Tuesday, February 5, 2008

What Makes For a Good Resume?

by Zebriod (c) 2007

1. Don't use tables; I scream every time I see an overly complicated tabled resume! Resume are distributed via email and rarely printed any more. The resume must look good on a screen, tables make it too busy, work at a simple clean look.

2. The purpose of a resume is to get you the interview! Actual the object is just to get them interested enough to “read” it.

A resume is not the best historical document of your life! No one reads, so why do you expect anyone to read your resume? The best you can hope for is someone to scan it; you better make every word count.

3. Avoid long paragraphs. Let’s call it the three line rule. If you have to use more than three lines to describe any role you should go back to the drawing board. Re-read it asking “who would be interested”

Example: (taken from an actual resume, you don't have to read it! - it makes the point)

Primary responsibility for advising OTC and Listed Equity Trading Desks, Equity Sales, International Trading, Equity Option Trading, and securities exchange floor trading operations, with coverage responsibilities for Transaction Services, Research, and Retail Equity. Developed legal structure for 10b5-1 trading program, and negotiated transactions thereunder; also negotiated prime brokerage, service, and various other agreements. Development and implementation of firm-wide policies and communications in connection with extended-hours trading, decimalization, best execution, payment for order flow, electronic trading, etc., as well as preparation and implementation of supervisory procedures for desk and floor operations. Antitrust attorney in charge of supervising Compliance officers engaged in Department of Justice stipulated taping. Provided transactional and trading support to equity and fixed income businesses in London office, both from New York and in London.

Did you get any of that? I did not follow it at all, how about the following re-write?

· Advising OTC, Listed and Option Equity Sales and Trading Desks, and exchange floor trading operations of all legal matters.
· Establishing 10b5-1 trading program and prime brokerage services.
· Communicating firm-wide policies in connection with extended-hours trading, decimalization, best execution electronic trading, and payment for order flow.

4. Make every word count. It is a good goal to get your resume on to one page, (and that is the case when you have had a 25 year career or are only just starting out.) Allocate more space to the most relevant and more recent stuff; don't be put off by creating a specially tailored version of your resume for each job opportunity.

A resume has three main components: (Features; Education; Accomplishments)

(i) Features - these are dates, companies and titles;
JP Morgan Chase, Dec 2002 - Present Vice President, Global Trading Foreign Exchange
(ii) Education - This can be placed at the start or at the end depending on how stellar it is. If you have a P.hD why not highlight it.
(iii) Accomplishment at each position; Avoid long paragraphs, attempt to use action words to describe your accomplishments using bullets, it is all about what you can do for the next company!
4. Don't Clog it up. I hate the poor pitch a lot of people add under "Objectives" or "Skill" and clog up the resume - don't do it.... Do you think anyone believes you when the resume says "good communicator" "good team player" etc... this is just hot air. If you feel the urge to do this spend the time drafing a good cover letter.


First Surname
1500 May Blvd. Arlington VA 22201 ♦ (900) 367-8614 ♦ email@law.uni.edu

University School of Law, Atlanta, GA
Juris Doctor Degree, May 2002. Highest Grade in Dispute Resolution
Moot Court, Intellectual Property. Emory Award Scholarship
London School of Economics, London, England
Masters in Economics, June 1999
Graduated With Distinction. London Friends Scholarship
Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and Economics, May 1998
Graduated Summa Cum Laude. Margaret C. Peabody Fellowship. W. C. Rockefeller Grant

Bar Memberships
Admitted to the New York, New Jersey, Washington D.C. Bar Associations, eligible to waive into Massachusetts
Law firn, L.L.P., Washington D.C. August 2003 - Present
· Research and writing in government procurement, international contracts, corporate structuring, export and intellectual property law
· Litigated before the Government Accountability Office and Court of Federal Claims regarding organizational conflicts of interest and corporate compliance issues
· Reviewed contracts for joint venture between two film studios and litigated against claims of dilution and misappropriation of commercial likeness
· Drafted negotiated license rights for software package to be sold to the Department of Defense
· Negotiated assignment of rights of multi-media software from Swedish based entertainment company to major U.S. entertainment consulting group
· Advised international clients on Buy American Act, Trade Agreement Act, Berry Amendment
· Litigated claims of trademark infringement and deceptive trade practice for website based company regarding video streaming of news and entertainment clips
· Defended music company product line and packaging from trade dress infringement claims

US Corporate Inc., New York, NY and Newark, NJ January 2003 – August 2003
Assistant General Counsel
· Worked exclusively with client regarding licensing, trademark/domain litigation
· Drafted shareholder agreements, employment / consulting contracts, non-disclosure agreements, licensing and sub-licensing contracts for data rights, manuals and software tutorials
· Filed company trademark and assisted with patent provisionals
· Drafted proposals for STTR, SBIR and DARPA regarding portable medical devices funding

Law firm, P.C., New York, NY and West Orange, NJ May 2002 – January 2003
· Drafted performance and payment bond documents for surety entities
· Litigated state and city contractual claims on behalf of construction companies working in NY

Publications: Contributor, ……………………..

Language Skills: Spanish; German (conversational); learning Russian

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