Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Tips for preparing and proofreading the perfect resume

Tips%20for%20preparing In today's competitive job market, employers can receive literally hundreds of responses to a posted job. A resume often creates the first impression a prospective employer will form about each candidate - and that first impression forms quickly. According to Business Insider, a career website, research shows "recruiters spend about six seconds before they make the initial 'fit/no fit' decision."

"When it comes to mistakes on resumes, I've seen it all - grammatical errors, misspelled words, and even omitted credentials," says Amanda Rajotte, director of Career Services at Brown Mackie College - Hopkinsville. Rajotte helps students and graduates prepare for professional job searches and conducts workshops on the fundamentals of writing resumes.

"I cannot stress enough that the resume is a gateway to an interview," she says. "It's worthwhile to put time and effort into creating it. If a resume contains mistakes, all the effort after that is wasted, no matter how many you send out."

A resume is an important marketing tool that introduces you to a prospective employer in the professional world. Rajotte likens it to a 30-second commercial for yourself. It's all about the proper sequencing of information relevant to the employer. "You want to highlight the good qualities and attributes that employers want to see; things that tie into the specific opportunity," she says.

To this end, the objective is a good place to start. "This is a brief overview of what differentiates you from others," says Rajotte. "It should be a brief, concise summary of your experience and education - just one or two sentences." The objective should clearly identify the type of position you qualify for and provide a succinct statement of your goal.

Think carefully about - and always double-check - spelling. "Incorrect spelling worries potential employers. Candidates should spell check and double check their work by proofreading," Rajotte says. It can help to let someone else proofread the resume. An extra set of eyes often finds mistakes.

What do spelling errors tell an employer about you? Monster says it tells them, "This person obviously doesn't care."
Grammatical errors also throw up a red flag. "Bad sentence structure and incorrect word usage are common mistakes people make," says Rajotte. "These decrease your level of competency in the employer's mind, and they move on to the next resume. Other typical resume blunders include incorrect capitalization of words, and failure to spell out acronyms. Not everyone knows what acronyms mean. Each one should be spelled out the first time it appears."

The format of the resume is the next consideration. "The goal is to create a visually pleasing page," Rajotte says. She recommends using a legible typeface and a readable point size. "This means scrap the script font, and stick to 10-point or 12-point type. Alignment is another big one. Always print a copy to see how it looks on paper. Don't just look on screen."

Once the resume is in top form, you have a better chance of landing an interview. After the interview, it is appropriate to send a thank you note. "Not everyone sends a thank you. It can set you apart from other applicants," says Rajotte. Quintessential Careers found that just 5 percent of job applicants follow through with a thank you note. "It's a nice way to build a relationship," she says. "You never know when you might run into that person again." She advises applicants to write a draft of the note before writing on a card. "Grammar and spelling matter here just as much as they matter on the resume," Rajotte says.

When looking for employment, every step tells prospective employers about your communication skills. Whether you're speaking on the phone, or submitting a resume, you are conveying a message about your knowledge and ability.

Putting your best effort into the search can pay off with the job you are pursuing.

Courtesy of BPT

Easy-to-change seasonal decorating ideas

When spring arrives with its bright sunshine, fresh air, vibrant colors and light, do you find yourself regretting the decorating decisions you made last fall or winter? It's natural to incorporate the season into your home decor, and the best way to do that is with design touches that can change as easily - and quickly - as the seasons themselves.

While you may love the bright reds and greens of the holiday season or the lush lilacs and blues of spring and summer, making them the foundation of a room's design can leave the decor feeling out-of-step when the seasons change. By starting out with a foundation of neutral colors in walls, flooring and furnishings, you can add colorful and seasonally appropriate accents.

Updating your decor to complement the season is as simple as focusing on a few key areas.


It's easy to overlook, but lighting is a key element in room design, and one that needs to change with the season.

In spring and summer, when sunshine is abundant and the days are longer, you can rely more on natural light. During warm months, you may only need artificial light late in the evening, when the advanced hour makes soft, muted light appropriate. Winter's shorter days and weaker sunlight lead to greater dependence on artificial light throughout the day, so your lighting design should include options that can be used throughout the day.

Most rooms will benefit from a mixture of overhead lighting, floor lamps, wall sconces and table lamps.


While neutral-hued walls make a versatile background for virtually any design, don't be afraid to spice things up with seasonal touches. Repositionable wall covering optionsmake it possible to create a seasonal look with a wall mural - and then remove it and replace it with something different when the season changes.

A patented adhesive allows you to easily place the removable wallpaper on virtually any smooth, flat surface, from windows to walls. You can pull it down, reposition it elsewhere, even fold it up and store it in a drawer for use next year. A wide variety of designs mean you can find something to fit your seasonal decor, and if you don't see anything you like, you can customize by submitting your own original photo through the website.


If your floor is wood or you have a newer home with builder-installed carpet, you probably already have a neutral palette to work with. Adding seasonal flair to floors is as simple as adding or removing area rugs.

Area rugs in rich tones can warm up a room during winter months - especially when wood floors can feel cold underfoot. You can even add an accent rug in evergreen or crimson to underscore your holiday decor.

In warm months, when your family spends more time outdoors, a more durable area rug, positioned near entryways can help keep soil, grass clippings and other debris off your carpet or floor.


From window treatments to wall art, accessories are an easy, great way to create a seasonal look in any room.

In winter, when you want to keep out the chill, choose heavier drapes in colors that inspire warmth and comfort. For autumn or spring, when you want to welcome in sunlight, lighter, sheerer options can be appropriate. And in summer, when you'll rely on blinds to block out hot midday sun, pastels and lighter fabrics can be a soothing foil to the utilitarian appearance of blinds.

Just as you change your own wardrobe to stay in step with the seasons, updating your home decor seasonally can help make your home feel welcoming and comfortable. Fortunately, it's easy to keep your home decor in tune with the seasons when you make a few updates that are easy to change with the season.

Courtesy of BPT