Life in the big smoke

16 ways of getting a job in London

Competition for jobs in the British capital is fierce. Here are sixteen helpful ideas for finding a job in London.

1. The best place to start might be looking at ads on sites like newspaper The Guardian’s job pages.

2. f you’re looking for a job in the service industry just walking around to cafés and bars, handing out your CV is a good bet. Most of these places are looking for experienced staff. Most of them are busy and will like potential employees that are pro-active.

3. It’s not unusual to have to send out quite few more applications than you think is reasonable. There are many people competing for jobs at the moment, sometimes it’s just the luck of the draw. The more CVs and applications you send out, the higher your chances are of getting noticed (at least that’s how it’s supposed to work).

4. Get to know people by going to networking events in your chosen sector. You can easily find some of these on sites like

5. Network online. Find people in the industry you’re interested in, start chatting to them on Twitter. Get to know them, help them get to know you and then see if there are any job opportunities out there.

6. Work on your LinkedIn profile. See if you can make contacts or snoop on companies you’re interested in working for through the site.

7. Be an intern or volunteer. The best way of making a good impression and making sure potential employers remember you is to do an internship. It might be more expensive to begin with, but unfortunately this is how things are at the moment.

8. Have a look at Facebook-groups or forums for expats from your own town or country in London. Sometimes there are jobs on offer there. If not you can let them know who you are and what sort of work you’re looking for in London. If you’re lucky your countrymen or people from your hometown will be eager to help you out.

9. Do you have any friends at universities in London? Have them look at what comes through their uni mail and pass on interesting job offers to you.

10. Get in touch with a recruitment agency. They will help you with your CV. One of the big ones is They also have a good section on their website with advice on how to write your CV.

11. Remember that your CV is everything. A lot of places receive too many applications to handle so at first they just skim through them, or have a computer look through them, to find keywords that are relevant to the job. Make sure your CV is tailored to the job you’re applying for so you don’t get rejected in the first round.

12. Another option is to freelance, which is what I’ve done. It’s a good option if you already have contacts in your industry, if you don’t it will take a while to build up your business. If you’d like to know more about how to become a freelance journalist, check out one of my previous blog posts.

13. Get a job as a film extra. If you want to peek behind the scenes of the UK entertainment industry you can sign up to one of the many sites for extras work. Universalextras is one, it’s a bit finicky to put up an ad, but if you get casted you can be paid as much as £100/day.

14. Do some market trading. There are several markets in London, if you’re a creative and entrepreneurial sort of person you can rent a stall from £40 to £90 per day. Keep in mind you will have to have a professional set up, it will be a long day of trading and you’re not guaranteed to make your money back. As a non-permanent stall holder you will also have to queue up in the morning to get a stall. But it’s a good way to test a product and a nice way of earning an extra income if you knit/sew/do other creative things. Check out Spitalfields, the Crafty Fox markets and Greenwich market.

15. If you’re a chef street food markets are the trendy thing in London at the moment. Street feast London is a popular event.

16. Go to recruitment fairs. Silicon Milk Roundabout is a good one if you’re interested in working for a start-up.

Photo by Joanna Kosinska.