5 Tips to Avoid an Embarrassing Resume

In my line of work, I happen to look at a pretty large number of resumes on a frequent basis. I’ve seen hundreds, learned the ins and outs, and decide almost immediately if someone is worth contacting – solely based on the visual appeal of their resume. However, you don’t have to be a graphic designer to have a great resume! Here are 5 tips that will help you to craft the perfect resume that will leave you unforgettable in employers’ minds.

  1. It’s a numbers game. Make sure you add in examples with specific numbers: how many people you supervised, percentages of increased sales, dollars of costs cut, dollars associated with accounts you handled. This gives your potential employers insight into the scope of your work and will stick in their mind longer than a generic alternative of “I increased sales.”
  2. Short, Sweet, Succinct. These three words should be the holy grail of resume writing. Don’t skimp out on essential details, but always remember that less is more. I try to stick to three or four talking points per experience that cover a range of my responsibilities, but these should be just that: talking points. Allow yourself room for explanation and details during your interview.
  3. Keep length appropriate. I’m sure you’ve heard the rule that you should only have one resume page for every ten years of employment. This is a pretty good guideline, but with LinkedIn or personal websites giving more room for additional details, it should be easy to stick to one to two pages. If employers have to staple your resume, they are less likely to spend time reviewing it… especially if your current title is “coordinator” or “analyst” [read: “entry level”].
  4. Get creative. I’m not worried about the graphic designers out there with this one, but if you are in a non-artistic field, still find a way to make your resume stand out. Make sure your name is big, bold, and legible. Incorporate the link to your website or LinkedIn. Throw in a logo, image, or QR code. Please, for the love of all that is good and holy, do not use Times New Roman, at least bump it up to Arial. Make sure everything is cohesive, standard sizing, and flows well.
  5. Ditch the summary/objective. What is the point of this dumb paragraph? Your experience is your summary. Your objective is [quite obviously] attaining the job to which you just applied. I have never understood this phenomenon and feel it is an absolute waste of space on an already cramped one-pager. There’s room for this on LinkedIn.

There you go! A foolproof guide to creating an irresistible resume to help you land your dream job.

xoxo, mcb

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New Orleans: January 2015

Hello beautiful people,

I spent this past weekend in The Big Easy, New Orleans, Louisiana.  Here are some photos of our adventure – enjoy!

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[Bourbon Street]

DSC_0296 [Canal Street]

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[not quite sure Road by the French Market]

And my favorite photo from the weekend, which very accurately shows how soulful and vibrant the city is:

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xoxo

mcb

Golden Globes Fashion

Hi All,

Haven’t spoken much in a while – my apologies.  I spent the past few months reconsidering my blog and weighing my option to rebrand and start fresh, but my only conclusion was that I overanalyze the smallest, most mundane things. At the end of the day, why lose all the beautiful content I’ve already written?  Seemed dumb in my opinion.  Hope you agree 🙂

Tonight, I want to talk about the fashion I loved from last night’s Golden Globe Awards.  The gentlemen looked handsome – my boyfriend even said he wanted Adam Levine’s suit and I didn’t know he could even tell the difference between Joseph A. Bank and Dior!

Cinema’s leading ladies turned heads and dazzled in beautiful gowns and jewelry at the show, making the normal women of America very, very jealous.  Below are my favorite three looks of the evening.

3. Reese Witherspoon

Reese stunned in a beautiful, sparkly silver gown by Calvin Klein.  The sweetheart neckline looks very regal with her sideswept hair and I love the one thick bangle bracelet.  Minimalism and simplicity are definitely my style – so I am loving this look!

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2. Emily Blunt

This dress just looks so effortless on Emily.  The crossed top is beautiful and highlights her feminine side, while the long, full skirt complements the more revealing top very well.  Not to mention, white is a beautiful color on Emily and Michael Kors is one of my favorites.

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1. Kate Beckinsale

This has to be my favorite look of the evening – and I think reason #1 is because I can actually see myself wearing this dress.  Kate is gorgeous in the Elie Saab number, a Lebanese designer who has dressed tons of royals and celebrities alike.  I absolutely love the mix of sparkles with shine, and everything from her accessories to her hair to her nails work so perfectly with the gown.  Two thumbs up for this beauty!

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Honorable Mention: Naomi Watts’ Bulgari necklace and Chrissy Tiegen (she gets a DQ because she is always flawless and it’s not fair)

Do you agree with my picks?  Any others that I missed?  Let me know!

Xoxo,

MCB

On You

 

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It’s not very often that I find “inspirational quotes” actually inspiring, but this one did it for me.  I love the powerful, imaginative direction in which this quote leads its reader –  you truly can be who you choose to be.  Anything that you want to accomplish can be done.  The one thing you have control over in your life is what you choose to do with it.  Be you; be vibrant; be free.
Xoxo, MCB

 

 

Ice Bucket Challenge

If you have a Facebook account, there’s no doubt you’ve seen plenty of short videos popping up where crazy people are dumping buckets of freezing cold ice water over their heads, and then call out a few friends to do the same.  Some of you may know that this is in support of the ALS Association; some may not.

My maternal grandmother died from ALS when I was 11.  My mother suffered terribly; as did her 5 siblings.  It’s been a long time and the wound for the most part has healed.  The disease absolutely swallows its victims whole.  Their families are consumed with never-ending grief and holes in their hearts the shape of whoever they lost.  The emptiness my mother felt for months after my grandma’s passing was palpable and contagious.  We knew the end was coming but we did not know how quickly it would arrive or the force with which the blow would knock us off our feet.  And the worst part: there is no known treatment or cure.  Which is why we must fight.

This Ice Bucket Challenge is in every sense of the word ‘amazing,’ yet I find myself hesitant about its future success.  This challenge as an awareness campaign is knocking it out of the ballpark.  Everyone from Mark Zuckerburg to Justin Timberlake have gotten in on it, even if they are doing it just to call out more famous people.  I fear that just like many social media phenomena, the apparent altruism is rather an inflated sense of self-importance; people think that by dumping cold water over their head, they are contributing to society.  They are not.  Those who opt out of the attention-grabbing video and brainfreeze, those who take the alternative path to donate to the ALS Association, are the ones who I admire.  Much like #Kony2012 or #BringBackOurGirls, simply posting on social media will not solve any problems.  This new trend, dubbed “Hashtag Activism,” is great for awareness but not for action.  Instead of posting a video of you flaunting your bikini body, why don’t you simply donate $30?  Stop pretending to be selfless and instead put your words to action.

I encourage anyone who hasn’t to research Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS) to see how it tears lives apart.  If you feel strongly about the need for a cure, I encourage you to donate your time or funds to the cause.  If you want to dump freezing water over your head, feel free: do it because it’s fun and silly, and know that it won’t make a difference for ALS.

XOXO, MCB

Review: Defending Jacob

Hi friends,
Sorry I haven’t been around lately! This summer has been packed with fun trips and visitors, so I’ve barely had time to think let alone read a whole book. Today I want to review the book “Defending Jacob” by William Landay.

11367726If you haven’t yet read it, I recommend you buy it cheap on Amazon here, or at least put it on your hold list to read from your library.  It’s the tale of an Assistant District Attorney and his son who is on trial for murdering a classmate.  Not only was the book suspenseful and thrilling, it was also very educational.  I learned so much more about how the American justice system works from this book than from any of the copious amounts of Law & Order I’ve been watching since I was tiny.  In fact – it made me consider law school for the first time ever!

Anyway, this plot is so well put together.  There are twists and turns throughout, right until the very end.  My favorite part is when the prosecution is interviews the main character; the court transcripts are throughout the novel.

The only drawback with this novel is the sheer stubbornness of the main character; he is so adamant that his son is innocent, that he does not stop to consider any other possibility.  I realize this is a character flaw and Landay wrote him to be that way, but I had to put the book down for a couple hours sometimes because he was so annoyingly stubborn!

All in all, it’s a very good read and I recommend every single one of you read it! 🙂

XOXO,
MCB

 

#YesAllWomen and #NotAllWomen and #NotAllMen

#YesAllWomen has been trending on Twitter the past few days.  Intrigued by its origin, while I was ‘working’ yesterday, I took the time to read about the hashtag and articles claiming it both asinine and powerful.  As always, I feel the truth is somewhere in the middle.

First things first: no one should ever speak on behalf of a whole group of people (by age, gender, religion, race, etc.).  Call it generalizing, stereotyping, whatever you will, but any way you slice it is wrong.  The opinions and perspectives of every person on earth are limited to their personal experiences.  I’m not discounting anything that any woman has experienced to make her feel or behave a certain way, but we cannot generalize ourselves as all fearing men.  As a victim of sexual harassment and stalking myself, I have been in situations where I truly fear individual men, yes, but I’ve been lucky to surround myself with caring, loving men in most areas of my life.  There are good and bad in every group of people on earth.  The simple phrasing of the tag, including “all” women, is an overstatement, and I’m sure there are women who do not agree with what the tag is trying to accomplish.

Second, I don’t like that this hashtag/controversy was borne of the misery of a premeditated mass murder.  The California killer clearly had deep emotional and psychological issues and despite not having read his manifesto myself, I’ve heard that quite a bit of it involved hatred of women.  While this is very unacceptable, we must remember that the shooter was mentally ill.  In no way does his written word reflect the thought of all men, and in no way should all women take his words as such.  

I appreciate what #YesAllWomen is trying to do.  As a self-proclaimed feminist, I love the idea of women taking a stand and letting their voices be heard by empowering themselves to reveal reasons why they fear men.  Plenty of times I have felt uncomfortable and fearful in the presence of men, from small catcalls on the street to a legitimate stalking case.  However, I have been fearful so many other times that had nothing to do with men… when I thought I dove too deep into my lake and wouldn’t make it back up in time, at the very top of a roller coaster when I was sure I’d fall off and die, when my dog ran into the middle of the street… there are other things in life that women fear besides men. Period.

Why don’t we focus on what we, women as an entire group, can accomplish?  Why waste our time complaining about social norms (on social media nonetheless) and instead fight to change it?  Why can’t we understand that not all men are wrong, awful, uterus-hating beasts unable to defend our equality?

Let’s harness our power, energy, and perseverance to see what we can truly achieve.