01/08/2011 4:47 pm
I am trying to get into housing development and I know that jobs are really scarce, would it be wise to approach Housing Associations directly about work opportunities, or do I need to wait for an advertised position?
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04/08/2011 5:51 pm
I would say that whereas Housing Associations are always crying out for good development staff, particularly at more senior levels, most associations have clear, open, transparent processes for advertising roles – in specialist housing and development press and on their own websites – and for inviting applicants to demonstrate their suitability for shortlisting against clear person specification criteria. Therefore, the reality is that for these jobs as for any jobs in Housing Associations, any speculative approach is likely to be met with a polite two-liner saying ‘Thank you for your interest in the Association; where we have vacancies these are always advertised in XXXX”.
So it would probably be better for you to focus your energies on regularly scanning the places where advertisements are likely to appear, and perhaps identifying a number of associations that you might be particularly interested in working for and regularly checking the vacancies on their websites.
04/08/2011 7:27 pm
Which is the best way Housing graduates who are not already working enter into the Housing profession?
05/08/2011 11:26 am
As a housing graduate myself, I started off by entering a branch of housing similar to my background in Social Care, I therefore entered via the supported housing route by registering with several employment agencies. You could approach agencies that are willing to match you with jobs within the housing sector that is similar to your background.
The alternative would be to volunteer within a housing association for minimum 3 months to build up your skills and experience in an area of housing that you are interested in. Right now I am volunteering as a Development Officer after completing a Masters in Planning and Development, the experience and skills I am developing is invaluable.
05/08/2011 2:20 pm
My advice is to ask yourself do you want to wait for an opportunity or try and create an opportunity? Whilst jobs in housing development maybe scarce I also think that when jobs do become available demand will be high.
Obviously I don't know your the skill sets and experience you are offering but I would advise a proactive approach and to make contact with associations, developers and contractors....depending of course on what type of role you're is looking for. I'm not sure if you could offer services on a voluntary basis initially to get into an organisation and gain experience, but if you could then I also think that this would be worth stating.
I know that the person may have to steel themselves in getting knock backs or no replies, but I honestly think nothing ventured nothing gained....so go for it.
15/08/2011 1:05 pm
I don't see why you can't do both but simply sending your CV to all the Housing Associations in your locality is unlikely to get you very far. You need to do some home work. After college I worked in a residential home but soon realised that the career opportunities were very limited.
I decided I needed to get a social work qualification if I was to get on. I was fortunate to have a conversation with a friend of a friend at a party who told me about trainee schemes that some social service departments had. I wrote to the head of training at every the large social service departments in the country asking if they ran a social work trainee scheme and if they did how I could apply. I received only one reply but this included details and an application form. I was incredibly lucky with the timing of my enquiry.
I tell you this to offer some encouragement. If you want to improve your chances you need get the names and contact details of people in the HA who might be able to advice you. You are asking who is responsible for housing development in the HA you are interested in? Are there any vacancies at the moment or any likely to come up in the near future? Where do they advertise vacancies when they arise? What skills, experience and qualifications would they be looking for in some one applying for a housing development post?
Ideally what you want to do is make a personal contact find some one will to give you half an hour to talk to you about their job in housing development and then build on that. Perseverance will pay off but be prepared for lots of non responses and be flexible - you may have to get your foot in the door first and do jobs to gain the type of experience that will make you a strong candidate for that vacancy in housing development when it comes up.
17/08/2011 11:33 am
Thank you everyone for your input and advice.
18/08/2011 5:15 pm
Hi Natasha, is it more to do with who you know and less about what you know? Certainly it helps if you have made contact with or
are known, to someone who knows you as a person. But housing organisations are known, rightly, for a proper sense of fair play
(equal opportunities) in recruitment so you will still have to convince an interview panel. Anyone knowing you at that stage will have
to declare an interest.
I would suggest talking to the employment agencies who work for the organisation and make your pitch to them - impress them with your
skills and enthusiasm and your long held desire to work in development, and then be prepared to take a less that perfect job that puts
you within striking distance of the perfect job once you have proved your worth in a different capacity.
Good luck. Mike