How to Easily Land an IT Job Offer in Silicon Valley During Your OPT Period


What is background enhancement, and can an internship during OPT be utilized to boost background experience?

Background enhancement involves specifically improving an applicant’s resume according to their application goals. Nowadays, both studies abroad agencies and job agencies have turned background enhancement into a specialized service. For a fee, they promise to organize various projects for you, such as “Elephant Interaction in Sri Lanka,” “One-week Equestrian Project,” “One-week Study Tour of New York, visiting prestigious schools in Boston, and attending lectures at New York University,” or even “Paying for a one-month internship at a foreign bank with internship certification.”

But are these truly effective? Can they really make a difference when included in your resume and cover letter? Background enhancement should be tailored to your professional courses and future career direction, and it needs to correspond to relevant details in your resume to enhance credibility.

MaxOPT is dedicated to maintaining your status during OPT, extending OPT, converting your status, addressing Day-1 CPT enrollment concerns, applying for spousal visas within the US, and conducting background checks.

Common Misconceptions about Background Enhancement

  • Volunteer/Charity Projects ≠ Professional Experience

While these activities may be somewhat beneficial for roles in education or public policy, they hold less value for positions in fields such as computer science, chemistry, statistics, biology, or electronic engineering. In fact, they could lead hiring managers to view your expertise as lacking.

  • Rich Background ≠ Relevant Background

Many people mistakenly focus on simply enriching their background without considering if the experience is beneficial and enhances core competitiveness. Remember, interviewers and HR are looking for interns who can contribute and ease their workload, not candidates with impressive backgrounds but lacking practical skills. Additionally, activities such as involvement in student organizations should be left off the resume, as HR prefers to see certifications related to the field.

  • Internship Verification and OPT Background Checks

Although most agencies assert that their background enhancement programs offer “project participation certificates” or “internship certificates,” can these documents truly validate the authenticity of your experiences? In reality, while these certificates are not obligatory materials during the application process, they still hold considerable significance. Prior to and following the interview, HR might reach out to your references to conduct a background check, evaluating various aspects of your capabilities and the context of your relationship with them. Additionally, the authenticity of your experiences can also be gauged through your responses during the interview and in your cover letter. If you have undertaken a paid internship or utilized OPT for an internship at a friend’s company, ensure that your supervisor can provide thorough descriptions and responses regarding your experience during subsequent interviews.

Is it worthwhile to invest in a Background Enhancement program?

If you’re working within budget constraints, you have two alternatives for bolstering your background. One option entails engaging in an (OPT挂靠) internship, where you pay a reduced fee to undertake assorted tasks in a small company and receive an employment verification letter. The other possibility is to allocate more funds towards a comprehensive program offered by a large company. Both approaches can augment your background and address your OPT unemployment days (OPT失业期).

Before delving into background enhancement, it’s imperative to meticulously assess the duties of the position you’re seeking and scrutinize the requisite background and skill set. This aids in identifying which experiences are pertinent and warrant improvement. For instance, if the role at the UN entails coding and testing, an internship at a prominent internet firm would prove valuable. Conversely, if the UN position revolves around research, proficiency in autonomously conducting experiments, literature review, and summarizing pertinent research themes are fundamental competencies. When augmenting your background, refrain from fixating excessively on whether the internship is at a Fortune 500 corporation or a smaller entity; as long as the work is meaningful, it holds utility.

During applicant evaluation, interviewers and HR predominantly assess whether candidates have completed core courses, their educational background, the projects they’ve engaged in, their skill sets, and whether their prior internship duties align with the current role. For research experiences, they evaluate the nature of experiments conducted, research trajectories, and their relevance to the internship. Furthermore, they scrutinize competitive projects and their outcomes. Additionally, interviewers and HR underscore soft skills like teamwork and communication acumen. Ultimately, they seek not only top-tier students but also interns with talent who can seamlessly integrate into the team and contribute to the department and organization’s objectives.