If your new year's resolution is to get your dream job, Robert Smith of recruitment consultant Hays Montrose has the advice you need.
How can I find a new job?

The obvious answer is to reply to ads in the trade press, and local and national newspapers. You can also try surfing the net, recruitment consultants and networking. Another option is to apply for contract work, as short-term jobs often turn into permanent ones.

Should I stick to one method?

No. The key to successful job hunting is to explore as many avenues as possible. Send your cv to a recruitment consultant, get access to the net (if you don't have a computer, local libraries and cyber cafés are a good bet), subscribe to the trade press, read your local papers, attend exhibitions and ask your friends, contacts and family for leads.

Why should I bother with the Internet?

You can access recruitment consultants' web sites, job-search databases and on-line networking clubs. Recruitment consultants' sites often have databases where you can post your cv. The idea is that recruiters can then log on and contact you if they are interested. Also, many contractors and consultants have their own home pages which may advertise vacancies.

Should I apply for jobs by e-mailing my cv? Yes, especially if a job advert lists an e-mail address. E-mailing is quicker than posting and very easy. One word of advice, though: do a test run by sending it to a friend because text formats and layouts have a tendency to wobble in cyberspace. Keep your cv simple, avoiding fancy fonts and graphics.

What about networking?

Ask friends and contacts if they know of any job opportunities that would interest you. They can tell their contacts to spread the word and you instantly have a network of people looking out for positions. This works even if people don't know you personally – their company may offer employee bonuses if a tip-off leads to an appointment.

If you are trying to get into a new area, networking can help you gather information for applications. Keep the names, numbers and addresses of everyone you deal with – you never know when you might need them again.

What is on-line networking?

On-line networking clubs are usually called newsgroups and work like a business version of chat forums. People respond to questions posted on an Internet noticeboard and this leads to group or one-to-one conversations.

Most newsgroups are set up in the United States, but you'll find that professionals from all over the world access them. On a recent visit to one newsgroup, alt.construction, I found one job – in the USA – advertised and one British project manager job hunting.

How can I access newsgroups?

Use a search engine such as Yahoo or AltaVista. If you type in "construction + usenet" on Yahoo or "concrete home page" for an AltaVista search, you should find a list of newsgroups (addresses, left). You can also type in the newsgroup address preceded by www.

And if I don't succeed?

Keep trying. Try different avenues and new types of company. Construction is a buoyant industry – something will come up.

Addresses for job-hunters

Web sites www.hays-montrose.com www.jobsearch.co.uk (recruitment database) www.monster.com (recruitment database) Newsgroups www.c-zone.com/newsgroups.html lists the following newsgroups alt.construction alt.building.jobs alt.architecture sci.engr. sci.engr.civil sci.engr.surveying Other contacts Contact the Federation of Recruitment Consultants on 0800-320588. Most regional papers carry job sections on a Thursday. The Daily Telegraph advertises management posts on Thursdays.