The Career Center is pleased to work with the UMBC International Education Services Office (IES) to provide internship and job search advice for UMBC international students.
As an international student, you are allowed to work in the United States during and after completing your course of study. However, there are regulations that have specific requirements and restrictions. If you wish to work in the United States, you must plan ahead and work closely with the IES office and the Career Center during your time at UMBC.
Below is more information about the various resources and support we offer for international students. All Career Center resources are available to both undergraduate and graduate international students. You are encouraged to make an appointment with us to discuss your resume, interview tips, or job search strategy.
Resume Tips for International Students
The Career Center offers drop-in resume reviews, 2-4 pm., Monday-Friday. These 15 minute sessions are an excellent way for you to receive tips to developing a resume or have a professional offer you advice on changes that will better highlight your strengths and qualifications. Be sure to check out the Prepare Your Documents section for up-to-date resume advice and samples.
- The resume is your marketing brochure – be concise as you summarize your skills, accomplishments, and academic background matching them to the employment objective.
- Keep it to one page – general guideline for most students and recent graduates.
- Most important first – list the most important/relevant items first (top to bottom and left to right).
- Do not attach a picture or include age, marital status, race, or religion.
- Emphasize strong English skills – i.e., writing papers and presenting in courses, internship, etc. If you have a “Language Skills” category, don’t list English (it will be assumed you are fluent in English).
- Make sure that the resume has a clear format and is free from grammatical and spelling errors as well as awkward language.
- Be honest – you can certainly leave off certain facts, but never lie on your resume or in an interview.
- Under Education – highlight the degree(s) you received over where you received it; list GPA or equivalent if 3.0 or above.
Interview Preparation and Practice
Strong communication skills are critical for prospective employees, and the interview is your chance to demonstrate those skills. Employers are often concerned with an international students’ ability to communicate effectively with their clients and colleagues, so during the interview, it is essential that you are able to articulate your strengths and value to the employer.
To help to improve your interviewing skills, the staff of the Career Center are available to conduct practice interviews with you. A one-hour appointment is scheduled to conduct the interview and receive feedback. The session can also be videotaped at your request. Also, be sure to check out the Ace the Interview section of our website for more advice.
International students can work up to 20 hours a week on campus, but please note: on-campus jobs are very competitive. You should:
- Have your resume reviewed by the Career Center
- Follow all application instructions very closely
- Only apply to positions that match your interest, skills and ability
- Use professional communication when contacting the department
- Be prepared to work the entire semester if selected
View additional information about on-campus jobs and immigration.
OPT (Optional Practical Training) is an opportunity for international students to work in the United States after graduation for one year and gain experience in their degree field.
- OPT requires an application be prepared and sent to USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) for review.
- The application can take up to three months to process so plan ahead and apply early! The IES office works with students individually prepare the OPT application which requires a new I-20 specifically for OPT.
- The Career Center can help you search for positions, but YOU MUST work with the IES office to process your OPT application.
H1-B Visas and General Job Search Process for International Students
After working in OPT, international students must be sponsored by an employer in order to continue working in the U.S. This most commonly occurs through the H1B visa process, but there are other options. Staff at IES are the campus experts on work permission and immigration regulations. They can bring you up to date on current requirements and help you to avoid legal problems with accepting job offers from U.S. employers.
The IES office provides more information on the legal side for H1-B and other employment options on their after graduation site.
The Career Center is here to help with your job search.
If you plan on searching for a job in your home country upon graduation, you may want to check out GoinGlobal, where you can search for job listings by country and city.
If you plan to search for a job in the U.S., be aware that many employers may require citizenship or a green card, especially in the Greater Baltimore/DC area. Job searching for international students can be challenging, but there are employers who are willing to hire international students. It will depend on the industry and the employer. We suggest that you start your job search early and be prepared to devote extensive time to it. Learn everything you can about the process through which an employer can obtain an H-1B visa for you. Consult IES if you have questions or need to be referred to a lawyer for legal advice.
Specific Resource Links
Below are several links to help you identify companies who typically hire international students:
My VISA JOBS Reports
Top H1-B VISA Sponsors and Green Card Sponsors by year
E-verify H1B Database
Tool to confirm employer is part of the Federal e-verify program for OPT, OPT-STEM, and H1-B
Comprehensive information on acquiring a visa, a green card or applying for citizenship
For international students and those preparing to study abroad
U.S. immigration information and different types of U.S. Visas
Connecting with employers looking to recruit UMBC students/alumni at UMBC sponsored fairs is a great way to make you stand out. For dates, check our events calendar. While attending the job fair, you will receive a handout listing all employers and majors in which they might be recruiting. For your information, we may also post which employers are able to sponsor international students. For advice about networking at these events, check out Build Your Network.