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The job market is getting more and more competitive. The only way to get your foot in the door (besides mailing a shoe to your potential employer) is to have a resume that stands out. People often get overwhelmed by the thought of creating a resume. They turn to microsoft word for a resume template to guide them through the process and end up with a boring piece of paper that doesn’t exactly exhibit their strengths or personality. Here are a few tips and examples to creating a resume that will get you an interview… the rest is up to you!

Tip #1 – Be Brief
No one wants to read a novel. Condense your resume down to one page. No exceptions. If you really need to free up space move your references to a separate page. I can’t reiterate enough how important it is to keep it short and sweet. Employers know what they are looking for, but if you have a resume that catches their eye it doesn’t matter how much detail is on the page. They will call you for an interview and YOU can expand on every single little detail of your work experience when they ask you about it in person. If they have every piece of information they need from looking at your resume, then what would you have to talk about at the interview? A short resume actually works in your favor and a gives you stuff to talk about about… that way you will avoid awkward silence at an interview!

Tip #2 – Don’t be scared to share something unique about yourself somewhere in the resume. I ride a unicycle & take woodcarving lessons. Interview committee’s love to reference these little tid bits in order to really get to know a candidate. Nobody wants to hire a robot. Show your human side. When helping a friend with a resume a little while back, she told me she always puts “quahogging” on her resume NO MATTER WHAT. She might have her MBA and tons of amazing experience in the nonprofic sector, but it never fails that the interview committee has a few questions about quahogging. In case you are wondering, a quahog is similar to a clam… and she digs for them off the beaches of the cape and then makes delicious stuffed quahogs with her catch!

Tip #3 – Use Color > Use Graphics > Use anything that makes your resume different! You are marketing yourself. What do businesses do to market themselves? They create a logo and pick some identifying colors. Why not use that strategy when marketing yourself? Think of your name as a headline or logo. Make it bold, so they say… hmmm, Who is this Jessica Maguire? What’s her deal?

Tip #4 – EDIT, EDIT, EDIT. I’m the first to admit that I don’t have the keenest eye for errors and tend to focus more on style, layout & aesthetics and miss grammatical stuff as a result (which is horrible to admit, since I’m an English teacher). Have someone else look at your resume to proof it. A new set of eyes is more likely to pick up an error, since we have a tendency to “fill in the blanks” since we know what we are trying to say.

Tip #5 – Consistency. Be consistent with your fonts. Your header should be a bold font, whereas the body should be a simple easy to read font. Make sure you stick to those two fonts throughout your entire resume. And be consistent with your cover letter and reference page too! If you design a cool header with your name & contact info, use that same header and body font for your cover letter and references.

Below are a few examples I was playing around with. The body of the resume remains mostly the same, but I tried some different headers and colors to draw the readers attention.

Pink & Green Dots

Pink & Green Dots


Stripes!

Stripes!


Banner

Banner

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In an effort to supplement our income and establish a revenue stream that will allow me to stay home forever with my children, I have been brainstorming some new business ideas. I know I’ll always have http://www.peggottyprints.com, but it couldn’t hurt to have some other ways to earn money.

Scituate Turkey Tours – So, I am going to decorate my minivan to look like a giant turkey (then the turkey’s won’t be scared when we drive right up to them and gawk at them). It’s kind of like the TMZ bus tours in Hollywood, only better. I can guarantee sitings on Lawson Rd. & the West End… but the only pit fall is that I will only have two seats available once all my children are in the van with me. I’m going to have to look into getting some sort of trailer with folding chairs duct taped to it.

Lettuce Stand – I’m seriously considering applying for a peddlers license at town hall and opening up a lettuce stand right outside Maria’s during the summer. I’ll charge $2 per handful and out-of-towners will eat it up!

Portable Man Caves – Kind of like those Bouncy Houses you rent for kids parties… these would be little trailers stocked with beer, tv’s (with the NFL Sunday ticket), video games, buffalo wings, etc. You could rent it for your husband and it would be like a little spa day for him.

iPhone Dealer – Looking into buying iPhone’s and spray painting them gold and selling them on the internet.

Fitscaping – I’m hoping to start a new fitness craze that involves training clients by means of landscaping (my yard). Fat burning activities include push mowing my lawn, hauling brush, & shoveling mulch. Clients will pay me to do my yardwork.

A Weight Watchers Program for Pets – Once you get in shape with Fitscape, you are going to want your pets to lead a healthy lifestyle too. I am currently working on a point system for pets looking to lose a few pounds. Baby carrots will definitely be zero points… so go crazy Frances.

Disposable Socks for Infants & Toddlers – They are always losing them anyways. So, why not just accept it. I’m developing a prototype using paper towels as the textile.

Finger Nail Whisperers – These would be trained finger nail technicians that travel to your house after bath time to cut your toddler’s finger nails. They would bring props to distract your flailing child. I know my kids would totally go for it if they brought an old DVD of Cars and a powerwheels with a dead battery to sit in when they clip their nails. Picture Snip Itz, but with finger nails. Oh, wait maybe I should call it Clip Itz.