Resume Writing Tips

August 30, 2011

Good Day All,

As a general services virtual assistant, I help clients with a diverse range of services.  Over the past few months,  I have been inundated with requests to assist clients/potential clients with writing their resume.  Seriously, crazy numbers of people have been contacting me.  Yay!  In the current marketplace and sheer volume of candidates seeking the best positions, your resume must be high-impact to get you in the door for that all important interview.resume writing tip

While some resumes have some basic big mistakes, in my opinion, there are several things I keep having to address and wanted to put a couple of tips out here.

1) Create your resume specifically for the position you are seeking.  This means you will need to recreate your resume each time you apply for a position – yes, a little time consuming but very important!

2) Keep it 1-2 pages.  A resume isn’t the vehicle to get you the job, it is the tool to get you into the interview where you get to shine and embellish!

3) Be brief but concise with relevant information, successes, and use action words.  Focus on the actions that led to great results not your responsibilities.  You want this potential employer to relate to how you will be a benefit to their organization.

4)  Don’t send a resume printed on an ink jet printer – you know why.

5) Always include a stunning cover letter.

Good luck!
Jan

6 Years Ago Today…

September 9, 2010

6 years ago today I launched my eva-colo website telling the world my virtual assistance business was officially open!  Of course, I’m totally revamping the site now, again :) I love what I do and am SO very appreciative of my clients – they/you are the best!  Thank you.

I cannot believe how quickly time has flown by.

Best to you,

Jan

I received an email from Amazon today regarding my Associate affiliation with them.  As of today, my account was closed due to a new law enacted only in Colorado.

Here’s an excerpt, “The regulations are burdensome and no other state has similar rules. The new regulations do not require online retailers to collect sales tax. Instead, they are clearly intended to increase the
compliance burden to a point where online retailers will be induced to “voluntarily” collect Colorado sales tax ‐‐ a course we won’t take.
We and many others strongly opposed this legislation, known as HB 10‐1193, but it was enacted anyway. Regrettably, as a result of the new law, we have decided to stop advertising through Associates based in Colorado. We plan to continue to sell to Colorado residents, however, and will advertise through other channels, including through Associates based in other states.
There is a right way for Colorado to pursue its revenue goals, but this new law is a wrong way. As we repeatedly communicated to Colorado legislators, including those who sponsored and supported the new law, we are not opposed to collecting sales tax within a constitutionally‐permissible system applied even‐handedly.”

You can click  Colorado Govt shuts down Amazon Associates to read the notification Amazon emailed to me.  There are links included in case you, too, care to voice your opinion to the Colorado legislators.

This is a very unfortunate circumstance that rings “big brother”.  While I’m not one to strike up conversations about politics, this sure seems wrong.

Tell me your thoughts on this new law.

Best to you,
Jan

Reclaim Your Desk

June 26, 2009

Lately things have been getting a bit chaotic and my desk was bearing the brunt of  being “put off”.   The stacks started off small – I call it “organized confusion” – I knew where everything was located but it was becoming more challenging as the weeks passed.

.:.Even in this economy, my virtual business is still chugging along and picking up a new project now and again!

.:.My son is now 15 months old and very active.

.:.Summer is beckoning with fabulous sunny days and the opportunity/neccessity to tend to landscaping duties.

I don’t know about you, but if I am disorganized in one area of life, it can really stress me out!  It was imperative to reclaim my desk space for me and my clients.

My wonderful sister took my son to her house one day and I jumped into my project to clear the clutter, organize all of the bits and pieces and regain control.  It is amazing how efficiently things run now – everything is in its place.   I love to work at my desk again and look forward to it – isn’t that the way it is supposed to be?

Best to you,

Jan

On a fairly regular basis, aspiring virtual assistants (VAs) contact me stating they want to become a VA and don’t know where to start.  It truly can be overwhelming but here is my simple advice to get them rolling.

1) Determine who you will market to and how you will market to them.

2) Decide whether you will be a generalist or provide niche services?

3) Write your business plan including a marketing plan!  This key document will help guide you along the way and it should be reworked as your business progresses.

Starting your own business is not for everyone and you must be honest when you assess yourself and your skills.  Do your research as far as small business ownership is concerned and spend some time perusing all of the information available on the Small Business Administration website.

Good luck and best to you,

Jan

Well, that is something each business owner must ascertain for themselves.

Although I consider myself to be a positive thinker, the current economic shift has been tough on many businesses/employers and it may remain that way for a while.  Faced with having to make critical decisions regarding their workforce to keep the business solvent is not easy.   Replacing employees with a full-timer may not be the best option when times are still uncertain.

Luckily, the virtual world offers the relatively new solution of hiring a professional virtual assistant.  Choosing to partner with a virtual assistant might be the most cost-effective solution when you have to cut your traditional workforce.

Best to you,

Jan

Gas Prices

December 9, 2008

Hello All!

Well, the snow has started to fly this afternoon and this evening in SW Colorado.  I needed to fill up my car this morning anyhow, but what a treat!   I LOVE to pay only $1.58 / gallon for unleaded!  Sure beats the price we were paying just a short time ago.  Almost makes it worth going out in the snow!

If you need a quick happy thought, think about what you are saving in gas prices now.

Safe driving!

Jan

Hello All!

As an Amazon.com Affiliate, I receive special notifications when there are DEALS to be had! Guess what? For those of you with children on your holiday shopping list, you can save up to 35% on selected Fisher-Price toys when shopping right now.

Aren’t you interested in getting a bargain? Please use my website link to shop. It doesn’t cost you any more and they give me an itty-bitty kick back for sending them quality traffic if you shop and BUY via my link.

While I am a virtual assistant working from home, I find it easy, peaceful, and expeditious to shop online. I hope you can take a few minutes to shop from the warmth and comfort of your home and leave the chaos of traffic, crowds, and standing in line for someone with more time on their hands! :)

Thank you so much and happy online shopping!

Best to you,

Jan

This is truly echoing through the conversations of many these days. It has been profoundly prevalent amongst many entrepreneurs with whom I have elected to partner.

While I understand and empathize that these are tough economical times, I strive to be open-minded about the situation. It is increasingly difficult to do so, when I provide services in good faith, invoice for those services, then not hear a word from a client for weeks. Albeit, it may be a bit embarrassing for them to tell me, “Hey Jan, I am a little broke right now, can we work something out?” this simple communication would clarify the predicament and I would be much more willing to work with them. However, when I have to “chase” after them to pay, for them to hide/ignore or state they will get money to me next week, if next week never arrives, it just damages my faith in them as a client.

As an independent business owner and single mother, I try to be flexible, but bear in mind, my bills are still due and unfortunately my mortgage company isn’t as flexible. It is increasingly troubling to find out some trusted clients won’t communicate.

It has been difficult to get those ends to meet each month, but I am remaining positive in bringing new clients aboard, I have taken on a few new clients/projects and started selling Avon products as an independent sales representative. This is my way of being financially creative and accomplish the one thing that is most important to me…working from home so that I can raise my handsome 7-month old son, Jack!

New IRS Mileage Rates

August 5, 2008

Finally some good news – especially with the outrageous price of gas right now, we are getting a bit of relief when behind the wheel – courtesy of the IRS! The IRS announced that effective July 1, 2008, mileage rates have gone up eight cents per mile for business, medical, and moving mileage. Check out the IRS website for the full scoop. Basically, business rates were 50.5 January 1 – June 20, 2008 and now they are 58.5 July 1 – December 31, 2008.