Time to polish that resume!

If you’ve just finished your degree or you’re looking for work, there’s a good chance you’ll need to update your resume. There’s an even higher chance some of you reading this haven’t done it in years.

Your resume is your introduction to potential future employers – and first impressions count. Here are some tips to help you give your resume the update it deserves.

1. Check for god damn spelling mistakes
I’m that one friend everyone sends their resume to for feedback. I can’t tell you the amount of times someone has spelled something as simple as their own email address incorrectly, put down the wrong phone number or made mistakes that would have been picked up on if they’d taken the extra five minutes to do a final edit themselves.
My best advice is to leave it for an hour or two (or overnight, if you can) then do your final check before sending off to a potential employer.

First, triple-check that your contact information is absolutely correct. Then, spell check using the spell checker on Word or whatever program you’re using. Last of all, do a final check yourself to be sure nothing was missed by the spell checker.

2. Make a generic copy, then tailor it to suit the position you’re applying for
You should ideally have two versions of your resume: a generic copy with all of the key details in it, and then a copy that you’ve made specifically for the position you’re applying, making sure to addresses all of the criteria in the job description that is relevant to you and your skill set. The resume you submit shouldn’t copy the requirements of the job verbatim, but the recruiter should be able to pick yours out of the pile and say ‘yep, they can do what we need them to’. Copying the exact wording of the job description is sloppy, and won’t be the best impression for a future employer.

3. Your high school probably doesn’t matter 
Once you’ve made your tailored resume for the job you’re applying for, make sure the ‘stuff’ on your resume is actually relevant. If you have a degree or higher education qualification, your high school probably doesn’t matter. If you’re applying for a job in your field of expertise and you have tonnes of experience, your first job in fast food isn’t relevant anymore. Although, if you don’t have a lot of experience, I’d leave it on there. Your early jobs are a great way to showcase your problem solving and people skills!

Essentially, keep it simple and prioritise quality over quantity. You want to hone in on the experience you have that will give you the edge in the new role, rather than focus on the small stuff and make it a painstakingly long read for the recruiter. Don’t go overboard with the amount of pages. If you’re resume is over four pages long, you especially need to take this advice. Less is more!

 

4. Don’t go overboard with pie charts or graphics
There’s a trend at the moment where people are adding pie charts to their resumes. I urge you not to jump on the trend – someone is going to take one look at it and wonder why you’re only 18% proficient in Microsoft Office. Graphics do add a nice and personalised touch to a resume, but don’t go overboard. You don’t want to stand out in a bad way. Don’t pick colours that are too bright, stick to a readable font like Arial and ensure there is plenty of white space.

5. Back yourself
Under your work experience, don’t just say ‘worked on a project’. Say something like, ‘I worked on a communications project that reached an audience of 800 people and was 90% successful’ or ‘social media engagement grew by 40%’. You want to tell the employer what you did and what it meant for the business or customer to show that you have the skills and the stats to back yourself up.

Now, I’m not a recruiter. But if you can polish your resume and go into each application with confidence and a good attitude, you’re bound to go far.

Written by Amanda Louise

Amanda Louise is a writer and photographer based on the South Coast of New South Wales, Australia. You can view more of her work at http://amandalouise.squarespace.com/

Image credit: Giphy

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Is the Australian hardcore scene dying?

219 Parramatta Road was the home of one of Sydney’s most important venues, Black Wire Records. A beloved space for many of Sydney’s subcultures, it had (and still has) a profound impact on the cultural fabric of the city.

Black Wire closed in 2018, after a significant rent and rate increase plus a local council crackdown on zoning, following an incident with a café turned bondage club just up the road.

Black Wire was special – an intimate space with tour posters covering the walls, barely enough room to move and a giant bear claw located in the corner for reasons still unknown. It had space out the back, down the stairs, with tables and chairs and greenery where we sat and spoke to our friends between bands. It was more than just a venue. It was a space for community, acceptance and a platform for anyone from any background to share their art and music.

Venues shut all the time. Hardcore music in Australia has always managed to adapt. But, with less All Ages spaces and even less shows being put on across the country, the closure of Black Wire was another nail in the coffin to a seemingly already suffering scene. With the closure of Blacktown Masonic Hall still so fresh in the minds of those involved in heavy music, does the closure of these spaces mark the end of hardcore in Sydney, and Australia alike?

Pocketed deep within suburbia, Blacktown Masonic Hall was the place where many of the hardcore kids today began going to shows. A large variety of bands from overseas, interstate and across New South Wales played to the mix of hardcore and metalcore kids who came out to the countless shows over its eight years of existence.

Blacktown Masonic Hall’s final show was in June 2015. The building went up for sale, and rumour has it that it would be demolished and turned into an apartment block. Reminiscent of your local school hall, the venue was large and memorable for its hanging flower pots over the moshpit and a photo of the Queen directly behind the stage. Like Black Wire, it’s now a relic of the past.

Svetlana has been going to local shows for 8 years. “If I was to describe a Masonic Hall show to someone I would call it wild and unapologetically Western. Everyone knew each other which helped to bring a sense of familiarity and friendliness to every show, and by that same token, weren’t afraid to be rough with each other, even to the dismay of others,” she said.

“Each show began as seeing and meeting friends, and ended with people leaving the venue sore and injured but feeling accomplished -it was part of the culture of the venue,” she said.

While the hardcore scene is known for its often violent and chaotic live shows, it’s about more than just that. It’s also a mindset based on ethics, positivity and a DIY attitude.

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“Hardcore has impacted my life in a big way. Without hardcore I wouldn’t have met some of my closest friends and experienced some of my most memorable moments. It has been an influence on me in many ways, and gave me a place of belonging as I grew up,” Svetlana explained.

The closure of these spaces carry negative consequences for the wider Australian hardcore scene. But, new bands, record labels and spaces are popping up to carry the weight of what has been left behind. I spoke to two individuals making their mark on Australian hardcore: Drew, owner of Naked Noise Records, and Sabrina, vocalist of up-and-coming Brisbane band Empower.

Drew started Naked Noise Records out of an interest in how they operate and the organisational end of the music industry: booking shows, promoting and organising releases.

“Hardcore has taught me some valuable life lessons. It’s shaped me to be who I am today and I’m very thankful for that,” Drew said.

“If anyone is saying that Australian hardcore is dead they either A, aren’t paying attention, B in it for the wrong reasons or C, just don’t care anymore.”

Sabrina, the vocalist of up-and-coming band Empower, mirrors these views: “I wouldn’t say hardcore is dead. Sure, it’s not as active and alive as it once was, but it’s still around. At least in Brisbane, I feel like it’s picking up again but it’s hard to say how long it’ll last. We need to encourage others to start bands, put on All Ages shows or even bring their siblings to shows to keep the flame burning.”

For the bands and people like Drew and Sabrina who don’t care about the money or trying to make a brand out of it, hardcore will always live. No matter how many or how few venues there are.

Written by Amanda Louise

Amanda Louise is a writer and photographer based on the South Coast of New South Wales, Australia. You can view more of her work at http://amandalouise.squarespace.com/

Image Credit: Sound Advice, Black Wire Records

How to thrift like a pro

With the cost of living only growing, thrifting is a great way to update your wardrobe and invest in quality pieces without breaking the bank at the same time. I’ve thrifted SO MUCH over the years – from great vintage pieces to work wear and designer clothing with the tags still on.

It’s a cheap way to revive your look or pull together the things you need for work, uni or an upcoming event. Plus, it’s sustainable and better for the environment than heading down to your local shopping centre and buying a cheap shirt that won’t last longer than three washes. Here are my tips on how to get the most out of your next visit to Vinnies or the Salvos:

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1.Be Open

No thrift store is the same – some are huge spaces dedicated to clothing, and others have a tiny clothing section at the back. Visiting a thrift store can often feel overwhelming due to the sheer size or number of items inside.

To combat this and get the most out of the store, a good approach is to have an open mind and take it slow. If you’re set on finding a specific item from a specific brand in a specific size, you’ll leave the store feeling deflated when you don’t find it. Because there’s a very high chance you won’t. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to find a particular item, for example a pair of blue jeans or a plain black skirt, but don’t let this stop you from exploring what the rest of the store has to offer. If you walk in there knowing you want a pair of light blue Acne jeans in a size 32, you’ll be leaving empty handed.

Take your time and don’t rush. Don’t stick to the confines of gender categories or size categories. Check out the jackets even if you’re searching for pants. If you’re drawn to certain styles or colours, look there even if it’s not your normal style. Avoid falling into the trap of only running to the designer label section (if there is one) – it’ll be slightly more expensive and sometimes brands will fly under the radar and end up with the other stock. By having an open approach in thrift stores, you’ll be surprised at what you might find.

2. Don’t just shop in areas known for their great thrift stores

Areas that are known for their great thrift stores often make the items more expensive. Also, by the time you get there, no doubt everything good will have been thrifted before you even arrive. While these areas are still great to visit and often you will find gems, the best places to thrift are in the suburbs or whatever random store you come across on your day off.

I’ve thrifted in most cities in Australia, and found 90% of the best purchases in suburban stores. I found a brand new Forever New faux leather skirt with the tags still on for $5, a brand new Diana Ferrari jacket that retailed for $170 originally with a $10 price tag and an almost brand new Cue white button down work shirt for $4 in a random thrift store in a small town on the South Coast of NSW. There’s another thrift store in a suburb near me that gets sent left over clothes from brands like Atmos & Here. I once found Zimmerman and Kenzo in another. I also found an amazing Mt Fuji tour guide vintage jumper in the men’s section of another suburban Vinnies. Trust me, the suburbs are where it’s at.

3. Look out for sales

If you find a thrift store you really like or if there’s one you drive/walk/bus past every day, look in the window and see if there’s a sale coming up. This is a great time to go thrifting – you’ll save some extra $$$ and the buzz of lots of people around makes it way more fun.

4. Try it on

The day I found Kenzo jeans in Vinnies was one of the greatest moments for me in thrifting history. I saw the label, bought them immediately. Got home – and they didn’t fit.

It’s a good idea to try everything on before you buy, especially with vintage clothing or older styles as the sizing can be very different. I’m normally a size 14-16, but I’ve fit into size 10 before in a thrift shop. Keep that in mind while you’re browsing the store, and don’t be afraid to try something one or two sizes too big or small than what you are today.  

5. Don’t be a brand snobdfb.jpg

Two of my favourite and most worn thrifted items were originally from Target. Although I do love the thrill of finding big brands in these stores, don’t shy away from the rest. You don’t need to spend money to look great, and the label on the back of your shirt is meaningless if the item is ill fitted or doesn’t suit who you are.

Happy thrifting! 

Written by Amanda Louise

Amanda Louise is a writer and photographer based on the South Coast of New South Wales, Australia. You can view more of her work at http://amandalouise.squarespace.com/

 

Image Credit: Uproxx, Emma Chamberlain