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Sources and strategies Job seeking

It can take a lot of time and effort to find a job. Maximise your chances by using a variety of different sources and strategies.

Job opportunities are advertised in many different places such as:

  • websites, including our own OpportunityHub
  • jobs fairs
  • professional boards and groups
  • newspapers, both national and regional
  • recruitment agencies and jobs boards
  • social media.

You’ll also often find diversity networks or opportunities, so if you are LGBT, Black, Asian or minority ethnicity, come from a widening participation background or have a disability, there may be networks and opportunities tailored for you, which you can explore.

Use labour market information

The labour market can change depending on the economic climate. To get the most relevant information it’s important to use a variety of sources to research the labour market.

Chances are you’ve used your own labour market information (LMI) to make your career and work decisions in the past. As well as raw and analysed data, LMI refers to any knowledge you may have about how the labour market works; its structure and your place within it.

LMI won’t predict your future, or precisely the future of your industry but it can provide an indication of areas of scope, growth, supply and demand.

Industry reports

Our industry reports tool provides the latest insight and regular reports into labour market information across various sectors so you can keep up to date with the news that is impacting roles across industries and locations. You have access to the Industry reports through your OU account if you’re a current OU student or completed your study within the last three years. If you're not sure how to sign-in, see  Help with signing into OU systems. You'll find more information about our careers tools and services, including how to manage your data in About the Careers and Employability Services.

Find a job on the hidden job market

There are more vacancies in the hidden jobs market than there are advertised vacancies. Employers have many reasons for not advertising these vacancies, including the fact they may know somebody who could do the job or they ask their contacts for recommendations. You could be that ‘somebody’.

Whether you’re actively looking for a job or not, you’ll find yourself in situations, both formal and informal, where your networking skills could enhance your chances.

Read the article about Networking for your career for more advice. There are also some useful OpenLearn courses.

Front cover of Your Career Planning Guide

Your Career Planning Guide

Deciding what you want to do with your career can feel like the start of an exciting journey, but it can also feel daunting if you're not sure where to start. Your Career Planning Guide (PDF 3.98MB) is available to all students, you'll need to be signed in to access the guide.

Last updated 5 months ago