Join 3,556 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Job Search tips in the UK
March 29, 2012 2:10 AM   Subscribe

London UK Job Search Help: I'm 36 and after 11 years service for a single company in the financial sector I"m looking for a new job. I've also just taken a 6 month 'sabbatical'. So how exactly do I approach finding a new job in London? A couple of key questions:

1. In my CV I have just 11 years at the same company, but with changing roles over the 11 years; how do you usually structure that. (this was also my first job after University).

2. Where do I start looking for Jobs? What are reputable sites / locations for Job listings. I have a Maths & Philosophy degree and 11 years experience in Project Finance. I'm not sure I want to go back to finance though. A friend suggested Forensic Accounting for a charity / anti-corruption organisations. I was also thinking of doing a UK Teacher PGCE (but its kinda expensive for me.)

3. I just took 6 months off work as "Long Service Leave" (as we call it in Australia) and basically did nothing but read, learn German, learn to cook and play a little music. Is this going to be a problem?

4. CV: I presume I just list my degrees, year of completion and university. (they won't want to see transcripts will they?)

Oh and I resigned voluntarily from my previous job as I was bored to death and needed a change. I think it was an amicable parting.

Also I don't think it matters but I'm Australian and will be on an EEA Family Member Visa in the UK. My 1 job was 7 years in Australia then transferred internally to the UK Office for 3-4 years.
posted by mary8nne to Work & Money (5 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
1) I would enter it as different jobs, e.g.

2001 - 2003
Junior JobTitle at Example Ltd, Australia
Responsible for blah blah blah

2003 - 2006
Senior JobTitle at Example Ltd, Australia
Responsible for blah blah blah

2006 - 2012
OtherJobTitle Manager at Example Ltd, UK
Responsible for blah blah blah

That would break it up a bit and allow you to demonstrate a) different work you've done (if the different roles are in different areas) and/or b) the progession through the ranks you've achieved (if the different roles are as you've moved up the ranks).

2. When I was looking for jobs, I used Monster.co.uk, TotalJobs.com, reed.co.uk, Kelly Services, plus I signed up with as many local recruiters as I could find. I tried Jobsite.co.uk but found the interface didn't allow me to do what I wanted in terms of searching/setting up email alerts. For reference the last two jobs I've got were via Reed and WiredSussex (local tech jobs).

3. No, if you've been in work for 11 years and frame it as "I wanted to take a break, go travelling, learn German and cooking (read: personal improvement, learning skills)" 6 months off shouldn't be a problem. My current boss (in tech/IT inductry) actually took a year off travelling before he got a job where I work last year.

4. I think unless you are doing something academic all they will want to know is degree, result, and university. You don't even need the year as they are legally required IIRC not to ask your age and the year you finished your degree makes it easy to make a good guess at your age (although if/when they ask for proof of the degree that will have the date on it anyway).
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:58 AM on March 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


after 11 years service for a single company in the financial sector I"m looking for a new job… I resigned voluntarily from my previous job as I was bored to death and needed a change.

Congratulations on making the move… it's wonderful when people quit what they've being doing to find something more aligned with themselves.

On that note, there are people looking for you [http://www.escapethecity.org]

1. In my CV I have just 11 years at the same company, but with changing roles over the 11 years; how do you usually structure that. (this was also my first job after University).

EndsofInvention captured this pretty well. Only thing to add is you can structure the steps for whatever looks best. If you went from Analyst to Director, you don't have to put Analyst, Senior Analyst, Associate, Senior Associate, VP, Senior VP, Director. You can put Senior Analyst, Senior Associate, Senior VP, Director, and list any relevant results from the class of role.

2. Where do I start looking for Jobs? What are reputable sites / locations for Job listings. I have a Maths & Philosophy degree and 11 years experience in Project Finance. I'm not sure I want to go back to finance though. A friend suggested Forensic Accounting for a charity / anti-corruption organisations. I was also thinking of doing a UK Teacher PGCE (but its kinda expensive for me.)

LinkedIn baby. LinkedIn is the new HR platform, and has the benefit of both being your online CV as well as seeing if you know someone who can put you in touch directly.

Recruiters may help or they may not. I often see that recruiters 1) look for specialist skills, and 2) aren't very good at career switchers. They're risk-averse to some degree and only want to put up candidates that make sense. That being said, it doesn't hurt to register with a few.

Conferences. There are heaps of conferences in London on a variety of topics. If I have a good conversation about a company at a conference, I'll go look at their website, and usually follow up with a "hey nice to meet you and I like what you do email," so that the 1) remember me, and 2) remember that I was keen on their company.

Independent consulting. Due to UK labour regulations, it's often easier for small companies to start out with you as an independent contractor. I've found good success in the past offering to write executive summaries to a proposal for free. It gives you an inside view as to what the company does, what the work is, and also can demonstrate your grasp (or lack thereof) of the proposal itself. Perhaps think of independent consulting as a route of a paid internship for experienced professionals.

3. I just took 6 months off work as "Long Service Leave" (as we call it in Australia) and basically did nothing but read, learn German, learn to cook and play a little music. Is this going to be a problem?

Doubtful. It's more about the gap making sense than the gap itself. If you said, "I took six months off to drink in the pub" that's very different than, "After 11 years, I finished a big project and decided to take a few months off for self-enrichment." As a hiring manager, I'm looking for people, as well as a set of skills. If there's someone in front of me that took time off to pursue something and gain skills, I'm going to see a highly motivated person that needed a different space in which to grow.

4. CV: I presume I just list my degrees, year of completion and university. (they won't want to see transcripts will they?)

Probably not at this point. If you went to a prestiguous university, the brand mention will help and you may want to lead with that. Otherwise, I would list university and any relevant awards or memberships.

The only other thing I can think of is interview practice. With people in long-term roles, they sometimes forget how to interview. I would recommend a friend, a video camera, and a bottle of wine. Have the friend run you through three or so practice interviews and record them. Watch the videos and notice how you come across. How you speak, your unconscious movements, your eye contact. It will really help and potentially transform your interview skills and style. Once you've finished with the exercise, watch one more time, having wine and laughing at yourself.
posted by nickrussell at 3:40 AM on March 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


So how exactly do I approach finding a new job in London?

If you have not applied for a job in over a decade and you have these kinds of questions, I think you should buy some professional CV services. A mid-career CV is not like your entry-level post grad CV; the market is tighter, the stakes are higher and the ability of CV to get you interviews is pretty critical. You sound a little lost here; hire some pro help.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:20 AM on March 29, 2012


as someone else in the London financial sector who's jobhopped several times in the past 10 years, I can tell you that the recruitment companies that you contact will be very much determined by what you are looking for.

If you want to stay in finance, the 'bread and butter' recruiters are probably huxley associates. They've been on the approved recruiters list of every HR department I've encountered so their coverage is pretty wide. Someone with 11 years of experience such as yourself would probably need a company with a more mid-level lean like morgan mckinley. Alternatively if you're senior management then you'll need an exec recruiter, but I'll leave the recommendations to someone more senior and far richer than me.

If you're looking to change careers and move out of the city, escapethecity.org looks like a good site. It's something I've dreamed about for a while, so if this is what you are looking would be interested to hear any good recommendations on jobsites and career options
posted by 5imon at 7:10 AM on March 29, 2012


I just took 6 months off work as "Long Service Leave" (as we call it in Australia) and basically did nothing but read, learn German, learn to cook and play a little music.

I resigned voluntarily from my previous job as I was bored to death and needed a change.

Not major problems by any means, but these might give certain employers some pause. What they'll be wondering is "Will you get bored here, or will you stick around?"

If you are also looking to get into something new where a) the employer will need you be around a while to get up to speed and b) there is a chance that it might turn out that you don't like this new field, that will be more of a concern.

But there might be a silver lining to that cloud, as you probably don't want to talk yourself into in a job where you'll get bored again anyway.

So if you figure out something that you are enthusiastic to do next and go for that, this shouldn't be a problem, and your story will make complete sense to future employers. ("Did X for N years with a good track record, but decided I didn't want to do that forever; took some time out, and figured out that I really want to do Y.")

Also "I got bored" is probably not the best way to word this. Maybe suggest that after N years you reached a point where you weren't stretched or stimulated any more, so you decided to look for something new.

Btw, something to consider in your situation is doing some contracting or part-time work in your area of expertise. That could sit alongside a longer-term search for discovering what you really want to do, or it could help fund that PGCE if that's what you really want to do.
posted by philipy at 9:42 AM on March 29, 2012


« Older I'm a travel novice about to e...   |  ipod filter...What to do with ... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.