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Wisdom from the EMProfessor
Advice for making your resume standout out among the masses As an educator, I have reviewed many articles about writing resumes so that I can better advise my students. I have become frustrated that they all fail to state what is by far the best and most important advice to improve your resume. Here it is: Make sure you have things to put on your resume! Good grades are certainly important. Even more, however, employers want to hire happy and knowledgeable people who will take an active role in their company and contribute to its success. A resume should convey your passion, energy, and that you are an active contributor. This means you should join organizations, be active in them, and take on leadership positions. Get involved in projects outside of the classroom. Your hobbies and interests will speak a lot about the type of person you. Be well read in technical areas so that you are knowledgeable and can write your resume with professional language. Help others. Volunteer your time with philanthropic organizations such as homeless shelters or senior living centers. Do the things that will convey you have a genuine interest in what you do, care about people, and that you actively contribute. If you want to have an awesome resume, do awesome things! […] Read more…
Keep it simple. The second biggest mistake in a presentation is making your slides too busy or too complicated. The best slide is often a single, simple picture with no text at all. If you put text on a slide, you are telling the audience to read instead of listen. Once they miss some of what you were saying because they were reading instead of listening, you are no longer communicating effectively. Study how to make your slides understandable so your audience can invest their mental energy into listening, instead of figuring out your slides. Only include the bare minimum on a slide to back up what you will be saying during the presentation. If you must include a complicated diagram, build that diagram over a sequence of slides that adds details a little bit at a time. If you feel inclined to create a busy slide, ask yourself why. Maybe you are emotionally attached to some less-important information and just “really really” want to include it. Maybe you are afraid to get a question about that less-important information. Get over this and delete that information from your slides. If you must, create an appendix for the less-important information and use the appendix only if a question arises. […] Read more…
Break it down After communication, the most important skill is the ability to break large problems into smaller, less complicated problems. If you can divide a big problem into a series of smaller problems that are more easily tested and verified, the task is easier to tackle, easier to troubleshoot and overall easier to solve. For example, it is a mistake to write every single line of computer program before ever trying to run it. Instead, write a small section of the program, run it, fix whatever bugs there are,  before moving on to the next small section. This makes it easier to find the mistakes and verify that each individual step is running correctly. Always try to solve simple versions of your problem first and then add complexity in steps until you reach your final goal. Do not try to solve all of the problems at once, solve them one at a time, then tackle the next.  In my experience, the smartest and most ambitious persons among us are the most likely to fail at this. Perhaps school does not sufficiently challenge these people and so they never develop the skills to solve large problems. […] Read more…

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