Top 6 Job Search Tips for Skilled Immigrants
The high unemployment rate should not deter skilled immigrants from pursuing their dreams to rebuild their careers in the U.S. Jobseekers should think unconventionally, consider alternatives, and remember to promote their transferable skills. Below are 6 job hunting tips from Upwardly Global to help skilled immigrants navigate their job search.
- Look for hidden jobs. Companies opt to post jobs on their own web sites to cut costs and as a result, a large percentage of jobs are not advertised. Be more diligent in your job search by creating a list of targeted companies and visiting their websites to learn about career opportunities. Research a company’s website to learn more about the company’s performance. Demonstrate your familiarity with the company’s development and new initiatives, because the job offer goes to the applicant who has done the best job preparing for the interview.
- Research industries and locations where there is growth and focus on transferable skills. Jose, one of Upwardly Global’s jobseekers, is a great example of this situation. Originally from Bolivia, Jose had been working with numbers and math during his 15 year career as a civil engineer. From his research, he learned about the shortage of math teachers in the U.S. Realizing that his extensive knowledge about math could fill the gap; he applied for a teacher position and secured a position as a math teacher at a public school in New Jersey.
- Consider volunteering and internship. Most U.S. employers like to see that you have U.S. work experience. As competition gets tougher, it is important to have an updated resume with recent U.S. experience, and volunteering and internship opportunities are good way to start. You can put the experience on your resume and give a reference from that volunteer position who can speak to the quality of your work. And who knows, it may lead you to a full time position. (See related post on how to put volunteer work on your resume.)
- Be open to relocation. In the current economic condition, jobseekers must re-evaluate their job search strategies and consider other cities in the U.S.
- Keep developing your skills. In this economy, companies will want to hire people who require less training because it means less additional expenses. Therefore, the task to keep yourself abreast of industry development lies in your own hands. Attending industry workshops, taking academic courses, joining ethnic professional associations, and participating in online trainings are just few ideas to keep your skills updated. (Check out this calendar of professional development activities happening around New York City.)
- Create an online profile and network digitally. The U.S. job market is very dynamic and it becomes increasingly common for U.S. employers to conduct online researches of a candidate’s profile to learn more about his/her background. LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com), a professional-networking site that has 32 million members, allows you to digitally showcase your skills and experience. The site also has new job-search functions that allows jobseekers figure out what connections they have to people who work at companies that are hiring. (For tips on how to use LinkedIn, read this post.)
Upwardly Global, founded in 2000, is a national, award-winning nonprofit organization with offices in San Francisco, New York, and Chicago. Upwardly Global helps work-authorized, skilled immigrants rebuild their professional careers in the U.S. by providing professional job search training and access to employers with global talent needs. To date, the organization has coached 2,400 skilled immigrants and has assisted over 900 professionals back into their career field. To learn more about the organization, please visit www.upwardlyglobal.org. Upwardly Global writes for the Workforce1 Career Blog on the 4th Thursday of every month.