I was recently contacted by a marketing graduate in New Zealand about coming to London, United Kingdom to work in Marketing, so I thought I might as well share my experience to other Kiwi/Expat marketers considering moving to London and seeking work.
To start off, if you want to do well in London, I would recommend getting experience before moving to the UK. It is not an easy job market for most and it is an even harder environment for a graduate. While I was in London I met several European graduates whose parents paid for them to go to London to do 6 to 8 month unpaid internships. So as you can imagine it’s not the easiest for a graduate without well off parents to support them while they do an unpaid internship!
Up skill and do your research before heading to the UK
It is good to know what part of marketing you prefer and research what recruiters are looking for in candidates in those types of roles. I worked in all rounded marketing roles before moving to the UK, however in all my roles I made an extra effort on focusing on improving the CRM and digital aspects of the businesses i.e. email marketing, social media, web/SEO and customer journeys. I learnt basic html coding skills at university and then self-taught email specific coding and best practices – this is what helped me stand out to recruiters and secure roles.
Before moving to the UK I went to a Global Career Link seminar where they told me all about the job market, life in the UK and what to expect. Following the seminar I was put in touch with one of their staff members who helped me tailor my CV to the UK job market. They also set realistic expectations on what type of role I could potentially get and what type of pay I would be looking at. Depending on what experience you have they can also set up interviews with recruiters for you when you arrive.
Will finding a job be easy?
Many people think getting a job in London will be easy. Unless you get lucky most people will need to put in a bit of work especially to secure their first job.
First, I would recommend building strong relationships with recruiters as most roles are recruited through agencies rather than direct (especially if you are after contract work).
Next network as much as you can and keep on top of the latest jobs as if you wait for the closing date your CV probably won’t get looked at.
A few good digital resources
If you enjoy digital marketing I would learn a bit of html and sign up to email newsletters that will help teach you the latest research and findings in the marketplace A few of my favourites are Jericho Smartmail (NZ email provider) have great newsletters , econsultancy, Sticky Content (writing for digital) and Smartbrief (daily email on any topic – the social media and career ones are great) . I can recommend others if there are particular areas you want to keep up to speed with. In addition, Twitter and LinkedIn are great places to learn off others, ask questions and sometimes find jobs. Recruiters use LinkedIn quite a lot in the UK and I was approached about several jobs through LinkedIn based on recruiters seeing my profile and experience on LinkedIn.
Finally, I absolutely loved working in London and would highly recommend at least giving it a go. If you have any specific questions I am happy to help out if I can, otherwise check out the websites that I mentioned above and good luck!
“Think not of yourself as the architect of your career but as the sculptor. Expect to have to do a lot of hard hammering and chiselling and scraping and polishing.” BC Forbes
*Disclaimer: these are just my thoughts and opinions from my experiences so please don’t take everything as gospel!