Job and Internship Search Strategies for International Students

The job-search process for international students includes many of the same steps as the standard job search. When looking for a job/internship in the U.S., job seekers should use a variety of tools to increase their chances of finding a position. Be sure to read the page on "How to Search for Internships and Jobs."

Identify options

Have a good understanding of your occupational interests and job titles for the career. Check out "What Can I Do with This Major?" to identify options.

Devote time to the job search

Start your job search early. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average unemployment duration in the U.S. is 22.7 weeks, (February 2018). Also, for their spring and summer hires, some employers do the majority of their on-campus recruiting in the fall. Therefore, you may need to apply in August or September for a position that does not begin until May.

Research employers

Many international students are looking to stay in the US to work after graduation and find that looking for a CPT and/or OPT position with a company who has sponsored the needed H-1B visa in the past to be a good starting point. "Founded in 2006, is now the largest and most trusted employment website for foreign workers seeking opportunities in United States" (qte from website). Here you can access the "H1B Visa 2018 Report," which shows the top 100 H1B vis sponsors in the U.S. 

You may also the Foreign Labor Certification Data Center to download a complete Microsoft Access database of all companies who have applied for H-1B visas each year and then filter your search by industry or job title if you are open to location. The Missouri State University Libraries also have resources for students to use to research employers.

Build your network of contacts

Approximately 80% of jobs are filled not through job postings, but through networking and informally ("word of mouth").  Most people agree that networking is the key to a successful job search and career. Joining websites like LinkedIn or other professional networking groups and professional associations is helpful when trying to make connections in a company or organization.

Research websites

Other sites that might be useful:

For more specialized assistance in your search, make an appointment to visit with a Career Resources Specialist in the Career Center- 417-836-5636.