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A guide to job hunting in Oxford

Kate Allen, Managing Director, Allen Associates

Oxford is a fantastic place to live and work. I certainly speak from experience, after having enjoyed more than 20 successful years in business as Managing Director at Allen Associates. It’s a city that is constantly evolving, sometimes in surprising ways, and it recently came out top in a survey measuring populations with the most progressive mindsets.

According to the survey, Oxford is green-minded, it had a strong voter turnout, and a diverse range of people in leadership positions. For job hunters, this has many positives. Whatever your profession, there are many cutting-edge companies offering exciting opportunities for training and progression – from scientific and technical work to employment in publishing, education and the public sector.

Of course, wherever you look for a job, you’ll need to do your research. My best advice is to start networking, to gain an understanding of the employment market, as well as the types of companies you could work for. Choose a group that’s suitable for you. There are many options available from Oxfordshire Women’s Forum to The Oxford Business Network. And if you’re a recent graduate, don’t forget to tap into your university alumni network to connect with others, view job adverts and ask for advice.

In Oxford, there are many networking events to attend – it’s one of the advantages of being in a busy university city. So, look at websites like Eventbrite and get some dates in your diary, like the Oxford Careers Fair. Once you’ve got your foot in the door, listen out for other opportunities. Many businesses run their own events, often advertised by word of mouth.

At Allen Associates, we hold regular meetups for Clients and Candidates, offering a chance to make a professional connection in a relaxed, informal environment.

When you are job hunting, meeting people in person can make all the difference. Not only are people more likely to remember you, you’ll gain inside knowledge into the types of applicants companies are looking for. Jobhunting can be tough, it’s likely that you’ll face a few rejections before receiving a successful offer and speaking to others in your profession can be highly motivating. If you’re feeling the stress of staring at a computer screen, why not find a different environment to sit and fill in applications?

Thanks to Oxford’s numerous coffee shops, you won’t struggle to find an office away from home. An easy choice is Oxfordshire County Library, or for cafes with WiFi, try The Jam Factory, Society Café or the Art Café. Or there’s the Ashmolean, the Museum of Natural History, and Modern Art Oxford – all of which have onsite cafes if you want to work within a setting that will inspire you to write a stand-out covering letter and CV.

When it comes to finding jobs, one of the best places to look is online. Sign up for job alerts and, once you’ve identified the companies you want to work for, take time to check their websites regularly. Many of the city’s large Employers will place regularly advertisements this way, including Oxford University, Oxford Brookes University, Begbroke Science Park, Oxford Science Park, Milton Park, as well as the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus. Use LinkedIn and Twitter to connect with professionals, as well as hashtags such as #OxfordJobs which are regularly used by companies seeking fresh new talent.

Above all, don’t forget to look at local recruitment companies. If you’re new to the city and unsure where to start, you don’t have to go it alone. Our expert consultants partner with hundreds of exciting, leading Employers to match you with the right opportunities according to your skills, experience and career plans.

If you’re still building up your network, why not take advantage of ours? We’ll get to know you personally, conducting face to face interviews to make sure that we’re recommending the right match, and that we have every base covered. When you use Allen Associates you won’t have to sift through hundreds of job adverts, we can pick out the most relevant ones for you.

Over the last 20 years, we have grown as a business to become one of the leading independent Recruitment agencies in Oxfordshire, and in 2018 have opened our first London office, to service Clients and Candidates in the capital.

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