London has long been thought of as a place where opportunity awaits those who seek out. And although the streets may not be paved with gold, it remains a favoured destination for people aiming to carve out or advance a career in just about any field.
There are a few obvious reasons for this. London is not only the seat of government; it is the economic and legal epicentre of the country. More than that, however, almost every kind of enterprise that exists in the UK will be found in London, often on a scale that dwarfs its provincial equivalents.
With an urban population of almost 8.5 million to serve, the infrastructure of Greater London is necessarily of epic proportions in terms of everything from transport to education to healthcare. And, of course, infrastructure means opportunities.
Moreover, there is a chronic skills shortage in the United Kingdom, and London is no exception to this. That means that there are even more job opportunities in London available - everything from bricklaying to teaching.
Thanks to the concentration of employment within a comparatively small geographical area, it can be easier to find suitable vacancies in the Greater London area than in other parts of the United Kingdom. You'll still need to have a well crafted CV, though, as well as a positive, enthusiastic outlook. And, of course, you still need to know where to look...
Where To Look:
Specialist Recruitment Agencies
Registering with a specialist agency is always a good first step to take. Indeed, if you're searching for a job in one of the professions, such as law or teaching, remember that some vacancies may be exclusively advertised and handled by specialist agencies. It makes sense to register with more than one agency, but be careful not to register with too many, otherwise you may find that you've been put forward for the same job by more than one agency – not a good idea!
General Employment Agencies
There are several well-known agencies which cater for a variety of different types of job, rather than specialise in a particular field. Registering helps ensure that you'll be kept informed of potentially interesting vacancies. Some smaller agencies may concentrate on offering jobs in a particular area of London, so bear that in mind when choosing which agencies to register with.
The internet is a powerful tool for job-hunting. If you're looking for work in a specific part of London and/or a specific field then a well framed Google search can help you to identify vacancies that might otherwise pass you by.
If there is a particular company (or companies) that you'd be interested in working for, you should pay frequent visits (at least once or twice a week) to the recruitment section of their website in order to keep tabs on the latest vacancies. It may also be possible to register interest in future vacancies, so be sure to avail yourself of this option if possible.
Advertisements In Newspapers and Magazines
Although printed media no longer carries the number of advertisements that it once did, some employers and agencies continue to use it. We would recommend that you check the local and national press (as well as 'trade' or sector-specific magazines) with reasonable frequency.
Employers value enthusiasm, so never be afraid to make a speculative approach. Sometimes this will involve sending a suitably tailored copy of your CV with a covering letter, but for some jobs (such as in construction) a personal approach can also pay dividends. Make sure your approach, however you make it, is polite, enthusiastic and positive. If there are no current vacancies then ask if the employer will let you know when one does come up. If calling in person, take some copies of your CV with you.
London is home to several annual job fairs, such as the London Job Show, the London Graduate Fair and (for young people) Skills London. Attending a job fair is a great way to access a concentrated pool of information, advice and contacts. You'll get the most out of a job fair if you make the effort to speak to exhibitors, ask questions and show enthusiasm. You should dress smartly but comfortably.
Zoek is a free, easy-to-use, intuitive app for iPhone and Android that helps to put recruiters and jobseekers together. All you have to do is set up your profile, select the specific criteria you're looking for in a job and sit back while Zoek compares your preferences to jobs submitted to the platform by recruiters. You'll be informed of matching jobs, leaving it up to you to decide whether to contact that recruiter or not. And for as long as your profile is live, new matches will be sent to you as they come in.
It All Comes Down To You
There are lots of job opportunities in London, and if you have the right approach then you will find the job that's right for you. If you are looking for a job in or around London, why not download the Zoek app to let your new job find you? The app for faster, smarter recruitment can be downloaded on iOS or Android.