5 Reasons why employers like international graduates
When choosing the right course for you, it’s easy to focus too much on the time you’ll spend studying, and not enough time on what comes afterwards. For instance, when you graduate, will this qualification help you find a career in the sector you’re interested in?
International students, in the eyes of employers, boast a range of qualities which domestic students can find difficult to demonstrate in an interview process. This is great news if you choose to study abroad! Successfully applying for a job is all about making an impression quickly and accentuating your positives; as an international student, you can do all of these in a number of ways.
Below, we look at what being an international student says to prospective employers:
Having packed up and left home to study elsewhere, you have shown a willingness to explore new opportunities. No employer will want to select someone who will do just enough to get by, or be boring. If you’re a representation of where their business can go if they hire you, you want to emphasise everything which shows that you’re enthusiastic and energetic. Taking initiative is another favourable quality which employers look for; by showing ambition and setting goals for yourself, an employer will be eager to take on someone who will go further when possible. If you can do this, it means you can probably learn quickly and work unsupervised, which will make your supervisor's job a lot easier.
The best organisations and companies change with the times. Few audiences, sectors or processes remain the same over long periods, and organisations will adapt to these. A good example is the rise of social media in communications and public relations. Studying abroad is an excellent way to show that you can adapt to completely new surroundings, quickly and without problems. Practically, a company will be keen to promote from within, rather than look externally and go through the hiring process all over again. In terms of daily activities, you will have proven you can adapt to circumstances as they arise.
Similarly, no one likes a “Yes Man”, who will constantly agree them and bring nothing new to the table. While you don’t want to appear big-headed, it is important to appear confident in your own abilities. Having studied in another country, you can make yourself invaluable to a business who may be considering that market for expansion in the years to come. Many graduates worry that they don’t have enough experience, or that they are too young for certain positions; the other side to that argument is that you bring an innovative outlook which will appeal to potential new clients in years to come.
It may seem like an afterthought compared to qualifications and experience, but personality and character are important to employers. For all the qualifications and skills a candidate may have, if they appear difficult to interact with, it can sour an interviewer on them. After all, you’ll have to work with them eight hours a day, five days a week, for years to come. It takes a friendly, sociable and open-minded person to make new friends in a different country. Your time abroad will likely improve the way you interact with strangers too.
This can be a good thing. While an interviewer will consider how you would fit into the current team, standing out in a positive way is key. It will distinguish your application and CV from the rest initially; something which is important in a competitive job market. Then, if you secure an interview, you will have something interesting to speak about. Either you can use your time abroad as a way to break the ice or lighten the mood in an interview; or you can point to this experience, to answer questions about abilities. If your interviewer has little knowledge about the country you have studied in, you will have something you can talk about from an expert point of view.
Paul Ellett is the editor for Hotcourses Abroad. His role is to plan, produce and share editorial, videos, infographics, eBooks and any other content to inform prospective and current international students about their study abroad experience. When he's not thinking about student visas in Sweden and application deadlines, Paul is an avid fan of comedy podcasts and Nicolas Cage films.