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Advice for International Students Seeking Employment

ECS held its first international student panel on Monday, November 4, 2013. Over 70 students and staff attended to learn about successful internship and job search stories from students representing several different countries, majors, and industries within engineering.

Panelists were asked to give job search advice to international students in the audience. All panelists shared the same message – job searching takes time, effort, and persistence. It’s not unusual to for a job seeker to apply for a handful of positions and not hear anything! Maximize your chances of securing industry experience by taking advantage of the panelists’ advice in the following areas:

Resume Quality

Your resume is what opens the door to a job interview! Think quality over quantity. Applying to 50 jobs will not increase your chances of securing an interview if your resume content or format is poor. Be sure to tailor your resume to the specific opportunity at hand. Highlight your strengths on your resume. Word your resume so that it aligns with the qualifications or requirements section of the job description.

Information Sessions

Applying for jobs online may not be enough. Connect with recruiters face-to-face by attending information sessions on campus. Use these opportunities to build relationships with employers. This is a great time for you to show you’re interest in available positions and explain why you are a good fit for the company. Select the “Events” tab in your CareerEngine account to find out what companies are scheduled for information sessions each semester.

Transferable Skills

Transferable skills are the skills that a person develops by performing a job or task that can be applied in other situations. Think about how your hobbies and campus involvement relate to the position at hand. Have you gained leadership experience through serving as a student organization president? Do you hold an on-campus job? Managing time, working with customers, and handling money are all tasks that you may perform in a future position. Communicate how these skills can be useful in an environment that is similar to the position in which you are applying.

If you would like to hear more from the panelists regarding this topic, check out the video here!

"One important key to success is self-confidence.  An important key to self-confidence is preparation."
-Arthur Ashe

About the author

Kaitlin Schafer

Kaitlin Schafer is a Career Counselor at Engineering Career Services.