One of the most common and greatest frustrations experienced by many international students occurs when they begin looking for off-campus internships and jobs. Despite excellent grades and even good mastery of subject matter, most international students who look for jobs in the U.S. find that something is missing.
That something is finely honed cross-cultural communication skills and a good understanding of American employers and the job hunting process in the U.S. For international students who wish to stay in the U.S. and work after graduation, the road is often tough, frustrating, and discouraging. The student faces legal (immigration) barriers as well as a lack of familiarity with the unwritten rules of the game.
Unfortunately, many career advising centers at U.S. universities have neither the cross-cultural skills nor sufficient staffing to assist international students with finding jobs in the U.S. They also cite American employers’ reluctance to sponsor non-immigrants for an H-1B (or work) visa due to restrictive American immigration and employment laws. Often the career counseling office does its best to help, but many students find that it isn’t enough to help them overcome the cultural and legal barriers they face.
Thus, international students who wishes to succeed in the increasingly competitive U.S. job market need to plan their strategy from the moment they arrive at their U.S. campus, or even beforehand. The earlier a student know that he or she wishes to work in the U.S. upon graduation (for at least for a few years or perhaps even permanently), the greater his or her chances of eventual success.
At Fuja, we work closely with international university students to coach them on how to start building a professional network immediately upon arrival in the U.S., how to conduct “informational interviews” (a key strategy to finding jobs in the “hidden job market”), how to write an American style resume that clearly and succinctly conveys their talents and experiences, and how to win a job offer in the interview with an American employer.