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Do you think life would taste better if you were allowed to carry a Colt .45 on your belt at all times? Or perhaps you can’t live without the NYC pizza slice, or the LA traffic? All valid reasons to move to America.
The American resume format doesn’t differ that much from CVs around the world, but American CVs are something else and reserved mainly for academic position applications. The US resume format is pretty straight forward, so—alright, this is America, time is money.
First, let’s see a perfect American resume sample.
In this guide:
- An American resume sample better than most.
- How to make the US resume format.
- Expert tips and examples to boost your chances of landing a job.
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Looking for resume templates for certain positions? See:
- Resume With No Experience Sample
- Internship Resume Sample
- Entry-Level Resume Sample
- Career Change Resume Sample
- Federal Resume Sample
- Consultant Resume Sample
- Accounting Resume Sample
- Babysitter Resume Sample
- Nanny Resume Sample
- Bartender Resume Sample
- Server Resume Sample
- Barista Resume Sample
- Line Cook Resume Sample
- Food Service Resume Sample
- Waiter / Waitress Resume Sample
- Dishwasher Resume Sample
- Nursing Resume Sample
- Technical Resume Sample
- IT (Information Technology) Resume Sample
- Office Clerk Resume Sample
- Front Desk Resume Sample
- Data Entry Resume Sample
- Secretary Resume Sample
- Retail Resume Sample
- Good Resume Samples for All Jobs
US Resume Template You Can Copy and Use
Carol J. Grier
932 Hickory Heights Drive
Baltimore, MD 21234
Personable waitress with 3+ years of fine dining experience in a dynamic Baltimore location. Used to handling 300+ orders a shift with 100% accuracy, managed to maintain a 99.8% guest satisfaction score and win Waiter of the Month four times in a row. Looking to apply proven skills and friendly persona to provide world-class service at Gaucho’s.
The Lobster, Baltimore
- Fine-dining waitress in a high-traffic Baltimore location with $4m in annual revenue.
- Handling 300+ orders a shift, maintaining 100% accuracy.
- Maintained a 99.8% guest satisfaction score for 20 months in a row.
- Achieved “Waiter of a month” four months in a row.
- Taking care of 10+ tables at once, meeting standards of the restaurant.
- Trained 5 crew members, checking their menu knowledge once a month.
- Implemented new menu introduction strategy, increasing customers purchases of desserts by 20%.
- Interpersonal skills
- Employee training
- Wine and food pairing
BA in Food and Nutrition, 2015-2017
University of Maryland, College Park, US
- Spanish (fluent)
- Portuguese (intermediate)
- German (basic)
- First Aid, CPR, BLS (American Red Cross)
Seems easy enough. Let’s start your own. Here’s how to write an American resume:
1. Use the US Resume Format
Most American resume templates order your experience in the reverse-chronological resume format. This brings the most recent stuff to the top, and creates an easily skimmable structure.
If you’re undergoing a career change, or you are at the very beginning of your career, you could opt for a skills-based resume, also called a functional resume format. This will shift the spotlight to your chosen skills and will help justify any employment gaps or other positions.
Now let’s run through all the relevant US resume sections.
2. Add a Proper Header
Of course, you don’t need to be told that you need to include a resume header, however, it’s important you check you haven’t missed anything important. It should include your address, phone number you can always be reached on, and email address, at the very least.
For office and corporate jobs (careers), most people add a LinkedIn profile. This allows you more depth and information (if they want it), without exceeding acceptable resume length (more about that later).
For specialist jobs, portfolio links are needed, for example, Behance for graphic designers, GitHub for programmers, etc.
American Style Resume Header
3. Write a Resume Profile
After all the organizational details comes the resume profile. This is a 4-8 line paragraph outlining who you are and why you are applying for the job—the ‘why’ being your 2-3 biggest achievements, not ‘because I have rent to pay and 2 kids’!
For someone with substantial experience and some achievements, a resume summary is best. If you’re early in your career, and you want to focus on your transferable skills and ambition, you should use a resume objective.
USA Resume Profile
4. List Your Work Experience
When thinking what to include on your resume, obviously work experience is the first thing that comes to mind. However, recording it correctly can be tricky.
Every work experience section should be structured with your job title, the name of the company you worked for, and the employment dates for each entry. Each of those should contain a list of bullet points describing your responsibilities.
However, the perfect resume for America will follow this job description:
- Bullet point explaining the primary role, the size and type of company, the type of work, i.e.: ‘Fine-dining waitress in a high-traffic Baltimore location with $4m in annual revenue.’
- Bullet point explaining your primary responsibility, with numbers, i.e.: ‘Handling 300+ orders a shift, maintaining 100% accuracy.’
- Few bullet points discussing specific achievements, i.e.: ‘Achieved “Waiter of a month” four months in a row.’
- A bullet point or two discussing teamwork and mentoring achievements, i.e.:’Trained 5 crew members, checking their menu knowledge once a month.’
Avoid discussing boring responsibilities—they know what the job entails. At least 75% of your bullet points should contain achievements or numbers to back yourself up.
More job description for US resume tips:
- Start each bullet point with a resume power words, i.e ‘Implemented’, ‘Improved’, ‘Generated’, etc.
- Use 6-10 bullet points for your most recent position, and limit yourself to 3 for older positions.
- Use resume keywords from the job ad to make sure your American resume will pass through the Applicant Tracking Systems that look for specific phrases.
- Only include positions that are relevant, or have transferable skills.
American Resume Example Work History
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5. Mention Your Education on a US Resume
The importance of the education section on your resume will differ depending on your industry and amount of experience.
Starting from your highest qualification, list the degree or diploma name, and below, school name and location. List a graduation date. If you have a degree, skip the high school stuff.
If you don’t have much work experience and this is one of your first jobs, you can list some academic achievements in bullet points below, such as scholarships. If that’s not going to fill much space, you can list coursework that is relevant to your new job.
Education on a US Resume Example
6. List Your Skills
You will notice that most modern resumes look similar, and contain a skills section, if not fully fledged, then at least in a tab on the side.
Do you have skills that you want to highlight for your employer? Or perhaps you have some skills that don’t warrant a full bullet point elsewhere, but you’d still like to include? This is where it goes.
This will help pass through the ATS systems. Tip: ATS systems don’t look for ‘punctuality’. Focus on real, specialist skills. According to LinkedIn, these are the skills in demand:
American Resume Skills
- Emotional Intelligence
- Cloud Computing
- Analytical Reasoning
- Artificial Intelligence
- UX Design
- Business Analysis
- Affiliate Marketing
- Scientific Computing
- Video Production
And this is how this section should be formatted on your resume:
Skills Section on American Resumes
7. Add Additional US Resume Sections
Most resumes will contain a confusing, irrelevant mishmash of stuff in a badly structured ‘Additional Info’ section. It’s one of the most common resume mistakes.
Everything should be clearly structured, so include bonus resume sections under these clear headings:
- Association memberships
- Volunteer work
- Additional activities
Extra Sections of American Resume Template
Expert Hint: Only include relevant things—remember your US resume is a picture of you as a perfect candidate, not the fullest possible picture of your person.
8. Format Your US Resume Properly
Your resume needs to look the part, too. This why you should follow these US resume format rules:
US Resume Format
- Font — Use a clear and readable resume font like a 10–12pt Calibri.
- Margins — Use 1-inch resume margins, even on all sides to frame your resume.
- Spacing — Use 1.15 line spacing, and leave space between sections.
- Length — How long should a resume be? 1 page is enough for most jobs.
- File Format — resume in PDF or DOC? Unless specified otherwise, save it as PDF.
These tips will get you a job:
- First, really think about what you want, and what success means to YOU.
- Target your resume for every single position to maximize your chances.
- Update your resume every time you gain a meaningful achievement.
- Don’t lie on your resume.
- Only provide references on request.
Make sure you don’t include the following on your US resume:
- Country of origin
- Date of birth
- Immigrant status
- Marital status
- Number of children
- Personal identification numbers
- Social Security Number
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For a US resume that gets interviews:
- Use the chronological resume format.
- Put your achievementsin your summary, work history, education, and other sections to show you’ve got what they need.
- Pick the right skills. Look through the job description of interest and check wheat the employer needs.
- Write a cover letter. Make it stand out by showing your passion and how you’ll really help the store.
Did we answer all your questions on the American resume format? Was our US resume template helpful? Leave a comment. We’ll be happy to reply.