There’s a huge problem – The vast majority of graduate vacancies advertised online in the UK don’t say whether the employer is a licensed sponsor. The result is that international students and experienced professionals end up blindly applying to jobs without knowing if they are eligible for the role.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
That’s why I want to show you how an international student used this simple 3 step method to find a graduate job without having to worry about his eligibility. It’s called the Predator Prey Method.
Why the Predator Prey Method
I called it the Predator Prey Method because if you remember in your science class at school, when you were learning about animals in the wild, and how a predator finds its prey for food, the predator has a specific method for selecting the prey before it attacks. The same process can applied to finding a sponsored gradate job.
Take a Lion for example. One of its prey is a Buffalo. However, it doesn’t just select any buffalo. While it stalks, hidden in the bushes it will usually position itself next to field of buffalos and then analyse and select the one that is injured, young or unsuspecting. Then it attacks.
When it comes to finding a sponsored graduate vacancy you can’t just apply to any graduate job in the vast field of UK graduate jobs without applying some type of filtering method first.
I call this the blindfolded approach and I have seen many International students waste their valuable time and ending up being disappointed when job searching this way.
So with that said how does the Predator Prey Method actually work?
Here is how one graduate used the method……
The Method Breakdown
Like the Lion, your job is to filter out the suitable sponsored roles / licenced employers from the ones that aren’t before you attack. It is broken down into 3 steps:
1.) Visa Route - Figure out what type of visa route you want to be switched to as this directly relates to the amount of time you can stay in the UK post-graduation
2.) Filter and Analysis -This is the longest and most in depth part of the process. You need to make a list of 5 -10 employers either related to your degree field, or ones that you are interested in working for. Then use the Government register of licensed employers to check whether they can sponsor your visa. I will show you exactly how to do this further down in this post
3.) Apply to your top 3 choices - Once you have compiled your list you need to choose 3 companies to apply to. Check their websites for their graduate schemes directly and then apply to each. You should repeat this process if there are any reasons why you are unable to apply to any of your 3 choices
Your visa route
I have mentioned this before in other posts but the majority of international students tend to opt for the tier 2 general visa route, or go for a post graduate internship under the tier 5 GAE visa. For more information on each check out my post on What are my options for a UK work visa
It is important to have a clear route in mind. You can’t avoid not knowing the details of relevant visa routes so you will have to read up on them.
You aren’t limited to just choosing one visa route or the other. Depending on your goals post-graduation, you can choose both options and doing this will obviously open up more possibilities as you can apply to both tier 2 graduate jobs and tier 5 internship positions.
Filter and Analysis
Ok, so here is the most crucial part of the Predator Prey process and that is to filter and analyse the appropriate graduate schemes from the inappropriate ones.
Previously I mentioned that you should make a list of between 5 -10 employers that are either in an industry related to your studies, or ones that you are interested in working for.
The question is, how do you do that exactly?
Every efficient predator has specific tools at their disposal, and for this part you will need to as well. So the first thing I want you to do if you have not already is to download the government’s Register of licensed tier 2 and tier 5 sponsors. I will explain why in just a bit.
Make sure that you have the register downloaded and saved as a PDF document instead of just a bookmarked page on your computer or you will not be able to use it properly for this section.
Compile your list of employers
Now you need to compile your list of employers but you do not use the registered list of sponsors to do this. The register is made up of over 29,000 UK licensed sponsors and they aren’t listed any particular order or industry so unless you know the names of the companies, it can be a massive waste of time.
To build your own list and also find out about some employers in your field that you may not have heard of, I recommend you use these three options to help:
1.) Use 3 trusted graduate job search sites
There are many UK graduate job search engines online but the problem with many of them is that they do not tell you whether the employer is a licensed sponsor on the vacancy.
I want you to pick 3 search engines where you know they list graduate vacancies on the behalf of employers. It doesn’t matter if the vacancies you find do not say if they are a sponsor or not because we will be checking that after. Just search for graduate vacancies in your field or others, read the vacancy so that you are happy with it, and then add it to your list.
Everyone has their own preferred sites that they use. I have 3 that I regularly use to help me find positons when working with international students and they are: Milkround, TheBigChoice, The Job crowd
Don’t rely too heavily on sites like these. They are good as long as they regularly update their lists. This is the reason why I recommend you use a 3 way process instead of just relaying on just job search engines.
2.) Get names of employers with graduate jobs from your careers centre or university.
Most universities will have someone in their careers centre that will have contact or access to graduate vacancies so get some names of employers that you would like to work for from them.
Remember; don’t worry if you don’t know if the employers for these graduate jobs are sponsors or not just yet. If you are interested in the position just add them to your list.
3.) Use google
I am a firm believer that google is your friend if you know how to use it and ask the right questions.
To do this is simple – type in searches for lists of companies in your degree field and then add them to your list.
The international student that used this process was an engineering student so when using google he typed in search requests such as: list of UK engineering graduate employers or list of top 50 UK engineering companies or Best engineering companies UK, or top 20 graduate employers in the UK
Notice that in each of the criteria he used words such as list, companies, top, best, employers and UK. This combination should bring up lists of employers in your area of interest.
TIP: aim for the bigger companies, larger employers or ones at the top of the list on a website. This will increase the chance of them having a graduate intake.
Type in a similar search criteria for your area of interest or industry and then add them to your list of employers.
Register of licensed sponsors
Now that you have a list of 5-10 UK employers, it’s time to check to see if they are licensed sponsors. Remember I told you to save the register of sponsors as a PDF document. Well now it’s time to use it.
With each of the employers on your compiled list take the name and go the register sponsor list. Click on the edit tab of the PDF document and then click on the FIND option. When the search box appears on the right hand side, paste in the name of an employer of your list one at a time and search to see if they are on the list.
As I mentioned before, this list has over 29,000 employers so it may take a few seconds with each search. Do this with every company on your list until you can narrow down to at least 3 that you want to actually apply to.
If you go through all of the employers on your list and none are on the register, then go back to your 3 different ways of finding companies with graduate vacancies and compile another 5 – 10 companies.
Apply to your top 3 choices
Now you have narrowed down your options and you know that they are a licensed sponsor with graduate jobs, it time to attack. Or in this case apply…..
Before you go to apply I recommend that you do 2 things,
1.) Go to each of the 3 company websites and read in depth their graduate vacancies for yourself
2.) Make a quick call to their graduate recruitment team and tell them that you found them on the register of sponsors but would like to double check that you can still apply
This may seem a bit redundant, but the key here is to avoid starting the application process and wasting your time going through the different stages and then later be told at some point that you are not eligible.
There are enough checks within the predator prey method so that you should know 100% that you will not have your application rejected.
If you have reached the end of this post, congratulations, you have just learnt how to find sponsored post graduate vacancies in the UK using the predator prey method.
As an added bonus I have attached a FREE downloadable worksheet to help you use this method and find the right positions. Just pop your name and E mail below and you will be able to get access to it.
Don’t forget to share this with other international students or professionals in or outside the UK that are also looking for graduate schemes / jobs. Sharing is caring after all.
STRUGGLING TO FIND WORK IN THE UK WITH SPONSORSHIP?
CONFUSED ABOUT THE WORKING VISAS AND FINDING THE RIGHT VACANCIES?
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