The job search in the US: how it’s different

I recently worked with a client who had a great track record in data science. She had a PhD, 8 years work experience, and an ok resume (more on that in a second). Her English was good and she was pretty comfortable talking with native speakers.

However, she hadn’t managed to land an offer yet. And when I spoke with her, she seemed despondent and on the point of giving up. I couldn’t get it at first because her professional background spoke for itself.

But it didn’t.

We ran a few mock interviews, and I could tell right away what the problem was.

She wasn’t presenting herself as the leader and decision-maker she actually was. In the offices she’d worked in, she’d spearheaded some important changes – changes that brought in new patients and that increased the overall awesomeness of the business.

But you’d never know that from the way she talked about it.

She was hiding behind her words and camouflaging the impact she’d had everywhere she worked. In fact when I did a closer review of her resume, the same problem revealed itself.

There weren’t enough action verbs in the resume bullet points. She hadn’t shown the important role she’d played in these companies. So we added some impactful convincing words that highlighted her achievements, and through more mock interviews, she gradually started expressing herself with more courage and conviction.

Here’s a link to some of the powerful verbs we used and that you can add to your resume, based on different categories of work:

Use these words also in talking about your accomplishments, and don’t hide or speak indirectly. In the US, it’s expected that you’ll promote yourself and be your own advocate!

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