how to make your resume stand out

How to Make Your Resume Stand Out From the Crowd

how to make your resume stand out

Whether you’re about to graduate or are on the lookout for a new employer, it’s important that you know how to make your resume stand out. Competition in the job market is fierce, but here are a few tips and tricks you can implement to give yourself an advantage over your peers.

How to Make Your Resume Stand Out

Use a Unique Resume Template

The number one way to make your resume stand out from all the rest is to make it look different than all the rest. If you’re still using the standard format your high school teacher taught you, your resume is most likely long overdue for an upgrade.

Rather than simply listing your education and experience in a plain and boring document, try using a unique and modern resume template like one of these from Design Shack. Consider adding a professional photo of yourself to the top to make it more personal.  

Emphasize Your Accomplishments

Another thing that is sure to impress a hiring manager is emphasizing your accomplishments. Capture your potential employer’s attention by highlighting what you’re most proud of on your resume.

Have you been a part of any specific, successful projects? What were the results of that project? Did you create something many people were impacted by? Did you lead a large team in doing so? Answering these kinds of questions will reveal what’s special about your unique work history.  

SEE ALSO: The 10 Hardest Interview Questions

Keep it to One Page 

how to make your resume stand out with a unique template

Crisp and clean resumes are much more convenient for the busy, examining interviewer. That’s why keeping your resume to one page is a good idea. Hone down all of your incredible attributes to the ones that are most relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Instead of listing out every minor detail of the previous positions you’ve held, focus on the tasks and responsibilities that show you’re a good fit for the available role. With the little that you do write, your goal should be to express why you deserve to get invited in for an interview.

Include a Link to an Online Portfolio

Just because you’re limited on space in the actual resume doesn’t mean you can’t include a link to an online portfolio. A personal website is an excellent place to further discuss and display your accomplishments.

A few helpful hints – your online portfolio should not simply rehash everything you already listed on your resume. Instead, use it as an opportunity to show off samples of your work (if applicable) and share some additional information about yourself.

List a Second Language

Speaking a second language is a requirement for a growing number of jobs, and when it’s not an absolute must-have, it’s still very often a preferred trait. If you’re fluent in multiple languages, you should absolutely list them on your resume.

Still on your way to becoming bilingual, but not quite there yet? Don’t neglect this highly beneficial skill. You can easily take online language lessons to become a more proficient speaker and/or writer. A small investment in private lessons to improve your skills will be well worth the reward!

RELATED POST: How To Decide Which Foreign Language You Should Learn

Now you know how to make your resume stand out. By following these five simple guidelines, you’ll be one step closer to nailing an interview for your dream job. Good luck, and happy job hunting!

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music and autism

Music and Autism: The Benefits of Music for Special Needs Children

Music and Autism

More parents and teachers of special needs children are starting to realize the remarkable connection between music and autism. Research has shown that when autistic children interact with music on a regular basis, their behavior and communication skills improve.

Keep reading to learn about how music affects autism, and how your special needs child can begin experiencing the benefits of music today.

Quick Facts About Autism

  • Autism is a developmental disorder that negatively affects a child’s ability to communicate and interact with other people.
  • Symptoms of the mental condition, which begin to appear in children ages 2-3, can be reduced but not entirely cured.
  • Each child diagnosed with autism faces a spectrum of his or her own individual challenges.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that autism occurs in approximately one in 68 children in the United States.

The Surprising Connection Between Music and Autism

In the first reports of autism dating back to 1943, there are multiple references to autistic children’s musical ability and interest. Since then, dozens of studies have been conducted that clearly show a strong tie between music and autism.

Although individuals with autism are slower to develop verbal communication skills, evidence suggests that they are actually able to process and understand music just as good if not better than their peers.

Specifically, autistic children have demonstrated advanced abilities in pitch categorization, memorization of melodies, and labeling of emotions in music.

Take 13 year old Jewels, for example. At three years old, Jewels was unable to speak or move his fingers. But with the help of music therapy sessions, he is now a talented pianist. Check out the video of Jewels below.


Playing the piano wasn’t just a fun hobby for Jewels; it helped improve his behavior and develop fine motor skills. Learning to play an instrument can have numerous benefits like these for autistic children.  

The Benefits of Music for Autism

Communication

The struggle of trying to communicate with an autistic child can weigh heavily on any parent or caregiver, but incorporating music into the child’s routine presents a ray of hope.  

Music interventions have been found to improve speech output among individuals with autism in the areas of vocalization, verbalization, and vocabulary. Singing can be especially helpful for teaching autistic children to effectively express their emotions.

Social Skills

A 2009 study showed that during play sessions with music, children with autism were more socially engaged with their peers than in sessions without music. Music encouraged the children with autism to interact in more appropriate ways with other children, including sharing and taking turns.

Behavior

Music can also be an avenue to improving an autistic child’s behavior by helping them learn to follow directions. A recent study found that music connects the auditory and motor parts of the brain. This helps autistic children better understand and obey verbal commands.

In another study of 41 children over a 10-month period, music therapy helped decrease negative behaviors such as aggression and tantrums.

Cognition

Teachers of autistic children often take advantage of the benefits of music for improving cognitive development. Music’s rhythmic patterns provide a structured way for autistic children to organize auditory information.

This makes music a very helpful tool for memorization and learning daily routines. With repetitive training, music can also help improve a child’s attention span.  

Related: How to Find the Right Tutor for Special Needs Students

Emotions

Autistic children are more likely to experience anxiety than the average child. Introducing music into their routine helps increase their tolerance for frustration and decrease anxious behaviors. The repetitive and predictable rhythms of classical music are particularly beneficial for relieving anxiety.  

Introducing an Autistic Child to Music 

There are a couple different ways to introduce your child to the benefits of music for autism. Music therapy is one potential route. Music and Autism

The American Music Therapy Association defines this practice as “the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.”

Music therapy is similar to physical therapy in the sense that a therapist will assess the individual and provide a unique treatment plan based on his or her needs. You can easily search online for a Board Certified music therapist in your area.

An alternative and often less expensive option is to sign your child up for private, in-home music lessons. With a tool like TakeLessons, it isn’t hard to find a qualified teacher who has experience working with special needs students.

Keep in mind that either option works best when done repeatedly, over longer periods of time. Overall, the evidence supports that making music a consistent part of your child’s routine will not only be an enjoyable activity, but a key to unlocking their full potential.

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how to tune a ukulele

How to Tune a Ukulele: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

how to tune a ukulele

One of the first things you need to learn when taking ukulele lessons is how to tune a ukulele. Ukulele tuning is a must if you want it to sound good.

In this article we’ll provide a step-by-step guide on tuning a ukulele for beginners. Tuning can be difficult, but with this guide, you’ll become a master at tuning your ukulele before you know it.

This guide will teach you how to tune a ukulele to standard tuning, as well as how to tune various types of ukuleles including tenor, soprano, and bass ukuleles. You’ll learn how to tune a ukulele by ear and to itself, and you’ll also learn about uke tuners and tuning apps.

If you’re looking for something specific, you can jump around throughout the guide here:


How to Tune a Ukulele

If you know nothing about tuning a stringed instrument, check out this video on how to tune a guitar from world famous guitarist and songwriter James Taylor. This video covers a lot of details about tuning in general, and you can apply the same principles to tuning a ukulele.

Standard Ukulele Tuning

The ukulele is typically tuned to the notes G, C, E, and A. This has been the “standard” since the advent of the internet. Before the internet, you could find people who tune their ukulele to A, D, F#, B or even fiddle tunings like A, D, A, D or G, C, D, G.

Ukulele Tuning for Beginners

How to Tune a Ukulele With a Piano

Today, most of the books and videos you will find use G4, C4, E4, A4 as the standard ukulele tuning. The fours behind the letters represent the octave that you will find on the piano.

So if you happen to have a keyboard or a piano, C4 is known as middle C. If you tune your ukulele to match middle C, then the E above middle C, and the A above middle C, and then tune the first string to the G above middle C, you will be in what is known as standard ukulele tuning.

Here’s a good illustration of how to tune a ukulele with a piano from The Uke website.

Ukulele tuning with a piano

Image courtesy The Uke

How to Tune a Ukulele With a Tuner

So what do you do if you don’t have a piano? Well, you will need to get yourself a chromatic tuner. I use a Korg chromatic tuner, and I love it! I have tried a lot of other tuners, but the Korg is my favorite.

Tune Ukulele with a Korg Tuner

Korg CA-40 Electronic Chromatic Tuner – Image Courtesy Musician’s Friend

You can purchase several brands of tuners for a reasonable price at places like Musician’s Friend and Sweetwater. You will find that there are different types of tuners, and not all tuners are chromatic. Which leads us to our next topic, what exactly does chromatic mean?

If a tuner is chromatic, it enables you to tune to all of the notes. Guitar tuners are not chromatic. They’re calibrated to only pick up the notes that are used on the guitar in standard tuning. Which means they can tune E, A, D, G, B and E, but it’s hard to tune to C or F# or Bb, or any of the remaining notes that aren’t covered by a regular guitar tuner.

For this reason, I advise all of my students to buy chromatic tuners instead of standard guitar tuners.

How to Tune a Ukulele by Ear

If you get a used or vintage ukulele, you probably won’t have a tuner. Instead you might get some really old books or brochures and something called a pitch pipe. A pitch pipe is a neat mini harmonica that plays one note at a time when you blow into it. In some cases, you may have a pitch pipe that wasn’t designed for your instrument, so you have to know how to tune one string to the pitch pipe, and the other strings to the first string.

This can be a bit of a challenge, but I’m going to walk you through it. First, you need a reference note. Typically your reference note is middle C. When you blow on the pitch pipe, or play the note on the piano, you hear middle C. Then, you must twist the tuner on your ukulele until it matches. If you twist counter clockwise on the first two strings, you will tighten the string, and make it go up in pitch. So if you start on B, and twist counter-clockwise, you will be somewhere between B and C. If you keep twisting, you will finally get to C. But don’t twist too far, or you will overshoot C and end up on C# or somewhere between C and C#.

Likewise, if you twist clockwise, you will go down in pitch. So if you are on B again, and you twist clockwise, you will end up on Bb, or somewhere between B and Bb.

So when you match middle C on your pitch pipe to middle C on your ukulele, you’re ready to start tuning your ukulele to the notes on the fretboard on the C string. Now think about it for a minute: You have your ukulele tuned to middle C, and now you need to get an E sound, so you can try to tune the next string to that E. If you count up from C, you will eventually get to E. The first fret is C#, the second fret up from there is D. Then the third fret is D#, and then finally the fourth fret is the E you’re looking for.

If you hold down the fourth fret, you will hear an E that you can tune the next string to. Now remember, when you get to tuning that E string, you’re on the opposite side of the neck, so twist in the opposite direction than you did before. Twisting clockwise will tighten the string and make it go up in pitch. Twisting counter-clockwise makes the string loosen or go down in pitch.

Now that you have your E, count up until you find the G (which is before the A string) and tune it. The first fret on the E string will be F, the second fret F#, and the third will be the G.

Once you get the G string tuned (which seems like you’re going forward and backward on the ukulele, but that’s OK), count up to the A note. The first fret is G# and the second fret is A. Now you can tune to that pitch, and you’ll be all in tune.

A final note on tuning: Once you think you get your instrument in tune, your strings will probably have stretched a bit. Sometimes, depending on your strings, the humidity, the types of tuners you have, and the type of wood your ukulele is made of, your ukulele will not be in tune immediately after you tune it. So you have to go back through the whole process two or three times to fine tune your ukulele. Once you’ve done this, you’re ready to play!


How to Tune Different Types of Ukuleles

Now you might have one of several types of ukuleles. They’re not all the same. Here is a chart that covers the various types of ukuleles and the notes of their standard tuning.

Standard and alternative tuning for different types of ukuleles


Alternate Tunings

You can create a few fun alternate tunings by tuning each string up or down two steps. I find that if you try tuning more than two steps, you will break strings. So if standard tuning is G, C, E, A, then try tuning the G to a G# or an A, and make chords out of the open tuning. What goes with G#? The E chord would work. So you could tune your C down to a B, leave the E alone, and keep the A or tune it to a G# as well. You could try Open C tuning and tune your top A down to a G. Or try C7 tuning, and tune the A to a Bb.

There are so many different types of tunings that you can try. If you find an alternate tuning you like, let us know in the comments section below! Here’s a refresher on basic ukulele chords.


Ukulele Tuning Apps

There are a lot of good ukulele tuning apps out there. Here are a few I recommend checking out:

iPhone

Free Chromatic Tuner Ukulele Tuning app

Free Chromatic Tuner

This free app works for both standard tuning and alternate tuning. You can download Free Chromatic Tuner from the iTunes app store.


Tuner Lite app for Uke Tuning

Tuner Lite

Tuner lite turns your smartphone into a chromatic tuner and pitch pipe.


Android

Fine Chromatic Tuner for Ukulele Tuning

Fine Chromatic Tuner

Fine Chromatic Tuner uses the built-in mic on your phone to help you get your uke in tune.


Chord! app for Ukulele Tuning

Chord!

You can download Chord! for both iPhone and Android. There’s a free and paid version, and the app allows you to find multiple tunings for lots of different stringed instruments, as well as chords, scales, and other useful information.


Now you know several ways to get your uke in tune. Ukulele tuning may seem difficult at first, but find the method that works best for you and keep practicing! Try practicing with these 10 easy ukulele songs.

Have you learned any cool tricks that help you tune your ukulele? Share them with us in the comments below! 

Willy MPost Author: Willy M.
Willy M. teaches guitar, ukulele, and mandolin lessons in Winston Salem, NC. He’s the author of the Dead Man’s Tuning series of mandolin songbooks, and is a former member of the American Federation of Musicians. Willy has been teaching for 20 years, and his students have ranged in age from young children to folks in their 80s. Learn more about Willy here!

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Quiz What is Your Learning Style

Quiz: What is Your Learning Style?

No matter what you’re learning, your personality plays a big role! Everyone learns differently, and the strategies that work for one person may not work for another — and that’s OK!

Whether you’re learning a new language or even picking up a new hobby, it’s smart to keep your learning style in mind. That way, you’re setting yourself up for success from the start!

So, what is your learning style? Take the quiz below to find out:

easy ukulele songs

How to Play 10 Songs on the Ukulele Using 4 Simple Chords

4 basic ukulele chords to play easy ukulele songsThe ukulele is a beginner-friendly, fun little instrument that you’re never too young or old to try out. A few extra bonuses – it’s affordable, portable, and there are many easy ukulele chords.

If you don’t already own a uke, you can start by choosing among the three most common ukulele sizes for your first instrument: the soprano, concert, or tenor. They all use the same tuning, but the main difference is in body size (tenor is the largest). You should be able to purchase a starter uke for between $50 and $100.

Keep reading to learn 10 easy uke songs that you can start playing today, even if you’re a beginner!

How to Play 10 Easy Ukulele Songs with 4 Chords

Step 1: Tune Up and Learn 4 Basic Ukulele Chords

Standard ukulele tuning is G-C-E-A, which lends itself nicely to the key of G. To play the songs in this blog post, all you’ll need to do is learn the fingerings of four chords and get comfortable transitioning between them. The four basic ukulele chords are: G major, C major, D major, and E minor (Em). Once you familiarize yourself with them, you can play any one of the easy uke songs here, including hits from Bob Dylan, Adele, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, Taylor Swift, and Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Learn the Chord Shapes and a Simple Down-Strum Pattern

Below you’ll find chord diagrams for these easy ukulele chords. Finger them carefully, making sure you’re sounding all the notes clearly. Adjust your fingers as needed if you hear muted or muddy notes or chords. Before you attempt to play any of these songs, first practice each chord with a down strum, using your right hand thumb.

basic ukulele chords for beginners

These easy ukulele songs are all in the time signature known as 4/4, meaning there are four beats in every measure, and each one of those beats is a quarter note. So, to prepare for learning these songs, play each chord four times. Start with the G chord, playing several measures of four consecutive down strums at a slow tempo. Then move on to the C chord, then back to the G chord, and then the D chord. Try tapping your foot as you play the chords, strumming each chord for four counts.

Optional Rhythmic Strumming Pattern

Once you have that simple down strum and foot-tapping working, you can try this more interesting strumming pattern consisting of:

Down, Down-Up-Down, Down-Up-Down, Down-Up-Down, Down-Up-Down, Down-Up-Down, Down-Up

This pattern is fairly easy, though it might look harder than it is. Just break it down to an independent down strum to start off with, followed by 5 groups of Down-Up-Down, ending with Down-Up. You can either use your thumb or a felt pick. Please note: the down stroke (down strum) symbol most commonly used is: Π and the up stroke (up strum) symbol most commonly used is: ∨.

Step 2: Pick an Easy Ukulele Song!

Once you’re comfortable moving from chord to chord, you’re ready to try playing one or more of the easy ukulele songs listed below. The order of the chords in these 10 songs are as follows. Here are 10 more easy ukulele practice songs for beginners.

1. “Blowin’ In The Wind” – Bob Dylan

  • Verses: G, C, G, G, C, D, G, C, G, G, C, D
  • “The answer my friend” refrains: C, D, G, Em, C, D, G

2. “Brown Eyed Girl” – Van Morrison

  • Verses: G, C, G, D, G, C, G, D, G, C, G, D, G, C, G, D, C, D, G, Em, C, D, G
  • “Do you remember when we used to sing: ”sha-la-la-la-la-la-la” refrains: D, G, C, G, D, G, C, G, D, C, D, G, Em, C, D, G

3. “22” – Taylor Swift

  • G, D, C, D

4. “I Won’t Back Down” – Tom Petty

  • Verses: Em, D, G, Em, D, G, Em D, C, Em, D, G
  • Choruses: C, D, C, D, C, D, Em,, D, G, Em, D, G

5. “Someone Like You” – Adele

  • Verses, Choruses and Bridge: G, D, Em, C
  • Pre-chorus: D, C, D, C, D

6. “Your Mama Don’t Dance” – Loggins & Messina

  • Verses: G, C, G, C, G, D, C, G
  • Bridge: C, C, C, C, D, C, G

7. “Have You Ever Seen The Rain?” – Creedence Clearwater Revival

  • Verses: G to D (for verses),
  • Choruses: C, D, G, Em, D C, D, G, Em, D——C, D, G, Em, D—–C, D, G

8. “Bring It On Home” – classic blues song recorded by countless artists

  • G, D, G, C, G, D, G, C, G, D

9. “This Magic Moment” – Jay And The Americans, Lou Reed, etc.

  • Verses: G, Em, C, D
  • Pre-chorus: Em, C, G, D
  • Choruses: G, Em, C, G, Em, G, Em

10. “Tougher Than The Rest” – Bruce Springsteen

  • Verses: G, C, D, C, G, D (for verses)
  • Bridge: Em, C, G, C, D, G, Em, C, G, C, G, D, G

It helps to listen to these songs as you’re learning and play along so you can hear where the chord changes happen. You can also look them up on a site like Ultimate Guitar which shows where the chord changes occur relative to the lyrics of the song.

Need some extra help mastering these ukulele chords and songs? Try taking online or in-person lessons with an experienced ukulele teacher to take your skills to the next level. Search for a ukulele teacher today!

Jeff S

Jeff S. teaches ukulele and guitar lessons in Perth Amboy, NJ. He is both a songwriter and performer, and has taught music business and songwriting at various universities and music schools. Learn more about Jeff S here!

 

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Photo by Victor Engmark