International Students

International students who plan to conduct a job search in the U.S. must take additional steps to be successful. In the present economy, opportunities for international students are limited, but there are specific steps you can take to conduct an effective job search.

  • Educate yourself on immigration regulations and work visas. Students on an F-1 visa will generally need an H1B visa and OPT approval for full-time work. International students interested in internships should be aware of CPT policies and procedures. The International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) office provides more information on these topics.
  • Identify companies that hire international students, and target these companies. The U.S. Department of Labor maintains statistics on employers who have petitioned for H-1B visas in the past. INTLconnect, a website for international students, also keeps a list of companies that have sponsored international students from Illinois.
  • Adapt your job targets to market demand. For example, international students are typically not hired for sales and marketing positions, but might be considered for market analysis positions. Contacting people in your target companies, and building a network from which you receive current information, is the best way to obtain this information.
  • Reach out to international and domestic alumni for career advice specific to your needs and skill set, and information about opportunities with their companies.
  • Network. Network. Network. Actively build your personal, family and professional networks. In the present economy, many employers are not able to hire international students for U.S.-based positions. Take all opportunities to meet recruiters on campus, however, as they may be your link to career opportunities outside the U.S. with their organizations.
  • Pursue job shadow, leadership program and unpaid opportunities that may lead to an internship.
  • Leverage your background and previous professional experience. Those are your greatest assets.
  • Utilize job boards to identify opportunities with unfamiliar employers.
  • Conduct your search for both U.S.-based and overseas positions simultaneously, so you don’t miss application deadlines.
  • Mock interview with Business Career Services so you are prepared and confident when invited to interview!

Resources

  • H1Base.com is an excellent source for detailed information on the H1B and other employment visas.
  • The International Student and Scholar Services office provides information and advice on the OPT/CPT process. They can answer all questions regarding your legal employment eligibility.
  • MyVisaJobs.com offers a job board for international students as well as information about the H1B visa. This site also contains a searchable database of H1B-sponsoring employers.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor Office of Foreign Labor Certification maintains statistics on employers who have petitioned for H-1B visas in the past.
  • Uniworld Online allows you to search for American firms and their locations in other countries and also firms based in other countries with locations in the U.S.
  • Going Global posts jobs and employment outlooks for every major country in the world and state in the US. You must access this site through a direct link on your Handshake home page. See the Going Global User Guide for tips on how to use the site.
  • INTLconnect is a student-run site which compiles various on-campus and off-campus resources for international students.