US jobs can be hard to get from outside of the country. Getting a US work Visa is hard to do without a job in America. It's hard to get jobs in the United States without a US work Visa. Sounds impossible, right?
Not to fear: us.jobs is here! Knowing how to start looking for US jobs is half the battle. So we've collected advice on where to start your path to getting USA jobs.
Look into what US jobs you want
Before anything else, you should learn about jobs in the United States you might be able to get. Search for the US jobs or job skills you're interested in on us.jobs to start. Get to know what the jobs are like, and what their pay might be like.
Understanding US jobs and salaries is important for a couple of reasons. One, you'll know what jobs have the most openings in different companies. Two, you'll have a head start on writing about yourself in resumes and cover letters. (More on that, below.)
Write your resume (for US jobs)
Having a good resume, or CV (curriculum vitae), is important for any jobs in the United States. When looking at US jobs, you'll need to format your resume the way US employers expect. America and its businesses want to find employees who know the culture and will try extra hard. This usually means listing your education, work history, and accomplishments in one page.
There are plenty of specifics to how these should be formatted. We've talked about this in other articles, so be sure to check those articles out. When looking for jobs in the United States, you should use an American English spellcheck if possible. If you are handwriting your resume, make sure to use clear, simple writing, such as block letters.
Don't underestimate your own accomplishments. Think of a couple important thing's you've achieved, at work or anywhere else. Then, think about which show how good of an employee you'd be. Pick 2 or 3 of your best accomplishments and write them in one sentence on your resume. Having numbers or data helps show exactly what you did. (For instance, maybe you work in sales, and once sold over 100% of what you were expected to sell-- for instance, 110%. Write the exact percentage!)
Write your cover letter with US jobs employers in mind
Many jobs will ask for a cover letter to introduce yourself. On one page, you will explain who you are as an employee. You'll elaborate on important things in your resume. And you'll explain why you think you're a good fit for a company.
Be clear and concise. You are not introducing yourself to a friend; you are advertising yourself to an employer. So explain why you're a good fit for USA jobs.
But try to show a little personality, too. Seem confident and able to learn quickly. Even though you are trying to sound professional, try to write sentences in your own voice. You want your personality to be noticeable from your cover letter. You want to make an employer curious about you.
And remember: Speak confidently about yourself, but don't lie about what you have done or can do. Employers will quickly learn if you have no idea what you're talking about.
Look for US jobs in specific cities
You don't have to know where in the US you'd like to work to start your research. However, it can help to know where specifically you'd like to work. You can talk about why you chose a place in your resume, cover letter, and interviews!
You may want to look for cities where you can afford housing and living costs, such as water bills and food costs. Places with many job opportunities are always a good idea. And make sure the place is right for you. Consider weather, culture, religious locations, schools, and other things. Some jobs are better for certain cities: High-skill and high-paying jobs like engineering are great for expensive coastal cities. Nursing and education can work anywhere, including the middle of America.
Also, definitely consider cities where you know people or have family. Being able to reference people in the US on your resume is a good thing. It shows employers you will be able to transition easily.
Look into a US work Visa and Green Cards before seeking US jobs
This is the biggest challenge for most people seeking US jobs overseas (or even from Canada or Mexico). Any permit to hold jobs in the United States is going to take a while to hear back about, whether or not you get it. Sometimes, you can find a company that wants to sponsor you, so you'll have the job before the US work Visa. Other times, a company will want you to already have permission to work USA jobs, so that they have an easier time hiring you.
Some common US work Visas for US jobs:
- Australians (E3 Visa) - This is an option for Australians who hold specialist jobs in the US.
- Canadians and Mexicans (TN Visa) - Only these countries may apply to this Visa.
- Employment-based Preference Visa) - This is the visa used by employers who have already hired someone. You shouldn't count on getting this, but it's one possibility.
- Entrepeneurs (L1, E, and L2 Visa) - The L1 and E Visa allow someone to start a new business in the USA. You'll have to look into both to see which is for you. You can get an L2 Visa by investing in a US company, but this visa cannot lead to a Green Card.
- Intracompany Transferees (L1 Visa) - This is how people working for a company which has US branches can transfer to a US branch. This is only for specialists and management.
- Specialty Workers (H1B Visa) - This is how specialists get sponsored to work in the US by a company.
- Student Visa - This is available to anyone attending school in the US, but requires you to be accepted into a US school and be able to pay for it (or get scholarships). You will have to still get a US work Visa, but you'll be able to say you already reside in the US.
- Temporary Skilled or Unskilled Workers (H2B Visa) - If a job is temporary, this is the Visa you would use. It's not a permanent solution, but it's a foot in the door.
- Green Card - This is US citizenship. You probably won't get this before a US work Visa, unless you qualify for a special case.
Consider working US jobs from where you live (to start)
See if you can work for an international company from where you live. If possible, try to work for the company as a consultant. Maybe work for an international company in a local branch.
Once you're working for a company, look into what options exist for international employees to transfer. After 6 months or more of establishing yourself, start pursuing these options.
Start looking for US jobs!
No matter how you look at it, finding US jobs can be tough. But the good news is that US jobs growth has been increasing. There are plenty of companies trying to find employees in the US and internationally.
The next step is to do your own research. And as we said above, you can start your research right here! Just use us.jobs to look for the kinds of jobs you'd want, and you'll be on your way!