- USC China Career Services
- Preparing for the Job Search
- Part-Time Jobs and Internships
- Full-Time Jobs
- Visa Information
- Campus Resources
Transitioning to the U.S. and job-hunting as an international student can be difficult, especially when understanding the differences in cultural and employment norms across cultures. Foreign-born.com provides online services to individuals entering and living in the U.S. and can help as you get ready to study at USC.
Below are some additional resources to help you in your job search.
Interstride is an interactive career platform designed by international students to enhance the career exploration and job-search experience for international students. The web and mobile-based application provides students a one-stop-shop for all career-related resources from strengthening your professional profile to navigating the visa process, searching for jobs, and building professional networks. Sign-up to the platform using your USC email to take charge of your career and make your job search process more efficient and engaging.
USC China Career Services
USC China Career Services, part of the USC Career Center and Office for Strategic and Global Initiatives, is located in Shanghai, China and provides best-in-class career services to USC students and alumni. USC holds deep and longstanding partnerships throughout China, which foster strong connections to highly-regarded employers. USC China Career Services is recognized for its quality and commitment by Lockin China, Global University China Career Union, and American Universities’ China Association (AUCA).
Preparing for the Job Search
Career Development Process
In the United States, finding a job or internship opportunity is a more involved process than submitting a resume for a desired position. Rather, the career development process has four distinct phases, each with a specific purpose, and can help guide you in choosing a career that aligns with your individual values, interests, personality, and skills. Explore careers related to your major.
In addition to related technical or functional experience and knowledge, employers look for communication, leadership, and interpersonal skills acquired in a variety of settings. These can be developed through involvement in student organizations, enrolling in courses with group projects, volunteer experiences, or developing friendships with students of different backgrounds.
Networking is connecting with peers, faculty, staff, and professionals to have career conversations around topics of mutual interest. Networking is a great way to gather insight about a particular career path or organization’s work culture, and not about asking for a job or internship. Learn how to network.
Resumes and Cover Letters
Often, the first step in applying for internships or jobs is to submit a resume. The purpose of a resume is to give employers an idea of your qualifications for a position based on your educational background and experience, which may lead to an interview. Learn more about resumes and cover letters that are appropriate to use in the U.S.
Sharing personal information (i.e. birthday, marital status, or attaching a headshot) is not necessary unless relevant to the position. This helps protect candidates from discrimination as prohibited by federal laws, and fraud.
If you are selected to interview for a job or internship, congratulations! It means you are a qualified candidate. During the interview, you will be expected to verbally communicate your interest in the position, qualifications, explain related examples of your work, and show your personality.
- How you present yourself is very important when engaging with employers. Make direct eye contact and offer a firm handshake as these can demonstrate respect and confidence. Additionally, always be friendly and courteous to everyone you meet, and remember to smile! You want to make a strong, positive first impression.
- Punctuality is extremely valued in the U.S., especially during an interview. Arrive at the interview location ten to fifteen minutes prior to your scheduled interview to avoid being late.
- Be prepared to discuss why you are interested in your chosen career field. It is important to convey passion, interest, and goals that are specific to your desires. It is common for friends and family to influence your career decision, but remember to keep it specific to yourself.
- Emphasize positive aspects of your international background. Certain employers are seeking to expand their reach to global, overseas markets. Your cultural background may be an asset to these employers.
- Review common interview questions and practice your answers out loud. Avoid sounding rehearsed, but prepare your examples and discussion points ahead of time.
- Utilize Big Interview, our online mock interview platform, to record yourself responding to prerecorded prompts and questions to get an idea of how you appear on camera in an interview setting.
Employers are expected to maintain a discrimination-free environment.
Learn more about interviewing. For more information about interviews specific to the U.S., visit the United States of America country guide on GoinGlobal. Obtain access through the “Resources” tab in connectSC.
Part-Time Jobs and Internships
For on-campus positions, access our online database of jobs and internships on connectSC. Under the “Jobs and Internships” section click on the “See All Jobs” button and filter by “On-Campus Non-work-study” under Position Type for departments that hire students. International students are not eligible for work-study positions on campus, as these positions are funded only for US citizens and permanent residents by the US government. Find out more about campus departments that may be hiring. For more information about on-campus employment as an F-1 visa student, please click here. For information about on-campus employment as a J-1 visa student, please click here.
Internships offer the opportunity to develop job-related skills and experiences that will help you be more competitive for full-time positions in the future. Many employers will post internship opportunities 1-2 semesters in advance, so it is important to start researching opportunities early. Access connectSC to find internship opportunities. Under “Jobs and Internships” and “See All Jobs,” select “More Filters” and go to “Work Authorization.” Select “Yes, now or in the future may need visa sponsorship” as employers seek candidates to convert to full-time hires and may not offer visa sponsorship.
Paid off-campus internship opportunities are an option for F-1 visa students during their degree program. These must occur after one academic year and require work authorization through Curricular Practical Training (CPT). On-campus positions do not require work authorization.
Make an appointment to see an advisor at the Office of International Services (OIS). Bring your offer letter and proof of enrollment in an internship course to process your CPT. Visit the OIS website for detailed requirements and instructions.
Get general advice on job searching in the U.S. It is important to understand the necessary work authorizations needed for international students to work in the United States. For F-1 visa students, Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a type of work authorization that permits you to gain work experience in your field of study typically after your academic program ends. For more information, please visit the OIS website for detailed requirements and instructions.
Allow adequate time in your job search as securing a full-time job can start as early as two semesters prior to graduation. In addition to applying to jobs online, there are several resources you can take advantage of to help you throughout your job search:
- AmCham China, or the American Chamber of Commerce in the People’s Republic of China (AmCham China), has developed an online job search platform to facilitate the connections between Chinese employers and Chinese students studying in the U.S. After creating your personalized AmCham China account, you can research Chinese employers and search for open positions through their new Jobs Market platform. The easy-to-use platform connects you directly with the largest companies in the world such as Pfizer, IBM, HNA, and John Deere.
- Career Forum is a website with information about internationally recognized job fairs for Japanese-English bilinguals. This website also allows members to search for global job opportunities, apply to companies, and schedule interviews.
- Contact TAIWAN is a website to engage overseas Chinese individuals to work in Taiwan. Contact TAIWAN actively links professionals to support the growth of Taiwan industries, and offers talent friendly service and information.
- GoinGlobal is an online database with domestic and international job listings, job search resources, and more. Access the specialized “Remote Jobs” feature on the Job and Internship search pages to help capture results that are specific to remote, telework, and virtual opportunities. Additionally, view the H-1B section for a list of employers that have sponsored visas by each state and major metropolitan areas. Obtain access through the “Resources” tab in connectSC.
- Global University China Career Union (GUCCU) provides Chinese students studying overseas with the tools and resources needed to prepare for the Chinese job market after graduation. GUCCU offers comprehensive assistance through every step of the job search process. From monthly online classes designed to educate students on how to prepare application materials to posting over 55,000 job openings from over 15,000 companies specifically targeting Chinese students who have pursued degrees abroad, GUCCU is an effective resource for students looking to be competitive in the Chinese job market.
- Interstride is an interactive career platform designed by international students, for international students, to enhance their career exploration and job-search experience.
- Uniworld’s exclusive international business database provides information about companies’ headquarters, subsidiaries, and branches of multinational companies in over 200 countries and across 20,000 industries. Use this database to build and export lists of businesses and possible subsidiaries operating in the U.S. and abroad. This can help you find opportunities at companies overseas that you are eligible for, especially in your home countries, with the potential to be transferred to a U.S. branch or subsidiary at a later time. Obtain access through the “Resources” tab in connectSC under “Uniworld.”
- The H-1B section on GoinGlobal has a list of employers that have previously sponsored visas. Obtain access through the “Resources” tab in connectSC.
- CareerShift contains current job listings for employers sponsoring H-1B candidates. Obtain access through the “Resources” tab in connectSC.
- MyVisaJobs.com contains visa reports and a list of top 100 employers that sponsor H-1B visas.
- The U.S. Citizens and Immigration Services (USCIS)’s H-1B Employer Data Hub provides information on employers petitioning for H-1B workers. The data hub is part of USCIS’s continued effort to increase transparency in employment-based visa programs by allowing you to search for H-1B petitioners by fiscal year (back to FY 2009), NAICS code, employer name, city, state, or ZIP code. This gives you the ability to calculate approval and denial rates and to review which employers are using the H-1B program. Data for individual fiscal years is available to download on the H-1B Employer Data Hub Files page. To help you use the data hub and understand the terminology in it, USCIC has also created the Understanding Our H-1B Employer Data Hub page.
International Students Career Fair – Held once a year, in collaboration with HG Plus and other USC partners, this event connects international students with overseas opportunities as well as visa-sponsoring organizations in search of their valuable foreign language skills and unique global perspectives. Read a first-hand description of the fair from a fellow student.
American Language Institute – Offers classes and conversation groups to improve English language skills.
Office of International Services (OIS) – Provides international students with advising services and support to assist in achieving their academic, personal, and professional goals. Offers students information on the types of employment available to them during their time as a USC student.
Counseling Services – Offers mental health services for students through a variety of programs and services, including a weekly International Tea Time. The Student Health line is 213-740-9355 (WELL).
School-Based Career Services – Covers a range of programs and services, often highlighting specific industries. To access each school’s programs and services, it is required that you have a major within that particular school. We encourage you to utilize resources at both the USC Career Center and your school-based career services office.
Office of Pre-Health Advisement – Serves all students and alumni pursuing a career in the health professions.
Pre-Graduate School Advising – Offers all students and alumni support in applying to graduate schools through workshops and individual appointments.
- Consider reviewing Education USA and the Institute for International Education for additional resources regarding continuing education in the U.S.
Student Organizations at USC – Provides opportunities to interact and engage in shared interests regarding careers, community, politics, religions, and more.
USC Writing Center – Offers individual and small-group workshops to assist all students with improving their writing skills.