Lots of international students looking for H-1B visa sponsors waste lots of time doing the wrong things in their U.S. job search. Here are 8 common mistakes international students make in their US job search.
You expect to be “found”
With hundreds of thousands of resumes circulating on the web, you’re chances of being found are tiny (particularly if you need a visa). You need to find a way to stand out from the crowd (see #2).
You put all of your efforts into resumes and cover letters
While resumes and cover letters may still play a role in today’s job search, there are better (and less time consuming) ways of getting noticed. Building a network of people with ties to your chosen field and conducting informational interviews are far more effective ways of finding H-1B visa sponsors in today’s job market.
You approach human resources for a job
In general, human resources are the ones enforcing company policies against sponsoring H-1B visas. They are also overwhelmed with all of the applications being sent in from job seeking candidates. Find a manager – the true decision maker in the hiring process – and introduce yourself. See some of my other blog articles on how to do this.
“Do you guys sponsor visas?”
When looking for a job, never lead a conversation with “costs” instead of “value”. Your need for a visa is your problem, not the company’s. Instead of focusing on a company’s costs in hiring you, talk about the value you will bring to them that will more than offset their initial hiring expenses.
You assume managers understand what H-1b visas are and how they work
Many hiring managers are not familiar with the visa process. Your knowledge of H-1b visa requirements can remove any imagined barriers and help streamline the hiring process. To keep up with the latest information, visit the US Citizenship and Immigration Services site.
You believe that companies sponsor visas because they want to be fair
Companies will become H-1B visa sponsors because they need to to get the best candidates for the positions they need to fill. Your job is to show them that you are one of those candidates.
You ask for a job in an informational interview
Informational interviews should be just that – conversations to learn more about a company or a professional occupation, and to potentially increase your network of professional contacts. It is not the setting to ask for a job. Doing so could jeopardize the good will of your contact. See my other blog articles on more on this topic.
You put all of your faith into career services
Although career services departments can provide valuable resources for finding a job, your job search should be your own. Only you can create the network of professional contacts so crucial to navigating today’s employment market. Only you can truly relate your value to a potential employer.
As you move through your U.S. job search, ask yourself constantly if you are doing these things. Good luck!