Thursday, October 29, 2009

Doctors & Dentists - Appointments, Visits and Insurance

In the U.S.A. there are many types of doctors, from general medical practitioners to specialists such as cardiologists and dermatologists. In the United States, most people have a family doctor who sends them to a specialist or hospital if necessary.

Note that in big cities most doctors have one or two specialties (including general practitioners), the most common are internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics and gynecology. The best doctor depends on your age, your family and your medical history. Most Americans go to an internist or family physician for routine things. The general practice doctor is becoming less common, family physicians are better trained. If you're staying a while in the U.S., we recommend that you look for a doctor as soon as possible instead of waiting to get sick.

It is better to make an appointment before going to the doctor. If this is your first time, you'll likely need to fill out a form with your name, address, social security numbers and information about your health insurance. Unless you really need urgent treatment, it is best NOT to go to the emergency room (ER) to see a doctor. You should only use the emergency department for emergencies, as they tend to be really expensive.

If you are treated by a doctor, but it is an emergency, you will probably have to pay first bill and then reclaim the amount to the insurance company. It is important to keep all reports and receipts for medical services. Contact your insurance company for more information.

If you live in a big city, you will have more chances of finding a doctor who speaks your native/countries language. For the list of doctors look in the yellow pages or call your insurance company. You can also contact your embassy or consulate to which you provide a list of doctors who speak your language.


In the United States, dentists, as well as general practitioners and other specialists, often have private practice and can be very expensive. As dental care in the U.S. is very expensive, many foreigners make their dental examinations during there visits to their country.

Many large hospitals, especially those associated with universities, have dental clinics that are open to the public and are generally much less expensive than private ones. Usually insurance covers only emergency dental treatment, so check the rates before going to the dentist. Since it is likely that treatment is cheaper in your country, get a full review before coming to the United States America.

Health Insurance - How To Cover Your Medical Expenses In United States

Monday, October 26, 2009

Introduction - The American Health Care System

The American health system is very proficient and advanced, but also very expensive. The American health care system is enormous, being able to find clinics and hospitals everywhere, even in the most remotest areas of the country.

The hospitals have high-tech equipment more advanced than most countries, and doctors and surgeons are highly trained and motivated.

Unfortunately, this great quality comes with astronomical prices. Know that the costs of health care providers (doctors, hospital stays and even medicines) are the most expensive in the world and account for 15% of American GDP. Given the increasingly large proportion of older people and technology costs, this percentage is likely to increase further in the future.

Although health care is probably the best in the world for the rich, its high cost and limited government intervention implies that it is weak or even nonexistent for the poor and unemployed. Some 15% of the U.S. population is uninsured, and publicly funded programs, Medicare and Medicaid only cover people over 65 years, the disabled and the very poor.

Note that the treatment "free" does not exist in America, even in public hospitals. All health care, including emergencies, must be paid, either personally or through insurance. In many hospitals in the cities usually have a urgent care clinic that deals with serious and less expensive than a normal hospital or clinic, but you will still have to pay.

Therefore, to come to the United States of America, it is vitally important to have health insurance, or a serious illness could cause a financial disaster. In some cases you may prove that you're covered by your current insurance (but it is important to check this first). Visit our health insurance section for more information.

Doctors & Dentists - Appointments, Visits and Insurance

Your Health In The United States of America

We recommend that you make sure you have sufficient health coverage when coming to the U.S.. This section provides information on the American health care system, doctors, hospitals and medical treatments. Things may not work in America as in your country, you better get informed in case you get sick.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Utility Bills - Water, Electricity, Gas and Trash

It is likely that when you move to the U.S. that will have to take care of things at home that you never before had to consider before. Here is a list of tips and tricks to help.

Utilities such as gas, water and electricity often provide by private companies, the city council or the federal government. In many cases, these services are mentioned in your rental contract. Depending on your credit history, you may be asked for a deposit that can range from $ 50 to $ 300.

Water: Water is billed based on usage and is charged with the rent. In general the U.S. tap water is drinkable. A series of filtration systems to purify and improve the flavor.

Electricity and Gas: Each tenant must request this service to local electricity companies and / or gas. The owner, building manager or the lanlord can tell you who is responsible for supplying gas and electricity and where to apply. Compared with other countries, electricity tariffs in the U.S. are quite reasonable.

Electricity: Electricity is 110 volts, with a frequency of 60 Hz. Depending on the country you come, you may need adapters or transformers. You can find these easily in stores like Radio Shack, Wal-Mart, in the supermarket, and even in pharmacies.


Many American states are becoming more environmentally friendly (especially California) and people tend to separate the garbage. In buildings often have different containers, and paper and glass containers are usually collected separately. The containers typically have a symbol indicating which can be recycled. The food and organic waste are collected separately for compost.

Chemicals: All rubbish containing poisons or chemicals (like refrigerators, paint, batteries, etc..) You must take these to special waste management centers, you can not dump these items in normal trash bins.

Big things: Old furniture and major appliances can be collected by waste management companies, which often charge for it, or you can bring yourself to a landfill.

Clothing: Clothing and old shoes can be donated easily. There are many organizations that receive and specialty stores selling clothing and accessories used. You can find their address in the yellow pages or online.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Rental Contracts - All You Need To Know Before Signing

When you rent an apartment you have to sign a lease. This contract/lease contains information about the apartment or house, in addition to the rights and obligations of the tenant and landlord. A lease (contract) is a written agreement between the owner and you the tenant.

A contract should include the following:

• Amount of the deposit
• Amount of monthly rent
• Length of contract
• Building regulations and special clauses
• Supplies and services
• Conditions for the rise in rent

In the case of furnished rooms, an inventory will also be signed by you and the owner, which comprise all the items in the apartment and under what conditions they are. Do it in writing, so you do not have to pay any damages when you leave.

After signing the contract, both parties are legally obliged to comply. It is therefore important to read carefully and understand, take your time and think long and hard before signing. Note that the American owners expect the tenant to comply with the contract as a whole, although there is legal protection which limits the validity of certain clauses of the leases (usually in your favor).


Most landlords will ask you for a deposit, before moving in to the apartment. This is to protect the landlord if there was any damage in the apartment, the owner may keep the money for repairs. The amount of money kept by the landlord depends on the amount of damage.

Almost always the landlord will keep some of the deposit to pay the cost of repairing any damage you have caused during your stay in the apartment. Find out what the deposit covers and what are the conditions necessary for you to get a full return of your deposit. You should inspect the property with the owner and put in writing any damage, and even take pictures.

Many states require the owner to post the deposit in a separate account for savings and generating interest for you during the duration of your stay in the house or apartment. The typical deposit amount is usually of one or two month’s rent.

Rentals and Supplies

The rent is what you pay the landlord each month. The gross rent is the rent plus expenses such as refuse collection, electricity, heating and water (depending on contract). These extra costs are called supply (utilities).

Additional costs depend on the apartment and its location, and individually detailed in the contract. Things like heating, gas, water and electricity are often dependent on personal use. In the U.S., the meters are usually read once a month and the bills are due monthly, every two months or quarterly.

Most owners expect you to pay your rent with a check or money order, although it usually specified in the contract. Some require you to have a renter's insurance to cover them in case of damage to your property or surrounding buildings (example: fire, water/flood, earthquake, etc. damage).

Building Standards and Special Clauses

The contract also includes general rules applicable to residents of the building. Many communities of property owners have rules for living together respectfully and peacefully. These can be included in the contract. In large apartment buildings with many tenants, these standards are often summarized in an annex (building rules). Among other things, usually stipulate that excessive noise is prohibited between 10:00pm and 8:00am. In some cases it may also establish who is responsible for cleaning common areas, like stairs, the entrance and the basement, on certain days.

Follow the rules, because the owner will have the legal right to evicted you of the apartment. This may seem strange to foreigners who come from less regulated countries, but do not be surprised if your apartment party receives complaints from your new (and very angry) neighbors.

Manager: In large buildings there is usually a manager responsible for everything to work correctly. Example: If you have problems like plumbing, contact your manager and let him no so they can fix it.

Pets: If pets are allowed or not is something you should talk with the owner/landlord and to be included in the contract. If a tenant wants to have a pet in the apartment where he lives they must consult with the landlord to see if it is permitted. It is considered pets for dogs, cats, birds, hamsters, etc..

Length Of Contract

Most contracts are for one year, unless otherwise specified, typically contain a clause allowing the contract will automatically renew every month. It is usually required 30 days notice to terminate a month to month contract. The tenant must send the owner a written notice to terminate the contract. Note that the landlord cannot terminate the contract without any reason.

Damage and Responsibilities

Before you move, ask for an appointment to inspect the apartment with the owner/landlord to check for any damage (scratches, stains, tears, etc.). Write everything down, even minor damage, or you may be charge for the repair or you will not get all your deposit when you leave. The list of flaws and damages you have listed and found must be signed by the owner/landlord.

When you leave the apartment/house, the damage should be check again with the owner or manager. If the house is in a worse state than it was when you moved, the landlord may keep part or all of your deposit. Otherwise, there will be a written document stating there was no damage to the apartment and that the deposit will be repaid in full.

We recommend that you take a friend or fellow American who knows the procedure to avoid linguistic misunderstandings.


Another important part of the contract is the list of keys that were given to you. Make sure you get all the keys that appear in the document. If you lose the keys to your home it will be your responsibility to change the locks, and if you lose a key to common areas, you may also have to pay the new keys of all the neighbors. Be careful not to make copies from any store, as many modern keys are numbered and you will probably need permission from the owner to make a copy.

When you move to your new home it can be a good idea to change the locks because you do not know how many keys are out there for that lock. But you will need the owner's permission to do so.

Utility Bills - Water, Electricity, Gas and Trash

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Student Housing/Accommodations - Living On Campus

In the U.S., universities/colleges have quality accommodation/housinf for students, but it is not cheap.

In most American universities they well be student housing available. You can rent a room and share common areas, or even share a room, though most prefer not to. There is also accommodation for families.

The housing conditions vary depending on when it was built and how good maintenance is provided. The old residences can be dull and depressing, while new or rehabilitated are in very good condition.

Note that most Americans who start college are very young, so many homes are turned into "party zones". Everything will be fine as long as you do not care to find drunken young men about a Wednesday night trying to attract the girls on campus, which in traditional universities will live on another floor or even in another building. If you prefer a quieter environment, check out the residence before you sign up and talk to people who already live there. Many American students living on campus only do so for the first and second year and then seek alternative accommodation.

Unfortunately, the price of student accommodation can be very expensive, and in big cities there is not much difference with a normal car. Most universities have information on off-campus housing, it would be a good idea if you are trying to save money.

Rental Contracts - All You Need To Know Before Signing

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Other Housing Options - Shared Apartments and Short-Term Accommodations

In addition to renting an apartment, which a contract is usually at least a year, there are other accommodation options.

Sharing an apartment can be a good option for those coming to the United States alone, it's cheap and you get to meet new people. It is common for students and young professionals to have roommate, even if it means sharing kitchen and bathroom.

If you get along with your roommate, sharing a apartment or house can be a good solution because you live in a better place and will have more room than in a studio. If you do not know many people it is a good way to improve your social life, make friends and improve your English.

As always, the hardest part is finding a place and getting along with people with whom you are sharing an apartment. Talk to your potential roommates to make sure you have the same expectations. The problems usually come from things like smoking, pets, night parties, the consumption of soft drugs, dirty dishes or the state of the bathroom, so it's a good idea to establish in advance how they will address topics such as cleaning, the purchase of household products and insurance.

When sharing a rented apartment or house, the names of all tenants should appear in the contract. If your name is not on the contract, then you may not be able to stay in the apartment if the other person moves away. Often, a preferred tenant can sublet/rent to a new roommate without changing the contract, which means he is liable to the owner if any damages occur.

Temporary Housing

If you plan to stay in the Unites States soon, you can search for temporary housing. Some tenants are allowed to sublet their homes for a limited time. This means that you rent the apartment or room as the tenant, not the owner, but they must inform you of the situation.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

How To Deal With Real Estate Agents

Real estate agents work for private companies that rent or sell apartments. In the U.S., real estate agents are used mainly for home sales.

Estate agents charge a commission for helping you find an apartment. The seller is normally paid by commission, which depends on the price of the property itself (apartment or house).

If you want to rent an apartment you can also use the services of a Realtor, but this is not very common. It is best that you do it on your own.

If you use a Realtor to find a rental apartment you will have to pay the agent's fee when signing the contract. The commission will depend on the length of rental and can be from half a month to two months rent.

Some agents will try to charge you a deposit for their services, but we recommend you pay nothing until you have found an apartment or have signed the contract, they may try to keep the money but ultimately did not find what you want.


Housing/Apartment Classifieds - A Lot Of Choices = A Lot Of Competition

There are many classifieds for apartment/housing rentals in many local newspapers and magazines, especially in the weekend edition. You can also look at the many Internet sites that specialize in lodging/rentals.

The ads are provided by the owners, real estate agents or tenants who want to move before the expiry of the notice period. You will find many in the classifieds (Classifieds Section) in Flats for rent (Apartment for Rent).

Another possibility is to look at trade publications that contain advertisements, like the magazines For Rent, Apartment Guide or Rental Guide Magazine.

In large cities or university, usually publish free newspapers containing advertisements of apartments or houses for rent, and classified ads for things you might find useful if you have to buy something when you move. Rental guides can also be found in supermarkets, chambers of commerce and banks.

Note that in areas of high demand and time should try to buy the paper it comes out and start making calls immediately. The best apartments are rented quickly and by the time you call they will be taken/rented out. In many cities the real estate section of Sunday newspapers can be bought on Saturday afternoon (eg the New York Sunday Times), so you can call before the competition.

There are also many websites that have classified for apartments and houses such as,,,, and

Put Your Own Ad

You can also place your own ad in a newspaper saying "Apartment/Housing WANTED for Rent", you may also want to include how many bedrooms, bathrooms, size, etc. But this may be a waste of time and money in times of high demand. However, if you are looking to share an apartment/housing, it makes sense to advertise because people seek roommates that fit the "profile" of those already living in the apartment. You can place a free ad in the classified, which are often used by people seeking roommates from other nationalities.


Getting Started - How To Prepare Your Housing Search

Finding an apartment in the U.S.A. is relatively easy, but in large cities can be time consuming and nerve racking for one. Whatever you do, give yourself plenty of time to find exactly what your looking for.

It is best to start the apartment search from your country or you can plan to set some time once you arrive. If you come with your family, it may be more convenient for them to come when you find adequate housing. If you come alone it is best that you stay in a hotel, with friends or with family.

Most importantly for not loosing time is to have a clear idea of what you are looking for in an apartment. It is best to start by familiarizing yourself with the surroundings area by walking up and asking people about the existing community.

Temporary Housing

Once you get to the U.S., you may need temporary accommodation until you find something definitive. Please note that U.S. hotels can be expensive, especially in big cities, if you can't afford it go to a motel. These are usually found on the outskirts of town and provide accommodation in clean rooms at reasonable prices. Some hotels, apartments and pensions also offer long term accommodation and often have lower tariffs/rates for weeks or months.

Preparing Your Housing Search

There are many options when looking for housing but as always, the more you're willing to pay, for example, an agency, the easier it the search will be.

In the U.S., to rent or buy a home you ask for a copy of your credit history (credit report). It's a good idea to understand the basis of credit information, know your rights and know what is on your credit history so you can answer the questions that the owner may have regarding your credit history.

Each owner has their own way of evaluating the credit history. The main objective is to establish whether you are reliable from a financial standpoint. The owner wants to make sure they can trust you to pay your rent when due. If you have a bad credit record, you could attach a letter with your application explaining why these are on your record.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Housing Market - Is It Difficult To Find Housing/Accommodations?

If you'll be in the United States for a limited time, renting is the best option, although it may be difficult in large cities due to high demand.

The cost of accommodation can be a third of the budget of an average American family. In areas where prices are higher, as the centers of cities, can amount to 50%. The type of housing you are looking for is for foreigners is often particularly expensive: furnished apartments or semi-furnished, rented at the last minute and for short periods of time.

If you're going to live in a big city you will find it very difficult to find an affordable place to live, especially in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Normally you have to choose between a tiny apartment in downtown or more space in the suburbs (with a long journey/drive to your work or school).

The area in which you live will have a big impact on your quality of life in the U.S.. Some of the poorest neighborhoods are very cheap and inexpensive to live in due to high levels of crime and poor public services (such as schools or transportation). The best place to live in are those with little crime and good public schools, they are also in great demand, so they are more expensive and less available.

Many landlords require a one year contract minimum. Take your time and try to visit as many houses or apartments as possible, and be sure to read the fine print before signing a contract. In some American cities there are laws of "rent control" which stipulate the maximum you can charge for an apartment based on their size and status. Sometimes this amount is far below what the owner would ask if he could impose price. However, the furnished apartments are not regulated by these laws, so the owner can rent at the price they want.

If you find an apartment you like but it is expensive, try to negotiate. You also have to take into account extras such as maintenance or snow removal (that the contract can force you to do yourself). In some cases the rent includes gas and hot water, but electricity is usually paid by you/tenants.

The supply and demand can vary at different times of year, especially in cities where a high percentage of students. At the beginning of the semester, usually in March / April and September / October, demand for flats is often very high, and find something takes more time. Try to see many stories to get an idea of how the market, compare your options and prepare to act quickly if you find something you like.


Monday, October 12, 2009

Employment in the United States of America

Finding a job in the U.S. is difficult, especially for foreigners. Our job guide provides information about salaries, contracts and working conditions. Look for jobs in the classifieds and post an ad search.

Introduction - The United States of America Job Market

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Introduction - Finding Accommodations/Housing in the United States

Finding accommodation at a reasonable price in the U.S.A. may be difficult in some areas. This section gives you information about the American housing market, and give you some tips to help you in your quest.

In most of the U.S. there are no problem finding accommodations. However, in some cities like New York, the demand is high and rents can be very expensive.

Most Americans live in houses, apartments or condominiums (a flat in a development with common areas such as pool or gardens). Compared with Europeans, Americans move much, and it is normal to move 500 km or someone to drop everything and move to the East Coast to the West. This implies that there is much movement in the housing market.

Prices, both for rent and to buy, are determined by the size of the dwelling, which is measured in "square feet" (square feet, to convert to square meters by multiplying the number 0.3048).

The number of rooms that appear in the ad include bedrooms, living rooms and dining rooms. The kitchen and bathrooms are not included in the number of rooms, but know in advance because some owners may be very creative when counting. The studios have several names: studio, bachelor, or efficiency, and most include a separate kitchen or kitchenette, and bathroom.

Generally, the higher floors of a block of flats are usually more expensive. You pay for cleaner air, more light, less noise from the street and, sometimes, a good view.

In the U.S., you can rent a furnished or unfurnished apartment. More often than not it is unfurnished, but often come with kitchen, refrigerator, air conditioning (in the south) and, sometimes, dishwasher. The furnished apartments usually come only with the essentials, like basic furnishings and plain light bulbs, curtains and kitchen basics. Some apartments have no central hot water, so you must check if you have to install a heater.

Most residential blocks built before the 1950's have a common laundry with washers and dryers. The modern apartments often come with washer and dryer.

The Housing Market - Is It Difficult To Find Housing/Accommodations?

Accommodations/Housing in the United States of America

Finding a good apartment or house at the right price can be difficult in the United States of America. Our guide gives you all the information you need to rent or buy. You can also view our classifieds to see what is rented and who seeks roommate.

Introduction - Finding Accommodations/Housing in the United States

Thursday, October 1, 2009

United States of America Green Card and Work Visa - When and How to Apply?

If you want to work in the U.S. need a green card or work visa.

The green card is a permanent residence visa that gives the person legally entitled to live and work permanently in the United States to enter and leave the country freely. You can become a lawful permanent resident if you have any American family, through work or through the Green Card Lottery.

You can also work in the U.S. if you have a work visa. The most common is the H1-B, which is valid for three years, renewable once. The first thing to do is find a job and you hire an American company, the next step is to process the visa along with the company. The H1-B is linked to a particular company, so that you can not change jobs.

If you want more information on the paperwork to get a work visa, we suggest contacting the American embassy or consulate in your country of origin. Furthermore, unless that you enjoy the legal bureaucracy also advise you to hire a lawyer to help you with the application.

If you want more information about the United States green card or work visa check our visas and permits post.

Working Illegally

Given the difficulties in obtaining a green card or work visa, many immigrants work illegally in the United States. Although millions of illegal workers in the U.S., we do not recommend this option at all. Illegal workers are under constant threat of deportation and are often exploited by companies. If the authorities catch you you can get a ticket and forbid the entry into the U.S. for years.

To get a legal job in America need a social security number that is given to all Americans and legal immigrants. There is a very lucrative market for false documents, which cost from a few hundred to thousands of dollars, but if you get caught illegally working as the consequences will be even worse if you were working with false documents.

Unites States of America Job Working Conditions, Wages, Hours and Holidays

The United States was founded on the principle that hard work well done is rewarded and honest. Because this work ethic, time is money and punctuality a virtue.

The culture and geographic location of an area determine how business is done. Traditionally, the East Coast is more conservative and formal, in terms of dress and manners, that the West Coast, but do not think an interview in California is less important than one in New York, only the climate and lifestyle are more relaxed, which is reflected in the pace and informality.

Hours and Holidays

You can work full time or part time. Normally, full time is 40 hours per week and part time may be up to 30 hours per week. The U.S. business hours is usually Monday through Friday from 9 am to 6 pm, with one hour lunch and two breaks of 15 minutes. However, a third of Americans work more than 40 hours a week, and the more you climb the career ladder, the more they will ask you to work.

If you're used to European holidays, American holidays will surprise you negatively. Most new employees have only one or two weeks of paid vacation each year, which is less than in any other industrialized country except Japan. If you keep working, you will increase one or two days holiday per year, so you can take 10 years to get to have 4 weeks annual leave. According to a UN study, the average American works 250 hours more than a British worker and 500 more than a German.

If you think the work is not the only thing in life, do not expect to understand your fellow Americans. The main goal of many Americans is to make money, and since time is money, it is best not to lose anything else other than getting rich.

Safe Work and Corporate Standards

In the U.S. there is no job security if the company decides that doesn't need you, you get fired with no problems. Your only insurance is your own potential and willingness to work, you can convince your boss that you stay and take another, or that allows you to find another job quickly.

Smoking is prohibited in the workplace, and almost everywhere except on the street and at home.

In an American work environment, diversity is very important (at least in theory), so really many jobs that say "We are a company that offers equal opportunities with competitive salaries in a professional work environment". This means that it is likely that you work with people of different cultures and environments.

Wages and Other Compensation

The salary is only part of the job offer but for the Americans, is the most important. In the U.S., the cost of living can be very high, especially in large cities, but also salaries are usually higher in them.

The average wage of workers ranging from $ 8 to $ 12 an hour for someone who starts. The minimum wage is about $ 7 an hour in most states.

Although the pay is very important, it is not everything. Another important factor is the remaining compensation that companies often give good employees, including bonuses, medical and dental, vision, life insurance, disability, pension plan, and compensation in case of accidental death or loss of some members. Consult it to your company on such compensation.

Wages and other compensation vary according to market conditions and work where you are located. Stay informed on market conditions and other factors that may affect your salary is a good idea. Analyze your personal situation before making a decision.

Work Insurance

In the United States workers are entitled to work in a safe environment. The labor insurance is insurance that pays the company and that provides cash and medical care if a worker becomes disabled by an accident at work. The laws of workers' compensation are designed to protect workers who have an accident while working.

Companies that have 4 or more employees (may vary by state) are legally required to provide insurance to workers compensation. If a worker has an accident, it will make a claim with the insurance company. The law generally indicates that the claim must be made within 30 days since the accident. In general, insurance and income replacement work includes medical and rehabilitation expenses. Normally you will paid 2 / 3 of your salary while you're out of work. Employers/Companies may also have to give a pension for life or a single large payment if you get permanent disability.

United States of America Green Card and Work Visa - When and How to Apply?

Job Applications - How to Impress an American Employer?

Your job application is a "business card" and is the passport to an interview. Note that in the U.S. how to apply for work may be different from your country.

As always, a good and well formatted resume is essential. But beware, because the format of an American curriculum/resume may be different from that used in your country, for example, professional experience is often put first. Think as if you had just a minute before a hearing to introduce yourself and highlight your qualities.

If you want to maximize your potential and get an answer from the company, it is best that you abide by certain rules and follow the advice of professionals.

Try to return your application as complete as possible (cover letter, curriculum vitae, copies of degrees, etc..) And which may reach the person to whom it is addressed in good condition (people do not like getting dirty paper or wrinkled). Do not forget that the first impression is always crucial.

Cover Letter

Your cover letter is your introduction and is what gives the first impression. It is a fundamental tool to advertise your intentions, your professional and educational experience, and your availability. It must be brief, clear and direct.

The purpose of the letter is to convince the person to whom it is addressed to you are the best candidate for the position. What you write should be informative, convincing, show genuine motivation and make the person reading it would know more about you, and do not forget to add a personal touch!

You can talk about the expectations you have about the work you request. Show your skills on this work and, if the opportunity arises, explains why you want to change jobs. Do not write more than one page (and should only be written by hand if the company specifically requests) and do not forget to check grammar and spelling.

Curriculum Vitae/Resume

A curriculum vitae/resume is what defines you. The keys to a good curriculum/resume that is simple, concise and precise. An American curriculum/resume should include the following:
  • Personal
  • Education
  • Languages
  • Other knowledge
  • Work History
  • Hobbies
  • References
Keep in mind that an American curriculum should never be longer than one page, if you need more space, you can add other pages to your application, such as "achievements". However, the curriculum only if you must provide a brief description of your person and must be readable at a glance. Remember, time is money in the U.S., and many companies have to read hundreds of resumes to find the right person. Another difference between Europe and America, is that Americans do not include your photo or marital status in the curriculum.

Focus on your most recent work and on your main skills and qualities. Put the most recent jobs first, and follows a chronological order backwards. Try the sentences are short, and the most important thing is at the top of each section. Never use the word "I" or you're talking directly to yourself in any other way. For example, instead of writing "I was responsible for the sales team to" write "in charge of the sales team". Also mention the accomplishments you've achieved (eg "I increased sales by 1 to 3 million dollars") and that American companies place a high value to the achievement of objectives.


Once you have submitted a resume, do not sit and wait to be called. Take initiative and call them yourself. If someone from the company promises to call you and you do not, do not be afraid to call again. It is important to be persistent.

If you're lucky, the next step is an interview. Typically this is in English, unless you have requested a special work in a foreign company, so get to practice if not your native language.

Arrive on time is crucial, because the Americans do not take it well when you lose them over time. Conservatively dressed men in dark suits, well-cut, and tie and women in suits or dress. Learn about the company before and get ready to talk about your qualities and abilities.

The interviews are usually formal American and efficient. They start with the introductions, shaking hands and exchanging cards, then there may be few minutes of colloquial conversation, but then he goes on.

Answers questions in a frank and open, be polite and not interrupt. Explain how your education and experience are appropriate for the job and how you can contribute to the company. You can ask relevant questions concerning the operation of the company, the structure and peers.

In the U.S. always have to write a letter immediately after the interview confirming your interest in the position and company. If you are offered the job, you may sign the contract before you make a medical examination to detect drugs(drug test), which in Europe is considered an invasion of your privacy.

Unites States of America Job Working Conditions, Wages, Hours and Holidays

Finding Work in the United States of America as a Foreigner/Immigrant

There are many places to seek work in the U.S., and you can get in touch with many of them before arriving. To help you we have compiled a list of the most useful.

Newspapers and Magazines

Find jobs in the classified sections of newspapers (often on Sunday), weekly and monthly magazines, and specialized trade publications. If you're looking for high-level working nationally, it is best to look in the Saturday editions of newspapers like the New York Times ( or the Washington Post ( If you're looking for more standard work you can try local newspapers, which often also offer jobs.


In recent years the Internet has become one of the most important tools to find work in the U.S.. Internet applications are the preferred way of seeking employment for young graduates. Most job sites allow you to customize reports in which you specify from the sector to the area where you want to work. You can also post your resume on many websites for companies seeking certain profile can contact you.

The list of job portals is infinite, but the most important are,,,, and In recent years the high cost of ads on these portals have come into competition with free sites like Craig's List (, where increasingly more offers are published.

Public Employment Centers

There are about 2,000 public employment centers throughout the United States that are managed by the U.S. Employment Service and offer full database of job listings, free advice, training and other support. Unfortunately, many job offers that have these centers are for unskilled workers. Executive search firms prefer to lay their own ads or hiring a headhunter. Look for the address of the nearest center in the yellow pages.

Human Resources Consultants and Headhunters

The private recruitment consultants play a very important job in the U.S. market, especially for senior executives and (it is said that 70% of senior executives are hired through headhunters). Most of these consultants specialize in certain type of profile or in specific sectors and charge a fee to the company that often include a variable compensation in case of recruitment. Some consultants charge to candidates, although they are often of dubious reliability that enterprises offer little protection. Before paying anything to a consulting job, make sure you understand what you offer in return and find out if the consultant has permission in order. In general, we recommend you pay nothing, since we only charge consulting firms.

Employment Agencies

Some agencies make money by hiring workers who then "rented" to companies, usually as temporary. Recruitment agencies are often left with between 10 and 20% of your salary. In this situation, we recommend you do not pay any additional fees.

Job Fair

A good way to get an idea of the American labor market is going to a job fair. Fairs usually bring a lot of companies in a given sector. Some require that you send your resume in time for companies to look at them and decide who they want to interview. Besides getting information on different companies can usually arrange interviews in advance. Usually many job fairs are on college campuses, but you must first be a student to attend.

Speculative Applications

If you are interested in working for a specific company, you can send a speculative application. This usually involves a lot in the U.S. and worth trying. Personnel departments filed such requests and, if there is a place, review them before publishing an advertisement or hire an agency.

Applications in Person

In some cases (especially for unskilled jobs), go to the company and introduce yourself, two things can happen: (a) you will be asked to call a human resource number or (b) they like your initiative and stay with your data for future vacancies.

Chambers of Commerce

You can also contact the chamber of commerce of your country in the U.S.. The chambers of commerce often receive job offers from companies looking to hire someone of his country, and some have even vacancy database. Some chambers of commerce also have a list of companies in your country with U.S. business, and how are you offices often require expatriates in the U.S., may be worth sending a speculative application.


Having contacts is the most effective method to find work. We recommend that you take advantage of any contact, as friends, colleagues, classmates, and even your home. Sometimes even mere acquaintances can help. The persistence and confidence are vital ingredients for an effective job search.

Job Applications - How to Impress an American Employer?

Introduction - The United States of American Job Market

Please note that despite being the richest country in the world, the U.S. has a high poverty rate, so there are more than enough people looking for work for a basic wage.

The main problem are those who want to work in the United States is not finding work, but getting a visa to work. Throughout its history, America has based its economic success to attract the brains of other countries. Contrary to what is happening in Europe, humanitarian reasons are only secondary to the granting of visas. So, as do the Americans, if you live in poverty in your country, you'd better stay there.

Getting a Job as a Foreigner

At present, due to high unemployment and a difficult economic conditions, for a foreigner is not easy to get a job in the U.S.. According to recent reports (2004) of the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor, the average duration of unemployment is about five months.

Being a foreigner can be a disadvantage in some industries and some companies. If you have a level of English suitable for work, your employment possibilities are very limited. If you're working as a waiter, bartender or language teacher, you can have it a little easier. We do not want to discourage anyone, but do not think that finding work in the U.S. is going to be easy.

The American Way

If you are lucky enough to enter, be prepared to work hard. For the American company, you're just another production factor that is evaluated according to their productivity. Much is said about Corporate Social Responsibility in many economic forums and the like but the reality is different.

The job for life is a thing of the past, and many companies see employees as expendable resources. Some employees are exploited and discarded as appropriate, although many employees are also companies they work the same way. Unlike in Europe, U.S. companies do not pay severance and can fire workers quickly when things go wrong. This policy of "hire and fire" is part of the American way, so if you looking for a friendly work environment, the U.S. may not be the right country.

Finding Work in the United States of America as a Foreigner/Immigrant

Visas & Permits for the United States of America

Visas & Permits for the U.S.A.

Before you move abroad you must understand your legal situation. Depending on your nationality, you need a visa, residence permit and / or a work permit. Read our guide to legal requirements for coming to the Unites States.

Coming To The United States of America

Visiting, living, working or studying in the United States of America? Our website "Coming To The United States of America" helps you manage everyday life in the U.S.A. Our guide covers topics like housing, jobs and finances. Join the just landed community of meet people like you and share your experiences, but most of all enjoy!

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