International Student Websites
Going Global's 80,000 page database contains Country Career Guides, USA and Canadian City Career Guides, corporate profiles, worldwide job and internship openings and a proprietary collection of H1B visa employer listings.
Both the Going Global Country Career Guides and the USA & Canadian City Career Guides provide professional advice on such topics as: the current employment outlook, hiring trends, job search resources, executive recruiters, staffing agencies, work permit regulations, salary ranges, resume/CV writing guidelines, professional and social networking groups, trade associations, interview and cultural advice.
If you are on campus, or have already created an personal account, you may use this link to access GoingGlobal and get access premium content for UCSC.
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American Immigration Network
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
Immigration and Naturalization Service
St. Vincent College: includes US companies
Foreignborn work: employment information
American Employers for International Professionals: professional database of 20,000 employers interested in International employees
The U.S. Job Search For International Students
Current U.S. immigration laws permit international students to be employed in the U.S. during and after a course of study. However, these regulations have specific requirements and restrictions. If you wish to work in the U.S. you must plan ahead.
Not a U.S. citizenship or permanent resident?
There are employers who are willing to hire foreign nationals. It will depend on the industry and the employer.
Practical Training Work:
Students who have studied in the U.S. on F-1 visas can work up to 12 months in a field related to their studies. Usually international students can’t work for the U.S. government: federal, state or local government entities, or for private employers who receive government contracts.
- Avoid companies dependent upon contracts from the U.S. Dept. of Defense.
- Seek smaller organizations who aren’t invested heavily in your training and/or who normally experience a high degree of turnover.
Want to work longer than the period of your Practical Training?
- Plan ahead with UCSC Office of International Education.
- Understand the bases on which you may stay long term and be prepared to explain them to an employer.
- An employer must sponsor you for an H-1 visa, requiring additional paperwork. Analyze what you offer to make an employer willing to take this extra trouble.
Cultural Differences in the Job Search
International students may need to behave in ways that are alien to their culture.
- The US job search consists of directly applying to employers.
- Resumes and cover letters are required and differ from international ones. If assistance is needed, attend a Resume workshop, meet with a Career Adviser and/or see samples on-line.
- The interviews may demonstrate the greatest
- Direct eye contact is important even with a senior employer, demonstrating confidence, not disrespect.
- Smile. Be courteous and let the interviewer take the lead.
- American employers expect you to speak confidently about yourself and your success.
- Display initiative by volunteering information and be prepared to ask questions regarding the position.
Some of these differences may challenge you, but console yourself that many Americans find job hunting challenging. UCSC Career Center advisers offer interviewing workshops and offer mock interviews. Take advantage of these opportunities in preparing for the job search process.
When should I tell an employer about my visa status?
- On your cover letter you may choose to mention your visa status or not. If you do, state it most positively and truthfully. For example, “Visa allows 12 months U.S. work permission” or “Permanent residency to be awarded within the next four months.”
- Your resume usually demonstrates you’re an international student and the employer will assume you have a student visa.
- On an employer’s formal application, if there is a blank for visa status, you need to fill it in with the correct information. Be truthful and be prepared to document them.
When should you bring your status issue up?
- Sometime near the end of a positive first interview.
- The employer will feel you are being open about your work situation, especially if they aren’t aware of the status and the process necessary to obtain the work visa.
- If you will be receiving permanent residency status in the near future, inform the employer from the outset, because your employer will not need to worry about work permission.
- If you are already a permanent resident, be sure that your resume says “U.S. permanent resident” in a spot where it won't be overlooked.
Option: working for a U.S. firm in your country
W ork for a U.S. affiliate company in your home country. Since you already are familiar with the culture, customs, etc. an employer may be glad to refer you to its office that makes international referrals.
English Language Skills
Communication skills are one of the top skills US employers are seeking with recent graduates. Therefore, it is important that your spoken English be clear and understandable. If it isn’t, tutoring may be helpful. Employers may use your written English to assess your spoken English, so make cover letters both correct and colloquial. Unless you’re bilingual in English, it’s a good idea to have a native speaker review each letter. Career advisers are also happy to review drafts with you.
What can I do to maximize my chances?
- Begin your job search early and be prepared to devote extensive time to it.
- Learn everything you can about the process through which an employer can obtain and H-1 visa for you.
- Be prepared to explain exactly what steps are involved.
- In some cases, you’ll need to be the one to explain it to an employer.
- You can also tell an employer that they can contact an independent third party, they may have more credibility than you will in explaining the process.
- Consult with the UCSC staff at Office of International Education, OIE, for more information about the process.
- There may be some advantage to having the paperwork handled by a lawyer who is thoroughly familiar with the process. If you’d be willing to pay any associated fees, let the employer know that.