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About skattie

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  1. Good luck with your search. I agree that it is worth investing some more time and/or money in your resume. if you do not want to pay someone to do it for you (ranges to about $250) then go along to your nearest Barnes and NOble and look at the resume books available. You will most likely even find some that have resumes geared towards your type of work. be prepared to spend a couple of hours there paging through the resume books in order to see which ones are most suitable to you and the type of position. There is also a wonderful book out there called "perfect phrases for resumes" which will give you an excellent idea of what types of wording you need in your resume. Believe me I have first hand experience in what a difference it can make to revamp your resume. If you need to spend a week on your resume and $100 on resume books it will be worth your while! There are a lot of "buzz words"and key terms floating around in resumes today and it pays to have used some of them in your resume. Something else that I would consider doing, though not everyone would agree, and there is no obligation to do it - in your cover letter, assure the interviewer that you are a lawful permanent resident with full authorization to work in this country. They may not be able to ask you this straight out, so if it is not clear they may discard your resume in the early stages because they don't want to be in the situation down the road of having to deal with potential discrimination suits or visa paperwork. If you are up front with your legal status, it removes this question from their minds...once again, good luck.
  2. I think it was Izi who posted the recipe for Prawn Pies? I made them yesterday and they were delicious! It was a lot of work and at first I thought the dough was ruined but it seemed to be okay once I rolled it out :ilikeit: They were almost the same as I remember them - I seem to think there was "something" missing, but maybe I just need to play around with the amount of peri peri powder and such. I was also not sure what to do with the lemon juice, it was on the ingredients list, but I did not see that the recipe specified when to use it. In any event, thank you so much for sharing this recipe. What a treat and wonderful "blast from the past" to eat these, and the good thing is we are having them again tonight cos there are leftovers I am having a party on the weekend and I am going to make these for the guests...
  3. trying to be objective here...one thing that I have seen happen is that people in SA are told that we are wanted elsewhere, that our standards are excellent, that our skills and experience are in demand...I have seen it many times. While this may or may not be true the sad fact is that for someone who is considering emigration this can be a false sense of security for them and the move here expecting to find a job easily, or expecting their qualifications to be easily accepted when in reality this is not the case. Most professional and trade jobs require recertification. These are not easily passed if one has not studied and prepared for it. Even if you are competent, there are laws, terminology, code issues and such that differ from country to country and even state to state. Some prospective immigrants from SA (that I have met) come here expecting that it will be easier than it is, and then they are dumbfounded and disappointed when no-one calls them back after their resume is sent out, or it takes 4 or 6 months to get a job. This is the reality in many cases. I think this idea that SA people are highly in demand should be put to rest. Maybe once you are working someone will consider your work ethic and say "aah, Johannes works hard, maybe all SAs are like that". But until then, you are on an equal footing (or sometimes less so) than anyone else. Americans are cautious in some of their ways...I have worked in construction in an indirect way, and many times I have seen a general contractor who is afraid to try a foreign tradesman because he is just a little uncomfortable with how up to standard his skills may be. This does not apply as much to trades like tiling, but I have seen it in electric and plumbing as well as framing. This does not mean that you can't get a job here, or pass the certifications. Just don't come here thinking it will be easy just because the SA standards here so high..many times the US standards are higher because of liability issues and because everything is regulated by state or federal boards. Recruiters are not out there searching their resume piles in the hopes of finding a SA resume and saying, "oh this one is better than the others because SA standards are so high".In fact they may think the opposite and then it is up to us to prove them wrong. As a SA person myself, who has done hiring, I will consider and SA person for a job, but once he gets to the interview, he has to show me that he is just as competent as any other candidate. Good luck to whoever is trying to get into the US and find a job here, it has been done and can be done, as most of here can show. But it is not easy (unless you are very lucky) and you will be at a disadvantage not an advantage. But if this is what you want to do, don't be scared off, but do your homework carefully (not only in the SA crowd, get US opinions as well, the internet is a great resource, join chat boards of people in your line of work and ask their opinions as well). Once again, good luck.
  4. thanks, I think it is similar to the one that Capetonian posted, but it always amazes me when you start looking for an "old" recipe how many variations there are of it. Especially when you thought it was something your mom "made up"
  5. Congratulations! We also had to wait about 4 years before we could buy our first home and it is so wonderful to be a home owner again after renting. You truly appreciate it. Enjoy making it yours and putting your own personal stamp on it :ilikeit:
  6. I am looking for a recipe that I *think* I used to have somewhere but maybe I just made that memory up It is kind of like a dessert tart / with a biscut crumb base and then some creamy sticky stuff on top with pineapple and gooey marshmallows. It almost reminds me of American Ambrosia salad but I am sure we had a SA version of this that mom used to make for our birthday parties as a kid. Anyone know what I am talking about? thanks
  7. Thanks for the Prawn Pie recipe - I used to LOVE these, we would get them from La Rochelle Bakery. YUM. I am going to try the recipe even though it seems like alot of work I am a bit nervous about the dough How long will they keep after you've made them? How many pies will this recipe make? thanks
  8. I was about 30 when we moved from SA. We arrived with about $4000 and no jobs. We did not have a great life in SA - we had just bought a "nice" house but had a huge mortgage, and had 2 company cars. Lived well enough but nothing to get too excited about. The first few (5-6)years were a struggle, working long hours and trying to get established and make a decent living, saving for a home etc. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that 10 years later I would have the kind of life I have now and the standard of living I have now. I do not want to go into details because there are always people who feel that you are bragging, but only in America can you go from $4000 to having what I have now, and I feel very blessed. It has been a hard road but if you stick out the tough times and are realistic in knowing that it takes time to build a new life, you can be happy and successful, and along the way you learn that there are so many ways to define your success and happiness and the material wealth/good lifestyle is just the icing on the cake. To Cathyn, I know what you mean about people commenting on your home - we just see things differently now - congrats for having your home almost paid for.
  9. skattie


    Some people also work for companies that have offices/business interests in the US and so they approach it from that end, sometimes having a bit of a foot in the door already. if you would like to move to the US also try the lottery system , there are a lot of people who have success with that route. Good luck
  10. I am not clear on what exactly is the question you are asking. I am also not clear about the references to Mexico and people not speaking English. A lot of immigrants, including some SAs that I meet, cannot speak English fluently. In the first part of your message, I am not sure if you want to GET advice from someone who can't speak English, or if, as a SA, you want to GIVE advice to someone who can't speak English. Spanish is definitely a secondary "unofficial" language in this country and many banks and voice mail systems have the option for communication in English and Spanish. With regards to your daughter I am sorry that she seems that she does not want to stay with you and that her visa is in any event expiring. I am not sure what you mean by "going to a camp" but maybe there is someone else who can help you with the sponsoring question. Good luck, you sound really stressed, but it seems as if your GC will be through soon (April 20th? ) and then you can put it all behind you.
  11. My understanding is that you need to use the TAX ID number (if you don't have a SS number) for anything that may have tax implications - e.g. if you open a bank account they will need to report the interest earned at the end of the year and they will need your tax ID number on the forms. So any of these types of financial transactions would require you to use the number. When you get the "forms" at the end of the year, for e.g. say a 1040 (made up) that reports interest earned, they will have to have your TAX id number pre-printed on it, and usually they will also have sent a copy to the IRS as well.
  12. I am not sure why you have not been able to open a bank account without a social security number. I opened a bank account here before I actually moved here. Non-residents are allowed to have bank accounts in the US. One problem is that when someone asks for your SS number and you say you don;t have one, they are mortified, as the average AMerican assumes that everyone in the world must have one, and they have probably never encountered this before. Usually someone with more experience/seniority will know what to do. I also obtained my mortgage without a SS number, at that time I had a Taxpayer Identification number which I used for certain things in place of the SS number. When I got my SS number, I just updated it at the banks and on my next tax return and there were no problems at all. On another note, a LOT of people ask you for your SS number - people who actually don;t need it. For example, in my opinion, my dentist does not need my SS number. He has my medical insurance info, my insurance ID#, so he does not need my SS as well. I have kept the habit of saying "I don;t have one" whenever I think the person/company does not need it. They look at you a bit funny but they fill the space with zeros or ones as they actually DON'T need it after all. Others on the site are correct about the SS number, the fewer people who know yours, the better. I am also careful about giving out my date of birth as there is a lot of info you can get about someone by knowing their name, DOB and if you know which state they are in you can find a ton of info out about someone. Good luck with getting your life organized. Call the office for the number in a few days and it will probably be ready even though you don;t have the card yet. That will get you going...
  13. Don't forget FICA and also Medicare which we all have to pay as a payroll tax. I think Medicare is 1% of gross income (taxed monthly as payroll) and FICA is a bit more but there is maximum per annum that you can be taxed on FICA. They deduct the percentage monthly until you reach the max and then your montly take home income wonderfully increases for the remainder of the year.
  14. Condolences to you. My sister's husband passed away tragically a couple of months after we arrived here. He was only in his thirties. We also did not have money to go back for the funeral - in some ways this is one of the hardest things because you don't have the closure of the funeral and also you feel that you are letting your family down because you are not there. But believe me, they understand...and you can be a support to them from here, and remember all the precious times with him. When something like this happens so soon after you arrive, it also really brings home to you how huge the decision to move has been and the reality of how far you are. Good luck as you deal with this new phase of the process.
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