How to find a job in the US as a foreigner

Start your next chapter and enter the American job market with confidence.

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Launching a new career in the states should be more exciting than daunting, but you’ll need to research and plan your strategy. Before applying for a job, take time to get the proper paperwork together, determine which US visa you’ll need and research your preferred industry.

How strong is the US job market?

Unemployement rate from 1960 to 2019
The US is currently experiencing its lowest unemployment rate in nearly 50 years according to the Council of Economic Advisers. Opportunities are typically abundant in service industries. And if you have qualifications in specialty fields like health care, finance, education or law enforcement, research whether you’ll need to transfer your qualifications or certifications to US equivalents.

Experienced applicants in the medical profession are in high demand, including nurses, elder care professionals, medical assistants and technicians. The technology sector is also booming, especially in Northern California, Seattle and Austin.

How do I get started?

Before you begin applying for jobs, you’ll need to get your paperwork in order. Here’s what you’ll need.

Immigrant visa

Visas are legal documents that allow those from another country to enter the US for a stated period of time and specific purpose.

With 150 different visas offered under US immigration law, it can feel like there’s a visa for any reason you can imagine. But these visas fall under two main categories: nonimmigrant visas for temporary visits and immigrant visas for those intending to immigrate indefinitely.

What you need to know about the visa application


Your prior experiences and successes count when you’re trying to sell yourself to a potential employer. A concise and informative resume paints a picture of who you are.

You can find resume templates online to suit almost any field, position or style. In general, your resume should include:

  • Your name, physical address, email and phone number
  • Your work experience, working back from your most recent position
  • Your education history and completed degrees
  • Any languages you speak
  • Special skills or certifications

Cover letter

To gain a competitive edge, spend time writing a cover letter to introduce yourself to a prospective employer. Include the specific job you’re applying for, your qualifications and why you’re best for the job. A cover letter should be no longer than a page or two.

Job search resources

The Internet is rife with job-matching websites that can help you narrow down your options to positions you’re qualified for and interested in.

A few of the more popular job search sites include:

  • ZipRecruiter
  • Glassdoor
  • LinkedIn
  • CareerJet
  • Indeed
  • Monster
    • Simply Hired
    • CareerBuilder
    • USA Jobs
    • Craigslist
    • Randstad USA

    Frequently asked questions about finding a job in the US

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