holiday-suitcase-1463301830oeqSo, you’ve decided to pack your bags and move to Edinburgh. Moving to another country can be very scary, especially when you are worrying about finding a job. A lot of our students worry that they won’t be able to find a job in Edinburgh because of their level of English; but it is actually easier than you think.

If you are planning on working whilst you study, then here are some tips:


It may seem simple, but you must check that you have a visa that allows you to work in the UK. Students from the European Union have no limitation on working in the UK. Students from outside the UK can work for a maximum of 10 hours per week while they are studying (longer in vacation periods) if they have a study visa. Students on an extended visitor visa are not allowed to work.

 2. Apply for a National Insurance Number

The first step towards working in the UK is getting a National Insurance Number (NI number). This number is very important as you can not apply for a job in the UK without it.

To apply for a National Insurance Number you must call 0345 600 0643 to make an appointment for an interview. This is an automated call system, so can be difficult to understand. If you are finding it difficult to understand, we can help you with this. Lines are open 8.00 am to 6.00 pm Monday to Friday.

The interview will usually be one-to-one (unless, for example, you need an interpreter). You will be asked questions about why you need a National Insurance number, your background and circumstances. You will also have to prove your identity, e.g. a valid passport.

 3. What kind of jobs can I apply for?



If you have a lower level of English, You’ll have to look for a basic job, like cleaner, kitchen porter, kitchen assistant, housekeeping, catering assistant, etc… If your English is better, you can look for a job as waiter, catering assistant, food service assistant, bar assistant, etc…



4. How and where can you prepare your CV?

At Careers Scotland (, they will help you to get your CV ready and to apply for jobs in Edinburgh. If you are studying at the Caledonian Language School we can also help you

 5. Job-seeking

14066879786_d7ab3b4725_bVisit some of the Job Centres around the city. In these state-run offices for jobseekers, you can use the “job points”, computers where you choose the job which you want to apply for. The advertisements indicate the type of work, location, hours, duration, a brief description, conditions, and how to apply for them. You can print the advertisements and if you need to arrange an interview, you can use one of the phones that are provided in the Job Centre. Visit the Job Centres Plus website ( for job advertisements.

Once a week, local newspapers like the Evening News or Scotsman have a supplement devoted to jobs. There are also particular types of jobs advertised on particular days of the week.

Websites like, or also have listings of vacancies.

Temping agencies are often useful for finding part-time work. These include:

  • Asa Recruitment
  • Stafffinders
  • The Temp Agency
  • Catering Scotland
  • Quality Link
  • Blue Arrow
  • Quantum People Limited (telemarketing, languages communicator)

You can also leave your CV at different companies, such as hotels, shops and restaurants in the city, it is advisable to visit Skills Development Scotland in 79 Shandwick Place for advice about your CV before you do this. Listings of hotels can be found in brochures at the tourist office at 3 Princes Street, Edinburgh EH2 2QP.

6. The interview

14090438714_33bec862fe_bMany companies use an application form, where they ask candidates to indicate both their personal and professional experience. The managers concerned then measure applicant profiles against a job specification, before choosing candidates for interview. Good interview preparation on your part includes anticipating possible questions, researching the company and the job, etc…

At interview, making a good impression is vital. Be well-dressed and polite – no company wants to hire someone scruffy or who does not know how to speak to customers! Once you have had a successful interview and got the job, you will need to complete form P46 if you have not previously worked in UK. If you already have a P45, you must give it to your new employer.