1. Follow EVERY single teeny tiny 'lead'.
What do I mean by that? Well what inspired me to write this is I missed most of a good friends fight at Krav Maga (higher belts do a 2 minute free fight for their grading) to get the email address of someone. He offered to pass my cv on. It probably won't come to anything as he's in a different field & I already know someone at that company. But never ever assume, follow just in case.
When we first moved to Newbury in 2003 I literally took email addresses on the bus and sent my cv.
2. There's no limit to how many agencies you can register at.
I saw an agency on the back of a bus saying 'we want you'. I didn't know until I looked it up but anything like that should immediately spark your interest. You shouldn't have to pay an agency. As a recruitment agency companies give them jobs to source and they have to put you forward for those jobs. When they fill the job they are then paid commission from that new person's wage, by the company. During this job hunt I have had a company make suggestions on how to improve my cv and then email me daily with their package offers. I don't want them.
3. When times get tough, try the unusual.
I have never actually got a job this way BUT I have had an interview. When I get really desperate and fed up, I print a lot of cv's off and do what I call 'cold calling cv drop'. I either drive to a business park I'd like to work at or I find somewhere with lots of businesses and I go in, give my CV and say what I'm looking for. I've literally just done something similar here - I heard of a job that would have been ideal at a company and said company is next door to where I was. I heard through an agency so it's very likely the position has already been filled but I still went in and handed in my CV and I've just rung and followed through to emailing their HR department. It may well not come to anything but it might and if you try hard for these things something comes up.
Don't get disheartened. My mum and a new friend have both said that you have to make a full time job out of looking for a full time job. You have to be incredibly flexible. I started looking last Monday. By Tuesday I was thoroughly fed up but had applied for a job. Wednesday I registered at agency number 1 in person and was put forward for 2 jobs. Friday at 5pm I got an interview for this week. And if the job I've just interviewed for doesn't come to fruition, I've applied for 2 other positions and a speculative option. And to think my husband said it couldn't be done! ;)
P.S. Writing this half a week later: I got a job offer! The first interview I had was a temporary job that I was offered! I am sure there's exceptional circumstances to this situation - they needed someone quickly and being temporary if I'm rubbish they can just end my contract but my point is that it IS doable! In 2 weeks I found something... Oh and another exception: Luxembourg has a low unemployment rate so I'm sure given that I was determined to find something plus this fact means it was easier. Butttt as a friend said, you have to be proactive and persistent...