Posts in aesthetics
Why You Should Use Canva for Your Next Resume

Resumes are important, really important.  We place so much effort into such a small part of our portfolio but so it is- hiring agencies still put tons of stock into resumes.  

A lot of people struggle with resumes for two reasons: they don't know to format them and they haven't worked on one in years.  As a result, the resume is unattractive and somewhat bland.  

When I'm looking to hire someone, I look at two things very closely:

  1. The resume
  2. The cover letter

If the cover letter is nicely written, this is a sure sign of intelligence.  If the resume contains a background of experience, the person will likely get an interview. 

I recently came across a candidate whose resume was so attractive that it made me think that maybe we need to place a higher value on aesthetics when it comes to our resumes, i.e. how our resume looks.

All of the graphics I use for the blog are made for free in Canva.com.  If you have yet to try it, you should! It's easy and fun. Even someone with a slight sense of design can make something beautiful in Canva.  

Now to your resume- you may want to use Canva for that as well.  I've included a few of their ready-made templates that can be totally customized to draw hiring agencies to you and your strengths.  

What will your next resume look like?


Three Ways to Improve Your Personal Style

You know him, the guy in the supermarket whose wardrobe is vintage 1985. Then there's the gal in the library who has the same hairdo as when she was 30 years younger. He and she are pretty common these days and the older you get, the easier it is to be stuck in a rut.

Rutness plagues a lot of us if we're honest about it. Life moves quickly, demands pile up and "small" things like your personal style get lost in the sauce. You may even hear people defend their blandness with something like, "I'm so focused on my career," or "My kids are way more important than a silly wardrobe!"

True and true.

Still, blandness isn't helpful when it comes to career promotion. Remember the 20/20 episode when they compared two kinds of people as they entered a store? The ones with style consistently got better service.  Some are wondering if 2013 will finally be the year of great customer service.  I'm not sure but I know that blandness can be countered with three practical action stesps:

 

  1. Get perspective.  If you're not sure if you have become bland, ask someone you trust.  A real friend will be honest with you.
  2. People watch.  Go to a movie. Grab a bite to eat.  Head downtown and just watch how people dress.  If you see something you like, replicate it.  You have permission to upgrade your broken eyeglasses.  Your haircut can be changed. Your teeth can be whitened.  
  3. Give yourself permission to live younger.  Who cares if you dress like someone ten years younger?  Whose business is it if you do activities that supposedly "younger" people do?  Give yourself the green light to do things that are meaningful to you.

 

Blandness doesn't have to get the best of you as you get older.  I recently got a new pair of glasses.  When the lady asked me what kind I was looking for, I simply told her that I didn't want to look like an old man.  The result is a slightly modern frame that actually looks nice.  Had I not told the lady what I was looking for, I would have gotten the exact same pair as I did two years ago- i.e. bland.

What are you waiting for?  Push back on bland and go for your own style.  After all, Psalm 139 says the following:

"For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
    I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."  (Psalm 139: 13, 14)

What can you do to improve your personal style and push back on blandness?

 

Photo courtesy of MA 

What a Messy Desk Might Tell You About Yourself
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Think of the various desks you've seen in the past few weeks.  These might include:

  • your own!

  • your boss's desk

  • the staff worker at the dimly lit DMV office

  • a colleague's desk

  • a desk of an actor on The Office


Ok, so you might not watch The Office as religiously as I do but you can surely conjure up a mental picture of something unpleasant and frought with issues: a messy desk.

The over/under of a messy desk is that it reveals something about its captain.  Without being overly judgmental, its messiness could mean that:

  • You're a messy person by nature (hey, it's possible!)

  • You've got more work than you know what to do with

  • Youre colleagues are enablers who perpetuate a culture of "passing the buck" to you and others

  • Youre productivity skills are rusty and you've simply grown comfortable with disorder

  • Your office hours are truncated such that you don't have enough hours to actually sit and do work


Truthfully, your situation might also encompass a combination of any of the items above.  My bottom line snapshot is simpler- something's not working.

I'm not saying that you've got to go all bonzai-tree simple and have nothing but an Apple Macbook Air on your desk (but seriously, what would be wrong with that?) but some semblance of order is essential.  This post is not a how-to of clearing your desk or even of organizing what throws itself at you on a daily basis.  It's simply a gentle reminder that the outside reveals the inside.

It may be that one's desk is the surest road sign of the unity of the material with the spiritual.  I'm dead serious- how we work and what our space looks like tells us something profound about ourselves.

What bit of order can you bring to your desk this week? Just taking action on one little thing speaks volumes.

Quote for the Road: "Peace is the tranquility of order."  St. Augustine of Hippo

Photo by PollyAlida