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International Students

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:


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.

Check out job search and internships for more strategies and reach out to us at to get individualized support.

  • 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 OPTCPT 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 includesA U.S. resume DOES NOT include

Contact information:       
Full name, cell phone, email & LinkedIn URL or digital portfolio links (optional)       
City, ST       
Title of position seeking      

Profile/Power statement 

Skills section 

Education (highest degree first)           
GPA (3.5+)           
Relevant coursework (optional)            
Research experiences (as applicable)            
Course projects (as applicable)           
Certifications (as applicable)

Relevant jobs            
Student leadership 

Volunteer/Community Service 

Personal Information:      
Marital status            
Home country            
International permanent address            
Immigration status

English as a language skill           

TOEFL or SAT scores

Grammatical or spelling errors

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. 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.
  • International CV Supplement | Create an international CV (includes specifications for each country).

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. CompaniesInternational Companies
  • 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 & marital status are illegal.
  • Ask direct questions regarding competency & experience.
  • Share your accomplishments & skills—shows confidence.
  • Expect clear self-knowledge, career & long-term plans to be communicated.
  • May expect immediate competency & view each new employee as a 2-5 year commitment.
  • Expect to conduct prior organizational research & demonstrate that knowledge.
  • It’s acceptable to ask at the close where they are in the interview process & when you can expect to hear back from them.
  • Inquiring about the application status after the interview is fine—shows interest.
  • Being late may not be as important.
  • Eye contact may be disrespectful.
  • Interviewer will start with small talk.
  • Interviewer may talk for the majority of interview.
  • You may be asked about age, race, sex or marital status.
  • Ask indirect questions regarding competency & experience.
  • Don’t discuss accomplishments & skills—may be viewed as boastful/self-serving.
  • Jobs are assigned & people are expected to accept what’s available.
  • May not expect immediate competence & look at each new employee as a long-term commitment.
  • Researching an organization in advance may show too much initiative & independence.
  • Asking the employer where they are in the interview process & when you can expect to hear from them may be seen as forward.
  • Inquiring about the status of an application after the interview may be viewed as rude.

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

Students must be careful not to use so much CPT that it takes away from their OPT. For more details, see CPT or contact FPU International Programs & Services.