Do’s And Don’ts For International Student Job Seekers

Manavi Agarwal

Last Updated: September 20, 2023
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Navigating the job market as an international student can be like setting sail on uncharted waters, filled with both promising opportunities and potential pitfalls. You’ve crossed borders, embraced new cultures, and now, it’s time to secure that job and embark on your professional journey. But fret not, because in this blog, we’re going to unravel the simple yet powerful do’s and don’ts that will help you steer your career ship in the right direction. So, let’s hoist the sails and chart a course towards your dream job, all while dodging those pesky sea monsters of job-seeking mistakes!

The Do’s: Your Path To Success


  • Leverage Campus Resources: Your campus is a goldmine of resources. Beyond career centres, tap into research opportunities, collaborate on projects, and engage in extracurricular activities. This can enhance your resume and provide invaluable networking opportunities.
  • Start Your Side Hustle: If the job market is competitive, consider launching a small business or freelancing in your spare time. Not only does this provide income, but it also showcases your entrepreneurial spirit and ability to multitask.
  • Volunteer for Experience: Sometimes, experience matters more than a paycheck. Volunteer or intern with organisations related to your career interests. This hands-on experience can often lead to job offers
  • Learn Beyond Your Field: Acquire skills that complement your major. For instance, if you’re in technology, gaining marketing or project management skills can make you more versatile and appealing to employers.
  • Create an Online Portfolio: In addition to your resume, create an online portfolio showcasing your projects, work samples, and achievements. This digital showcase can impress potential employers.
  • Use Local Job Search Engines: Don’t rely solely on international job boards. Explore local job search engines, company websites, and industry-specific platforms to discover hidden job opportunities.
  • Cultural Sensitivity: Be culturally sensitive and aware. Understanding local customs and business etiquette can go a long way in building rapport with potential employers.

The Don’ts: Avoiding Pitfalls

  • Procrastinate: Job hunting takes time. Don’t wait until the last semester to start your search. Begin early, and you’ll have more options to explore.
  • Limit Yourself: While it’s good to have preferences, don’t limit your job search to just one city or industry. Cast a wide net to increase your chances of landing a job.
  • Neglect Soft Skills: Besides technical skills, employers value soft skills like communication, teamwork, and adaptability. Don’t overlook their importance in your job applications and interviews.
  • Overshare Personal Information: Your resume and interview discussions should focus on your professional life. Avoid sharing personal details like marital status, religion, or health conditions, as they are irrelevant to your job application.
  • Lose Hope: Rejections are part of the job hunting journey. Don’t be disheartened by them. Learn from your experiences, improve your skills, and keep pushing forward.
  • Settle for Less: While it’s good to be flexible, don’t settle for a job that doesn’t align with your long-term career goals or values. Keep striving for a position that truly excites you.
  • Forget About Work Permits: Ensure you have the necessary work permits and documents in place before accepting a job offer. It’s a crucial step in maintaining your legal status in the host country.

Navigating The Cultural Terrain

Apart from the general do’s and don’ts of job hunting, international students often face unique challenges related to cultural differences. Here are some additional tips:

The Do’s:

  • Understand Local Work Culture: Each country has its own work culture and etiquette. Learn about punctuality, dress codes, and communication norms in your host country.
  • Embrace Diversity: Show respect for diverse perspectives and backgrounds. Being open to different cultures will make you a more attractive candidate to potential employers.

The Don’ts:

  • Assume: Don’t assume that workplace norms in your home country apply universally. Take the time to understand and adapt to your new work environment.
  • Shy Away from Questions: If you’re uncertain about workplace customs, don’t hesitate to ask questions or seek guidance from colleagues. It’s better to clarify than to make cultural missteps.

Embrace The Adventure


Job hunting as an international student can be both challenging and rewarding. Remember, it’s not just about securing a paycheck; it’s about embracing a new chapter in your life full of opportunities, growth, and exciting adventures. Stay persistent, keep learning, and don’t forget to enjoy the journey. Your dream job awaits, and you’re well on your way to achieving it!

By following these do’s and don’ts, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the job market, make meaningful connections, and ultimately land the job that aligns with your career aspirations. So, stay positive, stay proactive, and keep chasing your dreams!

Mentoria’s Guidance For Success


At this point, you might be wondering how to take your job-seeking game to the next level. This is where Mentoria comes in. Mentoria is your go-to resource for expert guidance, personalised career advice, and a supportive community of professionals who have walked the same path. We understand the unique challenges international students face when job hunting abroad and can provide you with the tools and knowledge you need to succeed.

Our team of experienced career counsellors is dedicated to helping you navigate the complexities of the job market in your host country. From tailoring your resume to local preferences to acing interviews and building a professional network, Mentoria offers a comprehensive suite of services designed specifically for international students like you.

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