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American Business Culture


Renee Gifford
Kirstin Mercer
Jill Phillips
American Business Culture Workshop


3) Introductions

5) American Business Culture

7) Resume Writing and Interviewing

9) Individual Consultations
Overview of American Business

How would you describe the typical

American worker?

-Goal and achievement oriented

-Highly organized
-Freedom-loving and self-sufficient
-Work oriented and efficient
-Friendly and informal
Overview of American Business

 National Culture

 Corporate Culture

 Professional Culture
Group Interactions in the Workplace

Universalist verses Particularist

Your country:

Group Interactions in the Workplace

Individualism vs. Communitarianism

Your culture:

Group Interactions in the Workplace

Neutral vs. Emotional

Your culture:

Group Interactions in the Workplace

Specific vs. Diffuse

Your culture:

Group Interactions in the Workplace

Achievement vs. Ascription

Your culture:

Group Interactions in the Workplace

Traditional Culture:
-Relying on rules
-Isolated Decisions
Group Interactions in the Workplace

Team Culture:
-Team Activities
-Involvement of others
American Business Negotiation

 American negotiators are selected

based on their record of success
 Gender, age, and social class are
not criteria for selection
 Individual characteristics are criteria
for selection
American Business Negotiation

How do Americans negotiate?

-”Get the job done quick”
-Assess the situation and get results
-Don’t spend too much time building
-Message is conveyed through
speech, not through gestures
American Business Negotiation

How do Americans negotiate?

-Time is money
-Set a schedule and prioritize
-Move through the process and
control the time allotted
-Take a risk
-Let the senior executive make the final
-Detailed contract will formalize negotiation
Etiquette for Business Lunches,
Dinners – Place Setting
Etiquette Tips for Business Lunches,
Dinners and Receptions

 Napkins
 Ordering
 Silverware
 Passing
 Eating
 Paying
Additional Resources
Effective Customer Service in
American Culture
 Listen
 Accept and strive for change
 Constant improvement is necessary
 Remember the target customer and ask
what they want

 Empower, support, and reward frontline

or interface people
 Provide infrastructure to support goals
 Provide training and information to
achieve goals
Dealing with Problems in the American

 Hierarchy
Resume Writing Skills
 What is a Resume?
 What is the Purpose of a Resume?
 -Helps get you an Interview
 -A summary of your education, skills,
accomplishments, and experience
 -Your first chance to communicate with a
potential employer
 -One of a kind marketing-you are selling
yourself with a resume
 -Establishes you as a professional person
 -Clarifies your direction, qualifications and
Preparing an Effective Resume
 Self Assessment
 Content
 Basic information- Name, address, contact
 Objective
 Education
 Experience
 Other information- Relevant awards,
publications, skills
 References
Resume Tips
 Be Concise - Limit the length of the resume to
three pages.
 Be Neat
 Be Honest – Integrity is very important. Your
skills and work experience should be accurately
represented on your resume. Background
investigations are common in the United States.
 Use action words and phrases when describing
your experience.
 Proofread, proofread, and proofread!
 Ask for a colleague to read the finished
Differences between U.S. and
International Resumes
U.S. Resume International Resume
Characteristics Characteristics
 Concise, attractive  Chronologically details
marketing tool - academic and formal
summarizes jobs, skills,
accomplishments, and work experience
academic background  Sometimes two or
relevant to employment more pages
objective  Sometimes includes
 One to two pages age, marital status,
maximum race, and/or religion
 Does not include age,  Sometimes includes
marital status, race, or
religion. completion of military
 May or may not include
completion of military
service depending upon
whether it is relevant or
Cover Letter Writing Tips
 Its purpose is to interpret the data-oriented,
factual resume and add a personal touch. A cover
letter is often your earliest written contact with a
potential employer, creating a critical first
 Keep it brief and to the point. It should not
duplicate your resume.
 The employer is interested in the facts. It should
demonstrate that you meet or exceed the
requirements listed in the job description.
 It should demonstrate that you are interested in
the position and that you are available to accept
the position if offered. Additional information
beyond this can be counterproductive as it dilutes
the core purpose of the cover letter.
 Avoid negatives
 Try to avoid a salary history in the cover letter.
 Avoid using clichés in your cover letter-ex. “excellent
written and verbal communication skills”, "think outside
the box" and "juggle multiple tasks”- This is your
opportunity to highlight your communication skills.
 Spend time thinking about the layout of your letter
 It should be easy to scan the letter, and have a logical
 Personalize it if possible; address it to a specific person.
 Remember- the reviewer of your cover letter and
resume has many cover letters and resumes looking at,
so making it easy for him/her to find the information you
want to highlight.
Interview Tips for International
 Be punctual. Arrive 5 to 15 minutes prior to appointment.
 Eye contact is expected and shows confidence.
 Interviewer styles vary. May begin with direct questions or minimal
small talk.
 Interviewer may do most of the talking or may expect the candidate
to do most of the talking.
 Questions regarding age, race, sex, and marital status are illegal.
 Direct questions regarding competency, experience are common.
 Open discussion of accomplishments and skills shows confidence.
 Show clear self knowledge, career goals and long-term plans.
 Interviewer may expect immediate competency and look at each new
employee for a 2 to 5 year commitment.
 Self-disclosure of strengths, weaknesses, personality, leadership style,
problem-solving abilities, etc. may be appropriate.
 Researching the organization and demonstrating that knowledge
during the interview is expected, because it shows initiative and
 It is acceptable to ask an employer at the close of the interview where
they are in the interview process and when the candidate can expect
to hear back from them. Inquiring about the status of an application
after the interview is acceptable and demonstrates interest in the
Finding an Internship that is right for
 Determine Your Priorities.
Do you want career-related experience? The opportunity to travel? Funds to support
tuition fees?
 Identify Prospective Employers.
Organizational directories, the Internet, and local newspapers can be used to pinpoint
organizations of interest. The Career Center at your school should also maintain both
electronic and paper listings for internships and summer jobs.
 Develop a Resume to Emphasize Your Skills.
A resume can effectively present your background and distinguish you from other job
 Start Contacting Employers Early.
If you seek a career-related position, it is appropriate to contact the manager of an
organization in your area of interest, as well as the Human Resources department. Call
or write to request information regarding internships and job opportunities.
 Complete Application and Be Prepared for Interviews.
If you are seeking a general, non-career-related position, you may be asked to
complete and return a formal application. Be sure to complete these forms neatly and
thoroughly, typing them when possible. If there are currently no positions available,
request referrals to other employers in the field. Should you be granted an interview,
be prepared to answer questions about your background.
 Follow-up All Interviews.
Always send a thank-you letter to the interviewer expressing your appreciation. If you
were not granted an interview, follow up your application with a phone call, a letter, or
even a visit. Your interest and enthusiasm will distinguish you from other job seekers.
Popular Websites for Student
 TrueCareers (
 TrueCareers is a national career site bringing
professional, degreed candidates and the companies that
value them together.
 MonsterTRAK (
 MonsterTRAK is a website for students and alumni looking
for full-time and part-time positions, internships and on-
campus employment.
 JobWeb (
 JobWeb® is a web site of career development and job-
search information for college students and new college
graduates. It is owned and sponsored by the National
Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).