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Looking for work can sometimes feel like a full-time job in itself! With so many job hunting websites out there, it can be hard to know where to start. Here are some tips to make things a little bit easier.

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Job hunting tips

Tip #1: Find out what support is available

Whether you’re new to job hunting or been out of work for a while, there’s lots of support available, tailored to help you in the way that best suits you. These schemes are totally voluntary: so you won’t be pushed to do work that doesn’t suit you, and you won’t lose out on any benefits either. Our page on help looking for work has lots more information about this.

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Tip #2: Read all about it

Woman on the phone, looking at a laptop

There’s so much job hunting advice on the internet it can be tricky to know who to trust. One site you can rely on for helpful, impartial information and advice is the My World of Work website. It has lots of practical advice on writing a CV, filling in application forms and writing cover letters, as well as tools to help you do this. There’s also a useful tool to help you think about your skills.

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Tip #3: Get free travel to interviews with ScotRail

Travelling to interviews can be expensive, but ScotRail are offering jobseekers two free tickets a month to travel to interviews, and a free Monthly Season Ticket for your first month in your new job. You can find out more about the scheme on the ScotRail website.

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Tip #4: Sign up to LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a good site for connecting with employers and relevant people within the industry you're interested in. You can also set up job alerts for opportunities that fit your needs. It’s free to sign up (although there is a premium version too with more options) but the free version is fine to get started with.

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Tip #5: Consider signing up with a recruitment agency

Two women talking in an office

Recruitment agencies are paid by employers to find the right people to work for them. So they're well-placed to find you a job to suit your skills, and can also be a great source of advice and feedback. The My World of Work website has advice on signing up, and recommends some agencies to try.

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Tip #6: Go back to school

No, not really! But depending on the industry you want to get in to, it may help to get a bit more training. Maybe you’ve been out of the market for a while and want to brush up your skills, or maybe you’re looking to move into a new area. You can find thousands of courses listed on the My World of Work website, from nail art to lorry driving.

If you’re unemployed or on a low income, you may be eligible for £200 towards the cost of training with an Individual Training Account.

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Tip #7: Try networking

The idea of networking can be a daunting, but it’s not as scary as it sounds – it can be as simple as telling friends and family that you’re looking for a job and asking them to keep their eyes and ears open for any opportunities. You can find some helpful networking tips on the My World of Work website.

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Tip #8: Volunteer your services

If you’re looking to get work experience and want to help make the world a better place as well, volunteering could be right for you. This doesn’t need to be a regular commitment – you could volunteer at a one-off event or festival.

You’ll usually be paid expenses (for example, for travel and food) and this won’t affect your benefits. Volunteering is also a good way to make contacts for networking and future employment.

You can find out more and look for an opportunity that suits you on the Volunteer Scotland website.

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Tip #9: Treat looking for a job as a job in itself

Looking for a job and applying for roles can be time consuming and requires a lot of focus. So if you can, set aside a bit of time each week to work on your CV, look for roles, fill in application forms and practise for interviews. You could even leave your home and go somewhere else, like your local library or Jobcentre. Don’t let it take over your whole life, though – try to find time to take a break doing something you enjoy with your family to take your mind off it.

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Tip #10: Stay positive

Sometimes you can feel downhearted if you’ve been looking for a job for a while without success. If things are getting you down, try heading outside in the fresh air for a bit to clear your head. Our page on mental health advice for more tips.

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Tip #11: Remember you're not alone

You don’t have to do this on your own. Our page on help looking for work lists lots of organisations offering help and support.

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