Three Useful (and Perhaps Surprising) Tips for Job Searching in the UK
When relocating to a new country with your partner or family there are so many things to think about and manage, not least your own working life.
Finding a job might be on your long list of things to do, now or in the future.
Perhaps you are thinking about continuing your existing career, or you may want to take this opportunity to consider a career or role change. You might be interested finding a full-time role, or part-time or flexible job, a voluntary or community role, or a portfolio of roles.
Whatever your desired working life may be, when the time comes, you may find these tips useful for finding and securing your next role.
1. Most Jobs Are Not Advertised
These days, it seems like LinkedIn is bursting with job advertisements, and there are so many other job websites available, presumably it should just be a matter of searching online to find whatever type of role you desire? Sadly, no.
We know from research that only around 15% of jobs ever make it into formal recruitment processes – probably with a job description written, the job advertised online or perhaps recruiters or head hunters engaged.
So, in addition to job searching via formal routes, we recommend people take a structured two-pronged approach to discovering those hidden 85% of roles.
- Firstly, engage your existing work and social networks to look for roles for you.
- Secondly, proactively reach out to new contacts in your desired role/industry, so that you can build your professional network in your current (or any future) location.
2. Your CV Shouldn’t Contain Your Photo…
… or your marital status, age, religion or hobbies.
But adding your UK home address can be useful for several reasons, including that it reassures potential employers that you are already UK-based.
As we all know, a CV gets just a few seconds to make the right first impression. Make the wrong impression and, sadly, that CV – and your chances of getting the job – will end up in the bin. You may be a great candidate but the recruiter has 200 other CVs to look at and they are searching for any reason to reject at least 190 of those CVs.
It is always a good idea to research the local CV expectations to ensure that you are presenting your experience in a way that is expected by the reader. For example, in the UK a CV should be no more than two pages long (with very few exceptions) but most American recruiters will expect you to condense your CV to just one page.
Try to make your CV fit in, so your credentials and experience can stand out!
3. Job Shadowing is an Option
For anyone who is exploring their career options, or who would like to refresh their confidence and knowledge while on a career break, job shadowing might be a helpful option for you.
When you shadow someone in their role, you get to see the job from the inside – what they do, how they work, how they manage, etc. Keep in mind that each job shadowing opportunity is typically very brief – perhaps just a few hours or a day or two – and it is unpaid.
Many employers don’t realise it but job shadowing is treated similarly to having a client visiting their business premises. There should be no additional employment or insurance issues arising from your presence, provided you don’t actually undertake any work.
You are just there to watch and learn (and ask lots of questions!).
This original version of this article featured in the October 2019 edition of the Outpost London Shell International newsletter for Shell’s international employees and their partners/families. Kath Sloggett also hosted a workshop for Shell Partners entitled, Find Your Next Job: Job Search Strategies in the UK (and Beyond).
Author: Kath Sloggett.