These resources are good for anyone faced with the "overqualified" label or who has decided they need a change.
- Encore Careers
- Free information and social tools to help individuals looking to transition to jobs in the nonprofit and private sector.
- Job database is powered by Prime Careerbuilder, which focuses on baby boomers and can be accessed by the top tab "Find Your Encore Career" and selecting "Encore Career Finder".
Extensive database of jobs requiring senior level experience. Also offers resources on financial planning, health care and senior living.
Advice and a résumé database, free job search and a premium job search database. The job database does have some entry level jobs mixed in.
- What's Next
Focus on those in mid-career or approaching retirement who want to make a career change. "Tools" section connects to job listings with executive jobs in the private and nonprofit sectors. Requires registration.
- Work from AARP
Job database system listed with American Association of Retired Persons powered by retirementjobs.com, a website that helps job seekers connect with pre-screened age-friendly employers.
- Working afer Retirement
Dedicated to provide useful information to help older adults fulfill their retirement goals.
Information on Optional Practical Training, Curricular Practical Training and the STEM Optional Practical Training Extension, is available through the Center for International Studies.
More detailed job searching information can be found on our Jobs page under International Students.
Tips for Interviewing with American Employers
Before the Interview:
First Impressions are extremely important. Aspects like your consideration of time, personal appearance, and quality of conversation are things that are culturally significant in an interviewer/interviewee relationship.
- Respect of Time (promptness and punctuality) is very important in American culture. Arrive for your interview 10-15 minutes early, however be prepared to wait! Arriving early means you can start exactly on time, this shows consideration and respect for the interviewer’s schedule.
- Eliminate distractions: Keeping cell phones away and silenced is a small gesture of respect to your interviewer. This is a nonverbal way of showing that you are respecting their time and are focused on them and this interview.
- Personal Appearance: Shake hands firmly, greet with a friendly smile, and dress professionally with combed hair, brushed teeth, and free of any body odor. These are things that U.S. employers typically relate to confidence and competence, which are important values in American culture.
- Quality of Conversation: Small talk is another great way to have a successful first impression! Allow an adequate window for small talk while you get settled into the interview space, then proceed with the interview
- Listen first to the interviewer, they may start the small talk for you!
- Show that you are listening through eye contact, nonverbal cues, and your responses.
- Be respectful of boundaries and choose pleasant, general topics. Avoid personal matters, politics, religion, age, or nationality.
- Small talk is a great opportunity to build, but be mindful of the interviewer’s time
While small talk is a great way to start the interview process, remember that keeping to the schedule and being mindful of the interviewer’s time is another cultural value here in the U.S.
Here are a few good examples of small talk:
- “How has your day been?” or “How are you?”
- Utilizing information gathered from around their office: Do they have a nice piece of art on the wall? Do you see a pet photo? It is appropriate to make a comment, “Oh your dog is so cute! I have one too! What is their name?”
- Location or layout of the office- “Wow! I love the view from your office!” or “I love the location here! After this I might have to ask you for restaurant recommendations”
During the Interview:
It is important to demonstrate your knowledge and abilities through examples while showing that you are relaxed and confident. The goal of this would be to emphasize the value you would bring to the team as well as how you would contribute to the organization as a whole.
- Draw on past experiences. When responding to questions in the interview, utilize your past experiences to demonstrate your knowledge and abilities. Utilize the job description to know what skills or experiences they are looking for in a candidate so you can prepare accordingly.
- Time: Be sure that you respond to the questions in a short but thorough manner. Some responses may need to be longer than others, but just be sure you are giving relevant information.
- Attitude: Confidence, competence, assertiveness, being at ease, and pleasant are all attitudes that are seen as important for interviewing.
- Ask Questions! Once the interview begins to wrap up, the interviewer typically asks if you have any questions. This is a great opportunity to showcase your listening skills as well as asking any questions that the interviewer didn’t answer during the interview.
- Do’s: Ask specific questions about the potential role, ask about the interviewer’s experience with the company, ask one or two thoughtful questions that show you are trying to learn more about the company and how you would fit in best.
- Don’ts: Ask questions that you could learn with a bit of research, ask questions for clearly self-serving reasons, ask too many questions (be mindful of their time).
After the Interview:
- Send a prompt thank you card. This shows that you were appreciative of their time and look forward to being invited back for a second interview or to hearing from them about the next steps in the hiring process. These should be done quickly after an interview (within a few days) and should be polite and gracious.
Additionally: Know your rights as an international student!
In the U.S., it is illegal for interviewers to ask questions on immigration status, age, nationality, or marital status. It is ok for them to ask if you are authorized to work in the U.S. and if you will need visa sponsorship now or in the future. Be sure to be knowledgeable about your work authorization and be prepared to explain the process of authorizing work and to be clear about the employer’s responsibilities in the process. If employers ask illegal interview questions, stay pleasant and keep your answers general!
Here are a few samples of illegal interview questions:
- Are you a U.S. citizen?
- Where were you born?
- What’s your ethnic background?
- Can you send your birth certificate?
- How did you learn Spanish?
- Are your parents from the US?
- Are you legally allowed to work in the US?
- Can you read, write, and speak in English?
- Do you have any other names?
- If we hire you, can you show proof of citizenship?
- What education do you have?
- What experience qualifies you for this job?
- Do you have licenses and certifications for this job?
St. Cloud State University's LGBT Resource Center also provides information and resources.
Job posting websites and resources
- Human Rights Campaign
Corporate Equality Index rates companies on how equitably they treat LGBT employees. Website also offers an employer database for nondiscrimination policies and benefits.
- LGBTQ Career Planning Resources provided by Minnesota State
- Pride at Work
An organization that seeks full equality for LGBTQ workers in our workplaces and unions. We work towards creating a labor movement that cherishes diversity, encourages openness, and ensures safety & dignity. We aim to educate the LGBTQ community about the benefits of a union contract for LGBTQ working people, and to build support and solidarity for the union movement in the LGBTQ community.
- Top Tech LGBTQ Innovators and Companies
Some of the most inspiring, innovative individuals and organizations making a difference for the LGBTQ+ tech community.
FAQ's for LGBTQIA+ Job Seekers
- Lists of queer-supportive employers from the Advocate and Human Rights Campaign.
LGBTQIA+ Job search resources
LGBTQIA+ Profession-specific resources
- Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Issues in Counseling (ALGBTIC)
Promoting greater awareness and understanding of LGBT issues among members of the counseling profession and related helping occupations.
- Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals
Providing support to colleagues serving lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities in higher education.
- Gay and Lesbian Medical Association
Ensuring equality in healthcare for LGBT individuals and healthcare providers.
The Psychotherapist Association for Gender & Sexual Diversity.
- National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
- NGLCC supports and advocates for diversity and inclusion for LGBT owned businesses.
- Quorum - The Twin Cities LGBT Chamber of Commerce
- National Lesbian and Gay Journalist Association
Organization of journalists, media professionals, educators and students working from within the news industry to foster fair and accurate coverage of LGBT issues.
- National LGBT Bar Association (The LGBT Bar)
National association of lawyers, judges and other legal professionals, law students, activists, and affiliated lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender legal organizations.
- National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professions Inc.
National organization of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people (and their advocates) employed or interested in scientific or high technology fields. NOGLSTP’s goals include educating the scientific and general communities about LGBT issues in science and the technical workplace; educating the queer community about relevant topics in science; dialogue with professional societies and associations; improving our members employment and professional environment; opposing queer phobia and stereotypes by providing role models of successful LGBT scientific and technical professionals; and fostering networking and mentoring among our members.
- Out N' About: Career Resources for LGBT Students
An article by Southern Association of Colleges and Employers with many diverse and unique resources.
- Reaching Out MBA
Organization connecting, education, and increasing LGBTQIA+ MBA students and alumni.
- The Publishing Triangle
Organization furthers the publication of books and other materials written by LGBT authors or with LGBT themes.
Your legal rights
These resources may help you understand your rights if you encounter discrimination in a job interview or in the workplace.
- To learn what constitutes an illegal interview question and how to handle the situation, read Handling Improper Interview Questions.
- If you experience discrimination once you are in a job, check out tips and information about employment discrimination.
- Laws protecting you from discrimination:
- Minnesota law prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, public service, education, credit, and business based on sexual orientation, which is defined to include transgender individuals.
- Under federal law, you are protected as an employee and job seeker from discrimination based on your sex, gender identity, gender presentation, and sexuality/orientation. To further learn about state and federal laws regarding protection of gender identity and sexuality/orientation, see Movement Advancement Project's equality maps.
St. Cloud State University's Student Accessibility Services may also provide information and resources.
Will you disclose your disability in the workplace? Review this Disability Disclosure Form to help you decide and what steps to take.
Minnesota State also provides Career Planning Resources for People with Disabilities.
These job search resources are useful for all types of differently abled individuals. Many are geared toward those with physical disabilities.
- Americans With Disabilities Act
Comprehensive resource for information on the Americans With Disabilities Act.
- Career Guide for Students with Disabilities
Maryville University offers an article to aide disabled and differently abled students to begin their post-graduate steps in finding employment.
- Disabled Business Persons Association
Nonprofit with services that include: personal business advisor, business plan and financial assistance packaging, market and product research marketing, advertising and public relations, presentation and proposal documentation, and more.
- DisABLED Person
Extensive job board and resources such as blogs, graduate section, news and links to other disability websites.
A guide to support and offer guidance for students with disabilities or are differently abled.
- Entry Point
American Association for the Advancement of Science program offering outstanding internship opportunities for students with disabilities in science, engineering, mathematics, computer science, and some fields of business.
- Equal Opportunity Publications
Publisher of CAREERS & the disABLED magazine, EOP also offers a résumé bank and career fairs for the differently abled.
National employment and networking portal that connects job seekers with disabilities with employers committed to hiring them.
- Job Accommodation Network
JAN is a free consulting service with information about job accommodations, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the employability of people with disabilities. Know your rights in the job market, the meaning of "reasonable accommodation" and what to do if you are a victim of job discrimination.
- National Business and Disability Council
Post your résumé and search for jobs.
- Navigating Job Transitions
- National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange
Helps people with disabilities interested in studying, teaching, conducting research, interning or volunteering abroad to find exchange programs, as well as any disability-related accommodation and accessibility information needed to make the international experience a success.
- Resources for Business Owners with Disabilities
This article is a brief summary for business owners with disabilities including the PASS (Plan to Achieve Self Support) program, how to network, and finding funding for projects.
- Resources for Disabled Job Seekers
List of resources that give those with disabilities a much better chance of success when it comes to finding suitable employment.
- Supporting Autistic Students Success Initiative (SASSI)
Resources for faculty, staff, and students to learn more about supporting autistic college students.
- Attention Deficit Disorder Association
- Articles by licensed professional counselors about career and work issues for individuals with attention deficit disorder.
- LD Online
Leading website on learning disabilities and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Deaf and hard of hearing
St. Cloud State University Veteran's Resource Center may be able to provide services and resources.
Minnesota State also provides a Career Planning Resources for Military, Veterans, and Military Spouses.
Department of Labor sites