Where do we start?

Disabled Jobseekers

  • Approximately 10-15% of jobs are obtained through the Jobcentre
  • 15-20% through agencies etcOver 75% are through contacts
  • This means family, friends, acquaintances, and past and present colleagues and employers

Six degrees of separation

Sociologists talk about six degrees of separation, they suggest that six people link you to anyone in the world else in the world. This means that only six people separate you from Richard Branson, Alan Sugar, The Prime Minister, and anyone else well known or you want to work for. We have all heard of ‘the old boys' network – make it work for you! Ask your friends to put in a good word where you work.

This is very important, TRY IT!!!


All is fair when looking for a job – if you have contacts use them!

Networking, asking people to pass the word around or check with their contacts in fields and businesses you are interested in.

Asking someone to put a word in for you is one of the most powerful tools you may have. If they are respected and valued in the workplace, that is a hook!

Disabled jobseekers find it harder to get work for a variety of reasons, with some employers thinking their sickness levels are too high. The truth is many disabled jobseekers tend to be highly productive for a variety of reasons, including fear of losing out against an able bodied person or giving the impression they are not as capable. It is an offence for an employer to ask you any questions about your disability unless it is essential for the job, and only when they are considering making an offer. For example a window cleaner needs to climb a ladder and trainee driving instructor have reasonable vision (with glasses). The only permissible question prior to interview is ‘do you need any special arrangements for interview?

Letter Writing

When writing a letter it is best to use the business format. The watchwords for these are short, clear and concise. Employers don't have time to read through long rambling letters, if they haven't got the point within the first few lines, forget it. Buy a pack of window envelopes; it looks so much better when you send the letter, and fold it correctly so the address shows clearly through the window.

Spell check – again, if you don't it means you don't know IT or you can't be bothered!

Rule one: find out who it should go to, ‘manager' isn't good enough, there may be a number of them and it may have to go to a particular person first. You don't want your letter to stay at the bottom of the pile with more placed on top

When writing to a man, its always Dear Sir, for a woman it is now customary to put Ms, unless you know they prefer Miss or Mrs.

View a sample

Speculative Letters

The Internet

These must be specific , (at least they must be for your main letters) there is no point sending the same letter to everyone – what does it say to the person reading it about you or the job you are after?

Shotgunning – sending an identical letter to hundreds of companies. Not very effective, an employer can sometimes tell a shotgun letter; however, she may admire the effort and realise you really want a job and actually read it. Your cost is a second class stamp!!

Look for the hook!

  • There are plenty of employment websites you can register on and many of them are free!
  • Some are run by companies that may want money off you. Some are run by trade associations or businesses, and fees may be charged to the company that employs you. You may have to pay a fee to register.
  • If you intend to hand over any money to an internet employment agency, make sure they can really offer you something, you may have to take a deep look at yourself. Do you have any prospects or potential in the field you are interested, or they represent? Remember a company may chose to accept your registration and fee, without offering you a realistic view on their chances of finding you employment you are looking for.
  • Research companies you are interested in; many have sections on their websites entitled ‘vacancies' or ‘working for us'.

on't stop there, look at their competition! Also do they have any new contracts? What about their suppliers, are they hiring at all?

10 Golden Rules for Jobsearch

  1. Treat it like a job; plan your day's job search
  2. Set yourself targets (I.e. today I am going to send 10 letters, phone 2 friends and visit a new retail park opening)
  3. Keep a record of everyone you contact you might want to get back to them (Also the jobcentre can ask for evidence of what you are doing
  4. Keep pens and paper by the phone
  5. check your postal costs, use the wrong stamp and your form won't be delivered
  6. Use your library – they have all the local papers and FREE internet
  7. check your qualifications, do you have to renew anything (I.e. forklift licence) don't lose anything important or useful
  8. check your entitlement with your Jobcentre for any available training
  9. sign up for any training courses available (but make sure it doesn't ruin your eligibility for anything you really do want (I.e. funding may only be available for one level 2 course)
  10. Use the A.S.T.A.R. principle
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