Tuesday, June 10, 2014

In a Resume Writing Rut? Here's Eight Ways to Boost Your Creativity!

Feeling creativity drained? Stuck in a resume writing rut? Today's blog post will give you eight ways to boost your creativity. You ARE creative -- you just have to let your creativity out!

Here's how:

  • Be More Mindful

There are a lot of things we do every day without even thinking. We get up, shower, brush our teeth and go about our lives mostly on autopilot. Try getting up in the morning with a new mindfulness about even the most mundane activities. Think about how your sheets feel on your body right before you get up; think about how the shower water feels; think about how the toothpaste smells and tastes, and so forth. Take new pleasure in everyday experiences and really be "in the moment" as you experience them.

  • Look at the World Differently

If you drive to the store the same way each time, take a different route. If you have a viewpoint in life that is different from a friend's, take the time to give their world view some consideration. You don't have to tell them; it's simply a practice to looking at the world through a different lens, which might bring rise to new ideas and thoughts that you never allowed yourself to experience before.

  • Go for a Walk

If you're working on a resume and feeling stuck, get up and get out. Go for a brisk walk. While you are walking, try not to think of anything but your walk for the first couple of minutes. After that, it's okay to think of the resume and brainstorm ideas as you walk. You might consider bringing a recording device with you so that you won't forget anything that comes to mind. Often, taking the pressure off is the best way to become more creative.

  • Change Your Environment

One of the best things about working for yourself is the ability to change your environment. You can take your laptop to the park or the local coffee shop to do some work. Need a bigger change? Try cleaning up your office, painting it a new color, and moving around the furniture. Change helps your mind work better.

  • Learn Something New

Take a class; read a book; go to a conference. However you choose to do it, learn something new. It's important that you are always learning and growing. What you learn doesn't actually even have to be related to resume writing. It can be something just for you -- such as learning how to garden, or golf. It can also be something that helps you more directly in your business such as learning how to incorporate passive income into your resume writing business. The important factor is that you make it formal enough that you do it regularly and once you've learned, move on to learning something else new.

  • Get Moving

Yes, walking is moving, but you need more regular exercise in your life than a walk when you are frustrated or blocked. People who work at a desk and sit for more than four hours a day are at a higher risk of sudden death than those who have other types of jobs. The scary part is, many of us sit for more than 11 hours a day, which increases your risk of death early by 40 percent. Join a regular exercise plan or create your own regiment, and then get up every 90 to 100 minutes and move around for 10 minutes -- or buy a standing desk.

  • Eat Better

The brain needs glucose to think. That's why you crave all that sugar when you are doing a lot of work and really want to stuff your face with chocolate or ice cream or both. Give yourself permission to eat more fruit while you're working, and you'll find that your brain works better. Studies show that people who eat sweets during or before a test perform better. Make the sweet something healthy like a banana or a sweet juicy peach. A green smoothie is even better.

  • Take Action

Sometimes being more creative is simply a matter of going from thinking to doing. The truth is there is no such thing as a creative block. You've likely heard of "writer's block" but have you ever heard of "Cashier's Block" or "Doctor's Block" or seriously any other career that gives you an excuse not to get to work other than so-called creative professions? These blocks really don't exist. Your creativity is there for you on command as soon as you accept that it is.

Try these eight ways to boost your creativity! Do you have a tip for how to feel more creative? Share it in the comments below!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

2014 NRWA Conference Preview Call: Michelle Aikman

Thinking about attending the NRWA Conference in Denver this September? I attended the NRWA Conference Preview call on Friday, May 9, and here are some of the takeaways!

Michelle Aikman
Breakout Session Speaker – Friday, Sept. 19 (9:45 to 10:45 a.m.)
"Mind the Gap: Resume Strategies for People with Paid Work Gaps"

Michelle is originally from Denver, so she said she's interested in coming home to visit friends and family. As the spouse of an active duty military service member, Michelle has personal experience with a "very mobile lifestyle" as a military spouse -- one that lends itself to gaps in paid work employment.

She noted that employers do care about gaps -- they wonder about your client's motivation, fit with the job, and more... you want to help your clients avoid an employer thinking "You didn't do anything?"

Her strategies will apply for gaps due to any type of caregiving (for children, family, or aging parents), breaks due to "soul searching," personal medical issues, and more. She'll help you formulate the correct strategy to help clients -- whether it's appropriate to disclose the reason for the gap, the impact the gap will have on the candidate's selection, and when and how to disclose the information.

Questions to examine in developing the strategy are:

  • Will it (the situation) happen again?
  • Is it due to lifestyle?
  • Is it an ongoing problem?
  • Is any accommodation required?

Michelle will help you turn your client's "boo-boos" into "boo-yahs!"

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

2014 NRWA Conference Preview Call: Louise Kursmark

Thinking about attending the NRWA Conference in Denver this September? I attended the NRWA Conference Preview call on Friday, May 9, and here are some of the takeaways!

Louise Kursmark, MRW, CPRW, JCTC, CEIP, CCM
Opening Keynote Speaker – Wednesday, Sept. 17 (2:30 to 3:45 p.m.)
"The Future of Resumes"

This will be the sixth NRWA Conference Louise has attended. She is going to "break down what it means to write a resume." Louise identified four trends she will examine:

  • Less is more. "Lean, clean, tight writing" that can be "skimmed and scanned." Kursmark says the first glance at a resume might get six seconds of the reader's attention.
  • More is more. "Write leaner resumes with rich detail, but allow people with more interest to learn more" by linking to LinkedIn, media appearances, or a portfolio.
  • Why resumes don't matter. Kursmark says the "resume is the second point of determination" nowadays with more people searching on LinkedIn for candidates.
  • Why resumes are vitally important. The "resume is the foundation, the work, the story" she notes. The information comes from the work to develop the resume and flows through to the rest of the career communication documents, such as LinkedIn profiles. It requires clear differentiation of the candidate, and a strong message.

Kursmark said there's a quote that she particularly likes: It's something like, "It's dangerous not to keep moving forward, because if things keep changing -- but we don't -- we are falling behind."

Find out more about the NRWA Conference here.

Monday, May 12, 2014

2014 NRWA Conference Preview Call: Brenda Bernstein

Thinking about attending the NRWA Conference in Denver this September? I attended the NRWA Conference Preview call on Friday, May 9, and here are some of the takeaways!

Brenda Bernstein
Breakout Session Speaker – Wednesday, Sept. 17 (4:00 to 5:00 p.m.)
"Make Them Laugh, Make Them Cry: The Standout College Application Essay"

Brenda is the author of "How to Write a Killer LinkedIn Profile…And 18 Mistakes to Avoid." She is also the founder and senior editor at The Essay Expert. Brenda will be talking about how to create better applications in her presentation.

She says the two most important parts of the essay are the introduction and the last paragraph. Brenda says to never start an essay by talking about the weather.

Brenda's presentation will include practical exercises for attendees to work on.

"Everyone has a unique story to tell," Brenda says, and resume writers have to be willing to get "really personal" with their clients to uncover those stories.