Posts Tagged ‘application’

Resume Tips for U.S. Graduate School Candidates

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

International graduate applicants should format resumes properly and include U.S. work experience.

Applying for graduate school in the U.S. is a comprehensive task. As part of the application, most U.S. grad schools require candidates to submit a resume to help them get to know a candidate better.

If we compared the graduate school application process to a person, a resume would be a person’s face. It’s how the admissions office gets its first impression of a candidate.

Schools want to know a candidate’s basic information, including educational background, academic performance, experience, and other skills. A good resume will answer all those questions in a clear and straightforward way. Here are a few tips on how to make your resume attractive in the competitive application process:

1. Sell any U.S. work or internship experience. Experience counts in graduate school applications. Some programs may say that no experience is required to apply, but the reality is that having work or internship experience will give you an edge.

It’s great if you have internships or work experience from your home country. But if you have finished your bachelor’s program and have lived in the U.S. for four years already, admissions officers will want to know what you’re doing now.

Tell your dream school what you have learned outside of the classroom in the U.S. In my journalism grad school applications, I included my experience interning for a U.S. media outlet on my resume.

2. Your GPA matters. This is another important item to include on your grad school resume. Good academic performance can tell admissions officers that you have the potential to do well in your field and that you take your studies seriously.

Your GPA doesn’t just measure your grades, but can also suggest whether you are capable of continuing your studies at a higher level.

International students might be amazed by the colorful American college life that includes parties and all kinds of organizations and activities. It’s not wrong to enjoy college life, but keep in mind that studying is a student’s most important task.

3. Include your extracurricular activities. Once in the U.S., some international students keep their old habits and routines: taking classes, going to the library, eating in the dining hall and returning to a dorm. This routine isn’t uncommon for students in many countries, where education systems were designed to solely address students’ academic performance.

In some countries, students are trained to spend the majority of their time each day studying. Many students who come to the U.S. from those places find it hard to transition to an environment where students are taught that studying is not their one and only task.

You have to show your dream school that you are more than a studying machine. Demonstrate the leadership capabilities and communication skills that you developed and improved through participation in extracurricular activities.

4. Last but not least, format your resume in an American way. A good resume must be clear and well-organized.

Put your name, address and contact information at the very top, followed by your education background, work experience, activities and skills. A good rule of thumb is to keep your resume on one page.

You should know what an American audience expects. For example, while it might be very common to put a professional photograph of yourself on your resume in China, that’s rarely done in the U.S.

In essence, a good resume tells people what you have achieved and experienced. But the best way to make it attractive is to take action ahead of time so that you have those achievements and experiences to share.

Original from US News

Improve Your Job Application ROI

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Before you hit the “apply” button, make sure the application is worth your time.

Many job seekers are frustrated over the lack of response from employers. This phenomenon is commonly referred to as the “Black Hole,” and leaves most job seekers discouraged with no updates on their application’s status and no feedback to help improve their future applications.


While you can’t control the recruiter’s actions, there are things you can do to combat the Black Hole and improve your application’s return-on-investment.

Take more time

A recent eye-tracking study found that the average job seeker only spends about a minute reviewing a job description before deciding if it’s worth an application. Let’s face it – applying to jobs can be a very tedious and time-consuming process, especially when each application is properly tailored. With that in mind, I encourage you to take a few extra minutes before you apply to carefully read the job description and assess the application’s potential ROI.

Consider the location

Are you within commutable distance of this opportunity? Or if you’re in sales, do you have an established book of business in this area? If the position requires relocation, let employers know in your cover letter that there’s a good reason for the move. In other words, make it clear you didn’t make this decision on a whim and that you’re not an expensive flight risk.

Focus on responsibilities & requirements

Read the responsibilities and requirements sections of the job description carefully – what skill sets, education level and years of experience do they require? While the employer probably doesn’t expect you to have every single qualification, they do expect you to meet all the core “must-have” requirements. Only apply to jobs where you possess these must-haves. Remember, job titles often carry different meanings depending on the organization and its industry, so the responsibilities and requirements are a better indication of the level of the role (and its budgeted salary).

Identify the industry

Have you worked in the same or a very similar industry within the past 3-6 years? Not every position requires industry-specific experience; however, possessing this background is often more attractive to employers. If you don’t have relevant industry experience, be ready to highlight your transferable skills in your resume and cover letter. If you’re looking for a change, research your former colleagues to see where else their experience was accepted.

Tailor your applications

Edit your resume and cover letter so that your job goals and qualifications are obvious. Incorporate key terms from your targeted job’s requirements into your resume to make it past the electronic gatekeeper. Test your application’s readability by handing it over to a friend with a copy of the job description. If your friend has trouble identifying your qualifications, then you know it’s not clear enough. If you need help, seek out a resume expert.

Check your network

Map out your personal and professional network so you can easily research connections between your contacts. Before you apply to a job, check to see if you know anyone who currently works at the company and seek their endorsement. Studies have shown you are ten times more likely to land an interview when your application is accompanied by an employee referral.

Original from TheLadders