Tips for Americans Working Overseas Who Want to find a Job in the U.S.

A reader sent in a question about how she could find a job back in America after working overseas teaching english. She is trying to do it virtually so she has something lined up upon her return. But that can be a challenging task for many people. So we asked our network what they had to say and here's their advice.

Several years ago, I was living and working in Hannover, Germany when I decided it was time to move back to the United States.  I started applying for jobs and felt like every resume was entering a black hole.  I never heard back except for the occasional form email.  I ended up eventually finding a role where I had a personal connection who got me in front of the hiring manager.

So my biggest tip would be - don't waste too much time submitting your resume though company websites or job boards.  You need to focus most of your energy and effort on strategic networking.  

1) Identify target roles, industries, and companies in the city you're looking at.

2) Leverage LinkedIn to identify who you know (or who your contacts know) at your target companies.

3) Reach out and set up calls to reconnect with people in your industry or at the target companies and let them know what you're looking for. Ask for introductions to other contacts.

4) Focus your time on building those relationships and growing your network. At most you want to spend 10% of your time submitting resumes to website / job boards, 10% doing research, and the remaining 80% networking/reconnecting.  Your resume will have more momentum if it is handed to a hiring manager by someone they know.

SUBMITTED BY: Jennifer Braganza, Success Champion, Coach & Speaker with

First, focus on reconnecting to your existing network. Contact old friends, colleagues, and your university to fill them in on your plans. Update your LinkedIn to provide as much information as possible, and update your resume to follow U.S. standards. Ensure that you are not showing things like your photo or birth date, as required on some international CVs. 

If possible, plan a visit to come to the U.S. in person to meet with companies you are interested in. Set up lunches and coffee meetings in advance, so you use your time wisely. If you aren't able to meet in person, try to setup Skype sessions with colleagues or potential employers. Hearing your voice and seeing you in person makes you seem much more real than when you simply submit a text resume to a website. 

SUBMITTED BY: Angela Copeland, Career Coach at

When returning to the US, these are very important things to consider:

1. Your expat time has changed you and has likely made you more aware of global issues. You need to convert this life experience into a benefit for your prospective employer. Otherwise,a hiring manager may just see your time away as an extended vacation.

2. Also, stick to the one page rule, nothing more, for a US resume.

3. Also, many companies use parsers and applicant tracking systems to read your resume during the first screening process. There are five fonts that these systems can read better than others and there are margins you must respect.  If you submit a resume outside of these boundaries then machines can delete your application before it is ever seen.

4. Have a number that is easy to call. Most businesses are not going to call a foreign phone number to speak to you. Skype to go is an option but not as good as having a true US phone number.

5. Remember to not use acronyms to describe your life abroad.  They may be very common in the country you have been in but down expect a person to take the time to research your most recent experience.

6. Many job titles outside the US are different than those in the country. Be sure to convert your job title to something that will make sense when speaking to a US company.

There are others but these are the ones we see as being the most common mistakes.

SUBMITTED BY: Angela Hood, Founder, ThisWay Global.

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