Top job search tips for international students and graduates

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All you need to know on job hunting as an international student

  • 02 July 2020
  • 9 min read

Are you coming to the end of your course, after enjoying your time studying in the UK but starting to think about what happens next?  Perhaps you are thinking about looking for work in the UK, but are unsure how to approach this.  You may be a bit worried about the current job market, and how this might impact on your chances of getting a job.


If you do have concerns - that is completely understandable, but there is a lot you can do to increase your chance of success.  Look at the tips below for ideas, and link in with the Careers and Employability Service for help along the way with your jobsearch and applications.


So here are our top tips for success



1 Be the best applicant.  

Make sure your application is well presented and targeted to provide evidence for all employer’s requirements.  Only about 5% of applicants get through to the interview stage, so your CV or application needs to stand out. You can get feedback on applications by booking an appointment with our team and useful information: https://myport.port.ac.uk/guidance-and-support/careers-support/cvs-and-applications


2. Know why you are a good applicant

As an international student you have done the hard thing - choosing to study in another country and perhaps in a second language.  Show the ‘added value’ this experience can bring - you can show cultural awareness, language skills, adaptability and courage!!!


3. Understand the visa rules. 

If you are looking for sponsorship it is important you understand the rules for all the visas you are considering.  For example, for Tier 2 General, what roles and salaries are able to be sponsored? If you are an EU student - research your situation further in terms of accessing the settlement scheme.

https://www.ukcisa.org.uk/Information--Advice/Working/Working-after-studies



4. Apply for jobs where you will have the best chance of success:

  • If you have little professional experience look for roles that are aimed at - look on https://mycareer.port.ac.uk/, www.prospects.ac.uk and www.targetjobs.co.uk and be aware of timelines for applying. 

  • Use terms such as ‘graduate’ or ‘junior’ in your jobsearch or filter by salary to remove more experienced roles

  • Make sure you meet the employer’s requirements - show evidence, e.g. a time you used the skill sought 

  • Research roles that might consider sponsorship - check on vacancy details, and use resources such as www.studentcircus.com (not all company names will be visible to you) and www.targetjobs.co.uk  which has a filter you can use. 

  • Target roles and companies that may be interested in your background and can see the ‘added value’ you can bring - for example adverts that mention global working or the need for intercultural skills or languages?  

  • Are there companies with strong business links with your home country, global business links, or foreign owned companies operating in the UK.   Useful sites include UK/your country Chamber of Commerce - e.g. www.cbbc.org where you can sometimes find company database


5. Build relationships with potential employers 

Use LinkedIn, including the Alumni search tool,  network through professional bodies and through direct approaches to companies.  Build relationships before you need sponsorship - you can explore working on a temporary basis after your course on your Tier 4 visa, or work experience opportunities during your course. This might lead to further opportunities.  


6. Have a plan B.

You could explore working in your home country or in another country in addition to your UK jobsearch.  We have lots of resources to help with international jobsearch including:


7. Be resilient

On average in the UK 19 job applications are needed to secure 1 interview so resilience is crucial and you need to be applying for many opportunities.  Keep going, keep researching those companies, and keep applying and telling your story to show how you are right for the job.  


8. Get help

Careers and Employability can you!  We can support you with your jobsearch, applications, and exploring your options.  


Good luck and let us know how we can help you!!!


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