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How to Put Together a Resume Fast

How to Put Together a Resume Fast

Ideally, you want to take time on your resume to make it stand out from the crowd. After all, it can make the difference between landing the job of your dreams and never even getting an interview. That’s why it’s important to periodically update it and make sure that you always have a digital file at the ready, or even a unique and visually interesting online resume.

But let’s be realistic: how many of us really keep our resumes updated? Unless we’re actively hunting for a job, it just sits there gathering digital dust. And some of us just starting out might not have even begun putting a resume together at all.

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So what are you going to do when an unexpected job opportunity arises and you don’t have the luxury of spending a lot of time making it current? You need to take advantage of this opportunity now, or the position could be filled by someone who was more prepared.

And “unexpected opportunity” doesn’t just mean having a surprise encounter with Donald Trump or Steven Spielberg (depending on your ultimate career goals) on an elevator. Jobs that are posted online frequently net hundreds of resumes – sometimes within a matter of hours. Do you really think that hiring managers or assistants are going to keep reading after they’ve identified 5 or 10 good candidates? You have to be fast, or they might not even open your email.

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So how can you throw together an updated, professional, and effective resume quickly? There are many options available to you. The right one will depend on just how quickly you need to pull your resume together, how much help you need, and how much money you have to spend.

Use templates. Not sure how you want to format your resume? No problem. Most word processing software has pre-prepared resume templates built in, making that part of the process a breeze. If you already own that type of software (and many of us do), it makes this option free. The downside is that they don’t offer very much guidance on exactly what to include on your resume, and even though the resume is already designed for you, it will likely still take you several hours to locate the right template for your situation and alter it to fit your needs.

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Try an online resume builder. If you need a little more guidance than a template offers or require a resume in a matter of minutes rather than hours, then this may be the best route to take. An online resume builder, such as goresumebuilder.com or resumebuilderonline.org, makes the process simple. Just plug your information into a form, and it will output a professionally designed resume, often providing common formats, such as PDF and DOC, and a variety of templates. For this convenience, some sites charge a fee, but if you do your research, you can find the service for free – without sacrificing the quality of the final product.

Hire a resume writer. This is the most expensive option, but it also ensures you a more personalized and error-free resume when it’s complete since you’ll have a professional making ensure the design and content is right for your situation. Resume writing services charge anywhere from $75 to hundreds of dollars, depending on the type and length of the resume you want. You can likely have your resume turned around in 24 hours – but they may add a surcharge for the speed.

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No matter which route you decide to take, make sure to proofread the resume before turning it in. Is the information accurate? Are there any typos? Even though you want to be fast, it can pay to take a few extra minutes to have a friend or family member review it for anything you may have overlooked.

Featured photo credit:  Application and CV in German via Shutterstock

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Ways to Work Smart

Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Ways to Work Smart

I imagine that like me, you say that you never have enough time and that you just cannot cope with 60 dozen things all at once.

How on earth do you get out of that spiral?

Many people never sit down and look at how to work smarter, rather than harder and even longer hours. But not you, you’re smart enough to try to learn effective ways to work.

So how to work smarter not harder? Here are 12 smart ways you should be following:

1. Improve Your Time Management Skills

Easier said than done? Well, no actually, because there are a few simple rules that can really help you to manage time better.

For example, when setting up a top priority task, you need to switch off the phone and ignore your email first. Then you need to abandon any ideas of multitasking as that will slow you down and ruin your focus.

Finally, set a reasonable deadline and do everything in your power to meet it.

“When you’re born, you’re born with 30,000 days. That’s it. The best strategic planning I can give to you is to think about that.” — Sir Ray Avery

2. Speed up Your Typing and Use Shortcuts

These days we’re all keyboard slaves. So why not speed up your typing and try to get rid of the two finger syndrome. In fact, when you save 21 days per year just by typing fast!

This is exactly what I am doing now, so I cannot honestly say I am practicing what I preach!

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But help is at hand. Try some of these apps and games to help you type fast: 8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast

Using shortcuts on the keyboard is another time saver and can speed up your work.

For example, press F2 to rename a selected file, while CTRL + I will put selected text in italics.

There are so many of these. If you make the effort to learn them, they really can be helpful.

3. Learn How to Use Productivity Tools

It is well worth downloading all the useful tools and apps that can highly boost your productivity. Take a look at these 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools and install whatever fits your needs.

Now that is really a great way of working smarter, not harder.

4. Use Your Phone Wisely

Instead of writing emails, sometimes it’s better to pick up the phone and talk to the person responsible. It saves time, especially for important or urgent discussions.

If that colleague works in the same office, it is even better to go and talk to him or her. It gives you a break, you get some exercise and you actually make human contact which is becoming quite rare in this electronic world.

5. Keep a Tab on Your Tabs

If you are like me, you might well find that you have a ton of tabs open at the top of your browser.

In order to find the one you want, you have to search for them as they are off screen. Having all these tabs open slows down your browser too.

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One solution is to use OneTab which can keep a neat list on the screen of all these tabs when you want to quickly get to one of them or you want to remind yourself which ones you have open.

6. Use a “To Don’t” List

We all know about to do lists and I find that they are generally great. They give me a great sense of achievement as I cross off the tasks done.

But often, I find that we are doing non-essential tasks or ones that can easily be postponed. That is why many people recommend the to don’t list.[1]

Some people prefer to savagely prune the to do list while others prefer to have two separate lists, to do and to don’t. You just have to work out what works best for you when you are trying to save precious time to become more productive.

7. Expect Failure and Fight Paranoia

When failure rears its ugly head, some people get a bit paranoid and fear that this may become a trend.

Projects will go wrong and failure should be expected rather than feared. Learning lessons from failure and analyzing what went wrong is the best way forward.

“Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” — Richard Branson

And here you can find 10 Great Lessons Highly Successful People Have Learned From Failure.

8. Be Concise

Rambling on at meetings, in emails and even when introducing yourself to new clients can waste a lot of people’s time.

One way is to practice and sharpen your “elevator speech,”[2] which tells people in 30 seconds or less why they need your skills and how they can benefit from doing business with you.

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Just think of the many situations where this could be useful:

  • Making new contacts
  • Talking about yourself at a job interview
  • Meeting people at conferences or parties
  • Phone calls to new clients

9. Ask the Right Questions

“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” — Naguib Mahfouz

How do you get feedback? The secret is to ask the right questions at the right time.

When you do this, you are gathering the information you need to help in decision making. This will save you time and you will be able to cut meetings to a minimum.

Forbes magazine reports on research that they carried out on asking the right questions.[3] When that happens, the positive effects are increased by 400%. There are also other benefits in staff motivation and a positive impact on the company’s bottom line.

Lifehack’s CEO Leon has shared about how to ask for feedback to learn faster: How to Learn Quickly And Master Any Skill You Want

10. Learn as Much as You Can

You should always be on a steep learning curve. Look at your skills profile and determine where you need to fill a gap. Talk to important connections and network in your niche.

Keep up to date on trends and developments. It is a fact-changing world. When an opportunity arises, you will be the best equipped to seize it because you have never stopped learning. Just another way of working smarter.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” — Mahatma Gandhi

11. Look After Your Greatest Resource

No, your greatest resource is not time. It is YOU.

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If you do not get enough sleep, exercise and relaxation, you find that you become less and less productive. You begin to work longer and longer hours, which is the exact opposite of what you want.

What you should be doing is making sure you are in the best shape. It is useful to remember that you need a break of 15 minutes after every one and a half hours of work.[4]

Taking breaks and getting fresh air and exercise is one of the best ways of working smarter, not harder.

12. Don’t Fall into the Trap of Working Smarter and Harder

As a society, we are obsessed with doing everything smarter so we are more efficient and we save time all around.[5]

But the most important thing to remember is to accept when we are ready to switch off that computer and not fill up the time with even more work!

The Bottom Line

The key to greater productivity is to work smarter, not harder. Working smarter saves precious time and energy for the things that really matter — your life goals, your personal growth, your health and your relationships.

Stop working for more hours and start working smarter!

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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