How Wonsulting Creates Success Stories for International Job-Seekers

By
Jonathan Javier

Similar to "An International Job-Seeker's Guide to Networking & Landing Your Dream Job in 2021" with more in depth analysis.

As an International Student or Professional, the job search can be stressful. You think of many different possibilities:

Am I not getting interviews because of my background?

Am I being filtered out by ATS because I checked the box that says “requires sponsorship now or in the future?

At Wonsulting, we’ve worked with many different job-seekers from International Backgrounds who have been able to land their dream careers as seen through our Success Stories. Whether it was Sheetal Dalal finding a role in the US at Qualcomm after graduating from Northwestern University or Debbi Shibuya finding a role at TikTok in Australia, Wonsulting is all about turning every underdog into a winner, especially those from International Backgrounds.

In this article, I’ll go over LinkedIn strategies you can utilize as an International Student to turn those rejections into redirections. I’ll also go over some of the strategies that some of our amazing International Strategies utilized to land their dream jobs.

Before we start, you must identify what you’re interested in

This is important because I think that many people will simply go for EVERY role at a company and not go for the position. As Christian Bourdeau mentioned yesterday on a Clubhouse event I was on, there are many different roles that you can go into. An easy way to identify what role you’re interested in is the following:

  • Search the position you’re interested in and filter to “People” on LinkedIn. Go to “related searches”: You’ll see not only the role you’re interested in but also other related roles that are similar to the role you searched. For example: If you search “Business Analyst”, other roles such as Data Analyst, Senior Business Analyst, Project Manager, Junior Business Analyst, Business Intelligence, and Product Owner will show up.
When searching Business Analyst, these are the other options that show up!
When searching Business Analyst, these are the other options that show up!

Next, we must find which companies sponsor

After identifying the positions you’re most interested in, we must find which companies sponsor International Students. I think a mistake that many international job-seekers may do is go for companies that aren’t sponsoring; they’ll network with people at companies (Example: Startups) who don’t have budget to sponsor and therefore cannot offer roles for them. You can identify these companies by looking at external sites that provide insight on which ones do. In this case, let’s use “My Visa Jobs” to find who’s hiring for H1B Visas.

On My Visa Jobs, you can filter to USA Visa to find many of the companies sponsoring non-immigrant worker visas including H-1B Visa, H-2A Visa, H-2B Visa, L Visa, O Visa and TN Visa. Let’s walk through how to identify the companies.

Screen Shot 2021-04-14 at 8.44.33 AM.png
  • Select the Work Visa you qualify for; in this case, we will use H1B Visa
  • After selecting the Work Visa, search “Employer Name or Job Title”. In this case, I’ve searched “Business Analyst” only
  • Go to H1B Jobs (Current) and change Status as “Certified” to find the correct employers who are sponsoring!

After identifying the positions, let’s go into how we can network with these companies to gain insights and land your dream job.

Reaching Out To International Professionals

How do you find professionals who come from International backgrounds?

It’s much more simpler than you think; all you have to do is think about what universities are from your home country. You can do this in many ways, but a simple way is simply searching on Google. In this example, I searched “Major Universities in India” and found multiple colleges: University of Delhi, Indian Institute of Science, and more. In this example, we will use University of Delhi.

After identifying the university, simply search the “Position” on LinkedIn, the role you’re interested in, filter to “University of Delhi”, and then location to “United States”. Let’s say that the position is “Business Analyst” and company is “Amazon”.

Screen Shot 2021-04-14 at 8.54.57 AM.png

After searching with this criteria, go through the search results and find people who are in different roles you’re interested in. You’ll notice something about each of their profiles which is as follows:

  • They finished their studies in their homeland and are now working in the states
  • They conducted their Bachelors in their homeland and are currently/completed their Masters in the states
Screen Shot 2021-04-14 at 8.59.23 AM.png
Screen Shot 2021-04-14 at 8.58.09 AM.png

You have now found everyone who is an International Professional working in your dream company. You can also further identify what their interests are by reviewing their About Section and Experience.

What do I do after identifying these professionals?

After identifying the professional, send a personalized invite with the following:

  • Quick introduction of yourself: Gives a quick background of who you are.
  • No one does it; most people simply click “connect” without adding a note. Do this to stand out!

Personalized Invite Structure:

If I were to reach out to this professional, I’d reach out similarly to this:

  • Hi (Name), hope you’re staying safe during these times! I saw that you currently work at (company) and previously were in (hometown) at University. Coming from an international background, I’d love to connect with you to share stories and insights. Thank you!
  • Example: Hi (Name), hope you’re staying safe during these times! I saw that currently work at Amazon with 2+ years experience and previously were in New Delhi at Delhi University. Coming from an international background, I’d love to connect with you to share stories and insights. Thank you!
Screen Shot 2021-04-14 at 9.03.53 AM.png

They added me on LinkedIn. What do I do after connecting?

After you connect, most professionals do NOT respond. Simply send another message tailored towards their About & Experience section. It can be in regards to the following topics:

  • Their career story
  • What they’re passionate about
  • What skills/experiences they have
  • Coffee/Phone Chat

Here’s the structure of how I’d send the message:

Section 1: Hi (Name), thanks for connecting with me on LinkedIn! Really appreciate connecting with a (student/professional/recruiter) from an International Background.

Section 2: Quick background about myself: (Talk about your International Background Story and tie in something you found interesting about their profile)

Section 3: I’d love to chat with you sometime regarding your story and how you were able to make it into your respective career. Please let me know if you’d be available to chat, as I can be flexible based on your schedule. Thank you for your time!

Example:

Section 1: Hi Jahnavi, thanks for connecting with me on LinkedIn! Really appreciate connecting with a professional from an International Background.

Section 2: Quick background about myself: I’m a first generation student who came from India in 2016 not knowing what to expect when I attended university in the United States. Although there have been many challenges and struggles coming from an international background, I was always interested in various transformation and performance improvement strategies just as you have done in your experiences at Accenture, GENPACT, and more.

Section 3: I’d love to chat with you sometime regarding your story and how you were able to make it into your respective career. Please let me know if you’d be available to chat, as I can be flexible based on your schedule. Thank you for your time!

Why do you do this?

  1. You’re showing you did your research on their profile and are acknowledging that they’re not only from an International Background but you are too.
  2. You openly share vulnerability and your story, which can be relatable to the professional.
  3. You tie in their About Section to how it applies to your own story/experiences.

They responded to my LinkedIn message and want to chat on the phone. How do I conduct a phone chat?

Ask questions such as:

  • Tell me about your story coming from your homeland to the States.
  • What are some struggles you faced as an International Student, and how did you overcome them?
  • How were you able to get your foot in the door at (company)?
  • How do you get into (company) as an International Student?
  • What are some benefits of being international within (company)?
  • Can you tell me about a time when your international background helped you make a major contribution at (company)?

I got the phone chat, but how do I get a referral or insights?

During the last part of your chat, say this:

“Hi (name), thanks for taking time to speak with me. As mentioned during our chat and my experience, I’m interested in (function) at (company). While on your careers website, I came across the (role) at (company). I’d love to get my foot in the door. How do I get an interview?”

Two scenarios can happen:

  1. Person will say “I can refer you”
  2. Person will give you advice on how to get an interview

If the 2nd scenario happens, say this:

Thank you for the advice. Who would you suggest I connect with that would know more about the role?

By doing this, you can speak with another person and repeat the same cycle (from above).

Conclusion

Coming from an International background and finding a job in the states is sometimes difficult; however, it doesn’t have to be with these strategies. Always remember this:

  • Try to get referred for roles: As an International Student/Job-Seeker, I don’t want you to be simply “Filtered” by the ATS because of your background
  • Gain insights from those who have the same story as you: You’ll realize that they’re more willing to chat and help you get into your career
  • Don’t just “go in for the ask”: Establish rapport with professionals first before asking for a referral. Learn more about their story and follow in their footsteps.

You’ve got this! If you found this insightful, share with your network!

Jonathan Javier is the CEO/Founder of Wonsulting, which mission is to “turn underdogs into winners”. He’s also worked in Operations at Snap, Google, and Cisco coming from a non-target school/non-traditional background. He works on many initiatives, providing advice and words of wisdom on LinkedIn and through speaking engagements. In total, he has led 210+ workshops in 9 different countries including the Mena ICT Forum in Jordan, Resume/Personal Branding at Cisco, LinkedIn Strategy & Operations Offsite, Great Place To Work, Talks at Google, TEDx, and more. He’s also been featured as a Top Job Search Expert in articles from Forbes, Business Insider, DailyMail, Yahoo News, LinkedIn News, Jobscan, Brainz Magazine, and more. He’s amassed 700K+ followers on LinkedIn, Instagram,& TikTok as well as 30+ million impressions monthly on his content.

Jonathan Javier
CEO

Subscribe to our newsletter

Turning Underdogs Into Winners since 2019

By providing your email address above, you are agreeing to allow us to email you updates and provide information about our products and services. You can unsubscribe at any time. Our Terms & Conditions are here.

Let's Get You Your Dream Job

Check out our services and online course to land your next dream job.

Questions about our services? Schedule time to speak to our team here.