The relationship between the UK and Oceania has long been a special one. Wherever you hail from, the allure of these faraway lands has inspired thousands of people to make the move in both directions. It’s attractive to the young and the not-so-young alike — whether you’re fresh out of school or looking for a move with 20 years of experience behind you.
One question I was inundated with by my UK-based friends and family when regaling tales of my four-year venture to the southern hemisphere was, “how did you get started?” I can think of countless occasions when somebody said that they would love to go, but the logistics caused too much worry or they simply did not know where to begin.
Here are some useful tips on how to apply for a role on the other side of the world and make the professional move as easy as possible:
1. Adapt your CV for the hiring market
The UK is a highly evolved job market place. Anyone searching for a role will know that for every job advertised by a company, there are upwards of five jobs advertised by a recruitment agency. At last count, May 2018, there were 39,232 agencies registered with Companies House. This means the market is fast, direct and cut-throat. Storytelling CVs or overly detailed CVs do not make it past the initial skim-read into the interview pile.
If you are coming from Oceania to the UK, condense your CV. Consider using bullet points and shorter sentences rather than lengthy paragraphs to outline your achievements. Ultimately, you need to make sure that there are enough attention-grabbing elements to survive a five-second glance.
Alternatively, when heading the other way, tell a story, elaborate on your successes. The Australian and New Zealand market is less evolved, and you have more of a chance to demonstrate your personality at stage one of the recruitment process.
2. When it comes to your job search, know where to look
Websites are easy to research. A quick Google search will tell you that Reed and Totaljobs are the most common places to find your next role in the UK. Likewise Seek has the market share in Australia, with Seek and TradeMe providing the service in New Zealand.
Dedicated teams within multinational recruitment agencies are evermore commonplace to assist with a global relocation. These are often your best bet, particularly if your skill set is coveted in your intended destination. They know the market, have existing relationships and can provide top of the range advice to support the entire process, from visas to expected living costs and more. Approaching your local branch of Hays, Randstad, Robert Walters etc. is not a silly place to start.
3. Make a plan and leave yourself enough time
It may seem obvious, but quite a lot more effort goes into getting yourself a job on the other side of the world.
You need to know what you want so you can be decisive. Time kills all job offers.
You need to allow yourself time for the process. Often phone interviews and other correspondence have to be done late at night or early morning to account for the time difference.
You need to be aware that visa processes can take longer than you think and require documentation that seems like overkill. Speak to an immigration specialist for up-to-date advice on waiting times, and how to make sure the process is as smooth as possible.
4. Get excited — you’re moving to the other side of the world!
Trust me, having worked in the UK, Australia and New Zealand, the rewards for your efforts up front are more than worth it. You’ll thank me when the commute includes looking out your new office window onto sunny Bondi Beach, or on that rare occasion, you get to meet the Queen on the tube!