Undergraduate Job Search Strategies & Tools

Identity Based Job Search Resources

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Tips for Finding an Inclusive Workplace

Reach out to your network:

Talk to family, friends, advisors, career coaches, community leaders, and/or instructors and ask if
they know any professionals who share your identity or identities with whom you could speak to get
their perspective about working for organizations in which you have an interest.

Research the organization:

Check organizations’ websites, linkedin.com, glassdoor.com, and the company’s social media to see if the organization includes the following items:
• A statement and or resources related to diversity and inclusion
• Non-discrimination policies and procedures that support diversity
• LGBTQ-friendly benefits like trans inclusive health insurance and LGBTQ friendly parental leave
• Affinity or resource groups for different populations
• Gender-neutral bathrooms
• Trainings around diversity and inclusion for employees
• Disability resources

Ask questions in the interview to help you assess fit, such as:

• How would you describe the culture at this organization? In this department?
• What kind of affinity groups, if any, does this organization have?
• What kind of training and professional development is provided or encouraged in this
organization? In this department?
• What values does this department have and how do you see these values being upheld?

LGBTQ+ Job Boards, Networking Groups & Researching Organizations

Job Boards & Networking Groups:

OUT for Work: Internship and job board – their programs, resources and services provide assistance to students in the cultivation and enhancement of skills to explore career options, master search techniques and research opportunities

TJobBank: Employment site designed to bring inclusive employers together with transgender candidates

LGBT Career Link: Out and Equal Workplace Advocate’s job search and employment networking website

Pinkjobs: LGBT, gay friendly jobs and candidates

Open Madison: Out Professional Engagement Network

OutBuro: LinkedIn’s largest LGBTQ+ employees and employer networking group on Linkedin.

Researching Organizations:

Human Rights Campaign Best Places to Work

NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers):  List of links to career resources for LGBTQ folks

Students of Color Job Boards, Networking Groups & Researching Organizations

Job Boards & Networking Groups:

INSIGHT Into Diversity: One of the most recognized resources for equal opportunity employers who are seeking to add diverse, qualified candidates to their workforce. Job postings include positions in academia, business, healthcare, and the government.

The Blackworld Career Center: Provides employment resources for professionals and entrepreneurs for African Americans and members of other ethnic groups.  Published jointly by Blackworld and CareerMosaic.

Black Career Network: A Black Professional Networking Community

Hispanic/Latinx Professional Associations

iHispano: Job board sponsored by the Professional Diversity Network.

National Association of Asian American Professionals

National Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans

Native American Jobs: Created by an Assiniboine Sioux Tribal Member from Montana as an answer to frustrations of trying to find a job as a Native American.

Native Hire

Researching Organizations:

DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity

Veteran Job Boards & Researching Organizations

Job Boards:

RecruitMilitary.com: Full service military to civilian recruiting firm.  Veteran owned and operated with over 140K jobs.

Transition Assistance Online: Comprehensive career website for job searching, career tools, finding military-friendly companies,  job fairs and transition guidance for veterans.

Researching Organizations:

Military Times Best for Vets Companies

Navigating Recruitment as an International Student

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Recording of the Virtual Event & Related Resources

FAQs about Networking - answered by Kwan Segal (ICAway Career Coach)

Where can I find more information on job and internship opportunities?

I invited former international students, leaders and educators to sit with me and discuss different aspects of job searching as an international student. You can learn more from our podcast https://www.icaway.com/podcast 

How do I network?

Let’s start with something simple – the right mindset for networking. The right mindset is to build meaningful connections when you want to network with someone. A meaningful connection is more than just meeting people and exchanging business cards. The goal of building meaningful connections is to connect more deeply with business professionals by forming relationships in which both the business professional and the international student feel compelled to help each other achieve their goals. Next time you see someone with a great career profile, let’s use a strategy to engage that person as your potential mentor. Here’s my blog about How To Maintain Relationships With Potential Mentors.

How do I network with people in the industry as a student and in specific firms I want to intern/work at?

When networking, there are a few steps that you need to know: know where to find your target professionals, know how to break the ice and connect, know how to maintain and engage, and know how to ask for referrals. If you ask about how to find those professionals, you can start by using your alumni network who’s working in those companies. Once you find them, use all the steps I mentioned above. To connect and maintain and ask for referrals, please go back to the above questions as the approaches are the same. 

What are some examples of networking or small talking with people? 

Start a conversation with “How are you today?” as a way to say hello! And then, you can simply talk about the weather especially during the transition of the seasons e.g. It is below 30 degrees here in Chicago today. I’m going to miss the summer! Where are you located?  

How do I find connections or expand my network? 

Start with your first circle: your professors, academic advisors, career services, ISSS and ask them who else you should connect with if you want to get into ABC fields. Make sure you have a polished LinkedIn profile and start networking on LinkedIn and join professional affiliations. Here’s my blog about Building Your New Network in the U.S. is Not That Hard

How can I use professors or people at the university to network?

Great thinking! Ask them for a one-on-one casual meeting outside the office hour. Let them know that you admire their professional background and knowledge and want to learn more from them. 

 How do I get referrals from networking? 

First, please make sure that you know your goals and have the right career branding for your target job before asking professionals to refer you. After you have built trust and engagement with people in your dream companies, and have built the right career branding for your target job, please STAY ALERT: Keep an eye on company news, e.g. business expansions, merger & acquisition, new product launch, system change, re-organization, market competitions, and job openings. And when you want to ask for referrals, reach back to your connections and discuss opportunities with your connection openly and ask for their advice e.g. “what would be your recommendation if I’d like to be considered as a candidate for this position”?

What other information should you ask people you’re connecting with besides the ones mentioned in the presentation?

It depends on the person you’re speaking with, the event you’re attending, etc. Remember that networking is all about the person you’re talking to.

What is the best way to position and sell yourself to employers given that they have to invest more resources in hiring you over a PR or citizen?

You need to be extra good to be chosen over other domestic candidates. How can you be extra good? You need to have your GOALS and game plan in mind. What industry do you want to get into? Why? Evaluate what kind of skills you can bring to the table. Do lots of research and prepare your pitch. Focus on tapping into a hidden job market by networking. Networking doesn’t mean you connect with people to ask for jobs. It means you connect with people to learn from them, to find a space that you can help them with. If you dream to join top tech firms in the future, today you need to find a stepping stone to build compelling stories. Top tech firms care more about your past experience than a degree. Find small to mid-sized companies and set up meetings with their leadership team. The earlier you start the better.

FAQs about Recruitment Logistics - answered by Kwan Segal (ICAway Career Coach)

When applying for positions, if the employer asks “do you need or will you require sponsorship for this position” what should an international student answer?

Yes! Even when it’s just a summer internship not a full time job. Many employers can still come up with reasons why they don’t want to hire you because you need work authorization in the future. To tick that box, it depends on how comfortable you are with the answer and the fact. Please remember to only spend 10% of your time on the traditional job application process and 90% on networking. 

Is it better to use my university email (@wisc.edu) or my personal email on LinkedIn?

Your email address is part of your personal brand. So for job searching, it is great to have your UW-Madison as part your brand 🙂 But also make sure that you’ll be able to manage multiple emails.

Is there a list of companies that sponsor each year?

No, there is not a list of companies that sponsor visas as the list would be constantly changing. There are resources to help find employers though. One resource is GoinGlobal thru Handshake. This tool will show you employers that have sponsored in the past. 

What is the future outlook for international students in the United States? 

Great question! We will find out in November 🙂 Around 50% percent of the world’s top 50 universities are located in the U.S. You get highly accredited professors, advanced technology and research capabilities and opportunities to connect with smartest people in the world in this country. Therefore, choosing to study in the US is a good choice. Whatever happens in November, please remember you are a human capital that the Global job market looks for. You can take knowledge and skills you earned here to anywhere in the world! 

FAQs about Immigration Law as of 10/17/20 - answered by Art Serratelli (Immigration Lawyer)

What is the career future outlook of an international student in the states?

If you do not rely ONLY on the H-1B Lottery, and you have a few work visa options, then you will not feel “trapped” like the H-1B makes you feel trapped; no longer will you think, “I must WIN the H-1B Lottery or my entire future is ruined.”

Instead, you will say, “Oh, well, the H-1B lottery did not work out — I better focus harder on the: 

  • H-1B employers exempt from the “Cap” and therefore exempt from the “Lottery”
  • Maybe the L-1 Visa
  • Maybe the E-2 Visa if the E-Visa Country list offers you unique opportunities
  • Maybe the G-Visa
  • Maybe the R-1 Visa
  • Maybe the A-visa, etc .  .  .

Here is an example of a visa situation:  I am a science communication major but interested in finding jobs in the fashion and creative industry. I want to apply for opening at modeling agency because if an agency decides to sign you as a model, some can assist with O-1 artist visa. But I don’t know how exactly this could work?

  • The O-1B (Arts) Work Visa is for Models with “Extra-Ordinary Ability” — if you have been on the Cover of Vogue, or GQ, or Glamour, then this is for you! Melanie Trump (the rumor has it) got the Extraordinary Ability GREEN CARD (EB-1) after working on an H-1B.
  • O-1B (Arts) Requirements: If your employer will agree to “sponsor you” for the O-1B (Arts), and you meet the requirements, THEN you can get the O-1B application filed.
  • H-1B For Fashion Models: There is an H-1B Category for FASHION MODELS? YES! YES! YES!

I am currently interviewing with a company that says they would sponsor OPT. Does that mean the same as sponsoring a work visa?

No. The exact words, “a company that says they would sponsor an OPT,” if used by the Career Fair person from the company, mean only one thing — the words mean that  the person that you spoke to at the Career fair KNOWS NOTHING ABOUT US IMMIGRATION LAW or PROCEDURES. The exact words the person used mean nothing, because:

  • Does the company “sponsor” OPT? NO! UW-Madison helps you obtain OPT as a benefit of your F-1 Status.
  • Does it mean the company will sponsor a Work Status of some sort AFTER OPT expires? WHO KNOWS? But I do know this — I would NOT waste my time with the Career Fair Person trying to get a clarification — your further questions will just reveal their ignorance, embarrass them, and they’ll hate you. Good luck getting a call back. 
  • INSTEAD — you find out what the company has done in the past — search for the company here, and let me know if they have EVER sponsored an H-1B and / or a Green Card since 2001 — this free database will tell you:

Please explain more about CPT and OPT.

AHA! Glad you asked this — DO NOT RELY on some lawyer to give you answers about F-1 status, or CPT or OPT — The F-1 work rules are a collaborative effort between the USCIS / SEVP and your School.

A lawyer possibly could ONLY know HALF the story — The lawyer may read the CPT or OPT rule in a law book, BUT the lawyer cannot know the POLICIES THAT YOUR SCHOOL CREATED TO FOLLOW the Federal CPT & OPT Rules . . . USCIS / SEVP give your School latitude (discretion) to implement the rules as the School sees fit. And Lawyers are normally working with half a deck short, so in dealing with F-1 Questions, THEY START with half a deck and could only be playing with 30% (40% . . . 20% . . . who knows?) of a full deck. SO, THEN, WHO DO YOU ASK ABOUT CPT & OPT?

You ask the F-1 International Student Advisors in the International Student & Scholar Services Office!

  • Click here to learn more! 
  • My Job as the Lawyer STARTS when the Job of the School (F-1 Program Details) STOPS. 

Could you dive further into how to prepare for H1B?

Normally, if your employer KNOWS ABOUT, and has previously FILED FOR, an H-1B, the employer will know . . . But assuming that you have already spoken with the OPT employer, and the employer will sponsor you, then the actual information and documents to collect and share with the lawyer preparing the case is not that much — then the LAWYER should do everything else! Click here to find what our law office would have you collect if we were the H-1B lawyer. 

Could international students make trips outside of the States while on OPT? Is it not recommended?

Please ask the F-1 International Student Advisors in the International Student & Scholar Services Office! It is my understanding that students CAN leave the USA and Return to the USA on OPT (this is usually true in normal, non-COVID-19) but your International Student Advisor knows the “Best Practice” and “Policy” at YOUR School. If the Advisor at School says, “NO TRAVEL ON OPT,” ask WHY . . . what if your OPT Employer sends you to Paris for a work assignment? THEN WHAT?