US Employer Expectations
Job searching in the US can be different from other countries and US employers may have different expectations of you as a job seeker. Recognizing these expectations can help you to better communicate your skills to a potential employer.
Job searching in the US can be different from other countries and US employers may have expectations of you as a job seeker. These expectations may include more self-promotion about your skills and accomplishments with employers, including taking more initiative and following up after you meet a representative.
Employers will also expect you to be direct when communicating. For example, you will need to show appropriate non-verbal behavior, including eye contact with the employer. Also, be sure to have open and direct responses to their questions.
Oftentimes in an interview, you can provide more self-disclosure of personal experiences such as hobbies, strengths and weaknesses. Feel free to interject some personality into your answers, including discussing your leadership style and problem solving abilities.
Interviews can often be informal, with employers encouraging openness and some joking during an exchange of information. In this situation, you can be jovial, but be sure to always also maintain a level of professionalism.
Employers expect applicants to demonstrate career self-awareness by describing their personal career goals and how they relate to the potential job. They also look for you to have a sense of individual responsibility for your own job search.
Lastly, individual equality is important in the US. Legally, factors like race, gender and age cannot be considered in the interview process.
Adapted from: "International Students and the Job Search." Goodman, A.P., J.A. Hartt, M.K. Pennington and K.P. Terrell Journal of Career Planning & Employment, Summer 1988.
International Student Job Search Strategy
Your job search will be slightly different as an international student. Here are some tips to find career opportunities.
- US Companies doing business in your home country
- US Chamber of Commerce branch in your home city
- International corporations
- Organizations with an international focus
- Companies hiring or previously have hired international students
- UF JOBS for student employment opportunities
- Gator CareerLink for employers recruiting UF students
- Bank of America
- Bayser Consulting
- BCI Financial
- BioRegenerative Sciences
- BioVoyage Institute, Inc.
- Bryan Research & Engineering, Inc.
- CSX Transportation
- Ernst and Young
- Extron Electronic
- General Electric
- Levin Financial Group
- Market Edge Consulting, Inc.
- Micro Strategy
- National Instruments
- Northwestern Mutual
- Perry Ellis
- Raymond James
- Research in Motion
Look for the following:
Sample Companies Recruiting UF International Students:
This list is not exhaustive of all employers hiring. Also, this list may not be reflective of the many areas within each organization.
American Resumes & CVs
In many countries, resumes and CVs are the same. In the US, a non-academic job search usually requires a resume. A resume is a short (1-2 page) document that highlights your education and work experience.
CVs are typically used for academic and research positions. A CV can be longer and more detailed (as many pages as necessary).
With resumes or CVs, be sure to include the most relevant information first. Be sure to leave out visa status, photographs or personal information like birthday, marital status, number of children, race, gender, health or religion.
Adapt your resume to a particular job or position. Expound on the experiences you have had that directly to the position.
Stop by the CRC for examples of resumes & cover letters or click over to our Resumes & Cover Letters section.
When to Reveal Your Work Status
Make sure you are honest about your work eligibility. You can wait for employers to bring up the subject, but if they do not, be sure to mention it by the end of a situation like an interview. Many employers can have reservations about hiring international students. Do your research and understand how much time or money is required, and what you are willing to contribute. This helps the employer and can increase your chances of getter sponsored.
Realize that being an international student is an asset to an employer! You have multi-lingual abilities, experience of living in other cultures (companies want global perspective), adaptable to different situations, have a strong work ethic, you are motivated and you are often willing to relocate anywhere in the US.
Attending Career Fairs
Our Career Fairs provide you with a big opportunity to learn about a wide-variety of careers in one location.
- Prior to attending, research attending organizations and note the citizenship requirements.
- Practice selling your strengths, accomplishments, experiences and skills. Be prepared to talk about the H-1B visa application.
- Attend workshops at the CRC workshops to help you prepare for your career fair and job search experiences. Our international student-specific workshops (fall & spring semester) help you prepare for many facets of your job search. Topics include immigration status, work visas, marketing yourself, CV / resume writing and interviewing techniques.
- Log in to Gator CareerLink above and click on Events > Workshops for a list of upcoming workshops.
Being from another country and not knowing what to expect in an interview can be overwhelming.
- A job interview is your opportunity to show the employer that you are the best fit for the position and can work will within the organization/company. In an interview, employers will evaluate your language skills, abilities and experiences listed on your resume.
- Gain familiarity with the company/organization and the position for which you are applying. Company or organizational Web sites have a lot of information that will help you do your research.
- Employers want to know why you are the best choice for the job. Be able to answer the question: what distinguishes you from other applicants? Become familiar with the company/organization and the position for which you are applying.
- Body language is also important during an interview. Typically when you arrive, shake hands with everyone in the room and introduce yourself. Sit comfortably and confidently. Make eye contact when answering questions, but do not stare.
- Have questions prepared to ask the employer at the end of an interview. The interview is your opportunity to find out things that you could not find through research, but do not bring up salary. Questions concerning company culture, a typical day and other related questions are appropriate to ask.
- When the interview concludes, shake hands again with everyone in the room and thank them for their time and be sure to get their business cards. Follow up with a thank you note to all interviewers.
The International Center can help you understand all the necessary visa requirements. The US has strict employment rules, and they have the latest information.
The Reading & Writing Center is for current UF students wishing to improve their writing skills. Writing communications are an essential part of the job search and the Reading & Writing Center can assist in editing application materials.
Multicultural & Diversity Affairs is your campus resource for cultural programs, community activities, building cultural awareness, leadership opportunities and social justice. Getting involved in the UF community is a great way to begin networking and getting connected with other UF students.
Graduate Minority Programs spearheads the UF Graduate School's contribution to campus diversity. They provide graduate students in underrepresented demographic groups with material aid and mentoring to help in their successful pursuit of a graduate school education.