Finding a job in the USA can be a challenge, especially if you don’t know where to start. Different countries offer different platforms to find a job. You need to know which ones to use in the United States to increase your chances. And here is how…
One of the most popular ways to look for jobs in the United States is Job Boards such as Glassdoor.com, Indeed.com, and Monster.com.
One of the main recommendations we want to share is to search for keywords rather than a specific job title.
For example, if you are looking for a Marketing Manager job you will achieve a lot more hits if you look for “Marketing” rather than “Marketing Manager” or “Software” instead of “Software Engineer” etc.
I realized that applicants get a lot more results if you use that Search strategy.
Professional websites such as LinkedIn.com are becoming more popular in this country as well.
LinkedIn is one of the main platforms employers use to Headhunt for Professionals in niche jobs as well.
The key is to create an appealing profile reflecting on your experience and upload a professional picture of yourself.
Uploading a regular cell phone picture (or even worse: cutting out other people that are in the picture with you) is perceived as unprofessional and should not be used if you are serious about landing a job through this portal.
Additionally, there are a lot of local Professional Organizations that meet up for networking events in your area.
Simply do a search on “Professionals in Texas” or any other location you currently reside in!
Joining these groups is usually free and a great way to network, share information and experiences or spreading the word of you looking for a job opportunity in a specific field.
If you are favoring a specific company that you would like to work for, I always recommend visiting the company’s website and click on their “Career” tab to check if there are any job opportunities that you are interested in.
Some major companies do not share their job opportunities on job boards, so this is a strategy worth looking into.
Do you already know what company you would love to work for?
If you have a good idea of where you would like to work but can’t find any job posts on their website, it is a great idea to send out a Speculative Application (also called Initiative Application). This will increase your chances of being contacted once the company has a job opening.
This strategy is especially successful if you work in a less competitive field (such as Architecture, Design, etc.). It doesn’t hurt trying!
Other possibilities to consider!
If you specifically look for government jobs or to work on a military installation you can use job boards such as Usajobs.gov, NAF jobs or specific State Career websites.
Great news: If you would like to work for the government, but you aren’t a US Citizen, you look into NAF Jobs since they accept non-US Citizens, too! You can find NAF Jobs here or by typing in “NAF” in the search box in Usajobs.gov.
Lastly, if you have a special skill that you would like to offer to the public (which can be for both individuals and companies) you can utilize Freelancer sites such as Upwork or Fiverrs.
Here you can simply create a profile, include your work experience and skills and upload a professional picture. Freelancers usually receive assignments that can vary from a one- day job, hourly jobs all the way to projects that can take several months.
If you are looking for flexible side gigs rather than a full-time job, this is a great way to earn some extra cash. Also, many professionals use this as a way to make extra cash on top of their regular job as well.
We personally love and recommend this Ebook- Guide by Steve Dalton to help you become an expert on searching and finding great jobs to apply for in the United States. You may be in a job field (Chemist, etc.) where you don’t have a lot of competition and you may not need any help with this.
BUT, if you are in a job field that is more competitive (for example administrative, business, medical, IT, and more), this E-book Guide is perfect for you to find the right jobs you are looking for!
Keeping it old school – other ways of finding a job in the USA
Oh and— let’s not forget the good old local Newspapers and paper flyers in your grocery store. This may be old school, but it never hurts to give it a chance!
The last thing that crossed our mind is Craigslist.com. You can find anything on Craigslist. Things to buy, things to sell and also: Jobs!
This site is being used less and less for the purpose of finding jobs, but again- it never hurts to check it out!
Now, before you send out your application, you will need to know what a resume and cover letter usually look like and how to make sure you get the Recruiter’s attention and land an interview.
Want to be successful in your next steps? Read:
Every country’s school system works a little differently and it can be difficult to understand it without someone explaining it to you.
To this day, we are confused why Kindergarten in the USA is called Kindergarten if it is really the first step in the school system.
There are also different ways the school is split, and each block of grades has its own name (Elementary, Middle School, and so forth).
Another fact we learned is that high school here ends in 12th Grade, which can be different in other countries.
The concern in the American School system is also the question of “Quantity and Quality”. Meaning that children in the American School System oftentimes stay in school all day until the late afternoon.
There are controversial views about this school mentality.
Especially considering that some European countries cut the school time in half and still get college credits in the USA for their High School Diploma.
Either way- opinions on this subject are controversial and both sides have its pros and cons.
Today, we are actually focusing on explaining the American School System to you and giving you a good overview.
It will really help you if you have children or plan to have children in this school system.
OR- if you want to go to school or College here yourself!
Either way, it is always a good idea to know how the system works here
School System Overview
Please keep in mind that the ages listed can fluctuate by plus/minus 1 year based on the child’s birthday.
Some schools have a slightly different system or allow students with great grades to move up faster and therefore- graduate sooner!
Details on the School System
This is a list of the traditional American School System that you can find in the majority of the US:
Preschool usually ranges from Age 3-5 and is not mandatory for children to attend. It is usually laid back and allows children to play and interact.
Some preschools offer educational programs to successfully prepare children for Kindergarten/ Elementary school.
Preschool classes vary in size and focus, depending on the community you live in.
2. Kindergarten/ Elementary School
Kindergarten usually starts at age 5/6 and is a school year-long program.
Interactions are still laid back and flexible (similar to preschool) but usually has a more strict educational component (introducing children to reading, basic math, and more).
After Kindergarten, the Elementary School System continues with 1st Grade until 5th Grade (Age 10/11).
3. Middle School
Middle School continues with 6th Grade and ends at 8th Grade.
Middle School is sometimes referred to as Junior High (since it is close to the High School Level). When children complete 8th Grade, they are usually around 13/14 years old.
4. High School
High Schools continue with 9th Grade and end at 12th Grade (unlike some other countries that may not graduate from High School until 13th Grade).
High School is divided into different levels, depending on what Grade the child is currently in:
- 9th Grade –> Freshman
- 10th Grade –> Sophomore
- 11th Grade –> Junior
- 12th Grade –> Senior
At the time of graduation, students are usually between 17-18 years old.
The alternative to a High School Diploma is a GED, which is a program usually offered if the child dropped out of school before High School Graduation.
5. College/ Undergraduate School (Associated & Bachelor’s Degree)
A high school diploma or GED is usually required to attend College/Undergraduate school. This level is not a requirement, so the age of students can greatly vary.
Some people attend College right after High School – while some are getting their degree later on in life (for example, after getting some work experience first).
Undergraduate College is usually 1-4 years long and divided into the following:
- 1st year –> Freshman.
- 2nd year –> Sophomore.
- 3rd year –> Junior.
- 4th year –> Senior.
The length will depend on the degree you are working on (for example Associated Degree vs. Bachelor’s Degree).
6. College: Graduate School
One requirement to attend Graduate school is to successfully complete Undergraduate School with a Bachelor’s Degree.
Again, this level in the school system is not a requirement, so the age of students can greatly vary.
Students usually obtain a minimum of a Master’s Degree (or higher) once they graduate.
7. Trade School/ Vocational School or Apprenticeship
Occasionally, students start an apprenticeship or trade school after graduating (usually, a High School Diploma/GED are required to attend, depending on the program).
An apprenticeship is a program providing education for a specific profession, but also on the job training (hands-on experience in a work environment).
This approach helps students to practice what they learn.
Trade School/ Vocational schools are usually more focused on medical and technical professions.
These programs are offered by specific Vocational Schools, based on profession and industry.
Depending on the profession you pick, Trade Schools/Vocational Schools and Apprenticeships can be significantly shorter than Undergraduate School.
Did you learn how the school system works and would like to know how to dive in and get started?
Read more in related articles below!
Or do you simply try to prove your Education Level when applying for jobs?
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If you want to continue your education in the United States:
One of our Integr8 ‘ers wrote: “When I arrived in the United States I was planning on getting my Bachelor’s Degree in Business. In the United States, you need to have a High School Diploma or GED to get your Undergraduate (Bachelor’s Degree).
I thought I just get a translation and get started but — not so fast!
Universities/Colleges in the US require you to get an official evaluation from an agency (credential evaluators) if you got your previous education in another country.
This is super important to know and to prepare for before you even apply as a student.
Why? Because this process can take several weeks, sometimes months to get this completed!
So I started my endless research on how to go about this.”
We learned how important it is that the Credential Agency is certified by National
NACES | National Association of Credential Evaluation Services
NACES | National Association of Credential Evaluation Services
You really want to make sure that your education evaluation is officially accepted by everyone in the United States, and the NACES makes sure of that!
That’s why it is so important to make sure the agency you pick is certified.
Picking an agency that is certified through NACES will give you peace of mind and ensures that you don’t waste your money!
Now, ones you pick an agency based on this information, it is time to look at their prices and requirements.
There are thousands of Evaluation Agencies out there, so here are my tips on what do look for…
How to make it Easier
Pick an agency that does NOT require your foreign schools to send the agency any documents. Instead, pick one that accepts you sending them originals/ certified copies directly.
Here is the reason why: Contacting your old school in another country to let them know what do to and when to do it is a PAIN!!!
This process can take a long time for the following reasons:
- Many administrative office employees in foreign schools do not speak English or very basic English.
- If you haven’t been in school for a long time, it may take your foreign school FOREVER to find your files and transcripts.
- Foreign schools may take a really long time to send things out and the lengthy process can create an issue if you want to go to the US soon.
We really wanted to save us all the trouble and find an agency that is OK with us sending original copies to them to evaluate.
There are many reputable agencies out there, WES is one of the main ones. However- WES REQUIRES YOUR SCHOOL TO SEND THE DOCUMENTS.
You may wonder where to go and which one to pick then? We did a ton of research back then and decided to go with Global Credential Evaluators.
GCE is certified by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Service AND they are fine with you (and not your foreign school) sending the documents to them for evaluations.
One thing we have to say: Their google reviews aren’t great, but we honestly had a pretty good experience with them! No lie!
At the end of the day, it is completely up to you on what agency you want to pick and what is important to you – we can only recommend sticking with one that is part of NACES to avoid any Scams and make sure everything you receive is legitimate!
Use your foreign Education to apply for a Job in the United States
Ok- let’s say you already have the education you need to apply for a job in the US — in that case, you pretty much just mention that education on your resume and that’s it.
BUT KEEP IN MIND:
- Most employers in the US are going to verify your education through a background check.
- Some employers will request to see your school documents/transcripts.
That’s why we highly recommend getting all your transcripts and documents:a) Translated (certified)b) Evaluated so the company understands that your foreign education is equivalent to the US education they require for the job.
For the evaluation process, you need to follow the exact steps as described in the beginning of this article.
For certified translations, you can go to any translation agency (make sure you compare prices) or find a local nonprofit agency that will either translate it for free or a reduced price.
Good news for military spouses/military members: Military One Source completes translations for you for free! Just visit their website (click here) or call them at 800-342-9647.
Long story short
No matter if you want to take next steps in your education or apply for a job in the US, you need to get certified translations for your foreign education first.
The next step is to get these documents evaluated to show what level you are on in the American Education/School system.
This proof is important for both schools and employers to see how qualified you are and to officially accept your foreign education!
Read more about Education in the USA below: