Saturday, October 29, 2011

9 Tips on how to improve your résumé

Employee works with tropical fish at a hatchery: Tampa, Florida
Photographed by Charles Barron, Jan. 1953
When I was in college, about 15 years ago, I took a communications class that focused on improving interviewing and résumé writing skills.  Many of the things learned in the class was applied in my own résumés. 

What made it challenging, however, was that during the time, computer software introduced many ways a person can jazz up their résumé.  Borders, fonts and pictures obscured context and made it challenging to present your professional experience.

In addition, paper became an important element in résumé writing.  I spent hours and money choosing a box of résumé paper from a row full of options. 

Paper, fonts and borders may help, but what really matters more is how you present your accomplishments in context.  Below I've listed a few recommendations I gathered from freelance writer Denene Brox and High Tech recruiting firm marketing manager Christina Long that may help your résumé stand out.
  1. Present your accomplishments in four to six sentences.  Focus on outcomes rather than listing job duties.
  2. Use "common buzz words" throughout your resume.
  3. Use bullet points and highlight essential projects or accomplishments that stand out.
  4. Customize your résumé based on the employer.  Only list previous jobs that relate to the position being advertised.  And avoid generic résumés.
  5. Résumés should be no more than two pages long. 
  6. Be honest when listing skills.
  7. Use some white space and avoid overcrowding text.  Make your résumé easy on the eyes.
  8. Include your contact information on every page.
  9. Proofread.  Have someone proofread for grammatical errors and typos.
Sources:; Brox, Denene, "The Top of the Stack" PM Network, Vol. 24, No. 8 (August 2010), pg. 48.

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Little League Highlights and a blooper

My seven year old's little league team, the Pirates, had two weeks off; so, it was exciting to see him back on the field this past weekend.

This was his fourth game and his performance was just like the previous games--excellent. He scored three runs and one RBI.

His stats for the season, so far, is 1 home run, 7 runs, and 8 RBIs.

While you watch the video, catch my son's dance routine on the field.

Oh, and excuse the audio delay. I need to update my video editing software.

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Monday, October 24, 2011

An apple a day...

When I was little, I remember sitting on the back of my grandfather's truck selling apples in Laredo, Texas.  "Manzanas! Manzanas!" he would yell.  I was then encouraged to yell the same to passerbys. 

My grandfather, Grandpa Kiko, always had apples at the house.  I was sure to have sliced apples everytime I visited him. 

At a young age, I knew the importance of consuming apples--an apple a day keeps the doctor away. I didn't like shots and if that meant eating apples then I was all for it.

Recently, a team of scientists from Florida State University, found that apples may keep the doctor away. Examining 160 women ages 45-65, the FSU scientists found those subjects who ate an apple a day had lower bad cholestrol levels.  Apples also act as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.  In addition, apples contribute to body weight reduction.

Sources:;; Natural Awakenings, October 2011

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Friday, October 21, 2011

"Then two men will be in the field; one is taken and one is left"

After hearing the good news of faith among Christians in Thessalonica, Paul wrote a letter of encouragement to the Thessalonians.  To strengthen their belief, Paul wrote about the second coming of Jesus and the rapture.

For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel's call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first;
then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord." - 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

Back in April, I wrote about Christian author Harold Camping and his predictions of the rapture scheduled on May 21, 2011.  He also has predicted the beginning of Armageddon on October 21, 2011, this is today. 

In my previous blog, which you can read HERE, I stressed that no one can predict the second coming of God--biblical scripture clearly states that in Matthew 24:36.  However, you have a radio personality that has  done some sort of math to determine the exact date of the second coming of Jesus Christ. 

Now, he was wrong four months ago.  Could he be right, today?  Of course former dictator Muammar Gadhafi was killed yesterday.  I guess we'll see come October 22nd.

Title quote: Matthew 24:40

Source: The New Oxford Annotated Bible

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

My Alma Mater - Texas State

I remember the first day I walked down the Quad at Texas State University--back then the school was known as Southwest Texas State--among countless blue eye blondes.  Yes, this brown boy was in paradise.

Despite the great looking girls, I focused on my studies. Although it was challenging to concentrate at times, I did manage to finish my masters degree.   

After finishing my studies, I remained loyal to my alma mater.  I've participated in a couple of university boards and organizations.  I occasionally visit San Marcos for a quick stop at the University Bookstore to pick up some Bobcat apparel or spirit gear.  I also follow Bobcats sports when I can. 

Last year I took my son to a Bobcat football game.  We both enjoyed the experience sitting near the front of the field--a stone's throw from the blue eye blonde cheerleaders.  What made it memorable for my little boy was that the Bobcats won both games we attended.  

Recently, Texas State, a member of the Southland Conference, was invited to join the Western Athletic Conference in 2012.  In addition, the Bobcats football team picked up Dennis Franchione as head coach. 

So, perhaps it shouldn't be a surprise that a recent KLBJ FM poll which asked, "Who should be the number one team in college football?" people answered "Texas State." 

Maybe they meant "Texas" as in "University of Texas."  Or perhaps the folks at Austin's Rock Station thought it would be cute to disregard the Longhorns after their terrible performances against the two Oklahoma team.  Regardless, Texas State has a well developed team and deserves the recognition, and it was nice to see my alma mater among some good college football teams.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Women, never stop...

Photography Appreciation

Romantik by Sven Türck (1897-1954)

Cosmo lists 50 things a woman should never stop doing in a relationship.  Below are ten of those mentioned in the article by Jessica Knoll in the October 2011 issue of Cosmopolitan. 

Never stop...

1. "Keeping your body complaints to yourself...
2. Maintaining your feminine mystique
3. Screening his calls and waiting 10 minutes before returning it
4. Keeping your phone in your purse during dinner
5. Going out with your friends
6. ...checking out new spots and trying interesting cuisines
7. Talking him anyone you meet
8. Laughing at his funny jokes
9. Giving his egos a good firm stroking by occasionally telling him sweet little white lies
10. Looking your hottest when your hanging out with his friends."

Source: "50 Things You Should Never Stop Doing in a Relationship," Jessica Knoll, Cosmopolitan, October 2011, Pg. 147-149.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011


This reminds of the juvenile insults I use to take part of on the playground.  I came across the Yomama Channel on Youtube featuring a cartoon jock named Brody telling yo mama jokes.

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Me and my softball team

I enjoy planning events; especially, if it involves a team.  Perhaps I get this trait from my parents. 

My mom enjoys planning parties.  My dad was known for organizing winning teams at the university he taught. 

Months ago, I organized a team of coworkers for a softball tournament (you can read my previous post HERE).  Before that particular tournament, our team practiced several weekends before the game.

A few weeks ago, I decided to organize another team for another softball tournament; however, I faced many challenges, such as college football season.  Furthermore, the weekend I decided to practice, god decided the 100 days of no rain would end.  Regardless, I found my team and we made our presence at the double elimination softball tournament.

Although we didn't win, I was extremely proud of my team.  I was also proud of myself. 

For this tournament, I was not only the manager but the coach for the team.  Leading up to day of the tournament, I read the ASA rules and familiarized myself with the various field positions.  Quite honestly, I think my son's little league games helped me prepare for this game.

Speaking of my son, he was my assistant manager/coach as he called players on deck and in the hole.

After the game, I took a two hour nap.  I slept 10 hours that night.  Needlesstosay, I was exhausted.  Yet, I still want to organize future games.  I love the idea of planning events.  I enjoy participating in something as a team.  And even if my record is 0-5, the odds are in my favor because eventually I will win a game.   

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Friday, October 14, 2011

The cleaning products you use may cause breast cancer

Chemicals commonly found in cleaning products and air fresheners may contribute to the increased risk of breast cancer in women, according to a case-control study reported in Environmental Health Journal

The telephone interview, conducted by Silent Spring Institute, surveyed 787 women diagnosed with breast cancer and 721 control subjects.  The survey asked participants which household products were used prior to be diagnosed with breast cancer.

Some household cleaning and pesticide products contain endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC) which are known to interfere with natural hormones that may cause mammary gland tumors.

The study found that woman who used air fresheners and mold and mildew products are susceptible to breast cancer.  Air fresheners and mold and mildew products contain phthalates, which have been shown to change hormone levels.

You can read the entire report HERE.

Sources:; Wikipedia; Natural Awakenings, October 2011

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ladies, look what drinking mineral water will do

Check out this French commercial advertising mineral water Contrex, which is owned under Nestlé Waters

Source: Youtube

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

"Bank of America. We've got your customer service right here."

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Sunday, October 9, 2011

"What's he do? Nibble your bum?"

The Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog is perhaps the most memorable character of Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

In search of the holy grail, King Arthur and his knights come across Tim the Enchanter, a wizard, who leads him to the Cave of Caerbannog where they must defeat a terrible monster--a cute white rabbit. 

My seven year old son loves this part and gets the comedy as the King and his knights "run away" after the rabbit kills two of the King's knights.

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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Eating a plate and a half

Soon after my son was born, especially once he was able to eat solids, I found myself 15 pounds heavier.  When my body could barely fit in a 33 waist, I made the decision to lose weight. I dramatically dropped the pounds within a year; however, it wasn't the most healthiest option.  In the process of shedding the pounds, I also found my body's immune system weak. 

I came across an article in the October 2011 issue of Redbook Magazine that cited medical research conducted by Dr. Jerica Berge, a clinical family researcher, that examined the nutritional and physical health of young mothers.

Although the article was obviously targeted to young moms, I thought this could apply to young dads too.

The article provides four tips to improve ones health as a new parent, which I've paraphrased below:
  1. Avoid the temptation of cleaning your childs plate after he or she is finished with her meal (I'm guilty of that.  It's still a struggle to avoid eating that extra half plate of food);
  2. Stress leads to depression, so avoid it as much as you can by sneaking time for yourself;
  3. Avoid drinks with sugar and opt for green tea; and
  4. Practice good hygiene to avoid viruses and bacteria.
Sources: "4 Ways to kid-proof your health," Amy Levine-Epstein, Redbook Magazine, October 2011, p. 95; "Are Parents of Young Children Practicing Healthy Nutrition and Physical Activity Behaviors?" Jerica M. Berge, PhD, LMFT, Nicole Larson, PhD, MPH, RD, Katherine W. Bauer, PhD, Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, PhD, MPH, RD.

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Friday, October 7, 2011

"Citrus balances alcohol and sugar"

It's quite comical to hear my dad defend why he can drink a margarita even after his physician suggests avoiding too much sugar,"I can drink a margarita because the citrus balances the alcohol and sugar."

But he may actually be right.

When my dad makes margaritas, he usually opts for juices, mineral water, and tequila. According to an article in L Style G Style magazine, the way he makes mixed drinks is much healthier than using mixers. 

Source: L Style G Style magazine, July / August 2011

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Confessions of a Gym Dweeb Part 12


I've debated for the past few weeks about posting this blog entry... okay, here it goes: I have a gym crush. 

No, this blog entry isn't about that cute redhead but about a lady who seems to have an attraction to me.  Let me explain: this girl resembles the large WB abominable snowman who wants Bugs Bunny as its "George." 

"You didn't even sweat," the voice came from the large woman in front of me while I wiped off the seat after doing twenty reps of abs and deciding to stop when I felt uncomfortable with her peering eyes.  I shrugged and grinned and moved off to the next machine.

A few weeks later, the same abominable snowman chick decided to run next to me on a treadmill avoiding the fact that there were probably five others open and free. 

She tried to talk to me, but I pretended my music over my iPod muffled her voice and I couldn't hear.  Of course, I heard clearly when my wife approached me from the opposite side to ask if I was ready to leave.  I quickly responded yes, stopped the treadmill and hopped off. Unknowingly, my wife claimed her territory. 

Of course, perhaps all this was in my mind and this poor large lady was just another client working out and didn't even think about flirting.  Of course, I like thinking that I still got game.

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A home run!

When I was young, I collected baseball cards. I remember opening my first Topps deck and finding a Ryne Sandberg baseball card. I soon became a Chicago Cubs fan. I couldn't play, but I was intrigued by the sport.

I noticed that my son had baseball blood in him when he threw a ball at great speed and accuracy at age one. He then surprised us during his second birthday party where he swung a stick with great speed against his Elmo pinata. What put the icing on the cake was when he threw a cartboard at my neck and caused a small scare--he got in deep trouble for that.

My wife and I decided to enroll our seven year old in little league this fall. I think it's the best thing we decided to do for our son. 

During his first game, our son was at bat twice.  He got one run and two RBIs.    The second game, he was at bat twice, got two runs, and three RBIs. This past weekend, he made a home run and two RBIs.

The cool thing is that my dad, his grandfather, got to watch him run around the bases.

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Monday, October 3, 2011

Confessions of a Gym Dweeb Part 11


So this blog entry isn't entirely about the gym but of the workplace.  My workplace to be more precise. 

I work in an office building full of cubicles.  It's quite a maze--trust me. 

I use to be that employee who would stay behind the desk with my eyes fixated on the computer in front of me--the perfect specimen to an authoritarian boss. 

Not too long after, my back started aching, I became overweight and depression became my new best friend.  I questioned my relationship with my wife and son and at one point wondered why life in general was turning against me. 

It wasn't until I got to know my office bestfriend who happened to work on the other side of the building. Not before long, I was visiting my new bestfriend periodically during the day.  My confidence improved.  I lost weight.  My depression deminished. 

A few weeks ago, I came across an article in Redbook Magazine suggesting taking a three minute break every hour at work to walk around.  Walking around the office helps "engage your muscles and improves blood flow which helps metabolism." 

I totally agree.  However, I should add that taking a break from your computer does help with your social skills, creativity, and mental health.

Source: "You're typing away at your computer," Jamie Beckman, Redbook Magazine, October 2011, page 100

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Saturday, October 1, 2011

2 runs and 3 RBIs

He did it again.  My seven year old son, number 6, had a great game day on September 24, 2011. 

He had two hits and three runs.  He also played first base and took a kid out.

 At the end of the game, the coach gave my son a game ball all for his great efforts on first base. 

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