So you’ve decided to make the plunge and apply to internships in the good old red, white and blue country of cowboys, hotdogs, and Hollywood. But before you press send on your application it’s important to make sure you are sending a US resume format resume rather than a CV. The details might be minor but they can make the difference in getting a callback.
Best tips to convert your European CV into a working US resume:
- The first thing I learned when writing my US resume was that it should not exceed 1 page. People in the US value time and if they are getting hundreds of resumes they want to be able to quickly scan them for relevant experience.
- It must also therefore feature only relevant information. If you are applying to an internship in marketing, they won’t care that you were a babysitter in high school or that you worked at Starbucks last summer, unless you can specifically tie it to the job you are applying for using key terms.
- Use a clear layout. Bullet points, bold headings, a clear structure. Make sure that your relevant job titles stand out the most by bolding them.
- Do not add a picture. It is considered discriminatory for US companies to request a photograph and therefore most resumes do not have one.
- Highlight your skills, especially relevant software such as SalesForce or Microsoft, languages, public speaking etc.
- Stand out. Like I said, companies are looking a hundreds of resumes so don’t be afraid to use a different layout or design in order to make yourself unique. Depending on the industry you can apply more interesting designs such as for startups, tech, and design firms.
- Make a lot of versions. You should not just have one resume. You should have one for each kind of job you are applying for. If you are applying for social media marketing intern, have a resume that highlights your experience in that field, and if you are applying for one in finance have another resume for that.
Use key words and phrases. In order to tailor your resume to the job you are applying to use key words from the internship description in your experience description. You can also look up key words for the industry to make sure you are on trend.
The key words to remember are relevant and short. Keep in mind that someone is scanning your resume rather than reading it thoroughly. What information is most important for them to see? Unlike a CV, a resume is not a history of you and your experience but rather a snapshot of your best qualities in relation to the position.
Here are some extra tips to help:
Happy internship hunting!