If you are a foreign student in the USA or Canada and it is time to get a serious job, then you should start writing a resume and look for job opportunities. Finding this great job is a challenge. If you are lucky enough and find this ideal job, it is more complicated to stand out among other bright candidates and get this position.
To begin with, your resume has to look professionally. Very often students lack work experience, but they usually possess a lot of skills that are required to qualify for a position. In every American school there is a writing centre where professionals can proofread your resume and eliminate any inaccuracy. It is fine to have your resume proofread – this gives you a better opportunity to be chosen for an interview. A good resume has to highlight your greatest qualities.
If you did an interesting school project, mention it in the resume and indicate what you did to get the best possible results and why this makes you a perfect candidate. A resume does not only demonstrate one’s experience – it shows which goals were achieved and how they were achieved. An employer must know you are more than just a regular student who cares only about money. An employer is looking for someone who is always setting higher goals and works hard to achieve them. You are a responsible, enthusiastic person who is interested not only in personal progress but also in the company’s success. When you submit your papers, you start selling your services, and a resume is what employers see first. Therefore, a resume presents a person in the best light to make employers want to contact this candidate and interview him/her.
Here comes the trickiest part of the entire employment process – the interview. International students are not usually prepared for an American interview; this is why their starting point is to find out how the interview process goes by doing a research. Firstly, a successful candidate knows a lot about the company where he/she wants to work. Before the interview date a candidate should learn everything about the position he/she is applying for, along with the details about target market of the company, its strategies, policy, structure, and other background information.
Professionals advise students to download a list of interview questions and think of the best answers. These questions will be as follows:
Where do you want to be in five years?
- This question helps you demonstrate how enthusiastic you are about growing in the company and getting new responsibilities. Employers will appreciate that your career goals match with their business goals.
What is your greatest weakness?
- This question is very tricky. Your weakness should become your strength. You can talk about the skills that were not advanced before and tell how you managed to improve them. Interviewers must see that you are constantly making progress.
What will you miss most about your last job?
- Certainly, you need to be positive and say what you really enjoyed about that job. However, it is necessary to look further and manage to link your previous job with the one you want to get. Think about your best skills, relate them to the job you had, and add that you will be very happy to be involved into this activity in the new position. The list of possible interview questions is endless: you might need to answer why you preferred this particular company and what were the reasons why you quit the previous job; how you compromise and work on projects in a team; what people like most about you; what you like about people; what kind of environment is perfect for you; what you do in your free time; how you react to criticism; what you can do if you are sure your boss is absolutely wrong, etc. We can keep going and going. So take your time before the interview, sit down, and read sample interview questions and write down the answers. With this information you feel more relaxed and comfortable. You could even practice in front of the mirror if this helps you become less nervous. Do not be scared of interviewers – they are in search of the right candidate, and if they contacted you after reading your resume, then they were impressed and want to know you better. Be calm and confident and take your chance.