We use cookies to improve your experience on this website. Read More Allow Cookies


In This Section

How To Source Your Own J1 Job

SAYIT’s J1 2024 program is in full force so it’s about time we answer one of our most frequently asked questions:

How do I source my own J1 job?

Let it be clear that this blog will cover tips and advice on getting your own job rather than one of the means in which you can get a job through us, i.e. if you are booked on our Job Placement Program & have access to the InterExchange Jobs database.

Just like every other year, a lot of students hope to do their J1 in California and more specifically San Diego. While there is plenty of seasonal work in San Diego, however not as many as we would like, even if you are booked on our Job Placement program. Positions fill up quickly and not everyone in your group may get a job in that location. This leaves a student hoping to travel there only one option, and that’s source their own job. Please note, there’s plenty of jobs available in San Francisco on the InterExchange database so if you’re willing to head a few hours up the coast to the bay area, then work will be more readily available.

Another great and one of the original J1 destinations, way back when, is Myrtle Beach! We have a wide range of seasonal jobs available there and it is much easier to get accommodation. And yes, the weather and beaches are just as good as San Diego! 

For proven tips and advice on sourcing your own job, please have a read through these five simple steps:

  1. Resume & Cover Letter
  • Essentially the most important part of getting seasonal work in the states. Please try and keep the American style resume to ONE page.
  • Employers for most seasonal J1 jobs will only briefly look over your resume scanning for relevant experience, references and an outgoing personality.
  • There’s no need to put in your hobbies and interests unless they’re relevant to the work you’re applying for. If you enjoy making cocktails for friends and family in your spare time and you’re applying for a job in a bar, then by all means put that down. However, if it’s not relevant to the job, leave it out and fill that space with something else that may help you stand out from the crowd.
  • As for your cover letter, the first and most important thing to do is to explain that you’ll have a 4 month work and travel visa during the summer months given to you by InterExchange.
  • We highly recommend you write a different cover letter for every single employer. When you’re going to be competing with 100’s of other students for a job, the last thing you want is your letter to be too generic.
  1. Introduction Video of Yourself

Before you start slating this idea, hear us out. It’s very difficult to get seasonal work in a country you’re not even yet. We all know the best way to impress an employer is by meeting them in person. This isn’t possible for you guys, so why not record a 2 minute video talking a bit about yourself, conveying that wonderful personality and stating exactly why you’re the best person for a certain job. Another good reason for doing this is because most J1 seasonal work involves dealing with the general public. There’s no better way to show your verbal communication, bubbly personality and how you present yourself than in a video.

  1. Contact Employers through different streams

Inevitably, thousands of students (not just from Ireland) are going to be applying for the same jobs as you are, all through the same stream. That being either through e-mail, online application form or website contact form. Why not try and stand out from the crowd and contact employers through other streams. You could tweet them, Facebook message, ring, LinkedIn. Of course they may direct you back to the standard application process but you never know, that person controlling the Facebook could go directly to HR for you. Give it a shot!

  1. Useful websites

The two most popular websites to look for seasonal work in the USA are www.indeed.com and www.monster.com – these sites are a great way to get the search for work underway. 

  1. Irish Immigration Centres

Throughout many cities in the USA, there are Irish Outreach and Immigration Centres. While you’re on a J1, they’ll be happy to assist you with anything you need. However, very few students make use of them prior to departure. There’s no harm in contacting them now to see if they have any advice, contacts or leads on seasonal work in that destination. Please see the list below:

Finally, please click here and have a look at the J1 prohibited jobs and areas to ensure you won’t be disappointed.

If you have more specific questions about jobs, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 0214279190 or e-mail j1visa@sayit.ie

Read more of our blogs: 5 Useful Mobile Apps You'll Need On Your J15 Tips For Making The Most Of Your J1 ExperienceMike's Chicago J1 ExperienceJulianne's San Diego J1 Experience

Licenced by the Irish Aviation Authority, TA 0252

© 2024 SAYIT | Web design by Granite Digital