Another Quick Resume Comment

December 7, 2017 Leave a comment

Reviewing resumes is a very tedious adventure and an adventure it is. Most of the resumes can be quickly discarded, but the rest leave you searching. As stated before, colleges do a very horrible job of helping students with resumes. People take the one opportunity to open a door and screw it up.

The majority of resumes that I actually open, read, and try to understand the prospective employee are riddled with issues that have me closing their pdf, doc, or txt file. Yes, the txt file is the evil one that should NEVER be submitted. There are free tools that mimic Word. What is one of the main problems? It is information. The resume is the initial introduction and needs to reflect you in a positive light.

For some reason, people will leave out vital bits of data that tell me about yourself in terms of your work and what you are interested in. What is worse is that the resume organization is poorly done. For some reason, a person looking for an engineering position or web development feels the need to let me know they studied music or won some vocal performance. These may be nice accomplishments, but they are not related to what you are applying for. I really do not care if you were voted “Most likely to succeed” in high school. Yes! That was actually on a resume. If you write that you are hoping for a job in Denver and you are applying for a position in Binghampton, NY, what am I to think? Your veteran with five points gets you nowhere with me if the points have no bearing on this position. Again, I do not care that you are able to handle raw meat if you are interested in an accounting position. Do you need to emphasize your leadership skills if you are applying for an entry-level position?

Most of what I see is sloppy and inattentive resume writing. One-size fits all resumes doesn’t work. I shouldn’t have to search the internet about you in order to see if you are worth calling for an interview. If I can find more about you on the net that is related to your skills and job hunting desires, then consider putting it on your resume. Take about the volunteering at the soup kitchen and add your advanced math tutoring. You can tell me about your volunteering when I interview you as this is when I am trying to gauge you as a person.

A resume needs to be relevant to the position be applied for. All pertinent information needs to be on the resume as this is what sells you. These two sentences are redundant, but somehow people can’t seem to understand this fact. If I have to search, you have likely lost the opportunity. I shouldn’t have to search your resume to get an idea about you. I should be able to quickly read the resume to know your abilities. There is a difference between searching a resume and reading the resume. If I am searching your resume, your information is lost and never to be found by me.

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The Christmas Card Review

November 6, 2017 Leave a comment

I had the habit of watching Hallmark Christmas movies until the more recent movies became so bad, that I’ve stopped watching them. There are few older movies that I continue to watch from time to time. I’m not sure what it is about some of them, but for some, there is something entertaining that keeps me watching. The Christmas Card is one of those movies.

I’ll come out say it, this is a bad movie. For some reason, there is something that keeps me watching. From the beginning scenes of the Afghan military base, you immediately recognize this as a bad, bad movie. The soldiers are dealing with some of the worst dialogue and stiff acting. Come on, “Jonesy.” Are we being serious? The writing is horrible and it doesn’t get any better. I’ll spare you from having to read some of the dialogue, but the writing is some of the worst. Continuing with the opening scene, the explosion that kills Jonesy, is cheap and brings you out of the story, if you were ever in it, and the reason why Sgt. Cody Cullen is sent home is just as silly. To end the military aspect of the movie, it is very bad acting when Cullen visits Jonesy’s wife in order to give her dogtags.

If you continue with the movie, the dialogue is simply horrible and the actors are forcing their lines. The scenes do not blend and work as if the scenes are being held hostage and forced to mingle with each other. If we even take the premise that a family will take in a stranger, wouldn’t it be strange that a soldier searched a woman down based on a Christmas Card? The timeline doesn’t even work in this movie unless Cody, at the end of the movie, has decided to push his motorcycle to the memorial bridge in order to give Faith time to buy a meal and take it to him.

How bad is the acting? Cody’s character is a cardboard cutout without emotion as is the beau, Paul. They are one in the same. If they were to fight over Faith, it would be a battle of boredom. Faith isn’t much of an improvement, but the actress does occasionally provide life to her character. She shows no affection for this Paul, so you conclude early on she doesn’t love him, but she does, I think. She has more affection and life towards Cody when she first meets him than this Paul whenever Paul is around. Now to Ed Asner. He is too old for the part and shows it. His acting is actually rather good and is believable. Sadly, his character is too unrealistic, so thanks go to the writers. Uncle Richard has the most life but is used as a poor comedic relief that doesn’t fit the scene. Stuck with corny lines, this character meanders through the movie like a sideshow that distracts.

If there is poor acting, poor script writing, poor directing, poor plot design, and plenty of other poor and unrealistic issues, then what attracts me? I believe the character Faith has, on occasion, showed life much like a young girl that practices kissing on a cardboard cutout of the rockstar she admires. It may be the mother who appears to question who Cody is without ever saying so. You get the impression that she isn’t sure of the man. I really don’t know what it is as the more modern Hallmark movies are trash. It may even be a combination of Christmas, snow, woods, sawmill, and moments of decent acting that win me over.

If I were to rate this 2006 television movie, it would be two stars. The only reason it gets this is that there is an element that attracts my attention even though I am constantly cringing throughout the movie. I am cringing for the actors, audience, and myself for watching it. I now wonder if Hallmark is a place where people try to learn to write, direct, and act. Well, Linda Hamilton wasn’t too bad in her Christmas movie.

When it is too much on a resume?

October 13, 2017 Leave a comment

One of the biggest issues for a college graduate is the lack of experience. As most graduates construct their resume, they find there is little there and they find the need to pad the resume. To a person such as myself, this is annoying as I have to dig through mounds of goop to find everything about the person.

This young person graduated in May, and there is little or basically no relevant experience, so the person listed a half of a page of volunteer experience. Though nice, I do not need to see this much. If you find the need to include this, in the instance where it is not pertinent to the job, then make it very brief. Do not allow it to control the resume and stretch it into a second page. I may not be familiar with the event you volunteered at some consider combining your volunteer work highlighting the important aspects you did.

Another problem new graduate add are their classwork. Frankly, I have no idea what Math 452 Abstract Math, Compsci 422 Web Development, or Eng467 Sound and Vibrations mean. This is worthless. How do I know what you did with web development? Consider combining your classwork in a short three sentence paragraph describing the important elements. For example, you can explain how you didn’t use templates for web development and designed or wrote some section of the work. I need a pithy description. This adds meat to the resume and not some filler that has no meaning.

If you were a waiter at different restaurants, do not go into your role of waiting on table or cleaning tables or even providing customer service. I actually know what you did. You waited on people like me. Just say where you worked and that you were a waiter or dishwasher unless you did something special that should stand out. Waiting tables and washing dishes is not something that stands out. You can list the place you worked and your position. If it is a crew member at a fast food restaurant then only state that. I honestly do not care that you worked with a diverse team or it was fast-paced.

Do not oversell yourself with buzzwords or relevant skills that you really are just a novice in. As an example, I see many resumes for programming that list language after language within such a short timespan. To go along with this is the person that listed 21 bullet points underneath one of their elements of work experience. I’ve been at my current position for over 15 years and I do not 21 bullet points to list. Be honest with yourself and accentuate what you are truly good at. Everything else tells me you are taking a shotgun approach just to get an interview.

Finally, I am not interested in reading a book, so please keep the paragraphs to a minimum. Include it in your objective if you need me to know that you want a job. If you want to write a paragraph underneath your experience, then try to keep it within four sentences. In relation to this is the length of the resume. Try to keep it within two pages, but also know the field you are entering. There may be circumstances where a long resume would be applicable.

The resume introduces you to me and tells me if you are worth talking to. A bloated resume loses my interest especially if I am reviewing 100 resumes. The less fluff the more likely your special skills or that something about you will stand out and catch my eye. You want stand out from the others. Your resume is that fishing lure that will make me bite.



Categories: Education Tags:

October 11, 2017 Leave a comment

Listening to a podcast about Fred Korematsu, the man who sued the government, Korematsu v United States, the podcasters mentioned a difference between the treatment of the Japanese and Germans living in America. I am not sure which person mentioned German-American rallies in Madison Square Garden supporting Nazi Germany as evidence of bias, but I started thinking, how accurate is this and is it relevant? This isn’t about the right or wrong of interring Japanese-Americans, but whether or not there is a fair comparison between those of Japanese descent and German descent.

The first thing to understand is the fact the Japan attacked American held territory while Hitler was trying not to aggravate the Americans. Germany did declare war on America on December 11.  There is a huge difference between the two as one attacked and killed Americans in an aggressive act while Germany and America played a game without going to war. There is an understandable reason why America would target Japanese-Americans and this is evident by the draconian measures taken in Hawaii and the West Coast. Spying on Pearl Harbor was a real issue, so it was prudent, in the minds of leaders, to not only question the loyalty of Japanese-Americans but also isolate people that were relatively easy to identify.

For the German-Americans part, there were attempts by the Un-American Activities Committee to restrict any Nazi supporting rally. Prior to December 11, 1941, there was no reason to restrict any activities by German-Americans as the two nations were not at war and Germany had not attacked American territory with the intent of going to war. The only Madison Square Garden rally that I came across was a 1939 rally. This is clearly well before American and Germany went to war, thus there was no need to censor the German-Americans supporting Nazi Germany. In fact, it was before Germany invaded Poland. It was only after the declaration of war by Germany that we see the suppression of pro-Nazi feelings. In fact, Fritz Kuhn, the leader of the German American Bund, was targeted by Thomas Dewey and the White House. They were successful in taking down Kuhn as they got a conviction for tax evasion and upon his release in 1943, he was again arrested as an enemy alien. As for the Bund, it was defunct by 1941.

What we fail to recall is that 11,000 German-Americans were placed in internment camps during the Second World War, though not at the levels of Japanese-Americans. Latin America was pressured by America to arrest German-Latin Americans. There is also a failure to recall how German-Americans were persecuted during the First World War. What was being done to the Japanese-Americans was not uncommon as the past history of America shows the drastic actions America takes to protect herself.

Hawaii and the West Coast saw the worst of the treatment towards Japanese-Americans as the main threat from Japan came from the Pacific. Executive Order 9066 forced the Japanese-Americans to evacuate the West Coast. Fear was a key factor more so than racism, but we cannot forget how racism also affected the decisions made by those in power. When this event is discussed one term is often mentioned – paranoia. That is the prevailing issue after the bombing of Pearl Harbor much like of the fear and paranoia during the First World War.

I have several friends whose grandparents and even parents were interred at these camps. They have strong feelings about how people are treated as they are directly descended from wrongfully interred Japanese-Americans, and I know they do not approve of the distortion of facts to make this event sound even worse. How much worse can it get for those interred who had to suffer from the harsh conditions? Marginalizing or distorting what happened to the German-Americans does not help anyone understand why Japanese-Americans were interred, nor does it add to the event. I am not a believer of learning from the past as past issues are not similar to current issues. What I do believe is we can make drastic and horrible mistakes when we distort the past to satisfy, support, or validate an ideology whether it is political or social.



September 25, 2017 Leave a comment

I have finally given up on the NFL with more sports likely to follow. It has nothing to do with the commissioner or any thoughts of the players being greedy. As much as I do not like some of the activities done by players outside of the sport, this too isn’t the reason why I am not longer following the NFL or the team I used to support. It has to do with the political/racial agenda Colin Kaepernick created.

He isn’t the first to use sports as a billboard for an ideology, belief, or some type of agenda. I neither agree nor disagree with his belief whether or not it is a bit skewed from facts or not. It is the fact that I watch sports for enjoyment and not to learn about the latest agenda or political statement. If I want that, I’ll watch or read the media-based propaganda. Kaepernick took a simple way out to make a statement and forced me to endure this unless I quit watching football. Well, I have.

I have never enjoyed the NBA or even the NCAAB, so this is no loss for me. Sports should be unrelated to social causes or political fighting. Do I care about Trump’s runaway mouth about the NFL players kneeling? No. Do I care about the message Kaepernick was trying to say? No. I found him to be annoying in the fact his antics created more drama than it was worth. When I watch a sport, my concern is about enjoying the game and not putting up with someone’s message.

Whether I agree with him or not, I do not believe sports is the place to make statements like he was trying just as I believe Presidents shouldn’t be hosting winning sports teams. I enjoy sports for a simple reason that it is almost always excluded from the societal stupidity we see, read, and hear. The men kneeling or holding hands push me further away from sympathizing or caring about their cause. It is understandable to join together and kneel because a rampant mouth makes an ill-advised statement, but this indulgence of social views makes sports less entertaining and that was the reason I was watching. Goodbye sports as a whole as I expect different sports teams and leagues to replicate this type of stance with whatever message is being sent. I’ll just read a book or go outdoors.

Categories: Politics Tags: ,

We Have Come So Far And Learned Very Little

August 18, 2017 Leave a comment

I have had the opportunity to watch the United States and the world for that matter evolve socially and culturally for over thirty years. It always seems as we take a step forward we take not two, not three but ten steps backward. There has been so much movement forward that is always retarded by ideology and some form of greed whether it is financial, ethnic, or cultural greed.

The Charlottesville, Virginia incident was an event that represented a minority for both sides. There are really few KKK and neo-Nazis when we look at the numbers. The Southern Poverty Law Center estimates there are at most 8,000 members. Even if there are ten times that number, it would be small. I have had the hilarity of seeing a few of these marches, and they were very uncomfortable for the few members that were there. The absurdity of it all almost made you feel sorry for them except for what they represent. Fortunately, the counter protesters were few in number and did not agitate the KKK members. This further diluted the KKK’s desired effect as they became laughable in their uncomfortable movements. They are the comedy of hate groups.

Neo-Nazis, on the other hand, are a bit more frightening as they are more international than the sad KKK and their name has a more fear instilling ability than Klu Klux Klan, which sounds like some Looney Tunes cartoon or Dumb and Dumber movie. I often associate Neo-Nazis to the next group, white supremacists. These groups tend to be more violent than the KKK.

Another group, while I am covering hate groups, are the black separatists and the BLM. Yes, BLM should be considered a hate group if we go by the definition set up for hate groups. A hate group is a social organization or group that advocates or even practice violence towards others. The violence can be as simple as hostility and the hatred can be directed at law enforcement personnel. We cannot give them a pass even if they have valid points or even perceived valid points. Are they truly so different than the KKK other than silly acronyms such as KKK and BLM – bacon lettuce ‘n mutton. Will the BLM become as impotent as the KKK has become? I only hope so and continue to hope the KKK members just go away and find something constructive to do such as donate their sheets to the needy.

Hate groups have always existed and will continue to exist no matter how we try to legislate, humiliate, or even bully them away. We tend to drive them underground and like a pressure vessel without a relief valve, they’ll explode at some point. We are not seeing anything new with hate groups as I recall the fear of white supremacists in the 90s and even earlier. Suffice to say that these groups have us taking steps backward, but they’re not the only ones doing this.

The social justice ideology is another factor that is pushing us downwards. We are removing old, historical monuments to alleviate psychological issues that are not there or eliminate hatred or what? What is this accomplishing other than to hide the realities of history? History, after all, does not care about good or evil. It is like air, it’s just there for us to use. To tear down a monument of Robert E. Lee accomplishes nothing. His monument represents several things. The first is it represents him as a man during a time where society had different norms. He was neither good nor evil. Lee was a human who made good decisions and bad decisions. Should we banish Martin Luther King Jr. from his place in D.C.? He was in many terms a sexists and misogynist as he had multiple affairs and truly does not represent my beliefs. We should remove all monuments to all people for the negative actions they have done. Were Lee’s transgressions that much worse than his positives? Who is to judge, a society that makes the rules to make themselves feel better? Genghis Khan is a hero in Mongolia but hated in China. He was both good and bad.

How does removing Civil War monuments help people mentally? It doesn’t. If one derives their present and future based on their past, then the issue is with them and not society. In fact bowing to these beliefs forces us back even further as we live in the past and miss the future. Why can we not view these monuments as memories of triumph when we began to conquer injustice, hatred, and bigotry with a major victory? I don’t hate the men that fought for the Confederacy just as I do not hate elderly people than continuing to maintain a racial ideology based on the 60s and 70s. It is difficult to remove an indoctrinated idea after living with it for decades. What I cannot forgive is our willingness to cow tail to an ideology that censors freedom of speech and the past for a feel good feeling. Shall we save federal money and shut down all National parks related to all wars and sell the land? While we are at it, raze the National Mall as it represents hatred. There are plenty of places the government can get rid of and save a ton of money in the process. Acadia, gone! Dry Tortugas, no here anymore. There is a long list of places we can be rid of. Think of all the monuments we have. Remove all of them as the person or persons it represents did something unsavory at some point in their life.

Instead of looking to punish the present for the actions of the past, we should be embracing our societal and cultural advancement. Turn away from the mantra of the left and right extremes as they only deceive by giving you only a sliver of the truth and little of it. Their journalistic design, humour, academic knowledge or even ignorance is designed to create hatred within you. Think and analyze for yourself whether it is from the media, website, or even a politician. Hatred will always exist and capturing it is like trying to hold water in a sieve. Embrace our differences in not only the outward features but in our beliefs, too, and this will bring us together as we combat hatred through the unity of acceptance. We can make it known our disproval of someone’s actions, but we should not harshly punish because their beliefs do not model our own ideologies. People have the right to hate other people, but they do not have the right to incite or harm those they hate.

Schooling Through The Summer

August 18, 2017 Leave a comment

Last June, I was in a discussion about education and having school year round. The parent’s thought was that it would be beneficial to her son’s education as their school was implementing some type of system to maintain students year round. Is this necessary? There are a few reasons why I believe year round education to be not worth the effort and a poor idea, but am I missing something?

The common argument I hear is that students lose so much over the summer to the point that teachers must spend a considerable amount of time reviewing what was taught the year before. How accurate is this assessment? I’ll take a look at several subjects and analyze them.

The first is history. Some schools do not teach history on a linear basis or chronological basis. There is some jumping around in the realm of history, therefore, what teacher reviews the previous school year’s history? If we look at how history is taught at the high school level, we immediately see that it is nothing more than a cursory coverage. While in graduate school alongside school teachers, the common statement was how little students know about the Civil War and even the Second World War! Do you think any of these children know about the War of 1812? Asiatic history is fully ignored and with understandable reason. The majority of the American population is European based so no one will recall the Imjin War or the multiple Chinese dynasties. Even South America is blank for Americans as few to none know who Simón Bolívar was. Certainly, no one recalls the first successful slave revolt in Haiti. They definitely wouldn’t know that there were black slave owners on Haiti at the time, too.

My point is that history at this level is too superficial and disjointed to require any summary. Another point is that our method of teaching history is so dull that students forget the history shortly after the knowledge is no longer required for exams. Another factor to consider is that there are people that simply do not enjoy history. I love history, but I will fail to recall certain historical topics that I have no interest about. Even going to school year-round will not help the student accumulate a wider knowledge of history as it is just too much and it continues to add up every day. We can say the argument fails. Even the idea of having more time for history fails as little is gained.

What about the sciences? We are talking chemistry, physics, biology, and the other types of sciences taught. Again, these subjects, though related, are not related in educational terms. If a student fails to remember water is made of 2 parts hydrogen and one part oxygen, it won’t hurt the student in physics or biology or even the study of clouds. The argument is even flimsier than when applied to history. When I dissected a frog, I had no need of how to balance chemical equations, how to determine acceleration or force, or what types of clouds there are.

What about English, do students lose something? Yes, students lose something, but this is less of forgetting and more that the instructor couldn’t teach. If you learn the fundamentals and understand them, you are more likely to retain them. Having a review reaffirms what has been learned. The review helped to solidify the foundation of what has been learned. You build upon what you learn but the vast majority of students have not been properly taught as it is tedious and rather dull. My sons have had their summers off and never struggled with reading, writing, and understanding the basics of English. What difficulties they had fell to my spouse and me as we did not educate them properly.

I have saved my favorite for last. Mathematics. This is a field that is similar to English. Again, I find fault with the original argument. Students do fail to recall elements of math after the summer and do need a review. Is the argument correct for this? Yes and no. Any of us that studied math should be able to attest that we forgot what we learned at the beginning of the course as we neared the end. Students go to school continually from late August to early June and yet, students forget much of what they learned in the fall. If you look at certain math programs, extra problems are built into each chapter that review previous chapters, why? Without continual practice, a student who does not understand the fundamentals will forget. How does learning math year round help? It doesn’t. You will need a review period or increase the homework, even more, to accommodate what was taught six or eight months ago. If the instructor properly teaches the students then the review becomes less necessary.

I will openly admit my sons forget elements of their math as they didn’t understand the concepts taught. In fact, they would fight me when I tried getting them to understand trig functions through deriving them. Once you understand how something is developed or calculated, you are less likely to forget it. Sadly for many out there, math requires an understanding of the concepts taught and practice problems to reinforce.

This isn’t a comprehensive review, but it does show how unnecessary going to school year round is. Our educational failings are with our school districts and those teaching. They are failing our students and money has nothing to do with this. It is how we apply our education strategies as schools and teachers. To continue with schooling through the summer is an expensive effort with little reward. The student is going to gain almost three months of what knowledge? It is a nice idea to think of how much more our children will learn, but if the process is inefficient, to begin with, how will a few extra months help? I do not the value exceeding the overall cost of educating year-round.