What skills are employers looking for, and how can international students prove they′ve got them?

Employers often refer to the skills gap when talking about hiring new graduates. This is the difference between the skills employers would like their employees to have and what skills employees have. The way to bridge this gap is to understand not only what graduate employers are looking for, but how your current skills match this and how you can increase your experience to meet their expectations.

International student website Study International highlight the top skills employers are looking for in the graduates they employ. Today we’re looking at how international students and graduates can use their international status to showcase these skills and how to gain further experience that will show employers that you mean business!


Communication comes at the top of most lists for required skills in graduate applicants. Good communication skills show an employer that you’re able to not only express yourself but understand others by what they say and their body language. As an international student, you’ve already got great examples of this which can be used in an interview. Many of you will have learnt a second language for your degree in England, which instantly expands the number of people you can talk to. This is particularly useful in a global company with clients in offices overseas. By moving to another country, you’ve also had to engage with a wide range of people, from university staff and lecturers, other students and members of the public. This can be useful to demonstrate how you’re able to change your tone and adapt the message depending on your audience. Don’t forget good communication isn’t just about speaking, but listening to others and taking their ideas on board.


Moving to a new country for a degree shows an ability to adapt to new experiences and flexibility. Not just for a new way of learning in a foreign country but to new cultures too. This can be a good example of how you embrace change and this can be translated to the workplace whether in the UK or in your home country. Rather than shying away from new challenges, you can confidently say that you meet them head-on and look for the positives in a new experience.


Completing a degree in the UK will have given you several ways to establish yourself as a key team-worker to an employer. Many courses include group work projects which give you the opportunity to work with others and establish what makes you a good member of a team. There are many other ways you can add to your experience of working and collaborating with others. Volunteering through a scheme at your university or finding a suitable company yourself will not only give you valuable experience of teamwork but expand your communication with a new network and give you hands-on work experience.


Your degree gives you countless opportunities to show your problem-solving skills. Most weeks you will need to work out a new problem as part of university life and these life skills can show employers how your skills will add value to their business. Attention to detail and creative thinking are important for problem-solving and most assignments you participate in will require this. Some issues may relate to how you overcame an issue created by a language barrier when you first arrived in the UK. By using examples of how you identified a problem, determined your options and came up with a creative outcome not only shows your thought process but your determination and resilience.

To keep up to date with the latest news for international students and graduates or for access to our global jobs page, register with GradLink today.




By Jen Garmston Published: Sep 13,2019