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
The US Resume
Resume tips and guidelines
The US Job Search
The job search in 8 easy steps
The US Interview
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:
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.
Consider the field
Speak up in class, join student organizations, volunteer, and practice at home.
Know your skills
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
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
Target the right employers
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:
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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