The Kind of Resume Advice you'd get after us Job Fairies have
had one too many Margaritas...
Below are the typical areas of a resume and our 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. Any place 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 that might wake up a recruiter or two.
THE AMBITION STATEMENT
Forget the ambition statement. You know what I mean:
"Seeking a challenging IS position using state-of-the-art
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
non-critical, low-paying, dead-end, back-office position."
Don't be afraid of Yalies and PhD's. Be proud of where you went
to school and play it straight. However, just to be on the safe
side, send an application to some impressive 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 Program,
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." However, 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."
For serious advice, visit
the All About Survival section.