Highlighting International Student Experience
International students bring diverse experiences and capabilities to the workplace. It’s important to recognize your strengths as an international student and clearly convey them in your application.
Highlight your language
With increasing globalization and multinationalism in the professional sphere, being able to speak multiple languages is a valuable strength. Speaking multiple languages can help you communicate with many other people, and also showcases your communication skills. Even if the job description does not require other languages, putting it on your resume will help you stand out as a candidate. You should also consider how speaking another language might specifically benefit the employer.
Highlight international travel
Traveling internationally requires many soft skills, such as flexibility, open mindedness, the ability to follow procedures, organization, perseverance, and dedication. Recall all the steps and processes it took to obtain a visa, navigate U.S. immigration, and travel to the U.S.: the process is complicated and difficult, and perhaps required that you be meticulous and diligent. Many employers appreciate candidates who are detail-oriented and dedicated. International travel also shows that you are open to new ideas and perspectives, and able to adapt to a new culture.
Your experience as an international student may also have given you opportunities to use professional skills, such as critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork, collaboration, communication, and work ethic. For example, can you think of a situation where a problem arose with your visa or traveling? How did you solve the problem, and what skills did you use? You can also think back to either a group project or a situation where you needed to work in a team. How did you interact with your team members? Also consider how work ethic is defined in your culture, and how you demonstrate your work ethic. These are considerations to keep in mind when you are writing your resume and cover letters.
Use resources on campus
The Career Center is here to help you apply for internships and jobs. Some of their services include:
- Resume reviews
- Cover letters
- Mock Interviews
- Interview Coaching
- Job Search Strategies
- Career Fairs
- Info Sessions/Workshops
- Networking Opportunities
Remember as you write your application documents that your experience as an international student is valuable in many ways. You can offer global perspectives with diverse viewpoints and experiences, multilingual and intercultural communication skills that are vital for companies competing in a global economy, and effective leadership and teamwork skills, along with the ability to adapt to changes and persevere.