Job Market & Workplace Challenges
Career Planning Tools and Strategies
International students can offer employers a wide range of skills and abilities, including a US education, knowledge of business practices in another country, and multiple language skills.
Start the process early. It takes perseverance and motivation for international students to find employers who are interested in your skills and attributes regardless of your visa status.
Be aware that some US companies do not sponsor or hire international students or individuals who are not US citizens. Looking for a job is not easy for any student. For you, the international student, the job search process can be more difficult because of employment limitations and restrictions for international students. Additional information about the employment process and related topics can be found through Career Services and on the Internet. It is important when researching internship and full time opportunities to obtain information on each employer’s policy regarding international hires.
Tips and Advice
Utilize the Career Services Office and take advantage of the resources, tools, information, services and activities they offer. Participate in Internships and Field-Based Programs to gain experience and network. Conduct Informational Interviews. Reach out to personal and academic contacts. Meet with a Career Counselor for help with your career planning and career exploration needs. Meet with a Career Counselor for help with your Résumé Writing, Interview Prep and Job Search Strategies. Attend Career Workshops for practical training in Job Search Strategies, Interview Prep, Résumé Writing, and Grad School Prep. Attend Career Events, including Career Fairs, Grad School Expos, and Information Sessions.
Get advice from other international students who have successfully found internships and employment in this country. Learn more about Employment Authorization and obtain up-to-date information on how to apply for CPT and OPT. Learn more about F-1 International Student Employment Authorization. Visit an International Student Advisor if you plan on pursing work opportunities in the US to review employment authorization procedures.
If you're an international student in search of a U.S. internship, you need to realistically assess your qualifications for working in America. Keep in mind that in most cases you will be competing with U.S. students for internship positions. Companies need to know what is unique about your background and why they should hire you instead of your U.S. counterpart.
A visa or work permit is required, unless you're lucky enough to have dual citizenship. Fluency in English and strong written English skills are generally a must. A clearly defined area of study and related previous work experience will help show your commitment to the job and potential as a long-term employee. Your native language may also be a valuable asset if a company has dealings with your home country.
Strong communications skills are key. You can help the employer make an informed hiring decision if you: Provide a well-prepared resume that includes desirable skills and relevant employment experiences. Clearly convey your interests and ability to do the job in an interview. Understand English when spoken to you and can effectively express your thoughts in English.
It’s important to be able to positively promote yourself and talk with confidence about your education, relevant skills and related experiences. Self-promotion is rarely easy for anyone. But, it can be especially difficult for individuals from cultures where talking about yourself in an assertive manner is considered inappropriate. When interviewing in the United States, however, you are expected to be able to explain your credentials and why you are suitable for the position.
Be sensitive to the interviewer’s verbal and nonverbal cues. Some international students may not realize when their accent is causing them to be misunderstood. Interviewers are sometimes too embarrassed or impatient to ask for clarification, so be on the lookout for nonverbal clues, such as follow-up questions that don’t match your responses or sudden disinterest on the part of the interviewer. Also, make sure you express proper nonverbal communication; always look directly at the employer in order to portray confidence and honesty. If your English language skills need some work, get involved with campus and community activities. These events will allow you to practice speaking English. The more you use the language, the more proficient you will become.
Hiring International Students
for International Practical Training
Council on International Cultural Exchange
US Dept of Labor Empl & Training Admin Foreign Labor Data Certification Center
Gay & Lesbian Students
Out in the Workplace
We all grow up imagining the exciting careers we will have as adults. We find our interests, focusing on our happiness and paths to success. Often, our career choices require us to work for a certain company and sometimes we end up there out of necessity.
We become so focused on our careers and making a living that we often don't anticipate discrimination towards gays in the workplace. We are suddenly faced with the difficult decision of coming out at work or revealing our sexual orientation to co-workers. We ponder over many questions: Should I come out? How will I be treated by my peers? Will I get passed up for a promotion because I am gay? Does my partner qualify for my benefits? Is there a gay organization at work?
LGBT Friendly Companies
Choosing the right company to work for is a good start in finding an affirming and inclusive environment. Conduct good research about prospective companies. LGBT-friendly companies typically have a written non-discrimination policy covering sexual orientation in their employee handbook or manual. LGBT-friendly companies typically have a written non-discrimination policy covering gender identity and/or expression in their employee handbook or manual. LGBT-friendly companies typically offer health insurance coverage to employees' same-sex domestic partners. LGBT-friendly companies typically support a gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employee resource group; or would support employees' forming a LGBT employee resource group if some expressed interest by providing space and other resources; or have a firm-wide diversity council or working group whose mission specifically includes LGBT diversity. LGBT-friendly companies typically offer diversity training that includes sexual orientation and/or gender identity and expression in the workplace. LGBT-friendly companies typically engage in respectful and appropriate marketing to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community and/or provide support through their corporate foundation or otherwise to LGBT or HIV/AIDS-related organizations or events. And LGBT-friendly companies typically do not engage in corporate action that would undermine the goal of equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
State of the Workplace
While corporate America has demonstrated leadership in providing fair and equal treatment for LGBT employees, there is still significant work that is yet to be done.
Despite overwhelming public support for employment non-discrimination for LGBT employees (87% in a recent Gallup poll), there is still no federal law mandating the basic standard of non-discrimination on the basis of either sexual orientation or gender identity and expression. In the absence of national, legal protections for LGBT employees, LGBT employees are forced to rely on an incomplete patchwork of state and local laws for protection from workplace discrimination. Workers in 34 states could be fired because of their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression at any time.
By enacting non-discrimination policies that explicitly protect LGBT employees on the job, some companies have attempted to fill the void left by this legislative inaction. An increasing number of companies have realized that providing equal benefits and protections for LGBT employees in the workplace is not only a sound business practice, but a requirement to recruit and retain the best employees possible.
Smart businesses also recognize LGBT consumers’ $600 billion in buying power and their high degree of brand loyalty to companies that treat their LGBT employees equally. In today’s business environment, diversity is considered a competitive advantage. Put simply, employer policies that are LGBT-inclusive are a smart business practice.
LGBT Issues in the Job Market & Workplace
Human Rights Campaign
National Gay & Lesbian Task Force
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates
Pro Gay Jobs
Out For Work
BSC CAREER SERVICES
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