Is your résumé making you look good? Or is it making you look not so good? Is your résumé doing you justice? If your résumé does not do you justice, then you have to write it so that it does do you justice. Résumé writing is a skill to learn and develop because there’s always a way to improve your résumé. But good résumé writing does not come easily. You have think about and plan your résumé. You have to practicing résumé writing.
Some international professionals searching for work in the USA should understand and know, in a US American way, how to show and highlight everything that’s good about them in a way that appeals to hiring managers in the USA. A résumé is a way for you to start talking about yourself. A résumé is a way to get employers to notice you. It’s not just a list of whatever you’ve done up until now: a résumé is a way to sell yourself. Find out if you’re on your way to selling yourself at a job interview by reading these résumé tips.
Here are seven résumé tips that can help you make your résumé more appealing to prospective employers and hiring managers. And if your résumé is more appealing to prospective employers and hiring managers, that makes you more appealing. To some people, these résumé tips may be nothing new, but they are new to some people. To be sure that they’re not new to you, read these résumé tips, and then ask yourself whether you should update your résumé.
Seven résumé tips
These first three are very basic résumé tips, yet I’ve read résumés that need to be adjusted in these ways.
1) Keep summary phrases short, just one or two lines. Don’t write summary phrases that amount to short paragraphs.
2) Use third person present verbs, meaning verbs that end with s, when you write your current experience. Don’t start phrases with words that end with ing to write about what you do now.
3) Keep information from different positions at one company separate. Information from different positions should be separate, not mixed together. People that read your résumé are looking for a time line of what you did at a company: this is linear. Don’t mix information from different positions you held with one company. Present the information in chronological order, starting with the last position you had at a company or the last things you did at a company.
4) When you write your experience, use action words and action phrases that say what you did, what you accomplished, what problems you solved, or what you did to make something better. Write your experience in a way that states the results of your work. Don’t use phrases that say, in so many words, “You existed at the company”. Phrases that begin with words like “responsible for”, “involved with” “provided”, or “created” don’t say anything about the results of your work and how your work benefited a company. Employers want to know what you can do for them or what results you can get for them, and saying things like “responsible for”, “involved, “provided”, or “created a database” does not say anything about results.
You provided something. You created something. Maybe you created a database. Okay, but what does the database do? Who benefited from the database? How is the database an improvement? What resulted from you having created the database? Did the database solve a problem? What did you accomplish by creating the database? Answer these questions, and you will better understand how to present your experience on a résumé.
5) Be sure you include and call attention to any leadership roles you’ve had. You don’t need the title manager, director, or supervisor to demonstrate that you’re capable of leadership. Think about your experience, and ask yourself what you’ve done that represents leadership in some way. Have people come to you with questions? Have you provided advice for less experienced people in your department or on your team? Have you led any projects? Leading projects means leading people, by the way. Have you trained anyone to do work? Have you ever directed anyone from another department to do work for your department? Calling attention to and highlighting leadership roles is a way to indirectly say “I can be supervisor, a manager, or a director” without explicitly stating this on your résumé. If you want to move up, you have provide information that’s going to make a manager or employer think that you can move up or should move up. Highlighting leadership roles is a way to do this.
6) Put things like awards, honors, and publications in a separate part of your résumé, not under experience. Unless these things are relevant to what you accomplished for an employer, they shouldn’t be listed under experience. These things say what you accomplished for yourself. Employers want to know what you can accomplish for them. Awards, honors, and publications are impressive, but don’t put them under experience.
7) If you’re working in the USA, don’t call attention to the fact that English is not your first language by stating on your résumé that you are fluent in English. Employers expect this. Telling employers in the US that you’re fluent in English is like saying that you know how to use email. Being fluent in English here is not an asset or a skill like it may have been in the country you come from. If any language is an asset here, it’s your first language and any other language you know. Highlight your first language and other languages you know as assets. Can you interpret for foreign visitors who speak these languages? Can you translate letters written in these languages? Can you write business correspondence in these languages? If your answer is yes to any of these questions, let employers and hiring managers know by putting this information on your résumé in the right place. But don’t tell employers and hiring managers that you’re fluent in English. This is expected. English is not a skill here in the US like it was in the country you come from. Communication is a skill.
Your résumé has to communicate to employers and hiring managers how good you are. No scratch that. Your résumé has communicate to employers and hiring managers how great you are. Yes, that’s right — great. Your résumé is a marketing document. If it’s not remarkable, then work at making it remarkable. Your résumé has to do justice to you in order convince employers and hiring managers that you’re worth their time and effort for an interview. Now is the time to start getting better at résumé writing because it’s a fact that you have great skills, you possess great knowledge, you are remarkable, and you are a great talent. You just have let people know all that, and it starts with résumé writing skills .