Determining the best resume format for a U.S. resident will largely depend on the specific job that you’re applying for, your unique skills and your relevant experience. The majority of employers prefer to gain a clear picture of how your work history has progressed. As a U.S. resident, you should also look for opportunities to prove that you will be an effective employee within a U.S. working environment.
Chronological Resumes vs. Functional Resumes for U.S. Residents
The two primary types of resume formats are functional and chronological. The majority of applicants choose the chronological format in which prior job experiences are listed in reverse chronological order. List all your former places of employment and their corresponding cities and states, your job titles, the dates you worked at each company and what accomplishments you earned. Employers gain a clear overview about your work history this way, and it’s typically the easiest type to read.
While many employers prefer this format, there are a few situations in which you should opt for a combination/hybrid format that incorporates aspects of the chronological and functional formats:
- You’re planning to shift careers into a field that you don’t have prior experience in.
- You’ve been in the same kind of position for your whole career
- You have minimal experience because you’re a recent graduate or you only recently became a U.S. resident.
What Information to Include in a U.S. Resident Resume
No matter which type you deem to be the best resume format for you, all successful U.S. resident resumes feature a few key elements. Always include these sections, and check for misspellings and grammar mistakes before you submit your final copy.
1. Contact Information: Provide a way for your prospective employer to contact you. Include your website if you have one, a single phone number and your email address. Don’t include your full street address, but do include your city and state.
2. International Expertise and Understanding: Show your potential employer how you stand out from others by adding this unique section. List your international education experience. If you possess cross-cultural skills, list them in this section. Employers often appreciate hiring employees who speak multiple languages or who have international experience. Showcase your adaptability by stating that you’re adept with multicultural environments, that you enjoy cross-cultural experiences or that you have a positive attitude about change and new opportunities.
Tips for the best resume format for a U.S. Resident
Before you decide on the best resume format for your situation, follow these guidelines.
1. Select a hybrid format only after you’re not getting the desired results from the chronological format.
2. If you decide that the hybrid type is the best resume format for your international work history, add as many details as possible whenever you’re listing your descriptions. Make it easier for the employer to identify which skills you developed during each job, what your accomplishments were and what experience you gained. Fill in the gaps whenever you can.
3. Consider selecting a functional format for your resume. This format highlights your skills and strengths when deemphasizing your work experience. Some instances in which a functional format might be beneficial are:
- Your experience is diverse and does not demonstrate that you’re heading along a specific career path.
- You have large work history gaps.
- Your work experience predominantly features unpaid positions such as internships or volunteer work.
You can find additional information about resumes on LiveCareer.