If you’re unemployed or ready for a job change, you might be focused on finding your next opportunity. For many people, working for an American company comes with some clear advantages. Many U.S. companies pay well, offer advancement opportunities and provide training that can be transferred to future roles.

Most American companies post job openings online, so this guide walks you through how to find those opportunities and secure an interview.

The U.S. Job Market

The U.S. job market is ripe with opportunities across the country. As of March 2022, the national unemployment rate sits at 3.6%.1 This is the lowest unemployment rate the country has seen in decades. A low unemployment rate means it’s a job seeker’s market. Employers have fewer candidates applying for positions and may have to do more to fill roles — such as offering better pay or benefits.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for a full-time worker in the United States is $53,490 in 2022.2 With such a demand for employees, keep this average salary in mind when applying for and accepting jobs.

How to Find a U.S.-Based Job Online

Finding a job online is easier than ever today. Most American employers post their job openings online because it’s the easiest and fastest way to reach a large pool of candidates.

However, it’s essential to understand all the titles that may refer to the position you’re looking for. For example, a “cashier” may be a straightforward online job search. But a “marketing professional” can fall under many titles, such as a marketing coordinator, marketing specialist, marketing strategist, marketing manager and social media manager. Knowing all the possible variations of your job title helps you expand your search and get more results.

If you’re searching for a U.S. job from a location outside the United States, follow the format: [Job title + USA] when searching online.

How to Approach U.S. Employers

U.S. employers expect a certain level of professionalism from job candidates. It’s essential to approach employers politely and professionally. Don’t overshare in your email or application and keep your information relevant to your skills and the role.

Next, if the job position is posted online, apply online. There’s no need or benefit to going in and dropping off your resume in person.

Lastly, include everything requested in the application. If the employer asks for a cover letter, copies of certifications or a link to your portfolio samples, make sure you meet all these requests. Someone who fails to follow directions is less likely to book an interview.

Tips for Sending an Email for an Online Job Application

When applying for an online job, your first email is your first impression. This first impression dictates if you get an interview. Here are some tips to follow when emailing in your application:

  • Address the hiring manager by name (if you can)
  • Make sure your resume is complete, professional and error-free
  • Include a cover letter, even if it’s not mentioned as a requirement
  • Read over the job posting carefully, and follow any specific instructions (such as “please include the job title in the email subject line”)
  • Apply using a professional email address
  • Take a few keywords from the job description, and insert them into your resume and cover letter to increase your chances of having your application reviewed

Where to Find Online Jobs

Some of the best sites to search for jobs include LinkedIn, Indeed, Monster and ZipRecruiter. You can visit any of these websites and search for job postings using filters that may apply to your preferences.

When you find a role you’re ready to apply for, consider applying directly on the company website rather than through the job website. For example, you may discover Company X’s job posting on LinkedIn. While you can apply through LinkedIn directly, your application is more likely to get viewed if you go straight to Company X’s website, find the posting and apply through the company site.

A Note on International Candidates

If you live outside the United States and hope to get hired as an international employee (remote or in-person), do some research first. Companies that already have offices internationally or do remote posting have systems in place to hire international candidates, so they may be more open to this possibility. However, if a company hasn’t hired internationally before, it may not be willing to invest the time and resources necessary to figure the process out.

Consider Remote Work

If you’re looking for a job with an American company, consider applying for remote positions. Remote postings consider applicants from all over, so you’re no longer limited to applying to jobs within driving distance of your home.

Some major companies that are now 100% remote3 are:

  • Dropbox
  • Quora
  • Twitter
  • Shopify
  • Slack
  • Spotify
  • Square
  • Upwork
  • Zillow
  • Ford
  • Hubspot

An added benefit of remote work is saving money and time by not commuting, having more autonomy at work and having a better overall work-life balance.

Apply to Multiple Jobs

It’s crucial to be patient and realistic when applying for work. Even if you find a posting you’re really excited about, it’s best to always apply for several jobs at once. On average, it takes a person between 21 and 80 applications4 before they receive a job offer. Therefore, your best chance is to continue to apply for all jobs that interest you until you receive a firm offer.

Another benefit of applying to many jobs at once is that you may receive several job offers. In that case, you can pick the best option and even potentially leverage offers against one another to get a better wage or more benefits!

Do Your Research on the Company Before the Interview

Once you find the role and apply, the next step is to make it through the interview process. Most American employers have unspoken rules when it comes to interviews, one of which is to do your research on the company beforehand. It’s very likely that you’ll be asked, “Why do you want to work here?” at some point during the interview. Rather than give a generic response, you can impress the interviewer by providing an answer that includes details about the company’s products, values and mission.

Dress Professionally for the Interview

Another unspoken rule for American companies is dressing professionally for interviews. Even if a company prides itself on its casual atmosphere, it’s critical to show up in professional clothing. It shows that you’re taking the opportunity seriously and want to impress the interviewer.

This applies to remote interviews as well. Don’t assume that people won’t notice what you’re wearing just because they can only see the top half of your shirt. And don’t make the classic mistake of wearing a professional top and no pants in case something happens and you have to get up at some point during the interview!

Send a Thank-You Email

There’s some debate among human resource professionals about whether a thank-you email after an interview is necessary. You’re strongly encouraged to send one as some interviewers expect this from you, so it can’t hurt to make the effort.

Your thank-you email should:

  • Name everyone you spoke to and thank them all for their time
  • Reiterate how excited you are about the opportunity
  • Mention that you’re looking forward to hearing about the next steps in the process

Know It Can Take Time

As mentioned above, it’s likely to take a lot of job applications before you find your next exciting position. Set expectations for yourself and know that the process takes time. If you have specific requirements (a particular title, salary range or set of benefits), that can prolong the process. However, it will all be worth it once you find that new job!

If the process seems to be taking an extremely long time, it could be helpful to have a friend or colleague review your resume and conduct some mock interviews.