Bucks Employment Support

Bucks Employment Support

Supporting the Bucks community reach employment and learning goals

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Where do I find opportunities? 

Jobs are advertised in many different places, and many are not advertised at all! Different ways of finding vacancies are:

Job websites                                                    
Social media
Job Fairs
Recruitment agencies
Speculative applications

Let us look in more detail at these resources... 

Job websites

In August 2022 wikijobs published the results of a survey that identified 11 of the best job sites in the UK August 2022. You can register with multiple job sites and set up alerts to be notified about suitable vacancies that are a good match for your profile. 

Depending on the role, vacancies may be advertised on general or more specific websites, such as local authority websites. Public Sector jobs are those directly funded by the government can be found on the government’s own website and include roles in:

Health and Social Care
Defence and other uniformed protective services
The Civil Service
Local government

Social Media

Harness the multiplier effect of social media!

Set up and maintain a LinkedIn profile and apply for vacancies advertised on the site. Over 65% of recruiters now use LinkedIn as the prime source for finding suitable candidates. There are several reason why LinkedIn is invaluable when it comes to job searching. LinkedIn can help with

  • Learning more about the company you are interested in: Check out the company’s LinkedIn page. Get more information on the hiring process and what people have to say about that organisation. It’s a great way to stay ahead of your competition.
  • Getting job notifications: Once you have set up your profile on LinkedIn, you can set e-mail alerts to receive notification on recommended jobs – set your preferences and you’ll only receive job alerts relevant to your interests.
  • You can let companies find you: A large number of organisations look for talented candidates on social networking platforms. If you have a good, detailed professional profile, chances are you are going to attract an employer’s attention. You can also make potential employers aware that you are looking for opportunities – just make sure you tick the relevant box in your preferences. 

Search and apply for vacancies via employers’ own social media. Follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. High Fliers' The Graduate Market in 2021 report has confirmed that many of the UK's top employers are increasingly using social media as a means of finding graduate talent.

Set up a 'professional' email account for work-related communication. A good email address contains your surname and your first name or the initial of your first name so that it is easily identifiable. People still submit their CV or application using an unprofessional email address, and this can have seriously unfortunate effects on a job search.

Job Fairs

Job Fairs can be local events or sometimes large national ones. They are usually advertised on local council websites, in local press and on social media. Job fairs are an excellent opportunity to meet local employers and have an informal discussion. You may have the opportunity to give potential employers a copy of your CV. Find out which employers are attending and do some research about what they do. Treat  each informal meeting as a mini interview. You may only get a few moments to speak to each employer so think positive, be ready to talk about any specialist skills you have and how you could fit into their team (based on your research). Leave your contact details, and follow up with a phone call or email.

Register with a recruitment agency

Agencies can connect applicants with jobs that are not advertised online or elsewhere. Some agencies specialise in certain job sectors. Agencies build close relationships with employers, so understand what they are looking for.

Top tips:

  • Ask if the agency deal with the type of vacancy that you're looking for
  • Treat an interview with the agency like an interview with an employer
  • Demonstrate good communication skills – keep in touch and let them know when you are available
  • Tell them about your specialist skills
  • Ask for feedback if you are not successful

Getting feedback on how the interview went can help you in your future job search and ensure that you focus on developing the right interviewing skills.

After a job interview, you might have a feeling that you answered particular questions well and others not so well. However, the interviewer could have a completely different view of your meeting. Gaining this kind of constructive feedback will allow you to improve in key areas. Requesting feedback confirms your continued interest and your willingness to improve.

Need help with your interview technique? Check out this news article for some top tips. 


Reach out to people you know. Tell your family, friends, neighbours,  members of clubs or hobby groups that you belong to and past coworkers that you're looking for a job. Share with them what kind of thing you are looking for. You never know who may have contacts and what could come up. 

Sign up for networking events. These are sometimes held for certain industries or for local areas.  If you're shy, attending an event that was created specifically for networking might be easier, since everyone else will be networking, too. Then you can take the skills you've learned there to other events, where networking isn't the main focus. 

Don’t be shy about asking for help. Build a positive reputation for yourself by taking time to offer support and encouragement to others. This will enable you to demonstrate to others in your network that you have ‘harder to quantify’ skills that help create a good environment for successful business.

Follow-up on opportunities offered. If successful, thank everyone who was involved in the process.

Networking is a 2-way street – don’t wait for help – instead look for opportunities to help others, and they will remember you.

The 'hidden' jobs market

Did you know that 60% of jobs that exist are not advertised! There are many opportunities that are not advertised due to advertising costs and the lengthy recruitment process. Good networking skills can give you access to these opportunities. Develop your networking skills (as we discussed above) and on social media platforms such as LinkedIn.

Grow your on-line network and develop and grow your informal network through your social groups – opportunities can becomes apparent through ‘word of mouth’. You will be amazed by what can arise through a chat in a supermarket queue or a conversation with the parent of a friend. 

Apply speculatively - A speculative application involves proactively approaching an employer to seek out opportunities that have not been advertised. This targeted approach demonstrates initiative and your interest in working for a particular company – especially if you can show that you have done your research.

Here are some top tips for a speculative approach:

  • Research the role you are interested in and the organisation
  • Apply with a CV 
  • Address your application to a named individual (research)
  • Demonstrate your understanding about the role and organisation in your letter
  • Say what you want and make clear what you can offer
  • Follow up with a phone call

The layout of the letter is similar to that of a covering letter for a CV.

  • Include your name, address, e-mail and mobile number
  • Paragraph 1: Say what sort of job you are looking for
  • Paragraph 2: Sell the skills, experience and qualifications you have to offer. Tell the employer why you want to work for them. Show you know something about the organisation.
  • Closing paragraph: Say why you would be a good fit for the organisation and what you could bring to them

There are some good websites that can help you to write a speculative letter/email. Try Prospects or Indeed

Need help with your CV? Have a look at our applying for work booklet in the Transferable Skills section of the portal. 

Tips for application process

The standard of your application will tell the employer a lot about you before you’ve even met.

  • Can you follow instructions?
  • Do you pay attention to detail? (have you proofread your application) 
  • Are you good at time management (meeting deadlines, arriving for an interview in good time)
  • Do your skills match what they are looking for? Plan ahead – employers will ask for examples where you have demonstrated good practice / teamworking / dealing with a challenge / problem-solving. Be ready to talk about these
  • Follow instructions carefully
  • Highlight how your skills match what the employer is looking for
  • Proofread your application before submitting
  • Maintain good communication – check emails / missed calls / LinkedIn
  • Plan your journey to interview – have a plan B
  • Consider the employer’s perspective during application and interview – they want to know how you will fit into their team

Am I a good candidate?

Employers are looking for a close match between the experience skills and qualities of the applicant and those required for the role. There is a statistic, taken from an internal report by Hewlett Packard, that says that ‘Men apply for a job when they meet only 60% of the qualifications, but women apply only if they meet 100% of them'. A variety of reasons were given as to why those men and women chose not to apply, but there remains a gender bias based on personal perception and levels of self-confidence. If you can meet 80% of the essential criteria then go for it! Let employers know that you are flexible and willing to learn any new skills.

Useful Websites

General job sites:

In August 2022 wikijobs published the results of a survey that identified 11 of the best the best job sites in the UK August 2022
Don't forget the .gov website.  

Local press:

for example in the Oxfordshire area: https://www.dailyinfo.co.uk/jobs (daily updates)

Sector-Specific Career Websites:

In November 2019 CareerWave published the best career websites by sector

Recruitment Agencies:

Search for recruitment agencies in your area

Graduate jobs:

Check out Practice Aptitude Tests for the 10 best UK job boards for graduate jobs. 

and similar from Our Graduates.

Jobs for students:

Explore Save the Student for the best student job sites. 

Speculative job application:

Prospects for How to write a Speculative application

Watch Edward Druce’s TED talk ‘How to land your dream job with one email’. 

If you are considering an apprenticeship have a look at the Apprenticeships and Traineeships section on the portal.