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How to find work in the US without US experience... Any ideas??

How to find work in the US without US experience... Any ideas??

Old Jan 29th 2011, 12:38 am
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Default How to find work in the US without US experience... Any ideas??

Hi,

I recently got married to my wife who is a US citizen and I received my green card just before christmas. At the start of the year I began my job search. Over the past month I have spoken to over 20 recruiters who specialize in engineering, renewable energy, or construction. Almost every recruiter has said the same thing, "very impressive resume and experience, I have some positions that I would like to put you forward for."

So far, out of approximately 20 positions I have been invited in for one interview (next monday). The remaining 19 have said that they would like to hire me but are looking for someone with experience working in the US.

Has anyone had a similar experience? Does anyone have any advice, or better yet, any contacts for work? If anyone could get back to me with advice it would be a huge help.

For your information I am an Electrical Engineer with an MBA in Finance. I have worked as a Project Manager, Sales Contract Manager, and Managing Partner. I currently live in Los Angeles, but I have been searching for a position throughout the US.

Thank you for your help!
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Old Jan 29th 2011, 12:55 am
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Default Re: How to find work in the US without US experience... Any ideas??

It's tough. You may need to tone down your resume and go for lesser positions in order to get your foot in the door.
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Old Jan 29th 2011, 12:58 am
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Default Re: How to find work in the US without US experience... Any ideas??

Firstly, welcome to BE!

Secondly, 1 in 20 is still a really good success rate, even better that you had replies, tbh, you can even with a recruiter have applied to hundreds of positions and get no response or feedback at all, so you'll get used to it.

And yeah, US experience is a big plus because the big world outside doesn't exist, so any experience can't be of any use don't you know

Best bet, network, if you've got a LinkedIn profile, tap your contacts for names, check out groups related to your career fields and professional organisations.

Join any groups and organisations, and go to networking events.

Volunteer at a local whatever you fancy type place, it'll help you have something US on your CV/Resume, also help you to build up some contacts.

Also is your CV in a US resume format? That might help, try and make it fairly bland and less obvious that you are johnny foreigner and if you can't make it obvious, make it very clear you've got a greencard and don't need sponsorship for a position, because people, especially HR, are thick, and without being told will just bin your resume if they think you might need a visa without understanding anything.
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Old Jan 29th 2011, 12:59 am
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Default Re: How to find work in the US without US experience... Any ideas??

Originally Posted by Geordieinla View Post
The remaining 19 have said that they would like to hire me but are looking for someone with experience working in the US.
I'm guessing you did, but just in case... have you asked them to explain the difference between your current experience and the experience you'd have received in the US? While this may seem impertinent, you have nothing to lose if you don't think you're going to get hired anyway.

When I arrived in the US, I had a graduate degree in education. I was out of work for 4 months but finally managed to find a part-time position writing obituaries for the local newspaper. On my shift, everyone died in alphabetical order. About 3 months later, I finally found a full-time position in my area. Mind you, this was a while ago... and the economy was in much better shape than it is now. You definitely have an advantage over someone who needs sponsoring, but if they're looking for US experience, you can't give them what you don't have.

Perhaps, in addition to sending out your resume, you could do some unpaid work or volunteer work... get that US experience. It won't bring in any money, but employers also won't be able to use that as an excuse not to hire you! Failing that, you could take just about any job that might be open... it seems that it's easier to find a job when you have one!

Good luck.

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Old Jan 29th 2011, 1:27 am
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Default Re: How to find work in the US without US experience... Any ideas??

You have a recruiter, so ask him what it is you're "missing" by not having US experience. It might be a worry you can subtly address, by emphasising any experience that they think you're missing.

If this interview doesn't work out, email the interviewer afterwards and thank him for his time, and ask if he can let you know what it is you need to improve on. Most interviewer are used to getting such questions, and some do reply.

And as someone above said, right now 1 interview in 20 applications is actually very good. Best of luck!
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Old Jan 29th 2011, 6:40 am
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Default Re: How to find work in the US without US experience... Any ideas??

In your cover letter and resume do mention that you are a permanent resident. Very important to get a professional opinion on resumes if possible.

In some of the positions the number of resumes are in the 100s, and the attention given to yours is less than a minute.
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Old Jan 29th 2011, 3:21 pm
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Default Re: How to find work in the US without US experience... Any ideas??

Try individual local firms. I eventually got a job via a craigslist ad.
In the meantime I had been directly contacting firms and finding out who the hiring manager is and talking generally about what might be available and how UK experience might fit with that company.

Clearly the job market is very bad right now so I wish you luck!
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Old Jan 29th 2011, 4:16 pm
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Default Re: How to find work in the US without US experience... Any ideas??

Originally Posted by mayhemuk View Post
In the meantime I had been directly contacting firms and finding out who the hiring manager is and talking generally about what might be available and how UK experience might fit with that company.
Good way of doing that is via linkedin...search the company name, check out employee profiles till you find one giving work email so you know the email structure such as [email protected] or if it is initials etc...and then directly contact person most likely to be doing the hiring.
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Old Jan 29th 2011, 5:00 pm
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Default Re: How to find work in the US without US experience... Any ideas??

I sympathize. Finding a job in the US (or anywhere really) is very dispiriting. I decided 3 years ago that I wanted to change companies and also move out of TX, and started a sniping approach to jobs that I was a good fit for, in my industry. I sent 104 resumes, got 11 replies, 3 phone interviews, 2 face to face interviews and accepted a new job after 2 phone interviews and 2 rounds of on-site interviews over 3 days. It is tough. I have an MSEE and over 20 years of experience in my industry (Test & Measurement). Keep at it and you will eventually succeed.

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Old Jan 29th 2011, 6:10 pm
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Default Re: How to find work in the US without US experience... Any ideas??

Thank you all for the advice, there are some great tips in there.

I have been using linkedin to contact the hiring managers or recruiters at individual firms which is a great resource.

Ultimately I think that any job search in this economy is going to be tough, not having US exprerience just adds another hurdle that I have to overcome.

Thanks again
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Old Jan 29th 2011, 7:12 pm
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Default Re: How to find work in the US without US experience... Any ideas??

Originally Posted by Geordieinla View Post
I have been using linkedin to contact the hiring managers or recruiters at individual firms which is a great resource.
skip the recruiters, they tend to be rubbish and a barrier to block your info reaching who might be interested as they might not understand the role and block anything looking different...big generalisation, but it happens....they do happen to be the ones who post their work email address though, so a good starting point for contact detail harvesting.
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Old Jan 29th 2011, 9:28 pm
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Default Re: How to find work in the US without US experience... Any ideas??

Agee with Bob, I found my current job through trawling a hitlist of companies that I was targetting every week and applying like crazy. I also used linkedin to connect with the hiring manager and the HR rep and dropped them a quick note to let them know my resume was in the their system, along with a very short selection of reasons why they might want to check it out. It worked....

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Old Jan 30th 2011, 12:37 am
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Default Re: How to find work in the US without US experience... Any ideas??

Originally Posted by Geordieinla View Post
The remaining 19 have said that they would like to hire me but are looking for someone with experience working in the US.
I have never heard of this.

Unless your field is one where you have to be very familiar with US specific things, I don't think there is anything that warrants such a statement.
If there are some justified differences, I would learn about these and perhaps take a junior role to help in this process, plus take the advice of agencies in your field as to specific training or education that would help,

When I came here over 3 years ago, I applied for over 150 jobs before I got my current one and my first job was as a temp that didn't cover our living costs.
My OH has never worked since we came here.

I wish you the best with your quest but we're leaving NC asap as there's no good future in this state.
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Old Jan 30th 2011, 12:43 am
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Default Re: How to find work in the US without US experience... Any ideas??

Originally Posted by anuny View Post
In some of the positions the number of resumes are in the 100s,
This is nothing. My OH has seen applicant levels in the 9000 range for jobs and their field is not a huge one.
Of course, none of these 9000 applicants will be looked at.

Many companies now only advertise to fulfill a legal requirement.
They already have someone in mind or they get someone through the grapevine.
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Old Jan 30th 2011, 2:41 am
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Default Re: How to find work in the US without US experience... Any ideas??

I've been working through a temp agency since I got my GC in November. It's a pain because I'll be starting my 3rd job on Monday, the first 2 "ran out of work" and got rid of the temps......I just had an interview for a full time job at a local factory and they said they may call me back for a 2nd interview next week......In a way I'm lucky that I didn't go to college and don't care what I do for the next 2 years or so! After that I'm gonna go to college but I still don't know what I wanna do. Don't feel to bad about work, something will come along.
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