What advice do UK employers have for international students?

As an international student there is much to consider when applying for jobs, it’s a competitive market so it’s important to stand out against other applicants. It can be hard to determine where to start, so, we spoke to some UWE Bristol alumni who have gone on to be leaders in human resources in the UK to ask them how international students can enhance their employability and maximise their chances of getting a graduate job in the UK.

Tamsin Simmons: Krispy Kreme

Tamsin is currently head of HR at Krispy Kreme UK and Ireland and shared some insight into CV success with us. She shared that the first person to see your CV is unlikely to be the decision make, so simplicity is key. Make sure your CV is easy to read as the person looking typically spends 8 seconds deciding if they need to read the rest of the page or move onto the next one. Ensure your CV is easy to understand and your USPs can be visible at a glance. Tamsin reminds applicants to include their hobbies and interests as this gives employers a flavour of who you are, show your enthusiasm for the company and role as it can be infectious if sincere.

Top tips:

-Show your confidence! Companies aren’t trying to catch you out, they want to fill their vacancies, so go for it you have nothing to lose!

-“If you don’t get the job, don’t worry, you wouldn’t have enjoyed it anyway” This is your reminder that the right role for you isn’t far away and that you will find it when you’re the right fit for the role.

-Try to be adaptable, then your plan can change as new opportunities emerge.

Lucy Miller: Buro Happold

As the Head of inclusion and diversity and engagement at Buro Happold, Lucy wanted to highlight the importance of diversity in recruitment and shares that “International students have historically offered skills that are in short supply in the UK”. She explains that diversity is actually a key business metric as there is a direct correlation between business performance and diversity, which has not gone unnoticed by senior leaders. Inclusive and equitable working environments encourage diversity to thrive, but when researching Lucy reminds international students “Don’t be put off if you don’t see somebody who looks like you on the website or during the interview process, don’t feel that’s not the organisation for you. Instead, feel empowered to ask questions in your interview around their company approach to inclusion and diversity, ask them what they’re doing in that respect and don’t be afraid to ask”.

Top tips:

-Don’t forget the interview is a two-way process

- Demonstrate your passion and energy and use this as your opportunity to shine and show where your interests lie.

-Know your trends and innovations in your chosen field

Angela Da silva: Big Table Group

Angela is Head of people operations the Big Table Group and focussed on the importance of a good coving letter or email. Whether this is read in person or by an applicant tracking system, you need to ensure you showcase your passion by being honest, authentic and inspiring with what you include. Think about how your covering letter relates to the job, and what else can you include about yourself that would help a recruiter want to hire you. A theme that was mentioned by a few of our guest speakers was how helpful recruitment agents can be in both finding roles and championing you to employers!

Top Tips:

-Showcase your personality at every stage of the recruitment process

-If attending a virtual interview, consider your background, lighting and being somewhere quiet

-Make your LinkedIn the best it can be. Over 80% of jobs are placed through LinkedIn, so be active on the platform and make sure you have a suitable profile photo.

Danny Benson: Tech lead and entrepreneur

Danny’s experience comes not only from being an international student himself, but from his career building a successful IT consultancy career in London working for companies such as AOL, before setting up his own company in the UK. When first applying for roles, his advice is to adapt your mindset. Try to think of how you can add value to the company, what are they looking for? Use these details to impress them in an authentic way.

Top tips:

 -When applying for a role, ask yourself “where am I adding value?” to help show your enthusiasm

-Speak your employers language, think about what they care about but be authentic with what you share.

-Be precise when writing your CV, double check for mistakes and ask someone to proofread it for you.

The advice from the experts speaks for itself, be adaptable both with your plans and CV, share your personality and passion with employers to show them who you are and do your research. For more insights into graduate jobs for international students, global jobs and top employers, register with GradLink for free today!

By Jen Garmston Published: Jun 17,2021

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