Unless you are a high and mighty med student, like my friend Varun who thinks his future is paved with gold, chances are that you will need to submit a rsum at some point. (In Varun's defense, he is a self-described "salt of the earth, man of the people" type.) To help answer your questions, I'm introducing my roommate and part-time swami, LeVaur. Around these parts, LeVaur is the closest thing we have to Miss Cleo, the psychic. He's Jamaican. In case you're wondering, neither LeVaur nor I is qualified to be dispensing advice, so, as they say in Latin America, caveat emptor.
Anil: So, LeVaur, you've had what we in the industry like to call a "job," right?
LeVaur: Yeah, man. I worked at IBM for the past 3 summers.
A: And how did you get that J-O-B?
L: I knew this guy who played squash with some guy who knew this dude. I think he helped me out.
L: The guy.
(Now, we pick up the conversation on the other side of a convoluted discussion about who "the guy" is.)
A: What do you think is the most important part of a successful rsum?
L: Yeah, and probably knowing people so you can get hooked up.
There you have it, folks. Lie, and drop names like I've been doing in this article. Only, I hope that you drop the names of people who can help you, not friends who just want a mention in this illustrious column.
A successful rsum will follow the structure I outline below. Note the subtle use of "exaggeration" and "lying" to pad your portfolio. This is a sample and should not be confused with my rsum, although the two do bear marked similarities.
EDUCATION: Comprehensive study of economics, law, biology and policy. I will graduate in June 2002 with the completion of an honors thesis. (Translation: I'm an environmental studies major and no one will hire me.)
RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: I have completed internships at Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and Lehman Bros. (Translation: I'm a corporate whore, through and through.)
LEADERSHIP POSITIONS: For three years I have been the CFO of the Student Assembly, during which time I undertook a variety of projects, including community outreach, galvanizing student body support, and acting as liaison to the administration. (Translation: I was treasurer of the powerless SA. As part of my responsibilities, I emailed people "SA Updates" that were promptly deleted and attended administration meetings, where I was frequently and roundly ignored.)
OTHER EMPLOYMENT: Extensive summer experience in food preparation at a large multinational corporation. I have accrued valuable work experience, working my way up the corporate ladder to the level of manager. (Translation: After flipping burgers at McDonald's for three years, I finally made night shift manager. I'm good at salting fries and putting ketchup and pickles on the burgers even if you don't want pickles. MUAHAHAHA. Oops, sorry.)
ACTIVITIES: Active participation in the Dartmouth Outing Club. Intramural sports aficionado. (Translation: I went on a Freshman Trip. It was fun. I play IM sports, because I'M not good enough to play real sports.)
Now that you know what to do, I must also prime you on a few things not to include in rsums. Do not under any circumstances list your GPA, especially if it exceeds a 3.6. There's nothing employers hate more than a showoff. Moreover, remember the maxim, awards don't count for jack. Phi Beta Kappa? More like Phi Beta Crappa. Everyone is special in their own right, like yo' momma said. You're no different.
And if by some chance you get an interview, remember this: don't shake hands. It's unhygienic and very 19th century. A more acceptable greeting is to nod curtly, and perhaps if you're being interviewed by a woman, make a lurid and lewd comment regarding her breasts. Don't comment on a man's "package" as you might be misunderstood. Lastly, initiative and goals aren't as valuable as they once were. Employers would much rather hear about a favorite football team (e.g. "Wow, don't the Patriots suck?"), or how your IM curling team did last winter. I know for a fact that many potential employers love nothing more than a heated discussion about the merits of that greatest of all Scottish sports. Armed with this knowledge you should be, as we say in the business, golden. Go forth and multiply, my children.