JOB SEARCH / MAY. 17, 2014
version 3, draft 3

How to Find a Job in the UK

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For such a small nation in terms of its geographical footprint, the United Kingdom has left its mark all over the globe. For that reason, there are Anglophiles – people who love all things British – on every continent. If you want to put your fascination with the UK into practice, how do you go about finding a job there?

What you’ll need

Unless you’re a citizen of the UK, Switzerland, or the European Economic Area, you’ll probably need a visa and a work permit.

  • You can apply for a visa at the British Overseas Mission in your home country.
  • Work permits vary depending on the type of work you want to do. Work permits for high-value migrants – most often entrepreneurs who plan on investing their own money in the country – are awarded based on a point system. Skilled workers are those who are being transferred by a company that has offices in the UK or who have been offered a job with a UK company that can demonstrate that it couldn’t fill the job with a UK citizen. This type of work permit also operates on a point system, and it can only be obtained by the employer. Temporary work permits are for those who plan to be in the UK for a set period of time. Most are part of a youth mobility program, but only citizens of certain countries are eligible (although there are also other categories of temporary work permits). As with other categories of work permits, you’ll need a sponsor as well as a minimum number of points. The UK Visas and Immigration website can help you figure out which type of visa you need.
  • You’ll also need a UK bank account to which your employer can deposit your salary. A relocation company can help you set one up, or you can do it on your own.
  • The final thing you’ll need is a National Insurance number, which is how the government will keep track of both your National Insurance contributions and your income tax payments. It will also provide proof of your own eligibility to receive benefits.

How to find a job

Many global organizations have branches in the UK If you work for one of these companies, the easiest way to begin living and working in the UK is to request a transfer. If you’re starting from scratch, just remember that you’ll need to have a job offer locked in before you’re granted a work permit. Here are some ways to find a job:

  • A good place to start is Job Centre Plus, which is a government-run website. Companies can post jobs free, so there are a lot of jobs, but they do tend to go fast.
  • There are a number of other online resources, too. One of the UK’s most popular employment agencies is, which typically adds several thousand jobs per day. And then there’s agencycentral, which lets you search both recruitment agencies and individual jobs. And you can always check the websites of individual companies.

Working in the UK can be an exciting experience, full of new cultural experiences. With a little planning, finding a job in the UK can be the beginning of the adventure of a lifetime.

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