International Students Guide to Successful UK Employment

The award winning Placement and Career Centre of Brunel University shares with the Brunel Business School International Students some crucial tips on UK employment. Download thier Postgraduate Job hunting pack for tips on marketing your qualification, developing employability skills and vacancy sources. 

The two main hurdles that international students who wish to remain in the UK face are getting permission to remain in the country and actually finding a job. Quite often the one may be dependent on the other thus making it even more difficult.

Aside from the work visa issues, competition for graduate jobs in the UK is high for all graduates. You will be competing with students/graduates for whom English may be their first language and who may be more comfortable with the culture of the country. A degree or further qualification is no guarantee to finding a job, and it may be really difficult to persuade an employer that they should employ you.

You could try taking a copy of the Placement and Careers Centre (PCC) Guide for employers with you to help you persuade employers of your unique selling points. There is a lot you can do while you are studying to improve your chances.

Look at the tips below:

Why employers do not employ international students How you can improve
Poor English language skills Talk to UK students/housemates
Watch English news/films/TV
Use BI International Pathways Language Centre
Take an English course outside University
Participate during seminars
Attend University in-sessional courses and workshops
Poor written English Study language feedback for essays/projects and try to learn from mistakes
Attend University in-sessional courses and workshops
Don’t fit in easily Talk to UK people at every opportunity
Speak to your classmates
Contribute during seminars
Put out your cultural feelers and observe and learn from others’ behaviour
Don’t understand English work practices Look at Executive Planet for tips on how to behave in the workplace
Poor / inappropriate / unimpressive CVs for the UK market Read the CVs and applications section on the PCC website
Use action words, eg defined, co-ordinated, led
Attend workshops on CV preparation
See a Careers Consultant for individual advice
Poorly filled in application forms Arrange an interview with a Careers Consultant to find out about what employers expect of you
Think about skills and evidence
Check language and spelling
Poor interview skills Look at the interview skills pages on the PCC website
Watch the Making an impact DVD
Attend PCC workshops on interview skills
Arrange a mock interview with a Careers Consultant Talk to friends about their experiences
Cannot articulate or match skills to the job Undertake voluntary / community work, eg through Brunel Volunteers or look at the Do-It website
Learn how to analyse skills and provide evidence
Attend PCC workshops
Look at the ASK website
Qualifications don’t match to the UK requirements Ask Careers Consultants to help with equivalence
Visit the UK NARIC website
State UK equivalence clearly on CV or application form
See the Equivalence of qualifications link on the left hand menu
Poor networking skills Attend workshops on networking and building contacts with employers
Use all the relevant PCC web pages
Ask Careers Consultant/Tutor for help
Talk to everyone you meet, and make connections
Use LinkedIn and other social networking sites

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