International Students - Job & Internship Search Strategies

A successful job or internship search involves using a combination of several strategies. First, review the strategies and resources applicable to all students for Jobs and Internships. Below are tips specifically for international students:

  1. Expand Your Network and Make it Work for You
    Networking is one of the most effective ways people find out about positions and get hired. Review networking resources and tips for international students.
  2. Refine Your Communication and Interpersonal Skills
    Strong English language skills, non-verbal communication skills and interpersonal skills are all crucial for international students who wish to work and succeed in the US, and right now is the best time to polish those skills. Improve your English skills by getting involved in and around Berkeley and using English language resources.
  3. Research International Employee Friendly Employers
    Be intentional about your job or internship search by researching which companies have hired international candidates in the past.
  4. US Style Application Documents: Resume & Cover Letter
    Make sure you know how to write a US style resume and cover letter and seek feedback from native speakers of English and Career Counselors at the Career Center.
  5. Become Confident with Interviewing
    Review the Interviewing for a US employer page to explore Career Center resources on interviewing and specific tips for international students.
  6. Review these international student-specific job search resources
  7. Have a Plan B
    Expand your pool of opportunities by applying for positions in the US and in your home country (or perhaps a third country too). Explore where your education and experiences are in demand and be open to options you previously hadn’t considered! Check out the Overseas Job and Internship Search Resources page and International Careers section.
  8. Understand Your Off-Campus Work Authorization and Employment Visa Options - it is essential for international students to understand when and how they can start working off campus. Students need to be able to articulate their student visa work authorization options and their employment visa options to employers, as not all U.S. employers are experienced in hiring international candidates. If you have detailed questions on student visa work authorization options, please consult with a Berkeley International Office (BIO) advisor during drop-in advising hours.
  9. Get Involved
    It will be difficult to get a job or internship through strong grades alone. US employers value students with extracurricular activities, related hands-on experience, and leadership experience. See what transferable skills employers look for in candidates and the various ways you can get involved in and around Berkeley.
  10. Review the US Jobs and Internships for International Students (PDF - 2 pages). This excerpt from the Career Center Job & Internship Guide (JIG) includes job search strategies, advice about US resumes and interviewing, permits and visas, the long distance job search, and more. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Revealing your international student status to US employers:

There is no 1 right or perfect time for international students to reveal their immigration status to US employers. Different students approach this topic differently: some prefer to reveal their status at the beginning of an interaction, while others wait until the interview phase.

What is important is that international students 1) respond honestly about their immigration status and work authorization eligibility when asked and 2) ensure the topic is discussed before the interview process ends so that employers have this information when making their hiring decision.


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