Let’s start with the truth: It takes a lot of hard work to find a good job with satisfactory pay after college graduation in the U.S.
But pay attention; we didn’t say it’s too “difficult” or “impossible.”
You can do it—yes, you just need to put in the work by arming yourself with proper knowledge and advice. All you need to do to land a good-paying job after college in the U.S. include the following:
- Plan ahead of graduation.
- Understand the rules and regulations surrounding visas.
- Leverage the access and resources at your disposal.
- Pay attention to timing.
- Build networks and connections.
- Get yourself an outstanding resume.
- Hunt for companies that hire international students.
Let’s discuss the above points further if you are in for the ride.
Top 7 Tips on How International Students Can Get a Job After College
1. Plan ahead of graduation.
For many people, it is only a few days to graduation that they’ll begin to hunt for jobs everywhere, thinking that life is a bed of roses. You should do better.
Once it is a year before your college graduation, start searching for jobs. You can also look for internship opportunities with organizations that often sponsor work visas for international students. We’ll also recommend talking to the advisors at the career center in your college. They usually have good experience helping international students land jobs after graduation.
2. Understand the rules and regulations surrounding visas.
You may know everything about processing student visas, but believe it or not, getting a work visa is a different ball game.
Do your research, ask questions, and learn about the rules and regulations surrounding work visas. Understanding the visa deadlines, costs, and possibilities will help you plan efficiently and choose the suitable job opportunities that favor you. Remember that government sources are the best for getting information about rules, regulations, and requirements for U.S. work visas.
3. Leverage the access and resources at your disposal.
Do you realize that being in college gives you access to the Career Development Center and International Students Office at your school? That’s a significant advantage; use it wisely.
The career services in your school will have a wealth of experience helping international students get jobs. Leverage their expertise by talking to the career coaches and sharing your goals or situation. Don’t also leave out your senior colleagues and school alumni who have managed to secure a job or are now settled permanently in the U.S. Talk to all of them and attend career fairs.
4. Pay attention to timing.
If you don’t know already, you only get 60 days after graduation to land a job, register in an Optional Practical Training (OPT), or enroll in a new college program. If you don’t secure these options, prepare to say goodbye to the U.S. after the 60 days elapse.
So, time matters a lot to goal-getters. Start planning early and enroll in the OPT program because it’ll fast-track your employment after graduation. Another great thing about the OPT program is that it allows your F-1 visa status to be extended by one year while you are training, working, or serving as an intern.
Meanwhile, you can also look for companies that sponsor non-immigrant H-1B visas for international students after graduation. The benefit of the visa is that it gives you three years to work with the company supporting it.
5. Build networks and connections.
Solid connections and a good network is one sure way to quickly land a job as a college graduate or a permanent U.S. resident. Don’t underestimate how far a simple recommendation can go in landing you that dream job.
Maximize your time in college to build a good network with the school alumni and relevant college communities. Become good friends with your college professors, school officials, parents of your colleagues, and even Mr. John – the elevator engineer. One of them might be the solid referral you need to land a new role after graduation.
You should also participate in the Curricular Practical Training (CPT) internships, which give temporary work authorization to international students on F-1 non-immigrant visas in the United States. The CPT will enable you to take up internship roles while your degree program in college is ongoing. While on the internship, remember to build good relationships and network there.
6. Get yourself an outstanding resume.
Even if you are the best resume writer in Africa or your home country, seek professional help when you are in the U.S.
Don’t assume you know it all and can write the perfect resume for U.S. jobs by yourself. The last thing you want to experience is being rejected several times for having a bad resume.
Our team at PTMA has helped many international students draft the perfect Resume + Cover Letter, and LinkedIn profile that landed them a dream job. You can be next.
Click this link now and pick a plan that matches your needs. Remember, an outstanding resume can win you favor with any hiring manager.
7. Hunt for companies that hire international students.
Every company in the U.S. operates differently. Some are more open to fresh graduates, while others only look for chains of experience.
Keep an eye on the companies with a track record of employing fresh graduates, especially international students. Applying to such companies will likely yield better results, and you may find an alumnus of your school who works there.
Make use of these websites in your job hunting.
If you seek simplicity in the maze of the work-study process, stick to all that we’ve discussed above because they are the best tips on how international students can get a job after college in the U.S.
We have done our part by giving you solid tips and information; the rest is left to you now. Take time to reread this article and follow the advice there. Our suggestions might look simple on the surface, but if you put them into practice, you will be amazed by the results you achieve.