Return of the Resolution

With Christmas over, we’re all getting psyched for that moment, counting the last few seconds until, bang! 2017! Along with celebrations, there are declarations of change. How long they will last is up to whoever has made such a promise.

Those promises are known as New Years’ Resolutions, the promise we all want to follow through with as Father Time ushers us into the new year. However, consistency is more difficult than it seems when we attempt to alter our routines and old habits.

Sure, we all know the malarkey that comes with a resolution, but the fun in its creation and creativity is unparalleled.

Exercise the right to set a goal, yet push for stability. Once that first week passes by, prepare for procrastination. Fight it. Tell it, “Go to hell!”

For me, I have a few items on my list of things to accomplish in 2017.

My personal and somewhat realistic resolutions:

  • Increase persistence of freelance endeavors 
  • Blog more
  • Work on multiple projects at once 
  • Make better investments in regards to self-publishing

I’m certain that one of these will stick more than the next. They’re all great ideas, but they need some substance.

Maybe an alert on a smartphone will help. Or maybe I should just…

We’ll see what happens…

Do Hiring Managers Really Read Resumes?

It’s no secret. Some of us have our degrees with aspirations of entering an industry that we studied for or still studying for. The truth to career life is that you never know what it holds. Life is like a box of Raisinets, you never know which one is a raisin or a small marble of cocoa that missed its target.

And sometimes we miss. Job seekers go through education sifting through the process waiting on the machine to coat us with something scrumptious. We roll past other raisins thinking we’d get there first. Somehow, we get into wrong position and fall right off the periphery, missing the key component that makes us attractive.

So what do we do? We get up, dust off, and get back in the mix hoping to get picked.

Resumes are a lot like that. They start out  dried out and blank waiting patiently for the job seeker to put something delicious on its person. The brainstorm spins a tasty morsel in a bowl of memories, which job seekers drizzle neatly over the page. Voila.

Apply. Submit. Into the box it goes with other resumes wanting to be reviewed. Hopefully they’re taken serious.

Out of the batch, hiring managers select each piece–tasting each one and deciding which Raisinet was the best. But when you eat a Raisinet, do you really measure which one is best? Sadly enough, resumes are treated the same.

Sometimes that resume we spent all week to prepare is consumed without much thought. Does that mean job seekers should stop writing resumes and cover letters? No. It simply means that we have improve our recipe.

That’s why most recommend that resumes be one page–it’s short and sweet, a delicate quickness that’s appreciated and missed almost instantly. If it tastes great, the hiring manager will hum on it savoring it on their taste buds. That desire to savor the taste is the phone call or response email we get after we’ve applied for the job.

So do employers actually read our resumes? Yes. But not all of them considered. Don’t get discouraged. Keep exploring ways to improve.

 

Recovery

I’m not sure if I posted anything about this, so I’ll just talk about it to cover my tracks.

On December 1, 2015, my stuff was stolen due to my carelessness. I forgot to lock my car door, and my laptop, flash drives, writing guides, camera, and tooth brush was stolen. What hurt the most was the stolen writing that I worked two years on.

It was devastating.

But I recovered.

Currently, I have a new laptop and two more flash drives (one containing some of the rough draft stories I wrote over the two year period).

For the past couple of days, I’ve been reading, editing, and proofreading these stories. Somehow, I’m working faster and more efficient than before, so I guess the setback wasn’t really a setback. In a strange way, by having my stuff stolen, it made me appreciate my work more than ever.

And I’ve noticed my work, my writing is getting better. I wish I had this mind when I left college. But hey, we live and learn, right?

Resume Hell!

Have you ever read FAQs regarding resumes? No matter how many times I read it, I’m still trying to unravel the secret behind a good resume. How can I illustrate a technical document as exciting. It’s like soup, it can’t be too cold, too hot, or overly seasoned. It has to be just right. And every employer has their own preference.

So I have to cook up an appetizer that suits everyone’s palette.

But where do I start? I have the ingredients, but it’s a struggle together. What do you write when you can do just about anything. I’ve tried concentrating it into a specific Writer/Editor resume, but that first attempt was too specific.

I guess I’ll return to the FAQs and trendy skills that relate to my field of study.

 

Scam Report: Dangers of Swiping

Scam Report: Dangers of Swiping

In these days, innovators have made it convenient for people to obtain, exchange, and process information. Even payment is as easy as holding up your smart phone to a payment processor at your local grocer.

But with new, easy-to-use technology comes a looming dark cloud of malcontent.

Many have seen the reports from their local media: “Don’t pay at the pump!” Yes. Paying at the pump is risky due to the hold a bank will put on their customer’s account when swiped at the pump. Such a risk minor compared to a scammer who install skimmers on gas pumps.

 

What’s a skimmer?

Skimmers (known as Credit Card Reader) are those pieces of electronic equipment that collect debit/credit card information in order to purchase the things we need and love. This inventive item can be purchased online and even at some local stores. It’s perfectly legal and it’s not unusual, entrepreneurs use them in their businesses to remain versatile to their customers.

However, some have turned skimmers as vehicles to scam.

Since the public sale of skimmers, many consumers have fallen victim to identity fraud due to scammers who use skimmers to record debit and credit card information.

Here’s how it works:

  • A scammer will swipe your card through a skimmer (not provided by their employer).
  • The information on your card is recorded and collected into computer or any device that can hold data.
  • The scammer takes the information and uses it online.

Scammers often use skimmers at gas pumps. They use a universal key, which you can buy online, to unlock the gas pump. Then, they install a skimmer behind the pump.

But how can a scammer use your information offline?

A few days ago, a California woman confronted a Starbucks employee who stole her debit/credit information and used it to make a $200 purchase at a store in her local area. See the unedited confrontation here.

Scammers can actually purchase blank credit cards. These cards are PVC cards, which are sold on sites like EBay and Amazon. They’re made from the same material as debit and credit cards. In addition, they contain the magnetic strip on the back.

In order for the card to work, the scammer has to program the card.

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Also, the scammer will use something called Credit Card Embosser. This machine allows the scammer to engrave your debit/credit information onto a blank PVC card creating a counterfeit version of the original.81MJ9AWAqwL._SL1500_

At first glance, most establishments won’t examine it closely, they’ll just swipe the card.

And scammers will opt to use credit selection at a processor to prevent from entering a pin number.

To fight against this kind of theft, debit/credit card companies have installed the microchip into cards making them easier to track if fraud were ever to occur.

 

Tips on how to avoid skim scams:

  • Don’t pay at the pump. Always pay inside. Be sure to examine the location of the skimmer inside a business. If its obscured from surveillance, pay with cash.
  • Don’t allow cashiers, tellers, etc. to walk away from your sight when at the drive-thru. If they need receipt paper, ask for your card back first. Be vigilant! It’s your money!
  • In bar-restaurants like Applebee’s. Position yourself where you can see the payment processor. Alert the manager of any suspicious activity.
  • Monitor your finances frequently, if you believe you’ve come across a skim-scam. Notify your bank of any inconsistencies.

Most importantly, anyone who sees any scammer should report it to police even it’s only a five cents taken out of your account. We must tough on crooks who want to take our hard earned money.