#Hashtag Resume

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As a soon-to-be college graduate, I have become career obsessed. Whether it is searching every database for my dream job, revamping my resume, or writing my cover letter over 15 times, it’s gotten pretty bad. Who can blame me? Everyone has been popping the big question the past month, AKA the infamous “What are your plans for after graduation?” Hmm…I’ve been wondering the same thing!

With an incredibly competitive job market, the rat race for my generation is exhausting. Every job description states 2-5 years of experience. So you mean you want me to get experience BEFORE I get experience? Sounds impossible. However, having a professional, clear, and experienced resume does make a difference. No, that doesn’t mean dog-sitting for your neighbor is going to land your dream job. My advice to all you college undergrads is one beautiful, 3 syllable word that your adviser has mostly likely shoved down your throat all year: INTERNSHIP.

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This might sound crazy but at the end of my freshmen year in college, I planned out the next 3 years. I knew that in order to be successful right out of school and land a decent paying job, I would have to work my toosh off  by juggling 5 classes and an internship. I made a promise to myself that starting fall semester of junior year, I would have a new internship each semester so that my resume would be top of the line once graduation came.

Today, I can proudly say that I didn’t break that promise. My resume is rich in different types of experience. I’ve worked in a big-shot corporate setting and a small town mom and pop store. Companies want to see that you are self-motivated and care about work. Internships also display that you have good time-management skills. Once they see you have taken it upon yourself to go above and beyond, you will stand out. Hiring managers want to know how you made a difference at a company. Include specifics and numbers in those bullets on your resume. Did you answer 5,000 e-mails a day? Tell them!

I recently gave my resume an Extreme-Makeover: Job Application Edition. My internships were the golden ticket, but the format of my resume was bleak. It had too many bullets under each job, left out really impressive tasks, had very broad statements, and the list goes on. My boyfriend sat down and helped me revise it for over an hour. Not to brag, but the finishing product looks awesome. I uploaded it to a few career websites and the next day I had people contacting me on behalf of my resume. They had found it online and were seeking me out to work for their company. I felt accomplished and satisfied that my hard work had paid off.

If you still have time to complete an internship(s) or a related job before the real world, start now! I promise it will pay off. It will get exhausting but in the end be so worth it! Your resume will beat out more people than you think.

For more tips and career convo, follow me on Twitter @aileencasmano

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How to Become a Snow Fashionista

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How to be a Snow Fashionista
In the cold winter months, it’s always hard to put a fashionable outfit together when all you want to do is stay in your PJ’s. This board is some outfit inspiration to still be warm and cozy while looking cute !#fashionista #winterweather #snowbunny

Intern Life: 12 ways to get the most out of an internship

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This generation of young professionals face a competitive job market. Companies that are hiring interns or full-time employees are looking for the cream of the crop. They hire someone with the mindset that it is an investment for their company. When choosing between candidates, the HR director will choose someone that stands out from others because of their skills, broad experience, and communication skills.

Making yourself a marketable job candidate doesn’t happen over night. Why do you think the Career Development offices and advisors stress an internship so much? There is a surplus of career-seeking individuals with a limited supply of spots.

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This is why you need to make yourself STAND OUT! And this all starts by getting an internship, but doesn’t end there. Sure, you have a good resume with a bunch of volunteer experience and job references that can land you an interview. Making the most out of these opportunities is really what counts- not just showing up. Being a good intern doesn’t mean making the coffee and arriving on time. I am going to provide a list of tips that I have learned throughout my internship endeavors. I’ve worked in different types of companies (corporate, mom and pop, start up) and have gained a pretty solid foundation of how to not only be a good intern, but gain knowledge and skills from an internship along with building professional relationships that will help you network and market yourself in the long run.

1. First & foremost- COMMUNICATE! COMMUNICATE! COMMUNICATE! If you don’t know how to do something or are unsure, ASK. Your supervisors don’t expect you to know the in’s and out’s of the company on the first day. In fact, they probably are too caught up with their own work to realize they gave you a task that you haven’t been trained in yet. Also, they rather you do it the right way the first time than have to re-do it five other times.

2. Be friendly & social in the workplace- Yes, at first the CEO and big shots might be intimidating in passing, but ALWAYS say hi or smile at staff! They will notice and start smiling/saying hi first! I co-interned with a girl that would look at her feet when she passed every full-time employee in the company. One day, I was in line at Starbucks across the street and two employees didn’t know I was behind them. The entire time they were on line, they talked about this intern, how she never smiled, and had terrible communication skills. People notice!

3. Tasks will be assigned to you that have nothing with your position. Just do them. You’re not going to love every assignment you are given- but if you accept without hesitation, it shows that you are flexible and are willing to go above an beyond for a job. This will benefit you tremendously in the long run if you need references/recommendations for a full-time position!

4. Keep an extra set of headphones in your desk drawer. An office can have a lot of background noise that goes unnoticed until you are trying to concentrate. It can be very distracting, especially if you overhear people’s conversations. Music helps me tune into whatever I am doing. However, I have two sets of headphones because I used to always bring mine home at the end of the day to workout and then forget them the next day! Working all day without my choice of music was torture!

5. Never put your intern position above school. School comes first! Occasionally, your supervisor may ask you to work a few extra hours a week if the company is busy. In my case, I interned in the fashion industry and took 5 classes (not to mention was commuting 1 hour to NYC). My supervisors would ask me to help host several events that fell on class days. I wanted to accept SO desperately! Not to only show how committed I was, but it seemed so glamorous and fun! I skipped class one time to attend a Fashion Week Event…which consisted of me standing at a door way with a fake smile for 6 hours. I ended up missing a really important lecture and totally regretted it. The point is, you are not a full-time employee, you are a full-time student. Classes and school should come first. If you have a huge test one week, cut down your hours one day to study. The staff will understand! They know you have other responsibilities, the internship isn’t supposed to suffocate you.

6. Always double check/read things over before you hand it over to the person that assigned it. A big part of being an intern is doing small tasks that help the company’s big plans come alive. For example, inventory lists, spread sheets, data entry. All of those duties are actually really crucial to the company and if they are entered wrong, can cause many problems. I always double check the work assigned to me. Also, Re-READ E-MAILS BEFORE YOU SEND THEM! The generation above us seem to be sticklers for good grammar.

7. Be a Leader. You may be working on a team of interns. Don’t be afraid to take charge and input your own ideas. Companies like to see that individuals can work well with others and facilitate group work. However, it is easy to become friendly with the other interns and get caught up in goofing off. This is certainly appropriate on a lunch break or once work is over!

8. Don’t show up hungover. Everyone you are working with was 21 once. They know what a hungover college student looks like when they see them. Save it for a day you have a later class or the weekend. You choose to make this internship a commitment. It looks irresponsible and immature when you come to work still drunk from the night before. They’ll notice and assume you don’t take work seriously.

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9. Offer help if you have nothing to do. If it’s a Friday afternoon and you still have 2 more hours left, shoot out a group e-mail to your department reminding them that you are there and have time to help. I’m fairly new to my internship this semester, so people in my department forget I am there. The past two days, I haven’t received many tasks. I decided to send out an e-mail saying that I was working until 3 p.m if anyone needed help with anything. Immediately, I received two replies from employees stating that they didn’t know the hours/days I worked yet and forgot to ask me.

10. Don’t panic or become stressed out. If you work for a corporate company, multiple people may assign you tasks. Half of them probably aren’t as important as they seem or don’t need to be done immediately. Find out which tasks are of highest priority and go forth. Again, you are not a full time employee– therefore you should not be overwhelmed with work!

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13. If you have an office space, make it unique! Bring some pictures of friends and family, post uplifting quotes, and keep some snacks for yourself! It will keep you relaxed and happy when you glance over and see a picture of you and your best girlfriends having fun!

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12. Lastly, be willing to learn! Being an intern is a very valuable opportunity that will prepare you with skills that will be valuable to you in the future! Ask questions, be open-minded, and keep a positive attitude!!

Spin For Your Soul

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Monday is hitting me hard this week for some reason. I couldn’t get out of bed this morning- snoozed the alarm THREE times. Left the house without my coffee and iPod aka my lifesavers throughout the workday. Talk about starting your day on the wrong foot! All of this snow is really throwing me off schedule. I think the two snow days last week really threw me out of whack. The snow has taken over everything but the roads. I am so sick of being cooped up inside every weekend!

The mix of stress, lack of sunlight/fresh air, and weather has such an effect on my mood. I’m sure this applies to others as well. Whenever I get overwhelmed, a run outdoors always refreshes me. However, that is not possible unless I want to break a hip on ice. When the stress began to hit me last week, I made it a point to hit the gym despite how tired I was. I took a spin class for the heck of it and felt AMAZING afterwards. My spirits were high and head was clear. I went home, showered, made a delicious, healthy dinner, and RELAXED (something I haven’t been able to do in my free time). Any down time I have had recently, I keep finding myself worrying about things. Whether it is school related, work, money, or friends- I could NOT turn my mind off obsessing over these things!

Anyway, the spin class really eased my mind. It was 45 minutes of me time. There was no one I had to text back or e-mail. I took the time to challenge myself to leave all of that stuff outside the room. Not to mention the instructor was awesome, had a great playlist going, and turned the lights off. During one of the routines she even had us close our eyes and focus on breathing (kind of like a yoga technique).

Unfortunately, she only teaches one class a week that fits in my schedule. I enjoyed her class so much that I e-mailed her to see if she could send me the class routine. She sent it to me and the next day I cycled by myself while following her routine. It was awesome! My goal is to workout at least 3 times a week. There are days that I have absolutely NO motivation, so I just need to remember how exhilarating the post workout feeling is! Also, spring break is coming up so I should really get in shape (even though it is probably too late).

If you haven’t taken a spin class, I highly suggest it. If you have a good instructor, he/she will PUSH you all the way until the end. There were so many points where I wanted to give up, but she kept me going by talking to us.

Anyway, those are my thoughts for the day 🙂 I’m hoping to have enough time in between my internship and night class to hop on a bike today 🙂

– A

15 Songs That Immediately Boost Productivity

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Ever have one of those days where that extra cup of coffee doesn’t make the cut? We all do. One thing that always kick-starts my brain is music! My iPod has pretty much every genre of music that doesn’t give you a headache (i.e Slipknot or anything where the singer is screaming so loud you can’t make out what he/she is saying).

Anyway, my point is that if you pick the right song, your juices begin to flow and you will no longer be counting down the hours until 5 p.m on Friday. I also suggest making a playlist because then you won’t get sidetracked from whatever you are working on by scrolling through songs.

Here are the songs that boost my productivity! Try them out or go through your music library and pick out your own!

1. Take Me Home- Cash Cash ft. Bebe Rexha (acoustic version as well!)

2. Dreaming- Smallpools

3. Daylight- Matt & Kim

4. Chocolate- The 1975

5. All Night Longer- Sammy Adams

6. Every Time I Look For You- Blink 182

7. You- Charli XCX

8. Send Me On My Way- Rusted Root

9. Punching In A Dream- The Naked and Famous

10. White Walls- Macklemore

11. My Own Worst Enemy- Lit

12. Steal My Sunshine- Len

13. Take The Back Roads- Rodney Atkins

14. Online Songs- Blink 182

15. My Friends Over You- New Found Glory

Ready, set, LISTEN!

Grammys Fashion Recap

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Between French robots, a wedding, and acrobatics, last night’s show was one for the books. As usual, there were a select few celebrities that made a fashion statement (good AND bad).

Let’s start off with Katy Perry. Was that a dress or a shower curtain? Perry wore a Valentino Spring 2014 Couture dress. Although the musical notes were fitting for the occasion, it did not flatter her figure at all. It looked like a cross between a plastic shower curtain and an unfinished wedding gown. I am usually fond of Katy’s funky wardrobe, this one not so much.

Katy Perry, Grammy Awards

Next up is seven time Grammy-winning TSwift. Although Swift didn’t go home with a Grammy last night, she did have a rockin’ evening (in more ways than one). I don’t know if I’m more envious of her metal chain Gucci Premiere dress or that she is best friends with Lorde. While performing her song All Too Well from the Red album, Swift whipped her hair back and forth as she sang with passion and played the piano. As a fan that has been to three of her concerts, the hair flipping and intense singing isn’t anything new. Later in the evening, her dance moves came out. Taylor’s hips don’t lie, because she rocked them back and forth to Kendrick Lamar’s rap performance.

Taylor Swift, Grammy Awards

Taylor Swift, Lorde, Grammy's, Candids

Did Madonna mistake last night for Halloween? I don’t know if she was trying to be Johnny Dep or Michael Jackson in her Ralph Lauren Collection black suit. The outfit may have worked if she didn’t wear the top hat, but I for one was not feeling it. If she is still trying to make a statement in Hollywood, she’s better off giving Miley a call.

Madonna, David Banda Mwale Ciccone Ritchie, 56th GRAMMY Awards

Ciara, now that’s a name we haven’t heard in a while. The mommy-to-be wore a floor length, body con Emilio Pucci gown, showing off her baby bump. The dress outlined her hourglass figure and came down low at the neck to show off her strong collar bones. Unlike some of her appearances in the past, Ciara was very put together and resembled a little of Beyonce. The gown flattered every aspect of her glowing, pregnant aura .  C’s still got the “goodies!”

Can I just start out by saying how much of a girl crush I have on Pink? Not only is her body sculpted to perfection, but she can do acrobatics! What is not to love about her! Not to mention she looked stunning in the red Johanna Johnson strapless gown that showed off her strong upper body! I have always been a fan of her musical talent and still think she does not receive enough recognition! Her performance stole the show last night and motivated me to get my lazy but back on a workout schedule. Watch out, Beyonce!