Resilience in Your Job Search

By: Luiza Goncalves Oliveira Benvenuti, Senior Psychology Student from Brusque, Brazil, and Senior Peer Career Guide with University Career Services

Resilience is a great strength that most international students already have. You may not notice it since it’s so integrated with who you are but have no doubt that it is there. Every time you are ready to quit but instead decide to keep going. Every time someone tell you that you are never going to achieve your goals and you prove them wrong. Your determination and persistence can be seen in many aspects of your life experiences. But how can you use that during your job search in America? In this post, Letty Garcia and Greyson Holliday are going to answer this question.

Letty Garcia is a Career Advisor at Career Services and works primarily with First Generation, Students of Color, and International Students.

Greyson Holliday is an Advising Graduate Assistant at Career Services and works alongside the LGBTQA+ Center, the Women Center, and the office of Services for Students with Disabilities.

  1. How do you deal with rejection?

Students should see rejection and failure as opportunities for growth and learning in all aspects of life. Besides that, use rejection to identify and understand the aspects of your search that you can and cannot control, and turn that into action. Improve and grow on topics you can and try not to make yourself feel too bad about things you cannot change.


  1. What should international students do after receiving a rejection from a company?

Always have a plan B so if something doesn’t go your way, you already know what your next course of action is. Taking the right steps to make sure you learn from the experience can help you be better prepared for the next opportunity. One way of doing that is asking the employer for feedback on why they rejected your application, maybe it was something they did not see on your resume, or something that was not brought up in the interview. This is also a good opportunity to reevaluate your job search. Maybe there are other jobs and opportunities you would like to focus more on, so make sure to explore other options and career paths.


  1. What are some ways you keep yourself motivated?

Try to have a positive outlook, stay persistent, and determined no matter what the situation may look like. Surround yourself with people that encourage, motivate, and keep you in the right track besides making you feel good and confident about yourself. Believe in yourself and the skills and strengths you can offer. Make sure to understand that even though you might not get some of the opportunities you apply for, it does not mean you are a bad applicant or bad person or not worthy of the job. It only means that this particular job did not go your way. Lastly and most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask for help!


  1. How can international students use those negative experiences in their favor while looking for a job?

Any experience, either positive or negative, are worth mentioning in an interview, especially if you can highlight something you got out of it. Meeting with a Career Advisor can help you find ways to formulate your stories to show off your resilience, strength, and adaptability besides being a good way to ask for advice and feedback. You may even use your negative experiences as evidence and proof that you overcame difficult things which can show all the strengths that international students bring to the table.


  1. How can international students increase their changes of securing a job in the United States?

The most successful students are:

  • Go getters
  • Not afraid to ask questions
  • Meeting with Career Advisor/Coach regularly
  • Asking the right questions
  • Curious to know how the job process looks like
  • Always trying to learn more and to be better prepared for next opportunities
  • Constantly building connections

The job market in America is relationship-driven, so besides your qualifications and strengths, your connections can really make you stand out during your job search journey.

There are many events across campus that can give you the opportunity to connect with employers, companies, alumni, etc. Be in the lookout for those!


If you want to watch the full video, click here.

By Luiza Goncalves Oliveira Benvenuti
Luiza Goncalves Oliveira Benvenuti Career Connections Intern Luiza Goncalves Oliveira Benvenuti