Adult Life Stuff: Resumes.

Hello.

Congrats on reaching the moment in your life when you realize you need a resume!

Well, I am here to share a few words of wisdom I picked up from attending a seminar led by a man who works in career services.  His tips have landed people dream jobs and helped save others from complete and utter embarrassment.  Plus they just make sense.  So if you are applying to a job, a scholarship, or some other competitive…thing, then listen up because this will be helpful!

IMAGE IS EVERYTHING.  I know your parents,teachers, and fictional character friends have taught you that what matters is on the inside but that just kinda sorta applies here.  I’m not saying throw fancy borders on it with rainbow letters, clip art, and comic sans.  No, in fact, do the opposite, use crisp, clean white paper.  Use Times New Roman–11pt (for the most part.)  Avoid using those “super convenient user friendly templates.”  They are often rigid and not very easy to personalize.  Just do it in Word–one inch margins, one page long.  (If absolutely necessary you can go onto two pages as long as they’re back to  back, not stapled)  Also, NEVER include a picture.  Most employers are not legally allowed to accept a resume that includes a picture.  So just don’t bother.

FUN FACT: An employer spends an average of 20 seconds looking over a resume!  These are things an employer wants to see:

1. Name and Contact Information.

That means full legal name; no nicknames.  This will be your header.  (Not actually in the header on a Word document, just the first thing on the page..)  Your name should be nice and big so the reader knows with whom he or she is dealing.  Align your contact information directly underneath your name–UNLESS you are a student living on campus.  Then split up your school address and your home address and respective phone numbers to opposite sides of the page.  Your email should be something moderately professional.  i.e.  omg8fluffybunnyluv_starQT4lyfe@yahoo.com is not acceptable.  Your email should reflect your age.  So should your voicemail message.

2. Objective Statement.

This is only necessary if you are applying to something super crazy specific.  And make sure it’s mutually beneficial.  Don’t be that person whose objective is “to get a job.”  No duh…why else would you hand someone a resume?

3. Education.

So this is why that GPA thing matters.  Unless it’s awful.  Then it’s okay to omit.  And if you do choose to include it, make sure it’s accurate.  If you are not completely done with college yet or you are applying to something right out of high school, then definitely include your high school.  Just make sure they are on separate sides of the page.  If high school is a bit outdated (after college sophomore year) then by all means omit it.

4. International Experience.

Work done outside the country captures attention and gives you an edge.  This is where you note your internaional volunteer hours, study abroad, or foreign internships.  Your exotic honeymoon and hectic family vacations do not have a place here.   It’s also totally okay if you have never been out of the country.  (I haven’t.)

5. Work Experience.

Always list the most recent career/job first and work chronologically backwards.  Use bullet points to briefly describe what you did through action words and buzzwords but NO PRONOUNS. (I, you, he, she, it, me, us, them, etc.)

If you’re low on work experience, impress with volunteer experience.

6. Activities and Honors.

This is the fun stuff.  Again if high school is relevant, brag about it.  But really focus on any collegiate activities and achievements, leadership positions and awards, etc.

7. References.

Always ask your references if they are okay being a reference.  Make sure their contact information is up to date.  If possible, students should provide two academic references and one work reference.  Include the phrase “Available Upon Request” if it is absolutely true.  DO NOT use a family member as a reference.  They love you too much not to be biased.

8. Whatever Else You Deem Necessary To Include.

If there is a special skill you think can help you get ahead in thee runnings, go ahead and list it.  No, wall twerking is not a special skill you should list.

Key Pointers!

  • All major headers should be 14pt font.
  • The bulk of your text should be 11pt or 12pt font (the more important, the larger the font).
  • DON’T list personal things.  Potential employers don’t need to know your sexuality, race, ethnicity, cats’ names, shoe size, etc to consider you for hire.
  • Use the correct tense:  if you did it in the past, use past tense.  If you are still doing it, use present tense.
  • If for some reason a negative pops up, spin it into a positive!
  • NEVER TELL A LIE.  Don’t exaggerate either.  If you can’t back it up with facts/proof, then don’t include it on your resume.
  • If you have to mail your resume, send it in a manila folder.  Creased resumes can appear crumpled and messy.  Remember, image is everything.
  • A resume is an active document.  You should be adding and adjusting throughout life as things happen.  It’s not static or ever really finished.
  •  ALWAYS TRIPLE CHECK BEFORE YOU PRINT (or hit submit).  People tend to type a document and move on.  Typos are a big no-no and you want to catch them before it’s too late.

I set up a guideline for myself while working on my resume.  I attached it here!  It’s not a template. All of the information is typed up in textboxes so they can be moved, replaced, and resized or adjusted as needed.  Mine includes high school as well as University information since I’m still a student so those of you confused about the “separate sides of the page” thing can see what I meant.  I hope this helps!  Good luck with life.

Bye For Now,

Frankie :-*

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I Killed Tula…?

It all happened so quickly.
It was Saturday the 17th when I bought my betta fish “Tula” (after the main character in My Big Fat Greek Wedding). Before leaving for the pet store I’d already set up her tank with water (duh), pebbles and a bamboo plant. We got home, set her in the tank, fed her some nasty-looking fish food and placed her near some light.
Five hours later my brother noticed her lack of movement.
Time of death: 8:12 p.m.

tula dead
Time of rebirth: 11:00 a.m. the next day.
As my mom was taking Tula out of the tank, the fish went wild (because, you know, it was out of water)
It turns out that I just have a really lazy fish.

tula live

Buying Books Blows

Even if you’re only a freshman in college, you know the pain of buying textbooks.  All that hard earned money out the window and then you can only sell them for what feels like pennies in comparison, if you can sell them at all.  It’s especially painful if a professor tells you a book is “required” and then you only use it once. Evil schemers.

I’m here to tell you how to save as much money as possible on your college textbooks.  I read my dear friend Megan’s post from a few days ago and I think $1000 a semester for books is blasphemy.  Blasphemy! Unless you’re in 8 or 9 classes (in which case I wish you good luck) your books SHOULD NOT be that much if you use the right venues.  I admit, sometimes it takes a smidge more effort to do it my way, but if it means saving a bunch of money I’ll put the time in.

To put it into perspective, I spent around $300 dollars on my books this semester and around the same last semester.  I’m only in 5 classes right now but I had to buy 18 books which is a pretty decent amount.  Unfortunately, there are some circumstances where you’ll have no other choice but to pay over $100 dollars for a book, but a lot of times that can be avoided.  This might happen to you if:

a. the book is rare or old-last semester the textbook my French teacher wanted us to have had been out of print since the 90’s so the only place I could find it was at my University’s bookstore.

b. the book is customized for a specific course at your school-all freshman at my school are required to take a Valparaiso University designed class we call CORE which doesn’t really fit into any subject category. As a result, if I were to transfer, there’s a large chance the credits from that course wouldn’t transfer over with me.  That also means my University designed the textbook so it literally does not exist anywhere else but here.

Besides these two cases, most books can be found in numerous online and offline locations.  Of course, your University will have all those books ready for you to order with one click, but looking somewhere else can mean the biggest difference.  At first I was skeptical to buy my books on any random website that claimed “We sell and buy new and used textbooks!” But to be honest, I’ve bought from at least 4 websites and haven’t run into any problems or scams.

I stumbled across this website: http://www.slugbooks.com and holy crap do I love it.  You enter the title or ISBN (I recommend the ISBN) of the book you want to buy and it will tell you the availability of that book as well as compare prices of it on 10 different websites! Awesome, right?  Every book is different, but with the majority of mine I found that http://www.chegg.com is always the most expensive and either http://www.amazon.com or http://www.valorebooks.com is your best bet.  Shipping can seem expensive, but I did the math and still came out on top.

I don’t know if I’ve said this yet but DO NOT buy your books from your University if you can help it! To put it into some more perspective, if I had bought/rented all my books at the cheapest prices my University was offering they would have cost me $600 without shipping. I cut my spending in half! To be fair, I know I won’t always be able to do that, but it’s worth it when you can.

So! I hope something I’ve said helps you out, even just a little.  And maybe in the future your book buying experience won’t blow so much.

Mich out.

College $$$

(OMG It’s already second semester!  Sorry the posts have been few and far in between but we’ve all been busy dealing with adjustments for spring and spending much time with loved ones before moving out again.  Here is a nice realistic post to go along with the college thing.)

So hello everyone!  I hope everyone who is in college had an awesome break, and that everyone who doesn’t have a month long break at least had a nice time celebrating the winter holidays!  I want to take some time today to talk about college finances, which I know for some may not be the most comfortable topic for everyone, but I’d like to share what I’ve experienced and some tips for everyone.

Going to a private high school that had a yearly tuition of over $10,000, I have some experience with trying to creatively pay for expensive education.  I was lucky enough to receive both academic scholarships and participate in a work-study program, which made it possible for me to attend DSHA for a much reduced price.

Now, both going to school and living on campus at Marquette come at a much higher price than high school.  To be exact, tuition for this year is $35,480, plus another $11,000 to live on campus, plus another $450 for ‘fees’, whatever the heck that means.  This doesn’t include paying for books (which could be easily be another $1,000 depending on your class load and if you buy or rent), paying for travel between college and home, and paying for the multiple miscellaneous expenses that come up in college.  Basically, college is freaking expensive if you want to go to a private university. (Or any University)

Over the summer, I was unsure if I was going to be able to go to Marquette.  I would have been okay with switching to another nursing program, but Marquette has one of the most respected nursing programs in the area and has an awesome reputation not only in Milwaukee, but in Wisconsin.  I was convinced though that I would have to give up my dream school and go somewhere else or take a semester off to save up money.  However, after getting another loan, my dad offered to pay for the first year.

Just a little breakdown of what I have to pay for before I go further, after everything, loans, grants, and scholarships, I have about $7,000 due for the year.  I decided to commute to save myself that extra $11,000 in fees.  Because we pay here per semester, it shapes up to be about $3,500 per semester plus books and other miscellaneous expenses.

This semester, my dad expressed to me that he does need help paying for school.  I’m totally okay with that, I never expected that either of my parents would just be able to straight up pay all of my tuition.  I have two jobs that both pay pretty decently, and I’m applying for a scholarship that if I get it, I would only have to come up with about $1,000 each semester.  Obviously everyone’s situation is different, I just wanted to share mine with everyone.

Now there are definitely some things I wish I would have done differently!  One of the biggest mistakes I made was not taking more advantage of private scholarship searches.  Now some of them were really involved scholarships that wouldn’t have been a lot of money for the application, but some of them I could have easily applied for!  I encourage everyone to look for scholarships; free money is always the best money.  I highly recommend exhausting your free money before you look for loans.

Another thing I learned about college finance: you can’t just go to a bank and get a loan like magic.  Because you most likely won’t have any credit, you need a cosigner.  I don’t have anyone in my family who would be willing to cosign for such a large loan.  This is why you exhaust your free money options, so you don’t have to get a loan!

I hope I didn’t scare anyone… Yes paying for college is a huge responsibility, but there are so many options!  There’s scholarships, grants, loans, work study!  Apply for everything, don’t write off any opportunity for free money, and try to have fun!  One of the perks of college is that there are so many free things going on, from free speakers to excursions to club sponsored activities, having fun doesn’t have to be expensive!  So have fun everyone, and Happy January!