Part-Time Jobs for International Students in California

Part-Time Jobs for International Students in CaliforniaHow to find a part-time job for a student? This question is frequently asked by people who have started an adult life – became students. So, how to find a part-time job, and what a student is to know about it? We’ll start with a story of Jose Murillo, a businessman from Columbia. He won a grant for education in the USA and studied business at MBA School (Brigham Young University) there. Today, he is 37, he’s running his business in China, and he is ready to share his experience and some tips on searching for a part-time job in the USA.

Some Useful Pieces of Advice from Jose

What are the first steps in searching for a job? Perhaps, there are some pitfalls most students commonly don’t know?

Sure. First, when you find a job, you are to write an introduction letter. In this letter, you supposed to write about your experience and your personal advantages – what you are good at. Write about them as much as possible. Only after the introduction letter, you can send your resume.


What about filling in the form and writing a resume?

Never use the word CV or curriculum vitae. The most popular word is “resume”. There is one extremely important rule – a resume shouldn’t exceed 1 (one) page. Even if you have 20+ years of experience and have 20 times changed your working place, you shouldn’t write on more than one page.

Things not allowed in your resume: PHOTO, BIRTHDAY, RELIGION, ASSOCIATION, ETHNICITY. Any kind of this information is illegal in a resume. They are prohibited by the USA law.


They say Americans are very social people. They like parties, trade-fairs, flash-mobs, and various gatherings. They often organize different events in order to communicate, to express their talents and meet new people. So, if you are a student from another country, it is desirable to be more social, isn’t it?

Yes. Be social active. You are to be registered at LinkedIn – it’s the best modern tool in the search for a part-time or full-time job. Everyone can read the info in your profile and see whether you fit the position or not. Also, register at This site offers lots of lower level job. Social media is an integral part of modern people’s life. You have to be registered at the most popular ones.

Networking is the best way to start your way in searching for a job. Networking is meeting people and doing formational interviews, setting appointments with someone of the company or people of different companies to learn more about the job you are planning to apply to.


What about interviewing?

Interviews are focused on behavior-based questions rather than skill questions; HR has shifted to HC (human capital). Behavior-based questions about past experiences can determine the profile and act in future experiences.


What about visa work restrictions?

If you are not a USA citizen and study on a student visa, you aren’t allowed to work for more than 20 hours a week during a school year and 40 hours per week during summer or holidays. If you violate this condition, you’ll face serious problems up to deportation. Therefore, it is so hard for foreign students to make life in the USA. 20 hours per week isn’t adequate to have enough money for living.  Students with an F-1 visa are allowed to work on-campus only when they are freshmen (in their 1-st year of studies). As they are in the 2nd year, they can be given a permission to work anywhere. If a student has an M-1 visa, he is allowed to have practical training only. Restrictions are severe because according to the law, students are to study, not to work. A student visa is an opportunity to get a higher education, not to work illegally.


Some more tips:

  • You are to develop your skills. Americans highly appreciate people with a good set of various skills.
  • When it comes to the interview, Americans are really-really buyers and they only care about things that are called behavioral-based questions. They are going to ask you things about your past but it is not about your work experience and skills, but about different situations and how you coped with them. One of the basic questions can be: “Tell me about a situation in your past when you have to solve a certain problem/conflict. How did you solve it?”
  • Every person is to know that there will be questions about challenges, team leading, leadership and working as a team. They will ask a lot of team questions. They care you are not problematic at work, you are actually a good person and you can behave under overpressure.

How to find on-campus jobs? The easiest way is to ask your seniors or contact the career center on campus. Again, networking is another good way to start working on-campus. This may help you to find a good full-time job in the future. How much can one earn on-campus? The salary varies – $7.25 – $15.00/hr depending on the job and city.  

What Part-time Job to Choose?

Today, there is a wide range of part-time jobs both online and offline. Any student, independently on his/her age, skills, and load can find something that will suit his/her tastes and timetable. Here are top part-time jobs that are commonly chosen by students:

  • Merchandiser
  • Waiter
  • Hotel receptionist
  • Babysitter
  • Volunteer
  • Car wash attendant
  • Fast-food worker

There are also students who work at call-centers, animal shelters, senior housing, greenhouses, bakeries, gyms, etc.

Most popular sites for part-time job hunting:

Working at a university is a good opportunity to kill two birds with one stone – to earn some money and get an access to the network of professors and students – you can cooperate and communicate with them more closely.   What can you do at a university? To be a librarian, a lab-assistant, a data-entry operator, etc.

Part-time jobs are good not because of money only. There are many things more important than money when you are a student. It is about developing skills like time-management, responsibility, and nurturing relationships with different people who may be useful in the future. Many prominent persons started their careers with part-time jobs like a waiter, a pizza delivery boy, a janitor, and a maid.

Part-time jobs open new opportunities. Today, Jose Murillo is a football trainer of boys aged from 5 to 10, but he started working as a part-time trainer substituting main trainers on weekends. The big way starts with a small step.

4.67 avg. rating (3 votes)
Published by
Lauren Bradshaw
View all posts
Lauren started writing in 2003. Since then, she tried her hand in SEO and website copywriting, composing for blogs, and working as an academic writer. Her main interests lie in content marketing, developing communication skills, and blogging.