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Your Resume Makes You Naked

By Marty Nemko

Most of us look better with clothes on--we can accentuate our good parts and hide the rest. Alas, your resume lays you bare for all to see. That’s why employers almost always require job applicants to submit one. It enables employers to see all your warts: the gaps in your employment, the downward trend in your employment history, etc Sure, if your resume is likely to make your target employers swoon, send it on. If not, you’d be wise to play the Hide-the Resume Game, just as a person might want to defer revealing their Buddha-bellied body to a new sweetie until they’d built a relationship. Even if a job ad requires you to submit one, don’t, unless yours is likely to win first prize in the beauty contest. Let your application stand and fall based on a well-written cover letter. An employer is more likely to keep you in the running with a great cover letter and no resume than with a great letter negated by a mediocre resume. But what happens if you don’t submit it and the employer later phones you saying, “We’d like to see your resume?” The best answer is to keep deferring: “I’m working on it. Would you mind if I brought it to an interview, if you decide to interview me?” At the interview, don’t offer your resume unless it’s asked for. A surprising number of times, they won’t or only do so at the end of the interview, by which time you’ve had a chance to reinforce the positive impression you made with your cover letter. What is an effective cover letter? One with bullet-presented accomplishments and attributes, each of which would impress your target employer. Example: Dear Mr. Johnson,

I was excited to see your job opening for a marketing manager on I believe I have all the qualifications.


1. Insert 1. Insert

2. Insert 2. Insert


N..Insert N.. Insert

Of course, there’s more to me than can be shown in a letter. For example, my co-workers say I’m a pleasure to work with. So, I’m hoping you’ll interview me so you can get a better sense of who I am. Hoping to hear from you,


Jane Jones Along with the cover letter, you might also include a work sample. For example, a teacher might provide a videotape of a lesson, a programmer might send a piece of code, a scientist might include an article he wrote on his research findings.

When day is done, the average applicant who plays the Hide-the-Resume Game will land a good job faster than one who, like a good little child, submits the resume as “required.”

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