As you apply for a job in the U.S. from Australia, you may think that a lack of experience holds you back. It shouldn’t, as long as you take care in framing your resume to highlight your many attributes. Here’s how you can accomplish just that.
Focus on Skills
You have many skills, whether you picked them up from life experiences, schooling or a combination of both. Focus on them in your resume. For instance, in your “Professional Summary” section, pick two or three top skills to illustrate your qualifications. Use wording from the job posting to inform your choices.
As for the meat of your resume, the best option as you search for a job in the U.S. from Australia is often to organize your qualifications by skill (for example, Research Skills, Organizational Skills and Communications Skills). This type of resume is called a functional resume.
Another option is to organize your qualifications by projects. For instance, what did you learn by writing your biggest college paper? What did you learn when you worked as the news editor at your college newspaper? Speaking of being a news editor, positions such as this do count as work experience, as do internships and volunteer work. Include a Work Experience section if at all possible.
Measure Your Accomplishments
As you dive into the world of skills as you continue your search for a job in the U.S. from Australia, quantify a few of your accomplishments. For example, you could say that you met 100 percent of the deadlines for a research project or found 53 original sources. There are also non-numeric ways to showcase accomplishments. For example, “Conducted a research project that spanned the disciplines of history, English and mathematics.”
Remember Hard Skills
Hard skills are those such as expertise in a certain software program or fluency in multiple languages. The ones you need are listed in job postings, so include them where natural in your resume. For instance, did you use a specific software program when conducting a research project? If you cannot make a natural fit, it is fine to have a standalone Skills section. In fact, for seeking a job in the U.S. from Australia, you may want to put a little more emphasis on hard skills than U.S. jobseekers would; some employers may wonder if certain software programs or technical requirements are different in your country.
Spend Time on the Professional Summary When Looking for a Job in the U.S. From Australia
Briefly mentioned earlier, the Professional Summary comes after your name and contact information. It provides an overview of your qualifications and should run four, five or six lines. Provide insight into your experience and top hard and soft skills. It could go something along the lines of, “Recent graduate with a BA in communications. Credentials include creativity, critical thinking and organizational skills. Educational projects covered topics such as SEO keyword research, the applications of traditional marketing and must-have elements of any video marketing endeavor.”
Enlist the Help of a Seasoned Professional
Ask people who are experienced for their feedback on your resume. If you do not have a mentor, finding one can be a tremendous help in many areas, not just resume writing. In any case, the person (or people) you ask need not be mentors, but they should have worked or work in the field you are hoping to break into. They can give you insight into how to better word certain things or which projects to emphasize more or less. Because you are searching for a job in the U.S., it is helpful if the people you ask work in the U.S. market rather than the Australian market.
Applying for work when you lack experience can be tricky. However, when you present your qualifications in a way that shows you possess the skills to succeed in a job, you are well on your way to great things. Follow best practices for resume writing, such as quantifying your accomplishments and using a Professional Summary section.