Many people have a long-term vision of moving and working in the city that’s so full of life, energy and big opportunities – better known as, ‘the city that never sleeps.’ Some make their dream come true by heading to New York, arranging meetings and networking like crazy, enabling them to make connections and help them land a job, so they come back to New York on an E-3 Visa. Others find a job and secure their E-3 Visa before moving.
While most principles for New York companies remain the same, the COVID-19 pandemic has definitely altered the mindset of HR Managers, Talent Teams, Hiring Managers and CEOs. Many employers are more open to interviewing candidates via Zoom, and even allowing them to commence their role in Australia and move to New York once their E-3 Visa is finalised.
So how can you land a job in New York if you’re currently living in Australia and what are the things you should know? Simone Turner, AWNY volunteer and Digital Content Manager caught up with Belinda Jackson, Founder of Working in the US and AWNY Volunteer, Amy Meyer, Founder of Aussie Recruit, and Josh Pugh, founder and CEO of America Josh, for some extra guidance.
Tip 1: Americanize your resume
Before you start contacting any recruiters, applying for jobs and sharing your resume, it’s important to know that American resumes are different to CVs in Australia. “I generally use the rule of thumb – that if you have been working for less than ten years, your resume should be one page long, and if you’ve been working for greater than ten years, your resume can be up to two pages,” says Belinda.
However keeping your resume short doesn’t mean leaving out the important achievements and capabilities. “Great resumes show off your achievements and the impacts these achievements had on a business or organization. Provide specific examples and use metrics to quantify your successes (e.g., numbers and percentages),” adds Amy.
Other tips include not putting references on your resume and getting a U.S. phone number through Skype so that companies in the U.S. can easily contact you. “Also, include your LinkedIn URL and double check the link works,” says Amy. Lastly, don’t forget to use American spelling and grammar.
Tip 2: Tailor every application
When applying for jobs in New York, tailor every application by using key words from the job description.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to copy the job description into a Word doc, read through it, and highlight the most important keywords from the description and tasks required.
“Your key goal with your initial application is to get to speak to the person managing the recruitment process.”BELINDA JACKSON
“Less than five per cent of resumes are actually viewed by human eyes,” says Belinda. “Most organizations are using AI tools for the first pass of applications, so expect that you are likely to put out a lot of applications for very few responses. Your key goal with your initial application is to get to speak to the person managing the recruitment process.”
Tip 3: Network, network, network
Don’t limit your job search to only online applications. “Make use of the great networks of Australians, “ says Josh. “The best thing you can do is get recommended for positions internally or introduced to business networks by colleagues and friends.”
Belinda adds that while it’s important to be applying for roles, it may be more likely that your role will come from the hidden job market, so network like crazy.
More great tips on networking and finding a job in New York here!
Tip 4: Hone your elevator pitch
“Make sure you have a sharply honed elevator pitch. That is, who you are, what you do and what you’re looking for,” says Belinda. “This should be able to be delivered in the time it takes to catch an elevator with someone, i.e., about 60 seconds. You could find that a brief conversation at a bar/coffee shop or in an elevator could lead you to the first step of your next role.”
Tip 5: Blow your own trumpet
Remember your goal is to educate the recruiter about your skills, knowledge and capabilities and how you fit the role they have available and the contribution you can make to the organization. Be aware that some of our levels of education are different to the US.
“I find that Aussies are happy to hide their light under a bushel, whereas Americans are good at blowing their own trumpet,” says Belinda. “My big tip is to ‘think like an American’, don’t be afraid to highlight your achievements, remember you are selling yourself in this job, so make sure you can speak about what are you going to offer this company and role.”
Belinda also recommends practicing your interview skills with someone who knows the marketplace.
Tip 6: Research salaries and apply for roles at your level
“Aim for roles at your level or above, and you’ll likely see more traction,” says Amy. “Applying for junior roles can be a red flag to a company.” Researching the salary of the role you’re applying for is important to know before any interview and online application, as many application forms will often ask what you expect to earn. “Don’t lowball your compensation because you’re not sure what you’re worth, or are just trying to get to the US at all costs,” says Amy.
In New York, companies will tend to state the lowest salary in an interview and expect you to negotiate (so don’t be afraid to state what you know the position is worth). If you’re unsure, you can say “I’m looking for a fair market value for the position” says Amy.
“Aim for roles at your level or above.”AMY MEYER
A great way to discover accurate salaries is by using the Wage Search Wizard on the Foreign Labor Certification Data Center. You will find that the Wage Search Wizard lists the wages by levels (e.g. Level 1 Wage, Level 2 Wage and so on). Please note that each wage level may require various levels of experience depending on the job title and industry sector. Therefore it is best to dig deeper and find out how many years of experience are required to be paid at that level. Another way to research salaries is by using the guide on Glassdoor (it’s free to sign up) or by asking people who are working in the same industry.
Tip 7: Learn as much as you can about the E-3 Visa
“New York is one of the most popular cities in the U.S. where Australians are working on E-3 Visas (or want to work). Yet companies just do not know about the E-3 Visa, even in New York,” says Amy.
“The biggest challenge is finding companies that understand the E-3 Visa and can see how it’s totally different from the H1-B,” she continues. “Australians may get traction applying for roles and speaking with recruiters, but more often than not, the recruiters are not the decision-makers when it comes to sponsorship. The company needs to be on board with sponsorship from the highest levels, and unfortunately, many companies have a “we do not sponsor” mentality due to the complexities and challenges of the H-1B.”
However there are good ways to explain the E3-Visa to potential employers. “An easy way to explain the E-3 Visa is to say it’s similar to the Canadian TN Visa, as lots of companies are aware of that,” says Belinda.
“Be sure to know the process inside and out.”Josh pugh
When speaking to employers, you can say something like: “I can easily work in New York on the E-3 Visa. All that’s required is for the employer to submit a Labor Condition Application (LCA) form to the Department of Labor. Once the LCA is approved, I will likely attend an E-3 Visa appointment at a US embassy abroad. The length of this process varies subject to visa appointment availability.”
Additionally, if your US employer is open to the idea, you can also let them know that you are eligible to work for them as a contractor in Australia until your E-3 Visa is finalised and you can work in New York.
“Be sure to know the process inside and out so that when you’re quizzed by your future employer, you can explain it all clearly and show just how simple the whole thing is,” adds Josh. “I don’t think it’s the first thing you should mention in an interview, but it’s important to set expectations about how long it might take to find an appointment right now and the steps that will be required throughout.”
Tip 8: Have patience, stay focused, and never give up!
“Finding a job in NY is often a long game, and could easily take three to six months of active interviewing, if not longer,” says Amy. Belinda agrees, stating that she knows of some very highly skilled and capable people who took over nine months to find the right role. “Be prepared to practice patience,” she adds.
“Keep yourself motivated and inspired by networking and trying to speak with Australians in your field who have landed jobs in New York,” says Amy. “The conversations will likely provide you with useful insights.”
“It’s also important to be kind to yourself, “ Amy adds. “Understand that almost all Australians who need a visa face the same E-3 Visa sponsorship challenge. You’re not alone. It’s a challenging journey, but generally incredibly rewarding!”
Amy Meyer, Aussie Recruit
Amy Meyer is the founder of Aussie Recruit and a fellow Aussie expat in the U.S. Aussie Recruit connects Australians with job opportunities in the U.S. at companies that hire Australians and are E-3 Visa-friendly. Aussie Recruit helps Australians across all roles, levels, and industries. Share your profiles & interests to hear about jobs, at no cost to you.
Josh Pugh, America Josh
America Josh is an online guide and community network helping expats from all over the world move to and thrive in America. The mission of America Josh is to make the transition easier and life abroad less stressful on you, increasing your happiness, your impact on your employer, and your connection with the people around you. Ultimately leading to longer and more successful stays in the US.