Resume Writing, Part 1: Quick Tips & Prewriting Guidelines

By Melissa Nau

If you’re finally tired of sipping cold drinks in the sun and/or binge watching Netflix without leaving your house for weeks, you may want to check your bank account, panic, and keep looking for a job. As long as you’re ready, I’m here to help.

Last time, we discussed preliminary steps for job searching—including updating LinkedIn, creating accounts on CareerBuilder and/or Monster, and briefly mentioned updating your resume. Since your resume is your real first impression with any employer and sometimes even potential networking contacts, I’ve decided to backtrack and spend some time going over what goes into a good resume.

 Resume Writing, Part 1: Quick Tips & Prewriting Guidelines*

While we all like to be sure of ourselves and confidence is key in interviews, you might have to accept the fact that your resume isn’t perfect. Luckily, there are a few tips to keep in mind that you can use to revamp your resume in seconds:

1. Please PDF. I wasn’t kidding when I said you can revamp in seconds. You most likely created your resume in a Word document, which is to be expected, but it’s best to save it as a PDF. Why? It looks cleaner, is usually the preferred format while applying online, and it will not automatically underline “misspelled” words aka the names of your schools and former jobs. This should also apply to cover letters. To do this, click on File while in Word and then Save as Adobe PDF. If you have an older version of Word or do not have Adobe this feature may not be built in—you can use a friend’s computer/the library/your work computer (on your break time of course), or update your software. After this quick step you’ll have two different versions of your resume (doc/docx and pdf), so if a job application requires a specific file, you’ll already have it covered.

2. Get Gmail. Though this isn’t mandatory, getting a Gmail account is a helpful tool. If your current email address is less than professional and/or from the ancient era of Hotmail, try creating a Gmail account as yourname@gmail.com. If your name is taken, try adding one extra character. You want this email address to be as simple as possible; check your creativity at the door. You would expect this to be common sense, but you’d be surprised. The reason why this step is helpful is because not only are you “branding” your name to your resume, but your ultimate goal is to look professional. Though it is a tiny part of your overall resume, your email address says a lot about you—if yours contains a strange nickname or an inappropriate string of letters or numbers, it could be an instant turnoff, no matter how qualified you may be. Also, keep in mind that some college email accounts will shut down in your post-colligate years. My college account is still active, but mine was also a series of nonsensical letters and numbers which looks like spam at first glance. By creating a Gmail address with your name in it, you’re further clarifying to employers, recruiters, and the Internet in general that you are an actual person who needs a job, not the emperor of an elaborate pyramid scheme. You’ll also be free to check this separate job email without getting distracted by SALES!!!!! and your abysmal bank statements.

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Actual emails from my seldom used AOL email account

3. One and Done. This may or may not take you more than a few seconds, but it’s probably the most important rule of thumb: Make your resume one page. Just one. Seriously. This should be your cardinal rule for multiple reasons, including the obvious one: employers don’t want to read a novel, they want to fill a position. Other reasons include file size, visual appeal, and because I told you to. But above all else, in writing anything ever, economizing is just as important as the story you’re telling. Economizing in this sense refers to your ability to pick and choose what is important to tell other people about yourself. If you can choose and prioritize your top attributes and have the good sense to cut out your not-so-relevant experiences, you can prioritize the tasks your future boss asks of you. Kindly understand that nobody cares you were a lifeguard if you’re applying for a job as an accountant. If your resume remains an endless litany of jumbled facts, you won’t exactly come across as someone who has “excellent organizational skills.”

While keeping this in mind you can now ask yourself: Well, what should I put on my resume?
The answer should always be: Only what you can fit while keeping your experiences relevant to the job you’re after.

Now that you know the quick tips and basic commandments of resume writing, you may want to start a new resume from scratch. Before you even start Googling templates, Word is your best resource. You can go to File > New > and search “Resume” under Office.com Templates where you’ll find a wide array of free options.

resumetemplates

The highlighted “entry-level” template on is what you’re looking for. Some are fancier than others. To be safe, I’d go with strictly black text/white background, unless you’re a designer, artist, etc., where your profession is dependent on your sense of style and color. If you’re going for a job where you’re being judged by your resume and not a portfolio, the words will matter more than the template.

These designs are great, but you’ll likely want to tweak them. Your name should not be size 72 and bolded no matter how much free space you have (see “Resume (Essential design)” above). And conversely, if you’re trying to fit a lot of content on one page, you should definitely widen the margins on the top of your sheet to give yourself more room.

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I know this was a lot to throw at you, so feel free to go back to watching season 14 episode 22 of whatever tantalizing series you’ve stumbled upon this summer. Next week when you need a break from your rough life, I’ll disclose what to actually write on your resume, how to choose the most relevant information, and dissect some real resumes to provide reliable examples and save you from clichés.

*Will be followed by Resume Writing, Part 2: Actually Writing/What to Include

Traveling Through Time: Roux Associates Celebrates its 35th Anniversary

In celebrating our anniversary, Roux Associates would like to take this opportunity to thank our many clients for trusting us to work on their projects, both large and small, since our company was founded in 1981. We would also like to thank our staff of dedicated professionals who do the great work that keep our clients coming back. We’ve asked the founder of the company, Paul Roux, to look back: to share how Roux Associates came to be and describe a few of the key projects that have impacted our firm’s growth over the past 35 years.

◊◊◊

In 1981, Roux Associates was founded by Paul Roux as a groundwater contamination investigation practice. Paul’s goal was to build a small consulting firm where the staff was smart, hardworking, talented, and nice: the kind of people it would be a pleasure to work with every day. The timing turned out to be perfect. New regulations created an immediate need for experienced groundwater contamination consultants, and there were not enough around to meet the demand. Using Paul’s past contacts and a minimum of marketing and sales calls, Roux was able to land some major corporate clients and work on challenging projects. These fresh work opportunities attracted some of the talented people Roux was looking for, and the firm began to take off. As it grew, Roux evolved from a small, purely groundwater investigation firm, into a much larger environmental consulting and management company. We now provide a broad range of science and engineering services, along with litigation support, insurance claims assistance, and more.

Roux Associates
Left: Paul Roux at the Industri-Plex Superfund Site in Woburn, Massachusetts, 1982
Right: The Industri-Plex Superfund Site in Woburn, Massachusetts, 2014 

In the early 1970s there were only limited environmental regulations in the United States. In the decade to follow, very strong regulations were implemented in what seemed to be the blink of an eye, which Paul Roux could best describe as “chaos.” The Federal Superfund Law of 1980 stated that responsible parties involved with owning a property were accountable for cleaning up hazardous waste, pollutants, and contaminants found on site. Corporations were suddenly liable for handling hazardous materials, and often blamed by the government for millions of dollars’ worth of contamination, which opened doors to many site remediation, litigation, and insurance issues. Additional Federal and State laws reinforced the Superfund Law and tacked on more regulations.

The first list of Superfund sites, in order of highest to lowest contamination according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), was released by the EPA the same year Roux was founded. The Industri-Plex Site in Woburn, Massachusetts was number five on the list out of 114 sites, and was considered the most significant contamination location in New England. Because of Paul’s existing professional relationship with the company that would take primary responsibility for handling the Site, Roux Associates was hired to begin the remediation process. This was our firm’s first major project and the first step in our long journey. This was also the beginning of Superfund, meaning that the remedial investigation and feasibility study processes that were later developed and now used by the EPA, did not yet exist.

Roux worked with the EPA, the MassDEQE (the predecessor to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection or MassDEP), and the client to develop methods and procedures to investigate the environmental conditions at this 245-acre Site. After years of investigation, remediation, and redevelopment, the spot that was once deemed the fifth most hazardous waste site in the nation by the EPA was transformed into a thriving center for transportation, retail, offices, and hotels. Today, the Site continues to flourish, and Roux is still involved with monitoring its environmental conditions.

Agricultural Chemicals

In the early 1980s, the EPA was considering requiring warning labels on pesticides and herbicides that were being detected in groundwater and surface water around the country. The two main questions that agricultural chemical manufacturers had at the time were:

1)  Are the detections the result of leaching and runoff of chemicals after proper application, or the
result of some other cause (such as spills, leaks, or improper application)?

2)  If any detections were the result of proper application, were these detections the result of
particularly sensitive hydrogeologic settings or other unusual conditions?

Roux, which at the time had only six or seven employees, was retained by an agricultural chemical manufacturer to find the answers to these questions. The projects involved monitoring well installation and groundwater sampling at dozens of sites, and monitoring water quality from 25 rivers in numerous environmental settings across the country. Several different types of study protocols were developed by Roux, which were accepted and adopted by the EPA to provide data for labeling purposes. Roux testified before the EPA’s Science Advisory Panel, as well as several state environmental regulatory panels. The data and conclusions developed by Roux were used by the manufacturers and the EPA to develop application directions and warnings. Roux grew substantially larger during this period, in part to handle the agricultural chemical work.

Petroleum

By the late 1980s, Roux was retained by a major petroleum company to oversee environmental remediation conducted at 80 service stations from the mid-Atlantic to New England. Roux took over and led the remediation at a number of these sites, as well as sites in California. After gaining valuable knowledge and performing quality work, our company has since been chosen to investigate and remediate over a dozen prominent refinery and terminal locations throughout the Northeast. One of such projects, located in New York, involves the largest underground release of petroleum in the United States. Our company has been managing the remediation and regulatory compliance activities at this Site for the past 25 years, including:

  • Directing the work of as many as 40 subcontractor personnel on a daily basis;
  • Creating three-dimensional modeling of multiple phase subsurface flow;
  • Providing engineering design and construction of automated product recovery along with air and water treatment systems;
  • Installation of a vapor recovery and treatment system;
  • Operating and maintaining all remediation and monitoring systems; and
  • Completing all regulatory reporting.

Much of the work, including installation of sewers and other underground piping systems, was particularly difficult since it took place in a densely populated urban area. To date, over 8.5 million gallons of product have been recovered, and operations are still ongoing. Our extensive work on petroleum projects has played a momentous role in our growth, both in number of employees and in the breadth of our capabilities.

Brownfields

As we moved into the 1990s, the experience gained working on Superfund sites and other big environmental remediation projects was applied to the remediation of large scale, complex Brownfield sites. By the end of the decade, Brownfields work had become a key part of our business and a major driver of our firm’s growth. To date, Roux has remediated over 100 Brownfield sites across the country. One example is the Pacific Park development, including the Barclays Center (home of the Brooklyn Nets and NY Islanders) in downtown Brooklyn, New York. The Barclays Site contained an active 100-year-old train yard prior to redevelopment. Roux conducted a waste characterization of over half a million yards of soil that needed to be excavated to build the arena.

Since the Barclays Center is located in a congested city, there was no space to stockpile excavated soil. In addition, the handling and destination of the soil depended on its degree of contamination, so the waste needed to be characterized prior to digging it up. To solve these issues, Roux planned and executed a three-dimensional in-situ soil sampling project for the entire Site, including the active train yard. The excavation work was then managed so that all removed soil could immediately be loaded on the correct truck and sent to its rightful disposal facility. This allowed the work to be completed on schedule, and with minimum soil disposal cost.

Litigation

Delving further into the 90s, we began to gain momentum in the challenging practice area of litigation support. Roux experts perform in-depth analyses of intricate environmental problems, preparing detailed expert reports, opinions, and testimonies in deposition and at trial. Over the years, our associates have provided expert testimony on hundreds of environmental disputes, including many high profile cases. In the Tronox v. Anadarko Matter case, for example, Roux evaluated the cost to remediate 373 major sites formerly owned or operated by the Kerr-McGee Corporation. Dr. Neil Ram of Roux Associates defended these evaluations at trial. The court’s Judge Allan L. Gropper stated in his ruling, “It is significant that Ram’s analysis is the only comprehensive valuation in the vast record of this case of Tronox’s environmental liabilities.” Thanks to Roux’s evaluations, expert testmiony, and Judge Gropper’s ruling, our client was awarded $5.1 billion for cleanup costs. In addition to cost allocation, our experts specialize in contaminant fate and transport, forensic evaluation, and standard of care, among a number of other technical areas.

ENS

Roux has developed and continues to create and employ a number of “Green” technologies from the late 1990s into today, which we have termed Engineered Natural Systems, or ENS. One type of ENS is the Constructed Treatment Wetland, or CTW, which can be used to treat a wide range of contaminants in wastewaters. In 1996, Roux received a patent for an innovative CTW design that greatly increases efficiency and reduces the land area needed for its installation. An example of this type of CTW was designed by Roux for a massive manufacturing facility in Saudi Arabia. The system has been installed and is currently treating two million gallons per day of industrial process and sanitary wastewater. Treated water is 100% recycled for use within the industrial facility. We have installed a number of CTWs and other “Green” systems across the country and beyond, and we believe that these technologies will be a vital part of future growth for our company.

◊◊◊

The project examples described above represent just a few important milestones in our history. Roux, which has grown steadily and organically over the years, currently has approximately 300 employees in offices from New York to Los Angeles. We could have grown faster if we had wanted to, but in the words of our CEO, Doug Swanson, “Our goal is not to be the biggest, but to be the best.”

We seek to hire the best people we can find, provide them with support, training, and motivation, and hold on to them for the long term. More than half of our principals (engineers and scientists) have been with us for more than 15 years, and nearly half of those for over 25 years. Our professionals are smart, hardworking, talented, and yes, nice—just as Paul Roux envisioned 35 years ago. Roux Associates has gained size, credibility, and capability, but has not lost the sense of community that makes it such a great place to work. Paul Roux attributes his success to delegating responsibility to others and not being afraid to “pass the torch,” while striving to produce a likable work environment. He stressed the importance of having fun, enjoying yourself and the work you do—“so many people have the opposite,” he reminded us.

For the future, Roux plans to remain an independent, employee-owned firm, continuing to do what it has done since day one. We look forward to meeting new clients, hiring new team members, growing our practice areas, and employing the same ingenuity and work ethic that has helped us expand an idea into a gratifying work environment and a successful environmental firm.

CSR Spotlight: Guatemala Mission Trip

When Roux Associates started encouraging employees to take part in charitable activities, it quickly evolved from a suggestion to a passion. Through our CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) program, we have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars and countless hours of volunteer work in just a few short years. In supporting a wide range of charities, including group and individual efforts, Roux most recently supported Larry McTiernan, a Principal Hydrogeologist in our Massachusetts office, who traveled to Guatemala for five days to help orphans and struggling families in and around the nation’s capital, Guatemala City.

On April 23, 2016, Larry set out to Guatemala for the second year in a row with his church, Granite United Church. The church itself was embarking on its fifth trip in the past four years; they’ve also done mission trips to Mexico, Trinidad, and the Bahamans. For each trip, the church has partnered with a group called Manna Worldwide, a Christian non-profit organization striving to “rescue children from the grip of poverty.” Larry made the journey with 25 other church volunteers, taking part in what he called a mix of “faith-based, spiritual and physical missionary work.”

A portion of the church’s time was dedicated to helping out Manna’s orphanage in Guatemala City, which Larry’s church helped build during trips in 2013 and 2014. The facility currently houses 21 children, yet only two are actually eligible for adoption. Larry explained that many of the children in the orphanage had been abused and taken away from their parents by the government, yet they cannot be adopted unless their parents give permission. For that reason, most of the kids are in a sort of family limbo: they have no home, but cannot look forward to adoption. Their ages range from a newborn baby who was recently found abandoned, to about 14 years old. The volunteers spent hours with the kids, running around outside and playing indoor games like Uno.

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Larry and his group stayed in a dorm in Guatemala City at night. By day, they worked directly with a missionary couple who live about 20 minutes away from the orphanage in a town called San Lucas. The missionary couple—one of whom is Mexican, the other from Wisconsin—happen to be builders as well. Over the years, they’ve played an integral role in the group’s other projects: building a feeding center, houses, and wooden beds.

The feeding center and home building were last year’s projects during Larry’s first trip to Guatemala. This took place in a much more rural, largely Mayan part of Guatemala called San Rafael el Arado, or El Arado for short. The volunteers mixed concrete by hand in order to lay the foundation for these buildings, often carrying large bags of cement and cinder blocks up and down steep hills. Two years ago, the family pictured below lived in a house made mostly of sugar cane stalks. They are now pictured in a home the church built. According to Larry, “That tiny woman carried three cinder blocks at a time…with one on her head.”

wr3we5

The structure that Larry helped to build last year is now a functional feeding facility, community center, and church. He returned there this year to help serve food to the locals. Five times a week the feeding center provides children with what is likely their only substantial meal of the day, typically comprised of rice, beans, meat, and vitamins. About 100 kids are fed each day, many of whom walk over five miles to get there. At home, children in El Arado usually have nothing to eat but corn, which they grind by hand to make corn flour tortillas. “That’s really all they have to eat,” said Larry, “which isn’t the most nutritious.”

Beforeafter

In addition to providing kids with food, Manna also offers vital medical care to El Arado’s children and adults through a clinic. Thanks to generous donations from the United States, the clinic is now fully staffed three days a week. The majority of the medical efforts are dedicated to pregnant women who arrive at the clinic, who are given neonatal vitamins to help healthy child development and prevent birth defects. The center also provides basic first aid; one of Larry’s fellow volunteers was a trained nurse who cleaned a deep wound on a little boy’s foot. Most of the Guatemalan children do not own shoes. Each of the volunteers brought along a large crate as their second luggage, filled with shoes and toys to give out to the children at feeding centers in two villages—Roux helped to fund this last year. Larry recounted, “Both years I went, United Airlines was kind enough to waive our fees for the second bag. Probably saved us about $1,000, money which we could use on other things down there.”

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Larry’s group also helped out by providing lice and foot-worm treatments. Feet were washed and cleaned deeply, and hair was deloused and combed out. Little girls were ecstatic to get ribbons in their hair. Every child was thrilled to get their hands on some toys—favorites included nail polish and soccer balls.

wr7wr8

This year, Larry spent most of his time constructing beds for families in El Arado and impoverished areas of San Lucas. Their homes generally contain a dilapidated bed for parents to sleep on, while children sleep in swinging hammocks, or on the floor. Commonly, beds are their only existing furniture. Larry and his church built beds for families by hand. The long process involved cutting, sanding, staining, and sealing all of the wood; assembling the various pieces of wood into a simple frame; buying mattresses, sheets, and pillows; and finally carrying the beds (often up steep mountains) into their new homes. Lumber is extremely expensive in Guatemala, resulting in a total cost of $150 per bed. Thanks to Roux’s donation along with outside contributions, Larry’s church was able to build 15 beds this year. “The money went a long way,” he reported.

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Last year’s experience for Larry was very different than his trip this past April. He certainly experienced culture shock the first time around. He traveled in three-van convoys on roads with heavy traffic and no speed limits, met people who had to walk hours for food or water, and walked through villages that were littered with stray animals and garbage, stricken with poverty. He found it difficult to pray with the people he met, knowing that at the end of the week he would end up back in America while they continued to struggle.

This year, it became easier to focus on the positive. Larry’s favorite part of the trip was “seeing the kids and the simple joy on their faces.” The convoys drove through two villages to get to El Arado, where families stood in their doorways with blank stares—but as soon as Larry waved to them, the kids’ faces would light up instantly as they waved back with excitement.

One of his favorite stories started with traveling to a home where the only bed had a huge hole in it and had completely collapsed. After her new bed was built, a mother of multiple children was “gushing with thanks.” She then started opening up to some of the Spanish-speaking volunteers about her home life. Her husband had abandoned their family. One of the American volunteers shared that she was going through a similar situation back home. The emotional exchange led the two women to cry, and before long every woman in the room was crying. Even though he doesn’t speak language himself, Larry was touched by the universal experience the women shared, despite coming from two completely different worlds.

Granite United Church’s next adventure will bring them to a cancer hospital in Honduras later this year. Larry plans on traveling back to Guatemala next year to build more beds, or take part in whatever activity the church has planned. His son, who takes Spanish in high school, may accompany him and help to close the language barrier. Roux Associates thanks Larry for the time and effort he has dedicated to this wonderful cause. We look forward to hearing next year’s stories.

Guatemala
Larry McTiernan, standing third from the left, and his fellow church volunteers

May Day: I’m Graduating Soon…Now What?

It’s mid-May, so you know what that means: the four best years of your life are coming to a close. Even if you have the perfect job lined up, graduating is always bittersweet. You likely started out with zero connections, spent years building friendships and professional networks, and now you’re leaving them all behind. Starting over is never easy—especially if it involves assimilation into the “Real World” while potentially moving back in with your parents.

The question remains: …Now what?

My name is Melissa Nau and I was in your shoes exactly two years ago. I’m here to offer tips and advice on how to prepare, search, apply, and interview for jobs that I wish I had discovered a lot sooner.

What to do if you’re graduating in a matter of days – The Basics:

1. Take care of the obvious: Update your resume. This is easy to do and can be a nice break from studying for the six finals you have to take within three days. By now you’ll know things you didn’t know before: your final GPA, a list of every class you’ve ever taken, whether or not you’ve graduated “summa cum laude,” all of the necessary information to describe your internships, and awards you may have won. This is exactly the kind of content you want on your resume. Make sure to insert “May 2016” as the end date on your current education (instead of “August 2012-Present”), or simply write “Class of 2016.” Same goes for any internships and relevant work experiences that will be ending when you graduate.

2. If you haven’t already, make a LinkedIn account. If you’ve conquered step one, step two is just a few clicks away. LinkedIn is extremely easy to create and navigate—I call it Professional Facebook. You can take your updated resume and upload it directly into LinkedIn where it will list your experiences in the following format:

Roux, LinkedIn

You can list every job you’ve ever had, schools you’ve attended, volunteer programs, publications, awards, and more. It’s essentially a more extensive and easy-to-read online resume. Similar to Facebook, LinkedIn will find “people you may know” to add as connections and expand your network. While you most likely will not use LinkedIn as a platform to have a casual conversation with your friends, you can help each other out by “endorsing” one another for credible skills. This shows potential employers that other people actually recognize your abilities. The number on the left corresponds with how many people have endorsed me for each skill:

LinkedIn, Roux

Odds are that you do not have a professional head shot, and that’s okay. You can always look for a nice Facebook picture in which you are smiling/appropriately dressed and cut it out to use on LinkedIn. If your Facebook photos aren’t professional enough, get a friend or parent to take a quick shot of you in a dress shirt in front of a blank wall—whatever gets the job done.

Once your profile is in order, you can immediately begin searching for jobs on LinkedIn. Their advanced search options offer a large variety of industries and functions to choose from, and you can always narrow down your search by region:

Roux, LinkedIn

If this is your first time seeing what a job search looks like, congratulations! It’s just as easy as it looks, and almost all other job searching platforms will look similar to the one above.

3. Help employers help you. Now that your resume is updated, you can post it on different job sites where employers can find you. Do this immediately; if you’ve already updated your resume it’s the easiest, fastest, and potentially most beneficial first step in your job search. The best sites to post your resume on are CareerBuilder and Monster. I’ve attained two jobs after being contacted through CareerBuilder. In my experience, these sites are the most credible. Other sites include, but are not limited to, Indeed, Mediabistro, and even Craigslist. I know Craigslist sounds…less than credible, but they have pages that are solely dedicated to employment. One of my friends had his resume on Craigslist and it led him to a publishing job at McGraw-Hill in New York City. (Miracle? Maybe. True story? Yes.)

Keep in mind that if you choose to put your resume on Craigslist, there are different pages categorized by region—so if you live in New York, you may want to post your resume on the Long Island Craigslist and New York City Craigslist job pages. Sites like CareerBuilder prompt you to create an account in order to post your resume, which requires very basic information (name, email, address, etc.). On any site where you’re posting your resume, make sure you choose the option to “Display my Resume and Contact Info”:

Roux, CareerBuilder

If you hide your phone number and email address employers will not be able to contact you directly, which is the whole point of this process. If for some reason you receive a lot of spam (which I have not) you could always go back and change this later.

If you’re already interested in a few companies related to your field, you’re ahead of the game. In this case, it’s always better to go directly to the company website and click on their Careers page.

Roux, Careers

If you don’t want your resume displayed on the Internet, you can still use the websites above as resources to search for jobs. Most of them contain their own job blogs to help guide you along, as well as tips for writing resumes and cover letters. I’ll be sure to tackle these concepts later on—for now, check out the above steps and enjoy what’s left of your undergrad career, before your student loans find you.

Seven Tips to Prepare for 2016

The approaching end of any year brings about many to-do lists, festivities, and reflections. We scurry around to prepare for the holidays, connect with family and friends, think back on our year—the good and the bad—and think about what New Year’s resolutions we want to strive for.

In the midst of thinking about our personal life goals, we should also focus on our performance at work and what goals we want to pursue in our job. Sometimes it can be difficult to start that self-evaluation and brainstorming process.

I wanted to share with you some tips that help me prepare for the New Year:

Start the year with a clean slate…


Clean out that desk

Organization can help clear your mind. Clean off the top of your desk and clean out the desk drawers. Get rid of anything hanging around that is no longer needed. File away anything important that you will need in the future or need to keep a record of. Folders and labels are a big help. Make 2015 labels and begin archiving! Also, begin setting up your 2016 files.

Personalizing your desk is also important. Put up photos of your family or the special people in your life. Tack up inspiring quotes. If you have done this already, then revamp your space with new photos and quotes from the year. It’s the simple touches that can motivate you and get your creative juices flowing.

Clean out your email

Delete unwanted email and archive email that is needed for future use. With a cleaner inbox you’ll start the year less overwhelmed. Use folders to organize your tasks and projects. In these folders, file away the necessary received as well as sent emails so you can follow your conversation. This can help in future situations whether you need to remember important information, find attachments, or need clarification; you have your full conversations to fall back on.

Ask for a mentoring session

Ask your manager or a fellow colleague for a mentoring session. They can give you tips or feedback on your performance in the workplace. Welcome both compliments and helpful critiques. This can help you focus on your approach and work ethic at the start of 2016. You can start on the right foot knowing if you need to alter or strengthen any aspect of your work approach. Plan for a 6-month review meeting with your mentor to touch base and go over your progress since the start of the New Year.

Review

Write down all your accomplishments from the last year. What did you do that made it a success? What did you learn? What are you proud of? It is always good to look back on our successes and see what worked for us and what we should continue to pursue doing in the future.

Sometimes the greater lesson can be analyzing what did not go as well. Write down what may not have been a success. What made it fall short? What can you improve on? Try to focus on aspects of your job that you can improve on and focus on those for the upcoming year.

Educate yourself

Education is a great way to improve your knowledge of the field you are in. New knowledge can help you set new goals and go for them.

 

Set goals and objectives…

 

Think about: What do you want to do in the future differently? What new approaches do you want to try? Are there new projects that you want to start? What will better you as a person? What will better your company? Set proactive goals that will benefit you and your company.

 

And don’t forget…


Network yourself

Do you use LinkedIn? It’s a great way to connect with colleagues, past colleagues, future connections and more in the business world. Make sure your profile is up-to-date and showcases your best qualities. Join business related groups and join the conversation. Use your social media channels to grow connections and stay in the loop on current industry news.


Take time to celebrate with your family and friends and relax!

It is important to spend time with our loved ones during the holidays. Make sure you take that time. This in itself is also a great way to reflect and refresh for 2016.

The Roux Family and I would like to wish you Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

-Lauren Rosella, Marketing Coordinator

Recruiting @ Roux: Schools & Career Fairs

As a recent graduate of undergraduate and graduate school, I can easily remember that figuring out what school and what career path to choose can be difficult. I remember asking myself—how do I choose a career and invest in something I’ve never done before? How do I know if I am going to like my choice in career? Can I truly know my passion before I really start learning about it? What school will best prepare me for the field I want to pursue?

To help answer these difficult questions, consider your interests, your goals, your abilities, and your talents. This can lead you to a field that you will enjoy working in and point you to a field that you can shine in and contribute to. The next step is to do research on schools and programs. With thorough research you will be able to confidently select what school and program is the best fit for pursuing your career. Getting an education at a quality school is also something to take into account.

A highly accredited school in your field can have a large influence on your entire career path. When applying for a job or internship, your alma mater can be considered heavily when an organization is making a decision on hiring you. A strong education gives you knowledge which can lead to opportunity.

The U.S News & World Report released “Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs Rankings” that lists the top undergraduate schools from a survey in 2014, for engineering programs. You can click here to view the article.

If you want to attend graduate school to further your skills in environmental engineering, the U.S News & World Report also released “Best Grad Schools Engineering 2016” that lists the top 10 ranked schools for Environmental / Environmental Health Engineering. You can click here to view this article.

Reviewing lists like these is a great starting point for researching and choosing a school with the right program for you. Being proactive in your search to pursue your interests and skills takes you steps closer to where you want to be.

Roux Associates, Inc. is a professional services firm providing a broad range of consulting and project management services to solve complex environmental issues associated with air, water and land.  We have been providing these services to an impressive list of Fortune 500 and public sector clients nationwide for over 30 years through six offices, which are located in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York.

We welcome engineers, scientists, and support personnel with backgrounds in environmental engineering, earth sciences, and civil and chemical engineering. If you have an interest in Roux Associates, visit our Careers page to view available positions and to learn more about working at Roux.


When considering schools and career paths, it is also extremely beneficial to attend career fairs if you want to meet future employers and learn about the industry you may want to pursue. Below is a list of career fairs we will be attending:

9/30/2015
Tufts University Career Fair
http://careers.tufts.edu/employers/events.asp

10-1-2015
Thayer School of Engineering @ Dartmouth – 19th Annual Career Fair:
http://engineering.dartmouth.edu/careers/events/fair

10/7/2015
University of New Hampshire – Career & Internship Fair
https://www.unh.edu/uacc/career-fair

10/8/2015
Drexel University – Fall Career Fair
http://www.rouxinc.com/upcomingevents/drexel-university-fall-career-fair/

10/15/2015
The University of Maine – Engineering Job Fair
http://www.rouxinc.com/upcomingevents/the-university-of-maine-engineering-job-fair/

10/23/2015
Columbia University – Engineering Consortium Career Fair 2015
http://specialevents.cce.columbia.edu/engineering-consortium-career-fair-2015

Check out our Recruiting Calendar to view more details on these events.