Resume writing and the job hunt

In “today’s economy,” which itself is a worn out cliché, people are looking for work, both meaningful work and also work that will help pay the bills. One thing that stands in many job seekers way is a good résumé. I myself am always looking for income opportunities, and this requires constant updating and even creating a variety of résumés. How does one stay focused on the job hunt while simultaneously doing what it takes to keep ones résumé updated and polished?
The standard answer to this question is to hire a résumé writer. People in this profession abound online, and they all seem to be charging a premium and offering guarantees that once one’s résumé is professional, the job hunter will automatically gain interviews. There are those who even promise to keep rewriting the résumé until the person receives an interview. While the guarantees are hopeful, there is also another aspect to the job search that job seekers sometimes overlook. When writing a résumé, you are communicating to the world of potential employers something about yourself. If you submit a professional résumé written by someone else, you may impress people in the short term, but in the long run the potential employer will discover your ability or lack thereof in communicating. Many people think that excellent communication skills can only be learned through taking a public speaking course or the like. The truth is that one can perform a simple exercise to significantly improve their communication skills.
Let us take one example of this from the job hunting arena. One job seeker wrote the following for his objective (I have changed the wording for privacy reasons):
Creative, persuasive, determined with skilled managerial techniques. Dynamic, reliable, interpersonal communication and negotiating skills. I am hard working and very focused. I enjoy keeping myself busy and put extra effort in my tasks. I enjoy working with others and able to work unsupervised. I have excellent selling skills and telephone techniques. I am focused, I strive to always keep a positive attitude and have the ability to learn quickly. I seek to work in an environment, wherein I can make use of my professional skills, for the growth of the company. The years of experience, which I have spent in gaining practical knowledge in the field of sales can also prove to be of great advantage to the company. Apart from this, my interpersonal skills can prove to play a big role in the growth of your company.

I will ignore the grammar issues for now. I would like to focus on the objective element that was expressed here. When a potential employer reads this, is he or she going to be thinking that this person will be an asset to the company? I would venture that this will not be the case. Rather, the potential employer will view this candidate as someone who is desperate to obtain a job and for that reason tooted his horn in an extreme manner, while only making brief reference to the needs of a potential employer. This idea goes against all the rules of résumé writing, where ones objectives should be clearly aligned with the mission of the company. Yet, there is another aspect of the objective that must be expressed here. The job seeker failed to demonstrate the fact that he knows how to communicate well. Poor communication is usually a lack of trying, not a lack of skills. I therefore suggest that when writing a job objective, one gives thought to what he is trying to communicate. If ones response is, “I want them to hire me,” then one has to contemplate how that is going to happen. Telling someone in writing that you are great will not necessarily make them want to hire you. Think of it as a speech. How often do we hear people speak about what they have accomplished? I have not come across that too much. Rather, the speaker focuses on the audience. Why should writing be any different? Have you not noticed in this article that I have not said a word about myself? The reason for that is because it does not add to the article and at worst will detract from the message. It follows, then, that the person writing his or her objective in a résumé should focus on one thing only, and that is, “how am I communicating my message to a potential employer?” Once the message is communicated properly, the job hunter will already feel a lot closer to securing the job. In a nutshell, don’t let someone else write your résumé without you taking the time to think what you are trying to communicate. One suggestion to accomplish this would be to write in one paragraph what you are trying to accomplish with writing the résumé, and then see if the résumé matches that objective. You now have a new term in résumé writing, called ‘objective for the résumé.’ Good luck and let me know if I can be of any assistance.

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Expressions

Expressions are a fascinating concept. People are constantly using expressions to make a point or to express an opinion. When a child is born, parents are already indoctrinating the child with expressions. An example of this is, “what a good boy!” That declaration is an expression. People use these expressions to share their feelings. In fact, the dictionary (www.merriam-webster.com) uses this definition for the word expression:  an act, process, or instance of representing in a medium (as words). Thus, an expression is a manifestation of one’s feelings or thoughts through the use of words. In essence, expressions are a string of words that emphasize ones feelings. For example, instead of complimenting someone who caught a ball by saying, “great catch,” people will say, “atta boy.” This expression is merely colloquial for “that’s a boy!” or “that’s the boy!” Nonetheless, people feel better using that expression than by merely declaring “great catch.” Expressions represent a person’s true feelings about a subject at that given moment. While most people know in advance what kind of expression they will use in a particular setting, there are some expressions that people will invent without any forethought. One who is surprised by something might respond with an expression of “Holy Smokes!” or “Good Grief!” Yet, one who doesn’t have much time to think may coin a new expression like, “barnishing ragtiles.” That was actually a joke. A check of the dictionary reveals that those two words are not currently used in the English vernacular. Creating a new expression can actually prove to be difficult. Yet, advertising agencies appear to do it every day. Expressions like “Just do it!” however, are not the creation of new words. They are merely expressions that tie in to a product or service. How often does a company actually create an expression that is not based on a previous expression? One company slogan from thirty years ago was “Go with the spirit, the spirit of 76!” This slogan appears to have been a conglomeration of two expression, one “go with the spirit!” and the second “the spirit of 76!” It is quite difficult to make up words, and certainly new expressions are hard to come by. Often, companies will take a product like wool socks and say, “we will pull the wool over your legs.” This slogan is an adaptation of the expression “pulling the wool over his eyes.” In today’s society, adaptations are more common than sincere and honest advertisements. It is no longer the norm to use expressions like “we work harder,” or give us a try.” Consumers seem to desire more hip clichés, and that is what they are getting. Either way, the old expression of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” can certainly use a rejuvenation to get advertisers to use the tried and true slogans and expression to interest more consumers.

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Wars and Diplomacy

Nations have been warring for years. The first recorded war in the Bible was between Cain and Abel. It appears that Cain wanted to be dominant in this world, and it made sense, given the fact that he was the older brother. Cain ultimately killed Abel and received his wish of dominance, but mankind paid a price, as bloodshed has been part of the world’s fabric ever since. The art of diplomacy was unknown at that time, and Cain felt justified in eliminating his brother for his own gain. Is there an alternative to war? The word diplomacy is commonly used as an alternative option to war.  The dictionary (www.merriam-webster.com) renders the following translation for diplomacy: the art and practice of conducting negotiations between nations. It would seem that diplomacy should not be a mere alternative. Rather, diplomacy should be the only route to mediation and problem solving. Why is it, then, that many nations view war as a primary solution to end all quarrels?

Regardless of all past and current talk of peace, there is an element of man that desires to be dominant over his fellow man. While this sort of dominance is more common in relationships and in sporting events, there is also a fierce fighting spirit amongst nations of the world. The expression of “if you can’t beat ’em join ‘em” only seems to carry weight with regard to competing businesses and sports athletes. Nations, however, would rather fight to the death than to be forced to merge or even, sadly, to allow a peaceful state of coexistence.

It has been said that there is nothing like a family feud. Although some would tend not to believe this, the truth is that all of mankind is one large family. People trace their ancestry back to the same roots, and it only follows that extended family members will find cause not to get along with each other. Whereas in small families the quarrels are usually limited to inheritance or slight of one’s honor, nations seem to duel about land invasion, disrespect for each other s leaders and more issues than most people could even care about. Often it is not even the citizens of the nation that are so compelled to take up armed resistance. It is usually leaders or people who fantasize themselves as leaders who declare war on their own citizens or on rival nations. The world has become accustomed to wars, and there are wars that are occurring every single moment of the day. Diplomacy, while serving as a government function, should really not be second best. The world should begin to view diplomacy as the only sure way for a family to survive together.

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How it all began

Hi. What makes people start a conversation? Most people will say it’s because they’re interested in a topic so they begin to discuss it. Do you believe that? The truth is, we talk about what we believe. Did you ever hear of an atheist talking enthusiastically about G-d? I didn’t. So why do people say that they like this or like that? It’s not really about likes and dislikes, it’s really about beliefs. How many people talk about the president of the United States because they like him? They talk about him because either he conforms to their belief system or he goes against it. Notice that people don’t spend too much time talking about the latest earthquake in Haiti. That’s because they don’t really believe it affects them in any way.

So that leads us to the purpose and the mission of this blog. We are here to discuss our beliefs in a  candid fashion. There is one corollary, however. One has to base their beliefs on facts. It is interesting that many people espouse religious beliefs but don’t base them on facts. They base it on books and writings, which for starters may be ok, but one really has to believe in something based on what we call facts. The goal here is not to debate religion but the facts. In truth, it’s not even a debate, just  a discussion of the facts. So let’s get started.

Fact: G-d created the world. Sorry, that may have been a bad start, because many people, even if they believe in G-d, don’t believe that he Himself created the world. Rather, they refer to creation as the Big Bang or some other theory like that. Truth be told, can anyone know for sure who created the world? I would have to wonder this myself, so then we go back to the Book, in this case the Bible. Genesis 1:1 states explicitly that G-d created the world. The problem people have with this proof is that they maintain, or theorize, that a  man wrote the book. That being the case, we can circle endlessly as to why we are here and how we got here.

We now see that this discussion is not for everybody, because someone who feels that something else besides G-d created the world will have no trouble inventing other theories along the way, such as that man descends from monkeys. I mean, think about it. If G-d didn’t create the world, then we certainly don’t emanate from G-d, so we might as well suggest that we come from monkeys. Ok, so now that some people have established that we come from monkeys, where does that leave us regarding responsibility?? I guess there’s not much room left for that, and the discussion is over. We therefore have to revert to the fact that G-d created the world, and then we can debate the origins of man.

Now, if G-d created the world, would it make sense that He created it for a purpose? A Big Bang may not have had any goal in creating a  world, but we can safely assume that G-d had a purpose. What would that purpose be? How long do we need to think about the answer to vocalize it? I think a minute is sufficient. Let us suppose that G-d created the world for His own benefit. So did G-d, who I think we all agree is not a physical being, create a physical world for His own purpose? How would that work? I can’t figure that one out, so we must posit then that he created the world for someone else’s purpose. Do we dare suggest that G-d created the world for the purpose of the monkeys? I can understand that theory if we assume that man descends from monkeys, but if man descends from the first man, who was created by G-d, it would be safe to assume that G-d created the world for the purpose of man. Now, granted that man is but one component of the world, but there’s really no one else to discuss the other possibilities with, so we will have to run with the idea that G-d created the world for the purpose of man, who is even allowed to suggest that He created the world for other reasons. I haven’t heard lately from the giraffes or the mountains or the trees any discussion about this, so man is what it’s all about.

Now, why do you suppose G-d created the world for man? Was it to make money and eat and drink? I will leave you with that thought for now. Stay tuned for more exciting conversations with yourself about life’s meaning.

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