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Developing Career Potential

Job hunting methods

Online jobs boards

There are some which are great and some that are really bad! Try to find ones that are more tailored to the area you want to go for. Remember, lots of agencies advertise here too.

Pros Cons
Easily accessible No personal contact
Free to use Potentially more competition against other applicants
There are actual jobs to apply for Hard to monitor all of your applications
Regularly updated with new jobs Can be time consuming to sift through the amount of jobs available
Quick and easy to use Tempting to not spend quality time on applications or to look elsewhere
Sector specific and easy to filter to the jobs you are looking for  


Networking is using people you know (friends, relatives, professional advisers) and meeting new people relevant to your sector to collect information. Talk to people about their jobs (what they like/dislike) and see if there is anything they can do to help you with your job search. Be realistic: it is unlikely that you will be offered your dream job, but you may get a useful inside track on what a particular job is like and, perhaps, get them to advise you when suitable vacancies arise.

This method can range from face-to-face networking at an event to online networking via professional sites such as LinkedIn.

Pros Cons
The employer gets to know you, and you're not just a piece of paper You could be having a great conversation with someone, but there isn't always an actual 'job' available at that time
You get direct contact with a real person Can be really scary if it's your first time
Gives opportunity to tap into the hidden job market It can sometimes be difficult to find relevant networking events
Personal recommendation from employee of a company  

Recruitment agencies

Recruitment agencies can be really useful, but make sure you choose specific agencies relevant to your field or the sector you are interested in. Recruitment consultants work on commission, so may try to place you in a role that's not quite right. Make sure you are specific about the types of roles you are interested in to ensure this doesn't happen, but remember not to be too specific as otherwise there may be no jobs available for you. Try to go in and see them face-to-face, rather than just registering online and make sure once you're registered to keep in touch with them.

There is a common misconception and myth surrounding salary and the agencies fee – this doesn't come out of your salary and is an extra charge to the company. You should not be charged by the agency.

Pros Cons
Consultants have often worked within the field so have a good knowledge of your chosen industry An agency has a limited amount of companies they work with and will normally have a maximum amount of jobseekers on their books
You get a more personal service Consultants may try to push you into a non-relevant role
Recruitment agencies have direct relationships with companies and they are often briefed in lots of detail about the role and desired person Some companies don't use agencies to recruit – so you shouldn't rely solely on an agency

Speculative applications

If the employers you like not have any vacancies, it is still worth making a speculative application and/or asking for work experience to make sure that your chosen career really is right for you.

To maximize your chance of making a successful speculative application for a job or work experience:

  • Check your CV and covering letter are well written, targeted and spelling and grammar are 100% correct.
  • Telephone the company before you send your letter to check the name of the person to whom you should write.
  • In your letter, be clear about the sort of work you are interested in and why you are suited to this work.
  • If there are no suitable vacancies, ask about work experience or volunteering opportunities. After all, work experience may lead to a permanent role, will help you create potentially useful contacts and, at the very least, develop useful transferable skills.

Contact us

KU Talent
Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 7445
Email us

Contact us

KU Talent
Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 7445
Email us

Kingston University careers - KU Talent

Find out more

Kingston University students can visit the My Kingston Staffspace document intranet site (KU login required) for more information.

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