US CV Format (American Resume Template + Samples)

Land of the brave, home of the free. You’re free to do as you like here! Apart from the US CV format. Turns out Americans are pretty attached to it.

Dave Rygielski
Dave Rygielski
Career Expert
US CV Format (American Resume Template + Samples)

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, so—alright, this is America, time is money. 

  

In this guide:

  • An American resume template better than most.
  • How to make the US CV format.
  • Expert tips and examples to boost your chances of landing a job.

 

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american CV templates

 

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Looking for CV templates for certain positions? See:

 

US Resume Template You Can Copy and Use

 

Carol J. Grier

932 Hickory Heights Drive

Baltimore, MD 21234

443-885-1957

CarolJGrier@dayrep.com

 

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.

 

Work Experience

 

Waitress

The Lobster, Baltimore

May 2017—Present

  • 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%.

 

Skills

 

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Teamwork
  • Employee training
  • Wine and food pairing
  • Multitasking

 

Education

 

BA in Food and Nutrition, 2015-2017

University of Maryland, University Park, US

 

Languages

 

  • Spanish (fluent)
  • Portuguese (intermediate)
  • German (basic)

 

Certifications

 

  • First Aid, CPR, BLS (American Red Cross)

 

Seems easy enough. Let’s start your own. Here’s how to write an American CV:

 

1. Use the US Resume Format 

 

Most American resume templates order your experience in the reverse-chronological CV 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 CV, also called a functional CV 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 CV sections.

 

2. Add a Proper Header

 

Of course, you don’t need to be told that you need to include a CV 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 CV 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

Good Example

Carol J. Grier

932 Hickory Heights Drive

Baltimore, MD 21234

443-885-1957

CarolJGrier@dayrep.com

3. Write a Resume Profile

 

After all the organisational details comes the CV 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 CV 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 CV objective.

 

USA CV Profile 

Good Example
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.

4. List Your Work Experience

 

When thinking what to include on your CV, 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 CV 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 CV tips:

  • Start each bullet point with a CV 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 CV keywords from the job ad to make sure your American CV will pass through the Applicant Tracking Systems that look for specific phrases.
  • Only include positions that are relevant, or have transferable skills.

 

American CV Example Work History 

Good Example

Waitress

The Lobster, Baltimore

May 2017—Present

  • 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%.

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5. Mention Your Education on a US CV

 

The importance of the education section on your CV 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 CV Example

Good Example

Education

 

BA in Food and Nutrition, 2015-2017

University of Maryland, University Park, US

6. List Your Skills

 

You will notice that most modern CVs 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

 

 

Soft Skills

 

  • Creativity
  • Persuasion
  • Collaboration
  • Adaptability
  • Emotional Intelligence

 

Hard Skills

 

  • Blockchain
  • Cloud Computing
  • Analytical Reasoning
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • UX Design
  • Business Analysis
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Sales
  • Scientific Computing
  • Video Production

 

And this is how this section should be formatted on your CV:

 

Skills Section on American CVs

Good example

Skills

 

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Teamwork
  • Employee training
  • Wine and food pairing
  • Multitasking

7. Add Additional US CV Sections

 

Most CVs will contain a confusing, irrelevant mishmash of stuff in a badly structured ‘Additional Info’ section. It’s one of the most common CV mistakes

 

Everything should be clearly structured, so include bonus CV sections under these clear headings:

 

Extra Sections of American CV Template

Good Example

Languages

 

  • Spanish (fluent)
  • Portuguese (intermediate)
  • German (basic)

 

Certifications

 

  • First Aid, CPR, BLS (American Red Cross)

Expert Hint: Only include relevant things—remember your US CV is a picture of you as a perfect candidate, not the fullest possible picture of your person. 

8. Format Your US CV Properly

 

Your CV needs to look the part, too. This why you should follow these US CV format rules:

 

US CV Format

 

 

These tips will get you a job:

 

Make sure you don’t include the following on your US CV:

  • Age
  • Country of origin
  • Date of birth
  • Ethnicity
  • Immigrant status
  • Marital status
  • Number of children
  • Personal identification numbers
  • Photo
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Social Security Number

 

One last thing. Write a cover letter. There’s no better way to get your foot in the door at a target company.

 

Double your impact with a matching CV and cover letter combo. Use our cover letter builder and make your application documents pop out.

 

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Want to try a different look? There’s 18 more. A single click will give your document a total makeover. Pick a cover letter template here.

 

Key Points

 

For a US resume that gets interviews:

  • Use the chronological CV 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 CV format? Was our US CV template helpful? Leave a comment. We’ll be happy to reply.

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Dave Rygielski
Dave Rygielski
Dave is a career expert delivering a wide range of well-researched advice regarding the job hunting and application process. At ResumeLab, his data-driven resume and cover letter guides help readers capitalize on their potential.

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