If you live in the United States but do not speak English or if you hope to live and work in the United States, now is the time to learn English and look for a job. Why? Because the U.S. Department of Labor data shows that American job openings exceed job seekers for the first time on record! In April 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed a record 6.7 million available jobs in the United States. If this news excites you, then there are a few steps you can take to make your dream of working in the US become a reality.
Study English in Washington DC
The best thing you can do for your future career in the United States is to enroll in an English class in DC. Not only will you be learning how to communicate using English, but you will be living in a city that ranks in the top ten for best places to find a job in the US. Attending language schools in DC will allow you to immerse yourself in American culture in the nation’s capital.
Take Courses to Master Business English
The Washington language school, inlingua, is the perfect choice for those wanting to learn English for their careers. In addition to their English courses, they also offer a variety of special purpose English courses, such as International Business English, Legal English, Newsroom, and more. These courses are designed to help students learn to communicate using English in real-world situations and professional roles.
Pass the Required English Language Examination
Not all careers will require you to pass a required English language exam, such as the TOEFL or the IELTS, but you may need to for immigration or university purposes. Likewise, some companies and organizations require customized language proficiency exams.
However, even if you are not required to take and pass these types of tests, it is something to consider for your resume. Earning a passing score on these tests shows you are proficient in communicating in English, which is a wonderful skill to add to your resume. Fortunately for students in DC, inlingua is home to the largest IELTS Test Center in the US, making it convenient for those already enrolled in English courses.
Craft a Killer Resume and Cover Letter
Before you even get to the interview, you have to get the employer’s attention. In the US, this is done by crafting a resume and cover letter. Essentially, the resume and cover letter show the employer when he or she should bring you in for an interview. In just two pages or less, you have to show the employer why you should be in the running for the position. Again, this is a great place to list your passing scores on examinations as well as your strengths as a bilingual speaker (a highly desirable skill in job candidates).
Prepare for the Interview
Once your resume has been submitted and you have been contacted for an interview, you may start to feel anxious. This is because the interview tends to be the most overwhelming part of the job hunt – especially for non-native speakers. Since English is not your first language, you may worry about communicating during the interview. However, with your English classes and the following tips, you will feel much more comfortable and confident.
- Review the job description – Before you go in an interview, it is critical to know what position you are interviewing for. Spend time reviewing the job description and thinking of ways you are capable of fitting into this role.
- Research the company – The potential employer will want to see that you not only are familiar with the job but that you are also familiar with the company. Spend time researching the company. As a non-native speaker, it is especially important for you to familiarize yourself with the company vocabulary.
- Understand the difference between Conversational English and Business English – In a job interview, it is important to use English that is appropriate for a business or professional setting. While you may use conversational English for answering questions such as “How are you?” you will want to avoid slang and speak more formally.
- Practice common interview questions – As part of your interview preparation, spend time practicing common interview questions such as “Can you tell me a little about yourself?” Ask a friend or classmate to practice with you.
Show Why You are The Best Person for the Job
If you want to land the job, you have to show the potential employer that you are the best person for the job. It is important to remember that you are likely up against other people competing for the same job, so this is not a time to be shy. Instead, you want to use the following tips to highlight your strengths and help yourself shine:
- Be proud of your accomplishments – While it is good to be humble, it is better to be proud of the things you have accomplished. This is the time when it is appropriate to brag about yourself a little.
- Don’t rush your answers – As a non-native speaker, it is important to pause before answering. Pausing gives you time to think of the best way to respond, and it gives you time to think about the right way to communicate the idea in English.
- Show your strengths as a bilingual speaker – Don’t shy away from being a bilingual speaker. This is a great strength! Use it to your advantage.
Yes, it is Possible to Find Work as an Immigrant in the US
If you have read this far and don’t think these tips will help you find a job as a non-native speaker or immigrant in the US, you are wrong. According to Career Builder, “One-third of employers plan to hire immigrant workers.” Plus, “Immigrant workers looking for employment can expect to find opportunities across multiple industries, with information technology housing the largest percentage of employers who plan to hire them.”