Below are the typical areas of a resume and my priceless secrets for
dealing with them. These tips will help crush the competition, get you in
the door and put you behind a desk making 50 big ones, plus bonus.
Use the name to your advantage. Spice it up a little bit. Steve Smith goes
nowhere fast. But Sir Stephen Smith--now that might turn a few heads.
Nicknames also help. Mark "Keyboards" O'Malley is good. Mark "Kegsucker"
O'Malley is bad.
Forget your real address. Make a statement instead! Saying you're from the
Bronx suggests you're tough as nails. Anyplace in Japan implies you believe
in an 18-hour-a-day work ethic!
THE PHONE NUMBER:
Skip it. What are the odds they'll call--1,000 to 1. If they do, they'll
probably just catch your roommate somewhere in the middle of his second
six-pack. My advice is never put your phone number on a resume unless you
want to try some interesting 900 number which might wake up a recruiter or
THE AMBITION STATEMENT:
Forget the ambition statement. You know what I mean: "Seeking a
challenging IS position using state-of-theart technology in a high-growth,
future-oriented corporation that is doing neat things for the environment."
A better idea is to tell them what you're NOT seeking. "Not seeking a job
where I'm paying my dues for eight years, maintaining ancient Cobol code
that crashes every other night, slaving for some horrible boss and
groveling in the smallest cubicle in the world until I finally claw my way
into a lower management position, only to have the company lay off 40% of
its work force so that I wind up in some noncritical, low-paying, dead-end,
Don't be afraid of Yalies and PH.D.s. Be proud of where you go to school
and play it straight. But just to be on the safe side, send an application
to some prestigious high-tech program at a prestigious school. Until they
respond, you're not lying if you list under your education credits: "B.A.
in Watersports Administration, Massatucky State, 1993...and current
doctoral candidate, Nuclear Computer Simulation Modeling Fellowship
Even fresh out of school, you've got to have experience. But don't
mention that you've invested in your own relational database or coded an
object-oriented commodity trading system....Everybody's done that stuff.
I'm talking about hands-on experience: high-level management, microchip
design, hostile takeovers, etc. So if you're a little light in the
experience area, don't tell lies. Instead, simply try a bit-more-concise
explanation of the experience you do have. For example, if you worked as a
cashier at Food Giant, make it, "Monitored and troubleshot retail
point-of-sale bar-code inventory scanning system." "Conducted usability
testing for graphical user interface" sounds a lot better than "played too
much Nintendo." But don't try "Evaluated remote-accessed
continuous-availability multimedia environment." Most employers can pick
that one off as watching too much MTV.
"References furnished upon request"? What kind of power-close is that? Let
me leave you instead with this recommendation: Close with impact. Close
with passion. Close with a line they'll remember, like "Please, please give
me a job. And by the way, I know where you live."