The Resume - how good do YOU look on paper?

resumeA dean of the Hofstra University School of Communication recently told me, "Your cover letter and résumé are the first things an employer sees -- and if they're not right, they're the first things an employer throws away."

So, how good do YOU look on paper?

Could you look better?

It might be time to "jazz up" the resume before your next interview. If you're a college student or recent college graduate, perhaps consider tweaking the titles of positions you have listed orrephrasing your extra-curricular activities.

For instance, during my senior year of college, I was the only person to cover the political beat for my university's online news outlet. I noticed that some of the other student beat reporters were "selling themselves" on their resumes as "staff writers," and then proceeding to explain what they covered... health, transportation, education, etc.

However, I chose to place on my resume: "Chief Political Correspondent for".

Who would you rather call in for an interview?

A student staff writer who writes about political news for a college news Web site -- or the Chief Political Correspondent for

It's the same person, the same workload, but here's the key difference: One description sells itself on paper and the other leaves an employer questioning the importance of your role and the extent of your involvement. Don't keep employers guessing -- because chances are, they'll just toss you aside.

Lesson of the day: What's in a title?... A LOT!

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