Habits are automatic rituals and behaviours that help us perform important activities such as brushing our teeth or following the same routes every day without thinking about it. Our subconscious habits create space in our brains for more complex tasks such as problem-solving. You can form habits without intending to form them, however, habits can also be deliberately cultivated – or eliminated – for your benefit!
Why are habits important?
Habits can be seen as the daily vote that you cast towards your future self! Habits form a huge part of your identity as a professional. Harnessing the power of good habits plays an important part on the road to success. Successful people are often big dreamers with big ambitions! Often, we tend to fear or be discouraged by big dreams, sometimes the endpoint seems too far. It becomes very useful to be able to break down your dream into smaller actionable steps or a group of habits. Thereafter, it is easier to focus on the smaller and manageable tasks, than to feel overwhelmed by your dreams.
“Motivation is what gets you started; habit is what keeps you going”
How to build better habits
You are what you repeatedly do, so you owe it to yourself to deepen your understanding of your habits. It is best to schedule time every week to review your habits. Once you understand the frequency of each of your habits, then you can start planning around how to eliminate unhealthy habits or cultivate the healthy.
“When making plans, think big. When making progress, think small”
Big changes in your behaviour or habits require motivation which usually cannot be sustained. It is important to start smart when building new habits, to make it as easy as possible in the beginning so that you may stick it out.
Use the CRR (Cue – Routine – Reward) Method!
The CRR method is a very useful technique, which uses psychology to hack your habit formation process. CRR stands for Cue – Routine – Reward. The cue is a trigger that reminds your brain to do something (for example boredom may be a cue to start scrolling on social media). After the cue, follows the routine. A routine may be physical, emotional, or mental (scrolling through social media for hours is an example of a routine). After the routine, then comes the reward (for example the bursts of dopamine that result from scrolling through social media).
If you take this principle and apply it to cultivating the good habits that you want to build, you can hack your brain and make it much easier to adopt a new habit. Create a cue for your new healthy habit (e.g., the sound of your alarm), follow that up with a routine (e.g., start exercising), and you may then decide on a suitable reward (e.g., smoothie or chocolate).
Consistency is key to breaking bad habits and forming good or better habits. One of the best predictors of habit-formation success is the frequency in which the habit is performed. The strength of a habit is defined by how automatic it is. Work on making your small habits become an automatic part of your brain function so that you perform these habits without thinking about them. You may do this by performing the habit as consistently as possible.
Read more about habits and habit formation
Reading this blog was a great start to understanding habits and knowing how to build better habits for success! The next step is to read more about the habit formulation process, as this is a deep-rooted part of our brain and requires deep reading to fully understand. The following are a few recommended reads that you can start with:
Remember that you are your habits! Therefore, if you would like to improve yourself, then you must improve your habits.
Environmental Youth for the Future!
A resume or CV is a document that is often used in the hiring process. This document includes information about your background, qualifications, experience, and it must include the most relevant information that your potential employers have to know, clearly and concisely. However, in today’s age of technology, CVs rarely make it past the ATS (Applicant Tracking System) into the hands of your potential employer. You need to counter this by making sure that your CV is as ATS friendly as possible, to increase your chances of employment.
What is an Applicant Tracking System?
You can think of ATS as electronic gatekeepers for employers and hiring managers. They do the work of vetting out irrelevant or unqualified applicants, so that the recruiters' time may be used to evaluate the candidates who are a better match. The ATS uses keywords to determine the most suitable candidates and it tends to have embedded artificial intelligence that mimics the human thought process.
If you are applying to a large organization, the chances are you will have to face an ATS. If you apply online through an organization’s website, your CV will pass through an ATS. Job sites such as Indeed or LinkedIn also have their built-in ATS.
Hence you must write a CV that beats the ATS so that it may be seen by human decision-makers! If you have been applying for jobs and not getting the required feedback, then it could be that your CVs are not getting into the hands of human decision-makers because they are not ATS friendly. Well, do not fret! We are here to help you write a CV that will beat the ATS system, giving you a better chance and landing the job you desire.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
How to Write an ATS-friendly CV:
It is important to navigate the ATS with an ATS-friendly CV so that you may be able to move to the next round of the hiring process, improving your chances of employment. Here are some tips on writing an ATS-friendly CV.
1. Choose an ATS friendly file type
Save your CV as a PDF or .docx file. Some of the older ATSs have trouble reading pdf files, however, if the job advert does not specify which format to use, then you may use a .pdf or .docx file. The following fonts are ATS friendly, Times New Roman, Calibri, Arial, or Georgia.
2. Do not put important details on the header or footer
Avoid using headers or footers because the information in headers and footers may often get lost or cause errors. Avoid this by not putting important details (such as background, contact information, education, experience, and skills) on the header or footer of your CV.
3. Optimize your CV with keywords
This is the best way to ensure that your CV is ATS friendly! The primary job of the ATS is to track the most suitable candidates for a position through scanning the keywords! Therefore, you must optimize your resume whenever you apply for a new position for that position. Use the keywords from the job description on your CV. It is also very important to label your headings correctly. ATS-friendly CV headings include work experience, skills, and education.
4. Avoid images, charts, and other graphics
While images, charts, and other graphics (such as tables), may look nice to the human eye, the ATS is unable to read it, therefore that information will be lost on the applicant tracking system. Including images in your CV may result in it being automatically discarded.
5. Stick to simple bullet points
Bullet points, if used correctly, are a great way of highlighting your accomplishments and qualifications. Do not use any fancy bullet points, use simple options such as the solid circle, open circle, or square. The solid circle is the most advisable. It is also important to format your resume in the following manner: use font between 10–12-point size, use 1-1.5 inches on your margins, make your name and section headers bold or slightly bigger in font size, and list your information in bullet points.
Now that you know and understand the ATS, it is time to get to work and optimize your resume to beat the ATS system! Once you have done that, you may utilize resume review websites, that will provide expert feedback on your CV, they will also provide feedback on whether your CV would make it past an ATS system. The following are good resume review websites that you can try out; ZipJob, Jobscan, TopResume, Resume Worded, and RezScore.
This will greatly boost your chances of being selected and moving to the next phase of the recruitment process. All the best!
Environmental Youth for the Future!