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    • eurovision_fan
    • By eurovision_fan 2nd Apr 14, 1:00 AM
    • 81 Posts
    • 45 Thanks
    eurovision_fan
    • #2
    • 2nd Apr 14, 1:00 AM
    Train Travel
    • #2
    • 2nd Apr 14, 1:00 AM
    If you're unemployed and not yet on the "Work Programme" you maybe eligible for a temporary travelcard from the Jobcentre (do some research before hand - google it, as some advisors are woefully ignorant on things that save money...but are very happy to stop your money)

    If you don't qualify for that but are lucky enough to be under 26 and get trains regularly (for social or job searching) buy a Young Persons Railcard. At only £30 (£27 if you find certain codes) it quickly pays itself back on the train savings.

    I've been receiving railcards for the last two years as presents and they have been a lifeline as travel from my town to the nearest local city is £8 return by bus (takes 90 mins) but with my railcard I can travel for £3.15 return (takes 20 mins, but trains are hourly) [the only snag] so that's quite a saving.

    When booking traintravel I would strongly suggest using redspottedhanky.com to buy your tickets because after a little fiddling you can get cashback towards future travel (or anything else)
    1. Sign up to topcashback.co.uk
    2. (use this link if you 'wanna be a pal' - http://www.topcashback.co.uk/)
    3. Search for redspottedhanky for its cashback rate
    4. Buy your tickets on redspottedhanky as normal
    5. Redspottedhanky gives 1p per £1 spent on tickets on its own loyalty scheme - this can be exchanged for gift cards or as payment towards future train travel.
    6. With the cashback earned at Topcashback, ask for you cash back to be converted to TESCO CLUBCARD points (they'll give an extra 5% bonus for doing this, so you get 105 points for every £1 cashback making it worth £1.05 in shopping or upto £4.20 in rewards vouchers)
    7. Exchange your Tesco Clubcard Vouchers for anything in its catalogue - I choose redspottedhanky train vouchers (2x Reward Value) meaning for every 500pts you get £10 Train Voucher
    8. You still earn loyalty points and cashback when paying for tickets with train vouchers...so the cycle never ends.
    9. (Be aware that this cashback cycle is slow to convert (8-10 weeks for Topcashback to make cashback payable but once payable you can exchange for Tesco in a few days, then you need to wait for your next Tesco Clubcard statement, after that it can be just a few days for your train vouchers to be in your account - MAX TIME WAITING: 5 months (Ensure your Tesco e-mail address and Redspottedhanky email address are the same)
    10. Fiddly but worth it.

    Another thing is sign up to @redspottedhanky on Twitter or Facebook for extra ways to earn train vouchers (Fantasy Leagues - Grand Prix, Football and Wimbledon, #RSHGuides (Give your favourite spot to visit in the chosen area to enter a prize draw for a £10 Train Voucher) amongst other competitions)

    -= Also don't forget MSE sometimes get 'blagged' travel codes for Redspottedhanky (usually £10 codes) in October time =-

    So plenty of FREE or discounted train travel available if you know where to look.
    Last edited by eurovision_fan; 02-04-2014 at 1:01 AM. Reason: Spelling mistakes
    Wins so far 2015:
    £15 Beefeater Vouchers
    • gloriouslyhappy
    • By gloriouslyhappy 2nd Apr 14, 9:27 AM
    • 399 Posts
    • 827 Thanks
    gloriouslyhappy
    • #3
    • 2nd Apr 14, 9:27 AM
    • #3
    • 2nd Apr 14, 9:27 AM
    Always carry a briefcase / handbag big enough to take an unfolded CV in a plastic / cardboard wallet so you don't have to hand over a crumpled looking document, and make sure it's big enough for a bottle of water and a sandwich - interviews and travelling to them or waiting around, always take longer than you think and it's much cheaper to bring something from home than having to buy expensive stuff in an unfamiliar area.
    • Teacher2
    • By Teacher2 2nd Apr 14, 10:41 AM
    • 336 Posts
    • 2,594 Thanks
    Teacher2
    • #4
    • 2nd Apr 14, 10:41 AM
    • #4
    • 2nd Apr 14, 10:41 AM
    Charity shops stock formal clothes suitable for an interview. They reflect their neighbourhood, though, so go to a prosperous area to buy suits, dresses, coats and formal shoes. My friend's husband taught chemistry but wouldn't wear a white coat and was always spilling chemicals on his clothes. He just regualrly popped to the local charity shop to stock up on jackets. Same principle for interview clothes.

    Take food and drink with you so you do not have to buy while you are there. But take some money in case you have to buy from the company's canteen - though they should offer free lunch/tea etc.

    Remember to go to the company's office or look online for any claim forms for food or travel which might be on offer. You might need to have claims countersigned so do it while you are at the interview.

    Remember to ask for feedback.
    • Petaldust
    • By Petaldust 2nd Apr 14, 12:42 PM
    • 48 Posts
    • 180 Thanks
    Petaldust
    • #5
    • 2nd Apr 14, 12:42 PM
    • #5
    • 2nd Apr 14, 12:42 PM
    When I was signing on, about the only useful thing my job centre advisor ever suggested was to use dayjob.com for examples of how to layout my CV - particularly the ones with Key Skills highlighted. I'd always thought my CV was pretty good and certainly it had worked for many years, but I certainly got more interview offers once I'd updated it and followed their lead. Coincidence or not? You decide
  • Linnyg
    • #6
    • 2nd Apr 14, 2:43 PM
    • #6
    • 2nd Apr 14, 2:43 PM
    For women in Colchester, Braintree or Witham areas an organisation has been set up by some ladies I know which provides free interview clothes for women on low incomes. An article with more information from the launch of the charity:
    http://www.gazette-news.co.uk/news/11064524.Wow__We_help_women_dress_to_impress_at_vi tal_job_interviews/?ref=var_0
    • gloriouslyhappy
    • By gloriouslyhappy 2nd Apr 14, 5:43 PM
    • 399 Posts
    • 827 Thanks
    gloriouslyhappy
    • #7
    • 2nd Apr 14, 5:43 PM
    • #7
    • 2nd Apr 14, 5:43 PM
    Always carry a briefcase / handbag big enough to...
    Originally posted by gloriouslyhappy
    Shoes - keep your smart interview shoes looking nice, clean and new by keeping them in a bag inside your briefcase and wearing comfy trainers or flats for travelling. Once you've located the right address, you can do a quick change.
    I'm not talking about carrying a huge backpack or anything uncool like that, but you get smart laptop cases with a wide gusset and extra pockets which will hold your shoes and packed lunch. I've seen them at my local market for under a fiver, or even cheaper at a charity shop where people who got one with a company logo at a conference have donated them.
  • Hotel heaps
    • #8
    • 2nd Apr 14, 5:44 PM
    • #8
    • 2nd Apr 14, 5:44 PM
    Don't forget if you are using redspottedhanky, that all your unused points get wiped out at the end of the year. I got caught out over new year because I was saving my points until I got a weeks worth of travel, and then found I had lost all my points on 1st January. I was not pleased!

    This is the first time I have posted, so I hope I have done it right!!
    • Maat
    • By Maat 2nd Apr 14, 6:06 PM
    • 460 Posts
    • 2,933 Thanks
    Maat
    • #9
    • 2nd Apr 14, 6:06 PM
    • #9
    • 2nd Apr 14, 6:06 PM
    Libraries in my area allow you to print off your CV (just in black and white) for free. I don't know if this is a country-wide thing but it could be worth enquiring. You could take your own paper along if you wanted better quality than the standard 80g they provide.

    Libraries also have free internet access and you can normally ask for more time (so long as there aren't people waiting) once your first hour is up.

    If you have a landline at home try to get a package where you get at the very least local daytime calls for free, and preferably 0845 and national rate calls free during the day too. It saves a fortune when you have to call a company's head office and it's not in your area. It also means calls to the DWP will be free on their 0845 numbers.

    You can go to your local jobcentre to make job related phone calls for free and they'll often have newspapers and job related magazines there which can be useful. Libraries, too, have newspapers and job papers which you can browse for free. Why bother paying £2 for Jobs North West (my local one) when the library has it to check for free? 10p to copy a suitable job ad is much better.

    Good luck to anyone job hunting at the moment and do take good care of yourself. Job hunting can be soul destroying so it's important to look after your emotional health. Having fun and doing activities which take your mind off your situation help.
    • eurovision_fan
    • By eurovision_fan 2nd Apr 14, 6:23 PM
    • 81 Posts
    • 45 Thanks
    eurovision_fan
    Don't forget if you are using redspottedhanky, that all your unused points get wiped out at the end of the year. I got caught out over new year because I was saving my points until I got a weeks worth of travel, and then found I had lost all my points on 1st January. I was not pleased!
    Originally posted by Hotel heaps
    This is true but if you remember to convert your redspottedhanky loyalty points to vouchers before 1st Jan, you get to keep the vouchers till the end of the next year.
    You can use multiple vouchers to pay for your travel.

    I feel sorry for "HotelHeaps" on losing their points but this is why I advocate on following @redspottedhanky on twitter/Facebook as they do issue reminders of when points/vouchers expire.
    Wins so far 2015:
    £15 Beefeater Vouchers
    • gloriouslyhappy
    • By gloriouslyhappy 2nd Apr 14, 6:38 PM
    • 399 Posts
    • 827 Thanks
    gloriouslyhappy
    Don't forget if you are using redspottedhanky, that all your unused points get wiped out at the end of the year. I got caught out over new year because I was saving my points until I got a weeks worth of travel, and then found I had lost all my points on 1st January. I was not pleased!

    This is the first time I have posted, so I hope I have done it right!!
    Originally posted by Hotel heaps
    Welcome to the forum!

    As far as your wiped points go, have you tried emailing their customer service to see if their hard hearts will melt enough to reinstate your points, 'just this once'? Might be worth a grovelling email saying how silly and forgetful you are?

    And here's great advice from eurovision_fan:
    remember to convert your redspottedhanky loyalty points to vouchers before 1st Jan, you get to keep the vouchers till the end of the next year.
    You can use multiple vouchers to pay for your travel.

    I feel sorry for "HotelHeaps" on losing their points but this is why I advocate on following @redspottedhanky on twitter/Facebook as they do issue reminders of when points/vouchers expire.
    Originally posted by eurovision_fan
    Good luck!
    • happyinflorida
    • By happyinflorida 2nd Apr 14, 9:19 PM
    • 724 Posts
    • 610 Thanks
    happyinflorida
    This is useful for any place you're ringing but especially if you're unemployed and really got to save the pennies - use this to find out the usual phone number instead of having to ring the expensive 0870 or 0845 etc numbers


    http://www.saynoto0870.com/search.php
    • MorayMintz
    • By MorayMintz 4th Apr 14, 3:55 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 68 Thanks
    MorayMintz
    Jobseekers living in Scotland can get support from Skills Development Scotland via their on-line resources, including a downloadable self help book "Positive Steps to Your Future" available here: skillsdevelopmentscotland. co. uk/our-services/pace-redundancy-support This book includes loads of help with CVs, applications, interviews, etc. Their career advice website myworldofwork . co . uk gives a huge amount of similar free help, as do the other UK government sponsored sites. SDS also broker the Individual Learning Account which is a £200 grant towards the cost of some training courses, including ECDL, First Aid, Elementary Food Hygiene, SIA security and others which will improve jobseekers' employability [check the small print tho' as not everyone is eligible and using an ILA will rule you out for some other sources of funding towards training such as Modern Apprenticeship and the Employability Fund which might be a better option for long term unemployed and / or redundant workers - ask your Jobcentreplus Adviser or contact SDS for advice].
    Echoing Maat, above, I'd suggest checking out local libraries - ours run regular Job Clubs with free printing, free web access and volunteers able to help with drawing up CVs, mock interviews, etc.
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