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Job Hunting For International Students

02 April 2019
Zara Woodcock
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Finding a job in the United Kingdom is a strenuous task, international and national students alike. If you stay determined and consistent in your job hunt process, you might be able to land your perfect job. Before beginning the application process, there are a few things that need to be considered, such as what you look from in a career in the UK, will you be sponsored by the potential employee, and what tier visa would you need to stay in the country?

Our guide will take you through the what’s and why’s of job hunting in the UK, as well as giving you the general information you may need before beginning your job search.

How Do I Get Into The Job Market?

Once you finished university, you have two options when attempting to enter the UK job market scene, with a graduate scheme and with direct entry.

  • Graduate Schemes – Offered by large employers looking for a constant influx of talented individuals. Recruitment for graduate schemes or internships usually happen a year before the start date. This means application deadlines can be as early as October. Although there isn’t much time to get applications ready, it is worth constantly updating your CV to make sure you’re ready for every job opening.
  • Direct Entry – Covers the rest of the graduates who didn’t enter the job market through graduate schemes. Many employers will hire international students as long as they find the perfect candidate. However, when applying, it will be hard to tell whether companies are willing to sponsor international students. This is because it can be expensive for them and if they are a small company, it might not be worth their limited expenses.

These roles aren’t always advertised on job boards, job fairs, or on their website. It is best to apply and ask questions directly. These forward applications can be successful if you have skills that exceed their expectations.

 

What Is The Application Process Like?

Every application process is different and they’re all listed on each individual company’s website. It will involve completing an online application form and CV, and sometimes providing a cover letter. A lot of organisations, depending on the role, will then ask you to complete online aptitude tests.  Once successful, there will either be a telephone call, video interview or face-to-face interview where you will talk through your academic and work achievements as well as why you should be hired.

It’s a straightforward process that can sometimes take weeks and is stressful if not carefully researched and prepared for. Have a read of our application and interview process guides:

 

The Immigration Process and Everything You Need To Know about Eligibility

The most important part of applying for work in the United Kingdom is to know what is happening with your visa situation. To identify organisations that don’t mind sponsoring people, check the UK register of sponsors. A lot of the times, it won’t be specified on job-searching websites or the company’s website. Be honest with your application and make sure they know you are international and in need of sponsorship, it will only cause trouble later if you don’t.

The two main tiers of visas for international people working in the UK lies under tier 2 or tier 5. However, the rules of working in the UK change all the time, so keep checking online.

  • Tier 2 – Makes you eligible to work in the UK for 5 years. You will have to make sure your employer is a registered sponsor as they are responsible for confirming the role is eligible for a Tier 2 visa. You will then receive a Certificate of Sponsorship. The candidate must meet a required skill level, be offered a minimum salary of £30,000 (some roles are exempt), and meet English language requirements.
  • Tier 2 (New Entrants) – New entrants must be offered a minimum salary of £20,800. You must be under 26, recruited through the university milkround process by a Tier 2 sponsor and have a post-study exemption from the resident labour market test.
  • Tier 5 – Available for applicants from approved schemes coming to the UK for work experience, training, research, or an overseas government language programme. An organisation is responsible for the scheme and is then supported by a government department. The organiser managing the scheme provides the certificate of sponsorship needed.

Find out more about the visas needed on the gov.uk website

 

Who Is Hiring International Students?

There is a chance every company has hired international students. However, the key skills employers want to demonstrate include:

  • interpersonal and team working skills
  • excellent language skills
  • why you’re applying to the organisation
  • the ability to communicate your career focus

To ensure success in the application process, make sure to have a lot of work experience and internships. This way, it shows the employer your dedication to the field you are in. To find out which specific organisations hire international students, have a look at this list.