Universal emotions

According to this interesting blog post there are seven emotions that are universally common. During a job interview it could be important to be aware of this and to know how to identify these emotions through facial cues and body language.

This article (pdf)looks at the issue from a sales perspective but much of the information applies to job interviews as well.

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Cultural tutors

Globalization has had a major impact on how companies conduct business. Markets that were once remote and out of reach are now easily accessed by motivated businesses. Doing business in a new country brings with a host of cultural challenges that must be acknowledged and understood.

This has resulted in an increase in the number of Cultural Tutors as companies strive to carve out a global competitive advantadge. This may be a trend that could provide opportunities for you. Read more about it here.

Non-anglo names barrier for job hunters: Study

Some of you may have noticed this high-profile news story from yesterday. A new study indicates that job applicants with English-sounding names on their resumes are 40 per cent more likely to be called for an interview than those with Chinese, Indian or Pakistani names.
You should read the whole study(40 pp. pdf)if you are curious about this or want more information but I would like to point out a couple of items of interest.

Even when applicants had identical Canadian work experiences and educational backgrounds, every 100 resumes with English names resulted in roughly 16 calls from employers. For every 100 resumes with Asian names, only 11 generated calls from employers. That means a resume with an English name was 40-per-cent more likely to generate a call back.

Leaving apart the obviously distressing implications of the above paragraph this confirms the conventional wisdom about sending in resumes for posted jobs. The call-back rate from employers is very low (16% and 11%) in this case. If you are not networking and meeting employers this would mean you would only get between 11 and 16 call-backs for every 100 resumes you send out. Only sending out resumes to posted jobs is a very passive approach.

The other item I wanted to point out from the study was this interesting point about Canadian work experience:

Employers valued experience acquired in Canada much more than if acquired in a foreign country. Changing foreign resumes to include only experience from Canada raised callback rates to 11 percent.  Among resumes listing 4 to 6 years of Canadian experience, whether an applicant’s degree was from Canada or not, or whether the applicant obtained additional Canadian education or not had no impact on the chances for an interview request.

 This underlines the importance of gaining work in your field. Employers seem to value this more than gaining further credentials in this country.

Immigrant Women’s Group

The Intercultural Association of Victoria (ICA) is running a free Immigrant Women’s Group from January 22nd to April 9th. 

  • Make new friends
  • Learn more about Victoria and Canada
  • Express yourself through art
  • Participate in fun activities and fieldtrips
  • Share stories, ideas and information
  • Practice English
  • Get support
  • See their website for more information.

    Banking on Diversity

    On Friday the Financial Post ran an article about the benefits of diversity in the workplace. Employers in general are becoming aware of the importance of having a workforce that reflects the community as a whole. In particular Canada’s banks are are singled out as being at the tip of the spear in terms of promoting a diverse workforce.

    “If you look at how the banks now staff their branches, they reflect the cultural diversity in the local community,” says Kevin McLellan, manager for hireimmigrants.ca, a Web site of the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) … “So if businesses want to be successful in selling locally, they need to understand how to tailor their offerings to the culturally diverse communities they are selling to.”

    The best way to understand how to do this is through employees who are part of the local communities and understand the language and the nuances of the culture. They can connect with customers if they are frontline workers or help develop strategies and campaigns that will connect your company to multi-cultural communities

    If you visit the web sites of Canadian Banks you will see evidence of this commitment to diversity. Banking in Canada is a federally regulated industry and banks are required under the Employment Equity Act to provide equal opportunities for employment to four designated groups: women; Aboriginal peoples; persons with disabilities; and members of visible minorities.

    Resource:Immigrants and the World of Work

    On the Ministry of Economic Development’s web site you will find a helpful document entitled Immigrants and the World of Work. The document, which is available in seven different languages looks at some of the challenges that immigrants face as they seek to start or continue a career in BC. There is clearly-written content that covers such issues as dealing with a lack of Canadian work experience and understanding Canadian workplace culture. Check it out.

    Emotions and culture

    This report from Science Daily shows how culture can be determining factor when interpreting facial emotions. According to the cited research:

    East Asians seem to have a more holistic pattern of attention, perceiving people in terms of the relationships to others,” says Masuda. “People raised in the North American tradition often find it easy to isolate a person from its surroundings