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Getting your resume noticed is the first step towards successful employment, and it may lay down the path of the rest of the recruitment stages. Sure, your working experience, skills, and personality may very well be the deciding factor. Yet, if you do not present your qualities in a coherent manner, the recruiter would not be able to objectively assess you as a suitable candidate.

You need to create a resume that brings out the best of what you possess, and do it in such a way that it looks appealing enough to get their attention. Earlier on, I showcased an entry with some really exceptional resumes that are perhaps more fitting for graphic designing posts: Land Your Dream Job With 25 Innovative Resume Ideas.

In this post, however, I’m giving some pointers for those who are more comfortable with the ‘traditional’ kind of resumes where the unspoken rule is to look professional. Even so, there are still ways to tweak and tune your resumes to make it unique and secure you that follow-up interview.

1. Avoid cliche words

After reading one resume after another, the HR personnel would probably get sick of a couple of reused words common among resumes. Words and phrases to describe your past work experiences such as ‘responsible for’, ‘successfully’, ‘developed’, etc, lost their meanings in the pile of seemingly similar resumes.

If you wish to stand out and get chosen from that crowd, you’ve got to play around with unfamiliar wordings or phrasings. Do a simple search on the net and you can easily find power verb lists like this one from ResumeEdge.

Also equally important, you need to present evidence on what you label yourself as. Everyone had a different experience as to what leads them to call themselves ‘innovative’ or ‘team player’, for instance. It is these experiences which distinguish each individual candidate. Explain what you meant by being a ‘team player’ that you are.

One example would be to say that you willingly sacrifice your interest for the good of the team in a particular project. The more specific you are, the more you can stand out from the rest.

2. Have an ‘adaptable’ resume

As much as possible, don’t send the same resume to every organization which you are applying for. It’s better to modify your resumes in accordance to the job requirements stated for the particular post. In other words, you should have a resume which ‘adapts’ to the situations. Now, how should you do that?

First, you need to consider the format of the resume. When you list down your work experience and skills, should you use a functional or reverse chronological style?

A functional resume categorizes your work experience and skills by skill area of job function. For example, if you had worked under a variety of executive posts in the past, you might have amassed a substantial amount of experience in project management, planning-related tasks and so forth.

What you can do is you create headings such as ‘Project Management’ and ‘Planning’, and you list down in bulleted style the different accomplishments you have under the appropriate headings.

We are more accustomed to the reverse chronological style where we simply list down our work experience over the past decade or so, starting with the most recent one. The recruiter can easily read and comprehend how the candidate progressed in his or her career over time, and see what were the competencies gained through each stage of the progression.

A functional resume allows the recruiter to easily assess the skill sets you to possess and is especially helpful if they match with the job requirements. Especially those who’re making a career switch and lack relevant work experiences, they will be able to single out specific responsibilities they held in their past jobs that are applicable to this post.

On the other hand, a reverse chronological resume would benefit those who stick to their career path as they apply for the new post. This is because those previous posts would be deemed related in terms of job scopes to the current post you are applying.

Secondly, the resume should illustrate how you, as a potential employee, can help the organization with your skills and experience. For that, you would need to research well enough to know how you can contribute to the organization, and sell that through your resume. By selling, I mean you need to know what they look for in a candidate and show that you have those qualities.

3. Be concise and neat

When writing a resume, you must remember that the person reading it has a really short attention span. If he or she reads for 20 seconds and don’t see any point reading further, your resume will be placed on the ‘rejected’ pile. This is understandable because they need to go through many resumes like yours. So you’ll need to get to the point and captivate the recruiter enough to examine your piece.

Writing on and on with chunks of words wouldn’t help your CV. If the recruiter needs to pick out your skills and experience for you, then you have failed. Help them do that by writing in bulleted style to enhance the readability. There’s no one specific format to follow for bullets, but just keep in mind that the purpose is to organize information about yourself clearly for them.

Given that recruiter has only that limited amount of time for each resume, do remember to keep your resume short. A rule of the thumb is to restrict it to two pages maximum. Pick words wisely, choosing those that strike a balance between being overly cliché and being informative.

4. Write a Career Summary/Objective

It will be time-consuming for any recruiters to read every single resume in its entirety. So why not help them do that by having a career summary or objective at the beginning? That way, you can score a point for consolidating your facts into a neat paragraph for clarity, and you can orientate the recruiter to areas which you wish to highlight.

Some articles on resume-writing assert that career summary or objective may be outdated because employers are less interested in what you want to achieve in your career than what you can do for them. However, I believe that any job recruitment process involves two parties; the job applicant and the employer.

A seasoned employer would recognize the importance of job-fit between the applicant and the job as a good predictor of future performance and company loyalty. A career summary or objective would allow you to voice out your aspirations so that the recruiter can assess whether you would belong in the company.

You can declare your own career goals, but at the same time, try to relate those to how you can contribute to the company. At the same time, highlight your past major achievements to the recruiter such that you can induce him or her to read further and discover more about you. And as always, try to keep it short, concise and straight-to-the-point.

5. Quantify achievements wherever possible

If you are out there trying to catch the eye of the recruiter through your resume, you’ve got to include in details which would separate yourself from the rest of the crowd. You may be in charge of a team for a specific project in your previous company, but you need the numbers to back you up and strengthen your claims.

Instead of simply putting ‘Led a team in the research project’, you should also say how many people were in your team, and what the output was in quantifiable amount. Now, the claim becomes much more complete when you write, ‘Led a team of 5 in a research project which cuts down annual operational costs of the company by $xxxxx.

You see, there are many people out there who can lead a team, implement programs or whatever. The only way to differentiate yourself is by showing what it is that you’ve done. Assigning numbers to these accomplishments ultimately translate into what you can value-add to the company you are applying for, and that’s what really appeals to recruiters out there.

6. Explain gaps

One of the things you can be sure that the recruiter would ask you in your interview are those gaps in your resume. If you make it to the interview, that is. To be safe, fill in the gaps for them even in your resume. Briefly explain why you were unemployed for a year or two, and what you did during those times.

If you simply leave the gap unaccounted for in your resume, it might give the recruiter the impression that you have something to hide, or that you didn’t check through your piece.

It’s possible that rather than setting up an interview to find out what it was all about, the recruiter might just prematurely conclude that it would be a waste of time to do so. You wouldn’t want to take that chance with your dream company.

7. Integrate keywords of job post

Most companies process resumes via a tracking system that detects keywords. These keywords are chosen based on what the recruiters are looking for in candidates, and are usually found in the job advertisement itself. With the increasing number of online submissions of resumes, turning to such a system is an obvious solution for the recruiter to effectively screen out candidates.

As such, you as an applicant should do some research on your own to find out what qualities or skill sets are expected of candidates. Fortunately, this tracking system is likely to be only used at the early stages of screening, so all you need to do is make sure that you enter in the most basic prerequisites of the job.

Bonus: Visual appeals?

I’m sure that when most of you think of resumes, the first few things that come into your mind is that they have to be professional, neat and preferably in no-nonsense black-and-white. But if you are also hoping that yours would be able to be distinct from other resumes, you wonder if colors or visual appeals would make a difference.

Yes, it probably would, but you don’t want yours to stand out for the wrong reasons. In ‘Land Your Dream Job With 25 Innovative Resume Ideas‘, you see lots of really creative and out-of-the-box ideas for resumes, something that you would least expect from resumes.

As I said, if you are going for graphic designing jobs, you might consider those ideas to illustrate your designing capabilities. But if you are eyeing for a position which has little to do with graphics, I suggest you go conservative with visual appeals.

Now, what can you do to make your resume a little different? First of all, you have to remember that visual appeal has the primary purpose of facilitating the recruiter in reading the resume. It should not distract him or her. In fact, it should be used to accentuate keywords. So, bold or italicize your texts in areas which you want to emphasize.

If you do use colors, try to limit the range of colors that you use; it can get too distracting. Personally, I only use a light blue background and dark blue lines to segregate the various headings and sections. I applied them because it easily enables the reader to see where each section begins and ends.

Essentially speaking, stick to the rule of clarity, clarity and more clarity.

The post 7 Great Ways to Get Your Resume Noticed appeared first on Hongkiat.

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When I was studying, all I needed was a notepad and a pen to keep track of all my assignments. This method was valid and dependable… until the school break. My notes have the tendency of growing legs and going MIA on me, and by the time I was in university, electronic notepads and online calendars became my preferred choices. Laptops and PCs were noticeably harder to misplace than cellulose-based scribblings of your weekend plans.

Then came the ‘we have an app for that’ period – and all hell broke loose. This period gave rise to tons of apps that deliver one or two major tasks for the user. Now they may go by many names, but one of the more popular ones is ‘productivity tools’. A tool to make you more productive? What’s there to hate, right? Apparently, plenty.

It’s the singer, not the rhyme

Honestly, tech tools can only do so much. No one immediately becomes a Master Chef just because they have top-rated chef knives. For example, spellcheckers can help minimize spelling mistakes but they don’t make you write any better overnight. Syncing systems make sure you get the files you need anywhere, anytime, but you will still have to keep track of all the different versions of documents you have. And you need to start your time tracker before you start work, otherwise, nothing gets tracked.

The effectiveness of these tools begins with the user. If you aren’t the least bit productive in what you do, don’t expect the tools to be working miracles for you, because that is not what they are made for.

The trap of to-do lists

Oh, I love to-do lists. They are awesome. I wrote everything down, never forget anything, any event or errand ever again. I became the Queen of Productivity. Then I noticed three downfalls of being too productive for your own good.

The elephant in the room

One, you are expected to remember everything: your colleagues ask you to confirm things for them; your boss berates you when you miss a deadline (since it’s impossible that you would forget the date); and forgetting your mother’s birthday would launch a nuclear war in your next family reunion (sorry, mom).

You are no longer allowed to forget anything. Now that’s a scary thought.

Never-ending story

Two, you are constantly prioritizing your errands every time you add something new to the list. ‘Getting the milk’ can take as long as a week to cross out because you keep putting everything else ahead of it, as they come in. And your mind will have the tendency to forget the things you forget to add to your list.

You will be programmed to be totally dependent on this list. The effect? I accidentally deleted a list — which was not backed up — once in the middle of a super busy period. It was chaos. Utter chaos.

Who’s working for whom?

Three, you will eventually end up listing, updating, crossing out and deleting your planner/organizer/app/tool even when you are stuck in traffic, waiting for a client, sitting at the bus stop or when your phone is in airplane mode. If you think that that is normal and acceptable behavior by today’s standards, I ask you this: are you being more productive, or doing more work?

They are not the same thing. Remember that the concept behind productivity tools is that the tools should do more so that you can do less. If it doesn’t help you get more time to yourself, then it should not be called a productivity tool.

The secret to being productive is…

…to manage yourself well. Just having the tools is not enough, you also need self-discipline, an organized approach to your tasks, the ability to use your resources well and knowing when to let go. Oh, and keeping a close eye on deadlines and knowing how to prioritize are also important characteristics but those can be helped on by said tools.

Gentle reminder to always allocate some time for yourself and for your family (even those two need to be separated). Humans are more like battery cells rather than machines. We can’t work nonstop; we need to slow down, unwind, stop, recharge and start up again.

So if work or using a buggy, blasted tech tool is pushing you over the frustration limit, you are the only person who can put up a stop sign and take a break.

Tools of my trade

Not all productivity tools are good for everyone. It’s the main reason why your colleague may like one syncing program but you like another. It’s also why there are hundreds of productivity tool lists out there that have no common similarities at all. It’s a free universe; you can use whichever tool that ‘syncs’ with you, so to speak.

More importantly though, the selection of productivity tools is a matter of personal preference; it’s like when you were picking out that accessory that goes well with your Halloween costume. You know when something is working for you and when it is not. Don’t let anyone else pressure you into thinking you should or can use only one particular tool or app.

Conclusion

As for me, after quitting my job to go full freelance, juggling work, a needy toddler and taking my Masters on the side made me realize that I needed all the help I can get. My favorite productivity tool? Good ol’ pen and paper — a pocket-sized notebook to be exact. I don’t have to charge it or fear that it would run out of juice; I can make copies of my reminders, put them on the fridge, pin it up on a board or slip it in a book.

My notes are easy to compile, write up, correct and update, and I don’t need a tutorial to use it properly. Plus, whenever I get a task done, chucking the note in the trash bin is always more satisfying than clicking ‘Done’.

The post Productivity vs. Productivity Tools: Do The Latter Really Work? appeared first on Hongkiat.

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Some of us like coffee, others are crazy about tea. We are fans of both, and more so of the wacky and cool designs tea infusers come in these days. The rectangular tea bag was invented in the 1940s and well, 70 years on we should be using tea infusers in whichever design we damn well please!

Here are 20 rather quirky and geeky designs of tea infusers you can find all over the Web. From cute animal designs to simple everyday objects, you’ll find a variety of tea infusers in this list. So go on, name your favorite in the comments or share with us any awesome-looking tea infuser you already have.

More on Hongkiat:

Babushka Russian Nesting Doll

Two inches high, these Babushka dolls are a delight to have in your cup of tea.

Star Wars Death Star Tea Infuser

Apparently now the dark side serves tea.

Frog Tea Infuser

The froggy grin should be able to put a smile on your face.

SUCK UK Goldfish Tea Infuser

Now your pot is a fishbowl!

Kikkerland Robot Tea Infuser

If the frog or the climber doesn’t do it for you, maybe this robot here will. It also comes with a drip tray.

Fred and Friends MANATEA

The sea creature sailors allegedly mistake as mermaids (probably during a drunken state) is now in tea infuser mode.

Mr. Tea Infuser

A cup of tea to you is a jacuzzi pool for Mr Tea.

Grip-Easy Tea Infuser in Music Note Style

You can’t call yourself a fan of good music without this tea infuser.

Tea Duckie Tea Infuser

Rubber ducky has left the waters of your bath for the waters of your tea.

Shark Fin “Sharky” Tea Infuser

Can you hear the infamous two-tone music that signals the arrival of the great white?

DCI Tea at Sea Tea Infuser

Drop anchor! Available in red and blue.

Strawberry Design Tea Infuser

Perfect for a spot of strawberry tea!

Water Lily Floating Tea Infuser

This one might be better for cups with larger rims.

Tea Sub – Yellow Submarine

Bet you were looking for this since we mentioned it in the intro. Isn’t it adorable?

MMI25 – You Tea Infuser

This heart-shaped tea infuser is the perfect gift alongside the heart-shaped “To Mug” right next to it.

Tilevo Tea Infuser

Though the actual Loch Ness monster may be a myth but this cute tea infuser is as real as can be.

Swan Pool Float Tea Infuser

Sit back, relax and let this swan pool float tea infuser prepare a great cup of tea to calm your senses.

Lollipop Tea Infuser

These funky lollipop-shaped tea infusers made with high-quality silicon can be great tea accessory at work or at home.

Umbrella Tea Infuser

It may rain in your teacup so you better keep these tiny umbrella tea infusers handy.

Carrot Loose Leaf Tea Infuser

Perfectly designed to sit on your cup’s rim this bunny is not ready to let its carrot go, but it’ll infuse your tea perfectly.

The post 20 Cute Tea Infusers That Will Make Coffee Lovers Jealous appeared first on Hongkiat.

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Metal textures look really cool as desktop background as they are mostly in darker tones and give a deep and solid look to your computer screen. However, high-quality metallic wallpapers are somewhat difficult to find. And this is what this post is about.

Here are unique and HD metallic wallpapers for your desktop background. From grunge metal, and grill textures to rusty metallic surfaces and geometric patterns, this list has everything to make your desktop look heavy and solid. Let’s take a look.

#1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 #11 #12 #13 #14 #15 #16 #17 #18 #19 #20 #21 #22 #23 #24 #25 #26 #27 #28 #29

The post 20+ Metallic Wallpapers For Your Desktop appeared first on Hongkiat.

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“If you are good at something, never do it for free” is the most famous dialogue from movie The Dark Knight – and something I completely believe in. If you’re an expert in a certain area, then there is no harm in sharing your knowledge to earn money. And in today’s internet-prone world, one great way to do so is to write and sell an ebook.

All you need is to make sure you produce quality stuff and then think of a reasonable selling price for it. The former part is completely up to you, however, for the latter part, there are many online services that can assist you well.

Read Also: 20 Best Websites To Download Free EBooks

In this article, I’ve pulled a list of 20 websites that can help you host and sell your ebook, along with handling the troublesome transaction process. Some even let you keep 90-100% of the sales price. So, let’s take a look.

Payhip

Sign Up | Selling & Pricing

Payhip is an e-commerce website that offers you to sell any type of downloadable digital material, including ebooks. You create a customizable sales page on Payhip for free and it gives you the tools to sell your product, such as discount coupons, share buttons, affiliate program and flexible pricing options. Payhip will simply keep 5% of all the sales you make – simple right?

Amazon Kindle Direct Publish

Sign Up | Selling & Pricing

You can easily publish your ebooks on the biggest online store Amazon for free. Of course, you will get a huge exposure on Amazon and you get to keep up to 70% of the total sales price.

Blurb

Sign Up | Selling & Pricing

Blurb gives you reliable tools to create that perfect ebook. You can create reflowable ebooks or fixed layout ebooks and blurb will automatically format the book for you in your choice format. You can sell the books to different markets, including Blurb, Amazon, and Apple iBooks Store.

Lulu

Sign Up | Selling & Pricing

Lulu offers a complete guide on creating perfectly formatted ebooks and then convert them into EPUB or PDF format. If you can’t do it yourself, then Lulu also offers personal service of doing it for you for a tiny fee. Your ebooks can be sold on different publishers with each offering their own royalty.

Tradebit

Sign Up | Selling & Pricing

Tradebit is very similar to Payhip as it lets you create a sales page and then helps you sell your ebooks (or any other downloadable material). You can use an affiliate program, set custom price, take advantage of social media integration and sell ebooks on popular markets such as eBay.

NOOK Press

Sign Up | Selling & Pricing

Barnes & Noble offers this self-publishing tool to write and publish your ebook. NOOK Press offers all the tools for free to create and publish your ebooks. The created ebook will be published to millions of NOOK and Barnes & Noble readers. You can check NOOK Press FAQ page for all the details.

Kobo Writing Life

Sign Up | Selling & Pricing

A really easy to use self-publishing platform, Kobo lets you publish your ebook in 5 simple steps. Your books will be published on Kobo website for millions of readers. Kobo charges no fee for creating and publishing ebooks, but it does keep a commission on the sales.

Smashwords

Sign Up | Selling & Pricing

Smashwords gives you huge visibility by publishing your work over multiple distributors, including Kobo Barnes & Noble, OverDrive, and Smashwords. There is no fee in the publishing process and you get free tools to protect and format your ebooks. You will get 80% royalty on sales from Smashwords and 60% on other distributors.

Scribd

Sign Up | Selling & Pricing

Scribd is a paid reading service that hosts ebooks and other similar content that members can read with a subscription. When the readers will read your ebook, you will be paid as it was sold to them. However, you can only sign up for Scribd using its affiliate companies, including Smashwords, BookBaby, and Draft2Digital, etc.

PayLoadz

Sign Up

PayLoads also offers great tools to host your ebooks and sell them online. You will get encrypted download page, shareable buttons, ebooks listed in eBay auctions and affiliate program. PayLoads costs $19.95/month with a 2.9% to 4.9% fee on each sale.

E-junkie

Sign Up | Selling & Pricing

Another comprehensive service to host your ebooks and it does all the hard work of selling them for you. You can create a sales page for your ebooks and use power tools like multiple payments support, affiliate programs, protected storage, discount offers, manage inventory, create packages, Google Analytics and more. E-Junkie charges fixed monthly payment based on your needs.

Feiyr

Sign Up | Selling & Pricing

Feiyr is a paid promotion service for ebooks and music. You can upload your ebook to Feiyr and it will be made available to be sold on over 165 different online stores. Just pay a one-time fee of € 9.90 and start publishing, and you will get to keep 90% of the sales price.

Selz

Sign Up | Selling & Pricing

Selz offers highly customizable packages to create your own sales store and sell products. With the free account, you can list 5 items and access tools like widgets, fraud protection, and analytics tools, etc. Paid membership starting from $12.99 gives the ability to list unlimited items and customize the page according to your liking.

Gumroad

Sign Up | Selling & Pricing

A very flexible platform to setup your online shop, Gumroad lets you personalize your store to your liking and gives you amazing selling opportunities. You can create subscriptions, memberships, direct sales, provide extra benefits, give discounts on actions, customizable DRM and more. And all of this comes with a $10 monthly fee and just 3.5% fee on each sale.

Booktango

Sign Up | Selling & Pricing

Booktango is a free service that won’t even charge a fee on transactions. You can upload and sell ebooks and keep 100% of the earnings. Although if you use their custom covers, you’ll have to pay a certain price. Booktango sells the ebooks on its store and other retailers.

Clickbank

Sign Up | Selling & Pricing

Clickbank has a really strong affiliate network of 500,000 marketers that will surely boost your sales. It is also a product selling website like others and gives you the ability to create custom forms, subscriptions, fraud protection and much more. You can either keep 50% as royalty or pay $49.95 as a one-time fee for your store and pay 7.5% fee on transactions.

BookBaby

Sign Up | Selling & Pricing

BookBaby is quite an expensive service in this list, however, it offers amazing quality and lets you keep 100% of the sales. From writing, formatting, and designing to distributing and completing sales, everything will be handled by BookBaby for a price of $149/ebook. Their experts will work side by side to create your perfect ebook using advanced tools and then distribute it to different retailers including BookBaby itself.

Shopify

Sign Up | Selling & Pricing

For $29/month you can access all of Shopify tools to create a fully functional online store. You don’t need any coding skills, it is really easy to use and gives you templates and themes to quickly create a perfect online store. If you do have coding skills, then Shopify gives complete freedom to control HTML and CSS. It also offers multiple opportunities to promote your ebooks, including distributing them over different stores.

Time to monetize your ebooks

I will recommend you to start with Payhip if you are new to selling ebooks. It charges less fee on a transaction and doesn’t come with any risks. Although, if you are a professional ebook seller, then BookBaby can really up your game.

I should also mention that all these ebook selling website offer DRM protection for your books and some can even add customer name/information on each page of the ebook.

Read Also: 5 Best Online Services to Sell Digital Products Effortlessly

The post 20 Websites to Sell and Publish Your eBooks appeared first on Hongkiat.

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When building a responsive website we’ll need to test it in multiple screen-sizes to make sure that the site layout is rendered properly on those varying screen-sizes. We can use screen-size and device emulator in Chrome which is pretty handy. However, nothing beats testing the website on a real device since it provides an environment that’s as close as to our users.

Testing on multiple devices also pose a problem though. Say we have three devices to test the site on, we may end up having to constantly refresh each browser in every of these devices everytime we’ve just made a change which, as you can imagine, is cumbersome.

The idea of synchronized testing has emerged to address this situation and make the workflow more streamlined. There is a Grunt plugin called BrowserSync to perform this, and we are going to show you how to deploy it in your project, in this post.

Recommended Reading: Viewport Emulation With Chrome’s Device Metrics

BrowserSync is open-source and actively developed. It is cross-platform. You can use it in Windows, OS X and Linux. Ghostlab, on the other hand, is only available in OS X and Windows. BrowserSync is free which helps if you have little to no budget to work with.

Without further ado, let’s see how BrowserSync works.

Installation

To start off, we are going to use Grunt. We will need to make sure that the grunt-cli is installed as well the plugin, Grunt BrowserSync. This plugin syncs a number of interactions that occur on the website including page scrolling, populating form fields, and clicking on links.

All these actions will be reflected in the other browsers and devices as they are happening. Type the following command to install BrowserSync in your working directory:

npm install grunt --save-dev
npm install grunt-browser-sync --save-dev
Configuration

Once installed, load BrowserSync within the Gruntfile.js, this way.

module.exports = function (grunt) {
    grunt.initConfig({
        browserSync: {
            bsFiles: {
                src : [ 'index.html', './css/*.css' ]
            },
            ghostMode: {
                clicks: true,
                forms: true,
                scroll: true
            },
            options: {
                server: {
                    baseDir: "./"
                }
            }
        }
    });

    // load npm tasks
    grunt.loadNpmTasks( 'grunt-browser-sync' );

    // define default task
    grunt.registerTask( 'default', ['browserSync'] );
}

This configuration will monitor the style.css as well as the index.html, and automatically refresh the browser when it detects a change on these files. We also enable ghostMode to sync interactions on the website such as scrolling, and clicking.

It’s all set. Now, we run the grunt to initiate the browserSync task that we’ve already set in the config.

grunt

Unlike the older version, the new BrowserSync will now setup everything for use including the static server and provides the URLs where it lives to reload our site.

And you can see from the following animated GIF, all updates, changes, and interactions are synced in real time in the browser as change the index.html and style.css.

Further Resources

Here are more resources to dig further into Grunt and “Synchronized Testing”.

The post How to Test Website Across Multiple Browsers and Devices Synchronously appeared first on Hongkiat.

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In today’s modern world, everyone is a writer. You complete homework and college assignments, research papers, lab reports or give post-mortem feedback, type up meeting notes, memos, emails, send out greeting cards during special occasions. On social media alone, that’s a lot of typing and hashtagging done right there. If you do any of that, how can you not be a writer?

But everyday writing is very different from professional writing. If you want to make a living being a writer (that means you put food on the table by writing every day), know that there is a great demand for professional writers in almost every field.

In this article we are going to shed some light on some of the most common types of professional writing and how easy (or hard) it is for you to start a writing career in each of these types.

#1: Academic Writing

Academic writing is one of the most rapidly emerging types of professional writing. It involves writing scientific ideas and research in a simple, understandable and authentic manner.

A majority of academic writing jobs are online and cater to freelancers, and so freelance job portals are crammed with academic writing jobs.

It is important to know that there is little or no room for creativity in it, and academic writers need to follow some specific styles of writing and layout (the famous APA style, for instance) and use academic rhetoric in their writings.

An academic writer’s responsibilities spreads across tasks like compiling research from textbooks and journals etc., and shaping that research into a complete report. They are also required to compose summaries of different essays, dissertations and researches, which can consequently help the client as basis of their own research.

Apart from writing, academic writers may also be required to edit or proofread already composed academic assignments, researches or dissertations.

To know more about academic writing and useful tips, look into Good Academic Writing and Writing for an academic journal: 10 tips – The Guardian

#2: Business Writing

Emails, memos and notices are some of the things that come under the umbrella of informal or casual business writing.

However, professional business writing, also known as business communication covers an array of elements including; business plans, business models, project proposals, project reports, brand manifestos, business letters, presentations and marketing campaigns etc.

Every year, hundreds of freelance and on-site employees are hired or contracted for conducting tasks related to business writing and communication, in big and small organizations alike.

Apart from the business communication on organizational level, business writing also caters to the communication at a personal level. For instance, writing resumes, cover letters, experience letters or recommendation letters etc. for the clients.

For further guidance and know-how go to Top Business Writing Websites and help yourself with the diverse information.

#3: Creative Writing

Creative writing is perhaps the most interesting and diverse type of professional writing. It goes beyond the bounds of all other forms of professional writing by allowing the writer to play with his inner creativity, originality and innovation.

Another distinguishing factor is that while other kinds of writing are objective and are based on facts, creative writing is, most of the time, subjective to the expression of the writer’s inner thoughts, feelings and opinion.

Creative writing is such a vast field that it has its own subbranches:

  • Writing Literature (fiction and non-fiction)
  • Screenwriting
  • Dramatic writing
  • Poetry
  • Comics
  • Autobiographies

Journalistic writing is also often considered a part of creative writing, especially when it comes to newspaper articles, features and op-eds.

Even so, to make it in the creative writing field takes a great deal of hard work, a whole lot of spirit, and often, the willingness to take big financial risks. As Harper Lee once said, "I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide."

Certain useful sources like, Writer’s Digest, Writing Forward and Writer’s Relief can help you hone your craft of creative writing.

#4: Technical Writing

Technical writing comes into play when a description, instruction or explanation of a certain subject is required. Its basic aim is to simplify complex operations or technicalities for it to be understandable by a common man.

Although, technical writing is basically about creating operation manuals, product catalogs and how-to guides for devices and software, however, it goes beyond that, covering any field or industry where complex ideas, concepts, processes or procedures need to be communicated in simple language.

Most product manufacturers, service industries and software companies have either a department for technical communications or seek a freelance technical writer for this purpose. If you are savvy in a certain field and have a good grip on writing skills then technical writing can be an interesting option for you.

To know more about technical writing, its scope and useful tips check out Tech Whirl and I’d Rather Be Writing.

#5: Copy/Content Writing

Like creative writing, copy/ content writing is one of the most branched out type of professional writing.

Copy writing or content writing are two overlapping concepts that are similar in terms of their basic theme i.e. promote and educate. The elements that involve copy/content writing are advertisements, marketing and promotional materials, website write-up and blog articles etc.

All the freelance and on-site job portals are flooded with jobs in the field of copy/ content writing. An amalgamation of creativity, language skills and general knowledge can vouch for a thriving career in copy/ content writing.

Take a look at some useful Content Writing Tips and Copywriting Tips and Tricks to get some more useful insight.

Difficulty Level

For better understanding of the subject, I will rate all the mentioned professional writing types in terms of difficulty level on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being least difficult and 5 being most difficult)

  • Academic Writing – 3 (moderately difficult)
  • Business Writing – 3 (moderately difficult)
  • Creative Writing – 5 (most difficult)
  • Technical Writing – 3 (moderately difficult)
  • Content Writing/Copywriting – 4 (quite difficult)

Academic writing, business writing and technical writing have been rated as moderately difficult because they are almost always accompanied by a set pattern or writing style with pretty much fixed rules (like citations, jargons and layout etc.). Therefore it is easier for a beginner to hone these craft by keeping within these bounds.

Also, as there is not much space for creativity and flowery sentences, and anyone with a relatively fair grip on the language can master it.

However, for some, the difficult part is the bounds. One has to work in a specific word limit, should keep the message simple, understandable and effective and never, ever mess with the facts, numbers and statistics.

Creative writing has been rated most difficult owing to the vastness of its canvas. I personally feel much more comfortable if my imagination is allowed to flow in any direction, however for the newbies it often becomes difficult to focus their imagination and use it to produce great results.

Also, for professional creative writing one needs to have a strong grip on the language.

The rating for copy/content writing is on the "quite difficult" level because is it, in my views, an amalgamation of creativity and bounds. For instance, in copywriting, what is explainable in a thousand words must be written in a single sentence or even in a mere few words (taglines and slogans etc.).

Finding Writing Work

Finding work in the field of writing was once considered quite difficult. However, in the era of internet technology, there are hundreds of opportunities online. All you have to know is where to find one that suits you best.

Online freelancing websites like Upwork, Fiverr and Freelancer etc. are full of professional writing projects in all the five types of writing. Such online portals are reliable and can prove a good launchpad for beginners.

As for offline jobs, there are considerably good opportunities too. For example almost all service or manufacturing industries have a separate corporate communication department where technical writers or business writers are required.

Similarly, copy/content writers can find good jobs in advertising agencies, media houses or web development companies.

As for jobs in creative writing, the spectrum of opportunities is as versatile as the field itself. For instance, for journalistic writing jobs, you can look into writing opinion columns or features for newspapers. Likewise, script or screenwriters can seek a job with television or radio channels.

I am personally of the view that in the field of creative writing, beginners should commence their career with apprenticeship, in order to learn the most of the craft.

Conclusion

Writing itself may seem easy. After all, we have been doing it since we were toddlers. Also, no other profession offers more career options than writing. But to actually develop a career in writing is easier said than done.

Every type of writing requires its own talents and skill set, nonetheless, it is up to you to assess which field will suit you most on the basis of your own interest and your specific forte. The point to remember is that no matter which profession you choose, never stop learning.

After all, as Hemingway said, "We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master."

Further Reading

The post 5 Types of Professional Writing Career You Can Start appeared first on Hongkiat.

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Have you ever looked at a power socket and noticed that it kind of looks like a funny little face that is trying to tell you something? Actually, you’re not that far off as a lot of people have already found ways to decorate their outlets with cool stickers and covers.

All in good fun, creative wall stickers and covers are a classy and great way to spice up a boring wall outlet. After all, they’re all over your house, so why not give your outlets some personality and spunk? Here are 20+ funny and creative wall outlet stickers and covers that wil make your guests do a double-take.

Recommended Reading: Creative & Contemporary Vinyl Wall Sticker Designs

#1 @Ziemowit Maj

This adorable robot doesn’t seem too pleased about having to power up your sockets. Still you can’t help but smile watching its expression.

#2 @Ambiance

Nostalgia alert! Not all of us can be smart and cool like Dexter but hey, a spiffy outlet sticker doesn’t hurt.

#3 @Ziemowit Maj

This gives another meaning to the term ‘manpower’. Let’s hope he has enough to keep going.

#4 @StickThat

Now your outlet can be surprised and sophisticated with these cute mustache decals. Top hats, anyone?

#5 @Gama Go

Can’t stand looking at the pained expressions of your outlets like the one below? This bandage outlet cover should be able to ease some of the pain.

#6 @Hu2

And this is how electricity came to be! Okay, not exactly but it’s still informative and adorable.

#7 @Hu2

Don’t worry, this little guy has got your power supply covered. C’mon little hamster, you’re almost at full capacity!

#8 @Rytis Zaveckas

Nope, sadly this door does not lead to Wonderland. Well, not unless you think Wonderland means a working power socket.

#9 @Sluug

Hamsters are curious animals and it looks like this one got way more than he bargained for.

#10 @Sluug

Some squirrels steal your nuts, this one wants to steal your electricity.

#11 @Nendo

This is one way to utilize deer antlers; l’et them hold your phone up whilst charging.

#12 @Adrien Gardére

It’s amazing what careful placement and imagination can do.

#13 @Meridian Point

More functional than pretty, this hidden wall outlet will keep your valuables out of sight. Just don’t forget which outlet you installed it in.

#14 @verryberrysticker

This little robot wants to be your friend and power up your gadgets for you.

#15 @zhiyu&art decor

This is a clever and super cute option for those who want to make their day a little "brighter".

#16 @Hu2

Looks like paper windmills can be put to good use after all. A creative way to keep the power flowing through your outlet .

#17 @Electric Sticker Co.

Is it your art that’s got him gasping? Who knows. But it sure is fun to look at.

#18 @Ambiance

A shockingly simple way to show the transition from rain to lightning.

#19 @Ambiance

Everybody in the house will be doing the Bartman with the addition of this sticker.

#20 @Ambiance

No need to call the hairdresser for this one. That hairdo looks fabulous as is.

The post 20 Creative Ways to Decorate Wall Outlets appeared first on Hongkiat.

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You can use a WordPress plugin to create landing pages, customize your login page, adopt two-factor authentication, or even figure out how to optimize your site for you with artificial intelligence. In this post, we’re going to add another item to that list, bringing you 10 plugins to create mobile-responsive blogs for you.

You don’t need to have the skills, capability or budget to create a respnosible or mobile site from scratch these days. Just grab one of these plugins, install it and start customizing the end result to suit your branding needs. All it takes is just a few clicks.

Instagram Feed

As the name implies, the plugin does allow you to add Instragram photo gallery on to any posts and pages on your website. It is responsive out-of-the-box so you can get it set and up quickly.

If you’d like to customize the output, the plugin provides a a handful of options which allows you whether to show a thumbnail or the full picture, display the Instagram “follow” button, and add your own custom CSS and JavaScript.

Responsive Menu

The Menu Navigation is one of the essential elements on your website. It has to be responsive to let users easily navigate the website on any screen size easily. This plugin allows you to add “responsive” menu navigation and optimized for touch-screen usage with nice animation flare.

The plugin provides a pretty bunch of options for customization including to add the background, add custom CSS, change the animation, upload logos, set a custom trigger to display the menu, and a lot more.

DK Pricr

Creting a responsive Pricing Table can be a challenge. But with this plugin, you can set it up in a minute. You can create as many as pricing table without limitation. You can add title, subtitle, description, change the currency, add custom classes and CSS, and set the font size on to the Pricing Tables.

Page Builder by SiteOrigin

Page Builder by SiteOrigin is one of my favourite page builder plugins in WordPress ecosystem. It blends well with the WordPress interface, which makes it intuitve to use. The plugin allows you to create responsive layout with rows and columns right from the WordPress editor.

The things you can add to the layout is limitless, you can add basic content like the heading, paragraph, image, to something more complex like a Form, Button, and Image Slider through their free add-on.

Responsive Lightbox

“Lightbox” effect is a method to display image at an overlay of the content. This plugin to enable lightbox to many type of contents on your website. Not only image, gallery, and video, it also allows you to set it for the Widgets, Comments, as well as WooCommerce product images. It’s a pretty neat plugin.

Master Slider

MasterSlider is a plugin that allows you to add a set of images and videos in a form of slider. It supports touch so users can naturally navigate the slider by a swipe in a touch-enabled devices. Still it’s also compatible with many browsers including the older ones like IE8+, making it a pretty robust plugin.

Tabby Tabs

With this plugin, creating a tabbed content has never been easier. You can add tabs using the shortcode provided for instance, [tabby title="My Tab" icon="cog"]. You can, of course, add tabs as many as you need. The plugin is built with accessibility in mind. It uses semantic HTML markup, ARIA attributes, and allows for keyboard navigation.

WP Responsive Table

If your content would require tables, look no further. This plugin allows you turn HTML tables on your content responsive, by enabling horizontal scroll in a small viewport. No config, settings, shortcode, or anything. It just works with simply an HTML table. Still you are able to customize the styles through the Customizer.

Photo Gallery Image

This plugin aims specifically at creating responsive gallery. You can add multiple images and videos on to the gallery and set it in a different layout available; Tiles, Carousel, Slider, and Grid. You can then add the gallery on to the page by using shortcode or a template tag.

The Event Calendar

The Events Calendar is a neat WordPress plugin that allows you to set up an Event with the announcement, ticketing, and a calendar which is nicely responsive out of the box.

The post 10 WordPress Plugins for Better Mobile-Responsive Websites (Updated) appeared first on Hongkiat.

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It has become almost colloquial to “Google something” for which you want an answer. But have you been using this amazing search engine in a way that it gives you best results and in shortest possible time?

Well, if you want to use Google search to its full potential, take a look at our guide to help you achieve better search results. Similarly, there are awesome features that Google can offer to help save your time in searching, navigating, or purchasing something. In the following write-up, you can read about them in detail.

1. Get Definitions

Throughout our academic and work life, we always search for the word’s definition in order to form a better conversation, a better article, or a professional report. Many people choose to get dictionary apps or electronic dictionaries, which is all right, but why not use Google if you’re looking for a quick definition?

Just type in define your_word or definition your_word and Google would return to you the word definition as well as classes, possible meanings and the synonyms of the word.

If you wish to understand more about the word and its usage, you can also refer to the provided links that will lead you to Wikipedia, Dictionary.com, Answers.com and Merriam-Webster.

Note: This is not limited to a single word’ you can also search for phrases like “here and there” or “here and now”, using the above-mentioned feature. So there are really a lot of stuff you can define, and oh, did I tell you that you can define “Jennifer Lopez” or “Diablo 3” as well?

Summary:
  • Command: define <your_word>, meaning <your_word>

  • Example: define sanndbagging

2. Calculate Anything

Forget about the calculator in your Operating System. If you have your browser opened, you can just enter any math equation into the Google search box, and it will calculate out the answer for you!

The reason that I really love this feature is the fact that it is not as simple as it might sound. You can even do complicated math calculations by entering the right equation, such as:

100*3.14-cos(83)=

Best of all, Google will even make a graph for you depending on your math equation, and you could somehow get romantic with the numbers and equations, such as:

sqrt(cos(x))*cos(300x)+sqrt(abs(x))-0.7)*(4-x*x)^0.01, sqrt(6-x^2), -sqrt(6-x^2) from -4.5 to 4.5

Now just don’t try to cheat in your exam!

Summary:
  • Command: <math_equation>

  • Example: 100*3.14-cos(83)=

3. Measurements

When you are getting in touch or working with people living in foreign countries, you need to convert a lot of measurements to understand the conversation or the deal better. Different countries embrace different measurement system, and terms as well.

You could get a lot of measurement tools and applications, but I chose Google as my quickest and greatest converter companion. Just type 1 km to mile into Google Search and you will see the reason why I love it! It’s simply fast, and you can do complicated conversions as well.

Summary:
  • Command: <unit> to <unit>

  • Example: 1 km to mile

4. Convert Currencies

There is always currency involved if you are dealing with foreign collaborators, ranging from freelancer to a company’s project manager. The accuracy of the currency invlves is often a sensitive subject. In this case, Google could be your most trustworthy source to track reliable currency rates.

In fact, the main reason that I use Google for currency conversion is that you get to know the currency rate instantly by typing just 1 usd to gbp into the search box.

Speed can be very helpful when you’re negotiating with your client, as sometimes the negotiation could involve multiple currency conversions. And best of all, the search engine does accept non-standard units like “pounds” for “GBP Pound Sterling)”, though it’s better for you to know the correct unit to avoid confusion.

Note: Google may have published a disclaimer about how the result could be less accurate (which, in my opinion, made it more trustworthy), but there are even businessmen who grab the results and put it into the negotiation, since it’s fast and trustable to a certain degree!

Summary:
  • Command: <currency> to <currency>

  • Example: usd to gbp

5. Translate Instantly

I’ve been acting stupid for years. Every single time I want to do a quick translation, I simply open another browser’s tab, type Google Translate’s address, then input the words or phrases, then choose the languages, then click on “Translate” without knowing that the same translation can be done in the same way through the Google Search, by just one click.

It’s really intuitive, you just type in translate your_word_or_words to another_language, such as translate business to chinese into the search engine, and it will use Google Translate to do the instant translation for you.

Like what Google Translate could do, Google Search could also translate phrases and sentences, though it does not support pronunciation and site translation, so these could be its weaknesses.

Furthermore, if you want to have more serious translation, you could always follow the provided link to the Google Translate for more complicated task! Now I don’t see any reason to access Google Translate, just for a quick translation!

Summary:
  • Command: translate <word> to <language>

  • Example: translate hello to japanese

6. Discover Local Business

You can get possibly anything you want to know about local happenings on the Web, and search giant Google would not disappoint you on that, especially when discovering local businesses.

Want to know where the nearest McDonalds in your place is? Just search mcdonalds your_city and you will get the location in your place, possibly with a map!

If your place is quite big and you want to narrow down the search result, you could type mcdonalds area_code, for example mcdonalds 95014 and the search result will only indicate the shops in your defined area.

Oh, and don’t forget to check the time, distance and direction required to reach the shop by typing from current_location to destinition. Take note that some of these features could be limited to big cities only, which is kinda sad but at least it’s functional in most urban areas.

Summary:
  • Command: <business_name> <city_name>/<area_code>

  • Example: mcdonalds los angeles, or mcdonalds 95014

7. Time and Weather

Time and weather are constantly changing and it is annoying to check through any website or phone. I mean, what is the point to take out your phone and click on the button in order to check for weather, while you can check it directly on Google?

For checking weather it’s quite straightforward, you just type in your_city weather and you’ll get the current weather of your place, and weather forecast for the following days as well.

If you want to dive into it, you can also follow the links to The Weather Channel, Weather Underground and AccuWeather to get a detailed forecast.

As for time, it’s pretty much the same thing, you can just key in location time or time in location to get to know the local time of any place you want to know! The cool point is that if you’re living in a country where the time zone varies through different states, you could just type in, say, US time and Google will display a list of states (Chicago, Denver, Phoenix, etc.) with their corresponding time.

One click for multiple results, Google’s way!

Summary:
  • Command: <city_name> weather, or <city_name> time

  • Example: denver weather, or hanoi time

Again, It’s About Enhancing Your Life

The greatest benefit of these features is whenever I need them, they are always there for me. I don’t need to fire up and load a software or web app, and I also don’t have to charge up my mobile phone or electronic devices in order to use those intuitive features. Though the features are quite basic, they’re easy to remember and use, and they’re pretty much enough for me to tackle my daily errands.

I hope you find these features useful and applicable to your daily life! If you know of other ways you can use Google’s search engine, feel free to share your tips with us in the comments section.

The post 7 Tips to More Accurate Google Search Results appeared first on Hongkiat.

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