For most international students, a foreign degree isn’t just about the world-class education or the horizon-broadening experiences of being exposed to a variety of different cultures. It’s also a way to gain a competitive edge in their industry on a global scale.
This is especially true for international students with prior work experience in their home countries and corporations and businesses looking to attract a more diverse and international workforce.
A critical part of having a competitive edge lies in the practical application of your education – evidence that grounds your learning in the practicalities of industry work that gives recruiters in your adopted country the opportunity to benefit from specialized, high-skilled labour.
Contact your university’s graduate recruitment team
The first thing you can do to kick-start your post-study plans is to contact your university’s graduation recruitment department and make the most of the services they offer.
And although many fellow international students may advise you that this is a waste of time and irrelevant – I’m afraid I have to disagree.
Granted, these services cannot guarantee you employment or a visa at the end of your studies, they do provide essential information about how that country’s job market functions, what the work culture is like, how you are expected to conduct yourself, and how best to present yourself on paper and in-person.
“Without that basic information to help you make the right first impression, you’ll find your post-study career screeching to an unexpected halt immediately,” says Mike, a graduate, also working as online thesis help service provider.
Leverage the power of every platform
Barring specific industries, most recruitment primarily happens online. We all have an updated LinkedIn profile. Right?
Some international students may not know when they move to another country is to consider the presence of online recruitment platforms that play a more significant role in the local job market in their home countries.
And if your main goal is to start your career, I’d even suggest giving those platforms a higher priority than LinkedIn, right up there with the recruitment portal set up by your university.
Learn the ins and outs of these platforms early, from putting up the right picture to building a profile that makes the most of the platform’s search algorithms.
This will be a tedious exercise the first couple of times, but then you’ll have built a profile that you can pretty much copy and paste to newer career networking platforms. Facebook now has a jobs portal, as does Google. Multinationals have their private recruitment portals.
What I’m trying to say is, make sure you put yourself out there. You want to maximize your exposure to the right kind of employers, and there is only one way to do it: be on every platform, optimized to their unique algorithms.
Learn to build targeted resumes
The most significant change between the resume you used for casual university jobs during your studies and the one you’ll use to apply for graduate roles is that you won’t have ‘the one’ resume anymore.
Instead, you must learn to build and rebuild your resume for every role you apply to, making sure the right skills are highlighted, relevant experience (if any) gets the necessary spotlight.
You’re conforming to the industry norms of your specific field. You can even consider creative ways to stand out, such as a video CV.
Why is this important? For example, a digital marketer and an SEO specialist will have overlapping skills and tasks, but using the same resume for both may fail to bring out the best abilities.
So, if this is you, then you may want to highlight your marketing and content strategy skills for the digital marketing role and your technical SEO and analytics skills for the latter –critical distinctions you’d miss out on if you used the same generic resume.
To reconsider, your university’s grad or careers services will be invaluable here. They will most likely feature training workshops and interview preparation services to help you build targeted resumes relevant to each unique job.
They’ll also help you with best practices and the common mistakes to avoid, and how to identify and leverage the soft skills gained from your work in other industries or odd jobs – invaluable. It still shocks me that people willingly refuse to utilize these (free!) services.
Embrace industry-specific up skilling
The job market is fierce and competitive; everyone is vying to stand out in an ocean of other highly talented candidates, so you’ll need to put in a lot of extra effort to impress.
In this, I’m motivated by the words of American radio personality Ira Glass. His advice, aimed mainly at those who do creative work but applicable to any work, discusses the importance of doing a massive volume of work to elevate your skill to the level of your ambition – that is something which has stuck with me for years and drives me to succeed.
How does this help you? It’s simple (but oh-so-hard). You need to scout the industries that interest you and see how they work, get the job done, and do it yourself.
Throughout your studies, you’ll be doing a lot of project work, so make sure you choose projects relevant to your favored industries and give you industry-specific skills and a body of work you can add to your portfolio to demonstrate those skills.
Apply for employment early and make the most of your international student status – Check if your employer is registered to sponsor students and have a backup plan in your home country if you have language or increased numeracy abilities that home students don’t have. Students acquiring international degrees can seek assistance and secure online assignment help expert.