International Student Careers
We look forward to assisting all international students in their employment search, including those from the top sending countries of China, Saudi Arabia, India, Japan, South Korea, Canada, Brazil and Oman. Connect with us early on to prepare and plan for a successful internship/full-time position search.
PREPARATION & PLANNING
Know How to Market Yourself
- U.S. employers look for applicants who have clear career goals and the ability to describe how one’s skills and experiences align with position requirements and the company culture. Be sure to carefully research organizations of interest prior to speaking with a recruiter and applying for positions.
- Meet with a career advisor to practice interviewing and clearly communicating those qualities you bring as part of your academic preparation and international experience.
Develop Well-Written Résumés and Cover Letters
- Know the difference between a résumé and curriculum vitae (CV). American résumés are formatted differently than international résumés, so design your résumé to reflect U.S. employer expectations. Review our sample résumés, vitae and cover letters and meet with a career advisor to perfect your final documents.
- Emphasize your English skills and bilingual abilities (i.e., Spoke English on a daily basis for three years.; Translated Chinese documents into English for tutoring students at local elementary school.; Fluent in both written and spoken Hindi and English).
- Help employers understand foreign companies and schools by providing a frame of reference (i.e., One of the top three universities in India.; The largest manufacturer of polypropylene-related products in Saudi Arabia.)
- Create and actively update your LinkedIn profile and maximize your social media networking.
Enhance Your English Proficiency
- Make English-speaking friends and get to know students from various backgrounds.
- Speak up in class, talk with faculty and work on improving your presentation skills.
- Join student organizations and attend activities on campus and within your program.
- Participate in a mock interview with a career advisor in our office.
- Develop and practice a strong, introductory elevator pitch to create a positive first impression.
- Practice online with Interview Stream and even record and view your answers!
- Prepare to attend an internship, co-op and career fair by participating in a fair prep workshop.
- Ensure that your English writing skills are strong and seek help from Kent State's Writing Commons.
- Participate in Office of Global Education support programs including Conversation Groups.
INTERVIEWING WITH A U.S. COMPANY
- Direct eye contact and a firm handshake are expected.
- While some cultures expect interviewees to maintain a humble and subservient demeanor, in the U.S., one should address interviewers as though they are colleagues with similar interests, while remaining professional at all times. Demonstrating your knowledge during the interview is expected and shows initiative and interest in the position.
- Employers are less likely to hire a candidate if the sponsorship process sounds too complicated. If asked about whether you require visa sponsorship, speak confidently and don’t let the topic take over the interview. Focus on the skills, qualifications, diverse experiences and multilingual abilities you bring that can enrich the workplace.
SEEKING EMPLOYMENT IN THE UNITED STATES
Most international students hold an F-1 non-immigrant student visa. With this, you are permitted to work in the United States, but only under certain conditions. Below is a summary of the most common types of employment authorization available to F-1 visa holders. Since immigration regulations are subject to change, consult with an advisor in the Office of Global Education - International Student & Scholar Services prior to accepting any form of employment to avoid violating the terms of your immigration status.
- On-Campus Student Employment
Students can work up to 20 hours per week on-campus while in school, and up to 28 hours per week when classes are not in session (winter/spring breaks) and during the summer. See additional information for working on campus and Steps for International Student Employees (PDF).
- Optional Practical Training (OPT):
Students should begin this lengthy planning/application process early. Find policies, procedures, and application guidelines at the Office of Global Education OPT webpage.
- Curricular Practical Training (CPT):
Students can obtain work outside the university prior to degree completion if their academic program includes the option for an internship/practicum and the experience is related to your major. Find policies, procedures, and application guidelines at the Office of Global Education CPT webpage. CPT must be authorized by the Office of Global Education. Keep in mind, many students relocate to bigger cities for internships or invest in cars in order to commute.
H1B SPONSORSHIP AND TARGETING EMPLOYERS
Become familiar with the H1B sponsorship process and keep in mind that the U.S. Government caps the number of available H1B visas granted in the U.S each year. Certain employers are exempt from the H1B quota including not-for-profit institutions of higher education. See the websites below for H1B information and locating sponsoring employers.
- Going Global: Find H1B employers, work permit/visa regulations, and cultural advice for working around the globe.
- U.S. Department of Labor - Office of Foreign Labor Certification
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
- International Student.com: Working in the USA