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Resume and Interview Tips for International Students
Resumes – US Style
- Personal information such as full name and contact information (cellphone and address)
- Links to personal website, blog or LinkedIn profile (optional)
- Education (highest degree first)
- Relevant coursework (optional)
- Relevant experiences in additional to formal internships or jobs:
- Research experiences, course/independent projects, student leadership, volunteering, skills (such as language or certifications)
Does not include:
- Personal information such as:
- Age, gender, marital status, race/ethnicity, house country.
- Immigration status
- English as a language skill
- International permanent address
- Grammatical or spelling errors
- TOEFL or SAT scores
- Arrive at least 10-15 minutes prior to interview time.
- Treat everyone with respect regardless of their title or level in company.
- Be mindful of your non-verbal communication.
- Give a firm handshake to show confidence, maintain good eye contact, respect personal space, dress professionally and appropriately for your career field.
- Be confident and enthusiastic in marketing your qualifications for the position.
- Self-promotion may not be natural for some international students, but the US culture is a highly individualistic and direct culture where clearly expressing that you are the best candidate for the position is crucial.
- Interviewing is a two way street.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions to determine if this is the right role for you.
- US employers expect you to ask questions that show you have done research on the company
- Ask employers questions.
- Emphasize the advantages of being an international student:
- For bilingual international students, your language skills and cross-cultural communication skills can be an assets especially as more companies are increasing their global presence.
- Studying abroad takes initiative, resourcefulness, and persistence, ability to interact with diverse individuals and adaptability to new environments – all skills employers’ value and look for in candidates.
- In the US, it is illegal for employers to ask questions on immigration status, age, nationality, or marital status.
- Understand you work authorization options:
- Although it is illegal for employers to ask about your immigration status, they are able to ask if you have work authorization in the US and if you will need visa sponsorship now or in the future.
- It is important to be able to articulate your work authorization options to the employer since not all employers may be familiar with them. You want to facilitate the hiring process for the employer so be prepared to explain it to them and clarify the employer’s role in the process.
- If you have specific questions about your work authorization options, you should meet with an advisor in the International Office.
- Practice your English and interview skills.