Looking for a job in a new country can be seriously daunting, am I right? You’re navigating a whole new job market with different norms and expectations. Plus you likely don’t have much of a professional network yet in your new home. It’s enough to make anyone feel overwhelmed!
But here’s the good news – there are definitely ways to speed up the process of landing a new gig in the UK. With the right strategy, you can score the perfect job match faster than you probably expect.
In this post, I’ll share the inside scoop on shortcuts, tips and tricks for getting hired quickly as a newbie to the UK job market. I’ve helped tons of newcomers find great roles in Britain, so trust me, this advice works!
Whether you just arrived in the UK, or are still back home preparing for your big move, you’ll learn some pro-level job hunting strategies. I’ll walk through everything from spiffing up your CV, to networking like a pro, to totally nailing your interviews.
This is your blueprint for streamlining your job search and scoring the perfect opportunity lickety-split. Ready to land your dream UK job ASAP? Let’s do this!
Update Your CV:
The first step is to update your CV to appeal to UK employers. Make sure your CV is tailored for jobs you want to apply for and highlights relevant skills and experience. Use a clear structure with sections for work experience, education, and skills. Check for spelling and grammar errors. Also include a cover letter introducing yourself and why you’re a great fit for the role.
Search Online Job Boards:
Once your CV is spruced up, start scouring online job boards like Indeed, TotalJobs, and LinkedIn. Set up alerts and filters for roles you’re interested in and locations you want to work. Check these sites daily and apply to any good fits quickly. The faster you can get your application in, the better your chances since openings fill up fast.
Tap into Your Network:
Don’t just rely on job boards for openings. Reach out to your network and let them know you’re seeking work in the UK. Contact friends, former colleagues, clients, college alumni, and professional organizations. Ask if they know of any opportunities or can make introductions. People are often happy to help and word-of-mouth can get your CV directly into the hands of a hiring manager.
Connect with Recruiters and Headhunters
In addition to networking, connect with recruiting agencies and headhunters in your industry. Register with top firms and send them your updated CV. Stay in regular contact to find out about new roles that are a fit. Recruiters are constantly sourcing for good candidates, so you want to stay on their radar. Getting on the roster of a great recruiter can fast track you to job interviews.
Look for Temporary or Contract Roles:
One shortcut to a full-time job is taking on temporary or contract assignments in the UK. Short-term gigs allow you to get your foot in the door at companies and prove yourself on the job. Impress hiring managers with your work ethic and skills and you’ll likely get first dibs when a permanent role opens up. Taking on temp work can help pay the bills in the meantime.
Expand Your Job Search
Don’t limit yourself to just your chosen field or dream role, especially when job hunting in an unfamiliar market. Keep an open mind and apply for similar positions that utilize your top skills. For instance, if you want to get into marketing, also look at PR, communications or sales roles. Being open to lateral moves can quickly broaden your prospects.
Target Small and Medium Businesses
While big brand companies get all the attention, also keep an eye out for openings with small and medium sized businesses. SMEs tend to have high growth and turnover. With fewer formal applicant screening processes, it can be easier to land an interview. Build a list of SMEs to check regularly for new openings.
Consider Temporary Relocation
To boost your chances, remain flexible on location if possible. Look for openings beyond just the city you hope to live. Be willing to temporarily relocate or commute for the right opportunity. Getting established with a company in a different city can help you make contacts and transfer locations down the road.
Prepare for Video Interviews
These days, a first round interview is often done by video chat. Prepare just as you would for an in-person interview. Test your tech setup, dress professionally, review common questions and practice responses. Treat it like they’re in the room to make the best impression. Succeeding in the video interview can quickly get you to an in-person meeting.
Follow Up After Applying
After applying for a role, make sure to follow up. First, send a thank you email to the hiring manager, recruiter or networking contact who passed along the listing. This shows extra interest. If you don’t hear back after a week or so, follow up again checking on the status of the role. Politely following up could get your application pulled for consideration.
Attend Industry and Career Events
Keep an eye out for career fairs, industry meetups, professional association events, and relevant networking happy hours. These events let you connect directly with fellow professionals and potential employers. Come prepared with copies of your CV and business cards. The face-to-face interactions can help put you on the radar for unposted opportunities.
Consider Internships or Volunteer Work
Taking on an internship or short-term volunteer work can be an entry point to the UK job market, especially if you lack local experience. Reach out to companies directly to inquire about internship possibilities. Non-profit and community organizations also often need volunteers. Getting involved, even without pay, can help you gain skills, expand your network and lead to a full-time job.
Learn About Visas and Work Permits
Make sure you understand the requirements for legally working in the UK. Research which visas you may qualify for based on your background and skills. Determine if a company will need to sponsor your work permit or if you can apply directly. Learning the regulations early means you won’t lose out applying for roles you’re ineligible for. Failing to secure proper work authorization can derail your UK job search.
Cast a Wide Net with Online Applications
While tailored applications to roles you’re excited about are best, also use some free time to take on online “spray and pray” applications. Leverage LinkedIn, Indeed and other sites to filter for UK-based roles and spend time doing some quick applications. With applicant tracking systems, you never know what might pop up down the line. Casting a wide net is a numbers game that increases your chances.
Take on an Apprenticeship
Apprenticeships allow you to gain paid work experience and job training with an employer. Many companies offer apprenticeships that range from a few months to over a year. You’ll earn a wage and get job qualifications under your belt. Completing an apprenticeship, especially in fields like tech or manufacturing, can fast track you into the UK workforce full time.
Be Persistent and Consistent
Remember, finding a job takes sustained effort over time. Set aside a few hours each day to focus on networking, searching listings and applying. Follow up consistently with your contacts and applications. Stick with the search even on days when it feels fruitless. Landing interviews and job offers requires determination and commitment to not give up. Consistent effort day-to-day is key to success.
Leverage Social Media
In addition to traditional job sites, make use of your social media networks. Post on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook letting connections know you’re seeking opportunities in the UK. Share links to your portfolio or work samples. Ask if anyone has leads at target companies. Share company pages and job listings to get on a hiring manager’s radar. Social media outreach can help the right listing find its way to you.
Research Target Companies
Make a list of your top UK companies you want to work for. Follow their company pages and employees on social media to learn about their culture. Sign up for job alerts. Learn about the business, mission and current initiatives. Follow company and industry news. Reaching out will be more personalized if you’ve done your research. You’ll ask better questions in interviews and stand out.
Focus Your Skills and Experience
Even without prior UK job experience, highlight skills and accomplishments that translate. Emphasize achievements relevant to the UK market. For example, international experience, language skills, cultural competencies or industry certifications. Identify what makes you a strong fit despite being new to the job market. Sell transferable abilities rather than just past job titles.
Keep Your References Primed
As you progress in the hiring process, be ready with references. Select 3-5 people who can vouch for your abilities and work ethic like managers, professors or colleagues. Brief them so they know to expect a call. Share the job descriptions so they can emphasize your relevant strengths. Positive references can help convince a UK employer to take a chance on you.
Ace the Interviews
When you do land job interviews, come prepared to wow the employer. Research the company, role and interviewers. Review common UK interview questions and practice responses. Prepare examples of your skills and achievements. Dress professionally and show enthusiasm. Ask thoughtful questions to demonstrate interest. Sending follow up thank you’s can further bolster your candidacy.
Don’t Neglect the Basics
While seeking exciting new UK opportunities, be open to survival jobs in the meantime. Waiting tables, driving for a ride share service, hospitality work or temp admin roles can provide income. Many UK employers respect candidates who took initiative to support themselves while searching. Don’t let pride keep you from gaining experience and making connections.
Be Flexible and Open-Minded
Remember, the job search process rarely goes exactly as planned. Focus on learning about employers and positions even if they aren’t perfect. Interview for roles slightly outside your scope to expand prospects. The right opportunity often comes from an unexpected angle, so stay flexible. Keep grinding until everything falls into place. Remain positive, proactive and open-minded for fastest success.
The UK job market is highly competitive, but utilizing these strategies can help accelerate your chances of landing the right opportunity. Update your CV, network both online and locally, take advantage of online job boards and recruiting agents.
Consider short-term roles, internships and apprenticeships to gain experience. Prepare for interviews and follow up consistently while expanding your search. Stay persistent and flexible, even when the hunt feels daunting. With the right proactive approach, you can find an excellent job opportunity in the UK faster than you think. Check out more advice on finding jobs and succeeding in your career here on scholarspoll.com.