Effective Resumes

Written by Serena Berger
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Effective resumes give a prospective employer the information that he or she needs to know about you in a clear and direct format. Content is the cornerstone to any good resume--if you think that you can dress up and package a lack of content and fool any good employer, you need to rethink your application strategy. Even if you would occasionally catch someone's eye with flash and make it to an interview, you still have to display substance once you get there.

Be Honest on Your Resume

Your resume needs to reflect who you really are. This includes your objective qualifications, but also transcends them. Some people go too far and make the mistake of crafting a resume which reads like a personal ad. In some cases, you may want to include something at the very bottom of your resume about outside interests. But if you do, do not make them vague (traveling, cooking, sports), and make sure you'll have something interesting to say if you are asked about them. If you say you enjoy opera, you'd better have an opinion about Wagner, a favorite tenor, and be able to discuss the current dearth of new opera recordings.

Employers have mixed feelings about candidates who write an "objective" line on their resumes. Generally, your cover letter should include the information about why you want the job and why you think you would be good for it. An objective such as "To find a job in which I am able to relate to people and use the skills I've developed over the course of my education and work experience," reads to many employers as fluff and predisposes them against you. A clear and specific objective such as "Seeking a position as project manger for an information systems consulting firm specializing in corporate relocations" is as effective as an objective line can be.

If you have the opportunity to make a video resume and bio, make sure that you look professional, neat, and comfortable. Don't look as though you're reading from note cards or you've memorized an entire speech. To take advantage of this opportunity and make an effective video resume, you have to present your thoughts in an organized manner, but you still want to be relaxed and look as though you're comfortable speaking extemporaneously.

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