Career Advice

Tips for Finding a Job in the US as an International Job Seeker

For those living in the United States, the idea of working abroad is often very enticing because it offers opportunities that may not be readily available where they reside. The same can be said for international job seekers looking to secure employment in the United States. 

The United States has long stood as a symbol of opportunity, and that applies to the workforce. For international job seekers, the U.S. often represents more cultural diversity, better living conditions, and increased educational opportunities. 

If you want to join the nearly 30 million foreign-born people who are employed in the United States, then keep reading because we offer some helpful tips for finding a job in the U.S. as an international job seeker: 

Finding a Job in the United States as an International Job Seeker

1. Get Sponsored

If you are not an American citizen but are looking to work in this country, your first step will be to find a sponsor or obtain your green card.

Let’s start with sponsorship. With this, your employer – who will act as your designated sponsor – will essentially take responsibility for you while you’re in the United States. Essentially, your sponsor will be responsible for you complying with all regulations, and helping you submit documentation to the U.S. Department of Labor and related tasks. The standard U.S. sponsorship visa is good for three years, but it can be extended. Your sponsor would be able to help you extend it. 

The second option is to obtain your green card. This allows you to reside and work in the United States permanently. In many cases, receiving a sponsorship sets the groundwork for obtaining your green card. There are several types of green card eligibility, with one being getting one through employment. You can learn more about applying for a green card as an immigrant worker here

Once you do have your green card, you will also need a social security number which is required to obtain employment in the United States. 


2. Familiarize Yourself With Online Video Conference Apps 

Chances are, in today’s post-Covid-19 world, you’re already familiar with online video conference apps like Zoom, GoToMeeting, Skype, and Google Meet. However, if you’re not, now’s the time to brush up. 

Video conference platforms enable you to easily have an interview with anyone and in any time zone. When brushing up on these apps, make sure you’re not waiting until the last minute before your interview to do so. If you’ve never used Zoom before, for example, you’ll need to set aside time for it to download onto your computer. 

Likewise, to use Google Meet, you’ll have to create a GMAIL e-mail address. The good news is that all of these platforms offer free versions, so you won’t have to pay to use them. When setting up your interview, just be wary of time zones. The last thing you want to do is join the interview hours before or after it’s scheduled and miss your opportunity!


3. Craft a U.S.- Style Resume

While all resumes are designed to offer a snapshot of your educational and career experience, there are many differences between those that are used within the United States and those used in Europe. One of the biggest differences is that in Europe, resumes are called a CV and CVs tend to contain a lot more information than U.S.-based resumes. 

In the United States, a resume is usually no longer than one page and provides an overview of work experience in reverse chronological order, contact information, education level, an overview of skills, and relevant awards. 

While international CVs also include this information, they also include an overview of relevant course studies, training, references, knowledge of relevant software, and a declaration. Furthermore, certain countries in the Middle East, Asia, and Europe may include a photo of themselves in their resume. This is traditionally not done in the United States, and as such, may be offputting to a recruiter. 

There are plenty of resume examples listed online that you can review to ensure that you’re crafting one that will result in a call back from your potential employer. Remember, in the U.S., recruiters only have about 6-7 seconds to review your resume before they make a decision. Keep your information short and to the point. They will get to know you in the actual interview. 


4. Get Your Elevator Pitch Ready 

An elevator pitch is a phrase commonly used to describe a way in which you would sell your idea to someone quickly. While your interview will surely be longer than the average elevator ride, the bottom line is that you only have a short window to sell yourself. 

That’s why, during your application process, you should take some time to get your elevator pitch ready. In other words, what do you have to offer that would benefit this potential employer? This could include relevant skills, pieces of training, and life experience. For example, if you’re bilingual, tell them about how this will help you succeed in your role, form relationships with new clients, and help take the company to the next level. 

Workplaces have higher rates of success when they have a diverse workforce. Diversity brings forth fresh ideas, cross-cultural experiences, and new perspectives that can help drive a company forward. Think about how your experience abroad will benefit this U.S. company and sell that to the recruiter during your interview. 


5. Research the U.S. Job Market

Regardless of whether you live in the U.S. or outside it, it’s always a good idea for job seekers to research the current job market to see where the majority of employment opportunities are. 

As of 2022, some of the most in-demand industries for immigrants looking to work in the United States include information technology, healthcare, manufacturing, and education. 

Within these fields, some of the most in-demand roles include teachers, engineers, web developers and designers, and nursing. Going back to the section about your elevator pitch, being bilingual, for example, can make you more desirable to employers, as these are skills that are in demand. In fact, you’re not only likely to be hired over another applicant if you’re bilingual, but you’ll likely earn up to 20% more money per hour. 

Finding a Job in the United States as an International Job Seeker

With These Tips, You’ll Be Well on Your Way to Obtaining Employment in the United States

Finding a job in the United States can be difficult because of how many applicants the average job opening receives, but it’s not impossible. These tips will help you stand out among the competition. 

Remember, you have skills that are in demand here in the United States. Your skills will not only help the company you’re working for succeed but they will help you on your career path, regardless of which industry you choose to work within.