As an international student, we know that you have unique challenges and needs when it comes to the job search process. The following resources are available to help you better navigate your search.
is DePaul’s hub for job and internship listings, career fair and event
registration, and more. Login with your Campus Connect username and
resources for finding international employment at home and abroad.
Featuring nearly 40 countries, users can consult insider tips and
professional advice on such topics as employment trends, salary ranges,
job search resources, networking groups, resume/CV writing guidelines
and work permit/visa regulations. DePaul students have free access to
this platform using their Campus Connect credentials.
Frequently Asked Questions
For more information on things like when to talk about your visa status, which companies to target, navigating the hiring process, and additional resources, review the below frequently asked questions:
What kinds of companies should I target?
There are no restrictions on what companies you should target. There are advantages to targeting large companies, small startups and companies with a strong international presence. Larger companies may be more familiar with the process of hiring international students.
Small firms and startups, on the other hand, may have had less experience with hiring international students, but they offer the opportunity for you to get to know key stakeholders on a more personal level. If a high-level decision maker can personally see on a day-to-day basis the quality of work you do, then they may be more likely to vouch for you when it comes to questions of sponsorship.
A company with a strong international presence will value an individual who already has experience working and living abroad. It proves that you are adaptable and can work independently.
If a company claims it does not hire international students, should I even apply?
Often, when employers say they do not hire international students it means that they may just not be familiar with the hiring process. You may need to advocate for yourself and explain what your work authorization allows. It is recommended that you initially target organizations with a history of hiring employees on a work visa. You can check out sites like MyVisaJobs, VisaDoor and RedBus to look up the history of specific companies offering H1B sponsorship.
Navigating the Application Process
Should I include my visa status on my resume?
We would advise that you should not include visa status on your resume. Your work history and education will show that you are an international student. Hiring managers will ask the applicable questions during the interview process. You should never lie about your visa status, but since many employers have hesitations about hiring an international student, it is not to your benefit to draw attention to it.
What do I say when asked by an employer about my work authorization?
Keep your language as simple as possible. Avoid using terms like “OPT,” “CPT,” and “STEM extension.” Begin by explaining that you have the legal right to work in the U.S. for twelve months (after your practical training [OPT] is authorized, of course, or you at least have a confirmation with receipt number), which requires absolutely no work on their part. If you are pursuing a STEM-related degree, you have an additional two years to work in the U.S. without needing an employer sponsorship. Then share that your work authorization can be renewed for another three to six years with an H-1B work visa. You may even want to think about avoiding the word "sponsor" when talking about the H-1B application process; instead use the phrase "petition."
Look at ways you can sell your international experience. How can being an international student be advantageous to an employer? If you have lived in multiple countries, think about how you have developed traits such as adaptability, resourcefulness, patience, independence and cultural sensitivity. Look for ways to emphasize these traits in your cover letter, resume and interview. These are all valuable soft skills that can elevate you above many other candidates. In addition, if the company has offices in your home country, it would be much easier for you to transfer there in the future. These are all great potential selling points that you can highlight throughout the application process.
For example, if you are a Computer Science student (a STEM program) and you are graduating in June 2020, you can simply say, “I do not need any kind of employment petition until June 2023 at the earliest.”
What questions are illegal?
An employer MAY NOT ask:
“What language do you most often speak?” or “What is your native language?”
“Of which country are you a citizen?” or, “What is your visa type, nationality, place of birth?”
An employer MAY ask:
“Are you legally authorized to work in the United States?” or, “Will you now or in the future require sponsorship for an employment visa?”
“Which languages do you read, speak or write?” (as long as foreign language skills are job-related)
When in the hiring process do I reveal that I am an international student?
This question should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. While many employers are familiar with hiring international students, some companies may be less knowledgeable about the process. Consequently, it should be your objective to get past the preliminary screening process to the interview. Keep in mind, though, that you should probably raise the subject before the employer has spent a significant amount of time and money trying to recruit you. It is often recommended that students address the issue of their work status during the first or second interview, but no later than the time of the job offer.
Tips for Getting Interviews
What can I do to make myself a more attractive candidate?
- Get your resume and cover letters reviewed by DePaul’s Career Center
- Become thoroughly familiar with immigration regulations and benefits attached to your visa status. Be sure to reference International Student & Scholar Services’ up-to-date employment page
- Research the employers and the positions in which you are interested. Come to an interview not only prepared to talk about your own background and skills, but with prepared questions to ask the employer. These questions should demonstrate that you have done research on the position and the company.
- Participate in a mock interview (offered by the Career Center or alumni mentors via ASK)
- Improve your English skills by speaking in class, making presentations and broadening your group of native English-speaking friends. You also may want to consider the English Language Academy (ELA) or taking advantage of DePaul’s Writing Center
- Build your network by seeking informational interviews with alumni who work for employers that hire international students.
Passport Career’s USA H-1B Employer Database includes more than 340,000 U.S. employers who have provided H-1B Visas/Work Permits to non-Americans. While this is not a list of positions you can apply for, this database provides valuable information about what employers applied for this visa in the past. You can search the database using a keyword, minimum salary, company names, city, state and job-type.
My Visa Jobs identifies employment opportunities for foreign nationals who want to live and work in the U.S. and Canada. Search annually for updated lists of employers accepting H1B visa holders. Sort lists by state, industry, and job title. This site also contains information about work authorizations, searching for jobs, and information about a variety of industries.
E-Verify is a program run by the U.S. government used mostly by employers to check employee records and eligibility. Search for employers that provide work authorization and sponsorship.
Career Nation is an online database that has job postings and resources to connect professionals from Africa and the U.S.
International Alumni Job Network (IAJN) connects international education and global employment opportunities. IAJN is a social enterprise that connects international students and alumni with global job and internship opportunities and engages with industry and events that unite the international community.
Jobware is a German job search engine that allows you to search for jobs in a variety of industries, including information technology, engineering, marketing, or sales.
JobStreet.com is the number 1 job site in Singapore, with more than 50,000+ job postings in Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam.
Latpro is an online employment site dedicated to bringing diversity to the American workforce. It has been posting Spanish bilingual and Hispanic jobs since 1997 and diversity jobs and job search engines since 2006.
Recruit Net is an international job search site with jobs listed in more than 20 countries all over the world.
DiversityInc. lists the top 50 companies recognized for diversity every year.
GlobalMe School is an online career resource that will provide you with the tools needed to succeed in the U.S. workplace. GlobalMe School also provides select free courses on how to “How To Talk to Employers About Study Abroad” and “How to Find U.S. Companies that Offer H-1B” in addition to more in-depth paid courses.
International Student Careers provides students with online career resources and workshops designed specifically for international students. Check out detailed breakdowns of who offers sponsorships, broken down by state, company and job type.
51Job.com is an online database with job listings for students who are looking to focus their job search in China.