US Resume (Format, Tips & Examples for 2024)

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If you’re applying for a job in the US, you’ll need to submit a resume that meets US application standards.

As a foreigner, though, you may have little to no idea what a US resume is and how you should write one to land the job. 

Even as an American, you might need to dust off your knowledge on the US resume. 

Unless you’re a resume expert, you probably don’t know what’s the best format for a US resume, or what’s the correct page length. 

But worry not! This article is here to teach you all there is to know about writing a convincing US resume.

Here’s what we’re going to cover: 

  • US Resume Specifics 

Step-By-Step Guide to Build Your US Resume

  • Formatting Your US Resume

What NOT To Include in Your US Resume

Ready? Let’s dive in! 

US Resume Specifics

There are a few specific things you need to know when it comes to the US resumes, but let’s start off with the most important: 

The term US resume is equivalent to the European CV. 

Both are one-page documents that summarize your relevant experiences, tailored for a specific job you’re applying for.


  • The common length of a US resume is between 1-3 pages. If you are a recent graduate or someone with less than 5 years of relevant work experience, a one-page resume is enough, whereas if you are a seasoned professional, you can go for 2. In rare cases, you can do 3, but that’s rarely encouraged. 
  • Standard American English is preferred. For the most part, this means dropping those extra “U”s that UK English uses (e.g. “color” instead of “colour”). 
  • Leave out personal information , such as marital status, birthday, gender, photo, number of children, age, religion, personal identification numbers, and ethnicity/country of origin, as they can be grounds for discrimination.
  • Don’t include references in your US resume unless the employer specifically asks you to.
  • Don’t list English as a foreign language in your US resume (unless English isn’t your foreign language).
  • Don’t list your GPA, SAT, TOEFL, or ACT scores on your US resume unless otherwise stated. More often than not, the recruiter doesn't care.  

Now that you know the specifics of a US resume, it’s time to start writing one. 

Not sure where to start? 

Below is a step-by-step guide to building the perfect US resume, starting with: 

#1. Choose the Right Format 

The most popular US resume format is the chronological format (also known as the reverse-chronological format). 

This format is widely preferred by recruiters, and for a good reason—it puts the focus on your work experience by starting with your most recent job and making your way back. 

The reverse-chronological format looks like this:

reverse chronological us resume format

99% of the time, we recommend using the reverse-chronological resume format, as both US and international recruiters are used to it.

Want to learn more about different resume formats ? Check out our article.

#2. Follow These Formatting Tips

Making sure your US resume looks professional and is reader-friendly is just as important as what it contains. 

Here are some essential formatting tips to perfect your US resume: 

  • Make sure your US resume is divided into clear, separate sections. 
  • Use 1-1.15 line spacing.
  • Keep your US resume length between 1-2 pages. Only go for a third page if you are a seasoned professional with plenty of relevant work experience.
  • Use a professional but easy-to-read resume font . 
  • Opt for ample white space to make your resume easier on the eye.
  • Use the "US Letter" size (8.5 x 11 inches) when saving your PDF (instead of A4). In Novorésumé's editor , for example, you can switch this from "Layout" in the top menu. 

us letter format for resume

...Or Use a Resume Template 

No matter what format you choose, using a standard text editor like MS Word to create your US resume will be a pain. 

You have to choose the right font, adjust the margins, order your sections the right way, and make sure the end result looks good & easy to follow…

All this can take hours of your time before you can even start filling your resume with content!

Want to skip all the hustle?  

Use a resume builder. With just one click, you can choose out of 8+ resume templates and start building your resume instantly!

Our resume builder is fast, easy, and most importantly, the end result looks absolutely stunning.

See for yourself! Here's an example of our resumes saved in the US Letter format: 

us resume example

Choose one of these templates and tailor it to your needs! 

#2. List Your Contact Information 

Once you’ve picked the resume format (or template), it’s time to start filling in the contents.

The first thing on your US resume should be your contact information , which includes:

  • Name and surname
  • Phone number (US phone number, that is)
  • Address (City and State)

Optionally, you can also include links to a personal website, online portfolio, or even LinkedIn profile, but make sure to check if they are up to date and present you in the best light.

#3. Express Yourself in Your Resume Profile

Your resume profile is a short, introductory paragraph of your career or your professional goals. 

Depending on how it’s written, a resume profile is also known as either a resume summary or objective .

  • Resume Summary , or a 2-3 sentence summary of your career.
  • Resume Objective , or your motivation for getting into a new field (the goal of your resume, if you wish).

If you’re a seasoned professional with several years of experience, you should use a resume summary to highlight your experience and achievements. 

On the other hand, if you’re at the start of your career or if you’re changing industries, opt for a resume objective , as it’s less about work experience and more about skills or goals.

Your resume profile must be brief and to the point. Preferably, it should be between 2-3 sentences and urge the hiring manager to read the rest of your resume. 

Here’s an example of a well-written resume summary: 

  • “Marketing manager with 4+ years of experience in a corporate environment. Good eye for design, with experience in creating marketing materials with Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and Canva. Intermediate copywriting skills, having worked on the company website, flyers, and several other content pieces.”

job search masterclass novoresume

#4. Add Your Work Experience 

Unless you’re a recent graduate, your work experience section is the most important part of your resume, as it shows your past accomplishments and responsibilities. 

This section commonly includes the following: 

  • Job Title/Position , so that the recruiter scanning your application knows right away you have the relevant experience for the job. 
  • Company name and location . In some cases, especially if your previous employer isn’t as well-known, you may also want to add a brief company description. 
  • Dates employed in the mm/yyyy format. 
  • Accomplishments and responsibilities , which make up the core of each work entry. Depending on your field and years of experience, you want to list either responsibilities or achievements, in bullet points. 

Here’s a concrete example: 

work experience on a resume

Now there’s one thing to list your work experience and an entirely different thing to write a work experience section that’ll help you stand out from a pool of hundreds of applicants.

Here are a few tips to achieve the latter:

  • List your achievements when possible and use action words to mention your responsibilities. 
  • When describing your achievements or responsibilities, follow this formula : “accomplished [X] as measured by [Y] by doing [Z]” (or, start with a verb, numerically measure what you accomplished, provide a baseline for comparison, and detail what you did to achieve your goal.)
  • Add 4-6 bullet points for your most recent position and fewer as you go back in time.
  • Even if you’re a senior professional with many years of experience, don’t go back further than 15 years. The recruiter doesn’t care what you’ve been up to so long ago.
  • Tailor your resume to the job description. Read the job ad you’re applying for and identify the top experiences or skills listed. Then, make sure that your US resume includes the ones you’re qualified for.

#5. Include Your Education

Your education comes underneath the work experience section in your US resume.

Here are the essentials of how this section needs to be formatted and what to include there:

  • Program Name. E.g.: “B.A. in Business Administration”
  • University Name. E.g.: “Penn State University”
  • Years Attended. E.g.: “08/2008 - 06/2012”

Here’s how this looks like in practice:

B.A. in Business Administration

NYC State University

08/2016 - 05/2019

  • Magna Cum Laude
  • Minor in Finance 

Finally, here are some tips and tricks on how to get this section done right:

  • If you lack work experience, place your education section right on top of your resume. This way, you’ll put more emphasis on your academic background than your lack of experience.
  • Add courses that are relevant to the industry you are applying to in case you lack work experience (e.g. Design & Layout, for a Graphic Designer position).
  • Mention your latest educational entry on top. E.g. Master’s Degree goes on top of a B.A. which goes on top of your high school degree. 
  • If you have a university degree, don’t mention your high school degree at all. 

#6. Emphasize Your Strengths in Your Skills Section

Another staple of a US resume is the skills section. This includes all the know-how that makes you the perfect candidate for the job. 

There are two types of skills you want to include: 

  • Hard skills , or measurable abilities. Here is where you include skills like Photoshop or Microsoft Office. 
  • Soft skills , or personal skills. They include a combination of people skills, communication skills , interpersonal skills , career attributes, etc. 

Keep in mind, though, that a strong skills section doesn’t consist of every skill you ever acquired.

The recruiter doesn’t care about your skills in Photoshop if you’re applying for a job as an accountant.

Rather, they specifically care about the skills that’ll make you a top-performer at the job you’re applying for.

So, go through the job ad you’re applying for and pinpoint the exact skills that are required for the role.

Then, make sure that your US resume mentions the same skills (as long as you possess the skills, of course).

Additionally, make sure to include both soft skills and hard skills into your skills section, as recruiters value applicants we have some of both.    

For example:

skills on a us resume

#7. Include These Additional Sections

Already included all the sections we’ve mentioned so far but still have some space in your US resume?

You can include some of these optional sections: 

  • Internships
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Volunteer experience
  • Certifications and awards
  • Publications

Keep in mind that these sections aren’t as important as the ones we’ve covered before. You’re not going to get hired just because you’re into creative writing as a hobby.

That said, these sections do help the recruiter pick between equally capable candidates.

Meaning, someone with work and volunteering experience is more likely to get hired than someone who only has work experience to show for.  

Equally important to remember are all the things you should NOT include in your US resume:

  • Personal information, such as marital status, birthday, gender, photo, number of children, age, religion, personal identification numbers, and ethnicity/country of origin, because they can be grounds for discrimination. 
  • Authorization to work in the US, which includes your Social Security Number or immigrant status. By law, only after making you an offer can employers ask if you’re eligible to work in the US. 
  • References. Including references on a US resume is not standard practice. If the employer is interested, they will ask for them. 

Key Takeaways 

If you’re applying for a job in the US, you’ll need to submit a US resume. Here are the main points this article covered on the topic: 

  • The US resume is equivalent to the European CV.
  • The common length of a US resume is 1-2 pages and standard American English is preferred over British English. 
  • The most popular format for a US resume is the chronological format. 
  • Format your US resume to 1-1.15 line spacing and clear and separate sections, as well as use professional and readable fonts. 
  • Don’t include in your US resume: personal information such as your age, ethnicity, or gender, authorization to work in the US, and references. 

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4 Resume Mistakes to Avoid When You Don’t Have Much Experience

  • Irina Cozma

standard resume format for job

A good resume can set you apart and help you land that interview.

Understanding the common mistakes job candidates make on resumes, and how to overcome them, can set you apart from your competitors. The first mistake is including irrelevant work experience. Instead, only add roles that are relevant to the position you’re applying for. The second is customizing your resume. While it’s in your benefit to adjust your resume to better match the job description, over-tuning your resume for every application can be a waste of time — and end up slowing down your search. This is especially true if you’re focused on securing a particular position that has a standard job title like “marketing coordinator” or “sales associate.” The third is overdesigning your resume. Recruiters only spend a few seconds scanning it, so keep the format simple and straightforward. The fourth is coming off as a novice. For example, don’t use an ancient email address — update it to something that sounds more professional, and give your resume a specific name so it’s easier to identify.

Resumes. Love them or hate them, you will probably need one when you apply for a job. The resume has a specific tactical role to play in your search — to get you the interview. You need to make sure it checks a few boxes to do that work because, even if you take advantage of your network, sooner or later, you will need to share your resume with the hiring manager.

  • Irina Cozma , Ph.D., is a career and executive coach who supports professionals to have better career adventures. She coached hundreds of Fortune 500 executives from global organizations like Salesforce, Hitachi, and Abbott. Irina also coaches startups and the Physicians MBA at the University of Tennessee. Download her free career guide to help you prepare for your next career adventure.

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standard resume format for job

Exploring the 6 Different Types of Resumes

N avigating through the job market requires an impressive resume, one that highlights your skills, experience and achievements effectively. It's the initial step towards getting noticed by recruiters, and it often determines whether you'll move to the next stage of the hiring process.

The right resume format doesn't just present your qualifications but does so in a manner that aligns with your career goals and the specific job you're targeting.

This guide explores the different types of resumes and their unique features, helping you choose the format that best suits your professional profile.

Do I need a resume?

In the realm of job hunting, a resume is more than just a document — it's a marketing tool, a bridge that connects job seekers to potential employers. Its role is pivotal as it provides a concise and compelling snapshot of your professional journey. It encapsulates your work history, skills, accomplishments and unique qualities that make you an ideal candidate for the job.

Moreover, the importance of a well-structured resume is heightened due to the use of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) in the recruitment process. These automated software applications streamline the hiring process for employers by filtering out resumes that don't meet specific criteria.

A poorly formatted resume, or one that doesn't include key terms relevant to the job description, may fail to make it past these systems. Hence, understanding different types of resumes and the strategic use of keywords are vital steps toward crafting an ATS-friendly resume that gets you closer to your dream job.

Related: Everything You Need to Know About Writing the Perfect Resume

What different types of resumes exist?

While every resume shares the common goal of selling your professional abilities, not all resumes are the same. Each type has its unique structure, purpose and benefits.

Here are the different types of resumes:

1. Chronological resume

The chronological resume, or reverse chronological resume, is a time-tested format favored by many hiring managers. This format presents your work history in reverse chronological order, with the most recent job listed first and the rest following in descending order.

In a chronological resume, each job listing typically includes the job title, the company's name, the company's location and the dates of employment. Following this information, a list of job responsibilities and accomplishments is given in bullet points. This allows hiring managers to see at a glance not only where you've worked but also what you've achieved in those roles.

This format works particularly well for job seekers with a clear career progression in a single field without significant gaps in employment. It allows recruiters to quickly see the career trajectory and understand how the applicant's experience fits with the new role.

2. Functional resume

A functional resume, also known as a skills-based resume, places the focus on skills and competencies rather than work history. This type of resume usually begins with a summary of qualifications, followed by a list of skills and examples of their use in work or other settings.

The employment history is typically listed towards the end of the resume, often providing only a basic list of positions without detailed descriptions of each role.

This format can be particularly useful for job seekers with gaps in their employment history, those who are changing careers and have skills transferable to a new industry or recent graduates with limited work experience but possess relevant skills acquired through coursework, internships or extracurricular activities.

Related: How to Build a Better Resume in 4 Easy Steps

3. Combination resume

The combination resume, or hybrid resume, merges elements from both chronological and functional resumes. It typically begins with a section highlighting your skills and achievements. This is followed by a detailed chronological work history.

This format allows you to showcase your relevant skills and accomplishments at the top of the document, helping to catch the hiring manager's eye. Following this with a chronological listing of your employment history allows the recruiter to see your work trajectory and understand the context in which you've applied your skills.

The combination resume can be effective for job seekers with a solid employment history who want to change fields or those with a robust set of transferable skills and experiences across multiple sectors.

4. Targeted resume

A targeted resume is tailored specifically to a particular job posting. Instead of a generic resume sent to multiple employers, a targeted resume aligns your skills, experience and qualifications precisely with the job description. Each section of your resume, from the objective statement to the employment history, is customized to highlight why you are the perfect fit for the specific role.

This format can be more time-consuming to create as it requires tweaking your resume for every job application. However, it can pay off, especially when applying for jobs in highly competitive industries. A well-tailored resume can stand out among a sea of generic resumes and increase your chances of securing an interview.

5. Infographic resume

An infographic resume visually presents your career history and skills using charts, graphs, images and other graphic design elements. This format can make your resume stand out and show your creativity and innovative thinking.

Infographic resumes can be particularly effective in fields such as graphic design, marketing and other creative industries. However, it's essential to remember that some applicant tracking systems (ATS) may struggle to read and process these types of resumes, so if you're applying through an ATS, it's better to stick with a more traditional format.

6. Non-traditional resumes

Non-traditional resumes break away from the standard formats and allow for more creativity. These may include video resumes, LinkedIn resumes, digital portfolios, personal websites or social resumes.

Non-traditional resumes can demonstrate your skills in a way that traditional resumes may not, such as showcasing your video editing skills through a video resume or your web design skills through a personal website.

Just as with the infographic resume, if you're applying through an ATS, a more traditional resume format would be better. Non-traditional resumes are typically best when sent directly to a hiring manager or when you're working in a creative industry that values innovative presentation.

Each of these resume formats has its strengths and is best suited to specific situations. Carefully consider your career goals, work history and the needs of the job you're applying for when choosing your resume format.

What circumstances should you consider in resume writing?

Crafting a resume can sometimes present unique challenges based on personal circumstances. Here are a few special scenarios and how to handle them:

Writing a resume for a career change

If you're making a career change, your resume should highlight transferable skills and any relevant certifications. Although your work history might not be directly related to the new field, showcasing your adaptable skills can convince hiring managers of your suitability for the role.

Handling employment gaps

Employment gaps can often be a concern for job seekers. However, these can be managed strategically on a resume. Use the space to highlight any productive activities during the gap, such as volunteer work , courses or freelance projects.

What is a mini resume?

A mini resume is a brief summary of your top skills and career highlights. It's often used for networking purposes, perhaps on a business card or LinkedIn summary. It offers an at-a-glance overview of your professional qualifications.

Related: 7 Tips for Networking

What are some additional components of a job application?

Apart from a well-structured resume, a few more elements add to the strength of your job application:

Cover letter

A cover letter serves as an introduction and provides context to your resume. It allows you to elaborate on certain points in your resume and express your enthusiasm for the job.

Just like your resume, your cover letter should be tailored to the specific job you're applying for, focusing on how your skills and experience make you an ideal candidate.

The job title on your resume can significantly influence its appeal to hiring managers. It should accurately reflect your role and responsibilities while aligning with the industry norms. Misrepresenting a job title can be detrimental to your application and professional reputation.

ATS-friendly resumes

Incorporating relevant keywords and phrases from the job description into your resume can enhance its visibility in an applicant tracking system (ATS). ATS-friendly resumes are concise, straightforward and void of complex formatting, ensuring they can be read and understood by the system.

Related: 3 Ways an ATS Can Help Your Business Source the Top Hires

What are resume builders and resume templates?

With a plethora of resources available, creating an attractive and professional resume has never been easier. Resume builders are online tools that provide step-by-step guidance to generate a well-structured resume. They offer various templates, customization options and pre-written phrases to assist you in the process.

On the other hand, resume templates serve as a predesigned framework for your resume. They come in numerous styles and formats, allowing you to choose one that aligns with your personal taste and the industry's standards.

While these tools simplify the resume creation process, remember to personalize your resume and reflect your unique professional journey accurately. A tailored resume stands out more to hiring managers than a generic, cookie-cutter one.

What are some tips for effective resume writing?

No matter which resume format you choose, following certain writing tips can optimize your resume:

Highlight relevant experience

The most effective resume isn't necessarily the one that includes all your experiences but the one that strategically highlights the most relevant ones. Avoid detailing every job you've had and focus on the ones that matter to the job you're applying for.

Include a skills section

A well-crafted skills section can be a game-changer, particularly for functional or combination resumes. Here, include hard (technical) and soft skills relevant to the job. Be specific; instead of saying "good communicator," consider "experienced in public speaking and client presentations."

Use bullet points

Use bullet points for easy readability. They help break down information into digestible pieces, ensuring that key points don't get lost in dense paragraphs. Remember to write bullet points as complete sentences with periods at the end, following our client's style preference.

Include a resume summary or objective

The top of your resume should contain a summary or an objective, a brief snapshot of your qualifications. This section should be concise yet impactful, as it's likely the first thing a hiring manager will read.

Looking forward

Crafting the perfect resume is an evolving process that may require several drafts and iterations. While these different types of resumes and their corresponding tips provide a general guideline, remember that there's no one-size-fits-all solution. The most effective resume will be the one that best showcases your unique skills, experiences and career goals.

Always revisit and revise your resume for each job application, ensuring it aligns with the specific job requirements and expectations. With a well-structured, compelling resume, you're one step closer to securing that dream job.

Explore for more insights and resources to guide your professional journey.

Exploring the 6 Different Types of Resumes


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  23. Resume Examples and Templates for Word for 2024

    Build Your Resume. Resume Builder offers free, HR-approved resume templates to help you create a professional resume in minutes. 1. Write a dynamic profile summarizing your qualifications. Lead your resume with a convincing profile that captures your most relevant qualifications for the role you're applying for.

  24. US Resume Format (American Style Resume Samples)

    The format of resumes in the US presents information in reverse-chronological order, meaning you start with your most recent job and work backwards. Most American resumes begin with a heading statement, followed by sections on experience, education, and skills. Now, let's see what you should put on your USA resume: 1.

  25. 4 Resume Mistakes to Avoid When You Don't Have Much Experience

    Summary. Understanding the common mistakes job candidates make on resumes, and how to overcome them, can set you apart from your competitors. The first mistake is including irrelevant work ...

  26. Exploring the 6 Different Types of Resumes

    1. Chronological resume. The chronological resume, or reverse chronological resume, is a time-tested format favored by many hiring managers. This format presents your work history in reverse ...

  27. Guide for Resumes & Cover Letters

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  28. How to Write a CV (Curriculum Vitae) for a Job in 2024

    Decide on a CV format and style. Before you start writing your CV, you need to format it properly. Open a new document in Microsoft Word or Google Docs and use the following settings: Set ½ - 1" margins on each side. Use a font size between 10 and 12 points. Select a professional font such as Times New Roman or Arial.

  29. It's Always A Good Time To Rewrite Your Resume

    A resume that uses wacky fonts, is riddled with typos and spelling errors, and is structured poorly won't make it to the finish line. Take the time to polish your resume so that it looks clean and appealing. Stick to standard fonts like Arial, Calibri, Georgia, Helvetica or Times New Roman. A font that's too elaborate or abstracted in its ...