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The process of applying for jobs in the U.S. is a bit different from the job application process outside the States, and can be especially complicated by small differences like the use of a résumé instead of a CV. However, the experience of perfecting a language, learning a new culture, and making new friends can be life changing.
Text by: Brigid McGuire
Country: United States

ith the global economy continuing to be unpredictable, many people find themselves looking for jobs in places they never dreamed of. I am not speaking about another part of the city you grew up in or another area of the country. I am speaking of people who have been moving to other countries, to find temporary or permanent work.

To work in the United States, as in any country, it is not as simple as stepping off an airplane and going to a job interview. The U.S. requires a visa just to enter the country and there are about a dozen different types of work visas alone.

However, the U.S. has been making it easier for citizens from specific countries to come and work. For example, in 2004 the U.S. created the Chile Free Trade Agreement Professional visa, allowing educated Chilean citizens to work in the United States. Among the jobs that qualify for professional visas are teachers, nurses, healthcare workers, and computer scientists.

Even if you’ve been living and studying in the United States, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will automatically be granted a visa.

Recent college graduate Sibylle Weltert had studied in the Los Angeles and Long Beach area for almost five years and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in theater. She then moved to New York City to pursue her dream of theater acting and finding a breakout role as a professional actress.

She applied for an artist visa, which would give her the opportunity to act and work in the United States. One aspect of the artist visa that makes it more accessible is that because most jobs as artists are short-term or seasonal, providing the government with proof of a permanent full-time job is not necessary. However, the visa process is still time-consuming and after being denied her first application for an artist visa, Weltert returned to her home country of Switzerland. "I could have tried it for a second time, but I just didn’t feel like it anymore," she said in an interview.

For work that is short-term or just to visit for a short amount of time to get to know the country, working as a summer camp counselor maybe an easier way to work in the U.S. Camp counselor visas allow you to work in the United States for up to four months and there are camps all over the country that are involved in this program.

My sister Molly worked at a camp with many people who had these types of visas and greatly enjoyed the experience of working with other young adults and getting to know her home country even better. It was a cowboy-style camp, with children learning to ride horses, take care of small farm animals, and engage in other summer activities like swimming and hiking. Some of the different countries the counselors came from were mostly English-speaking countries like Ireland, England, and Australia.

Before even considering going through the visas process, you need an employer first. There are many differences between applying for a job in the U.S. versus many other countries. One aspect that is different about applying to jobs in the U.S. is that most jobs ask for a résumé, while in most other countries, a curriculum vitae (CV) is more common.

Whereas a CV is an entire work and life history usually consisting of two or three pages, a résumé rarely exceeds a page. A CV can still be required when applying for some scientific or medical-related jobs, but a résumé will be the most likely format for job applications.

A résumé should be specifically written for the job, and since it is only a page, it should be as relevant to the job as possible. A short education list or paragraph is included, a list of references and three to five previous employers most relevant to the job you are applying for. It has to be neat and well written, as well as short and concise. Many employers do not read past the first page.

Working in another country is one of the best ways of learning about a new culture, perfecting a foreign language, and creating lasting friendships and formative experiences. Although working in a foreign country comes with complications, it is by far the best way to learn or polish a new language and create lasting memories.


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