Somebody once said that finding work is a full time job. However true that is for you, one way you can shorten your job hunt is to do a robust inventory of your skills and experience. Putting your CV together can help with this. And some of the organisations below can help you with that.
But it's also important not to dismiss some of the experiences you've had that you might not necessarily think to include on your CV, such as being an unpaid carer, for example. Some of the skills and insights you've gained doing things you never got paid for or have never been appreciated much for can be invaluable to an employer.
If you want to make more sense of your background and target work that plays more to your strengths and experience, several of the services below can help.
The National Careers Service
The National Careers Service provides information, advice and guidance to help you make decisions on learning, training and work opportunities. The service offers confidential and impartial advice and is supported by qualified careers advisers.
Call 0800 100 900 to talk to qualified guidance practitioners giving careers support to young people and adults.
Information from Essex County Council
As well as listing vacancies at the council, the local authority offers a range of services for local residents:
Essex County Council's Employability and Skills Intervention Team (ESIT)
Essex County Council's ESIT supports young people who are between 16 - 18 and unemployed. ESIT is available to discuss your options including employment, education or training.
To contact the team, call 0800 707 6384 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Apprenticeships are available to young people over the age of 16 as well as adults. An Apprenticeship is a great way to gain experience on the job, while also earning.
Check out Essex County Council Apprenticeship Programmes to find out what's available locally for careers in Science, Engineering, Technology and Mathematics, Digital Media, IT and Health and Social Care.
Adult Community Learning
Essex's Adult Community Learning colleges across Essex offer a range of courses and support into Employment and Learning.
Support from your local library
Essex Libraries offer many services to help you look for a job, including free computer access, online courses, work clubs, newspapers, magazines and books to help you.
Whenever you're looking for work, your local Jobcentre Plus is a good place to start.
Jobcentre Plus is part of the Department for Work and Pensions. Staff are trained to help you find the right kind of employment - full-time or part-time, temporary or permanent.
They'll be able to help you to find training to develop your work-related skills, give you advice on writing a CV and on applying for jobs.
They also offer people of working age the help and support they're entitled to if they can't work and will advise on what benefits might be available.
Support for people with disabilities
Disability Employment Advisers based at Jobcentre Plus provide specialist support on employment issues affecting people with disabilities and carers.
These personal advisers will give you details of suitable vacancies and explain fully the range of programmes and initiatives available to help you. They can support you to draw up an action plan to help you into work or help you keep your existing job. And they can carry out an employment assessment to find jobs that match your experience and skills.
If you have a disability which is making it harder for you to get a job or stay in work, you may be eligible to join a Work Choice or Access to Work scheme through your local Jobcentre Plus. Your adviser will be able to tell you which schemes are right for you.
Other supporting organisations
The Papworth Trust offers a range of services and support including access into work and training employment and volunteering opportunities.
ecdp (formerly Essex Coalition for Disabled People) is an organisation that provides a wide range of practical support services, alongside information, advice and guidance services. They also play a key role in influencing tomorrow's agenda to effect real social change that enhances the everyday lives of disabled people.
Disabled Go is committed to help people with disabilities identify employment opportunities with Equal Opportunities employers.
Even Break matches employers who value diversity with talented disabled applicants.
ECL (formerly Essex Cares) offer work based training opportunities across Essex, providing time limited work experience within a fully functioning business. Vocational work based training enables adults with learning disabilities to gain knowledge, skills and confidence enhancing their opportunities for employment in the future.
Support for Veterans
The Royal British Legion offers support into employment or learning to previous or existing Armed Forces staff and their families.
Support for Social Housing tenants
Essex County Council does not manage any housing. If you're a working-age adult in social housing and would like employment advice, please contact your district, borough or city council, or speak to your social worker if you have one.
Alternatively, some housing associations will also provide support into employment for their tenants.
Disability Rights UK provide various work-related factsheets with advice on finding a job, and on claiming the right benefits if you're out of work or on a low income.
EmployAbility is an organisation supporting students and graduates with all disabilities, including dyslexia or long-term health conditions, into employment.
The Disability Law Service is a professional organisation run by disabled people that offers support and advice on employment rights and other legal issues for people with disabilities. It aims to demystify the legal system by giving concise and timely legal advice and information.
The Accessible Britain Challenge is a government-led scheme that encourages communities to be inclusive and accessible. That means working with disabled people to remove the barriers that stop them participating fully in their community.
The UK's 12.2 million disabled people make a positive contribution to employment and local economies. The Accessible Britain Challenge wants to share great examples of this so others can learn from them.
But whether or not you have a disability you should check out the website to find out more.
Action on Hearing Loss offers advice on accessing work.
Age UK offer information and advice on looking for work in later life.