How to Stay Organized During Your Job Search

What's the one thing everyone lies about on their resume? I'll give you a hint, it's something you claim to have experience with, but really all you know is where to find it on your computer and that's about it.

Excel! Excel is one of those programs that would come in super handy if we know how to properly use all its functions. Truth be told I have very basic Excel skills, but that's never stopped me from using spreadsheets to help keep my life organized. My sister laughed at the fact I use a spreadsheet to keep on top of my job search, but without it, I would have no way of keeping myself accountable and on track with my goals.

If you're searching for a new job creating a spreadsheet of job prospects is the best way to not lose an opportunity because of something as simple as a deadline, which is why I wanted to share today how I create a spreadsheet that has made all of my job searches as simple as possible.

Choose your program

I know I've been talking about Excel the whole time, but in reality, I use Google Spreadsheets because I can easily access and edit it no matter where I am. Whether you chose to use Excel or Google Spreadsheets doesn't matter, as long as you keep all your information in one document.

You might also like: How to Make the Best Resume with 10 Easy Tips

Select your categories

This is where everyone's spreadsheets may become different. I try to be detailed when it comes to what information I keep track of when job hunting, but not too much that my spreadsheet becomes cluttered. My must-have items to keep track of are: job title, organization/business, applied yet (yes/no), salary, link to the job posting, and additional notes.

'Applied yes (yes/no)' is where I keep track of which jobs I have actually submitted an application for, otherwise, I'd have no easy way of keeping track of which applications I've completed. Be sure to note which date you applied as well, this way you can know when to follow up and how many jobs you apply to a week on average. In regards to the salary section, I only fill it with the salary an organization has stated they are willing to offer. If an application asks my salary requirements, I will add that to the additional notes section. Always keep track of the salary you requested, don't fall into the trap of asking for less than your initial offer!

Typically additional notes will include whether or not an application asks for references (which is where I'll write who I listed, has a short time period for accepting applications, or if I had any communication about an interview date.

Be specific with your document names

Is there anything more painful than sending the wrong cover letter along with a job application? I don't think so. The way I avoid this is by naming all my documents as detailed as possible, typically including my name, document type, and organization. If applying to work at Uber I would name my document "Rubi Mancilla_Cover Letter_Uber." This way when uploading my documents I am absolutely sure I have selected the appropriate files.

My advice for resumes is to have different ones that tailor to different fields. For example, I have one resume that highlights are my administrative experience while another focuses more on my mental health skills. Both list the same past job experiences, yet each has differently worded descriptions about the work experiences. To not confuse the multiple resumes you may have, name them each something slightly different, then keep a note on your desktop of which is which. In my case, my 'Rubi Mancilla Resume" is my mental health oriented resume, while my "Rubi Mancilla_Resume" is the resume that focuses on my administrative skills. The names are very similar which is why I keep a sticky note on my laptop of which is which.

You might also like: 10 Common Cover Letter Mistakes to Avoid

Read the entire job listing

If you're searching for a job chance are you've read a lot of job descriptions, which can make them all sound the same after a while. Even though it's not the most exciting read, make sure you read every word of the job description and don't get lazy near the bottom! More often than not the most important information is at the bottom of a job description, including the qualifications and special instructions. Things to look out for are required documents, who they would like you to address documents to, and whether or not they accept calls inquiring about the open position.

If you found this post helpful, you can save it for later with the image below! Now tell me, what's the hardest part of the job search for you? Tell me below and my next post may address the issue! 

Dealing with Online Hate in Your Twenties

Over time social media has become something I use less and less, with the exception of Instagram. My slow transition to no longer using Facebook had a little to do with the comparison game we all play and a lot do with the amount of negativity I saw on the platform on a daily basis.

When I joined Instagram it was a place to share photos and follow puppy accounts, long before DMs were possible and comment sections were full of negativity. With Instagram being one of the few forms of social media I still use on a daily basis, I've become discouraged by how many people on my feed are not only receiving hate but how they are coping with it as well.

Dealing with online hate in your twenties can be difficult, especially since bullies typically give up by highs school. Click to read how to deal with haters in your twenties.

Something you may not know about me is that I thrift for profit, meaning I buy cute, designer clothes and resell it online. Because of this, I follow a lot of other people who do this as a full-time job, plus bloggers and everyday people I've met. This week alone I've seen numerous people talk about their "haters," show screenshots of rude messages they receive, and let those comments negatively impact their day and self-perception.

As someone who doesn't let much get to them, all I ever want to do is shake them and remind them these people don't matter! And maybe respond with the crudest thing I can think of. Since that's not an option though, or at least not one many would accept, here is the advice I would give any client or friend who came to me with this problem. I'm a therapist, just in case you hadn't heard me mention that before. Okay, let's talk about online hate.

5 Signs You Cant Get Over Your Ex

Breakups are forever and always my favorite topic, after all, they are the reason I discovered my love for blogging and therapy. Yep, my decision to become a therapist all started with me talking to a therapist because of a boy who broke my heart. Crazy right?

While I may not specialize (yet) in couples counseling, talking about relationships and people's experiences in past or current relationships is my favorite topic to discuss with clients. Outside of my work, as I grow older I find myself talking to friends more about their changing relationship dynamics, whether for better or worse.

If you cant get over your ex, click to read five reasons why you are having a hard time get over an ex boyfriend.

Almost everyone can think of that one ex that forever changed them, the person who took forever to get over, or who they still might not be fully recovered from. Getting over an ex boyfriend isn't only difficult when the breakup was messy, sometimes the hardest breakups are the ones that end for no real obvious reason.

If you find yourself stuck between the end of a relationship and being able to start a new one, you might find you're not yet fully over your most recent ex, or possibly someone before them! Below are the warning signs I find my clients and friends typically show when they are having trouble moving on. If you can relate to any of these, you might enjoy reading my posts on how to give yourself closure or 100 things to do instead of calling your ex boyfriend.

You regularly cyberstalk them

Watching an exes every move online is the new normal when it comes to breaking up nowadays, and while it may not be recommended, it's silly to think we can resist the temptation. A few weeks of social media stalking is normal, yet if this pattern has continued long past your breakup, it's time to ask yourself why you're still doing it.

Are you looking to find something specific? Are you hoping they will or won't be posting? Determining what your motivation for cyberstalking can help you stop. Blocking an ex is more beneficial than people give credit, and while it may be hard, 'out of sight, out of mind' is so popular because it's true.

You might also like: 8 Reasons to Block Your Ex on Social Media

You talk about them constantly

Constantly talking about your ex is 100% normal immediately after a breakup, and based off my own and friend's experiences, typically a month of nonstop bashing, complaining and wondering what went wrong is what can help you get all your feelings out about the situation. If it's been months and you're ex is still the primary topic of conversation, it's time to evaluate just how over your ex you really are.

Even if everything you're saying is negative, ask yourself, why is this still the main topic of conversation? Setting boundaries about how often or for how long you're willing to talk about something gives you the opportunity to express yourself without giving it too much of your time and energy.

You cant talk about them

On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you cant emotionally handle having a conversation about the end of your relationship or having someone mention your ex, you are most likely not over them. If the breakup is recent your reaction is most likely completely normal, yet if time has passed and you still cant comfortably discuss the relationship, you may need to evaluate why you are avoiding processing your new reality and find someone who is willing to challenge your inability to talk about it honestly.

If this describes how your feeling, I recommend writing an email to either yourself or a friend talking about how you feel about the situation. Writing allows you to express yourself without feeling on the spot. The goal after the end of a relationship is to get to a point of indifference because hating someone just takes too much energy.

You're closed off to new relationships

Not wanting to date a week after you breakup is normal, and in my opinion, the route you should take. Moving too quickly into a new relationship doesn't give you time to process the end of your last and evaluate the ways in which you too were responsible for the difficulties in your relationship.

What you don't want to to do is hang onto the idea that something will bring you and your ex back together, therefore pushing away any new people that may be interested. Taking time to work on yourself is great, doing the work and still not being open to new people is a waste of the time you've spent bettering yourself! If you find yourself saying you're over your ex while still rejecting everyone, take time to think about why you are closed off, and what it will take to move forward with your life.

You can't define why the relationship ended

The best way to get over an ex is to sit down and really think about why a relationship was a failure. Yes, failure is a harsh word, but at the end of the day, anything that doesn't work out the way we planned is a failure. Sure it can still be a lesson, but I doubt any of us go around hoping to learn lessons while simultaneously getting hurt in the process.

People typically believe the reason their relationships end is directly connected to the thing that was the catalyst to the breakup. For example, a guy once broke up with me because I addressed him calling me a stalker to his lab partner. Sure, one could say him talking behind my back was the reason he broke up (as well as being a liar because I was in no way stalking him) but in reality it wasn't the reason our relationship failed.

That relationship ended for two reasons, he lacked respect for me which was visible in the way he spoke about me to his friends in private, and we were incompatible due to my confrontational personality which made him uncomfortable (and me eventually single).

Take some time to figure out why it ended, because most likely whatever the reason was, it hasn't changed. Knowing the reason a relationship ended not only helps you better understand and appreciate the end of a chapter in your life, but also prevent yourself from making the same mistake with someone else or even the same person.

What do you struggle with when it comes to the end of a relationship? Comment below and your struggle may be the focus on my next relationship post!

If you liked this post, share the image below to save it and share the love with others!

If you cant get over your ex, click to read five reasons why you are having a hard time get over an ex boyfriend.

3 Ways to Improve Your Resume

This fall I made the decision to become a mentor to a college student participating in the same internship program I completed three years ago. After a short questionnaire and a few weeks of waiting, I was paired with a college senior who was interested in learning about life after college and how to feel more comfortable entering the workforce for the first time. If I remember correctly, her first email to me said she felt like an imposter when in the office, a feeling I think most of us can relate to when we start working a real job.

After a few weeks of getting to know her I recommended she not leave DC without first showing me her resume because after three years of job experience and multiple positions, I can always find a way to make any resume look better.

How to improve your resume in three easy ways to increase your chances of getting an interview.

While having dinner at a nearby pupusa restaurant, I was reminded of the mistakes new graduates make with their resumes. It's no wonder new graduates have trouble finding work, our resumes typically look like we're desperate to mention everything we ever participated in, even if the most we did was show up for the free food and community service hours. Below are the three things you can change to make your resume stand out.

You're repeating the same experience again and again

The biggest mistake I see on resumes of soon to be graduates is repeating the same tasks and job duties again and again. While I totally understand that most internships will have interns complete similar tasks, there's no reason to word all of your bullet points the same way.

To really step up your resume writing skills, choose different tasks from each job to highlight, avoiding altogether the need to reword the same experience. What this means is if you mention clerical work in one position, don't mention it again for the rest of your work experience. Jobs and internships have so much they require of you, meaning there's no need to say the same thing twice.

Tips for describing your work experience

  • aim to make each description different from the previous one
  • tailor your description around an action verb (examples: managed, facilitated, developed)
  • utilize the job posting to accurately describe the job expectations you completed

You're not tailoring your experience, only mention what matters

It took me longer than I'd like to admit for me to begin tailoring my resume to each specific job application. What I mean by tailoring your resume is rewriting your resume so that it mimics the job requirements of the position you're applying for.

For example, when I was applying for receptionist positions, I removed all experience that didn't reflect skills and experience that were relevant to the jobs I was applying for. In addition, I selected keywords from the job posting and included them in the work descriptions on my resume.

Tips for tailoring your resume

  • pull keywords from the job posting to add to your resume (use them in past work experience)
  • remove past work experience that is not applicable to the job you're applying for
  • expand the descriptions of relevant work experience (remove unrelated positions and add an additional bullet point to each relevant experience)

You're adding details you don't need

The thing I was once most guilty of, mentioning work experience on my resume that had absolutely no relevance to the position I was applying for. True story, when I applied for graduate school I was expected to submit a resume/CV with my application, and for some crazy reason I submitted a two-page resume. Two full pages!

What new graduate has two legitimate pages worth of experience? Certainly not me! In reality, I had filled two pages with every internship, volunteer, and work opportunity from the past four years of my life, with only a third of the experience being of any relevance or importance to my graduate application. Save yourself the effort and space and cut out any experience that isn't directly relevant to the position you're applying for. Yes, it will make your resume shorter, but in the end, all of the information on your new resume will be both relevant and impressive to prospective employers.

Tips for keeping your resume relevant:

  • remove any experience that is more than four years old
  • chose the past positions that make you look best, don't be afraid to cut out a recent one and highlight something prior
  • limit your job descriptions to 3-4 bullet points, with all positions having the same number of descriptive lines
  • add additional skillsets at the bottom of your resume, dedicate 5-6 lines to listing additional skills you may have (ex: Excel, languages you speak, typing speed, software you're familiar with)

Tell me, what questions do you have when it comes to writing a kick-ass resume? Leave your questions in the comments below and I'll either reply directly to your comment or write an entire post on the topic!

If you found this post helpful, you can pin the image below to help others improve their resume or for easier reference later. To share on Facebook or Twitter, click the floating icons to the left of the screen.

How to improve your resume in three easy ways to increase your chances of getting an interview.

6 Resolutions to Improve Your Mental Health

New Year's resolutions are goals we all want to accomplish in the new year yet have a hard time understanding why so often we fail to even get started. With most everyone setting resolutions at the beginning of the year, it can be easy to find yourself with extra motivation to set goals you otherwise wouldn't.

As a therapist, I set goals with each client I meet, typically goals we address in therapy, but also others that apply to their life as a whole. The only job a client has is to choose a goal and take steps in and out of therapy towards their goal. My job is to identify barriers to their goals, not all of which can be avoided, while also empowering them to keep moving forward despite any challenges.

Improving your mental health doesn't have to be hard work. Click to read six resolutions to improve your mental health in the new year and keep it that way all year long.

If one of your goals for the year is to improve your mental health, whether that means to decrease your anxiety or feel overall happier on a daily basis, the following six resolutions can aid you in getting closer to completing your goal despite the obstacles you might face.

Every situation is different and everyone who reads this post will have a different motivator for wanting to improve their mental health, yet everyone can benefit from the next six resolutions. As a therapist, I often remind myself that mental health is not something you fix once and never again, it requires constant maintenance, which is why the next six resolutions will aid you in not only improving your mental health but also staying committed to improving your mental health year round.

Talk to a professional

One of the biggest mistakes I made in college was not taking advantage of the ten free counseling sessions I was awarded every quarter. Now as an adult, I would totally take advantage of a free opportunity to sit down with a professional and talk out my feelings, and I felt this way long before I was a therapist myself.

If you have the opportunity for free or low-cost counseling sessions, take advantage of them! If not, talk to your insurance provider to see how many sessions are covered by your plan, or consider setting aside money in your budget for short-term therapy. Not everyone who goes to counseling needs long-term therapy, sometimes just a few sessions are all a person needs to sort out their goals, process an event, and leave feeling more motivated and in control of their life.

Identify your triggers

One of my own goals for 2018 is to identify what I like to call triggers, better understood as the things that can take us from 1 to 100 in just a few moments. Triggers can cause us to feel a wide range of emotions, but typically triggers will lead an individual to feel angry, anxious or sad.

By identifying your triggers you can better control not only your emotional response but the likelihood you will be exposed to them. Take me for example, having to rush to anything makes me instantly anxious, almost to the point where I will consider canceling. To avoid this feeling, I make sure to only agree to plans at a time I know will not be immediately following something else I'm doing, while also checking ahead of where I'm going, what I need to bring, and if there are any unpredictable obstacles on the way, such as traffic or metro delays.

Improving your mental health doesn't have to be hard work. Click to read six resolutions to improve your mental health in the new year and keep it that way all year long.

Declutter physically and emotionally

The past year was such a great decluttering process for me, where I sorted through literally every item in my home in order to decide if I actually wanted it or not. Beyond getting rid of stuff that served no use anymore, decluttering emotionally is also beneficial to your mental health.

While you don't have to cut ties with people who bring negativity into your life, you can make the conscious decision to spend less time with them, unfollow them on social media, or communicate with them the issues you have in your relationship. Sometimes something as simple as unfollowing someone who used to be a good friend of yours saves you the energy of thinking about everything that went wrong and the uncomfortable feeling of scrolling past their posts every day without interacting with them.

Start a new self-care practice

Inevitably you will have a bad day, it's what you do after a bad day that dictates your ability to manage your mental health. As a new therapist I've had too many days to count where I come home and just cry until I fall asleep, and while that sleep is needed, it's not the best thing to do. As of today, I've chosen certain tasks to do only on days when I come home feeling like dirt, and because I only do those tasks on especially hard days, they feel more like a treat than a way to repair my mental state after a hard day at work.

Find something you really enjoy, preferably that doesn't take too much effort and have it on hand for days when you need a pick me up. You could stock up on bath bombs for tough days, or purchase a book series and vow to only read it on nights when you need a boost.

Be more transparent about your mental health

Being more transparent about how you're feeling does one major thing, it tells those around you that you need additional support. Friends and family won't know to reach out to you if you're always acting as if everything is great, plus faking a perfect mental state unfortunately does not make it improve over time.

While I'm not saying you have to publicize every anxious or depressed thought you have, being honest about how you're feeling when you're asked is a simple way to be more authentic about your mental health while giving others an opportunity to provide support.

Find your support system

Speaking of being honest about your mental health, having people to turn to when you're working on improving your mental health is necessary. Yes, therapists are beneficial in working towards your mental health goals, but most likely you are limited to engaging with them for an hour a week.

Choose individuals in your life who you can communicate with easily, whether that be about work stressors or issues in your relationship. A support system can consist of one person or a handful of people, as long as whoever you chose is available and willing to process with you when needed.

Before you go, let me know in the comments below which mental health resolution you might try out this year. Also, share your favorite self-care practice to give me and others some fresh ideas!

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to share it on Pinterest or Twitter to help others improve their mental health in 2018! 

Improving your mental health doesn't have to be hard work. Click to read six resolutions to improve your mental health in the new year and keep it that way all year long.