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How to Use Your International Experience to Enter the US Workforce

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Summary: Do you only have international experience? Learn how to enter the workforce in the US in this article.


Question: I earned an M.B.A. from a top-20 program, and I have permanent-resident status. I have eight years of experience as a general manager in a Central American country. I also have experience in sales but it isn’t my preferred field. The past eight months in a job search have been extremely frustrating, and it seems the most serious obstacle to employment is my lack of U.S. experience. So, I am now trying to start as a business-to-business sales representative to get into the market. Is this a smart move?

Answer: Given your sales experience, targeting B2B sales positions sounds like a solid backup plan. If your assessment is correct, and the lack of U.S. experience is the obstacle to your employment, a sales position with a U.S. company will fill that gap. That doesn’t mean that you have to give up your search for your preferred position as a manager.

Conduct a dual-track job search. Be sure that in your presentation of yourself that you have made your skills and experiences as transferable as possible, using the current jargon and highlighting your management skills, sales results, technical expertise, and global interpersonal skills. Take full advantage of the career resources and alumni connections available from your top-20 school.

For best results, identify companies with strong diversity hiring initiatives and progressive employee policies. Check the “Best Companies to Work For” lists published by Fortune, Hispanic Business and Working Mother to locate potential matches. In addition, companies with a global presence, particularly with markets in Central America, should welcome your background and experience.

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How to Use Your International Experience to Enter the US Workforce by
Authored by: Andrew Ostler

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