Getting a new job is challenging in general, especially when you are an international jobseeker. The good news is you can improve your chances of finding a job in the U.S. from South Africa by starting with a strong resume. Having a resume that stands out is imperative to your international job search. Your resume gives your potential employers a first impression of your experience, abilities, and personality. If you want to craft an exceptional resume that sets you up for success, check out these tips.
1. Keep It Short and Simple
When applying for a job in the U.S. from South Africa, you might be tempted to submit a lengthy CV. Employers look for different things in the States. They are not very interested in being impressed with narratives and stories–they want to see evidence of proven results and experience. While your initial instinct may be to elaborate, it’s actually better to keep information on your resume limited to the most essential details. Use bullet points to draw attention to key accomplishments and leave out unnecessary words.
For instance, your resume should only be about one or two pages long. Employers want to skim through your resume in a matter of seconds and get a decent overview of your background. In general, there should be one page per 10 years of work experience. If you’re applying for an entry-level job, keep it to one page. On the other hand, if you have more than 20 years of relevant experience, don’t try to condense it too much to the point you leave out crucial details.
2. Use a Summary Statement for a Job in the U.S. From South Africa
The layout of your resume is important to catching the attention of potential employers. When creating your resume for a job in the U.S. from South Africa, start with a summary statement. Your goal is to provide hiring managers with a concise look into who you are and how much experience you have. Keep it to a few well-worded sentences that target the position you are applying for and showcase your skills and accomplishments. When done right, hiring managers will be intrigued and want to learn more about you through the rest of your resume and an interview.
3. Follow the Appropriate Format
There are a few different formats you can use when applying for a job in the U.S. from South Africa. In most cases, you should stick with a chronological format. Keep in mind that a chronologically formatted resume means listing your experience in reverse chronological order. This means listening your most recent and relevant positions first and going backwards.
Another option is a functional format. Functional formats should only be used when there needs to be a specific focus on strengths, skills, and accomplishments rather than work history. Sometimes a combination of these two formats proves to be useful. In general, a chronological format is the way to go.
4. Structure Is Key
As mentioned above, your resume’s layout matters. Here is a general outline of how a resume should be structured:
- Contact information
- Areas of expertise
- Professional affiliations and memberships
While each resume is unique, adhering to this basic layout is a good idea.
5. Remember What Not to Do
There are certain things that shouldn’t be included in your American resume. For example, don’t include any religious, political, or controversial statements. You should also not talk about why you left previous jobs. If a hiring manager wants to know information about why you left, they will inquire about it during an interview.
Investing time and effort into creating your resume is worth all the hard work. Remember to double and triple-check your resume for any spelling or grammatical errors. When you put your energy into making a good resume, you show potential employers you are serious and the perfect candidate for the position.