International Students & Job Seekers

First, if you plan to seek CPT through the University of Dallas, read this: 

The Office of Personal Career Development directs several requirements determining UD student eligibility for CPT. Students have ample time to complete these requirements before the minimum waiting period expires, so exceptions to these requirements will not be approved. 

Event: Attend at least one career event hosted by the OPCD 
  • Must be sponsored (hosted) by the OPCD
  • Will include employers as integral to the programming at the event
  • Scheduled during the fall and spring semesters only (plan accordingly)
  • Students should register for events, arrive on time, check in with OPCD staff, and stay for the entire event (or if a job fair, a minimum of 45 minutes)
 
Workshop: Participate in the UD CPT workshop. 
  • Only three are scheduled each year (June, September, February - plan accordingly) 
  •  Attendance at the entire event is required (late arrivals, early departures not accepted)
  • No "make up sessions" are offered. 
  • Students should register for the event

Resume: After attending the workshop, submission of resume for approval is required  The email request and attached resume must adhere to standards outlined in the materials provided in the workshop. 

Please email Amy Young if you still have questions after carefully reviewing the information above and available at the Immigration Services for Students and Scholars page

As an international student studying in the U.S. you are in good company...

Did you know that nearly 975,000 international students enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities in 2016? Many international students at the University of Dallas want to work and live in the U.S. beyond graduation. The following information is intended to help you understand, and thereby overcome, some of the obstacles associated with seeking employment in the United States.  Below, you will find an overview of the job market, where to apply, resumes, interviewing, and links to resources. Unfamiliarity and discomfort in the job search process will put you at a disadvantage when competing for jobs. 

The student bears the responsibility drive his or her own job search, secure a position, and to comply with all immigration regulations and policies at the University of Dallas which apply to F-1 students, including employment regulations. Working without the proper authorization is a serious violation of a student's F-1 status. The University of Dallas has resources for students as they engage in this process. After reviewing the information on this page and meeting with a member of the International Student Office. Students are encouraged to schedule an appointment with a Career Services staff member.

Understanding the U.S. job market & hiring complexities:

The U.S. job market is highly competitive with almost 3 million students graduating annually and looking to start a new career related to their bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees. As an international student who seeks employment in the U.S., you have to find a suitable position and an employer who is willing to spend the extra time and money sponsoring your visa. 

To realistically compete with U.S. citizens, you need to be able to prove that you have skill sets they do not have. Companies need to be clear on the extra value you add over and above the value a U.S. citizen can add for them to even contemplate the visa process. 

Hiring an international candidate requires employers to go through the following process:

  • Petitioning the government for an H1-B
  • Obtaining approval from the Labor Department
  • Hiring a lawyer absorbing some fees

The state of the job market impacts the willingness and ability of employers to sponsor international students. The number of H1 B Visas is capped each year.  The 2016 fiscal year quotas were as follows:

  • Regular H1B Quota : 65,000
  • H1B Masters Degree Quota ( only US Degrees) : 20,000
  • Out of the above, a total of 6,800 is usually set aside for Singapore and Chile citizens as part of the free trade agreement between them.

According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, these are some of the guidelines employers must follow if they seek to sponsor an international candidate:

  • Aliens with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics
  • Aliens who, because of their exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business, will substantially benefit the national economy, cultural, or educational interests or welfare of the United States
  • Aliens who are capable of performing skilled labor (requiring at least 2 years of training or experience) or unskilled labor for which qualified workers are not available in the U.S.

Before you begin your job search: 

University of Dallas Immigration Services for Students and Scholars

The first step in the job search for international students is to ensure you have employment permission. The more you know, the easier it will be to persuade a prospective employer to hire you for a period of “practical training.” Visit the Immigration Services for Students and Scholars office site for more information. 

Tips for international students: 

  • Plan ahead: As an international student you face certain challenges and restrictions regarding the U.S. job search. We suggest that you begin your search early - at least a year in advance of your graduation date.
  • Know the rules & regulations: Understand the visa process, deadlines, costs, length of process, and which companies hire international students and graduates.
  • Communicate clearly: Communication skills are very important. Use every possible opportunity to strengthen your command of spoken and written English. Your resume, cover letters, and LinkedIn accounts should all reflect error-free, compelling content that is consistent with a U.S. format. Check and respond to email daily.
  • Use your resources wisely: Attend on-campus events (job fairs, lectures, recruiting events), join off & on campus professional organizations, and meet with essential staff to build relationships and understand the process. 
  • Understand your strengths: Know your unique assets and academic training, and focus on employers that have a strong need for all of those strengths.
  • Network: Networking is even more important for the international student than for a U.S. citizen. By networking we simply mean systematically making personal, written, or telephone contacts with relatives, friends, and alumni in the United States and back home who may be able to help you in the search. Each person whom you contact becomes a participant in your search. Fellow students from abroad who have gained some experience with the U.S. job market may be able to help you with your search for a position.
  • Seek the right companies: In your research and networking efforts, concentrate on employers that have connections (offices, subsidiaries, marketing teams, sales forces) to your country of origin. These companies may have an interest in you working for them in this country, or to return to your home country after initial training in the United States. In addition to the resources on campus, contact your embassy.  Often, foreign embassies maintain lists of contacts for employment. Contact them!

Find opportunities (resources & job boards): 

The best employment prospects for international students may be with international companies. International students are great assets to global organizations desiring language skills, respect for diversity, and/or knowledge of overseas economies. International students should also seek out organizations that have historically sponsored H1-B Visas. 

MyVisaJobs - Information portal and online community for visa job hunters around the world. Major services include annual and quarterly reports for H1B Visa and Green Card, sponsor profiles, resources for job seekers (including a resume service).

H1Base - Online, interactive database that allows international students to directly connect with the top 550 H1B sponsor companies. Includes an immigration kit that provides links to key forms, information, and free access to immigration attorneys. Includes a networking kit that provides links to job search engines and job sites specifically designed for international students. 

Immihelp.com - Job seekers can use the immihelp searchable database to seek out employers who have historically sponsored H1-B Visa candidates.

For International Jobs and Internships (not limited to the U.S.), check out iHipo.

University of Dallas students and alumni are invited to register to receive mobile job alerts via text or email and to use all posted job search resources

Resume guidelines:

U.S. Resume

All job seekers need a pristine resume which delivers a good summary of professional contributions, achievements, and competencies. Concise, well-crafted communication is key in writing a good resume. Review our page on resumes and cover letters for more information. One of the best online resources for resume writing is the Purdue Owl Writing Lab Resume Workshop

  • The U.S. resume is a concise, attractive marketing tool. It summarizes your jobs, skills, accomplishments and relevant academic background.
  • Cover Letters, resumes and emails must adhere to strict grammatical rules. U.S. employers expect excellent communication skills and usually disregard applicants who have made written errors in language and grammar
  • The length of the resume is limited to 1-2 pages maximum.
  • Age, marital status, race, and religion are not included in the resume.
  • A photograph of the job seeker is not included.

International Resume (not used when applying in the U.S.)

  • Chronologically details academic and formal work experience
  • Sometimes exceeds two or more pages in length.
  • May include age, marital status, race, and/or religion.
  • Often includes a photograph of the job seeker.

Resume Tips for International Students

Provide a frame of reference (quantifiable results) to help American employers understand your experience in foreign companies and schools. Here are some examples:

  • A $10 million marketing firm.
  • One of the top five universities in China.
  • Second largest technology manufacturer in Europe.

Emphasize strong English skills on your resume. For example: "Translated written and spoken English on a daily basis for two years."

  • Check to be sure that your resume is free from grammatical and spelling errors as well as any awkward use of language.
  • Meet with a career counselor for a resume critique to achieve the best possible display of your skills and background.
  • Maintain an up-to-date copy of your resume in the format and language of your native country. This will serve as a back-up for employment options in your home country.

Interviewing skills:

See the OPCD Job Interview Preparation page for sample questions, dress codes, and more. 

  • Research the company and position extensively prior to the interview. Make note of recent, newsworthy information.
  • Be punctual. Arrive 5 - 10 minutes prior to your appointment.
  • Maintain good eye contact.
  • Be prepared for varying styles. Some interviewers may begin with direct questions or minimal small talk. He or she may do most of the talking or may expect the candidate to do most of the talking.
  • Prepare for direct questions regarding your training, competency and experience. Your open discussion of accomplishments and skills shows confidence.
  • Specify clear self-knowledge, career goals, and long-term plans.
  • When asked, discuss professional strengths, weaknesses (providing examples of overcoming the weakness), personality, leadership style, problem-solving abilities.
  • Prepare and ask two or three questions about the position and organization.  Do not ask about salary or benefits. 
  • Ask (at the end of the interview) where they are in the interview process. You might ask “When can I expect to hear from you? May I call you to follow up?”
  • Send a thank-you email (error free) after the interview.
  • NOTE: Questions regarding age, race, sex, and marital status are illegal in the U.S
  • Enhance your communication skills by attending career services workshops and panel events.
  • Study commonly asked interview questions; write answers to those questions; practice your responses in front of a mirror as well as with friends.
  • Schedule a mock interview with a career counselor to receive feedback on interview skills, telephone interviews, on-campus and firm interviews.

Frequently asked questions:

Should I list my visa status on my resume?

Your visa status should not be included on your resume. Your permanent address, educational background and work history will display that you are an international student. Hiring managers will ask the appropriate questions during the recruitment process. You should never lie about your visa status, but given the reservations employers have about hiring an international student, it is not to your advantage to draw attention to it.

Aren’t there some illegal questions?

An employer MAY NOT ask:

  • What is your visa type, nationality, place of birth? or, Of which country are you a citizen?
  • What is your native language? or, What language do you most often speak?

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? (provided that foreign language skills are job related)

When in the hiring process do I reveal that I’m an international student?

This is a very sensitive question which needs to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. While some employers adhere to strict policies against hiring foreign nationals, others may prefer to hire U.S. citizens, but can be otherwise convinced. Therefore, it should be your goal to get passed the initial screening measures to the interview. On the other hand, you should probably broach the subject before the employer has spent a significant amount of time and money trying to recruit you. It is usually 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.

If a company says they don’t hire international students, should I even apply?

Sure - unless the job description specifically states that international candidates may not apply. A lot of times when employers say they don’t hire international students it means that they haven’t hired any international students, yet. You may be the first! In order to convince these prospective employers, it is your responsibility to educate them about the process of hiring a foreign national. Be mindful that they still may not hire you, and this can become frustrating. It is recommended that you first target organizations with a history of hiring employees on a work visa.

What can I do to make myself a more attractive candidate?

  • Have your resume and cover letters reviewed by Career Services, an employer or alumni
  • Become thoroughly familiar with immigration regulations and benefits attached to your visa status
  • Research the employers and the positions in which you are interested
  • Participate in a mock interview
  • Practice speaking confidently about your skills, interests and career goals
  • Improve your English skills by speaking up in class, conversing with your advisor, or any other opportunities to speak. Likewise, fine tune your written English. 

PRIOR TO ACCEPTING ANY EMPLOYMENT IN THE USA, THE STUDENT IS URGED TO CONSULT WITH A UNIVERSITY OF DALLAS DESIGNATED SCHOOL OFFICIAL WHILE ENROLLED.

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