Open Session

Becoming a better parent through open discussion of parenting issues

Applying for Jobs? October 14, 2011

Filed under: Employment — aprilgrant @ 7:59 pm

Being about 7 months pregnant and having to hire a temporary replacement for myself, I’m in a precarious position. I don’t want to hire someone so awesome that they don’t care that I come back, and I want to hire someone who’s decent enough to not leave them in a lurch – qualified.

Luckily, it doesn’t seem that I’m having the first problem at all. We did come across one woman who was completely awesome and she only wanted a temporary position, which works out great for me. However, she ended up declining to take the offer. I was somewhat saddened by it, because she really seemed to know quite a bit about my position and would be able to teach me some things – probably a lot of things.

But alas, we are back to the drawing board. I’ve realized that most of the resumes suck! Don’t get me wrong, some of them may be qualified, but they surround it with so much crap, I can’t really tell.  Here are some (hopefully) helpful hints:

  1. Your resume should not be the same for every position, it should vary based on the details that the company provides to you!  My place of employment is hiring for two staff positions. I received a cover letter and resume for both positions. They aren’t the same. The qualifications aren’t the same. To put it in one resume, you may be thinking that it saves you time, but from my prospective, it’s just lazy and shows me that you’re willing to short-cut. In general, I’m ok with short-cuts, but when your cover letter says “I’m applying for x and y” and didn’t take the time out to tell me why each of the positions are a good fit for you, I don’t really want to read the rest of the resume. It will be filled with “qualifications” that I don’t need for the position I’m trying to fill.
  2. If you’re applying for a job, don’t indent 1/3 through the page and make it multiple pages. Don’t try too hard to create a “lengthy” resume! We aren’t in high school anymore. There’s no resume length requirement of TWO or THREE pages. We care about quality, not quantity. Too much filler means that we stop reading it!
  3. If you highlight something in your cover letter, please back it up in your resume.  If you’re going to highlight the number of years you’ve been in the industry, show me growth! Don’t show me that you’ve managed to do the exact same thing for multiple people, in different places over that time. Most jobs will teach you all you need to know in the first year.  It’s up to you to expand and grow on the job. Length of time doesn’t matter (at least not to me).
  4. Limit repetition! If you went from Assistant I to Assistant II, don’t just copy everything from Assistant I to Assistant II and add to it. When you’re trying to show that you learn quickly, and grow on the job, you have to have learned something substantial to justify a new position and new entry. Otherwise, just combine in a Assistant I/Assistant II listing. Save space to talk about important and relevant information.
  5. Spell check, spell check, spell check! I know that this has been beaten into your head, but please note this difference – have a friend/family member/trusted colleague spell check! There are some things that the spell check function on the computer does not catch. One error that I caught was a misspelling for the word assess. The last ‘s’ was missing. It’s not that I don’t understand what you meant, nor that I think that you were lazy for not using spell check. What I do think is that you don’t pay attention to detail. Almost every position requires you to pay attention to detail in some aspect or another.
  6. If you’re applying for two positions at the same place, please submit twice. Not always same department reviews and the qualifications are NOT the same. See point 1. If you read each listing, they will highlight what’s important for each role.  You should do the same! Each resume should highlight what’s important for that position.
 I hope these tips help.  If you have any more tips (or think I’m somewhat off base), feel free to leave them below!
Push harder now!
Little things DO count!  The resume is judged more than anything else. No, we don’t expect on-the-job perfection, but with almost infinite time, the ability to review by yourself and others, we expect cities to be capitalized, periods to be appropriately placed, semi-colons used effectively and properly and formatting to be consistent.
These tips were submitted by a friend:
Not an autobiography! Do not include anything personal. Facts only. 

Highlight positives! If you can show how you saved money, increased “whatever” in concrete numbers, even better.

Not a book or short story! Hiring members don’t have time to read lengthy resumes. I also like bullet style resumes.  I for sure think resumes should only be one page, and only contain 10 years of experience (unless job calls for more). (Me: I will stop reading if it seems like the person threw in the kitchen sink to seem more important).


Belly Bump October 7, 2011

Filed under: Children,Mothering — aprilgrant @ 8:03 pm

I am currently 30 weeks pregnant.  At the beginning of my weight loss journey, I was by far not a small gal. Getting pregnant has shown me how uncomfortable it is to express myself to others.

Because of the loss of our previous son, I was hesitant to let people know that I was pregnant until I was five months pregnant (~20 weeks). I felt her growth in my clothes and saw the bump on my belly. My clothes were getting tighter and I had to change from regular clothes to maternity clothes.

I admit, clothes weren’t super tight, belly wasn’t super big. But the comments… when you’re pregnant and you feel fat and bloated, I don’t know if it’s just me, but I HATED people telling me that I didn’t look pregnant. Was it supposed to be a compliment?  Was it meant to make me feel better? The fact that my clothes are tight, my clothes don’t hang right and I’m wearing clothing that’s obviously too big and too long, telling me that I didn’t look pregnant made me feel fat – really fat. I mean, if I don’t look pregnant, then what did I look? What else would be the cause of this sudden change?

So, I started pushing out my stomach, forcing a bump where she is, making her as large as possible. Then I start getting comments “oh, you aren’t that far along” in response to how far I am. I know this has to be partly based on the hormones that rage through my body, since I can’t imagine it’s that insensitive, but I don’t care.  When you’re growing a baby, answering comments about weeks, how much time, etc are annoying.

Now, I’m six months – 30 weeks pregnant, she is apparent whether or not I try to push her out. The commentary now?

  • Wow! She popped out of nowhere.
  • I swear she wasn’t there a couple of weeks ago.
  • Man, you’re huge!

Get my drift? How is this helpful? What is this meant to accomplish? I get it from friends, acquaintances and strangers. Being pregnant is already not a comfortable state of being, so, why question her about her status? About her size (especially) and due date constantly.  (Side note: I’ve been asked by the same people several time when my due date is. If they care enough to ask, shouldn’t they care enough to remember?)

Again, I know this is a pregancy rant fueled by hormones, but just remember to make the pregnant woman in your life feel good. Reminding her how “big” or how “small” she is isn’t particularly helpful (unless she hasn’t moved up a size).

What are your pregnancy woes?


Mommy Blogs

Filed under: Blogging — aprilgrant @ 8:02 pm

I read a lot of blogs, probably more than I should.

I started really reading non-news online a few years ago when I was struggling with my mother. I was looking for someone having the same or similar problems. It turned me on to other places, blogs, websites, columns. Then I started having issues with my son, and I turned to others having similar problems. So, I have a bunch of blogs hat I read on a regular basis. Some good, some great, a couple not exciting ones, but when they have good info, it’s really good. Check some of them out!