Global Careers Week: 5 top tips from our international alumni finding jobs in the UK

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We were told the best advice is always from those with a shared experience and that’s why we have invited 5 of the University of Bristol’s international graduates here to share their top tips for landing a graduate job in the UK.

Photo by Megan Rexazin from Pixabay

  1. “Always message other people” – you may hear about a job post before it is posted.

Our graduate Alejandra Pardo Montt, now working as head of HR, has stressed the importance of being proactive and always looking out for hidden opportunities.

According to a recent survey, even though most applicants apply for jobs on a job board or employer career site, 35% found job postings on social media, 50% of respondents heard about jobs from friends, and 37% say they also learn about jobs from professional networks.

Opportunities rarely come up when you don’t ask for them, so why not start sending messages to your connections on LinkedIn, not only to build relationships, but also to see if they have any opportunities for you.

  1. “Understand the company’s value and culture before you apply for the job.”

Showing your understanding of the company’s values and culture will not only help you to stand out from the crowd in the application process but also aid your understanding of your cultural fit within the company. At the end of the day, you are not working alone in your role.  We get this quote from our alumni Guowei Huang. We spend so much time with our colleagues in the workplace, it is important to work somewhere you appreciate their value and culture.

  1. “Make the most of the Careers Service – get your CV and cover letter checked.”

Both Fei Fei Jin and Guowei Huang stressed the importance of getting as much help as you can from the Careers Service. Before getting your CV and cover letter checked, it may be helpful to learn how to write a CV by attending one of our CV, cover Letter events so that you can make the most of your appointment with a Careers Service staff.

  1. “Be confident and bold– employment is a two-way choice; you will need to think if the employment is right for you too.”

This advice echoes the third advice given by Tanya Sharma, and I cannot agree more. It can be daunting when you do not hear back from employers. Often the silence of the employer and the anxious wait leads to a panic feeling. Some people may then start to apply for any jobs they found on the internet just to fill the empty time and space. This is the time when people start to sacrifice the quality of the application to the quantity of the application, and you may even end up wasting your time interviewing for a place you’d hate to work for. So, remember, even though you want or need a job, you can still be selective and pick up the one you really wanted to work for.

  1. “Be the best version of yourself – like yourself and respect yourself first”

Our alumni Shashwat Upadhyay mentioned the importance of applying for as many jobs as possible. It is hard to take a moment just to appreciate yourself when you are stressed, especially when you’ve been turned down by an employer when you have submitted so many job applications. It is frustrating after spending time and energy completing a job application, and that’s exactly why you should be kind to yourself. It is not uncommon to receive rejections from companies, but you should always remember, your skills, knowledge and value aren’t defined by a job offer.

Securing a job is all about showing the employer that you have the confidence to nail the job if the opportunity is given to you. So, no matter how frustrating your job-seeking journey can be, don’t lose faith in yourself. “Be the best version of yourself – like yourself and respect yourself first”, we all love this kind and inspiring quote from our alumni Adam Michael.

Stella Wang, Careers Support Officer (International), 2022

You can find information, advice and guidance on looking for jobs after graduation over on the website as well as explore the ways we can support you after finishing your studies.