Get Updates

Working in the US as International Students

4 Min Read
November 03, 2022

By: Kenneth Sutedjo

Working in the US is not as daunting as it seems! In the US, many international students feel a sudden dread toward their intended graduation date, because of the fear that they won't be able to find a job following graduation and are not ready to return to their home country. Understanding some of the challenges and working with some key tips and tricks will definitely make it easier. 

Understand visa regulations

With long-term employment playing a role in the consideration of employing new interns or full-time staff for a company, employers need to consider more things when looking at international students. For one, misunderstandings regarding visa status are extremely common, either from the students' side or the employers' side. These mishaps are minor, but can damage a professional relationship and hurt the chances of working in the US. 

Working in the US for a long term

Another reason is the long-term employability of international students. Since technically these students are not US citizens, they will require a visa sponsor (which is usually a company) to act as a guarantor for that particular student to earn a permanent resident status. Oftentimes this process is lengthy, costly, and very unexpected, as employers only have a 30 minute window within the interview to decide whether or not a candidate is worth all of that. Above all, an employer is also concerned with the longevity of a candidate. They will need to ask whether the student is planning on staying long-term, or may think of leaving after 6 months to a different company after receiving permanent resident status. 

Language and cultural barriers

Lastly, there is also a concern over language and culture barriers. Despite putting on a good show in the interview and demonstrating strong language skills through a resume, employers may still have doubts on hiring international students because of cultural barriers. Having to acclimate to a new environment both in the US and in an individual company may be too overwhelming for some international students, and may cause inefficiency in work, management issues, and culture clashes. As such, employers consider this carefully as well when making the decision on who to hire. 

Tips and strategies

With all that being said, there is never a sure chance for international students to get rejected out of the blue. Since you miss 100% of all the shots you don't take, it never hurts to give it a go. Here are a few tips and strategies to get started on the US job hunt.

1. Research the situation

Before walking in or even scheduling an interview with a company, it is always good to do some background research on the employers, and yourself. Glance over and take note of the company's values, vision and mission, and what they are looking for in a potential candidate. Then, introspect yourself and figure out your personal values, strengths, and how you can contribute to the company. This will help immensely in the application process and get you set up for success in the interview. 

2. Network 

More than two-thirds of jobs in the US originate from connections in the industry. It is extremely important to build relationships with employers, professors, and alumni in university to create a large professional network. Often it is easy to get to know professors through things like office hours, and networking events are usually set up to introduce alumni to current students. Whatever the occasion, be sure to network as often as possible, and it may end up being the reason for landing that next job. 

3. Be persistent

Last but not least, be persistent. The first 10 jobs you apply for may not even land you a rejection letter, and that is totally fine! As an international student looking for work in the US, it is imperative to be persistent and stay on the bright side of things. Being rejected means you now know which aspects of the job application to continue to work on, and get better for the next job application. 


Prepare for your career now with help from ALL-In Eduspace! 

What we can do for you:

  1. Maximize your university entrance prep with Admission Mentoring.
  2. Explore your interests and dive into different industries on Career Exploration.
  3. Improve grades and knowledge through Academic Tutoring.
  4. Upscale your personal brand on Writing Skills improvement program.

Let's #TakeOnYourFuture with ALL-in Eduspace! Remember, #itsALLintheprep!