Top 5 Ways to Update Your Resume for American Recruiters

image: Steve Berardi

As recruiting begins for the next class of MBAs, here are my top 5 ways to update your resume for American recruiters. 

5. Remove your photograph.
Many countries prefer or even require a photograph on your resume. In the US, it’s just not done. Americans are very egalitarian, and aim to reward based on merit. A resume provides a vehicle for recruiters to form an opinion based on a candidate’s qualifications rather than their looks.
4. Transform “we” statements into “I” statements.
The US is a very individualistic society. American recruiters want to see what you have accomplished during your career, not what your team has accomplished. To be fair, team results are important, but strive to highlight your individual contributions or your individual contributions to the team’s success on your resume.

3. Structure with bullet points and action verbs.
Controlling time and communicating directly are two deeply ingrained US cultural values. We’ve talked a lot on this blog about how much Americans love to manage time. Most recruiters spend about 2 minutes glancing over a resume to decide if they want to spend more time with it. Bullet points control the flow, and action verbs lead to the succinct communication most Americans prefer.  

2. Quantify whenever possible.
Americans love numbers, almost as much as we love controlling time. Most Americans are motivated by status, and nothing reflects status like dollar signs and growth. Stay within any confidentiality agreements you’ve signed, of course, but quantify your bullets whenever possible.
1. Add the most relevant pieces of you under “Additional Information.”
As direct communicators, most American recruiters would launch into intense questioning straight away if given the choice. However, they know you have to take the time to build a bit of rapport before the heavy interviewing begins. Adding “Additional Information” to your resume gives recruiters a place to start the conversation. Add something interesting and relevant that will help your personality shine when you make it to the interview. Because that’s what it’s all about, right?

Author: Grayson Leverenz

Grayson Leverenz founded MBA in the USA® to help international students build networks, find jobs, and have fun in the USA. Hundreds of global professionals have benefited from Grayson’s intercultural workshops, and she has worked with people from Brazil, China, India, South Africa, South Korea, the UK, and the USA to build effective virtual teams and craft brilliant careers.

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