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The top career tips every international student should take on in 2018

Each January we’re met with the same message about new year’s resolutions; eating healthily, exercising more and finding the ‘new’ you. While this is all good advice, here at GradLink our focus is always on how we can help you find the best role after university. The start of a new year is as good as any to re-evaluate where you are in your career search and make a plan for the year ahead.

Update your skills

These first few months are a great time to add to your CV and see where the gaps are in your skill set. Whether your course is a three-year undergraduate or a masters for a year, you can still update this information. You will have learnt new skills since September and by adding them as you go along- you won’t leave out anything useful. The start of the Spring term is also the ideal time to visit the careers team at your institution. They will be able to share their wealth of advice with you on how to create a winning CV, career ideas and interviews. As you get further into the year, exams can take priority so use this time to get advice from the experts!

Expand your network

We suggest using your LinkedIn profile to make connections with businesses and employers in your industry. LinkedIn is an excellent platform for finding new contacts who could help you with advice or job offers in the future. Try to be active on the site by using your current contacts such as your university professors who can endorse the skills on your profile to back up your experience. Start by connecting with friends and classmates then research companies you would like to work for. By connecting with these companies, you will see events and new updates they release which could give you the edge in an interview.

Plan your Easter break

It might seem early to start thinking about Easter, but any time away from university can be utilised to get the most out of your time. This break can be used to arrange meetings with companies either in the UK or Skype calls to your home country with new connections. If you’re looking for extra experience, try to find an internship or volunteering opportunities during these free weeks so that any extra work won’t interfere with your studies.

Find your unique selling points

Finding your USPs are a productive way to start 2018. By creating a list of your strengths, it will not only give you a positive boost but remind you of the things you excel at. Finding a new role can be stressful so it’s important to highlight your strengths to yourself to keep your motivation going when things get tough! By making a list of your talents you might also tap into areas you can expand on that will help your career. For example, if your list includes enjoying planning and social media, you could find a local company that needs a volunteer to help with their social media accounts. This adds volunteering and new skills to your CV while working in an area you enjoy. Your list of skills can also be used to find other hobbies you might enjoy, remember to take breaks and find some activities that can help you wind down from your studies.

Register for job sites

These next few months are optimal for registering your details on job sites and at recruitment agencies. The exam period can creep up on you so using this time to make your enquiries means you won’t be distracted while revising later in the year. Find out which agencies work with your chosen industry and let them know when you will finish your exams so they can put you forward for roles at the right time. Registering at GradLink can be done in a few easy steps, then all you have to do is wait for the jobs to come to you! Our site has a free jobs board and Go-CV!, a tool to help build your CV. This can be used for external applications or for our partnered employers to offer you roles.

By Jen Garmston Published: January 15, 2018

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