Category Archives: Job Applications

Great tips for foreigners applying for jobs in the US

Top 4 Tips to Get Your US Visa to Work In US

We try to answer your questions as fast as we can in the blog comments, it is just sometimes the response is so overwhelming it can take a while for us to catch up 🙂 In a way that is a good thing for us b/c we believe the information here speaks directly to all foreigners regardless if you are trying to come here to work on the H-1B visa, L-1 visa, E-3 visa, J-1 visa Work and Travel, J-1 Visa Internship or even come to study on the F-1 visa.

It did however give us an idea to document the 4 best tips we think will help you succeed in gaining employment with a US employer and then successfully applying for your US visa. Some of these ideas you might either be aware of before or have read them in earlier posts. Either way that is great b/c you already possess some of the best tools we believe for success in navigating the US Immigration system. So don’t think just because that some of these tips seem obvious that they may not be valuable. It is a culmination of our experiences and the experiences of the hundreds of people who comment and share their stories on here that allows us to document what we think is the best advice to getting your US visa (eg. H1B visa)

Additionally tips which should also both help you and save you money, which can be key in this expensive process, will be outlined and maybe save you unnecessary trips to an Immigration attorney, whom you would know if you have contacted one can be somewhat expensive to say the least.

OK here are our Top 4 Tips (in no particular order of importance) to finding work in the US and getting your US visa.

1. Come to the United States if you want to find a job – You may ask what does this mean but it literally means what it says. Unless there is something extremely unique and exceptional about your experience, almost no US employers will hire you sight unseen. Now for many people this means a significant risk and cost, leaving home to search for a job on the other side of the world with no guarantee of success but I can tell you that without this your chances of success (especially in the current climate) would be close to 0. Now some people they accomplish by coming here originally on another type of visa and then transfer from an F-1 visa as a student or via other types of US Visa transfers.

2. Apply for jobs in sectors that are growing, less well known and with an open mind to location – This tip in some ways is very controversial as I can even think of arguments to not support this piece of advice like if you scan the Top 100 Employers of the H-1B visa last year and see what sectors they are from. However this advice is for today’s climate and looking forward into the near future so as will explain is very relevant. Now the 5 sectors that I believe you should focus on are; IT, Health, Education, Online and New Energy. Each of these sectors have a lot of money being pumped into them are growing rapidly and require a wide range of skillsets from Engineering to Marketing to Computer Science to Medical to Business, etc. As for the location flexibility, many people focus on the big areas like New York, California and Chicago as they tend among the most desirable places to live. However currently these are the highest taxed places in the country, have the highest costs of living and the higher unemployment rates meaning you are competing with a lot of qualified locals for positions. Others parts of the country are more desperate for talent and not only could your take home salary be higher after expenses but you may also be able to gain a faster path to things like a Green Card.

3. Understand the US Job Interview – We actually wrote a specific post about how to best prepare for a US job interview but it is worth re-emphasizing due to its overall importance to your success and from hearing all the feedback we here from readers every day. The US job interview is a unique animal depending on where you apply and things that may be important back at home will never be mentioned here and other things that are rarely discussed openly at home like monetary issues are often initial points of conversation here. Often if you are applying in the more modern online sector the people interviewing may be just wearing regular street clothes and more interested in your answers to questions like “What is a good time for you?” and “What type of music do you like to listen to while you work”. These companies are much more interested in you fitting into their culture and enhancing a fun environment (assuming you have the basic competencies for the role) rather than all the awards you have won. This may be very different if you are applying at a large Fortune 500 Pharmaceutical company where they may test your skills in an interview to cope with pressure by asking very direct questions to assess your confidence in a competitive environment.

4. Be Over Prepared for your US Consulate InterviewThe US Consulate interview depending on who you ask may seem to a simple process or like a criminal interrogation. More often than not the people who think it is tough are usually ones who are disorganized and do not have all their documents ready, fees paid and other things organized like paid return envelopes. Usually you have to pay a visa application fee at a nominated location PRIOR to going to your interview and have the confirmation receipt. Many visas like the H1B visa have visa issuance fees and these can also apply depending on which country you are from. US passport photos are also a different size to many other countries. Also if you have to prove things like maintaining a residence abroad that you use common sense and not cease all connections you have with your home country and bring evidence like bank statements, mortgages, business ownership documents, mention immediate family connections, etc. (more often than not you never have to show this but it never hurts to have it).

So this not some sort of magic recipe for success but it is the common wisdom of hundreds of successful foreigners who have found work in the US, successfully applied for their US visa and now live happily in America. Don’t ignore the obvious!!

CJ

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Creating a US Style Resume for Job Applications

I thought I would touch in a short note about resumes. As many sites that also charge for other free information I have shared in this blog also state as part of their service they will help with resumes as well to ensure it is in a US format which can be different from other International countries.

To be honest, in this global world, where labor is constantly travelling all over the place, differences between resumes (language aside) is becoming more and more homogenized the world over. So the advice I will share to help with your job applications to get your E3 Visa, H1B Visa or J1 Visa may be what you are already doing.

Additionally, the job sites I recommended like Monster.com and LinkedIn.com as well as others like Career Builder and Yahoo Hot Jobs all have extensive sections on this so it hardly a trade secret.

The truth is probably these days, that you have to go beyond your resume format to obtain a job offer and eventually get your E3 or H1B visa by really standing out from the pack. By this I mean it is the presentation, extra efforts, interview performance which is basically whole package you offer during all stages of the application process that will get you that job offer.

However the resume is an important pre-requisite so I will try and outline the major points of the US style resume in my opinion. Of course depending on the profession, some factors may vary but this will be the standard to cover most types of industries I believe.

Just in case you were wondering, my resume was very much in an Australian style and I actually had a sit down session over breakfast with a VP of a media company, who basically tore my whole things to shreds. Then he gave me section by section pointers to change it to a US Style Resume.

I can also confirm my initial response rate from prospective employers improved dramatically following this complete re-work.

General Points to Consider

  • Keep the length to 2 pages or less
  • Put it in the format of reverse chronological order (i.e. job experience then education then extra information)
  • Try and put all your contact details in the header area as not to waste space
  • Consider adding a business/personal objective of about 1-2 sentences just prior to work experience. Also if you do add this, try and tailor it to the position to which you are applying
  • You can also either in this initial section or in a cover letter state when you are available to work
  • In work experience put your most recent experience first by putting company name & location, job title, dates of service, the job description in bullet form (ensure this straight to the point like “managed $10 million marketing budget for clients across all channels”)
  • In education state the institution and all relevant qualification achieved as well as year of graduation. If mini description is required to explain qualification then add here as well
  • Consider putting the web address of institution if it is foreign to the US so they can research
  • In next part you can spend a little bit of space on additional skills, achievements/awards and personal interests however this is definitely not the focus of the resume so should be kept brief
  • The second last thing is to put reference check names and their relevant contact details. US companies have a tendency to check these during the job offer stage of the application process but of course that can vary.
  • The last party you can put a brief note on your Visa Status, I will paste below exactly what I put there for the E3 visa but of course you can substitute for H1B or any other visa as well.

VISA STATUS:
As an Australian I am eligible for the E3 visa which is specifically for Australian professionals working for US employers. (This visa works similarly to the Canadian TN Visa and requires 1 form to be completed being the Labor Condition Application (LCA –US State Dept. Info)

I hope all this information has been of some help in your quest for an E3, J1 or H1B visa and that soon your plans and hard work applying for jobs in the US will get you many call backs, interviews and hopefully job offers to choose from!

CJ

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