If you are an International student studying in the U.S. you can work part-time, but are restricted by the terms of your visa. Learn more about these requirements and restrictions, the work culture, and application and interviewing process in the U.S. Here are helpful resources to get started:
- FPU International Programs & Services | start here for support as an FPU International student.
- Practical Training | discover your CPT & OPT options.
- Curricular Practical Training (CPT) | learn about work study, internship & practicum requirements.
- Foreign Academic Students (USCIS) | find out about U.S. work authorization.
- InternationalStudent.com | helpful info & video about working in the U.S.
- FPU International Admissions | undergrad & grad services for new International students.
- Grammar Bytes | provides exercises to help you improve your English skills.
- U.S. Job Applications & Listings
- U.S. Resume, CV & Cover Letter
- U. S. Interview Preparation
- U.S. Work Study
U.S. Job Applications & Listings
Networking is the best source of finding jobs because there is less competition. Becoming involved with professional associations in your field and your college’s alumni association are strong networking techniques.
While it may seem impersonal, job aggregators may be the main source for vacancies and application information. Utilizing job boards like FPU’s Handshake, Indeed and LinkedIn can be essential to your job search. Avoid using services that charge a fee, as most respectable services are free. Carefully read the job listing and instructions before applying. It’s okay if you don’t meet the preferred requirements, but your skills match 80% of the minimum qualifications.
- Handshake | FPU’s job board focused on connecting students with jobs/internships.
- OPT Nation | lists companies that hire International students & sponsor work authorization.
- Top 200 Employers | view top OPT & CPT companies of 2019.
- Landing Jobs | global tech jobs not requiring work permits or offering visa/relocation support.
- Jobbatical | find a global tech, business or creative job that may offer visa sponsorship.
U.S. Resume, CV & Cover Letter
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 work and educational experience. It highlights your relevant qualifications for a specific role (focused on accomplishments) and is 1 page for most job seekers (2 pages maximum; reserved for experienced professionals or grad school applications).
View all our Resume Resources here.
In the U.S., a Curriculum Vitae (CV) is used to apply to positions in academics (college or beyond), medical, teaching, or research, as well as graduate programs, fellowships, or academic internships. It is written to communicate your scholarly identity and provide an extensive listing of all your work and educational experience (focused on coursework, publications, presentations, research and teaching experiences). A CV is 2+ pages (10 pages maximum; reserved for senior faculty or seasonal professionals).
View all our CV Resources here.
|A U.S. resume includes
|A U.S. resume DOES NOT include
Education (highest degree first)
English as a language skill
Grammatical or spelling errors
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. View all our Cover Letter Resources here.
Additional Resume, CV & Cover Letter Resources:
- Academic Success Center | schedule a writing tutoring session to confirm that your application documents are free of spelling or grammatical errors before submitting. Have several native English speakers & a career counselor also review all documents.
- Resume Writing Center | application document writing tips for International students.
U.S. Interview Preparation
Interviewing for a job or internship in a different country can be nerve-wracking and quite a culture shock. To get support while building your confidence and interviewing skills, view all our Interview Preparation Resources here.
Some commonly held cultural norms in the U.S. include:
- Honesty | employers want to hear what you really think so they can decide if you will be a good fit.
- Directness & Efficiency | when answering a question, stick to the point & don’t digress.
- Confidence | talk yourself up without arrogance. Being modest can be viewed as a weakness.
- Punctuality | arrive at the interview 10 minutes before it begins.
- Politeness & Friendliness | try to be likeable, but don’t overly share.
Management in the U.S. is:
- A culture where employees are motivated by their employers.
- Strongly results-oriented & driven by short-term gains.
- A culture where employees & employers rarely criticize one another.
- On a first-name basis right away—except in formal situations.
- A culture where agendas are distributed before a meeting to stay on task.
- Focused on “closing the deal” as the goal of most negotiations instead of long-term relationship.
Interviewing Cultural Differences
U.S. Work Study
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 and earn money while you earn a degree. FPU can authorize Curricular Practical Training (CPT) that gives International students authorization to gain employment training and work in paid internship positions.
Work study is open to both undergrad and grad International students and includes:
- Part or full time employment
- Employment with on & off campus employers
- "American" wages