How international students can develop their USPs to get a graduate job

A USP or Unique selling point is how you distinguish yourself from the competition. When it comes to applying for jobs and attending interviews, having some of these up your sleeve can set you apart from other candidates. A USP is part of your personal brand, so it’s useful to start thinking about what that brand will look while you’re studying and adapting it as you find your way in your industry. Today, we’re looking at how to identify these points and use them to find a graduate role.

How to identify your USPs

Start thinking about the skills, knowledge or experience you can offer, but others can’t. Make a list of these, then decide which of these stands out as unique or difficult to find and you’ll have the start of your personal brand. You may also already have some great examples due to your international status. As an international student, you have unique experience of studying and living in another country. This experience directly links to some of the skills employers will be looking for from a candidate. When applying for a graduate role it’s key to sell these skills and show them how your talent could benefit their company. Below are some examples of skills and the evidence to show how you gained them.

Adaptability/autonomy You have had to adapt to a new environment and its culture.

Organisational skills You have had to organise accommodation, finance, visas, employment etc.

Communication Living abroad requires using and developing communication skills daily so that people can understand your requirements.

Language skills Your knowledge of more than one language could help an organisation to communicate with overseas markets and suppliers.

Motivation Your willingness to take your studies overseas and embrace new cultures and experience demonstrates how committed you are to learning and developing as an individual.

Flexibility Adapting to a new life in a new environment. Also, international students are often more mobile and happy to move to different locations around the UK in order to work.

A broadened perspective Your experiences of how cultures vary can bring a fresh perspective to a company. It may provide an insight into different ways of doing business.

Cultural awareness You could use your particular cultural background to advise and inform an organisation on how to make the right impact on their international customers and clients.

How to use your USPs

Use your current selling points as a starting point, and as you start job hunting and applying for jobs consider how these fit the job description. Think about what the employer is looking for from a candidate and use your skills that align with what’s most important to the role. If any match, use them as the focus on your application. What are the company’s values and ethics? Which skills are relevant for your industry? Every time you apply for a job or go to an interview, you want your talent to leap out at them and clearly demonstrate how you would fit into the company and role. Take a look at GradLink’s global jobs page for connections to worldwide employers who are seeking talent from international students and graduates.

By Jen Garmston Published: Feb 02,2021