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10 Steps to Clean Up Your Office in 10 Minutes

10 Steps to Clean Up Your Office in 10 Minutes

Do you have the guts to part ways with all those broken gadgets, notepads and pens? This 10 step office cleanup guide should have you neat and tidy in no time. Try to spend just one minute on each task, and move quickly.

10. Paper

Why it’s messy: Paper is the biggest desk culprit. Chances are you have piles of notes, receipts and cartoons strewn about, and it’s keeping you from getting to other office organization tasks.

How to fix it: Take 1 minute to organize receipts and documents into separate piles. Sift through for “to do” lists so you can compile them later. Throw away anything you already have on your computer. If you’re afraid of wasting printer ink by printing it again, save it.

9. Pens

Why they’re the culprit: You probably have 19 pens on your desk, only 3 work, and there’s only one you’ll happily write with.

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How to fix it: Do you even need to bother checking all of the pens to see which ones work and which are duds? Start by tossing anything from a hotel, doctor’s office or golf course.  Keep pens with sentimental value, of course, especially if you can refill the ink. Toss the rest. If you don’t own a pencil sharpener, donate them to a student.

8. Paper Clips

Let’s get real. When is the last time you used one? Chances are, unless you’re making jewelry, or roping off a room, you don’t need the 400 pack sitting on your desk.

How to fix it: This one’s rather simple. Grab as much as you can in one handful, give the rest to a friend or office mate. Paperclips are an office product lots of people tend to buy in bulk because they’re cheap, but they’re messy. If you ever find yourself without a paper clip, ask a friend!

7. Dust

How’d it get there? If you’ve had your desk covered in unnecessary paperwork, chances are you haven’t been able to give it a proper wipe-down.

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How to Fix it: If you’re immobile, we suppose you could use the condensation from your cup of iced coffee and a napkin, but in case you can get up, give your desk a nice wipe with a damp paper towel.  After a few swipes you’ll be squeaky clean!

6. Clothes

If your office had a shower, you’d never leave, right? That doesn’t mean your office mates should have to hang out with your gym clothes in perpetuity.

How to Fix It: Your clothes – a sweater, a scarf, socks – probably accumulated over a few months, toted around in your purse or a shopping bag. Before you throw your take-out away, save the bag, stow your clothes and remember to take them home with you. Either that or drop them off at a laundromat.

5. Cards, Toys, Office Swag

It feels nice to get a card or thoughtful gift from a friend at work. Even if you didn’t get the present from a colleague, these things make your desk feel like home, understood. Don’t become one of those people with the desks that look like a museum.

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How to Fix It: Parse through the desk toys and get rid of anything that you got for free or at a seminar. It detracts from any accolade related desktop items. If you have an award or certificate of achievement, make sure it’s not overshadowed by your convention pens and stuffed toys.

4. Hardware

Your printer and computer are the backbone of your office. Don’t let them get dusty and greasy. A quick clean is cheaper than buying new hardware.

How to Fix it: Wipe down your screen. Get a hold of canned air if you can, and blow the dust out of your keyboard and CPU.

3. Disinfect

The last cold you got probably wasn’t from germs in the bathroom. Many studies suggest that the desktop in an office is dirtier than the restroom. If you keep anything at your desk, disinfectant isn’t a bad choice.

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How to Fix it: Just like dusting, spray, swipe, repeat. Making sure your desktop is free and clear of dust and clutter will make it easier to spray often.

2.  Streamline office Supplies

An all-in-one stapler, tape dispenser may not be your tool of choice, but maybe you don’t even need both. Office supply overload is unnecessary with so many documents living in the “cloud.”

How to Fix It: For every highlighter, stapler, staple remover and clip, choose a few to keep. You don’t need every color of pen, or 4 notebooks.

1. Food

If you aren’t at your desk, it should look that way. Food is the biggest culprit in desk grime, smell and overall uncleanliness. Plus, it probably grosses out your office mates

How to Fix It: Throw away anything you haven’t taken a bite from in the last 5 minutes. Any plates, bowls or silverware that haven’t been cleaned since your last meal should be taken to the kitchen. Once you’re there, you can have a celebratory cup of coffee, after you wash your mug.

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Last Updated on August 19, 2019

20 Critical Skills to Include on Your Resume (For All Types of Jobs)

20 Critical Skills to Include on Your Resume (For All Types of Jobs)

A resume describes your critical skills in a way that compels a hiring manager to want to meet you. That is a resume’s sole purpose.

And make no mistake: Writing a resume is an art.

Today each corporate job opening attracts 250 resumes on average, and somehow yours will need to rise above the competition. It’s actually harder to snag an interview from an online posting than to get into Harvard. But don’t let that intimidate you. Instead, open your laptop, roll up your proverbial sleeves, and let’s get to work!


Employers generally prefer candidates with skills that show leadership ability, problem-solving ability, and perseverance through challenges. So in the resume, you should demonstrate that you’re a dynamic candidate.

Refine the skills on your resume so that you incorporate these resume “musts:”

1. Leadership Ability

Even an entry-level employee can show leadership. Point out how your skills helped your department ascend to a new level. Capture leadership attributes with compelling statements.

Example:

“Led change that drove efficiency and an ability to cut 800 error-free payroll checks.”

2. Problem-Solving Ability

Most employees are hired to solve problems. Showcase that ability on your resume.

Example:

“Led staff in campaign to outrival top competitor’s market share during a down cycle.”

3. Perseverance

Have you been promoted several times? Or have you maintained margins in a down cycle? Both achievements demonstrate persistence. You look like someone who can navigate roadblocks.

4. Technical Skills

Consider including a Key Skills or Technology Skills section in which you list computer and software skills.

Example:

“Expert-level knowledge in Java.”

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5. Quantified Results

Nothing is quite as attractive as objective results. Did you increase sales by 25 percent? Win three new clients? Surpass the internal goal by 15 percent?

Use hard-hitting numbers to express your point. State the result first, and then provide a sentence or phrase describing the critical skills you applied to achieve the milestone.

Example:

“Boosted sales by 200 percent by developing new online platform that made it easier for customers to compare and contrast sizes, textures, and fit.”

6. People Skills

Employers prefer congenial staff members to prima donnas or mavericks. Relate your strongest soft skills.

Example:

“Organized, hard-working staffer who listens well and communicates effectively.”

7. Passion in the Field

Recruiters and hiring managers can intuit whether candidates care about their career performance by the dynamism behind the descriptions of their skills on their resumes. Are your efforts “transformational” or merely “useful?” Were your results “game-changing” or boringly “appropriate?”

The tenor of your words reveals whether you’re passionate or passive. (But don’t overdo it. See the “Hyperbole” section below.)

8. Being the Entrepreneur within the Corporation

Whether you took the initiative to create a new synergy or worked independently to land an opportunity, share how you furthered organizational goals through your self-directed efforts.

9. Your Adaptability

Have you switched career paths? Weathered a corporate takeover?

Make it clear that your resilience helped get you and your organization through the turbulence.

10. Confirming Your Expertise

Every job posting states experience requirements. Ideally, you want to meet these requirements or best them. But don’t exaggerate.


While proving that you possess the credentials described in the job posting, you can still stand out if you are able to offer additional special skills to showcase your personality.

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Consider adding any of these special accomplishments, if true:

11. Referencing Award-Winning Talents

If you played center on your college basketball team that made it into the Top 10 finals, then working collaboratively and cooperatively are among your natural callings. Be sure to say so.

12. Unveiling Your Work Persona

If you were repeatedly singled out for your stellar performance in work settings, becoming employee-of-the-month, top revenue generator, and so on — it’s worth mentioning.

13. Capitalizing on Commonalities

From Googling the hiring manager, you discover that she was formerly a Peace Corps volunteer in Belize. Listing your Spanish immersion course in Central America may draw her attention to the other outstanding skills on your resume.

14. Highlighting Creative Tactics

If, for example, in your HR role, you piloted an employee incentive program that became an industry model, include it. Such innovative thinking will command an employer’s attention.

15. Specifying All Accolades

Listing any honors received instills confidence that you will bring that level of perfectionism forward in a corporate environment.

16. Transferable Skills

You spend your spare time conducting your community orchestra. Highlight this after-hours pursuit to show that you have the critical skills needed to keep a team on task.


Take note: Hyperbole can hurt you. So, show your credibility.

Although it may be tempting to use embellishments to boost your experience, improve your job title, or enhance your education, resist. These days, a five-minute search will reveal the truth. And taking self-inflation too far could easily come back to destroy your career.

Hiring managers have their antenna up for resume hyperbole. A survey shows that 53 percent are suspicious that candidates are often dishonest.

Follow these guiding principles when writing your own resume:

17. Accurately Describing Your Degree

Make sure to differentiate between certificates attained and degrees earned, along with the name of the institution awarding them.

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18. Stating Job Duration with Honest Dates

Honesty is the only policy when reporting the length of a particular job. If you’ve been out of work for an extended period of time, state the reason you have gaps.

Whether you traveled, had to cope with a family emergency, or went back to school to change your professional track, communicate the positive outcome that came from the hiatus.

19. Claiming Only the Skills You Truly Possess

Unless you’re proficient in a software program or are fluent in a second language, leave any mention of them off.

Conversely, if you feel like you must include them, then accurately qualify your level of competence.

20. Being Honest About Your Role in a Project

You may think you were the lead person because you did most of the work, but chances are your supervisor thinks otherwise.

Besides the 20 critical skills to include on your resume, here’re some important notes for you.

Bonus Tips for Writing a Resume

You Only Have 6 to 7 Seconds to Impress the Employer

Hiring managers and artificial intelligence “bots” may spend only 6 to 7 seconds perusing your resume, which means you need it to teem with essential skills, quantifiable achievements, and action words.

If, in fact, you believe that a “bot” will be analyzing your resume before it even lands on a hiring manager’s desk, be sure to include some of the actual key words from the posting in your document. There’s no reason why you can’t customize your resume to each job posting.

Another tip: Be sure to show your resume to a few individuals who work in your field, so that you can fine-tune the information as needed.

Starting at the Top

The Objective at the top of your resume is optional if you’re seeking the same job you already have, just at different company. However, if you’re switching fields, it’s critical to include an Objective, which is a one-sentence summary of the job you want.

For example:

Objective: To become web editor at a thriving news website.

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If you’ve been in your field for ten years or more, you will probably want to include an Executive Summary. This is a one-sentence takeaway about who you are, including the critical skills you amassed throughout your career.

For example:

Executive Summary: Award-winning creative director with over ten years experience managing teams on three continents.

Depending on your field, you may also want to add some skills as bullet points in the Executive Summary section.

And what about your Education? If you graduated from college within the past ten years, include your Education just below the Objective section (and forgo the Executive Summary). If it’s been over ten years since you graduated, then include your Education at the very end of your resume. Only cite your grade point average (G.P.A.) if it was exceptional—3.7 G.P.A. or higher, or if you won scholastic awards.

Ideally, the critical skills you amassed during college, at your previous job, and throughout your career will add up to a riveting portrait of a professional who’s ideally suited for your dream position: You.

Tailor, Tweak, and Fine-Tune

If you’re targeting different kinds of organizations, you’ll need customized resumes for each outreach.

Don’t be afraid to parrot some of the words on the list of requirements back to the company. Many times, organizations will actually use the key words mentioned in the job posting when screening resumes.

Approach Your Resume as a Skills-Based Story

Like any good storyteller, lay out the framework at the beginning. Include the skills you’ve mastered and state how you can add value—wording your sentences in a way that reflects the specific job you’re seeking.

Are you vying for a sales position? Quantify your results: “Responsible for 50 percent of all sales that resulted in $750,000 in annual revenue.” Use your critical skills, peppered throughout your resume, to tell the exciting story of your distinguished professional career!

Researching the organization that you’re targeting will help you make your examples specific. Does the company cater to a particular audience or clientele? Be sure to note any experiences you’ve had with similar audiences.

Putting It All Together

A resume is not a laundry list. It tells a cohesive story. Your story should highlight your qualifications and critical skills in a way that makes a logical, well-constructed case for your compatibility with the organization and its advertised position.

Packaging your story into the concisely prescribed format of a resume means that it will read as a synopsis — one that will hopefully land you the job.

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Featured photo credit: Bram Naus via unsplash.com

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