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For information about VISA rules and regulations go to the Office of International Education

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Especially for International Students

The UVM Career Center serves a diverse population of international students at all stages of their professional and academic careers. This page provides insight into the job search process in the United States.

Searching for Jobs & Experience in the United States

Exploring employment opportunities can be challenging for international students, but you have skills that employers are looking for! The Career Center can help you learn what you need to do to get jobs and internships.

Tips
  • Learn how your visa works as it relates to the job search. The Office of International Education is your resource on campus in this area
  • Be able to communicate your visa status to a potential employer
  • Attend International Student workshops- See International Student Career Calendar
  • Utilize Career Center to identify employers who hire international students
  • Network to establish connections
  • Join student organizations and associations related to your major
  • Attend the Career Center Events
  • Connect with international alumni to explore internships and career paths
  • Understand the business culture in the country you want to work. Each country has a variety of nuances. For helpful hints and country specific information see Going Global Country Guides on Catamount Job Link.

Strategies for Working in the US

Work in the U.S. is not guaranteed, nor promised, to foreign nationals entering the country on a student visa. In fact, when the economy is down, the challenge is much greater as recruitment for international candidates can be limited. However, there are stratagies that can assist you in gaining experience.

Tips
    Challenge Recommendation

    Economic Conditions:
    The US unemployment rate in the summer of 2013 was at 7.3%, down from the 8.1% a year ago.  

    (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

    Be the candidate who can be ready to be hired when they need you.
    Have your EAD card on time, know yourself and what you have to offer.

    Hiring Complexities:
    Many employers are unfamiliar with the process of hiring an international student and therefore believe it to be complicated and expensive.

    Start Early
    There are many steps in the process of securing a position.  Begin early, work with OIE to navigate the required paperwork and understand the process so you can advocate with a potential employer.

    Communication:
    Employers are concerned about some foreign nationals’ ability to communicate effectively in verbal and written English with their clients and staff.

    Practice, Practice, Practice
    Even if you have been speaking English most of your life, there may be nuances that can be learned by spending more time with classmates, participating in activities, conducting practice interviews, joining a club, going to networking events, etc. Always get your correspondence critiqued before sending.

    Employment Restrictions:
    In general, as a foreign national you cannot work for the U.S. federal government, state and local government agencies or for private companies contracted by the government.

    Focus on the companies who DO hire.
    Strong employment prospects may be with organizations that have an international focus or international presence. Your international experience, language and cultural fluency make you attractive. And, if your U.S. work authorization is delayed, you may be able to continue to work at a branch in a home country.

Dress

Expected dress may be specific for different industries but it is best to more formal until you learn the culture of the business. Research the company and the industry to get a better sense of what you might wear. Read more at:  Dress to Impress

Cover Letter/Resume/CV

Resumes and Cover Letters are used to apply to jobs in the US.  A cover letter makes a case for why your skills, experience and interests are a good fit with the specific job or internship for which you are applying.

Resumes and CV’s (Curriculum Vitae), provide data information on your education and experience.  In the US, the term resume is used for applying in most industries.  While a CV, a term used widely used in other countries, is mainly used only in academic fields.  Read more at: ResumesCover Letters, and CV’s vs. Resumes.

Tips
  • List your address most appropriate to the position you are applying to, ie. international address when seeking positions abroad, UVM address when seeking in the US.
  • Provide context for foreign companies and schools listed on your resume, for example: A $10 million marketing firm; One of the top five universities in China
  • Highlight multilingual skills learning, adaptability to new environments, knowledge of global business practices. Capitalize on these skills in addition to emphasizing your experiences, your education, past experience, and extracurricular activities.
  • Have your resume reviewed by making an appointment at the Career Center or drop into the Career + Experience HUB.

Interviewing for International Students

Interviewing practices in the US may differ from interviews in other countries. The Career Center offers interview workshops and one-on-one mock interviews.

Tips
  • Some interviews may begin with direct questions or minimal small talk.
  • Certain questions are illegal in the U.S. such as those about age, disabilities, national origin, race, and religion or veteran status- Try to deflect if asked these questions
  • Be punctual. Arrive 5 to 15 minutes prior to appointment.
  • American employers expect you to speak confidently about yourself and achievements.
  • Eye contact shows confidence.
  • Firm handshakes reflect confidence but do not grip too strongly or too soft.
  • Expect direct questions regarding competence and experience.
  • Showing interest and initiative is expected.
  • Demonstrate that you have researched the organization.
  • Inquiring about the status of an application after the interview is acceptable and demonstrates interest.
  • Be prepared to ask questions yourself.

Resources for Job Skill Development

You may have questions about which organizations and companies in the US are likely to hire international students. The resources below are designed to help you identify international student-friendly organization in the US.

UVM Campus Resources
  • Writing Center  students can get help editing resumes, cover letters and personal statements. They provide one on one tutoring for ELL.
  • Student Groups and SGA clubs- getting involved with student groups or clubs are not only a great way to improve your language skills but a perfect addition to your resume.
  • OIE- provides up to date information about visas and helps with the paperwork for CPT/OPT opportunities. In addition the newsletter has information to help you while at UVM.

CPT/OPT Hiring Organizations
  • Going Global
    Going Global has approximately 500,000 records of companies that have applied for H1B visas. Look up these companies by industry, job title, state, and/or city.  This can be found off of the Catamount Job Link Site
  • 2014 Top H1B sponsors (employers)
    Series of online databases listing over 20,000 U.S. companies who have recently filed the appropriate paperwork to sponsor an international person for an H-1B visa. Useful for identifying companies to target in job search for employment on a Practical Training visa or H-1B visa.This link directs you to a list of the top 100 employers who offer visa sponsorship. In general, Myvisajobs.com is a useful website for locating statistics, jobs, employers, and even lawyers. Be sure to check out the top 100 industries that have international workers in the US as well as the top 100 green card sponsors.
  • UniWorld
    Uniworld is a comprehensive directory of companies and industries that hire transnationally, meaning US companies that have overseas locations and foreign companies that have firms operating in the United States. This database allows you to search based on your country of interest, area of specialization, and more.
  • E-Verify
    E-Verify is an online program run by the US government that is used mostly by employers to check employee records and eligibility. The above link is a search tool for you to find employers that give out work authorization and sponsorship.
  • H1 Base
    This site includes extensive Information about the H1B Visa process, sponsorship and job searching for international students and workers. This site combines both free and fee services. Incorporated in this site is a list of “H1B Visa Sponsorship- Top Jobs and Professions Ranking”.
  • International Student City Career Center
    iStudentCity is an international community, built by international students, for international students. iStudentCity brings you a complete range of information, products, and services to help you make the most of your time as an international student.

Last modified November 10 2014 03:41 PM