Searching for a job is easier if you understand that the job search process is an important step in finding employment in the U.S. and Canada. To successfully find a job you are qualified for, become familiar with common job search practices.
The following are some examples of job search elements that can sometimes pose a challenge for international students and immigrants.
Nearly 80 percent of jobs are found through personal and professional connections and referrals. Develop your networking skills by talking to the people around you—friends, family, and neighbors—just to start. You may also join professional groups and participate in school or community events. As you talk to more people, you begin to develop your network and build the relationships that can help you in your job search.
Creating an American Style Résumé and Cover Letter
In the United States and Canada, a candidate’s résumé is his or her personal sales brochure. Employers look for specific elements and are accustomed to a specific—and brief—format. If your résumé does not fit the usual format, it will likely be put aside without full consideration.
Your résumé and cover letter should be specific about your professional accomplishments and tailored to the position for which you are applying. For more information about résumé and cover letter writing, check out this resource from The Alliance for International Educational and Cultural Exchange.
In many cultures, promoting oneself is considered a negative trait. In the U.S. and Canada, employers expect you to speak strongly about your strengths and achievements in a persuasive way that tells them why you are the best person for the job. Prepare for job interviews by talking about examples of your work-related accomplishments.
There are many organizations that offer help when searching for a job:
- Upwardly Global: Upwardly Global helps immigrant professionals write résumés, sharpen interviewing skills, and develop professional networks through mentoring, practice sessions, and an eight-week training course. Their program is free of charge to work-authorized permanent residents in the U.S. who have at least a bachelor’s degree and 2 years of professional experience in their home country.
- WES Global Talent Bridge: World Education Services’ Global Talent Bridge provides resources to help skilled immigrants fully utilize their talent and education.
- Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians: The Welcoming Center has Pennsylvania-specific links and publications that provide valuable tips to help guide you through a professional job search in the United States.
There are many resources available to assist you in your hunt for employment. Have you found success in your job search? Share your advice in the comments section below.