Resumes styles can vary in different countries and continents. Some things like including your picture in the resume you will present to American companies is a definite “no” while in some European countries is not viewed as negatively. Styles and content will also vary in profession, locations, company, etc., but for the purpose of this entry, we will tell you the mistakes which our team regards as the biggest, that way you can avoid them when writing your own. After all, you want to make sure that if you take part of our Job+J1 program, that your resume fits the requirements which American companies are looking for. So, look out for these mistakes in your resume, and if you have them make sure that you reevaluate the your decision or revisit that specific part.
One very important aspect that seems to be repetitive from our part – but important – is the length of your resume. You have to understand that many American companies receive hundreds of applications as soon as they post a job opening, and they won’t spend too much time reviewing your work initially. Typically, your resume should fit in one page, so consider the positions which you think are most valuable to potential employers and include those in a way that it is easy to understand and quick to review. If they have to spend several minutes looking at your work and reviewing the details, they will probably move on to the next resume in line, so make sure that everything is written succinctly. We understand that in many different countries it is normal to see resumes which are 2-3 pages long, but if you are considering getting a job in the States, you should try to adapt to the standards they’re used to.
Another aspect you must take into consideration is personal information. While it is an important part of your resume, it is also one that can be difficult to craft. In the U.S. mentioning personal information is optional. You don’t have to include things such as age, marital status, number of children, personal hobbies, gender, or nationality. Accordingly, make sure that if you include hobbies and personal interests that they are somehow related to the position or profile of the company that you are after. Remember that adding any kind of information that is not necessarily related to your position may end up making your resume look overwhelming and perhaps even unprofessional. So make sure that you tailor your resume to the right job market. Of course, there are companies which have more of a “friendly” or “playful” image to them, but it is usually better to stick to the safe side, specially if you are going to use the same one for different applications.
Lastly and perhaps most importantly, make sure that your resume highlights your accomplishments, not the duties which you had. We’ve seen many different resumes which strictly focus on detailing the job description, and you should avoid that! The short description under the job position should highlight how you were able to achieve, complete, design, lead, or whichever other positive action verb that best describes your role/accomplishment in that position. The employer probably knows what that job position entailed, what is important to them is to see how you were able to excel with those projects and job responsibilities. So make sure that you take that into consideration, and if you are struggling with this you can always ask us for more advice! There are also many other blogs in this section that will give you tips on your American Style Resume.