Working in the UK for international students Part 3: Applying for jobs

Understanding what employers want and knowing how to show them you meet their requirements is key to your success. Employers can reject your application for many reasons – you may not have followed their basic application instructions, you may not have given evidence of your skills or they may feel that your application is too general and doesn’t show your motivation to work for their company in that role.

Here are our 9 top tips when applying for graduate jobs:

  1. Check the vacancy information carefully and use all our resources and support to make sure you know how to make a strong application
  2. Think carefully about whether the position is a good match for your skills, experience and motivation
  3. Research each employer thoroughly and tailor your application – you should be able to demonstrate clear motivation and understanding of the job and the employer
  4. If you don’t feel confident about talking about your strengths, get advice from a Careers Consultant
  5. Give yourself time to make each application – doing your research and preparing a strong CV/online application takes more time than you might think
  6. Use a formal writing style in all communications with employers – use appropriate business language and focus on correct spelling and grammar
  7. Give evidence when you are talking about skills and the personal qualities employers want. You can draw evidence from academic life, part time work, internships, extra curricular activities, volunteering, additional courses you’ve taken etc. Or you may have examples from your experience as an international student studying and living in the UK
  8. Check out the recruitment process for each employer and be prepared for each stage – which can include aptitude tests, assessment centres and video or face-to-face interviews
  9. Keep a record of your applications and their progress


Researching employers:

  • use individual employer websites
  • pick up free employer directories from Careers
  • attend employer events on campus
  • follow employers on LinkedIn and other social media
  • use our York Profiles and Mentors database to find York graduates working for companies you are interested in

Making applications:

Going through the recruitment process: 

Developing skills:

Check out our appointments page and talk to us – we are here to help at each stage.

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