10 Hacks for Converting your Irish CV into an American Resume

One of the biggest difference between Irish and US job hunts is how you present yourself. Two and even three page CV’s are fairly common in Ireland, no matter what kind of job you’re applying for but in the US, time is quite literally money.

With the greatest respect, they don’t want to know your dog’s name or what you got on a Friday Quiz in 4th class. They want to know what you’re about, what you can do and fast! 

With this in mind, here’s our 10 best hacks for ‘Americaning’ your CV…

1 . Your Address and Phone Number

Conundrum number 1 – You’re applying to work for American companies, but you’ve got and Irish address and phone number, some people who’ve got relatives in the US put their address on it, but from our experience we wouldn’t recommend it.

It’s perfectly acceptable to not put an address on your resume, so that’s that sorted, as for the phone number, have a look at number 10 on this list for some skype tips.

2. Designing Your One-Page Profile

Employers tend to just give your resume a quick 20-second scan, so try and jazz it up a bit by using a unique template, giving it an edgy layout. Popping a small headshot of yourself on the top of your resume can’t hurt either and gives the employer a face to remember. If your lucky enough to have any graphic designer friends get them to do you a favour and spruce up your resume to make it one of a kind!

3. Be Ruthless With That A4 Real Estate

An American resume should be one page long if at all possible.  It’s time to get ruthless with your 3-page CV. Wipe out that section about he summer you spent sweeping floors in your uncle’s shop when you were 13!

Get rid of anything that isn’t relevant to the jobs that you are applying for and take your hobbies in a hurry. Its all about being as clear and concise as possible. Try to only include details that are relative to the specific role your applying for, see the next tip for more on that.

4. One Resume For One Job, Ten For Ten…

Most of us are guilty of being a bit lazy and sending the same exact version of our resume through to 100 different employers, If you’ve got a a company you really want to work for, your going to have to tailor each resume to each different employer, a crafty way of doing this is to put a short snappy objective in the header and mention the companys name in it.

5. Make Your Visa Status Scream Off The Page

Its vital that when a US employer is reading your resume that your visa details are as clear as day. If they pick your resume up and see an Irish address they will automatically assume that you’re probably seeking sponsorship and you know what that means? A one way trip to the shredder! Make it crystal clear that you have a J-1 type of visa; that your eligible to work in the USA for X amount of days and that there is no sponsorship required.

6. Calculate Your GPA

There’s no need whatsoever to have your secondary school details on your resume, instead, flesh out the section on your college degree and go into more detail about your different modules. If you can, calculate your GPA and throw that in, (First Class Honours, Second Class Honours, Grade 1, etc.) that will help too.

7. Waffles Are For Breakfast, Not CV’s

Us Irish are great wafflers but unfortunately, that’s not going to help our American resumes.  Stick to the facts and don’t try to bulk up your resume with buzz words and fluff – the only thing you’re telling the employer when you do this is that you are not unique or creative in any way..

8. List the victories, not the actions

There’s no point in taking up space on your resume listing your everyday duties at your previous jobs, because chances are, if your applying to a job similar to one that you’ve had in the past, the employer will know your duties just by looking at the job description, instead list your achievements during your time at the company, ways that you improved the company etc, for example increasing sales by 10%, increasing organisation, setting up clubs. All of this sort of stuff is what’s going to give you that edge and help you stand out to employers!

9. Create A Digital Trail To Your Past

Popping a link of your previous employer’s companies website is a clever way to give your potential new employers the chance to get a better idea of the companies that you’ve worked for in the past. You should especially do this if the name of the company doesn’t give an idea of what industry it operates in.

10. Add Your Social Profiles, They’ll Find Them Anyway

By now we should all have a good up to date LinkedIn profile, it can be really helpful in landing your dream J1 job. If you’ve a profile, include your LinkedIn handle on your resume. You’ll also want your Skype handle on there too as it’s the best way for them to get in touch with you as you only have an Irish phone number.

And lastly, this one is if you’re brave enough, include your Twitter handle as well, if it’s appropriate for the job that is. Have these in a section on their own on your resume, and use clip art of the various social media logos to make it look as sharp as possible.  You want the company to see that you are tech savvy and available for a Skype interview upon request.

As we’ve just mentioned above, LinkedIn can be really helpful in landing your dream J1 job, and lucky for all you potential J1ers, there are extra tickets available for tomorrow’s J1 jobs talk with our friends at LinkedIn.