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Looking for work in the United Kingdom

Looking for work in another country requires more than just the obvious CV translation.  You will be confronted with issues that probably didn't even cross your mind when you decided to go for an international career, but don't underestimate the big impact they can have on the outcome of your adventure!  Think for example about the different rules and habits regarding immigration, job application procedures, the selection procedures and the management culture.

Expertise in Labour Mobility has prepared practical fact sheets to support you in your job hunting abroad.  A thorough preparation will give you a head start in the country of your choice.  Here is some info on the United Kingdom:

Work permits in the UK.

  •     EEA citizens are free to move and work wherever they want to, within the EEA (including the UK).
  •     You must apply for a residence permit. This is valid for five years and should be issued within six months of your arrival.
  •     Contact the British embassy in your home country for more information.

The application procedure in the UK

  •     Careers advisory services are well-established at all British universities.
  •     Speculative applications in Britain are only worth the effort if well researched in advance.
  •     Realise the importance of language skills. Having a social conversation is very different from a business negotiation.

Writing a CV in the UK

  •     The key focus of your CV should be to persuade the employer to invite you for an interview. Therefore your CV is a marketing tool, which should be adapted to the market in which you intend to use it.
  •     The British CV is short, a maximum of two pages in length.
  •     UK companies generally attach less importance to someone's marital status than in most European countries.
  •     It is common in the UK to give the contact details of two references at the end of the CV.
  •     Use either a reversed chronological or a functional format for your CV.

The application letter in the UK

  •     Explain why you consider yourself the right candidate for the job.
  •     Illustrate your skills with examples.
  •     In the UK, if the addressee is unknown to you, start with 'Dear sir/madam' and end with 'Yours faithfully'.
  •     If you do know the name start with 'Dear Mr/Ms X' and end with 'Yours sincerely'.
  •     Many companies in the United Kingdom use application forms instead of letters.


  •     Use power words in an application in the UK. (such as accomplished, achieved, carried out, finalised, guided, handled, improved, negotiated, realised, represented, structured, succeeded in)
  •     Add extra-curricular activities, hobbies and sports in your CV.
  •     Look interested - ask questions.
  •     Provide examples to prove your achievements.
  •     Ask for clarification if you don't understand the question.
  •     Be prepared for an assessment centre.


  •     Act like a leader when you are not!
  •     Add a reference without telling this person.
  •     Overestimate your qualities, the British are modest people.
  •     Sit until invited in an interview.
  •     Criticise former employers.
  •     Go over the top - stay calm and stick to the facts.

Management culture in the United Kingdom

  •     The traditional British organisational structure is a pyramid, consisting of many layers and a strong vertical hierarchy.
  •     Employers are fair and value a good relationship with their employees.
  •     Meetings are an important management instrument: All important decisions will be brought up, discussed, negotiated and passed through during the meeting.
  •     At meetings, British people are always on time. However in social life, they are almost always ten minutes late.
  •     Humour is very important; humour is present on every level and on almost every occasion.

This information is based on the Looking for work in the United Kingdom guide (ISBN 978-90-5896-059-7), written by Expertise in Labour Mobility, and has been used with their kind permission.  

For more information please visit www.labourmobility.com

Expertise in Labour Mobility are a company who specialize in advice and guidance regarding international labour mobility.  Expertise in Labour Mobility assists organizations in their communication with their expatriate population, ranging from cultural management advice and job hunting information to writing complete expat policies and preparing expat tool kits for a wide range of clients.

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www.CosmosJobs.com : Αναζήτηση εργασίας ανά ειδικότητα για εύρεση εργασίας σε Ελλάδα και Ευρώπη.

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