What careers information can you trust – is Google your friend?

The truth is out there, but where should you look for information and how can you be sure it’s accurate?

Looking for a job vacancy with a specific company?

Fairly obviously you would start with the company website. But what if what you are looking for isn’t there?

If they simply don’t have a jobs website – they may use third parties to advertise their jobs. Why not ring them and ask where they advertise vacancies.

Looking for a job vacancy using job websites?

There are lots of different job websites so you need to work out which one is best for you to use. Your CareersLink account – is a good place to start.

  • The vacancies are vetted as far as we are able to make sure they are suitable and are real vacancies not scams.
  • Some vacancies are only advertised with us, so the only people viewing them are University of Manchester students & graduates. Less competition – great.

Unfortunately not every organisation out there will think of advertising with us so where to try next…?

What about generic job sites like Monster, Gum Tree and sites where you upload your CV? They certainly offer a wide variety of jobs. BUT the jobs may not be aimed at students or graduates and you will need to investigate carefully their policies on advertising.

What about recruitment agencies?
In some sectors they are used heavily to scout for talent and advertise specific jobs. Try to find one that is a good match for the job or sector you want to work in.  Check to see who is advertising the most relevant jobs and try them first.

What if I’m just looking for some careers information?

If it’s information relating to a specific job role or career area

  • Use our Which Career pages – we evaluate many information sources before linking to them so that you get the most relevant and easy to use sites. (though I’ll admit some sectors are pretty poor!)
  • We also like Prospects website https://www.prospects.ac.uk & Target Jobs websites https://targetjobs.co.uk/ They cover a good range of graduate entry level roles and have careers information as well as vacancies.
  • Books and journals, yes you know those papery things! Turns out they can be pretty good for research and we have quite a few here for you to nose through.

Ask people for advice

  • Careers staff – we will tell you how it is and we are not affiliated to any company so our advice is unbiased. Our staff are updated regularly and are often involved in research, so they know what they are talking about.
  • Talk to professionals or employers at fairs or networking events. They can give you their opinion and the benefit of their experience. However, they cannot be experts in everything.
  • Friends and family can be a great source of information. They want the best for you but that can mean they filter what they tell you. If Auntie Beryl worked in HR 20 years ago her information may not be the most up to date or accurate!

Scouting around for a piece of information and not sure where to look?

Well Google or other search engines can be a good place to start BUT, and it’s a big BUT, you need to be aware of how they work and evaluate the information sources carefully.

The top 3 things on a search results screen may have little to do with what you actually looked for, there are other things in play here like advertising.

  • Look at the summary and the link before clicking through – is it even a site in the country you would expect?
  • Is the site one where you would expect them to know what they are talking about?
  • Can you verify who owns the site and when the information was written?
  • What might their bias be?

Not sure where to start – you can always ask us

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