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Discussion on: How to get an engineer job in Silicon Valley as foreigners?

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monknomo profile image
Gunnar Gissel • Edited on

I don't have a lot of tips about being a foreigner looking for a job exactly. I imagine you'll be on the lookout for H1B visa jobs. I can tell you what has worked for me in job searches.

First, I figure out what kind of job I'm looking for, so I can efficiently search job boards. My favorite job boards are theladders, hn, stack overflow and angelList.

I collect a bunch of jobs that look like I might be a good fit. You'll probably want an additional filter that the company is ok with sponsoring a visa.

Then I go to linkedin and find the recruiters for the company and connect with them. I have a brief spiel describing where I found a job posting and why I want to connect. I have a pretty high hit rate of that leading to at least a phone call and initial screen.

Assuming you are prepared for the standard American software interview, I suspect you'll get the most mileage out of tuning your initial pitch, and your screener interview responses.

Another option, which I have no personal experience with, is starting a US company and looking for contracting gigs through your US entity. I have heard of people doing such things, but like I say, no personal experience.

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acro5piano profile image
Kay Gosho Author

Thank you for your advice!

I have applied jobs via LinkedIn but there are almost no response.
Of course I don't have H1B visa so I will try to companies who can be visa sponsor.
It sounds good approach to send a direct message to recruiters.

I am feeling I have never done my best effort now...

I will try what you did. Thanks again!

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Gunnar Gissel • Edited on

I don't actually apply via LinkedIn. I connect with a recruiter (or hr professional, or talent manager, or whatever the company calls "person who fields potential hires"), then I explain that I think I may be a good fit ("I may be a good fit because I have these outstanding qualities, and your job posting asks for these similar mediocre qualities") and ask if they are interested in a chat to determine mutual compatibility.

The number one thing is to get in contact with a real human who has the power to put you in front of a hiring panel. Places where you send in your resume are just black holes.

Typically this results in them asking me to forward a resume with a short cover letter (just an email where I talk myself up, using the company's language), and then a screener phone call.

In terms of those initial contacts, I like to have something of a narrative. My resume and cover letter show where I started, what I've done, the impressive skills I've gained along the way and how I want to use those impressive skills to make your company more money (successful, organized, good looking, whatever it is they need/want).

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acro5piano profile image
Kay Gosho Author • Edited on

Thank you for the detail information!
I saw "Send Inmail" button at LinkedIn for premium users but never press the button. Next time I will definitely reach out recruiters or administrators directly who can affect the company hiring process.

Actually I can't imagine which jobs are fit for me. I have a kind of full-stack engineer with no speciality in development. I can launch instances in AWS and write server-side to front-end code, but these are not so difficult and complicated skills. It looks like I should figure out which kind of jobs are suitable for me at first while reaching out recruiters and getting in the process.

Sorry for telling myself a lot. I really appreciate your advice!

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Gunnar Gissel

I've avoided paying for premium linkedIn and sending inmail by just adding the recruiters to my network. Instead of the generic "I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn," I put a quick note about why I want to connect. After they accept the connection, LinkedIn messages are free.

No worries, it's always very interesting to hear about what other people do, and where they are in their career.

I would not discount your abilities. If it was so easy to write all that stuff, everyone would do it! To me, you sound like you'd probably match with any of the following: "frontend developer, backend developer, fullstack developer". I imagine there are more. The question is really what are you interesting in pursuing?

It's also worth saying, resumes and job interviews are not the time for modesty. You want to be honest, but it's ok to swagger

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acro5piano profile image
Kay Gosho Author

I didn't know we can avoid paying for it! I can pay some money for my career but hacking LinkedIn seems to be interesting itself:) Thank you for sharing.

Oh really! I always tend to blame myself as "There are a lot of people who have a lot knowledge on <any language, frameworks, ...>". Currently I am interested in Frontend dev. I can pursue JavaScript world. I will try such jobs.

Fortunately I have an American friend who can advise my resume.
I will improve my resume with her!

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Gunnar Gissel

It looks like H1B season for 2019 will probably start around April. My best advice (and this is not based on personal experience) would be to lurk forums that cater to Indian devs, because I bet they have good advice on finding sponsors.

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acro5piano profile image
Kay Gosho Author

Thanks for further advice. Do you mean that I should check forums with Indian devs and get useful information from it?
I didn't know Indian devs provide such advice.
I will check Indian devs forum! Thank you.

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Gunnar Gissel

I know there are many developers out there who come to America and work. I am certain they talk about it on the internet, and there is not reason not to see if there are any watering holes where people in similar situations hang out. There's probably gigs and gigs of good advice

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acro5piano profile image
Kay Gosho Author

Yeah I will check the watering holes more!
I thought only the special people (like genius engineer who started to code when he/she was 5 years old) can work there. Now I feel it depends on how much I make effort.

Thanks!