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Job search issues for International students

You are here: Career Services > Job & internships search guide > Job search issues for International students

On this page:

1. Know immigration laws & your employment elibility

2. Resources for an international job search

3. Cultural issues related to a U.S. job search

4. Skills, knowledge & resources for a U.S. job search

 

 

1. Know immigration laws and your employment eligibility

It is essential for you to become knowledgeable about the immigration laws and regulations that affect your employment eligibility when seeking employment in the U.S. Verify your employment status and eligibility based on your visa.

The more you are familiar with these regulations, the better able you will be to discuss your options with a prospective employer.

DO NOT interpret this information as legal advice. DO use it to increase your understanding of the issues.

RESOURCES:

  1. The U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) provides authoritative information on visas and work authorization.
  2. The Virginia Tech Graduate School: Please see International Graduate Student Services for resources and employment information.
  3. Cranwell International Center at Virginia Tech
    Serves as the primary support service for the international community.

    Please navigate the Cranwell website and read of the information provided by Cranwell on topics including: Immigration regulations | terms | J Visa holders | F Visa holders | On- and Off-Campus Employment | Optional Practical Training | Curricular Practical Training | much more. The regulations and responsibilities are quite detailed, and the Cranwell International Center is your authority to consult for information and questions.

 

 

2. Resources for an international job search

No doubt you have your own networking contacts in your home country, and perhaps elsewhere. These are some online resources you may find useful, in addition to your current resources.

Going Global for currently enrolled VT student and VT employees only.
Includes H-1B info.

The Riley Guide - International Job Opportunities
Very comprehensive list of web sites and advice.

Web sites with international opportunities
A list compiled by Career Services based on recommendations and research.

ForeignMBA.com

H1base.com

Bilingual-jobs.com

H1visajobs.com

workabroad.monster.com

 

3. Cultural issues related to a U.S. job search

American cultural attitudes and behaviors related to job hunting and work may be quite different from those of your home country. Be aware of cultural issues that will influence your success in your job search.

RESOURCES:

Common cultural barriers to the job search (pdf) (wsjobscouncil.org)

Going Global for currently enrolled VT student and VT employees only.
Includes Country Guides > Cultural Advice for 35 countries including the U.S.

 

4. Skills, knowledge and resources for a U.S. job search
(if you are eligible)

  1. You will need to become familiar with U.S. practices regarding resumes, correspondence (both hard copy and e-mail), interviewing, and handshakes.
    For complete coverage of these topics:
    See job & internship search guide.

    See pros and cons of the ways to look for jobs and top tips for the job search.

  2. Notice that if you use Hokies4Hire and the On-Campus Interviewing Program, employers will indicate required work authorization. These are non-negotiable.

Tips from the experts

  1. Generally, international students will need to place more emphasis on:
    1. Research to determine which employers can legally hire students with your work authorization.

      Research tool: Going Global online guide

      Career Services pays a premium subscriber fee for Going Global; that gives access to currently enrolled Virginia Tech students (and employees).
      Features include work authorization requirements of various employers.

    2. Networking to find contacts.

      Networking sources:
      Hokie Nation Network, sponsored by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association.

      LinkedIn, used extensively for professional networking.

  2. Employment for international students in the U.S. is not promised or guaranteed to anyone.
  3. English language skills matter.
  4. You must bridge the cultural gap to sell yourself.
  5. Employers DO hire internationals for technical skills, language and cultural skills, affinity, loyalty.

 

Where opportunity ISN'T:

  1. Direct head-to-head competition with domestics when you have no edge.
  2. Announced opening (drawing hundreds or thousands of applicants)
  3. On-campus recruiters who do not want to interview foreign nationals.
    Notice that if you use Hokies4Hire and the On-Campus Interviewing Program, employers will indicate required work authorization. These are non-negotiable. While you may find some opportunities open based on your work authorization and your other qualifications, you should not expect that all employers can grant you an interview, and you must be honest about your work authorization.

Where opportunity IS:

  1. Networking.
  2. Hidden job market.
  3. Exporters to your country.
  4. U.S. companies active in your language region / doing business in your home country.
  5. Others from your home country who are officers of owners of companies.
  6. Others from your home country who have jobs in the U.S.
  7. Former international students with jobs in the U.S. (internships or H1-B)
  8. Smaller companies.
  9. Companies in rural areas that are exporting.
  10. Your home country consulate.
  11. International job fairs (google this to find these events in major cities).

More resources:

Career Services job search workshops for International students.

U.S. federal government resources:

U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS)

U.S. Department of Labor

Virginia Tech resources:

Graduate School See International Graduate Student Services

Cranwell International Center

Going Global for currently enrolled VT students and VT employees only. Includes H-1B info.

Other resources suggested by experts:

ForeignMBA.com

H1base.com

Bilingual-jobs.com

H1visajobs.com

workabroad.monster.com

...more websites with international opportunities
List compiled by Career Services based on recommendations and research.