Last week, 25 young professionals gathered from across metro Detroit for a panel discussion and reception on How Freedom in Education Is Saving SE Michigan. This event highlighted National School Choice Week.
Speakers included: Aquan Miles, Principal, Taylor Preparatory High School; Dan Quisenberry, President, Michigan Association of Public School Academies (MAPSA); and Audrey Spalding, Director of Education Policy, The Mackinac Center for Public Policy. The speakers covered a wide range of topics, but focused most on public charter schools and how to better communicate the importance of exercising school choice in the Detroit metro area. The audience was engaged and a vibrant discussion followed their presentation. Many stayed after to continue the conversation.
We look forward to the SE Michigan chapter’s next event!
Kathryn Shelton is the Director of Chapter Advancement for America’s Future Foundation.
With so many “free resume builder” and “perfectresume.com“s offering conflicting advice, it can be very difficult to know what staff are really looking for in an ideal intern candidate. Luckily, we’re here to help! Here are a few tips for anyone looking to land an internship in the public policy/nonprofit sector.
1. Keep it short:
A one page resume is ideal– you will have enough space to list out many accomplishments while also maintaining the attention of whoever is reading your resume. Many professionals with 15 years of experience can keep their resumes to one page: if they can do it, you can, too.
2. Keep it relevant:
It’s not unusual to have a shortage of experience when you’re just starting out. Heck, that’s kind of the point. Don’t worry if your previous college activities or part-time jobs don’t exactly line up with that research internship you’re trying to score. Many of your experiences may, in fact, demonstrate strong interpersonal skills or management experience and that’s a great place to start. Note, however, that not all hiring managers will make those immediate connections on relevance, so, do it for them! How, you ask? Easy!
3. Drop the Distractions:
Okay, this is really just an extension of #2. The following items should generally be left off of your resume. Unless, of course, you’re really good and can make them immediately and obviously relevant.
4. Keep it classy:
Attention to formatting is a great way to signal professionalism and attention to detail. As such, your resume should look like you spent more than 5 minutes on it in Word. Thoughts to consider:
Many great resume examples follow this general layout:
5. Save as PDF:
Once you have everything written and formatted, be SURE to save your document as a PDF. Saving as a word doc leaves your resume open to formatting changes that can occur when opened in a different word processor. Don’t let your hard work go to waste. Also, give it a solid title to make filing it easier for the hiring manager. “First Name, Last Name_Resume” usually works.
Remember, a resume is your foot in the door. You only need one page, because you just need to make it past that first step. You can explain other things you’ve done in your interviews. Interviews are actually a great opportunity to use different examples of how great you are, especially because they will be new illustrations that the hiring staff didn’t already know.
Brit Vorreiter is Director of Programs at America’s Future Foundation
Calling all creative writers in the liberty movement! The Libertarian Fiction Authors Association has teamed up with Students for Liberty for a special short story contest that is free to enter and open to everyone.
Accepted story submissions will be between 1,000 and 10,000 words and consider the following prompt:
“Write a short story that illustrates the positive role of freedom in human life. Whether it’s a galaxy-spanning space epic or an introspective contemporary character piece, we want to see stories that paint the benefits and possibilities of human freedom in sharply compelling brush-strokes.”
With $500 in cash prizes up for grabs, this is an opportunity you don’t want to miss. In addition, winners will also be published in an upcoming edition of Ama-Gi magazine and receive a year of membership with the LFA. The prize breakdown is as follows:
The deadline to submit stories is March 4th, 2014, so act now! Contest rules, submission form and list of judge names are available here.
H/T to JP Medved of the LFA for bringing this great contest to AFF members’ attention!
AFF DC is pleased to announce its 2014 Mentorship Program!
This program is designed to connect young professionals with seasoned mentors for one-on-one advice, career insights and networking opportunities. Mentors are long-term AFF members who have been carefully selected for their commitment to the program as well as for their unique insights on navigating the DC political and nonprofit environments.
The Mentor Program currently offers placements with mentors active in the following fields:
Wondering if this program is a good fit for you?
This program is ideal for interns and young professionals alike! We use a short application and our knowledge of experienced AFF members to match each mentor and mentee.
How does it work?
Pairs will meet once a month. Meetings are arranged by the you and your mentor and can be either coffee, drinks, or lunch. Meetings will be reimbursed by AFF up to $20 each month upon completing a short survey. AFF will also host an opening happy hour and closing reception for all of the pairs.
When does the first round of the program take place?
The spring session will run from mid-February 2014- through May 2014.
How do I sign up?
Simply fill out our short online application and we’ll take care of the rest. Please note that the mentor program is for current AFF members. If you are not yet a member, join AFF today! This program is just one of many benefits available to AFF members. To learn more, check out the perks of Membership.
When is the application due?
The application for this round is due at 5:00 PM on February 14, 2014.
Please contact AFF’s Brit Vorreiter (email@example.com) with any questions!
Heather A. Curry is an advisor for America’s Future Foundation and an editor of Free the Future.
America’s Future Foundation is proud to participate in this year’s National School Choice Week.
Each year, National School Choice Week creates an opportunity to “shine a positive spotlight on the need for effective education options for children.” From January 26th through February 1st, parents, teachers and students across the country will participate in 5,500+ events in their various communities.
America’s Future Foundation embraces the belief expressed by school choice that parents should be empowered to choose the best educational environments for their children. AFF events in Atlanta, Southeast Michigan, Dallas and Pittsburgh will highlight a variety of school choice options: from private schools to homeschooling, traditional public schools to charter schools, magnet schools and online learning options.
To learn more about National School Choice Week, visit National School Choice Week.
Image courtesy of School Choice Week
Kathryn Shelton is the Director of Chapter Advancement for America’s Future Foundation.
The Washington, D.C., chapter of America’s Future Foundation is looking for volunteers for upcoming events! Volunteering is a fun way to get involved with AFF, attend various events for free, and get to know like-minded peers in the DC area. AFF events are always great networking opportunities, as well, and volunteering (as a greeter, for example) is an easy way to meet event attendees.
Volunteer duties may include registration, event setup and breakdown, greeting, or other tasks, and usually last for about an hour. Any event you volunteer for will include free registration.
Bonus: Volunteer at 3 events in a 6 month period and you will be eligible for one of the following:
AFF is looking for volunteers for the following upcoming event categories:
Fill out this form to register as an AFF volunteer and receive emails about upcoming volunteer opportunities. We hope to see you at an AFF event soon!
(AFF staff at a recent event featuring S.E. Cupp of CNN’s Crossfire)
From the program site:
The fellowship is a unique six-month program that trains young professional conservatives on the intellectual foundations and political history of conservatism. The goal is to equip a new generation of leaders with an understanding of the “fusionist” conservative philosophy (economic, social, national security, and constitutional) and to encourage application of those principles in the modern political landscape.
Through monthly meetings and readings, our fellows will interact with high profile leaders representing the major branches of the conservative movement. Fellows will meet over dinner with our guest speakers to discuss contemporary political issues and explore conservative solutions to them. Previous speakers include Grover Norquist, Donald Rumsfeld, Jonah Goldberg, Hon. Edwin Meese, Tony Perkins, Leonard Leo, and other conservative thought leaders!
This program is sponsored by the Young Conservatives Coalition – a DC-based, young professional conservative leadership, educational and networking organization dedicated to initiating and fostering valuable working relationships for professional development to advance the conservative movement.
To review Fellowship Candidate requirements and download an application, visit YCC Fellowship. Be sure to act soon! The deadline to apply is February 28, 2014.
To see which of your peers participated in the Fellowship program last year, visit Fellows – Class of 2013.
On Thursday, January 9th, AFF hosted its first policy roundtable event of the year, 2014 New Year’s Policy Resolutions, at the Reason Foundation in Washington, DC. Tom Clougherty, Managing Editor, Reason Foundation, moderated a lively discussion between three panelists on where they thought the liberty movement should focus its efforts for the coming year. Red Alert Politics‘ John Rossomando covered the event.
Featured panelists included:
As Rossomando notes, opinions varied, with Chambers calling for an emphasis on “compassionate conservatism” and a conservative messaging overhaul aimed at making policy positions more palatable, Feeney recommending a renewed focus on promoting individual freedoms through social liberalism, and Takala suggesting Republicans continue to focus on issues which have traditionally united Republicans. The piece goes on to discuss that this difference in strategy suggests that “The biggest Republican challenge in 2014 might be unity.”
From the article:
“Republicans have a huge hill to climb if they expect to be competitive again, according to a Tuesday night panel sponsored by the America’s Future Foundation. And they’re going to have to climb it together. The panel, which featured Red Alert Politics editor Francesca Chambers, was a discussion about potential New Year’s resolutions for the Republican Party, especially going into an election year. If anything, the dialogue showcased just how fractured the Republican coalition has become and how putting forth a common message has become increasingly difficult going into the midterm election cycle.”
Read the full article here.
(Photo credit: Red Alert Politics)
Sometimes you need to leave your job. You might need to leave your job so you can move across the country to care for your ailing relative, or you might need to leave your job because the thought of working one more day in your current position sends you into a continuous anxiety spiral that no mix of wine, Xanax, or kickboxing can fix.
Perhaps you got into law school, or decided to become a stay at home parent, or maybe you’re just giving it all up to become the starving artist you’ve always dreamed of. Maybe you’ve finally identified an opportunity to pursue your ideal profession. There are many legitimate and practical reasons why people leave their jobs.
The decision to leave your job is a big one, and that’s half the battle. But how you leave your job is also extremely important. Leave as gracefully and professionally as possible. When you leave your job, there need not be any firefighters present: don’t burn any bridges.
You may think you can swiftly cut ties with your current organization or industry, but it’s not that easy. You simply don’t know when you may cross paths with a former colleague, and you don’t know who your old colleagues are connected to. You’re probably going to put your old job on your resume, which could mean former colleagues could get called as reference checks. If you omit the job from your resume and there’s any digital proof of your employment (i.e. LinkedIn), curious hiring managers may investigate and wind up on the line with one of your former colleagues.
Give as much notice as possible. There’s a reason two weeks notice is standard. It takes at least two weeks to transition someone out of a role, and to initiate the process of finding a replacement. You might be anxious about telling your boss you are leaving, but trust me, your boss will be grateful if you give a reasonable amount of notice. If you’re looking for other jobs, let potential employers know if they extend you an offer, you’ll need two weeks to transition into your new job. This shouldn’t faze hiring managers. If anything, they’ll be impressed that you’re treating your current employer conscientiously.
If you were in the middle of long-term projects, do your very best to steward a smooth transition. Get your institutional knowledge down on paper. Initiate a plan for making sure the projects reach completion. Don’t cut and run. It will leave your colleagues cleaning up after you, and it’s discourteous.
Remember that your company email account is not yours–it belongs to your company. Whatever emails you have sent or received are company property, and one or more of your former colleagues will see them. If you don’t ultimately want an email up in lights, you can avoid that by not pressing send in the first place. When it’s time to leave your job and you realize you have a few unsavory emails in your work account, do everyone and a favor and delete them. Delete them and clear them from the trash. Even then, you don’t know who will end up reading them. Better to use your personal email for job applications, cat memes, and emergency SOS messages to your therapist.
Don’t tell your old colleagues how much greener your new pasture is. If you’ve accepted an offer for a better paid or more exciting job, congratulations. Getting your new job should be reward enough. There’s no need, and no benefit, to bragging to your colleagues about how much better your new job is, how much more money you’re making, how you’ll never have to attend another mind-numbing all-staff meeting, etc. Remember, your old colleagues still work at your old company. Disparaging the company is disrespectful. And if you can leave your job and immediately begin trash-talking your former employer, what were you doing at that job in the first place? It doesn’t make you look good, either.
Last but not least, be grateful. Maybe the job you’re leaving was always just a pit-stop on the way to the top. Even if you hated your old job, remember your old company took a chance on you. They may have given you skills or experience that, when added to your resume, helped you get your dream job. Your old company helped you cover at least a few car payments or rent checks. And whatever your old job was like, it pushed you to the place where you could spread your wings and fly to bluer skies. So put a smile on your face, pat yourself on the back for making bold professional decisions, and impress your former employer by handling the transition with professionalism.
Kelly O’Keefe is the Director of Development at the Lucy Burns Institute.
As you build your network, many people will get to know you online. It’s no secret that recruiters, organizations, and colleges often survey your social media accounts during the interview process. Your online identity– that is, what you say and what you share– is taken by many to be an accurate portrayal of your interests, activities, personality and even values. In this case, perception is reality. This is why it’s crucial to take a step back and objectively evaluate what your profile portrays about you. Here are a few tips for success on Facebook and Twitter:
Facebook: Facebook provides an extremely organized format for displaying information that may encourage “over-sharing.” I assert that you should do the opposite. In fact, I recommend that you consider deactivating your Facebook account. If you feel you must continue your FB presence in order to stay in touch, remember that you no longer have the choice of utilizing social media just for friends. If you do decide to keep your profile active, here are a few ideas on how to manage it:
The first thing you should do is change your security settings to make your profile as private as possible. Next, scrub the lengthy list of movies and music you like, and don’t post about superficial or controversial topics. Purge photos, except a professional profile pic. Join groups and engage on topics that reflect professionally appropriate interests. Another suggestion is to setup a Page in lieu of a traditional profile. Friends and family can still follow you for content, and you can promote yourself on Facebook. This option functions more like a Twitter feed with images.
Twitter: It’s easy to assume that because your Twitter bio is short, you don’t have the opportunity to say a lot. On the contrary, Twitter itself is an ongoing biography. So stick to the tips listed in my previous article, Networking via Social Media: Rules to Live By, and endeavor to craft a profile section that is an accurate and professional portrayal of your interests, activities, personality, and values. Look to the profiles of popular politicos and pundits as examples.
Additionally, I suggest against making your Twitter private. Facebook is for connecting with people you know, and Twitter is for engaging with people you don’t know yet. If you make your Twitter private, you limit the potential for building relationships and increasing your sphere of influence.
Finally, be careful what you share. Many millennials are social media savvy. In fact, our generation invented social media. However, when debates get heated, it’s easy to forget that the internet is forever. I alluded to this important point in my previous post: your wall posts and your tweets are your reputation. And, it’s about what you say and how you say it. The language you choose to convey your message should be clear, succinct and controlled. Remember, decorum should reign in your public persona.
Greta Pisarczyk is the Development Assistant at the Cato Institute.
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