Job Search 101

Article by Md. Hasan Bin Mostafa

I am a newcomer to the United Kingdom and based on my experience, I am trying to write a guideline for the international students who are also looking for part time jobs. I am going step by step.

Get the NI number: Considering that you have permission to work legally in the UK, you must need to have a NI number before applying any type of jobs. And getting a NI number is very easy. All you need to do is to follow some easy steps. Here are the steps:

  • Call 0845 600 0643 or 0845 915 7006.
  • Give your certain details needed like your name, date of birth, nationality, your UK home address etc.
  • They will send you an application form to your current address. Then fill up the application form and attach photocopy of first 3 pages of your passport and visa page and send it back to them.
  • And then wait for 15-20 days. If everything is alright then you should get your NI number to your home address.

Prepare your CV: Now you have your NI number handy. You are in need of a CV now. An employer may well have to sort through over a hundred CVs in a very short space of time, so your CV must make an immediate, putting in the effort at this stage could ensure your CV stays at the top of the pile. Developing a good CV is not a hard job. Your CV must be in a clear layout so that the required information can be found easily. Your CV should be no more that 2 sides of A4. You can follow the simple steps below:

  • Personal Details: Name, address, phone number & email address.
  • Employment History: List down your most recent position first as this is likely to be the most relevant to the job you are applying for.
  • Education & Qualification: List your educational history here.
  • Additional information: In this part you can list down your information like: computer skills, language skills, typing speed, driving license etc.
  • Reference: Use two referee’s names and contact details. It’s better if you can use one of your teacher’s names as reference. Make sure they are aware so will be expecting a call.

 After writing down a great CV get some print outs.

Apply: Now you are ready with your great looking CV and NI number. Now it’s time to hunt for some suitable jobs. Think about your preferred sectors. I can name you some sectors like: departmental stores, clothing stores, call centers, restaurants, fast-food stores, betting houses, bars etc. After you choose your preferred sector try to develop a list of companies. Almost all the companies in the UK have their own website and websites are the best source of information. When you develop the list of companies, list down the website addresses as well. And after that follow the websites. In a lot of cases you will get a link in the website like “career” or “jobs”. Go to that section and follow the instruction and complete the whole process. In some cases you will not get any link for online recruitment and in those cases you can send your CV to their email or you can save their address and drop your CV physically. Some useful websites:


Sometimes it’s better not to send the CV through email like in the medium or small restaurants or clothing stores. You can go to those stores physically and look for the manager. If you get the manager then give him/her a copy of your CV and try to explain the reason behind your meeting. If the manager is not available, you can simply drop your CV on the desk and manager will get it when he/she will arrive. By these ways you can do two tasks together.

  1. You can apply in a lot of places
  2. You can gain knowledge about a lot of businesses

Cross your fingers: After the application process is done, wait for the responses. You will definitely get calls. Most of the cases, you will get calls for an interview. Don’t worry, take a deep breath and be yourself during the interview process. Try to wear a good dress and try to present yourself in a gentle way. Be polite but don’t be so quiet. Communicate with the interviewer and let him know about yourself and why you are a good candidate for the post. If you can deliver a good speech and let them know that you will add value to the business then there is a great chance that they will pick you up.

Finally: Now you got the job and try not to lose it. Also do not work for more than 20 hours (considering you have permission to work for 20 hours a week). Violating the rule may lead you to a ban from the UK which will destroy your primary objective which is study. Yes, study is always the primary objective. Wish you good luck in your job hunting.

University of Sunderland – London campus

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