Finding job vacancies
Companies have different ways of filling their vacancies, so to give yourself the best chance of finding exciting job opportunities you need to use a variety of strategies. These are just some of the main sources for job listings. Don’t limit yourself to our suggestions: be creative and proactive in your job search. Network and approach companies you would like to work for directly.
Sources for job listings include:
The Careers Service has resources to help you find part-time and graduate level employment, as well as work experience and volunteering opportunities. Our resources include:
Jobs advertised in the press usually have a closing date within a few weeks and the opportunity is usually available immediately. The university libraries have newspapers available for reference, or you can access the most newspapers online.
Most national newspapers have advertisements for graduate vacancies. You can look at the newspapers’ websites and sign up to get alerts about new vacancies.
- The Guardian
- The Daily Telegraph
- The Times (you need a subscription)
- The Financial Times
- The Independent
Opportunities in different sectors are advertised on specific days of the week in each newspaper. Click on the sector below to see what days to check the newspapers.
If you know which part of the country you want to work in, consult the local press in that area. A full list of UK newspapers is available at:
Links to international newspapers are available from:
- AGCAS and Prospects Country Profiles
Our page on Working and Volunteering outside the UK includes links to individual country profiles with information on local media.
Many job vacancies appear in specialist journals or magazines. While experience may be required for these jobs they are still worth looking at to give you an idea of the companies recruiting in your field.
Check the university libraries for journals. The Willings Press Guide is held at Aldrich and Queenwood libraries and has details of a range of publications by sector.
You will also find listings for sector-specific periodicals, journals or trade publications under Occupations
Job listing websites
You can sign up to most job listing websites to receive email alerts of vacancies that match your criteria. It is easy to get overwhelmed by the number of emails you are sent, so be selective about which sites you sign up to. Make sure the site offers vacancies in your area or sector, and that it is advertising jobs for which you are qualified. For most of these sites you can also sign up to RSS feeds.
Job listing sites that specialise in graduate-level vacancies include:
- Best Companies Guide
- Career Seeker
- CV Library
- The Graduate
- Graduate Jobs
- Inside Careers
- MBA Exchange
- MBA Jobs.net
- The One Group
- PhD Jobs
- Prospects - Graduate Job Search
- Target Jobs
- Times Top 100 Graduate Employers
Websites that specialise in jobs in the not-for-profit sector include:
Regional vacancy sites
The University of St Andrews Careers Wiki has a directory with sources of jobs in all regions across the UK.
- Unlocking Cornish Potential (Cornwall)
- gradireland.com (Ireland)
- North East Graduate Directory (North East)
- Scotland’s Graduate Careers Website (Scotland)
- Graduate Jobs South (South of England)
- Gradsouthwest (South West)
- GO Wales (Wales)
- Graduate Advantage (West Midlands)
- Graduates Yorkshire (Yorkshire)
Check regularly for vacancies on company websites if you are interested in working for them.
If the employer isn’t currently advertising suitable vacancies, you could try making a speculative application.
Some smaller companies don’t use newspapers or vacancy sites to advertise because of the costs. You can seek out these employers and approach them directly.
Larger employers often use recruitment agencies to fill their vacancies. How to find recruitment agencies is covered in Using recruitment agencies.
Other websites to check
Occupations and industries
Our A-Z directory of sector/occupational profiles includes links to many sources of vacancies, professional bodies and more.
Recruitment via social media is on the increase. You can take advantage of the job-hunting and recruitment applications that are integrated into these networks.
Some that you might find useful are:
- TwitJobSearch a vacancy search engine powered by Twitter.
- Linkedin Jobs lets you search and apply for jobs advertised on LinkedIn.
- BranchOut a networking and vacancies service that integrates with your Facebook profile.
However social media offers so much more in your job hunting :
Allows those who share a common interest to form quickly and communicate effectively, collaborate and collect feedback
You can use those networks when you need to find out how to do something, locate something, share ideas, test a product, latest research, sector based news, research vacancies and opportunities
Show future employers that you're dedicated to your work, committed to self-improvement, document your understanding of the industry, show off your skills - this could take the form of a blog, tweets, podcast, video or photo album.
“Social media sites have proven themselves as important platforms for facilitating connections, demonstrating passions and interests, and ultimately landing you the job you actually want”. How Job Seekers Are Using Social Media for Real Results (Mashable).