How do I sign on at the JCP

The process starts with a phone call (between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday), rather than walking into your local job centre. The call can take up to 40 minutes. Have details of your savings, rent and national insurance number ready. It's also possible to claim online using the Claim online – Jobseeker's Allowance service.

How do I sign on at the Jobcentre?

You'll then be asked to attend a new jobseeker interview. This is often the most daunting part of the process, but attending is crucial for claiming benefits and might even lead to you finding a job. It's also important to try and establish a good relationship with your advisor as you'll probably see the same person regularly. "Think about how you come across to your advisor," advises 19-year-old Fizza Sachedina, who was on income support while at college. "Be aware of your persona and your temper."