In today’s competitive job market, successful candidates must be able to clearly state what types of work they are qualified for and how their skills, abilities and accomplishments will be of value to potential employers. The first step in any career strategy is to assess your skills, interests, values, and personality preferences. This information will help you identify and explore viable career options. The CSC and USF’s Gleeson Library have a variety of resources available to help you research career options and clarify your focus.
•Attend Drop-in Career Counseling at Career Services Center, UC 5th Floor. Meet here with a career counselor to clarify your goals, learn job search strategies, and develop an action plan for your individual interests. Call 415-422-6216 to schedule an appointment.
•Define your skills, interests, values, and personality preferences.
•Identify which jobs you are qualified for.
International students can find a U.S. job
search to be a highly challenging experience. In addition to the legal
limitations on their eligibility to work in the U.S., they must adjust to
cultural and language differences, as well as being removed from their natural
network of family, friends, previous employers and co-workers.
students/alumni who have successfully secured work experience in the U.S. have
used a variety of the following strategies to obtain their goal:
Gain valuable experience prior to
graduation by participating in:
are on-the-job learning experiences in work settings, which are directly
related to your personal interests, career goals and major field of
study. An internship is typically a structured and supervised field-based
experience where you learn about the demands and needs of a particular
profession and/or industry. Internships are often paid and can be taken for
university credit with the approval of the academic department. Since
internships provide on-the-job-training, employers do not expect applicants to
have much, if any, related work experience. Students apply for internships as
they would for a job, competing with other students in the selection process.
The CSC maintains listings of current internships in a wide range of industries
in its resource library.
Volunteer Work: Since
all volunteer work is unpaid, international students can perform volunteer work without depleting their practical training time allocation. Most employers
are enthusiastic about students who are motivated to volunteer time to learn.
Unlike paid employment, it may not be necessary to look for a position opening.
It is possible that an employer will accept your direct request to volunteer.
the U.S., 80% or more of all jobs are never advertised. How do you tap into
this hidden job market? One way is to tell everyone you know that you are
looking for a job. Even the most unlikely person may be able to help you with a
lead or referral to someone else. It is important to be specific about the type
of job you are seeking, and the kinds of organizations you will consider. You
can begin your networking with USF professors, classmates, alumni and members
of professional associations related to your field of interest. Visit the CSC
for a list of USF alumni who are willing to be career resource contacts.
Attend related events: International Alumni
Panel (Fall semester; see CSC calendar online)
CSC to ask about potential job-related contacts
Informational Interviewing: Informational
interviewing is a way to meet with professionals in order to obtain more
information about your field of interest. This is not a job interview; it is an
opportunity to learn first-hand about the pros and cons of a particular field
or employer, and to gather information, advice and referrals to other
professionals. See the CSC handout on Informational Interviewing for strategies
Career Fair: The
Career Services Center sponsors an annual Career & Internship Fair in the
Spring semester. The event usually attracts over 60 Bay Area employers
who are interested in meeting USF students and providing information about
opportunities at their companies.
5. Be Persistent and Creative - Consider unusual job search techniques!
Tips from a 2001 undergraduate International
Business alumnus who recently obtained H-1b visa sponsorship:
made a network; I went to networking events; I went to chambers of commerce for
different regions/countries; I spent 12-14 hours per day marketing myself. I
tailored my resume for each position I applied to--usually spending 2-3 hours
each time I made changes. Go everywhere, put yourself out there. You must
believe in yourself, be truthful, have integrity, know your own weaknesses and
strengths and be willing to explain them, go into interviews with confidence,
be clear about what you want.”
With perseverance and hard work in job
hunting, this alum was
offered a position with an international printing broker who agreed to sponsor
him--less than two weeks before his F-1 Optional Practical Training visa ran