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US JOB SEARCH STRATEGIES FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS Christina Siders, MA Career Counselor Hui Zhang Graduate student intern


WORKSHOP AGENDA Know what you’re up against

I. 

The US Resume

I. 

Resume tips and guidelines

The US Job Search

I. 

The job search in 8 easy steps

The US Interview

I.   

I.

Challenges faced by international students

Visa discussions Cultural cues and differences How to handle tough questions

Resources and helpful links


WHAT ARE YOU UP AGAINST? 

Perceived Lack of Commitment: Fear that international employees will return to their home countries

Communication Difficulties: Concern about international students’ communication skills

Animosity: International students ‘taking’ American jobs

Hiring Complexities: Cost and complexity associated with the H1B process

Cultural differences: American expectations and conflicting cultural values

Work restrictions: Position must be directly related to your area of study

What challenges have you encountered?


RESUMES IN THE US Remember: The American resume is your primary method of self marketing. It is a concise tool for self-promotion, not just a chronology of work and educational experiences. 

A Standard Resume Format:  Header (name, email, phone, address)  Objective (optional)  Education  Experience  Leadership  Honors/Awards  Skills


RESUMES IN THE US Resume Do’s: 

   

Resume Don’ts:

 Don’t include the following: Explain your education:  Example:  Date of Birth “License” (Bachelors Degree)  Gender, Race, Religion Provide contextual information.  Marital Status  Citizenship Tailor each resume toward the position sought  Copies of diplomas Use strong action verbs  Photo Proofread! Proofread! Proofread!  Letters of Recommendation  Use the UCS career guide: (unless specifically requested), with a few http://www.northwestern.edu/careers/announcements/NU-CareerGuide08_0 exceptions  TOEFL scores – instead, list how many years you have studied English.  Go beyond a page, unless graduate level


THE US JOB SEARCH IN 8 EASY STEPS 1.

Begin early 

1.

Consider the field 

1.

Speak up in class, join student organizations, volunteer, and practice at home.

Know your skills 

1.

Jobs are typically most prevalent in engineering, sciences, technology, and business admin/management. Technical fields remain the most likely to offer jobs for international students.

Master your English skills 

1.

Start as early as freshmen year if possible.

Identify the skills you already possess, the skills required by employers in your chosen field, and the gaps between the two.

Network, network, network….   

Attend a networking workshop this week, or during the school year. Tap into a number of resources to identify contacts and build relationships (see international student guide for links). http://online.usacareerguides.com/network.aspx


THE US JOB SEARCH IN 8 EASY STEPS 6.

Perfect your main marketing document 

6.

Target the right employers   

6.

Come in to UCS to have your resume reviewed by a practitioner. By H1B petitions: http://online.goinglobal.com/H1BSearch.aspx By presence in your home country: international companies are more likely to need international students. By trade relationships between your city and home country: http://online.goinglobal.com/guidesUSA.aspx?context=USA

Be realistic and don’t do it alone.  

Develop a plan B by looking for jobs in your home country. Remember that UCS is here to help you every step of the way.


INTERVIEWING IN THE US: VISA STATUS 

What do I need to know before going into the interview? 

Visa type, restrictions, and where they can find additional information.

When do I talk about it? Does not need to be discussed immediately –employer should first get to know you (skills, qualifications, personality)  If they don’t specifically ask sooner, then you should mention it during the last interview. 

How do I say it? 

“I’m not sure if you know this or not, but I am an international student. I have a work permit for one year, but will need sponsorship for another work permit after one year.”

What if they know nothing about it? 

Point them to the USCIS or their company lawyer for more information.


INTERVIEWING IN THE US: CULTURAL CONSIDERATIONS 

Cultural Cues to consider in an interview: 

The greeting:  

 

Pay attention to how they introduce themselves and reciprocate Don’t be afraid to ask them to repeat their name if hard to understand or pronounce They will usually extend hand first, but if not, it’s ok to extend yours They may tell you where to sit, but if not, you can ask

The body of the interview: 

 

 

Eye contact exudes confidence in the US. This is not considered rude or invasive as in other countries Self disclosure of strengths, weaknesses, experiences, personality and leadership style will be required Selling your skills is the expectation, not the exception Display initiative by asking questions of them during and at the end of the interview Feel free to ask the employer to repeat or clarify question if you are unsure. If you’re nervous about your language skills, speak slowly, carefully, and clearly

When I doubt, play copy cat! Observe and mirror the body language of your interviewer


INTERVIEWING IN THE US: SHOW OFF YOUR STRENGTHS

Quick tip: Follow through is important. Always remember to follow up with the interviewer within 2 weeks after the interview.


INTERVIEWING IN THE US: IS THAT LEGAL?? They can ask…

They can’t ask…

Are you authorized to work in the United States?

You sound like you have an accent; where are you from?

If you are not a U.S. citizen, do you have the legal right to remain permanently in the United States?

Are you married? Is this your maiden or married name? With whom do you live?

Where were you born? Where are your parents from? What's your heritage?

What language is spoken in your home?

What is your visa status?

Are you able to provide proof of employment eligibility upon hire?

More on improper questions: http://www.jobweb.com/interviews


INTERVIEWING IN THE US: ANSWERING TOUGH QUESTIONS 

Think about the information they are trying to attain and answer that question - not the illegal question

Ask how the question is related to the position

Tell them that it is an illegal question, although this risks putting employer on defensive

Answer it


HELPFUL RESOURCES 

The International Office 630 Dartmouth Place Evanston, IL 60208  (847) 491-5613 

Going Global (access through UCS homepage with NetID): http://online.goinglobal.com

Join the Chicagoland and Northwestern ISEI group on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com

List of links in international student’s handbook


TAKE THE NEXT STEP AND COME TO UCS! Main Office 620 Lincoln Street 847-491-3700 CareerLab Core Reserve Main Library, 2nd Floor North Web www.northwestern.edu/careers Email internship@northwestern.edu Facebook www.facebook.com/northwesternucs Twitter http://twitter.com/northwesternucs LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/groupRegistration?gid=1926036


MORE BACKBACK 2 BRIEFCASE EVENTS! 

Networking: Necessary But Not Evil 

Preparing for a Job Fair 

10/5, Monday, 6:00-7:00, Northwestern Room

CAMPUS RECRUITING EXPO 

9/23, Wednesday, 6:00-7:00, Wildcat A

Job Search in Government, Education & Non-profit 

9/24, Thursday, 6:00-7:00, Wildcat Room

Job Search in Communications, Marketing, & Media 

9/29, Tuesday, 6:00-7:00, Wildcat Room

Job Search in Business 

9/29, Tuesday, 3:30-4:30, Wildcat Room

Job Search in Engineering, Science, and Technology 

9/30, Wednesday, 6:00-7:00, Wildcat Room

What Are You Going to Do When You GRADUATE? 

9/24, Thursday, 3:30-4:30, Arch Room

10/1, Thursday, 12:00-4:00, Louis Room

EXPO Chat Lounge

U.S. Job Search Strategies for International Students  

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