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Career Advice

Tips for a big city job search

Tips for a big city job search

It’s one of those perpetual life conundrums – to live in a big city or in a more rural setting? Sure there are more jobs in the city, but there are also more people vying for them and likewise there are less jobs in smaller towns but there are also less people after them.  It seems like the whole thing amounts to a choice between 6 and half-a-dozen!

If you decide that living and job hunting in a big city like London is for you, here are a few tips that should help you on your way.

Have a more targeted search

In the country this is often done for you…the fact that there are fewer job opportunities forces you to be more specific about the role that you are looking for. Whereas in the city there are sometimes so many jobs being advertised that you run the risk of conducting a search which is very wide and very vague. This can be no negative thing if you are undecided about what you want to do in life, but it also has the potential to waste a lot of your precious time or lead you down a path which really isn’t for you!

Dont be put off by the competitionfind-job

Carrying out a job search in a city can be a very daunting prospect, not least because the sheer volume of people can lead you to believe that there will alway be someone better suited to the role than yourself. The truth is that competition for jobs will always exist, whether you live in a rural or urban setting. However in a city it can be much more ’in your face’ and therefore it is really important that you do not allow yourself to be fazed by it.

Be Realistic about how far you are willing to travel

It is generally true that short journeys within a city can take as long (if not longer) than a journey of much further jobsearchingdistance in the country. Therefore what might seem like a relatively close location (5 miles away for example) could end up taking an inordinate length of time to complete.  Work out not only how far away a job is, but how long it will take you so that you don’t spend hours a day commuting, or having to turn down a job because it’s ‘too far’ to commute.

Be Selective of your recruitment agency

Living in a large city, you will have the luxury of being able to be more selective about the recruitment agencywhich you work with.  Do your research and visit a number of different businesses to find a partnership that you are comfortable with and that works well for both parties.

Try to find one that is an industry specialist within your field and do some research on each agency before you agree to be registered with them, making sure that they have a positive reputation. Ask around to see if any come particularly highly recommended and then investigate for yourself.  But (and its a pretty big but!) do not rely solely on an agency to find you work as it may never happen, but rather continue with your job search as before with the confidence that you have all the bases covered.

Stand out from the crowd

Yes we know, what an incredibly overplayed cliché this is, but it’s a very important one to keep in mind when searching for work, especially within a large city.  In many such cities there often exists an unspoken collectively agreed upon ‘standard professional personality’ which is all too easy to adopt and rather difficult to shift.  Make sure that you maintain your own personality, especially when it comes to interviews, where having individual traits may well help you to stand out against the other applicants.  This doesn’t mean that you should ride in on a donkey, wearing a feather boa and playing the ukulele but try and keep as much of your originality as you possibly can.

If you found these quick tips and advice useful, then you may like to take a look at some of these recent posts;

Writing a cover letter – what to include and mistakes to avoid

Misleading Job Descriptions – Some things to look out for

Basic Tips for Searching for a Job Abroad


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