Searching for a job or internship as a new F1 visa student is a challenge. The international student job search is full of unknowns and unwritten rules. The International Student Job Search Guide helps new you understand the basics of the job search. It explains how and when to apply to companies. It also includes resume tips for international students, cover letter writing tips, and networking advice for international students. It will help you understand the basics so you can start your CPT or OPT job search with the right information.
Here are a few parts of the guide to get you started.
The first step in understanding the international student internship or job search is understanding what employers want. To get noticed by employers international students must demonstrate the qualities above. When employers read your resume, they need to see examples of:
- Communication skills (written and spoken)
If you don’t have experience in those areas, use your time as a student to get experience. Use the framework above to work on projects that give you the skills employers want:
- Ability to communicate
- Ability to obtain and process information
- Ability to work in a team structure
- Ability to make decisions and solve problems
- Ability to organize and prioritize work
Understanding the International Student Job Search Timeline
The international student internship and job search takes between 6-9 months. It takes so long because you are new to the experience. If you don’t have U.S. work experience, confidence with English and American culture, professional friends (i.e. a network), and good written communication skills, you will need time to work on these skills. Your job search is more than submitting resumes online. You will spend most of your timing talking to people about their career interests (and yours), writing people to ask for their advice, and researching opportunities.
Understanding the Application Process
Many international students start the job search by applying to as many jobs as possible with one resume. This is the least effective method to find a job in the US. The average job post receives over 200 resumes. Only 2% are invited to interview. As an international student without US work experience, you will not get called because there is too much competition. No matter if you are looking for a CPT or OPT, you need to follow a different framework. You need to:
- Research opportunities, like which companies hire international students
- Create error-free resume, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, personal websites and/or online portfolios
- Communicate your professional story to new people that you meet
- Interact with business professionals who can give you an inside contact or advice (most important step)
- Apply to the job only when you know why you want to work for the company
Find the complete guide here.