Job FAQs

On this Page: What are the UK job prospects? | Do you always receive a quick response to job applications? | How do I start looking for work? | Can I get a job before I arrive? | Back to FAQ Index

People working in London

What are the current UK job prospects?

The UK is a very dynamic place to work, especially in and around London. Depending on your particular circumstances and the type of work you are looking for, will determine how quickly you will find a job. The different seasons of the year can effect your prospects – in the run up to the Christmas and New Year holidays there is always a boost to retail, part time and temporary employment opportunities. However there are likely to be fewer jobs available in permanent positions during this period, partly due to the lack of time from recruiters. Peak recruiting times for professional contract and permanent roles are February through to May. Recruitment activity peaks again in September and early October as employers try to fill vacancies before the end of the year.

Brexit has created economic uncertainty. However, the UK economy is still growing, and employment rates are at their highest levels since records began (as of Jan 2018). Employers are reporting high levels of unfilled vacancies across many sectors, particularly in IT, healthcare and teaching, as some EU workers are leaving. So in a way Brexit is presenting new opportunities for international jobseekers from outside the EU. One of the other consequences of increased uncertainty is that some employers are favouring to offer contract positions rather than permanent roles. Again, this could be seen as a positive. Especially for those wishing to find flexible work that allows them to take time out for travelling around Europe.

Depending on your profession, you can often earn more in the UK but don’t forget that the UK is an expensive place to live. Often the biggest hurdle for new arrivals is having enough funds for the first 2-6 weeks while looking for a job. Keep this in mind when considering where to stay, it’s a good idea to seek temporary accommodation until you find a job, after which you can move into something more permanent that suits you better.

Do you always receive a quick response to job applications?

Unfortunately in many cases the answer is no, especially if you are applying for a permanent role. In fact, most CVs are initially graded by software and don’t even get read if they don’t make the cut. For help with CVs see our Job Search & Career Coaching page. If your CV gets to the top of the lost, you may have to wait up to a week before you are called for an interview, it can still take another week after the interview before you get an answer.

Short-term temporary roles and professional contracting jobs get filled very quickly so you are likely to the get a much faster response. In fact, these kind of roles can get filled in 1-2 days making them almost impossible to secure before you arrive in the UK.  

How do I start looking for work?

Work out what kind of job you are looking for and then do your research using job sites and online recruitment agencies. To get you started, we have compiled a list of our recommended employment agencies by industry. Get in touch with a few agencies before leaving home, try to get insights into the kinds of UK roles that might be suitable to you, and book a face to face appointment to see them once you have arrived. This will hopefully help you become front of mind and find work quickly.

Once you’ve worked out what kind of job you want, make sure your CV reflects this and shows your relevant skills for that job. You’ll be amazed at how many people apply for jobs with a very generic CV. If you’re on a particular visa make sure that it’s mentioned in your CV.

Can I get a job before I arrive?

Almost everyone that comes to the UK will have to look for a job when they get here. Unless you’ve been head hunted there is little chance in securing a job while still outside the UK. Employers will want to, at the least, interview you in person before offing you a position. For highly skilled professionals it’s a good idea to speak to recruitment companies and agencies as they may be able to forward your CV to some clients before you arrive – however for the majority of people the best way to get a job is to apply for one once in the UK.