Syracuse UniversityCareer Services

BlogFacebookTwitterYoutubeInstagramLinkedIn
build-web.png

AMERICAN STYLE RESUMES

Some elements of resumes that are essential or useful in other countries are not necessary for a resume in the United States. If you are applying in the U.S., consider removing the following:

  • Personal information, including marital status, identification number, your parents’ names, and your date of birth.
  • Aggregate grades, since many U.S. employers will not understand what they are. Try to find another way to describe your undergraduate academic performance (e.g., “Ranked 5 out of 100 students” or “Graduated with honors”).
  • Visible charts and tables can be distracting. If you use a table to organize information on your resume, make sure the lines are not visible.
  • All capital letters to draw attention to a word or name. Except for acronyms, use of all caps is not correct grammar. Use capital letters only to begin proper nouns (e.g., company names, countries, etc.).
  • Written addresses may vary from country to country. For example, the American format does not typically include dashes; see the sample resumes (to the right) for examples.
  • If you are currently living in the U.S. and applying for internships or jobs here, there is no need to write U.S. or U.S.A. For phone numbers, there is no need to include an international calling code prefix, but always include your area code, even for local opportunities.


STRENGTHEN YOUR RESUME

Since the person who best matches the position requirements is most likely to be interviewed, your resume will stand out if you keep in mind your skills and experience as well as the employer’s needs as you craft your resume. Here are some tips that will help you strengthen your resume:

  • Delete references from your resume. References can be sent separately as needed. There is also no need to write “references available on request,” because it will be assumed.
  • It is common to want to include all of your academic projects, but it is more strategic to include the projects that demonstrate your skills to match the position or program you seek.
  • For the projects you decide to include, describe your contributions and accomplishments rather than focusing on a description the project itself.
  • If you have a long list of extracurricular activities, choose the ones that will resonate most with an employer. For those you include, make sure that the descriptions of your roles are clear.
  • You may want to include a brief and specific objective. If so, it should clearly state what type of position you are looking for, such as a co-op, internship, or full-time position. It should also clearly state the field or specialty, such as software development or product design. Finally, it should briefly indicate the skills and qualities you would contribute to the opportunity.