Finding a job in the UK
Are you planning to work in the UK either during your studies or after graduation?
Whether you're an EU or an international student, it's important to be aware that your right to work in the UK will depend on your visa.
Getting involved and developing your skills through work experience, volunteering and extracurricular activities is a great way to stand out to potential employers and beat the odds. Read on for more information about securing a job in the UK after you graduate.
Making the most out of my time at university has always been important to me, and I can confidently say I have achieved that! During my time I took part in the Nottingham Advantage Award, Nottingham Consultancy Challenge, worked as a research assistant over summer and got involved in societies.
Thanks to these roles, I have developed a wide range of skills, including leadership, teamwork, professionalism and communication, and I now have many examples to talk about in applications, cover letters and interviews.
Ifigenia Constantinou, BSc Psychology
Where can I look for graduate roles? Including exclusive access to Student Circus
We've rounded up top sources of vacancies on our How can I find vacancies page. This includes vacancies advertised on MyCareer, which is a dedicated jobs board for Nottingham students.
Home Office UK Visas and Immigration provides a list of employers who currently sponsor work permits for workers coming from outside of the EU. This list is useful as a starting point for candidates seeking a visa, but needs to be cross-referenced with more detailed information on each company's careers pages.
If you know which industry you'd like to work in, check the Types of jobs pages for more targeted information about how to gain experience and find graduate roles.
Networking is another great way to find out about opportunities. Our Career Mentoring scheme connects you with Nottingham alumni who can provide valuable insights into working in the UK.
- All the graduate roles advertised meet the UK Visa and Immigration salary requirements for sponsorship.
- Featured employers are sponsors of Tier 2 visas and registered with the UK Visa and Immigration office
- The employer has confirmed that they are willing to hire international graduates for the graduate roles advertised.
- Frequently asked questions on the platform have been checked and verified for accuracy by an immigration expert.
- The platform also provides access to internships, placements and start-up internships.
Please be aware that when using the Student Circus platform your data will not be hosted by the University of Nottingham, however we have taken reasonable steps to ensure they are legally compliant with both the GDPR and UK Data Protection Act 2018 at the point of signing a contract/Service level agreement with them (August 2019). For more information on how your data will be used please see their terms and conditions.
Where can I find more information?
Frequently asked questions
How do I present my previous non-UK qualifications to UK employers?
Some employers will provide information about how to present non-UK qualifications on their recruitment pages, so check their websites first. It may also be worth contacting their HR department for advice.
If you are asked to provide equivalencies for your qualifications, the following are useful:
- The UCAS website has standard comparisons for non-A Level qualifications such as the International Baccalaureate
- If you can't find what you're looking for on the UCAS website, UK NARIC can assess the equivalency of most qualifications for a fee
Potential employers might be unfamiliar with your previous institution and qualification, so you could highlight specific merits of these (ranking positions, for instance). You might also want to contextualise your academic and extra-curricular achievements by explaining how they meet or exceed expected standards in your home country.
Find more information about the UK recruitment process in our what is a graduate job? and making applications sections. An appointment with a member of staff and a review of your CV will also be helpful.
What level of English do UK employers expect?
UK employers expect a good standard of written and verbal English. If you are not a native speaker, try to improve your English during your time in the UK to maximise your chances of finding graduate employment. Getting involved in volunteering
is a great way to improve your communication skills.
Do I need a National Insurance number to work here? How can I get one?
You don't need a National Insurance number to look for jobs, but once you are offered a post you must telephone the Contributions Agency on 0845 6000 643 to apply for it.
You will be invited to an interview held at your local Jobcentre Plus office. It usually takes about six to 12 weeks for your application to be processed, but you can still working during this time. Inform your employers as soon as you have been notified of your permanent NI number.
Find out more on the Gov.uk website.