Creative Fiction – Resumes

CRAFTING THE PERFECT RESUME

by Kotow Shergar

I have said before on this website that due to a poor job market you are deeply screwed, and there is nothing you can do about it. That is not exactly true.

There are only two things you can use to get a job, and they are called the Resume and the Cover Letter.

The purpose of these documents is to a trick an employer into hiring you as an employee. Once you’re hired, your mission is accomplished. You can collect the salary of that job, and add it to your resume; you can then pass your more powerful resume around, and collect a higher salary. It is a never-ending Jacob’s Ladder of success.

However, you can’t begin to climb this ladder unless your documents are strong enough to begin with. Today we’ll be discussing how to make a perfect resume, no matter who you are and what job you want.

At the top of your page, put your name and contact info. This is the one place where you really get to make the resume your own, because the rest of it will have very little to do with you personally.

Next, put the most relevant experience. Some people put a job here, but it’s better to put your education. It may take a long time to read through what you actually did at a job, but with education you can immediately combine a prestigious name and a high number to brand yourself as the ideal candidate.

The schools you should use are the following: Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, Stanford if you’re on the West Coast, MIT if you’re applying for a technical job, CalTech if you’re applying for a technical job on the West Coast, and Oxford or Cambridge if you can pull off a British accent. If you actually went to any of these schools, use that one: otherwise, choose the school whose color best matches your eyes.

Your GPA should be between 3.7 and 4.3, and you should have focused all your energy in college on keeping it within this range. If you did, use your real GPA, plus 0.1. If not, use 3.77, which is an eminently believable number.

I currently use Princeton 3.83 with a business degree, but since I’ve been unemployed for awhile, I’m considering upgrading to Harvard 3.94 with a double major in business and macroeconomics.

With education like that, any hiring manager will be salivating over your resume, and will check to see if you have the relevant work experience.

Of foremost importance is where you worked. Pick a few Fortune 100 companies located in New York, Los Angeles, or Washington, D.C.. Give yourself some titles with “executive” and “administrative” in the name. Great! Now you have to fill in the details.

Nobody has time to check on what you actually did, so you have to inform them by using the appropriate buzzwords. Some traditional ones are:

  • Led
  • Managed
  • Oversaw
  • Controlled
  • Coordinated
  • Championed
  • Delivered
  • Took on
  • Negotiated
  • Mentored
  • Planned
  • Trained

But you should always be scanning business articles for new buzzwords, in order to adapt your resume to the changing needs of businesses. Today, they want people who have:

  • Synergized
  • Catalyzed
  • Empowered
  • Contextualized
  • Envisioned
The great thing about resumes is that you can adapt your resume to the changing winds and add value to it  (“adapted” and “added value” are good buzzwords too)  without actually having to accumulate any more experience. You just have to change the words you use to describe your ostensible job.

Finally, it’s good to throw in some interests, to make yourself seem like a well-rounded person. A truly ambitious job-seeker will find the interests of his or her hiring manager, and learn to feign them, but it’s good to have a default interest set for any job. If any of your friends have done anything interesting – hiking, hang-gliding, building things in their spare time – ask them about whatever they’ve been done. They’ll be glad to talk about it, and you’ll be reaping the rewards of their interests without having to actually put in the work.

To recap:
  • Pick up a top school, high GPA, and money-related major.
  • Describe your work in terms of high-powered buzzwords.
  • Finish strong with some diverse interests that other people have wasted their time doing.

With a resume like that, all you’ll need as a killer cover letter, and we’ll discuss how to build one of those next week.

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Author: Brooke Allen

A social entrepreneur and retired Wall Street executive.

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