Writing a Resume: Which Fonts Are Best?

Rando Resume and CV Writing Advice. Who knew fonts mattered so much.

Calibri. As the default Microsoft Word font, Calibri is an excellent option for a safe, universally readable font. Professional résumé writer Donna Svei is a strong advocate of Calibri for résumés, noting on her blog AvidCareerist that this font is familiar to most readers and renders well on computer screens. Svei also noted that 12-point Calibri produces a “perfectly sized” two-page résumé of 550 to 750 words.

Source: Writing a Resume: Which Fonts Are Best?

Closing the Gap: An Essay Pertaining to Paulo Freire’s Ideal Education System | NU Writing

“The role of the problem-posing educator is to create…” (250).

“Education must begin with the solution of the teacher-student contradiction, by reconciling the poles of the contradiction so that both are simultaneously teachers and students” (244).

Source: Closing the Gap: An Essay Pertaining to Paulo Freire’s Ideal Education System | NU Writing

Want to Get into Harvard? Spend More Time Staring at the Clouds: Rethinking the Role of Extracurricular Activities in College Admissions – Study Hacks – Cal Newport

You all should REALLY read this….

Most students, when faced with a similar interview situation, fall back on emphasizing their activities and the traits they signal. “Running my church youth group,” they might say, “is another example of my leadership ability.”Olivia followed a different path. She didn’t emphasize her activities (which, in isolation, weren’t all that impressive) or the qualities they supposedly signaled, instead she let her natural interestingness come through – and her interviewers were entranced.Put another way: she rejected the list quality hypothesis, embraced the interestingness hypothesis, and won a full-ride scholarship for her efforts.

Source: Want to Get into Harvard? Spend More Time Staring at the Clouds: Rethinking the Role of Extracurricular Activities in College Admissions – Study Hacks – Cal Newport

Class Updates Tues 9.22 Minimalist Cue Cards and Delivery Triangle

Today was a “dress rehearsal” of our speeches of self introduction. Before I talk about “cue” cards, a few notes: Two notes that I announced in class: 1. I will collect your note card after you are done speaking, so put your name on them. 2. You had homework do for today; it was on the class calendar. This took many people by surprise. So we are going to have a second evaluation due on 10/1 in class. You can find details on the revised class calendar posted to eLC. If you did the homework, you got credit for the first due date and you may go ahead and do the second opportunity as well.

Alright, onto cue cards…

My advice is get someone else to write your cue cards to prompt memory recall. Give someone else your outline and a blank card, then give your speech from memory. Every time you get stuck–even if it’s the first word–ask for a prompt (use the blocking and mining strategies we discussed during the monologue) and have your notetaker write down your prompt on the card. That is ALL you write on the card – your prompts for when you get stuck. Then deliver again from the beginning until you get stuck again. Repeat. Do NOT worry whether what you are saying matches what is on your outline. Only that you are getting across the most important ideas from your speech.

By the end you should have a note card with about a dozen words on it. They should be all of the key words of your speech and NOTHING else. If your speech follows the principles of good speech writing: simple sentences, vivid words, minimal adjectives and conjunctions, thematically consistently, clear central idea, concrete SUPPORTS…then you should be able to give your 3 minutes of vocal splendor with about a dozen words, no problem.

AS SOON AS POSSIBLE GET OUT OFF YOUR OUTLINE AND ONTO YOUR CARDS. Work the speech from your note cards. As long as your major ideas are appearing then don’t worry about what’s NOT there – you probably don’t need it. After about six practice sessions you should find that a lot of what was in your outline has slimmed down. If you find yourself adding new material—not just wording but whole new ideas or explanations or SUPPORTS—ask yourself whether it’s really necessary and whether, at this point, you’ve actually got time to redesign your outline and start over.

As your textbook, Stand Up Speak Out, puts it

Prepare Notecards to Trigger Recall

The “trick” to selecting the words to write on your cards is to identify the keywords that will trigger a recall sequence. For instance, if the word “Fukushima” brings to mind the nuclear power plant meltdown that followed the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in 2011, then that one word on your notecard should propel you through a sizable sequence of points and details. Once you have delivered that material, perhaps you’ll glance at your card again to remind yourself of the key word or phrase that comes next.

You must discover what works for you and then select those words that tend to jog your recall. (Then your book says some business about working with 5 note cards, which is insane, so I deleted this part. Moving on…)

Always practice with your notecards—and with any visual aids you plan to use. Practicing is also the best way to find out what kinds of things might go wrong with your notes in the presented speech and what steps you should take to make things go smoothly.

I’ve put some sample note cards for you on eLC to go with a sample speech. This sample shows three 3 x 5 note cards, I recommend one 5 x 8 but if you’re working off tiny cards you can use 1 or 2 cards ONLY IF they look like this (and to be honest I think even this note card is too cluttered).

Sample Note Cards for Going Too Fast Speech of Self Introduction

Alright, onto the Delivery Triangle:

Yes, I totally made this up but it works. The back part of the triangle (away from the audience) is where you delivery your warm up and SUPPORTS. Deliver different SUPPORTS in different “corners” of the triangle or if you’re telling a longer story or something move purposefully along the back of the triangle. Move to the FRONT of the triangle only when you are saying your central idea statements or reiterations that appear during your speech, especially at the conclusion. Walk between the corners of the triangle ONLY while transitioning. You can walk quietly (or shift you weight quietly for those of you that don’t like to walk) OR you can say a transition phrase while walking: so this taught me, that day I learned, from there I decided…. BUT DO NOT SAY KEY IDEAS. When in doubt, say nothing.


After stepping forward toward the audience to state your final iteration of the central idea, take a brief step back to deliver your “zinger” or concluding sentence. This should confirm that the speech has ended and promote a rousing round of applause. If this does not happen, you need to work on landing your conclusions, which we will do together for the rest of the semester, I promise.

Aaanndd….tomorrow we start speeches! Good luck! I know you will be great.

Class Updates Tuesday 9/17: Delivery and Disney

Today we worked again in our groups. The winner of the contest was allowed to take a non-speaking day off.

Groups submitted a central idea for the “Be a Man” scene from Disney’s Mulan. Winning teams came closest to a #2 theme of “ingenuity” or “cunning.”

For a review of Mulan that reaches the same conclusion see the review from from Endtime Prophets (a fundamental Christian website) NOT recommending Mulan for children at http://www.endtime-prophets.com/mulan.html. The reviewer writes:

She has a guardian dragon, Mushu, and a lucky Cricket, Cri-Kee who travel with her. Manshu is the lowliest of dragon guardians because he has failed to protect the ancestors of Mulan’s family through the ages and because he wants to redeem his status as a worthy guardian dragon he deems it his duty to protect and guide Mulan and make her a war hero. He teaches her how to impersonate a man at boot camp. She first appears as a weakling but by using her ingenuity she eventually proves herself to the men by climbing a pole the other men could not climb.

From there we used the lyrics to practice some important elements of vocal delivery including: enunciation, pausing, vocal variety, cadence, pitch and rate (160-180 wpm).

We also used the example to discuss the grammatical principles of good speech writing: choose vivid/active words; minimize adjectives; write in simple, direct sentences by eliminating conjunctions, prepositions and transitional phrases (within or between sentences only–we want transitions overall in the speech structure); use active instead of passive voice unless trying to convey victimage.

For Tuesday’s class: revise your outlines, again (I know it’s a never ending job) and bring fresh versions to class on Tuesday with blank note cards.

Class Updates Tuesday 9/15: MIddle Signifiers

Today’s Agenda:

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Review Quiz 1 and review the “Ladder of Abstraction” (#1 – #4 words)

We reviewed the four items from the quiz and discussed why they are ordered from most thematic “Creativity” to least thematic “Lyrics” and why the “sweet spot” for public speakers is #2: “Artistry.” It is the middle signifier; it connects to a more universally understood value like “Creativity” in a unique way that suggests the speaker has something to say that is unique and relatable. #3 and #4 just kind of generally mark “topics” or “subjects” that can be used to illustrate the theme of the speech.

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Softball” Speech Critique and Central Idea Revision (group competition)

Using a sample student speech we worked in groups on a competition to rewrite the central idea. The group that won came the closest to identifying something like, “I believe that attitude is contagious and that my responsibility and burden is to have a good attitude so that others will too.” Students also had to compose two SUPPORTS to illustrate their central idea, including one analogy.

Finally I checked for participation (hard copy of outlines) and we spent a few minutes doing general peer reviews of one another’s speech outlines.

For Thursday: revise your outlines and bring another hard copy. We will have another contest for a “day of”

Also: the speaking order for the Speech of Self Introduction has been posted to eLC. Please be sure you know your order.