Writing a Resume or CV

So, I have been doing this monthly series on this blog about planning and preparing for after graduating from college. I figure that, at least for some people, your life is pretty planned out through college. You’re born, then you have maybe daycare, then preschool, regular (K-12) school, and then college. After that, it’s a bit unclear. Today’s topic of planning for the future is resume writing or writing a curriculum vitae (CV).

I wanted to write this post to help anyone who will be looking for a job that is either out of their field completely or does not totally line up with their degree. I also want this post to help people with little to no work experience.

Killer Harmony | Writing a Resume or CV | Resume writing is an important part of job searching. Here's how to do it right.

So, how do you go about writing a resume in the first place?

Like most things, starting is the hardest part. You can find tons of resume templates online, and if you use Microsoft Word, it even has some built in templates.

Dissecting a Resume

Before you can write a resume, it is a good idea to look at a few different examples, even if they are just the examples given in a template.

Name and Contact

The first section of a resume should be your name and contact information, such as your address, phone, and email. This part is probably the easiest section to write. Also, there’s no way you can get the job if they can’t contact you!

Objective/Statement of Purpose

Some jobs will require an objective statement or a statement of purpose. This is where you will write what job it is you want. You might put that information in your cover letter, but it can be more convenient for the hiring staff to have it on your resume.

Education

Assuming that your education is the most prominent part of your experience, you will want to put that next. List, in decreasing level of education, the schools you have attended.

Example: I would put my bachelors degree, then associates, then maybe high school.

After the degree, you will want to put the year you received that degree (or expected date if you are still in school), the field the degree it is in, and any sort of concentration.

Work Experience

If you are in college, odds are you have a little work experience, even if it is not that much. Maybe you worked over your summer breaks or you had a semester where you were an intern. Put that stuff here with the following info: where you worked, the dates, and a summary of what you did.

Pro Tip: This section is where buzz words, like manage, create, communicate, and the like, really come in handy.

Any Special Skills

This section can be omitted if you can’t think of anything, but if you have some random skill, put it here. Are you a whiz with learning foreign languages? Do you learn things quickly? Do you have knowledge of some obscure program? Be sure to include it, because it could set you apart from other applicants.

References (if required)

If you have to put references in your resume, this is where they go. Put their name, phone, and email, and possibly their relation to you.

Now for some tips!

Use a different objective for different jobs.

Each job you apply to will probably be different in some way. Instead of saying something general, such as “writer,” try and be more specific. For one job, you might want to put “content creator for a technology startup” and another might be “email marketing writer for a corporate company.” Those are, of course, examples. Change it up to fit your personal goals.

Brag a little.

If you graduate with honors, or you graduate with any variation of cum laude, include that in your education section. That’s one example of when to brag about yourself. If it helps you stand out, do it. If not, then think about if it is really necessary.

Get specific.

I already mentioned that you should get specific with your job objective, but it can apply to your whole resume. If you have prior work experience, specify what exactly it is that you did at each job.

Be smart about your references.

If you have to include references, first, ask them. Don’t put someone on a resume without their consent. Not only does it mean they won’t get an unexpected phone call, but it also means they can think about what to say. If they get caught off guard, they may not be able to give an accurate description of you as an employee.

Also, choose your references wisely. Try and avoid family members, partly because some require you to avoid family, and partly because your family will probably give a biased reference. Use current and former teachers, current and former employers, and possibly an adviser or mentor.

Keep it short and sweet.

A commonly recommended length is about a page. You don’t want it to be so short that it doesn’t give a good summary of who you are and what you do. But, it’s not the place for your life story. Just include the basics and the most important pieces of information. Anything else, you can discuss in an interview.

 

I hope you guys liked reading about what to put in a resume and tips for writing a good one!

Have you started the resume writing process yet? What challenges have you encountered? Any tips I left out? Comment below!

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The Problem with Bloglovin’

As a blogger yourself or as an avid reader of blogs (or both), you have probably heard of Bloglovin’. If you haven’t, it is a website/app where you can follow all of your favorite blogs in one place. You can view posts and interact, too.

Killer Harmony | The Problem with Bloglovin' | Here are a couple of reasons why Bloglovin' is not a good way to support your favorite bloggers.

I have only used Bloglovin’ once, and I did not really understand it. Partly because I tend to follow my favorite bloggers on Twitter, so I can see when they publish a new post, and partly because of what the bulk of this post is about:

Bloglovin’ steals page views from bloggers.

Yes, you read that right, Bloglovin’ steals page views. This is because the default settings on a Bloglovin’ account are set to open posts within a window on the Bloglovin’ website or app.

But the Page Looks Like the Actual Blog?

That’s the scary part. Bloglovin’ manages to recreate the website while still keeping the post on Bloglovin’. Big brands like this have the power to hire people to develop their websites any way they like. They can forge a blogger’s website. They can do whatever they want.

Why Does it Matter?

If you simply like reading blogs, I can understand why you might not think it matters. You’re still reading, commenting, and sharing posts by your favorite bloggers. What’s the big deal?

Well, reading someone’s blog post on Bloglovin’ or any other sort of blog reader that does not direct you to the actual blog can negatively affect someone’s page views. While page views aren’t everything, they do matter.

I like to look at my page views to see growth. If my number of page views (here on the blog) don’t grow, I will think I’m doing something wrong. I will never see how many people read my posts through Bloglovin’. I also will never be able to see what posts are popular.

It also becomes a problem when a blogger wants to work with a brand or put up ad space. A lot of brands will have minimum page view requirements. If you don’t quite reach the minimum, then no sponsored post or other partnership for you.

What should You Do Instead?

Well, I say follow your favorite bloggers on Twitter (I’m @HannahHaefele)! Most bloggers post their latest blogs on Twitter the day they go live. Check out their other social media, too.

As bloggers, we like to promote our work and share them on social media, so you can find the link that way.

If you want to keep using Bloglovin’, use it as more of a notification tool. When you see a post from X blogger, go to that blogger’s website. We really appreciate it.

I know you can also change your settings so that Bloglovin’ redirects you to the proper URL, but since I do not use the program, I am not sure how to do that. If you know, leave a comment, or a simple Google search should help!

My Favorite Tool for Following Blogs

I LOVE Pinterest! I follow a lot of bloggers on there, and I share my own posts, too. I love that you can repin articles from other bloggers and they can share yours.

The great thing about Pinterest is that it redirects you (either through a new tab or the Pintrest browser on mobile) to the right link!

Blogger Love

I love supporting other bloggers, and I believe that one of the easiest ways to show your support is to read our posts ON our blogs! I understand the convenience of something like Bloglovin’, but it really is not the same.

Reading posts on a person’s actual blog is an easy, free way to support them. So follow your favorite bloggers on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, or check their website once a week. It’s a simple way to keep up with bloggers and support them.

 

Have you used Bloglovin’? What are your thoughts about the whole page view issue? Let me know in the comments!

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Dorm Safety Tips (for Fires, Weather, etc.)

In school, you probably had fire drills and maybe some severe weather drills. For me, that was tornado drills. In school, you are lead by a teacher and told what to do each step of the way. In a college classroom, that might still be true. But in a dorm, it’s all you.

Killer Harmony | Dorm Safety Tips | You never know when you might have a fire drill...or a real fire. Follow these tips to be prepared for when danger hits.

If you’re lucky, your RA (resident assistant) will be knocking on doors to make sure everyone is out. If they have class, though, they may not be there to check on you. Here are my tips for getting out of your dorm in a pinch.

Find the nearest exit.

It’s kind of self explanatory, but you should know where to go should a fire actually happen. Even if it’s only a drill, you should still take it seriously. My school’s resident life staff isn’t even allowed to disclose a drill because of this. You want to get out of the building quickly. Find the procedure for exiting either on your college website or, if your dorm is like mine, on the back of the door to your room.

Make sure you know the closest exit ahead of time so that you are prepared. Half the battle of surviving a drill is preparedness.

Make it easy on yourself.

The easier you can find things (and get out), the quicker you can get to safety. Hang your keys and ID on a hook by your door. The. You can grab and go.

Have some slip on shoes out and ready. I prefer flip flops for warmer weather and my Bobs for the cold. Either way, you want something that you can slip on, socks or not.

Don’t spend time looking for something unnecessary, like those gold hoop earrings. Not that earrings aren’t important, but really. Your life is at stake.

Grab the important stuff.

Here are what I suggest you grab and have ready for a quick exit.

Keys and ID: like I said, hang them on a hook by the door.

Slip on shoes: so you don’t have to go barefoot.

A jacket: in case it gets cold.

Your phone: not because it is your most cherished possession but to keep yourself occupied until authorizes give an all clear and so you can let family know what happened and that you’re safe.

If you have a class within an hour, your backpack: odds are a fire drill won’t be reason enough to go to class unprepared. Make sure you have your backpack packed and ready to go.

Also, if you are hanging out in a friend’s room, even if it is just down the hall, keep your keys with you. If you have to get out of the building, you probably won’t have time to go get them.

Do what authorities tell you.

If an RA comes up to you and asks you to get further from the building, do it. You might be in the way of a fire hose or you could be blocking something.

If a resident coordinator or firefighter gives the all clear, then you can go back inside. Don’t attempt that before the fact.

It’s for your and everyone’s safety.

Remember: Your safety is more important than material goods.

This was a somewhat short post, but I think it is something not often talked about. I actually experienced two events of the fire alarm going off and later learned neither was a drill. After the first time, I figured out what works and what didn’t.

Have you been caught off guard by a fire alarm? What do you wish you knew? Tell me in the comments!

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How to Succeed in an Online Class

So, you’ve started classes for the semester. You might have a few on campus classes, but you had to take one or more classes online. In my time in college, I have taken quite a few online classes. I even had a semester with all online classes.

Killer Harmony | Succeed in an Online Class | Taking an online class this semester? These tips will help you pass the class with flying colors!

An online class might seem daunting at first, but you can get through it. All it takes is a little motivation and know-how. Here are my tips for surviving an online class.

Get organized.

While organization is important for any class, that is especially true for an online class. I like to make a folder on my computer for the semester, then sub folders for each of your classes (online and on campus). I use the class folder to store everything from the syllabus to my final paper. If you like to look at things in print, then print off your syllabus and course schedule and have a dedicated folder for each class.

Read More: School Supplies Organization: College Edition

Login every day.

It sounds simple, but you want to keep up with your work each day to make sure you don’t miss a deadline. Login to the course to check for any new messages or updates from your professor. If you don’t have time each day, try to check in at least five times a week.

While I do not personally do this, I have friends who like to use an app on their phone to login. If you are away from a computer but want to check your grades, you can download the proper app. That would be either your school’s app or the official app for something like Blackboard.

I like to just use my phone’s mobile browser, since my school’s website is pretty mobile-responsive.

Email is your best friend.

Since you won’t be seeing your professor in person, email will be your primary form of communication with them. I will email my professor about anything from a simple question about an assignment to the requirements for a final exam.

You can also email your classmates. If you know someone in your class or you see someone having the same problem as you, email them. You can start a study group or just keep each other accountable.

Also, don’t be afraid to email your on campus professors with questions. Especially if one of your classes only meets weekly, you can get your questions answered.

Do the little things.

Discussion posts are a common part of online classes. Do them. They will probably be a small part of your grade (like 10%), but they add up. Your professor will see who really cares to do the work.

Extra credit assignments also fall under this category. If you can, do at least one extra credit assignment. Even if you start the class off with a high A, you never know what might happen. You could bomb the midterm. You could get super sick and miss a week of work.

Every bit counts. It could mean the difference between an A and B or B and C at the end of the semester.

Note the due date and time.

When you go to look at your assignments, you should obviously look at the due dates, but you should also look at the time. Most of the online classes I have had had assignments due close to midnight (11:59 pm), but there was one that was different. In that class, all assignments were due at 5 pm. That’s not a huge difference, but if you are busy all day, you might want to submit your assignments the day before.

Taking the time to check the time an assignment is due will allow you to plan your schedule better and to get everything done on time.

Work ahead when you can.

When you have a ton of on campus responsibilities, it can be easy to let your online class fall to the wayside. That’s why I like to work ahead when I can. If I have some extra time and motivation, I will complete an assignment a week or two early. That way, I can stay ahead in case I have a super busy week later.

Working ahead is also a good way to keep up with on campus classes, but for online classes, it is even more helpful. Unless you get lucky, your professor won’t be emailing you constantly to remind you of due dates. Having assignments completed and turned in a week in advance helps if you ever do forget a due date. Because you’ve already turned it in!

Get your textbooks.

Even the ones that aren’t required. I say this, because in an online class, you basically teach yourself. You have an instructor there to guide you, but you need to motivate yourself. Sometimes, you need more information to understand a concept. Try and find some supplementary materials to help you learn and succeed.

This could be recommended books or articles and websites from a simple Google search. Also, finding your own resources on the subject could be a great motivator. Since you’re going out of your way to learn, it will be much more enjoyable!

Prioritize your class.

An online class is just as much work as an on campus class. You should treat it as such. If you have an assignment due the next day, work on it instead of going out to party. Some people like to schedule their online class like an on campus class. I have found this doesn’t work for me, but you should give it a shot.

Write your assignments down in your planner and at the very least, write down the day you plan to do them. Or use the alarm or reminder app on your phone. Either way, prioritizing is the only way you will get your work done.

Those are some of my tips for how to succeed in an online class. I hope these tips helped you. Do you have any other tips for getting through an online class? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading!

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