My husband has a long-stay visa and I am on a spouse visa, which means I am entitled to work in this country. I have been applying for jobs but have been told that as I did not have a valid work permit, my CV could not be processed. Would a postgraduate course help?
Keep your job search as broad as possible
Over the past 18 months a lot of people have been made redundant, cannot find another contract or have been out of work since 2001. Consequently, companies can be extremely particular about finding the right people.
It is very important to remove any initial doubts about your work status. You need to make it clear that you are allowed to take up a contract or permanent employment in the UK. Always enclose copies of official documentation with your CV confirming this (a copy of your passport page with authority to work, for example).
I would recommend keeping your search as broad as possible, in terms of the technical skills and geography. Your first role may not be ideal but better opportunities usually become available as you prove yourself.
I do not necessarily think further training or qualifications are the answer, but try to keep your IT skills as current as possible. Should you find companies are looking for different skills, an NVQ would bridge the gap.
Solution by Richard Herring, Reed Technology
The panel: MSB International, Best International, BritishComputer Society, Computer Futures, Computer People, Elan, Reed Technology, Zarak Technology, E-Skills UK
E-mail your career questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
This was first published in May 2003