University of Wisconsin–Madison

The Job Search-International Students

  • Start early! Volunteer or work as an intern during your college years!
  • Gain experience: In the US employers expect potential employees to demonstrate that they can DO things, not just KNOW things, so candidates who have had internships, jobs, projects, or at least have been active in student organizations have an advantage
  • Establish a network of professionals in your field including involvement in student organizations and professional associations
  • Utilize the Career Insights feature via LinkedIn to expand your network and connect with UW-Madison Alumni
  • Join Badger Bridge and connect to other international students and alumni
  • Consider becoming a leader of a student organization
  • Get an internship at home, in a third country, or here in the US
  • Research and apply for on-campus job opportunities.
  • Have a well-developed resume or resumes that target specific kinds of work/positions
  • Write a tailored cover letter that shows how your interests and abilities meet the needs of the organization (a new one for each application)
  • Have all materials and correspondence proofread by a native speaker if you are not confident in your English abilities
  • Prepare for interviews
  • Learn the details of OPT and CPT and how to talk about it confidently with employers

    • Research the different options available to you for off-campus employment as an F-1 student or a J-1 student.
    • Apply for post-completion OPT at least 90 days in advance of the expiration date on your I20.
    • Apply for pre-completion OPT at least 90 days in advance of the employment start date.
    • Apply for CPT as soon as you have the job offer letter and the CPT request form signed by an ISS advisor