How to get a job in California? A quick guide for everyone, foreigners and Americans

Everyone who wants to get a job in California needs first to find a job in the US state of California. A good start can be a job website or Facebook groups like Craiglist California, Glassdoor in California, or Jobs now hiring

You can look for recruitment agencies or employment agencies in California. And you can look for jobs also on Facebook groups in California.

Once you find a job, you may need a work visa. You can do this from abroad or, in some cases, in the United States (US). American citizens don’t need a work visa to get a job. In most cases, every other nationality needs to apply for a work visa. You can do this together with your new employer, or employment agency. Or you can apply for a US work visa scheme before finding a job.

California’s economy is one of the largest economies in the world. Its economy is comparable with those of countries like France or the UK.

California is home to over 11 million immigrants, that is foreign-born persons. That is about twice the US average. Foreign-born persons also account for over a third of the state’s labor force.

Read more below on how to find a job in California and on how to get a work visa for the US.

Most of the following websites or apps are in English. If you need, use Google Translate, or any other translation service, to browse them.

How to get a job in California?

Whatever is your nationality, to get a job in California you first want to find a job in California. Read more below on where to find a job in the state of California.

Once you have a job offer, you may need to apply for a work visa, together with your employer or on your own. You will not likely need any permit if you are a resident of the United States or a US citizen.

In most cases, you apply for a work visa with your new employer, a company, or an employment agency. They will get you a visa to enter the country if you are not in the US already.

Once you have an employer who can sponsor you. You will need to handle together all the paperwork to get you a work permit or a work visa.

You can also find a US work visa scheme or program before finding a job.

First, find a job, and after you’ll worry about a work visa if you need it.

How to find a job in California?

You can find a job in California by searching online for job opportunities around California. You can find a job either with a company, or with a recruitment agency, or through an employment agency.

Job websites in California

A good start is to search for a job on these popular job websites.

BaiduGoogleNaverSogouYandex, or any other search engine, can be a good start for a job search. You can search for a job that you want. That can be for example, “Construction worker in Los Angeles” or “Babysitter in San Diego”. Use the language that you feel most comfortable speaking. Don’t stop at the first pages and go deep with your search. You’ll get an immediate feeling of what’s around and of which job websites are best suited for your needs.

Google MapsBaidu MapsNaver Maps2GIS, or any other map app, can help you find employers near you or abroad. Look for the kind of organization that might have job opportunities for you. You can look for “Retail in San Jose” or “Mall in San Francisco” for example.

Facebook can be also an option to start to see what’s around you. You can search for Facebook groups that talk about California or about jobs.

Indeed California is a very popular job website in the US and in the world. On Indeed you can search for jobs in California.

Glassdoor in California is a popular job website. It talks about salaries and careers as well.

Simply Hired in California is another job website with listings in California.

ZipRecruiter is another popular job website in the US.

Jobs2Careers is another popular job website in the US.

Monster in California is another job website with listings in California.

California Job Department is about finance, education, the federal government, healthcare. Most popular California industries have openings. Career resources and emailed job alerts are also available on the site. It is not an official website by the government of California.

CaliforniaJobNetwork includes a variety of open job postings. It has internship information, news about forthcoming career events, and relevant advice. It can assist you in planning your job search and long-term career path.

California Job Blog is about jobs with the state of California.

Websites to get a job in California

These are more websites that can be useful when you are looking for a job.

Craiglist California is a very popular US website of classifieds for anything. You can find job listings in California.

Locanto in California is a popular website of classifieds. You can find job listings in California.

AmericanListed in California is another popular website of classifieds. You can find job listings in California.

EDD is the official website of the Employment Development Department of the state of California. It is about employment and training services. It is in partnership with state and local agencies and organizations. It is for job seekers, laid-off workers, youth. And for individuals currently working, veterans, and people with disabilities.

Facebook and LinkedIn groups and other social media to get a job in California

Facebook groups help you to connect with people about jobs in California. These are some groups I found about jobs in California. You can find more.

Jobs now hiring is a popular Facebook group about jobs in California.

Southern California JOB BOARD is a Facebook group about jobs in California.

SoCal Jobs is another popular Facebook group about jobs in California.

Jobs in California Hiring is another Facebook group about jobs in California.

California Jobs Listing is another Facebook group about jobs in California.

You can use your favorite social media to look for groups that talk about jobs in California.

LinkedIn US is also a popular choice when networking for jobs. These are some groups I found on LinkedIn. You can find more.

California Hotel jobs Chefs job Hospitality recruiter restaurant club spa Los Angeles, San Francisco is a LinkedIn group about jobs in California.

Need a job (California) is another LinkedIn group about jobs in California.

Job Opportunities in Northern California ! is another LinkedIn group about jobs in California.

Any social media or communication platform can help you to find a job in California. It can be for example Instagram, any Telegram group, or any WhatsApp group of people in California.

Recruitment agencies in California

A recruitment agency receives a description for a job from an employer who needs someone. Then the recruitment agency looks for a person to do that job.

Recruitment agencies look for skilled workers to suit the job role available. A skilled worker has some experience, and certifications, to work in a particular role. Examples can be a nurse, an accountant, a chef, a construction worker, or a truck driver.

Recruitment agencies specialize in particular sectors. Those can be care, computing, engineering, nursing, accounting, catering, construction, or other sectors. Sometimes an agency can contact you first if they struggle to find people.

You can look up a recruitment agency that can help you to find a job that matches your skills. You can type ‘recruitment agency near Los Angeles’ on Google Maps or any other map website. There you can find a list of good agencies that you can contact. If you are not in California, you can search your area for local recruitment agencies. They can help you find a job in California.

Employment agencies, temp agencies, temporary job agencies, staffing agencies in California

Employment agencies hire people to do jobs. The agency employs you to work for another company. Employment agencies can be temp agencies (temporary job agencies), or staffing agencies. An employment agency registers someone who’s looking for work, a job seeker. The agency then contacts employers who have positions available for the new person.

These agencies can hire new workers for new jobs. Agencies contract those new jobs from other companies. An employment agency will assist any job seeker. Unskilled workers are more likely to find a job with an employment agency. An unskilled worker has no qualifications, or experience, in the job that they want. They have finished school recently, or they are changing industries or they are new to the region.

These agencies specialize in particular sectors. Those can be care, computing, engineering, nursing, accounting, catering, construction, or other sectors. Agencies offer full-time jobs, part-time jobs, temporary jobs, seasonal jobs, or freelance jobs.

Temp agencies and staffing firms are quick and easy alternatives to get work in California. They provide temporary positions that lead to full-time employment. But, these firm does not ensure job placement. And you may have difficulty obtaining visa sponsorship.

You can type ‘employment agency near San Diego’ on Google Maps, Baidu Maps, or any other map website. You can find a list of good agencies that you can contact. If you are not in California, you can search your area for local employment agencies. They can help you find a job in California.

Be aware that you should not pay an agency when they find a job for you. So be careful when an agency asks you for money.

Talk with everyone about possible jobs in California

Form connections, ask around and find opportunities among your contacts. Speak with friends of friends of people who may have traveled or worked in California. You will see that some of your friends or family know someone who knows someone.

You can email local businesses and companies. You can meet people, in person or online, and ask what they are working on. You’re interested in working for a specific company, check their website to see if they have a job board area. Or, if you’re interested in a specific industry, find a dedicated job site.

You can have informal interviews with people. You can talk with people around you, both online and in person.

It is not the purpose of an informational interview to ask for a job. Informal Interviews are a great way to meet professionals in your area. Expand your network, and see how your talents align with the needs of companies in California.

If you work in hospitality, it is very easy for you to go around anywhere and talk with bar staff about their jobs. If you work in finance, it might be easy to find a chat group online where you can meet other people working in finance.

You can search for companies and local businesses anywhere in California. An easy tool for doing that can be any map app or map website. Below is, for example, a Google Maps search for ‘farm near San Jose’.

Walk around anywhere in California for possible jobs

If you are in any part of California, you can explore the area and see what job opportunities are around you. You can look for organizations and businesses around you and visit them. For example, below is a search on Google Maps for ‘factory near San Francisco’. You can visit these places asking for job opportunities.

Search for employment schemes in California and the US

You can apply for an employment scheme or an employment support program that can help you to find a job. Those programs can be local or national. They can be open only to American residents but they can be open to foreigners as well. You need to look for a program that fits your profile. You can search for employment schemes at your local government or embassy. You can search for “California employment scheme” or “US employment program”.


The above image shows somewhere in Berkeley California, United States. Photo by Siddharth Bhogra on Unsplash