Oklahoma City University | International Students Skip to content

International Students

Finding employment can be difficult for anyone, regardless of citizenship status. There are are employers who are willing to hire foreign nationals, but it takes time, preparation and research for a successful search.


Know how to market yourself

  • U.S. employers look for candidates that have clear career goals and the ability to articulate their skills and experiences.
  • Research institutions carefully prior to speaking with a recruiter and applying for positions

Resume and Cover Letters

  • American resumes and cover letters are formatted differently than international resumes. Meet with a Career Advisor to refine your documents.
  • Market your bilingual abilities as an asset
  • Introduce employers to foreign companies and schools by providing a frame of reference: MIT of Turkey, the Nigerian version of McDonald's, One of the top five universities in China, etc.
  • Emphasize strong English skills on the resume. "Translated written and spoken English on a daily basis for two years."
  • Ensure that writing skills are up to American standards by taking courses that include writing.
  • Check for grammatical and spelling errors as well as awkward use of language.
  • Create and update your LinkedIn profile
  • U.S. Resume should not include:
    • Personal Photograph
    • Date of Birth
    • Marital Status
    • Social Security Number
    • Residency Status
    • Salary Expectations

Enhance your English Proficiency

  • Join diverse student organizations and attend activities on campus
  • Participate in a mock interview with Career Services
  • Seek out opportunities and English-speaking friends to enhance your skills and cultural knowledge
  • Speak up in class, talk with faculty- practice makes perfect!


  • Direct eye contact and a firm handshake are expected
  • Interviewees should not display a subservient demeanor, but approach the interview with confidence and professionalism.
  • Be knowledgeable about the sponsorship process. Employers are less likely to approach this, if the process seems to difficult. Be your own best advocate!

An employer MAY NOT ask:

  • What is your visa type, nationality, and place of birth? or, Of which country are you a citizen?
  • What is your native language? or, What language do you most often speak?

An employer MAY ask:

  • Are you legally authorized to work in the United States? or, Will you now or in the future require sponsorship for an employment visa?
  • Which languages do you read, speak or write? (provided that foreign language skills are job-related)

On-campus employment requires no special permits or visas. International students may work a maximum of 20 hours/week on-campus. All on-campus jobs are listed through OCUWorks, the online job and internship database. All students must create an account using their university email address to access the system.

Practical Training offers students who have studied in the U.S. on F-1 visas the opportunity to work for up to twelve months in a field related to your studies. As a foreign national you cannot work for the U.S. federal government, for most other U.S. state and local government entities, or for private employers who receive government contracts. Avoid companies dependent upon contracts from the U.S. Department of Defense.

If you hope to remain in the U.S. for longer than the period of your Practical Training, it is especially important to plan ahead with the campus office of International Students. For reasons beyond your control, an employer must sponsor you for an H-1 visa, and thus you will impose more paperwork on an employer than will a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

Back to Top