One of the most common questions that I get asked from those thinking about moving to London is “How hard is it to find a job?”.
In my personal experience, it was actually quite easy, I found my first job within my first week here. But of course it’s different for every single person, and it also depends on what type of job you’re looking for, how much experience you have,which industry you’re in etc.
Do your research before arrival
Do some research before you get here, contact companies you’re interested in and let them know you’re moving to London, send them your CV and see if they have anything coming up. Talk to people who are already here, maybe they know someplace that has an opening? Use Facebook groups, a lot of the time people will post job openings and contact information there, write an entry and see if anyone knows anyplace with openings, it’s a great resource!
Searching for jobs
There are a couple of pages you’ll most likely stumble upon when searching for jobs in London. You’ll be able to find a huge variety of jobs and temp jobs here and it’s a good place to start.
If you’re looking for a job in Media/Creative/Marketing, I would recommend having a look Brand Republic. If you’re coming straight out of University it can be a very tuff market, especially around graduation time.Have a look at Graduate Talent Pool, Inspiring Intern,or Milkround, be prepared to get offered internships instead of employment and also be prepared that majority of internships are unpaid (although they normally cover your travel expenses).
If you’re moving to London just for the experience of living in London, and less keen on pursuing a full-time career, casual roles in retail or hospitality will be easier to find. It’s very common to see “staff wanted” signs at cafés, pubs, restaurants, and shops, so keep your eyes open. Also, check out Indeed and Gumtree, and Facebook is a great way to go!
Find yourself a good recruiter
A recruiter can be very helpful for a lot of reasons, when you’re interview they’re on your side and can help sway employers in your direction. They also save you time in the long run as you don’t have to write cover letters for every single position you apply for, and the best part is – they’re free! Recruiters earn their commissions from employers, making them free for you to use.
The industry that you’re working in will impact what recruitment agency you’ll need to approach. If you find that a lot of the positions you’re interested in are posted by the same recruitment agents, see if you can get in touch with that agency. It’s always better to find an email address to a specific agent, rather than emailing their general inquiry email. It’s also very useful to get in touch with someone who used that recruitment agency before, you’ll be more prepared on what to expect and have a much higher chance of getting a response.
Interviews can be brutal, it’s nerve-racking and awkward, and you can never predict what questions you’re going to get. What you can do is prepare yourself in the best way possible, practice as many questions as possible and get an idea of how you want your answers. Find ways to calm yourself down and not walk into the interview all nervous and blubbery.
If you are using a recruiter, ask him or her to send you and Interview Preparation pack with some sample questions, you can also have a look online – Google is key. Have a friend conduct a practice interview, prepare yourself with some questions about the job and the company and don’t be afraid to stand out, that’s how they’ll remember you.
- Plan your journey so you’re there 5-10 minutes early, but wait outside. A lot of people have busy schedules and meetings back to back, it’s really stressful when people show up early for appointments. If you do show up early, apologize and say you’ll wait, or make sure you ring the buzzard or walk up to reception no more than 5 minutes early.
- Come across as confident, keep a good posture and don’t forget to smile (and breathe).
- Dress smart, avoid having chipping nail polish, and avoid wearing anything that’s going to distract from how you want them to remember you.
- Engage in small talk before the interview, chat about their office, the location, or the weather, and stay positive.
- Have some stories prepared if you get nervous, it’s never wrong to have some one-liners or stories in the back of your head!
- Work your biggest achievements into the conversation, even if you’re not directly asked. Do it in a casual way and be ready to impress.
- Have some questions prepared, show you’re interested in the position and the company, do your research before and give them some compliments on their previous achievements.
- Bring a bottle of water. You’ll be doing a lof of talking and don’t want to get a dry and throat half-way through.