Job Hunting Tips and Advice for International Students

International students face hurdles in their job hunt that native U.S. citizens do not encounter.   Keep the following tips in mind as you embark on your job search:

  1. Turn employers' objections into something positive.  Be prepared to inform employers of the advantages of hiring you. For example, the fact that you have lived and studied away from home proves that you are flexible, resourceful, and can adapt to new circumstances.  Be sure to tell employers about the obstacles you overcame while studying abroad and what these challenges have taught you.   Additionally, organizations increasingly need employees who understand other cultures and who can assist them in building international business networks.   You can serve as such a resource to them – be sure to remind them of this (gently) during the hiring process!  
  2. Be flexible.  You may need to expand your job search by considering positions outside your preferred geographic location.  You may also need to look at jobs that may not be your top choice of career; however, (in keeping with visa requirements) they should still relate to your major choice of study.
  3. Be patient and persistent.   While finding a job as an international student is very challenging, it is not impossible.   Start early, stay organized, and allow yourself the time needed to be successful in your search.
  4. Learn how to educate others about the process.   You may find that some employers do not know if they are able to hire you because they are unaware of the process involved in hiring an international student.

The following handout, What Employers Should Know About Hiring International Students may be helpful for you to share with employers.  

Additionally, as an international student, you may find that there are many cultural differences in job hunting.  In order to be successful in your job hunt, it is essential that you educate yourself about common job search practices in the U.S.   The links below can be helpful resources as you start your job hunt.

Style Guide  - Resumes, Cover Letters and Networking Information

  • Resume/Cover Letters – the Career Center is here to assist you as you create your resume and cover letter. 
  • Networking– The majority of jobs are found not in websites, newspapers, or list servs, but by connecting with others (networking).   Who you know can be just as important as what you know when it comes to your job hunt.  For this reason, effective networking is a critical skill to learn.   

Interviews – Learning how to be successful at interviewing is a crucial part of your job search.   Interviewing is a skill that can be practiced and developed.  Review additional information from our Interviewing page.

As a student of Dickinson College, be sure to take advantage of all that the Career Center has to offer.  As an international student we recommend that you make an appointment early on in your academic career.  

Visit the Career Center’s website, and feel free to contact us with any questions at 717-245-1740 or