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Work: Practices and Attitudes
1. Cross-Cultural Implications of the Job Search
“Job hunting” in the United States is a challenging experiences for
Americans, but it is especially do for people from other countries. A personal
contact, such as a friend or relative, can be of help in informing someone of a
job opening and possibly helping the job applicant obtain an interview.
However, this kind of “connection” (i.e. friend or family member) does not
usually affect hiring decision. Sometimes, immigrants in the US put too much
hope into what they think are good job connections, and they do not fully
realize how much they will have to rely on themselves to find a job. One
biggest shock some immigrants have upon arriving in the United States is the
discovery that the government, schools, and even job placement centers do not
hand people a job on “silver platters”.
2. Steps to Finding a Job in US
Job search consists of a minimum of four steps:
a) Preparation: Locating all possible sources for learning about job
availability and the companies or agencies to which one is applying for
b) Networking: Meet people who have similar professional interests and to
widen one’s circle of acquaintances for the purpose of learning about job
opportunities. Having the contacts, however, is only the first step, and
does not guarantee getting a job.
c) Resume Development: In US, resume is one of the most important ways
to “sell oneself” to a prospective employer. Resumes occasionally include
a little information about personal interests and hobbies.
d) The Interview: The best interview is one in which there is two-way
communication between the employer and the job applicant. Often there
is some “small-talk” at the beginning of the interview. This is very
important, because the applicant’s answers may indicate how easily the
person can converse.

and some add “Miss” or “Mr.” to the first name. Among employees of different status. Many foreign professionals find it difficult to become accustomed to this practice. How does your education and work experience relate to this job? h. this usage is very unfamiliar to Americans. Applicants can make good impressions if they have neatly trimmed hair and beard. Tell me (or us) about yourself. fresh breath.)? c. b. Subordinates often call their superiors by first name. However. 4. foreigner often observes a great deal of informal interaction like chatting and joking. Michael for Michael Blackwood. polished shoes. an absence of body odors. What are your strengths and weaknesses? d.First impression is very important. most American supervisors do not like to be called “Sir” or “Ma’am”. In interviewing. What do you know about this company (organization. clean and ironed dress or suit and tie. There are some common questions for interviewing a job applicant in United States. The American value of egalitarianism manifests itself in casual and informal behavior among people of different status. Why did you leave your last job? f. What do you expect to be doing in five years? 3. it is important to watch the employer’s face or nonverbal cues as to whether enough has been said. clean fingernails. etc. Some supervisors and managers have an open-door office policy whereby employees may enter without appointments. Similarly. for example. an absence of strong-smelling perfume. Employer-Employee Relationships One of the first things that foreign-born individuals notice in American companies and organizations is the casual nature of the employer-employee relationship. What are your interests outside of work? g. Mr. and only a modest amount of jewelry. In which areas do you need more experience? e. On-the-Job Communication Skills Americans employers sometimes confused about the reason of employees’ behavior of saying they are understand the command but in fact they are not . What are your career plans? i. a.

This may happens in US but Americans feel that they are not using their time well if they are not productive during most of the day. If an employee appears to be passive in meetings. This American cultural concern with every minute contrasts with other culture views about time. In contrast. 8.00 AM. For American. American time has been characterized as river flowing quickly away from people. Arriving ten minutes late to scheduled business appointment without having called ahead of time is considered rude and conveys a lack of organization. In meetings.” which means. 8. “What do you think of…?” People from other cultures. “I do not wish to respond now.40. People from outside of the US find the pace of life in the American business world to be hectic and stressful. coworkers (or bosses) may ask each other. “It’s difficult to say. Time Considerations in the Work World Promptness and punctuality are major expectations in the American workplace. the Americans may feel that the person is not contributing to the meeting.” Some Japanese people may feel that it is inappropriate to offer an opinion if a person of a higher person is present. In many countries. In contrast. people are expected to participate verbally. such as Japanese. may tend to hesitate or give an answer that Americans consider to be indirect or noncommittal.understand. in other . employees feel that they can stop working if the boss is not around. or 9. Americans may want to know others opinions or reaction. time is money. or 9. or else others may think that they are uninterested in the meeting.10.10. he or she will say that he/she does not understand and ask more explanation. People who keep appointments are considered to be dependable.00 AM. If American does not understand and the command is unclear. not 8. In American business meetings. They may use more silence than Americans and say something like. many Americans like to discuss their preliminary reactions and opinions even before having all the facts. 5. The American workday usually begins at 8. and those who do not are seen unreliable.30 AM.

one’s job is all important facet of personal identity. which originated with Puritan colonists from England. 6. There is. was an outcome of their religious belief that material success was a sign of God’s favor. Workaholic In American English. time is seen more as pool of water that does not go anywhere. 8. Today. rather. The “Work Ethic” and Materialism Attitudes toward work in the US were greatly influenced by the “work ethic”. Resumes . This ethic. “What kind of work do you want to do?” Since American society places a stronger emphasis on “doing” than on “being”. There are conflicting points of view about workaholic. what someone “does” helps to determine that person’s prestige. India). work is one of the most important activities in an individual’s life. 7. Some people are workaholics in their twenties and thirties. asking a child. In addition. 9.g. the word “workaholic” describes people who are as addicted to their works as an alcoholic is to liquor. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” really means. “What do you do?” is synonymous with ‘What are you?” or “Who are you?” In American English.parts of the world (e. which motivated people to work hard become successful. the more successful one will be. they are seen as valuable members of society because they are extremely productive and embody the values of achievement and efficiency. From some points of view. The harder one works. the work ethic is the main motivation for work. Reactions to Work People’s attitudes toward their jobs are related to the nature of their work and the reward they receive. people who admired work in the work world are those who can produce something tangible. In the US. but in mid-life may change their priorities. an “achievement motivation” that drives people on productiveness. This achievement orientation (or the tendency to “do” and “make”) results in part from American materialism. which is an outcome of the work ethic.

abbreviations. or Put personal information (e. . off-white. if Use personal pronouns or possible. Include information about salary. 10. experiences.g. height. Have your resume or lies about your experiences.There are some specific “Do’s” and “Don’ts” to keep in mind when we write resume to find a job in US: DO DON’T Make sure that your resume has been Exaggerate proofread by someone else. Make your resume visually attractive. Cover Letter The cover letter that one submits with a resume can be as important as the resume itself. Write succinctly. Sample of cover letter and its explanation can be found on appendix. weight. Limit your resume to one page. Explain why you left your previous job Use good-quality white. Sample formats for two types of resume: a chronological resume and a skill resume—appear on appendix. printed Underestimate the importance of your professionally. or marital status). gray paper.

” American students usually have this attitude toward school.” If you ask an american “What did you do over the weekend?” he or she may answer. where it is essential for people to show that they are responsible. and seen a movie. Understanding United States and Canadian Attitudes Toward Work Work is very important to most Americans and Canadians. called a few friends. nothing unusual. They might not enjoy it. before almost anything else.” Most americans feel they need to be busy in order to be happy. They do not like to “sit around and do nothing. American people usually keep busy even when they are not “on the job. it is something that they believe need to come first. An american might “relax” by participating in a sport. An American does not expect a friend to make a change in his or her work schedule to get together for a visit-either planned or accidental. but also gives them sense of identity. This is. washed the car. It is impolite for people to expect a friend to be late for work or class-or to miss a day of work-in order ro spend time togenter. A job not only provides them with a paycheck. especially true in the business world. Friends plan times to see each other when neither one is working. for example. written some letters. “nothing. nothing.” or “bussiness comes before pleasure. But the answer. but they do believe that “work comes before play. Work is a high priority for most Americans and Canadians. too.” means “nothing special. perhaps. This person may have done the shopping.” Even their methods of relaxation sometimes involve a lot of activity. gone jogging. worked in the yard. that is. . “oh.” However.B. this might not mean that he or she truly did nothing.

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6. NJ GPA 3. drafting recommendations and briefs. Washington. Responded to constituent correspondence and inquiries. . DC   Responsibilities included researching legislation. Cum Laude honors anticipated COMPUTER SKILLS PageMaker PowerPoint WordPerfect Microsoft Photo Editor Microsoft Publisher Excel Harvard Graphics Access Microsoft Word RELEVANT EXPERIENCE 13th Congressional District Intern Spring 201x Congressman Charles Sheen.The example of Chronological Resume Gomez Addams 1313 Mockingbird Lane Mantua. Dean’s List. NJ 08028 856-856-9876 adda9973@rowan. EDUCATION Bachelor of Arts. as well as aiding in office administration.edu OBJECTIVE An entry-level position in public relations or marketing. Public Relations Concentration: Leadership Studies May 201x Rowan University. Glassboro.

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Dean’s List. Organizational Behavior May 201x PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE Management/Supervision  Exercised total supervisory responsibility for specialty retail merchandiser.  Managed and coordinated special promotions. Management HIGHLIGHTS: Information Systems. EDUCATION: Bachelor of Science.5. . Integrated Software for Business. Operations Management. NJ 08092 609-779-0987 Gett9485@rowan.  Conducted staffing interviews. Management of Human Resources. Business Administration Rowan University.  Implemented employee disciplinary and termination procedures. Cum Laude COURSE Organizational Behavior. Human Resources Administration  Coordinated trip reduction survey results.225 Salary Survey Lane Medford.  Maintained loss prevention reports.  Supervised merchandise displays. Glassboro. Legal Environment of Business.edu OBJECTIVE: To obtain an entry-level business management position.  Maintained time sheets. NJ Specialization: Management GPA: 3.

 Contributing reporter for company newsletter. Vice President.  Assisted in devising personnel policies. Excel.  Maintained employee benefits database. EMPLOYMENT HISTORY Management Intern Tyco Toys. Volunteer. Rowan University Student ASSOCIATIONS: Chapter. Managed accident reports. ACTIVITIES: Pi Sigma Alpha. American Red Cross. Marlton. NJ 200x – 201x COMPUTER Microsoft Office. Secretary. NJ 201x . Member. Internet. SKILLS: PROFESSIONAL Society of Human Resource Management.Present Assistant Manager The GAP. Career Fair Chairperson. DOS.  Assisted in the implementation of employee orientation. . TriState Human Resource Management Association. Marlton.