The United Kingdom has the world’s sixth-largest economy and a thriving market with international hubs. If you are looking for a job abroad, the UK is one of the most appropriate places to start, in this article I will guide you on how to get a job in UK. 32 million people are already working and building their lives here. For those wondering how to get jobs in the UK, the primary tips are to be prepared, look in the right places, and talk to the right people for your career.
London is brimming with economic growth, and there are tons of job opportunities for fresh graduates in London and the southeast. This article will tell you how to get a job in UK, the work requirements, and the primary sectors with job vacancies.
Table of Contents
- 1 The job market in the UK
- 2 Job vacancies in the UK
- 3 What is the salary range in the UK?
- 4 Work culture in the UK
- 5 Steps to get a job in Uk
- 6 How to apply for jobs in the UK
- 7 Requirements to work in the UK
- 8 Conclusion
The job market in the UK
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the overall unemployment rate in the UK was 3.9% in May 2020. This is the lowest it has been for 40 years. However, this is partly explained by the growth of zero-hour contracts, which have more than quadrupled over the last decade to 1,032,000 in 2022.
Economic growth is concentrated in London and the southeast; unemployment is higher in the north of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The London job market is booming with 10 times more jobs on offer than the next best area of the country but of course, there’s a lot more competition for jobs in London.
The biggest sectors in the UK in terms of the number of employees, according to the 2018 ONS Business Register and Employment Survey, are:
- Wholesale and retail
- Healthcare and social work
- Scientific and technical
The largest UK-based companies in terms of market share in 2020 are:
- Unilever (consumer goods)
- AstraZeneca (pharmaceutical)
- Royal Dutch Shell (oil and gas)
- BHP (mining)
- Rio Tinto (mining)
- GlaxoSmithKline (pharmaceutical)
- HSBC (finance)
However, public sector organizations tend to be the biggest UK employers, with the NHS, the British Army, and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) having the most employees in 2018.
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Job vacancies in the UK
The UK government website publishes and regularly updates skills shortage occupations on its website. The shortage list in August 2020 includes:
- scientists (biochemistry, physics)
- engineers (civil, mechanical, electrical)
- IT (analysts, systems designers, programmers, web designers, software developers)
- medical (practitioners, psychologists, radiographers, nurses, vets, occupational therapists)
- education (secondary school teachers)
- graphic designers
- skilled chefs
What is the salary range in the UK?
The UK national minimum wage is updated each year. From April 2020, it stands at:
- £8.72 per hour for employees aged 25 and above;
- Between £4.55 and £8.20 per hour for employees aged 18–24;
- £4.15 per hour for apprentices
Average UK salaries vary greatly in the UK according to factors including job sector, region, gender, and skill level. In 2019, the average weekly salary for a full-time worker in the UK was £585. The gender pay gap stood at 8.9% in 2019.
Work culture in the UK
Most UK companies still have distinct hierarchies with managers making most of the decisions and being very firmly in charge of teams of employees. Leading a team efficiently and having a good relationship with staff are considered important management skills. Teamwork within the team is highly valued. It’s common for staff to go out for a drink at a pub or bar after work.
The British like meetings; lots of them. They are usually planned in advance with a set agenda and while they can be informal in tone, everyone leaves with a specific task.
Steps to get a job in Uk
Write a UK-style CV
A good CV is the first step towards landing a great job. If your CV is well written, you will be called for a job interview. While trying to get a job in the UK, you need to write a CV in the UK style. Your potential employer will expect a short, clear, neat CV. Use headings. UK laws prohibit employers from asking for the applicant’s age, gender and photo details. So do not add these details. Use your name as the heading instead of ‘CV’ or ‘Curriculum Vitae’. Include your recent qualifications, education, skills and achievements. You can also include referees who can support your application.
Take a targeted approach
Narrow down potential employers and keep working on the required skills and abilities required for that job. Keep enhancing your CV according to the needs of your chosen company. Do your homework and gather as much information about the company as possible so that you appear knowledgeable and interested during the interview stage.
How to apply for jobs in the UK
Below is the list of platforms where you an apply for jobs in the Uk from any country depending on your area of specialization
If you’re from the EU or the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), you can still currently look for a job in the UK through the EURES (European Employment Services) website. EURES is a job portal network that is maintained by the European Commission and it’s designed to aid free movement within the European Economic Area. As well as looking for work, you can upload your CV and get advice on the legal and administrative issues involved in working in the UK.
However, as a result of Brexit, the UK ceases to be a part of the European Economic Area in January 2021. This currently means that EURES services no longer apply.
Find a job is the government-run online search engine for jobs throughout the UK. There are also Job Centers on the high streets of larger towns throughout the UK where you can browse job vacancies in person.
You can browse thousands of full and part-time jobs, upload your CV and manage applications on websites such as CV Library, which is the UK’s leading independent job board with nearly 200,000 live jobs across all sectors below is a list of other job websites where you can find jobs :
- Caterer – hospitality, restaurants, hotels, pubs, bars, and catering
- Charityjob – charities
- Computer weekly – IT
- CWJobs – IT
- Design Week– design, branding, copywriting, artwork, exhibitions, graphics, interiors, furniture, and packaging
- Exec Appointments – executive jobs
- Hays – management and professional level jobs
- Justengineers – engineering
- Madjobs – marketing and advertising
- Mandy – TV and film
- Music Jobs– all aspects of the music industry including performers, producers, teachers
- NHSjobs – jobs in all sectors of the National Health Service throughout the UK, from medics and nurses, through administration to cleaning and services
- Prospects – graduates
- Splashfind – top 100 UK specialist job sites
Most recruitment agencies specialize in a particular sector like IT, retail, childcare, or secretarial. Some agencies are headhunters who work for large companies to recruit executives and professionals on their behalf. Others are ‘temping’ agencies who can help you find temporary work in offices and retail, for example, the online phone book under ‘recruitment consultants’ or at Agency Central or Recruitment Search.
Newspapers and print
The Guardian is one of the best sources of graduate and professional jobs, especially in the arts, culture and media, marketing, government and politics, housing, social care, environment, and education. Look online for jobs across the sectors; the print editions focus on a different sector each day.
Have a look at company websites for available vacancies and also for the information you can use in making a speculative application. You can find out background information about the company and its rivals, as well as the name of the right person to contact if you’re making a direct approach.
Look for the name of the person who’s responsible for making decisions about hiring or the budget, not the human resources or personnel office. If the name is not on the website, send an email or phone and ask.
Embassies and consulates
Look for job vacancies at your home country’s embassy or consulate in the UK. Whatever the job, you are sure to need a high standard of spoken and written English.
Networking is very important in the UK as many jobs are filled by word of mouth and are never advertised. So make as many contacts as possible. Join a professional networking website like LinkedIn and connect with others in the same field (trawl through your contacts’ contacts and ask for introductions).
Create an online profile
Put yourself out there – virtually – with a dynamic online profile and a CV that employers can easily download. Make sure you use lots of keywords relevant to the type of job you’re looking for in the profile and filename so that employers see your profile first (look at other people’s CVs and profiles to help you draw up a list).
Use a PDF or compatible format so it’s easily accessible by as many employers as possible. Once you’ve compiled your profile, download and print it out yourself to make sure it looks how you want it to look.
Requirements to work in the UK
UK work visas
UK work-related visas are changing in light of the 2016 Brexit vote. Since January 2021, EU/EFTA citizens are now being treated the same as third-country nationals and need a visa to work in the UK.
Currently, there are only work visas available in the UK for skilled migrants and those working in shortage occupations. In 2020, the UK government announced the introduction of a new points-based system that will come into effect from the start of 2021.
Language requirements to get a job in UK
If you speak another language other than English, you’ll have a big advantage over many British applicants – most of whom will only be able to speak English – but you will almost certainly need to be able to speak English yourself to get a job in the UK. To get a UK work visa, you may need to prove your English language proficiency anyway.
If your English needs improving, consider taking a course run by a language school.
There is a shortage of language teachers in the UK. If you hold a university degree and can speak English well, you might be able to take a post-graduate course to allow you to teach your mother tongue in an English school or college.
Follow the above-listed steps on how to get a job in UK. The United Kingdom is a great destination for everyone to settle and work. The country is known for its hospitality, sense of security and stable economy. I wish you all the best in your job hunting