September 19, 2014, by James Jupe

New to the UK? Here’s some useful tips on applying for jobs

We’d like to say a big friendly welcome to all of our international students. We’ve gathered together tips to keep in mind when applying for jobs – whether they’re part-time, graduate roles or internships in the UK, it all counts. We appreciate the initial challenges of moving country and settling into a new culture. We’re here to make the process simple. Here’s some helpful tips to get you started.

What you need to know about CVs

This is your chance to represent yourself in the best light and to take pride in yourself.

  • Don’t include a personal photo on your CV. There are some exceptions, such as modelling jobs, where you might need to include one.
  • Avoid stating your date of birth and/or marital status.
  • Be wary of U.S spellings such as ize instead of ise (specialised not specialized). You will also want to watch out for common endings such as or and our – we use colour, not color.
  • It’s also helpful to know the difference between a resume and curriculum vitae (CV). While US resumes are often a one-page document and generally without any personal information about the candidate, our CVs are usually two pages long as they include your work history, education and personal details.

Putting together a covering letter for your CV

You haven’t got long to grab the employer’s attention so make sure you follow the correct conventions.

  • If you don’t know who you’re addressing, you want to avoid expressions like ‘To whom it may concern’ or ‘Dear company’.
  • Be sure also not to take gender for granted and instead use considered phrases like ‘Dear Sir or Madam’.  Make sure you end your covering letter with ‘Yours faithfully’.
  • If you do know the addressee use ‘Dear’ followed by title (Mr, Miss, Mrs or Ms etc.) and surname. You will also want to finish with ‘Yours sincerely.’
  • Most importantly of all, be mindful of grammar, punctuation, spelling and paragraphing to show care with your work. You can always ask someone confident with the English language to read your draft and give you a second opinion.

Know your interviews and how to approach them

Greeting one another is a polite and friendly gesture, so you want to make sure you get it right. Be yourself.

  • In the UK, it’s best to keep it short and sweet with a firm handshake lasting only a few seconds and avoid being either too limp or using a bone-crushing grip.
  • Arrive on time or preferably five to ten minutes early as punctuality is key and will be remembered.
  • Don’t forget to hold eye contact as much as possible to show confidence, and where there’s a panel interview be sure to acknowledge all of the interviewers in the room.

Got a question for us? Get in touch

We appreciate there’s a lot to take in and it’s important to stress that employers will be sympathetic to the fact that our customs are different.  There are many factors to consider when moving to another culture but first and foremost, please don’t panic. It takes time to settle in and we’re here to help you every step of the way.

Do you have a question you’d like to ask about job applications? Feel free to leave a comment and ask us about anything we’ve discussed. You can also message us on our Twitter and Facebook pages for further guidance.

Posted in Applying For JobsInternational StudentsWork experience