Credential Evaluation for Employment
Immigrants often need guidance to understand how to succeed in their U.S. job search — from creating an appropriate resume and cover letter to making use of professional networks and practicing for the job interview.
Many aspects of this process will be different from the way it was done in their home countries. In addition, many of the people they encounter in this process will be unfamiliar with foreign academic credentials.
- Foreign credentials are difficult to interpret without expert advice because educational systems, degree requirements and grading systems differ from country to country.
- For example, professional degrees earned abroad are not necessarily equivalent to the qualifications required to practice in a regulated profession in the U.S.
It is important to advise individuals how to present their foreign education on their resume and in job interviews in terms familiar to U.S. employers. One way to do this is to submit foreign credentials and related documents to an evaluation agency that specializes in comparing degrees gained abroad to those awarded by high schools, colleges and universities in the U.S.
Benefits of a Credential Evaluation
A credential evaluation includes the U.S. equivalency to the foreign degree and helps the employer to make an objective and fair comparison to U.S.-educated candidates.
- Even if the employer does not require a credential evaluation, many immigrants choose to have one done so they can refer to the results in their resumes.
- This way they are not at a disadvantage if the employer cannot easily make an informed assessment of foreign qualifications.
- Also, they are able to speak confidently about how they meet the job requirements.
Learn how your client can obtain a credential evaluation report here.
How to Use a Credential Evaluation
With an evaluation in hand, the immigrant is prepared to “market” their education and to demonstrate how their qualifications meet or surpass an employer’s requirements. Programs such as Upwardly Global that are dedicated to finding jobs for immigrant professionals recommend:
- Put the U.S. equivalency to the foreign degree (cited in the credential evaluation report) next to the degree on the resume
- Bring a copy of the evaluation report to the interview
Use Available Resources for Support
There are many organizations that support skilled immigrants in their job search, as well as some very useful online resources. Advisors will find a comprehensive list of programs and resources in our Supporting Skilled Immigrants Toolkit on our website. The Immigrant Resources/Employment section also offers advice to immigrants on finding employment.