In this video, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick discusses job search tips for foreign workers. This video will teach you how to find a job in the United States as a foreign national, how to present yourself to employers as a foreign national, and what to do and what not to do as a foreign national seeking employment opportunities in the United States.
This is an issue that many of our clients and foreign job seekers are facing. Many people come to me asking for my help to get them a visa but the problem is that they have not secured a job in the United States. Many people realize that this is kind of like a Catch 22. If you are a foreign worker without a work visa you are not able to get a job. So if you don’t have a work visa how are you able to find a job?
When I was a foreign worker myself looking for work, one of the things that I noticed about employers is that the first question they ask you is: are you eligible to work in the United States? And I wasn’t back then, I was a student. The job application process was very frustrating and time consuming so I decided to change course. One of the things that I did to be successful in obtaining a job opportunity was changing my resume. First, it is very important for you to revise your resume and remove any indication from your resume that shows that you are a foreign worker. Typically, if a U.S. employer sees anything on your resume that indicates that you are a foreign worker, you will not get the job interview, because many U.S. employers consider it a burden to have to sponsor your visa, and would much rather hire an American worker without going through the trouble of sponsoring your work visa. Secondly, if you are applying for a job from overseas you definitely want to use a United States address on your resume. I was using a U.S. address and I was showcasing my experience in the United States on my resume, instead of my foreign work experience. That brings me to tip number three: you definitely want to secure a U.S. internship in the United States as soon as possible to build your resume and showcase your work experience in the United States. You want to show the employer why you will be an asset to their business and why they should hire you over the competition. If you have work experience in the U.S., and you put it on your resume, it will make U.S. employers more comfortable to at least get you to the interview stage of the job application process and talk to you. If a person sends their resume to the U.S. employer and they have no U.S. work experience, it’s going to very difficult to get a job interview. If you are applying for a job from overseas and you have never worked in the United States, the trick is to put something on your resume that has a direct connection to the United States. For example, if you wrote about a U.S. company or a U.S. project, you can highlight this on your resume to showcase your knowledge to the employer.
Tip number four: when you are looking for work in the United States and you meet with your employer do not mention the word sponsorship. Employers feel intimidated by the word ‘sponsorship’ because they feel that sponsoring an alien is something that would be beyond their means. They feel that they have to justify the foreigner’s job as opposed to a U.S. worker. Instead of using the word sponsorship you can use the word ‘petition’. This will make you much more approachable to U.S. employers. The word petition basically says to the employer that they will need to sign a petition, gather the necessary documents, and file it, so that the alien can remain in the U.S. and work or extend their status. For example, if you are a student and you have the option of practical training in the US and have a work permit, you can approach the employer and tell them that you are eligible to be petitioned and can extend your working privilege in the U.S.. It is less intimidating than sponsorship. Sponsorship makes the employer think that they have to do something that is impossible, that they have to justify the hiring, that they have to show that a non-US citizen can do the work. If you use the word petition and say yes, I am eligible for a work visa, if you petition for me it is not a very complicated process. Tip number 5: You have to educate yourself about the US visa process. If you know what visa you are eligible for, if you know what is involved in the visa process, it makes you more confident and well prepared at the job interview so when you go to seek employment, and the employer asks you what will need to be done to petition for you, you will know and be able to say that you have to file the following forms, get your education evaluated, obtain a document describing the position, and the fees that are involved in the process. So now the employer will say wow you know everything and I think I can do it. If you become involved in the process, if you educate yourself about what needs to be done, what visas you are eligible for, even before looking for work, and you use the word ‘petition’ and not ‘sponsorship,’ come prepared, highlight your benefits as a foreigner, discuss what you can bring to the position that other people can’t. Those elements combined together will make you successful, and you will see that these steps will increase the chances of you getting an interview, and landing that job.
If you need more information about visa eligibility and employment sponsorship, please send us an email or visit our website. For even more job tips click here to purchase attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick’s book My American Job: The Foreign Worker’s Ultimate Guide to Finding a Job and a Visa Sponsor in the United States.