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Help with job

Help with job

Old Jul 26th 2011, 4:01 pm
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Default Help with job

I moved to the Houston Tx, in December last year to join my spouse who has lived here for over 10 years and works with a consulting firm. I got my green card approved in April and have been looking and applying for jobs since then with no luck. My wife just had a baby recently so the extra income is really really needed. I am almost at my wit's end, but refuse to give up.

I have a Masters Degree in Energy Law and Policy from a university in the UK, though my first degree is not from there. I have tailored my resume professionally to highlight my skills - which are energy contracts review, regulatory compliance, legal research and negotiation. I have been applying for contracts administrator, paralegal and compliance roles through agencies and directly but with no luck. Some of the agencies forwarded my resume to companies for positions but nothing came out of it because I dont have US experience or because they feel I am over qualified with my Masters. I dont know whether UK degrees are regarded. I am very open to entry level positions as I wont mind starting from the ground up. I have sent out at least 400 applications. I am looking to write one of the state bar exams in the future, but I would rather work now, as I need to get into the workforce.

Please I would appreciate any pointers or network possibilities. Especially with UK companies with presence in the US, who would appreciate my skills and experience.

Much obliged.
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Old Jul 26th 2011, 4:22 pm
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Default Re: Help with job

Have you got a LinkedIn account? That seems to be a really strong networking tool these days.
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Old Jul 26th 2011, 4:30 pm
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Default Re: Help with job

Yes I do have a LinkedIn account. I have joined a couple of forums and job boards on there.
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Old Jul 26th 2011, 4:48 pm
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Default Re: Help with job

Good luck with theh job hunting, use linkedin every day and join the discussion groups that are industry appropriate, and comment and post industry topics.

Meetup.com often has job seekers groups that may be worth looking at.

Also, see if there are any free business networking groups that you can join. because that way you'll get exposure to business people who always have great contacts in your area.
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Old Jul 26th 2011, 4:55 pm
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Default Re: Help with job

Networking, it's the best way...go to association and chamber of commerce events, if there's a UK consulate, check out trade events that they host as they are quite good networking events.

LinkedIn, use it to contact hiring managers at places you are looking at rather than HR. Search company out, check employees profiles till you see someone, often HR or office manager who will have their company email listed, it'll show you company email structure, use that and the name of department head/hiring manager to contact them direct, explain what you can offer.
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Old Jul 26th 2011, 6:37 pm
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Default Re: Help with job

Thanks for your advice and pointers.
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Old Jul 26th 2011, 10:51 pm
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Default Re: Help with job

Originally Posted by jchublue View Post
Please I would appreciate any pointers or network possibilities.
Have you considered dumbing down your resume to make you more attractive for entry-level positions? It's always easier to get a job once you have a job.

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Old Jul 27th 2011, 12:48 am
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Default Re: Help with job

I actually did dumb it down. I have about 2 yrs administrative experience and 3 yrs legal experience. I usually take out the admin experiences from my resume. My first degree is not from the UK or US so I leave it out as I know it may not be regarded. I only include my UK Masters degree in my resume.

I do agree its easier to get a job when you have a job, and US experience is very important to get a job. I just wish recruiters would give me a chance. UK education and work experience are very sound and respected worldwide.

I think my best chance may be with UK organisations with presence here.

Thank you for your advice. This forum is very helpful.
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Old Jul 27th 2011, 1:15 pm
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Default Re: Help with job

Originally Posted by jchublue View Post
My first degree is not from the UK or US so I leave it out as I know it may not be regarded. I only include my UK Masters degree in my resume.
How's that working out for you? I suggest that, at this point in time, you have nothing to lose by including your undergraduate degree and not including your Master's degree. Remember... it's all about getting the interview! Once you get the interview, you can impress them all you like.


UK education and work experience are very sound and respected worldwide.
Except, perhaps, in the US - otherwise you'd likely have greater success. The only two UK universities that most people in the US have heard of are Oxford and Cambridge... so if you've not graduated from either one, then you face an uphill battle.

Anyway, best of luck to you!

Ian
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Old Jul 27th 2011, 3:02 pm
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Default Re: Help with job

Originally Posted by jchublue View Post
My first degree is not from the UK or US so I leave it out as I know it may not be regarded. I only include my UK Masters degree in my resume.
I wonder if this is actually causing problems. People may be wondering what you did in order to be qualified to pursue the Master's degree, and why it's not listed on your records.
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Old Jul 27th 2011, 4:20 pm
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Default Re: Help with job

thanks for your input.

My first degree is from an African university. I just figured that putting in my UK postgraduate degree would give me a better chance. I do agree that many people here have only heard of Cambridge and Oxford. Which is a shame, as there are many other very good tertiary institutions in the UK.

And to think that my post grad Uni is rated 140th in The Times 2011 Top 200 World University Rankings. Above Georgetown University, Indiana University, University of Delaware and Uni of Illinois.

Well, these rankings usually count for little.

My search goes on
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Old Jul 27th 2011, 8:17 pm
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Default Re: Help with job

Originally Posted by jchublue View Post
thanks for your input.

My first degree is from an African university. I just figured that putting in my UK postgraduate degree would give me a better chance. I do agree that many people here have only heard of Cambridge and Oxford. Which is a shame, as there are many other very good tertiary institutions in the UK.

And to think that my post grad Uni is rated 140th in The Times 2011 Top 200 World University Rankings. Above Georgetown University, Indiana University, University of Delaware and Uni of Illinois.

Well, these rankings usually count for little.

My search goes on
That's the thing, it ain't OxBridge, so it gets no kudos. Even a good repp'ed place for the not quites such as Bath mean nothing over here.

Even if the place is one of the best in the field of study, it means nothing over here...I know all about that

On the flip side, unless it was a top Ivy league college in the US you went to, most in the UK wouldn't have heard of it or give it much credence either.
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Old Jul 28th 2011, 2:37 am
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Default Re: Help with job

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
That's the thing, it ain't OxBridge, so it gets no kudos. Even a good repp'ed place for the not quites such as Bath mean nothing over here.

Even if the place is one of the best in the field of study, it means nothing over here...I know all about that

On the flip side, unless it was a top Ivy league college in the US you went to, most in the UK wouldn't have heard of it or give it much credence either.
Like he said, if you didn't go to OxBridge you went to "Fred's House of College and Waffle-maker repair" in the eyes of most Americans. If they haven't heard of it it must suck, so they think. Can be really frustrating (and the converse is true as well for Yanks in Europe with mid-range school credentials).

Forget getting a job by your credentials or by applying "cold" to help wanteds. The vast overwhelming majority of jobs are given without advertisements through informal networks and personal recommendations. Yes, they'll get 100 resumes, and maybe interview 2 or 3 out of the lot, but they'll also interview 3 or 4 people recommended by others in the office or friends of friends.

"It's who you know, you just don't have to know them that well" is an adage that bear repeating. You've got to network and make it known to people in your social and professional circle that you are looking and you'd be surprised when someone says "oh yea, I heard of this--you should call this guy who I know from the golf club".
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Old Jul 28th 2011, 3:35 am
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Default Re: Help with job

Originally Posted by penguinsix View Post
Yes, they'll get 100 resumes, and maybe interview 2 or 3 out of the lot, but they'll also interview 3 or 4 people recommended by others in the office or friends of friends.
And the 2 or 3 are usually just to help justify hiring the 3 or 4.
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Old Jul 29th 2011, 2:07 am
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Default Re: Help with job

So what does one do if they know their stuff but do not play golf?
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