How international students can improve their employability this holiday season

As we draw close to the end of 2020, it’s clear this year has been difficult in many ways but has also brought unexpected inspiration, innovation and collaboration. Students across the world have had disruption to their studies but have shown incredible resilience during these times. While it may not always seem like it, your determination this year will help you when it comes to your career. Whether you’re in your home country or staying in student accommodation this holiday, there are several things you can do to prepare for the year ahead and increase your skills during your break.

Update your CV 

When met with unexpected scenarios, rather than focussing on the frustrating elements try to think of how each situation helped you grow. If nothing else 2020 has challenged us all, but what have you learnt? Resilience, flexibility, new ways of working? Think back and try to collate some of the new skills and experience you have gained this year and add these to your CV. It’s useful to do this each year, even while studying as it can be easy to forget accomplishments as time goes on. Making notes as you go will help you identify new skills and when you decide to apply for an internship or graduate role, you’ll have a draft CV ready to go.

Expand your experience 

To show yourself as a forward-thinking when applying to graduate roles, try to gain work experience while at university. Although there are restrictions on how many hours international students can work, it is still possible to look for a suitable role to boost your experience alongside your learning. Use the holidays to start looking for internships or volunteering roles. Many international students overlook the benefit of unpaid roles, but experience is priceless. Start by looking for roles online and speak to your Careers team about connections they have with businesses in the area for in-person or virtual opportunities depending on restrictions. If this isn’t possible, what online skills could you learn instead?

Think about next year, and give yourself a well-earned break 

Try to think of some goals for 2021 to help your employability. Whether it’s to secure a role that will give you experience, start networking to connect yourself to your industry or to learn a new skill. It may sound like a cliché, but writing down your goals can help create a clear image of your future. Seeing something written down can give clarity and direction and it’s said you’re 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you put pen to paper. Lastly, while your holidays are a great opportunity to learn without the commitment of lectures, it’s important to make time to switch off completely. Try taking a walk, starting a hobby or chatting to friends, anything you enjoy doing. If you need more inspiration for your career, finding global jobs or researching new employers, register with GradLink for free access to the latest information for international students.

By Jen Garmston Published: Dec 14,2020