1. Unnecessary Ideological Information
Want to shout out to the world your religious or political views? Maybe not in your resume. In fact, mentioning either puts the hirer in a tough spot. Especially if the company is American.
American companies are subject to American labor law [even when operating outside the US]. They have strict anti-discrimination policies. So when you bring up such issues, the hiring manager starts to squirm. Suddenly, interviewing you seems as comfortable as telling gay jokes on the evening news.
Also, if the hirer interviews and rejects you, are you going to accuse them of doing it because you’re Catholic, Muslim, or watch Michael Moore docus? They’re not taking that chance.
Include a strong statement of your beliefs, and the hirer will develop an equally strong aversion to your phone number.
2. Tales of Your Exciting Student Years
If it happened before you were 16, think before putting it on your resume. It had better be on par with “At 14, I taught myself French with nothing but a dictionary and a DVD of Vivre Pour Vivre.”
If you’re fresh out of school and never had a job, it’s excusable. But if you’ve been working more than three years, mentioning your boy scout merits is just pathetic. The hirer will assume you have no serious accomplishments, and that your best years ended after winning a smiley face in the Primary School science fair.
Besides, most hirers gloss over such details. As if they can be bothered calling your old principal to check.
3. How Much Money You Want
A good salesman doesn’t open with the price. You want the hirer to be all psyched up, before you start talking pesos.
If you make it to the interview, you can at least negotiate. But if you give your quote early, your resume might go straight to the trashcan.
Try to hold off on salary discussions until you’re asked. If you must indicate your price, give a range. Most hirers will pick something in the middle. A better idea is to describe your expected pay without numbers. You could expect “entry level pay”, for example.
4. Confidential Information From Your Previous Job
Never betray your former employer’s confidence. Don’t mention their trade secrets, inside dealings, or work processes.
Otherwise, under “known conditions” your hirer is going to write “a big mouth”. Which, as far as they’re concerned, is incurable. This is a trust issue: Revealing confidential information suggests you lack integrity. What’s to say that, if they hire you, their multi-million dollar research won’t end up on Gizmodo’s front page?
Besides, think of the legal ramifications. Do you know what happens if your former employer finds out? You may as well scrawl “sue me” on your cover letter.
5. Corporate Speak
It’s great that you improved efficiency in your old workplace. It’s not so great when you describe it as “re-contextualizing a saturated praxis”.
If your resume reads like management textbook, maybe you ought to go write one instead. Because you won’t be getting that job. Hirers get suspicious of people who use corporate speak; it suggests you’re pretentious and obscure. At the very least, you might be an ivory tower graduate.
A bit of corporate jargon is fine, but your resume shouldn’t make the hirer frown and ask: “Are these all real words?”
6. Any Pictures Other Than Your Head Shot
This photo might look good in your Facebook page, but not in your resume. Actually, you don’t even need a head shot these days. The only companies that want a lot of pictures are modeling agencies, retail outlets, and types of businesses I’m not allowed to discuss here.
Including a full body picture of yourself, or a range of pictures, is tacky. Like you copy-pasted your Facebook page on their screen. Besides, think of how the hirer feels: If the only six-pack you have is in your fridge, it’s merely embarrassing. If you’re certifiably hot, they’ll be accused of hiring you for your appearance. That’s not a spot you want to place anyone in.
Save the pictures for when they’re requested (and keep them professional).
This move targets abs, obliques, hips, and butts.
- Lie face-up on mat with knees bent, feet hip-width apart on floor, arms by sides.Extend right leg straight up toward ceiling, engage abs, and lift hips off floor, forming a straight line from left knee to shoulder.Raise arms straight over shoulders. Make 8 small circles with right leg. Switch direction of circles; repeat. Lower.Switch legs and repeat.
This move targets back, arms, abs, and legs.
- Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms overhead, palms in.A. Lunge forward with left leg, knee bent 90 degrees, keeping right leg straight and leaning forward slightly from hips as you lower arms behind you.B. Push off left foot to stand upright, then extend left leg in front of you and lift arms overhead. Return to lunge. Do 15 reps; switch legs and repeat.
This move targets back, arms, abs, butt, and legs.
- Stand with legs more than shoulder-width apart, feet turned out 45 degrees. Squat, keeping knees above ankles, as you bring both hands below waist in front of you, elbows slightly bent, palms up. Push up, straightening left leg, lifting right foot to place it on inside of left thigh, and sweep arms overhead (elbows slightly bent, palms in). Return to squat. Do 15 reps; switch legs and repeat.
This move targets shoulders, back, abs, obliques, hips, and legs.
- Stand with feet hip-width apart.A. Step right leg behind and to left of left leg, bending both knees 90 degrees (to curtsy) as you lift arms overhead, palms in.B. Straighten left leg as you sweep right leg out to right and lower arms to should level. Lower into curtsy (step a). Do 12 reps; switch legs and repeat.
This move targets abs, obliques, hips, and butts.
- Lie faceup on mat with knees bent, feet hip-width apart on floor, arms by sides. Extend right leg straight up toward ceiling, engage abs, and lift hips off floor, forming a straight line from left knee to shoulder. Raise arms straight over shoulders. Make 8 small circles with right leg. Switch direction of circles; repeat. Lower. Switch legs
Looking after your back, is by far, one of the most important things you can do as part of your daily routine. Anyone who’s ever had a back ache will agree on how it affects every other aspect of your life and can range from mild discomfort to being utterly debilitating.
Taking care of your back
The back extends from the neck, down to the buttocks, lending support to many structures and organs en route like the ribs and the pelvis. The back is formed by bones called vertebrae which are placed one on top of the other to form the spine.
There are many causes of backaches and most of them can be prevented by applying some basic principles, while others are serious enough to prompt a visit to the physician. Here are some general tips one can follow to keep the back in good shape.
Top 10 tips for a healthier back:
Pay attention to your posture:
This cannot be said enough. Slouching, sitting on sofas which do not offer firm support to the back and sleeping in an awkward position may give you a stiff back the next morning. Reclining in a chair without support to the lower back in the form of a cushion is a no-no. Sleeping on the side in the foetal position is the best way to take the pressure off a weak back.
Do you have a desk job? Then this workplace ergonomics article is a must for you.
Maintain optimum weight:
When you put on more weight than your frame can carry, you put pressure on the muscles of the back and abdomen which were not designed to be overloaded. This kind of backache is simply the muscles protesting against the added burden.
Avoid direct pressure on the spine:
When someone other than a professional offers to give you a back massage they may put pressure directly over the spine. This is a wrong technique and may further compound the problem. The best way is to massage on both sides of the spine in a symmetrical fashion with circular motions.
Be active and on the move:
Being in any one posture for long intervals of time causes a sore back. If you have a desk job, make sure you walk during your coffee and lunch breaks. This improves your blood circulation and uses the muscles to an extent.
While bending, one must remember not to bend from the waist but from the knees keeping the back straight as far as possible. This is especially important while lifting luggage or heavy items.
Increase exercise reps slowly and steadily:
Many people injure their backs while working out in the gym because of lack of correct instruction. Overdoing abdominal crunches, using heavier weights than you are used to and increasing your reps drastically will land you with a bad back. You land up with a muscle strain and then have to ease off or avoid the workout altogether.
For an acute backache:
Put up your feet and get some rest. Use ice packs a few times a day for the first two days, then switch over to heat in the form of hot compresses or a hot water bag.
Stretch a sore back:
Stretching is a great way to relieve backache. While lying flat on the bed, bring your knees slowly to your chest and put a little pressure then relax and repeat. This is helpful for lower back pain.
Get out of bed right:
When the alarm clock rings every morning the first thought is to hurry out of bed. Resist the thought and take your time. First roll over to the edge of the bed and lie flat on your back. Then bring your feet down to the floor and bend your upper body sideways. Do not get up vertically and sit in bed as that puts a lot of pressure on the back.
An aspirin a day can help chronic backaches, which last for days together due to their anti-inflammatory effect. An alternative is ibuprofen or another NSAID. Before starting on medication, check with your doctor first.
Bonus tip! Join a yoga or t’ai chi class:
The stretches in yoga and t’ai chi when done correctly will strengthen back muscles so make sure you find a good instructor for whatever you choose to follow. Backache will be a thing of the past.
Written by Dr Nisreen Nakhoda, General Physician