Work in the US: Job Search and Visa Tips

*This is an intResume guest post (writer bio below).

Ever wondered if it’s possible for you to live and work in the United States? With enough research and willpower, you can make your dreams a reality. Here are some tips on how to navigate the tricky visa process and search for jobs across the United States.

Know Where to Look for Jobs

Online Job Boards

While there are many companies that charge foreigners to help them look for and gain employment, you can do it yourself if you know where to look. Many US employers use free sites to post their job openings and allow you to apply instantly by creating a free account.

A list of sites US employers frequently use:

These sites are the most commonly used by job seekers and employers in the US. If you’re unable to access them from your country, try using a VPN to get through. These sites are where you will find job postings for small companies, medium-sized companies, as well as large corporations. These days, nearly every company has an online application system and doesn’t require you to send in an application via postal mail.

Company Websites

Instead of using online job boards, some companies might only offer employment applications through their website. If you know what city or state you’d like to work in, a good way of searching for additional companies who don’t post their job listings on online job boards is to do a Google search for companies in that industry.

Try searching something like “marketing companies in Los Angeles” or “airline parts supplier companies in Chicago” to find a list of companies in the area. Once on their site look for a page titled “Careers” or “Work for Us”. There you will find a list of available positions and how to apply.

Know Cultural Interview Expectations

When interviewing in the US, whether it be over the phone or via Skype, it’s custom to wear professional attire to the interview even if the company has a relaxed office dress code. You want to appear as professional as possible when going into the interview.

Know what hiring managers are looking for: In the US, employers hold nearly the same qualities in an employee to a high degree. These include a strong work ethic, a team player, a positive attitude, self-motivated, and integrity. According to research, 73% of employers look for a candidate with strong work ethic. This is the most important quality to hiring managers therefore it’s important to try to display that you have this skill during your interview.

Another thing to keep in mind is that employers expect you to have researched the company beforehand. Take a deep dive into every page on their website, their blog, their company LinkedIn page, and their social media accounts. You want to know as much about the company as possible and be able to answer any questions they have such as “why do you think you would fit in with the culture here?” or “why do you want to work for us?”. Doing your research on the company shows employers you have a strong interest in working for them.

Additionally, in the US, it’s implied that job seekers come prepared with questions of their own for the interviewer. As a job interview is about both parties trying to get to know each other, the employer expects you to come prepared with questions for them. Not coming prepared with questions for them might allow them to believe you didn’t do your due diligence in researching the position therefore you might not do a good job in the role. Here is a great list of end-of-interview questions to ask a potential employer.

Another thing to keep in mind is following up. In the US, it’s customary to ask for the interviewer’s email address so that if you need to follow up you can. Many times, as companies are busy with several things, they forget to follow up with candidates.

You should always ask when you can expect to hear back. However, if you don’t hear back within the allotted time frame, you should take that as an opportunity to reach out to the interviewer. Feel free to follow up within 3 days of the date they said they’d get back to you about the position. Keep following up until you hear back. Persistence is key when waiting to hear back about a job.

Visa Tips

After securing a job and signing an offer letter, you can start applying for a work visa. First, your employer must submit the proper paperwork petitioning for the government to let you work in the US. This is pretty straightforward and should be approved by USCIS if your employer fills out everything correctly.

Next, on the US Government website you can find a list of work visa categories in which you need to choose which one you qualify for. After deciding which category you fall into, fill out the form specific to the embassy or consulate website nearest to the area you will be working in. Along with this application, you should also fill out a DS-160 (visa form) and upload a passport-sized photo online and print out the application to bring it with you to your interview.

Anyone aged 14–79 must complete an interview to be considered for a US visa. This can be done in the US Embassy or Consulate in your home country. Because wait times can be long, be sure to make your appointment as soon as possible.

Come prepared to the interview with your DS-160 form, your passport, the receipt number from the petition your employer submits, and the non-refundable visa application fee. Be aware that depending on your country, you may be required to purchase visa insurance.

Research what else you might need to bring to your appointment depending on the category you fall into. Some applicants will need to bring additional documents. A list of what you need depending on your category can be found on the consulate or embassy website in which you apply.

During your interview, you will need to say why you qualify to receive a work visa. Bring supporting documentation from your employers, bank statements, etc. to prove your case. Fingerprints will be taken during your interview to use along with your visa application.

Once approved, your passport with your visa inside should be returned to you either via mail or pick up depending on your consular office. Check with them on approximate passport return times so that you can let your new employer know the earliest date you can start.

Apply for the Job of Your Dreams in the US!

Now that you know where to look for jobs, cultural interview tips, and how to apply for a work visa, get out there and apply for your dream job in the US! It might seem like a long process, but the reward makes it so worth it! Start this new journey now and the sooner it will get here. Good luck with your job search in the US!

Guest Post Author Bio

Samantha Rupp is a contributing editor for She lives in San Diego, CA, USA, and enjoys spending time on the beach, reading up on current industry trends, and traveling.

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