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For International Students

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The Importance of Planning Ahead

International students desiring to work in the U.S. typically face an additional layer of complexity and difficulty.  While international students are permitted to work in the US according to specific regulations,  many employers are not willing to incur the time and expense of sponsoring an H-1 visa.  In addition, as a foreign national you are not permitted to work for the U.S. federal government, most state and local governments, or for private contractors working for the U.S. government.  If you would like to work in the U.S., it is essential that you plan ahead to maximize your chances of success!

TOC:

Understand immigrations regulations and requirements affecting your employment status

The Office of International Students & Scholars has the expertise to help you fully understand the immigrations regulations and work permissions that will affect your job search.  Because regulations are constantly changing, make sure you check in with OISS frequently so that you are making decisions based on current information.  

Improve your written and spoken English

In employer surveys, communication is often reported as one of the top skills valued by employers.  Unless you are bilingual in English, or come from an English-speaking country, enhancing your English skills will be a valuable investment in your job search.  The English Language Program at the Yale Center for Language Study, the Office for International Students and Scholars, and the Center for Teaching and Learning work together to provide a wide range of services and support for students and postdocs looking to improve their written and spoken English. Get started by checking out these resources:

Learn about cultural differences

In the course of your job search, you will be interacting directly with prospective U.S. employers in many ways:  through written communications such as your cover letter, resume and emails; interviews; and more informal conversations over meals and at events such as job fairs.  In the U.S., an employer will expect the following behaviors in a promising candidate:

  • Direct eye contact, even with a very senior person
  • Confident demeanor that is polite but not overly deferential
  • The ability to speak about your skills, background and abilities in a self-assured (but not boastful) way
  • Taking the initiative in conversations and interviews to ask questions or provide information before being asked to do so

These behaviors may require a directness and openness that may feel quite uncomfortable to you, and may seem disrespectful. You may feel that talking about yourself and your accomplishments feels like boasting.  The more you can familiarize yourself with business culture in the U.S., the more natural these behaviors will seem.

Focus your job search

As an international candidate, you will have the greatest success in positions where your particular skill set is in high demand or difficult to find, and by establishing a broad network of connections in your industries. Networking with people who can make hiring decisions is especially important for international job-seekers. Use the following resources:

  • Learn more about how to become an effective networker here.
  • Network with Yale World Fellows to learn more about companies, industries and work environments all around the world.
  • Use GoinGlobal or myvisajobs.com to research companies or organizations that have sponsored H-1 visas in the past, look at job postings abroad, review resume formats in different countries, and more.

Resources for a job search outside of the U.S.

Interested in exploring opportunities abroad?  Get started with these resources that can help you research organizations and view job postings.

FAQ:  Online Resources for Job Searches Outside of the U.S.