Jobs in the USA
If you are booked on the USIT J1 USA Work & Travel Programme, then you have access to jobs from USIT's J1 Jobs Database. Just log into your J1 personal tracking screen using your e-mail address & booking reference number to start browsing now.
The US Department of State requires all citizens of non-Visa Waiver countries to have a job pre-arranged and approved before applying for the programme.
Citizens of Visa Waiver countries (see FAQ’s for full list of Visa Waiver countries) have 30 days from their DS-2019 start date to locate a job in America. After this timeframe they face their programme being withdrawn early.
Before You Go
Although it is a very good idea to pre-arrange a job before you go, studying for exams can prevent you putting too much effort into finding one. If you don't have a prearranged job, try to get Stateside by the end of May or first weeks of June to beat the rush of potential employees.
Even if you're planning to job hunt once you get to the US, spend some time scouting around before you go. Try sending your CV ahead of time and contacting prospective employers when you get there, or set up a few job interviews in advance. The more preparation you do now, the more time you'll have to hit the beach once you're there.
J1 Job Hunting Tools
- USIT's online US Employment Directory
- The USIT US Jobs Roadshow (keep an eye on website for details)
- Internet (see below)
- Local newspapers (also available online)
- Specialist magazines and trade publications
- International job directories in your college career library
- Long-lost third cousins in the US!
- University bulletin boards
- Walk into businesses and ask for the manager - Simple yet effective!
Where do I start?
The key word is contacts! Gather names and contact information from every available source. All are bound to have some practical advice and suggestions for further detective work.
Talk to other students who have been on the J1 USA Work & Travel programme in the last couple of years for names and addresses of employers and accommodation sources. They'll also have the best tips on where to live, what the jobs are really like and where to go for the best weekend fun.
Keep an eye on your email as well, as we may send you job lists and news of U.S employers recruiting in Ireland.
USIT Employment Directory and Road show
Every year USIT contacts employers in the US who are willing to take on Irish students for the summer. We have a database online containing bios on prospective employers and their contact details. Some employers have been used by previous J1 USA Work & Travel students and others are new to the directory this year.
Students who book their J1 USA Work & Travel programme with USIT will receive a username and password that allows them exclusive access to the database. This is being compiled in December and will be available in January.
USIT also runs J1 Employer Roadshows in January/February, where we invite US employers to visit Irish colleges and to meet and hire students on the day. Keep an eye on the website to see when we'll be in a college near you.
Job Hunting Websites
Jobs by Location
Adventure and Resort Jobs
Applying for a job
For the best results, you should send potential employers:
- A one page resume (CV) emphasizing your experience
- A cover letter explaining that you will have a valid work permit, a US Social Security number and insurance
- Letters of reference from previous employers or academic contacts (optional but useful)
When applying for a job, do not send the same cover letter to each prospective employer. Remember to personalise each letter as much as possible, since you are competing with other students who will be applying for the same jobs. Explain why your experiences make you the best candidate for this particular job.
What kind of jobs can I do?
Any job, whether or not it is included in the list below, must be generally compatible with the rules, regulations, and intent of the program. Participants must be able to balance their work responsibilities with time spent exploring their local community, learning about the U.S. and getting to know Americans. In addition to the above, any job that could bring notoriety or disrepute to the Exchange Visitor Program is expressly prohibited by the program regulations.
It is also important to note that you need to ensure that all Work & Travel USA jobs are "seasonal" and not taking work from American Citizens. The typical Summer Work Travel job is in seasonal/resort areas in a seasonal business. There are seasonal needs outside resort areas and there may be suitable jobs in these areas. If a job is in an office environment, it should be seasonal and NOT an internship ie. if there is intent for professional development or some sort of career experience, then it likely belongs on the Intern side. In addition, you need to be careful that you are not working in isolated/remote areas.
The following job types are currently prohibited by the US Department of State
- Any job that is unpaid or does not pay at least the minimum wage for that state
- Sales jobs requiring the participant to invest his/her own monies to pre-purchase inventory
- Domestic help positions in private U.S. households - e.g. au pair, servant, gardener or chauffeur
- Jobs in the adult entertainment industry
- Jobs on the Department of Labor's "hazardous jobs list"
- Jobs in warehouses
- Jobs with moving companies
- Jobs in factories
- Jobs in manufacturing
- Jobs in construction or located on construction sites
- Jobs in catalog / online distribution centers
- Jobs in the fisheries industry
- Jobs that are substantially commission-based and thus do not guarantee minimum wage
- Jobs at mall kiosks/carts
- Employment that involves driving as a primary job duty
- Jobs with exposure to dangerous chemicals (e.g. pesticides)
- Jobs on the gaming floor of casinos
- Jobs with travelling carnivals / concessions
- Jobs where the participant is hired as an independent contractor / hired on a 1099 form
- Operators of pedicabs, rolling chairs, other passenger carrying vehicles for hire, and/or vehicles requiring a commercial driver's license -Jobs providing clinical care, medical services or involving patient contact, hands on therapy, counseling, administering treatment or making diagnoses of medical, psychiatric or psychological patients, or veterinary work involving hands-on care.
- As ship or aircraft crew members, or as pilots, except as crew members on ships that travel only within domestic U.S. waters
- Teacher, teaching assistant or coach
- Camp counselor
- Jobs through staffing/employment agencies
- Jobs entailing sustained physical contact with customers (e.g., body piercing, tattoo parlor, massage)
- Overnight/graveyard shift jobs
There are some areas of work which are not covered by the J1 Visa, please visit the Prohibited Job page for more information.
Job Hunting Tips
- Always make it clear that you will have legal status to work in the US when communicating with potential employers.
i.e.: I will be participating on the Work and Travel USA Program sponsored by the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE). As my sponsor, CIEE is authorised by the US government to issue the necessary documentation for me to obtain a J1 visa, allowing me to work legally within the US for up to four months.
- When applying for an advertised vacancy make sure to carefully follow their instructions as to how to apply for the position. Most employers will require you to post, fax or email a copy of your information
- Be persistent. Don't be afraid to make follow up calls on your job applications after a few days. That way you'll stand out from the many applications that employers receive
- If employers are reluctant to offer you a job over the phone, arrange to interview for the position when you get there (but give yourself a day to sleep off the jet lag first!)
The above tips provided by USIT are intended as a guide. USIT accepts no responsibility for any jobs or housing accepted by students through these resources.
US Job Vetting Procedures
- You can download the USIT/CIEE Job Offer Form from your personal J1 tracking screen, just click on the Downloads icon to see the form.
- Ensure both you and your potential US Employer complete all sections on the form
- Email a copy of the completed form to CIEE – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Advise your US Employer that CIEE will be in contact within days to confirm the position and request additional information such as a copy of their Business License and Workers Compensation.
Please note: Vetting and approval processing timeframes can vary as the process heavily relies on the US Employer co-operating and submitting documents quickly to CIEE. USIT nor CIEE can be held responsible for any delays or job rejections due to incompliance of the US Employer.
- Once you are notified by CIEE your US Job has been approved you can begin working.
Applicants CANNOT begin working until their job has been approved by CIEE. Failure to abide by this programme regulation can result in your visa/sponsorship being revoked and your immediate return to Ireland. A revoked visa will have a negative impact on all future visa applications to America.
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