How to get a job in the UK? A short guide for everyone, foreigners and British residents

Everyone who wants to get a job in the UK needs first to find a job in the UK. A good start can be job websites like Indeed UKTotaljobs, or Gumtree.

You can look for recruitment agencies or employment agencies in the UK. And you can look for jobs also on Facebook groups in the UK. Once you find a job, you may need a work permit. You can do this from abroad or in the UK. British citizens don’t need a work permit to get a job. In most cases, every other nationality needs to apply for a work permit. You can do this together with your new employer, or employment agency. Read more below on how to find a job in the UK and on how to get a work permit for the United Kingdom.

If you need a visa to visit the UK, look at this article on how to get a visa for the UK

The UK has Europe’s third-largest economy. The UK has a low unemployment rate. There are also over 3.5 million non-UK citizens employed.

How to get a job in the UK?

The first step in getting a job in the UK is to find a job in the UK. Find out where to look for work in the UK in the sections below.

Once you have a job offer, you may need to apply for a work permit, or a work visa, together with your employer or on your own. You will not likely need any permit if you are a resident of the UK.

In most cases, you apply for a work permit with your new employer, a company, or an employment agency. They will get you a visa to enter the country if you are not in the UK already.

Once you have an employer who can sponsor you. You will need to handle together all the paperwork to get you a work permit or a work visa.

First, find a job, and after you’ll worry about documentation if you need it.


What are the most dangerous jobs in the UK? and how much they pay

As you can read in this GoCompare article, jobs in these industries are among the riskiest in the UK

  • Construction
  • Farming
  • Manufacturing
  • Care and Nursing 

Together they account for more than half of fatalities at work in the UK in the last five years.
Read more on GoCompare to see which other industries are risky in the UK, and how much some of these jobs pay.


How to find a job in the UK?

You can find a job in the UK by searching online for job opportunities in the UK. You can find a job either with a company, or with a recruitment agency, or through an employment agency.

Job websites in the UK

A good start is to search for a job on these popular job websites.

BaiduGoogleNaverSogouYandex, or any other search engine, can be a good start for a job search. You can search for a job that you want. That can be for example, “Construction worker in London” or “Babysitter in Glasgow”. Use the language that you feel most comfortable speaking. Don’t stop at the first pages and go deep with your search. You’ll get an immediate feeling of what’s around and of which job websites are best suited for your needs.

Google MapsBaidu MapsNaver Maps2GIS, or any other map app, can help you find employers near you or abroad. Look for the kind of organization that might have job opportunities for you. You can look for “Retail in Bristol” or “Mall in the UK” for example.

Facebook Jobs can be also an option to start to see what’s around you. You can search for Facebook groups that talk about the United Kingdom or about jobs.

Indeed UK is the UK version of the big US job search site Indeed, it has many job listings also in the UK.

Totaljobs is a popular job website in the UK.

CV Library is another popular job website in the UK.

Reed.co.uk is another popular job website in the UK. It has a large number of openings for various types of jobs.

Glassdoor UK is a popular job website, it also has profiles of companies and career advice.

Jobsite is popular for finding a job in the UK.

Jobs.ac.uk is a job website about jobs in university and higher education.

Adzuna is another useful job website. It lists salaries for different jobs in the UK.

The Guardian Jobs has some job postings. The Guardian is one of the main British news and media websites.

The Independent Jobs has jobs in the areas of accounting, technology, and education. The Independent is one of the main British news and media websites.

These are other general UK job websites:

Websites to get a job in the UK

These are more websites that can be useful when you are looking for a job.

Gumtree is a popular website of classifieds. It has listings about jobs as well.

VIVAstreet is a popular website of classifieds. It has listings about jobs as well.

UK government working, jobs, and pensions is a UK government website about work and jobs.

Specialist job websites

These are some job websites that focus on specific sectors:

  • Careworx– care workers, social workers, nursing, and managers
  • Caterer – hospitality, restaurants, hotels, pubs, bars, and catering
  • Charity jobs – charities
  • Computer weekly – IT
  • CWJobs – IT
  • Design Week– design, branding, copywriting, artwork, exhibitions, graphics, interiors, furniture, and packaging
  • Exec Appointments – executive jobs
  • Hays – management and professional level jobs
  • Justengineers – engineering
  • Jobsora.com – jobs in all major sectors
  • Madjobs – marketing and advertising
  • Mandy – TV and film
  • Music Jobs– all aspects of the music industry including performers, producers, teachers
  • NHS jobs – jobs in all sectors of the National Health Service throughout the UK. It has jobs from medics and nurses, through administration to cleaning and services
  • Prospects – graduates
  • Splashfind – top 100 UK specialist job sites

Overseas and Expat Job Portals

  • Michael Page: An international executive recruitment website that has high-paying jobs.
  • eFinancialCareers: They have lots of finance jobs in the UK.
  • Go Abroad: They have a good job portal too.

Facebook groups and other social media to get a job in the UK

Facebook groups help you to connect with people about jobs in the UK.

You can use your favorite social media to look for groups that talk about jobs or about the UK.

LinkedIn United Kingdom is also a popular choice when networking for jobs.

Any social media or communication platform can help you to find a job in the UK. It can be for example Instagram or any WhatsApp group of people in the UK.

Recruitment agencies in the UK

A recruitment agency receives a description for a job from an employer who needs someone. Then the recruitment agency looks for a person to do that job.

Recruitment agencies look for skilled workers to suit the job role available. A skilled worker has some experience, and certifications, to work in a particular role. Examples can be a nurse, an accountant, a chef, a construction worker, or a truck driver.

Recruitment agencies specialize in particular sectors. Those can be care, computing, engineering, nursing, accounting, catering, construction, or other sectors. Sometimes an agency can contact you first if they struggle to find people.

You can look up a recruitment agency that can help you to find a job that matches your skills. You can type ‘recruitment agency near Glasgow’ on Google Maps or any other map website. There you can find a list of good agencies that you can contact. If you are not in the United Kingdom, you can search your area for local recruitment agencies. They can help you find a job in the UK.

Manpower is a recruitment agency in the UK.

Employment agencies, temp agencies, temporary job agencies, staffing agencies in the UK

Employment agencies hire people to do jobs. The agency employs you to work for another company. Employment agencies can be temp agencies (temporary job agencies), or staffing agencies. An employment agency registers someone who’s looking for work, a job seeker. The agency then contacts employers who have positions available for the new person.
These agencies can hire new workers for new jobs. Agencies contract those new jobs from other companies. An employment agency will assist any job seeker. Unskilled workers are more likely to find a job with an employment agency. An unskilled worker has no qualifications, or experience, in the job that they want. They have finished school recently, or they are changing industries or they are new to the region.
These agencies specialize in particular sectors. Those can be care, computing, engineering, nursing, accounting, catering, construction, or other sectors. Agencies offer full-time jobs, part-time jobs, temporary jobs, seasonal jobs, or freelance jobs.

If you type ‘employment agency near Bristol’ on Google Maps, Baidu Maps, or any other map website. You can find a list of good agencies that you can contact. If you are not in the United Kingdom, you can search your area for local employment agencies. They can help you find a job in the UK.

Be aware that you should not pay an agency when they find a job for you. So be careful when an agency asks you for money.

UK Government employment agency

Find a job is the government-run online search engine for jobs throughout the UK. Job Centers are on the high streets of larger towns throughout the UK. Where you can browse job vacancies in person.

Ask around you for jobs in the UK

Form connections, ask around and find opportunities among your contacts. Speak with friends of friends of people who may have traveled or worked in the UK or in the United Kingdom. You will see that some of your friends or family know someone who knows someone.

You can email local businesses and companies for jobs in the UK

You can search for companies and local businesses in the UK. An easy tool for doing that can be any map app or map website. Below is, for example, a Google Maps search for “farm near York”.

Walk around the UK for possible jobs

If you are in the UK, you can explore the area and see what job opportunities are around you. You can look for organizations and businesses around you and visit them. For example, below is a search on Google Maps for “market near London”. You can visit these places asking for job opportunities.

Newspapers and print

The Guardian is one of the best sources of graduate and professional jobs. It has jobs in the arts, culture and media, marketing, government, and politics. And it has jobs in housing, social care, environment, and education. Look online for jobs across the sectors; the print editions focus on a different sector each day.

Also for professional positions, check out The Telegraph. See online jobs at The Big Issue for employment in the charity and not-for-profit sector around the UK. For London-based jobs, see the Metro.

Embassies and consulates

Look for job vacancies at your home country’s embassy or consulate in the UK. Whatever the job, you are sure to need a high standard of spoken and written English.

Search for employment schemes

You can apply for an employment scheme or an employment support program that can help you to find a job. Those programs can be local or national. They can be open only to British residents but they can be open to foreigners as well. You need to look for a program that fits your profile. You can search for employment schemes at your local government or embassy. You can search for “UK employment scheme” or “United Kingdom employment program”.

Self-employment and freelancing in the UK

You can start your own business or register as a self-employed freelancer. You will need to check visa requirements as you may need to apply for a business visa.

Traineeships, internships, and volunteering in the UK

Search for internship opportunities in the UK. AIESEC is for students and recent graduates. And IAESTE is for students in science, engineering, and applied arts.

Support while looking for jobs in the UK

You can claim Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) in the UK to support you while you’re looking for work.

Skills training is available to you. You can build your career prospects and develop your employment skills. UK careers services run courses and offer to fund. Find out more on the UK government website.