Orange Alert

Job Seeking for International Students

The job search process (e.g., internship, full time employment) in the U.S. tends to be confusing and challenging to international students in visa status. The Career Guide for International Students is developed to provide succinct advice: 4 Steps, and address Frequently Asked Questions that international students may have. You will find a recommended to-do list organized by semesters in Academic Success Compass. In addition, you should contact your academic and career advisor to discuss career plan and review job application documents.

4 Steps

  1. Identify what you are good at and what you are passionate about.
    • Take the STRONG Interest inventory to help you identify rewarding career fields.
    • Review What can You Do with Your Major?
    • Complete your SU Handshake profile and create a SU FirstHand account to explore career options.
  2. Find international talent-friendly employers
  3. Prepare yourself during the undergraduate study
  4. Prepare for job interviews
    • Develop a job search plan.
    • Meet with your Academic and Career Advisor to polish resume and cover letter.
    • Practice your interview .
    • Participate in an in-person mock interview (TBD).
    • Optimize your LinkedIn headline and summary.
      • Use key words focused for recruiter searches.
      • Show personality and brand yourself like an elevator pitch, in the first person.
      • Embrace your value as an international talent to the U.S. job market and highlight why you are irreplaceable to the future employers. Unique skills and knowledge you should demonstrate to your future employers as an international student are:
        • Creativity and new perspectives
          • Internationally diverse workforces bringing new ideas and skills, recipe for continued innovation.
          • Boosting team creativity
        • Foreign language and knowledge
          • Instrumental for global market
          • Better understanding of foreign consumers
          • Upgraded customer service
        • Enriched workplace culture
          • Creating a diverse and global-minded workplace
          • Forming a positive company reputation and attracting new talents
        • Enhanced branding
          • Talented team from various backgrounds
          • Greater competitiveness

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How may an employer ask me about my work authorization? And how do I answer (F-1 student)?
    • Are you eligible to work/ legally authorized to work in the U.S.?
      • Yes, I have legal authorization to work in the U.S. for 12 months (or 36 months for STEM majors) (after your F-1 OPT is authorized).
    • Will you now or in the future require sponsorship for an employment visa?
  2. When and how should I tell a prospective employer that I am an international student?
    • You do not need to draw attention to your F-1 visa status before an employer asks, given the reservations some employers may have about hiring international employees. It is recommended that you address your work authorization in the second interview once you have had an opportunity to draw employer’s interest in hiring you.
    • You need to communicate with an employer about your F-1 visa status clearly and confidently. You can start by explaining to your potential employer that you have a 1 year OPT work authorization (or 3 years for STEM majors) which do not need any employer sponsorship.
    • You must have accurate knowledge of F-1 OPT and H-1B and convince your employer they do not need to spend time figure out those things for you.
  3. Should I list my visa status and/or work authorization on my resume?
    • No, you are not required to disclose it. However, if you were asked, you should never lie about your visa status.
  4. What resources exist to support international students who pursue Pre-Med and MD degree?
    • F-1 Doctors is a peer-to-peer mentorship platform for international applicants to the U.S. health professional schools (M.D, D.O., Dental school) as well as the U.S. residency programs.