I’ve experienced a job search in a lousy market myself.
It took me 6 months to find a job and pushed me to my financial limits, I was so close to giving up and heading back to my home country.
As an international student in the US, you usually have more to worry about if you can’t find a job.
It sabotages your graduation and results in losing the money you invested in getting the degree.
About two years later, the market took another hit.
I wanted to share my experience with what I think helped me and what I would have done differently.
Q: I’m graduating soon, should I start my job search now?
A: It’s tempting to start early.
You would think that gives you more time hence a better chance of landing a job.
That makes sense when you think about it this way.
if it takes an average of 6 months* in a lousy market to find a job, starting 2 months early makes it an average of 4 months after graduation.
However, spending enough time working on your resume and job search strategy are major factors.
You also need to prepare references, a list of major accomplishments, and the desired career journey.
If all of this is ready, feel free to start your job search.
Otherwise, focus on graduating and preparing yourself.
Note*: 6 months is not an actual statistic, I made up this number for the sake of argument.
Q: What jobs should I apply for?
A: It’s true that you need to apply for about 10 jobs a day to really increase the chance of getting a job.
But, that is supposed to be challenging.
It’s really easy to apply for the first 10 jobs that show on your search filter.
With a generic cover letter and resume, you can even apply for 40 jobs a day.
I have ADHD and it wasn’t easy to read the job description and decide if it fits me.
Let aside customizing a resume and writing a cover letter to apply.
Instead, I’ve used a generic cover letter and resume for all job applications.
It seemed like I was talking to myself, very few of these applications were considered at all.
Q: I’m on CPT what are my chances?
A: Many companies are not aware of how to hire someone on a CPT or an OPT visa or choose not to.
However, people on these visas save companies many since they’re exempt from FICA taxes, If you find an employer who doesn’t know about that or is not sure if they can hire you legally, tell them that you’re legally allowed to work as full-time or part-time (depends on what is your work authorization) and maybe connect them to your DSO.
Remember that even though jobs can be scarce in such times, the organized and hard-working ones are usually luckier!
Looking for a school to study in the US? check out my review of MIU.