Life at UCB through the eyes of our international student bloggers

How To Get Employed (Part 1)

How To Get Employed (Part 1)

When you get to the United Kingdom for the first time, ready to start your university life, the chances are you are on a very tight budget already. Student life is sadly not cheap which means you will probably need to get a job at some point. My personal advice to you is to do that as soon as possible. In this article, I will tell you what you need to do to start working.


One thing you need to do as soon as possible. The Job Centre gets busy in September due to the large influx of students. I recommend you call them within your first week in the UK. To get your appointment call 0800 141 2075.

A National Insurance Number (NIN) is a number unique to you. You do not need the number to get a job, but you need it to start working. Your working history (place of work, dates, money received and taxed) is recorded under the number. The information is then used to determine how much you should be paying for National Insurance or taxes.


While you’re waiting for your appointment, you should print out your CV and submit it to the hired@UCB office on the 7th floor in the Summer Row building. Hired will go over your CV and see if it’s well executed for the UK job market.

They will contact you and set up an appointment, in which you’ll be told what to change. Remember to submit your CV as soon as possible – same as Job Centres, the university is very busy with new students and their requests.


You should always put your National Insurance appointment as priority #1 – without it you will not be able to start earning money. You need to take a couple of things with you (EEA ID/Passport, a valid visa [if you need one], your address and postcode, a letter from the University confirming your enrolment) – they will go over those with you in detail. Don’t worry about the appointment – it’s a breeze. Please be aware they might make a quick background check on you – again, do not be worried, it only happens very rarely.

After you finish your appointment you will be given your ‘I-asked-for-NIN-letter’ which serves as the NIN for now. If you get a job before you get your NIN, show them that letter. Your NIN should arrive in a couple of weeks in the post (if it doesn’t arrive within 2 months, call them to ask what’s happened). When you have it, show it to your employer. Never show your NIN to anyone who has no business in knowing it as it is sensitive information. Keep the original letter with your NIN safe – most employers want to see the original, and it is therefore not advised to destroy it.

Getting a part-time job is not the thing most of us imagine when going to university. It is, however, something you need to do if you want to be independent. If you feel like you wouldn’t be one for work, come back next week where I will discuss the maintenance loans and how to get them.

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