International Students

International students who plan to conduct a job search in the U.S. must take additional steps to be successful. In the present economy, opportunities for international students are limited, but there are specific steps you can take to conduct an effective job search.
  • Educate yourself on immigration regulations and work visas. If you are on an F-1 visa, you will generally need an H1B visa and OPT approval for full-time work. If you are interested in internships, you should be aware of CPT policies and procedures. The International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) office provides more information on these topics.
  • Identify companies that hire international students, and target these companies. The U.S. Department of Labor maintains statistics on employers who have petitioned for H-1B visas in the past. INTLconnect, a website for international students, also keeps a list of companies that have sponsored international students from Illinois.
  • Reach out to international and domestic alumni for career advice specific to your needs and skill set, and information about opportunities with their companies.
  • Network. Actively build your personal, family, and professional networks. In the present economy, many employers are not able to hire international students for U.S.-based positions. Take all opportunities to meet recruiters on campus; however, as they may be your link to career opportunities outside the U.S. with their organizations.
  • Pursue job shadow, leadership program, and unpaid opportunities that may lead to an internship.
  • Leverage your background and previous professional experience. Those are your greatest assets.
  • Utilize job boards to identify opportunities with unfamiliar employers.
  • Conduct your search for both U.S.-based and overseas positions simultaneously, so you don’t miss application deadlines.
  • Mock interview with ECS so you are prepared and confident when invited to interview.

Resources

  • H1Base.com is an excellent source for detailed information on the H1B and other employment visas.
  • MyVisaJobs.com offers a job board for international students as well as information about the H1B visa. This site also contains a searchable database of H1B-sponsoring employers.
  • Uniworld Online allows you to search for American firms and their locations in other countries and also firms based in other countries with locations in the U.S.
  • INTLconnect is a student-run site which compiles various on-campus and off-campus resources for international students.