2. Improving English communication skills
Employers expect international applicants to demonstrate a good level of written English. At Sheffield Hallam, The University English Scheme offers free sessions to international students to develop English language skills. GoGlobal English Conversation Club is another informal activity which enables international students to build up confidence in speaking English.
The Culture Connect peer mentoring scheme is a great way to meet new people, develop cultural awareness and gain valuable experience. Whether a mentee or mentor, you will certainly improve your communication skills as a result.
Global Friends - Although you can make friendships with people from any country, linking with a friend who speaks excellent will help you improve your speaking skills and introduce you to phrases you will hear in everyday life in the UK.
3. Understanding the UK job market and 'employer speak'
The UK job market is very competitive. This includes jobs at all skill levels. Graduates need to be resourceful and seek out opportunities through targeting appropriate employers as well as responding to advertised vacancies. Uploading your CV to appropriate recruitment agency websites or professional bodies may increase your chances of securing employment.
The availability of some types of work may depend on the region you are looking in. You can learn about regional variations by researching your work sector through professional bodies and through government labour market intelligence. If you are interested in learning about the types of work sectors migrant workers are employed in see page 24 of the report Migration Statistics Quarterly (PDF).
Most employers recruit online so your written communication needs to be of a very good standard. Being able to see exactly what is involved in a job from a job title can be difficult. An employment adviser can help you with this. Many companies and organisations use abbreviations and jargon in their job adverts. Knowing some ' 'employer speak' can help you make sense of job adverts and job descriptions.
4. Marketing your unique selling points
As an international student, it is important to be aware of what sets you apart from other applicants and to be able to promote these effectively to a UK employer. These may include:
- being multi-lingual
- commercial insight into home country or regional markets
- global and multi-cultural perspective
- previous work experience in your home country
The International Experience team run skills development sessions through ICE Club Xtra which includes business games and visiting employers.