International students and graduates face some obstacles when searching for a job in the United States. For one, there’s the employment restrictions by U.S. immigration regulations. Then there’s the cultural differences that may affect graduates’ ability to present themselves to potential employers effectively.
So, what are the best ways to land a job in the US as an international student?
Take on internships
According to a report, more than 53 percent of international survey respondents received a job offer from the sponsoring American company after completing an internship with the organization. It’s quite likely that an internship could turn into full-time employment. This is because the employer is able to see your value and can make an informed decision on whether or not to hire you for a full-time position. Many programs now require an internship before graduation, but it never hurts to take on multiple opportunities if your schedule allows it.
Draft an excellent resume and cover letter
Optimizing your resume is crucial in a job search in the U.S. Many employers use an applicant tracking system (ATS) that will screen and parse the information you present in your resume and rank you along with other candidates. If your resume does not match up closely with the job description, you might not be invited in for an interview because the system doesn’t consider you a high ranking match.
Cover letters are important too – many hiring managers still read these as a way to figure out who would be the right fit for the job opening. For both documents, ensure there are no typos by reading and re-reading them. You might also opt to have a friend or family member read through both to make sure there are no other errors.
Identify target companies
There might be some employers in your area who regularly hire international students, and your campus career center might even have existing relationships with these organizations. It pays to visit both your career center and the international student office to discuss this with the counselors there in order to figure out your best options.
You can also do your own research by visiting company career sites. Check out what the company is like and figure out if it’s a good fit for you and your skills. Also look for international organizations who desire candidates with language skills and knowledge of other countries.
By focusing your efforts on a few companies, you’ll be able to fully understand what the company looks for in a job candidate.
Grow your professional network
Networking is one of the best ways to land a new job. Connect with your professors, classmates, former employers and colleagues on professional networking sites like LinkedIn, and join groups and chats in order to add to your network. Knowing someone who already works at one of your ideal companies helps you get past the automated systems in the hiring process and stand out among other candidates.
What other ways would you add?
Kat Krull is the Marketing Manager of Resunate, a job application tool that tailors and optimizes your resume for a specific job, and ApplyApp.ly, an innovative job board that finds job seekers their most compatible open positions. You can find Kat,Resunate, andApplyApp.ly onFacebook,Twitter, andGoogle+.