Archive for August 2008

How to Write a Resume

August 8, 2008

The most important thing to remember when writing a resume is that it will probably only be glanced at. Hiring managers will probably be sorting through a pile, and be looking for something to jump out at them. So make sure that your resume will catch someone’s interest in under 30 seconds.

How? By following these steps (These are things I’ve learned – some by trial and error, and some through very good advice).

Best Foot Forward
Put the most interesting things about you, the things that are most relevant to that job, at the top. Most resumes have several sections, including (but not limited to): experience, education, activities, awards and computer skills. If you have really rare computer skills, and those are what the job ad specificially mentions the company is looking for, put that up front. Often, people put things in order according to a sample resume or random format someone told them worked. The truth is, putting your best foot forward (and your relevant information at the top of the sheet) will help catch and keep a hiring managers attention.

No Mistakes
Your resume is your first impression. It is unlikely you’d walk into a job interview with a stain on your shirt; why should you submit a resume with spelling errors or typos? Re-read your resume. Have other people read your resume. Believe it or not, I’m a professional editor, and for about 3 months I didn’t catch a typo on my own resume. I showed it to career couselors, my parents, everyone – it wasn’t until I showed it to a college friend, that she finally noticed a mistake. Have everyone you can look your resume over.

Don’t be Boring
A good friend of mine has on his resume that he knows how to make hummus. Believe it or not, this is what landed him his current job. He was applying for financial jobs – but when he went in for the interview, his interviewer asked about this unique skill. They got into a conversation about it; he got the job. If there is something unique or interesting about you, or something that you feel pasionate about don’t be afraid to mention it. It’ll help you stand out when the interviewer is looking at 5 resumes, all qualified, with the same skills and knowledge. Four resumes may be boring, but yours will show that not only are you qualified, but you’re an interesting person too.

It’s a resume – not a teenage girl’s notebook
Teenage girls in highschool have a tendency to write the name of their crush over and over – in different handwriting, just initials, last name, first name – every combination you can image. Your resume should not look like this. Use one font. Use bold only for important information (on my resume, the company names are bold, as are the two colleges I attended; nothing else is.) Be careful about embellishments.

Postive, Active and Concise
Most people use bullet points on their resume; I recommend this. However, your bullet point should not be more then one line. You should be concise and positive. Don’t put anything on your resume that you hated doing (what if an employer decides you’d be perfect to do that all over again?). Think numbers. (good example: I researched, conducted interviews for, and wrote 3-6 articles a month for 4 magazines). You probably didn’t notice but in that example I also used active voice. Try to avoid being passive. (Bad Example: Articles in several magazines have been written by me; I did this every month). This is probably the most difficult part of resume writing; but if done correctly it can also make all the difference.

Shine baby shine.
Finally, make sure you contact information is on EVERYTHING (Cover letter, resume, writing samples, etc) that you send to a potential employer. You don’t want to WOW them then not get the job because they couldn’t find your phone number!

Other Relevant Links:
How to Write a Cover Letter
Advertising Yourself: Resume & Cover Letter

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Repost – Ebook Vs. Paper

August 7, 2008

I came across this recently and thought it was worth reposting here. Note: THIS IS AN EXCERPT, REPOSTED; for the original, click HERE.

One useful flip test consists of mentally switching the order of appearance of a new technology and an existing one.  At a conference years back I was sitting on a panel that was asked to talk about future of the book.  As the discussion was heating up about the inevitability of the electric media, someone on the panel (I wish it had been me) proposed a flip test.  He said  “Let’s say the world has only e-books, then someone introduces this technology called ‘paper.’  It’s cheap, portable, lasts essentially forever, and requires no batteries.  You can’t write over it once it’s been written on, but you buy more very cheaply.  Wouldn’t that technology come to dominate the market?”  It’s fair to say that comment changed the direction of the panel.

I think that looking at things from this slightly different perspective is interesting. It allows us to disregard some of our personal prejudices, whether you feel eBooks will eventually surpass paper as the standard media or not. From an ebook will P.O.V: suddenly you see the potential of paper. From a paper P.O.V.: suddenly you see where eBooks may provide additional services, that paper can not.
As the name of the test suggests, the flip test turns everything on it’s head.

Print in a Digital World

August 4, 2008

Sony’s eBook reader and Amazon’s Kindle are evidence that the publishing industry sees the need to convert to digital. However, what are the newspaper and magazine industries doing to adapt?

Well, according to The International Herald Tribune, newspaper publishers in France are testing a new device – Read & Go – it comes in a black rectangular box with a screen half the size of a sheet of copy paper and links to several French newspapers, with black on gray type mimicking ink on newsprint.

There are two problems I see with this – although I think it is a HUGE step in the right direction. We had someone in to talk to our Financial Aspects of Publishing Class last fall from a major paper and we discussed this possibility. However, he said it would never go over with advertisers because they want the same size ads, and essentially this is cutting down their ad size. It is also worth noting that the Kindle already allows downloads of 19 newspapers from around the world (and will soon be available in non-US markets). Unlike the Kindle, the Read & Go includes ads, but the article doesn’t mention how advertisers will take the size change. It is assumed they will be added to the electronic version without eliminating them from the print, and the Read & Go is still in the testing phase, so they may not know yet.

The second problem I see with this is people like newspapers because they are flexible. You can fold them up and toss them in your bag – you don’t have to worry if you leave them on the train; etc. Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m very much in favor of newspapers going digital. I just think that it probably won’t go mainstream unless either they develop a large (so ads aren’t resized) digital paper that can be folded without breaking its screen or a major newspaper publisher provides their subscribers with a copy each, that automatically updates whichever papers the person subscribes to. Or both.

The advantage should, say, the New York Times adopt this method, is that subscribers could leave it in their bag – they would still get it delivered to their device; they wouldn’t miss a day’s paper because they were traveling or out-of-town. The disadvantage is they wouldn’t be able to clip out articles – although that would provide a new reason to post the article archives on the web, and might even drive up archive sales.

Even Esquire is adopting E-ink; their new anniversary cover, for their September issue reportedly will flash “the 21st century begins now.” This seems to indicate that magazines too will eventually push into the new technology.