Tips to Find On-Campus Jobs for International Students

Tips to find on campus employment. Step 1 start early Step 2 Utilize University Resources Step 3 Network Step 4 Navigate the Jobs Listing Step 5 Be Persistant

On-campus employment is a great option for international students because most students have limited off-campus employment eligibility. On-campus opportunities allow students to expand their skill-set and build their resume. In the most recent data from Student Employment at USF, international students held 16% of USF’s on-campus student positions. This shows that international students are being hired regularly on-campus, but on-campus jobs are still competitive.

Are you looking to secure an on-campus job? Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Looking for jobs as an international student first starts with understanding your visa status and eligibility for on-campus employment. Once this is determined, you can start looking for on-campus jobs early. It is ideal to start applying for student employment jobs a month before Fall, Spring and Summer semesters begin, because this is when various departments in USF start hiring student and research assistants. Typically, these are during the months of August, December, and May.

As with any job application, make sure to optimize your resume so that it matches the job description. Although not all jobs may demand specific skill sets, research assistant and teaching assistant jobs typically require applicants to study in certain majors or have previous relevant work experience. Visit the University’s Career Services Center website for help with writing your resume and interviewing skills (the School of Law and graduate School of Management have their own career service offices), attend campus resource fairs to find job and student organization opportunities, and keep an eye out for job postings on campus bulletin boards and social media.

Talk to your professors, advisors, and other staff members on campus to see if they know of any job openings. Networking can help you discover hidden job opportunities that may not be posted on Workday, and receive personal recommendations and referrals that you can include in your job applications, which increase your chances of being hired.

  • Faculty and departments: Reach out to professors that you think work in departments relevant to your skills, interests and/or work experience and would be interested in hiring you for a future position. As with any networking endeavor, do not expect to obtain a job right away. It is important to approach faculty in an enthusiastic, professional and friendly manner and express your eagerness to learn more about their area of expertise first. 
  • Clubs and organizations: Being part of the executive board of a student club, chapter or organization can be a stepping stone to acquiring new skills and becoming qualified for an on-campus job. USF has many clubs to choose from, which means that you’re bound to find your crowd with similar cultural backgrounds and interests with whom you can network! Each executive board holds a variety of positions from which you can learn various skills that may have direct applications in your field of study. You can even start your own club! Learn more about student clubs and organizations here.

The more people you network with, the better your chances are of landing a job of any kind, on or off campus. Try creating a goal of making a certain number of new contacts each week. Keep in mind that it can take multiple meetings to establish a genuine connection, and develop reciprocal relationships with the people that help you out. 

Federal Work-Study (FWS) is a federal aid program that provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. The program encourages community service work and work related to the student’s course of study. Each school has a different amount of funds available to give out for the program. However, international or foreign students generally do not qualify for FWS.

Some on-campus job postings on USF’s Workday specify “FWS preferred,” or “FWS required,” which indicates that the recruiter is looking for domestic students that have financial aid. In some cases, especially when you feel confident about being a good fit for a job skillswise and where FWS is only preferred rather than required, it doesn’t hurt to send an email to the hiring manager explaining why you’d be a strong candidate for the job despite not qualifying for FWS (and whether they’d be open to considering a non-FWS candidate). However, don’t waste time applying where FWS is mandatory or specified in the job title. This is a strong indication that the department may not be open to hiring students without FWS.

As a new student, it can be tough to secure an on-campus job, and this is an experience more common than you think. However, it is important to be determined and not feel discouraged despite being rejected. Make sure you are aware of the onboarding and SSN process in the scenario that you do land a job. Above all, keep applying on Workday – there will always be a new opportunity!