How should I continue my quality career in U.S.?



Hi Everyone!

I'm totally new here and this is my very first thread. Very glad to meet you guys here!
I would like to ask for some advises from you guys regarding my current situation and I really appreciate if you can just tell me whatever you think.

I have been working in a automotive parts manufacturing company for 4 years and my major work responsibilities were:
1. Customer communication;
E-mails and phone calls regarding production quality issues, developing project status and some occasional requirements for some documents.
2. Internal & External audit;
Internal audit such as system and process audit/evaluation and External audit like quality system certification(3rd part) and customer visiting for production evaluation(QMS audit, [email protected], etc).
3. Developing project assistance;
Work with our Dev. team on APQP procedure and prepare the PPAP relative documents and communicate with our customers.

The rest works I done were all internal quality improvement such as Continuous Improvement, MSA, and FMEA management, etc.

All of the above works I've done were all relative to our customer which are Valeo and ArvinMeritor(now the automotive parts division has been merged by Inteva) and also Nidec. So I do have experience in ISO9001, TS16949, V1000(a standard based on TS16949 required by Valeo), and 8D, PDCA, QRQC(also a quality control method required by Valeo), and DOE, etc.

These are my previous working experiences and I am now in U.S. for a brand new challenging life here.

And here I am, posted my resume on and looking for a job to keep on pursuing my quality career.
Pls you guys give me some comments about the following concerns/questions of mine:
1. Gap of my working status;
It took quite a while for me to get the work authorization and finally I got it thus I don't need any sort of sponsorship from the employer. But I've been told that American employers do care about working gap of the candidates.
Is it really that critical for me to get a job?
2. The degree;
I have an Associate(3-year-college) degree in Automotive Electron from my homecountry and I can communicate in English and Korean freely. My English is not perfect as my Korean, but still, it doesn't lack my work at all.
So my concern is, do I really need to get a Bachelor degree here in U.S. to get a job?
3. Where should I focus on?
I mean normally there should be some specific areas where the manufacturing(especially for the automotive parts suppliers) companies would like to be in and I'm now at eastcoast of U.S. and I don't have a clue.
4. How is my background for the jobhunting?
Every work I've done in my previous job was non-manger type but I do report to our General Manger directly and I was the Customer Representative of our company so that I almost can get the support from every Dept./team.
It's been a while(around 20 months) since I quit my previous job and came to U.S. and I've done some part time jobs to keep living here before I get my work authorization.
And now I've been looking for a job in quality filed for almost 2 months and now I got really frustrating and starting to lose my confidence.

I thank you everyone for your time and pls comment any thought comes up in your mind or just simply point out my weakness point, as long as you think it could help.

I'll keep on trying and hoping and thank you again for your patient and time.

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I would try to contact Korean corporations with US offices or US companies with large operations in Korea. There are large numbers of people looking for work, you need to stick out in some way.

If you do apply at a company where you believe your language experience may matter, I would include it at the top as a key selling point.


Thank you so much for your advice.
I do think I should use my language skill as a key selling point, and actually I can use 3 kinds of languages freely.

Do you think I should get a bachelor degree here? I mean as possible as I can?
Even if I study part time.

Thanks in advance for your time!
Last edited by a moderator:


The employment gap should really not be a problem. Recruiters have generally been understanding of this just based on how bad the economy and job market has been. Your explanation is perfectly reasonable.

The Korean language skill could be a huge selling point, especially with suppliers to Korean auto companies. Make sure it is highlighted in your resume. You should also highlight that your visa status does not require sponsorship since that can be a big hangup for some companies.

Remain open to contract assignments to get your foot in the door. Many places still do not want to hire direct employees because of the weak economy, uncertainty in what health care legislation will do to employee costs, and other factors. Contracting can get you in the door quickly while also getting you networked with the right people to find a full size job.

Get your resume on Monster and Careerbuilder, load it with keywords, and refresh it daily to stay at the top of the searches.

A bachelors degree would not hurt, but you need to determine if you can afford both the time and cost involved. Real life work experience is usually more valuable to the hiring company than a degree.


Thank you so, so, so much for your valuable advice!
These words really comforted me and helped me to pick up my confidence.
I really appreciate it!

I will make sure my language skill be highlighted especially like I can use both English, Korean and Chinese freely especially cross translation or something like that.

And regarding the contractor which you've mentioned, could you pls just give a brief explanation for the major differences between this and direct employment? Cause I'm not quite familiar with this kind of employment and I thank you very much for your patience!

The major concerns for me to get a bachelor degree are the same as you've mentioned and I do agree with you that I think the real working experience is more important than a degree at some point.
I think I'll try to get one after I got my feet in the door just like you said.

The point which highlight the my status of employment authorization was really brilliant! How could I did not realize that?

Anyway, these lines really helped me and thank you again for all of your help!


Contractors (also called "temps" or "temporary employees".) are hired by a second party company for a limited duration assignment. They are usually paid by the hour and get a minimum of benefits. They can be used for several reasons:

- Short term projects where they do not want to hire someone full time, then let them go in six months
- A period to "get to know" the employee to determine they are a good fit.
- To get around headcount restrictions put in place by the accounting department.

I took a contract job many years ago that was supposed to last six months, but I was there for five years. While my boss wanted to keep me permanently, they could not get around the bureaucracy that had headcount restrictions in place.

My last contract job was a temp to hire position. The company was working on a project that would have required a full time employee, but had not yet been awarded the contract from their customer. The understanding was that as soon as the job was awarded, I would become permanent with full benefits. Unfortunately the contract went to a competitor and the job ended three days later since there was no longer funding to pay me.

There are also a couple different types of contracting. W-2 contractors are actually employees of the contract agency. They take taxes out of your check and pay them to the federal, state, and any other government agencies. 1099 workers are not employed by the contract agency. They are more like vendors where they are paid a straight hourly rate. You are then responsible for paying all of your taxes on your own.


Thank you so much tomvehoski! You really helped me a lot!
I'm still working on the job hunting and hopefully will get luck sooner than later!
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