Ask a career coach about networking, and 99 out of 100 will tout its importance. This key job search skill becomes even more critical for visa holders as they navigate restrictions and competition to finding the perfect job. “After receiving my employment authorization document (EAD), I was required to find a job within 3 months,” shares Urpi Vasquez. She relocated to the U.S. from Peru with her husband as an international student. She received an F1 visa by entering a master’s program in the U.S. “If you don’t find a job, you have to go back to your home country. I have friends who had to move back.”
Feeling the pressure of finding a job fast, Urpi was fortune to have a career coach by her side to address pressing needs. Katherine Bouglai emphasized the importance of networking early on. “Katherine taught me how to be good and efficient at networking. This was helpful in responding to questions about my visa.” Katherine also helped Urpi understand how to work with recruiters, clarifying many of her doubts.
“I felt alone during the stressful situation. The support I received from Katherine was the best part of the program.”
“For visa holders, not being able to work while they wait for their work authorization creates an employment gap,” Katherine comments. “It’s very important for foreign job seekers to be productive during that time. Networking is a great way to fill the gap.” Beyond connecting with potential employers or job leads, networking can improve language skills and provide insights on the local business culture – all of which were helpful for Urpi as she searched for a job in the U.S. for the first time.
Another game changer was enhancing her interview skills. “We practiced together and Katherine coached me on sounding natural and not like a robot when I responded,” Urpi comments. These mock interviews also prepared her to discuss her EAD with potential employers. “Without Katherine, I would have spent so much time trying to figure out how to be successful in an interview.”
Additional assistance included enhancing Urpi’s résumé, improving her LinkedIn profile, and expanding her online connections. “In spite of all odds, she succeeded in her job search and found the position that was an ideal fit for her,” shares Katherine. These enhancements – plus her commitment to networking – led Urpi to a new position at Cisco.
“My career opportunities will be greater in California. I feel blessed my husband’s company took care of everything for us – literally everything!” Urpi shares. “We never imagined we would be here. A dream came true for us.”
Ready to leverage the power of networking in your job search? Discover easy take-aways to start practicing today: