The USA has always been a dream destination for students. Great employment opportunities are one of the major reasons why international students choose the USA over other countries. Graduates with relevant internship experience are more likely to get a job offer than those without internship experience. And what could be better than starting your career in the USA with a paid internship? We agree that finding, applying to, and getting hired for your dream internship is a lot of work, but is definitely worth it. So, if you are also planning to search for your first paid internship in the USA, keep reading: Our easy 5-step guide to finding paid internships in the USA will help you begin your dream career!
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Understand Your VISA Requirements
To understand how to get paid internships in the USA, knowing what your US Student visa allows or not is extremely important. Each student visa has its own specific internship conditions and before applying for internships, keep in mind that some courses may require an internship as part of your program, known as the Curricular Practical Training (CPT).
You are also required to separately apply for CPT and obtain an I-20 form to begin an internship in the USA. Also remember that the F-1 visa limits your working hours to a maximum of 20 hours per week, indicating that you are only able to work on campus while your academic term is in session.
Start With a Career Action Plan
Firstly, understand what a Career Action Plan actually means. Before applying for internships or even jobs, you must set your goals, identify the actions required to complete the goals and execute the same. Creating an action plan can help you recognise your strengths and genuine interests. Make use of your career action plan to structure your schedule, it will help you balance your studies alongside looking for internships.
Create a ‘US’ resume
Do you know the secret to a Strong Resume? It is nothing but your career action plan. A good career action plan helps you understand your strengths and weaknesses, skills, and interests. That’s how you will have a list of your skills to mention in your resume.
You must also be wondering what a ‘US’ resume means. Many universities in the US offer resources and workshops to help you create a resume that differs from other countries.
For example, you are not required to add your photo or marital status in a ‘US’ resume, and most US resumes are only 1 page.
Create Cover Letter
A cover letter is a document submitted along with your resume. The cover letter usually consists of one page and includes a brief overview of your work history, skills, talents, and interests. The letter is supposed to be specifically aligned with the job you are applying for, hence you must mention your personal qualities and qualifications with the responsibilities outlined in the role description. When creating a cover letter, make sure that you include the following mentioned points:
- List your contact information and the employer’s details
- Directly address the hiring manager
- Write a clear introduction
- Mention your skills and qualifications
- Add a conclusion
Find the Right Source
Now that you have a clear understanding of what you need to have before applying for internships in the USA, the next step is to start finding the right sources. There are a lot of places where you can apply for internships such as LinkedIn and Indeed.
Paid Internships have a higher scope of work and help you build a network of industry links in different fields. This is why you must opt for internships while in college/university to give your career a good start.
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