Thursday, October 1, 2009

Job Applications - How to Impress an American Employer?

Your job application is a "business card" and is the passport to an interview. Note that in the U.S. how to apply for work may be different from your country.

As always, a good and well formatted resume is essential. But beware, because the format of an American curriculum/resume may be different from that used in your country, for example, professional experience is often put first. Think as if you had just a minute before a hearing to introduce yourself and highlight your qualities.

If you want to maximize your potential and get an answer from the company, it is best that you abide by certain rules and follow the advice of professionals.

Try to return your application as complete as possible (cover letter, curriculum vitae, copies of degrees, etc..) And which may reach the person to whom it is addressed in good condition (people do not like getting dirty paper or wrinkled). Do not forget that the first impression is always crucial.

Cover Letter

Your cover letter is your introduction and is what gives the first impression. It is a fundamental tool to advertise your intentions, your professional and educational experience, and your availability. It must be brief, clear and direct.

The purpose of the letter is to convince the person to whom it is addressed to you are the best candidate for the position. What you write should be informative, convincing, show genuine motivation and make the person reading it would know more about you, and do not forget to add a personal touch!

You can talk about the expectations you have about the work you request. Show your skills on this work and, if the opportunity arises, explains why you want to change jobs. Do not write more than one page (and should only be written by hand if the company specifically requests) and do not forget to check grammar and spelling.

Curriculum Vitae/Resume

A curriculum vitae/resume is what defines you. The keys to a good curriculum/resume that is simple, concise and precise. An American curriculum/resume should include the following:
  • Personal
  • Education
  • Languages
  • Other knowledge
  • Work History
  • Hobbies
  • References
Keep in mind that an American curriculum should never be longer than one page, if you need more space, you can add other pages to your application, such as "achievements". However, the curriculum only if you must provide a brief description of your person and must be readable at a glance. Remember, time is money in the U.S., and many companies have to read hundreds of resumes to find the right person. Another difference between Europe and America, is that Americans do not include your photo or marital status in the curriculum.

Focus on your most recent work and on your main skills and qualities. Put the most recent jobs first, and follows a chronological order backwards. Try the sentences are short, and the most important thing is at the top of each section. Never use the word "I" or you're talking directly to yourself in any other way. For example, instead of writing "I was responsible for the sales team to" write "in charge of the sales team". Also mention the accomplishments you've achieved (eg "I increased sales by 1 to 3 million dollars") and that American companies place a high value to the achievement of objectives.


Once you have submitted a resume, do not sit and wait to be called. Take initiative and call them yourself. If someone from the company promises to call you and you do not, do not be afraid to call again. It is important to be persistent.

If you're lucky, the next step is an interview. Typically this is in English, unless you have requested a special work in a foreign company, so get to practice if not your native language.

Arrive on time is crucial, because the Americans do not take it well when you lose them over time. Conservatively dressed men in dark suits, well-cut, and tie and women in suits or dress. Learn about the company before and get ready to talk about your qualities and abilities.

The interviews are usually formal American and efficient. They start with the introductions, shaking hands and exchanging cards, then there may be few minutes of colloquial conversation, but then he goes on.

Answers questions in a frank and open, be polite and not interrupt. Explain how your education and experience are appropriate for the job and how you can contribute to the company. You can ask relevant questions concerning the operation of the company, the structure and peers.

In the U.S. always have to write a letter immediately after the interview confirming your interest in the position and company. If you are offered the job, you may sign the contract before you make a medical examination to detect drugs(drug test), which in Europe is considered an invasion of your privacy.

Unites States of America Job Working Conditions, Wages, Hours and Holidays

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