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How To Write A Resume When There’s Nothing To Put On It

How To Write A Resume When There’s Nothing To Put On It

So, you want to find a good job. The job of your dreams, actually. But there’s a small problem: you need a resume that will impress your potential boss and make them want you as an employee.

Resume writing is not difficult. We all know many tricks to writing a resume worth checking and reading. Many blogs and websites share the secrets of building a good resume. HR managers are happy to share various tricks on resume writing and teach you some hooks for making your resume look professional. But none of them works when you haven’t got anything to put on your resume!

How could you come to be in this situation?

  • Are you a graduate with no on-the-job experience yet?

  • Are you a worker without an official job?

  • Is your job experience not professional enough to share when you write a resume?

  • Your professional experience doesn’t fit a job position you apply for, does it?

  • Do you consider your achievements unworthy to mention in your resume?

Sometimes you can find up to 10 common resume problems, but no question mentioned above can be considered a reason to feel defeated and put an end to your new career before you start. Because you always have something to put on your resume and make it work. Check these out!

1. Pay attention to structure.

HR managers need less than 30 seconds to take a look at your resume and decide whether it is worth further reading. That’s why structure plays a quite important role here: your task is to write a resume that will be clear and easy to read.

Your structure should not be distracting. You should combine neat intervals with flat margins, and do not neglect paragraphs. If you need a printed version of your resume, print it with the help of the best laser printer you can find, so your text will look more presentable.

Make your resume readable, and do not forget to proofread it. Don’t trust spell-checkers: as we all know, they can miss even the most obvious spelling mistakes.

2. Put on more information about your education.

When graduates start their job searches, they usually have a lack of experience to put on their resumes. So, if you don’t have enough practice, your task is to persuade a recruiter that you know enough theory.

Mention all courses you’ve finished during your years at university. You can also write the topic of your last thesis or dissertation, and do not forget to mention any languages you speak.

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3. Remember that you do have work experience, even when you think you don’t.

If you still don’t have any professional experience, it doesn’t mean you do not have any work experience at all. When you write a resume, mention all probation or manufacturing practices (if you had them); don’t forget about volunteer programs you participated in, part-time jobs you probably had (even if you worked as a waiter for example), and your organized social activity during your college life.

This information will tell a recruiter many more facts about you than you think. It may show your leadership or organizational skills, and tell about your character and the talents you have.

4. Get some references.

Great references can really help you when you are a young specialist and you do not have enough experience yet. Keep in mind that your former bosses are not the only ones who can give you a reference: it can be your college professor, a leader of your volunteer organization, or a manager of some projects you took part in as a freelancer.

Don’t forget about the Internet, either. Your references do not necessarily have to be printed and signed: some positive comments on LinkedIn or other professional and authoritative networks can help you greatly with your job search.

5. Mention all your achievements.

You shouldn’t be too arrogant or boastful when you write a resume, but this doesn’t mean you should hide information about your achievements and positive traits.

Mention that you have a driving license for example, write about your readiness to learn something new and improve your skills, hint about your leadership qualities and ability to find an approach to different people. What traits do you have that could help you in your career? Are you communicative, open minded, stress resistant, ready for constant deadlines? Put them on your resume when you build it.

6. Use lists to write a resume.

Write a resume as a list. You can use such a format to mention your educational courses, your achievements, traits, and expectations from the job you apply for.

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First of all, it will be much easier for a recruiter to read this type of resume and quickly pick out the information they need. And such a trick will help your resume look very informative and solid when you don’t have many hard facts to mention there.

7. Write a resume for every job opportunity.

The ideal variant is to have resumes for every separate vacancy. As you can understand, some of your achievements may work well for one company but prevent another one from hiring you. Moreover, a recruiter for McDonald’s will hardly need information about your trait of taciturnity, for example. (Though we doubt if you need to mention this in your resume for your perfect career, either!)

Anyway, you’ve got the point, haven’t you? Each vacancy has particular requirements, and there is no need to send them a resume with information they do not require. HR managers are busy people, and they will hardly want to read about how good you are if you don’t have anything in your resume that would fit their expectations.

8. Don’t make your resume too long.

Make sure your resume is no longer than one side of an A4 page: that’s enough to mention all the important and essential information about your education, experience and other achievements. And it will be more comfortable for a recruiter to read it and see everything they need in order to understand whether or not you are a good candidate for them.

Some extra tips to improve your resume:

  • Use short phrases, and remember that if you use some specific terms, make sure that non-specialists will understand them as well.

  • Do not use abbreviations. Big chances are, HR managers will not know the meaning of them all.

  • Do not boast: be restrained, talking truthfully about your achievements.

  • Be accurate: avoid general phrases. Use exact names and titles.

  • Do not use too many different images, graphics, tables, frames, etc. Your resume should be clear and simple.

  • If you have such an opportunity, create a portfolio and make it work for you.

Even when you think you have nothing to put on your resume to make it look professional and competitive, there is always something in you that makes you special. Put it in your resume, and your perfect job will definitely find you.

Featured photo credit: samplemails via farm4.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

Not a lot of people are good at public speaking. You could even say that virtually everyone needs to get some practice, and preferably good guidance, before they can learn to stay calm when facing a room full of people. Having all eyes on you is an uncomfortable experience and it takes time to get used to. However, even if you can manage to control your stage fright and stay focused, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your presentation won’t put people to sleep. This is usually the case with long presentations on a very dull subject, with the presenter speaking in a monotone voice and dimming the lights to play a PowerPoint presentation.

You have to work hard to develop the right skills

If you want to be remembered and actually get people engaged, you need to make your presentation fun and enjoyable, without coming off as corny or desperate to please. I know, it doesn’t sound that easy at all! A good presentation during a promotional event or given to an important client can be a game changer for your business, so it is easy to get stressed out and fail to perform all that well. Luckily, giving an interesting lecture is something that can be practiced and perfected. There is plenty of advice out there on the topic, but let’s look at the most important aspects of giving a memorable and fun presentation.

1. Make your presentation short and sweet

With very long, meandering speeches you tend to lose the audience pretty early on, and from then on out it’s just a test of endurance for the few bravest listeners. Not only will people’s attention start to drop rapidly after sitting and listening to you talk for 30 minutes, but you also risk watering down your core ideas and leaving your audience with little in the way of key phrases and important bits of information to take away from the whole ordeal. Famous speakers throughout history have known the importance of condensing the information by using well thought out sentences and short phrases loaded with meaning.

JFK’s famous: ”It’s not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,” expresses so much in very few words and gets the audience thinking. Ancient Spartans, for example were famous for their quick, dry wit, often demolishing their opponent’s argument with a single word or phrase. You’ll want to channel that ancient spirit and be as concise as possible when preparing your presentation.

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2. Open up with a good ice breaker

At the beginning, you are new to the audience. There is no rapport, no trust and the atmosphere is fairly neutral. Even if some of the people there know you personally, the concept of you as an authority on a particular matter giving a speech will be foreign to them. The best way to encourage a warm and friendly atmosphere is to get some kind of emotional response out of the audience right at the beginning. It doesn’t matter what emotion it is, you just need to connect with them on a more personal level. It can be shock, curiosity, laughter, knowing smirks, nervousness – whatever gets them out of that initial feeling of indifference. There are different kinds of effective ice-breakers, but generally speaking, the most successful ones utilize one of these tactics:

  • Joking
  • Tugging on their heart strings
  • Dropping a bombastic statement
  • Telling an interesting and relevant anecdote
  • Using a metaphor or drawing comparisons

You can make a small, self-deprecating comment, stir the presentation one way and then suddenly surprise the audience, use sarcasm, open up with a short childhood story that taught you a lesson, quote a famous person and elaborate on it from personal experience, use an inspirational anecdote or hit them with a bit of nostalgia. Just remember to keep it short and move on once you’ve gotten a reaction.

3. Keep things simple and to the point

Once you’re done warming up the crowd you can ease them into the core concepts and important ideas that you will be presenting. Keep the same presentation style thoughout. If you’ve started off a bit ironic, using dry wit, you can’t just jump into a boring monologue. If you’ve started off with a bang, telling a couple of great little jokes and getting the crowd riled up, you have to keep them happy by throwing in little jokes here and there and being generally positive and energetic during the presentation. You need a certain structure that you won’t deviate too far from at any point. A good game plan consists of several important points that need to be addressed efficiently. This means moving on from one point to another in a logical manner, coming to a sound conclusion and making sure to accentuate the key information.

4. Use a healthy dose of humor

Some of the best speeches and presentations in the world, which have been heard and viewed by millions, all feature plenty of humor. No matter the subject, a great speaker will use natural charisma, humor and beautiful language to convey their points and get the crowd excited about what they are saying. A great example of building rapport with the audience through the use of humor is Barrack Obama talking about the government building Iron Man.

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It is silly and fun, and absolutely not something that you would expect from a man in a position of power speaking in such a serious setting – and it’s exactly why it works. The more serious the situation and the bigger the accent on proper social behavior, the harder your jokes will hit.

5. Try to tell a story instead of ranting

Some people can do all of the above things right and still manage to turn their short and fun little presentation into a chaotic mess of information. You don’t want your speech to look like you just threw a bunch of information in a blender in no particular order. To avoid rambling, create a strong structure. Start with the ice breaker, introduce the core concepts and your goals briefly, elaborate on the various points in a bit more detail, draw logical conclusions and leave your audience with a clear takeaway message. You want to flow naturally from one part to the next like you are telling a big story chapter by chapter.

6. Practice your delivery

Standing in front of the mirror and practicing a speech or presentation is a technique as old as mirrors – well, come to think of it, as old as human speech, since you can see yourself reflected in any clear and calm body of water – and that means that it is tried and true. The theory is incredibly simple, yet the real problem is actually putting in the effort day in and day out. Work on your posture, your tone of voice, accent, pauses between sentences and facial expressions. The most important thing is to talk slowly and loudly enough to be heard and understood clearly. Many famous speakers, such as Demosthenes and King George VI, overcame speech impediments through hard work.

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7. Move around and use your hands

Although you won’t instill confidence in your project if you are very jittery, moving around erratically, not knowing what to do with your hands and making fast movements, standing dead still can be just as bad. You shouldn’t be afraid to use your arms and hands when talking as it makes you seem more passionate and confident. The same goes for moving around and taking up some space. However, try to make slower, calculated and deliberate movements. You want your movements to seem powerful, yet effortless. You can achieve this through practice.

8. Engage the audience by making them relate

Sometimes you will lose the audience somewhat in techno-babble, numbers, graphs and abstract ideas. At that point it is important to reel them back in using some good, old-fashioned storytelling. Make comparisons to events from everyday life that most people are more than familiar with. By making things look simple, not only will you help your audience get a better understanding of the subject by enabling them to visualize the information more clearly, you will also draw a connection between you. After all, you are all just regular people with similar experience, you just happen to be performing different roles at the moment.

9. Use funny images in your slides

Although slides are not really necessary at all times, if you do need them to make your point and present your information more effectively, it’s best to liven them up. They say that facts aren’t always black and white, and your presentation should reflect this. Add a bit of color, make the information stand out and use an interesting animation to switch from slide to slide. You can use the slides to add some more humor, both in terms of the text and the images. An image that is used to elicit a positive response needs to be funny within the context of what you are discussing. For example, if you are discussing the topic of authority, an image of Eric Cartman from South Park in a police uniform, demanding that you respect his “authoritah,” is a nice way to have a bit of fun and lighten things up.

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10. End on a more serious note

When all is said and done you will want the audience to remember the core concepts and keep thinking about what you have said after the presentation is over. This is why you should let things naturally calm down and end with an important idea, quote or even a question. Plant a seed in their mind and make them think. Let us turn to Patrick Henry for a great way to end a speech: “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”

As you can see, there is quite a bit to learn when it comes to giving a good presentation, one that is both memorable and fun. Be sure to work on your skills tirelessly and follow in the footsteps of great orators.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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