How to Find a Job in the U.S. as a Foreigner
Finding a job in the USA is an appealing proposition for many people from around the world. The country offers diverse places to explore, with regional cultures and experiences that help make it an exciting place to live.
Finding a job in the United States can be achieved for many foreigners, but it is important to understand how job hunting works in the U.S. and what job seekers can do to impress American companies and recruiters to help them secure their desired position.
The application process differs in the United States from other countries. The process also begins in your home country, before you even move to the United States. This article will walk you through the steps of finding employment in your desired job market in the U.S. and how you can set yourself up for success.
Before Starting Your Job Search in the U.S.
Before starting the job hunt, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the process of moving to the U.S. legally. For example, research the different types of work visas available and which ones will apply to your specific situation.
Many jobs will fall under specific visas, and those visas might have requirements — such as training or education. The U.S. Department of Labor may have to approve your qualifications. You may also want to look for a job that offers a green card, permanent visa, or temporary work visa.
Many work visas require visa sponsorship from the employer. They will have to file a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before you can begin applying for a visa — even for an entry-level position. Familiarize yourself with federal government requirements.
It is also a good idea to research the different regions where you might look for job opportunities. Remember that the U.S. is larger than many other countries and living in a small town will be significantly different than living in San Francisco, Dallas, New York, or Boston, for example.
Different regions will have different costs of living and different climates. Knowing the cost of living and what to expect in your new city can help you prepare for the transition and help you narrow down your job search to positions that will allow you to afford your desired standard of living in your chosen area.
As you browse job postings, also keep in mind that many Americans get health care through their jobs. Consider the benefits that a given job offers before accepting it.
Preparing an American Resume
When starting a job search, you should have a job resume prepared. Finding employment opportunities in the U.S. can be a bit of a challenge, as you will often have to compete against other candidates. To help yourself stand out and appeal to potential employers, demonstrate the skills that will make you a desirable applicant.
In the U.S., the term “C.V.” often refers to a document used in academia, whereas a resume is for all other types of jobs. However, in the digital age, what goes on an American resume versus a European or an Asian C.V. has become increasingly similar. Candidates use both types of documents to highlight their educational and professional achievements, their career development, and their skills that fit the open position.
However, there are a few differences you should familiarize themselves with, including:
- Traditionally, a C.V. contains a lot more biographical information, sometimes listing high school education even after the completion of higher education. This is not necessary on an American resume.
- You do not need to include a photo with your resume in the U.S. unless you are applying for a position that depends on physical appearance, such as a model.
- You do not want to include your birth date, age, or marital status on your resume, as anti-discrimination laws prevent the collection or use of this information in the hiring process, and this can be viewed as unprofessional.
Think of your resume as an opportunity to show potential employers how well you will fit their new job opening. It is your opportunity to brand yourself and show how your work experience prepared you for this role.