Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Fast Company/Adele Peters: These tiny houses offer a path to home ownership in just seven years

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    06.06.17 6:00 am

These tiny houses offer a path to home ownership in just seven years.

These Tiny Houses Help Minimum Wage Workers Become Homeowners

“People making that small amount of money can’t qualify for a mortgage.” [Photo: courtesy Cass Community Social Services]

By Adele Peters 3 minute Read

If you live in Detroit and make only $10,000 a year, you still might be able to buy a newly constructed house. On two vacant blocks in the city’s northwest side, a new neighborhood of tiny houses was designed to help people living in poverty become homeowners.

Through a rent-to-own program, residents will pay $1 per square foot in rent each month. For a 250-square-foot house, for example, rent is $250, when a similar home in Detroit might normally cost twice as much. After a maximum of seven years, the house can be fully paid off.

“Certainly for cities that have an abundance of relatively inexpensive land, this is a great proposition.” [Photo: courtesy Cass Community Social Services]

“Poor people lack an asset,” says Faith Fowler, a pastor and the executive director of Cass Community Social Services, the local nonprofit that created the program. “They don’t have anything that they could use as collateral, they don’t have anything they can sell to climb the economic ladder, if you will. They don’t have anything to leave their children. We saw this as the start for poor people–people making as little as $10,000 a year can end up owning a home in seven years.”

In some other programs, such as homes built by Habitat for Humanity, residents are required to have a mortgage. “People making that small amount of money can’t qualify for a mortgage,” she says. “So they’re essentially locked out of housing that serves as a piggyback for the rest of us. In addition to the pride of having a place you can call your own, the beginning of wealth, or the security of having an asset you can call your own, was very important to us. More important than the tininess of the home.”

“The beginning of wealth, or the security of having an asset you can call your own, was very important to us.” [Photo: courtesy Cass Community Social Services]

The houses–which range in size from 250 to 400 square feet and have a basic bathroom and kitchen but no bedroom–are funded by private donations and foundations. While professional builders handle the foundation, shell, roof, electrical, and plumbing, volunteers do the rest, from installing cabinets to a deck in the back. Some of the materials are also donated, helping keep the cost around $40,000 to $50,000 ($15,000 of that is the cost of the foundation and connecting to city utilities). “For about the price of an expensive car, we can give you a pretty nice home,” Fowler says.

The tiny size, along with quality insulation and windows, also makes utilities cheap. Even when the weather is coldest, residents should only pay around $30 a month to keep the house warm and the power on.

Each month, residents are required to take classes in financial literacy and home maintenance. Nearby, the Cass Community headquarters provides access to social services like mental health counseling and education and nutrition programs.

“Two or three tiny homes might make a tremendous difference in a rural setting.” [Photo: courtesy Cass Community Social Services]

It’s a model that the organization thinks could work elsewhere. “Certainly for cities that have an abundance of relatively inexpensive land, this is a great proposition,” says Fowler. “It also makes sense in some rural areas. Everywhere I travel, I see homeless people now. It’s not just cities anymore. Two or three tiny homes might make a tremendous difference in a rural setting.”

Seven houses have been completed so far, with 25 tiny houses planned in total for the neighborhood. In a second phase, the organization hopes to build 10 slightly larger homes for families. Because Detroit didn’t have zoning restrictions or minimum size requirements for tiny homes, the process has been relatively straightforward. The first residents are expected to move in this month.
As the project provides housing, it’s also transforming a blighted neighborhood. “The neighbors are ecstatic,” says Fowler. “You get the sense that with these tiny, bright, beautiful new homes there’s a renaissance occurring in a small way in a neighborhood that hasn’t had much to celebrate for a long time.”
About the author

Adele Peters is a staff writer at Fast Company who focuses on solutions to some of the world's largest problems, from climate change to homelessness. Previously, she worked with GOOD, BioLite, and the Sustainable Products and Solutions program at UC Berkeley.

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    06.05.17 wwdc

WWDC 2017: Here’s Everything Apple Announced
Apple’s event was packed with new software and hardware, from operating-system upgrades to the HomePod smart speaker to the 10.5-inch iPad Pro to a phalanx of new Macs.
WWDC 2017: Here’s Everything Apple Announced

By Mark Sullivan5 minute Read

At Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference keynote on Monday, the company unleashed a two-hour storm of announcements, including both new hardware and software feature upgrades. The developer event usually focuses on software–operating systems and apps–but included a surprising amount of hardware this year.
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To get you in the mood, check out this snappy video Apple showed at the beginning of the keynote, then we’ll segue into the OS upgrades that will arrive this fall:

Introducing iOS 11

New iOS 11 features dominated the presentation:

Photos. To save memory while preserving quality, Photos will store images and videos using compression standards called HEIC and HEVC, respectively. The Memories feature, which uses AI to form custom presentations of photos and videos, can more quickly scan the library to identify things like events and people, Apple said. Memories is smart enough to curate highlights of your camera roll optimized for both portrait and display modes.

Apple Pay. Apple added person-to-person payments via Apple Pay inside Messages. You can send money in the body of a message, and authenticate the transaction using Touch ID. Messages will also get the ability to sync all messages from all the user’s devices in the cloud.

Siri. As expected, Siri will get some new smarts. Most importantly, it’ll become more aware of the user and more proactive about delivering assistance. On-device machine learning will do things such as let Siri suggest news stories to read or help you make a calendar appointment based on a booking you made in Safari.

In iOS 11, Siri will translate English to Chinese, French, and Italian, with more languages coming. It will also get some new male and female voices that Apple says are “more expressive.”
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In addition, Siri will offer improved support for third-party apps, letting you use it to perform tasks such as taking notes in Evernote and bring up QR codes in WeChat.

Music. Apple announced MusicKit, an API that lets developers integrate their services more tightly with Apple Music.

App Store. The iOS App Store is getting a sweeping redesign, Apple says. A new Today tap will offer information and videos for featured apps. A Games tab will feature new releases, gameplay videos, stats on popular games, and information about new in-app purchases in games.

Maps. Apple unveiled some new iOS 11 mapping features, including indoor maps of malls and airports, info on speed limits, and assistance on which lane you should be in during navigation. Also new for motorists: a new “Do Not Disturb While Driving” mode that figures out when you’re in a moving car and turns off notifications.

HomeKit. Users in households with HomeKit-friendly gadgets will be able to configure and control their speakers in the Home app, building multi-room audio environments and using AirPlay 2 for the connection.
New for WatchOS 4

Apple announced new features in the next OS for Apple Watch, watchOS 4. The coolest among them was a new AI-driven Siri watch face that automatically suggests content you might need. Whenever you shake your wrist, the watch face will update with new, updated information on items such as travel times or flight times.
It’s called MacOS High Sierra

Some thought Apple might name the new OS “macOS 11” to sync up with the iOS 11 name. Nope. Instead, it’s doubling down on the California landmarks theme with “High Sierra,” a name which indicates that it’s a refined version of last year’s Sierra rather than something radically new. The latest version, Apple says, is far faster than its predecessor. It also features an improved Safari browser that blocks auto-play video in web pages (yeah!) and prevents web sites from tracking users as they move around the web. And Apple is working with 3D platforms Unreal and Unity to let those tools create VR content on a Mac–demoed onstage with a look at ILM Star Wars VR built in Unreal.
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At Last, Amazon On Apple TV

There was very little news on the Apple TV’s tvOS software, but what there was mattered. Apple announced that the Amazon Prime Video app is coming to Apple TV later this year. The service has hundreds of movies and TV shows, and original content like Transparent and Man in the High Castle.
Hardware Aplenty

Apple’s developer event is usually reserved for the operating systems, but hardware played a key role today:
A Speaker Called HomePod

After months of speculation, Apple announced a new smart speaker–the HomePod–to compete with Amazon Echo and Google Home. Packing a large woofer and seven tweeters, it streams music from Apple’s Music service, suggests music based on its knowledge of user tastes, delivers news and information on demand, and can be used to control connected home devices like lights, plugs, and thermostats. HomePod will sell for $349 and is scheduled to ship in December.

My colleague Harry McCracken just had a listen to the new device, and liked what he heard.
An iMac for the Pros

The iMac line got an update.  The 21.5-inch, 21.5-inch Retina 4K, and 27-inch machines all moved to Intel’s Kaby Lake processors. Each gets a bump in graphics power, too.

Apple also announced a new $5,000 iMac Pro (in gunmetal gray) designed with the high-end specs that creative professionals–a group often concerned that the company is forgetting about them–need to do things like develop VR games. Check out the video:

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Love For The iPad

For months now, scuttlebutt has had it that Apple would announce an iPad Pro with a 10.5-inch screen that offered more screen real estate than the iconic 9.7-inch model but more portable than the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. The company announced that machine, along with a revised 12.9-inch model which–like the 9.7-incher–offers improved screen technologies and upgrades to its cameras.

To sweeten the deal, Apple announced a bevy of new iOS 11 features designed for the iPad. New drag-and-drop features let users move images, links, and other items between two apps—even two apps running separately in full-screen mode. A new Files app will make the iPad seem more like a work machine than a content consumption device. It can also be used to work with files on third-party services like Dropbox and Box.
Apple Edges Into Augmented Reality

Perhaps the most surprising announcement of the day was Apple’s quick leap into the AR space. The company announced a new development tool called ARKit that will let developers create AR experience for the iPhone or iPad. The technology uses the phone’s sensors to detect things like depth of field, ambient light, and motion sensors. This information is needed to place digital items within the scene in a natural-looking way.

In just a bit over two hours, Apple packed even more news than usual. With some of the stuff it unveiled not shipping until late this year, it’ll take a while to gauge all of its significance. But overall, the company made a strong case that it’s keeping up with rivals Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Microsoft in the contest of the tech platforms.

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    06.05.17

These Google StreetView Cars Are Now Mapping And Measuring Pollution
The maps can help cities and residents figure out causes and solutions to urban air quality problems.
These Google StreetView Cars Are Now Mapping And Measuring Pollution
“The most striking thing is how much air pollution can vary even within a city block.” [Photo: courtesy Aclima]

By Adele Peters4 minute Read

If you stand next to an experimental Google StreetView car in Oakland, you’ll hear whirring. On top of the vehicle–below the usual cameras taking photos of the street–a mechanical system with pumps is pulling in the outdoor air, feeding it through a set of tubes to air-pollution monitoring equipment in the trunk, and then pumping the exhaust back outside again.
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The car is one of two from Google Earth Outreach that Aclima, a San Francisco-based company, equipped with a mobile air-quality platform. Over the last year–as each car drove six to eight hours a day around Oakland, repeatedly sampling every street in one section of the city–researchers collected the largest-ever set of urban air pollution data, and studied how the system could be used to better understand city air quality. The project was convened by the nonprofit EDF.

“When pollution’s reduced, we can show you.” [Image: courtesy Aclima]
Today, most cities in the U.S. have only a small number of stations that monitor air quality to comply with federal laws like the Clean Air Act. For every million people in an urban area, there are typically only one to four monitoring sites. “That just doesn’t tell you what’s happening within a neighborhood,” says Joshua Apte, an assistant engineering professor at the University of Texas at Austin and lead author of a new paper about the research. “It can’t tell you what’s happening on individual city blocks.”

The system on the StreetView cars–which could later be added to buses, Ubers, and Lyfts, and other vehicles that cover large distances in a city every day–can show pollution in fine detail. The study found variations in the levels of black carbon, nitrogen oxide, and nitrogen dioxide (all of which worsen air quality and are harmful to people) not only within neighborhoods but on given blocks. “Maybe the most striking thing is how much air pollution can vary even within a city block,” says Apte. “One end of the block could be five, eight times more polluted than the other end of the block.”

Looking at the data from Oakland, the researchers saw that streets with city bus routes were more polluted than those without; neighborhoods closer to Interstate 880, one highway that cuts through the city, were more polluted than those close to Interstate 580, one of the few highways in the country that bans trucks (perhaps not surprisingly, people living near 880 are poorer). Interactive maps from EDF point out why some spots on the map are more polluted; in one neighborhood with high levels of black carbon, for example, people live next to both a car salvage company and a car manufacturer. In another neighborhood, heavy truck traffic to a metal recycling plant makes pollution worse.

“It turns out you don’t need to drive that much before you start to see really consistent patterns in air pollution.” [Image: courtesy Aclima]
Using that detailed data, someone might decide whether they want to buy a particular house or whether their children should walk to school along a particular route. With evidence of air pollution levels in their own neighborhoods, citizens could push for change. Cities could use it to identify hotspots that need improvement, or when implementing new policy–like a fleet of electric buses–to concretely show the effect of the change. “When pollution’s reduced, we can show you,” says Melissa Lunden, senior atmospheric scientist at Aclima and one of the co-authors of the study. “We can give you a number. That has not been possible before.” Air quality researchers, who now often use models to estimate pollution in specific areas, could also use the new local data to make those models more accurate.

In the study, each car was driven intensively, but the researchers found that it would be possible to get a clear picture of air pollution with relatively few trips.

“We wanted to know how much you need to drive before you’re not learning anything new,” says Apte. “It turns out you don’t need to drive that much before you start to see really consistent patterns in air pollution. Maybe you need to drive down a street 20 times in a year, if you sample randomly. That’s a really small number. Why that’s so important is that you could take this method to other places much more easily than how we started here.”
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The cars in the experiment also used relatively large laboratory equipment, with separate instruments to measure the pollution. But next to that stack of boxes was a prototype of Aclima’s own, smaller platform. “This is the box that we want to really scale with,” says Lunden. “This is the start of the Fitbit for the planet.” The latest version, not installed in the car, is roughly the size of two shoe boxes, and could easily fit even in small cars. All of the data is fed into Aclima’s software platform for analysis, and turned into visualizations. While the company says that the stationary air-quality monitors in use in cities now can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to maintain, the mobile platform can be between 100 and 1,000 times less expensive, while far more detailed.

The company is currently working on making the units to quickly scale up and begin installing them in other types of vehicles, in other cities. “We’re in a number of discussions now about where we can have the most impact,” says Lunden.
About the author

Adele Peters is a staff writer at Fast Company who focuses on solutions to some of the world's largest problems, from climate change to homelessness. Previously, she worked with GOOD, BioLite, and the Sustainable Products and Solutions program at UC Berkeley.

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    05.31.17

This Machine Just Started Sucking CO2 Out Of The Air To Save Us From Climate Change
Climeworks carbon capture device will take the gas from the air and sell it or store it in the ground. Now we just need a few hundred thousand more–as quickly as possible.
1/6 At the new Swiss plant, three stacked shipping containers each hold six of Climeworks’ CO2 collectors. [Photo: Julia Dunlop]

By Adele Peters7 minute Read

Sitting on top of a waste incineration facility near Zurich, a new carbon capture plant is now sucking CO2 out of the air to sell to its first customer. The plant, which opened on May 31, is the first commercial enterprise of its kind. By midcentury, the startup behind it–Climeworks–believes we will need hundreds of thousands more.
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To have a chance of keeping the global temperature from rising more than two degrees Celsius, the limit set by the Paris agreement, it’s likely that shifting to a low-carbon economy won’t be enough.

“If we say that by the middle of the century we want to do 10 billion tons per year, that’s probably something where we need to start today.” [Photo: Julia Dunlop]
“We really only have less than 20 years left at current emission rates to have a good chance of limiting emissions to less than 2°C,” says Chris Field, director of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and coauthor of a recent paper discussing carbon removal. “So it’s a big challenge to do it simply by decreasing emissions from energy, transportation, and agriculture.” Removing carbon–whether through planting more forests or more advanced technology like direct carbon capture–will probably also be necessary to reach the goal.

At the new Swiss plant, three stacked shipping containers each hold six of Climeworks’ CO2 collectors. Small fans pull air into the collectors, where a sponge-like filter soaks up carbon dioxide. It takes two or three hours to fully saturate a filter, and then the process reverses: The box closes, and the collector is heated to 212 degrees Fahrenheit, which releases the CO2 in a pure form that can be sold, made into other products, or buried underground.

“It’s a big challenge to do it simply by decreasing emissions from energy, transportation, and agriculture.” [Photo: Julia Dunlop]
“You can do this over and over again,” says Jan Wurzbacher, cofounder and director of Climeworks. “It’s a cyclic process. You saturate with CO2, then you regenerate, saturate, regenerate. You have multiple of these units, and not all of them go in parallel. Some are taking in CO2, some are releasing CO2. That means that overall the plant has continuous CO2 production, which is also important for the customer.”

In the case of the first plant, the customer is a neighboring greenhouse, which uses the CO2 to make its tomatoes and cucumbers grow faster (plants build tissue by pulling carbon from the air, and more carbon dioxide means more growth, at least to a degree). Climeworks is also in talks with beverage companies that use CO2 in sparkling water or soda–particularly in production plants that are in remote areas, where trucking in a conventional source of CO2 would be expensive.

“There, Climeworks’ plan–taking it out of the air directly on site, is very advantageous and also commercially attractive already as of today,” says Wurzbacher. “We still have to go down a couple of steps on the cost curve, but in these niche applications already today, we can offer competitive CO2.”

“If a company pays us to remove 10,000 tons of CO2 from the air, we’re actually putting a plant in place that extracts these 10,000 tons of CO2.” [Photo: Julia Dunlop]
In both cases, the captured CO2 would eventually be released back into the atmosphere. But the company also plans to use CO2 to make carbon-neutral products. Using renewable energy, it can split water (which is created as a by-product of its process) to create hydrogen, and then combine that with the carbon dioxide in various processes to create plastics (for example, for recycled CO2 sneakers) or fuel.

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Ultimately, the company wants to sell its ability to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it underground, and it thinks that the market may be ready to pay sooner than the startup initially expected. The IPCC, the international body that issues massive, comprehensive reports on climate change, has estimated that the world will need to be removing an average of 10 gigatons of CO2–10 billion tons–a year from the atmosphere by midcentury.

“If we say that by the middle of the century we want to do 10 billion tons per year, that’s probably something where we need to start today,” says Wurzbacher. “Based on our experiences now on the market, we are very confident that we will be able to develop a market in the very near future, maybe next year or in two or three years, to sell these negative emissions.”

Because there isn’t yet a global price on carbon, the company imagines that the first customers might be corporations that need help reaching ambitious climate goals. After adopting more obvious solutions, like renewable energy, increased efficiency, and changes in materials or transportation, a company might turn to negative emissions to help it offset the remainder of its footprint.

[Photo: Julia Dunlop]
Wurzbacher contrasts it with other carbon trading or certificate schemes, such as paying to have trees planted somewhere. “It’s always hard to grasp what’s really happening if you do these schemes,” he says. “Unlike that, if a company pays us to remove 10,000 tons of CO2 from the air, we’re actually putting a plant in place that extracts these 10,000 tons of CO2.”

Planting trees or preserving existing forests is likely to also be a critical way to absorb CO2. “The best example of carbon dioxide removal technology that we know how to do now is grow more forest and to protect the carbon content of soils,” says Field. “And those are technologies that we know how to do now that provide extensive co-benefits and are ripe for taking advantage of.”

But direct air capture plants have some advantages that could make them an important part of the solution as well: The CO2 capture plant is roughly a thousand times more efficient than photosynthesis.

“Air capture costs money, so anything we can do which is cheaper than air capture, we should do it, definitely.” [Photo: Julia Dunlop]
“One CO2 collector has the same footprint as a tree,” says Wurzbacher. “It takes 50 tons of CO2 out of the air every year. A corresponding tree would take 50 kilograms of the air every year. It’s a factor of a thousand. So in order to achieve the same, you would need 1,000 times less area than you would require for plants growing.” The CO2 collectors can also be used in areas that wouldn’t be suitable for agriculture, helping preserve land needed for farming, and they don’t require a water source, unlike some afforestation efforts. They can also run on renewable energy.

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Still, to have the impact needed, the CO2 capture plants would need to be built at a massive scale. The first plant in Switzerland can capture 900 tons of carbon dioxide in a year, roughly the same amount of emissions as 200 cars. The company calculated how many shipping container-sized units would be needed to capture 1% of global emissions; the answer was 750,000.

In one sense, Wurzbacher says that this is less enormous than it might seem. The same number of shipping containers pass through the Port of Shanghai every two weeks. But to capture the 10 gigatons of emissions needed, between 10 and 20 other carbon capture companies would have to have equally large operations. (As of today, a handful of others, such as Carbon Engineering and Global Thermostat, are working on similar technology.)

Field, the Stanford scientist, argues that it’s important to remember that the technologies, while promising, are early-stage and unproven, and will face challenges in scaling up, especially if there isn’t a price on carbon. He also says it’s critical that people don’t get the wrong idea about the potential–the possibility of carbon capture isn’t a license to pollute more now.

“We need to start scaling it today if we want to be able to put away these 10 gigatons every year by 2040 or 2050.” [Photo: Julia Dunlop]
“What we should not be doing is ethically kicking the can down the road and then say, ‘Oh, we’ll probably figure out something later that we can then utilize,'” he says. “Many of the scenarios that come forward in the models that are cost effective do exactly that: They say we’ll come up with this technology, based on incomplete information it will be cheap and effective, the land will be available, and people will embrace this. That might be right. But there’s almost no evidence confirming that it’s right.”

But that note of caution doesn’t mean the technology isn’t necessary. “CO2 removal is a really good idea,” he says. “And a lot of the technologies ought to be deployed today. A lot of technologies ought to be explored.”

“Air capture costs money, so anything we can do which is cheaper than air capture, we should do it, definitely,” says Wurzbacher. “But we’ll need this on top of that. And we’ll not only need to develop it today, but we need to start scaling it today if we want to be able to put away these 10 gigatons every year by 2040 or 2050.”

Capturing carbon, he says, is as important as the massive shift to a low-carbon economy. “It’s not either/or,” he says. “It’s both.”
About the author

Adele Peters is a staff writer at Fast Company who focuses on solutions to some of the world's largest problems, from climate change to homelessness. Previously, she worked with GOOD, BioLite, and the Sustainable Products and Solutions program at UC Berkeley.

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    05.26.17 career evolution

This Is The Part Of Your Resume That Recruiters Look At First
If you don’t have their attention in the first 10 lines, you probably never will.
This Is The Part Of Your Resume That Recruiters Look At First
[Photo: KittisakJirasittichai/iStock]

By Andrew Fennell4 minute Read

If you want to land job interviews, your entire resume needs to be great, but only one part of it has to be really great. Think of it this way: recruiters and hiring managers are most likely to encounter your resume as an email attachment or a PDF you submit through a company’s online submission form, right? When they open the file, only the top half—at most—is going to fill their screen. That’s the part you need to lavish the most attention on. If you don’t give them a reason to scroll down and read more, it’s all over for you.
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Here’s what it takes to make the best use of that high-value real estate.
Use Limited Space Wisely

In web design, this section is referred to “above the fold”–an expression that originated in the newspaper industry, where the most important headlines were printed literally above the part where the paper folded in half. For designers today, the same principle holds true: What’s visible to a reader when they open a webpage or document is the part where those crucial first impressions take place.

On your resume, the area above the fold sits within the red-dotted line in this example.

Since you can only fit so much into this amount of space, you’ve got to choose wisely what goes in there. Keep your page margins to a minimum and your contact details brief, this way you can squeeze the most critical info into that area.

Related: Three Ways To Add Personality To Your Resume (And Three Ways Not To

But don’t just cram in as much as you can. Think of your resume’s top quarter as your shop window. You want to place the most attractive items inside it, to entice more visitors into your store. That means you want to use this space to introduce yourself in the most compelling–though not necessarily the most comprehensive–terms possible, bullet out your core skills, and still have some space left to show off your most recent role.
Sell Yourself With A Punchy Profile

Your resume is essentially a marketing document for your services as an employee, so starting with an elevator-style pitch is a great way to reel people in.
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A profile section of around five to eight lines that gives a high-level summary of your abilities in a well-written, persuasive manner, can set the tone for your resume.

Just make sure that your profile doesn’t read like an objective statement–employers don’t want to know about what you want (presumably, that’s the job you’re applying for). Your resume should be written purely to sell your talents and get your foot in the door. A profile, on the other hand, while a little unorthodox, lets you summarize your experience and skills persuasively and tells the employer the benefits that you can provide to the role.

Related: The Most Common Resume Lies (And Who Is Most Likely To Tell Them)

If you decide to write a profile section, avoid tired clichés like, “hardworking team player, dedicated to achieving results.” Although impressive-sounding, this overused, generic expression doesn’t describe what you’ll actually do in the workplace. You may well be a hardworking team player, but it’s better to demonstrate this point with evidence, rather than simply stating it. Instead, try something like: “established IT sales consultant with five years of experience providing multimillion-dollar database solutions to global retail organizations.”

The key is to offer a concise snippet of context, factual evidence, and even metrics, while giving the impression that you’re a results-driven hard worker—all before getting to your work experience section.
Add A Core Skills Section

A core skills section is a simple bulleted list that sits underneath your profile and highlights your most in-demand skills and knowledge. This section should give recruiters an instant snapshot of your skillset at a glance.

Make sure you do your research to determine which skills to promote here. This section should be reserved for essential talents only, and each point should be kept short and punchy–at three words or less.
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Highlight Your Most Recent Role

If your most recent role is the most relevant one to the vacancy you’re applying for, then you should make sure a good chunk of it is visible when someone opens your resume.

Head the role up with an outline giving a description of the organization you work for, where you sit within the hierarchy, and an overall summary of your accomplishments on the job. The key here is to demonstrate as many sought-after talents above the fold as you can.

If possible, try to add some impressive achievements with quantifiable results to prove the impact you’ve made. Any instances where you saved costs, generated revenue, or improved efficiency are always worth noting. For example: “negotiated new supplier deals resulting in a 10% decrease in budget spend annually” or, “delivered all project deliverables three months ahead of scheduled deadline.”

Statements like these allow recruiters to see the true scale of your work and benchmark you against their own standards.

If you can create a well-structured resume that highlights the best you’ve got to offer all within the first third or so of the document, you’ll increase your chances of landing interviews. Remember, if you can’t get recruiters interested in the first few lines of your resume, they’ll have no reason to read the last few.

Andrew Fennell is an experienced recruiter, founder of London CV writing service StandOut CV, and author of The Ultimate CV Writing Guide.

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