Finding a Job

The first step in the process is finding a suitable placement in the US. Don’t fret, this is not as hard as it might first seem. There is a culture amongst US employers of offering internships or training places and there are lots of useful resources to get you started.

Be prepared for a few knock backs but if you persevere you should be able to land a suitable placement in your chosen field of study or career.

Here's some useful ways you can get started

  • Check the CIEE Internship USA Facebook page for available Internship positions in America.
  • Perform your own job search over the internet.
  • Utilise Placement Officers, Careers Advisors and personal contacts, which often provide the hottest job leads.
  • Our Resource Centre in the section below provides extensive US job websites and other related links.

You are responsible for finding your training placement and agreeing to the terms of your appointment. Just remember that if you accept a position that pays less than US $750 a month you must submit, at the time of application, proof that you will have access to at least that amount to cover costs not included in the program.

Types of Jobs Available

  • Please click here to view the list of accepted and prohibited jobs - link to section in FAQs

Developing a Resume and Cover Letter

Finding a job and a place to live in the US is not so hard. Once you get started it’s amazing how quickly opportunities open up.

Internship USA and Trainee USA participants must find a position before they leave Australia. Job hunting techniques for the US are the same as for any country: be resourceful, active, persistent, and patient and you could soon be working in the US. The following are a few suggestions which are a starting point. You may discover better ways to locate a job for yourself.

When applying for a job with an American employer, it is customary to submit a one-page resumé of your experience with a cover letter introducing yourself to the employer. The purpose of the package is not only to show employers what experience you have but also to show them that you are professional and keen. Employers will get a sense of you through the way in which you write your resumé and cover letter, so it is important that you approach them both with care. The below links should help you in creating your resumé and cover letter in an American-style.

Your Resume

In the United States, most businesses expect interested applicants to submit an organised resumé outlining their professional and personal experiences, along with a statement of interest called a 'cover letter.' A resumé is very similar to the curriculum vitae, or CV, which you should be more familiar with. Every person has individual preferences on how to present his or her personal information. However, there are a few general guidelines you should follow when creating your resumé:

  • Attempt to keep your resumé to one page - try adjusting borders, spacing, and font size
  • Be sure to include all relevant work experience, starting with your most recent
  • Ensure that your resumé is appropriate for the position you are applying to
  • Be organized - your resumé should separate your educational experiences from your professional and personal ones
  • Be concise - don't waste words, or space. Specifically state how each of your experiences allowed you to develop skills that will make you a better trainee or intern
  • Be specific about the duration of each of your experiences
  • Don't be afraid to include information on your hobbies and unique skills
  • Do not use graphics or icons of any sort

To view an example of an outstanding resume, please click here or view the following resume examples for particular fields:

Your Cover Letter

Finding a training position in your field of interest is very similar in process to finding a related job in your home country. The most important step in this process is creating an informative and interesting cover letter, which strongly emphasizes your professional qualifications, and your interest in training. When sending out application material, a cover letter should always precede your resumé. And, each cover letter you send should be unique to the position and company to which you are applying. This means that you must write a cover letter for each potential Host Company that you contact. It may be useful to work from a general cover letter, and personalize it as you search for a training position.

What Makes a Good Cover Letter?

A professional cover letter is generally composed of three to four major paragraphs. After you have properly addressed your cover letter, your first paragraph should be dedicated to clearly stating the intentions behind your inquiry. In short, you should state your name, your interest in a training position, and highlight the fact that you are a skilled and competitive candidate with much to offer a potential Host Company. Briefly explain why you are looking for a training opportunity, and convince them to continue reading your cover letter. If you intend to have this training program count for academic credit, you should mention the name of the educational institution you are attending and the fact that this program will be credit-bearing. This paragraph should not exceed three to four sentences in length.

In the second paragraph of your cover letter it is important to mention that you are intending to apply for a J-1 Trainee Visa through CIEE and that, as part of this program, CIEE will act as legal sponsor and will provide for the legal framework in which this training program can be undertaken. Moreover, companies may also be interested to learn that you will be provided with health and travel insurance as part of the CIEE program.

The third paragraph of your cover letter should highlight your educational background and professional interest in pursuing a career related to the company's activities. This paragraph is your chance to expand upon the experiences outlined in your resumé, and directly relate them to a company's operations and mission. It is also important to discuss your work ethic, positive nature, ability to communicate with others, dedication to professionalism, and whatever other qualities are relevant to the training position you are seeking.

Finally, you need to conclude your letter by restating your interest in training at this particular company, and thanking the company for taking the time to review your materials. Also, you should remember to express your interest in the chance to participate in a telephone interview, and offer them a good means of contacting you, be it by phone or email.

To view an example of an outstanding cover letter, please click here.

Important Tips

  • Check your spelling and grammar. If you are not a native English speaker, you may also choose to have a skilled English speaker review your cover letter for content and clarity.
  • Remember to contact the company after submitting your cover letter and resumé. Send an e-mail to the contact person if you have not heard from them in over two weeks, and remind them that you have submitted materials to them and would still be very interested in pursuing the possibility of a training position with them.
  • Don't make your cover letter too long. It should be kept to three paragraphs, and should not be more than one page in length. The biggest challenge in cover letter writing is drafting a document that is both readable and comprehensive, within a very restricted space.
  • Your contact information should always follow the salutation portion of the cover letter.

The web offers vast resources not only for finding employers, but also for finding tips on applying for work, help with housing, information about the place you will live and work, and much more.

Hospitality and Tourism Internships / Training

  • Given the unique nature of practical training within the fields of hospitality and tourism, the Department of State has included specific requirements for internships/training in these fields. 
  • In nearly all cases, participation in these fields will be limited to a maximum of 12 months. The only exception will be for those programs that focus strictly on management skills and could therefore be classified as Business or Management, rather than as Hospitality or Tourism.
  • Rotations / Phases: To highlight the varied skill sets and functional areas to which an Intern/Trainee will be exposed all hospitality and tourism programs of more than six months in duration need to include at least three different phases.