Careers & Enterprise have produced five country-specific job search guides for international students from China, Malaysia, India, Pakistan and Russia. You will be able to find all the important aspects of job hunting in these countries, including how to market your QMUL degree to overseas employers, how to start your job search and what to include in your applications.
You can also find more information for international students on the Careers & Enterprise QMPlus page.
With strict visa regulations, it can be difficult for international students to secure a graduate role in the UK. However, it is not impossible and we have many international alumni who have successfully found interesting graduate roles here. As a postgraduate student, you only have one year during which you can gain valuable work experience and focus on your job hunt, while at the same time concentrating on your studies. This can be a challenging task and it is therefore helpful to have a good understanding of the local employment situation and requirements, so you can effectively manage your time throughout your studies.
We will mainly focus on the switch from a tier 4 to a tier 2 visa, which is an employer sponsored visa, but keep in mind that there are other visas that may be applicable in your individual case.
So, where can you find graduate roles in the UK?
The good news is that there are around 30,000 employers registered to sponsor tier 2 visas. The full list can be found here and a searchable list here. If you see a job that you like, it can be a good idea to check these lists first in order to find out whether the employer would be able to hire you. Doing this research will save you some valuable time and help to avoid potential frustration.
Now, let’s look at some top tips that may help you land that UK graduate role:
Get some London based work experience – Getting work experience in the UK, during your studies or holidays, will enhance your CV and increase your chances of landing a role upon graduation. This could be in the form of volunteering or temping (keeping in mind hourly work restrictions relating to your individual visa).
This is a tough time of year for international graduates. Many have enjoyed their time living and studying in the UK, making new friends and connections as well as achieving the necessary academic results to earn their degrees. The next step is often to explore how to extend this academic experience by applying for jobs.
The UK job market is difficult enough for recent Masters graduates to find employment, but with a four-month time limit before student visas expire in the January after graduating this can seem like an impossible task for international students.
Here are some suggestions to help prepare for this challenge:
- What visa do I need to apply for?
Any international student who wants to work in the UK after completing their studies will need to apply for a Tier 2 visa that is supported by a registered UK employer sponsor.
The QMUL Advice & Counselling website contains lots of information on the options for international students who want to remain in the UK to work after their studies, or who want to return to the UK in future for work. Make sure you are aware of the latest salary requirements and conditions of the Tier 2 visa. For further information, Advice & Counselling are based in Geography Square on the Mile End campus.
For graduates with a genuine and credible business idea, see our website for information on the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa.
- How can I find a job in a company that offers tier 2 visas?
You can check if an employer is on the Home Office list of registered UK employer sponsors: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/register-of-licensed-sponsors-workers
Statistics show that over 70% of Chinese students who have studied in the UK return to China after their studies, so we’ve pulled together some useful resources to help you to start thinking about your future now.
This comprehensive e-learning resource has easy-to-read sections covering everything from career planning and researching your options to developing your skills, including helpful activities along the way.
It aims to help you make the most of your time at university in the UK, understand yourself and your dreams and goals, and ultimately make yourself more employable.
China is very supportive of innovation and entrepreneurs, and your time at university is a great time to develop these skills. Areas covered on the site include how to think differently, create value and generate ideas, as well as source funding.
Careers & Enterprise resources
Last year Careers & Enterprise published 5 international job search guides including one for Chinese students looking to find work at home. Here you can find out more about job hunting and marketing your QMUL degree to overseas employers – see below.
Are you an overseas student looking to get some work experience here in the UK?
Follow my 5 tips below to increase your chances of success.
- Get an NI number – An NI number is a National Insurance number that identifies you as a UK tax payer. HMRC (HM Revenue & Customs) will then use this number to make sure you are paying the right amount of tax. Without an NI number you could be over taxed and some employers won’t be able to pay you. To get an NI number visit this website: www.gov.uk/apply-national-insurance-number.
- Get a UK bank account – Most employers will not be able to pay you without a UK bank account. Go to the bank prepared with your NI number, passport and proof of UK address.
- Make your CV UK friendly – CV layout and content tends to vary in each country so make sure yours is ‘UK friendly’. A few simple things you can do right now is to: a) remove the photo of yourself from your CV (unless you are applying for a modelling job of course); b) remove any irrelevant personal details such as your date of birth, nationality or religion; c) get your CV down to one or two pages, as this is generally the acceptable length in the UK. If you would like to get further detailed feedback on your CV, why not book a 1-2-1 appointment at the Careers & Enterprise Centre (Queens’ WG3).
- Organise your reference – Make sure you have people employers can contact that can provide references in English (not a relative or friend). This is particularly important if registering with any agencies (like QTemps).
- Get volunteering experience – UK employers value any kind of experience that demonstrates vital skills like team work, leadership and problem solving. Volunteering is a great way to start building this experience, particularly since it is flexible and you can arrange it around your studies. If you’re not sure where to begin, check out the Students’ Union Volunteering website (www.qmsu.org/volunteering) and look out for their Volunteering Fair in October.
QTemps Recruitment Manager
To book a 1-2-1 appointment with a Careers Consultant, call 020 7882 8533. For further information and resources for international students, visit QMPlus.
From my own experience, trying to find a job for after graduation whilst you’re still studying can seem like an incredibly daunting task, and I’m sure even more so for international students. QM Careers & Enterprise are hosting an ‘International Students Careers Week’ this month, consisting of a programme of events for all QMUL International Students who would like to find out more information about working both in the UK and overseas during their studies and after they have graduated. Here are a few pieces of information about the week and what to expect from the events:
Why should I attend?
Careers & Enterprise are working with a number of organisations, as well as different QM departments in order to put on useful and relevant workshops for our international students. Workshop focusses include visa information, the UK recruitment process, using LinkedIn effectively and improving your English for UK job interviews. Most importantly, C&E have invited representatives from the sponsorship organisations UKISIS, Access Tier 5 and Parenthese, giving you the chance to meet with them and ask questions about visa regulations and how to go about attaining sponsorship.
What events are there and what can I expect from them?
||Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa
Find out more information about getting sponsored to start your own business in the UK on the Tier 1 entrepreneur visa.
1-2pm, Bancroft 1.13a
|Tier 5 UKISIS: a new visa scheme for your future
UKISIS provide visa sponsorship for Chinese nationals and Chinese speaking students. Find out more about this process at this workshop.
5.30-6.30pm, Eng. 3.25
||Working in the UK after graduation
This workshop will give you an understanding of how the UK recruitment process operates.
5.15-6.45pm, Bancroft 1.13
||Tier 5 visas for UK employment
Access Tier 5 provide visa sponsorship to any non-EEA graduates. Find out more about this scheme and the Tier 5 visa process.
1-2.30pm, Bancroft 1.02.6
Learn how to build your profile for networking and job searching in the UK and overseas.
1-2pm, Bancroft 1.15a
|Getting internships and work in the USA
Parenthese offer a J-1 visa scheme for those who wish to work in the US. Learn how to search and apply to opportunities through this scheme.
5-6.30pm, Bancroft 3.40
||Improve your English for UK job interviews
The Language centre are leading a workshop on the type of language you need to use in UK job interviews.
1-2pm, Bancroft 3.26
You can book a place at any of these events via the Careers & Enterprise Events page: https://careersandenterpriseevents.wordpress.com/
For any more information, don’t hesitate to contact Careers & Enterprise on 020 7882 8533.