For many recent graduates, finding a job abroad is an attractive option…
In addition to experiencing a new culture, lifestyle, and (potentially) a warmer climate, you’ll be able to choose from a variety of career opportunities that may not be as readily available in the UK – whether you choose to pursue short-term work experience, internships, graduate schemes or permanent graduate roles.
To help you figure out the logistics of moving abroad for work, here are our top tips on finding international graduate jobs:
There are several things to consider before making the decision to work abroad.
Your options are likely to be dependent on a variety of factors, including:
- The languages you speak
- How long you’re looking to stay
- The visa requirements of the country
- The industry you want to work in
- The type of work you’re looking for (e.g. short term/long term)
- Your salary expectations
- How much it will cost to get there
Once you’ve determined each of the above, you’ll be able to not only choose the location that’s best for your situation, but also what steps you’ll need to take in order to make working abroad a reality.
Places to work
When it comes to international graduate jobs, the world is (basically) your oyster.
However, there are undoubtedly some locations that stand out above others – whether it’s due to their lucrative salary averages, the number of graduate jobs, attractive lifestyles or work culture.
The current lack of visa restrictions make finding work in Europe relatively easy for UK graduates (this may change after Brexit), but here are a few of the most popular destinations outside of the EU (and their visa requirements):
Major industries: Agriculture, chemicals, steel, mining, food processing, and finance.
Visas: Australia is perfect for those looking to live and work in the country short-term, as working holiday visas for 18-30 year olds (valid for one year) are relatively easy to obtain. However, you won’t be able to work at the same company for more than six months. Other visa types include Skilled Visas (to fill employment shortages), Harvest Trail (for those looking to do farm work), or Employed Sponsored Visas (for those who’ve already secured a role in Australia).
Major industries: Education (particularly teaching English as a foreign language), finance, law, electronics, and retail.
Visas: Whilst working holiday visas (of up to one year) are available, they’re only given to 1,000 people from the UK each year – providing their primary reason for visiting is for a holiday. Minimum requirements for a more permanent visa include a degree or technical qualification, an offer of employment, proven work experience in your chosen field, and evidence of enough financial support to afford life in Hong Kong.
Major industries: Financial services, technology, law, oil & gas, banking, and shipping.
Visas: Singapore offer different types of visas for those looking to live and work there, suited to those who either have a technical qualification or degree, or are an entrepreneur or semi-skilled earner. Working holiday visas are also available (for up to six months) for those aged 18-25.
Major industries: Oil & gas,finance, logistics, tourism, real estate, construction, technology, and hospitality.
Visas: You’ll need to secure a job in Dubai in order to obtain a work visa. The visa you get will depend on your situation, and how long you want to stay in the country. They are: Domestic Help, Student, Employment, Family, and Investors. However, the details and costs are usually handled by your employer – providing you’re able to supply the required documents.
Major industries: Agriculture, services, energy, technology, manufacturing, banking, and retail.
Visas: Canada offers working holiday permits to UK citizens aged 18-30, lasting up to 24 months. If you’re looking for something permanent, the process is slightly different. Once you’ve been offered a job in Canada, your employer will need to get an LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment) to ensure your employment won’t negatively affect the Canadian labour market. If your job is on the shortage occupations list, the visa process is likely to be quicker and easier.
Benefits of working abroad
There are a number of reasons to consider a graduate job abroad.
Here are a few key benefits to consider:
- It’ll boost your CV. As a recent graduate, any experience is good experience – and finding a graduate job overseas is a great way to not only expand on your work experience, but also to improve your cultural awareness, flexibility, communication skills, and a number of other skills employers value. Your unique experiences will also help you to stand out from the crowd.
- It’s a great way to network. Expanding your professional network overseas is extremely helpful when it comes to your career. By making your skills and expertise known to employers in other countries, you’ll open yourself up to a range of opportunities, in a variety of locations.
- You’ll grow and learn. Working abroad provides the perfect opportunity to grow, both personally and professionally. In addition to the skills you’ll learn from a graduate job, you’ll also be able to benefit from everything a new culture has to offer, and even learn a new language.
- There may be more job opportunities. With many countries having skills shortages in certain fields and industries, your expertise could be in demand. And, as the UK graduate job market is extremely competitive, expanding your reach is a great way to improve your chances of finding work.
Where to look
There are a number of places to find international graduate jobs. These include:
UK based job sites that advertise international roles. Many job boards (such as reed.co.uk) advertise international vacancies alongside UK based roles, making them the perfect place to find work abroad.
Recruitment agencies. If you’re looking for one-to-one advice on finding work in a particular industry, a recruitment consultant in your chosen country may be able to help. Whether you’ve already moved or you’re searching from the UK.
Job sites based in the country you’re looking to move to. No matter what country you’ve picked, there’s likely to be more than one job board specific to your chosen country, that accepts applications from abroad (e.g. LinkUp Canada and Seek Australia).
Company websites. If you’re interested in working for a particular company, visiting their careers page is a great way to see if they’re hiring first-hand. Even if they aren’t currently advertising roles, submitting a speculative application could help ensure you’re considered in the future.
Top tips for finding international graduate jobs
- Pick a country. Picking somewhere to move to isn’t always easy and determining the best place for you will take a lot of research – both in terms of potential lifestyle and living costs, along with the visa requirements and work culture.
- Figure out what jobs are available. The job you’re able to do is not only dependant on your own skills, degree type, and experience, but also on the needs of the country. Look into skills shortage lists of where you’re looking to move to, along with the key industries that are likely to have the most jobs.
- Make sure your CV looks the part. In addition to making your intentions to relocate clear in your CV, you’ll also need to ensure your formatting, layout, and content (such as language and spelling) are in line with the country’s typical requirements.
- Look in the right places. Once you’ve decided on a place, it’ll be easier to narrow your search. In addition to searching on international job boards and job sites local to the country, you can also visit and apply for roles direct via company websites.
- Seek out short-term opportunities as well. Most countries offer working holiday visas, which allow you to live and work there while you look for a permanent graduate job. This is a popular choice in Australia and New Zealand, where farming, fruit picking, and harvest factory work is vast, and extremely popular amongst expats.
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