Tag Archives: jobsearch

Working for an agency

4 Aug

Recruitment agencies act as an intermediary between an employer looking to fill a vacancy and someone seeking work. Having this middle man may seem like a disadvantage but can actually be a great way to return to employment or find your ideal job.

The role of the agency itself is to find suitable candidates for vacancies and there is often a lot of pressure to do so. When seeking an agency; find out if they offer relevant roles as some will specialise in specific industries that may not be relevant to you. It’s good to physically take in your CV and discuss the kind of role you are seeking so you become more memorable, just remember that this will be their first impression of you so be friendly and presentable.

Agencies often work closely with employers and can give you hints or tips on what to expect if you are offered an interview. If you are successful, you will be paid by the agency but managed by the employer, with the right to use any onsite facilities such as canteens or nurseries. If you are in the same role for 12 weeks, then you are entitled to the same pay and benefits as any permanent members of the company doing the same job.

Several of the positions offered by agencies are temporary but can still be used to your advantage as you can prove yourself to the employer and may even be offered a direct position. A temporary role can be taken whilst you look for permanent work or used as valuable experience.

Although you are entitled to paid holiday hours you cannot claim maternity leave whilst working for an agency, you also cannot claim redundancy or file for unfair dismissal so just bear these factors in mind before contacting.

However, overall a recruitment agency can be a great way to find a suitable vacancy. So search your local area and send your CV today!

Beacon_Banner_home

 

Conquer your job search fears

30 Oct

As its Halloween you may be thinking about things that scare you and we’re doing the same. Fears aren’t always spiders and ghosts though, and some fears can stop you from getting what you want. We have been looking at some of the most common job search fears and how to overcome these.

Fear of being ‘un-hireable’

You’ve worked on your CV and handed it out everywhere; you may have even been called to some interviews but still no one is offering you a position. It’s a situation that can cause you to think you’re not hireable or no one will employ you – this is not the case! If you start to fear this then it can be easy to slow down your job search as you’re scared this theory will be confirmed further. It’s best to take a step back and think rationally about what’s going wrong. Perhaps you need revamp your CV or tailor it more to the positions you’re applying for or ensure the skills you have match the ones needed for the job roles. Just refreshing what you’re doing or making a slight change can make a big difference to your confidence and hopefully you’ll start seeing the benefits.

Interviews

Even the word interview is scary to some and it’s easy to understand why. In an interview you’re put under a lot of pressure to prove that you’re right for the job and it can be stressful for some if not all. To feel more confident and relaxed in an interview it’s all about the preparation. Before your interview you should research the company and find out what they do and what kind of candidate they’re looking for. You can also practice answers for common questions or think example that you’re going to use, this was you won’t feel so on the spot so will come across well. It’s also sensible to search where you will be going in advance so you’re not rushing and to prepare your outfit in advance.

Asking for help

Asking for help or admitting that help would be useful is a scary thing to do. Many people think if you ask for help then you’ll be judged and some are even too embarrassed to admit they are currently looking for work. Being unemployed is not something to be ashamed of (even Steve Jobs has had a period of unemployment) and neither is asking for support. You don’t know how useful the recourses around you can be until you try them. Friends and family may know of upcoming or available vacancies or can even just offer moral boosts to keep the hunt going. You can also seek local help from a company such as Opportunity Plus where we can give professional help and advice for your job search.

My new boss

You might be concerned that your hard work of finding a job may be for nothing if you do not like your employer. Remember that you don’t have to accept a job just because you’ve been offered it and if you’ve had an offer the likelihood is you’ve met your boss already. It’s worth weighing up the pros and cons of working for that person and assessing what your work like will be like. You never truly know how this person will behave until you’re in the role so maybe just give it ago and you might be pleasantly surprised – they did hire you after all.

Stopping benefits

This can be a very real fear for some, particularly if you have been on benefits for a while. Perhaps it has not been easy, but you are managing ok, so now if you get a job your benefits will stop and maybe you won’t get paid for a month – How will you cope? What about your rent? The good news is that there are systems in place to help and support you, for example housing benefit run –on and in work benefits. Don’t let this fear get in your way. Speak to an adviser or seek information from websites such as entitledto.co.uk, gov.uk, and turn2us.org.uk

What if the job doesn’t work out?

You have done really well to get this far and have been offered the role. Now the self doubt kicks in and you start wondering if you will be able to actually do the job. Everyone feels a little nervous when starting something new. Remember that the application and interview process is there for a purpose – employers need to find the best person for the job. There is a reason they chose you. They have faith in you, so have faith in yourself.

If the job is not what you expected it to be, or not want you want to do forever that’s fine. Learn from the skills and experience you are gaining and give it a try anyway. If you still want to change jobs later it is easier to get a job when you are employed than when you are unemployed.

If you want help with any of the issues mentioned please contact us on info@opsw.co.uk or 0800 043 2440

10 things to do in your extra hour this Autumn

23 Oct

It’s coming up to that time again when the clocks change and the atmosphere suddenly feels like autumn or winter. On Sunday the 25th October at 2am the clocks will ‘fall back’ to 1am. A lot of people will probably think this is the perfect time to get an extra hour in bed (if the children allow you to) but whether your employed, self-employed or looking for work there are some much more productive things you can be doing with your extra hour to get you ready for Monday and feeling great. Here at Opportunity Plus we’ve created our top ten things you can do with your time instead of staying in bed:

  • Learn how to say ‘Good Morning’ in 10 languagesIMG_1673
  • Update and re-write your CV
  • Create a playlist of motivational music
  • Carve a Halloween pumpkin
  • Make a list of your goals for the next 6 months
  • Clean out and organise your emails or social media
  • Do a SWOT analysis of yourself
  • Relax yourself with some yoga
  • Review and update your weeks to-do list
  • Make a pumpkin pie

However you spend it, enjoy your extra hour!

If you’re looking for help with employment or self employment please get in touch on info@opsw.co.uk. We won’t be here at 2am on Sunday but will reply as soon as we can.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.. (kind of )

25 Sep

Most people don’t want to be thinking about Christmas in September (except for those of you that have had a Facebook countdown since May and know how many hours until the big day). However for job seekers it’s a great time of year to start looking at Christmas temp positions for the up-coming holiday season.

Why now when Christmas is so far away?

In many industries, especially retail, Christmas is by far the busiest time of year and they want to ensure that they’re well equipped to serve as many people as possible to achieve high sales and keep customers happy.  This business means staff training has to be done in advance so that they are prepared for the swarm of shoppers or frenzied customers so employers will hire their Christmas staff early so less support and guidance is needed during the holidays.

How many new positions become available for Christmas temps?

Although we can’t put a figure on how many will be available, we know it will be a lot. As an example in 2014 Royal Mail took on an additional 19,000 workers to help them over the Christmas period! It’s an incredible amount of vacancies for one company – think of all the Christmas cards. Retailers will see a huge increase in footfall (people in their shop) so will more often than not be looking for extra helping hands.

What are the benefits of being a Christmas temp?

Some people might be put off by applying for positions that are temporary but you don’t know that there isn’t another role at the end of it. Often the recruitment process is time consuming so it’s not something to be repeated unnecessarily and if they are impressed by your work and performance over the holiday period then they may keep you on as permanent member of staff.  If you’re not kept on then you still have the skills and experience of working over the busiest period of the year and this can be taken forward to other employers. You may even get yourself some discounts in certain places and they couldn’t’ come at a more useful time of year!

Will it only be retail opportunities available?

No it’s not just shops that hire extra people over Christmas. Hotels become very busy over Christmas period with many people staying away or having corporate events so you may find a whole host of jobs such as Front of House, Cook or Waiting available. Due to the Christmas parties and holiday alcohol consumption Pubs will also become busier so check with your local bars to see if they’re looking for help. As I’ve also mentioned Royal Mail employ a large amount of staff for the period and this doesn’t mean you have to be a delivery person, you can sort mail or do data entry. Also don’t forget the more festival roles like being part of your local Santa’s Grotto or pop-up Ice Rink.

If you are looking for Christmas temp jobs then don’t forget that lots of high street stores won’t advertise on job sites so it’s worth checking their websites and good luck!

If you want help finding employment please contact us on info@opsw.co.uk or 0800 043 2440

How can I stay motivated during a job search?

18 Jun

Finding a job can be hard, and you never know how long you’re going to be looking for! As time passes you may get rejections and your budget may get tighter making it easier to get disheartened. You are likely to have highs and lows and these lows can have a bad effect on your mood and motivation.

However, this is exactly the time when you need to dust yourself off and put in more hard work than ever. Remember we fell down lots and lots of times before we learnt to walk. Key attributes of a successful job seeker are persistence and self-belief. Here are few tips to help you stay positive:

  • Start as you mean to go on – The first 30 minutes of your day are more important thank you think! This is the critical time that will affect your thoughts and actions for the rest of the day. Set your alarm as if you were going to work and don’t get up late, have a shower and take a walk to get some fresh air in your lungs. Have the mindset that looking for a job as a full time job. Get dressed to feel confident and positive about yourself, set times for breaks and when you will finish and what days you will have off from your job search.
  • Set up the right environment – It is important to have an organised, neat and tidy area in your home where you can run your job search from. It will help you stay focused on the target. This should ideally be equipped with a phone, computer and everything else you might find in an office
  • Set daily goals – Goals are important and will keep your mind focused on the things that are important and keep you feeling positive about your future. If you don’t have anything set to work towards you are then likely to achieve less. Make your goals SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely) and remember to celebrate when you achieve a goal – woo!
  • Create a support network – Having a group of friends or family that are aware of what you are trying to achieve is good as they can help to keep you motivated. Avoid anyone that will bring you down. Surround yourself with people that are positive and upbeat that will encourage and you to carry on.
  • Eat right – A healthy body generally leads to a healthy mind. Try to make sure you include lots of fruit and vegetables in your diet and try to stay away from fatty foods and try to limit your alcohol intake.
  • Law of averages. The more applications, calls, networking or visits you make the more chances you have of finding the job you want. You need to tailor your CV for each job. Set a goal of how many applications per week, how many people will see, how many recruitment agencies to contact etc…
  • Be positive and focus on what you can do, not what you can’t – Everyone will feel frustrated at some point during their job search. You would be a very lucky person if you have been interviewed for every job you have applied for – all you can do is learn from each knock-back and move on. Always remember what things you are good at and use these to keep you motivated. Focus on the skills you can do that are on your job specification rather than ones what you can’t.
  • Learn to manage stress – This may be an obvious one, but the less stress you have in your life, the easier life should be. To keep motivated & positive when job hunting try to manage your stress levels as best you can.  Try to also include exercise, managing your time and workload effectively and importantly time to de-stress by having hobbies or other non-work activities.
  • Get feedback and use it wisely – Take feedback seriously and use the positive feedback to keep you motivated.  If you said something or did something in an interview that you shouldn’t of, and this is fed back to you, remember not to do it next time.  Or if you have negative feedback about your product access if changes may need to be made. If you’re not getting asked for interviews it is worth getting someone to have a look through your CV. If you’re getting to the interview, but being rejected you should ask why not? It may be the case you were you only one person away from getting the job.
  • Enjoy and don’t give up – Job hunting is a time of transition and change and it can also be a very important time for self-development be patient and don’t expect too much too soon. Use this period to reassess your goals, find out what you really want to do and be the best you can be.

At Opportunity Plus we specialize in helping people get back into work or start their own businesses. If you would like any help with your job search or business ideas then please email info@opsw.co.uk. 

What are employers really asking?

15 May

We’ve all had those moments in interviews where we are asked a question but we just can’t figure out what it means. Often interviewers will ask questions in a cryptic way, when what they’re really asking is something much simpler.

We’ve put together a quiz to see if you can work out what is meant by some of the most common interview questions!

Take our quiz below- 

Did you make it on to the leader board?  Keep an eye out for our tips and advice on answering these questions coming soon!

Universal Jobmatch

13 Jan

Looking for a new job can be hard work.  There are more and more applicants going for each vacancy that’s advertised, and with businesses closing down or downsizing and making redundancies, there are simply less jobs to go round in many areas.

Universal Jobmatch is open to all jobseekers, whether they receive benefits or not.  You can register and upload your CV so that employers can find you.  Universal Jobmatch will save your searches, suggest suitable vacancies for you, and help you to keep track of what you have applied for.  When you see a vacancy that you want to apply for, it’s easy to apply instantly by sending your CV to the employer through Universal Jobmatch.  If you need any support in creating a Government Gateway account or using this service, please call us on 0800 043 2440.

If you need support using ICT, check out Learn My Way, and use our Centre Code: 3453449.

www.gov.uk/jobsearch