The Friedman School Block Career Services Center helps international students with all aspects of career planning, from career exploration, resume, CV, and cover letter writing, to internship and job searching, and more. If you’re planning to search for jobs in the United States, be sure that you understand the requirements for students on F-1 and J-1 visas. Visit the Tufts International Student Center for more information, as changes to these guidelines can occur.
Support for Your Career Development
- Working in the USA – Overview of how students with an F-1 visa can work in the US during graduate school and after graduation (click around the site for a variety of other topics)
- My Visa Jobs Blog – Tips and articles on H1B Visa applications
- Visa Coach – Top 100 H1B US Visa Employers from recent years
- US Department of Homeland Security – Guidelines for F-1 students looking to intern at an international organization
- Foreign Labor Certification Data Center – Search for specific companies and obtain lists of companies that have sponsored H1B visas in the past
Job and Internship Search Listings and Advice
- University of Michigan International Center – Great information on visas, immigration and employment options for those on F-1 and J-1 visas (and others)
- One Day One Job Blog – Job search tips for international students; additional job search tips and articles available here
- iHipo – International job and internship database
- International Careers Consortium (ICC) – Annual conferences in the Boston area for American students considering international careers and international students looking to work in the US or in countries other than their own
Adjusting to a New Culture
- Tips for International Students, University of Michigan Video – Advice for international students transitioning to the US
- International Students and the Job Search, University of Virginia – In addition to visa information, this packet offers helpful strategies for seeking employment in the US and advice for facing common cultural barriers
- iStudentCity – Resources for students studying in the US, with additional tips for life after graduation
Communication Skills Training
- Tufts StAAR Center – Individualized writing assistance for current students
- Tufts International Programs and Partnerships – Summer ESL institutes and individualized programs
- Tufts Editorial Style Guide – Quick tips for correct punctuation
- Purdue University Online Writing Lab – Grammar, usage and cultural considerations for ESL writers
- EnglishClub – Lessons, games and quizzes for ESL learners
- Dictionarist – Online dictionary that provides pronunciation examples
Quick Tips for Applications
Prepare your personal marketing materials
Review Resume, CV, and Cover Letter information for formatting and content guidance specific to U.S. employers. For the resume/CV, you may notice some differences between your country of origin and U.S. standards. For instance:
- In the U.S., resumes do not include personal photo or mention of age, gender, marital status or home country
- In the U.S., the term “CV” refers to a longer document used by researchers and academics
Be aware of what U.S. employers may not knowFor example, a U.S. employer may not know that a certain company is the top biotech firm in India or that your school was one of the top five universities in Japan. Be sure to provide this context in your resume.
Know when to address your visa status
Talk to a Block Career Advisor if you have questions about how or when to address your visa status with employers.
Here are a few tips:
- Don’t mention your status in a resume or cover letter unless you are asked to specify.
- When an interviewer asks if you’re eligible to work in the U.S., you should answer that you can work in the U.S. on Optional Practical Training (OPT) for the duration of your OPT, after which point you would need to be sponsored.
- Do not wait until the second or third interview to discuss sponsorship.
Take advantage of networking resourcesNetworking is important. In particular, talk to other Friedman School international students and international alumni to see how they handled the job search process.
Quick Tips for Interviewing
Prepare and practiceReview our interviewing information and practice answers to sample questions out loud, in the mirror, with friends or family and with a Block Career Advisor.
Enhance your communication skills
- Talk in class; give presentations
- Join conversation groups; participate in clubs
- Take communication and public speaking classes
- Watch American TV, listen to the radio, read newspapers and academic publications
Understand and prepare for cultural differences
Interviewing standards and expectations are different in the U.S. than in other countries.
- Expect that the interview is your chance to sell yourself as you answer their questions.
- Value candidates who can express how they made a difference through their accomplishments or by overcoming obstacles.
- May start with direct questions. Some small talk might be appropriate, but not for very long. Be ready to get down to business pretty quickly.
- Expect that you will research the organization and demonstrate that knowledge during the interview.
Know which questions are illegal for U.S. employers to ask
- How old are you?
- Are you married?
- Are you a US citizen?
- How many children do you have?
- What is your religion?
- Where were you born?
*If these questions do come up, we encourage you to see a Block Career Advisor for help.