An Introduction to the UK Graduate Market (16/10/23): Video Transcript

Title: An Introduction to the UK Graduate Market (16/10/23)
Duration: 51:25

Okay, so welcome everybody to this webinar. My name is Katie. I work in Careers Network, and my role is specifically around employers for international students. One of our partners is Student Circus, and hopefully, you are a little bit familiar with what they offer and what they do. Dhruv from Student Circus is the co-founder, and he will be leading this webinar today.

I just wanted to share with you just very quickly some information about Careers Network, in case you are not aware of some of the things that we offer. So if this isn't familiar, this is a screenshot of our website, the website specifically for international students. There's loads of great resources on there; there's a link to all the upcoming events; there's information on getting work experience; there's Visa information; there's lots and lots of stuff in there. So that's a really good place to have a look at. I will post the link to that in the chat in just a minute, and obviously, you've got the QR code if you want to take that now. But yeah, I'd recommend after this webinar just having a little look on that webpage and maybe bookmarking it so that you've got it saved somewhere to go back to.

We've also got some online courses specifically designed for international students for this year. So you can access these through that website. The top section of the website will take you through. So the first three in this list are currently live, and the last three will be going live either later this month or early next month, but loads and loads of resources and great information for you to work through. Not all in one go; it's kind of an online e-learning course. So you might want to drop in and then spend, you know, an hour or two and then come back to it another time rather than doing it all at once.

And finally, just to let you know about some events that are coming up in the next couple of weeks. So this coming Wednesday, there is a presentation from a law firm around Visas, so really good, important information. And then we've got a number of sessions specifically for international students around job hunting in the UK, getting part-time jobs, what to expect for your CVs and interviews, and things like that. Also, we got some employers on campus, so we've got KPMG on campus next Tuesday. We've also got some other employers on campus, and obviously, the careers fairs are still going on. There's another careers fair this Wednesday in the Great Hall, so lots and lots of different events. So do keep an eye out on the events listing, and I'll put a post specifically to that link as well in the chat in just a second.

Right, so Dhruv, I am done; that was everything from me. I'm just going to stop sharing. I just see if someone had a question... um, oh, accessing the recording, so that will also—you can access that through the website. I will post a link to it now. So there is a section for past events, and that's got all the recordings in there, as well as a section for upcoming events. So you can actually access recordings from events from last year as well, where there were various employer Insight panels. So any event that we run online, we try and record and then put in there so you've got the results to come back to as well. Great, so Dhruv, hopefully, you should be able to share your screen. Yeah, let me just try if you can confirm that you can see my screen, that would be super helpful as well. Yep, yep, I can see that. Awesome, so shall we begin? Yeah, absolutely, over to you. Awesome.

So firstly, thank you so much, Katie, and thank you, everyone, for taking time out to come to this webinar today. The webinar, as Katie mentioned, is going to be run by myself from Student Circus, and it's all about helping international students in finding the right jobs in the UK, which I'm guessing all of you are very interested in.

So as we begin the webinar, I'm going to be sharing a lot of important tips and tricks, and I'm also going to be sharing a lot of personal experiences of being a former international student myself and also talking to a lot of employers in the work that we do at Student Circus.

Let's start with what international students need to do to be successful in their job search in the UK. The number one thing that comes to our mind after doing a lot of research is that the first thing international students need to realize is if you want to find the right jobs in the UK, you have to start being proactive in your job search.

Now, I do know that a lot of international students at Birmingham come from different countries across the world. In some countries across the world, being proactive is not so much important because you have the University's career teams, also called the placement teams, that basically ensure that companies come on campus, interview students on campus, and give you a full-time job once you finish. However, because it doesn't work that way in the UK, international students need to be extremely proactive in their job search.

Additionally, there are a couple of other reasons why we state that all of you should be very actively looking for the right roles. The first reason is that, as an international student, the job search market in the UK compared to other countries across the world is very different, right from what employers look for, right from the way they accept applications, or even what sort of a CV you need to create. Everything is very different.

So as an international student, if you want to find the right jobs in the UK, you need to first learn about the UK's job search market. So as a proactive international student, that's the first thing you should do.

Secondly, as an international student, you also need to start planning for the next couple of years in your life as well. Right now, I do know it can be quite overwhelming because some of you may have just entered the UK a couple of months back, started your course with Birmingham, and now I'm telling you to plan the next course of your life from now. The reason why I do that is because, as an international student, your stay in the UK depends on multiple different factors that might not be under your control, namely visas, etc.

Currently, the government in the UK provides international students with a post-study work visa, which allows you to stay and work for 2 years if you completed your undergrad and Masters and 3 years if you completed your PhD in the country. However, if you want to stay in the UK longer-term, which is longer than the two or the three years your post-study work visa allows you to stay, then you need to find the right jobs with the right companies that can sponsor your skilled worker visa. And that itself can be quite tricky because you have a lot of companies in the UK, but not all can sponsor the skilled worker visa. More importantly, you have those companies that can sponsor the skilled worker visa, but they don't sponsor for all positions or in all locations.

So as an international student, you have to navigate to find the right company with the right role in the right location to be successful. Now, when you combine these different reasons of being proactive, the one thing that I will tell all international students is you need to start your job search ASAP. It doesn't matter whether you've just started your Master's course. It doesn't matter whether you're in your final year of undergrad. It doesn't really matter whether you're a first or a second-year undergrad student. Start with your job search right now because job search involves a lot of different factors. More importantly, at Student Circus, we are there to support you in each and every phase of your job search activity.

So, what is Student Circus, and why does Student Circus work with Birmingham to support all of you in your job search process? Firstly, Student Circus is the UK's largest international student employment service provider. So, what does that mean? We are a jobs platform or a job search tool specifically designed to support international students. How do we do that? First, we ensure that all the jobs on our platforms are handpicked to ensure that they're not only from companies that can hire you but also want to hire you. So you have internships and placements for undergrad students that want to do a job, an internship, or a placement, and we have graduate jobs from those companies that can sponsor your skilled worker visa or hire you on the graduate immigration route, all in all saving you a lot of time in finding the right company and the right job. We basically do this for you.

Additionally, being a former international student myself and talking to hundreds of thousands of international students via our platforms, we've realized that one of the biggest pain points that students have is around visas, visa rules, regulations, etc. More importantly, the constant changing nature of visa rules and regulations. So it's really difficult for an international student to keep up with them. So what we've done on our platform is we've partnered up with one of the largest law firms in the country called Pennington's Manches Cooper to help answer most visa queries that international students have. Again, our idea is very simple: as an international student, we believe you're extremely smart and extremely independent in choosing the next course of your future. However, we also believe that giving you the right information at the right time can really enable you to have a successful future in the UK. That's how our ethos behind creating immigration guides for you. Here you will find generic information around different visa routes. However, if you have any sort of personal visa query, the one suggestion that I would tell you is to make sure you reach out to the visa team at the University because only they are allowed to help you on a one-on-one basis.

Additionally, as I said a couple of slides prior to this, as an international student, job search in the UK can be very different from your home country, and therefore you need to be proactive to learn more about the UK's graduate job market. We also provide you with a lot of information, guidance, and expert advice to give you the best understanding one requires on the UK's job search market, whether that's important information via blogs, whether that's information via videos, whether that's information from successful international students through success stories. All of this is available on Student Circus' platform through news and insights so that all of you are updated with what you need to do when you need to do it.

So, how do students at Birmingham access Student Circus? Super simple. Firstly, you can go to and select the University of Birmingham as your University and sign up using your University email ID. Or you can directly go to and sign up using your University email ID. You'll get a verification email sent, so keep an eye out on your inbox, or sometimes it even ends up in spam. Mark us as a safe sender so you don't miss it in the future. And once you verify your email, you'll be good to go.

As an international student, we work very closely with the career services to help you in each step of the way, but again, as an international student, you need to make sure that you take the first step on accessing all of this information that the careers team and the Student Circus team provide to you. More importantly, now that you know all about how to use our service, let's get to what you should know about the UK's job search market.

Another important piece of information is that when you start searching for roles and you start spending time on your job search process, you will quickly realize that every company in the UK follows a different application process. More importantly, every different sector that also hires students follows a different process. So no company will follow the same process; it will be similar yet it will be different tailored to them. Ensure that you are updated with the application process before you start your application.

More importantly, when you start spending time on your job search, you know when you start spending time on researching the companies and the roles, you will start realizing that when you go to the company's website, a lot of organizations actually provide you a range of different support services and insights directly from their HR teams and current employees so that you can make the most of your application. Because again, in the UK, there is a huge focus from employers on the quality aspect of your application. It doesn't matter if you apply for 100 or 200 jobs; what matters is how good your application is to each and every role.

So, let me give you some examples. I'm sure some of you may have heard of this company, one of the world's largest, and I'm sure the British's largest car makers. Now, they do hire international students, but they have a long application process, for example they have a range of different interviews and tests that you need to go through. So if you want to prepare for any of these, they also give you hints and tips on the best way to basically ace these tests and interviews. More importantly, another company basically makes sure that they do a telephone briefing call and a virtual interview before actually calling you for your final interview. Again they give you a lot of information on how you can best prepare to go through the whole process with them.

So, now that I've told you that every company and every, you know, sector has a different process, I thought let's start from the beginning and let's ensure that all international students understand the different terminology that employers use in the UK.

So for all those students that have already started applying for roles or those students that are graduating next year here and looking to get a graduate job once they finish, I'm sure you must have come across terms such as graduate schemes and graduate programs. As a former international student myself, I didn't know what graduate schemes and graduate programs were till I came to the UK, and even whilst I was in the UK for the first couple of months, I was confused. Is a graduate scheme a graduate job? Should I apply for it? Shouldn't I? What is the difference, etc.? So here we thought we will basically help you understand the key difference between what a graduate scheme is and why it is important that you apply for it.

Firstly, a graduate scheme and a graduate program is not offered by all companies. Most larger and medium-sized companies offer these graduate schemes or graduate programs.

Secondly, a graduate scheme or a graduate program is a graduate job, so please don't get confused. Otherwise, it is a graduate job, but the reason why it is called a graduate scheme or a graduate program is because it is extremely structured in its approach.

What do I mean by structured? Most graduate schemes or programs run for a duration of time, whether it's 12 months, 24 months, or 36 months. It depends on the company and the sector you're applying to. Many graduate schemes include training and support for professional qualifications. For example, if you're a student applying for a grad scheme with one of the largest accounting consulting firms in the UK, they will ensure they support you for certification such as ACCA, ACA, CIMA, CFA, etc. If you're a student applying for a grad scheme with certain engineering companies, some of them also include chartered certifications, etc. All in all, graduate schemes and graduate programs are designed to make sure that they give the student a 360-degree view of what it is like to work for a particular company. Most graduate schemes and graduate programs also move the student around in different departments throughout the duration of this, and as I said, they are designed to ensure that they are grooming you to be future leaders of the company. In my personal experience as an international student, I would first apply for graduate schemes and programs and then apply for generic graduate roles.

Additionally, another important terminology that international students get confused with or are confused about is the term placements. So a lot of you coming from South Asia, Africa, etc., might have heard of the term campus placements in your home countries. These are when companies come on campus, interview students on campus, and give you a full-time job to start once you graduate. However, in the UK, the term placement has a totally different meaning attached to it. In your home countries, as I said, the term placement actually means a full-time job that you start once you finish. But in the UK, the term placement actually means a long-term full-time internship that you can do or you must do as a part of your course, only if your course has a placement year built in. So if you are a student on a one-year master's program, you cannot apply for a placement in the UK. If you are an international student on a three-year bachelor's program that does not include a placement year, again, you should not be applying for placements in the UK.

More importantly, as I said, in your home countries, you might have companies coming on campus, but in the UK, companies do not come on campus to recruit on campus. When they come for careers fairs, as you may have seen, companies basically come on campus to give you a good understanding of the range of different roles that they have open for you and the application process, the work-life balance, etc.

The benefits of the perks that they offer to their employees, so it is extremely different to other countries across the world. More importantly, as an international student, when you start your job search in the UK, you have to keep in mind four key characteristics.

First, recruitment and hiring in the UK starts way earlier than in other countries across the world. In a lot of countries, especially in Asia, Africa, etc., if you find the right job today, you might apply for it tomorrow, you might get called for an interview the next week, and you might even be open to starting the role in the second or third week of your application. It doesn't work so fast and so quickly in this country. In the UK, if you're applying for graduate schemes, internship schemes, or placement programs, you will notice that applications generally start 6 to 12 months prior to the job start date. So for all of you on this call that are in your one-year master's program or in your final year of undergrad, if you want to start a job next year once you finish your graduation, start applying for jobs ASAP because every year between September and December is when most companies open applications for grad schemes, internship schemes, and placement schemes because this time is called the graduate application timeline.

Now, a lot of students come back to me and say, 'Oh, but we've just started a course or we've not even finished our course. What do we put on our CV? Is it natural to apply so early, etc.?' Absolutely, employers do know that you may have just started your master's program or you may not have even finished your undergraduate program. They know about this, and yet they open their applications 12 months prior to the start date. So don't worry about this. If you have a query as to how you should put your degrees on your CV, reach out to the career services, and they would be able to help you.

More importantly, a lot of other students come to us and say, 'Can I apply for jobs later, you know, closer to the application, you know, closer to my graduation, etc.' Obviously, there will be jobs available throughout the year. I'm not saying there will not be roles available, but what you need to understand is that the earlier you apply, the more options you have; the later you apply, the lesser options that you will have. More importantly, even if you want to keep it till the last minute, you have to give yourselves a minimum of 3 to 6 months to go through the whole process and secure the right job. That's the reason why I say that is that most companies open their applications for at least one month.

Secondly, most companies have a formal application approach. You will go through a minimum two to six-step process with whichever company you apply with. More importantly, as an international student, you also have to realize there's intense competition that you will be facing. So as a company, they need to find the brightest, best, and most suitable candidate, and therefore they will make sure that they put you through a rigorous process and only then give you the right job. There will be chances where you might apply for a role, you might reach to the final step, and you might not get it. Again, so that you don't run out of time, we recommend making sure you have a minimum amount of time before you graduate to give yourself the best chance of finding a job right after you finish.

More importantly, as an international student, it's also extremely important to understand that employers in the UK love to hire students coming from diverse backgrounds. And by diversity, I'm not just talking about the country you're coming from. By diversity, I'm talking about the degree that you might be studying. Unlike your home countries where if you're studying accounts, you can only become an accountant, or if you're studying marketing, you can only be a marketeer, all those boundaries don't apply for roles in the UK. In fact, employers in the UK love to hire students studying a range of different degrees. This opens up the job search market for all you international students, which you might not have known earlier.

For example, in the UK, as long as you read the job description and ensure that you meet the minimum requirements and, through your application, which means your CV, your cover letter, and the whole interview process, you can prove to the employer that you would be the most suitable and capable person that they can hire for a particular role, they would be open to hiring you. Again, as I said, make sure you don't just limit yourself to the degree you're studying, but you can actually explore the other hundreds of thousands of roles available in the market for you that you might not have considered previously.

Now, a lot of international students come to me and say, 'Oh, if this is the case, then why do companies hire students coming from different diverse backgrounds?' That's because the mindset in the UK that employers follow is one where they believe that when they hire students coming from a different degree background, they get a range of different skill sets that they would not have got if everyone comes from the same background. And it makes sense because a student studying something in the Arts has a very different mindset compared to students studying the Sciences. So, again, they want to make sure that they get the best of both worlds.

More importantly, as I said, that employers in the UK actually want to see the student making a case for themselves when they apply for a role. That's because employers really want to see the evidence you have of the skills that you possess. As an international student, it's extremely important to know that all of you possess two main skills: a hard skill and a soft skill.

Now, a hard skill is one where you basically are gaining a skill set through any sort of formal education or training. It might be coding, it might be accounts, it might be Porter's Five Forces or any sort of certifications that you've done to even learn, maybe it's an Excel certification or PowerBI, etc - all those are hard skills that you may have got. On the contrary to that soft skills are ones that International students gain through the development of their personality and through work experience. 

For example, as an international student, if you're working, as you know, in sales at a retail store and you're talking to customers on a daily basis, that improves your communication skills. That is a soft skill that you can put on your CV. More importantly, if you're working in a restaurant and you have a team of five people coming from five different nationalities, again, you're adaptable. That is also another soft skill that you have. If you are submitting or you're doing your job in certain timelines, it makes you time-conscious and following processes. Again, these are soft skills that one may have.

All in all, as an international student, you need to realize that when you put in your CV, employers already have an idea of the range of hard skills that one has. But when it comes to soft skills, they really don't know what you possess. So use your work experience, use the different skill sets that you know, use the different things that you've done in your education in the UK or in your extracurricular activities to prove to the employer the different range of soft skills that one has.

More importantly, as an international student, when you're applying for jobs in the UK, you also need to realize that employers in the UK generally follow two different approaches while hiring candidates. One is a deadline-driven approach where they clearly state as to what is the deadline to apply for a certain role. It might be 11:59 p.m. on the 16th of October, which means only those students that apply for roles before 11:59 p.m. on the 16th of October will be eligible for it. And once you apply for a role after that, you will find the application link not working, etc.

On the contrary to that, most employers in the UK follow a rolling application deadline, which means that they will keep the application open till they find the right candidate. And once they find the right candidate, they will just basically shut the application or stop accepting any new applications. Again, this also ensures that, as an international student, you should start applying for roles ASAP, even if the deadline is not close by because you might not know when they might actually shut the applications.

More importantly, as an international student, you have to realize that 70% of all roles out there do not have any sort of application deadline given. Hence, you should assume that employers would be following a rolling application deadline, which is, they will shut the application as soon as they find the right candidate.

Now, for an international student, what we've done is we've created a simple mind map which you can follow to make sure you make the most of the job search process in the UK right from the time you arrive in this country till the time you get a job. We suggest that you go through these different steps to be successful.

The first is getting your CV reviewed by professionals at the career services. This is one thing that I would highly, highly recommend. The career services at Birmingham is fantastic. They are experts and they exactly know what an employer looks at and why. So make sure that if you're applying for jobs in the UK, you get your CV vetted and improved by the career services before actually submitting the application.

Secondly, attending events like these. I do know that Birmingham runs a range of different events, career fairs, etc., for all of you. Now, they don't just run that because they like to run that. They run that because they know that you need that additional support and expert advice. So please make sure that you turn up to many of these events. I speak to a lot of international students that miss a lot of these events and then towards the end of the degree, they come back and say, 'Oh, I didn't know about this.' You didn't know about this because you didn't attend the event. So, again, make sure you learn and you try and make the most of these different opportunities that the career services painstakingly provide for you.

Third, making sure that you're spending time towards your job search. As a former international student, the one thing that I would recommend for everyone is that you need to take out a minimum of 45 minutes to an hour that you need to spend towards your job search activity over the course of the next 3 to 6 months. And only then you start seeing success. You can spend that time on many different things. You can visit the career services, you can come to events like these, you can improve your CV, you can start searching for roles, you can spend time on your applications. It doesn't matter as long as you're spending that time.

More importantly, as I said previously, job search in the UK is very different. And in the UK, if you want to find the right job, you need to understand that the responsibility of searching and applying for roles in the UK is on your shoulders. Therefore, please dedicate enough of time towards this. And when you start searching for roles, you will go through the company's website, and you will find out that most, by most I mean 99.9% of all companies that you apply for, you will need to do this online and with a CV and a cover letter.

Once you go through the whole process, you might need to go through other steps as well, such as psychometric tests, phone interviews, assessment centers, personal interviews, etc. And only then one gets the right job. All these steps are ones where I would highly recommend you use the support provided by the University career services. For example, I do know that the career services has a range of different psychometric tests that you can practice. Now, these tests are very important, and my suggestion to all of you is practicing these makes one perfect.

Again, as an international student, the career services runs a lot of different mock interviews, mock training sessions, etc., to support you in each step of the way. So make sure you reach out to them and make the most of the support that they provide.

Additionally, as an international student, you also need to realize that networking is one of the key or top components in your job search process in the UK. Now there are different ways that one can network. Obviously, there is the virtual method using tools such as LinkedIn, etc. So the first thing that I would suggest if you want to network virtually in the UK is that everyone should have a LinkedIn profile. Secondly, please make sure that your LinkedIn profile is professionally set up. Follow the right people, use LinkedIn to find the right jobs, use LinkedIn to connect with alumni because again, they have an amazing algorithm where if you search for a particular company on LinkedIn and you have filled up your profile correctly, it will tell you how many students or how many alumni from your University are working for that company. That's a great way to reach out to people, connect with people, etc.

More importantly, you need to realize that if you have a good and solid LinkedIn profile, you will come across a lot of recruiters that scout LinkedIn for the right candidates as well. So make sure you use it to its utmost potential. Additionally, there are a lot of in-person networking events as well that take place. Go to platforms like, eventbrite, etc. And being based in Birmingham, which is one of the largest cities in the country, you will come across so many events that take place throughout the course of the year. As a former international student, which didn't have any friends or family in the UK when I came in, I realized that I needed to create my own professional network. And going to events like these, networking with people online, etc., was one way in which I could create and build and grow my own network.

If you are an international student on this call as well and you want to create a network, these are the different tips that you should basically use. Additionally, as an international student, many of you may not have had any sort of work experience in the UK, but you also need to realize that having some sort of work experience in the UK is highly sought after by companies. So even if you're applying for a job and you don't have work experience, companies might prefer to take candidates that have work experience. So how does one get UK work experience? Super simple. I'm sure everyone knows what an internship is, so I won't be talking more about it.

I've just spoken to you earlier in the webinar of what a placement is as well, and I'm sure everyone knows what a part-time job is, so I'm not going to be talking about those three. But what I'm going to be talking about is the other ways that one can get or secure UK work experience. Volunteering is an amazing way in which students can not only secure UK work experience, but can also use that to showcase to the employer that you care about people, you are there to uplift society. More importantly, you can also take part or aggressively part in the students union and student activities throughout the course of the University. Again, this also can be used to substitute any sort of lack of work experience that you might have.

The reason why employers really insist on seeing some sort of UK work experience is that they want to have confidence that when they hire an international candidate, the candidate at least has a basic understanding of how to communicate and behave in the UK workspace. So, again, as an international student, if you want to make the most of it, there are various ways in which you can showcase to the employer that you know how to communicate and behave professionally in this country. And these are various ways in which you can do so.

Many companies also offer work experience schemes, and if you find the right employer, you can also ask them if you can work shadow the senior management for maybe a day, two days, or even a week. Anything and everything that you do in the workspace in the UK, whether that's a part-time job or whether that's volunteering, adds to the work experience that you may build in this country. 

Additionally, as an international student, it's also very important to learn from others' mistakes. Therefore, on your screen, you'll see the top reasons why international students don't get jobs in the UK. Let's start with the topmost one. 53% of students don't get jobs in the UK. Okay, because applications are not tailored to the role that they put in. So, again, as I said previously, in the UK, it doesn't matter whether you apply for 200 jobs or 2,000 jobs; what matters is the quality of the application. And one of the best ways in which you can improve the quality of the application is by tailoring your application for the role you're applying to.

More importantly, 38% of people are rejected because of poorly written applications. As I said, it's quality over quantity in the UK, and one of the easiest ways to improve the quality of the application is to take support and expertise from the career services at the University.

Finally, there's another important aspect of the job search that a lot of students miss out on, which is focusing on spellings and grammar because 7% of all applications in the UK, even in today's day and time, get rejected because students don't use the correct grammar or spellings in their application. It's unbelievable. To save you from making these basic mistakes, we have suggested four key points.

First, proofread everything that you send out to the employer, whether it's your CV, whether it's your cover letter, whether it's your application, or whether it's a LinkedIn message. Make sure you double-check it before pressing the send button.

Secondly, download tools like Grammarly. For non-native English speakers, tools like Grammarly have made life very easy. I too have Grammarly downloaded so that I make sure that even if I am sure of the spelling, it's still checking and helping me so that I don't make any mistake.

Secondly, customize everything that you send out, whether it's a LinkedIn message, whether it's your CV, or whether it's your cover letter. Make sure that it's quality over quantity.

Third, apply sooner rather than later because, as I said, in the UK, job search starts way earlier than in other countries. And do not leave it to the last minute because, as I said, give yourself at least a minimum amount of time to naturally go through the whole process because you never know what might go wrong. As long as you have time on your side, you are giving yourselves the best chance of finding the right role in the UK.

Additionally, when it comes to customizing your application, there are a couple of other tips that we would suggest. How can a student customize their applications for a particular job? The easiest way is to go through the company's website, social media, and sign up for their emails or newsletters. When you go through the company's website, you can specifically focus on things such as the company's vision, mission. More importantly, many large employers also have FAQs where they list a lot of important things they're looking for from the employee. So again, you can use all that information in your cover letters. Now, why is it important? Because when an application goes to the HR or the recruitment manager, when they know that the applicant has spent time and done research before submitting the application, trust me, they're going to be rating your application way higher than those students who are not doing any sort of research.

More importantly, it also showcases your hunger, your hard work, and your dedication to the job search process, which is highly appreciated in the UK.

You can also track any sort of recent news and events about the company. For example, if the company's won a recent award, etc., again, these can also be showcased so that the employer knows that you are really tracking what the company is doing.

More importantly, as an international student, I do know that you also want to work for the right company. You don't want to work for a company that does not treat its employees well, etc. So how do you find out how a company treats its employees in the UK? You can use platforms like Glassdoor, etc., to get authentic reviews from both current as well as former employees of the company before you want to make up your mind on whether you want to apply for it.

All in all, as an international student, you need to realize that researching the company plays a very important part in the whole job search process.

Additionally, as I said to you earlier in the presentation, Student Circus is not just a job search platform but it's also an information and guidance tool. Here I'm going to be sharing with you some of the top key information that we think that you should use to make sure that you go the extra step. For example, as an international student, it's extremely important for you to know how to write professional emails during your job search, whether you're following up with an employer or whether you're reaching out to an employer. Writing professional emails is extremely important. It might sound basic, but trust me, when I get a lot of emails or LinkedIn messages from current students, I know that 90% of them cannot write professional emails, and that is a clear red flag in my mind. Now, if it's a red flag in my mind, it is 100% a red flag in the employer's mind as well.

So we've created a blog specifically for you so that you can improve your professional writing skills so that you can make sure you make the most of your job search process.

More importantly, as I said, and as you may have seen previously, many employers now in the UK do virtual interviews before they call you for an in-person interview. So how do you ace these virtual interviews? Again, we have information and guidance so that you can make sure you make the most of them.

If you still want to know more in detail about the difference between graduate roles and graduate schemes, again, we have a blog for you as well.

And finally, my favorite tips and hacks to survive the recruitment process. Being a former international student myself, I know how hard and overwhelming the whole job search process can be, especially if you're a master's student on a one-year postgraduate program coming from a different country, not having any friends or family, and more importantly, applying for roles and getting rejected. It can really mess you up. So as an international student, what are the certain tips and hacks that you can do to survive the process?

Firstly, understanding the process is important, so you know that it is tough. Secondly, because you start early, you have enough of chances not to be successful yet, you have the good chance to get the right job.

Thirdly, please do not underestimate how competitive the process is. This year has been a record year in the number of international students choosing the UK as the study abroad destination. Hence, it will also be a record year in terms of competitiveness. As an international student, you have to realize that you're not just competing with international students, but also with local students. Therefore, researching the company thoroughly, preparing your applications, making the most of the resources that the careers team and the university provides are very, very important.

More importantly, the most important thing that I would say is that making sure that even if you get rejected, you're not stopping your applications. You might be down, you might be out, but as long as you keep going, trust me, the right things will happen for you.

All in all, we have a range of other services and information and guidance on our platform, which I would highly recommend you all check out. Because again, all of these are not just created to support you by us, but they're created and provided by former successful international students as well. So make sure you go to Student Circus, spend 20-30 minutes of your time on our platform, go through the different resources we have, and then start applying for jobs. From me, that's it for today. But if you have any questions, I will be leaving the last 10 minutes to questions, so put it in the chat box, and Katie and I can answer. Thank you so much for taking time out for coming to this presentation, and thank you so much, Katie, for helping us host this. Thanks so much.

Thanks so much, Dhruv. That was really good, that was all-encompassing. I'm sure everyone's feeling that that was a lot of information to take in, but all really, really useful, really important information as well.

We have had a couple of questions, and Teslimat, I'm really sorry if I'm pronouncing your name incorrectly, has their hand up as well. So, if you want to, you can unmute yourself and speak to us. Just so you know, the session is still being recorded, just so you're aware of that. I think you might not have heard that. I'll just move on to another couple of questions, and we can always swing back around to that.

So, Hira asked a question. I did respond with a link to our careers advisor's appointment, but just in case you've got any other tips for them, Dhruv. So, Hira has said, 'As an international student, I want to build my CV with part-time jobs and volunteering, etc.' So, this was actually put in before you talked about that being a good idea. But they've also said, which is a very good point, 'What do we do when we've not done that yet and feel that our CV isn't strong enough but the deadlines are now?'

Okay, look, getting a part-time job is super easy and it's super quick. You can even start volunteering asap with employers, NGOs, charities, etc. So, you shouldn't have completed everything, but you can assume the skill sets that you would build through the volunteering activity, etc.

So, I do know that some students are in a limbo where they don't have the skills yet, but they know they will build the skills. So, you can still put it on your CV. Don't worry. But make sure you don't fake it till you make it. Don't just put in an internship that you've not done. Get the internship or get the part-time gig or get the volunteering gig. Put in what you aim you will learn from this. It should be fine because you will still be doing it. I hope that makes sense. Yeah, no, it definitely does. And you're right, you don't have to have everything sorted immediately because there's the application process as well to work through. So, you absolutely have extra things in. Also, just to say, if anyone is looking for volunteering opportunities, the Guild of Students, the student societies, there is a volunteering section there. So, that might be a good way to find out about some opportunities that are local to campus as well.

Anoushka has asked, has said, 'Oh, they attended the careers fair, brilliant!' and asked about regular graduate jobs, so not the schemes but the jobs that were posted on LinkedIn. And they said that for those applying two to three months prior to graduation, that's fine for them to do so. Can you please comment on that? I know you did say a little bit about that.

Yes, so as I said, for graduate schemes, it's 6 to 12 months prior. For graduate roles, in that sense, three to six months would be my timeline because, again, you don't want to keep it till too late. So, if the recruiter is saying they're fine, there are certain industries where certain industries will take you on board very quickly. I would say specifically in engineering because there's a big skill shortage in the UK, so they're more open, they're more flexible, etc. But you also need to understand that if they're saying two to three months, you should build in your own buffer of a month or two because my whole, when I say four to six months, it means that you need to ensure that you have the right paperwork in place, whether it's your CV, whether it's your cover letter, whether it's your work experience, whether you've spent time on researching the company, etc. All of that combined, they are only talking about the application bit. So when you add your own bit prior to that, that anyway makes it four to six months. So I think that makes sense.

Great, thank you. Hira has asked another question, saying, 'What should we know before applying for a Graduate Visa?' So just to say, the Careers Network can't actually offer any Visa advice, but there is the International Student Team within the university that has drop-in one-to-one appointments and also runs webinars. They can talk you through the process of applying for the Graduate Visa. There are also various websites, obviously, as Dhruv said, Student Circus has got some guidance on there from a law company as well. So I'd recommend having a look at that, and that might be written in a slightly more understandable language. I sometimes find that the UK government website isn't that easy to understand, and you know, English is my first language. Sometimes it can be quite confusing reading that sort of information. So if you have a look at places that are designed for international students, that might be a good place to start as well.

Absolutely. If anyone's got any other questions, do feel free to put them in the chat. I don't think anyone, I had a look, no, there's no questions in the Q&A box within Zoom either. Awesome, give people a minute in case they might be busy typing something in. Thank you so much, Faith. No, I think you might have covered it all. Might not be any more questions for you. Awesome. So, best of luck to everyone. I am coming to campus next month as well to run a similar talk. So, if you missed any of it and you know you want to catch up in person, please sign up to that one as well. And I look forward to many more such talks for all of you. Brilliant. Thanks so much. Thank you so much, Katie. Thank you. Take care.


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