As the summer is wrapping up, one of the banes of my teaching experience is gearing to make its appearance: classroom decor shopping.

Decorating the classroom is fun, but shopping for it is so disrespectfully expensive, that it makes one weary to purchase much of anything, because after all…. the kids are just going to destroy it right? Well after spending hundreds of dollars every year, just for my high school juniors [yep, you read that right], to tear up, rip up, and break everything I bought, I vowed never to pay full price for decorations again! This year, I’m taking a different approach – the cheaper approach – to decorating my classroom this year, and I’ve decided my share my three tips on how you can too!

1.) Hit Up the Dollar Store

The dollar store – more specifically the Dollar Tree is my favorite place to hit up when it’s time to decorate. The same paper border you’d typically find in your local teacher store that’s usually $8 a pack, is $1 here! If you want a little glitz and glam, then head to the party aisle to get party streamers that correlate to your colors too. The dollar store is also where you can stock up on classroom supplies [pencils, pens, and highlighters], books for your classroom library, and rewards [candy, pencils, and stickers] for your students as well!

2.) Get Creative

You don’t need to spend your whole summer check on decor. What I love to do is buy paper plates and buy spray paint that goes with my color theme, add cut out letters [either bought or made at work] and use them to create signs/decorations or even border for my walls. Another cheap option is instead of buying contact paper from Amazon, go to a fabric store [my go-to is Walmart] and buy a yard or two of fabric. Use the fabric as backdrops for your bulletin boards. If you want to go the free route, get butcher paper that is at your campus to serve as your backdrop.

Another idea for customized pencil/pen cup holders is getting the glass jars, adding Modpodge [Walmart] to it, and sprinkling colored glitter over them! Seal it back with Modpodge and you now have customized cup holders true to your classroom and nice to your pockets.

Other stores I love to check out for stuff on the low are:

  • 5 Below
  • Walmart/ Target
  • Amazon
  • Marshalls
  • Ross

3.) Find Inspiration

This is the easiest tip! One of my favorite things to do a few weeks before school starts is by scouring YouTube and Pinterest for inspiration or tips to DIY my classroom. Both sites are literal goldmines of ideas and tips on creating your dream classroom for less than $50 – $100 too!

Well, that’s all I have for now! Cheers to a great school year & happy shopping!

xoxo,

Raee

picture of a classroom for tips on how to decorate a classroom for cheap.

landing-dream-internship-part-2

Alrigggghhhhtttt!!! Part Two of ‘Landing That Dream Internship’ is here! So you followed the tips in part one and got yourself an interview. Now what?

Well I got you!

Double Check Your Resume and Cover Letter

Even though you’ve already given them your resume and cover letter from when you applied, double check them again before the interview and make any changes that you view necessary. If the changes are minute, I perosnally don’t think it’s worth mentioning in the interview, however if the changes are major, definitly mention that you made changes in the interview and provide them with a clean, updated, physical copy. Also ask them where they’d like you to digitally send your updated resume.

Before Your Interview

  • Refresh your memory on the company: go back and research the companies vision statement and their goals and check who their competitors are. During the interview, they’re going to ask you questions like “Why do you want to work here?” and “What can you add to our company?” You can easily get these answers from their website.
  • Practice interview questions: There are tons of websites out there that offer interview questions and how to answer them. A few of the most common ones that you’re bound to hear are:
    • Tell us about yourself?
    • What are your greatest strengths?
    • What do you consider your greatest weaknesses?
    • What are your future career goals?

Make sure that you go over these questions and responses before your interview date.

What to Wear

The interview is not the time to be flashy and show that you have Milan style. A rule of thumb is to keep it simple and neutral. My favorite go-to interview outfit is either a black or navy blue, knee-length dress, a jacket, and low heels or flats. If dresses aren’t your thing, then another go-to is slacks, a nice neutral colored button up, a jacket and flats and low-heels as well.

One thing to consider, for your interview, wear something that reflects the industry you are applying for. If you’re in education or business, opt for the classic interview attire. If you’re applying for a more creative field like fashion or entertainment, you have more space to express yourself and be a little more creative. Use your own discretion!

Also, keep the makeup to a minimum and leave the perfume at home!

In the Interview

  • Prepare Questions to Ask: the worst thing you can do is say you don’t have any questions when asked. Make sure that you have at least two to five questions prepared to ask your interviewer. Some suggestions:
    • What does a typical day of work look like at this company?
    • How many people will I be reporting to?
    • What would you say is the learning curve within this position?
    • Will there be opportunities for me to view other areas of the company?
    • In the past, has there been opportunities for advancement for interns?

Remember to be engaged and nod while the interviewer is talking to you to show that you are an active listener. Also, make sure to bring a pen and notepad with you on your interview. As a courtesy, ask your interviewer if they mind if you take notes. Some view it as disrespect and some don’t!

Follow – Up

For some reason, a lot of young people don’t follow up with a thank you or to check on their status after an interview. Following up is necessary! There are several different ways to follow – up with your interviewer. The most common and acceptable is either a thank you email/note or phone call.

If you have the inteviewers phone number, simply call their office. If they don’t answer, leave them a voicemail and be very clear about who you are and why you are calling.

If you have your interviewers email address, a few hours after your interviewer, send them a friendly ‘thank you’ email. In the email, thank them for their time and one comment they made during the inteviwer.

Dear So and So,

Thank you again for your time today and allowing me the opportunity to interview for the _____________ internship position. I appreciate you being very thorough in describing the company culture and requirements of this position [or whatever they talked about in the interview]. I know that this position at _____________ [company name], will be a great fit for me and allow me the opportunity to learn and grow as a budding professional. I look forward to hearing from you regarding the position soon.

Sincerely,

Your Name

I hope that part two was as beneficial as part one was! Let me know if you want tips and tricks on another aspect of interning!

Talk to ya’ll later!!

xoxo,

Raee

landing-dream-internship-career-tips

March brings internship season! I had no idea that I have a small group of college students who check out my blog and so I figured I’d share some tips about landing internships that no one really shared with me back when I was in college.

When I was in college, internships were obviously encouraged, but no one really shared tips and tricks to landing one; it was definitely trial and error for a while.

Today, I’m sharing 3 tips for you to land that dream internship this semester!

Do Your Homework

Securing an internship requires time and research.. Before you apply for the position you’re interested in, make sure that you Google all aspects of the company.

  • Company Culture: being familiar with the culture of a company is important. You should know the beliefs and behaviors of the company and how they function as a business.
  • Location: How far is the company from your place of residence? What does traffic look like during the required work hours? How do you plan on getting there
  • Job Description: What all does the job entail? What specific requirements are needed that you have and don’t have? Are they open to training?
  • Payment and Time: Is it a paid or unpaid position? What is the time commitment that this job requires? Will it require work outside of the listed hours?

If you have further questions, make sure to keep them for the “Do you have any questions for me?” portion of the interview.

Clean Up Your Resume

A resume is vital for internships and jobs. You need to hit up your campus career center and have a professional review your resume [and cover letter] before you start applying.

A general rule of thumb, is to keep your resume about one page in length. Time is money, and recruiters and hiring managers, don’t have a lot of time to devote to reading resumes longer than one page. Make sure that you keep your resume brief, and that it only includes pertinent and relevant information.

Another tip, is to omit irrelevant things from your resume:

  • Objective section: this won’t make or break your resume, but it really can be left off. You can share your career goals in the body of your cover letter.
  • Irrelevant jobs: Jobs from high school can be omitted unless they are relevant to the position you are applying for. If they aren’t, delete, delete, delete!

Make sure that your resume is also formatted properly, crisp and clear to the eye, and that you save it as a PDF file and not a Word or Text document!

Clean Up Your Social Media

Social media has been the reason why several people have lost out on jobs. Having a social media presence is one thing, but inappropriate pictures or tweets is another.

Of course, once it’s in the internet cloud, it’s out there forever, but you can help your self by not having it so readily accessible. Pictures of you smoking, drinking, twerking, or scantily clothed, should be removed. You can always put those back up after you get the internship!

Also, be mindful of your tweets or Facebook posts. We live in a very sensitive day and age now, and saying something offensive can give you the boot, before you even get a chance to walk through the door!

I hope you guys found this helpful! I’m thinking of doing another part to this, so be on the lookout for part 2 coming soon!

As always, I’ll talk with ya’ll soon!

xoxo,

Raee

tips-to-land-job

A New Year means new blessings and a new job! It is projected that the job market will be harder to crack in 2020, which means stiffer competition! But, that doesn’t mean it’s not possible to land that dream job! Here are five tips you need to help you land that dream job in the new year.

1.) Update your LinkedIn

Linkedin is a heavyweight in the job search game. If used correctly, you can land a job, or at the bare minimum, an interview with a recruiter. The key to Linkedin is keeping it updated and making those necessary connections with those who work for a company you are interested in.

Profile:

  • Make sure your profile picture is a professional one, with a clear view of your face. You don’t have to go out and get professional pictures as a selfie will do, but make sure you look the part of a potential employee. That means no drinks in your hand or in the picture, no pictures of you and your friends, or any other picture that would turn potential employers away.
  • Complete at least 90% of your profile if possible. Your goal, of course, is to have a profile that’s 100% complete to boost your chances of being found. LinkedIn recommends you have the following information in your profile:
    • Industry and postal code
    • Your current position with description
    • Two more positions [previous if applicable. If not, don’t sweat it]
    • Education
    • List of skills [the minimum is five, but the more you provide, the more marketable you are]
    • Profile photo [see above]
    • Connections
    • A brief summary of who you are and what you have to offer.
    • Volunteer experience [if you have any, and you definitely should!]

Once you update your profile, start building your connections list by reaching out to recruiters. The key here is to not sound like the other thousands of people messaging them about the same thing. LinkedIn actually has a great and detailed article on how and what to say to recruiters that you should read, but the simplified version is:

  1. Don’t message recruiters with the intent of wanting something from them. YOU OFFER SOMETHING TO THEM!
  2. Be genuine and personable in your message!
  3. Respect their time!
  4. Be smart!

Action Step: Google is your best friend for examples of what a good LinkedIn profile looks like and a good checklist for making sure your profile is on point. One big piece of advice is to check LinkedIn about once a week for new job postings as well as messages from potential recruiters!

2.) Polish Up Your  Resume

If you’re sending out that same dusty and tired resume from three or four years ago, then you need to slap yourself! Okay, not for real, but you should be ashamed! A solid and effective resume should be updated quarterly, and if that’s too much, then at least, every six months. Why? Because your role has changed, accomplishments have increased, and the buzzwords employers are looking for are constantly being updated! While the resume is the most important tool in your job searching kit, it doesn’t have to be the most complicated to put together. Here are some resume tips:

  1. You don’t necessarily need to include your address in your resume. They aren’t sending you anything by mail and sometimes, you including this can keep you from landing the interview [think relocation fees]. My tip is to just include your name, email address, and phone number.
  2. Formatting matters so make sure that your font is clear and understandable, the spacing of your resume is understandable, and the lines match up!
  3. Use the buzz words they provide in the job description. When you submit your resume, it filters through a system and the resumes that have the right words are the ones that get picked. The best way to make sure yours is picked is to use the words the employer uses to describe the job!

Action Step: Before sending your resume out, let about 2 or 3 trustworthy people look over it to make sure there are no grammar and spelling errors. They can also give you tips on making sure your resume reads well!

3.) Fine Tune Your Cover Letter

The cover letter is the one thing that we ALL hate. I despise cover letters. They are so pointless and redundant to me, but we have to have them! The number one mistake people make with their cover letter is that they repeat what they put in their resume! The purpose of a cover letter is to further emphasize your skills, experience, and accomplishments in ways that you can’t do in your resume.

The Muse has a pretty clear article about what to include in your cover letter that you should definitely read, but the biggest gems that you can catch right here are:

  1. Don’t repeat your resume!
  2. Further, explain your skills or job duties. If you were the manager of a clothing company, elaborate more on your duties there, skills learned, and how they can be applied to the position you are applying for.
  3. Be yourself! Cover letters allow recruiters and hiring managers the opportunity to get a taste of who you are personality wise, show them that!

Action Step: Check out the article above for some tips on what to include in your cover letter, but also check out Google for examples of ways you can write your cover letter! Remember the three tips I listed above!

4.) Go to Networking Events

You know the saying: “It’s not what you know, but who you know!” Highly qualified people get passed over left and right because the hiring manager hired someone else they knew! Connections matter in the job world and if you want to boost your chances of landing that job, then networking is the way to do it!

The easiest way, of course, is social media if they have it, but that’s tricky to do the right way. Here are some tips to help you:

  1. Follow the hiring manager or whoever’s in charge of hiring on social media.
  2. Over time, comment on some of their tweets or posts – basically strike a genuine conversation.
  3. Move to their DM’s and ask a question about the job or the company – something relevant that doesn’t make it seem like you’re using them just for a job.
  4. Repeat step 2.
  5. Go to LinkedIn and see if they have a profile.
  6. Send a message and relate back to the social media conversation you both had.

Again, social media is tricky and can look desperate, BUT it has worked for some people, so I wouldn’t count it out.

Networking events are the easiest way to make connections! All you have to do is go to Eventbrite and look up events in your city. Facebook is also a good source of finding network invitations!

Action Step: Have either paper copies of your resume or have it easily accessible to send to someone through email! If you can’t, then get the business card or contact information of whoever you’re talking to and email them the night/early morning of the event sending them your information.

Even if they can’t hire you, they may know someone who can or at least pass your information along to a potential employer!

5.) Be strategic About Applying

Applying to jobs is a full-time job if we’re being honest. For every potential response/interview, you get, you have to put in at least 2 hours so it requires planning. Here are some tips to help ease up the process:

  1. Create a list of potential employers you would be interested in.
  2. Spend at least an hour and a half a day applying to jobs.
  3. Make sure you personalize the resume AND cover letter for the job. The worst thing ever is sending Job B a cover letter with the information from Job A.
  4. Apply, Apply, Apply
  5. Follow up about a week later.
  6. Keep going until you land it!

Action step: Stay consistent with your applying! Don’t forget to check your social media and clean up any red flags you may have. Red flags include pictures of you drinking with friends [this includes you holding a drink too], half-naked pics [think pics of you at the beach], cursing anything else!

Let’s Recap:

1.) Get your LinkedIn account together

2.) Update your resume to reflect what the job is looking for [use the descriptor words that are on the job description]

3.) Be personable in your cover letter!

4.) Network!

5.) Stay positive and consistent when applying. If you don’t land the job you wanted, that simply means that something is better for you! Have faith! 🙂

Hope you found these tips beneficial as you rock out and secure bags all 2019! Make sure to follow me on Twitter and Instagram!

xoxo,

Raee

5-tips-to-land-job-2019

 

5-time-management-tips-for-new-year

The New Year always brings resolutions of better time management that we never keep throughout the year! If we’re being honest, sometimes those time management tips just aren’t realistic! What is realistic, however, is five simple tips that are attainable and reasonable in helping you do better with your time in 2019!! 

1.) Wake Up Earlier

The obvious tips, of course, is to wake up earlier. I’m a natural person by nature, but I still crave and desire an extra few minutes in the bed! However, that extra five minutes, or in my case fifteen to twenty minutes in bed, easily racks up to an accomplished task. Think about it. If you sleep in an extra 10 minutes 5 days a week [most of us work a 5 day week], that’s 50 minutes that could’ve been devoted on a task! Now if you’re like me, you have to ease your way into new changes! I suggest waking up every day 2 minutes earlier than your normal wake up time. The next week, wake up 3 minutes earlier, then the following week, raise it up to 5 minutes every day. This way, you’re creating healthy and effective habits that are reasonable and realistic to attain.

2.) Plan It Out

Planning out your day is a great way to manage and maximize your time all at once. There are several different apps that deal with time management if you’re a techie! A few of my favorite apps are Google Calendar, Trello, and Evernote. If you’re a paper and pen kinda gal like me, then any planner will get the job done. There are so many planners that fit many needs that you’re bound to find the perfect one for you. My planner that I’m obsessed with at the moment is the Happy Planner because of it’s writing and customization options.

When planning out your day or goals, a rule of thumb is to group your tasks from most time consuming to least time consuming and knock them out from there. To do this, look at what you have to for the day and categorize your tasks in groups:

  • Important and Urgent – Consider these your ASAP tasks [In my planner, I use RED ink for these].
  • Important but not Urgent – Consider these tasks as the ones where you have a little wiggle room, but not much, to knock them out [In my planner, I use ORANGE ink for these.
  • Not so important – Consider these tasks like the ones that if you knock them out today cool, but if not, cool too. These kinds of tasks can be completed the next day if need be. [In my planner, I use YELLOW ink for these].
  • Not important – Consider these tasks as ones you can hold off doing until the end of the week or even later. [In my planner, I use GREEN ink for these].

Remember to check your tasks off as you complete them!

3.) Create a Daily To-Do List

Maximize your time by knowing ahead of time what needs to be done for the day. The first 20 to 30 minutes of each day, a lot time to create a daily to-do list of what needs to be accomplished for the day. Creating a list will also help you remain on track throughout the day,

4.) Give Yourself a Time Limit

Giving yourself time limits are key to managing your time and getting so much accomplished. Giving yourself time limits to complete each task hold you accountable and kind of forces you to stay on task since you’re under a time crunch. Experiment for the day and give yourself a time limit to complete each task and watch how much you cross off your to-do list!

5.) Put Yourself First

We all know how important sleep is to the daily functioning of our minds and body. The whole ‘I’ll sleep when I’m dead’ mentality has to go. You’re no good to yourself or others when you’re running on fumes. Try to set a bedtime and wake-up time for yourself daily to get at least 6 hours of sleep. Also, remember that you can’t go to everything and be everywhere. It’s perfectly okay to say no! Peace of mind is a piece of mind!

And bam, there you go! Hopefully, you found these tips helpful! Remember ladies, we’re not wasting our time in 2019!! Rise and Grind is the motto! LOL.

Don’t forget to keep up with me on Instagram and Twitter and I’ll holler at ya’ll next time!

xoxo,

Raee

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