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Job Search in The Move to America

09 April, 2014 10:36  Erin Erin

Molly joined her American husband in Ohio and is continuing to share tips on life abroad. At EasyExpat we provide the latest and greatest in expat news and resources, but sometimes a personal journey can best explain the unique challenges and triumphs involved in moving abroad. Meet Molly and follow along on her adventure in the Move to America.

job search after move to america Within this post, I aim to share a little bit about how job hunting has gone for me since I arrived in Ohio in October 2013. My experiences will be different from those who are arriving in America on a work visa, as your employment may well have been organised before you moved, but I hope to give an idea of what it involves if you are looking once you have settled.

Create an American Resume

The first thing I did was create a resume (the common term for a CV in the USA). It is well worth looking into how to write one and what information is required as it differs slightly from how I wrote my curriculum vitae in the UK. The information I included was my name, chosen contact information, objective (purpose of job search), an outline of employment history with list of duties, education history/certificates and skills/attributes.


For a guide to the differences refer to our post on CV versus Résumé?Full information on how to formulate your documents can be found in our expat city guides.


Look for Jobs in the USA

Once my resume was created, I began looking for available positions. The best way is to go through the local newspaper and by visiting online job market sites. You can create a profile on the job markets, but most online applications are done through the potential employers own site or an outsourced site. I will be honest, the process here has proven very frustrating.

A small number of advertised jobs just require you to email them with an attached resume, but the majority of the places I have applied to require an online application. This is the frustrating part. You get directed to a job market site which is hosting the application process and you create a profile. Once the profile is created, you then get to apply to the job, which involves filling out the same information, if a bit more detailed, as you used to create the profile previously. After all the information is filled out (often duplicating what is on your attached resume) you may be directed to a questionnaire. These questionnaires can range from a couple of pages to twelve or more. Each one contains multiple choice answers and the questions are designed to figure out what kind of person you are. The questions are pretty much the same no matter which site you are directed to and are very time consuming. I have completed ones (admittedly for my husband) that have had over 200 questions.

On completion of the online application, you then get to wait to see if you have been chosen to progress to the next stage - which can sometimes be very quick (within a week) or much longer (in my husband's case, he waited months before he heard anything from one job). If you do get notification that you have been selected, you will be invited to an interview and employment may start once a drugs test and background check is passed (again, this is based on my husband's experiences as at the time of writing this, I have not yet been called to an interview).

One thing I will mention that I have encountered as an expat, it that on quite a few sites, there is no option to include previous employment/education that was in the UK - that is to say, when filling out the required forms there is no option for foreign information. They ask you to fill out what state you worked/studied in, making it hard to progress with that application. When this does happen, I try and find an HR to contact via email with an attached resume, to write about my interest in, but inability to, complete the online process.

Although it is seemingly a long and frustrating process, you just have to keep going and set time aside, in whatever manner suits you, to fill out the applications. It is a means to an end, and will eventually lead to a job - you just have to not let the process put you off.

Find job offers on EasyExpat Job Listings.

Top Tips for finding jobs in the USA

  • Research open positions and salaries in the area you are moving to. Is there high unemployment? What industries are present? This will give you realistic expectations of what is available.
  • Update your CV/Resume to fit the standards in your area.
  • Complete qualifications for desired positions. These may be different when you move abroad, so check requirements and consider re-qualification.
  • If you are job hunting after you have arrived, plan for it (especially financially) to take longer than you had anticipated.

Your experiences may well be different, but I hope you have found what I have encountered useful. If you want further information, or have your own to share, please join the discussion on here, or visit my blog The Move to America where you can contact me. 

Look for Molly's earlier posts in the Moving Abroad category or new posts every month and find your job abroad with our expat guides and job postings. Happy hunting! 


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