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Thursday, September 6, 2012 People to Watch: Our Annual Survey of Newly Notables

 Walter M. Kimbrough
President, Dillard University

Walter M. Kimbrough knew he was where he was supposed to be when he became the president of Dillard University in July 2012. Raised by a United Methodist preacher for a father and a religion teacher and book author for a mother, Kimbrough grew up learning the idea of “fulfilling your calling.” “Being a college president is my calling, to engage young people so they can serve their communities,” Kimbrough says. “My favorite thing is being with the students.”

The Dillard University position is Kimbrough’s second college president role. He came to Dillard from Philander Smith College, located in Little Rock, Ark., where he tackled the development of the school’s unique brand identity. He also greatly improved student performance, which was measured in retention and graduation rates. Kimbrough says he helped make Philander Smith College a stronger institution, a goal he also has for Dillard. “My long-term goal is to be at Dillard,” Kimbrough says. “I want to provide stable leadership so that we can secure the future of this institution, as well as determine how we can best meet the needs of the Gentilly community as well as the city of New Orleans.”

Kimbrough spent his first days on the job meeting faculty and staff. He is looking forward to meeting new people and meeting with constituent groups and community partners as he continues his role. For those who don’t get the chance to meet Kimbrough in person, they can join the more than 4,200 users that follow him on Twitter (@hiphopprez).


Your All-In-One Guide To Building The Perfect Resume by Aaron Couch

Your All-In-One Guide To Building The Perfect Resume

Whether you just graduated, are returning to school or are looking for a new job, within or outside your career, you need a resume. But not just a resume. You need a great resume. One which will stand out among the rest and help you land that job which you're hoping will make some positive impact on your life.
My first tip of advice before you even start is to not get lost in the resume, but remember what you're trying to accomplish. Not only does your resume reflect you, but it also attracts or repels certain kinds of employers. Obviously you want the good ones, and your resume can be that filter. That said, however, you always need to stand behind what is on your resume because ultimately you are what makes the difference in the interview and job.
Lastly, you might be thinking "Writing a resume has nothing to do with technology." Au contraire. It has everything to do with technology... unless you write yours with a feather pen on animal hide.

The Most Important Part Of The Resume

What would you consider the most important part of a resume? Your education? Skillset? Experience? Vast knowledge in a specific area? In my opinion, all of those are great, but none of them are the most important aspect of your resume. The most important part of your resume is your contact information. Think about it.
If you were an employer looking through vast amounts, or even just a few resumes and you stumbled upon one that "wowed" you, but included no contact information, what would you think? What would you do? First off, a thought might occur that they aren't attentive to details enough to even remember to include it. Second, you might not have the time or even care to try to find their contact information. Perhaps it was even in an email signature or something and you have it somewhere, but you are likely to not put much effort if they can't even do that much.
Next, it's important where it goes. As tempting as it may be, don't place your contact information (or anything really) in the header or footer. The primary reason being that if you submit your resume online to a transposing database, the header and footer are likely to be missed in the scanning for key words and phases. This is because most just scan through the body of the resume.

A One Page Resume? Really?

There is a common thought out there that your resume shouldn't extend one page, unless you are something special. And sadly, students in high school and universities are learning this still. I cannot count the times I was told this in school, even college. In fact, my last semester before I graduated I was applying for a job and asked an instructor for her input on my already stellar resume (I thought so, anyways). This was one of the things she told me to do - only make it one page. But when looking at my resume, that was clearly unrealistic. I had far too many valuable experiences to just cut them out, even if they all weren't completely "relevant" to the job I was applying for - which I'll cover later.
The answer to your question is "No. You don't have to make it one page." However, there are some guidelines to follow here:
  • Don't add filler information, larger font or extra spaces just to make it two pages.
  • Don't make the font too small and hard to read to make it fit to one or two pages.
  • It should be equal. If it's two pages, make it a full two pages.
  • If it spills just over one page, tweak your resume until it fits.
  • Focus on content, not length. Once you have quality content, then make the size adjustments.
As you might see, they somewhat contradict each other in a way, but I think you should understand it. These are the tips that helped me. I can't remember how or when I learned them. It was likely a combination or the Internet, school (very minimal) and personal experience through self-teaching.

Create A Clean, Easy-To-Follow Layout

In some ways, this goes right along with how many pages you have. You definitely want to customize the layout to the number of pages that you have. There are a couple aspects in having an easy-to-follow resume. First, you must have a nice template. You don't want something busy or obnoxious. Something that makes it easy to find the information the interviewer is looking for. Another side, however, is less about the actual template and more about how you position your content.
Be consistent. I can't emphasize this enough. If you do something one way in an area of your resume, do it that same way throughout the rest of it. If you change how something is positioned. If necessary, make that same change in all other areas of your resume. You want your resume to flow, not have your interviewer feel like they're in a chaotic abyss of words when reading your resume.
As far as choosing a template goes, there are tons of them. If you're using Word, Microsoft has several. The internet is full of ideas and there are even ways to use LinkedIn to create your resume for you. Although, I wouldn't necessarily condone only using that as your main resume, but it's a nice option. What I did was get an idea from a resume I saw and created one for myself, making custom tweaks here and there to my liking, while keeping the basic layout the same. It doesn't matter what template you choose, as long as it meets the requirements of being easily read.
perfect resume
There are also a lot of ways to make your resume. From infographics to clever designs to videos. However, though these are very cool, I don't personally feel they're very practical... especially not for all careers across the board. Some careers strive for creative individuals that stand out from the rest - these are the kind of resumes that fit. All other careers simply should have pretty basic resumes. That doesn't mean it has to be boring to read. Just like a story, you want the interview to feel engaged when reading it, to be impressed when they set it down... or better yet, not be able to set it down, but to continue to look through it.

Be Concise, But Thorough.

how to write a perfect resume
Content plays a huge role in whether your layout looks lean or not. You can have a great looking template, but not an easy to read resume. This is likely due to your content not being as clear and concise as it should be. Keeping things as short as possible is important. Let me put an asterisk by that though. You don't want a vague resume. Meaning, you want to be thorough and avoid short, one to two word lines. It's ok to have sentences  and explain yourself in your resume. This was something I learned by myself as well.
In high school, I felt as if they pushed your resume to summarize your professional life. And to an extent you want it to, but not too much to the point that you have dwindled down every skill and experience. In fact, many of the cliched phrases and sayings for resumes are derived from this very principle of "minimalism." Again, you want to be concise, and certainly not redundant, but you need to make sure that you are also explaining who you are, what you've done,and maybe even why you have done it.

Impress, But Be Honest

how to write a perfect resume
Obviously you want your resume to stand out from the rest. You've gone to great measures choosing a killer template, creating excellent content... oh, content. About that. Reread everything you've got on your resume. How much of that have you literally accomplished? Have you specified your extent of knowledge in that skill or experience? Let's say you have "Managed a team to create... blah blah blah." Did you really manage the team? Or did you just observe them? Perhaps you did help manage the team, but in that phrase, it sounds like you were the sole manager. Were there others of equal stature whom you worked with to manage the team? These are important things to include. I have found myself being a little overzealous when writing/editing my resume and often need to step back and look at things a little bit more realistically.
In the image blow you can see I chose the word "assisted." There are a lot more powerful words that sound better, but essentially that is all I did and it wouldn't be right to set a bar higher than what my skill level depicts. Also, the majority of the time, being honest will impress.
how to write a perfect resume

Forget References

a perfect resume
Ok, so don't literally forget them. But don't add them, not mention anything referring to them on your resume. For a long time I added "references available" in the footer. Then I read how that is not really necessary since employers assume that you will have references, especially if you're "sharp" - which your resume will often indicate. Employers typically will ask for references later.
However, depending on the situation, they do sometimes ask for references at the same time of the resume (or sometimes, you just know they're going to want them right away). In these situations, I do include three references which are the most relevant to the job I'm applying for. I have a separate resume created with my references already in it so all I need to do is swap out any references, if I so desire, change their contact information and send it away.
That is an exception though. For the general resume that you might hand out and certainly for any public resume of yours which you post to the internet, leave out the references. If the employers like what they see, they'll contact you for more. It also gives them a reason to contact you for more, and indirectly tells you they're interested. The more contact you have with them the better so you don't want to give them everything they want right away, unless of course they directly ask for it.

Grammar, Grammar, Grammar

Grammar. I can't emphasize it enough. I've said it four times and I still don't feel that you quite understand what I'm getting at. Alright, so I'll assume that you do. Honestly though, this is one of the most important aspects of your resume. I'd almost say it's right below remembering to add and having proper placement of contact information. If you don't have an outstanding skillset expressed on your resume, but have flawless grammar, you're already above average. It doesn't just show that you know how to make a resume, but that you pay attention to detail. Detail that also will be expected on the job, no matter what you do. If you have trouble with this, don't just do it on your resume, practice it in every day life so that when you do get a job, you don't disappoint.
As you can see, even I mess up grammar occasionally. Although it doesn't happen often.
a perfect resume

One Resume Doesn't Fit All

I've already mentioned this briefly when referring to having multiple resumes, one with and one without references. However, it doesn't stop there. I highly recommend you tweak your resume per job. Slightly adjust your objective to match what you are expecting from that job and what they are looking for. Add any skills that you have that may be more relevant to the job. Just adjust the overall focus of your resume to that company. It should also relate to the cover letter you write to them and include many of the same things.
Since graduating, I've applied at several places which are very different. Not all of the places were paying, some volunteer, like zoos, but many still requested a resume. From an avian sanctuary to two zoos to several vet clinics, my resume had a lot of tweaks. Had I not created multiple versions, I would have been in a mess and would have been constantly changing and editing what I wanted that particular organization to see.
a perfect resume
Instead of having to make the whole thing again, I recommend saving it as another version, opening that version and making the changes, then saving it again. That way you don't overwrite your other versions of resumes. I also recommend having PDF and DOC versions of your resume. Personally, I prefer sending a PDF version versus a DOC version. Most of the time that is what employers want anyways.

Manage Your Resumes

After creating resume after resume, you will soon realize that they need to be managed some how. If you're somewhat unfamiliar with file management in general, I encourage you to read my article about that. In that article I talk about naming your files according to what is included in them and also dating them. This is especially important with resumes. It's nice to know what resume is for what job. For instance, I have a resume for a vet assistant position, a zoo keeper position and for working at an avian sanctuary. Plus, I have my general resume. It would be impossible to keep all of these straight it they didn't have a proper description.
Along with describing, dating the file name is also important. Not just when you initially created it, but as you update it, change the name to when you last updated it. For me, I just go by month and don't really need to get more specific than that. This has proven very helpful because I might have forgotten about adding something recent to my resume, but will be reminded when I see it hasn't been updated for two months.
Lastly, put all your resumes in one folder. If you want to access these from other places, online cloud backup and sync applications like SugarSync and Dropbox are excellent solutions. It also is in your benefit to use such programs since they have file versioning and live updating to automatically detect and save any changes you make.

Tell A Story

perfect resume
Remember that your resume is basically a timeline of your professional life. At first it may seem bleak, especially if you don't have much professional experience. But be creative. Share about what life experiences you've gone through. Have you done Eagle Scouts? What about volunteer work, specifically in your area of interest? What extra curricular activities did you do in school? What skills have you taught yourself through your interests in a particular career? These are all things that you can include and should include on your resume. There are so many more things as well, but hopefully those questions will trigger some ideas for you to compound on and work with.

Conclusion - It's Only The Beginning

So you've finished your resume. Congrats! Now I'm going to tell you that your resume is an ever growing, ever changing, live document. It will never be finished. For now, you are content with it. But soon you will think of something else to add or do something else that should be put on there. This is fine and you shouldn't get discouraged about the never ending resume work. In fact, be proud that yours doesn't sit around outdated.
Your resume is just the first part of your presentation. Like I said in the beginning, you are what makes a difference. Be sure that you can back up everything on your resume, and if in doubt, allow a little leeway to go beyond what you wrote in your resume. If you don't agree with something here, I am more than willing to hear your argument and embrace different viewpoints.
Have you developed a resume based off these guidelines already? How has this article helped you in creating your newly refined resume? If you haven't created a resume yet, are there any additional questions I can help with?


Academic Voices: September 2012 Newsletter

Academic Voices
September 6, 2012  


Academic Voices
Academic Voicesaims to build the ACW community by sharing the experiences of academic writers.

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The Tenure Trek

Congratulations to the ACW community members who recently earned tenure. Bravo! With the beginning of a new academic year, a number of you are preparing to submit your tenure portfolios, and many of our newly minted PhDs are in the process of moving to new institutions and setting out on their first tenure track positions at universities across the U.S. and Canada.
ACW is excited to roll out our new Tenure Trek graphic with “tools” to help you succeed on your trek. If you click on the image below, you’ll be directed to our website and can find out more about what to expect as you prepare for your tenure review.
Tenure Trek
Here are some essential pointers if you are beginning your tenure trek:
Make a plan. Don’t allow teaching responsibilities to derail you. Revisit the research statement you prepared for your job search, and establish a timeline that fits with your tenure review process. Share your timeline with a mentor in your department and adjust it to fit the expectations of your department.
Brand yourself. Identify your unique contribution as a scholar and consciously construct your message to be consistent with your scholarly identity or “brand.”
Get help. Build relationships early and continue to grow your support network. Your journey along the path to tenure will become easier if you identify mentors, peer supporters, and impartial coaches to support you.
Contact for help designing your tenure plan, meeting your research and writing goals, and constructing your tenure portfolio. Our academic coaches will support you as you grow as a scholar, take charge of your career, balance competing demands, and provide accountability to help you achieve your goals.


Upcoming Events and Blogs


Sally Jensen, PhD, ACW Founder
In this blog series you will learn to nurture a daily writing habit, challenge common assumptions, overcome procrastination, eliminate distractions, use a timer, set SMART goals, chunk your project into small tasks, track progress, and establish accountability.
learn more


Friday, September 14, 2012 - Friday, December 14, 2012
ACW is offering a 12-week virtual daily Writing Room, and we are offering it free to those who sign up to work with a dissertation or faculty coach for three months. To be eligible for this offer, you must sign up to work with a coach by September 7, 2012, and begin your coaching by September 14, 2012. Those of you who are currently working with an ACW coach also are eligible for this offer.
learn more


Kat Malinsky, EdD, ACW Dissertation Coach
Thursday, September 20, 2012
In this teleseminar you will take inventory of your vision in preparation for your dissertation journey, choose a preliminary research focus, evaluate your topic's "goodness," and begin to narrow your research topic.
learn more


Moira Killoran, PhD, ACW Director of Coaching
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Have you found an academic tribe that will support you on your academic journey? This teleseminar will help you understand the role of mentors, sponsors, and peer supporters. You will learn how to deepen your relationships with colleagues to find the support you need.
learn more
Carina Vocisano, PhD

Carina Vocisano, PhD
ACW Consultant and Coach

I am a new coach and consultant at Academic Coaching and Writing. I also am a salsa dancer, a painter, and a recovering chocoholic! I have taught courses in counseling and mental health at several universities and colleges in the New York area, and I became a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Southern Connecticut State University in 2002. My research program focuses on the working alliance between client and counselor, and my research involves understanding the characteristics of counselors that predict change in therapy, including clients’ achievement of goals and symptom reduction.
For this newsletter I want to share two tips I learned on my tenure trek:
Ask faculty at your college or university about their tenure stories. This may help you understand the decisions made by the tenure and promotion committee. I recall being upset by a decision made by the tenure and promotion committee to deny tenure to a colleague. A discussion with this faculty member about his teaching provided me with some hints about the committee’s decision. The faculty member spoke with a sense of superiority when discussing students and blamed them for his poor teaching evaluations. He said, in effect, that the students were not very bright and, therefore, they couldn’t understand the content of his lectures. I have learned that this tendency to blame one’s students is often a sign of poor teacher training and a lack of willingness to reach out for help with teaching.
Stay fully engaged and inspired as a person and a faculty member! Mark Twain said: “Don’t let your schooling interfere with your education!” This applies to being a faculty member as well. While academia can be exciting and life affirming, it also can be a bureaucratic and life-draining experience. As a result, build connections to help yourself feel engaged and inspired. Many of your interests outside your discipline can be meaningfully connected to your research and teaching. For example, I love yoga, and so I looked for ways to connect yoga with psychology. The field of mindfulness connects these two disciplines, and when I began integrating mindfulness into my teaching, I learned that students are fascinated with meditation and its benefits for people suffering from depression and anxiety.
Nyasha Junior, PhD

Nyasha Junior, PhD
Assistant Professor, Howard University School of Divinity

Nyasha ( is in her fourth year of the tenure trek at Howard University. ACW applauds Nyasha for being awarded the prestigious Association of Theological Schools Faculty Fellowinsip. She will be on leave for the academic year to to work on her book. We asked Nyasha to share a few tips on navigating the tenure trek.
Tenure Trek: Mentoring
Luke had Yoda. Plato had Socrates. Annelle had Truvy. Who is there for you?
My advice: First, figure out what you need. Then find a mentor.
Identify specific information needs. Think about nitty-gritty information that you cannot get from a guide book written for new faculty. How are student evaluations used (officially and unofficially) in your department? What are some tips for writing a successful grant application for MoneyBags Foundation?
Seek out a particular person. Who might possess the information that you need? Do not expect one person to have the answers for everything. For example, if you are new to teaching large lecture courses, you may ask a colleague who is famous for teaching such courses. Figure out the best way to contact her and make a specific request. Hello Dr. Hot Shot, your Yarn Rolling course is legendary on campus. I am teaching Hamster Running 101 this year for the first time, and I would like to talk to you about strategies that you use in teaching a large lecture class.
Keep in touch. If someone helps you, follow up. Hi Dr. Big Wig! Our conversation on the skinny jeans phenomenon was quite helpful. My paper has been accepted for this year’s Association of Hipster Studies Annual Meeting. I will let you know how the presentation goes. Also, publicly acknowledge how helpful Dr. Big Wig was. Win-win!
Take it slow. If you want a mentor, you need to have many  brief conversations. If the first conversation goes well, have another. Most people like to be asked for their expertise. See where things go. Don’t push it. Something may evolve organically. Use the force, Young Skywalker!


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TLT Group Inc. TGIF -- Three up-coming workshops, FridayLive and more!

Fifteen issue, Volume five

TLT Group TGIF 9.6.2012           
From TLT Group World Headquarters
Join Us! In joining the TLT Group, you make a commitment to encourage, empower, and engage in improving teaching, learning, and technology.  Learn more about membership options. 
More from the TLT-SWG Blog:

Medical Centers use Faculty Learning Communities for Faculty Development - including online

What do YOU want higher ed leaders to consider when changing faculty retirement policies? #silvercloudtltg

RESOURCES "Silver Cloud" Online Symposium 1pmET Aug8 ABOUT&FOR higher ed. retirees help colleagues/undergrads online #silvercloudtltg

ACE/Sloan "Faculty Retirement Transitions... Sloan Projects for Faculty Career Flexibility" #silvercloudtltg

Upcoming Online Workshops
Facilitating Mega Courses Locally
September 19 and 26,  2012      2:00 - 3:00pm EDT
Link to registration
Leaders: Charles Ansorge, Ilene Frank, Beth Dailey,

1st Silver Cloud Online Workshop
October 17, 24 (optional: 31),  2012    2:00 - 3:00pm EDT
Link to registration
Leaders: Charles Ansorge, Nancy Becker, Michael Dabney, Ilene Frank, ...

Demysifying Accreditation
November 1,8 and 15,  2012       2:00 - 3:00pm EDT
Link to registration
Leaders: Beth Dailey, and Tracey Johnson

NOTE:  Workshops are free to TLT Group Individual Members. Check your institution's status here if you have your membership through an institutional subscription.
$200 for non members. 
Voice of the Chat (VoC)  - Guidelines for an important supporting role in the TLT Group's (and other) synchronous online sessions.         
FridayLive! Sept 7, 2012 at 2:00 pm ET - free to all. Registration for September 7th
VoC:   Closely monitors the text/chat area during a synchronous online session.  Brings participants' questions to the attention of  leader/presenters when there is a natural break in the presentation, or when leaders/presenters call for questions.  Some VoCs also enrich the text/chat by inserting their own comments, suggested resources, relevant URLs, etc.

Call for proposals.  We are inviting members to offer FridayLive!  sessions. Look for more information, coming soon 
Encourage. Enable. Engage.