U.S. Job Search Process
The job search process can be daunting and overwhelming, especially for international students. Here are a few tips and tricks on how to begin your job search process!
Employment Options F-1 and J-1 Visa
- On-Campus Employment: All international students are eligible to work on-campus employment, with a maximum of 20 hours per week during the ongoing semester.
- Curricular Practical Training (CPT): alternate work and study, internship, co-op, etc.
- If your major has an internship requirement, doing the CPT can fulfill the internship requirement! This can then be used as a visa option for employment in the US.
- No cost to the employer for this training
- Optional Practical Training (OPT): most international students use this to their advantage for post-graduation experiences and employment. This is optional and can be acquired at any time (post or pre-graduation).
- A time limit does exist with OPT, check online at www.uscis.gov/working-united-states to confirm.
- No cost to the employer for this training
- H1B – some companies may sponsor this visa for you to allow you to work here!
- There is a filing fee for this visa
- Academic Training for J-1: No cost to the employer for this training
- Additional information can be found on: https://enrollmentmanagement.baruch.cuny.edu/international-student-service-center/
Discussing Immigration Status
- In the U.S. it is illegal for a potential employer to ask you:
- Your race, marital status, past salary information, religion, specific medical record or arrest record, financial status, nationality, immigration status
- But, they can ask you:
- Are you authorized to work in the US?
Challenges international students may encounter:
- Hiring complexities – visas expiring, transferring from one visa to another, a chance of the U.S. gov rejecting the visas altogether
- Commitment – employers are making a commitment for you, ensure that you are making it worth their time and are sure about your work visas
- Location – being flexible with geographical preferences may add value to your profile
- Economic – the economy affects all students, rather than just international students. But the economy being in a recession can have an effect on all jobs available to the public
- U.S. Culture and Custom – quite different from other countries
- U.S. Policy Changes – policies can change that may affect and/or limit your job search process, so you should be mindful of these policy changes!
Tips for successful job & internship search
- Resources – ex: Starr Search, Baruch Alumni, your own network, etc.
- Start your search early
- Join clubs and organizations, volunteer before or after you arrive in the US
- Gain experience while you are in your home country
- Understand visa guidelines and restrictions
- Have a backup plan – dual country job search
- Prepare for job search materials, be flexible with your search
- Network, network network!
Understand what you are looking for
- Skills that you possess
- Interests that you find within the company
- Job titles
- Recruiting process/timeline
- Company values
Clarify your career interests
- What type of industry would you like to be in? (tech, government, not-for-profit, etc.)
- What job function do you want to be involved in? (marketing, accounting, etc.) (day to day tasks)
Identify self and world of work
- Reflection – Reflect on what you’ve been doing, where you have gained experiences, and what tasks you like doing!
- Assessments – Career assessments are available to highlight what skills are valuable for certain jobs
- Asking others who know you well – Asking what is most noticeable about you and what you have excelled in
- Trying and learning – gaining experience through volunteering or work
- Online career databases
- Starr search
- Job boards
- Informational interviews
- Corporate presentations
- Job fairs
Baruch Specific Resources
- Starr (weekly newsletter, blog, websites)
- Starr search (Focus2, GoinGlobal) – Focus2 highlights what jobs may be suitable to your skills – GoinGlobal is a great resource for students
- Baruch library – Uniworld Online – Online directory of American firms operating in foreign countries and foreign companies operating in the United States
- Executive on Campus, Tools for Clear Speech, Conversation Partners Program, Weissman Center for International Business, Writing Center, Field Center for Entrepreneurship
- Industry-specific professional organizations
- Job sites such as Indeed.com, CareerBuilder’s
- Industry-specific job board
- Social media sites – LinkedIn.com
- GoinGlobal – International students resource!
- Temporary agencies/Staffing firms
Understand the recruiting process
- Small vs. large companies
- Structure vs. Ad hoc hiring
- Internship to full-time hiring – as an international student it is important to try to get an internship that could provide you with a full-time opportunity
- General timeline – prepare your internship search 3-6 months prior, some big companies even start recruiting 6-12 months prior
- Connect with alumni or recent graduates to learn more about their search process/recruiting experience
- Network with prospective employers prior to the application process
- Set up Google alerts or search alerts throughout the search process
Prepare your application materials
- An organized system for tracking applications
- Resume/Cover Letters – come to walk-ins or make appointments to have your cover letter/resume finalized before applying
- Online presence – be aware of things that are visible to the public online about you
- Interviewing Skills – you can practice these skills through mock interviews!
- The art of small talk – get comfortable with talking about random things to break the ice
- Work Authorization – make sure you have full knowledge about your work authorization
- Exams – be aware of the exams you have to take in the future to be available to work
Resources at Starr
- Starr home page:
- Guides on resumes/cover letters, interviewing, internships
- Starr Search
- Job/internship postings, networking function, GoinGlobal
- Interviewing Techniques, Resumes/Cover Letter Review, Personal Pitch, Small Talk, Social media, etc.
- Career Fairs & Expo, Industry Panels, Employer Information Sessions
- Meet professionals from a variety of industries
- Resume/cover letter reviews and mock interviews
- Schedule an appointment via Starr Search!
- Career Advisement
- Help with clarifying career goals and navigating the job search
Additional Resources for International Students
- MyVisaJobs – Reports for H1B Visas and Visa Sponsor Profiles
- One to World
- Office of Foreign Labor Certification U.S. Dept. of Labor – visas, fees, policies, and regulations
- H1B Job Information
- For more information on how to get authorized to work in the U.S. reach out to International Student Services Center at Baruch College.