Looking for Job? Job Search Tips You Need to Know

Back in the day after I finish my Uni, my girlfriend, Szemun and me have made a brave decision. I’ve borrowed some money from my family and leave our hometown(Malaysia) and find a job in UK.


The unemployment rate in UK is so high on that time. I’ve read an article from the Sun newspaper with the headline says “More than 1700 people apply for just 8 new job at a costa coffee”

My jaw dropped…heart sinking, frustrated, guilty, stressed out. It’s really tough. I was unemployed for about 3 months on the time I saw the headline. I am broke and I wonder if I should just pack my stuff and head straight back to Malaysia.


I was thinking…

  • “I can’t even speak English properly, why would people hire me?”
  • “In this economy breakdown, who will spend extra money just to apply a work permit for me?”
  • “If there is a vacancy, of course they are going to give their own citizen a chance first. ”


It’s a huge challenge and I believe I’ve applied more than 900++ jobs in four months before I land a full time job.


It wasn’t easy. From what I have learned, I got a few job search tips to share with you to get through this.


The first question I often ask is, where to look for job?


Online Portal

I find out looking for job through online portal is very competitive. Some of the job have been applied for over 500 time in just three days!


Due to large number of people applying for the job, most of the time you wont get any response.


It seems like looking for job through online portal doesn’t seems to work but surprisingly I’ve found a job through this.


The tips here is always read the job description. Some employer want you to send your CV or portfolio directly to their email address instead of filling up the form provided by the online portal.


This are the list of best place for designer to look for job online :


Direct Email

Do you send your portfolio and CV to the company that says “we are hring”?


I would say no, just send your portfolio and CV over even they are not hiring. Who knows they don’t have time to post for job opening.


Just like my girlfriend, she found a job through direct email. That company is planning to hire a graphic designer and the timing is so right when they receive my girlfriend enquiries. My girlfriend was sitting in their office on the next week!


Don’t just send your portfolio along with you CV blindly.


Look for the name of the employer through linkden or google their name. If it doesn’t work, pick up the phone and ask for a name.


This is what I learn from this book “How to Win Friends and Influence People-Dale Carniege
” that “a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language”


Email starts with “Hi Jason” always sounds better than ‘Hi”


Recruitment Agency

Sometimes, recruitment agency would suggest me to take out my contact information from my resume and this spoil overall design of the resume.


The good thing about recruitment agency is that they keep you updated when there is a job that match your skills.


So should I go for online portal? Recruitment agency or send a direct email?


I would say give it a shot on each platform. Never try never know.


I Want to Send Direct Email to Them, But Where Can I Get a List of Company?

This when Google came in use. Google search “Design Agency in Birmingham” and it will come out a list of design agency in the location selected. Change the location according to your preference. I’ve found many awesome company that I don’t realize it exist!


Or go to Yellow Pages to find out the design company you are looking for.


What Can You Do While Waiting for Reply?

There are lots of things you can do.


  • Keep polishing your portfolio or CV.
  • Find some freelance job to earn some pocket money.
  • Iron the shirt and pant you are going to wear in the interview.
  • Prepare a list of question you want to ask at the end of the interview. This article should help you out.
  • Print out your portfolio if possible with your name card (hand this out to your interview after the interview)
  • Rehearse what you are going to say in the interview




How Long Does it Take to Land a Job?

I’ve heard people say “For every $10,000 in annual salary your search will take a month, so if you want an annual salary of $70,000, your search will probably take seven months.” Or maybe you’ve heard that the average job search takes four, six, or eight months.


I don’t really agree with that. It’s all depend on your effort. One of my friend found a job in just a month. Well I am not sure about his annual salary.


Don’t Give Up

Looking for a job can take a lot of time. You have applied over 100++ jobs and it feels discourage when nobody reply to your application. Don’t get discouraged, get yourself back up and keep applying. Remember, looking for job is your full time job now.


I hope you don’t give up, be persistence!


A few more quick advice for you…


  • Don’t wait for timing, just send you CV and portfolio.
  • If you can’t get an interview, fix your resume and cover letter.
  • If you can’t get past the interview, go find a partner and do lots of rehearsal.
  • If they offer unexpected low income, learn how to negotiate.
  • Last and most important, don’t give up!


Remember to tweet or share this with your friend if they are looking for job too!


Good luck and all the best to you!