Finding vacancies and job search resources
Investigating job leads is a crucial skill in looking for employment. In order to be successful at finding a range of vacancies you will need to use a variety of methods.
Internet job boards
Job boards like Total Jobs, Guardian Jobs and Jobs Go Public are some of the best ways to easily find job vacancies. Most printed job opportunities appear online, alongside many more that are only available via job boards. Most websites allow you to upload a copy of your CV and covering letter. This makes applying for vacancies very easy, but you should remember to tailor your CV and covering letter to each vacancy in order to maximise your chances of getting an interview.
A full list of internet job boards can be found in the factsheet below.
Approaching employers directly
If you can identify a specific employer that you would like to work for then you should approach them directly as only a very small proportion of jobs are advertised on job boards. For example, if you wanted to work for RNIB then it would be far better to check the jobs section of RNIB's website than to check online job boards or newspaper adverts.
Newspapers offer a good range of job vacancies, especially at a local level. It may not be possible for you to access printed newspaper vacancies, either through a vision aid or the support of a friend or relative. If this is the case then you should seek advice from your local Jobcentre Plus or the employment agencies in your local area.
Agencies are intermediary services that match jobseekers to vacancies. Once registered with an agency they will match your skills and experience to vacancies that may be appropriate for you. For example, people will use an agency to find temporary administration work.
Trade publications and websites
If you are interested in a career in a specific sector of employment then trade publications and websites can be an excellent resource. For example, if you are interested in pursuing a career in marketing there are numerous publications and websites that specifically list marketing vacancies.
Careers fairs are an excellent way of seeing lots of employers in one day. Careers fairs provide information about job vacancies and how companies plan to recruit for those vacancies.
Jobcentre Plus Telephone Jobsearch
Jobseeker Direct is a phone service operated by Jobcentre Plus. It aims to keep you in touch with the latest job vacancies. This service is available to anyone who is looking for work, and the lines are open weekdays 8.00am - 6.00pm, and Saturdays 9.00am - 1.00pm. All calls are charged at local rates. Telephone 0845 606 0234 for details. Alternatively, you can use the job search on the GOV.UK website.
Disability friendly employers
There is no certain way to identify specific employers as disability friendly or not. However, if this is an important part of focusing your job search then there are a couple of methods you can use.
The disability symbol is made up of two ticks and the words 'positive about disabled people'. The symbol is displayed on job adverts and application forms. If an employer uses this symbol, it means they are positive about employing disabled people and will be keen to know about your abilities. The symbol is awarded by Jobcentre Plus to employers in England, Scotland and Wales who have made commitments to employ, keep and develop the abilities of disabled staff.
The five commitments
Employers who use the disability symbol make five commitments regarding recruitment, training, retention, consultation and disability awareness.
These commitments are:
- to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for a job vacancy and to consider them on their abilities
- to discuss with disabled employees, at any time but at least once a year, what both parties can do to make sure disabled employees can develop and use their abilities
- to make every effort when employees become disabled to make sure they stay in employment
- to take action to ensure that all employees develop the appropriate level of disability awareness needed to make these commitments work
- to review these commitments each year and assess what has been achieved, plan ways to improve on them and let employees and Jobcentre Plus know about progress and future plans.
Ask at your local Jobcentre for information about employers in your area who have been awarded the disability symbol.
Employers' Forum on Disability
The Employers' Forum is a network of employers interested in developing policies on disability in the workplace. There are around 400 members of the forum, representing 20 per cent of the UK's workforce.
A list of Employer's Forum members can be found at The Employers' Forum website.
Job seeking resources
This section contains a list of services, organisations and resources that may be able to help you with your job search. All the organisations listed offer employment-related services, but some also offer additional services that may be useful. Organisations are grouped into broad categories and then listed alphabetically for your convenience.
The services listed on this page are by no means comprehensive. For a fuller list please read the following factsheet.
RNIB and Action for Blind People
RNIB Helpline is the gateway to a whole range of services that can help with your job search, including:
- referral to an employment specialist
- welfare Rights - advice about your entitlements to benefits and concessions
- work experience placements and job tasters
- jobs skills training - including CV workshops and interview techniques
- workshops in confidence building and assertiveness training
- specialist training and rehabilitation including IT
- one to one mentoring
- job search support
- support in setting up your own business
- Emotional Support Telephone Service - confidential support for people with emotional difficulties due to sight loss.
Our UK wide network of employment specialists and advisers can help you with your job search. The exact nature of this support differs from region to region, so you should contact the RNIB Helpline and get a referral to an employment specialist to see what services are available in your area.
Other employment services
The Association of Blind and Partially Sighted Teachers and Students (ABAPSTAS)
Telephone: 0117 966 4839
ABAPSTAS was founded in 1970 by a small number of visually impaired people with the primary aim of supporting VI students, teachers and lecturers. Since then, ABAPSTAS has grown into a national self-help and campaigning organisation with a strong voice. Their main focus is still on education and employment but members now include people who have moved into careers other than teaching.
Association of Visually Impaired Office Staff (AVIOS)
Telephone: 020 8657 3563
AVIOS is a self-help organisation of blind and partially sighted people employed, training or having experience in office-related occupations. It promotes the employment of blind a partially sighted people in office environments. AVIOS has an email discussion group for members to ask for and obtain help and advice.
Employers' Forum on Disability
Telephone: 020 7403 3020
Textphone: 020 7403 0040
Employers' Forum on Disability website
EFD is a national network of employers who wish to develop their policies and understanding on employing people with disabilities. The forum does not operate a placement service for disabled job seekers but you can obtain a list of its members from their website.
Telephone: Call directory enquiries for details of your local office
Jobcentre Plus website
Telephone (jobseekers): 0845 601 5878
Remploy is the UK's largest provider of jobs for disabled people. Remploy's recruitment services are designed to provide employment opportunities to disabled people across all sectors of business and industry.
Society of Visually Impaired Lawyers (SOVIL)
Other useful services
British Computer Association of the Blind
Telephone: 0845 430 8627
British Computer Association of the Blind website
The British Computer Association of the Blind (BCAB) is a lively community of blind and partially sighted computer users. They offer training, discussion, networking and help to all their members. Established in 1969 they are the oldest computer association for blind and partially sighted people in the world. Membership includes people of all skill levels, interests and abilities.
Telephone: Call directory enquiries for details of your local office.
Social services offer help and assistance with daily living support. This can include rehabilitation and mobility training.
Telephone: 01777 705299
Visionary is the new name of the National Association of Local Societies for Visually Impaired People (NALSVI). Visionary believes that local organisations are best placed to offer support - providing, as they do, information, advice and practical help around living with sight loss. Local societies offer a diverse range of services that can include employment support, training and emotional support. The RNIB helpline (0303 123 9999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org) can put you in touch with your local society, who will be able to offer practical support via the range of services on offer in your area.
The world's first internet recruitment service. The site works well with Jaws and other screen readers.
Guardian Jobs website
Allows you to browse through a large range of vacancies from across all sectors and professions, search by a number of categories, or register for regular email alerts on relevant vacancies to you.
Jobs Go Public website
Job listing website for public sector vacancies, including charities and local government.
Jobs in Charities website
Details of the latest vacancies in the voluntary sector.
Job Search toolkit
In 2007 RNIB, as part of the Visage project, launched 'Job Search: The Real Story'. The publication was a toolkit for blind and partially sighted jobseekers, facilitators and employers.
The toolkit aims to enable blind and partially sighted job seekers to develop a variety of skills to help them get into work. The toolkit specifically addresses the needs of blind and partially sighted people. Issues such as confidence, body language and visual presentation are all covered in an appropriate and sensitive manner.
The toolkit is made up of five modules:
- Module one: Who am I?
- Module two: Making yourself more marketable
- Module three: Cracking the interview code
- Module four: Facts at your fingertips
- Module five: Overcoming obstacles.
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