Best Job Search sites for international students
Looking for a job is stressful. There are hundreds of job search sites and millions of jobs.
But as an international student you know many of the jobs won’t be available for you.
You need to find companies that sponsor, you need a Tier 2 Visa.
HELP: What’s a Tier 2 Visa?
A Tier 2 Visa is a type of permit, for you to stay and work in the UK long term.
Finding companies that sponsor used to take hours! Trawling through the Tier 2 and 5 sponsorship list which has over 30,000 companies.
3 Problems using traditional job search site
1.1. The Biggest problem
5.1. Target Jobs
5.2. UK Tier Sponsors
7.2. Tier 2 Jobs
7.4. What next?
1. You need to find a company that is licensed to sponsor a Tier 2 Visa
2. If the company is licensed to sponsor, they may not be sponsoring right now (e.g. I have a gym membership, doesn’t mean I go to the gym)
3. The company is licensed and sponsoring now, but the job doesn’t meet the salary criteria you need (£20,800+ depending on the job role)
The Biggest problem
Finding companies that not only sponsor but are confirmed to be sponsoring right now.
So, what was the old way of searching for jobs and finding a Tier 2 sponsor?
Finding a Tier 2 Sponsor [The Old Way]
- Make a list of employers
- Download today’s Tier 2 and Tier 5 Sponsor lisy here
- Search (Ctrl + F) the document, going through each company and searching to see if they are on that list
- Get rid of the ones who aren’t on the list
Finding a Tier 2 Sponsor [The New Way]
Luckily, since 2016 a few companies and sites have sprung up which make job searching so much easier. They find the companies that sponsor, and the open roles so you just need to apply.
Meaning no more:
- Trawling through thousands of pages of sponsors
- Cold calling companies
- Figuring out whether a company is sponsoring right now
These sites will turn your hours of job searching to mere minutes.
3 Best Job Search Sites
Student Circus was set up in 2016 with international students in mind by a pair of international students who understand your needs when it comes to a job search site.
Student Circus does the research, so you don’t have to.
On the site they state they each employer has:
- Confirmed they are actively sponsoring international students
- Verified that they meet the salary criteria laid out for that job
- Are licensed by the Home Office to sponsor a Tier 2 job
They provide free 30 days access of access to students with a University email and collaborate with 30+ Universities to work directly with their international students, providing weekly updates on new companies which have been added.
You can search for:
- Start-up internships
- Professional and clean user interface
- Easy to navigate and search for roles
- Highly credible as working with large Universities like LSE and Bristol
- Navigate by sector and job type
- To view details about a job vacancy you need to register with a University email
Designed by the IT team here at Job Ready English. We wanted to solve the problem of using the difficult Home office Tier 2 and 5 sponsorship list straight away.
We also wanted a platform that could give you free weekly email updates of when new sponsors are added to the list.
Enter “Sponsor Tier 2”
You can search for companies by:
- Recently Added
- Recently Deleted
Best of all you can go straight to their website to check for vacancies and sign up for free updates every Wednesday and Friday.
- Clean and simple user interface
- Sign up for free email updates twice a week
- Search by location and industry
- Automatic link to the company website to check for vacancies
- Does not tell you which companies are actively sponsoring and which are providing vacancies
UKHired is a brand new platform for visa sponsorship jobs in the UK launched by an international student Anastasia with support of UCL Innovation and Enterprise in March 2020.
UKHired developed a unique algorithm that selects jobs that qualify for Tier 2 visa sponsorship from a pool of Internet sources and major job boards.
The website has jobs for both recent graduates with little work experience and seasoned professionals. It would help if you ticked ‘Tier 4 Visa Holder’ box to access vacancies selected for international students.
How UKHired can help international students find a job in the UK:
- Free access to an extensive database of visa sponsoring jobs
- Filter jobs by category, location, salary and keywords
- Recommendations for tools you can use to receive the job offer
- Clean website design and great UX
- Free access to the job search
- No need to register
- Search by job category, salary, experience, location and keywords
- Large selection of visa sponsorship jobs for students
- Useful tools to help with your job application
- UKHired doesn’t guarantee that the employer will sponsor you
- They have more jobs for experienced professionals than recent graduates
2 Other Job Search Sites
Target Jobs is a government sponsored website aimed at providing information for students in the UK.
Not only is it a fantastic resource for students who want to find information on almost any company or role.
They are also the only mainstream job search site we know of, that has “Accepts those requiring a work permit” as a filter. As well as “Degree requirements” which is VERY useful.
So many students get frustrated, because they find the right job for them, then find they don’t quite meet the entrance criteria. Particularly if you got a 2:2 for your bachelors.
Target Jobs is massive, so to get to the screenshot below go to:
- Click Jobs
- Looking at the left-hand menu scroll down the screen all the way to the bottom and you will see “Accept those requiring UK work permits” just before the search bar
- Search by work permit and degree result
- Lovely User Interface, so easy to navigate
- Massive resources to learn about companies and roles
- Shows the expiry date for the vacancy
- No need to register
- Shows number of vacancies
- Massive choice can be overwhelming
- You do get quite a few “junks” results from educational internship companies selling jobs
You can sort by:
As well as see recently added and deleted companies.
Each search item comes with a link to the company’s website, as well as the social website.
Creating a pretty awesome searching tool.
- Only free way to sort and search the Tier 2 and 5 Sponsorship List
- See recently added companies
- Direct website and social website links
- Sort by industry and location
- Unable to know which companies actively sponsor
- No way of knowing which companies have open roles
- In need of additional features like a newsletter
2 sites that didn’t make the list
Milkround is the most popular graduate jobs website in the UK.
It’s aimed at all graduates. Most Times Top 100 Employers use Milk round first when they think about advertising their new graduate roles.
You will find the highest number of high-quality graduate jobs at Milkround before anyone else, but you will have to do your homework, as Milkround don’t say which companies will accept work permits.
- Massive selection of roles
- Popular with large employers
- Quality roles
- No way to sort by sponsorship
- Selection can be overwhelming
Disclaimer: I was involved in the conception, design and release of Gradvault in a previous job role.
Gradvault which has been around since 2017. The premise being that they used proprietary algorithms to scan the Tier 2 Sponsorship list which is updated every day, to find out which new companies have been added.
You can sign up for free or get a premium subscription for £9.99.
Unlike any other company Gradvault differentiates by leveraging Career Interactive’s experience, who have been coaching international students since 2010.
So, they provide:
- Vacancy reports
- Resource centre
- Company Profiles
- Online test practise
- Weekly email updates
- Great UI and design
- Easy to use
- Comprehensive package of resources
- Highly tailored to international students
- Created by an experienced company
Job Search Sites to Avoid
We have come across some poor job search sites which on the surface look very helpful. Unfortunately, with international students in a tough spot, they can be led to believe that they are being helped.
Number 1 on our list comes from the UK government itself.
The sponsorship list is updated every day and is completely useless to use as a tool for finding a job.
You would manually need to download the PDF and search for every company you want to apply to. Plus, it gives no indication as to how long that company has been a sponsor, and whether they are hiring and sponsoring right now.
Avoid hours of wasted time and the headache and use sites like Student Circus, Target Jobs and UK Tier Sponsors.
Though it’s a slick design, the website itself has no domain authority and no human generated content. Essentially it just uses scrapers to collect jobs, and potentially a few employers who are willing to pay for advertising.
Better off using Student Circus.
Indeed, is the UK’s biggest job search site, and you can search for Tier 2 jobs. However, it’s likely most of these jobs will be nursing or IT related.
Also, large employers are unlikely to use Indeed preferring to pay for better candidates advertising on sites like Milk round.
Indeed, as a platform is great, but you are unlikely to find jobs that will sponsor you, and waste hours scrolling through thousands of results.
Don’t get caught in the busyness trap of “One Click” applying for hundreds of jobs. The best applications should be tailored to the employer.
The same can be said for Monster, CV Library, Reed and Jobsite. They are generalist websites which serve a wide audience.
Compare to international students in 2015 you are lucky! Companies have risen and taken up the challenge of providing great job search sites that really meet your needs.
So, there is no excuse!
If you are feeling inspired, you can:
- Create an Excel sheet with companies you want to work for, and jobs you want to do
- Cross references them against UK Tier Sponsors to check they sponsor, and then search for vacancies on Student Circus, Target Jobs and Milk round
- Start applying!