Five Resume Tips for Foreign Workers

In our last article, we provided advice for Americans seeking work abroad; this time we’re covering what job seekers who are emigrating to the U.S. need to do to update their resume/CV to U.S. standards. There are many differences between international resumes and American resumes and these differences can determine whether or not your resume gets looked at by employers at all.

You don’t want something like your resume to get in the way of the perfect job, especially given the complexity of US work visas, legal fees, and innumerable other obstacles that stand in the way of foreign workers. That’s why it’s so important to have a clean, updated resume that fits what American employers are looking for, so you’re that much closer to a:

Below, we’ve pulled together a few examples of the differences between U.S. resumes and international resumes and tips on things to avoid.

  1. Be straightforward: American resumes are clear, concise, and usually chronological. On the other hand, international resumes are often very detailed and not always chronological. Have your most current experience and/or education listed first and go from there.
  2. Don’t include personal information: U.S. resumes do not include age, relationship status or religion, whereas some international resumes do include this information. It’s important to leave these personal details off of your resume because they could complicate your application. Employers legally can’t use information like your age or personal beliefs to make a hiring decision, and they don’t want to see it on your resume.
  3. Keep your info relevant: It’s also important to only include relevant information on your resume. U.S. resumes are typically shorter than international resumes and are used to market job seekers through brief descriptions of relevant experience, education and skills. While on the other hand, international resumes usually give detailed explanations of academic and formal work experience. Employers don’t have a lot of time to look over resumes, so the easier you make it for them to see your work, the more eager they may be to call you in for an interview.
  4. No selfies please: Actually, do not include a photo at all. You should let your skills and expertise listed on your resume sell you instead.
  5. Update your formatting: Follow American standards for formatting details on your resume. For example, when including your phone number you should leave off the plus sign and take a look at how Americans list their address. You’ll notice a few differences and you’ll want to adhere to American standards before submitting your application.

The job market in America is competitive and opportunities for overseas professionals are limited. To ensure the best possible chance for job search success, make sure that your primary branding document, your resume, conforms to US standards and does a good job selling your unique skills and background.

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