3 Ways to Polish Your Resume

Often, your resume serves as a company’s first impression of you, and you want it to be a good first impression. But beyond quadruple-checking grammar and updating your job experience, how can you make your resume stand out above the rest? The following three tips can bolster your resume and get you noticed by employers.

Alter the Aesthetics

If you work in a highly technical field, a basic serif font on a resume will suffice. However, for graphic designers, videographers, and writers, you may want to consider adding some color to the resume. There are plenty of templates out there for building a colorful resume, from borders to unique fonts, but putting in some personal touches will really make it pop. So, what all can you do? For starters, pick a font that’s easy to read but unique enough to stand out. Avoid generic fonts such as Times New Roman or Arial, but don’t pick overly decorative fonts like Curlz. Once you’ve settled on a font, embellish the document with some color. Try to keep the colors calm, and if you use more than one, make sure the color scheme is logical. For example, green and red look good during the holidays, but can easily clash. You can also add a border or background, but make sure it isn’t too distracting. Overall, you want your resume to be distinct but subtle—an oxymoronic balance, but a realistic one.


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Top Packing Tips for Long-Term Travel

It’s easy to overpack for a short vacation, and even easier to overpack for a long one. Since you’ll be lugging your bags to and from the airport, and you’ll likely be taking home all sorts of trinkets from your travels, you’ll definitely want the extra space. Here are a handful of packing tips for your next long-term travel adventures.

Ditch the Detergent (and Other Toiletries)

You’ll want to wash your clothes while you’re on a long trip, but that doesn’t mean you have to bring a whole gallon of detergent with you. Certain items, like toothpaste, mouthwash, and detergent, can be removed from a packing list. Instead, you can simply purchase them when you arrive at your destination. This way, you save space packing and don’t risk a bottle popping open in your luggage and causing a mess. If you use a certain type of soap or shampoo for health reasons, definitely pack those. Otherwise, don’t hesitate to try some international toiletries.

Fold Like an Expert

Plenty of YouTube videos demonstrate how to efficiently and effectively pack a suitcase to make plenty of room. Common methods include rolling entire outfits into small cylinders and using vacuum-seal bags. Whatever the case, you can always find some method to fit your belongings into your luggage. Check out some extreme packing videos and, once you’ve laid out everything you plan on packing, put some of their tips to practice. You may end up using a smaller suitcase than expected!


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Travel Hacks for a Long Flight

Traveling to any destination can be fun, exciting, and sometimes a little stressful. Depending on your destination, how long your trip is, and means of travel, you might feel a little overwhelmed with your preparation and readiness. Shorter trips to more local destinations require a little less work to prepare for. However, if you’re about to embark on an international journey that requires a long flight, as well as a longer stay once you reach your destination, you might want to consider some of these travel hacks to make your experience a little more manageable.

Dress for Comfort

Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, always wear your most comfortable clothing for your flight. If you’re traveling internationally, even if it’s for business purposes, there’s nothing worse than feeling cramped in an uncomfortable suit or outfit. Dress for comfort, and pack another outfit in your carry-on if you need to quickly change once you land.

Organize Electronics & Have a Power Bank

While many of us say we don’t want to always rely on our electronic devices for entertainment, a long flight is a more than acceptable time to use your devices as an entertainment lifeline. Long flights can feel like they’re dragging on, and the more you distract yourself, the better. Make sure you have your phone, headphones, and computer or tablet on hand so you can use it for entertainment purposes throughout your flight. You’ll be able to enjoy your favorite music, movies, or books without having to be focused on the time it’s going to take to reach your destination. Additionally, you may want to invest in a power back or a portable battery. Long flights and airplane wifi can drain a battery quickly.

Pick Your Seat Wisely

Where you’re sitting can make or break your flight experience. While some prefer the window seat, others prefer the aisle, giving them the best opportunity to get off of the plane before many others. Many travelers even have a preference to what part of the plane they’re sitting in; back, front, on the wing, etc. Be sure to find the seat that suits you best when booking to best improve your flight experience.

Try to Adjust Your Internal Clock

If you’re traveling internationally, or to a different time zone, you may experience some serious jet lag due to the change in time. Believe it or not, your body has it’s own internal clock, and if it’s thrown off, it could cause you to have significant trouble falling or staying asleep once you reach your destination. A long trip is likely planned well in advance, so in the days leading up to departure, you may want to try and reset your internal clock to match that of the time zone of your destination. You can do this by going to bed or waking up a little earlier or later (depending) a day or so before your actual flight.

This article was originally published at MaryMickel.net.

The Keys to Mastering Professionalism

Despite the industry, you work in, or if your company is large, small, or independently owned, professionalism is something that’s an essential key to success. Being a successful professional can come in many different forms, but in general, there are a few different key points that should always be met. Here are a few key components to mastering professionalism.


As a successful professional, you want to maintain strong organizational skills. Your organization can keep you on your toes and keep you up to date on all of your daily tasks. Depending on your job, you may have a calendar full of meetings, tasks, deadlines, phone calls, etc. Keep yourself organized by knowing what each day is going to hold and how you can manage it effectively.


While it may not seem that important, or your superiors may not seem to care, punctuality goes a long way, and it does often go noticed. Make it a point to show up to work on time or early, and be dedicated enough to stay a little late now and then if need be. A healthy work-life balance is extremely important, but a later day here and there shows you’re dedicated to your position. Additionally, always take meetings or phone calls into consideration. Whether its an internal meeting with peers or a meeting with a client, show that you respect the time of others by showing up at the right time.

Strong Communication

Communication in the workplace is extremely important. You need to be able to effectively communicate with peers and superiors, even if you may have different opinions or disagree on a specific topic. It isn’t uncommon to disagree with a peer at work; however, you want to handle any disagreements civilly and professionally. Understand that each individual may hold a different opinion, and if you effectively communicate and work with one another, you can surely come to an agreement or solution.

Solution Driven

Bringing us to our next and final key component: being a solution driven professional. Problems and issues come up in the workplace frequently. While you can bring them to the attention of your peers or superiors, you may want to consider developing a solution that can address the problem. This shows that you’re effectively thinking and looking for new innovative ways to improve internal processes.

This article was originally published at MaryMickel.com.

Standing Out From the Competition: A Business Guide

Running your own business comes with various benefits and rewards, but with that, also comes risks and challenges.  As a business owner, one of your greatest challenges regardless of your industry is your competition. Competition in the business world is fierce, for some industries more than others.  Your job as a successful business owner is to learn the best ways to rise above and separate your company from any other competitive businesses. Getting your business to stand out is very achievable, with the right tools and effort.  Here are a few ways you can separate yourself from the competition.

Exceptional Customer Service/Interaction

Customer service is a crucial key to the success of your business, and can also make or break your success.  Your customers should be viewed as a foundational part of your company; without them, your goals aren’t met.  With that, you should always make sure your company is delivering exceptional customer service to any consumers that need it.  This applies to delivering quality products and services, answering questions or concerns, and taking customer feedback into serious consideration.  A company that emulates strong customer service will always rise above a company that puts customer service on the back-burner.

Honest Business Practices

Always practice honest business.  Your consumers want to know they can trust your company, for quality products, and accountability.  If a product can’t be delivered on time, make the consumer well aware, to avoid any issues. If there is an internal error from a representative, billing, or with something like your website, make sure to hold your company accountable.  Customers will be quick to lose faith and trust in a company that beats around the bush and doesn’t tell the truth when something may be going wrong. Always keep that in mind. It’s a truly great way to establish a strong report with your consumers…



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Four Popular Interior Design Trends of 2019

One of the greatest aspects of interior design is following the way trends have changed over time.  Looking at the way homes were designed 30 years ago, holds a drastic difference from the homes of today, from floor plans to appliances and color options.  Today, interior design has become a mix of rustic and modern ideas, that can be brought to life by a professional, or completed by a homeowner with a passion for all things DIY.  Here’s a quick list of four popular interior design trends you might come across this year.

Black Bathrooms

Bathrooms have gone through pretty significant decor changes over the last few decades.  Coming from pale pinks and blues, with “calming” seashell themes, to recently more modern “spa-like” looks consisting of neutral colors and tile work.  But 2019 has brought a new trend to the world of bathroom decor: Bold, dark, and black. The days of neutral color tones are coming to an end, and many homeowners and designers are incorporating black appliances, colors, and other dark accents into their bathrooms.  The trend is meant to give off a high-end, luxury appearance.

Saturated Color

Recent years have had many homeowners in a “grey phase”.  Similar to the way bathroom decor looked, neutral colors and greys were extremely popular throughout the home.  However, many interior design professionals are saying that with 2019 comes an extreme pop of color, or colors! “For a long time people have been in this grey phase While it’s very open airy and feels good, people are starting to turn to colors to pull different feelings and emotions. We are seeing people want to be energized, and kind of wrapped in color,” says interior designer, Lisa Gilmore



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West Coast Travel Guide: Top Destinations in California

If you haven’t had the chance to travel out west, California is a great place to start (as the giant state takes up a large part of the coastline.)  When you think of the wonderful “Golden State” it’s likely you think of hollywood, movie stars, or even Disneyland; however, a trip to Cali has more much to offer than what you see in the regular media.  From stunning scenery consisting of mountain-scapes or beautiful beaches to major cities and some of the best downtown areas, the great state of California offers visitors with an abundance of fun and exciting activities.  If you’re considering a trip, you might want to look into some of these fantastic destinations:

Napa Valley

A wine lovers paradise, Napa Valley is a popular destination for wine connoisseurs across the world!  Here you can find over 400 wineries that offer incredible food and wine pairing experiences. If you’re not so focused on the wine aspect of Napa and you’re more of a foodie, that’s okay!  Napa Valley has more than 125 restaurant destinations that can take you from casual, to fine dining. For beer lovers, Napa is also home to an up and coming beer scene; take a visit to one of its blossoming microbreweries!  Additionally, Napa provides visitors with stunning scenery, and tons of opportunities to experience history, arts, and culture in its bustling downtown area.

Santa Monica

Located just West of the popular downtown Los Angeles area, Santa Monica is known for having a perfect combination of stunning ocean views with a big city feel.  Take a walk on the Santa Monica Pier (where you’ll see it’s famous giant ferris wheel), and experience tons of delicious restaurants (perfect for any foodie), shops, and fun activities such as a full amusement park and arcade.  If you’re feeling more on the adventurous side, take a trip to the Trapeze School New York, where you can learn the art of flying and performing a few different aerial stunts (after you take the required two-hour class)…



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4 Essential Tips for Successful Networking

One of the most important aspects of successful business practice is recognizing and participating in different networking opportunities.  Networking presents an entrepreneur with connections, business opportunities, and a way to hear about different experiences, made up of successes and failures from others who are on a similar path.  Whether you’re working to grow within a specific industry, or just looking to make general connections, participating in networking events are a great way to get your name out there, and meet interesting people along the way.  Here are a few essential tips for successful networking:

Build Relationships

One of the most important parts of business is relationship building.  As an entrepreneur or business executive, you want to make sure your relationship building skills are strong, as you need to make connections with peers, fellow employees, and even clients/consumers.  The relationships you build can bring great success to your business ventures. Be genuine, and work on creating relationships with those that you have an interest in, and think you can learn from.

Be a Strong Listener

Part of your relationship building skills should be focused on your ability to listen to others, and retain important information.  Networking events aren’t just an opportunity to sell yourself and your business; they’re more of a time to get to know others that are on a similar path and listen to their experiences and potential advice.  When meeting someone new, or joining a conversation, listen to what is being said and make sure you’re retaining some of the information…



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Vacation Spotlight: Top Wine Destinations to Visit This Summer

As summertime approaches, you may be thinking about fun vacation ideas.  Whether you’re thinking about a solo trip, a group gathering, or a romantic couples getaway, one thing is certain: a trip to a wine region could be perfect for any of these occasions.  Aside from tasting some of the most delicious wines, you’ll experience delicious food, interesting and often historic tours, and gorgeous scenery perfect for any summer day. Here are a few of the greatest wine destinations you might want to consider visiting this summer!

Charlottesville, VA

Famous for the Monticello Wine Trail, the historic home to about 30 different wineries, Charlottesville is a perfect destination to kick off our list.  The trail is part of the land that was once owned by Thomas Jefferson, who played a major role in the development of the now well-established wine country here.  If you’re looking for a ton of history, delicious wines, and stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, you can plan your trip around visiting most of the entire trail.  Additionally, the city of Charlottesville itself has fantastic entertainment, shopping, and food options that you can easily work into your trip!

Finger Lakes, NY

A destination also packed with tons of history, is New York’s Finger Lakes region, which is home to wineries that date back to the 1850s.  This area is home to over 100 wineries and is famous for making some of the most delicious Riesling you can find; this is often dedicated to a similar climate to that of Germany’s Rhine region.  The Finger Lakes region is made up of 11 different lakes; however, only three are really focused on wine production. The entire region is great for scenery, and has tons of up-and-coming restaurants that you won’t want to miss!…



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Designing Your Perfect Home Office

One of the best aspects of design, in general, is the opportunity for creativity.  Home design, for example, is an area where you can practice creativity while turning your living space into a comfortable and welcoming setting.  As a corporate professional, you’re likely to spend a significant amount of time in your work office, or a professional office setting of sorts. And if you’re like many other corporate professionals, your work likely follows you home now and then.  With that, if you have an extra space in your home, you may want to consider creating yourself a home office space; this is where you can create a creative, comfortable workspace that suits you perfectly. Here are a few solid tips:


Just like finding a place for a business office, location in your home is important as well.  You want your home office to be in a quiet area, free from distractions (if possible). Of course, this does depend a lot on your home setting and how your home is laid out.  However, if you have an extra room, a loft space, or even a finished basement or attic, you can surely transform it into a wonderful home workspace. Additionally, if your space is limited, you can always reserve yourself a nook in your living area as well.

Color & Lighting

Assuming you have a space for a home office, like a separate room, you’ll want to focus on the aesthetics, such as color and lighting.  A room with a few windows for natural light is a great step to creating a calming workspace.  Decide on a few color options that you think would suit the space best. Generally, you’ll want to go for lighter, soft colors that will make your space feel open and welcoming while reflecting any natural light that may be coming in…



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