As an international student, you will have opportunities across many areas, but you may face challenges if you wish to work in the United States. You must utilize a variety of job search strategies and resources in obtaining full-time employment. One of the best places to start is to register with Handshake.
Review these steps and resources to gain insight into the international student internship and job search process, challenges, and resources available to you.
Know your U.S. work options
- Overview of Student Employment Options, which might be available to you. Please note this presentation should not be construed as legal advice or endorsement of services. Use caution and consult your own legal representative for your own employment situation.
- Become familiar with immigration laws and procedures. Check out the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services website for more information. Also talk with ASU’s International Students and Scholars Center.
- Speak with your academic advisor to determine if your program supports CPT work authorizations. Also become familiar with Pre-OPT and OPT. Learn about your program’s iPOS rules for adding/changing/deleting (if possible); deadlines for enrolling in an internship course; how many internships you can do; potential ramifications or substitution and related costs if you don’t get an internship after listing it on your iPOS.
Research companies hiring international students
- Going Global is an ideal one-stop tool for international students seeking US opportunities and for anyone wishing to work anywhere in the world. Set-up saved searches so you can be notified when jobs that fit you are posted.
- Check out the Department of Labor Foreign Labor website, which includes a database of employers who have applied for visa applications.
- In preparation for career fairs and other events, inquire about opportunities with companies who recruit international students or have a multi-national presence.
- Make a spreadsheet with websites and other resources to keep your research and searches in one place. Keep detailed notes about any contacts you establish and any action items you need to do should go on your calendar.
- Earn good grades, participate in campus activities and get involved in career events- early!
- Common Cultural Barriers lists some of the challenges international students encounter when seeking employment in the United States. The topics on this handout can serve as a guide for self-assessment or a list of discussion topics.
- Watch Create your Resume and then prepare your resume and other application materials. Be sure they follow the country, industry, and method of application standards. Find samples and tips on the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering Career Center website and via Going Global.
- Strategies for International Students’ Successful Job Search was designed to supplement the basics of on-campus recruiting. We no longer subscribe to the referenced website. Instead, please use GoinGlobal, by logging into Handshake, scrolling down the Announcements to GoinGlobal.
- Watch Preparing for a Job Fair
- Begin your network by identifying key people to assist you in your job search. Discuss your career plans with your professors, alumni, family, and career advisors, and ask them for advice.
- Join ASU’s LinkedIn and alumni groups to identify other people who are working in your areas of interest. Use LinkedIn job search on the top navigation bar and job boards that might be within LinkedIn groups you join.
- Join student-led professional affiliations (like ACI, AIAA, AOPA, BMES, IEEE, IIE, and SWE). Consider becoming a leader too.
- Attend job fairs, mixers, on-campus speakers’ series and external professional conferences. If you are doing research, you might even be able to present and increase your visibility.
- Don’t give up- networking is a process. Reevaluate your job search strategies, have a back-up plan, and check in with the Fulton Schools of Engineering Career Center for feedback.
- International candidates are welcome to participate in on-campus interviews as long as the employers seek your specific work authorization. Go to Handshake to see who is recruiting now. Career fairs and on-campus recruiting are a very small part of your job search strategy.
- Review interview tips on our website, including Strategies for Successful Interviewing
- Follow-up with the individuals to whom you sent your materials on the date they discussed with you as their target date. Respect the recruiter’s time by following up only a few times a month. Reiterate a) how/when you met the person; b) your strong interest in the position; c) that you forwarded materials to their attention and applied to postings (list the posting # and titles if applicable); and, d) you can provide any additional information.
- If given the opportunity to interview, follow-up with a thank you note.
International students on F-1 visas might be eligible to do a degree-related internship under curriculum practical training (CPT). In order to do an internship, international students must work through their academic advisor and the International Students & Scholars Center. All paperwork must be submitted and approved prior to starting employment.
It is recommended that international students watch these videos in the following order:
- Create your Resume
- Strategies for International Students’ Successful Job Search **We no longer subscribe to the referenced website regarding H1B visas. Instead, please use GoinGlobal, by logging into Handshake to the GoinGlobal announcement.
- Preparing for a Job Fair
- Strategies for Successful Interviewing