Customize Your Resume for the United States and Canada
Before you get your resume translated into English, have you ensured that it’s been customized to suit the country where you’re applying for a job? After all, different cultures have different requirements for resumes. For example:
- In Turkey, where military service is compulsory, you’re expected to show your military status on your CV.
- A typical German resume includes personal details such as age, marital status, nationality, and hobbies.
- Traditionally, resumes in Japan (known as rirekesho) have been handwritten; with the advent of electronic job applications, this is dying out, but applicants are still expected to use a standardized form.
Here are some tips for ensuring that your resume is correctly formatted when applying for a job in the U.S. or Canada:
In the United States, a resume for an entry-level candidate will typically be only a page long. Mid-career and senior job applicants can have longer resumes. (One exception: academia, where it’s known as a CV, short for curriculum vitae, and often lists every article published and paper presented.)
If you’re worried about how to fit every job you’ve ever held on a resume, Alison Green of the career advice blog Ask a Manager advises that “a resume is a marketing document; you’re not required to list every job you’ve ever held.”
American employers are forbidden by law from making hiring decisions based on a candidate’s age, marital status, or religion, among other characteristics. To avoid the appearance of bias, they typically won’t solicit information about these characteristics, and it’s customary not to include them on a resume. The same goes for photographs – unless you’re responding to an ad seeking an actor or a model, leave them off.
Keep your formatting simple and tasteful. Now isn’t the time to use clip art or unusual fonts. Unless you’re in an industry where design know-how is paramount, stick to a straightforward template. As long as your document is neat and professional, the content matters more than the format.
Once you’ve taken care of these main points, the professional translators and proofreaders at TranslationPal will handle the rest. They’ll make your work history and skills pop in English by using powerful, precise language that will catch a hiring manager’s attention.
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