How to Apply for a Job in the U.S.

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Today we’re sharing the best résumé we’ve ever found and tips on how to make your own better. We spoke with Sandra, a tech recruiter at Twitter, for some insight on what she looks for in a qualified applicant. She shares the following 8 ways you can improve your résumé immediately:

1) Proofread everything. Twice.

“Have a friend read what you wrote and give you feedback. Make sure you’re not sending something out with the wrong verb tense or a typo. Format dates as month/day/year.” Always do your own review after your friend. You may notice something you’d like to re-word or say more clearly.

2) Clearly share your contact info and links.

“If I see someone is really qualified but there’s no way to contact them, I might make a note to follow-up and look for them online. But there’s a chance that I’ll get busy and may not get around to following up and finding their contact info.” Make space at the top of your résumé for:

  • Your phone number
  • Your home address
  • Your email address
  • Your portfolio or website link (don’t include social profiles unless it’s relevant to the job)

3) Put your work experience first.

“I like to see the work experience first. Then relevant skills below that. If you don’t have that much job experience, we want to see internships.” Your experience is more important to recruiters than mission statements or keywords relating to your position. You can also include relevant, unpaid projects. “If you made something—like an app—put that on there. Even if it wasn’t for a job, if it’s relevant to the job, we want to see that. It shows us that you’re passionate.”

4) Only share your GPA if it’s impressive.

“Unless it’s particularly high—like a 3.0 or higher—don’t put it on there.” As a general rule, only share extra information when it’s specifically requested or if it makes you stand out as a candidate.

5) Present only relevant skills for the job.

“I should be able to see what programming languages you know. People sometimes hide this on the second page or they add in skills that are not relevant. If you’re an engineer, for example, we don’t need to know about your experience with Microsoft Word.” Don’t share everything you’ve ever done. Recruiters are looking past that information for your relevant skills, only.

6) Fit it onto one page.

“One page is ideal. People sometimes make their résumés too long or wordy. Keep it short, with one or two bullet points for each job.” Keep white space if possible and try to please the reader’s eye. Think about visual presentation by balancing with bullets, italics, and bold font.

7) Share your title, location, and date from each job.

“This is what I’m looking for in your work experience: your title clearly displayed, where you worked, and when you worked there.” For each position you list, make your title, location, and date stand out by putting them in bold or a slightly bigger font.

8) Compare your résumé to the job description.

Read job descriptions carefully and use their wording when you list skills or requirements. Some companies use a tool that finds particular words in your résumé. If those words are not found, you may be automatically rejected. “The more your résumé resembles what’s in that job description, the better your chances are. If you make sure you have all of the ‘Must-Have’ or required parts of a job description, you’ll most likely get a call back.”

And now, we’ll share as close to a perfect résumé as we’ve ever seen. This is a real résumé, from a former international student who is now building their career as a front-end engineer in the U.S.

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