Preparing for a U.S. Job Search

  • Student Working on a Laptop

Understanding Work Authorization

Understanding Work Authorization

Before searching for an internship or a job, whether it is paid or unpaid, on or off campus, it’s important to understand immigration requirements and university policies regarding your visa type.

For F-1 Students

  • Off Campus Employment:
    • Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
      CPT is work authorization which allows a student to work in a job directly related to the student‘s major area of study before degree completion. CPT authorization is provided by ISSS and can be granted within 7 business days of application submission.
       
    • Optional Practical Training (OPT)
      OPT is work authorization which allows a student to work in a job directly related to the student‘s major area of study either before or after degree completion. OPT authorization is provided by USCIS and is usually granted within 2-3 months after the student submits an application.
       
  • On Campus Employment

For J-1 Students

H-1B Visa Info

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Look for Internships & Jobs In the US

How to Look for Internships & Jobs In the US

Job and Internship Search Sites

Gain Experience

Check with your career center for major and industry specific job posting sites

International Student Friendly Companies

Use these resources to research companies in the United States that are international student friendly.

  • Myvisajobs.com
    • Myvisajobs.com is an “employment website for foreign workers seeking opportunities in the United States.” Here are some tips for navigating this tool:
      • Just because an organization listed on this site has sponsored H-1B visas, that does not necessarily mean they will hire international students and/or recent graduates.
      • Check the job title and salary range for clues on whether the position is for entry level, mid-level, or experienced professionals.
      • When searching for visa sponsors, you can check the “Cap Exempt” box to see employers that are exempt from the H-1B cap.
         
  • Uniworld
    • Use this database to research companies based outside of the United States (such as your home country) that have branches in the U.S.

Prepare for Job Search in the U.S.

Prepare for Job Search in the U.S.

Informational Interview
An informational interview is a casual conversation with someone working in a position that you are interested in, and it can help you learn about a job, a career path, a company, or an industry. It’s a common practice in the U.S.

But if you have never done this before, it could be intimidating, even for domestic students. Here are some great tips to get you started!

Connect with International Alumni
One of the first steps of informational interview is finding the person you want to speak to. UMN alumni are happy to help, especially our international alumni! Talking to international UMN alumni can help you discover opportunities and strategies you may not have thought of before. 

Prepare for Career Fair Events
International Student Career Fair Prep

Interviewing

Skills for Success

Visit Your Career Office

Preparing for Career Fairs

Succeeding at the Career Fair