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Employment & Working in London and the UK

Piccadilly Circus, LondonPreparing Yourself for Working in London

The job market can be very competitive in London. While there are many jobs to had in London there is also many people looking for work.

The best advice is to prepare before you come to the UK. Your sales tool is your resume (or CV as it is known in the UK). This has to be spot on and show you in absolutely the best light.

First we suggest you consider a CV submitting service that can get your CV in front of hundreds of UK recruitment agents.


City of London Your CV / Your Sales Tool

Your CV is a marketing tool. Its job is to create a good first impression, communicate your experience and get you an interview.

Presentation of your CV / Resume

Always type your CV
Check for spelling and grammar. Errors look sloppy, so use a dictionary, not just the computer spell check
Double check all dates and qualifications
Use bullets, tabs and bold to make it easy to navigate
Choose an easy-to-read font, no smaller than 11 point, and avoid computer graphics
Print on decent quality white A4 paper
Top of Page

Your personal details on your CV

Name, address, contact phone numbers (home, work, mobile)
Date of birth
Marital status
Nationality, and visa details if applicable
Top of Page

Your education and educational background

Start with the most recent, and include both school and university/college qualifications, with grades and dates. If you have a long work history, this section doesn't need to be too detailed and might be better after your employment history.

Your professional qualifications and skills

List all your professional qualifications, relevant courses attended, your IT systems knowledge and level of proficiency, and any foreign languages.

Employment history

Begin with your current/most recent position. Include the name of the company and, if its not well-known, the nature of its business. State your job title and the dates you were employed.

Describe your current/most recent position in detail, with responsibilities, duties and main achievements. If you have extensive experience, jobs earlier in your career can be kept brief - your last role is what the interviewer is really interested in, so make sure it is easy to read and ideally on the first page.

Do not leave gaps. If you have taken time out to travel, include it. Reason for leaving is not always necessary, but if you have temped for a long time, or have changed jobs frequently, it is advisable to explain why. Give real, positive reasons - do not just say you needed a new challenge.

Personal interests

These say a lot about you, so be specific. Rather than simply saying 'football', include that you play for a local team and was club treasurer for the season. Be prepared to answer questions on your interests, so do not list things for the sake of it.


You should be able to provide references to cover the last five years, but there is no need to include them on your CV. 'References available on request' is fine.

Keywords - the growing importance of Keywords on your career

Companies are relying more and more on technology to sort their way through the stacks of cv's they receive. That doesn't mean that the traditional paper cv dead, but it does mean that in order to get noticed, you'll need to get savvy about posting or submitting your cv online.

Whether they're searching personal Web pages, a job board's cv database, or in their own databases of job applicants, employers retrieve online cv's via keyword searches.

When a recruiter does an electronic search for a candidate, the results are ranked by the number of times the keywords searched for are found in the cv's listed. You can make sure your name is at the top of a recruiter's search results by anticipating the keywords he or she will use.

What Makes a Good Keyword CV?

In a traditional cv, your focus is on action verbs, and on explaining the positions you've held. Keyword cv's need to be searchable. To make sure yours is, use keywords-nouns and phrases that succinctly detail your skills and competencies. Recruiters also search for buzzwords or jargon that pertain to the position or industry, so be sure to include these.

Most recruiters search for resumes using the terms listed in their ads, looking at major job boards and corporate websites you will find the kinds of keywords associated with jobs that interest you.

Ask yourself, "What kinds of keywords are included in the job ad? How are they used in describing the qualifications [a company is] looking for?" compare one ad to another to find similarities in the ways keywords are used. You'll want to make sure your resume includes the most-used keywords.

Place a "key skills" section at the top of your cv, and list all keywords, separated by commas or periods. Nouns should dominate your skills section. List all programs and software you know well, and highlight specific capabilities you have, such as communications skills, organisational skills, or management abilities. Keep your keyword summary to between 20 and 30 items.

"Skills are a very important component of a cv, and often can get buried in the cv itself. Listing them at the top of the cv gives the reviewer a quick idea of what he/she can expect to find throughout the rest of your cv."

But that is only half the battle when it comes to applying for that all important role, there are a few other things to consider :

Include your resume as part of an e-mail. Most recruiters spend their days working from their computers. Resumes reside somewhere on a network folder; that's where yours should be. If you send it in as a hard copy, you may get a call back-but it may get lost.

Don't write a one-line cover letter. What's the point? One line that says something like "I have most of the skills for the job" doesn't say anything about who you are, why you're applying, or what prompted you to apply at that particular business. Recruiters want some context for your cv. Provide it.

Do include a cover letter. Anybody who sends a resume without a cover letter gets an automatic ding in my book. That doesn't go for all hiring managers, but it goes for many. Why? Because no matter how great a cv is, if you're not saying why you applied and why you might like the job, you're not providing the proper context for understanding your cv. A hiring manager wants to know that you know what his or her company does and why you'd like to work there. Give that basic information in your letter.

And finally, Don't forget to make your e-mail address and phone number visible. If you're going to get called back, hiring managers need a number. Make it easy on them

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