Job search tips for international students
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Job Search Tips for International Students. Due to federal regulations and employer concerns, job searching can be challenging for international students wishing to work in the United States.

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  • Due to federal regulations and employer concerns, job searching can be challenging for international students wishing to work in the United States.

  • As a result, international students must become familiar with the American job search process and current government policies.


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This PowerPoint will provide international students with helpful tips for understanding the American job search process.


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Key Terminology helpful tips for understanding the American job search process.

  • F-1 visas

    • Eligible international students have the opportunity to work full-time in the United States for 12 months after graduation.

  • H-1B visa

    • Employer-sponsored international employees are allowed to work in the United States for 1-6 years.


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Reasons Why Employers Hesitate helpful tips for understanding the American job search process.

  • Some employers interested in hiring international students may have some hesitancies.

  • These hesitancies are often fueled by the reasons listed below.

  • Employers:

    • Are unfamiliar with the process and find it to be complicated.

    • Fear that international employees will leave and return to their countries of origin.

    • Are worried that international employees do not have the desired/necessary communication skills.

    • Are afraid that they are taking jobs away from other Americans.


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Process for Hiring International Students helpful tips for understanding the American job search process.

  • Additionally, employers interested in hiring international students must:

    • Sponsor an employee to receive his/her H-1B visa

    • Petition the government for the visa

    • Gain approval from the Labor Department

    • Obtain the necessary legal council

    • Fund the process


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Process for Hiring International Students helpful tips for understanding the American job search process.

  • As a result, international students should develop an understanding of the additional responsibilities imposed on employers when it comes to hiring international students.

  • International students must also understand the American job search process.


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Differences in the American Job Search Process helpful tips for understanding the American job search process.


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Resume helpful tips for understanding the American job search process.

  • Resume writing may differ from country to country.

  • In order to be successful and to ensure that your resume receives the attention it deserves, you should be familiar with the typical U.S. resume format.


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Resume helpful tips for understanding the American job search process.

  • When writing a U.S. resume:

    • Make sure it is concise (one to two pages maximum)

    • Clearly identify skills and accomplishments using a bullet format

    • Do not include personal information such as marital status, race, gender and/or religion

    • Make sure it is error free and follows American writing standards

    • Provide a frame of reference (i.e., “One of the top five universities in Europe,” “Swedish version of Outback”).

    • Emphasize English skills

      For more information, read “Resume Writing Made Easy” found at: http://www.mcdaniel.edu/5740.htm


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Interview helpful tips for understanding the American job search process.

  • Additionally, there may be differences in the way U.S. and non-U.S. companies interview candidates.

  • Again, it is essential for one to adapt in order to be considered a serious candidate when interviewing for a job.


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Interview helpful tips for understanding the American job search process.

  • When interviewing with a U.S. company be sure to:

    • Be punctual. Arrive at a minimum of 10 minutes early. Being late is not acceptable and may eliminate one from the candidate pool.

    • Articulate accomplishments, skills and competencies, and relate them to the position.

    • Make eye contact with everyone.

    • Show initiative by researching the company and asking well-developed questions.

      For more information, read “Successful Interviewing Strategies” found at: http://www.mcdaniel.edu/5740.htm


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H-1B Visas, Employers and Interviews helpful tips for understanding the American job search process.

  • Because some employers may be reluctant to sponsor H-1B visas, it is important to approach the topic carefully with potential employers.

  • The H-1B visa sponsorship should not be one of the first topics addressed during a meeting or interview.

  • Instead, a candidate must first prove to an employer that he/she is the best person for the job.


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H-1B Visas, Employers and Interviews helpful tips for understanding the American job search process.

  • The topic of H-1B visas should be addressed only:

    • after an offer is made

    • an offer is close to being made

    • the employer brings it up

  • Once H-1B visas has been mentioned, the candidate should be ready to explain and highlight the simplicity of the sponsorship process.


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Strategies for helpful tips for understanding the American job search process. Locating Employment


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Identify Potential Employers helpful tips for understanding the American job search process.

  • When looking for jobs, consider:

    • International companies

      • They often desire individuals with languages skills, respect for diversity, and a knowledge of overseas economies.

    • Companies that have previously sponsored H-1B visas

      • They are familiar with and have successfully completed the hiring process before.

    • Medium and small companies

      • Although they are not large companies, they often have openings for international students and should not be discounted.


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Network helpful tips for understanding the American job search process.

  • Only 20% of jobs are advertised. The other 80% of jobs make up the “hidden job market.”

  • Individuals learn about job opportunities within the “hidden job market” via networking.

  • When creating and expanding a network, be sure to include friends, family, classmates, faculty, advisors, community members, alumni, etc.

    For more information on networking, read “Networking From Scratch” found at: http://www.mcdaniel.edu/5740.htm


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Gain Experience helpful tips for understanding the American job search process.

  • One of the best ways for students to gain experience is by completing an internship.

  • In addition to helping one gain experience and add substance to a resume, it is not uncommon for internships to lead to full-time employment opportunities.

  • Often Optional Practical Training (OPT) counts as an internship. International students should be up-to-date on all policies and regulations. (For information on applying for OPT, visit: www.mcdaniel.edu/internationalstudents.)


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Focus on Specific Careers helpful tips for understanding the American job search process.

  • There are some employers that are in great need of hiring qualified employees to fill job vacancies.

  • As a result, it may be beneficial for international students looking to work in the United States to have majors in certain areas of need.

  • Frequent sponsors of H-1B visas are

    • Systems Analysis and Programming

    • Electrical/Electronics Engineering

    • College and University Education

    • Accountants and Related Occupations


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Helpful Web Pages helpful tips for understanding the American job search process.

  • www.h1visajobs.com

    • Contains information about organizations that sponsor H-1B visas.

  • www.internationalstudent.com

    • Contains information helpful to multiple aspects of being an international student.

  • www.monster.com/geo/siteselection.asp

    • Similar to Monster.com, but contains job postings for multiple countries.

  • www.overseasjobs.com

    • International jobs database

  • www.mcdaniel.edu/internationalstudents

    • McDaniel College’s International Programs Office


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Videos in the Career Resource Library helpful tips for understanding the American job search process.

  • The Job Search for International Students

  • How Do You Put It On Paper? Portfolios, Resumes & Job Apps

  • What’s in a Job Interview? Job Interview Tips & Techniques

  • Where are the Jobs? Finding Job Leads and Openings

  • Successful Interviewing

  • Job Fair 411


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For more help helpful tips for understanding the American job search process.

  • Contact Career Services

    • Via the “Talk to a Career Counselor” link on our website

    • Or call 410-871-3305