How To Get A Job In The UK

How To Get A Job In The UK

The UK is a popular destination for jobseekers around the world. In 2022/23, more than 300,000 work visas were issued — a 61% increase from the year before.

If you’re thinking about moving to the UK for work, it’s important to be prepared. In this article, you’ll learn all about how to get a job in the UK. Find out:

  • Where to find job vacancies.
  • What you need to apply for a job in the UK.
  • How to prepare for a job interview.
  • FAQs for applying from outside the UK.

Looking for job vacancies

When you’re looking for a job, you need to know where vacancies are usually advertised. Here’s where you can find most UK job vacancies.

1. Online job boards

Many companies advertise their vacancies online. While you can look directly at the websites of the companies you’d like to work for, you’ll find more opportunities on online job boards.

Some of the most popular UK job boards are:

  • CV Library
  • Indeed
  • Monster
  • Reed
  • TotalJobs

Create an account to save your CV for simple applications, bookmark jobs you’re interested in, and apply for roles directly through the job board.

Some job boards cater for specific industries. These include:

2. Recruitment agencies

Signing up with a recruitment agency is a good way to match your skills and experience with open job vacancies, without having to invest as much of your own time in the process.

Most agencies specialise in specific sectors, and have links with lots of businesses in your industry. So recruiters can pair you with the right role and company.

3. LinkedIn and social media

More and more companies are starting to advertise their roles on social media. LinkedIn, a social networking site specifically for professionals, is a good place to start.

Connect with other people in your industry, use the LinkedIn jobs board, or reach out to recruiters to find opportunities on LinkedIn.

Some companies will share opportunities across their social media channels, so keep an eye out on Facebook and Twitter, too.

4. Approach employers

While it’s less common nowadays, approaching employers directly can be a good way to make connections and enquire about possible job openings. It’s a good chance to show that you’re a keen, proactive person with a genuine interest in a company and its products.

Call or email in advance to make an appointment if you can. Employers won’t always be available to talk if you turn up unexpectedly.

If there aren’t any vacancies that are suitable for you, ask what kind of training you might need to become eligible, or when they might start recruiting in future.

5. Get an apprenticeship

Apprenticeships are a popular way to get started in a particular industry. While the national minimum wage for apprentices is lower than the standard minimum wage, you’ll get valuable on-the-job experience, and you may be taken on as a full-time employee when you complete your apprenticeship.

Find an apprenticeship using the UK government service.

What do you need to apply for a job?

Regardless of where you look for a job, there are certain things you need to apply. This usually includes:

  • Your CV — a two-page document that details your qualifications and work history.
  • A cover letter — a personalised letter or email that explains why you’re suitable for the job.
  • A work visa — if you’re not a UK citizen (or you don’t have indefinite leave to remain), you may need a visa that allows you to work in the UK.

For some jobs, you’ll need specific experience and qualifications. You may need certificates as proof, especially if you achieved equivalent qualifications in another country. Find out more about comparing qualifications on the UK ENIC site.

Can you get a job in the UK if you don’t speak English?

Most people in the UK only speak English. So it’s an important requirement for most jobs.

Not all jobs require an excellent command of English, but in most cases you will need a basic level. In fact, to get a work visa, you often need to prove you can speak English to a certain standard. Getting a TOEFL certificate can help you prove your English skills.

Getting a job with no experience

Having experience in your industry can help you get a job in the UK, especially if it’s a competitive field. If you don’t yet have any experience, you’ll need an impressive CV to stand out.

You can boost your chances of getting a job without experience by:

  • Enrolling on a relevant training course.
  • Volunteering in your sector — you won’t get paid, but you can get valuable experience.
  • Customising your CV for the specific job you’re applying for — highlight any transferable skills from other jobs.

If an employer is impressed with your CV, they may invite you to interview for the job.

Preparing for a job interview

  • Prepare for common interview questions.
  • Practise talking about your skills and experience — the STAR method can help.
  • Dress professionally — for corporate interviews, a suit or work dress is best; a smart top and trousers may be suitable for less formal companies.
  • Know what to expect — prepare for any tests or panel interviews you’re expected to complete.
  • Don’t be late — plan your route well in advance, and aim to arrive a little early. (Being on time is important in the UK; arriving late is a surefire way to create negative first impression.)
  • Ask questions — you’ll have a chance to ask about your role, team, and company, so prepare 2-3 questions for your interviewer.
  • Be honest and confident — try to stay calm and present yourself as a confident person.

Signing your work contract

When you accept a job offer, you’ll be given a contract to sign. This includes all the details of your employment, so it’s essential that you read it carefully and agree to all the terms before you sign it.

Your contract will tell you:

  • Your salary.
  • Your working hours (some companies offer zero hours contracts).
  • Your notice period.
  • Your annual leave entitlement.
  • Any other benefits you can expect.

Paying tax and national insurance

UK employees must pay tax and national insurance (NI) if they earn more than the personal allowance. Tax and NI contributions are automatically deducted from your wage before it’s paid to you. Find out the current UK tax rate to see how much you’ll need to pay.

Apply for a national insurance number if you don’t already have one. You can apply for an NI number any time after your work visa is issued.

Getting a job from outside the UK FAQs

Here’s what you need to know about getting a job in the UK while applying from overseas.

Can I go to the UK for work without a job offer?

Most people need a job offer to get a work visa, which allows you to work legally in the UK.

However, you can apply for some types of UK visa if you don’t have a job offer:

  • British National (Overseas) visa
  • Graduate visa
  • Youth Mobility Scheme visa
  • India Young Professionals Scheme visa
  • Apply for the Global Talent visa
  • UK Ancestry visa
  • High Potential Individual (HPI) visa

You’ll still need to meet all the requirements for the visa you apply for.

Is it illegal to work in the UK without a visa?

Yes. Unless you’re a UK citizen or you have indefinite leave to remain, you need a valid visa to work legally in the UK.

Can I get a job in the UK without a visa?

You can apply for jobs in the UK without a visa, but you can’t start work until you have a valid visa in place. Let any prospective employers know that you’ll need to apply for a work visa before you start.

Managing your money in the UK

Once you’ve secured a job, you can start planning your financial future. At Bloom, we make it easy to plan with your friends and family. Our money club app lets you pool your funds together simply and safely.

Find out how Bloom works to help you plan your financial future with your community.

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