Job Hunting in the UK – Advice from Alumni
Recently we had a great panel event where three international alumni, working in the non-profit sector, marketing and engineering, shared their tips and advice with regards to job hunting in the UK. Below I have summarised some of their best tips which I hope will inspire you in your job search. If you would like to see the full recording of the panel event, see here for the link.
Be open to different opportunities!
Many international students choose to apply for graduate schemes first and foremost, as these are the most likely companies who will sponsor a student long – term, but be open to opportunities at SMEs as well. They may not be able to sponsor long – term, however the experience and the network you get in these companies can support you applying for a company on the sponsor list at a later date. If you are lucky, the company you are working for may also change their mind later and decide to keep you by applying for the sponsorship licence after they have seen the value you bring to the company. In addition, consider internships as a good starting point, as these will help you reflect on your strengths and what you like and don’t like.
Come armed with information about the graduate visa and the fact that you can work with an employer for two years without sponsorship, and smaller companies will welcome you.
Consider different application strategies
One of our speakers shared his way of applying for jobs in three different ways:
- Tailor your applications to the organisations you really would like to for, make sure your CV is tailored to the skills in the job advert and use time and energy on these applications. For bigger companies, this is absolutely necessary, and there will be high competition for these roles. Apply as early as possible, as many companies will close for applications early if they have enough applications.
- Consider recruitment agencies and also uploading your CV to sites such as CV – library, where recruiter will see your CV and contact you (usually closer to the end of your course). A recruitment agency will make a profit if they hire you, so it is in their best interest to support you in getting a job in a location that you would like to work in. A good recruitment agency may also support you in learning more about the sector you would like to work in, for example one of our speakers learnt what locations would be better to apply for jobs in where the competition would be less for the same roles. You will still need to tailor the application the best you can, but more to the type of role you are interested in.
- Quick apply – you can also make sure you have a nice CV and use the quick apply function in sites such as LinkedIn, this may give you exposure and also highlight your CV to recruitment agencies, however be prepared for many rejections as these jobs get a lot of applications.
Get UK work experience
Getting some kind of experience in the UK will help you reflect on your strengths, likes and dislikes and may also provide you with connections and insights with regards to graduate careers. An internship or placement is great if this is an option, but you can also get great experiences and transferable skills by volunteering or working in a part-time role. There are also lots of extra – curricular experiences you can get involved with whilst a student.
If you want to get into the non-profit sector, volunteering is essential, as they would like to see a long – term commitment to charity work in your applications. It is also up to you how much you want to volunteer each week, to make sure it works around your academic studies.
Make sure to network with your peers and academics whilst at University. They may be able to give you great advice and insights into different organisations and job roles. Make sure to attend events, such as employer events and careers fairs at the University, but also external events related to your degree. For example, one of our panel speakers went to a motorcycle trade show and gained a lot of connections and career inspiration through this.
In addition, make sure to network through LinkedIn or Bath Connection with Bath alumni with regards to companies you are interested in, they often would like to support your next steps!
Take advantage of careers support
Make sure to take advantage of the careers support available to you, arrange a 1:1 appointment to discuss job hunting strategies or a mock interview, get your CV and Cover Letter checked, and attend any events that may be useful for you in the application process.