How to Land a Job in a US-based Company If You’re a LATAM-based Developer

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If you are a developer from Latin America, you are not bound solely to the local businesses in the matter of job. You have a chance to join the global workforce and work in international tech companies, namely the US-based ones. Such a job change can become a crucial step in your career development, opening a path toward higher compensation, further career advancement, and cooperation with the best minds in the tech industry. 

So what is the action plan for LATAM developers? How to find US remote jobs in Latin America? We gathered the main info you should know when applying for remote jobs to US-based companies.

What Skills and Knowledge Do US Companies Look For in Developers?

Today, developers from LATAM get into the spotlight, as many US businesses turn to this region to seek qualified tech talent. However, US entrepreneurs won’t hire just any developer, but the ones that will match their criteria. While every company has its own standards, practices, and tech stacks, we have gathered the most common skills and knowledge you need to have.

Hard Skills

CategorySkills and Knowledge
Programming languagesHigh Demand Languages: JavaScript, Python, Java, C#
Emerging Technologies: Go, Rust, Kotlin
Frameworks and librariesWeb Development: React, Angular, Vue.js
Backend Development: Node.js, Django, Spring Boot
Mobile Development: React Native, Flutter, Swift
DevOps and cloud computingCloud Platforms: AWS, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure
DevOps Tools: Docker, Kubernetes, Jenkins, Terraform
Data management and analysisDatabases: SQL (PostgreSQL, MySQL), NoSQL (MongoDB, Cassandra)
Data Analysis Tools: Pandas, NumPy, Hadoop, Spark
CybersecuritySecurity Best Practices: Secure coding, encryption, vulnerability assessments
Security Tools: Nessus, Wireshark, Metasploit

Soft Skills

CategorySkills and Knowledge
CommunicationClear articulation of technical concepts: ability to explain complex technical details in a way that non-technical stakeholders can understand.
Proficiency in English: strong command of both written and spoken English to ensure effective communication with US-based teams and clients.
Active listening: paying close attention to what others are saying, asking clarifying questions, and rephrasing what is being said to ensure mutual understanding.
Problem-solvingAnalytical skills: ability to systematically break down complex problems, identify the root causes, and develop effective solutions.
Creative thinking: coming up with innovative solutions to problems, thinking outside the box to find new and better ways to achieve goals.
Persistence: demonstrating determination and resilience when faced with challenging problems, not giving up easily.
CollaborationAgile development experience: familiarity with agile methodologies such as Scrum or Kanban, and ability to work effectively in agile teams.
Teamwork: ability to work cooperatively with others, contributing to group projects, and supporting team members to achieve common goals.
Cultural sensitivity: awareness and respect for cultural differences, adapting communication and collaboration styles to work effectively in a diverse team.
Tools: proficiency with collaboration tools like JIRA, Trello, Asana, Slack, and Microsoft Teams.
Time managementOrganizational skills: ability to organize tasks and projects efficiently, ensuring that deadlines are met and priorities are managed effectively.
Task prioritization: ability to prioritize tasks based on their importance and urgency, focusing on what matters most and managing time effectively.
Independent work: ability to work independently with minimal supervision, taking initiative to complete tasks and solve problems.

Industry Knowledge

CategorySkills and Knowledge
Understanding of business contextKnowledge of how technical skills contribute to overall business goals and objectives.
Awareness of industry-specific challenges and trends.
Continuous learningCommitment to ongoing education and staying updated with the latest industry developments.
Participation in professional development activities such as online courses, certifications, and tech meetups
Domain expertiseSpecialized knowledge in fields like fintech, health tech, e-commerce, or AI/ML.
Experience in implementing industry-specific regulations and standards.

Step-by-Step Plan for Getting Hired by a US Company

If you feel ready to apply to a US-based remote job, here is your action plan.

I prepared this plan because at the last offsite in Warsaw, I had several sessions with our Recruitment department. They shared their own experience on how they search for and select the best talents for our partners.

Prepare Your Resume and Online Presence

Your resume should be tailored to the US job market, highlighting relevant experience and skills in a format that is familiar and appealing to US employers. Use clear, concise language and focus on your accomplishments and the value you brought to your previous roles. Quantify your achievements wherever possible, such as “increased application performance by 30%” or “led a team of five developers on a successful project.”

In addition to a well-crafted resume, we suggest you build a strong LinkedIn profile. Ensure your profile is complete and current, including a professional photo, a compelling headline, and a detailed summary highlighting your career achievements and aspirations. Optimize your profile with relevant keywords to improve your visibility to recruiters and hiring managers. Connect with professionals in your industry, join relevant groups, and engage with content to increase your network and visibility.

Then, you need to take care of your portfolio. Showcase your projects on platforms like GitHub or a personal website, and provide detailed descriptions, code samples, and explanations of your role and contributions. A well-organized portfolio can demonstrate your technical skills and problem-solving abilities to potential employers.

Develop In-demand Skills and Certifications

LATAM-based developers should focus on developing in-demand skills and obtaining relevant certifications to stand out in the competitive US job market. Start by mastering programming languages that are highly sought after by US companies. JavaScript, Python, Java, and C# are some of the most popular languages, and emerging ones like Go, Rust, and Kotlin can give you an additional edge.

Next, ensure you are well-versed in popular frameworks and libraries. For web development, gaining expertise in front-end frameworks such as React, Angular, and Vue.js is crucial. On the backend, frameworks like Node.js, Django, and Spring Boot are highly valued. If you are interested in mobile development, focus on frameworks like React Native, Flutter, and Swift.

In the realm of DevOps and cloud computing, proficiency with major cloud platforms like AWS, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure is indispensable. Additionally, hands-on experience with DevOps tools such as Docker, Kubernetes, Jenkins, and Terraform will make you a more attractive candidate.

Data management and analysis skills are also in high demand. Ensure you are comfortable working with both SQL databases (such as PostgreSQL and MySQL) and NoSQL databases (like MongoDB and Cassandra). Familiarity with data analysis tools and frameworks like Pandas, NumPy, Hadoop, and Spark will further enhance your skill set.

Obtaining relevant certifications can significantly boost your credentials. Consider certifications such as AWS Certified Developer, Google Professional Data Engineer, Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer Associate, and Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA). These certifications validate your expertise and commitment to staying current with industry standards.

Try Different Job Search Strategies

To increase your chances of landing a job in a US-based company, you should try different job search strategies.

  • Leverage job search platforms that specialize in remote work. Websites like Remote OK, We Work Remotely, and FlexJobs are excellent resources for finding positions that explicitly state they are open to remote candidates.
  • Apply directly on company websites and through LinkedIn. Many US-based companies list job openings on their career pages before posting them on job boards. LinkedIn is also a powerful tool for job searching; use it to follow companies you're interested in, connect with recruiters, and apply for positions directly through the platform.
  • Another effective strategy is to engage with staffing companies that specialize in remote and international hires – like TurnKey. With us, you can connect with the best US tech companies and secure a promising job with a great benefits package.
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Check our openings and send your application!

Prepare for the Interview Process

When you get an invite to the interview, always take your time to prepare, so you will increase your chances of moving forward within a hiring pipeline. Here are a few tips for that.

First, familiarize yourself with the common interview formats used by US companies. These typically include technical interviews, coding challenges, and multiple rounds of virtual meetings with various team members. Understanding what to expect will help you prepare adequately and reduce anxiety.

For technical interviews, focus on brushing up your knowledge of data structures, algorithms, and system design. Practice solving coding problems on platforms like LeetCode, HackerRank, and CodeSignal. These platforms offer a wide range of problems that simulate the types of questions you might encounter during the interview. Additionally, work on coding under time constraints to simulate the pressure of a real interview.

Prepare for coding challenges by reviewing the programming languages and technologies listed in the job description. Ensure you are comfortable with the languages you’ll be expected to use. Practice writing clean, efficient, and well-documented code. Many companies also use pair programming exercises during the interview, so practice explaining your thought process and solutions while coding.

Behavioral interviews are another common component. These interviews assess your soft skills, cultural fit, and how you handle various work situations. Prepare for these by reflecting on your past work experiences and identifying examples that demonstrate your problem-solving skills, teamwork, leadership, and adaptability. Use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to structure your responses clearly and concisely.

Be ready to discuss your experience working remotely. Highlight your ability to manage time effectively, communicate across different time zones, and collaborate using digital tools. Emphasize any previous remote work experience and how you overcame challenges associated with remote work.

Research the company thoroughly before your interview. Understand their products, services, culture, and market position. Being knowledgeable about the company shows your genuine interest and helps you ask insightful questions. Prepare a few questions to ask at the end of your interview, focusing on the team’s goals, the company’s culture, and any recent developments or challenges the company might be facing.

Navigate Time Zones and Work Culture

Time zones in the US as compared to Latin America

Cultural fit and the ability to perform well remotely are crucial when you want to work for a US company from the LATAM region. Therefore, you need to prove that you can be flexible and work under these conditions.

The basic thing to do is to learn the time zone differences between your location and the US company’s headquarters or main office. Use tools like World Time Buddy or Google Calendar to keep track of time differences and schedule meetings at times that are convenient for both you and your US-based colleagues.

When possible, align your working hours with those of your US team, even if it means adjusting your usual work schedule. This overlap will facilitate real-time communication and collaboration. Be clear about your availability and preferred meeting times, and make sure to communicate these to your future. Additionally, be flexible and willing to accommodate occasional off-hours meetings to demonstrate your commitment and reliability.

Effective communication is key to overcoming the challenges of working in different time zones. Use tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, or Zoom to stay connected with your team. These platforms enable instant messaging, video calls, and file sharing, making it easier to collaborate and stay informed. Be proactive in checking messages and responding promptly, even if you are not online at the same time as your colleagues.

Take the time to learn about US work culture, including communication styles, work ethics, and social norms. US workplaces often value direct communication, punctuality, and proactive problem-solving. Be mindful of these cultural nuances and adapt your communication style accordingly.

While it’s important to be flexible with your working hours, maintaining a healthy work-life balance is equally crucial. Set clear boundaries between work and personal time to avoid burnout. Communicate your working hours to your team and stick to them as much as possible. Taking regular breaks and setting aside time for relaxation and hobbies will help you stay productive and motivated.

Summing Up

Landing a job in a US-based tech company requires some preparation. Take your time to refine your skills, prepare your CV and portfolio, and explore your options. 

If you are ready to try your hand, visit our job page where we offer positions at leading American and European tech companies.

Good luck!

FAQ

What are the most important technical skills US companies look for in LATAM-based developers?

US companies typically seek developers proficient in high-demand programming languages such as JavaScript, Python, Java, and C#. Knowledge of popular frameworks and libraries, such as React, Angular, Vue.js for web development, Node.js, Django, Spring Boot for backend development, and React Native, Flutter, and Swift for mobile development, is also crucial. Additionally, experience with cloud platforms like AWS, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, and DevOps tools like Docker, Kubernetes, Jenkins, and Terraform is highly valued.

How can LATAM-based developers effectively prepare for interviews with US-based companies?

To prepare for interviews with US-based companies, LATAM-based developers should familiarize themselves with common interview formats, including technical interviews and coding challenges. Practicing coding problems on platforms like LeetCode and HackerRank can be beneficial. Additionally, it's important to prepare for behavioral interviews by reflecting on past work experiences and using the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to structure responses. Researching the company, understanding its products and culture, and ensuring a reliable setup for virtual interviews are also essential steps.

What strategies can LATAM-based developers use to manage time zone differences when working with US-based teams?

Managing time zone differences requires careful planning and flexibility. LATAM-based developers should use tools like World Time Buddy or Google Calendar to track time differences and schedule meetings at convenient times for both parties. Aligning working hours with US team members, when possible, facilitates real-time communication. Embracing asynchronous communication through detailed documentation and using collaboration tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Trello can help bridge the gap. Building strong relationships and understanding US work culture also play a significant role in effective collaboration.

June 17, 2024

TurnKey Staffing provides information for general guidance only and does not offer legal, tax, or accounting advice. We encourage you to consult with professional advisors before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business or legal rights.

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