American job search special topics for int'l students fa2013


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Fall 2013 workshop - American Job Search - Special Topics for International Students
at University at Buffalo, by Holly Justice - UB Career Services

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  • Bring: Job Choices Magazines, my Job Search Handout
  • An opportunity to meet with employers to learn about different jobs and companies, network with employers, find mentors and of course impress the company representatives with you skills and get an internship/job.
  • *Particularly for international students. Employers may be biased and the responsibility of demonstrating skills falls to the candidate.
  • *Recruiters are typical hired by a company to find experienced candidates. The company pays the recruiter for finding the candidate. If a company wants to hire entry-level candidates, they will go directly to the university, they do not need to pay a recruiter extra to find an entry-level candidate.
  • Story about international student who created a list of target companies based on those who might need her language skills. She landed a job!
  • AdviceComplete your profileJoin GroupsBe active in group discussionsSend personalized invitations to connect. Using the generic invitation provided by linkedin is okay but says you aren’t putting much effort into the relationship.
  • Make at least one “call” a day. This means make a contact. You can do this in person, phone call, alumni connection, email, social media…. Etc..
  • Girl whose hobby was skydiving
  • Is there additional post-completion OPT available to students working in the high-tech industry?F-1 students who receive science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees included on the STEM Designated Degree Program List, are employed by employers enrolled in E-Verify, and who have received an initial grant of post-completion OPT related to such a degree, may apply for a 17-month extension.  This extension of the OPT period for STEM degree holders gives U.S. employers two chances to recruit these highly desirable graduates through the H-1B process, as the extension is long enough to allow for H-1B petitions to be filed in two successive fiscal years. What is E-Verify? E-Verify is an Internet based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA) that allows participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees.  An employer's participation in E-Verify is voluntary and is currently free to employers.  If your company wants to participate in E-Verify, see the DHS web site.Who is responsible for the development of the designated list of STEM degrees? The STEM Designated Degree Program List is based on the "Classification of Instructional Programs" developed by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics. What are the eligible STEM degrees? To be eligible for the 17-month OPT extension, a student must have received a degree in one of the following fields: Computer Science Applications, Life Sciences, Actuarial Science, Mathematics, Engineering, Military Technologies, Engineering Technologies, Physical Sciences.
  • R2I – Return to India
  • 2009 Economic crisis impact – glass half full / half empty. The negative side is less employers are willing to sponsor the H1B. The positive side is the employers who are willing to sponsor are guaranteed to get the visa. The lottery system is not necessary because there are so many visa still available. *Resource/StrategySome students have delayed graduation in order to be able to have all their paperwork completed and submitted by the date the application may begin to be accepted. You want to be first in line. The past couple years they have filled and surpassed the quota on the first day applications may be accepted.
  • R2I – Return to India
  • American job search special topics for int'l students fa2013

    1. 1. The American Job Search – Special Topics for International Students Holly M. Justice Engineering Career Counselor 259 Capen Hall
    2. 2. Overview • UB Career Services Office & Resources • Preparing for the Internship / Job Search • Internship / Job Search Strategies & Resources • Challenges International Students Face in Today’s U.S. Job Market • Special issues and resources for International students
    3. 3. Career Services Resources • Individual Career Counseling • Workshops & Seminars • On-Campus Recruiting • Career & Job Fairs • Practice Interviews with Video Camera • Resume & Cover letter critiques • Career Library – (including Walk-in hours) • Career Services Website – Including BullsEye and CareerSearch • Meet-A-Mentor Program
    4. 4. Individual Career Counseling • Resume creation & critique • Cover letter creation & critique • Discuss academic major • Internship & Job search strategies • Preparing for an interview • Strategies for Career Fairs • Post graduation plans – Job Market – Graduate School – Volunteer / Service – Other
    5. 5. Express Career Consult • One on one meeting • 20 minute same day appointment • Monday – Friday 12:00-4:00 • Call 716-645-2231 or walk- in to the office (259 Capen Hall) to make an appt. • Great for resume reviews, cover letter reviews, graduate school preparation, salary questions, etc…
    6. 6. Practice Interview • Practice Interview appointment includes you being video taped while being asked interview questions. • Then you and a career counselor review the video to improve your interview presentation.
    7. 7. Career Fairs
    8. 8. Where is the UB Career Services office located? (Raise your Hand! ) Quiz question!
    9. 9. 259 Capen Hall (Behind Student Response Center) ANSWER
    10. 10. Preparing for the Internship / Job Search
    11. 11. Preparing for the Internship / Job Search • Professional Materials – Resume, Cover letter • Research your industry and employers • Increasing your competiveness in the employment market – Get experience! – Develop your Network of contacts! • Technical Interview Skills
    12. 12. What Employers Have Said They Seek: • Good Communication Skills – Oral and Written!* • EXPERIENCE! (Co-op/Internship, related experience) • Technical Knowledge & Skills • GPA • Evidence of Team Work • Time Management Skills • Problem-solving Skills • Enthusiasm • Flexibility • Being able to apply what you’ve learned • Ethical decision making 12
    13. 13. Internship / Job Search Strategies and Resources
    14. 14. The Internship / Job search may seem very challenging…
    15. 15. Search Strategies • Find Opportunities • Target Companies
    16. 16. Search Strategy 1: Find Opportunities • UB Career Services Website / BullsEye system – Internships posted & On-Campus Interviewing – Additional Specific Job Search Engines – Professional Association websites – Career Fairs • Career Fairs at other universities • Resources listing internships –books & online – Books: Internships by Petersons, Vault Guide to Top Internships –
    17. 17. Search Strategy 1: Find Opportunities continued • Commercial Websites –,, –,,, –,, • Specific sites / companies you know – • What about Recruiters/Headhunters/Staffing Agencies?*
    18. 18. Search Strategy 2:Targeting Companies • Identify companies and create a target list of companies to pursue. –Review their website • if they currently have openings – Apply! • If no current opening - Submit your resume to their database anyway.
    19. 19. Search Strategy 2: Targeting Companies continued* Resources to Identify companies: • Your “professional” network of Faculty, Staff, friends, family, acquaintances… • UB Career Services – Meet-a-Mentor program • UB Career Services – “CareerSearch” tool • UB Libraries – UniWorld databases • For International Candidates – H-1B visa database • Job Choices Magazine (list of companies by occupation) • Professional Associations • Fortune 500 list • Internet – Google,… •
    20. 20. Search Strategy 3: Networking
    21. 21. NETWORKING
    22. 22. NETWORKING • Getting noticed by a potential employer through someone that employer already knows and trusts. • Employers use networking to recruit. • Don’t look for a job, look to meet people who need your help. • Network by “Industry”
    23. 23. Search Strategy 3: Networking • UB Career Services – Meet-a-Mentor program (Bullseye) • Family, friends, friends of friends, etc. • Professors, guest lecturers • Professional Associations • Alumni Association • – University at Buffalo Mentor Program Linkedin group • You already know someone who knows someone who may know about a job opportunity…
    24. 24. 24
    25. 25. NETWORKING How to get started… Take at least one “action” a day.
    26. 26. Getting started… • Establish rapport or commonality – Ex. friend of a friend; alumni from same institution; • Ask to follow up later – Be clear about what you’re asking for – Collect business cards – Leave the ball in your court • Types of follow-up – Meeting in person (most effective) – Speaking via phone (effective) – Email exchanges (effective)
    27. 27. What to say • Prepare a “30-second commercial”, also called the “elevator pitch” • Should contain: – Your name – Educational background – Summary of skills, experience, strengths – Explanation of immediate goals – A question to keep the conversation going.
    28. 28. NETWORKING TIPS & TECHNIQUES • Be specific about your goals • Ask how they got started • Ask if there are any projects/special events coming up that you can help with. • Do class projects that can put you in contact with a potential contact/company. • Combine two seemingly diverse areas of interest in your life*
    29. 29. Think long-term • Does this process seem like a lot of effort? - It can be. • It’s never too early to start • Don’t give up too soon • You’ll improve your networking skills the more you practice them!
    30. 30. Search Strategies • Find Opportunities • Target Companies
    31. 31. Quiz question
    32. 32. ANSWER: After completing one academic year (two semesters) of study at a US institution. QUIZ: WHEN can an international student begin working off campus at their internship using their CPT work authorization?
    33. 33. Challenges International Students Face in Today’s U.S. Job Market
    34. 34. Challenges International Students Face in Today’s U.S. Job Market • Slow economic recovery • Employers’ “fear” of immigration regulations • Insufficient knowledge of US culture and US work-related customs and employer expectations
    35. 35. Slow Economic Recovery • Even though there are signs of improvement, many employers are taking a “wait and see” attitude • Some employers prefer to re-hire laid-off or experienced workers already familiar with work/projects to reduce training costs • Different regions of the US experiencing recovery at different rates
    36. 36. Employers’ “Fear” of Immigration Regulations • The majority of employers have had little or no experience with immigration and other federal regulations affecting internationals in the US workplace • H-1 Visa Status has become highly politicized in the last decade
    37. 37. ☞It is illegal for employers to make interview or hiring decisions based on a person’s national origin, citizenship, age, religion, gender, race or disability (and sometimes sexual orientation.) ☞However, it is legal for a US employer to not interview or consider for hire any person who is not authorized to work indefinitely in the US ☞Some employers may only consider US citizens 37
    38. 38. International Student’s Insufficient Knowledge of US Work-related Customs & Employer Expectations • It is the applicant’s responsibility to acquaint him/herself with what US employers expect! • US employers, for the most part, expect international students to adjust to the corporate culture, as opposed to the corporation adjusting to the new employee’s culture (at least at first)
    39. 39. Special issues and resources for International students
    40. 40. Special Issues • Using Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT) • The “OPT Extension” • Finding companies willing to Sponsor for H-1B Visa • The H-1B Visa “cap” • Employment “Contracts” • Student perspective vs. Employer perspective
    41. 41. Special Issues • Using Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT) – CPT for internships. Must register for academic credit. May only use while in school. – OPT may be used for internships and full time employment. May be used during school and after graduation.
    42. 42. Special Issues • The “OPT Extension” – OPT 12 months + OPT Extension 17 months = 29 months of OPT. What are the eligibility requirements for the 17-month extension of post-completion OPT? • The student must have a bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate degree in a STEM field. • The employer must be enrolled in E-Verify. (A Federal government program.) • The student must apply on time (at least 90 days before the current post-completion OPT expires).
    43. 43. Special Issues • Finding companies willing to Sponsor for H-1B Visa – May not work for the US Federal government or Department of Defense (DoD) Contractors – Companies who have sponsored in the past understand the process and may consider sponsoring again – YOU must be able to explain the sponsorship process to a company who has never sponsored before. • You must understand the visa & paperwork process – When reviewing Job Fairs make note which employers agreed to sponsor
    44. 44. Resources • Finding companies willing to Sponsor for H-1B Visa continued – Review the H-1B visa database from the Department of Labor. (Free) • Find this on the UB Career Services website in the BullsEye system. – (Free and $$$) – ($$$) – ($$$) – – ($$$)
    45. 45. Special Issues • The H-1B Visa “cap”* – There are 65,000 H-1B visas available each year – The past few years their has been twice the number of applicants (~130,000 applicants) • A lottery system is used to determine which applicants are awarded a H-1B work visa
    46. 46. Special Issues • Employment “Contracts” – Employment contracts are legal and appropriate in the United States – *Caution* - have a lawyer review your documents before you sign to clarify and verify your commitments and obligations! • Resource • As a UB student you have access to free legal services through the Student Association • SBI Legal Assistance, 377 Student Union • 716-645-3056 •
    47. 47. Special Issues Int’l Student Perspective (Plan) • “I just want to work in the US for 1-2 years then go home.” • “The US work experience will be very beneficial to my candidacy for a job when I go back home.” • “I’ll just use my OPT and the employer doesn’t have to sponsor me!” • “This will work great for everyone!” Employer Perspective (Plan) • “I want to hire an entry- level candidate and have them stay and grow in my company.” • “The 1st + 2nd year will be lots of training, leadership development and mentorship.” • “The next 3-5 years the employee will be a major contributor and will advance in my company!”
    48. 48. Resources • Tools to help identify companies – – UB Career Services BullsEye system • Career Search tool • UniWorld databases
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    50. 50. Career Services Website
    51. 51.
    52. 52. Using the BullsEye System in the Career Services website
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    63. 63. Contact Career Services • Contact us: – 259 Capen Hall 8:30am – 5:00pm M-F – Call 716-645-2231 to schedule an appointment – Email us at • Website resources – • Individualized appointments • Walk-in Hours for Quick Questions – Walk-in Hours M-F 11:00am-4:00pm
    64. 64. Thank you for your time. Holly M. Justice Engineering Career Counselor Career Services 259 Capen Hall