London is a beautiful city, but it’s not as much fun if you are unemployed. Without a wage, it is hard to benefit from all the riches on offer in this cultural jewel of a city. If you are new to London and have fallen in love with its energy, glamour and attitude, then it’s time you set to finding yourself a job so you can afford to stay here and enjoy what’s on offer.
If you have arrived from overseas, before finding a job you need to check if you are eligible to work in the United Kingdom. British and EU citizens have permission to work in the United Kingdom – proof of passport or similar ID is required. A national insurance number is another piece of vital documentation you need to chase up. If you don’t have British or EU citizenship you’ll need to get busy and apply for a work visa or permit before you come.
The jobs market in London is very competitive, fast moving and dynamic. As you’d expect in a large metropolis, all job sectors are represented. London is home to world leading insurance, legal and finance sectors and many major companies have headquarters in the city.
Call in the big guns
To speed you along in your job search one of the smartest things you can do is sign up with a recruitment agency. Make sure you have a professional looking and up to date Curriculum Vitae to give to any recruitment agency and be sure to brief them thoroughly on the type of position you seek. Recruitment agencies with a London focus such as www.activerecruit.co.uk are a great place to start as they cover multi sector placements over a wide area. Get online and check out Active Recruit to see what opportunities await in their constantly updating list of fantastic jobs. It is vital to check in regularly with your recruitment consultant – this gives a positive impression that you are serious about finding work, it keeps you on their radar (they have loads of CVs and applicants to read through) and it could mean you get to learn about new positions as soon as they arise, giving you more time to prepare for interview. Be sure to tell any recruitment agency that you are free to start immediately – this sometimes give you an edge over similarly qualified co-applicants.
Job seeking takes up a lot of time but if you want to break up the routine a little, why not apply for some volunteering work? There are many organisations in London that welcome approaches from volunteer workers. Not only are you doing something worthwhile, you are enhancing the impact of your CV – prospective employers are impressed by unemployed individuals that keep busy and utilise their skills through volunteering.
It may take a while to happen in the competitive world of London job seeking, but sooner of later your CV will get past the initial application stages and you will be called to interview. This is the point at which you need to start getting really curious about your potential employer. Do as much research on the company or business as you can. Make yourself familiar with as many aspects of the company as possible so that you are able to anticipate questioning pathways and be in a strong position to offer informed feedback.
Remain open to the prospect of jobs everywhere. The national newspapers print advertisements for jobs, take a look at The Times, The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian for example for interesting offers. The Evening Standard Newspaper is a London-focused publication that also prints job adverts. Network online on Facebook, Twitter and Linked In where job opportunities are often posted. Let friends, relatives, neighbours even the man in the corner shop, know that you are looking for a job – you never know when serendipity might strike.
Finding a job in London is not for the faint hearted. You need to be focused, disciplined, tenacious, competitive and hungry – as well as being extremely well qualified and experienced! If you can fit into a team well, have transferable skills, are sociable and hard working, you have the right blend of traits for success in the London job market. There will be a few false starts, some highs and maybe some lows, but if you keep pushing at the door, one day it’s sure to open. And then you will be in the perfect position to enjoy all the wonders London has to offer. Sound tempting?