Top 3 tips for international students applying for a graduate role in the UK

When the time comes to look for a graduate role, the information can be overwhelming. There is a lot of planning and preparation before even getting to the interview stage. So, to try to make things more manageable, we’ve put together some top tips to tackle finding your dream job by breaking it down into smaller more manageable sections.

Start your CV early

It might feel too soon, but it’s never too early to start adding skills and experience to your CV. When you start university, it’s a good idea to create a document that you add to as your progress through your studies. Seeing your experience written down can also help you find the gaps and make it easier to decide what areas you could add to. Each year, try to add something else in a new area so when you graduate you have some working experience that will help you stand out to employers. Looking for suitable roles while studying is another good way of getting ahead. If you start researching roles and companies before your final year, you’ll have an idea of what skills you need, what type of company you would like to work for and will make your search more focused when the time comes.

Take your time with the application

Applications take time and can feel repetitive at times. So, to not feel rushed or miss vital information take your time when filling them in. Many applications are specific to each employer however, you can make your own document where you copy and paste the answers to certain questions especially when you have taken time to carefully word your answers. When searching for roles, it’s common to cast a wide net and apply for any job that is connected to your degree or industry. However, taking a more considered approach and applying for fewer roles but putting your full focus into each one, tailoring it for the requirements of the role is more likely to gain results. Finally, ask a friend or family member to read your application when you’re finished to check for errors and provide feedback.

Try to sell yourself and your unique selling points

As an international student you will have a range of skills that sets you apart from the crowd, so use this to your advantage! Try to get inside the mind of the recruiter to think about what they are looking for from a candidate and how you match these qualities. As a student who has travelled for their education, you will have adaptability from moving to a new country which is key for many roles and being flexible in your approach to completing tasks. Your communication skills are also important, living abroad requires you to develop your communication skills on a daily basis and for many students having a second language is also something to highlight. Being able to speak in another language could help an organisation to communicate with overseas markets. Focus on the positive parts of your experience that can translate to how you would be able to tackle parts of the job that others may not.

When looking for a graduate role, see GradLink’s jobs board for free access to a wealth of employers looking for international talent today!

By Jen Garmston Published: Jul 12,2023

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