Relocating and starting a new job is an exciting prospect, but it can also be incredibly daunting and stressful. Below we run through some tips to consider as an international woman when job searching in the UK…
The UK is proudly multicultural, and this is reflected in its workplace. With a number of diverse job sectors and good living conditions, the UK can be the perfect place for a cosmopolitan woman to relocate.
However, it is important to prepare before you make the jump. To get a job in the UK, you must open a UK bank account, get a national insurance number, and obtain a work visa. Considering a Sponsorship Licence application may also be a good place to start.
In this article, we’ll explore these points, and more, discussing some top considerations international businesswomen should consider before moving to the UK for a job. Take a look…
Do Your Research
As much as the UK is a great and diverse place to live, it’s not all quaint picturesque villages and towns, like it’s widely portrayed in popular culture. Paying a visit to some different UK destinations can really help you get a feel for the culture and find the right place for you. For instance, living in a rural Welsh town is going to have completely different job opportunities compared to a bustling city street in Central London.
Make sure you like what the place has to offer and consider whether it is suitable for you and your needs before choosing to relocate.
Apply for a Visa
The UK offers a variety of different work visas. This includes skilled and non-skilled workers, as well as short and long-term workers. Before applying for a visa, it is important to familiarise yourself with the different requirements for different visas, so you know which ones you are eligible for.
Below we go through some of the different types of work visas the UK offers.
(Please bear in mind this is not an exhaustive list. To see more, head to the UK government’s website.)
Short-Term Work Visas
This covers a range of both paid and unpaid jobs. Short-term visas include charity, religious and seasonal work, as well as a graduate visa, which allows graduates to stay in the UK for 2 years after completing their course in the UK.
Skilled Work Visas
This is for migrants who tend to have more academic qualifications and are going into a skilled profession. To be eligible, you must be proficient in the English language and apply for a Sponsorship Licence application beforehand.
The UK company that is sponsoring you must also be recognised by the home office. Your visa can last for up to 5 years before you need to extend it.
Investor, Business Development and Talent Visas
The UK has set up several different types of visas for foreign investors, business developers, and talented persons. There are plenty of different options for those looking to set up a business, invest, or for those who have a credible business idea. Depending on which visa you apply for, you can stay from 2 to 5 years before having to renew your visa.
Despite the UK being a diverse place to live, the job market, like any, can be competitive. This is why having your English language up to a good standard will make you an increasingly desirable candidate. It is important to note that one of the main requirements for UK visa applications is the ability to speak English to a certain level.
However, there are some exemptions for settlements, for instance, if you’re a victim of domestic abuse or a refugee. If later down the line you want to apply for British citizenship, you must have a relevant English language qualification. More long-term and working visas require you to take and pass an English language test.
In the meantime, things that may help improve your fluency in English include watching lots of British films and TV shows, using apps like Duolingo, and signing up to an English course.
It is important to find out what skills are transferrable before relocating to the UK. You’ll need to get your qualifications recognised if you want to work in more skilled professions in the UK.
The UK recognises qualifications that are comparable to that of UK qualifications. Those that fall under this bracket include the EU, Switzerland Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. When looking for job opportunities that require a specific skill set, signing up to trade magazines and publications may improve your scope.
However, if you are not so fussy about what job you first land after relocating, it is worth researching what types of industries are facing current job shortages in the UK. For example, post-Brexit, the UK’s hospitality and the non-skilled sector has been facing job shortages.
Have an Online Presence
With the advent of modern technology, social media and online search engines have transformed the way people now search for jobs. Using job-search portals such as Totaljobs and Indeed can help expand opportunities with employers utilising them more to find the right candidates. LinkedIn is a major social media platform when it comes to networking, with employers increasingly advertising there for vacancies.
In addition to this, we recommend signing up to UK recruitment agencies, many of which you can find online. There are plenty to choose from, with different ones being tailored to different industries and sectors. They are also free to sign up to.
Having a CV Ready
Your CV should include your personal details, relevant skills and qualifications, and a bit about yourself. You should also have some references ready to be available on request.
When applying for a specific company, get to know what they look for in a candidate by checking out their requirements on the job description, their company values, and their website and social media. Then, tailor your cover letter to demonstrate your interest in their company and highlight how your relevant skills can benefit their organisation.
Starting a New Job in the UK
These six tips should help you some way to getting your foot in the door with your first UK job.
It is likely you will start off on a probation period when you start your new job. You can think of this as a trial period where your employer can see if you’re a good fit for the workplace and whether you like the job too. During this period, it is important to get your work-life balance right and get to know what works well for you.
After this, we hope you enjoy your time in the UK. Good luck!