With continual changes to the benefit system, you may find yourself in a situation that requires you to look for work. If you’re claiming Job Seekers Allowance, you will need to show that you are actively seeking work to qualify.
If you’ve been out of work for a long period of time, you may be feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of looking for a job. You may be lacking in qualifications and up-to-date skills, such as basic IT skills. This is where Jobcentre Plus can help and work with you and ensure you are placed in a work environment that will suit you.
JobCentre Plus is an excellent resource and should be used as much as possible if you are seeking employment. Make sure that you are going there regularly, signing in to claim your benefits and constantly making use of all the schemes the office provides to help you get into a good job that you will enjoy as quickly as possible.
Their advisers will provide information on jobs in your area, any apprentice schemes available to you and any training opportunities which may suit your career plans. Additionally, their Universal Jobmatch service will help you search for new positions, and make your CV visible to employers.
What is Universal Jobmatch?
Universal Jobmatch is a free service that enables you to search for and apply for jobs online.
Although you don’t need to register with Universal Jobmatch to start job searching, if you are registered you can do a lot more, such as:
– Create a ‘Profile’. This will help match you to job opportunities.
– Build or upload up to five versions of your CV. Why do – I need more than one version of my CV?
– Create and save up to five cover letters.
– Create a searchable CV that can allow employers to match your skill-set against their jobs and invite you to apply.
– Create and save job searches. You can request daily or weekly email updates to alert you to new jobs that match your saved job searches
– Keep a record of your job search and application activity in one place. If you are claiming Jobseekers Allowance, this will make it easier to discuss your job search activity with your adviser
If you are claiming work related benefits, you can give your DWP Adviser/Work Coach access to your account. This will help make your job search more successful and can show you are complying with your work search requirements.
Note: To register for your Universal Jobmatch account you will need to register with Government Gateway first.
If you don’t have access to a computer or the Internet, your local Jobcentre Plus or Library have ones available for use.
If you are struggling to find work, volunteering, training and Job Fairs can all be beneficial and can count towards your job search requirements (speak to you work coach if unsure).
If you’ve been out of work for a while, lacking in confidence or not sure what industry you want to work in, volunteering can be a good start. Volunteering can be a route to employment, a way to enhance a CV and gain a reference.
If you are currently receiving Job Seekers Allowance, volunteering can count towards up to 50% of the time you are expected to be looking for a job.
For the rules on volunteering and claiming benefits, read Volunteering and Benefits.
The Foundation team work with various providers across Kent to offer guidance on finding employment and further training. To find out what training is currently available through our providers go to: www.tchg.org.uk/training
For further advice on what is available in your area contact Sara Hutchinson: email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you need support Access All Areas (Tunbridge Wells) and the Job Club (Dover) run weekly drop-in sessions offering help with CV writing as well as interview tips and other useful skills for job hunting.
Job fairs are becoming increasingly popular and are a great way for candidates to meet multiple employers under one roof with current job vacancies. Job seekers can pick up application forms or even be interviewed at the events. So it is important to go prepared, dress smartly and take your c.v. Many well known employers take part in the JobCentre Plus job fairs.