The Gumtree Blog

John Lees, author of How To Get A Job You’ll Love, writes:

Monday 11 October 2010, by

John Lees crop

Finding a job in a recession may feel like an uphill struggle.  Finding something you enjoy may seem even tougher.  Worryingly, people are making all the same job search mistakes that they made during a buoyant economy – but now it matters, because a low-powered job search can set you back months.  People are still getting interesting jobs in a recession, so how can you do it? has commissioned some exciting new research amongst both job changers and HR specialists.  The survey reveals a great deal of insecurity, but also a real willingness to change.  When asked “what would you do if you lost your job this year?” about half said they would look to change career or retrain for something different, most of them because they are looking for more rewarding or interesting work.


You may get better results than you expect if you learn to do two things: understand more about yourself, and learn how to make a more effective job search. In light of the research findings, which broadly found that many jobseekers are letting themselves down in these areas, asked me to work with them to create a set of simple guides that will help people looking for work on the site. 


Online websites like are playing an increasingly important role in the hunt for work, so it’s great that we can work together to provide useful advice and information to help people in the search for their next job. 


Here’s how you begin.  Phase 1 – Catalogue your strengths.  Work with a good friend to review your last 2-3 years of work; record your skills, knowledge and good examples of times when you showed the right attitude.  Remind yourself what you’re good at, and look for evidence of commitment, enthusiasm, and ways that you have met the needs of employers.


Phase 2 is about looking out there.  Make the most of agencies, job ads and websites, (and take advantage of the great openings flagged up on Gumtree), but don’t rely on advertised positions.  Find employers that interest you and learn more about them.  Talk to real people in real jobs.  Make direct approaches – send in a strong CV, but find as many opportunities to (1) talk to people doing interesting work and (2) tell everyone you know what you are looking for (see Stand Out From Other Candidates for tips on your ‘message’).


Take time to discover what makes you tick, and what you’re good at. 


Check out these new tips pages for further information:


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