Career | Job and Internship Search Strategies for International Students
Finding an internship or job during your stay in the United States is crucial to your success as an international student. Here are some tips to help you succeed as you search for the ideal work situation.
International students must obtain the necessary working visa and enter the H1B lottery, so it's important to begin your search for a suitable internship or job as soon as possible.
Maximize your options by applying for jobs in your home country, in the U.S. and even a third location.
Use online resources like LinkedIn to communicate your relevant skills. Include detailed information about education, past work experience, and future plans. International students should spend a great deal of time researching companies that regularly hire candidates with a similar background and skill set.
Perfect Your Online Image
Verify that all the information presented in your resume, cover letter, and professional online profiles is factually correct. Check for typos, grammar, and context. If possible, ask someone who lives in the United States and whose native language is American English to look over your information and offer suggestions for how to make improvements. Check with the career counseling department at your college if you need help.
Choose a few high-quality and professional photos to use online. While you don't need to pay someone to take your headshot, make the effort to get a few clear photos in natural lighting that include just your head and shoulders.
Many companies check personal online profiles in addition to professional sites when they research candidates. Now is a great time to go through your personal social media profiles and make sure you present a professional and responsible image.
The Career Service Center at your college can offer assistance with polishing your resume. They can also help you edit your online profiles for consistency and professionalism.
Practice Interview Skills
Not all companies are experienced when it comes to hiring international students. It's important to be able to answer questions about your employment visa and off-campus work authorizations, so be sure to practice speaking about your personal situation as an international student and your immigration status.
While grades are a crucial part of getting a desirable internship or job in the United States, you'll also need hands-on experience, leadership experience, and extracurricular activities to help potential employers understand your strengths.
Get comfortable talking about your personal interests. The person conducting the interview will be curious about your life outside of work.
Role play interviewing with friends. Search for common interview questions online and make sure you can answer them with confidence. Some employers may want to conduct the first round of interviews via Skype or over the phone, so practice those scenarios, as well.
The Career Service Center at your college is a great resource for practicing interview skills. Book a mock interview with them early in your job search.
Be Upfront About Your Immigration Status
While some international students prefer to wait until the last round of interviewing before speaking with potential employers about their immigration status, others prefer to discuss it during the first interactions.
The most important thing to remember is that you need to be completely honest and knowledgeable about your work authorization eligibility. Employers that are willing to hire international students but lack knowledge and experience on the subject may have many questions.
Boro is committed to helping international students pursue their dreams of studying in the United States. International students on an F1 visa are eligible to apply for our $2,000 scholarship. We award 10 scholarships each year. Application deadlines are March 15 and October 15. Undergraduate and masters students are encouraged to apply. To learn more, please visit the Boro scholarship site.
If you are an international student and looking for some startup experience in college, you can apply and join our campus manager program which offers a remote working position with lots of flexibility and competitive commission.