Six job-search tips for expatriate wives

Many foreign job seekers may not know the best way to market themselves to a typical US employer. Here are five of the top tips to supercharge anyone’s job search in the US

Your CV Must Be “American-ized”

American companies expect your Curriculum Vitae to be re-written as a standard “US-style” resume. Any other format will be confusing to the employer and could result in your resume being discarded. American resumes should detail your education, employment history and achievements as in your CV, but in “American English" spelling and grammar. Job seekers should not forget to use the correct American terminologies for their profession as well. Using a distinctly American spell-check program and researching similar US technical terms online will help keep your document understandable. If your CV isn’t American-ized, you might as well not even bother applying; the American employer will find a standard CV confusing and may not take the time to read it.

Don't put personal demographic information on your resume.

Marital status, ethnicity, age, religion and photographs should all be left off of your resume in the U.S., because employers are not legally allowed to consider this information in the hiring process.

Be Proud Of Your Accomplishments

In a competitive job market, American employers need a really good reason to hire you over a similarly-qualified applicant. You may not be used to boasting about your accomplishments, but in America your prior successes really count. Think about the last time you successfully completed a project or helped create a “happy-customer” transaction. Make a list of at least three success stories, and be prepared to tell the American employer about them. Employers in the USA love to see statistics, too. List specific statistics related to your work accomplishments in your resume. This will really boost your resume’s credibility.

Keep Your Resume Concise And To The Point

There is an old American saying: time is money. This is no truer than when an employer is looking at your resume. An “American Resume” should be no more than two pages long and be easy to read. Above all, do not state the same information twice. If you have performed the same job for a number of employers or if you have tended to work in the same industry job after job, try to rephrase the job descriptions or find new terms to describe your tasks. This keeps the reader interested, and the resume interesting!

Be Yourself

American employers are looking for a person who will be a good fit for the job. When you are applying for a job to the USA and are many miles away, it may be tempting to overstate your skill or expertise level just to tip reader’s interest in your favor. A good resume always clearly states your credentials and expertise for the position – but stays on the safe side of hyperbole. Employers may be able to find 100 job candidates who are suitable for the job but they are also looking for a ‘real’ person who can deliver the skills and talent that their resume promises.

Network, network, network.

Meeting new people is essential to your search, as they can tell you more about the employment landscape here and about opportunities that are not yet publicly advertised. Find networking events or meet-up groups to expand your circle, and make sure to follow up and stay in touch with a personalized message on LinkedIn.

Be positive.

A positive attitude is an important part of U.S. professional culture. Americans are the "can do" people, and negativity doesn't sell here. Instead of focusing on frustrations with your job search, think about your strengths and share your excitement about new experiences and opportunities when talking about your search during networking or informational interviews.

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