Nearly one in two of the UK’s workforce is planning to start job hunting by the end of the year, according to a recent survey conducted by Aon Consulting. Based on figures from the Office of National Statistics, this means that approximately 13.7 million people will be looking for a new job in the run up to Christmas.

By any measure, competition for jobs remains exceptionally high and as a consequence, it is not uncommon for a single job posting to attract hundreds of applications. Earlier this summer, the Association of Graduate Recruiters polled over 200 companies including Cadbury, Marks & Spencer, JP Morgan and Vodafone and warned graduates of the tough climate they face.

They found that the average number of applications per vacancy has risen to almost 70 this year, the highest figure ever recorded, whilst the number of available positions is predicted to fall by nearly 7%. In particular, manufacturers of fast-moving consumer goods such as food, confectionery and cosmetics have been receiving around 205 applications for each job.

Deluged by paper applications, many employers and recruiters have turned to online recruitment over the last few years to maximise efficiency. A survey from Work Smart reveals that almost 60% of UK employers advertise vacancies on the Internet. In addition, 13% of vacancies advertised through the UK’s largest database, JobCentre Plus, each year accept only electronic applications. Applying for jobs online can be laborious and time consuming. Here are some top tips and tools you can use to make finding and applying for a job online much less of a tedious task:

@TwitjobsUK – A recruitment service from Twitter which posts the latest vacancies and links to online application web sites. Jobs are posted every hour on the news feed, or you can receive text updates on job vacancies by texting ‘follow TwitjobsUK’ to 86444. It even allows users to link their Skype IDs to their Twitter accounts: simply send a tweet to the recruiter to notify that you’ve applied for a position and the recruiter can choose to instantly conduct a video interview. Twitter claims that a job offer can be tweeted and a video interview commenced in under a minute, making it the “world’s fastest job search.”

RSS Feeds – An RSS job feed can make your job hunting easier by regularly sending you targeted employment listings. The feeds pick up new job listings that meet your criteria, can be unsubscribed at any time, are free to use and also mean that you don’t have to give out your email address. Many of the top job sites, including, and offer RSS feeds, however they can differ in implementation and information. Go to for detailed instructions on how to establish feeds for the most popular job sites.

LinkedIn – This social network site enables you to connect with professionals in your field of interest and get jobs through connections. Many job opportunities may never get published as recruiters tend to look through their network when trying to fill a position to fish out suitable candidates. Make sure your profile is up-to-date and as thorough as possible and you may well be on the receiving end of a job opportunity. The site also has a comprehensive Job section where you can search for the latest vacancies and save your searches. Sign up at – apps can also be downloaded for iPhone, Blackberry and Palm.

JobCentreplus app – This app from the UK’s largest database (with over 10,000 new vacancies every day) makes it easier to find a job in your area whilst on the go. It allows you to select key locations where you’re looking for work and see exactly where the vacancies are on Google maps. It has data for England, Wales and Scotland and is free to download for those with iPhone, an iPod touch or Google Android phone.

JobCare CV Creator – Sending off your CV or Resumé may often be the first step for applying for jobs. This free service from JobCare has three easy steps to create a perfect CV. Simply fill out your details on the online form, add your employment history and then preview the CV and email yourself a copy. Visit Interview Simulator – During an interview the employer is likely to ask you a range of questions to determine your strengths and weaknesses. Many of the questions asked will be similar for most interviews and it certainly helps to have an answer prepared in advance. This handy tool will generate likely questions at random, allowing you to think about how you might answer it in an interview situation. With over a hundred questions in its database, the Interview Simulator will ensure that you cover all your bases.

Searching and applying for a job can be a complex and frustrating process, but by using some of the tools and tips mentioned above, you can alleviate the pain and make it easier to land yourself the perfect job.