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Topic: Getting my first UK job  (Read 1258 times)

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Getting my first UK job
« on: July 22, 2019, 02:42:12 PM »
Hello everyone!

I've been in the U.K. for almost 4 months now and I am struggling to land a job. I've put in significant time to perfecting my CV and cover letters that I sent out and I'm still having trouble. I thought with my work experience and university degree I would have landed a job by now but even with the basic jobs I've applied for, I'm receiving rejections. Just a little bit of background on me, I served in the military and I also have a bachelors degree in Math. I'm even willing to relocate within reason for my first job just to get U.K. experience. Does anyone know someone who is hiring and can help me get my foot in the door? I typically have experience with marketing, general administration, website management, digital content, and copywriting. Additionally, I am willing to relocate/commute to anywhere in Norfolk or Cambridgeshire for the most part. I figured I would ask here in case someone could help me to land my first job. I'm starting to lose hope after being here 4 months. Thanks to anyone who can help!
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Re: Getting my first UK job
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2019, 03:42:42 PM »
Hi! So sorry to hear that you're having trouble landing a job -- but trust me, you are not the only one. I had a few months of constant rejections (or worse, no response) from everywhere I applied, including part-time ones that I was certainly overqualified for (I have a BA and MSc). About 2 weeks ago, I started a part-time position at Waterstones, which I'm really enjoying but is a definite downgrade in pay and responsibility from the job I left behind in the US.

Unfortunately I can't offer any recommendations or references, but I thought I'd throw a few tips out that were really helpful for me. First, make sure that you address ALL of the essential items listed in the person description, and the desirable ones too if you can. Once I started doing that, I got a lot more feedback. It can be SO annoying and time consuming (especially if you're applying for not very well paid / part-time work!!) but it does make a big difference.

Second, if you can find somewhere to volunteer, that will help get UK experience on your CV (which is crucial) and may help you start to develop a network. I started volunteering once a week at my local Citizens Advice Bureau and, once that was on my CV, I was offered interviews at the next 2 places I applied (one of which is my current job).

Don't lose hope and keep plugging away -- something WILL come through and it's normal for it to take a few months to land that first job.
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Re: Getting my first UK job
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2019, 07:22:32 PM »
Hiya - where do you live at the moment? And what type of jobs have you been applying for?

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My, how time flies....

* Married in the US and applied for first spousal visa August 2013
* Moved to the UK on said visa October 2013
* FLR(M) applied for  May 2016. Biometrics requested June 2016. Approval given July 2016.
* ILR applied for January 2019 (using priority processing). Approved February 2019.
* Citizenship applied for May  2019
* Citizenship approved on July 4th 2019
* Ceremony conducted on August 28th 2019

'Mommy, Wow! I'm a legit Brit now!'


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Re: Getting my first UK job
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2019, 07:45:07 PM »
@elee27 Thanks so much for your words of encouragement that made me feel so much better. I might just do some volunteering to get that "UK experience".

@x0Kiss0fDeath Hello, I'm currently living in King's Lynn.  I've been applying for marketing jobs, general admin jobs, temporary contracted jobs, etc.  I might expand to volunteering or a retail job if I have to just to get started.
~Priority Settlement Spouse Visa~
Priority: Yes
Online application submitted: 17 Feb 2019
Biometrics & docs mailed: 21 Feb 2019
Documents received in NY: 22 Feb 2019
Documents received by Sheffield on: 25 Feb 2019
Decision Made Email: 18 March 2019
APPROVED!!: 20 March 2019
Arrived in the U.K.: 03 April 2019


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Re: Getting my first UK job
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2019, 07:45:21 PM »
Sorry to hear you are having a difficult time I’m sure something will come up. I ended up going through a few jobs before I found a job I liked I worked for a university at one stage doing admin and I think having a degree helped me get that job because they liked the fact that I had studied. Wishing you lots of luck
My home for 18 years since June 2002. Became a citizen 2006


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Re: Getting my first UK job
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2019, 07:59:32 PM »
Hang in there!  It's usually tough to land your first UK job, even if you've had a long history of employment in the US and have qualifications.  (and even then, the UK loves UK qualifications, but that's another story/rant) 

It's not uncommon to go through several months before securing a job after moving over, so don't get discouraged!  The UK loves their UK experience; it's highly recommended to volunteer somewhere to be able to add that to your CV.  Once you have some UK work experience (paid or not) under your belt, you'll probably find more recruiters taking interest. 

And I definitely second the suggestion to ensure that every single person specification is addressed in your application.


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Re: Getting my first UK job
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2019, 08:10:15 PM »
@x0Kiss0fDeath Hello, I'm currently living in King's Lynn.  I've been applying for marketing jobs, general admin jobs, temporary contracted jobs, etc.  I might expand to volunteering or a retail job if I have to just to get started.

I found Marketing jobs in general to be really difficult to get because there is so much competition for them. They are one of the hotter jobs to go for in the last few years from my observations (not looked up statistics or anything). I wouldn't be shocked if the marketing jobs are just too competitive but the general admin view you as over-qualified - so try not to get down on yourself. Have you tried speaking with any agencies/considered temping with a local agency to you?
My, how time flies....

* Married in the US and applied for first spousal visa August 2013
* Moved to the UK on said visa October 2013
* FLR(M) applied for  May 2016. Biometrics requested June 2016. Approval given July 2016.
* ILR applied for January 2019 (using priority processing). Approved February 2019.
* Citizenship applied for May  2019
* Citizenship approved on July 4th 2019
* Ceremony conducted on August 28th 2019

'Mommy, Wow! I'm a legit Brit now!'


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Re: Getting my first UK job
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2019, 06:53:59 PM »
Hiya hope things have improved since this was posted! I landed my part time job at a coffee shop in January after 3 months of getting absolutely nothing in my field (Museum Studies.) After looking into advice from this forum I started doing my applications differently. More details, listing how I meet the desired criteria in as little words as possible and due to this change, I started getting lots of interviews. I've been job hunting constantly for about 7 months now, and I've had about 10 interviews. I always get good feedback, even one of them not offering me the job because I am "overqualified." It is stressful, infuriating and discouraging. But I've been spending that time volunteering, building my UK network, joining the Museum's Association, etc. And even though I've not yet got an offer of employment, I went from having no interviews, to one or two in 4 months, to having 4 just last month. My field is extremely competitive and specialist. For example, the last one I interviewed for, they had 115 applicants and 6 interviewees and it was down to me and them. And they got the job  because the employers believed  that I was "a museum professional, and someone with less experience would benefit more from the position." Whereas at another interview I was told I was the "second choice candidate" but the successful person had a little bit more experience. It's been a whirlwind but all we can do is keep trying and wait for that ONE offer.

As everyone keeps saying, I'll keep doing what I am doing and continuously improving! I hope you do the same! Good luck :)
Married: 14 June 2018
FLR #1: 9 August 2018 (Approved!)
FLR #2: 13 July 2021 (Approved!)


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