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Antipodeans abroad - securing your first role in the UK

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As an Australian recruitment consultant in London, a subject I have first-hand experience about, both personally and professionally, is securing a role abroad. It has been a traditional rite of passage for many years that young Australians and New Zealanders come to work in London, with over 25,000 visas issued last year to them, and the London population of Aussies alone being ten times that. In a recent survey of Antipodeans currently working in London, predominantly in accounting and finance, even though 75% secured a job within four weeks of arriving, their biggest piece of advice to those hoping to follow them was to prepare as much as possible in advance rather than waiting until you arrive. Despite recent changes to the UK’s immigration policies, upcoming Brexit, and increased security and regulations at borders, the move is still as popular as ever, so we have put together some best practice tips on how to maximise your chances of securing the role you want in the UK.

  • Do your research 

Research your target market and its current state in London, reading salary guides and insight pieces on how your industry is performing, so that you are fully up to speed and know what to expect.

  • Find a recruiter 

While LinkedIn and direct applications of course can work, the most successful route to a role in the UK is via a recruitment consultant, preferably one that specialises in your field and has experience of placing those arriving on visas. Do your homework and find one you feel you can trust. 

  • Prep your CV early 

Understand how your qualifications transfer and what the equivalent is in the UK and tailor your work experience to be as relevant as possible to your target role in the UK.

  • Network

Update your LinkedIn profile before you arrive and maximise your contacts – chances are that you will know people already here, so get out and meet them, both to help you acclimatise to the new culture, as well as hear their advice on securing a job. They may be able to recommend a recruiter, for example, or help you with the annoying admin tasks such as bank accounts etc.

  • Be flexible

Know what you want and be focused on your target role, but try and be flexible when an opportunity arises. It’s important to remember that your visa restrictions, particularly if you are here on a two-year Tier 5 visa, may be a stumbling block for some permanent roles, so keeping your options open about contract roles is advisable.

If you are thinking of coming to the UK or have recently arrived and would like any advice on finding the right role for you, please contact me on