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International Students and the Job Search, Part II

Use your international background to your advantage:

Don’t try to hide the fact that you are an international student; you should be proud of your background! Most international students have been exposed to different cultures and systems. The fact that you are an international student can be a huge advantage, as it shows that you are flexible, adaptable, and independent just by virtue of coming to the US to study. Are you fluent in multiple languages? These are all qualities that are sought after by employers. Highlight your unique background! It will make you stand out from the crowd.

Target companies that have locations in your home country:

Be strategic during your search by focusing on employers that have ties to your home country. Those companies may take an interest in developing your talents in the US and continuing your employment in your home country. 

Attend ECS events geared towards international students:

What better way to find out tips for your own job search then to hear them first-hand from your peers? Engineering Career Services offers panels and workshops featuring international students who have been successful in their internship and job search each semester. Not only will you hear great advice from the panelists, but you have the opportunity to ask questions!

Work on becoming marketable:

Why should an employer hire you? What makes you different from other candidates? You must find a way to stand out in the stack of resumes and make yourself attractive to employers. This tip holds true for both domestic and international students.

According to the results of the “Job Outlook 2014” survey conducted by NACE, employers value candidates with core, soft skills in addition to GPA. As you can see from the chart below, teamwork, problem solving, and organization skills scored as the top three qualities that employers seek in a candidate.

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and starting on the first one.”
-Mark Twain

About the author

Kaitlin Schafer

Kaitlin Schafer is a Career Counselor at Engineering Career Services.