How to Create an Eye-catching Resume

Here are some tips for creating a resume that catches an employer’s attention:

After you decided to start your job search in the U.S., the first thing you need to do is to prepare your resume in English. “Rirekisho” is “resume” in English, and the resume format is quite different from Japanese one. The major difference is that while Japanese resume has a strict style of format, there is no “correct” format in English resume. You need to design your resume in such a way that it brings out your strength making the hiring manager feel you will be an asset to the company. If your resume goes unnoticed, you will not be able to reach the next step (interview). Make sure your resume has an appropriate layout and content for the position or industry you are applying for.

>How to Create an Eye-catching Resume:QUICK USA

Fundamentals of Strong Resume

The potential employer receives resumes from many applicants, and only a handful of people are invited for the interview. A resume that is not visually appealing might not be even looked at, so it is important to have a nice, simple layout that motivates the hiring manager to read. Regarding the font type, size and arrangement of paragraphs, you should prioritize a clarity and traditional-look rather than originality in your resume unless you are applying for a fashion/design industry. Ideally, your resume should be one page, but if you have a lot of varied experience or a long career (10+ years), your resume can be two pages.

The potential employer briefly glances over a resume. After reading the first section of the resume, they often just skim through the rest. Highlighting your skills in bullet points in the beginning of your resume is effective. In work experience section, you should include experience that is relevant to the position you are applying for to catch the reviewer’s attention.

To highlight your skills and experience, you should choose powerful words. For example, “attained”, “accomplished”, “managed”, “developed” are strong, compelling action words known as Power Verb or Action Phrase. Having these words on your resume creates a strong impression. Pay attention to your word choice, such as “Make → Prepare”, “Give → Provide”, ”Do → Implement”. Power verb can add a professional tone to your resume.

Resume is a business tool to sell yourself to a potential employer. You should create a visually appealing resume that showcases your skills and experience. Japanese people tend to depreciate themselves in front of others, but such modesty is not necessary in your resume; you need to clearly illustrate your strength.

After you finish writing your resume, always check spellings. Using the spell check function prevents you from overlooking the mistakes. Misspelling not only degrades your resume but also gives an impression that you are careless. If possible, have a native English speaker check your resume.

  • A. Your Name and Contact
    Keep your personal information minimal, but make sure to include a correct email address and working phone number (either your home or cell phone).
  • B. Objective and Highlights
    Creating an engaging opening is the first step to capture the hiring manager’s attention. For objective section, you should write about reasons why you want to work for the company and the position you want to attain. You should illustrate your skills that are useful for the position. For instance, “I am looking for an accounting position where I can utilize 7 years of practical experience in finance and my accounting knowledge.” For highlights section, you should include noteworthy experiences, skills and achievements that are relevant to your objective. For example, mention actual years of your experience related to the job category, education or training experiences, etc.
  • C. Work Experience
    Work experience section is where the potential employer shows the greatest interest. Instead of simply stating "I worked at a company □□" or "I was assigned to △△ department", be specific. You can write "I developed □□ in a Δ△project". In addition, it is effective to quantify your achievements. For example, "sales increased by 30%", "I supervised team of 20 people". The achievements can be listed in chronological order to show your current self as the most appealing.
  • D. Education
    Generally, educational background is listed in chronological order. Here you can mention your majors, GPA, awards or certificates if you have one.
  • E. Certification
    Mention a certificate that is relevant to the job you are applying for. You should include the official name of a certificate and the year you received.
  • F. Use a “Key Word”
    Key words such as QuickBooks, SAP, Bloomberg, CAD, Dreamweaver, Photoshop, VBA, C++, Excel, CPA, MBA, etc. are used by recruiters or some companies to search resumes. Therefore, inserting these words may increase the chances of your resume being viewed. If you have skills like the above, make sure to mention them in your resume.

The U.S. Letter Size is the most common for a resume. Use a white or ivory fine quality paper. If you mail your resume to the company, make sure to use the same or equivalent quality of paper for resume and the envelop. For font type and size, use either Times New Roman or Century and 10pt. or 12 pt.

  • A. Chronological style
    The standard format of the resume is chronological. In this style, you should list your most recent work experience and educational background first. For work experience, we recommend that you change the contents accordingly to the position you are applying for. For example, for a sales position you should highlight your sales skills using actual numbers, such as “I increased sales by X %”.
  • B. Skills-Based style
    This style focuses on specific skills and knowledge. It is most effective when applying for a position where the emphasis is on expertise and technical skills. By listing your experiences and skills in the most prominent section of your resume, your resume has more chance to be noticed by a potential employer who is looking for specific skills.
  • C. Chronological + Skills-based style
    This is a combination of chronological and skills-based styles. After objective, write a summary of your skills, work and educational experience, achievements, and qualifications. Then, list your work experience in chronological order. For those who have little work experience, this format adds extra density to your resume.

When you send your resume directly to a company, you should send a cover letter along with your resume. It is a business etiquette, and the cover letter serves as a “greeting” and provides brief information on why you are qualified for the job. Nowadays many companies accept an application online, so email can also function like a cover letter.

A cover letter usually consists of three paragraphs. The content of each paragraph is as follows:

  • A. Explain how you find out about the job and why you want the job.
  • B. Explain why you think you are qualified for the position and how you can contribute to the company.
  • C. Mention that you are interested in the interview and express thanks for their time looking at your resume.

In addition, make sure you include your contact information, date, and mailing address. Since a cover letter works as an introduction to your resume, you need to clearly illustrate how you are a strong match for the job. For example, " I believe I would be an excellent candidate for the position because (Reason).” Mentioning a specific, detailed reason for why you are qualified for the position makes your resume stronger.

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