How to get a job in Portland? A quick guide for everyone, foreigner or American

Everyone who wants to get a job in Portland needs first to find a job in Portland. A good start can be a job website like Jobs on Mac’s list, OregonLive, or Indeed in Portland.

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

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 schema before finding a job.

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

How to get a job in Portland?

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

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 Portland 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.

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

How to find a job in Portland?

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

Job websites in Portland

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

Jobs on Mac’s list is a popular website about jobs in Portland and the Pacific Northwest.

OregonLive Jobs is the job listing of OregonLive, a news publication of Portland.

Portland Tech Jobs is a small resource about jobs in Portland. It has good job search links that can help you with your job search in Portland.

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 Portland” or “Babysitter in Portland”. 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 Portland” or “Mall in Portland” for example.

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

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

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

ZipRecruiter is another popular job website in the US.

Jobs2Careers is another popular job website in the US.

Websites to get a job in Portland

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

Worksource Oregon helps people and businesses to find new job opportunities. It is available in multiple languages.

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

Locanto Portland is another popular US website of classifieds for anything. You can find job listings in Portland.

Facebook groups and other social media to get a job in Portland

Facebook groups help you to connect with people about jobs in Portland. You can use your favorite social media to look for groups that talk about jobs in Portland.

LinkedIn US is also a popular choice when networking for jobs.

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

Recruitment agencies in Portland

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 Portland, OR, USA’ 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 Portland, you can search your area for local recruitment agencies. They can help you find a job in Portland.

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

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.

If you, for example, type ‘employment agency near Portland, OR, USA’ 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 Portland, you can search your area for local employment agencies. They can help you find a job in Portland.

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 Portland

Form connections, ask around, and find opportunities among your contacts. Speak with friends of friends of people who may have traveled or worked in Portland. 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 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 Portland companies.

If you work in hospitality, it is very easy for you to go around Portland 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 in Portland. 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 Portland’.

Walk around for possible jobs

If you are in any part of Portland, 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 “tech company near Portland”. You can visit these places asking for job opportunities.

Search for employment schemes

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 “Oregon employment scheme” or “US employment program”.


The above cover image shows somewhere in Portland, United States. Photo by Wesley Mc Lachlan on Unsplash