Landing an internship in the United States

Internship USA

For students, completing an internship abroad is one of the most effective ways to gain rewarding international work experience while practicing a foreign language on a daily basis. It’s also a way to add a valuable line to your resume. But succeeding in anding an internship in the US can be quite challenging. Learn how you can secure an internship in the United States!

Adapting your resume before applying for an internship in the US

Recruitment criteria in the US might be quite different than in your home country. Here is the information you should avoid including on a resume you intend to send to a US employer: photo, date of birth, or other elements that could lead to discrimination (nationality, marital status or possession of a driver’s license).

Also be sure to learn mention the name of the US degrees or diplomas corresponding more closely to those you obtained in your country of origin. This will allow employers to understand your academic background.

Remember you will need to adjust your CV depending on the company and the type of internship position you are seeking by highlighting relevant professional experience.

Finding an internship in the United States on your own

Don’t expect to land an internship in the United States overnight! You need to prepare your departure at least six months in advance. Start by learning about the cost of living, public transport, student accommodation, etc.

Make the most of your networking skills! Feel free to use your own personal contacts to find an internship. Quite often, being recommended by someone is the most effective way to make sure your application will be noticed. Also consider also using your higher education institution’s network: partnerships, alumni or students who have already completed an internship in the US. Remember you can also use social networking websites.

Send out different types of applications! To apply for specific positions, use online job listings. But you can also make unsolicited applications: you might need to do a little more research to find out who you can contact but it will also be a way to express your interest in working for particular companies.

Using a placement company to land an internship

Do you want to avoid spending long hours searching for an internship? There are a number of placement companies who can do the job for you. Not only can they help you secure an internship in the United States but they also offer various services, which often are part of a package. For example: interview coaching, visa service, housing with a host family... Of course, these services have a cost: depending on the package you chose, the length of the internship you aim to land and the company, prices can be quite variable and sometimes very high.

Do note that not all employers in the US pay there interns. Make sure you find out how much you will be earning.

Congratulations! You’ve landed an internship!
Once you have secured an internship in the US, you will need to get a J-1 visa (through a sponsor organization). Remember having student international health insurance is a must, as healthcare is extremely expensive in the United States.

Date of publication Nov 19 2015

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