English Job Market
The UK offers excellent career possibilities. It has a flexible labour market with positions in part-time or casual positions easy to come by. Skilled labor is more competitive and English language ability is a requirement for the majority of positions. If a visa is required, positions are much more limited.
There is a general shortage of skilled labour in the health sector in the UK. The health services routinely recruits applicants from abroad, making it one of the easiest to find jobs for a skilled expat.
Resume / CV
- Resume - brief overview of work and educational experience. Prominent in the US when applying for employment. Typically one page.
- CV (curriculum vitae) - more in depth look at work and educational experience. Prominent in Europe, the Middle East and Asia including the UK. Typically more than 2 pages.
The CV should contain:
- Contact Information: Relevant personal contact information at the top of the page including: name, phone number, fax number, address, and email address.
- Professional Experience: Usually this information is listed chronologically. List your work experience with: your title, the name of the company you worked for, the dates of your employment, and a brief description of your achievements in that job
- Education: This section should come before work experience if you are in school or have been out of school for one to three years, depending on your level of work experience and how relevant your education is to your career.
- Certificates & Diplomas: Courses, seminars, congresses or conferences that are relevant in relation to the position. Note if you received any special honors.
- Languages: This is extremely relevant to an international job. List which languages you speak and your level: advanced, intermediate or beginner. Point out if you can translate, speak, or write in each language and list any associated degrees. If you are submitting your resume in English and it is not your first language, be sure to have a native speaker read it first. Spelling and grammar are extremely important.
- Computer Skills: Programs, applications, word processing, database, Internet experience, etc.
- Interests: You may include personal interests such as hobbies, sports, activities.
- Style should be straightforward. Use standard paper and a simple font, such as Times New Roman (12 font) or Arial (10) font
- Print original copies on high quality paper - don't send photocopies.
- Be neat. Take care with the presentation, design, spaces, and spelling of your resume. Don't use abbreviations. Emphasize sections and things that are important with underlines or bold type.
- Make sure your CV is as organized as possible, so the information can be found easily.
- You do not need to date or sign your resume.
- Have a base CV that you can adjust to each job you are applying for.
A cover letter usually accompanies a CV in a job application. In the format of a letter, it establishes your tone and intent. Also known as a cover letter, covering letter, motivation letter, or letter of motivation.
- Header - Standard business letter style, with the sender's address and other information, the recipient's contact information, and the date sent after either the sender's or the recipient's address. The final part of the header is a salutation (e.g., "Dear Hiring Managers").
- Introduction - The introduction briefly states the specific position desired, and should be designed to catch the employer's immediate interest.
- Body - Highlights material in the resume or job application, and explains why the job seeker is interested in the job and would be of value to the employer. Also, matters discussed typically include skills, qualifications, and past experience. If there are any special things to note such as availability date, they may be included as well.
- Closing - Sums up the letter and indicates the next step the applicant expects to take. It may indicate that the applicant intends to contact the employer, although many favor the more indirect approach of simply saying that the applicant will look forward to hearing from or speaking with the employer. After the closing is a valediction ("Sincerely"), and then a signature line. Optionally, the abbreviation "ENCL" may be used to indicate that there are enclosures.
For some basic templates for CVs and cover letters, try Career Lab, Great CV's, or the Career Resource Center.
A checklist of what you need to start your career:
- Write a curriculum vitae (CV)
- Research potential employers
- Find job opportunities
- Write cover letters
- Complete job applications
- Get hired!
JobCentres are the National employment agencies. They provide a range of information and services, including benefits, loans, grants and help with finding a job.
JobClubs are another option for finding work. These clubs offer resources like internet access, phones, photocopiers, newspapers and mail services. This service is open for all EU inhabitants.
Search engines allow you to scan a great variety of jobs, an narrow down your search on certain criteria. It is also a good idea to post your CV online so hiring managers can find you. They may also allow you to sign-up for e-mail alerts of when new jobs become available.
As part of the EU, job seekers can access the European job mobility portal EURES. This resource provides information about job vacancies and the labor market. It also provides information on the living and working conditions, and a CV posting service.
Forums & Networking
Expat and social forums are another resource for job seekers. Easy Expat's job offers for the UK are a great resource. Search by industry and browse the latest jobs.
Sometimes getting a job is about knowing the right people. Talk to friends, family, and business contacts to see if they have connections in the area you would like to work. Expat events in the area can also be a great way to fin out how other expats found work and see if their company has any openings.
Several papers have a helpful classified's section. There are job offers for executives and professionals, as well as sections dedicated to specific professions, like teaching, computers, and media.
And of course the Loot, main classified ads paper (including non jobs such as car, accommodation, furnitures...etc) publish each week two specialist recruitment magazines: Loot Recruit and Jobs Week are distributed in and around London.
Several other papers have a helpful jobs' section.
Most agencies specialize in a particular field, such as computers, nursing, secretarial work, accounting, catering, or construction. There are also "Head hunting" agencies that are hired by large companies to recruit executives, managers or professionals. To find an appropriate agency, look for "employment agencies" in the yellow pages or go to a directory of agencies.
Career fairs are an excellent way to find out about available jobs and opportunities. There are usually a large variety of employers you can visit in one day and apply. Entrance is usually free, but registering online might be encouraged. Bring your resume and dress to impress as there may be interviews on the spot. Entrance is usually free, register online to visualise the different companies and the list of conferences and workshop before the event.
English-speaking expats are in high demand for teaching English. Language schools usually require applicants to have TEFL course certificates and a college degree. You must have adequate visa clearance and registration. Most schools will supply you the intent to employ so you can secure a visa.
The easiest way to get started teaching English is to find a school. The best situations are companies that pay adequately and aid in getting visa paperwork completed. These positions may be difficult to come by and there is fierce competition for the best.
Applicants usually submit their resume and application, and if the school approves, the applicant will be asked for an interview. The interview may consist of a sample lesson or a grammar test. Some schools will throw teachers right in for a 90 minute class where the school observes and either offers the job, or does not.
It is common for new teachers to only receive a few classes at first. If they are able to prove themselves reliable and are able to handle a class, they will gradually be given more classes. Some teachers work at two schools or also give private lessons.
Teaching in the state sector is the most lucrative strain of teaching. These jobs are hard to come by without experience and the best qualifications. These positions offer the paid holidays, excellent salary, and a good pension.
It is also an option to work for yourself by giving private lessons. These are usually more profitable per hour, but require a lot more work finding customers. The best way to get private students is to post advertisements in business newspapers, on bulletin boards, or offer your resume on expat site's like Easy Expat's Teaching Job Listings. Having basic native language skills will help expand your clientele as you can then work with beginners.
Teaching English Certificates
TESOL (also known as TEFL) is the acronym for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. A TESOL certificate is the most common qualification required to teach English abroad. There are a wide variety of TESOL courses available, ranging from 4-week intensive, classroom based TESOL courses with TEFL International, to TESOL courses studied online. It is even possible to combine a period of online study with a shorter classroom based course. In addition to standard TESOL certificate courses there are also more specialized courses such as courses for teaching business English, or teaching English to young learners. There is also the more advanced TESOL diploma course.
Interviews are a chance for a company to get to know you before hiring you. Research the company before the interview to discover their missions and direction. It is not uncommon for there to be a series of interviews, with the first lasting 30-60 min, and further meetings possibly taking an entire day.
- Dress neatly and conservatively.
- Arrive on time.
- Bring your CV, business card, and copies of the certificates.
- Ask questions. Demonstrate your knowledge and interest.
- Thank the interviewer for their time.
It is quite common in the UK to expect some tests during the interview, especially for technical jobs and IT.
Most jobs rely on an employment contract. The contract must be in writing and can include details of the type of work to be done, duration, salary, and benefits.
It is common to have a probational period at a new job. The length and requirements of this period should be detailed within the contract, including what should happen if either side wishes to terminate the contract.
If you are in need of short term work of any kind, there are agencies that will find you employment with another company. Jobs may consist of office work, babysitting, gardening, security or any other types of work. They will try to fit with occupations that fit your skill set. As an added bonus, sometimes short term work can lead to longer contract.
Work Visas & Permits
For highly skilled workers, investors, entrepreneurs and recent graduates from UK universities: You do not need a job offer when you apply to enter or stay in the UK in these categories, but you will need to pass a points-based assessment.
For skilled workers: If you have been offered a skilled job in the UK and your prospective employer is willing to sponsor you, you can apply to come or stay here to do that job.
Full details can be found in the visa section and at the UK Border and Immigration Agency website.
Tier 1 Post-Study Work Visa
For applicants just out of school, a Tier 1 Post-Study visa may be the perfect fit. It provides international graduates with the opportunity to work throughout the UK after they have completed their studies. It can also be used for internships.
In order to qualify applicants must have:
- Been awarded an HND, undergraduate degree, postgraduate degree, diploma or certificate, or a PhD from a recognized UK institution of further or higher education or a bona fide private education institution.
- Successfully completed the relevant course within the last 12 months.
- You must be able to demonstrate excellent command of the English language.
- A minimum level of funds available
Full details can be found in the visa section and at the UK Border and Immigration Agency website. Also look into the Passport & Visa section of this expat guide.