When we write a résumé in English, here are some do’s and don’ts. Resumes in each country are very different. In this article, we will talk about resume writing in the USA.

  1. Power of bullet points - No one wants to read long paragraphs.
  2. Put most important info first - Most employers are interested in the last job you had. Right after your personal information add work history.
  3. Pay attention to font size and style - Use Calibri or Times as the fonts. Don’t use a font smaller than 11pt.
  4. Do not include obvious or “duhh” information - Some people say things like “Available and willing for interview” or “References available upon request.” It is best not to use these two phrases.
  5. Avoid negativity in writing - We want our resumes to create a great impression on our reader. Use positive words and try to create a positive feeling.
  6. Responsibilities are boring – tell what you achieved - Do not talk a lot about all the things you did at a company. The reader will get bored. Instead, write about your achievements and the great things you did at the company. For example, “increased sales by 20%; established new offices in 6 new cities.”
  7. No photo unless employer requests it - In the USA, you do not need to include a photo with your resume. Only include one if the employers requests.
  8. Do not create one resume for all jobs - For every job you apply to, you should change your resume a little bit to better fit that position. If you do not change your resume, the chances of getting an interview are reduced.
  9. Age discrimination - In the USA, it is not necessary to include your age on your resume. Adding your age to your resume can work against you. If you are too old or to young, you may be discriminated for that position even though it is illegal.
  10. List only relevant jobs - Cutting the neighbor’s grass will not get you that director’s position at the bank.
  11. Get another person to review your resume - A second opinion is very important and can help you fix things on your resume that may have been tricky or unclear.
  12. One or two pages - The shorter the better. The human resources department spends about 10 seconds reading each resume, so make it short. If your resume is seven pages long, it will not be taken seriously.
  13. Use action verbs to describe your experiences: coached, managed, increased, responsible for.
  14. Update your resume regularly - Don’t forget to add your new work experiences and courses you have taken.
  15. Name your resume – Name your Word or PDF resume with your name i.e.  Philip Steven Crooks
  16. Send as Microsoft word doc or PDF – Save your resume as a Word document or PDF.
  17. Do not use I or me - When you write your resume, never use I or me. The resume is about yourself so you do not need to use personal pronouns. Instead of saying, “I worked at Santander bank,” say, “worked at Santander bank.”
  18. Resume key words