LinkedIn for International Students

by Gerald Parloiu, WH & CAS ’15

International students can have a harder time finding jobs in the U.S. especially because not all the companies can hire international students. If you are a freshman or a sophomore, firms might be reluctant to go through the complicated issue of sponsoring Visas, as they tend to look to hire juniors to whom they can extend full time offers at the end of their junior internship. However, OCR is not the only way of finding an internship!

inMails on LinkedIn
Coming from an Eastern European country and interested in returning and working in the area for the summer, LinkedIn proved a very helpful resource in my job search. After creating a profile and adding my experiences I received an email with an offer for a 2-month free LinkedIn Gold upgrade. I immediately signed up and received 10 free inMail credits. With these credits I was able to contact anyone on LinkedIn. The way it works is that you go on the person’s profile (HR, Associate, MD, Partner, anyone you’d like to contact) and you can write them a message. I used this function for job inquiries and it always proved successful as the messages sent through inMail go directly to the E-mail address the person used when they signed up for LinkedIn. Given this, you can rest assured that the person you are trying to contact will read your email. If for some reason they don’t answer to you in 7 days LinkedIn will give you another free inMail credit for the message you did not get a response back!

Whom to look for?
LinkedIn messages proved a very helpful tool as a lot of the people I contacted got back to me. In order to find out what companies to contact I did  preliminary research on the companies in banking and consulting in my country. It also helped to join different professional groups on LinkedIn – this gave me access to hundreds of different people who I could potentially contact. This might not work that well for contacting people in the United States or other countries that have a strong economy, as these countries tend to have a very formal recruiting process and the people you contact will most likely direct you to the company’s website or to HR.

Overall, I think LinkedIn is a great resource for international students looking for a job back home! And remember, most students find their job in April or May, there is no need to become anxious if you didn’t secure an internship in January. Start your search today by signing up and contacting people in the industry you are interested in!

To learn more about LinkedIn, visit Career Services’ LinkedIn resource page and come by for a LinkedIn profile critique!

Gerald_1Gerald is a sophomore studying in the Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business. Besides his Romanian and Hungarian skills he is fluent in Spanish and is now studying Portuguese. He is the Academic Relations VP for Wharton Europe, is part of the CURF Student Advisory Board and also serves on the Career Services Advisory Board.

Author: Student Perspective

Views and opinions from current Penn students.