Finding a student job in the UK can be challenging and extremely competitive. But it is certainly not impossible. Student jobs help bridge the work experience gap between students and freshers. They also help hone your job-specific and interpersonal skills while giving you access to a wide network and opportunities.
Here are some tips to help you land jobs for students in the UK:
When the job market is competitive, the best way to increase your chances of getting shortlisted for a job or landing one is to apply early. Even when the job listing or posting says it accepts applications on a rolling basis, apply as early as possible. If the hiring managers find quality applications in time, they will close the job opening sooner than expected. Similarly, if the job posting comes with a deadline, don’t wait until the deadline to apply. They may get quality applications early in the process and choose to go with those candidates.
Tip: keep your application pack ready and handy with you. As soon as you see a job opening that fits your schedule, skill set, and interests, you should be able to make little tweaks and apply immediately.
Practice Makes Perfect
The job application process comprises a few rounds. Usually, these stages include online tests, interviews, case studies, assessment centers, and the like. All these stages can be mastered with practice. Before an interview, for example, you should do a mock interview with your university careers service or practice with friends. With online tests, too, it’s best if you can practice beforehand. Many samples of psychometric tests are available online.
Don’t be disheartened if you don’t make it for the first interview you sit for or if you don’t get a perfect score on the first online test you take. Always ask for feedback from the hiring manager or the recruiter if you get rejected at any stage. Then, use that feedback to improve your interviewing or testing skills. Next time will be better.
Always Be Networking
Networking is the most underrated part of your life as a student, and it would be best if you kept an open mind about meeting people, whether peers, mentors, professionals, or employers. Wherever you go — from student accommodation gatherings to events held by student societies, student media, employer events on campus, workshops, learning opportunities, extra-curricular activities, and sports — you get to meet like-minded people who share interests and potentially even career journeys.
Use Available Resources
Many career and job-readiness resources are available for international students in the UK. Your university will have a careers service or employability team of career advisors who can help you with various parts of your job search. They usually provide CV clinics, mock interviews, online resources, and sample tests. You can also book 1:1 consultations with the advisors. They also organize employer engagement events and career fairs where you can meet with potential employers.
More than 50 universities in the UK have also partnered with Student Circus to provide unlimited access to their students to the visa-enabled jobs board, the webinars and training sessions, and immigration and country career guides.
Enhance Your Employability
Even as a student with no prior work experience, there are other ways you can show evidence of certain skills. For example, you can take leadership positions in student societies or become a class representative, and such roles show your initiative and leadership skills, among other valuable soft skills.
Similarly, you can share details of any project work you conducted as a part of your studies, individually or as a group. Always share such projects with clear goals, outline your role, and lay out the output or outcomes.
Another great way to show your potential is through upskilling. There are several online courses available, many of them free, through which you can upskill. You can also explore specific resources if you have a particular niche or field. For example, if you are exploring the option of working in marketing, you might want to check out the free Hubspot training that comes with certifications. Similarly, someone with a background in psychology might want to add specialist skills like mental health first-aid.
To successfully land a student job in the UK, you should also know minute details about the cultural mores and adapt to the professional standards in the country.