Call Toll Free in the US: 1-800-419-4601
Outside the US: 1-212-766-4111
A US resume should be like a haiku: precise, concise, and carefully structured.
Like the best poetry, your resume should resonate in an employer’s mind. After all, it’s your stand-in, responsible for representing your experience and skills in a positive light.
What can you do to ensure your resume shines?
Many students and recent college graduates turn to a professional resume writing service in order to get a resume that best spotlights their academic achievements, skills and work or internship experience.
A resume service is especially helpful for US job seekers whose native language is not English. Resumes used in the US can vary dramatically in content, style and length from those written for other countries.
Before you order a resume, make sure the company you choose is affiliated with a resume writing organization, such as the National Resume Writers’ Association or the Professional Association of Resume Writers. For the best service, consider a company that focuses on students. They will know how to craft a resume specifically for internships and entry-level, part-time and full-time jobs.
University Language offers a resume writing service for current students and recent graduates. It’s an affordable option for a professional, customized resume.
Want to make your own resume? Read on to learn about some of the common formats and styles used in US resumes.
In the US, the two most common resume formats are the chronological and the functional.
A chronological resume (the most popular) lists your jobs in reverse order, with your current or most recent position first. This gives employers a clear overview of your experience and qualifications, while also demonstrating a solid record of work.
A functional resume organizes your experience into skill categories. For example: computer/software, customer service, administrative. This is useful for recent graduates or those with little work history. Accentuating your knowledge makes you appear well-rounded and resourceful.
No matter which style you choose, your US resume should follow some standard guidelines.
Make sure your US resume is specific. Vague statements are forgettable. Employers want to know precisely what you have accomplished. Quantify yourself whenever appropriate. Remember: Numbers and percentages are persuasive.
Speaking of which, a resume doesn’t have to be mechanical. Use vivid, muscular language. Avoid passive sentence constructions and weak verbs. Concentrate on power words that convey initiative, such as “developed,” “designed,” “implemented,” “produced.” Employers want a sense of how motivated you are, and your language should convince them.
Similarly, pay close attention to an employer’s job listing. These ads often contain keywords that you can reflect in your own resume. For example, if an ad mentions “the ability to multitask,” you should identify the diverse tasks that previous positions required. Likewise, if an ad mentions “meeting deadlines,” you should list examples of projects that you’ve completed on schedule.
Finally, the most important guideline to keep in mind is also the easiest to fulfill: proofread.
Never send out a resume without first ensuring that it is grammatically correct and free of misspellings. How committed you are to the quality of your resume is taken as an indication of how committed you will be to your job performance.
In addition to content guidelines, there are stylistic and formatting guidelines you should observe when creating your US resume.
First, try to keep your resume under one page. Employers are in a hurry, and the more quickly they can scan your information, the more quickly they can determine if you are a good match. It is important to prioritize, so list important details at the top.
Second, use bullet points to organize information such as job responsibilities and extracurricular activities. Top bullet points contain the most valuable details, while succeeding ones offer supporting (but nonetheless worthwhile) information.
Third, create clear divisions between sections. Your employment history should be distinct from your education section (which may include your college major and GPA) and resume skills section. Use bold headlines to enforce separations.
Fourth, your resume’s biggest headline — your name — should be bold and immediately visible.
Finally, keep in mind that employers receive dozens (sometimes hundreds) of resumes by mail, through online job postings and at college job fairs. Do whatever you can to make yours stick out: print on professional heavy-bond paper, for instance, or choose a template that is especially elegant and clean.
Following your resume with a phone call, e-mail or personal appearance is another way to stand out, express interest and get a job interview.
Writing a US-style resume is all about selling your assets. In order to do this, the format, font, style and structure of your resume are all extremely important. Need help? Order a professional US-style resume now from University Language!