“How do I get a job as an immigrant student?” If I received a dollar for every time someone asked me this question, I’d most definitely have a fatter bank account by now.
Sometimes I’m baffled at how often I receive this question but then I remember that that’s part of the reason why Zinny Factor was born — to answer questions and provide solutions to issues that aren’t readily available!
I’ve received this question countless times and the truth is that I answer it differently each time. We all love the internet. It gives you the opportunity to share information on about anything! Makes you feel so connected to anyone far or near.
I started drafting out this post and stopped halfway through because there is no one way to answer this since everyone’s experience is different. But I received this question again just recently and figured it’s about time I published an extensive article on this, so here we go.
Being an international student is not an easy feat especially if you are going to be all on your own in the new country and will have to incur expenses. Even if you’ll be receiving some income from back home, it’s no doubt that you might need a job to support yourself during your studies.
First things first, please make sure you are aware of the visa rules of the country you reside in before you begin your job search as an international student/ immigrant student.
For the purpose of this article, I’ll be sharing my knowledge based on my past experience as an international student in Canada.
Try Out Your School’s Career Site
Many students make the mistake of not visiting their school’s career site and this can be costly. If you are fortunate to get a job on campus, it’ll save you the cost of transportation, and for a student, that’s a big deal!
Your commute will be less stressful and you’ll be closer to classes. There is also the advantage of having colleagues on campus and a whole lot of other benefits that I don’t need to explain in detail.
Also, you can get external opportunities via your school’s site which boosts your chances since the employer wants someone from your college/ university. Make sure you are always on top of your school’s career site as exciting opportunities can come out of it.
Try Out Online Job Boards
You should be doing this simultaneously with your school’s career site. Some websites that you can try are Indeed, Workopolis, Glassdoor, Monster, etc. Do a quick google search for a number of other job boards.
Basically, search for part-time jobs you can merge with your class schedule. You can also look for internships that are available, most internships usually come around Spring/ Summer, so if you are looking for a job that can align with your career goals much later, you can plan ahead of time and try to lock down an opportunity as soon as possible.
Attend Summer Job & Career Fairs
I want to think that these career fairs are strictly for students but I’m sure that’s just me deceiving myself. However, many international students and immigrant students often shy away from this.
Don’t lose out on an opportunity simply because of fear, keep any form of fear aside and go out there to get that challenging opportunity if possible.
No two people often have similar stories and this might just turn out to be your groundbreaking opportunity to finally land a job as an immigrant student, so start signing up. Some of these opportunities are available on campus or as always you can make use of the internet.
As an International Student, Make Friends With the Locals
If you are an immigrant student, international student, call it whatever you like, you should be making friends like asap! I recall about two of my classmates back in school who landed job opportunities only because they told a friend/ classmate.
They were able to pay their bills and have some extra change while retaining smiles on their faces. Especially, if you are looking to school in Canada, where word of mouth goes a long way, it sure pays to make friends with the locals and let them know that you are looking for a job.
Many employers will consider hiring you if you are referred by one of their employees. It might also prove that you are a good fit which shows that you can easily blend into the culture of the society and the organization as a whole. There is no shame in making friends and letting them know.
All the same, don’t make friends for the wrong reasons, be genuine.
Hand Out Your Resume
Getting a job as an immigrant who is studying can be so difficult and tricky. Tricky in the sense that the number of hours you can work for isn’t necessarily so flexible for about any employer, so sometimes you just have to go the extra mile if you really want to land a job and gain some work experience in your new country.
Try doing things the old school way, print out your resume and hand them out. As a student, most often than not, you will be looking for shift/ hourly jobs that can ideally give you work experience but also afford you the opportunity to study.
So one simple way to go around this is to do a quick study of offices or stores/ malls around your school or house that you wouldn’t mind working at. Once you are done doing that, you can print out those resumes and drop at the various locations.
Make sure you are friendly and start small talks/ conversations while you are dropping your resume. I suggest you do this alone, don’t go with someone, just because you want to be on your best behavior and maybe land an impromptu interview. You never know!
Don’t Play The Victim
Between me and you, I cringe when I hear some international students go: “I’m unfortunate. No one wants to give me a job.” That’s just the wrong way to look at things.
Nobody is out to get you because no one in this world cares about you except yourself. Getting a job anywhere in the world is not an easy feat because there will always be competition. The thing about competition is that the better person will always win.
Imagine, if there were just one position and over fifty people applied for the job opening, will the employer be expected to hire those fifty applicants? Of course, the answer is no.
That is life and the sooner you realize that no one is out to get you, the better your mindset. You’ll be able to focus on more productive ways to get a job as an international student when you keep your mind open.
Lastly, ensure that while schooling you are always improving your skills in any way possible. Ensure that your resume is regularly updated and try your best to do well in school, it always pays off in the end somehow.
Are you an international student? Are you currently job hunting? Let me know if you found this article helpful in any way.
If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to share it using the ‘share buttons’ above and below. Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog as I’ll be sharing more exciting posts on work-life as an immigrant and you don’t want to miss it.