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How to look for work in the USA to find it: personal experience and tips

Sergey Timshin, author magazine "Behind the Bugrom", talked about how to find a job in America. The article will be most useful to those who studied in the United States, as well as students. However, people without an American education and work visa also learn a lot of useful things. Further - from the first person.

Photo: Shutterstock

How American Universities Learn to Search for Jobs

Each university has a career center that helps students find work. They teach them how to make acquaintances and go to networking events to grow connections. Then they tell you that it is not necessary (almost forbidden) to apply for all possible vacancies, but they recommend choosing a couple of companies, studying all about these companies and applying to a maximum of 2-3 selected companies. In these companies, you need to find employees through LinkedIn, try to invite them for coffee and find out from them the contacts of managers for sending resumes. Everything sounds logical, but ...

What is the situation?

In fact, all this networking and dating works really badly. Since this plan is followed by all students, this approach has absolutely lost all value. If you came to an important event and exchanged business cards there with dozens of people or added new acquaintances on social networks, this does not mean anything. The price for this is about zero, you have not started any networking, and it is unlikely that someone will start it like that. If everyone lies about their super skills and hundreds of friends are added to each other, how can you determine which of the acquaintances is useful? On the other hand, when you have chosen only 2-3 companies and are trying to apply there, it is very likely that you will not even be considered due to the influx of other resumes, no matter how genius you are. This option will definitely work if you are a great specialist and are just considering a change of job. In this case, you have time to study the companies and wait. On the other hand, good specialists are usually hunted by companies.

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My America Job Search Guide

Prepare a good resume. Perhaps even order for money. It should stand out a little from the gray mass.

Meet on clothes. At Temple University we were forced to follow a strict format: a lot of letters and no amateur performances. Ironically, the professor at Comcast, seeing our resumes, said he would never have hired us, because there is absolutely no creativity or desire to stand out in our resumes.

By the way, the resume should be on one page.

Be sure to prepare a cover letter. In theory, it should be individual for each vacancy, but it is unrealistic to customize it every time. Therefore, make the most universal template in which you only change the name of the person you are contacting and the name of the company. Also - no more than one page and a description of only the most important skills.

Apply for as many vacancies as possible. Don't listen to anyone. More vacancies - more chance of being invited for an interview. America has its own rules. If hh.ru in Russia is answered on average within two days and almost always, then in the United States, on average, they do not answer at all or answer after 2-3 weeks.

Do not believe? And I kept statistics:

  • 298 jobs
  • 63 response. This includes refusals and any activity from the company, that is, they at least somehow answered with an invitation to an interview or with a refusal.
  • 90 views. The moment when the company at least opened a resume without even writing anything. Moreover, many views happen after 2 months after filing.

So, statistics show that the percentage of responses is very small. Even if I didn’t take into account some views and throw in these 90 (from 298 innings) with a couple of dozen, it turns out that 50% of your applications simply do not see, they do not even reach your resume. Therefore, submitting to the 2-3 company is quite frivolous. The fact is that in America the labor market is too oversaturated, the whole world is coming here. US companies have absolutely no shortage of labor.

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Fill out your LinkedIn profile, and fill out well, don't be lazy. This is something like your business card. It is not a fact that they will go there to check, but if they do come in, then let everything be ok there. By the way, on this site everyone looks perfect, because almost everyone greatly exaggerates their achievements. There it is quite normal to add some programming language to the "skills" option, even if you started programming only two months ago and do not even really know how functions work.

From my own experience I can say that not all sites are good for job search. Oddly enough, on the same LinkedIn it is almost pointless to look for a job without experience, because 1000 applicants apply for one vacancy. I recommend sites like https://www.ziprecruiter.com, https://www.joinhandshake.com. I had the highest response rate on them.

Prepare a story about yourself and your skills in 30-45 seconds. This is called elevator pitch. The name implies that if you have a short conversation in the elevator with someone potentially interesting, you have 45 seconds to tell about yourself. At interviews, they are almost always asked to tell about themselves, this speech is very helpful here.

To find a job in the USA, you will have to go through an average of 3 interviews. The first will be on the phone with a recruiter: he will find out who you are and determine if you are an adequate person at all. Often they don't even really know about the position, it's such a large sieve. The second interview will most likely be in a company with a manager. Here you will be asked in detail who you are and how the company can be useful. Be sure to prepare questions - at the end of the conversation, it is considered good form to ask them. By doing this, you show that you have read the job and are interested in it. The third interview is the final one, where you will most likely be interviewed by your future boss / leader. You need to come to each interview at the parade, in a jacket and trousers. That's the way it is, especially on the East Coast.

By the way, do not forget to print your resume. If there are several people at the interview, you need to be ready to give them your resume, this happens.

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In America, you must send a follow up email after each interview. You can search the Internet and find options, but the general point is that you should thank for the interview and say that you are interested in this vacancy. Such an email must be sent no later than 24 hours after the interview.

Networking. Many are advised to make acquaintances and seek work through them. If you are not a Native American, then the easiest way to make these acquaintances is to attend all sorts of important events where everyone communicates with a hint of snobbery. So, this method does not work or works very poorly. Acquaintances must be real, obtained in a natural way. Think for yourself how you should make acquaintance with a person so that in two weeks he will get to you and help you find a job, given that he and without you most likely have people who are closer. Networking is necessary, but you need to understand that this is not a quick process and is unlikely to help you find a job quickly.

Perhaps these are the main steps to finding a job in the United States. Of course, there is something in common with Russian reality, but it is important to understand the specifics, which I tried to describe here. The main points: huge competition, strong exaggeration of their skills, all processes are very lengthy.

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