International Student Resources

International students who plan to conduct a job search in the U.S. must take additional steps to be successful. In the present economy, opportunities for international students are limited, but there are specific steps you can take to conduct an effective job search.

How to Prepare for a U.S. Job Search

U.S. Federal Immigration Policies

Educate yourself on immigration regulations and work visas. If you are on an F-1 visa, you may be able to use OPT or an H-1B work visa for full-time work. If you are interested in internships, you should be aware of CPT policies and procedures. The International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) office provides more information on these topics.

Hiring International Students

Identify companies that hire international students, and target these companies. The U.S. Department of Labor maintains statistics on employers who have petitioned for H-1B visas in the past. The Career Center also keeps a list of companies that have sponsored international students from Illinois.

Reach out to Alumni

Reach out to international and domestic alumni for career advice specific to your needs and skill set, and information about opportunities with their companies. Check out your network on LinkedIn to get started.


Actively build your personal and professional networks. In the present economy, many employers are not able to hire international students for U.S.-based positions but may be able to connect you with opportunities outside of the U.S.

Look for Opportunities

Pursue job shadow, leadership program, and unpaid opportunities that may lead to an internship.

Highlight past experiences

Leverage your background and previous professional experience as those are your greatest assets.

Think Internationally

Conduct your search for both U.S.-based and overseas positions simultaneously, so you don’t miss application deadlines.


Schedule an appointment with ECS to do a mock interview so you are prepared and confident to meet with a prospective employer.