International Student Assistance
If you are an International student studying in the U.S. you can work part-time, but you are restricted by the terms of your visa. This website provides information you need to know regarding some of these requirements and restrictions, the work culture and application and interviewing process in the U.S. and more.
Information for International Students
- Work in the USA & Visa Resources
Working in the U.S.A. sounds like an adventure to many people. However, it requires systematic preparation. The information presented here can serve as a guide to get you started in the right direction.
Work Authorization for StudentsInternational Student.com provides information on visas and immigration Working in the US Video (28:18) – provides information on the options for working in the U.S. as an international student on an F1 visa
- The US Application Process
Networking is the best source of finding jobs because there is less competition. Becoming involved with professional associations in your field of study and your college’s alumni association are some ways in which to network. However, while it may seem impersonal, the Internet may be the main source for job vacancies and application information for international students. Search services such as Indeed, LinkedIn, Glass Door, and Snag can be essential in your job search. However, avoid using any job search services that charge a fee, as most respectable services are free of charge.
Carefully read the job listing before applying and follow the instructions as indicated. Also, it’s okay if you don’t meet the preferred requirements, but your qualifications should match the minimum qualifications of the job description by at least 80%.
Click on job search strategies for more information on the US application process. Also check with FPU’s Career Development Center to help with your job search strategies and make sure you are on track
Check out this site for this step-by-step guide on how to find a job as an international student.
- Job & Internship Listings
Jobs Requiring No Work Permits and Employers Offering Visa/Relocation Support
- Landing.jobs — search global tech jobs not requiring work permits or employers offering Visa/relocation support
- Jobbatical.com — find a tech, business or creative job anywhere in the world and whether the employer offers visa sponsorship
- My Visa Jobs — provides the top 100 H1B Visa Sponsors in 2018
- OPT Nation — lists companies that hire international students and sponsor work authorization
The top 200 employers who hired OPT students, STEM OPT students, and CPT students in 2017
The 10 Best Websites for Finding a Job or Internship
- Glassdoor — jobs and internships
- Indeed — jobs and internships
- LinkedIn — jobs and internships
- FPU's College Central Network — jobs and internships
- Internships.com — internships
- YouTern — internships
- Idealist — social work jobs and internships
- Global Experiences — offers internships where interns pay instead of getting paid
- CoolWorks — mostly summer jobs
- JobisJob — find jobs with companies across the U.S.
- MediaBistro — advertising, marketing, public relations, and journalism jobs
- Dice — STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) jobs
- Snag — part-time, hourly and some temporary jobs
- Resume & Application Letters
Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV)?
In the U.S., a resume is used to apply to most jobs at every level or graduate school to communicate your professional identity and give an account of your professional and educational experiences. A resume highlights your relevant qualifications for a specific role (focused on accomplishments). A resume is written on a 1-page for most job seekers (2 pages maximum; reserved for experienced professionals or grad school applications).
A Curriculum Vitae is used to apply to positions related to academics (college level or beyond), medical, teaching, or research. A CV is also used to apply for admission into graduate programs, fellowships, or internships related to academics. A CV is written to communicate your scholarly identity and provide an extensive listing of all your professional and educational experience (focused on coursework, publications, presentations, research, and teaching experiences). A CV is longer than 2 pages (10 pages maximum; reserved for senior faculty or seasonal professionals).
Three Easy Steps to Draft a U.S. Resume
- Look at the job description of the position for which you are applying. Highlight areas in the job description for which you have experience, skills, knowledge, and abilities.
- Use the highlighted language to craft your resume using the resume template below. Gather information from the job description to help you complete the profile section.
- Schedule an appointment to have your resume critiqued by Career Development Center staff.
Helpful Hint 1: Don’t repeat job experience if you have held similar positions. Use different wording or split the experience between jobs. It’s okay to repeat key words if they have been used multiple times in the job description, but don’t overdo it!
Helpful Hint 2: If you are changing careers, use a Relevant Work Experience section and Other Work Experience section. In the Other Work Experience section, focus only on transferable skills as they relate to the position for which you are applying. If necessary, you can also fill space by including course names of relevant coursework.
Helpful Hint 3: If you have very little or no work experience, you may use volunteer experience if it’s consistent. You can also use your experience from classroom research or projects. Any extracurricular activities such as leadership, sports or student club positions can be included. You can also provide a summary of summer jobs, such as mowing lawns or babysitting, at the end of the experience section. If you still can't fill in the blanks and you don't have a full page, you now know the skills, abilities, knowledge and experience you need to develop to reach your goal.
- Resume Guide – describes how to create a resume and provides an example.
- Resume Profile – describes the importance of creating and adding a profile statement to your resume and provides examples.
- Resume Content – learn how to create dynamic descriptions that draw in recruiters.
- Resume Template—a resume template in Microsoft Word to help you get started.
- Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) – defines applicant tracking systems and how to beat them in your job search.
A US resume includes A US resume DOES NOT include
Full name, cell phone, email and LinkedIn Profile or links to personal website/blog (optional)
Title of Position Seeking
Education (highest degree first)
Relevant coursework (optional)
Research experiences (as applicable)
Certifications (as applicable)
The following personal information:
International permanent address
English as a language skill
TOEFL or SAT scores
Grammatical or spelling errors
The Cover Letter
The application letter, also known as a cover letter in the U.S., is written to respond to an announced opening or submitting your resume for consideration. A good letter will complement and concisely expand upon your resume, communicating your fit with the position and organization.
- Cover Letter Guide – describes how to create a cover letter and provides an example.
- Cover Letter Template – a resume template in Microsoft Word to help you get started.
Every resume and cover letter should be free of spelling or grammatical errors before submitting. Have several native English speakers review your resume and cover letter in addition to a career counselor and schedule an appointment with a writing tutor in the Academic Success Center.
Visit the Career Development Center’s Resume, Cover Letters, CVs & Thank You Letters page.
- Resume and cover letter tips for international students
- Work Study USA
Earn Money While Earning a Degree
The cost of tuition, books, health insurance, room and board, and transportation can be a huge hurdle for international students. Working while you study may be a great way to help meet your financial goals. FPU can authorize Curricular Practical Training (CPT) that gives international students authorization to gain employment training and work in paid internships positions.
Work Study Opportunities is open to both undergraduate and master students and includes
- Part time or full time Employment for international students
- Employment with on and off campus employers
- "American" wages
However, students must be careful that they don’t use so much CPT that it takes away from their OPT.
For more details, click on CPT.
- Interview Preparation for International Students
U.S. vs. International Interviews
Interviewing for a job or internship in a different country can be nerve-wracking and quite a culture shock. Here are some tips to help get you started:
Research the company to help answer possible interview questions. Compare what the employer is seeking to your qualifications. Practice responses to interview questions you might be asked.
Dress in conservative business attire, such as a neutral-colored suit (black, navy, grey) and professional shoes.
Bring extra copies of your resume on quality paper, a notepad or professional binder and pen, a list of references, information you might need to complete an application and a portfolio with samples of your work if relevant to your field of study.
Project confidence in and before the interview. Smile, establish eye contact and use a firm handshake. Be attentive. Don't stare, but maintain good eye contact while addressing all aspects of an interviewer's questions. Emphasize your experience speaking slowly and clearly. Bring a list of questions to ask at the end of the interview. Thank the interviewer(s) for their time/consideration. Ask for business card(s) from interviewer(s) and send thank you letters or email within 24 hours to each person.
For more detailed interviewing information with sample questions and responses, click on FPU Career Development Interview Resources.
Cultural Differences between US and International Companies
US Companies International Company Punctuality is key. Be 5-15 minutes early.
Eye contact is expected; shows confidence.
May or may not start with small talk.
Interviewer may or may not talk for most of the interview.
Questions regarding age, race, sex and marital status are illegal.
Direct questions regarding competency and experience.
Discuss accomplishments and skills—shows confidence.
Show clear self-knowledge, career plans, long-term plans.
May expect immediate competency and look at each new employee as a two-five-year commitment.
Researching the organization and demonstrating that knowledge is expected.
It’s acceptable to ask at the close where they are in the interview process and when you can expect to hear back from them.
Inquiring about the status of an application after the interview is acceptable—demonstrates interest.
Being late may not be as important.
Eye contact may be disrespectful.
Interviewer will start with small talk.
Interview may talk the majority of interview.
You may be asked about age, race, sex or marital status.
Indirect questions regarding competency and experience.
Don’t discuss accomplishments and skills—may be viewed as boastful/self-serving.
Jobs are assigned and people are expected to accept what’s available.
May not expect immediate competence and look at each new employee as a long-term commitment.
Researching an organization in advance may show too much initiative and independence.
Asking the employer where they are in the interview process and when you can expect to hear from them may be viewed as too forward
Inquiring about the status of an application after the interview may be viewed as rude.
Commonly held cultural norms in American society
- Honesty – Employers want to hear what you really think so they can decide if you will be a good fit.
- Directness and Efficiency – When answering a question, stick to the point and don’t digress.
- Confidence – Talk yourself up, but try not to come across as arrogant. Being humble and modest can be viewed as a weakness.
- Punctuality – Arrive at the interview 10 minutes before it is meant to begin.
- Politeness and friendliness – Try to be likeable, but do not overly share.
Management culture in the United States
Strongly results-oriented and driven by short-term gains.
Employees are motivated by their employers.
Employees and employers rarely criticize one another.
Before a meeting, agendas are usually distributed to stay on task.
“Closing the deal” is the goal of most negotiations, and the long-term relationship is not as important.
On a first-name basis right away—except in formal situations.
For more specific interviewing details, go to the Career Development Interview Preparation page.
FPU International Students - Admissions – Provides undergrad and graduate admissions, housing, foreign transcript evaluation, express mail and Western Union payment information, arrival and medical forms and more.
FPU Intensive English Language Program (IELP) – Offers a summary of the curriculum to help international students improve their English skills along with dates and how to apply for the program.
FPU Academic Success Center – Discuss services offered and tutoring and exam hours.
Tutoring – Provides information on writing and general education in on-on-one tutoring services.
Purdue's Online Writing Lab – Offers free writing, research, grammar and mechanics, style guides, ESL and professional writing resources.
UNC Writing Center Handouts – Provides various handouts for several types of assignments and how to cite references.
Grammar Bytes – Provides various exercises to help you improve your English skills.