How can international students get the skills UK employers are looking for in 2023

As an international student, it’s important to use your USPs when applying for roles to sell the skills you have. Moving from another country, adapting to a new culture, organisation skills and cultural awareness can be used to demonstrate your achievements and skills. Here are our top three in demand skills for 2023 and how international students can add them to their skillset


LinkedIn research shows that 32% of employers chose teamwork as the top skill they were looking for in candidates. This isn’t surprising as being able to collaborate with others at work is vital to company culture and progressing projects effectively. Communication skills are key for collaborations and show that you could effectively communicate with others in a team, both in writing and in person and work well with a diverse group of people. As an international student or graduate who studied in the UK, you have already lived abroad and used communication on a daily basis so that people can understand your requirements. Your knowledge of more than one language could also help an organisation to communicate with overseas markets and suppliers.


Being able to adapt to change and pivot when necessary is important when working in a fast-paced business environment. Employers are looking for candidates who can be flexible in new situations and positively approach new challenges. Coming to study in the UK means that you will have had to adapt to a new environment and its culture. Adaptability is key for faced-paced business in a rapidly changing market.


Both motivation and work ethic are important, as well as the implication that you care about the role and organisation it helps to foster a productive working culture. Employees with a strong work ethic aren’t just highly driven but also often lead by example which in turn motivates others to work hard. 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 and you can use this to demonstrate you motivation and tenacity.

If you’re looking to increase your skills to meet the requirements of graduate roles, try to find work experience that will provide these. This could include internships, but its key to highlight the importance of volunteering for international students. Many students over look the benefits but research shows “80% of employers value voluntary work experience, with 58% valuing it more than paid work”. Employers are looking at what skills you have, not how you got them or if you were paid for the role, it’s experience they’re looing for. Try speaking to your careers team to look at what opportunities are available that would work alongside your studies.

GradLink has just launched its new UK section where you can find specific advice for finding a job in the UK alongside our jobs board with our partnered employers such as Dell, HSBC and Buro Happold. For free access, register for GradLink today!

By Jen Garmston Published: Jan 19,2023

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