Job and Internship Seeking Tips for International Students

Evaluate your unique experiences as an international student

As you begin your job or internship search, take some time to reflect on the skills and experiences you possess that domestic students may not have. Integrate these skills and experiences into your resume and cover letter when relevant. Consider past experiences you have had that may make strong examples to demonstrate your skills in an interview. Consult the following list for ideas of skills and experiences you may have as an international student that employers are seeking:

  • Flexibility
  • Language Ability
  • Cultural Adaptability
  • Problem Solving
  • Ability to function with high level of ambiguity
  • Listening and observation
  • Awareness of global issues
  • Independence and Confidence
  • Assertiveness
  • Perseverance
  • Organization
  • Communicating across language/cultural barriers

Consider how and when to disclose that you’re an international student

Never lie about your immigration status. U.S. employers value honesty and directness. You can decide when you want to disclose. Many international students choose to disclose immigration status in the first or second interview. This allows you time to ensure the employers views you as a competitive candidate. Understand that some employers have strict policies about hiring international students, but they may be convinced otherwise if educated on the process/requirements. Know your immigration status and discuss this with the ISSO if you have questions.

Familiarize yourself with illegal interview questions

Questions about age, race, religion, place of birth, disability, marital status, and children are illegal in the United States. If you are asked a question by an employer that you believe could be illegal and are uncomfortable answers, you may want to politely ask the employer to rephrase the question or explain why they are asking.

Examples of illegal interview questions:

  • Are you a U.S. citizen?
  • What is your visa type?
  • What is your place of birth?
  • What’s your marital status?
  • What is your native language?
  • What is your religious affiliation?

Be a Proud International Student!

Confidence and a great attitude help employers see your potential. Remember you have skills and experiences that make you unique and set you apart from other candidates. Own your unique background and experiences, as this will help you stand out!

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

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