Why do most international job seekers fail?

Why do most international job seekers fail at getting a job in America?

According to one source, there are more than 200,000 new international students every year and over a million immigrant job seekers…

Most of these international job seekers don’t ever get past the first interview, and the harsh reality is, the majority of those job seekers, for a lack of a better word, fail.

What’s unfortunate is, in that group of people, I’m betting there is someone just like you.

…Someone who believed that great grades and a solid resume will get them an interview.

…Someone who believed that working hard and applying online to 100 jobs will result in an offer.

…Someone who put in a ton of work, and things just didn’t work out.

The question is “WHY?!!”

Why do international job seekers fail?

And more important, how do “some” people beat the odds…

…and get a dream job that makes their life complete?

The answer lies in:

The Psychology Behind Why International Job Seekers Fail

Most people have HUGE dreams of getting multiple job offers and negotiating them against each other for a big salary.

And they’re willing to work hard to do that.

(Sound familiar?)

So what happens?

Most people give up after a couple months.


Very simply, it’s because they spend TONS of time trying to get a job and see NO RESULTS.

That lack of results will completely demoralize even the smartest and hardest working individual.

It’s human psychology.

(The more time you spend on something with no reward, the harder it is to continue doing it.)

And that’s why I believe most international job seekers fail.

They try so hard and learn so much, but end up giving up because they don’t see the results they really want: more interviews and job offers.

It’s sad but it doesn’t have to be that way.

So, I have a question for you:

Are you worried the same will happen to you?

Are you scared that you’ll waste all your time on the pointless tasks that “job search experts” give as advice without even considering the obstacles you’re facing?

Or maybe worse… maybe it’s already happened to you… and you’re tired of it?

If you say, “Heck, yeah Mike!”

Then you’re in luck. In the rest of this article I’m going to tell you the top 3 “time wasters” that cause driven individuals like yourself to fail.

The “time wasters” that cause you to feel demotivated, unaccomplished and eventually quit.

And what’s better, if you eliminate these time wasters… I believe YOU CAN BEAT THE ODDS.

So let’s dive right in.

Time Waster #1 – Constantly Rewriting Your Resume

When I ask job-seekers how much time they spend on their resumes and cover letters, the answer is typically “I change it for almost every application.”


Here’s the truth. Your resume is going to be looked at for about 15 seconds. Your cover letter might not even be looked at.

That’s all the time you have to impress your future employer.

15 seconds.

So how do you stand out from the 100 other resumes they see?

Have an unbelievable great headline!

Spend time crafting the best headline you possibly can and THEN have 20 people read it.

Ask them what they think. Perfect it.

Then make sure every single bullet point on your resume is IMPRESSIVE.

No one wants to read about your boring day-to-day tasks.

Hiring managers want to see results.

Highlight the impressive things you’ve done in your life. The successful projects or teams you’ve been on.

Use action words like “generated”, “saved” or “increased”.

Make it look like they would be stupid to not hire you.

Then, I’m giving you permission…

To NEVER touch it again.

Your resume will get noticed, you’re saving time and you can now spend it on more important things.

Which is not what most people do and my #2 HUGE time-waster.

Time Waster #2 – Applying Online

Most international job seekers think it’s enough to submit resumes online through job sites and their school’s career services website.

This is because that’s what most Americans do.

In fact, when I was at school that’s exactly what I did.

I just hoped that is was going to work out.

Since then, I’ve realized that this is how FOOLS try to get jobs.

This is not how I got my manager position at a Fortune 500 company… at age 25.

I was suppose to have 10 years of experience for the position but somehow I still managed to get the job.

This “experience” obstacle that I encountered is somewhat similar scenario to work visa obstacle that international job seekers face.

It’s not the fact that you are under qualified for the position… but rather that most hiring managers are looking for a specific criteria that your resume may not fit.

In my case it was experience.

In your case, it’s a U.S. work visa.

So how do you get around that type of obstacle?


The #1 best way to get a job is through networking.

According to a source, almost 70% of jobs never even make it to job posting boards.

So your dream job may be LOOOOONGGG gone before you even had a chance to apply.

The question is, “How?” And this leads me to my next HUGE time-waster.

Time Waster #3 – Not being SUPER specific in your goal

Being extremely specific is the best way to get a job.

You fail fast or succeed fast.

Most people start looking for jobs they look for extremely generic titles like: “marketing manager”, “engineer”, “business analyst”, etc.

This is not what you’re going to do.

You’re going to think about EXACTLY what you want to do.

That means you are going to think about exactly what industry you want to be in and what specific job title you want in that industry.

You are going to focus all of your energy on getting THAT job at one of your dream companies.

Which means that you need to meet people at those companies.

Do that.

How do you get started?

First you must figure out exactly what you want to do with your career.

So for homework today, I want you to leave a comment on this blog post. Here’s what you should include in your comment:

First, the title of the position you really, really, really want.

Second, the websites of 5 different companies that have that position.

Third, if you know anyone at those companies. (can even be a 2nd or 3rd connection on LinkedIn)

In all scenarios, explain WHY you think this position is perfect for you. This is important, and if you skip this step, the exercise is pointless.

This is Part 1 of a 3-part series, so get ready for the next two!

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  • Bill

    You told us what to do but not how. The question is how do we meet those people from the companies. It is not like you can ring the company and say i want a meeting with the HR because I am the boss.

    • Marcos Gensollen

      Start talking to people that post jobs on Linkedin, it works. Most of them would not answer, but it just takes one to be interested in your experience to get an interview.

  • Michael Miller

    Hi Bill, great question. This is part 1 of a 3-part series. You should read Part 2: http://www.cultureadapt.com/if-youre-struggling-to-get-interviews-this-is-why/

    There are a lot of ideas in that post. Also, while you can’t call HR and demand a meeting, you can ask for an informational interview. It works in some cases.

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  • meinme @iastate.edu

    Hello Michael,
    First of all i would like to extend my regards to you. This was a very informative post. I would like to hear some words from you on the questions I have running deep inside my brain right now! I am an International student going to study Aerospace Engineering (B.S.- M.S. dual degree) at ISU (Iowa State University) this fall of 2014. I am really intimidated after hearing about the minimal jobs for international students and in addition to it my major poses another hurdle of security clearance. I am really motivated and ready to employ my knowledge to advancement of the field. However, the boundations are really strong and stakes are high (education debt). What do you think should I do to get a job and contribute successfuly in this field? I wish I had a mentor to guide me!!

  • Ekeni

    wow… this is so good and kept me thinking on the next steep of my career.In Africa and Cameroon to be specific it is so hard ….

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  • Eve Lee

    Although these are very good tips about getting jobs, I don’t see how it is related to the title. This is a vast generalization of “international applicants,” and fails to address the fact that companies are reluctant to hire these “international applicants” because they have to apply visa for them and all other procedures and paperwork related to it. As an international student, I see that as one of the main reasons it’s hard for us to get a job out of college.

    Sure, some international applicants may spend too much time on their resume, may not be great at networking and may not have very specific goals, but this could apply to ALL job applicants, not only international ones. I think the title is a bit deceiving, but the advice would be helpful for everyone to consider.

  • Maurice Sunkpal

    As a foreign student, I wonder how I am going to meet new people and introduce myself to them. There are very few avenues for this to occur; at conferences, which only happens once or twice a month and you may even need a sponsor to go or Job fairs on campus and all they tell you is to apply online. It’s a tough world, you know.

  • Ross Merry

    Hi, your resume looks great. What time can you come in for an interview? Oh, you need sponsorship? Sorry, our company does not do that. Good bye. Rinse and repeat.

  • http://suitventure.com Dom – SuitVenture.com

    It can be tricky to land that first interview. However if you focus on adding the most value you can to their company, you will stand the best chance.