Where and how to search for job opportunities

Once you know that you're ready to find a new job or career, where do you start to look for opportunities? Here, we discuss how to find job advertisements on different platforms such as an organisation's website or on job boards. We also look at how you can advertise your availability for work using LinkedIn and by liaising with recruiters.

An organisation's website

If you have a clear preference for a particular organisation or company, it is first worth checking their website for job vacancies. This is the most direct way of finding out if there are currently any jobs available at that organisation.

Many of the larger organisations have their own in-house recruitment teams and operate their recruitment process in a very specific way.

Look out for the contact details of talent acquisition managers because you can talk to them about a particular vacancy or ask them to keep you in mind for future roles.

If you do find a job vacancy of interest to you via this route, remember to conduct thorough research into the organisation. This will help you at all stages of the application process. 

Job boards

Job boards are websites that employers and recruiters use to advertise open positions. There are some large generalist job boards such as Indeed, Glassdoor and LinkedIn Jobs. These advertise vacancies across all industries and sectors.

Job aggregators are similar to job boards, but they collate job vacancies from different places across the web and redirect you to the relevant site where you can apply.

Niche or specialised job boards advertise fewer vacancies, but they are focussed on specific industries.

Remember, when you are searching job boards, you can search by skills as well as job title, organisation or sector. You can use this strategy if you want to keep your options quite broad.

The following video provides more insight into job boards and gives several examples of job boards that you can use. You can download a list of links to all job boards discussed in the video.


You can also find opportunities by publicising that you are looking for work. LinkedIn is a powerful platform to do this.

As well as a jobs board in its own right, LinkedIn is a professional networking platform. So you can use it to alert your connections that you are looking for work. Post an open message to your connections saying you're looking for work and would appreciate any help. Say what type or work you are looking for and in which location.

You can also use the ‘Open to work’ feature on LinkedIn. This allows your network to easily see that you are looking, but also alerts recruiters to your availability.

For recruiters that subscribe to LinkedIn Recruiter, you become prioritized when you select ‘Open to work’. You can find out more about ‘Open to work’ in the video on overcoming barriers to LinkedIn.

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Recruiters find candidates who are suitable for a job vacancy. The difference between a recruiter and a hiring manager is that the recruiter works to find appropriate candidates for a role, whilst a hiring manager evaluates and selects the candidates for the role. 

Recruiters can be:

  • Internal - they work within an organisation that is hiring for a role
  • External - they work solo or for a recruitment agency. They are also known as head-hunters.

Recruiters work with the employer and the prospective employee throughout the hiring process.

They might be involved in writing the job advert and screening candidates before the application stage.

Recruiters often have specialist knowledge, either of the sector, the organisation that is hiring or of particular job levels. For example, some recruiters might specialise in recruiting senior staff such as directors and top executives.

External recruiters are paid by the employer. The amount is traditionally 15-20% of a candidates first annual salary. This is paid by the employer, not taken from the candidate’s salary. 

There are a number of reasons organisations use recruiters:

  • Saves organisation time and resources
  • Helps find candidates that fit the culture and working environment of the organisation
  • Finding the 'right candidates' means that they are less likely to leave, reducing future turnover costs and saving additional recruitment costs
  • They are aware of salary benchmarking and can act as an intermediary in salary negotiations
  • They can advertise roles through their own websites and networks
  • They can carry out pre-application screening, saving the organisation time and resource
  • They can provide interim professionals or 'contract-to-hire' staffing

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In the videos below, Dr Tina Persson shares strategies for optimising your CV and online presence to attract recruiters. 

Other resources you may wish to check out

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