We know that finding a graduate job in the UK poses additional hurdles for international students, especially if you are new postgraduate student. We have collected our top job search tips for international students looking for work in the UK.
Before we begin, a reminder that CAREERS can’t offer visa advice, so if you are unsure about anything in relation to this, contact Student Immigration Service. This resource is also a part of the Get Started: International students guide.
New CAREERS in a new on campus location
See our recent blog to get up to date information careers support, drop-ins, events and resources, and explore our careers portal MyFuture. You are also welcome to drop-in and visit us in CAREERS between 10 - 4 in Wessex House on the parade.
Understand UK graduate recruitment
It is important to understand how UK recruitment works. For example, in the UK big multi-national companies often recruit new graduates through graduate schemes/programmes, and many of these will open applications over a year in advance and deadlines may be in October. If you want to work for one of these companies, we strongly advise you to research the companies, understand their recruitment processes and start preparing your applications as soon as possible.
We have produced a guide for international students to give you an overview of how graduate recruitment tends to work in the UK, and also an overview of key job search terms, such as internship, placement, graduate scheme and graduate role. You can find all the resources in the above Get Started: International students guide.
Use this guidance alongside our get started guide on graduate job searching – which covers key resources about searching for work. Go to Get Started: Search for work.
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. In 2021 two visas were launched; the Skilled Worker visa (similar to the old Tier 2 visa), which requires employer sponsorship, and the Graduate visa, which doesn't require employer sponsorship, and is a temporary visa for 2 or 3 years. However, there are also other visa options to consider. 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, your circumstances and career plans, how and when you should apply and how much it might cost.
Take advantage of what you can get involved whilst a student at the University. See if there are any societies you can join and have a look at SU international pages, take up a volunteering opportunity or think about getting a part-time job. International and UK employers like to see that you have been involved in extra – curricular activities whilst a student, as this improves your language and cultural awareness skills, in addition to giving you lots of transferable skills, such as teamwork and communication. It also looks great on a CV!
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 also have alumni case studies and a recording from a January alumni panel event about job search in the UK in the Get Started – International students guide.
UKCISA has also recently published lots of national case studies of students finding work in the UK, well worth a look.
Attend our events
We offer different events throughout the Autumn both for international students wanting to work in the UK and go home to their own home country. Keep an eye out for events tailored to international students such as graduate job hunting in the UK (Autumn) and / or the Asia Careers Insight series (Spring). We also termly have Working After Studies visa options talks delivered by our knowledgeable colleagues in the Student Immigration Service. In addition, we also have lots of events on writing job applications, CVs, interview skills and more, explore MyFuture events and see what you can book on to!
Hopefully this has given you some resources to help you plan your job search. It can be challenging to find a job in the UK for an international student, however knowledge is power and being informed about job searching techniques and visa options is a good way to help yourself with your job search.
See our other get started guides for lots more careers advice and information.
Lastly, think of your wellbeing, it can be challenging to move to a new country. If you are finding it difficult make sure to reach out for support, whether that is family, new or old friends or contact some of the support services on campus, such as the International Student Support Service or Wellbeing. Remember, we are here to help you!