We know that finding a graduate job in the UK poses additional hurdles for international students. In this blog post we have collected together our top job search tips for international students looking for work in the UK.
Before we begin, a reminder the Careers Service can’t offer visa advice, so if you are unsure about anything in relation to this, contact Student Immigration Service.
We are also very aware that there are potential changes coming to visa options for international students. Make sure you keep up to date.
With those caveats in mind, read on for our tips and advice on searching for jobs in the UK as an international student.
Familiarise yourself with Visa processes
To be realistic about your opportunities to work in the UK after graduation, it is very important that you investigate your visa options to remain. It is recommended that you research these options in the early stages of your time in the UK so that you can anticipate which options could apply to you, how and when you should apply and how much it might cost.
You are also able to access guidance that is provided to employers by the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services through MyFuture. This can be helpful if you have questions from employers during an application process.
If you are unsure about anything visa related - contact Student Immigration Service.
Understand UK graduate recruitment
It is important to understand how UK recruitment works. We have produced a guide for international students to give you an overview of how graduate recruitment tends to work in the UK.
Use this guidance alongside our get started guide on graduate job searching – which covers key resources about finding a graduate job. Go to Get started: find a graduate job.
By now, you should have an idea of how recruitment works in the UK, what job search strategies you can use and where to look for jobs. However, often the issue we see international students about the most is finding jobs that are willing to sponsor a visa. Unfortunately there isn’t a single list of graduate jobs for international students but there are some ways you can help yourself in your search.
We recommend that you always check that for the job you are applying for, the employer is able to sponsor a Tier 2 Visa. There’s no point spending time on perfecting an application if the company is not able to sponsor your Visa. If you are unsure – contact the employer for clarification.
The government register of sponsors can help you to rule out a potential employer if they do not appear on the list. However, it is important to note that if an employer does appear on the register this does not automatically mean they will accept applications for graduate roles and certainly not in all roles.
A great site to look at is Student Circus which only advertises internships and graduate jobs where employers are willing to sponsor a visa. Note that after registering you will only have access to graduate jobs for 30 days – so use this time wisely!
Another option to find out if an employer sponsors visas is to look on LinkedIn and see if it has international graduates working there. This could also be an opportunity for networking and connecting with international students who have found work in the UK. Which leads nicely on to our next tip…
Another way to get ahead with your job search is to find out how other international students found work in the UK.
Bath Connection is a great tool for this – here you can search through alumni profiles, make connections and get advice. Find out more about Bath Connection
We have also interviewed some international students who found work in the UK on this very blog:
- Alumni Interview - Assistant Psychologist and International Graduate
- International Alumni Interview: Challenges and Successes - Finding Work in the UK
There are also lots of great blogs from previous years with more information and advice for international students finding work in the UK. Use the search box on our blog homepage to find more.
Hopefully this has given you some resources to help you plan your job search. Knowledge is power and being informed about job searching techniques and visa options is a good way to help yourself with your job search.
We can’t give visa advice in the Careers Service but if you want further help with your job search or anything else careers-related we will be happy to help.