Last Updated on January 3, 2023
Work in the USA as a teacher, nurse, truck driver, computer programmer, accountant or any profession that lists jobs for international applicants.
A website for finding jobs in USA for internationals. Includes Companies searched, Vacancies, list of countries by state, cities and zip codes to move to, Visa information and related.
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How to get Job in USA for Foreigner
Immigrating to the USA – for many people, is a dream come true. Those who are ready to work hard will get far in America. There is a saying, however, that you will need to get used to: different countries, different customs. On that note, searching for and applying for a job in the United States will not be the same as in your home country. Find out below how to search and apply for a job as well as some tips to take into consideration.
Working abroad sounds like an adventure to many people. However, it requires thorough preparation, starting with a successful application. This is a brief guide to help you in your application process. For more detailed information, you should consult the full guide on the United States of America.
How to obtain a work permit in USA
In order to work in the US, you must have an appropriate visa. The most common visa for international students in the US in the F1 student visa. In order to be eligible for an F1 visa, you must be enrolled full-time at an academic institution or language-training program in the US, show sufficient financial support to complete the study, and you must prove that you do not intend to abandon your foreign residency.
All visas have to be applied for at the American embassy in your home country. Details can be obtained from the Bureau of Consular Affairs of the US Department of State.
U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs visa services
The Internet is the main source for vacancies and information concerning job applications. Search services such as LinkedIn and even Craigslist can be integral in your job search. However, avoid using job search services that charge you a fee. Most reputable services are free of charge.
Carefully read any job listings you come across before applying. It is also a good idea to cast a wide net by applying to any jobs you can see yourself in—even if you don’t meet all of the requirements. At worst, you will be turned down and at best, you’ll get an interview!
Writing a resume in the United States of America
In the US the term resume is used instead of CV. The key focus of your resume should be to persuade the employer to invite you for an interview. Think of your resume as a marketing tool, which should be adapted to the market in which you intend to use it. You will most likely end up with multiple variations of your resume, depending on the type of job to which you will be applying. It is advisable to write a short profile of yourself, using short and punchy sentences filled with action verbs and power words, and start by clearly stating the objective and/or goal of your career.
Application letter for work permit in the USA for foreigners
The application letter—or cover letter—should be typed in a short and professional style. Start with “Dear Mr./Ms X,” if you know the addressee”s name, and end your letter with “Yours sincerely”. Try to avoid phrases such as “To whom it may concern” and “Dear Sir or Madam”; you should almost always be able to find the name of the person to whom you are sending your application, and doing so demonstrates that you have put care and research into your application. The last paragraph of your cover letter should include multiple ways to get in touch with you, including your phone number and email address. Most importantly, keep your letter short—no longer than a single page.
The interview is by far the most nerve-wracking part of the job search process. The most important thing you can do to prepare for an interview is to research the company. Make sure you are familiar with the company’s goals and values; if you can, try to memorize a few key words from the company’s mission statement and use them in your interview. Another helpful way to prepare for interviews is the mock interview. Ask a friend or family member to ask you questions you’re likely to be asked during your interview, and practice your answers. This will help you remain cool and calm during your actual interview.
The day of your interview, remember to dress your best, and bring several copies of your resume along with you. Provide specific examples and stories of your achievements when answering questions, and avoid criticizing former employers. Be pleasant and polite, but not too personal. Follow up your interview with a short thank you letter to your interviewer.
American business culture and etiquette
- The organizational culture within American companies is strongly result orientated.
- Companies are focused on direct results and short-term gains.
- Employees are motivated by their employers and there is little direct criticism in either direction.
- An agenda is usually distributed before a meeting.
- The goal of most negotiations is to “close the deal”. The long-term relationship is unimportant at that time.
- Americans are on a first-name basis with each other from the beginning.
USA Jobs: Where are the best places to find work?
To work in the USA, you are required to have a permit to live and work in the USA, or in other words, you must have a Green Card or a valid work visa. With either of these, the doors of the American job market are open to you.
You have already won in the Green Card Lottery and are already planning the next steps for your move to the land of your dreams. Naturally, where you decide to live in the USA depends heavily on where you get a job. Luckily, job prospects in the USA are looking good for immigrants: The newest studies released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the unemployment rate in the USA is the lowest it’s been since 2007.
It is important to become familiar with the American job market and get a good understanding of large and important markets and companies. The service sector, education and health sectors as well as the so-called TIMES-market are booming. TIMES stands for the telecommunication, information technology, multimedia, entertainment and security services.
The service sector is the main pillar of the US economy. Almost 80% of all employees work in the service sector. That includes trade, transportation, the insurance business, media and banking as well as the education, communication and information sectors.
The second largest sector is industry. The USA is at the forefront in the, for example, engineering and transport industries. The United States also takes the lead in the chip and software industry, the chemical sector, medical technology, oil and natural gas production as well as being at the top of the food industry.
HIGH TECH INDUSTRY
Naturally, California is famous for having the largest entertainment industry in Los Angeles, but it is Silicon Valley’s high-tech industry that is bringing in the money. All the big tech firms like Apple, Google, Adobe, eBay and Facebook are at home in the valley. There are other high-tech hotspots in the USA, though. Maybe you would prefer a job with Microsoft in Seattle or with Amazon in Washington D.C.
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
If you are more interested in working in the medical field, pharmaceutical research and development sector or in biotechnologies, then you should feel at home in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina with the company GlaxoSmithKline. You might also like Maryland and the Washington D.C. region which are famous for their R&D sector. Here you will find the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), the National Institute on Health (NIH) and the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP). Boston, Massachusetts is considered the hub for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sector and is home to more than 100 companies in this sector. If you want to head south, then you can find oil giants like ExxonMobil in Houston, Texas.
Of course, the American job market is as large and diverse as the country itself. Everything is possible – so get out there and decide where you want to work!
Use the freedom the Green Card gives you to its fullest! You are free to work in whatever field you want. You can carry on with your former profession or start with a completely new one. Whether you want to be a freelancer, employed or start your own business – in America the doors of opportunity are open to you!
Popular jobs in the US
The United States is famous for being the land of unlimited opportunities and the broad job market does give many people the chance to find their dream job. According to the United States Census Bureau, there were 159.8 million employed persons above the age of 16 as of May 2017. Not all of them were employed in Silicon Valley, however. The service sector in the United States creates the most jobs for Americans.
The data show the retail sector employs the most people in the United States with 4,528,550 salespersons followed by 3,541,010 cashiers. Not far behind the retail sector is the food industry which employs 3,426,090 food preparers and fast food workers. Continuing down the list are:
- Office clerks
- Registered nurses
- Customer service representatives
- Freight and stock movers
- Waiters and waitresses
Number ten on the list are general managers, which is good news for those looking to start their own business in the USA.
The job market is also growing in the USA. Currently the national job growth rate is 1.2 percent, but it can be up to 5 percent in some counties like Williamson, Tennessee. According to statistics collected from December 2015 to December 2016 there were an additional 1.8 million jobs created that year with Los Angeles, California at the top of the list. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the fastest growing occupations up until 2024 will be:
- wind turbine technicians
- occupational therapy assistants
- physical therapist assistants
- home health aides
- commercial divers.
The job market in the USA is ever growing and changing and you are sure to find the right job if you know where to look.
The best paid jobs in America
The average fully employed male in the USA earned $51,212 annually compared to females who earned $40,742. Median wages in the USA differ between men and women, race groups as well as, naturally, occupations. According to data from a 2014 wage estimate survey done by the U.S. Bureau of Labor, 16 of the top 30 highest-paying jobs were in the medical field. Below are some of the top paying jobs in the USA and their potential for growth:
|JOB||AVERAGE ANNUAL PAY||PROJECTED GROWTH (by 2022)|
|Obstetricians and Gynecologists||$214,750||18%|
|Computer and Information Systems Mangers||$136,280||15%|
Most common jobs in America by state
When you are deciding where you want to live in the USA there are many factors to take into consideration. Whether you prefer the east or west coast in America or the beach or the mountains, the USA is big enough for a variety of tastes. One defining factor for where you decide to live might be your job and the state your job is in may influence how much you earn. The relationship between living costs and wages is also something that needs to be considered when you make the USA your new home. Below are some examples of average wages* for different jobs in California, Ohio and Florida.
|Job||Average Salary in California||Average Salary in Ohio||Average Salary in Florida|
|Fast Food workers||$16,732||$20,504||$19,069|
|High School Teachers||$61,143||$66,065||$46,721|
Examining the data for ten different jobs in three states reveals that wages vary greatly from job-to-job as well as from state-to-state. California is famous for being the tech-hub of the world, so it is no wonder that software developers earn a better living wage there. Some salaries vary greatly like those for nurses or school teachers, so it would be wise to do research about your occupation before you start applying for jobs.
Unless you already have your heart set on a special place in the USA, you should take the time to explore the US job market – your dream job could be anywhere! If you would like to be the next to apply for one of the highest-paying jobs in America, then apply for the Green Card Lottery and make your dream come true!
Applying for jobs in the USA
Important during the job search is to apply, apply, apply. Collect a list of open positions or job advertisements that interest you, start writing and get applying. The main goal is to leave a good first impression with the human resources officer or company so that you will get invited to a job interview. Once you are at the interview, you can convince the employer of your skill-set personally. In today’s age, most applications are submitted online. A job application in the USA only includes a resume/Curriculum Vitae and a cover letter. Despite this, use the space you have to be creative and put yourself in a positive light!
Job application: Curriculum Vitae/Resume
Your resume should be chronological and is, for the most part, anonymous. Personal details like religion, age, marital status, signature and photos should never be included in an American job application. As a general rule, you should try to fit your entire resume on one page and only include information that highlights your work performance.
Your resume should include your professional experience, your educational background and your soft skills. Make it clear that you are ambitious and clearly lay out your career goals with the company.
Your resume should include the following sections:
- Personal Details
- Job/Career Goal
- Special Abilities/Special Skills
Job application: Cover Letter
When writing your cover letter, you have some room to be a bit more creative and the first sentence should capture the attention of the reader. The cover letter should be a concise summary of your competencies in relation to the position you are applying for. It should convince the employer that you have the soft and hard skills needed to be a successful employee.
Find a healthy balance of self-confidence and modesty in your cover letter. Here you need to be honest and not exaggerate your skills, but on the other hand don’t be too modest and forget to include some.
Your cover letter should always be addressed directly to a certain person. Whether through friends, neighbors or research using social media platforms like LinkedIn or Facebook, networking is an important aspect of searching for a job. Use every opportunity to make connections and to maintain relationships. You can better guarantee, thereby, your chances of finding a job.
A complete job dossier including educational certificates and diplomas, job recommendations and references will be requested by the company you are applying to as needed.
Applying in English: The Dos and Don’ts
First things first, we would like to get straight down to business – the English language. English has become one of the most widely spoken languages in the world and many of us start or started learning English during our school years. That is why your priority when applying for a job in the USA is to write a convincing resume.
It is important that the vocabulary you use says exactly what you want to say. Use vocabulary that is specific to your field of work, but there is also no need to make your resume more complicated than it should be! In this case, think “less is more”.
- In your application, use a strong expressive writing style with many active verbs like “fostered relationships” instead of “worked closely”. Further meaningful verbs include “charted”, “administered”, “consolidated”, “launched” and “maximized”;
- Skills: customer-orientated, handle stress easily, team player, drive to succeed, meeting targets, eager to learn, good at multitasking, defuse conflict situations, problem solver, listens attentively, provides constructive feedback, strong planning skills;
- Motivation: “I note with interest that…” “I am keen to broaden my knowledge in the field of…”, “I want to take on more responsibility”;
- Unsolicited Application: “I am writing to inquire whether you have a vacancy in your firm.”
- Ende: “Should you require further information about my qualifications, I would be pleased to quote references,” “I would welcome the opportunity to discuss further details of the position with you personally”;
- Salutation: Always address your application to a specific contact person. If the gender of the person you’re addressing in unclear, use: Dear, first name and last name;
- Networking: When appropriate, provide links to your professional social media site like LinkedIn;
- Work references: Include the following comment at the end of your resume: References available upon request.
- Don’t begin your cover letter with: “I am submitting my resume regarding the open position of Systems Analyst advertised in the Cape Coral on April 13th”;
- Try to avoid using the first person “I” as much as possible;
- Avoid words which carry a negative connotation like aggressively, attempt, be eager, used to;
- Do not use contractions in your resume or cover letter: Don’t = do not, I’m = I am, Can’t = cannot
- Don’t use standard empty phrases except for in the closing of the cover letter. Here, formulations like “I look forward to hearing from you” and “Yours sincerely…” are appropriate.
Follow-up after sending in an application
Last but not least you should not forget about your application once it has been sent. Inquire with the company if they received your application and ask about the current status of your application. Following-up on your application signals professionalism and motivation to your future employer. Now all you can do is cross your fingers and wait for a job interview to be scheduled.
The job interview
It is normal to be nervous about your job interview because it is your chance to leave a positive first impression. It is also your chance to get a feel for your possible new employer and job. Job interviews are usually comprised of two phases, but naturally this differs from company to company.
- The introduction phase: take a small amount of time to introduce yourself and make small talk.
- The information phase: here is the time to discuss your competencies, skills and work experience as well as ask questions about the company.
Tip: Practice a mock job interview with your family and friends until you feel comfortable. During this time, fine-tune your English and pay attention to your body language. Ask your friends and family for honest feedback. Also make sure to pick out appropriate clothing.
Do research on the company you are applying for before the interview. It is vital to show interest in the company. What does the company do? Does the company have cooperation partners? What is their main line of business? Make sure you know exactly what responsibilities your future job entails.
It is not uncommon nowadays to have job interviews held over video chats like Skype. The process is still the same and you should be prepared just the same.
Appearance and body language
A job interview is like a sales pitch: in the end, you are in fact selling your skills and qualifications to the company. Your outward appearance plays an important role since it is the first thing the interviewer will notice. Make sure that you wear something elegant and decent like a suit or pantyhose if you are wearing a business skirt.
Don’t underestimate the importance of body language. Give off positive energy from the very beginning of the job interview:
- Be composed and self-assured and do not shuffle your feet nervously;
- A friendly, natural, smile will create a positive atmosphere;
- Keep eye contact to show interest and attention
Writing a thank you Letter
In America it is common to write a thank you letter after the job interview. This attests to your professionalism as well as strengthening the positive memory of your interview with the company.
Tip: Ask the interviewers for a business card directly after the job interview.
The thank you letter should be sent 2-3 days after the interview as either an e-mail or a short letter.
Work contracts and more
After a successful job interview, there is only one more step to the application process: signing a work contract. What does an American work contract look like though?
SALARY IN THE USA
The statutory minimum wage in the USA is 7.25 USD per hour. Earnings in the USA vary greatly depending on your job and the state you live in. It is best to inform yourself of the average salary for your job in the state where you are living before signing a work contract.
PROTECTION FROM JOB DISMISSAL
Job protection laws in the USA are not a concept defined as strongly as in Germany or other European countries. Laws are defined by several federal and state decisions and, of course, everything is a matter of negotiation. In many companies, for example, the common contractual period of notice is two weeks. The flexible job market in the USA opens many doors for employers as well as for employees. Do not let yourself feel insecure by the hire and fire mentality in the USA. Naturally, American companies see that it is in their best interest to hire qualified workers for the long-term.
Americans employed full-time, working 35 to 40 hours a week, are usually given ten paid vacation days a year. The number of vacation days depends of course on the size of the company. Smaller companies, for example, may not be able to afford to pay employees on officially-free bank holidays. Depending on the industry, some employees receive overtime pay for working on American bank holidays as well as Sundays, holidays, and night shifts.
FOLLOW YOUR INTERESTS
At the end of every job application process, what really matters is how you feel. Is the position calling your name? Do you like the work environment, the office and your colleagues? There are many factors to take into consideration when searching for a job. The free job market in the USA opens up many possibilities to be creative. Take the time after your job interview to recapitulate the process. Think about what you could have done better or differently as well as if the company suits you and your interests. A new start, especially in a new country, is a rollercoaster full of ups and downs. Success is mastering these ups and downs.
Tax law in the USA is strongly characterized by its status as a federal republic. Consequently, tax law is defined by many levels of government agencies and is imposed on Americans by the federal, state and local governments. In the USA, every person must calculate how much tax they owe by filing a tax return with the Internal Revenue Ageny (IRA) every year.
- US citizens, Green Card holders as well as foreign citizens permanently residing in the USA are all required to file a tax return
- All earned worldwide income is subject to taxation
- There is a double taxation agreement between some countries and the USA, like Germany: Income earned is subject to taxation in the country it was earned in, but some income, e.g. real estate, is not subject to double taxation
- US citizens and Green Card holders must annually file a tax return by April 15.
- US tax law is extremely complicated and getting help from a professional tax advisor is highly recommended
Get a Job
The Step by Step Guide to Getting Your Job in the USA
Five years ago, I set a challenge for myself to get professional experience in the USA for one or maybe even several years.
After some research, I realized that I couldn’t work in the USA without a work visa. To get this work visa, I needed to get a job. Thus, I needed to be sponsored for a work visa.
The first thing to do for anyone looking to enter the US is to find a job. Then, you will need to find a sponsor for your visa. Once that is done, you will be good to go and can move to the US.
This guide will tell you how to get a job in the USA that will deliver a visa sponsorship fitting your situation, profile, citizenship desires, and expectations.
So, let’s see how you can get a job in the USA!
Is getting a job in the USA easy? There are some difficulties you may encounter:
Since so many people are looking for a job in the USA, the rules have become more strict regarding who can enter and why.
After my own experience, I have seen hundreds of my followers who face four major difficulties:
The employer wants to hire you, but they tell you that they cannot hire you before you get a visa…
You find your dream job. The employer tells you that they cannot or do not offer any sponsorship for that job…
You are not able to connect with employers! You can’t even get a reply from them.
Last but not least, you have plenty of interviews, but even if you don’t make your visa request known, you still can’t receive a reply from your interviewer.
In any of those four cases above, you are going to get nowhere! Actually, 90% of failures in getting a job in the USA as a foreigner come from one mistake. And if you encountered the difficulties above, you might be making this mistake: applying without targeting.
Even before thinking about building your American resume and applying to jobs opening in the USA, you have to target the right open jobs and companies for you.
But targeting jobs in your field is not enough! You need to understand that up to 5% of companies in the US may sponsor you for a work visa. It may be even fewer, depending on your situation, profile, as well as the job opportunities you can get with it.
So, first, let’s dive into what you want, and then what you will get depending on your situation, profile, and expectations. This is the foundation of your American project.
Based on this, you will then be able to build your application, target the right companies, and approach them effectively.
But before going any further, I want to tell you something…
What You Want Might Not Be What You’ll Get
You might not want to read what I have to say next. It might offend or challenge your expectations.
Landing in the USA with a work visa does not mean you will get rich or stay in the States for life.
What we are going to see is the reality of the US market as it is today. You might not like it, and unfortunately, if your profile and expectations don’t match this market, it’s not going to happen. Sorry to disappoint you.
Maybe it will be easy, and maybe it will be impossible. It all depends on what you want and expect. Just be prepared to adjust your expectations.
If you don’t want to accept the reality and adjust your expectations, you have only your own decisions to fall back on. The choice is ultimately yours. You must remember that it’s your life. My choice was to live in the USA, and I now live an amazing life there. It’s not because I’m lucky; it’s because I reviewed my expectations and accepted the reality. That’s it.
If you are not ready for such a big step, it’s time to seriously think that you may misunderstand exactly what the American Dream is. And the United States might not be for you, after all. The choice is yours!
The way things are, you need to fit the mold, or you are out.
As unfortunate as this fact is, you need to understand it before going any further. I don’t want to waste your time. So, if you continue reading this post, I assume that you understand the implications of this process.
Now, let me explain how to get a job in the USA!
1. What I Want
First of all, you will need to define your career plan: What do you want to do?!
What kind of job do I want to get?
Some of you have a clear goal, while some of you don’t.
If you know what job you want in the US, that’s awesome! You already know what to search for, and you know exactly what type of job opening you want to apply to. Your career plan is clear for you, and you can skip the rest of this section and go on to “What I Will Get.”
If you don’t have a plan yet, please don’t tell me you are ready to do anything to be in the US. That is NOT a career plan! I have heard that too much for my taste. I know your goal is to be in the USA and get experience from it. But first, you need a CAREER PLAN!
I was in the same situation when I was looking for a job in the USA. At first, I was open to everything and not only jobs in my field. I applied for jobs in sales, marketing, etc., and I discovered that I was going nowhere.
You need to focus on what you love to do and the skills you have. Where do you see yourself working? What skills do you have? Which ones do you need to reinforce?
How to get a job in the USA with a career change:
If you are tired of what you are doing right now, a career change plan may be the thing for you. But you need to figure out the journey you want for yourself to achieve your final goal. Switch to a position that requires your skills or something new you want to learn; this will help you to continue your journey until you reach your final goal.
Keep your goals and motivations for your future and professional path in mind. They should be achievable based on your expertise and abilities.
You might need to focus on setting academic and work-related goals so that you can put your knowledge and abilities to good use. Although volunteering requires time, the commitment can be a fantastic choice when you want to master the skills you haven’t been able to make use of in your workplace.
2. What I Will Get
Now that you know what you want to do, you should check if it fits the US market, especially for foreigners. Remember, you don’t have a work visa yet, so you cannot apply everywhere!!
To know if your profile and expectations fit the U.S. market, you need to find out what visas for which you may be eligible, and then find the companies that have a job opening in your field that can sponsor you for this kind of visa!
The fact is, at this point, it’s vital for you to know what type of visa for which you are eligible. Why? Because the target company and the approach with the company will be completely different depending on your ideal visa, your situation and profile, and your career plan you’ve just defined.
What is my ideal future visa?
Work visas are incredibly complex. Your ideal takes into account a lot of your situation and profile (age, citizenship, marital status, length of stay, area of activity, industry, years of experience, skills, English level, etc.).
Your ideal visa depends on:
- Citizenship: Your home country may or may not be in treaty with the USA. If it is, you may get a very specific type of visa.
- Graduation: If you have more than five years of experience OR an upper-secondary diploma, it might be easier to get a visa.
- Career: It depends on the company you are currently working for. Some companies may want to transfer you to the US.
- Skills: It also depends on your area of expertise and your industry! Depending on these, you could get a specific visa.
- Duration: How much time do you want to stay in the US? Some visas are for several months; others are permanent.
I worked for several months to build and polish this visa algorithm. So, let’s have a try!
Be as specific as you can, and don’t lie in your answer! If you do, it will give you the wrong result. Be as fair as possible! If you’re honest, it will deliver the right visa for you.
If the quiz returns a visa to you, CONGRATULATIONS!!!! You’re on the right path! But before claiming victory, be aware that it may not necessarily be easy. You might even have to make some concessions. But let’s talk about that later in this article.
What if the quiz returns no potential visa?
Unfortunately, that means that it’s quite impossible for you to have an experience in the USA given your current situation and expectation. It means that what you want and what you can offer don’t fit the US requirements.
As I told you earlier, if you want it to work, you will need to adjust your career path or expectations according to the reality. If this is the case, I invite you to contact me directly. Then, I can have a look at your profile and situation. At a glance, I will be able to give you a status regarding what effort you need to make and what expectation you should change to fit the requirement.
If you still have no potential visa because you don’t want to change your expectation, as I told you, it’s a dead end for you. I cannot help you anymore, and it’s useless for you to continue reading this post, because further information will no longer be valuable. So, don’t waste your time. I encourage you to seek resources elsewhere, if you should find no luck here.
Cool beans! Once you know your potential future visa, it’s time to discover open jobs that are right FOR YOU! But before that, check that your diploma is recognized in the USA.
Is my diploma recognized in the USA?
Depending on the field you are looking for, you might need to have a degree, diploma, or certificate. In some cases, the diploma from your country can be enough; sometimes it is not. It depends on your field.
For certain trades, such as healthcare –doctors, nurses, specialists, etc. — you will need a degree equivalence or will need another degree.
If you are a nurse, you will have to pass an equivalent exam. If you are a physician, general practitioner, or specialist, having equivalence is not enough. You are required to get a valid license for the state in which you want to practice.
If you want to work in a pharmacy in the United States, you also need a diploma equivalence. If you are a lawyer, you will need to apply for a license to practice with the State Bar (US). If you want to become a real estate agent, you also need a license in the state in which you want to practice.
So, if you fall in one of the cases above, you must start searching for your diploma equivalence before looking for a sponsoring employer.
In all other trades, unless I’m mistaken, the good news is that there is no need for equivalence for your degrees!
In our situation, we did not need equivalence, and that is also the case for marketing, communication, sales, IT, HR, finance, hotel/catering, etc.
When preparing your visa application and your diplomas, an official translation into English will be required. But for now, you do not need to worry about that.
So, now comes the juicy part of your job search!
Where can I find open jobs?
Keep in mind that 95% of companies in the USA will definitely not offer you a visa sponsorship because, as we have seen before, they are quite satisfied with local hiring. So, even if you find a great open job in your field, with a perfect match with your profile, it’s not going to work 95% of the time! Try whatever you want, but the company won’t sponsor you for a visa! This is generally because they can easily find someone like you locally, or because you are not eligible for the visa they can sponsor.
Think about it. Why they would mess with visa paperwork and with a pure stranger from someplace unknown when they have local hires available without paperwork complication?
So, first, don’t waste your time applying for every job you find on the Internet, even if they all seem like a perfect match for your skills!!!
Max had the same issue when we were looking for a job in the USA. He had interviews at an American company in Denver. But when it came to the visa topic; the company declined: no visa sponsorship, that’s it.
So, why not target only those 5% of companies that are accustomed to hiring foreign individuals and those who will go through with your eligible visa request?
Do the math. It’s going to save 95% of your time!
If you were wondering how to get a job in the USA, you have now started to get a firm idea of how to do it. What you need to do is to target only sponsor companies:
- That can sponsor or hire you with the kind of visa for which YOU are eligible
- With open jobs in YOUR field
- That match 80% or more with YOUR motivation and skills
Does it make sense to you?
USponsor Me only contains sponsor companies. We spent several months building this search engine! And you will see that by using it; you can filter to find everything you need to find your job in the USA!
Depending on the visa for which you are eligible, you might also need to filter only companies that sponsor people in your citizenship. If you took the quiz, I sent you an email with your kind of visa, letting you know whether you need to also filter your citizenship or not.
So, once you’ve reached the USponsor Me sponsors search engine, you should filter on:
- Your potential future visa (+ your citizenship if applicable)
- The job title you are targeting (+ industry if applicable)
- The location you are targeting (if applicable)
The search engine will return all the best jobs in the right companies for you regarding your visa, location, and what you want to do. And it will search only among sponsors’ companies! It’s actually the best fit between you and what the company needs.
What if it returns no jobs, or only a few jobs?
If you don’t find any jobs, it can actually depend on several factors:
- Your visa. In this case, you should adjust your expectations as I said before and target another visa. Reach out to me, and we can talk more about this.
- The position you are looking for doesn’t exist in the US. It happens!! In that case, you will need to do some research and define which job title is the most effective regarding your profile and expectations.
- You may need to do something extra in the app, as it’s not yet quite effective. But don’t worry, as I can help you with that for sure.
- There are no open jobs in your field. It seems that your field is not in very high demand in the USA. In this case, the USA won’t be easy for you. But before resorting to a failure, you should be sure first to go through all of the above situations to make sure you’ve prepared yourself the best you can.
If it returns lots of jobs, let’s dive into it!
Have a look at them, and add in your favorites. Only choose jobs that fit you 80%!
USponsor Me is not yet perfect. Sometimes it’s possible that a sponsor company doesn’t sponsor for some time or makes exceptions for specific jobs. You know, even for a sponsor company, they need to have a minimum percentage of American employees. So, you may see job offers written as “no sponsorship available.” If this is the case, just ignore the job offer, and continue your selection with other jobs.
Be careful! Depending on your visa, you might not need the company that sponsors you for a visa, as a third party can sponsor you, too! If you took the quiz, you should have received an email with your visa result, the advantages and disadvantages of it, and indication of whether you need to be sponsored by a company.
If you don’t need sponsorship from the company, the mention of “no sponsorship” doesn’t apply to you.
On the contrary, if it’s explicitly mentioned that the company doesn’t undertake your kind of visa, don’t waste your time applying. These jobs are simply not for you.
We are working hard to exclude all jobs that are not subject to sponsorship and enrich our database with jobs with guaranteed sponsorship.
If it returns lots of jobs that aren’t actually in your field…
If it returns results, but they aren’t compliant with what you are looking for, please email me, and I will be more than happy to help! USponsor Me is not yet perfect. I know sometimes it can be hard to navigate. We are working hard to soon release a new version that will make the job search much easier for you! It’s our plan by the end of this year. If you are subscribed to the newsletter, you will be notified once the new USponsor Me version will go live.
Targeting is the foundation stone for finding your job in the USA. However, it’s the first step of a long quest! What you now will need to focus on is your resume and cover letter! Here, you have several American-style templates you can use.
3. Get in Touch with Employers!
Now, you need to think about your approach strategy! The art of contacting an employer when you are looking for work can be tricky. But it’s not anymore if you know exactly how you can proceed, and when.
As a reminder, before continuing your search to find a job in the USA, you need to:
- Have a firm idea of what job you are looking for
- Know the kind of visa for which you are qualified
- Be sure your diploma is enough to practice your job in the USA
- Target only companies that are used to sponsoring the kind of visa for which you are qualified
- Have a strong resume, cover letter, online presence, and plenty of recommendations
Once you have everything to start your job search actively, here are the 4 strategies you should use:
- Job Applying – when you apply to online open jobs
- Spontaneous Application – when you send your application to a company with no current open jobs
- Through Your Network – when you are recommended by someone you know
- Direct Approach – when you directly contact the right internal people without knowing them
So now, let’s dive into these four job search strategies, and decide which one you should use. It’s time for you to step out of your shell and get in touch with employers!
This is the strategy you know the best and the one you use the most. However, it can be a huge waste of time if you don’t use it well.
The biggest mistake you can do is to apply for all job openings you see, and everywhere. However, I remind you that you are a foreigner, and you need a visa! And only 1 in 16 companies in the United States hire and sponsor their employees for a visa. Additionally, sponsor companies cannot technically sponsor for all kinds of visas. Andon the other hand, you cannot be sponsored for all existing types of visa.
It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack!
Applying to open jobs posted on general job boards means that you are in competition with others, especially with locals, who already have work authorization.
Even for Americans, it’s hard to get a job by applying online. Every year, more than 100 million people are looking for a job in the USA. Only 20% of jobs are posted online, and 75% of candidates apply online, exactly like you do! It means that for each job ad, the company will receive an average of 250 applications. That’s why the ATS (Applicant Tracking System) exists! During your application submission, you will often be asked: “do you need a visa sponsorship now or in the future?” and/or: “do you have a work authorization?”. If you genuinely answer, you will be blocked by the ATS automatically. It will begin to feel like you applied for nothing!
So really, what is your chance here?
You can actually avoid that mistake, and job applying can be a great strategy if you do it correctly.
Let’s take the example of Max.
Max found his job in New York City by applying online directly to the company website. But before doing it, he saw this job ad on the website “Pôle Emploi International,” the French international job center website.
This means that the company was looking for a French guy to transfer to its subsidiary in New York City. In that case, Max was not in competition with locals. Therefore, it didn’t ask him if he needed work authorization. Secondly, this company was a sponsor, and they were able to sponsor him with the correct visa for which he was eligible. And finally, this job matched more than 80% of his profile. So, guess what? He got the job.
I know you won’t find many job ads on job center websites for international positions. I didn’t find something for myself. But, you have another website that contains open jobs with guaranteed visa sponsorship according to the visa for which you are eligible and your citizenship, if applicable. This website, as you know it, is called USponsor Me.
We now display job openings with guaranteed visa sponsorship. But be careful! Again, the job should match with the visa for which you are qualified! Please run the Visa Simulator before going ahead.
On USponsor Me, you have 2 kinds of job openings:
- Job ads from companies that are used to sponsoring the visa. However, you are competing with local candidates.
- Job ads from companies that are specifically looking for a foreigner to fill a position that can offer you visa sponsorship. It means you are not in competition with local candidates.
Does it make sense?
To switch and see those two kinds of job ads, use the toggle “Visa Guaranteed” in the search fields. If the toggle is on, it means you see the jobs especially for foreigners with Visa Sponsorship Guaranteed. If it’s off, you will see all jobs, even the job openings for which you’re in competition with local candidates.
And guess what?
For jobs that don’t require you to compete with locals, go ahead and apply! For jobs that do require you to compete with locals, stay away from applying online to medium-sized or large companies. This will be a waste of time. In that case, I strongly recommend you to use the Direct Approach strategy, which we will see later in this article. Small companies don’t use any ATS. So, you can still have your chance with them by applying online, but you also need to contact the recruiter directly by email or by LinkedIn, letting them know your extra motivation and why you are the right person for the position!
Warning! If you get a positive response before even your first exchange with this person, make sure you get your visa pitch ready. You should correctly react once you speak about it with the company. Don’t let your chance fly away!
Avoid all those mistakes you make when you apply. It’s VERY important!
Also, you know that you need to adjust your resume and cover letter for each job you apply to.
If you really want the job, but you feel it’s hard for you to identify transferable skills and match those to the organization and the role, the “let’s apply and see” won’t work for you, even if you are not in competition with locals. In that case, I strongly recommend you also directly contact the recruiter of the company to express your motivation for the job. Or, even better, use the direct approach strategy we will talk a little bit later.
If you don’t find any open jobs with Visa Guaranteed, don’t panic! You have three other job search strategies you can use.
I will detail the second one, which is a spontaneous application, and the way you can use it efficiently.
Keep in mind that 80% of open jobs in the USA are never posted on job boards. Along with applying to open jobs with Visa Guaranteed, I recommend that you send smart, spontaneous applications. The advantage is that you have no direct competitors at all!
I found my job in New York City through a spontaneous application, but in a smart way.
I first sent hundreds of spontaneous applications to companies related to my field with a quick cover letter and my resume. It didn’t work at all; I received one response, and it was negative!
I then found another way. I noticed that every week, I got contact requests through LinkedIn and Viadeo (a French professional network like LinkedIn) from recruiters. If they wanted to connect with me, it meant my profile was interesting for them.
Then, I did some research and noticed that some of those contact’s companies were also based in the USA. So, I gave it a try. I just sent quick messages to them with no resume and no cover letter in an attachment. I got an answer from one of those messages, and I got the job in New York City!
And guess what? This company was a sponsor company that was used to sponsor the kind of visa for which I was eligible.
In order to not waste your time, I recommend you only send smart, spontaneous applications, just as I’ve done.
To do so efficiently:
- You need to have a strong LinkedIn profile (and a profile in the most-used professional social media platform your country) to attract recruiters.
- You will have to accept connection requests from recruiters.
- Once you are ready, retrieve all recruiters you have in your contacts that you don’t know, and research their companies on USponsor Me, making sure to record their company name. If the company is displaying on USponsor Me, it means it’s based in the USA, and it also offers sponsorship!! Now you need to filter for the visa for which you are eligible and see if it’s still here.
If you receive results like mine, you are on the right track! You can contact this person and ask them if they have an opportunity for you in the USA.
If you get a positive response, before even your first exchange with this person, make sure you have everything you should know about your appropriate visa sponsorship. You should correctly react once you speak about it with the company, and don’t let your chance get away!
If you do not find any recruiter companies in USponsor Me with the kind of visa for which you are eligible, just keep your LinkedIn profile updated and improve it to attract more recruiters. Once you get a connection request, do your research and go ahead!
Otherwise, don’t waste your time with the spontaneous application. It’s better to use your time with another job search strategy that will work best for you.
Let’s see the next job search strategy you may know: networking.
Through Your Network
I will go over the importance of networking in the US and how to take advantage of your own network.
Even if you think you don’t have any network in the USA currently, please read the post on how to use your network. It happens a lot with my clients when I say “network.” Each time, all of them tell me they don’t have one in the USA. Each time we go through the exercise, and some of them get great opportunities with this strategy. Even Max had a nice opportunity in Denver, even without knowing someone based in the USA at the beginning.
So don’t skip this step!
Networking starts with a mindset and an intention to discover, explore, and be open to what you may encounter. It’s about helping others and helping yourself.
Furthermore, it’s not about trying to reach as many strangers as possible, even if they are in your contacts. This is almost as ineffective as applying directly to a job posting that doesn’t fit you. Networking is about meeting people you do know who can both vouch for your past performance and will recommend you to others. So, it’s not only about the people who know you personally; it’s also about the people you know who can refer you to what matters. They might even be able to help you secure an interview for an open job in the USA for foreigners.
Without a doubt, one of the most effective, and most underutilized, methods of obtaining employment is through personal networking. The network is a critical factor, especially in American culture.
Go to the end, and you will be sure you did the best for yourself with this strategy. If you don’t grab any contacts in the USA like this, let’s continue with the next job search strategy: direct approach.
The is the last, but not the least approach! This is typically the strategy that you know the least. But it’s also the one, in fact, that’s much wider than networking, and it’s almost as powerful as the networking strategy.
Let me explain:
Networking is the best strategy to approach internal contacts from someone who recommended and introduced you.
The Direct Approach is actually using the same fact: directly contacting internal contacts. However, at that time you won’t know the person before contacting them.
Finding and contacting contacts inside your target industry and companies is an excellent strategy. They can actually provide you with inside information on available jobs at a company. Indeed, they can give you precise information on the hiring process and what it’s like to work at the company.
However, to do it efficiently, you won’t contact everybody, everywhere.
Do you remember when we talked about job ads from companies that are used to sponsor for the visa on USponsor Me earlier in this article? There are open jobs that put you in competition with local candidates.
So, here we are! In this strategy, you have what you need to target!
Likewise, you will be able to consult open jobs so that you can choose the right company that matches 80% of your profile. You can also filter and see in priority companies with a good Visa Chance rate, regarding your profile and dependent on your visa strategy.
The more targeted you are in your search, the more you can concentrate on the opportunities in the field of your choice, and the more effective you will be in finding a job.
This will make it so much easier to meet your goals for finding a job in the USA!
In this case, you won’t apply online. What you are going to do is target relevant internal contacts to this company, contact them, and establish a relationship with your new contacts by getting them on the phone.
Your goal is to know the biggest challenges of the company in your field, and by demonstrating that you can help, you’ll be introduced to HR for going further in the recruitment process.
Look for a Job
Finding and getting a job can be a challenging process. Knowing more about job search methods and application techniques can help.Open All +
- Resources to Help You Find and Get a Job
- Jobs for Teens and Young Adults
- Jobs for Older Workers
- Jobs for Laid-off Workers
- Job Information and Resources for Women
- Avoid Job Scams
Apprenticeships combine on-the-job training and related instruction to give you skills to advance in your chosen field.
Apprentice programs vary in length from one to six years. During that time, as an apprentice, you’ll work and learn as an employee. When you complete a registered program, you will receive a nationally recognized certificate from the Department of Labor (DOL) as proof of your qualifications.
Self-Employment and Working from Home
You are self-employed if you operate a trade, business, or profession either by yourself or with a partner.
Find out the basics of self-employment to help you succeed in the small business world:
- Starting and Financing a Small Business – Explore opportunities and get tips to help you succeed.
- Tax Information – Learn about filing requirements for the self-employed, reporting responsibilities, and more.
- Health Insurance – Explore coverage options for the self-employed.
- Social Security Information for the Self-Employed (PDF, Download Adobe Reader) covers how to report your earnings when you file your taxes.
Work from Home
Are you thinking about basing your business out of your home? The Small Business Administration’s 10 Steps to Start Your Business includes the licenses and permits you need to run a home-based business.
Home Office Deduction
If you use a portion of your home for business, you may be able to take a home office tax deduction.
Learn what to watch out for to avoid work-at-home scams. In one common scam, you may be tricked into paying to start your own internet business. These scammers will keep asking you to send money for more services related to this fake business opportunity. To file a complaint about a scam, contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Federal Government Telework Guidelines
If you’re a federal employee looking for information on teleworking, visit www.telework.gov.
Note: The federal government never charges a fee for information about, or applications for, government jobs. You can search and apply for federal government jobs for free at USAJOBS.
Jobs and Training for Veterans
The government offers many programs to help vets find and keep civilian jobs.Open All +
- Job and Training Resources for Military and Veterans
- Find Federal Jobs for Veterans
Job Help for People with Disabilities
If you have a disability and you’re looking for work, these resources can help.Open All +
- Develop Your Work and Job-Seeking Skills
- Find a Job
- Job Help for Young Workers
- Job Help for Veterans
- Learn About Your Rights
Getting a Job in the U.S. as a Foreign Worker
Based on your skills, circumstances, and the job that you plan to do, you may be able to come to the U.S. as either a:
- Temporary or permanent foreign worker, or a
- Temporary visitor for business
Under certain circumstances, you may also be able to work in the U.S. if you’re a foreign student or an exchange visitor.
Everything you need to know to get a new job—Summary :
From writing resumes to negotiating salary, Monster career expert Vicki Salemi offers insight for every step of the job search process.
You’ve got your job search going in full swing when, all of a sudden, you hit a roadblock and you don’t know what to do. Your quandary probably begins with a question like: What’s the proper protocol for following up after an interview? Or: How do I answer questions about my salary? And possibly a statement like: Describe yourself in 30 seconds—help!
Fortunately, you’ve come to what is basically a one-stop-shop for help in all areas of your job search.
So you can land the job and salary of your dreams, Monster career expert Vicki Salemi, who has more than 15 years of experience in corporate recruiting, shared nine bits of advice for every step of the job search process—from writing your resume to talking salary.
Find the specific tip you’re looking for—or watch the entire playlist—below for guidance on all of your burning job-search questions.
1. Avoid typos in your resume and cover letter
Want to know what not to include in your resume or cover letter? Misspelled words, fragment sentences, and grammatical errors, that’s what.
Salemi says the easiest way to turn a recruiter off is with a typo or spelling mistake. Fortunately, she says it’s also one of the easiest things you can fix.
Always use spellcheck, but also proofread your resume and cover letters. And for extra eagle eyes, you should print out your materials and have a friend review them.
2. Follow up after every application
It’s not enough to simply send your resume, cross your fingers and hope for the best. Salemi says you have to follow up.
For every resume you send or job you apply to, she recommends setting a reminder for yourself to follow up one week later. This way, you won’t forget about the job—and the recruiter won’t forget about you.
3. Research the company
The more you know about a company, the better you’ll look during an interview. Salemi says you’ll impress hiring managers when you come armed with talking points that make it clear you’ve done your homework.
Before your meeting, you should check out the company’s “About Us” page, set up a Google News alert for the company name, and follow the company on social media. Additionally, you can also look up company profiles and read employee reviews through Kununu on Monster.
4. Work on (and nail) your elevator pitch
Whether you’re out running errands or hitting up a networking event, you never know whom you’re going to run into, which is why Salemi says it’s important to have your elevator pitch nailed down.
What’s an elevator pitch? It’s a 30-second spiel on who you are, what you can do and what you’re looking for. Have this memorized, so you can better market yourself to potential employers and professional contacts.
5. Send a thank-you note
After an interview, sending a thank-you note can help you seal the deal.
Salemi says there are three things your thank-you note must include: First, thank the person for meeting with you. Second, reiterate your interest in the position and why you think you would be a great fit. Finally, mention something you talked about in the interview.
Oh, and don’t snooze on hitting send. Thank-you notes should be sent promptly, typically within 24 hours of an interview.
6. Give the recruiter a little nudge
When you feel like you’ve been ghosted by a recruiter, Salemi says you can—and should—follow up.
Give it about 10 days after the interview, and if you still haven’t heard anything, check in by email, saying, “I just wanted to see if there is a status update on the position.”
Oh, and be sure to reference the job since the recruiter may be juggling multiple openings.
7. Determine your desired salary
When you’re filling out applications, sometimes it will ask for your desired salary. This is where most people draw a blank.
Since some applicant tracking systems automatically reject candidates whose salary requirements are higher than a set dollar amount and you don’t want to price yourself out of the running, enter the lowest number possible. Salemi actually recommends putting in 0 or $1, so you have a chance to get a foot in the door.
8. Take charge of salary questions
There’s no interview question possibly more unnerving than the ones involving salary.
It’s a fine line, as you don’t want to set the bar too low based on your current pay, but you definitely don’t want to reach so high it prices you out of the running altogether.
If you’re asked about your current salary, Salemi says you can dodge the question and get the upper hand by, instead, turning the question around and asking what the range is for the position. Then, state the salary you’re looking for.
9. Negotiate a higher salary
If you don’t negotiate salary when you get a job offer, Salemi says you’re leaving money on the table. Like the saying goes, if you don’t ask, the answer will always be no. Why not at least try to put some extra cash in your pocket?
So when you get an offer, enthusiastically say, “That’s great, I’m honored!” Then negotiate by saying, “I was actually hoping for a higher salary—would that be a possibility?”
By leaving it open-ended, Salemi says the recruiter will most likely come back with a higher offer.
Understand the job search
Now that you know the basics about what it takes to get a new job, there are probably some areas where you could use some more detailed information. Maybe you want the specifics of resume writing. Maybe you’re not sure about certain job interview questions. Maybe negotiating a raise is at the top of your list. Could you use some help in these or other areas? Join Monster today. As a member, you’ll get career advice and job search tips sent right to your inbox. We know getting a job feels like one big mind-bending puzzle, but luckily there are clear-cut ways to put it all together to your advantage.
15 Quick Tips to Get Hired Fast
Are you in a hurry to get a job? Are you having a hard time finding a job and starting to feel discouraged? There are some relatively quick tasks you can do that will speed up the hiring process.
Here are 15 things you should know about job hunting that will help you find a new job fast. Some items on the list are little things that make a difference. Others are significant enough that they can make or break your job search. Take a look to see if there’s anything you’re not doing and give it a try.
Watch Now: Quick Tips to Get Hired Fast
15 Quick Tips That Will Help You Get Hired Fast
Save Time Job Searching by Using Advanced Search Options on Job Boards: All the major job boards, such as Indeed.com, SimplyHired.com, CareerBuilder.com, and Monster.com, have an “Advanced Search” option where you can search by keyword, location, a radius of a location, job title, company, type of job, date posted, and other options. Here’s a list of the top 10 best job sites and tips for using Advanced Job Search options.
Search—and Apply—to Jobs You’re Qualified For: Applying for every job you find isn’t always a good idea. It simply isn’t efficient. Instead, seek out jobs that match your qualifications. That way, you’ll have a better chance of getting selected for an interview. Sending out random resumes and cover letters is just going to be a waste of time. Before you start job hunting, take the time to decide what type of job you’re seeking.
Even better, come up with a target list of companies you’d like to work for and do your best to get them to notice you. Here’s how to get noticed by your dream company.
Don’t Stop Applying for Jobs While You Are Waiting to Hear Back From an Employer: The most likely outcome is that you’ll get a lot of rejections before you land a job. Instead of getting discouraged, learn from your mistakes and keep applying until you get the right offer. Waiting to hear the results from your application or interviews will only extend the length of time your job search takes. Worst-case scenario, you’ll be juggling multiple job offers. That’s a good thing.
Create a Specific Cover Letter to Help Your Resume Get Noticed: You only have a few seconds to impress a hiring manager enough to select you for an interview. Hiring managers want to see what you can do for the company written in the first paragraph of your cover letter. Here’s how to match your qualifications to a job and tips for how to write a cover letter.
Target Your Resume to the Job, Too: It’s not just your cover letter. Your resume should be edited and tweaked, so it’s as close a match to the job as possible. Otherwise, it may not get picked up by the applicant tracking systems companies use to screen resumes or the recruiter who reviews it.
You Don’t Need to Include All Your Experience on Your Resume: Some job seekers put decades of work experience on their resumes. Unfortunately, that’s not going to impress anyone. It dates you, it’s too much information, and it may be too much experience for most job openings.
Include More Than Full-Time Employment on Your Resume: If you’ve been out of work, you don’t want your resume to look like you haven’t done anything since you were laid-off. There are other things besides your employment history you can use to bolster your resume.
Dress Like a Manager or a Successful Person in Your Profession: Maybe appearances shouldn’t matter so much, but they do. The first few minutes of an interview are when you get to make that critical first impression. Be sure you’re dressed appropriately for the type of job and company you’re applying to.
Be Yourself at the Interview: Rehearsed answers, fake smiles, and saying what you think the interviewer wants to hear instead of what you actually believe misleads the employer. Employers want to know who they’re hiring, and that’s the person they expect to show up for the first day of work.
Storytelling During a Job Interview Is an Excellent Way to Share Your Experience and Skills: One way to show the employer what you’re actually like is to tell a story. When you’re asked questions during a job interview, relay the specific skills and experience you have, as well as how you handled the situations you’re asked about. The more concrete information you provide, the more the hiring manager will know how qualified you are.
Never Say Anything Bad About a Previous Employer: One of the most common interview mistakes is badmouthing your boss or co-workers. The first thing the interviewer is going to wonder is what you will say about their company when you’re moving on.
Always Send a Thank-You Note After a Job Interview: It’s important to followup after a job interview. It’s a way to show your appreciation for being considered for the job. It’s also a way to reiterate your interest and share anything you neglected during the interview.
Take Time to Network: It’s an essential component of a successful job search. Most jobs are found through networking, whether it’s online or in-person. You never know who can help you find your next position unless you tell your connections that you’re looking for a job.
References Can Make a Big Difference in Getting Hired: References are important, and employers check them. Get recommendations from bosses, coworkers, clients, subordinates, and suppliers. Store them on sites like LinkedIn and share them whenever possible. If you’re worried about getting a lousy reference from your supervisor, work on getting some personal references you can add to your credentials.
It’s Acceptable to Apply for the Same Job More Than Once: You applied for your dream job, and you didn’t hear anything back from the company. Later, you see the job posted again. A “do over” is fine, but be sure you’ve carefully matched your qualifications in your resume and cover letter to the job requirements. Also, check LinkedIn to see who you know. You might be able to get a referral the second time around.
15 Things You Need to Know About Working Abroad
Having worked for a global company, I’m no stranger to watching friends take overseas roles. While working abroad isn’t in the cards for me anytime soon, you can bet that I live vicariously through their Instagram accounts.
Are you interested in joining them and taking an international job? I’ve sought out what you must know from people across various industries who have worked around the world. Here’s what they had to say.
If you’re going to move to a new country for a job, make sure it’s not just a good opportunity, but also a great employer that offers you a favorable employment contract.
1. Choose an Employer That Will Help as You Navigate All the Changes
“Negotiate to ensure you get a nice relocation package and that your compensation covers the new cost of living,” says Nima Maher, who spent three years in London early in his finance career. A good employer will not only help you obtain the appropriate visa, but should offer relocation support in the form of a temporary housing stipend, payment for packing and shipping your belongings, assistance selling your home, and—depending on the situation—job search aid for your significant other.
Megan Armstrong, who has worked for her current company both in the U.S. and in France, agrees: “Go with a company that will take good care of you when it comes to understanding local laws, taxes, and leasing arrangements, especially if there is a language barrier involved.”
2. Understand the Company’s Culture, Especially Work-Life Balance
“Different countries may have very different norms when it comes to vacation packages and work-life balance. For instance, when I worked in London, I received 25 days for vacation, but found when coming to the U.S. that the norm is half of that—more like 12-15 days. Be sure to ask about this,” urges Peter Morgan whose IT career has taken him from London to New York City.
3. Know What You’re Getting Into
“In Europe you’re often expected to give employers three months notice before leaving a position. So if you become an employee in the country you’re in—not a U.S. employee on an international assignment—be sure to
discuss how long your assignment or position abroad may last. Have that quite clear from the beginning,” suggests Armstrong.
4. Understand Your Visa Conditions
“Remember that, depending on which type of work visa you have, you may have to return to your home country if you resign or are fired. You often cannot look for a job elsewhere after you arrive,” explains Katie Morgan, who taught high school and performed social work during her time in the U.K. Each country has varying types of work visas, so research the regulations around the one you’ll be under. Typically, employers take responsibility for obtaining a work visa due to the complicated processes involved (and if your employer isn’t guiding you, be wary). That said, you’ll still have to fill out plenty of paperwork, so have your pen ready!
A different country means different tax laws and banking practices, so do your homework to avoid surprises. Most notably, get a clear answer as to whether you’ll be a U.S. employee on assignment or if you’ll become an employee in your new country The affects how much of your income you’ll be taxed on in the U.S.
5. You Must File Taxes With the U.S. IRS
“Before we went to Germany, an accountant already living overseas told us we’d be paying German taxes and wouldn’t have to pay U.S. taxes for the same work up to a certain threshold of income,” shares Tim Thorndike. “What we weren’t told was that we still had to file with the IRS to show that we had paid German income tax. We didn’t find that out until five years after moving and ended up paying both the German Finance Office and the IRS for those years,” he laments.
6. You Might Have a (Very) Hard Time Getting Credit
“Getting credit can be very difficult in a new country, so before you leave your home country, get a credit card with an international company. Transferring that card will be easier than getting credit once you’re there,” explains Peter Morgan, who learned this lesson the hard way. “My company finally had to step in, writing a letter to vouch for me. Even then it was still at the discretion of the credit card company whether I’d get one.”
7. Banking Can Get Complicated
“Research how to set up an account abroad. Look into local banks’ minimums, timing on transfers, fees and online capabilities. And make sure to get a reference letter from your U.S. bank,” suggests Lindsey Wilsnack who lived in Panama for two years with her husband and kids.
It’s easy to focus on the professional aspect of your move, but don’t forget about the personal and social aspects of your life. Follow these tips for relating to locals and finding your new crew.
8. Seek Out Fellow Expats
“To make friends, start with a hobby you enjoy where you could meet other people. I personally went to Zumba classes to just get out in a way where I could naturally be with and meet people who had common interests,” says Katie Morgan. “You can often find local expat websites focused on arranging meet-ups.”
9. Get Acquainted With Local Pop Culture
“Read pop culture magazines and watch their popular shows before you get there. You’ll get a better understanding of their humor and local lingo,” Katie Morgan adds.
10. Prepare For and Soften the Language Barrier
“Before moving, gain some basic conversational skills so you can navigate necessities right away,” suggests Wilsnack.
Katherine Stevens-Ridge, who has worked for her current employer both in the U.S. and the U.K., agrees: “My biggest learning point has been interpreting slang and accents in the office. I can get lost in translation at times, but I’m picking up English slang slowly. You know, bits and bobs!”
11. Use Your Extended Network
“Reach out to anyone you know—and anyone that group knows—who has been to your new country ahead of you, whether they are in the same profession or not. They may offer professional insights or even introduce you to potential friends,” says Katie Morgan.
Check out this handy international moving checklist along with these practical tips from my network of expats:
12. Start the Visa Process Far in Advance
“This will not happen overnight. The forms took almost a month from filling them out to having the visa in our hands. So as soon as you accept a position, be proactive about starting the visa process,” says Stevens-Ridge.
“This is not something you can do last minute. Make a list of what must be original and notarized, so you don’t slip up there,” suggests Wilsnack.
13. Pack Lightly
“Even if your company offers to move all your belongings abroad, I recommend bringing as little as possible. I brought my things with me and immediately felt very weighed down by having it all there. Many of my expat friends rented furnished flats, and it seemed a lot easier than having all this stuff to keep track of and move,” relates Armstrong.
14. Figure Out How You’ll Get Around
“If you plan to drive, find out how long your home country’s driver’s license is valid in your new country before you have to take a test,” says Katie Morgan.
15. Don’t Forget Your Visa While Traveling
“Make sure when you go back and forth between countries, you pack not just your passport with your visa but also your visa’s accompanying paperwork, or you may not be admitted,” says Peter Morgan.
Moving abroad for work takes careful preparation, and this, of course, is just a short list of to-dos. If you’re really contemplating international work, be sure to do plenty of research on the country and company and talk to others who’ve made the same move.
But for many, all that hard work is worth it. As Maher puts it, “It’s pretty great if you’re open-minded, outgoing and enjoy traveling.”