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How To Find A Job In The UK As An Overseas Candidate

A guide on how best to find a job in the UK in 2022 and what potential challenges you may face.

The UK has always had a significant pull for overseas candidates and despite numerous headwinds in recent years, it's still a popular destination for many. After all, it's a well-developed and wealthy democracy with a number of desirable locations to settle in and countless job opportunities.

The first place that springs to mind when relocating to the UK is London - which is understandable - considering its international significance, intriguing cultural history and breath-taking architecture. However, it's well worth evaluating other areas too such as the likes of Manchester, Cardiff and Edinburgh (to name a few).

Where would you most like to work in the UK out of the following?

  • London

  • Manchester

  • Edinburgh

  • Birmingham

The reason for this is because the cost of living in these areas is often much cheaper than London. The reason why this has quite profound implications is because a number of businesses have actually set up hubs across the UK to save costs, which has made job opportunities outside the city more common. Different cities tend to have their own quirks, accents and attractions, it's worth taking a look before committing to anything.

How can I find work?

Finding work in an overseas country can initially be quite a daunting prospect, especially if you're also grappling with a language barrier too.

A good starting point can be to narrow down exactly what kind of job positions you're looking for and list down all the different job titles that the role may be called. For instance, for a role as a Nurse you want to be searching for various terms such as Nurse, RGN and Registered General Nurse. This way you have all bases covered, as otherwise certain positions may not be reflected in your searches. Finding a job online is usually your best bet A variety of online platforms are going to be your likely destination for where you'll find your next role. These can be found on any job-board, social media platform or directly via the company's website.

Once you have started applying for some relevant roles, you may be invited for an interview. It's definitely worth preparing for this in advance as you will likely be questioned about your skills, experience and visa status. I have included a few examples for the best job-seeking websites below with the relevant links included:

What kind of candidates are in high demand?

Three-quarters of businesses in the UK said they have had difficult filling vacancies due to a shortage of workers - according to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) in 2022.

The labour shortages spread far and wide and currently effect the likes of the agriculture, construction, driving and healthcare sectors. All industries for any economy.

It's likely that you'll find it a lot easier to find work if you were plugging a skill shortage.

"We often look beyond the UK and Europe to attract the best talent" The NHS

Do I need sponsorship to get a visa to work in the UK?

It's worth taking a look through the Government website to be safe, as they're a whole host of different visas available, so it's important to see what kind of visa you're actually eligible for.

There are a few examples of different visas such as Ancestry visa, skilled worker visa and intra-company visa. The Government websites visa page can be found here:

Competition is hot in the UK market

It's important to bear in mind that whilst job opportunities in the UK are up there with some of the best in the world, so are the candidates. The competition that you face will be severe, especially for many desirable job roles in sectors such as finance, legal and marketing.

This competition can unfortunately end up deterring many overseas candidates from relocating to the UK.

Stat: 57% of UK employers use degrees to screen candidates.

Is it still worth looking for work in the UK?

As discussed in this article, finding work in the UK has various obstacles to overcome which may deter many a candidate. These range from getting the right visa, finding suitable work and battling against a highly trained workforce for employment.

However, they're opportunities available and despite what image the media may portray, the UK is open for business to a whole host of different overseas candidates. Whether that's for HGV Drivers, Researchers, Nurses, Bankers or Warehouse staff - options are plentiful across the country.

When you couple these opportunities with everything else that Britain provides, it's easy to see why it's viewed as the gold-standard for work from overseas.

Now I would like to hear from you: Are you currently seeking work in the UK? If so, what are the biggest challenges that you're currently facing? Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below.

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