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Build Your First CV with Volunteer Work

Not only does volunteer work serve humanity and the world, helping people who need it and contributing to your community, but choosing to volunteer will yield countless personal benefits as well. Depending upon the work you do, volunteering will likely give you first-hand experience and develop a new skill set; volunteering will empower you and make you more aware of the world around you; and your personal commitment to service will appeal to potential employers, as well as demonstrate to them your abilities, leadership, and skills. If you haven’t yet had a paid job or experience in a field you’d like to pursue, volunteering will help you build a CV to get your foot in the door.

New Skills

Volunteering can potentially provide you administrative experience, as well as applied experience in the field. As a volunteer, you will often work with a team, so you’ll be able to develop your ability to coordinate with others, along with improving your interpersonal communication skills. You will also likely be responsible for independent work, requiring you to demonstrate initiative, the ability to meet deadlines, and competence in completing various assignments, both simple and complex. The opportunity to apply your new skills in the field will allow you to improve upon them, which will not only be an asset to you and your CV, but will build your confidence, making you more assertive and ambitious.

Community Development

As a volunteer, you can better the environment, through taking part in a recycling program, planting trees, or picking up litter; you can help support your fellow citizens by spending time with the elderly or taking care of children; you can educate, through tutoring or improving literacy; you can become a mentor and role model to the youth by being involved in after-school programs; you can assist the less fortunate by organizing a food drive or building houses. There are so many great opportunities to volunteer, so many ways to serve your community. And you will only grow through the experience.

Personal Growth

If you’ve never before had a job or career, volunteering will be your first professional experience. You may feel intimidated or unprepared when stepping into this role, working with a team and being responsible for completing tasks on target and on time. However, asserting yourself as a volunteer won’t be scary; it will be beautifully life-altering. As a volunteer, you will be made aware of your community’s needs, and you will develop empathy, which will improve the way you relate to others. Volunteering will build your confidence and increase your knowledge, making you a better candidate for future employment.

The knowledge you glean from volunteering is infinite. By working with non-profit organizations, volunteers learn about how a business is run and about how the government operates. You’ll be made more knowledgeable about the resources available in your community, thus, you’ll be able to take initiative in solving community needs. And, along the way, you will discover what is most important in life. You will feel a sense of purpose. Your priorities may even change as you become more involved in the world around you.

Network Building

As a volunteer, you will meet many people from different backgrounds and different walks of life. Your fellow volunteers will be some of the best people you’ll ever meet, because they, too, wish to change the world for the better. The communal ideology ingrained in those who choose to volunteer will allow for easy friendship and because of the diversity of those who are attracted to volunteer work, often you might connect with someone with whom you would otherwise have never crossed paths. Volunteering brings people together, and that’s a positive thing for both your personal and your professional life.

The connections you make through volunteering will build you a network of contacts. You learn from these contacts, and you can also request a character reference in the future, if you need a recommendation. This network may even put you in touch with other job and career opportunities.

Volunteering and Your CV

Volunteers are more employable, as they’ve taken the initiative to acquire some practical experience along with the theoretical experience provided by education. Presenting this information properly in your CV will give you a leg up when you’re trying to get your foot in the door. So let’s walk through the steps of including volunteer work on your CV.

The most effective way of highlighting your volunteer experience is to include it amongst your paid work, as their importance is equivalent. Your paid employment may even have less relevance to the job for which you’re applying, so if your CV is in chronological order, simply include your volunteer experience amongst your paid employment. However, make sure to note on your CV that it was unpaid volunteer work. Also, if this volunteer work was fixed-length (such as a three-month internship), mark it as such.

The information you should include about your volunteer experience:

  1. Note the name of the volunteer organization, your title and the duration of your work.
  2. Highlight your responsibilities, your tasks, and your acquired skills.
  3. Outline your achievements, such as the progress of your project or money raised.
  4. Tailor your CV to the job placement to which you’re applying. Highlight the achievements and skills which correspond to the potential job placement.

Kate Funk is a passionate coach and writer. She is a part of a team of experienced writers at www.aussiewriter.com, that provides students with quality essays, which help them improve their writing skills.

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I Wanted to Work for Whataburger, So I Created a Whataresume (Obviously)

A struggle I’ve had with so many of my peers is they complain about not finding great jobs after graduation.

“The job market is so bad.”

“Nobody is hiring right now.”

The truth is, you don’t want a job bad enough to really invest in applying for one. How many times have you called the place where you want to work? How many times have you emailed them, and persevered?

15 Baseline Tech Skills All Entrepreneurs Should Have

QUESTION: WHAT IS ONE BASELINE TECH SKILL SHOULD ALL ENTREPRENEURS HAVE A GOOD HANDLE ON BEFORE STARTING UP?

KNOW HOW TO WIREFRAME

“Being able to wireframe a page is an incredible important skill for technology development. It’s critical for being able to properly and ideally communicate with your technical and product teams. While not a coding skill per se, it requires understanding how sites or apps are designed, and the more advanced wireframing can involve complex software. Be sure to develop this skill before starting up.”

– Doreen Bloch | CEO / Founder, Poshly Inc.

MANAGING AN INBOX

“It sounds basic, but most people drown in email without any skill for how to manage, delegate, and reign it in. If you aren’t careful, email can take your entire day. Use tools like filtering, auto-forwarding, labeling and auto-responders to clear out your inbox quickly so you can get on to the business of actually running your company.”

– Laura Roeder | Founder, LKR Social Media

 

HOW TO LEARN NEW TECH SKILLS!

“The most important tech skill that you could learn is the ability to learn new ones. That might seem like a hard skill to acquire, but it’s actually pretty simple if you practice learning and researching new things using search engines to find solutions to problems. Try it now: find a solution to one of your tech problems, and you’ll be on your way in no time!”

 

HTML AND CSS

“At least a basic understanding of HTML and CSS, the two popular core technologies for displaying web pages, is key to so many basic things on the Internet. It may seems silly, but I’ve found a familiarity with them can just make so many things easier and better understood.”

– Derek Flanzraich | CEO and Founder, Greatist

 

CAN YOU WRITE A SPEC?

“A spec is a simple document that describes how a technical product or feature should function and work. You do not need to have technical skills to write this document, but there are certain best practices in how you communicate product descriptions to engineers (who will build) that you should be aware of. Ask your friends who are product managers to share with you some specs they’ve written.”

– Eric Bahn | Co-Founder, Hustle Con Media

 

BASICS OF ANALYTICS

“Businesses run on numbers and online analytics just proves the point. You have to know the basics of how an analytics package functions, how to set it up correctly and how to act on the numbers it gives you. Otherwise, you’ll be operating blind.”

 

BASIC HTML CODING

“When I was 17 and my dream of becoming a world-famous actress was taking too long to come true, I decided to start a website for other young actors. I bought a domain and learned the predominant web language of the day — HTML. Twelve years later, that skill is still extremely relevant and will remain relevant for years to come. It’s easy to learn and useful in a wide variety of jobs.”

– Lauren Friese | Founder, TalentEgg

 

COMMUNICATING VIA SOCIAL MEDIA

“Start basic. Have a good grasp on how to best utilize all the major social media networks, including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, for business. Entrepreneurs need to know how to best communicate their ideas to a wide audience via social media and how to get feedback in the same manner.”

 

DESIGN FUNDAMENTALS

“The look and feel of your company speaks volumes to potential clients, users, and investors. If you don’t understand what certain colors ‘say’ or what using particular typefaces imply about the nature of you and your company, you may end up speaking pretty words but chasing people away with your approach to aesthetics. Read some books, take some classes, and improve your overall design IQ.”

 

CUSTOMER ACQUISITION

“Sales solves a multitude of problems. If I had to choose between a founder that knows how to code and one that knows how to build a lead and conversion funnel, I’d pick the latter every time.”

– Sean Johnson | Partner, Digital Intent

 

EMAIL KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS

“You’ll be amazed how many emails you’ll need to send to get a business started, and then how many email you’ll receive once your business is off the ground. If you can’t quickly get through your inbox, you’ll be doing nothing else aside from email pretty soon.”

– Gregory Galant | CEO and Cofounder, Sawhorse Media

 

EXCEL AT EXCEL

“A rudimentary understanding of Microsoft Excel is something all entrepreneurs should have. Simply as an organizational tool, Excel is worth its weight in gold, and as your knowledge on it expands, so does its value. Excel skills allow you to efficiently stay organized, which frees up more time for important things, like growing your business.”

 

HANDLING YOUR OWN COMPUTER!

“Knowing your own machine — whether desktop or laptop, Apple or otherwise — is crucial. Your computer is a key business tool which will be the work engine of your daily life. Any entrepreneur should know how to work the basic functions of their own machine, as well as how to get the most out of it, troubleshoot it and even how to hack it to do what they need and want it to do.”

 

LEARN THE VERBIAGE

“Even if you’re hiring an entire team to handle your website design, creation, SEO and even social media campaigns, if you don’t know what HTML, a wireframe, a domain name or a Twitter handle is, you’ll end up having an extremely hard time communicating your vision and spend a whole lot of wasted money on making your professional dreams come to fruition.”

– Erika London | Co-Founder, iAdventure.com

 

MAP OUT EMAIL MARKETING

“Email marketing is the main reason why we closed our first client deal with my startup. Every month, my list would receive an email about our latest milestone. One month before launch, I emailed my list to set up a meeting. I set up five meetings and closed one client deal, allowing us to launch our product with a paying client — all thanks to email marketing.”

– Jun Loayza | President, Ecommerce Rules

 

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.

10 Traits Employers Should Look for in New Hires

Q.What’s one underappreciated trait you look for in all new hires?

New Hires

The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.

1. Communication

We look for candidates who over-communicate: they reconfirm times and locations for interviews a day in advance, they email thank-you notes after screening calls, and they follow up if they don’t hear anything. We know this trait will help ensure that they won’t have a miscommunication at work and that very little will slip past them.
– Bhavin ParikhMagoosh Test Prep

2. Entrepreneurship

Because my company is small, each person is treated as an entrepreneur in charge of her own domain. Too many companies shy away from entrepreneurial employees, but I embrace them. Everyone I hire has the curious, can-do attitude of an entrepreneur.
– Laura RoederLKR Social Media

Be a Quitter! 9 Things That Will Teach You to Quit

How many times have you told someone or yourself to ‘never give up’? I know that I’ve done it many, many times. As I cycled 450km through one of the world’s toughest mountain bike trails, I told myself hourly not to quit. But there are times where you just NEED to quit!

I remember sitting in the office knowing that I shouldn’t be there. I wanted to quit! I knew there was more for me out there: the places I needed to be, the people I needed to meet and the experiences I needed to have.

BUT my aunt’s words stuck with me. She said “You are young. It will look bad on your resume if you quit and you will be labelled as a quitter, a job hopper.”

Does that label really matter? Was I the only one with a head heavy on my pillow? Was I the only one dragging to get myself to work? Would quitting be the end of my career?

But, I wasn’t a quitter, I am the overachiever with tons of things off my bucket list.

I was happy to find out that according to Experience.com recent “Life After College” survey, the statistics show that Gen Y are expected to leave their jobs within two years. A more interesting statistic by Harvard Business Review is that 95% of over achievers under 30 spend less than three years at a job and are always looking out for new opportunities.

So obviously I wasn’t the only one. Here are “9 Reasons to Quit”:

Secrets Successful Entrepreneurs Know That Struggling Entrepreneurs Don’t

In my 22 + years as an entrepreneur and working with successful entrepreneurs and successful business professionals, universally I’ve discovered that they have learned to think and act like successful people. This is what has allowed them to rise to the top of their profession. Each would tell you that along the way they have learned how to think differently.

True, entrepreneurs struggle with their business opportunities for a variety of reasons. Among the most obvious are a lack of capital, lack of understanding about marketing, and personal issues. However, from my own entrepreneurial experience and knowledge of others, there are three major reasons individuals fail in entrepreneurial ventures.

1. They tie the success of their business with their own self worth.

2. They neglect to set realistic goals and plans for themselves and their business.

3. They are not prepared to pay the price of success.

True entrepreneurs with the right thinking prevail over a period of time. They have learned to understand the axiom Roles, Goals, and Tolls.

Close Facebook & Get Back to Work: 4 Tips To Increase Productivity

Life gets busy. Really busy. For the past 3 months I have graduated from College, worked as a Marketing Intern at PepsiCo, and grown as co- founder of a social-networking startup called Hinow, with already a 1st place in a startup contest. Oh, and I got engaged (yes, she is the most beautiful woman in the world). For 3 months, I have been busy for 14 hours a day, 6 days a week. Enough of “me, myself and I” and let’s read how you can improve your productivity and conquer the world. Reading this article will not make you better. Putting it into action everyday, will.

1. Organize your calendar

It all starts with knowing where you are, scheduling your agenda and always structuring time allocation. Your personal and professional commitments, deadlines, projects, follow- ups and everything else should be well registered. Also take in consideration the tasks that arise, either small or big, and keep track of them. My main example on this subject is my father: ask him what he did in the first weekend of March 1985. He will go straight into the garage, pick up the 1985 notebook and describe what happened that day. Amazing.

Tips:
– tech-savy crowd: set up a Google or iCloud calendar across your smartphone and laptop and always rely on your agenda and reminders apps
– paper-savy crowd: buy a good notebook with weekly calendar and reminder section
– update and refresh your calendar constantly so to release your mind to what matters
– do not over-organize with multiple apps or too many records to keep, as that will be counterproductive. It is the so-called false-productivity trap. Keep it simple

2. Work is work, cognac is cognac

(Portuguese expression that settles the difference between work and fun. Really good to impress white-collar circles)

Every single person has its own work flow and balance between working hours and break- taking. I have recently watched the film “The Internship” and it proved my point. Even in a workspace like Google, where free-time, having fun, creating relationships and napping are encouraged, people work really hard. Take my advice and clearly separate work from everything else. When working be working. Dedicate your whole self to it and do not let social networking, NBA free agency nor fashion blogs interrupt you. This way, you will be more productive when you are on the clock and relax more on spare times.

Tips:
– focus on what you are doing
– close those non-related tabs, don’t let your mind travel – reward yourself with pleasant free time
– install Pocket and save interesting articles for later

3. Post-it it

Take good note of the I-will-not-forget-this-so-no-need-to-write-down variety. Remember that epic scene from “Bruce Almighty” where he handled worldwide prayers with post-its? Copy that. Life is made of details, small pieces of information that make a huge difference. Don’t assume you can remember everything you hear – you can’t. Small tips from your boss, tasks from colleagues, sudden thoughts and messages may be really useful, and the way you handle them will affect your productivity. Deeply.

Tips:
– tech-savy crowd: Reminders App, Evernote, Wunderlist, Notability… – paper-savy friends: p-o-s-t-i-t!
– write the present to future memory
– pay attention to details

4. Do not procrastinate. Never. Ever. Ever. Ever.

Answer to emails. Handle tough clients. Right away. Don’t let problems and tasks pile up. Be ready to do things you don’t like first and then enjoy doing the ones you love. Start tasks earlier, create a habit of finishing projects sooner, invest quality time in projects, allow your full potential to be unleashed. Take advantage of working hours to be really productive. Learn to say ‘yes’ when your mind says ‘no’.

Tips:
– answer to emails, do small tasks as soon as they arrive as long as they are useful or mandatory
– start from the tasks you dislike
– invest quality time in projects
– get used to finish before the deadline
– build a culture of excellence, where you expect more from you than anyone else

May you follow the small tips and the mindset-changing advices above-mentioned. Be bold, work hard, invest and dedicate time to projects and tasks that matter and are relevant. Don’t waste work time over-organizing, surfing the web nor performing useless tasks.

I’m cheering for you. If you need any further tip or best practice, do not hesitate on contacting me through twitter or comment below. Feedback on the article would be much appreciated.

Francisco Cabral is a co-founder of the Lisbon-native location-based social network startup hinow, Marketing Trainee at PepsicCo and student of Management at NOVA School of Business & Economics. You can follow him on twitter @francicocabral

5 Lessons Learned From Firing My First Client

Earlier this year, I had the displeasure of having to part ways with a client. While it cost me some money, the lessons I learned from letting the client go are priceless. This was the first and only client that I ever made the decision to stop working with, and I’m hoping that I never have to do it again. I won’t reveal the name of the client for obvious reasons. For the purposes of this article, I’ll just refer to them as Company X.

1: Don’t underestimate your value

When I initially started off as a freelance writer, I wrote for next to nothing. I figured I had to earn my stripes and build up my reputation before I could start charging the prices I actually deserved. Also, I had always done freelance writing in addition to a regular 9-5 so the money wasn’t a huge issue in the beginning.

However, after I began working with Company X, I soon realized that the value I was bringing to the table far outweighed the amount of money I was charging. Now before I take on a job or quote a price, I thoroughly examine the value I am contributing. When you know how much value you offer and can clearly explain it to a client, they should have no problem paying what you’re worth. Company X didn’t see it that way, which is one of the reasons I had to let them go.

4 Strategies for Learning Anything in 20 Hours or Less

How long does it take to learn a new skill? Not as long as you probably think.

Most people have heard of the “10,000 hour rule” – popularized by Malcolm Gladwell in the book Outliers – the idea that it takes at least 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to master a skill. Based on research by Dr. K. Anders Ericsson, the “rule” is valid, as far as it goes. If you want to step on a golf course and seriously compete with Tiger Woods, that’s what you’re in for.

Here’s the problem with the “10,000 hour rule”: it doesn’t apply to the types of skill acquisition most people undertake. Aside from competitors in very narrow, ultra-competitive performance fields like sports, chess, and music, it’s way more common for people to decide to learn something for certain benefits: business success, personal interest, or enjoyment. You and I are playing a different game, so we can play by different rules.

In my new book, The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything Fast, I explain how you can learn any new skill in less than 20 hours of deliberate practice – that’s around 45 minutes a day for about a month. Here are a few tips for how to structure those 20 hours:

Decide What You Want

Most people have a very fuzzy idea of what they want to be able to do. Setting a “target performance level” helps you focus on practicing in a way that will help you get better results immediately. Targets like “learn to speak Italian” aren’t enough: think “book hotels and order meals in Italian while traveling” instead. The more specific and concrete your target is, the more useful it will be.

Deconstruct

Most of skills we think of are actually comprised of smaller skills. For maximum efficiency, break the new skill apart and practice the most important sub-skills first. For example, you can learn to play hundreds of chords on a guitar or piano, but you can play the most of songs using only 3-6 common chords, so learn the most-often-used chords first.

Unplug

As a society, we are excellent at filling our days with distractions. Between phones, computers, television, and the internet, it’s difficult to find time and attention to concentrate. Use a bit of willpower to eliminate these barriers to practice and you’ll greatly increase the likelihood of actually sitting down and dedicating focused time to practicing. Make a conscious effort to turn off your phone, close the computer, and focus singularly on the skill in front of you.

Self-Correct

A bit of research will help you to identify and correct missteps as you practice, As you practice, you’ll get better at noticing when you’re making a mistake, allowing you to correct it. Find 3 to 5 resources about what you want to learn, and browse them quickly, looking for important ideas, terms, and techniques. But be wary; research can quickly become a sneaky form of procrastination. Research just enough to jump in and get your hands dirty, then sit down to practice.

Practice For At Least 20 Hours

The biggest barrier to skill acquisition is emotional, not psychological. By setting an attainable goal of 20 hours, you are committing to pushing through any initial feelings of frustration or incompetence. Pre-committing before you start makes it more likely you’ll persist long enough to get results.

There’s no substitute for focused, deliberate practice, but these principles can help you get the best results from the time you invest. Decide what you want to be able to do, do a bit of research, remove barriers, make time for practice, and jump in.

You’ll be good before you know it.

To find out more about how to learn new skills quickly, check out my book, The First 20 Hours, and tune in to my creativeLIVE workshop, The Personal MBA: Getting Results.

Josh Kaufman is a business professor, advisor, and best-selling author of The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business and theThe First 20 Hours: Mastering the Toughest Part of Learning Anything.