Cover picture by Veeti Haapsamo

Motivation is the most important asset in the job hunt. If you are willing to spend time with sourcing the companies, perfecting your CV, and preparing for the interviews you will most likely find a job.

At the end of January, a group of people gathered to the Startup Sauna to learn the best practices for finding a job from the US and give peer support to each other in the very first Jobathon event organized by the Startuplifers team. The participants continued the job hunt after the event and three of them managed to score jobs! Sara, Olli, and Hanna have now started working in the US. Here are their pieces of advice for landing a job.


1. Use your contacts, ask for introductions and study the companies

Sara Isotalo, Designer at the GuestBook, Los Angeles

“When searching for a job from the US introductions and contacts are everything. The situation is different compared to Finland, where you can find a job without a referral and on the other hand, you already have a wide social network. During the process, I learned that people are friendly and eager to help. So my advice is to perfect your portfolio, get to know the company, and practice for the interviews. Don’t underestimate your skills. You must adapt to a marketing mindset to succeed in your job hunt, but remember to always be yourself.“


2. Getting rejected is part of the process, be patient and keep on applying.

Olli Loukojärvi, Software Engineer Intern at Nowsta, New York

“In August I sent my first applications to test the waters. I got more responses than I had expected and motivated by that started seriously applying in September. I sent tons of applications and got to the final rounds of interviews with many companies. Proceeding in the recruitment processes got me really excited, but I didn’t manage to score a job yet. Getting rejected at the final stages was disappointing, but I kept on applying again and again. Eventually, I got an offer in April and now I’m working as a Software Engineer Intern at Nowsta in New York. Hard work pays off.“


3. Build a network and connect with as many people as possible

Hanna Stenhammar, Product Designer at Quest Analytics, San Francisco

“In my job hunt, I took the social approach. I connected with many people, asked intros and tips from friends, and focused on networking. I was surprised by how many people had connections to San Francisco and how eager they were to help. In the end, I didn’t send too many applications, but I talked with many people on LinkedIn and via Skype. If you are dreaming about finding a job from the US, I’d recommend trying to find the job hunting approach that suits you the best. Believe in yourself and be patient, you’re going to make it!”

Startuplifers is a non-profit program that supports students and recent graduates to find internship opportunities in US startups. Got interested? Read more about how to write a great tech CV, how to shine in your business interview, and what to know when applying for a designer position.

Apply to our talent pool here. We help you throughout the process.


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