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Posted Jan. 10, 2022

6 tips for international students to increase their employability in the UK

Amber accommodationKnown as the hub of top universities, the UK is the ultimate study abroad destination for millions of international students.

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And with great diversity, excellent work opportunities and a high quality of living, there is no denying the fact that many students would like to continue living and working in the country once they have finished their postgraduate studies. Since there is already cut-throat competition for every job role in the market, it is essential to make yourself stand out from others. While you must work hard to achieve good grades in your university examinations while studying your masters degree, don’t forget to focus on areas other than your postgraduate experience. So, check out these six valuable tips on how you can increase your employability in the UK.

Work on your soft skills

We can’t emphasise enough how necessary soft skills are in professional settings. Also referred to as the C-skills, soft skills are personal attributes and interpersonal skills that help build, maintain and improve professional relationships. Recruiters generally look for candidates who possess these skills, such as communication, leadership, emotional intelligence, teamwork, etc. Contrary to popular belief, you can learn or master the art of soft skills, and it is never too early or too late to begin as they remain relevant throughout your career.

Improve your language skills

English is widely used in business, diplomacy and the academic community worldwide, and being fluent and articulate in the language can give you an edge over others on various levels. It is understandable to find difficulty learning or improving your English language skills as most international students speak other languages or know English as a second language. But remember, you can always improve your language game simply by practising it with consistency. So, during your time as a postgraduate student in the United Kingdom –whether you are staying in a student room at Nottingham University or student accommodation in Sheffield – socialise effectively and make friends with locals, and then practise your speaking skills with them. It will also help you hone your listening skills, which further makes it easy for you to understand accents and learn the correct pronunciation of difficult words. Moreover, you can also start journaling every day to improve your writing, which is a vital skill to master in the working world.

Enrol in clubs and societies

You are unlikely to get your dream job solely based on your academic achievements as recruiters are also interested to learn about your passion, hobbies and any skills or interests that you have outside your studies. It gives them major talking points to get to know you more and to find out whether you would be the right fit for the company or not. So, it is crucial to enrol yourself into societies or clubs or societies at your university during your time there. Besides enhancing your skills, societies and clubs are a great way to socialise and network. You will meet many like-minded people from whom you can learn many things. You can also sign up for leadership roles, and with leadership experience, you can list your roles and responsibilities in your resume, such as managing a team well during a university event. In a nutshell, joining clubs and societies enable you to acquire updates on what is happening in the industry you want to work in.

Focus on networking

You will often find people giving you advice along the lines of, “It is important what you know, but who you know is more important.” The numerous opportunities you will get to meet the right people at the right time will not be accessible via job applications or sending cold emails to the company. It is crucial to invest your time and effort in networking effectively. And remember, your first connection is the person you say ‘hi’ to during your first day at class or in your student accommodation. So, attend job and career fairs, networking events at your university, join clubs and societies, maintain professional relationships with your professors and peers, join social media groups of professionals on LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. Furthermore, you should also practise some basic networking etiquette, such as learning how to shake hands properly, manage your body language, introduce yourself with confidence, maintain a good smiling face, keeping eye contact, etc. These are a few tricks to master the networking game that make you employable in any field that you want to get into.

Relevant work experience

What you study in classrooms is your theoretical knowledge, but when you apply those skills in real life, in the form of a postgraduate internship or a part-time job, it gives you hands-on experience in your chosen field. Thus, providing you with the practical knowledge, industry insights and relevant skillset needed to immerse fully in the corporate culture. Therefore, it’s a good idea to start working even during your university life if at all possible. It can be challenging to manage in the first few months, but you will become habitual and learn to have a work-life balance after that. So, while sitting inside your student apartment in London or Bristol, start applying for remote jobs, internships, volunteering work or part-time jobs. It will not only hone your technical skills but also help you grasp many transferable skills, which every employer seeks in a candidate.

Update your CV regularly

Last, but not least, always keep your CV up-to-date. You never know when you might come across a golden opportunity and need your resume right away! So, make a habit of updating it whenever you complete an online course, internship, training program, or any other relevant activity.

Do you want help in searching for the right student housing?

Amber accommodationamber is the leading international accommodation booking platform that serves millions of students worldwide with pocket-friendly options for finding a suitable home. We are upgraded with the latest COVID-19 policies and would be eager to assist you in locating the ideal abode for you. Check out our Facebook and Instagram pages for special offers and more updates!

Writer: Harshita Anand is a postgraduate in English Journalism and a graduate in Hotel Management. She has worked in a diverse range of industries and with people from all walks of life. Her experience prompted her to learn new things about the world and write passionately about them!

amber is one of many potential private accommodation options for international postgraduate students. Other private student accommodation options are available and advises you to research all your options thoroughly before making such a commitment. Postgrad Solutions accepts no responsibility for your choice of student accommodation and does not endorse or support amber.

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