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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.
This PowerPoint will provide international students with helpful tips for understanding the American job search process.
key terminology
Key Terminology
  • 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.
reasons why employers hesitate
Reasons Why Employers Hesitate
  • 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.
process for hiring international students
Process for Hiring International Students
  • 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
process for hiring international students7
Process for Hiring International Students
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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:

  • 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.
  • 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:

h 1b visas employers and interviews
H-1B Visas, Employers and Interviews
  • 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.
h 1b visas employers and interviews14
H-1B Visas, Employers and Interviews
  • 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.
identify potential employers
Identify Potential Employers
  • 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.
  • 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:

gain experience
Gain Experience
  • 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:
focus on specific careers
Focus on Specific Careers
  • 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
helpful web pages
Helpful Web Pages
    • Contains information about organizations that sponsor H-1B visas.
    • Contains information helpful to multiple aspects of being an international student.
    • Similar to, but contains job postings for multiple countries.
    • International jobs database
    • McDaniel College’s International Programs Office
videos in the career resource library
Videos in the Career Resource Library
  • 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
for more help
For more help
  • Contact Career Services
    • Via the “Talk to a Career Counselor” link on our website
    • Or call 410-871-3305