Guide to JobCentre Plus, Job Hunting and Claiming Benefits

We have help and advice about the wide range of services available from your local JobCentre Plus as well as detailed information about claiming unemployment and incapacity benefits in the UK. If you find the official JobCentre Plus website at DirectGov or the new website at Gov.uk confusing then Job Centre Guide is for you. We're an independent and impartial guide to government services available through the JobCentre Plus. We also have some great job searching and application tips.

Looking for Work?

There are almost as many ways to look for work as there are career options available to people. Where you look largely depends of the kind of employment you are looking for. Traditional ways of finding job vacancies such as looking in newspapers and online job boards are the most popular methods, but other options such as volunteering or the Work Trial scheme also offer unique benefits.

Claiming Benefits in the UK

UK residents are able to claim from a number of benefits available to support people who find themselves in the unfortunate position of being out of work or unable to work because of illness, injury or disability. Some benefits are also available to people working in lower paid jobs or who have dependents who need extra support. The benefits available to an individual depend on their specific circumstances and are often means tested. Knowing what benefits you may qualify for is important so that you do not miss out on the help you may be entitled to.

Applying for a Job

Employers receive many applications for each job vacancy and with many cover letters and CVs to read through they are often looking for the slightest reason to deny an application to help narrow down their shortlist. Therefore, good preparation is important when applying for a job. There are multiple opportunities to impress your prospective employer during the application process, but also many opportunities to hamper your application through poor written communication or by creating a bad impression at the interview.

Higher Education

Higher education is a necessity for many career paths, with specific qualifications being a requirement for many professions. For those people who do not have a specific career in mind, gaining a degree or other qualification is still very useful when applying for job vacancies as it's a factor that employers use to distinguish between candidates. Traditionally, higher-education is something that followed on directly from school or college, but these days more and more mature students are returning to higher education to help progress their chosen career or to add value to their CV in a difficult jobs market.