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UIC International Student Career Resource Guide
The Global Job Search
Guidance for International Students
International students seeking employment often face challenges. However, there are ways to offer your international background as a benefit to companies.
The Office of International Services provides specific services to help international students:
- Counseling and advisement on immigration rules and regulations
- Transition support and programming to students for life at UIC and in the U.S.
- Advising/Workshops on employment options for F-1/J-1 visa holding students
Be aware of the challenges, but focus on the opportunities!
- Visas – Visas may limit the time or type of work. Without full knowledge, the assumed visa restrictions may prevent an employer from considering an international student hire.
- Communication Barriers – Whether perceived or real, potential barriers to communication (written, verbal) may turn away an employer.
- Perceived Lack of Commitment – Companies may be unsure of an international student’s plans – whether to remain in the states or return home – thus perceiving them as unable to invest long-term in the organization.
- Job Protection – Some U.S. citizens are concerned that international students will fill limited employment positions in the current economy.
- Geographic Flexibility – The ability to live and work in multiple locations can be of specific benefit to a company with an international presence.
- Global Perspective – Having an understanding of the impact of globalism on current markets is an added advantage. With this global perspective, you may be more knowledgeable of global implications.
- Linguistic Diversity – Knowing more than one language proficiently means that you can hold multiple roles in multiple locations, of particular benefit to multinational companies.
- Adaptability – The ability to adapt and adjust to a new culture demonstrates the ability to be flexible and handle change effectively – a great asset to any employer.
- Cultural Awareness – Those who have lived outside of their home country tend to be more culturally aware, sensitive, appreciative of diversity, and flexible in new environments –interpersonal skills which are extremely valuable in a team setting.
Dos and Don’ts
DO speak confidently about your accomplishments and communicate well.
DO find a conversation partner to help improve your communication skills.
DO educate employers about visa options.
DO relate your experience & goals to the job.
DO highlight ways in which you are a unique benefit to a company.
DO network, network, network!
DO target your job search differently
DON’T assume the employer knows about your restrictions as well as options.
DON’T assume employers understand the unique advantage your international perspective brings to the table – be your own self-advocate!
For more information, read How to Create an Effective Job Search Strategy for International Students
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