By Elaine Mead
For many university students, moving away from home to another state — perhaps even another country — is a key component of their experience.
Many young people also want to find part-time work to support their life while they’re studying, and working is a crucial part of fitting into a new area, meeting new people, and feeling like part of the community.
It can be hard in a new place, with no professional network, to get started, but not impossible. Here are five tips to help you on the way.
1. Check your visa
This is especially important if you’ve recently moved to a new country. Make sure you know exactly what work entitlements your visa allows. Student visas have very specific requirements and you’ll want to make sure you can advise and reassure any potential employers that you’re permitted to do the job (and hours) you’re applying for. This will also help you narrow down your job search and only apply to jobs that match your visa work rights.
2. Start building a network
Finding work is a lot easier when you know the right people, and those people also know you’re looking for work! Your university career hub is a great place to start, but don’t stop there. Get along to guest talks on and off-campus, join professional groups (many offer discounts for students), and find some voluntary work. These are all great ways of meeting people who can help in your industry, but also add some solid experience to your resume.
3. Speak to recruitment agencies
They’re not everyone’s favourite way of finding work, but they can be a useful resource in a new city. Recruiters will know when the best times to get hired in certain industries — such as hospitality — are, and they already have connections with the big companies. Make sure you do some research and approach the right people in the right agencies to see how they can help. They’re also a great resource for getting feedback on your resume.
4. Review your resume
There is no ‘perfect’ resume, but there is such a thing as a good resume and a bad resume. Different cities and countries also have different preferences about what distinguishes the good from the bad, so it’s really important in a new place to make sure yours aligns with expectations. Again, your career hub at university can definitely help, but also speak to local friends and get their input.
5. Get your references in order
Be ready for potential job offers by ensuring your references are prepared and ready to respond to requests. You want to make this step in the application journey as smooth as possible, so if your references are in a different time-zone — make sure they’re ready to respond as soon as they can. It’s a good idea to have at least three references, so if for whatever reason one of them isn’t available, you have another as a back-up.
Finding a new job takes patience
And time! There are no quick wins in the job market, but with patience, consistency, and commitment you will get there. Stay proactive and seek feedback where you can.