Written by Anh Ngu
MSc Marketing Management
For international students, language barriers and visa restraints make it more difficult to land a job in the UK, but it’s not impossible.
I am applying for jobs after graduation and in this blog I just want to share some of my job search experiences.
Enhancing my communication skills
The ability to speak English fluently is a vital requirement when employers consider the candidates.
To enhance my speaking and listening skills, I have participated in many extracurricular activities as well as some clubs and societies where I can meet people from different countries and have more opportunities to speak English. Trying to speak more in classes or seminars is also a good way to improve your confidence.
I am working for Starbucks and for BU as a student ambassador as well. Working part-time improves your communication skills but more importantly, you can experience the working environment in the UK and understand more about their work place and culture. You’ll know how customer service is performed here and gain other skills such as problem solving and time management.
Using BU’s career services
At BU there is a variety of services and support you can use, from CV reviews and interview practice to psychometric tests and guides. They can also give you consultancy on which jobs you can apply to based on your course or which other options are available if you don’t want to work right away. They can help you find work placements and offer opportunities to intern in another country.
You can use the Careers and Employability Service here up to three years after graduation.
Finding a placement
I worked on a summer placement last year for a marketing agency in Poole and I was able to learn a lot of practical knowledge and skills as well as gain more work experience in my chosen area. It will look really good on my CV when I apply for a permanent job later on.
Apply for companies licensed to sponsor a working visa
To work full-time in the UK, you need to apply for a working permit after your student visa expires. Some local companies or SMEs are not registered for a license to sponsor visas for non-EEA, you can access the list of licensed companies here.
I recommend that you should only apply to these companies, because there’s almost no chance that a non-licensed company will register and pay for a license just to sponsor your visa, even those licensed companies will already have to pay a fee to sponsor you.
Another problem is that many small firms usually only sponsor working permits for manager level or above. In this case, I recommend this website.
Some big companies do express whether they accept candidates who need a working permit when they put up their vacancies on this site and you won’t have to waste your time on applying for lots of companies and being rejected just because they can’t sponsor you.
That is as far as I go for now, and I’m still looking, so wish me luck!
I hope you guys have been able to understand more about what to prepare and what to expect when applying for jobs in the UK. I wish you all the best!
By Anh Ngu