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Monday, July 1, 2013

5 Tips for Skilled Immigrants to Rebuild Their Careers in the US

When you are first planning your relocation to the U.S., finding a professional job isn’t as easy as you might think it would be. It is important to plan ahead for your relocation and job search. Upwardly Global recommends the following five steps after you arrive in the U.S. to help you plan for a successful job search.
1. You don’t have to go back to school. Your foreign degree is not only valid in the U.S., but it can be just as valuable as a U.S. degree. To show this to employers, you may want to get your credentials evaluated by an organization such as World Education Services or Globe Language Services. While there are some instances where continuing your education might be worthwhile, it’s not always necessary, and a credential evaluation could be just what you need.

2. Create a U.S.-standardized résumé. Résumés look different all around the world, but having a résumé that is formatted in the American-style is an important first step. In the U.S., a résumé is a critical tool to communicate who you are and is often the first impression you are able to make. Therefore, it is important that your résumé include specific facts, figures, and numbers about your accomplishments. Upwardly Global’s résumé template can help you start creating an American-style résumé.

3. Join an ethnic professional association. You have probably heard the advice of joining ethnic professional associations, but fail to follow the advice. Joining ethnic professional associations is more than just adding a line in your résumé. By joining ethnic professional associations, you will be able to build connections in your industry, find mentors, and learn about job opportunities. Some ethnic professional associations offer e-newsletter subscriptions, which will keep you up-to-date on current events and industry trends affecting your professions. In addition, some associations also offer certifications that are required or recommended for your job.  A list of minority and women member-based professional organizations can be found here. A list of minority professional associations based on ethnicity can be found here.

4. Gain U.S. jobs experience through volunteering. One of the obstacles for career reentry for immigrant professionals is a lack of U.S. experience. Most U.S. employers like to see that you have U.S. work experience and often will not hire people who do not have U.S. work experience. Volunteering or internship opportunities offer you three benefits: 1) ability to update your résumé with U.S. experience, 2) ability to learn or develop a new skill, 3) ability to get U.S. references from that volunteer position who can speak to the quality of your work. Check out VolunteerMatch for a list of volunteer opportunities in your area.

5. Get the necessary support. For skilled immigrants who recently moved to the U.S., trying to understand the U.S. job market and find a job in your field can be a daunting task. There are several organizations, including Upwardly Global, that offer job search support and the opportunity to connect you with professional jobs in the U.S. Visit the websites of the organizations that offer these services and try to find out if their training program fits your need. Getting the right support will help you understand the U.S. job search market and help you secure your dream job.

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, refugees and asylees rebuild their professional careers in the U.S. by providing professional job-search training and access to employers with global talent needs. Annually the organization coaches more than 700 professionals, with a goal to coach an additional 500 participants through our Online Program this year. We engage hundreds of volunteers and partners with a growing list of more than 400 companies to assist skilled immigrants to re-enter their professional field. For more information about the organization, including how to re-license in the U.S and to apply to Upwardly Global training program, please visit www.upwardlyglobal.org.

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