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While preparing to leave my office management job, I handled the hiring process for replacing me. We received about 30 resumes. A good portion of them made me want to cry. People didn’t follow the specific directions I had written in the email, such as not sending a cover letter as requested. On the resumes, layouts were misaligned and inconsistent. I saw more spelling errors and typos than I make in a year. A few people didn’t even introduce themselves in the initial email, merely attaching their resume instead.

During college, I spent a good deal of time working with our campus career center to prepare resumes and cover letters, attending job fairs, and learning about various career paths I may or may not want to take. I know what a resume should look like, and I’ve spent a solid chunk of my time revising mine throughout the years. Sending a resume where you clearly spent less than five minutes throwing random job history onto a page? Not going to get you a job. Here are some tips for submitting an application to a job:

1. Follow all instructions listed on the job posting – All. All of them. Every last one. If they want you to dance in a circle before sending in your application, do it. Here’s why – those instructions are often geared to see if you read thoroughly and can follow directions. When you don’t send me a cover letter after I ask you to, I assume that you either a) cannot read, or b) did not read my entire posting and therefore are not that interested in the job.

2. Have an introduction in your email – Your email application is likely the first introduction these people have to you. Do you really think a preset signature is going to make you stand out of a group of dozens, possibly hundreds of other resumes? Good luck with that.

3. Have a professional voicemail message and email address – This one is pretty obvious. If your email address is, you’re telling me that you’re too immature for my company. Along the same lines, if your voicemail doesn’t introduce yourself or politely ask me to leave a message, that’s not a good sign.

4. OH MY GOD, PROOFREAD – Seriously. Why is it so difficult to spend a minute rereading your resume and cover letter to make sure that you don’t have any typos or misalignment? This is a reflection of you! When you send me a resume filled with typos, you’re telling me that you’re careless.

5. Tailor your response to the job posting – This one is really important and will make you stand out from your competition who ignores this crucial step of the application process. Many times, your skills will not perfectly align with the job posting, but you can point out the areas where you do fit the job requirements. Talk how you are a great fit for this position based on your skill set and experience.

6. Fix your damn layout – Maybe I’m being harsh here, but there is no reason that you can’t have an aligned, clean resume. No, really. None. If your resume is misaligned, I’m not going to look on it very positively, period, because it shows that you didn’t take the small amount of time necessary to adjust it. And unless you have publications to list, keep it to a page. I’ve played with margins, font size, and white space, but my resume has always been one page.

7. Send documents in a common format with a standard font type – I had one candidate try to send me her information via WordPerfect files. Few computers can open WordPerfect documents and I don’t have the time to download adapters to figure out how to open them. I suggest using Microsoft Word document files (not 2007 document files) or PDF files. You may also be tempted to make your resume stand out by using a funky font style – don’t. Many companies use software with only basic fonts, so they won’t be able to read your resume. Use a standard serif font like Arial, Times New Roman, or Verdana and make your qualifications stand out on their own.

Or you could just write this.

By the way, we did hire somebody – she had a lovely resume, a strong introduction/cover letter, and a very pleasant demeanor. I think she’ll be a great addition to the company.

Do you have any application submission tips?


You might be aware that today is my last day in my current role. I’ve been here for 1 1/2 years of bittersweet work, but I am incredibly excited to be joining the team at my new place of employment where I’ll be a Community Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator. It will definitely be a challenging role, especially since I feel a bit rusty, but I’m really looking forward to seeing what we can do together to build awareness for the organization. Anyway, since it’s my last day here, I wanted to spend today’s Truth Thursday contemplating some lessons I’ve learned about work and life.

1. Never sacrifice your own well-being for a job for any reason – Being one who’s never had a lot of money, I’ve been well-accustomed to working multiple jobs to make ends meet. In school, for instance, I once worked three jobs while going to school full time. After school, I also had periods where I worked multiple jobs, and more recently, had days where I went straight from one job to another. Working like this can earn you more money, but I found it significantly diminished my happiness. Nothing, not even money, is a worthwhile enough reason to work yourself to death.

2. Maintain a strong work-life balance – You will hear me proclaim this a lot. I am a huge proponent of work-life balance. While I enjoy working and would work even if I didn’t need to, work-life balance is incredibly important to me as well. I find that it’s a refreshing way to enjoy more of life and still stay connected to my work, which helps me enjoy both aspects of life more thoroughly. And while I want to enjoy my career and the work that I do, it’s unrealistic to expect that my career will give me absolute happiness. Only having a life outside of work can balance out the two sufficiently.

3. Never stop trying to find a career you enjoy – Will I ever find a career that I love? Maybe, maybe not. But I do think it’s realistic to expect that I can find a career I enjoy – even if that means that I try out a few career paths before I settle into one. I haven’t become a veterinarian, an actor, a pastor, an event planner, or a PR gal, but I have taken pieces of each of those roles that I enjoy and try to incorporate those aspects into my work. It is never worthwhile to be stuck in a job that you hate or that makes you feel bad about yourself. It is worth dedicating time and effort into finding a fulfilling job you enjoy.

4. Seize smart opportunities whenever they come your way – Obviously I’m not telling you to make bad decisions, but don’t pass up exciting opportunities just because they seem a little risky. I purposely do not have a solid plan for the next five years because I don’t want to feel stuck on my own set path. I would much rather be open to anything that comes my way, and then I can decide from there if it’s a worthwhile opportunity at that time.

5. Keep your work comrades close – We spend 1/3 of our working years with our coworkers, but many of us know almost nothing about them. Studies have shown that people who have good relationships with their coworkers enjoy work more and work in a more positive environment. I myself have garnered some great relationships thanks to my work at various companies, and many times, these coworkers helped me survive. Try to build close connections with worthwhile comrades and then keep them around if you do leave the company. You won’t be sorry.

What have you learned in regards to work and life?

No TV Tuesday post today – sorry lovelies! It’s a crazy hectic day of training my replacement, dental appointments, secret shops, and library pick-ups. Or just singular on all of those things. But I won’t leave you with nothing.

As I was talking to the lovely Kate today, we got around to the topic of evolving food preferences:

Katelyn:  My tastes have evolved. I like things I used to hate.
Me: Same here. Except mayonnaise. My fierce hatred of mayonnaise has only grown stronger. It was like cat pissed off fierce before. It’s like raptor fierce now.
Katelyn: That is amazing.

I really hate mayonnaise.

Boyfriend was aiming to get a job, but just found out that they’re no longer hiring, so he’s back to square one. I was discussing options with the amazing Kates and she had some helpful advice:

Me: I’m not sure what he’s going to do for work now. He doesn’t love dealing with people.

Kate: He should become an obituary writer. He wont have to deal with people (well he will, but they are dead). And he can write!

Hate people? It’s okay, they’re dead!

Maybe that shouldn’t be his tagline.

Health for the Whole Self discusses fat discrimination and how to combat negative comments: Things Fat People Are Told

Kate from Divergent Musings has a fantastic post on body image issues and a follow-up post on saying “screw you” to labels: Thoughtful Thursday: On Body Image Issues and Thoughtful Thursday: Numbers & Labels

Arash Mazinani speaks about his beef in an absolutely true post about body shapes: My Beef with Body Shapes

Zen Habits discusses how to deal with negative people – do you agree?: 7 Simple Tips to Deal With Negative People

Rosie Molinary talks about ways to develop and convey confidence (a HUGE component in attractiveness): Steps to Confidence

Annie on Strong, Healthy, Fit tells readers to declare themselves perfect already: I Am Bikini Ready

Stylish Thought discusses savage bloggers – are you one?: Are you a Savage Blogger?

Beautifully Invisible (hilariously) shared how Jack Sparrow taught her fashion lessons: 5 Things Jack Sparrow Taught Me About Fashion and Makeup

Sally McGraw guest posted on The Frisky about improving body image by dressing for her figure: Dressing Vs. Dieting

Em of Oh, the Places You’ll Go had a great post on trying new things on those days you feel ugly (and looks adorable to boot): Contextualizing Ugly Days

Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, talks about 6 happiness “boosters” and their not-so-greatness: Why These 6 Happiness “Boosters” Might Actually Make You Feel Worse

Remember how I said I’d never seen 2001: A Space Odyssey? Well, boyfriend and I watched it last night. We decided it’s one of those movies that’s only good if you talk throughout the entire thing. We had some great dubbed commentary for the 20-minute opening scene with the apes, including, “Step away from the water, bitches.” Those apes sure swear a lot. My favorite part of the movie, however, had to be this part:

As Heywood, Ralph, and Bill take a shuttle to the lunar excavation site, they discuss a speech Heywood made. Along the way, they eat.

Bill: “Anybody hungry?”

Heywood: “Chicken?  Tastes the same anyway.”

Ralph: “Any ham?”

Heywood: “Looks pretty good.  They’re getting better all the time.”

Ralph: “I’m sure it beefed up morale a hell of a lot.”

Cassie: “You mean, it HAMMED up morale a hell of a lot!”

Doug: “I’m glad you amuse yourself.”

Five minutes later, I’ve progressed from laughing to laughing and crying…

Doug: “What the hell is the matter with you?”

Cassie: “I should have said, it ROAST BEEFED up morale!”

Doug: “Oh dear god.”

Best part of the movie.

I hate hornets. HATE. I have an immense irrational fear of wasps and hornets, and I do mean immense. I will do whatever it takes to get away from one. I never run as fast as I do when I see a hornet. And of course, hornets LOVE my house. Three more months and then I don’t have to deal with them anymore, but until then, things like this happen…

I go to open the door to move my car into the driveway and there is a hornet BETWEEN MY DOOR AND THE SCREEN DOOR.


Boyfriend: What???

Me: Hornet! BETWEEN THE SCREEN DOOR AND THE DOOR!!! [many expletives]

Boyfriend: Ah. Still have that spray? I’ll go spray the nest.

Five minutes of useless searching for nest go by while I shout unhelpful hints from the safety of the family room window…

Me: They’re evil. Pure evil. If you look in the dictionary, do you know what the definition of hornets is? Evil.

Boyfriend: Is that so?

Boyfriend gets dictionary.

Boyfriend: Here’s the definition of hornet.

Dictionary: Evil (adj.) – 1. morally wrong or bad, immoral, wicked; 2. hurtful, injurious

Uh huh. We also crossed out the definition of hornet and replaced it with: EVIL.

Boyfriend doesn’t use Twitter, but he apparently knows the lingo.

Boyfriend: On twitter, if you posted in the past, you twatted a tweet, you twat. And a quick tweet is called a twit. I twat a twit with my twitter tat. Tat is a computer solely made for twitter. And twot is a past-tense tweet in Boston…okay, I made that last one up.

Me: It’s not twat – it’s tweeted. The bird didn’t twat, silly. Or at least I hope not…that’s kind of gross.

Boyfriend: The bird doesn’t have the ability to twat? What is this world coming to? We can make Google a verb, ironic not what it actually means, and twitter a form of “mine. mine. mine.” So why can we not twitter in the past tense with twat? We met, not meeted! So I say in this bastard language fest we call English, why can we not twat? Twat I say!!

Me: …

It was overwhelming hot in my room last night. It’s just the way our house is in summer. I like summer, but between the hornets that swarm around my house and the oppressive heat in the upstairs room, it can be a bit unbearable. I’m picking up a hornet trap today (take that, evil). See below for an example of how we deal with the heat when overly hyper.

Me: It’s sooo hot up here. Ugh!
Boyfriend: I know. Do you have your other fan?
Me: I have both the ceiling fan and the regular fan on.
Boyfriend: Are they on high?
Me: The regular fan is, the ceiling fan is on the second setting because it rattles when it’s on high. Ugh!
Boyfriend: Get your big fan!
Me: The big fan makes a lot of noise.
Boyfriend: Big fan!
Me: Like, a LOT of noise. Remember?
Boyfriend: Big fannn!
Me: Okay, you go get it!

Boyfriend gets the fan. One minute later…

Boyfriend: There’s a B52 in your room.

I haven’t done much online surfing lately, so I haven’t had a chance to drool over much out there (thankfully – it usually just makes me sad). But it’s a new month, so hopefully soon I’ll be getting more income in and can add a couple of these items to my closet:

TheTwoLittleMoos – Shutterbug Silver Camera and Pearl, $16.00 – buy it here!

I love this necklace! I took photography in high school and have always loved photographic art, so this piece is perfect. I also really adore the pearl – just that simple, small addition gives this necklace a hint of classy glamour. I stumbled across Brittney’s blog, which led me to her adorable Etsy shop – I want to buy so much of her stuff now!

TheLeatherStore – Gray Suede Sash Obi Belt, $45.00 – get it here!

I’ve been wanting an obi belt since I saw Sally from Already Pretty sporting one and realized how awesome they look. I don’t necessary want mine to be suede like the one pictured here, but I love the cut of this one – for those who don’t know, obi belts are varying in size, shape, and fabric. I like a wider tie as opposed to a thin tie and I don’t want anything too flashy. I’ll have to keep my eye out for this – or make my own?

Maurices – Belted Textured Tunic with Pockets, $29.00 – get it here!

I realize this probably wouldn’t look very good on my body, but I want to try it out just to see. I love drape necks like this as they draw attention up and wide belts look good around my natural waist. It would need a black bolero cardigan, though, and I haven’t been able to find a good one yet.

Anthropologie – Creased Swirls Corset Top, $88.00 – get it here!

I don’t like the way yellow looks on me. In fact, I don’t think I own a single yellow item. I have, however, always wanted something in yellow – especially after I heard that there’s a shade of yellow for everyone. I also don’t love everything that Anthropologie makes, but when they make something good, it’s damn good. Not worth $88.00, perhaps, but little is to me.

Macy’s – Ruby Rox Strapless Rosette Bubble Hem, $44.50 – get it here!

This is the kind of dress that I have absolutely no use for, but absolutely adore. In fact, I have a slightly similar dress (similar in color and black overlay) that I don’t use, but I love too much to get rid of. I want to be rich and have an excuse to wear this.

What items have you been craving?

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