Finding a new job

Looking for work

Looking for a new job is an exciting but daunting time. Whether you’re looking for a career change or wanting to get back into the workplace after a career break, this page has lots of information and resources to help you.

Useful links and websites

National Careers Service provide information, advice and guidance to help you make decisions on learning, training and work.

Mumsnet Talent has lots of information and blog posts to help you take the next steps in your career.

Access Southampton has compiled a list of useful career links and resources – even if you don’t live in Southampton, there is still lots of helpful information and advice.

Watch the Jobcast trailer produced by Southampton City Council.

The Jobcast is a new monthly employability podcast where they will be sharing advice to help you get your next job.

Writing / updating your CV

A CV is a professional document that showcases your skills and experience to a potential employer.

  • Consider having different CVs for different jobs – make sure you tailor your CV to the job you’re applying for using the job description and person specification

  • Make sure your CV is clearly laid out – you can use Southampton City Council’s free CV template to do this

  • Make sure your CV is no longer than 2 sides of A4 paper – this is because an employer can see all the information they need on one sheet of paper. Don’t worry if you can’t fill 2 sides of A4 though, especially if you’re looking for your first job.

  • Check your spelling and grammar

  • Use bullet points instead of paragraphs – this makes it easier to read and keeps it short, snappy and to the point

  • Keep your CV up to date. Every time you complete a course or gain new skills and experience get it on your CV. Also make sure you update your CV if your contact details change!

How to write a personal profile

Your personal profile should be short, only a few lines, and summarise your transferable skills and experience. When writing a personal profile, remember Who What Goals

Who are you?

  • A hardworking professional…

  • An ambitious marketing graduate…

  • A highly skilled professional…

What can you offer?

  • What skills can you bring?

  • What experience do you have?

  • Be specific

What are your goals?

  • Currently seeking an opportunity to…

  • Looking to join a market-leading company…

  • Wanting to establish a career in…

Preparing for interviews

The key to succeeding at interviews is preparation. Your preparation should start as soon as you’ve been told you’ve got an interview.

Preparation Checklist:

  • Research the company – look up their website and social media and find out their values

  • Check the job description – most of the time, interview questions will be based on the job description, so having examples of how your skills and experience meet these requirements will help to strengthen your answers

  • Plan your journey

  • Sort out your clothes

  • Get your documents ready – if you’ve been asked to bring ID or certificates, make sure you have these ready and in a neat folder

  • Confirm any childcare arrangements

Interview Advice

  • Take your time and think about what you’ve been asked before answering

  • Don’t worry if you don’t understand a question – ask for it to be rephrased or clarified

  • It’s ok to bring notes or a CV in with you – just make sure you use them as a guide and don’t read directly from them

  • It’s normal to feel nervous

  • Keep your body language positive

  • Give lots of examples and full explanations

Video Interviews

Video interviews are becoming more common, even before the Covid-19 pandemic.

  • Find a quiet and well-lit space with no distractions

  • Make sure light is facing you, not behind you – this will stop your face being covered by shadow

  • Test your device’s webcam, microphone and internet connection before the interview

  • Treat it like a face to face interview. Dress smartly and try to avoid any bright or stripy clothing, as this will interfere with the camera and distract you and the interviewer

  • Sit comfortably – your webcam should be level with your eyes and you shouldn’t have to lean forwards or backwards

  • Sit in front of a clear background – avoid sunny windows or distracting wall art

  • Maintain eye contact and positive body language


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