Career Guide

Completing Higher Education USA is one part, then comes the job/internship search phase. In this page, you will find all the information that will help with your internship and full time job search. Unlike in India, campus placements, interviews doesn’t exist in over 95% of the schools and colleges. I have heard campus placements only for MBA in Ivy League schools, Stanford,  Harvard and few other schools.

When there are no campus placements, you have to take efforts to find full time job. Process of applying for jobs is much different than India (or other countries). If you will be looking for entry level job after completing college, then you better find an internship first.


If you don’t have previous work experience, then you HAVE to find an internship position for atleast 2 semesters. Also, if you applying for internship have 2 fold advantage

  1. Helps you learn about Job Search process
  2. Same company may end up hiring you as full time employee

International students in first semester will try hard to get RA/TA and then part time jobs. They forget to focus their energy in preparing and learning about internship search process. F1 visa rules require students  in F1 visa to complete atleast 2 semesters (Fall and Spring) before they can work as an intern.

First Semester Plan

You can spend first semester by doing following activities

Second Semester Plan

You have to start applying fort jobs during second semester. Check with your university about

  • CPT policy
  • Requirements to get CPT
  • How many semesters they would allow CPT
  • How long it would take to get CPT approval when you get the internship
  • Department requirements
  • Course Requirements while you will be working in CPT

Start applying for internship as soon as your second semester starts. Do include your intended start date in your resume and cover letter. Start preparing for interview process (phone and in-person). Its very bad idea to start preparing for interview, only after company have scheduled an interview (phone or in-person).

Internship interviews are not as tough as full time job interviews, which can go for 2 to 8 hours in a day.

If you have experience in searching/applying for internship you can use that learning curve to apply for full time jobs. Typically it takes about 4 to 7 months to find a full time job. So, you better start applying for full time job during your last semester.

STEM graduates have to find a full time job or internship within 90 days into your OPT. If you start looking for job after you graduate, then you are going to be in trouble. Previously, consulting companies would hire students in OPT and sponsor their H1B, but after recession, neufeld memo things are pretty strict. Unless you have a project, consulting companies are not going to hire you.

Resume Tips

In order to get an interview call, you need to have strong resume. I strongly recommend you to get your resume written professionally while applying for full time jobs. I have seen over 400 resumes of students from India and just by looking at the resume over for few seconds, I can say what kind of person I’m dealing here.

Don’t even think of having 5 page resume, that are famous in India.

Number of pages in resume is not equal to high quality or better resume. Try to keep resume within 2 pages. Don’t leave resume hanging with 1.5 pages. Make it 2 full pages.

Job Search Plan

I strongly recommend you buy the following books even before you start your job search.

You need to create a job search schedule and stick to it.  Allocate atleast 2 hours per day just for job search activities, which includes

  • Building your network (contacts)
  • Finding job openings
  • Finding contacts within the company
  • Customizing the resume and cover letter for each job you apply
  • Keeping track of jobs applied and status
  • Improvising your job search skills
  • many more activities

Job search should be approached as full time job. Try to find a secluded place in your campus, if you do the above tasks every day, then it within few weeks, you will not feel the pain of searching for jobs.

Interview Calls

Start preparing for job interview, when you start applying for jobs. Since you know the types of job you are targeting, allocate 30 minutes to 1 hour per day for learning the technical stuffs. Also, learn about behavioral interview questions and how to answer them.

It’s very hard to master behavioral interview questions, just 2 days or a week before the interview. You have to find all such questions and rehearse answers for them. Sample questions

  • Explain your weakness
  • What will you be doing 5 years from now
  • Tell me about yourself
  • What Not to Say During Interview

After Interview

After attending in-person interview always send a thank you note. Utilize this opportunity to highlight any skills you may have missed to explain during the interview. If your interviews didnt; go as expected, try to explain how you can overcome the weakness.

When you the job offer, don’t accept the offer without negotiating the salary. Avoid these 9 salary negotiating mistakes.

If you have additional questions about job search process, post your questions int eh comment form below. Do share this page with your friends.


  1. Khanaamer76 on August 22, 2011 at 5:32 PM

    I am looking for M.S. in Operations research but i dont know where to look out for this course. I mean i dont know which universities are offering M.S. in OR. And I want to study the above course in Canada, Australia or New Zealand. 
    I am B.E. in Mechanical Engineering with 1 year work-ex. Please help me out with my search. 

  2. csr on August 19, 2011 at 2:26 PM

    i have been seleted for boston university for the program ms in Mathematical Finance . so i m graduate of computer science engineering. and i want to do is it worth to do ms in Mathematical Finance. plz help me out

  3. shonak on August 19, 2011 at 7:47 AM

    sir,my gre score is 1160.740 in quant and 420 in verbal.i have done be in electronics and communication engg in 2010. my aggregate percentage is 60%.i had 7 backs in my carrear.i want to pursue ms in electrical engg or any related subjects.i wish to do my ms from the following places
    1.baltimore mryland
    2.Brookeville, Maryland miranda california
    4.leonardtown maryland
    plz can u suggest me some colleges in these areas.

    yours sincerely,
    shonak simlote

  4. Sathish on August 11, 2011 at 11:31 PM

    Hello ,

    I would like top pursue my MS in Computer Networking in USA.Can someone suggest me good universities which offer this course .

  5. rajat rajawat on August 9, 2011 at 2:35 PM

    sir ji jab aap ko reply nahi karna to ye facility provide kyu kar rakhe hai ,,logo ko kya chutia samjha hai kya,,,,,, ek ko to reply kar do,,,,

  6. Ram on August 9, 2011 at 10:57 AM

    Hello Sir,
    Actually i am doing my final year EIE. and I want to know how to take the New GRE effectively.Because my dream is to do masters in US waiting for your reply.

    Thank You

  7. rajat rajawat on August 7, 2011 at 3:04 PM

    sir , did indian student faces problem in getting job in forien countries ,what starting package for student completed MS from average good university

  8. Syed Yousuf on August 3, 2011 at 6:23 PM

    I am looking to pursue CMA (USA) I need tips on how to study & which book to refer while doing 9 hours job.

  9. Prashant Shankar Prasad on July 30, 2011 at 3:00 AM

    please also guide me on how to improve my GRE portfolio.

  10. chinu on February 3, 2011 at 7:36 AM

    i have 24 back logs ,with 62%.toefl sore is 96, gre score is 1170. nect week i have my visa interview, plz help me …

    • munna on February 4, 2011 at 5:46 PM

      Well backlogs is not a problem. Visa officer will not ask you about backlogs. Have confidence about your field of study that what will you do after Masters degree. where will you find job, finances etc. are more important questions.

  11. shabbeer on January 31, 2011 at 10:01 PM

    my name is shabbeer… i did my in Electronics and communication with an aggregate of 70.1%…. and i have 1 backlog in my academic career….. i have doubt that am i eligible for all universities in US…. is there any problem for having backlog….. please guide me… i am tensed about this….

  12. Tripti on January 30, 2011 at 5:47 PM

    Hello HSB,

    The above tips for the job search is really helpful but I have a question. I am an Undergraduate Student in City University of New York, Brooklyn College and this is my last semester. I have done two internships regarding the tax/ accounting. Now the problem is, I am doing a double major: first major Business Management and second is: Accounting. According to the information I heard of, I cannot show my double major while applying for the OPT. I mean in the card it will be written that I can only get job regarding the Management. Is it so? If yes, then should I be talking to the International Office that to change my first Major as Accounting because I am really interested on going to that field and finding jobs. Please advise me.


  13. soniya on January 22, 2011 at 1:16 AM

    hello HSB, i did my btech in 2007 in electronics n
    communication with 61% marks and after that also did my PG diploma
    course in embedded and vlsi design .after that i was in teaching
    and right now m working on GIS. now i want to do MS so plz guide me
    and onemore thing plz clarify me the selection crieteria(%) and the
    procees regarding admission.plz guide me

  14. Subba Rao Madala on January 5, 2011 at 6:58 PM

    Dear HSB,

    Iam in need of information about the Pennsylvania State universities Colleges of Communication?

    Would also love to know the minimum requirements and eligibility, cost of living etc etc….

    Pls guide me.Awaiting Responce


    Subba Rao M

  15. Yogita on January 5, 2011 at 5:47 PM

    Dear HSB,

    My score is,

    GRE 1220 (Verbal 440 and Quant 780) and undergraduate 55% average

    The course I want to apply for is MS in Mechanical Engineering.

    Can you please guide me on whether the score is sufficient to get admission in following universities for Fall 2011,

    1. SUNY at Buffalo

    2. A & MUniversity of Texas

    or any other university

    Can I get any kind of assistance with this score?

  16. Ila Chaudhary on January 3, 2011 at 11:30 PM

    Heyyyyyyy guys just undergoing a lot of tensions…….i will be applying for universities for the fall 2011 only……….Took the guidance from counsellor but feels like she is not showing much interest in the process……….Anywayssssss please guide me that, to which universities should i apply based on my score………

    GRE : 1050 ( Quants-730, Verbal-320)

    TOEFL: 73


    • deepa on January 24, 2011 at 11:09 PM

      dear ila ,

      wt i sincerely suggest is plz do take your gre&toefl again

  17. ady on December 30, 2010 at 9:57 AM

    How to improve our portfolio if our GRE marks are low?

  18. ady on December 30, 2010 at 9:55 AM

    How to improve our portfolio if our gre marks is very low?

  19. Ajinkya on December 24, 2010 at 6:56 AM

    Hello HSB,

    I gave my TOFEL and also my GRE
    and the course applied is Management Information Systems

    I have sent the scores to
    syracuse university
    CSU Fullerton

    Can any1 tell me, are there any chances of getting an admission from these universities for such low scores.
    And i have the certificate’s of native English language of 16 yrs.

    Plz Suggest something about it……

    I am waiting for your reply……

    Advance Thank you….

    • deepa on January 31, 2011 at 2:16 AM

      if u can give me your contact no i can help you further and i suggest uat would be the right place for you r score.

      • rajat rajawat on August 12, 2011 at 10:14 AM

        +918871930028 pls help me depa . raj