Moving to the UK: Top 10 Tips on How to Find a Job Quickly

If you are moving to London or elsewhere in the UK and want to start work fast, then this article will be a great place to start. Finding a job in the UK can take time, so here are our top 10 tips to help you fast-track your job hunt.

Trying to secure a job before you get here, directly with an employer or recruitment agency is pretty unlikely, unless you are in a short-skilled area where demand for your experience is very high. This means the vast majority of roles can really only be applied for once here. So don’t take it personally, the UK market moves fast and employers generally want you to be here to meet you in person. However, you do have some options to reduce the time it takes to start work.

Have A Job Lined Up Before You Go

1) Have a job lined up before you go - if the idea of moving to the UK without a job terrifies you, then there are some options available where you can organise a job before you get here. BritBound can help with some of these too, so we’ve linked the following options to additional articles, where available.

Live-In Pub Job - probably one of my favourite pre-arranged job options. Could there be a more quintessential British experience?! Plus the fact that you get accommodation provided too…boom!

Hospitality- covering bartending, waitressing and any role that involves serving people. You don’t need any licences to serve alcohol to the public here. It’s a huge industry and there’s a never-ending need for people to work in it.

Live-In Carer - the big draw to being a live-in carer is that you work for a set period, usually 3 months and then you get 7 days paid holiday. Most of the roles include accommodation as you are living with your charge, be it an elderly person who needs company to a less able-bodied person who needs driving around. The work is varied and rewarding…plus you don’t need experience.

Construction and Trades - the UK has always been an easy place to find work in the area of trades and construction.You will need to apply for certain cards and complete a course or two, but work will soon

Teaching - there are some professions like teaching which have a constant demand for qualified candidates. If you are a teacher then you may well know that this is a global passport profession - you can pretty much go anywhere and have a job lined up! If it’s the UK you’re most interested in, then read more about how to go about lining up work here.

Teaching Assistant - just like there is a neverending need for teachers, there is also a neverending need for teaching assistants to support the teachers. Whilst some experience of looking after children is beneficial, you largely do not require any qualifications.

Social Workers- like teaching, there is a huge demand for qualified social workers in the UK, so chances are you will be able to get the ball rolling before you leave, even if you can’t actually get a contract in place you can certainly arrange some interviews.

Admin support - Finance - one area that we are always getting job adverts for is admin positions which involve either invoicing or credit control. The pay is generally £12-£17 an hour which compared to hospitality (£7.50-£11) is substantially more!

Nannying / Childcare- if you have childcare experience then living with a family and looking after their children could be an incredibly rewarding experience. We have so many BritBounders doing exactly that and some of their situations are just fantastic, working 4 days a week and getting 3 days off, travelling overseas with the family…with the demand being so high you can take your pick and choose a family and contract that suits you. You also do not have to live-in with the family, there are live-out options available too.

2) Consider a Workaway experience - I don’t know why I love this concept quite so much but I do go on about it to our BritBounders. Perhaps it is because it is something that was not around when I was travelling and had it been I would definitely have taken advantage of it. So what is Workaway? Well basically the idea is that you give your time in the form of labour, skilled or unskilled in return for board and lodging. You don’t pay anything out and you don’t get paid anything in! So you won’t need a visa as you are not being paid a salary. There are hundreds of different experiences around the world, it could be helping out on a Husky Training camp in Norway or learning to bee keep on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. I always say you only have this window once in your life, so why not do something completely random. It can be a talking point on your CV and let’s face it, no employer is going to forget the person that spent two weeks walking Alpacas in Bavaria!

3) Use a recruitment agency - and one that will accept you being on a visa, if you are.The vast majority of jobs here in the UK are managed by recruitment agencies who source and interview candidates on behalf of the employer. It does not cost you anything to use them but it is worth spending sometime understanding how they work and how to get the best results from using one. Not all agencies will have roles for temporary visas, like the Tier 5 YMS. BritBound is a good place to start as we have been working with recruitment agencies for years and our partners have apprached us specifically because they DO have roles for people on short-term visas. We also have a job board you can check out here.

4) Get your CV up to date and into a preferred UK format - there are few tasks we detest more than having to write or update our CV’s, it’s a punishing exercise, that’s for sure. But little and often is the key! One things for sure, a naff CV won’t do you any favours when it comes to finding work quickly. Unless of course you are not bothered by what job you do! Some well spent time polishing your particulars(!) will pay dividends. So bite the bullet and get cracking!

5) Be interview ready - it’s no good having a brilliant CV that gets you invites to lots of interviews, if at the interview stage you continually fluff it because you have not prepared for it adequately! Whether you’re a veteran interviewee or someone who has never had to be interviewed, don’t underestimate the importance of research and preparation for the role in question.

6) Be open to contract work - I hear it said so many times, I don’t want a contract role, I want to be full time. Firstly, contract roles are full time, so not sure why so many people think they are not full time? But they are for a defined period, it could be a two-day contract, an 8-week contract, a 6-month contract or a 12-month rolling contract (means it keeps extending once the contract term is reached). A lot of employers will look at the Tier 5 Visa Candidates specifically for contract positions. And this can be great because it means you could do 3 months work full time and then have some time off to travel and then picking up another contract on your return. For the shorter contracts it also gives both you and the employer a chance to see whether you are the right fit. If it works for both sides, then you’ll often find yourself being offered a longer or permanent contract. So embrace contracting!

The other benefit to contracting is that you can take advantage of the lower tax rates available when you work through an alternative structure.

7). Don’t be too picky - over the years I can recall a small number of our BritBound customers who have been very focused on a specific role, with a specific type of organisation. Whilst there is an argument for creating a dream job strategy, I think you should consider how long you can realistically wait for this dream role. If you don’t have a substantial cushion of funds then you might be better to employ a just start working strategy! But one thing I tell everyone who has ambitions to work in a particular industry they love, just get yourself in the door! If you want to be in marketing but have recently graduated and therefore have little experience, then consider trying to land yourself an admin role, at a Marketing company. Then once there you can chat to HR and start to network your backside off! Remember too that the easiest job for you to get will be the one you have the most relevant experience in. So use that to your advantage to move yourself closer to your preferred role.

8). Get on Linked IN - if you’re not on here yet, then get yourself signed up! To be honest I’m not too much help in advising you on this platform. I do have a profile set up and you’re welcome to add me as a contact (Sarah Milne), but I don’t have any direct experience in using it to find work, but I do often hear it is a very good way of being contactable for jobs. A lot of the recruitment resourcers use it.

9). Get your CV up on some job boards - I would recommend this one but with caution. There is no point flooding all the job boards with your CV, especially if you are not in the UK. But once you’re here and have updated your CV with your UK SIM number then choose a couple of job boards (everyone likes Indeed and perhaps one that specialises in your area, if you don’t know any then ask us as we’re highly likely to have one that has contacted us over the years because they are particularly interested in candidates arriving from overseas. Note that few resources will reach out if your CV has your overseas phone number and address on it. As this will make them think you are still overseas.

If you have not seen this yet, then click here to have a look atBritBound's own job board.

10). Join some associations / meet ups for your industry -if you’re in a particularly competitive industry, such as fashion then networking is probably going to be one strategy you can employ to get yourself noticed. Have a look at what associations and governing bodies are out there that you could potentially join. There is also bound to be a few meet-up groups in your area too, so check out that website too.

Lastly, having worked at BritBound and at the BritBound Base for over 10 years I am fortunate to be privy to a lot of conversation and thoughts said out loud! One of those that I’ve always found amusing, if not a somewhat worrying reflection of the lives we lead, is when someone says to me ‘I need to work soon, I’m going crazy’, this comment being after a few days of arriving here! Are we so conditioned to working that we are now unable to cope when we’re not working? Has having a job become our identity? So if you are reading this before you come over here, relax, take a breath and try and enjoy a couple of weeks here, WITHOUT WORK..I’m fairly sure you’ve earned it!