New in London- looking for advice and/ or support

Hi All! 

I recently moved from Sydney to London and I've been actively looking for a role (Generalist HR Advisor/ Jnr HRBP) for the past 3 months. Whilst I have been trying to stay positive, I have found the process rather disheartening. I'm wondering if there are others who are familiar with the challenges of moving to London and securing their first London-based HR role who may have advice for me? 

Some quick information about me for context: I am a dual citizen with full working rights (British and Australian), most recently working in the technology industry as HR Advisor supporting a client group of 160 based in the UK, Australia and Pakistan, 3.5 years' experience at the Advisor Level, Bachelor Degree in Psychology and Masters in HR and OD, AHRI and CIPD member. 

I have had meetings with various recruiters and two client interviews. One of which I went through to the second stage, however, I withdrew as the role wasn't the right fit for me (I am a Generalist and it was an L&D role with 50% design and 50% delivery). The other was with one of the top 10 tech companies, the feedback was very positive, however my interview responses weren't 'deep' enough - fair feedback as my interviewing is a little rusty. 

I have applied for 67 jobs, with some applications taking as long as 2+ hours each (for big commercial businesses asking detailed questions in their application process), and I have only heard back (rejections and otherwise) from 37%. Each time I get a lead they seem to drop off. Calls to recruiters go unreturned. 

I have since broadened by application to include Junior/ entry-level HR Advisor roles. Although this isn't ideal, I am more than willing in order to get my foot in the door, however I am not having any luck with these roles either! 

Am I potentially doing something wrong? Am I missing something? Any and all advice from those in the industry would be greatly appreciated! 

Warm regards,


  • In reply to Maria:

    Hi Maria,

    Thanks so much for sharing your experience and advice.

    It sounds like your first role was the perfect stepping stone. I think you're right regarding finding my USP. I was lucky in my previous role to have responsibility for client groups in the UK and AU, so international experience could very well be it.

    Thanks for the support, Maria!
  • In reply to Nivek:

    Hi Nivek and welcome to London.

    One of my favourite HR agencies is Oakleaf Partnership. And I belong to a group on LinkedIn called Corporate and Cocktails which you might like to join (www.linkedin.com/.../4006814) The group owner - Andy Selway - runs a recruitment business and is currently posting lots of HR jobs in the group.

    Best wishes, Anna
  • In reply to Anna:

    Hi Anna,

    Thanks for your warm welcome!

    Thanks also for passing along this information - I've been trying to find some networking events to head along to so this is perfect. I've sent off a request to join. I have seen one or two roles posted by Oakleaf, it's great to hear a first hand recommendation!

    Thanks again, Anna!
  • Hi everyone!

    Update: Thank you to all of you for your support and advice! As of last week I started in a temporary role which will hopefully give me the UK specific experience I need for securing the next role.

    Enjoy the rest of your week!
  • In reply to Nivek:

    Hi Nivek, I've been following this thread but not contributed as the advice you were receiving was far better than anything I could offer. Until now. I can send you my very best wishes and warmest congratulations for overcoming your first hurdle. I hope your assignment brings you the success and experience you require and please do come back to the forum to let us know how you are progressing and, of course, if you have any queries we can help with. Well done for your persistence! :-)
  • In reply to Clare Marie:

    Thank you, Clare. I very much appreciate the warm wishes and thank you for taking an interest in my little adventure. I've been really enjoying this forum so I'm sure we'll see more of one another on here :)
  • In reply to Nivek:

    Congratulations, Nivek! It will only get easier and better :) Enjoy!
  • In reply to Maria:

    Thank you, Maria! I already feel more comfortable and settled just by being in a UK workplace :)
  • In reply to Nivek:

    Do hope it goes well, Nivea - you know where we all are now if ever you need us!!
  • In reply to David:

    Apologies Nivek - carelessly didn't notice the predictive text was calling you by the name of a brand of cosmetic cream....doh!
  • In reply to David:

    Not to worry, David! I answer to almost anything these days (the downside of having an uncommon name!). I get a brand of shoe quite often ... Nike ...
  • In reply to Nivek:

    That's fine Nivek

    (I once had a (most estimable) work colleague of Italian parentage I think then called Deborah Cueto. Very much ROFL when she got a business letter one day addressed in big printed letters to 'Debbie Quattro'......)

    - on second thoughts, this probably is only possibly amusing to those old enough to remember Suzy Quattro, the unforgettable singer.