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Fulton Schools of Engineering Career Center

International student resources

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.

Beware of Employment Scams

Common “Red flags” When Searching For a Job or Internship

ASU cares about our students and our employers. With this in mind, we have compiled a list of commonly seen hiring practices that should heighten your awareness to help you be successful in your job or internship search.

Watch This Video from the Federal Trade Commission on job scams.

Read this Student Jobs Email Scam article on what to do if you are contacted or scammed.

Scammers will tell you they found you on Handshake, LinkedIn, Indeed, at a conference or similar.

Don’t accept a job you didn’t apply to and/or didn’t require an interview or gives you a short time to accept. Put your excitement on pause. Speak with a trusted person about your interaction with the company and documents you are asked to sign. Keep copies of all communication.

Often the scammer will try to scare you by telling you they are going to report you to the police or immigration.

PAY- BEWARE:

  • NEVER provide personal financial documentation (credit card, bank account). Or, the position requires an initial investment, such as a payment by wire service or courier. Another method could be the employer offers a large payment or reward in exchange for allowing the use of your bank account for depositing checks or transferring money.
  • NEVER accept and deposit a check before you start and do work. Don’t provide your personal information and banking information so they can deposit a check.
  • The employer tells you that they do not have an office set up in your area and will need you to help them get it up and running (these postings often include a request for your banking information, supposedly to help the employer make transactions).
  • You should not have to pay to get a job or training.

Oftentimes red flags can be identified just by looking a little closer at the job description. Here are some common themes to be on the lookout for when searching for jobs.

  • The business name is not easily identifiable and no clear business website is listed. Or, if there is a website, there is no substance to the content.
  • There are significant spelling and grammatical errors within the posting.
  • The employer requires you to pay money or a ‘membership fee’ in order to access opportunities.
  • The posting appears to be from a reputable, familiar company (often a Fortune 500). Yet, the email handle in the contact’s email address does not match the domain used by representatives of the company (this is typically easy to determine from the company’s website). Another way to validate is to check the open positions on the company’s website, by checking their careers/jobs page.
  • The posting neglects to mention the responsibilities of the job. Instead, the description focuses on the amount of money to be made.
  • The position indicates a “first-year compensation” that is in high excess to the average compensation for that position type. Or, the salary range listed is very wide (e.g., “employees can earn from $40K – $80K the first year!”).
  • The position is for any of the following: envelope-stuffers, home-based assembly jobs, or online surveys, clerical work at home, typing, shipping packages, and personal assistant/shopping duties. Often, for this type of opportunity, the employer never actually interviews you or wants to meet face-to-face.

Beyond the job description the employer’s interactions with you can be a red flag. Here are some items to be on the lookout for:

  • The employer contacts you by phone, but the number is blocked or not available and there is no way to return the call.
  • The employer contacts you by email offering you a job you did not apply for or inviting you to apply for a job. For more information, please visit this Student Jobs Email Scam article.
  • The contact email address contains the domain @live.com or an @ that is not affiliated with the company. Example: @gmail, @yahoo, @hotmail, etc.
  • The address is a non-US address, not at the company’s address, or is a post office box.

Always do your research before applying for a job to make sure that the opportunity is genuine and meets your needs. When you do research on a job or company, here are some tips to be aware of:

  • The position initially appears as a traditional job. Upon further research, it sounds more like an independent contractor opportunity.
  • Look at the company’s website. Does it have an index that tells you what the site is about; or does it contain information only about the job in which you are interested? Scammers often create quick, basic web pages that seem legitimate at first glance.
  • Watch for anonymity. If it is difficult to find an address, actual contact, company name, etc., this is cause to proceed with caution. Fraud postings are illegal, so scammers will try to keep themselves well hidden.
  • Do they have full LinkedIn pages with many and diverse connections?
  • When you Google the company name and the word “scam” (e.g., Acme Company Scam), the results show several scam reports concerning this company.
  • Conduct an internet search of the employer’s phone number, address, and/or email address. If it does not appear connected to an actual business organization, this is a red flag.  You can also check WhoIs.net to see when the domain name was created. Proceed with caution if the domain name was created within the last few days.
  • Be cautious about which job posting websites you submit your resume and complete contact information.

IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE BEEN SCAMMED, immediately take the following steps:

  • Do not respond and discontinue all contact
  • Anyone who has received a check, should hold onto that check and not deposit it as the check could become needed in the future.
  • Anyone who has deposited the check or has done anything to transfer funds should contact ASU PD to file a report
  • Report the incident to infosec@asu.edu
Know your U.S. work options
  • 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.
From Degree to H1B Presentation

From Degree To H1B Review this May 2020 overview of some of the employment options which might be available for international students before and after graduation. Presented by Jared Leung, Managing Attorney, at JCL Immigration Attorneys, PLLC.

Handshake- First Stop for Internships & Jobs

There are many degree-related internship and job opportunities available to ASU students who have been authorized to work in the U.S. through OPT or CPT. Log on to your Handshake account  to search for opportunities. Choose ‘Filters’ from the Jobs page and choose your preference under ‘Work Authorization’ to search for additional job and internship opportunities available to those authorized to work through OPT or CPT and employers willing to sponsor.

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.
Prepare Yourself
  • 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.
  • Prepare your resume and other application materials. Be sure they follow the country, industry, and method of application standards.
  • Use Going Global, by logging into Handshake, scrolling down the Announcements to GoinGlobal to find companies which in the past have sponsored H1Bs.
Network
  • 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.
Internships

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 by them prior to starting employment.

On-Campus Interviews
  • 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
  • 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.