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									Evaluating International Experience and Education

         Module 2
About this Module

   This module explores the resume review process as it related to
   immigrant professionals. These applicants tend to have experience
   and educational backgrounds that are unfamiliar to U.S. employers.
   Thus it can be difficult to compare immigrant professional applicants
   to others in the applicant pool. The result is that immigrant
   professionals are often screened out of the applicant pool early in the

   However, this causes employers to miss out on a highly qualified pool
   of labor. This module will help employers to better evaluate foreign-
   gained education and experience and find ways to ensure that
   immigrant professionals are not excluded from the applicant pool

      Upon completion of this module you should be able to:
        – Identify the key reasons that immigrants are rejected during
          the resume review part of the recruiting process;
        – Find resources to help you evaluate foreign-gained experience
          and education; and
        – Utilize specific techniques to help you evaluate foreign-gained
          experience and education.
Do your own quick resume review!

       Take a minute to screen each of the resumes below
        (up to 30 seconds for each resume).
         – Employers report taking between 5 seconds and 1 minute to review a
         – How much can you learn about a candidate during this time?

                                                                    1234 Anywhere Dr. Apt.426       Phone (408) 123 -4567                                                            Applicant Two
                                                                    Big City, CA. 98765             E-mail                                                                  9876 Littletown Drive, Apt #432
                                                                                                                                                                                      Any City, CA
                                                                                                                                                                                     (408) 987-6543
                                          Applicant One                                                                                                                      Email:

                                                                                                                                 AREAS OF EXPERIENCE:                 International Treasury operations
                                                                                                                                                                      Wire transfer operations
                    EDUCATION        1991 – 1996        University of Guadalajara      Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico                                                   Bond trading administration
                                      A.A in General Administration of Justice, Financial, and Inter national Law.             FINANCIAL SERVICES EXPERIENCE:

                                        A.S in Computer Programmer.1990 -1992                                                                   Bank One Corp                                                                       Chicago, IL
                                                                                                                                                  (The 5 th largest bank in the United States)
                                     Software Applications: Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access, Microsoft
                                     PowerPoint, Microsoft Outlook, WordPerfect, XP Professional.
                    EXPERIENCE                                                                                                   8/95 – 2/99      Wire Transfer Operator
                                     Hardware: IBM and compatible perso nal computers, IBM mainframe, laser printers, ink jet,                    Swiss Bank Back Office Administrator
                                     scanners, tape backup drives, digital cameras, fax machines, modems.                                            Handled Electronic Funds Transfers (EFTs) to international banks using S.W.I.F.T.
                                     Programming Languages: BASIC, COBOL, and DBASE IV plus.                                                         Analyzed all EFT transactions to check for possible money laundering
                                     Operating Systems: Windows2000, Me, XP Professional.                                                            Corresponded with international treasury departments of Citibank, Wells Fargo, and Bank of
                                                                                                                                                       America for EFTs for individuals, corporate and institutional clients
                                     Employee of the Month Nominee. Bellagio Hotel Casino                                                            Managed administration and bookkeeping for bank’s Gran d Cayman investments, including
                    AWARD RECEIVED
                                                                                                                                                       buying and selling of bonds, Eurobonds, Mexican bonds, and Certificate of Deposits
                                                                                                                                                     Helped to upgrade bank’s EFT processing system from manual, paper -based to computer -
                    INTEREST         Plan to pursue A.S. Degree at the end of fall 2004 at Mission College.                                            based using spreadsheets and Bank of America wire transf er software system
                                                                                                                                                     Designed and processed reports on EFT transactions using upgraded system
                    LANGUAGES        Bilingual: English -Spanish.
                                                                                                                                 7/94 – 7/95      International Treasury Officer
                                                                                                                                                      Processed buy/sell orders and high volume trading of stocks
                    EMPLOYMENT       June 2000 – Present        Nova Drilling Services, Inc.          Santa Clara, CA.                                Performed interest reconciliation
                    HISTORY          Machine Operator/
                                        Accu Score Machine Operator.                                                           9/93 – 6/94      Customer Service Representative
                                        CNC Machine Operator.                                                                                      Assisted customers with account management and loan processing activities
                                        Review of Blue Prints.                                                                 1/91 – 9/91      International Bank of Chicago                                                       Chicago, IL
                                                                                                                                                  Medical Expense System Manager
                                     July 1999 – May 2000 Bellagio Hotel and Casino.                  Las Vegas, NV.
                                                                                                                                                     Implemented and supervised bank’s employee medical expense management system
                                     Housekeeping Department.                                                                                        Responsible for overall administration of medical, pharmacy and hospital payment records
                                        General Maintenance                                                                                        Supervised and trained 2 department clerks

                                     July 1999 – July 1999   PacifiCare/Secure Horizons.              Las Vegas, NV.             OTHER WORK EXPERIENCE:
                                     Sales Department.
                                      Assistant Temporary.                                                                     6/00 – present   Onanon Inc.                                                                        Milpitas, CA
                                                                                                                                                  PC Board Machine Systems Programmer
                                     February 1993 – February 1999 Banca Promex. (Bank) Guadalajara, Mexico.                                        Operate Accu Score and CNC machines using custom software applications
                                     Wire Transfer Operator/Grand Cayman Back Office.                                                               Review of blueprints for PC boards used in electronics
                                      Operating Electronic Transfers via International Banks handling foreign currency.        EDUCATION:
                                       (S.W.I.F.T. Systems).
                                      Administration and bookkeeping for buying and selling of Bonds, Eurobonds, Myras,        Current          Cañada College                                                              Redwood City, CA
                                       Cetes and Grand Cayman Investments.                                                                        A.S. Computer Networking Systems
                                      Updated the bank money exchange and loan services.
                                                                                                                                 July, 1996       University of Illinois                                                              Chicago, IL
                                     January 1991 – September 1991 Banco Internacional (Bank) Guadalajara, Mexico.                                B.A. General Administration of Justice, Financial, and International Law
                                     Medical Service Manager.                                                                                     Certification in Computer Programming
                                      In charge of a program created to help and simplify all aspects of employee medical      SKILLS:          Software: MS Office applications, MS Access, OS for Windows 2000, XP, & Professional
                                       and pharmacy expenses.                                                                                     Programming Languages: BASIC, COBOL, a nd DBASE IV +
                                      Responsible for all medical pharmacy and hospital payment of billings reviewing and                       Bilingual: native Spanish speaker, English
                                       filing of contracts medical r ecords and summarization of records.

       After screening the resumes, go to the menu “Edit”, select “Links” and select each of
       the three links and press “Update Now”. -- Ideally this will be automated in the
How do the applicants compare?

                                                Comparison of Applicants

                        Quality of                              0
                        Education                               0

                       Quality of                               0
                       Experience                               0

                  Communication                                 0
                     Skills                                     0

                  Stability / Focus                             0

                           Overall                              0

                                   -2             -1           0             1          2
                                  Poor                                               Superior
                                         Foreign-Gained Experience         U.S. Based Experience

              There are two major differences between these applicants:
                – One has foreign-gained experience and education; and
                – One worked with a coach to refine the resume.

              The candidates have similar work experience.

              However, the educational and work institutions are not
               necessarily equivalent in quality.
Assessing the Applicants’ Educational Background

   Which candidate received the higher quality education?

                          Foreign Gained                             U.S. Based
   Your Rating   Rating Comments                          Rating Comments
                     0   No Comments                          0   No Comments

   More             In this case, the foreign-              The U.S.-educated
   Information       educated candidate went to               candidate went to the
                     the 3rd ranked University in             University of Illinois at
                     Mexico (out of 240                       Chicago, which is a
                     institutions of higher                   reputable, but not top ranked
                     learning).                               University.

                          Was your assessment accurate?
Assessing the Applicants’ Work Experience

   Which candidate has the better work experience?
                             Foreign Gained                                     U.S. Based
   Your Rating       Score Comments                                   Score Comments
       Quality of
       Experience     0      No Comments                               0      No Comments
       Stability /
       Focus          0      No Comments                               0      No Comments

   More                 The foreign-born candidate                      The U.S. based candidate
   Information           worked at the 5th largest bank in                worked for a smaller U.S. bank
                         Mexico.                                          that was acquired by Banc One
                        He also listed every job he had,
                         including those following his                   He selectively listed past
                         emigration to the U.S. Many                      experience, excluding most jobs
                         immigrant professionals have a                   that did not relate to his current
                         difficult time finding work in their             goals. There are more gaps in
                         field right after they emigrate.                 his work experience.

                                Was your assessment accurate?
Avoid screening out immigrant professionals prematurely – take
the time to accurately assess their skills!

      Unfamiliarity means that employers are more likely to give an
       immigrant professional a lower rank or screen them out of the
       applicant pool altogether.

      However, this means that you could miss out on a valuable pool of
       untapped labor.

      Initially, you may have to take more time to accurately assess
       immigrant professionals

      However, as you build the number of immigrant professionals in
       your company, it will become easier to screen new applicants.
Resources to assess foreign-gained education and experience

      The resources in the table can help you
                                                                   Education   Experience
       answer the following questions:
        –   What was the quality of the            Credential
            applicant’s education institution      Evaluation         
            (was it a top-rated university or a    Agencies
            community college)?
        –   How did the applicant perform in
                                                   Staff from         
            school?                                Universities
               What does the grading system
                 mean?                             Network of
               What does the degree mean?         Immigrant                      
        –   What was the quality of the
            applicant’s former company?            Applicant
               Size                               Qualifies                      
               Sophistication                     Experience
               Reputation
        –   How does the candidate’s former
            role match with our needs?
               Understanding foreign job titles
Resources: Credential Evaluation Agencies

   Description:      For a fee, credential evaluation agencies will verify the authenticity of foreign
                      transcripts and create a report giving the U.S. equivalent of the grades and
                      courses described.

                     In addition some agencies provide country profiles, grade conversion guides,
                      online educational profiles and workshops for HR professionals and recruiters.

                     Credential evaluation agencies will also translate transcripts into English.

   How to            To find a qualified credential evaluation agency in your area, contact The
   Access:            National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (

   How to            Ensure that the credential evaluation agency you use has expertise and
   Use:               experience in the country of origin of your candidate.

                     Applicants may provide you with documentation from a credential evaluation
                      agency to verify their education.

                     If you are working in an area with a high concentration of a particular immigrant
                      group, it may be worth working with an agency to get some basic information
                      about the country’s educational system. This information can be shared with
                      resume screeners.
Resources: Admissions Staff at Local Universities

   Description:      The proportion of immigrants in U.S. graduate programs is increasing
                      significantly and admissions departments are actively recruiting around the
                      world. Admissions staffs often include someone who has knowledge of various
                      foreign educational systems.

   How to            Review the class profiles for graduate schools in your area to identify programs
   Access:            with a significant number of foreign-born students.

                     Build relationships with key admissions staff that evaluate foreign-gained
                      education. Stress that the benefit for them could be placing more of their
                      graduates in your company (if that is relevant).

   How to            Find out if they evaluate foreign-gained education on their own or if they use a
   Use:               credential evaluation agency.

                     See if they are willing to share any written materials they have pulled together to
                      evaluate foreign-gained education.

                     See if someone from the admissions department is willing to partner with you in
                      evaluating the resumes of foreign-educated applicants.
Resources: Network of Immigrant Professionals

   Description:      One of the most important resources in evaluating foreign-gained education and
                      experience is people familiar with the home countries of the applicants. They
                      can provide qualitative information about educational and work institutions that
                      would be hard to come by otherwise. Network members could include immigrant
                      professionals currently employed in your company, members of community
                      organizations serving immigrants, English as a Second Language (ESL)
                      teachers, and immigrant professionals in the community.

   How to            The process for building this network is described in “Module 1: Finding Highly
   Access:            Qualified Immigrant Professionals”

   How to            Include members of this network on your hiring teams. It is important to find
   Use:               immigrants who are familiar with the home region of the applicant – otherwise
                      they will not necessarily have any more knowledge than you about the
                      educational and work institutions.

                     Send resumes (or questions about resumes) to relevant members of your
Resources: Applicant Qualifies Experience

   Description:      The applicant can provide you with information that will help you better
                      understand his/her experience and education. At first glance, it may seem
                      like the applicant would not give objective information, however, you can ask
                      very specific questions that require objective responses.

   How to            Include the request for further information on the job description, such as,
   Access:            “Please include the following information about foreign-gained education and
                      experience, so that we can more effectively evaluate your application”. You
                      can also ask for this type of backup for all applicants. Especially in this tight
                      labor market, employers are beginning to ask for supplementary information
                      to ensure the applicant is serious.

                     E-mail applicants with foreign-gained education and experience a list of
                      questions that can help you assess their background.

                     Ask questions during the interview that will help you assess the validity of the
                      information provided.

                                         Continued on Next Slide
Resources: Applicant Qualifies Experience (Continued)

  How to       Assessing Education:
                  –   How many people apply each year to your university? How many are

                  –   What are other graduates of your institution doing?

               Assessing Experience:

                  –   What role in a U.S. company is comparable to your old role?

                  –   What are the revenues of your old company in U.S. dollars?

                  –   Who were your company’s competitors?

                  –   Are there any U.S. companies that are comparable to your old
Other Issues

   Even when employers have a solid understanding of the applicant’s work
   experience and educational background, there are often additional concerns
   and questions:

       –   How do I know that the applicant’s resume is true? His or her
           educational background and work experience looks great – but did
           the candidate really do all that he or she said?

       –   The applicant’s resume seems inappropriate. For example:
               It is too long
               It includes personal information (such as a picture, or marital

       –   Our automated screening does not pick up many people with foreign-
           gained experience and education because the key words don’t
How do I know that the information on the resume is true?

      Employers sometimes fear that immigrant professionals could lie or exaggerate
       foreign-gained experience and education.
      However, all candidates have the potential to exaggerate their qualifications.
       According to ADP’s 2002 Hiring Index, 44% of employment records showed a
       difference between what the applicant wrote and what the previous employer
       reported. This is based on 2.6 million background checks performed in 2001,
       primarily on U.S. born employees.
        – Unfortunately, employers will often screen out immigrant applicants early but
            give U.S. educated and employed applicants the benefit of the doubt until the
            background check stage of the recruiting process.
      Be sure to apply similar standards to all employees – you should not assume that
       one group is being dishonest and the other is honest. Furthermore, you should
       attempt to apply the same level of validation to both groups.
        – Some aspects of an employee’s background can be validated using
           background check organizations. In fact, some background check
           organizations specialize in international background searches.
        – Others may come from situations that are less stable and it may be difficult. In
           this case, ask the employee questions to get at the validity of their claims
Resume formats and content vary by country and reflect the
values of the culture in which they are used.

                 Cultural Values*                     Resulting Resume Formats
   In America we prefer brevity, efficiency,        1-2 page resume
   closure, and individualism in what we            Outcomes clearly stated
   write. . . We prefer setting goals, getting      Content customized to respond to
   to the point, and being different rather
   than orchestrating a somewhat pointless           the job requirements
   performance that conforms to group
   Many countries in the international arena        Up to 10 page resume
   do not share the same values when                Content reflects breadth of
   recruiting employees. They may evaluate           experience to date.
   a candidate on the basis of breadth,             Personal information, such as
   status, conformity to group norms,                marital status, age, and interests
   power, and the ability to control the             included.

     Immigrant professionals are in the process of learning everything
     about the U.S. job search process. Sometimes they apply for jobs
     before understanding the differences in resume norms.

   *Source: Monster.Com
Immigrant professionals and automated screening

       Are you screening out qualified              There are several steps you can take
         immigrant professionals?                    to avoid screening immigrant
                                                     professionals out of your applicant
   A company is using automated screening
                                                     pool prematurely.
   to find an “Associate Planner”. They are
   searching for the key phrase “AICP                  – Avoid using key words
   certified”.                                            associated with U.S. specific
                                                          titles. Instead use key words
   The immigrant applicant has 8 years of                 related to experience.
   planning experience in his home country             – When specific U.S. certification
   and a B.S., in agricultural engineering                is desired from U.S. educated
   with significant coursework related to                 employees, try to pull immigrant
   rural planning and a Masters in
                                                          professional applicants into a
   environmental engineering. However, he
                                                          separate pool. Screen those
   is not yet AICP certified in the U.S.
                                                          applicants for general key words
   Certification requires a degree in planning
                                                          and then take a closer look at
   and 2-4 years of experience.
                                                          their specific qualifications to see
   Do you think this applicant should be                  if they have equivalent
   excluded from the pool?                                experience.
Test Your Knowledge

      List three reasons that immigrant professionals do not make it past the resume screen.
        1. ______________________________________________________________________
        2. ______________________________________________________________________
        3. ______________________________________________________________________

      What are four resources that you can use to help evaluate foreign-gained experience and/or
        1.  ______________________________________________________________________
        2.  ______________________________________________________________________
        3.  ______________________________________________________________________
        4.  ______________________________________________________________________

      Give an example of how an applicant can help you validate his or her experience and

      Why might an applicant’s resume include personal information such as marital status, a photo,
       or age?

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