Often, international students experience challenges in landing jobs in the U.S. because they are competing in an environment that is culturally different than their home country. Not only can written and verbal communication skills present difficulties in attempting to translate thoughts in your non-native language, but business cultures, customs, and expectations vary greatly by country.
Companies in the U.S. want to be assured that their employees will represent them well.
The following list examines some of the most common conflicting values between the U.S. and other countries. These conflicting values represent a cross-section from various cultures and not one specific culture. International students should seek out opportunities over the course of their Binghamton education to develop the skills needed to meet professional cultural expectations in the U.S.
Expectations in the U.S.:
Self-Promotion: Assertiveness, openly discussing accomplishments.
Follow-up with employers, send thank-you notes, and don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek out information.
Individual Responsibility for Finding Employment: Use of a wide variety of resources in identifying potential positions
Use networking, the Fleishman Center, faculty, and peers to seek out opportunities. Personal referrals can carry a great deal of weight.
Directness in Communication: Open and direct responses to questions.
Make eye contact with the interviewer, use relaxed posture.
Discuss salary and benefits only when initiated by interviewer or at time of job offer.
Ask questions about the job at the end of the interview, or when prompted by the interviewer.
Career Self-Awareness: Demonstrate knowledge of self, career goals and how they relate to the job.
Be able to discuss short and long term career goals.
Demonstrate the ability to be self-directed.
Professional and Relaxed Communication Styles: Adapting to a congenial interviewing environment that encourages small-talk, openness, some joking, and exchange of information.
Practice small talk and relaxed communication by attending networking events.
Punctuality: Arrive 5-10 minutes before an appointment or interview
Arriving early is arriving on-time.
Effective, Skills-Driven Resumes and Cover Letters: Error-free, one-page, concise, and tailored outline of relevant job experience, skills, accomplishments, and academic credentials.
Personalize your documents to reflect individual capabilities and strengths, in relation to the job posting.
Individual Equality: Race, sex, and age, are legally not supposed to impact the hiring and interview processes.
Demonstrate politeness and show respect to everyone you meet in the interview process, whether they are a receptionist or the CEO.