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Anoushka Chati

Anoushka Chati profile picture

Nationality/country of origin


What degree course did you study and when did you graduate?

MSc Management for Business Excellence (2024)

Current role

Junior Analyst (Operational Resilience), The Ardonagh Group.

Navigating the Job Market Post-Graduation: A Personal Journey

As an international graduate, the shift from the comfort of university to the dynamic and rigorous landscape of the UK job market has been a journey filled with both excitement and challenges. I know first-hand that job hunting can be a bit daunting. Being an international student can add an extra layer of complexity to the job search and it can feel like a massive ocean, diving into which is overwhelming. I wanted to share my own experience landing a job within three months of graduation, hoping it might shed some light on the process for you.

Be Intentional

While its ambitious and honestly, quite difficult to have a five-year career plan laid out, employers appreciate candidates who know what they want and how they can contribute (even if its short-term). Don’t just follow the crowd blindly, understand what you're looking for in a job. Having clarity about your career goals, preferred work environment, and industry will not only help you in the search but also in acing interviews. Try to find a part-time job (Unitemps or Reed), internship or work placement which can provide you with experience/clarity on your career path. Quite often, these opportunities can also lead to full-time employment!

Start Early, Stay Persistent

Prestigious graduate programs and internships designed for recent international graduates open up a year before their start date. This means that you might have to start applying (and preparing) for these jobs as soon as a year in advance of graduating. I found websites like Brightnetworks and TargetJobs for finding these programs. Consistency is also key – make it a routine to check for new openings and apply regularly.

Go Beyond What’s Expected

The harsh reality of the UK job market is that there is an immense competition. You are not just competing with your coursemates or university mates but also those from other top universities and countries. You might even be competing with candidates who have been in the UK job market for 1-2 years and are looking for a change or their graduate visa is expiring. While this may seem scary, use this as an opportunity to stand out from the crowd. Simply submitting your resume and cover letter on the company website may not be enough and you would have to go out of the way. Can you get in touch with the hiring manager directly? Have you discovered a gap and may have an interesting idea to pitch? Can you send a video or presentation? Let your creativity and initiative get ahead.

Quality vs Quantity Strategy

Applying to numerous positions might seem like the best approach, but also consider the quality of your applications. Tailoring your resume and cover letter for each application can increase your chances of getting shortlisted. It's sometimes better to apply to fewer positions where you genuinely fit the criteria than to cast a wide net without a targeted approach.

Leverage the power of LinkedIn

The platform has started to boom for all kinds of professional reasons and the earlier you start using the platform, the better. Be it searching for job opportunities or connecting with alumni and industry networks. Get yourself noticed by posting content regularly or follow creators such as Farhoon Asim who create valuable content on navigating the job market.

Being international is a strength, not a weakness: While it may seem that being an international student is a con, understand that you have come a long way and you bring diverse skills and talent to any organisation. There were quite a few interviews where I made sure to highlight that in my time in the UK I have gained valuable skills in not just resilience and time management but have embraced cultural differences and challenges which makes me an asset.

Ace the Interviews

Once you start getting interviews, prepare well. Research the company, understand the role, and always talk about your experiences and relevance to the role. The more quantifiable it is, the better! Don’t be afraid to show your personality, inject some humour into the conversations. Remember, at the end of the day, its not a war that you are trying to win. There are humans on the other end and you are both trying to figure if the job is a good fit for you. Additionally, ensure you are aware of your visa status and well-versed enough about its details to educate employers about the same.

Celebrate Small Wins

This is probably the most important take-away from my journey. Landing a job isn't an all-or-nothing game. Celebrate the small wins along the way – a successful interview, positive feedback, or even just getting shortlisted. It's essential to acknowledge your progress, reflect on what worked and what didn’t and stay motivated.

Remember, each journey is unique, and there's no one-size-fits-all approach. Stay true to yourself, keep learning, and don't be afraid to take detours if necessary. The job market is a dynamic place, and your path may not be a straight line – and that's perfectly okay.