Job Searching Tips for International Students
Maximizing Your Chances
Seek opportunities for Networking: this is particularly important for international students. Ask people for advice and ask about their careers by conducting informational interviews.
- While it may feel intimidating to contact total strangers and ask for their advice and suggestions, the more you do this, the easier it gets. Make sure your emails are professional–ask a friend to proofread them for you; consult the Writing Studio for more in-depth writing assistance. The importance of networking for your job search cannot be overestimated–this is a necessary component!
Use all available Resources: in addition to those in this link, you will also want to look at the following:
- Going Global: Click on H1B Info. Search by company to see how many H1B petitions the company has filed in the past 12 months. Those with greater numbers may be more open to hiring international students.
- Uniworld (online resource through the VU Heard Library): 2 databases–US Companies Doing Business Abroad and Foreign Companies Doing Business in the US. Locate companies operating in both the US and in your home country. Because you have language and intercultural skills to offer these companies, you may want to explore careers with them. If your first interest is to work in the US, think of working in your home country as Plan B.
Be a savvy job seeker!
- Sharpen both written and conversational English skills. Consult the Writing Studio and the English Language Center. Speak to Americans as often as possible. Practice, practice, practice!
- Have all written materials proofread: resume, emails, cover letters.
- Prepare for interviews: research the company; attend workshops; request a Mock Interview (Graduate School Career Development Office); read Interview Tips and Optimal Interview (Center for Student Professional Development)
- Adhere to American business etiquette for interviews, career days, conferences: dress professionally, practice your handshake (firm grip, web-to-web contact), maintain good eye contact, use little/no perfume or cologne, focus on how your skills will help their organization.
Workshop Handout: Plan for Your Future: Job Searching for International Students