Write your US resume and land a job in the American job market!

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American Resumes – Do’s, Don’ts and How to Land a Job Interview

Okay, friends- this was a very important learning curve for me when we tried to find work in the United States.

Forget almost everything you learned about resumes in your home country because most likely – it is not going to work here!

Trust us when we say: You will need help with this, and the process won’t be quick!

We have a great overview and tips below on what you need to know. There is a lot to consider and many details you need to understand to stand out from the crowd.

The good news: We have the ultimate shortcut for you and created this American Resume Crash Course for you! Read here to learn more.

It provides you with expert advice on what American Recruiters are looking for and how to land a job interview in the United States. This includes a free Resume template and a Bonus Template ready to use!

Let’s get started with some general guidelines below:


Do # 1: Backward Chronology

Always start your resume by listing your work experience with your most recent experience FIRST and then work your way down with your oldest experience LAST.

Do # 2: Content

Do not just list your Position Title, Company and time worked in this position. This is only the header and should be followed by bullet points right underneath it, reflecting important tasks and responsibilities you had in this position. Another mistake applicants make is to have their experience sound like a job description (yawn!) instead of expressing their achievements.

Here is an example of a boring versus a good bullet point (using a Human Resources Professional as an example).

Boring example:

Human Resources Assistant (12/2016-10/2018)

Company 123, New York City (NY)

  • Recruiting and Posting jobs for the department.
  • Organized events and gatherings for employees.

Do your research on how Americans like to create and present their resumes!

Good example:

Human Resources Assistant (12/2016-10/2018)

Company 123, New York City (NY)

  • Initiating Recruiting efforts leading to a Reduction of time-to-hire by 40 percent and successful hiring of Top Talent
  • Responsible for internal events leading to increased Employee Engagement, decreasing turnover by 30 percent and resulting in an improved Company Culture.

See the difference here? Americans are result-oriented and really attracted to reading about achievements that show you are the right person for the job!

Tailor your Resume

When it comes to content, it is important that you TAILOR your resume based on the job description in the job post.

You need to show that your experience is relevant for that PARTICULAR job you are applying for.

Sometimes, you will be able to use the exact same resume to apply for multiple jobs.

BUT you need to pay close attention to what the job is asking for and make sure you change the content of your resume to get the employer’s attention!

In addition, bigger companies that receive a large volume of applications sometimes use a “Keyword filter”.

This means that their system will filter you out of your resume doesn’t have enough keywords reflected in their job post (and their job requirements).

So – make your content relevant and adjust it whenever needed- even if it is time-consuming. It will pay out at the end ?

Do # 3: Length

A lot of countries commonly expect a resume that is 4 to 10 pages long but that does not apply here!

Employers are quickly bored by lengthy resumes and only spend an average of 4 seconds to glance over your resume (we are speaking from personal experience since one of us is a former Recruiter).

This is why it is important to keep it short and sweet and have a resume that is between 1 and 3 pages long (only use 3 pages if you have a lot of experience, but never exceed 4 pages unless you absolutely have to).

The only sector that looks at this subject a little differently is the Government/ Military sector.

They have a very unique style of writing resumes or the information they disclose (such as Pay and Contact Information of past employers).

Those resumes tend to be really lengthy and very detailed. If you decide to apply for a Government job or a job on a military installation, I recommend doing your research on their preferred resume formatting.


EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity) is a big deal in the United States. Employers cannot discriminate against any applicants or employees based on a protected class (such as religion, ethnicity, skin color, etc.).

Therefore, do not include the following items in your resume:

  • A picture of yourself,
  • Your age,
  • Your marital status,
  • Whether you have children or not),
  • Your gender,
  • Your ethnicity,
  • Any disabilities or
  • Any other personal information not relevant to the job.

Some applicants even leave out their physical address to eliminate any bias/judgments based on the neighborhood they live in (we recommend just writing down the City instead, along with your name, phone number and email address on the very top of your resume).

If you need help building a design and content for your resume that is appropriate for the United States, you can find more Resources here.


Wild designs with a lot of objects and colors are very common in some countries.

However, American employers like it simple, with very few colors (if any, then only neutral colors such as dark blue or dark green, etc.) and minimal design.

And don’t forget: Do not create lengthy resumes that sound like job descriptions rather than a summary of your achievements.

Cover Letter

Create a Cover Letter that explains why you are the right person for the job.

Try not to use a generic letter that everyone uses and be creative. Remember- you want to stand out from the crowd!

Check if the job posts mentioned the name of the Recruiter or hiring manager. If so, personalize your cover letter by saying “Dear Ms. Jane Doe” instead of “Dear Ladies and Gentlemen”.

It shows that you put in extra effort and have done your research – now you already have an advantage over other applicants!

Next, do your research on the company and explain in your cover letter why you would love to work for them.

Again- this shows the employer that you have done your research and that you would be a team member that is excited about working there. You can choose reasons such as:

  • How much you love their products and why.
  • Being a customer who always wanted to be a part of their success (and what you can bring to the table).
  • Or, how much you love their company culture (based on the company’s values, business model, social engagement in the community, etc.) and why you would be a great fit.
  • Lastly: Why you would be a great fit for the position!

Finally, do not write a Cover Letter longer than half a page. Recruiters lose their patience quickly and the longer your letter, the higher the chance it is not going to be read fully!

Need help and just don’t know how to get started and make your resume look awesome?

Want to stop spending weeks on research and creating a potentially boring resume?

Then click below to start your American Resume Crash Course!

Did you complete the course and get an invitation for a Job Interview?

If the answer is yes, congratulations!

We would love to hear your success story and share it in our monthly Integr8 USA Updates! Just contact us here, we would love to connect with you!

If you would like to know more about working in the USA, click on the posts below!

Best Job Search in the USA

How to Master the Interview in America

Your first Day at Work in the USA: What you need to know!

Working in America – Overview

How to Finally Get a Job Offer in the USA & Avoid Common Mistakes

Simple Ways to look for Sponsored Jobs