HOW TO ELIMINATE PROCRASTINATION IN TWO MINUTES

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A big shout out to James Clear from Buffer for introducing us to an amazing technique that helps you annihilate your procrastination in two minutes or less.

Those of you who tend to procrastinate when a big project looms around the corner feel the dread building up before you even begin working on it, because you just know those last few hours before deadline are going to be a suicide mission.

Kill that procrastination right this instant by splitting everything into itty bitty two-minute chunks. Whatever can be accomplished in two minutes, do it.

Have a behemoth of a spreadsheet to complete? Do a few cells in two-minute intervals. You’ll do a little bit, then a little bit more, then some more, and before you know, you’ll be done.

If you’re a procrastinator, don’t waste your time: split everything up into bit sized, two-minute pieces. It’s brilliant and it works.

THREE RESUME FORMATTING MISTAKES TO AVOID

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Uncle David has gotten every job he has ever gone for, so when he gives job-hunting advice, you better listen up. Join us every week for Uncle David’s 100% Successful Job Hunting Tip.

SHOW DATE: SEPTEMBER 4, 2013

The way you’re formatting your resume may be ruining your image.

Would you ever wear flip-flops, jeans and a t-shirt to a job interview? Unless you’re interviewing for High Times, probably not. So why dress your resume in wacky fonts and stretched margins?

Your resume represents who you are you, since it’s usually the first thing that employers see. There’s no reason your resume shouldn’t look as sharp as that suit you wear to your job interviews.

Here are three huge resume formatting mistakes that can seriously injure your image with employers:

1)   Wacky fonts: Unless you’re a designer and you understand how to manipulate fonts to your aesthetic advantage, stop thinking wacky fonts distinguish you from the crowd; they only make you look like an idiot. Stick to the sweet spot with Times New Roman 11, 10 if you have a lot of text or 12 if you can’t fill the page with 11.

2)   Stretched Margins: Another thing that grates employers is excruciatingly tiny margins on either side of your resume. Be conformist, stick to the norm: .75 inches to 1 inch on the sides and .5 to .75 inches on the top and bottom (or even Word’s default 1 inch margin on all sides). Nothing lower: anything less and it’s like pulling wool over your employer’s eyes. Show employers that you have discipline by fitting your resume into a single page without cutting corner and screwing the rules.

3)   Avoid White Space: This is the opposite end of the bad formatting spectrum. Instead of too much text crammed into a single page, you have too little. You may think your resume looks beautiful and elegant when it’s sparse, but all the employer’s thinking is “Ugh, I need someone who’s done more!”       

GAPS IN YOUR RESUME? HERE’S WHAT TO WRITE

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Uncle David has gotten every job he has ever gone for, so when he gives job-hunting advice, you better listen up. Join us every week for Uncle David’s 100% Successful Job Hunting Tip.

SHOW DATE: AUGUST 28, 2013

Last week, Uncle David showed you how vital it is to fill in the gaps on your resume, and how crucial it is not to ignore them.

This week he’d like to give you a good idea of what to actually jot into those blank spaces. Here are some good examples:

If you were raising your kids, write: “Raised children: 2010 – 2013”

If you were traveling in Europe, say: “Traveling in Europe: February 2013 – July 2013”

If you were job hunting, put: “Job Search: June 2013 – August 2013”

You get the format. Just remember that you don’t need to explain anything—simply describe, in a few words, what you were doing between jobs. Keep your descriptions down to a line and don’t explain anything on the resume: if your employer wants to know what you did in Europe, he will ask you during your interview.

GAPS ON YOUR RESUME? FILL THEM IN

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Uncle David has gotten every job he has ever gone for, so when he gives job-hunting advice, you better listen up. Join us every week for Uncle David’s 100% Successful Job Hunting Tip.

SHOW DATE: AUGUST 21, 2013

Even the teensiest details on your resume can transform you into a powerful player on the job market.

Do you have gaps in your resume? Whether you have white space for three months or for three years, your employer wants to know what you were doing. However, people tend to leave gaps anyway, hoping nobody will notice. For all the employer knows, you could have been behind bars for cooking meth. Make sure you cover all your bases and list what you did in between jobs.

If you were out raising a family, or out on maternity leave, put it down on your resume: “Managed a household of three children.” As we’ve said before, the skills you obtain from motherhood are invaluable and will only help bolster your resume.

If you were out on a six-month Euro-trip as a last hurrah after graduation, list it on your resume (not the last hurrah bit, just the Euro-trip part). You could have picked up a new language, expanded your cultural awareness, or were inspired by something you saw or heard on the trip. These are all great things to supplant that awkward half-year gap on your resume, which every employer is going to question anyway.

Don’t fret if you were seeking employment between jobs, even if you took a year. Put it down. In this economy, no employer will begrudge you for taking a long stretch of time to find a job. Besides, as with the examples above, you might have learned a few useful skills during the time off.

Creating a robust resume is more vital now than ever before: job creation in small businesses has doubled in the past six months. And for smaller companies and startups, Craigslist should be one of your first destinations, since the list space is dirt cheap and companies save thousands by bypassing big-name recruiters.

Make sure to also check out our Tools page for a wide selection of links to some excellent job boards.

WHEN THINGS GET CRAZY IN THE OFFICE, STEP UP

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SHOW DATE: AUGUST 21, 2013

Things are getting crazy at the office: the situation is unraveling and everyone’s in a panic. Everything’s about to fall apart and you have two choices: use the pandemonium as an excuse to cower in a corner and allow others to settle the snafu in your stead; or say, “f*** it,” step up, play big and quell the turmoil.

The latter option is what allowed leaders like Gates, Zuckerberg and Gandhi (although we doubt Gandhi ever said “f*** it”) to become larger than life. This sort of attitude is what makes promotions happen. And it’s an attitude you must take on if you plan on climbing your career ladder.

But what if something’s holding you back, what if you don’t feel very big at all? Then we give you permission to pretend. Pretend to be the person you really want to be. If you want to be like Gates, imagine all the things Gates does to be, well, Gates.

Start applying the skill sets your role models use: face your fears, be on time, agree to take on more responsibilities, reinvent yourself daily and think big. Soon, you won’t have to pretend.

HIRE OF THE WEEK: NEW JERSEY POWERBALL WINNERS

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Every week, Auntie Evan and Uncle David scour the news to find a Hire or Fire of the Week. Hires display impeccable aplomb and go above and beyond what they’re expected to do on the job. Fires do the opposite. Tune in every week to see who’s getting Hired or Fired next.

SHOW DATE: AUGUST 14, 2013

After winning the New Jersey Powerball Lottery, the sixteen employees of the Ocean County Vehicle Maintenance Department—dubbed the “Ocean’s 16”—did something that proved their incredible commitment to their job: with $86 million to their collective name, the lottery winners clocked into work the very next morning, and most have said they will continue working for now.

Comprising a quarter of the workforce, the sixteen Powerball winners could have easily damaged the business by ditching their jobs after the remarkable news. But they stuck to their schedules and continued to punch in. Now that’s dependability.

Another reason the Ocean’s 16 are this week’s Hire is their rock-solid commitment to their team. The woman who picked up the winning lottery ticket could have claimed the money for herself and flown to Barbados with over $50 million (after taxes). There could have been a huge lawsuit in the works. Instead, everyone got their share.

The Ocean’s 16 have shown genuine integrity, and their actions should be used as an exemplar on how to be a true team player, whether you’re a newly-minted multimillionaire or a laborer at a vehicle maintenance garage in Ocean County.

WHY NO ONE IS READING YOUR RESUME

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SHOW DATE: AUGUST 7, 2013

If the first five words of every bullet point on your resume don’t convey your point, your employer is probably not going to give your resume a second glance.

Don’t be tempted to boast by writing 3-4 line bullet points that majestically detail your every move—employers with giant stacks of resumes only read the first several words of each list item anyway.

Let’s have a look at a mediocre example:

“I’m responsible for reformatting the filing cabinet inventory, increasing capacity and efficiency by 20%.”

Doesn’t sound too bad, right? Unfortunately, anyone quickly scanning your resume will likely miss out on the 20% increase in efficiency. Here’s a version that doesn’t bury the lead as much:

“Increased efficiency of filing cabinet system by 20% by initiating an overhaul of the system.”

The point of the list item is conveyed in the first five words: “Increased efficiency of filing cabinet.” The “20%” is dangled nearby and is easier to spot than in the first example.

Read through your resume’s bullet points and see if they convey their gist in the first five words: your next job may depend on it.

HIRE OF THE WEEK: ENGINEERING CONSULTANT KIM O’GRADY

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Every week, Auntie Evan and Uncle David scour the news to find a Hire or Fire of the Week. Hires display impeccable aplomb and go above and beyond what they’re expected to do on the job. Fires do the opposite. Tune in every week to see who’s getting Hired or Fired next.

SHOW DATE: JULY 17, 2013

Kim O’Grady, an engineering consultant from Australia, not only had a good deal of experience under his belt, but also a relatively wide job market for engineering consultants in his part of the country. So why didn’t he get a single interview in his four months on the job hunt? That’s exactly what Kim was asking himself—until he noticed the name on his resume. Kim’s a genderless name, but the inclination is to attribute it to a woman rather than a man. Kim realized that he was playing in a male dominated field, and his name was holding him back. So what did he do? He added “Mr.” to the front of his name and got an interview the very next job he applied for. Hats off to you, Mr. Kim O’Grady, for not giving up and using your noggin to realize that in the job world, the gender of your name matters.

On a side note, another suggestion would be to replace your first (and middle) name with your initials—KT O’Grady, for example.

 

By Aleksandr Smechov

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR EMAIL GETS HIJACKED

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SHOW DATE: JULY 17, 2013

Did all your email contacts just get an email from you urging them to go to a Canadian website to purchase cheap Viagra? If your email was hijacked and used to spam your contact list, it’s your responsibility to quickly send a follow-up email with an apology and a notification about the virus, lest some poor, unknowing employee clicks the link and gets infected himself. You may be ripping your hair out trying to get your computer fixed, but warning your contacts is an essential part of the cleaning up process.

 

By Aleksandr Smechov