Getting that first job after H4 – three things I did right and one big mistake

So I have written about how I messed up my first job interview after an H4 hiatus partially because of still being green to American ways. This time I thought I will highlight some things I did right and wrong to land that first job.

  • Getting my resume America ready – I had a long Indian resume listing what I thought were my many accomplishments dating back to school. I sent it to an acquaintance I hardly knew, who I had heard was a great networker, and to whom I am still very grateful. He sent back a heavily edited resume with a frank email telling me that it showed my greenness. I wasn’t using bullets, but paragraphs extolling my virtues. No one cared that I had lead the debate society in high school since I had never followed it up with anything in college. Etc. Etc. The point was that he sent back great feedback. So I would suggest send out your resume to people you are not very close to, but can trust for some unbiased feedback. These may even be people you have met through networking.
  • Being Enthusiastic – I was told this helped me land the job. I was excited at the opportunity, specially after my hiatus and I conveyed it. I didnt highlight the fact that part of my excitement was because I had been jobless for a while 🙂 but I did about why I liked the company, job etc.
  • Deal with the top – I have heard this from others as well. If through networking or contacts you get a name of a SVP or a senior person, use it. Almost invariably the resume gets looked at my a decision maker and passed around. In my case it was the CEO. I have found that with mid level managers it often becomes an ego issue and you end up getting tons of advice and no job.

Now I am no expert. There are expert sites on the web for advice, but I thought I will write up what I think worked for me. And here’s the mistake part –

DONT underestimate yourself – I did and this went against me specially in salary negotioations. Months of being put in a predicament when you cant look for a job whole heartedly because of things you cant control can do that to you. Its hard not to sound desperate when you have a visa issue, a lack of US experience etc. But ignore it. I didnt and suffered for a while in my job. I should have understood my value, the value of international experience etc, and not buckled down in negotiations.

Well, thats that. I met a friend from my first job and all this came back to me so I thought I will pen it.

There seems to be some problem with comments and links so I have moved the link refered here:  This site has all the H4 news, and is a good site to visit.

Last 5 posts by Amrita Bakshi


  1. Pry

    Good Post. My resume was long too…It had to shortened down by my work/US experienced hus..

  2. Amrita

    Ok, now the link is up in the post. Sorry for the comments confusion!

  3. S Rawat

    I think you are right about underestimation. Immigrants often do that.

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