Foliotek Blog

Four Tips for Public Speaking

alt "Nervous about public speaking? Picture the audience in their underwear." I don't know about you, but this little tidbit of information has never helped me calm down before a public speaking event. Why would I want to picture a crowd of people sitting and staring at me ... in their underwear? That does not make me laugh or calm my nerves! Let's talk about a few realistic public speaking tips that can help you rather than making you feel more awkward.

ONE

"Make eye contact with audience members one by one." WHAT? Literally look this crowd of eager and unfamiliar faces in the eye when I'm talking? No way! One of the top TED Talk Presenters, Simon Sinek, told Entrepreneur "If you can, give each person that you intently look at an entire sentence or thought, without breaking your gaze. When you finish a sentence, move on to another person and keep connecting with individual people until you're done speaking." Not only is Simon one of the top-watched presenters, but he's probably one of the most shy. It is mentioned in the article that he would rather not be at a social event, but if he is, he would like to just hide out in the corner. So if Sinek recommends looking people in the eye when you talk, he isn't messing around. Check out his TED Talk below to see how well he does this.

It's like you're having a conversation with your audience ... you're not speaking at them, you're speaking with them - Simon Sinek

TWO

Another tip from Sinek: turn nervousness into excitement. Transform these anxious symptoms into an excited energy instead. Oh, your palms are sweaty? That's because you can't wait to get out on that stage and start talking one-on-one with all these awesome people! Give yourself a pep-talk and rationalize all of your nerves as enthusiastic reactions to being ready for your presentation.

THREE

Believe that people are rooting for you. "They want a great experience. No one likes to see someone bomb. They really do want you to win" says Danielle LaPorte. People don't choose to go to a speaking event hoping to be bored, waste their time, or leave wishing they had seen a different presenter. They genuinely want to be intrigued, learn, and walk away from a speaker who has taught them a little something about themselves.

FOUR

"Know your strengths and weaknesses as a speaker, and accentuate the positive." No one is perfect. Understand how you excel and what you're still working on, and play on those traits as you speak. If you aren't a natural comedian, don't try to be; the audience will pick up on this. Instead, play on your intelligence and genuine care of the subject material. People appreciate true passion just as much as a joke or two. Plus, being true to yourself will make you feel more comfortable and in your element than trying to be someone you're not (especially in front of all those people just sitting around in their underwear).

The next time you're asked to speak or present and you start to get nervous, remember these tips and breathe a little easier knowing that you will present like a pro.

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How to Format a Resume

altPreviously, we discussed what to include in your resume. Now that we know the content that belongs in a resume, how do we put it all together? That depends on what type of job you are applying for and how you want to come across to that employer. While design-oriented and infographic resumes are really creative and have eye-catching layouts, we are going to focus on the original, clean resume today. This is the route most people take as the Applicant Tracking System industry is growing. By keeping things simple, the system has a better chance of scanning your resume and passing it on to those responsible for hiring.

You already know what you're including on your resume, and you've decided on keeping it clean and simple. So what's next? Let's take a look at the biggest factors in the layout:

  • One Page Maximum
  • Professional Font
  • Clean Layout

One page is plenty of room to give potential employers a snapshot of who you are and why you’re the best candidate. Type up all of your information on one page and see how much space it takes up. If you’re overflowing onto page two without even formatting any of the text, go through and cut out extra verbiage. Overly-talkative babies are cute, but a rambling resume is not.

Next, choose a professional font. If you use a font that has ‘added embellishments’ to its letters, you run the risk of looking unprofessional or childish. Not only that, but the Applicant Tracking Systems that bigger companies use to scan thousands of resumes could cause your resume to be looked over due to an unfamiliar font. Stick with Calibri, Times New Roman, Arial, or any of the other seven fonts on Monster.com’s top ten resume-friendly fonts list. The number one font to stay away from? Comic Sans. If you don't know why, check out this article by Comicsanscriminal.com.

Finally, keep a clean layout. This means that everything should be organized cohesively and not spaced out randomly throughout the page. Stick with one alignment. So if you align the first bit of information on the left, continue this alignment with the rest of your information. Use headers to differentiate the types of information that you’re including (Work Experience, School History, etc.) so that it’s easier for the employer to quickly find what they’re looking for on the page. Hungry for more? Check out Jeff & Mike: The Interview Guys' Resume Format Guide for 2016.

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How to Write a Resume

Resume writing can seem monotonous and intimidating. How are you supposed to fit all of your awesome accomplishments onto just one page? What if you don’t have a lot of different experiences or awards to fill up an entire page? Look no further. This post will discuss the content that employers are looking for when they see your resume for the first time.

“It’s well documented that people only spend about six seconds looking at each resume they receive.” – Forbes.com

Not only do employers look quickly at your resume to determine if it’s worth the read, but they want to be able to sell you to the hiring managers based on your resume alone. If you only have six seconds to impress someone with your resume, you need to be sure that only the essentials are listed so your expertise gets across.
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Content

Personal Information:
No, I don’t mean that you’re wearing your lucky t-shirt as you compose your resume. Include your full name, phone number, email address, and ID Page URL. By including your Foliotek ID Page as a link on your resume, you give employers direct access to your work samples before they even meet you.

School Experience:
List your degree, school, and graduation year. If you received your degree more than ten years ago, leave off the year. If your work experience is more relevant to the job in which you’re applying, list that before school experience.

Work Experience:
Include the name of the company, your position, the years worked at the company, and your outstanding achievements while working there. By quantifying your impact in your job experience, you show future employers specific examples of what you’re capable of doing for their company.

Quick Hitter Tips from the Pros

  • A resume is a very selective body of content. It’s not meant to be comprehensive. If it doesn’t contribute to convincing the hiring manager to talk to you, then take it out says Heifetz.
  • Objectives are so last year. Instead, swap out objective with branding statement or career summary. Giving impressive statistics of your accomplishments and telling employers how your skills will meet their goals as a company is much more effective than stating that you want to be hired and a list of the skills you have.
  • "In a society where social media often blurs the lines between personal and professional life, it’s easy to forget the level of formality and importance your resume should hold, but it is a crucial fact to remember" says blogger and Certified Resume Writer Michele Lando
  • Check out this sample ID Page to see how incorporating your work samples into an online resume is a positive influence on your application.

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How to Transform Ugly


Your Virtual Handshake

When you walk into a room to meet someone for the first time, you extend your hand for a handshake. But what do you do before the interview? How do you reach out a steady hand without someone standing directly in front of you? Your cover letter and Identity Page, of course!

A cover letter is used to introduce yourself; a precursor to help you stand out of the stack of resumes an employer has to dig through. It's how you tell them a little more about who you are as an individual and make them want to choose you for an interview. How do you draw them in with your cover letter?

  • Explain why you are a benefit to their company because of your experiences. Don't tell them what they already know - that you're applying for 'such and such job' and that you're 'just plain awesome.'

  • Illustrate how your skillsets and character traits are a valuable asset to their company's culture and values (show your awesomeness without bragging!).

  • Mention something you know about their company or an impressive fact about the industry and how excited you are to be involved.

Get more Cover Letter tips like this and more from Nerdwallet.com's Expert Advice Column. You are more than just what your resume states, and this is your chance to show the company 'the person behind the resume.'

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Foliotek adds another dimension to the cover letter through our Identity Page. As discussed in our post last week, Geoff explained the importance of showing your work to potential employers using Foliotek projects. The Identity Page is a perfect place to include these projects along with a description of who you are, your school and work credentials, any websites where you're a contributor, contact information, and your resume. Think of it as your online brand; your virtual cover letter.

Extend that handshake before you even set foot in the door and include a link to your ID Page on both your cover letter and resume. This will give potential employers the feeling that they already know you when you come in for your interview. That, my friends, is what we at Foliotek call a leg up.


How to Transform Ugly

So you’ve written your ID page introduction, and now you’re questioning whether or not it’s got what it takes to grab an employer’s attention. Perhaps you know your intro doesn’t make the cut, but you don’t know what to do next. If you can’t just sit down and write a super-awesome introduction from the beginning (like most of us!), write out what you can to start. Then read on to see how to take an introduction that is just downright ugly and transform it into something amazing.

Version 01. Let’s start with the ugly.

I am going to be an Architectural Engineer. I like colors and design. I am good at math. I travel a lot.

This ID Introduction has zero hook, but instead starts with a thesis. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but the writer doesn’t elaborate other than stating characteristics of liking “colors and design” and being “good at math.” The sentences aren’t cohesive and don’t contribute to the whole. Although the introduction is simple, it is too simple and lacks any interest.

Helpful Hint: If your ID intro is currently ugly, the first step is to add in a little more information and sprinkle with detail.

Version 02. A bit better.

When I was little, I had a burnt pumpkin brick house. I told my mom that’s what it was. I like colors and design and see them everywhere I go. I’m excited to build new things all over the country.

While this introduction is better, it still isn’t very good. It has a short hook by beginning to tell the story, but this story is incomplete. Why is it important to know that the writer had a burnt pumpkin brick house? What is the relevance of this information and why do we need to know she told her mom this information? We can infer that the child told their mother the house color, but is it because her mother always burned pumpkin bread? There is no context to the information. A lot of people like colors and design, so why does this information set the writer apart? So she sees it wherever she goes … and? We are happy that she is excited about building, but why? What is she building? Why does she want to do this? Not only does this introduction leave the reader (or employer!) with a lot of questions, but it gives no thesis. We can only imagine what she wants to do with her life, but in an ID Introduction, we want to be straight forward.

Helpful Hint: To make your ID Intro great, tie it all together. Explain the hook and how it relates to your characteristics and thesis.

Version 03. Just right.

I first noticed that my childhood home was made of brick when I was five years old. At six, I told my mother that our house was Burnt Pumpkin Brick and not Red Brick. Since then, I have noticed details in color, line, and design everywhere I go. My attention to detail, passion for modern architecture, and desire to bring life to towns through design resonates deep. I am a future Architectural Engineer.

This ID Introduction has a hook that tells a story. The story isn’t random or irrelevant because it ties into the details this person was able to recognize at such a young age. The writer goes on to explain an admirable characteristic: her attention to detail. She explains that this attention to detail gives her a passion to create amazing architecture wherever she goes. She closes with a simple but straight forward goal: that she is going to be an architectural engineer. Her ID Intro is 404 characters. Could it be longer? Yes. Does it have to be? No. She gives us all of the components of a good introduction and doesn’t add any unnecessary ‘fluff’ in order to take up the whole page.
Hannah Stone Online Identity http://www.foliotek.me/hannahstone

Congratulations! You now know what it takes to write a good ID Introduction and how to transform your ugly introduction into a solid one. Want some more help?