It’s All About Balance

‘Balance’ is a word that keeps coming up over and over again in my mind as I’ve worked through this blog project the past semester. Most everyone has heard the children’s rhyme, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”, right? Well, all play and no work makes Jack a poor boy, so the best course of action it seems, is balance. Something else I’ve come to realize is that life is never neat, controlled and organized. Rather, it is messy, chaotic and constantly changing. Knowing this, I’ve learned to roll with the punches a little bit better and to incorporate play into work and vice versa whenever possible because I may not always get the ‘fair’ amount of time for each. So as I’ve progressed through my blog, I’ve worked harder to incorporate humor in small ways into each post. Like life, work is not something you can completely control the direction of, especially when it’s a creative process – like blogging or writing (in virtually any capacity).

My blog  did not end up becoming what I had originally envisioned it to be. I started each post with goals of perfection, clean and ordered symmetry, grave seriousness and politically correct advice. What I created was something considerably less so. My blog does offer good career advice, but that well intentioned advice has been progressively peppered with more and more humor, sarcasm and my personal wit (clearly I’m using ‘wit’ generously). These personal, humorous touches changed the landscape of my modern, professional career advice blog into a blog offering relate-able, entertaining career observations/recommendations with a sarcastic twist. I can’t say that one vision is any better than the other, certainly different audiences would prefer different environments. I do understand better now though, that I can’t be all inclusive all the time, despite my best intentions. The secret to a successful blog involves finding or creating a niche. In letting my flaws, quirks and personal preferences shine through, I’ve created something wholly unique and one of a kind. Whether such creation is good or bad depends on each individual reader – something that is completely beyond my control. So you are reading a blog that aspires to be no more than what it is, relate-able, fun career advice as perceived through the eyes of a woman whose still struggling to find all the answers herself.

What I share with you here is not encompassing of all career advice on the internet, I am not infallible, and (more often than I will EVER admit) I am wrong. More than anything though, I am genuine. I truly understand the fear, the struggles and the preparation that goes into finding and keeping a job. Because of that, I wanted to share with the world what I’ve learned through personal experience and academic research. It is my hope that you find something useful, or that you are, at the very least, entertained.

Good luck on your own job hunt and in all your professional endeavors,

 Friends Real World

 Best of Luck,

Jamie

TILT and the Lory Student Center

Tilt and the Lory Student Center are both physical locations that offer a variety of services and resources to help with your studies and professional goals.

To see what TILT has to offer, jump over here.

Available through TILT are short, non-credit classes in Beginning Web Layout: HTML/CSS and Beginning Video Production. Although completing these classes won’t count towards your degree, they are still skills that will look great on your resume. Something to consider as you choose classes to fulfill your degree are those with requirements that will translate nicely onto a resume: think anything computer program related, the more specific the better. Classes that address specific programs or methods as opposed to general theories/concepts will transfer nicer as well.

Also available is a GRE Prep Course, something to consider if you’re looking at graduate school. If you’re on the fence it’s a great way to see if it’s something you think you can handle or are even interested it. Qualified staff can also talk to you about your graduate school options and a brief overview of what to expect.

To take a virtual tour or find driving and parking directions for Lory Student Center on campus, click here.

Currently the Lory Student Center is undergoing major renovation that has resulted in the closing of the food court and a plethora of construction mess. The University is trying to work around it though and many services are still available. For more information specifically concerning the renovation and what you have access to, click here.

Some interesting points of interest concerning the renovations at LSC can be found here.

Of all the things that are closed, here’s what remains open:

“The CSU Bookstore, which is the largest revenue source for the LSC, will be kept open, as well as LSC north meeting rooms, the North and Cherokee Park Ballrooms, the University Club and the Aspen Grille, RAMtech, Adult Learner and Veteran Services, and Student Legal Services. Food venues Cam’s Lobby Shop and Bagel Place II also will remain open.”  Source: http://www.sc.colostate.edu/renovation-faqs.aspx

CSU Alumni Association – Professional Development Services

http://alumni.colostate.edu/Alumni/CareerResources/tabid/567/Default.aspx

Alumni Association Career Resources

Alumni of CSU still have access to many of the services and resources available to current students of the University. The big catch here is that, as an alumni of more than a year, you’ll have to pay for most of them. Membership prices start at around $50 depending on the membership plan you choose.

With membership you will gain access to the CSU Career Center and their career counselors. You will also be notified of and able to attend all career fairs and events hosted by CSU. More than anything though you should notice that Alumni membership pays for virtually everything a current student has access to for FREE.

So if you’re a Junior or Senior it would really be to your benefit to meet with a career counselor and get your moneys’ worth of these resources at your disposal. Also of note, as a graduating Senior you can pay a mere $25 for membership within the first year of graduation. So if the connections and resources at CSU are worth more to you than peace of mind, I suggest paying the $25 after graduation. It’s a 50% discount to a debt heavy wallet (but if yours isn’t then that’s awesome and I hate you), that will let you test the waters without drowning in fees.

 “Through membership, I am rewarded with the feeling of connection … and being part of a legacy of excellence.” – Annual Member, Ed Goodman (’77)

Which I guess is a good thing for Ed, because beyond intrinsic rewards you really aren’t getting a whole lot for your $50 annual fee (IMHO).  The biggest perk you’re getting with membership is the ability to connect and network with people higher up on the career ladder than you.

Bottom Line: You’re getting access to career advisors and literature for free RIGHT NOW. So why not take advantage of it, oh I don’t know, RIGHT NOW (or at least by your Junior and Senior years). But if you’re really proud of your public university education then by all means pay the $50 a year for a budget version of LinkedIn and Google+ to support the wonderful institution that is CSU.

The Career Center at CSU

http://www.career.colostate.edu/Students

Career Center

The Career Center at CSU is a very basic website designed to help current students and alumni achieve their career goals. There are also links for faculty, employers and family though these destinations primarily encourage individuals to call or otherwise contact the Career Center directly.

Mostly geared towards current students, the website advertises multiple services and resources to aid students in their professional planning and goals. Excluding the “Students Home” page there are only 5 topics listed in the left menu column, Major and Career Exploration, Job and Internship Search, Fairs and Events, Graduate School, and HIRED  .

Examples listed under the “Students” section: Individual Career Counseling appointments, Personality and Career Assessments, Career and Major Exploration tools, Resume / Cover Letter / Personal Statement development, Interviewing Skill development and Practice Interviews, Job and Internship Search Strategies, Job and Internship postings on CareerRAM, Career Interviews, and multiple Career Fairs every year.

Under the Graduate School link within the “Students” category, there’s quite a bit of information listed pertaining to what to expect if you’re considering pursuing a graduate degree. Much of the information is pretty basic, generic even, but there are some useful links, Petersons.com for grants and scholarships and http://www.career.colostate.edu/Downloads/GradSchoolPacket.pdf links to a CSU created pdf talking about whether or not Grad school is the right choice for you.

Within the Job and Internship Search tab there are links to CSU career workshops and a link to set up an appointment with a Career Center advisor. In addition to the following categories: CareerRAM – Jobs/Internships, Job Searching Tips, Internship Resources, Resumes and Other Documents, Interviewing, Interview Attire Fund, Networking and Social Media, Working/Studying Abroad, Additional Resources.

Under the “Job and Internship Search” category, students are encouraged to log in/utilize “CareerRAM”, the Career Center’s online recruiting system through which students can narrow search terms to include their major, geographic location preferences and other criteria. I was especially hopeful when vetting this feature but was ultimately disappointed when search results turned up such gems as: Marriott attendant, Denver car wash manager, sales associate at Black House, White Market, among others. On the opposite end of the spectrum there were numerous listings for IT specialists, one for Cropping Systems Agronomist (an expert in soil management and field-crop production, in case you didn’t know – seriously what kid dreams of becoming an agronomist? The kids that ate dirt during recess?!?). My rambling point here is that there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of job listings that call for a bachelor’s degree AND require less than 5 to 7 years of experience. It just doesn’t seem terribly realistic to me for employers to post jobs via a college database with such grandiose expectations. This isn’t necessarily a knock against CSU, so much as what is probably a depressing insight to the current job market. The idea that I’m thousands of dollars in debt just to get a job as Bulk Tank Driver for the Dairy Farmers of America (in Greeley) is not exactly reassuring.

There are several more features buried in this poorly designed site that I’ll be digging out for future use in my long form webtext. But for those of you looking ahead, be patient (alcohol is suggested), do some digging, and you may just find some very useful answers to questions you didn’t even know to be asking.

A Narrowed Direction: Colorado State Career Resources

Given my intended project for the end of this semester, I’ve decided to do a few blog posts pursuant with this ultimate goal. My goal is a comprehensive compilation of all (or at least the best) resources available to students through Colorado State University.  I’ll be using this week’s blog post to discuss some of the websites various departments at CSU have put together that pertain to careers.

First up: http://biz.colostate.edu/careers/Pages/resources.aspx#SelfCareerMajor

Career Resource Library Full Size

Located through the Business School, this link provides a wealth of information under the following categories:

Self, Career, & Major Exploration

This is probably my favorite of the categories in this list. Here you’ll find 4 sub categories: Self Exploration, Major Exploration, Career Exploration and General major Exploration. Under Self Exploration there are a series of links to different activities you can complete on your own intended to find the best career fit for you and to help highlight your strengths and weakness.

Of all the major links listed, if you’re only checking out one, this is where I’d start.

Career Services

Here you’ll find video seminars on cover letters, dressing for success and job negotiations among other things. In addition to seminars there are links to CSU’s Career Center, Larimer County and Colorado Workforce Centers, and CSU’s Career Management Center.

Interviewing

Within this category are various links to help you ace the interview process. You’ll find a video interview workshop, 6 ways to stand out in an interview, and an interviewing preparation guide.

Going Abroad (Work, Study, Service)

This category provides links to CSU’s Study Abroad program and additional links to informational websites like idealist.org and the US Aid, US Peace Corps and Americorps. You’ll also find websites for International Jobs and advice on International Business Etiquette and Manners.

Applications & Self-Marketing Materials (Resume, Cover Letter, Etc.)

This category is pretty self explanatory, with links to help you write a resumes and cover letters. It contains sub categories for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as additional links on references, communication tips and follow up/thank you notes.

Graduate School & Professional Development 

Sub categories: Professional Associations, Licensing and Graduate School contain links to information on real estate and accounting licensure and information on graduate schools, MBA programs and continued education.

Networking & Personal Branding

Personal Branding and Value Propositions, Networking Basics, Social Media and     Informational Interviews

Negotiating Offers & Salaries

5 Salary Negotiation Tips, Offer Negotiation Worksheet, Salary Resources, National Association of Colleges and Employers’ Salary Calculator, Evaluating and Negotiating Job Offers, Colorado Occupational Wages, and (hugely helpful for myself) Salary Negotiation for Introverts.

Occupational & Industry Information

If you’re looking for statistics on the best and worst jobs out there in terms of salary, employee turnover and market growth, this category has an abundance of links to help you find them. Starting with the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, The Vault Online Business Careers Resource, Workforce Resources by State, Summer Leadership Programs, Colorado LMI Gateway and the WetFeet Online Job Seeker Library.

Special Populations

International students, Disability, Veterans, and Diversity.

Job & Internships Search

Job and Internship search tips, think key terms, locations and strategy checklist.

Work-Life Balance

Find links to local events and healthy living. Focused in Northern Colorado you’ll find information on where and when to partake in some fun activities.

Work-Life Balance Essential to Health, Fort Collins Calendar of Events, Strike a Work-Life Balance, Downtown Fort Collins Events Calendar, Northern Colorado Hiking Guide, Northern Colorado Guides, Fort Collins Meet-up Groups, Recreation Leagues of Fort Collins, and Volunteer: United Way of Larimer County

Healthy in a Hurry

So you’re at work, it’s a relatively new job and you’re still making some adjustments. When you start working at a new workplace, there’s a myriad of issues that you’ll want to address of the course of your first months there. Things like getting the dress code down, maybe purchasing a few pieces of clothing that work well into the wardrobe you already have, pieces like white undershirts, or for women, solid tank tops or under shirts with conservative coverage. Depending on whether you leave the workplace for lunch or eat on site, you’ll want to consider your meal options. Are you looking for fast, cheap recipes that transport easily, possibly sitting hours w/o refrigeration? Maybe you’re working on a diet or focusing on healthy eating but preparing meals at home just isn’t your style, so doing to research on where you can buy affordable, reasonably low calorie meals close to work would be time well spent. For this latter concern I am here to help. For this blog post I’m listing some options available at many typical fast food restaurants that fall under 400 calories as well as some recipes for those ambitious cooks in the audience that are quick and easy to prepare at home and eat one throughout the week. All these suggestions are researched to the best of my ability, (which is roughly translated to Google searches and random magazine articles from my dr.’s office), so please adapt at your own risk and if you have a specific interest I encourage you to follow up with your own research.

For those of you looking to eat out while focusing as much as possible on healthy choices, low cost and timely service, I’ve compiled a list below of several options available at 2 major fast food eateries found in most major cities.

McDonalds

Hamburger (one patty, ketchup, onions, pickles, mustard): 250 calories

Cheeseburger: 300 calories

French Fries: (small) 230 calories, (medium) 380 calories, (large) 500 calories

Classic grilled chicken sandwich: 350 calories (add bacon for 90 calories)

6 piece chicken nuggets: 280 calories

Wendys

Junior bacon cheeseburger: 380 calories

Junior cheeseburger: 290 calories (subtract cheese for 40 calories)

French fries: (small) 310 calories, (medium) 410 calories, (large) 500 calories

Large Chili: 270 calories

6 piece chicken nuggets: 270 calories

Chocolate frosty: (small) 290 calories

Panera Bread Company

(Take note that to stay under 400 calories, half sandwich servings are the way to go)

Roasted Turkey Artichoke on Foccacia w/ Asiago Cheese: (half) 380 calories

Asiago Roast Beef on Asiago Cheese: (half) 390 calories

Mediterranean Veggie on Tomato Basil: (half) 290 calories

Bowl of baked potato soup: 350 calories

Ceasar salad: (whole!) 310 calories (add chicken for additional 130 calories)

Cheese Tortellini with Alfredo Sauce: (small, 1 cup) 390 calories

I’m also providing a link to a Health online magazine article that details America’s Top 10 Healthiest Fast Food Restaurants: http://www.health.com/health/article/0,,20411588,00.html

For those ambitious, aspiring chefs with the time and energy to prepare meals at home in advance of the work week, here are some tried and true recipes that make for easy transport to work. I have noted on each recipe whether is works for locker or desk storage (i.e. no refrigeration) or whether it requires some form of reheating or refrigeration.

Skinny Chicken Tortilla Soup: 269 calories per cup

*Will need re-heating

Can be found at the excellent blog skinnyms.com, go here for her delicious recipe:

http://skinnyms.com/skinny-slow-cooker-chicken-tortilla-soup/

Roasted Red Pepper Spread Sandwiches: 356 calories

*Best if refrigerated, but not necessary and no need for a microwave

Find an extra 21 recipes for work ideas through Cooking Light through, I’ve linked their article here:

http://www.cookinglight.com/eating-smart/smart-choices/healthy-lunch-ideas-00412000067923/

Barbecued Chicken Burritos: 404 calories

*Best if refrigerated and reheated

Recipe available through Eating Well, a great source for a variety of different recipes, check out this recipe and more here: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/barbecued_chicken_burritos.html

 

I hope you’ve found some options here that will work well with your lunch period, whether your focus is healthy, timely or affordable. Good luck on the job and don’t forget that good food choices make for more energy and better moods!!

Panicking over your job choice?

So you’re sitting by the phone impatiently waiting to get a phone call where the person at the other end congratulates you on getting the job. This wait may take two days or two weeks, regardless, it usually feels like torture. Meanwhile, you obsess and pray that you’re the lucky applicant out of hundreds that gets chosen, but 5 minutes into that daydream you begin to obsess and panic that you’re  the unlucky bastard out of hundreds that gets chosen.

That’s right, you start worrying that maybe this job you painstakingly researched and prepared for is going to be fucking awful. But you’re running out of ramen and one more red bill in the mailbox means no more electricity OR internet.

ramen and dancing

I might survive several days without food,  but missing Dancing with the Stars makes me stabby.

This post is to reassure you that no matter what horrible scenarios you’ve been imagining for your new job, it probably won’t be as bad as some of these:

Turkey masturbator.

That’s right, reaching through feathers to manually stimulate a male turkey in order to obtain his semen by sucking it through a rubber tube and then blowing it into the female turkey. No joke. That cubicle position in the auditing department is sounding better and better right?!?

sexy turkey

Or how about, battery breaker.

You spend your day hauling 100+ lb batteries to your work area where you must then break them open to remove the valuable lead cores. First though you have to drain the acid out, and despite the rubber apron, goggles and boots some acid always finds its way to your skin. Did you think paper cuts and misogynistic coworkers were bad? How about third degree burns on your belly, legs, arms and that occasional splash of acid to your eyes?

battery-scrap-drained-battery-scrap

Menial filing and data entry never looked so good.

So no matter whether your call back is coming from McDonald’s or the telemarketing firm downtown, even if it isn’t your dream job, it could always, always be worse.

McDonalds thumbs up

Acing the Interview

The Interview.

So you picked the job you wanted, now the job is considering picking you. This is often the moment when the pressure builds and panic sets in. Will they ask you to speak 4 of the 6 languages you claimed fluency in on your resume? Will you have pissed off the hiring manager you worked side by side with you in a previous job? (don’t scoff – it happened to me!) Will you know the answers to their questions, even the trick ones? The only way to beat near all of your fears and concerns is to be prepared.

1.      1. Do your homework. Stalk for a good cause instead of a creepy one.

Chances are you applied at lots of different places, so from about a week to three after you’ve submitted applications you’ll start getting call backs for interviews. Logically you should be editing your resume for every job you put out in for. With that in mind you should do your homework immediately upon getting the call back. Look up the company online, stalk the boss on social media, find out anything and everything you can (without getting noticed, obviously). Make sure to note certain words or phrases that are repeated on the company website, research job expectations for the position you’re applying for (ideally you would have done this while editing your resume), keep these terms and concepts in mind for your interview, try to use them in your responses.

  facebook stalking

Oh and just assume someone in the office is facebook stalking YOU too. Directions to set your profile to private can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuMScXx2HVo

2.Smile and the world smiles with you, frown and the toolbag picking his nose in the hall  gets your job.

 Always be eager and positive with a completely free schedule (unless you have to pick up your 6 year old at 3pm every day, he might make it across 6 lanes of interstate, but those last 5 miles under neighborhood watch are iffy), so if you’ve got permanent, immoveable responsibilities, be honest. The trick here is to come across “just won a $50 Chilis gift card” excited and not “12 year old girl that just won Justin Beiber tickets” excited.

 crying justin bieber fan

 You don’t get to sniff the fertilizer Suzy, you’re just loading it and throwing it down the trash chute.

To achieve this particular goal, try to clear your schedule the day before your interview (you’re unemployed, put down the Cheetos and turn off Breaking Bad reruns). Go over your resume, especially if you . . . “enhanced” a few parts,  run through the stereotypical questions employers ask and make sure you’re confident with your answers. Here’s a very in depth list, pick the link for the topics that scare you most. http://jobsearch.about.com/od/interviewquestionsanswers/a/interviewquest.htm

PRACTICE! Your cat won’t care, he’s happy when you’re uncomfortable.

3. Pick out what you’re wearing more than 5 min before you leave for the interview.

Maybe wash it too. Ironing always helps. If you’ve picked something that can’t be ironed, throw the polyester track suit away and go buy some grown up clothes. Aim for neutral colors, nothing baggy or too tight (unless you’re applying at Hooters), no hats, and minimal jewelry. When in doubt: (cleavage, tattoos, piercings) cover up. Ladies: stay away from spaghetti straps, anything sheer, low cut blouses, skirts always knee length or longer, and do the bend and reach test, when you bend over (sitting or standing) you shouldn’t expose underwear or flesh, same goes when reaching. The underwear peeking out over the top of your pants is, despite your super cute Victoria Secret thong, NOT professional. Gentlemen: Bend and reach test applies to you too, nobody wants to see your cute thong or your butt crack. If you’re in an office setting wear undershirts – surprise – under your dress shirts, regardless make sure your clothes are free of tears, graphics and stains. This one might seem like a no brainer but you’d be amazed at the footwear criteria in most dress codes; nothing open toed, no tennis shoes or extreme heels, be industry appropriate always!! (for strippers, lucite platforms with an ankle strap are awesome, for nurses, tennis shoes are the obvious, smart choice)

crocs at work

Crocs are not okay. Not ever. Just don’t, consider it your gift to society.

4. Perfect your travel plans.

 Know how to get to the office you’re interviewing at. I don’t mean the general area, know the streets, the building and the office or suite number. Siri can only get you so far. Doing a practice run is a great idea, it will give you the opportunity to time the drive too. Knowing where you’re going and how long it will take you to get there is important. Showing late or too early for your apt can kill your chances at the job before you even answer a question – which in that instance will probably be something like; Do you own a watch?

Im-late-anyways-Watch

Tips for Writing Your Resume

Once you’ve picked a few jobs that look good to you, the next step is making yourself look good to them.

Resume Humor Ecard

Writing a resume is often one of the most intimidating steps in obtaining employment. The writer must be cautious to use good grammar, include key terms or phrases relevant to the job requirements and provide all information in a concise, coherent layout. These are common areas where applicants tend to trip up, seemingly inane details that feel far less important than your obvious skill and enthusiasm for the job. You want a resume that is professional – indicative of your own conduct in the workplace and eye-catching – why you’re different, and better, than the rest. Essentially your resume, from the colors to the text to the format, are a reflection of you. But understand that the first person to look over your resume will generally not be the hiring power, it will be someone else lower on the totem pole looking for any reason to discard it. This weeding out process varies from company to company but it’s an important aspect to keep in mind as it requires your resume to have both aesthetic appeal AND substance. So with these thoughts in mind, read over the following steps for some tips and industry secrets on how to write a great resume.

1. Choose a font and a format that are easy to read through without being forgettable.

Those individuals weeding out bad resumes are looking for any excuse to throws yours into the trash, they just have so many to wade through.

Things like cursive, tiny, or otherwise hard to read font make reading the resume more trouble than it’s worth. A 30th generation resume copy from Kinkos has blurred lines, poor paper quality and comes across as rushed and cheap. If you don’t value this job enough to produce a high quality resume copy, how much effort will you extend in the job if you actually get it?

Research templates online or through your word processor to find a clean, uncluttered layout with clear, sharp font to build your resume in. Remember, first impressions are everything, so limit your bullet points per job and use minimal color, it’s generally advised to abstain from graphics all together just to be safe.

2. If you choose to include an objective at the top, be specific.

“I am seeking a position with your company to make the world a better place, to grow as a human being and to put my skills to use for you.”

Well isn’t that lovely and . . . . pointless. By just applying for the job, the employer knows you want it and the paycheck that comes with it. In exchange for that paycheck the company expects to utilize your skill set pursuant with their goals. So a vague objective statement like the example above isn’t news to them, it’s not telling them anything they didn’t already know.

Be SPECIFIC. “My name is Jane and I’m looking to align my experience and education in dental hygiene with a dentist in Dallas, Texas that shares similar ideals for providing friendly, high quality care.”

An employer’s eyes will be drawn to “experience”, “education”, and “friend, high quality”. This is an objective that presents Jane as a qualified individual with people skills. Specifying her location implies Jane has reasons to stay local, reasons that may act as additional motivators for her to perform well and maintain her job over the long term.

3. Research what your employer is looking for.

Read through the job listing several times to pick up on key terms or phrases that your employed will undoubtedly be looking for. How can you relate your previous experience, education and training to align with the company’s goals?

You’ll want to keep your skill history from each previous employer concise and relevant to the position you’re pursuing. Consider reworking sentences, exchanging words and phrases to better match with the ideals your potential company listed in their ad. There’s bound to be lots of other applicants, they only want the best one.

4. Consider your resumes audience.

Imagine writing a resume for the most narcissistic, selfish individual you’ve ever met. That’s essentially who you’re aiming this information at, your potential employer doesn’t care about every job you’ve ever had or every “skill” you’ve acquired in your professional career. They only want the details of assets they can use, everything else reads as desperate filler.

For example: Jane was trained and licensed to drive a fork lift, reach truck and stock picker at her previous job. Now Jane is applying for a receptionist position at a telemarketing firm where these previous skills are irrelevant.Her potential boss at the telemarketing firm has no use for an employee trained to drive heavy equipment. Jane would be better suited to list her abilities gained indirectly from her previous experience. For instance, Jane works well in noisy, chaotic environments, (often translated to “Works well under stress”), Jane multi-tasks and thrives in fast-paced, challenging environments.

The point here is to work through seemingly unrelated past work experiences to discover and include the pertinent, applicable skills wrought from the old for use in the new.

5. Be clear, concise and unique.

Proceed with caution, and at your own risk.

Alright, you’ve made it through the worst of the process, deciding what to say, how to say, and where to put it. Now you’ve got to make it jump off the page, grab the reader by the collar and demand their attention – in a good way.

There are lots of little ways to gracefully stand out from the crowd without coming off as unprofessional or obnoxious. I once got a callback for a job, beating out hundreds of applicants, simply because I titled my resume email as “Pick me, I’m Perfect!!”.  Everyone else titled their emails with their name followed by the job description, or some variation thereof.

My favorite way to differentiate myself from the crowd is through humor. I justify this by telling myself that I don’t want to work anywhere or for anyone that doesn’t have a sense of humor. I am intelligent, educated, and hilariously clever. Why settle for one or two in an employee when you can have all three in me? I’ve included some example of resume humor (admittedly some extreme instances that I don’t recommend) that beautifully showcase what a sprinkling of quick wit and self-awareness can do.

This fifth step, the pursuit of the “it” factor and safe-for-work uniqueness has inherent risk. While virtually all other resume advice you come across will advocate for the safety of sameness and shades of gray (E.L. James has forever ruined that expression btw) in resumes, interviews,  and workplace conduct. 95% of the time it’s an accurate assumption and truly good advice, but as social media overtakes all areas of life, not simply our hours of leisure, the world – employers included – have every opportunity to see who you really are. For some of us this is scarier than others. My point though, is that who you *really* are shouldn’t be a bad thing, and finding little, (work appropriate) ways to express your true colors will make you more satisfied at the job and inspire lasting bonds with coworkers who will gravitate towards your authenticity.

Writing a resume is almost as much fun as staring at your phone waiting for it to ring then holding your breath for the person on the other end to say “I’m sorry to inform you . . .” or ideally, “Congratulations! . . .” But it doesn’t have to be impossible and I hope the few points I’ve detailed above will help to make the task even a little bit easier.

Remember that your goal is to articulately and convincingly persuade someone to give you money for doing work that hundreds of others are just as qualified to do. You’ve got to prove that you aren’t simply better than the rest, you are the best. I know it, you know it, your friends know it, so take a deep breathe, put finger tips to keyboard and get it in writing.

Resume Humor 1Resume Humor 2