After majoring in both computer science and artificial intelligence in London, I received a two-year Post Study Work (PSW) visa, aka the “Graduate Immigration Route.” I’m now halfway and I’ve still not managed to find a job. Here in London, companies seem unwilling to provide sponsorship for a work visa; I have the idea that my application immediately gets rejected as soon as they see that I’m an international student.
I came to the UK dreaming of a bright future. I worked hard during my studies and I was top of my class at East London University. Privately, however, I’m having a very hard time settling. I’m a single mother, living on a student loan from India. I’ve been divorced for six years and my children are still with my mother over there. Every time I visit them, it breaks my heart that I can’t take them back to the UK with me because of my student visa.
I’ve applied for many jobs, but I keep getting turned down. To gain experience, I’m doing voluntary work right now. I give computer training to high-school students and I’m an intern at a machine vision company, where I work on algorithms to recognize faces in thermal images. How do you recommend I go from here? I’m prepared to give away a percentage of my future salary if only I could end up somewhere.
The headhunter answers:
Your situation in the job market isn’t as hopeless as you might think. With your double major, I’m sure that there are lots of career opportunities for you in London, Cambridge or Swindon, to name a few hotspots in the UK. I don’t believe that your lack of industrial experience is standing in your way of finding a nice job there or elsewhere in Europe. Visa sponsorship shouldn’t be a problem either. Still, I understand your frustration with your unsuccessful applications and I’m happy to share a few pointers with you to increase your chances – without you having to give me a percentage of your future salary!
For one, you need to realize that the outcome of an application is largely dependent on the impression you make. In your case, your presentation in writing could use a boost. Your resume comes across as very cluttered and I see a lot of spelling mistakes and some omissions. You should include your hometown, age, nationality and gender and mention your double major and the PSW. This additional information immediately makes it more personal. I’d also use a standard resume template provided by MS Office, one without fancy colors and thick lines.
Furthermore, I advise you to revisit the description of your personal history. It’s rather long-winded and the writing comes across as rushed and sloppy. You should take a critical look at this. Try converting it into a bullet list. That will give a much better impression than the use of long sentences with lots of adverbs.
Once you’ve got your resume in order, apply for jobs that match your education. And, in doing so, use your network. Look for people you know from university or elsewhere who work for companies that are interesting to you, and ask them for help.