How to find and apply for job vacancies

Learn how to find the best vacancies and make your applications stand out from the crowd.

Where to apply for a job

Some websites allow you to search and apply for jobs. Below are some examples. 

When you use these sites to search for vacancies, make sure you:

  • select the distance you are prepared to travel
  • look for the closing date or select the time period you want to view vacancies from - vacancies more than seven days old are more likely to be filled already


Search and apply for jobs on the Indeed website

Indeed is a job listings site which allows you to search and apply for jobs in different industries.

Find A Job

Search and apply for vacancies with the governments Find A Job service.

    Apply for vacancies online

    Some roles will ask you to email or send a message with a CV and cover letter.

    Find out how to write a Curriculum Vitae (CV) and how to write a cover letter.

    Other job adverts, especially those for big companies, will have their own online application forms. These forms will ask you to fill in information about yourself and your experience and you will often have to show how you meet the person specification for the role.

    This includes the knowledge, qualifications, skills, abilities and experience they are looking for.

    These applications can sometimes take a long time, and a lot of work to complete.

    When filling out an application form make sure you:

    • read each section carefully
    • fill in all the fields
    • notice the word count, if there is one - this gives you an idea of how much the employer is looking for in your response
    • look at the employer’s website, especially their ‘about us’ and career sections - this will help you answer questions about what they are looking for
    • Don’t use autofill, it can be tempting to save time, but you could end up with some old, or incorrect information in your application

    Sometimes you'll need to complete a virtual pre-interview or complete assessment questionnaires. Take your time and make sure you're in the right head space. Don’t leave it till the last minute.

    Apply for vacancies offline

    If you're looking for work in retail or hospitality, it can be a good idea to take your CV into the places you'd like to work.

    When you're applying for vacancies offline you should:

    • make sure the CVs you are handing out are good quality and well presented, without scuffed edges, tears or stains
    • avoid visiting shops, cafes, bars and restaurants between 12pm and 3pm - this is their busiest time and they will not be able to give you their full attention
    • ask to speak to the manager or person responsible for hiring
    • be polite and friendly to everyone, first impressions count

    Make use of your contacts

    The people you know can be very helpful when you're looking for work. Let the people you know what you're looking for so they can tell you if they hear about a job.

    More advice

    For more advice on getting a job, visit the National Careers Service.

    Don’t forget there is support available to help you to find and apply for vacancies.

    You can also get one to one support at the Youth Employment Hub.

    How to get financial support

    The Flexible Support Fund is a discretionary payment available for customers on Universal Credit. The Fund can be used to help cover any expenses that could make it hard for you to get work. 

    If you're on Universal Credit or Jobseekers Allowance you may be eligible to apply for a Travel Card at your local Job Centre. A Travel Card can help with discounted travel costs to help you get to work or job interviews. Speak to your Work Coach if you would like to apply.