How to Work in the UK

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Casita Team

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18 March, 2022

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8 mins read

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As an international student in the UK, you tend to get used to the environment and maybe even consider pursuing a career there after graduation. Working in the UK is not an easy feat. But with the right guidance, perseverance, and preparation, you can get a job there with ease. From acquiring a graduate visa to job hunting and building a CV, Casita has got you covered. Here’s a list of things you’ll need to know before you head out to the job market.

Getting A Graduate Visa In The UK

As an international student in the UK, once you complete an eligible course at an undergraduate level or above at a UK higher education institution, your student visa will no longer be valid. However, with a track record of compliance with the government’s immigration requirements, you’ll be eligible for a graduate visa. This visa allows you to stay in the country for two to three years, depending on the nature of the degree you earned or the courses you completed. 

The graduate visa does not require a job offer to apply for it, and it also has no caps on numbers or minimum salary requirements. As a graduate visa holder, you’ll be able to work flexibly, switch jobs, and develop and grow your career. Applying for a graduate visa is a multi-step process. However, it pays off. You can check the required documents, the how and when to apply, as well as your eligibility for the visa in our guide

Once you’ve sorted out your visa situation, you’ll want to move on to getting a job. We, at Casita want to make sure you’re preparedand ready to embark on your journey in the job market. This is why we want to share with you a few tips and tricks on how to polish your CV, successfully hunt for a job, and getthe position you want.

Building Your CV

Your CV is a testament to your education, skills, and past experience. It’s the first thing an employer sees when you apply for a job. Therefore, having a well-written CV is important. Enough time, attention, and dedication should go into building your CV. You would also need to adjust it to fit the jobs you’re applying for.

1. What To Include In a CV

A good CV has to include a number of basic things. Put yourself in the employer’s shoes when deciding what to include in your CV. Here are some of the must-have items in a CV:

  • Contact Information - This may sound like a basic thing, but some people do forget to add this to their CVs. Make sure you include your full name, mobile number, home address, and email address.

  • Profile/Objective - What really sets a job candidate apart is the profile/objective included in their CV. Giving the employer a brief about yourself, some of your skills and achievements, as well as your career aims and what you would bring to the table is important. Tailoring your profile/objective to the field or sector you’re applying for is also an often forgotten part of the CV writing process.

  • Education - Make sure to include any form of education you’ve received, from degrees to relevant courses and modules. Put them in order from the most recent one to the oldest one.

  • Work Experience - List your previous experience, only the ones relevant to the job you’re currently applying for, in reverse date order. Don’t forget to mention your job title, the name of the organisation, the duration of your employment, and your key responsibilities. 

  • Achievements and Skills - List the skills and achievements relevant to the job you’re applying for. Make sure not to exaggerate any of the mentioned skills as you’ll probably be asked to demonstrate your abilities during the interview. This is also the section where you get to mention the languages you can speak and the programs you can use or work with.

  • Interests - This section should not include random interests or hobbies, but rather ones relevant to your field or ones that would set you apart from other candidates. For example, you can mention liking to write your blog, if you’re applying for a job in journalism. 

  • References - This section would not be necessary if you’re just starting out and this is the first job you’re applying for. You can either write “References are available upon request.” or leave out this section completely.

2. CV Format

The format of your CV is important; you want it to be written out in a way that is easy for employers to read or quickly skim through. Below, you’ll find a few tips to help you write a presentable and professional CV.

  • Avoid titles - Do not title the document with CV. Let your name be the title. That’s all you need.

  • Add section headings - Keep your CV organised and readable. Add headings and amp up their font to a 14 or a 16 for good measure and readability.

  • Use bullet points and clear spacing - Writing your CV in bullet points makes it easier for an employer to skim through and point out the important information they might need.

  • Choose a professional font - You’ll want to avoid fonts like Comic Sans, and instead focus on easier to read fonts like Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman. Make sure to keep the spacing between 10 and 12 for easy access. 

  • List in reverse chronological order - When listing your education or work experience, start with the most recent one so employers can get a view of where you’ve been or what you’ve done last.

  • Print on white A4 paper - If the job you’re applying for requires a hard copy of your CV, make sure to print one on white A4 paper and preserve it from creasing or folding.

3. How To Write A Good CV

With the contents and format of your CV in consideration, the next step is to know how to word them correctly and in a way that’s attractive to potential employers.

  • Proofread - Make sure your CV is devoid of spelling or grammatical errors before you send and/or post it. You can use a spell checker or ask someone else to read it over for you.

  • Choose the right form - Try to figure out what kind of CV would best suit you. Based on your qualifications and the fields you’d like to work in, decide whether a skill-based, academic-based, or chronological CV would be better.

  • Do not be generic - Avoid words or phrases that may be seen as too generic or overused instead focus on demonstrating and proving the skills you have.

  • Present a tailored CV - Remember to tweak and tailor your CV to fit the job you’re applying for. Making your CV more position oriented sets you apart from other candidates and shows dedication to your craft.

  • Use active verbs - Your choice of wording in your CV says a lot about you. Using verbs like created, planned, devised shows that you’re someone who is proactive and takes initiative, thus setting you apart from other applicants in the eyes of the employer.

  • Be professional - When adding your email address, make sure it’s an appropriate one. Avoid using personal email addresses and instead create a clear and professional one to go on your resume. 

  • Be honest - Do not lie about or exaggerate any of the mentioned skills, achievements, or previous work experience. Be clear cut from the start as you might be asked to demonstrate or elaborate on any of the items in your CV.

How To Job Hunt In The UK

Finding a job in the UK is not an easy task, and the job-hunting process is often a tedious one. Nothing to worry about.. We’ve got you covered! Below, you’ll find a series of steps that will help you set sail into the job market and pave your career path!

1. Preparation

When looking for or applying for a job, you need to be fully prepared. With your CV on hand, extensive knowledge of the field you wish to work in, and a personal cover letter tailored to your job of choice, you’ll be ready to embark on your job hunt.

2. Networking

Talk to people. Engage your friends or family in conversations about job opportunities they might have heard of. Connect with people you’ve met at career or employment fairs. Link with people on social media who share a similar interest in your field of choice and might provide you with job opportunities. Volunteering is also a great way to network and make connections with people in your field.

3. Choosing An Employer

As you look for a job, search for the companies or organisations that best fit your skillset and personality. Choosing a good employer is essential. Finding someone you can have a mutually beneficial relationship with promises you a fruitful career. 

4. Online Hunting

Nowadays, there are multiple websites and online tools that help you find the job most fitting to your personality, set of skills, and overall preferences. Following up with those websites, as well as setting a Google Alert, will help you find an apt job at a quicker rate. Utilising the resources you have at hand always pays off!

5. Local Hunting

Next to online hunting, you can also hunt for jobs locally. As old fashioned as it sounds, local newspapers still have a variety of job listings and temporary work in your community. Bulletin boards in buildings and/or libraries are also a great place to look for listings that others have probably dismissed. 

6. Industry-Specific Listings

Trade publications, including newsletters and trade magazines, are a great place to start looking for industry or trade-specific jobs. If you’re interested in working in a certain trade, those resources would be of great help for you to find a listing that suits your skillset. These listings will be more specific and therefore less sought after, which means there is less competition and a better chance for you to get the job.

7. Social Media

As is the case with most things nowadays, social media is a great waywhen it comes to looking for jobs. Employers use various platforms, mainly LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to advertise for their available listings. Being active online, seeking out employers, and pursuing different job opportunities will help put you on the radar and better your chances of securing a position.

8. Being An Early Bird

While you look for online, local, and trade-specific listings, try to always be ahead of the game. Check the available resources regularly so that you do not miss anything. Being an early bird is definitely in your favour. The earlier you are in applying for a job, the more likely you are to be called back and/or selected.

9. Bouncing Back

Job hunting is no easy task. Even if you put in your best efforts and follow the tips to a tee, there is still a chance you might not find a job that suits you or get the job you applied for. However, you could use this to your advantage. You can improve your searching process, get interview experience, so you’re prepared for the next one, and get to know the market and the employers better. It’s crucial that you bounce back in case of rejection; ask for feedback, work on yourself and get back out there. The next opportunity is always waiting!

Working in the UK comes with its challenges, but once you’ve found your footing and learned how to properly find and secure a job, you’ll be good to go. Who knows, your two-year graduate visa might turn into a work visa, and your temporary stay might become permanent. Once you put your mind to something and dedicate enough time and effort to getting there, you are bound to make it!


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