Handshake collects work authorization information directly from you and employers to make the application and interview process smoother. They ask you two questions: “Are you legally authorized to work in the United States?” “Will you now or in the future require visa sponsorship?” Based on your answers, Handshake shows whether you match the employer preferences. You can filter out job postings based on whether the employer sponsors visa and/or accepts CPT/OPT. Below are two articles by Handshake on how the information is processed.
Each semester, hundreds of employers come to our Engineering Career Fairs to hire Badger Engineers for their internships, co-ops, and full-time positions. Employer representatives with positions like engineers and human resources will stand at their booth, speaking to students individually. It is your chance to introduce yourself to them and evaluate whether you might be a good fit for their open positions.
Here is a 3-Step Process for being successful with a career fair:
Step 1: Prepare
- Check out the tips from ECS: https://ecs.wisc.edu/students/career-fairs/
- Attend career fair prep session and get your resume reviewed
- Plan your responses to questions like “Do you need sponsorship now or in the future?” or “Do you have U.S. work authorization?”
- Research potential employers and whether they accept CPT/OPT applicants.
Tip: The grid on the back of event maps and Handshake are good place to start
Step 2: Attend
- Check-in with the ECS staff
- Approach the employer of interest and introduce yourself
- There may be a line.
- The representative may take a physical copy of your resume, ask you to scan a QR code or complete a survey
- Take breaks in between! Use this time to jot down any notes and relax.
Before you leave an employer..
- Ask about the next steps
- Ask for their business cards or contact information
Step 3: Follow-up
- Within 24 hours, make sure to follow-up with them and thank them for their time and consideration for their positions. It may be helpful to reflect on the conversation to remind them of who you are.
- If you have not heard from the representative within a few day, reach out. Follow-up in two weeks.
Tip: It can sometimes be exhausting to constantly talk and translate at the same time. Talk through the general process with a friend ahead of time so that their are less unexpected situations.
- LinkedIn is like Facebook but for your professional network. You can use LinkedIn to find jobs and connect and strengthen professional relationships. Users often post about their career updates and share thoughts on articles or recent news.
- When you connect with someone, they become your 1st connection. Their 1st connections are your 2nd connections even if you are not directly connected with them. Through their network, LinkedIn can be an excellent tool to expand your network.
- LinkedIn allows you to see the alumni working at a company of your interest. In the U.S., alumni connections can go farther than you think!
Tip: Request to join the Hire a Badger Engineer group – we have 8,000+ contacts!
ECS is here to support your career success and professional development! Common areas that ECS advisors can provide guidance on include:
- Resume and cover letter development & feedback
- Co-op, summer internship and job search strategies
- Tips on building your professional network
- Interview preparation and practice
- How to talk to employers
- And much more!
NOTE: ISS is your BEST resource for understanding immigration laws, rules, and how regulations affect you and your ability to maintain your visa status and benefits. ECS works closely with ISS on matters of CPT eligibility.
Drop-in Career Advising with ECS: see schedule here
Schedule a Starfish Appointment with ECS: see staff here