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Northwest Missouri State University


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International Students Resources

All college graduates find it challenging to locate a suitable job that utilizes their values, skills and personality. International students aspiring to work in the United States should develop an internship or job search strategic plan with an understanding of the intended market as well as regulations regarding visa status, U.S. job search practices and cultural differences.

United States law provides several ways for employers to hire international college graduates. It is each candidate’s responsibility to understand/comply with the parameters of visa status. Not only is this essential information to have as you determine goals for employment, but you will have to clearly and accurately explain your status to most employers during the search or interview process. For more information contact the Northwest Intercultural and International Center.

Explore your career interests and clarify your goals:

  •  What job titles or keywords describe the type of work you seek?
  •  Where do you wish to live? Be specific to a few top choice cities, regions or areas.
  •  Who is of interest to you? Think of industry/company types, and specific companies.

Career Services provide students with a platform to develop career related decision making processes through events, web resources, videos and services. It is important to create and organize your individual job/internship search. Additionally you should create a “back up” plan to be used if necessary as a contingency plan.


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U.S. Job Search strategies for International Students

Create an Americanized resume if you are looking for an internship or job in the U.S. :

  • Look for resources and samples on our website.
  • Any of our staff can assist you with questions, concerns, and format suggestions.

Be strategic, organize and begin your search:

  • 60-80% of U.S. positions are found through a connection to someone else so Networking is important.
  • Make a list of individuals that might be able to help. People are key; build and utilize your network.
  • Research your areas of interest through company websites, online internship databases, and social media. Consider your top choices for a geographic location (i.e. city, state or region) in order to further delineate your job search strategy.
  • Allocate part of each week for research, correspondence and follow up. Stick with it.
  • Keep good records of names, addresses, events, etc. Use a calendar or planner as needed.
  • Create a back up plan to be used if necessary as a contingency plan.

Plan for a strategic approach:

Step 1: Always check for application deadlines and follow all instructions.

Step 2: Where can I look? Complete your Hire A Bearcat profile on-line and upload your resume. See internships, jobs, from multiple university websites.

Step 3: Career events can connect you with employers. Career Days, and "Mock" Interview Days are available through Career Services. Look at company websites, employment sites, other universities; career related websites, and Chamber of Commerce sites for the cities of your choice.

Step 4: Use your favorite search engine and surf the Web: Use a search criterion that aligns what you are looking for with where. Example: technology companies in (or and) Boston. Use the Web wisely.

Step 5: Make contact- write polite and professional correspondence and applications.

Step 6: Email etiquette- be sure to use correct business form, capitalization; proofread and spellcheck all correspondence with employers.

Step 7: Persistence and follow-up - follow-up each letter or contact with a phone call or email. This increases your success, but can be frustrating when employers are not available to speak with you. Follow-up within 2 weeks. Thank employers for their time and consideration.

Step 8: Always be sure to prepare for interviews. Read/research the company and industry. Practice your interview skills. Consult our website, videos, and handouts.

Quick notes to remember

The truth is tough

  1. You must work much harder than domestic students to find a job in the U.S.
  2. English language skills matter.
  3. You must bridge the cultural gap to sell yourself.

Why do employers hire international students?

  1. Technical skills.
  2. Language and cultural skills.
  3. Affinity.
  4. Loyalty.
  5. If faster, smarter, better than domestic candidates (along with the above reasons).

Where opportunity isn't plentiful in the U.S. job search

  1. Direct, head-to-head competition with domestics when you have no edge.
  2. Announced openings (drawing hundreds or thousands of applications).
  3. On-campus recruiters who dont want to interview foreign nationals.

Where opportunity may be found in the U.S. job search

  1. The "hidden job market" refers to positions that are not advertised or posted online. Use your networking connections to help find these opportunities.
  2. Contact others from your home country who are officers or owners of companies.
  3. Connect with professionals from your home country who have jobs in the U.S.
  4. Former international students with jobs in the u.s. (Internships or H1-B).
  5. Smaller companies in rural areas that are exporting.
  6. College or university employment after graduation.
  7. Your home country consulate.

Consider these options

  1. Working for an academic institution, teaching, or as a teaching assistant.
  2. Graduate school.
  3. Working internationally for a company based in your home country.
  4. Returning home and achieving success with your American education.

Networking

Visit the "Networking & Social Media" page for related videos and step-by-step details and ideas.

Resources

Job Listings & Employer Contact Information

Related Articles

Legal, Employment and Job Search Resources

International students should contact the International Intercultural Office(IIC) before seeking any form of employment (paid or unpaid) whether as a student or in preparation for graduation so that you are aware and knowledgeable of all applicable visa restrictions, requirements and deadlines.  Remember it is your responsibility to connect with the IIC to obtain the most current information as the rules are constantly changing.