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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
THE NAME: 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.
THE ADDRESS: 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 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."
EDUCATION: 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: "BA in Watersports Administration,
Massatucky State, 1993... and current doctoral candidate, Nuclear
Computer Simulation Modeling Fellowship Program, MIT."
EXPERIENCE: 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.
THE CLOSE: "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."