The U.S. is the largest economy in the world ahead of countries like China, Japan, Germany, India, the United Kingdom, France, and Italy. With a very low unemployment rate (3.6% in June 2022) the United States needs immigrants to keep its economy growing. U.S. employers are in desperate need for workers in industries like information technology (IT), finance, hospitality, healthcare, education, insurance, engineering, research, agriculture, farming, entertainment, etc. These are all potential areas of employment for you that can give you excellent opportunities to start a new life for you and your family in the U.S.
Keep in mind that salaries and benefits offered by companies in the U.S. are usually higher and more generous than in many other countries, which makes it possible for you to buy your own car or house, for example.
USA Green Card has put together a comprehensive guide that describes how to find the job of your dreams in the U.S. The topics covered here are considered the key things that you must know before you begin your job search. These include methods and resources to help you find available jobs in your preferred job area (job search engines, headhunters, networking), information about the best paid jobs, resume tips to help you prepare your curriculum vitae (CV) in the American style, interview tips that will help you standout, a set of the most common interview questions, information about the documents needed before you start working, a guide to opening a bank account, and work benefits that you should expect once you win your green card.
One of the most important tools you can use to find a job in the U.S. is to use a popular job search engine. These are Internet sites on which employers post their job openings looking for talent like yours and where you can create a personal profile with your contact information and enter a list of keywords that define your skills and knowledge. You can post your resume online and receive email alerts inviting you to apply for jobs that match your work experience. You can also use these sites to network with people who work in companies or industries of interest to you. These people can connect you to jobs you want, or simply help you with tips on how to improve your resume or online profile.
Here are some popular sites.
Indeed: This job search engine is not only the biggest in the U.S. but also the biggest in the world. It oversees a job market with 250 million users per month and 10 new jobs posted every second. To open a profile is totally free. Users can search for jobs based on job title, experience required, location of the position, salary offered, or the date when the job was listed.
Glassdoor: Traditionally, job seekers used this job engine to compare salaries in different industries and locations and to read reviews about specific companies before accepting (or applying to) a position with them, but in the last few years this site has improved its interface to make it more user friendly. It has also added new functionality like being able to save certain jobs in which the user is interested, allowing to be contacted by employers in your personal inbox on the site, and receiving job alerts.
LinkedIn: This site has always been known as the “social media” website for professionals, where users can look for and connect with old colleagues, friends, or professionals in their industry. It can also be a bit more personal and casual than other job engines because you can constantly create and expand your work experience on your profile and you can post articles or news related to your industry with your feedback/opinion. It is also a good source of targeted job openings because many of your connections on this platform will post openings directly on their wall to be seen only by their connections, which gives applicants to those positions an advantage if they are referred by someone they know. LinkedIn is also one of the favorite places from which human resources managers look for candidates, based on their skills, location, salary expectations, willingness to relocate, etc.
Google: Not many job seekers are aware that Google has its own job board. By simply typing a job title and location in Google’s search bar (i.e., “Sales Manager positions in Boston”), Google will collect all matches in the chosen location and will display them altogether. It also allows users to create their own job alerts and receive them by email as soon as a match becomes available.
ZipRecruiter: This job engine is popular among job seekers because it allows users to apply to jobs with only one click, however, it is always recommended to customize your resume and cover letter for each position applied. This helps to get the attention from hiring managers. Another feature that makes it very popular among people looking for jobs is the ability to contact directly, via messaging, the recruiter who placed the job opening, to introduce yourself and highlight your professional expertise and why you would be a great candidate for that or another position in that company.
Headhunters are professionals whose job it is to connect employers with specific job openings to qualified jobseekers that possess the required skills to do those jobs. Although most headhunters charge a fee to help job seekers (sometimes the fee is just paid by the hiring company once the right candidate is found), they can still be a very useful job search resource, especially to new immigrants once they receive their green card and are looking for their first job in the U.S. Headhunters help companies find the right candidate for a position while at the same time they assist job seekers with career advice, help them to connect with companies, provide inside-industry information, advise how to craft the perfect resume, prepare candidates to upsell themselves in interviews by highlighting their skills and experience, and help them to negotiate a higher salary.
Interested in learning more and working with a headhunter? Following are a few to consider.
Korn Ferry: This job search firm is the biggest in the U.S. and it has offices in North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, and EMEA. Founded in 1969 in Los Angeles by Lester Korn and Richard Ferry, it specializes in working with companies with job openings related to business transformation, organization strategy, leadership and professional development, diversity, equity and inclusion, and of course, most important of all, talent acquisition for industries like financial services, manufacturing, technology, healthcare, telecommunications, infrastructure, professional services, energy, natural resources, real state, agribusiness, aviation, defense, software and platforms, and life sciences.
Robert Half: With offices in 43 states in the U.S., this organization specializes in finding the right staff for companies allowing job seekers to create a profile on their website and upload their resume to their database to be screened for the right position. It also allows job seekers to search for available jobs in industries like accounting, finance, technology, IT, marketing, and even in administrative or entry level, part time, full time, and remote positions.
Heidrick & Struggles: Founded in 1953 in Chicago, this job search firm has offices in North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific. It specializes in executive searches (senior managers) in industries like consumer products, retail, hospitality and leisure, IT, business services, consulting, law firms, energy, financial services, healthcare, life sciences, defense, automotive, transportation, mining, and education.
Spencer Stuart: With 60 years of experience and 70 offices in over 30 countries, this job search firm specializes in executive search (senior managers) in industries like technology, media, communications, consumers, finance, education, non-profit, government, healthcare, industrial, IT services, and private equity. In addition to working in search of senior managers, the organization also specializes in working with companies that are looking to fill positions focused on assessing their leadership, digital transformation, diversity, equity and inclusion policies, as well as employee experience and engagement.
Networking is a very important tool when it comes to finding a job in the U.S. In fact, many jobs are never advertised or become available to everyone because they are filled through internal recommendations.
Networking events (most of them online nowadays) are key to meeting other professionals in your industry and with whom you can engage and stay in contact to remain updated about new opportunities in the work areas in which you’re interested. Also, it is important to network with your own network of colleagues and contacts, who may know the right people that you need to meet to land a job in a company. This is an ongoing process and requires you to be very persistent, organized, and motivated.
Keep your LinkedIn and other social media profiles updated and engage in other people’s posts by commenting or adding new information to gain visibility by others and people in their network. It also never hurts to let your network on social media know that you are open to new opportunities in your new country and that you would like recommendations of other people who also live in the U.S. The idea of networking is not to ask for a job directly, but to be in contact with people who know of a job opportunity or who can help you get a job they know about.
Once you have met new people and expanded your network, always find a reason to stay in contact and follow up with them, so they remember you and are reminded of your search for a new job. Of course, always send a note of thanks after you have had the opportunity of interacting with them, so they feel appreciated and will continue to be on the lookout for other job opportunities for you.
The best paid jobs in the U.S. are related to demand and the number of specialists available, so it is not a surprise that many of these jobs are related to medicine. For example, a cardiologist, on average, in the U.S. makes $352,000 per year, while an anesthesiologist makes $326,000 per year; an orthodontist’s average salary is $265,000 per year, a psychiatrist’s average salary is $225,000 per year, a surgeon’s average salary is $216,000 per year, a periodontist’s average salary is $214,000 per year, a physician’s average salary is $202,000 per year, a dentist average salary is $196,000 per year, an obstetrician’s average salary is $192,000 per year, a pediatrician’s average salary is $180,000 per year, a general practitioner’s average salary is $170,000 per year, an enterprise architecture manager receives an average salary of $169,000 per year, and a quantitative analyst’s average salary is $154,000 per year. However you don’t have to be in the medical field to still receive a good salary, for example a vice president of any company has an average salary of $151,000 per year, a director of information security has an average salary of $149,000 per year, a software architect has an average salary of $140,000 per year, a chief marketing officer has an average salary of $133,000 per year, a cloud engineer has an average salary of $124,000 per year, a data scientist has an average salary of $121,000 per year, and a pharmacy manager has an average salary of $112,000 per year.
With the arrival of ATS (applicant tracking systems) applying to jobs has become a different ball game from years ago, so it is very important when writing your resume that you tailor it for the specific position that you are applying for by using specific keywords listed in the job description. Start writing your resume from the last position that you held backwards using positive results (number of people who reported to you, increase in revenue that you were responsible for, savings that you made to the company, accomplishments, awards that you received, etc.) in each section with the dates that you started and finished that specific position. Your resume is your presentation card, so you need to make a great impression to the reader by keeping it easy to read, fluid, well formatted (don’t use colors or graphics), and in two pages or less. A very common mistake that many applicants make is sending their resume with grammar mistakes and misspellings, so it is very that you proofread it carefully and even ask somebody else to read it to make sure that the information that you want to communicate to the employer is clear and understandable. Do not include personal information like your national ID number, passport number, photos, marital status, etc. and, of course, don’t try to fool employers adding skills that you do not have.
A well-crafted resume can get you one step closer to landing your dream job, but you will most likely have to impress in-person, too. Making a great impression during an interview (whether it is in-person, over the phone, or online) is probably the most important step to getting a job. Do research on the company before talking to the recruiter. Find out about all programs or services they offer. Find out what is the organization’s mission and who are its competitors. Explore the background of the interviewer and what they did before so you can have a well-informed exchange of ideas when talking to them. If the interview is in-person, it is very important that you plan your trip so that you arrive on time (being too early or too late will not impress anyone). Dress professionally. If the interview is over the phone it is recommended to have your resume in front of you and maybe some notes with questions for the interviewer to show your interest in the company and the position. If the interview is online, make sure that you test your camera and microphone, that you are in a quiet place with a good internet connection, and you must still dress professionally. When talking to the interviewer listen before answering their questions and answer them in a straight manner highlighting your strengths without going in circles or trying to make the interview longer by talking about things that are not relevant to the question. The interviewer needs to see what exactly you will bring to the company and how you will be a great asset to them. They may ask you about your present or former employers and the reason for your departure, to which you should be very diplomatic and avoid bad comments about them. If you are asked something that you are not familiar with it is OK to say, “I’m not sure about that.” Do not make any false claims or pretend to be familiar with something that you are not.
Although every recruiter is different when it comes to interviews and the questions they ask, there are some commonly asked questions that “test” the job candidate’s interest in the company that you should be prepared to answer.
Let me get to know you, tell me about yourself?
This is normally the first question in an informal way to relax the candidate and to learn more about their personality. You can answer by talking about your personality, hobbies, interests, professional background, and why you are proud of your achievements.
What do you know about the company and why are you interested in working here?
As mentioned, it is very important to do your homework and research very well the company, the services it provides, know how you can contribute to its growth, and link all that information to your passion and interests in working there. How would you be a great fit for the position and the company’s culture?
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Identify two or three strengths that helped you in the past to make a difference in your previous positions and how you could use them to make a difference in the position that you are applying for. Don’t be scared to talk about your weaknesses, we all have some! It is better to be honest than saying “I’m perfect. I don’t have any weaknesses.” No recruiter will be impressed by that answer!
What do you expect in your next position?
This is a great opportunity for you to talk not only about your skills and what a difference you would make in that position but also to compliment the company for their offices, cool team, culture, mission, etc.
Where do you see yourself in three years?
This question is asked to determine how ambitious you are. Don’t be afraid to answer “in my manager’s position.” Candidates that answer the question by saying “I see myself in the same position” do not impress recruiters.
Can you tell me about a very stressful situation that you encountered in a previous job and how you dealt with it?
Here is the time for you to shine by talking about a very stressful situation helping a customer, fixing something that saved a lot of money to the company, going the extra mile and working overtime to fix a problem, or helping others on your team to achieve a goal. Don’t be shy to talk about how great you are dealing with any stressful situation.
Do you know who are our competitors?
This is a key question asked to find out how much you know not only about the company but also about the industry. When doing your pre-interview research, it is important that you compare the company that you are applying to against its competitors and understand differences in services, prices, customer satisfaction, etc.
Why are you leaving your current position?
When answering this question be very diplomatic and simply say that you would like a change, want to grow professionally, or simply want to explore other opportunities. Never say anything negative about your previous employers or managers.
What are your salary expectations?
It is very important to have a realistic salary expectation and have an amount in your mind because all companies work with a budget. This is a very likely question that will be asked to find out if your expectations align with what the company is willing to pay. Don’t be afraid to say what you expect but be specific rather than giving a salary range.
Do you have questions for me?
It is always a good idea to have prepared a few questions about the company, teams, and services offered, as well as asking how soon the company will make a decision, and what are the next steps in the interview process (to show interest and willingness to join the company).
Once you are hired your employer will ask you for a few documents that you will have to provide before you start working in your position:
Opening a bank account in the U.S. is very easy and most banks now offer the possibility of doing it online by providing your personal details (name, address, phone number, email, etc.) and providing proof that you can legally be in the country by showing your green card and social security number. Many banks are always looking for new customers and will offer you special deals like free cash if you open an account with them.
Most companies in the U.S. offer generous benefits packages on top of the salary agreed to, that may include 3 to 6 weeks of vacation per year (plus national and state holidays); health, dental, vision, and life insurance; contributions to your retirement (401K) or pension plan; yearly tuition reimbursements for education; childcare benefits; gym memberships; travel benefits; workplace perks like free food, coffee, and office parties; and flexible work schedules.
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