While writing your American resume, it’s normal to have questions about proper formatting, what to include in the resume and how to make it stand out to employers. Read on for answers to frequently asked resume format questions if you’re interested in creating a properly formatted and professional resume.
Q: I had several part-time jobs before I graduated school that aren’t related to the field I’m currently entering. Should I exclude them from my resume?
A: As a recent graduate, it’s important to include any work history you’ve had. All your previous jobs have provided you with experiences that will benefit you in your career. Find transferable skills from each position, and use bullet points to show how these apply to the desired position. For example, if you’ve recently graduated with a degree in accounting and worked a fast food job while in high school, your customer service and money-handling skills are valuable assets. Include these transferable skills to show employers that you have beneficial experiences.
Q: My resume is four pages long. What is a good length for an American resume?
A: Many professionals have resume format questions that deal with length. While a longer resume is preferable in other countries, in America, a lengthy resume is a deterrent to some employers. As a general rule, keep your resume brief. You should include one page for every 10 years of experience you have. Only include your work experience from the past 15 to 20 years. If you have speaking engagements or publications that make your resume longer, consider adding an addendum to shorten the main document.
Q: I’ve written a decent resume and have sent it out to dozens of employers. I haven’t heard back for any interviews. How can I make my resume stand out?
A: One of several popular resume format questions deals with resumes that are overlooked even though the applicant has the right education and experience. Remember, it’s not in your best interest to send out an identical resume to multiple employers. Instead, customize your resume for the job you want by tailoring your work experience, education details and skills to each job’s requirements and duties. For example, if a receptionist position requires computer experience, include computer courses you’ve taken in college as well as computer software and typing skills on your resume.
Additionally, many businesses use technology to scan resumes for certain industry keywords. Resumes that don’t have these keywords aren’t considered. Read job postings and research keywords that are applicable to the position in America, and include these in your resume.
Q: What do American employers want to read in an education section?
A: Begin with your most recent degree and work backwards in reverse-chronological order. After you’ve graduated from college, it’s unnecessary to feature information about your high school. List the degree title, the school name and its location. Include notable details, such as graduating from an honors college or working as an intern, by using bullet points. Unless the job posting requires it, it’s okay to omit your GPA.
Q: I know technology is important to employers in America, but how can I include it within my resume?
A: Many applicants have resume format questions dealing with technology. Include any certifications for software or hardware programs, programming or coding experience, and other technological skills in either your summary statement, work experience or skills section. Where this information is placed depends on your field. For example, if you are applying to be a chef, these skills should be written in a separate section because they aren’t necessary for the position.
If you have additional resume format questions, LiveCareer has a wealth of information that may answer your questions. The simple tricks and sample resumes will help you assemble your American resume.