Before you begin applying for Jobs in the United States, you should prepare an American style resume. A Resume is different than a CV. American resumes follow a specific format different to what we use in Ireland. This is very important because if your resume does not follow a format the hiring manager is used to, he or she may view it as poorly prepared. Remember even the best CV in Ireland may not be appropriate for an employer in the US.
Limit the length of your resume to one page, single-sided. Create your resume on 8.5 x 11 inch paper with 0.5 - 1 inch margins on all sides. This is the standard size for an American resume. If you are sending your resume via post, print it on quality paper that is the same colour as your cover letter. Do not include personal information such as age, gender, height, weight, marital status, photos, etc. It is illegal for U.S. employers to make employment decisions based on certain attributes or preferences of applicants. If you share this kind of information in your resume, you may actually discourage an employer from contacting you out of fear of future legal problems. Do not use abbreviations.
Align text with tabs instead of spaces to ensure all formatting remains consistent. Order your education and work experience chronologically with the most recent at the top. Educational experience should include the name of all post-secondary institutions attended, the degree or certificate received, the dates of attendance, and any honors or awards that you received. You may also briefly mention specific courses or projects that you completed if they are relevant to the requirements of the Jobs for which you are applying. For your work and volunteer experience, list the company or organization name and location on the first line. On the second line, list your title and department (if applicable).
Include a short section at the end of your resume that includes a description of any special skills you have such as knowledge of computer programs and foreign languages. Spell check the resume at least two times, using an English spell check program. Once you have completed your own edits and corrections, have someone else review your resume for mistakes Save your resume as both Microsoft Word and text only formats, as some employers and job sites accept only one of these. If you have the ability to save your resume as a PDF, this can be a better format to use when sending email attachments because compatibility issues can sometimes arise with other file types.
Remember that your resume is a reflection of you.
When you are responding to a Job announcement, it is a good idea to make your resume specific to the position you are seeking. To do this, present your educational and professional experience in a way that matches the requirements and duties of the position.
For example, if a Job position is advertised and states that the applicant should be familiar with budgeting principles, you should include descriptions of any projects you completed in school or in your job that is related to managing expenses, conducting financial analysis, or using accounting software and/or spreadsheets. Your cover letter is another important place to draw attention to any specific experience or preparation that makes you qualified for the position you want.