Life in the USA
Making a Living
Finding a Job
Americanizing Your Résumé
This article is courtesy of Kathryn Hayman
Many immigrants face challenges when seeking employment and economic stability in a new
country. Such obstacles include having a résumé that is not formatted to North American
standards and requirements. Other barriers include:
Most international résumés contain private and personal information that goes against
anti-discrimination laws in both Canada and the United States. If any of the following are
included in an existing résumé, it may be overlooked by the hiring manager or human
resource specialist, losing the opportunity to be selected for an interview. Examples of what
not to include in a résumé:
- Lack of information and awareness about foreign credential recognition services and
- Unaccustomed to North American style of job search and interviewing.
- Not fully understanding North American legislation, standards and requirements when
preparing a résumé.
Solutions for newcomer? The first step is to understand what a résumé means in the North
American labour market. The primary purpose of the résumé is to get an interview.
Individuals need to create a marketable portfolio that will help them integrate into the North
American labour market. Here are some helpful hints:
- Date of Birth
- Passport Information
The following criteria should be kept in mind when selecting this type of service:
- Stay away for internet based résumé templates! Not only will they make individual
résumés look like everyone else in the pile, they typically do not properly highlight key
competencies, personal/technical skills, education and transferable skills.
- Create a résumé that includes clear and accurate information about credentials
and professional designations. résumés are usually partnered when going through a credential
recognition process such as PLAR (Prior Learning Assessment Recognition).
- Have access to translation services or computer programs. This ensures individuals are
properly communicating their interests, goals and credentials that are most relevant to the
- Use a reputable résumé writing service that is either community based or on the
If you are new to North America, a well written résumé is your passport to a job in Canada
or the United States. It is typically the first item a potential employer encounters regarding
the job seeker and sets the tone in recruiting the right fit for their organization or company.
- Résumé writing services should completed and deliver a finished résumé within one
week. Be cautious of guaranteed turn around time of less than two days, quite
likely they are using a internet based template.
- They should offer translation services.
- Very important, especially web-based résumé writing services, is that they offer
secure, safe payment methods such as PayPal or other encrypted processes. This
way individuals will be protected against identity theft that is unfortunately rampant
on the internet.
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