to work for. You can be as exact or as open as you like, but having a more precise job role in mind will give you the best results.

For example, you could search “supermarket” here. However, that would show you thousands of results for lots of different roles in supermarkets from checkout work to management. Searching for “supermarket assistant” or “supermarket manager” will help you find work at a particular level relevant to you.

If you have a company in mind, but are unsure what job you’d like, try searching using their name instead. For example, “John Lewis”.


The job search website wants to know the location you are looking for jobs in or around. Again, you can be as specific or as open as you like, but it helps to know just how far you are willing to travel. There is no reason to apply for a job that you cannot get to. Most websites will allow you to search using your postcode or city/town you live in. They will also give you an option to select how far you want to travel. Remember, even choosing a small distance - like 5 miles – the results may still include places that you can’t reach, depending on how you’re planning to get there. For example, there may not be train or bus routes that allow you to get there without a car.

Job alerts

An important feature of job websites is the ability to create ‘job alerts’. These allow you to receive an email when a job you might like is added. This is done by using your search words and location mentioned above (for example, supermarket assistant in Epsom). Each website varies in how you do this, but has a helpful guide on how to set up a job alert on their website.

Posting and closing dates

When searching online, always remember to check two things: when the job advert was posted, and when the closing date is. 

Sometimes job websites will show you old adverts that are likely already filled, so look out for opportunities that are posted in the last 7 days. Jobs still showing after 3 weeks are probably no longer available, but it doesn’t hurt to check with the employer.

Also check for a closing date. This is the date after which no more applications will be taken. It may be sooner than you think, so make sure you give yourself enough time to complete the application.

Taking the next step

Using the advice we’ve given you, you’ll be able to start searching for work and take the next step on your journey to employment. Remember though, it’s important to know what type of work you want to do first. That will mean you have the best chance of success when searching and applying. Happy job hunting!