For international students and professionals, the entire process of looking for a job in the US or for an American company has gotten more and more complicated over the years. You have to consider your social media presence, the metrics of your performance, networking and relationship building, etc.
On the other hand there are some basic similarities across all these areas. Mastering the American-style cover letter, resume, and job interview (or “bundle from hell” as I call it) seems like an impossible task for many international people. And to make it worse, these basic, fundamental American job search skills are usually not taught in university and certainly not in your home country.
In fact there are cultural aspects to the entire process that are very different in the US than from where you might be coming from – and that makes it all the more challenging
However, I’m going to break it down for you in a series of blog posts so that it makes a little more sense. I’ve been teaching these skills for many years, and I’m an insider to the culture, so it’s really important to me to share them with international job seekers.
Finding a job in the US is stressful and weird, but it’s important to get a grasp of some of the basics and the rationale behind them.
The first one has to do with research and the key is to go deep. RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH.
Research the company, the team you want to work for, and their challenges. This is very important and it’s something that a lot of students ignore. The more inside information you have about the firm, its goals and problems, the more you can show your understanding and then position yourself as someone who can help them solve these problems. Do not write a generic cover letter – align your background and knowledge with the SPECIFIC issues they’re facing.
Ask smart knowledgeable questions about the challenges based on your research. You can find the information you need in blogs, YT videos, online industry publications, interviews with managers, directors, CEO’s, social media from the company, and their Linked In pages.
Find out about their customers and their target audience – develop ideas on how to reach them and come up with creative solutions for the problems the company has in that area or for projects they’re currently working on.
Prove that you are able to help them solve the problem and that you have a plan. Use informational interviews on LinkedIn to find out key insights and knowledge that you can leverage in the interview!