Advertising might still be the dominant method for bringing employers and jobseekers together, but it’s slowly being eroded by both old and new methods of filling job vacancies.

So it’s handy to be familiar with all available paths to employment, and surprisingly not all of them are digital.

Personal recommendation

Long before there were job ads, agencies or recruitment websites, people got jobs because someone they knew told someone else they were ok.

It’s estimated between 20 and 40% of new appointments are made as a result of a word in someone’s ear. Even if you don’t have a famous dad, and didn’t go to Harrow or Oxford, you can still build up your own networks.

Keep up with friends and ex-colleagues and even ex-bosses as they move jobs, have drinks with them, befriend them on social media, join professional forums, contribute to discussions and blogs. Soon your name will start attracting employers and head-hunters.

CV databases

These are very much like dating sites, except they’re all about finding jobs rather than love. You upload your CV (nearly always for free), and potential employers subscribe so they can sift through thousands of potential candidates, and narrow down their options to a handful of interviewees.

There are CV databases for specific professions, regionalised databases and of course, national/international jobs. You’d be crazy not to use this easy and effective method of putting yourself onto the job market.

Be sure to make your CV work harder for you by emphasising key-words – name your main skills, with every variation and acronym included. Also, don’t forget to update your CV regularly.

Social media

Remember how Facebook and Twitter started off as a leisure thing? Now that most corporations and even government departments have their own online presence, it’s clear these networking sites with its billion plus members is just too big not to be a happy hunting ground for recruiters.

These platforms can also be used to check out your social activity before they offer you an interview or a job. One quick Google search will tell them all they need to know.

So, when in jobseeker mode, the main advice is keep a clean profile on any social media, and big-up anything that might seem a positive for the job you’re after. If you’re applying to be a North Sea diver for an oil company, post those scuba-diving pictures now! If you’re really worried about a potential employer seeing your immature wall posts and photos, it’s always best set your account to private.

Linked in

This social media is meant to be professional from the start, and you’d be foolish to ignore this too. As with all web-based networks, recruitment managers are all too well aware of how easy it is to enhance your own reality in this virtual cattle-market.

But the advice has to be, sign up, link up, join the relevant groups, and see what comes through. If nothing else, you can be sure your biggest rivals are already there.

Job fairs

Another old-established but still prominent part of the recruitment scene, especially good for lining newly-qualified candidates up with that vital first job. Whether it’s the blue-chip corporate cherry pickers hitting the Oxbridge/redbrick university circuit, or the open-to-all job fairs at major exhibition centres, these have survived threatened extinction and appear to be flourishing.

Even one of the most cutting edge professions – London’s web developers and social media entrepreneurs – have their own job fair, the Silicon Milkroundabout, where hot start-up ventures can meet developers and designers.

So go to the relevant job fairs, and when you go, think, act and dress as though you’re going to a job interview. Be prepared and fully armed with CVs and questions, you never know who you might meet.

Smartphone apps

If we are to believe it, these are the future of recruitment. An extension of social media, these hand-held devices look to be taking over , with one major online recruitment outfit claiming nearly 30% of its audience arrived via mobile by mid-2012, more than double the figure of a year before.

Recruitment agencies are falling over each other to devise or appropriate the best apps. The idea being you’ll be able to upload your CV, link it to your Linked-in profile, modify it, attach images and manage interview appointments, all with a few taps of your iPhone screen. Advice – if you don’t have one, get a Smartphone.


This least digital path to a job is also one of the most rewarding in terms of experience (but not, of course, money). Finding a good work placement at the earliest possible stage is solid gold in terms of enhancing your employability.

It’s no surprise that a disproportionate number of internships turn into full time jobs after qualification. If they know you, like you, trust you, why would they not favour you for a job above a similarly qualified stranger?

Our tip: if you’re lucky enough to get on the placement of your dreams, work your heart out while you’re there, and put everything else on the back burner.


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