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Lucinda Winterbourn - New to London? Here are a few tips to help you find a job and make your transition easier

​Lucinda Winterbourn, one of Investigo’s cadidates, has given us some great tips on how to quickly find a job in London.

I moved to London almost two months ago, in July 2015, after a few weeks of travelling. I knew that moving from New Zealand to one of the biggest cities in the world is going to be a challenge and an immensely enriching experience.

People from all over the world consider moving to London for various reasons and, in the interest of helping out others who decide to take this step, I’ve decided to share my experience as well as a few tips which might help educate others on the ins and outs of finding a job and settling in London.

So, on arriving, I was lucky enough to find accommodation very quickly - I moved straight into a flat in Dalston with some friends from New Zealand. Then I spent my first couple of weeks trying to get my bearings around everything. Living in London can be quite different to living in NZ and, most probably, to living in any other country. People aren’t as chatty as they are in other countries I’ve visited, they work a lot and…it does rain. I also used the first couple of weeks as a good opportunity to tick off a few of the well-known touristic spots which I highly recommend you visit before you get a job. You’ll have a lot less time and energy after.

The cost of living in London can be quite high so I soon started looking for a job which, I think, was the most difficult part about moving to this amazing city. The job market works quite differently here than in NZ. I’ve never met with a recruiter before moving here and had never been presented with so many job specs. I had to register with a few recruitment agencies and spent most of my time meeting with several recruitment consultants. I learnt early on that I should only put my name forward for jobs that suit my skillset and I had to think carefully about what I want to do at the end of your visa. It was important for me to find a job where I could gain transferable skills.

To cut a long story short, here’s what I think it would be helpful to know before embarking on the job hunt in London:

  • • Before you start looking for a job in London, check your eligibility to work in the UK. If you are a British or EU citizen you are eligible to work in the UK as long as you are able to provide your passport or ID. However, if you do not have a British/EU country passport or Dual Citizenship you must get a work visa or permit before you arrive here.

  • • Then, once you start applying for a job, make sure you find out where the company’s offices are located and how long it would take you to get there. I once travelled for 90 minutes to get to an interview. I didn’t get the job but, even I had, I wouldn’t have accepted the offer. A 3 hours commute per day is too much.

  • • Contact friends and family in the UK for recommendations and advice but also seek out industry events in the city. Use social media to network, join LinkedIn groups that are specific to your industry and engage with people working in London.

  • Job hunt like crazy and expect crazy competition. You’ll most probably be rejected in the beginning but it’ll all work out and you’ll learn a lot from it. Competition brings out the best in us and I actually think it’s healthy.

  • Tailor your CV for each application. Every CV should have an overview, introduction or summary tailored to the specific role you are applying for. This shows that you are seriously interested in that specific position and company.

  • Once you find a job, contact your local Job Centre Plus Office and apply for a National Insurance Number. You won’t be able to work in the UK without one. A date and time will be arranged where you must attend a brief interview with HMRC.

  • In case you are considering to set up a limited company, try to sort your business bank account before your personal account and do enough shopping around before you choose your accountant and/or insurance.

  • And, last but definitely not least, try and get a flat or a room in a shared accommodation as soon as possible. You’ll need to show a proof of address when you set up a bank account, when you accept a job offer, when you register with a GP, etc.

All in all, moving to London has been relatively easy and stress free for me. Investigo’s experienced recruitment consultants made it their job to understand exactly what I was looking for and helped me find the right position in no time. If you are looking for permanent, temporary and contract positions across the Financial, Commercial and Professional Services sectors, please get in touch with them today. They’ll definitely make your job search a less daunting experience.

Please feel free to share your thoughts and tips on how to find a job in London in the comments below.