Thomas E. DeStefano recently moved to the area to be closer to his family: These days, his full-time job is looking for a job. He has worked as a banker, as a manager for a liquor distributor and in other positions that involved sales and marketing.

DeStefano's resume doesn't clearly tell potential employers the type of job he wants, observed Robbie Miller Kaplan, author of "How to Say It in Your Job Search" (Prentice Hall Press, 2002).

"A resume must quickly and easily communicate an applicant's job objective through experience, expertise, strengths and accomplishments. If a resume is to be truly effective, it must be tailored, written and produced with this in mind."

Is he focused on sales and marketing? Does it matter what industry? "If one particular industry is not a primary target, Thomas would open opportunities in other industries by demonstrating versatility," she advised. "Try: 'Marketing and sales professional with solid achievements in the financial and beverage industries.' "

DeStefano has clearly progressed in responsibility throughout his career. Kaplan suggested that a chronological format would highlight this better than the functional resume he uses now.

Describe each work experience so that the reader understands its scope, she said. "Try: 'Successfully cultivated, built, and expanded clientele, surpassing sales goals by over 300 percent in 2002.' The following statements should detail other accomplishments and how they were achieved -- it's not just important what Thomas did but how he did it. Employers have problems to solve and the best resumes demonstrate how an applicant is likely to help them."

-- Maryann Haggerty