The Low Down On: Baby Sign Language

Baby Sign Language therapist in Jersey City

What is baby sign language?

Baby sign language is a communication tool to be used with preverbal babies. Babies naturally use gestures before they can speak (reaching for a toy, pointing etc.) so expanding upon those gestures by teaching them sign language is a great way to start building communication skills. In North America, baby sign language instructors typically use ASL (American Sign Language) signs as the basis for teaching. It is important to note that, although ASL signs are used, you are not teaching your baby American Sign Language. You are simply using the exact sign for the exact English word.

Is my baby too old or too young for baby sign language?

I suggest starting baby sign between 6 months to 1 year of age. Although babies are listening to and deciphering language even in-utero, they do not typically respond to language until about 6 months. Waiting until this time increases the chances that the baby will respond to and possibly use the signs, which encourages parents and caregivers to continue to use signs consistently.

Why should we learn baby sign language?

Baby sign language is beneficial for you and your baby because it allows you communicate with each other. Rather than the parent guessing what the baby wants, the baby can communicate exactly what that need or want is. This can reduce the amount of frustration for the baby and parent or caregiver. Studies also show that signing babies tend to have larger vocabularies as they get older. One of the biggest reasons to start signing with your little one is the quality time you get to spend learning something new with your baby.

Will signing delay my baby’s speech?

The simple answer is no. There are no studies which link early signing to speech delays. Typically, if a child learns to sign and does not develop age appropriate language skills, it may be an indication of a pre-existing condition.

What can I expect from a baby sign language workshop?

Here at Speech Quest JCNY, workshops are one hour a week for 6 weeks. Parents and babies will come to class and learn together. Each parent is provided with a book and a CD for practicing at home. During each class you will learn new categories of signs (family signs, food signs, animal signs, etc.), signs for nursery rhymes and signs for some new songs! If there is time during the class you may also learn how to sign words from simple children’s books. Our baby sign language classes are unique because they are taught exclusively by licensed and certified speech language pathologists. We reserve time during each class to discuss any developmental questions about language that parents may have. We also encourage parents to get to know each other, which is why we reserve 10 minutes at the end of each class to mingle, it’s called our ‘Talk for 10’. You and your baby will leave each class knowing new signs and having a stronger connection with each other and the

I love this! Where can I sign up?

Head on over to to register or to sign up for a free 20 minute preview class!


Briana Evans, CCC-SLP is a licensed, certified speech language pathologist and owner of Speech Quest Speech and Language Therapy. She specializes in articulation, reading skills and early language development. She graduated from Columbia University with a Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology. In addition, she is working toward certification in PROMPT therapy, a kinesthetic articulation technique. She currently provides in-home or at- school services for children and teens. She believes in a lifestyle approach to speech therapy, which includes embedding support throughout the client’s daily life



Email: [email protected]


Year End Tax Savings Tips

Year End Tax Savings Tips

We are about to close this  year and some saving tips always help:

Child and Dependent Care Credit: You may be able to claim the child and dependent care credit if you paid expenses for the care of a qualifying individual to enable you to work or actively look for work. The provided care may be in the household or outside the household but the care provider cannot be your spouse, the parent of the child, or a dependent who’s exemption you claim on your return.


Make Sure You Have Adequate Health Insurance Coverage: If you and your family don’t have adequate medical coverage, you may be subject to a penalty. The penalty amount varies based on the number of uninsured members of your household and your household income. If you have three or more uninsured household members, the penalty may be $975 or more for 2015 ($2,085 or more for 2016), depending on your household income.


Consider a Health Savings Account (HSA): If you are enrolled in a high-deductible health plan and don’t have any other coverage, you may be eligible to make pre-tax or tax deductible contributions to an HSA of up to $6,650 for a family coverage or $3,350 for individual coverage. Distributions from the HSA will be tax free as long as the funds are used to pay unreimbursed qualified medical expenses. Furthermore, there’s no time limit on when you can use your contributions to cover expenses. Unlike a healthcare FSA, amounts remaining in the HSA at the end of the year can be carried over indefinitely.


529 Plan Contributions: A 529 Plan is a type of investment account designed for college savings.  Withdrawals for qualified college expenses are tax-free and your contributions may be deductible against your state income taxes.  

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Harvest Capital Losses: Review your securities portfolio for any losers that can be sold before year-end to offset gains you have already recognized this year or to get you to the $3,000 net capital loss that’s deductible each year. Don’t worry if your net loss for the year exceeds $3,000, because the excess carries over indefinitely to future tax years. Be mindful, however, of the wash sale rule when you jettison losers—your loss is deferred if you purchase substantially identical stock or securities within the period beginning 30 days before and ending 30 days after the sale date.


Zero Capital Gains Rate: If your taxable income is $37,450 or less if you are single, or $74,900 or less if you are married filing jointly you qualify for a 0% tax rate on long-term capital gains. Beware of the wash sale rules.


Prepaying State Taxes:  You may make a state estimated tax payment by Dec. 31, so you can deduct it this year rather than next. But consider the alternative minimum tax (AMT) consequences first.  


JLD Tax & Accounting LLC
121 Newark Ave, Suite 548, Jersey City, NJ 07302

Sensing Our World


child playing


Everyone is familiar with the five senses; sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch. As an occupational therapist, I frequently work with two other senses: proprioceptive and the vestibular sense. The proprioceptive sense is located in the joints, muscles and tendons of the body and is concerned with the relative movement of these body parts as well as the relative effort needed to make these movements. The vestibular sense is concerned with balance and the body’s orientation to the rest of the world.

All these senses are important for us to get information about our bodies and the world so that we can do the activities we need. Sometimes we can experience these senses too much or too little. This can interfere with function, and often does with young children with sensory issues. Sometimes this over or under sensitivity can go away on its own. Many times the child is instinctively attracted to activities that will normalize their senses. Sometimes the child gets caught in a loop of unhelpful behaviors that seems to them in the moment to calm them down, but actually are not helpful at all. Sometimes we can help the child to normalize their senses.

The first thing is to make the child comfortable and safe. If they are too sensitive, help them to block unwanted stimulation. If their eyes are oversensitive, maybe tinted glasses will help. If their ears are oversensitive noise blocking headphones can help. Keep their foods tasting bland if their taste is oversensitive and use no fragrance soap and avoid perfumes if their smell is oversensitive. If a child is oversensitive to touch, they may need the labels cut out of their clothing and special socks to prevent the sock seams to rub against them. If they are less sensitive, or hyposensitive, you need to make sure that they don’t hurt themselves accidentally.

An oversensitive proprioceptive system could show up as a clumsy child who may hit or use too much force in drawing. An under sensitive proprioceptive system shows up as a child who always needs movement – jumping, crashing into things, hugging. An oversensitive vestibular system shows up as a child who seems afraid to move, especially when their eyes are closed. An under sensitive vestibular system may make a child seem to crave movement, just like an undersensitive proprioceptive system. The movements that are craved would be more like spinning and sliding.

An occupational therapist can offer suggestions of things parents can do to help normalize their children’s sensory systems. Sometimes a desensitization program can be effective in helping the child become less sensitive more quickly. More intense stimulation can help a hyposensitive child become more sensitive, Sometimes kids are hypo sensitive at some times and hyper sensitive at other times. Proprioceptive activities are often normalizing activities – they help to both calm the oversensitive and stimulate the undersensitive. Here is a list of common proprioceptive activities parents can do with children:

Jump on a trampoline or mattress on the floor, Carry heavy objects or a heavy backpack (not more than 10% of the child’s weight), Push chairs or toy boxes across the floor, eat chewy foods, suck yogurt or applesauce through a straw, crab walking, swimming. An Occupational Therapist can help come up with more specific activities for your child and help you figure out your child’s “sensory profile”.

Linda Velwest is a pediatric occupational therapist working with early intervention. She also teaches Autism Movement Therapy classes

Tricks to Getting Kids to Eat More Fruits and Vegetables!

Everyone knows how important consuming fruits and vegetables is at any age but especially during childhood.  Everyone also knows just how difficult it can be to get kids to even look at fruits and vegetables without throwing a fit.  Did you know that children are supposed to consume around 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day?  The average child will only consume 2-3 servings per day and the majority of them will put up a fight or end up spitting half of them out.  Here are some easy tips to get your children to eat more fruits and vegetables!

  1. Use cookie cutters to cut fruits into appealing shapes.  Studies show that kids are more likely to consume things in shapes such as stars, hearts, or animals rather than something less appealing (such as a square).
  2. Use dips!  Surprisingly kids tend to like things such as hummus, yogurt based dips, or just plain peanut butter.  These dips offer them something fun to eat with their fruits and veggies especially during snack time.  Plus, what kid doesn’t like to eat with their hands?
  3. Be a good role model!  Kids always look up to their parents and want to do what they’re doing.  Showing them that you enjoy fruits and vegetables is an easy way to encourage them to eat healthy.
  4. Let your children participate in grocery shopping.  When you go to the grocery store, let them pick out the fruits and vegetables that look appealing to them.  When you get home, the fact that they picked it out themselves will be all the more incentive for them to eat it.
  5. Plant a garden!  Children loved to be involved in hands on things and what better way than gardening?  Growing their own fruits and vegetables promotes healthy eating as well as a big reason to want to eat the fruits and vegetables.  As a bonus, they will take great pride in being able to say they grew something all by themselves!


Bumped From Your Flight – Now What??

You have been counting the days until your much needed vacation. You arrive at the airport 2 hours early to make sure you have plenty of time to check in and get through security. When you get to the ticket counter to check in the agent says your flight is oversold and you have been booked on a flight 2 hours later.  What??? How can that happen?

As the airlines are flying fewer planes and booking them to capacity this is happening more and more. In 2012, nearly 59,000 people were bumped from their flights. So what do you need to know about your rights as a passenger or even better how to make sure this does not happen to you.

1. Know your rights – If you are bumped from your flight through no fault of your own. The airlines must get you to your destination, as well as give you compensation for the delay.   You can check the official Department of Transportation rules on voluntary and involuntary bumping. It is even a good idea to have a copy of the rules with you when you travel.

2. Show Me The Money – If you are bumped how much compensation are you due?

  • If you are bumped from a domestic flight and will arrive at your destination more than 2 hours past your original scheduled arrival time, you can collect 4x the cost of a one-way ticket or up to $1,300 cash.
  • If you are bumped and arrive within 1 to 2 hours of your original scheduled arrival time you are due 2x the cost of a one-way ticket or up to $650
  • International flights have different rules, you are due up to the $650 for delays from 1-4 hours and up to $1,300 for delays over 4 hours.
  • If you are owed money it is best to get a check instead of a travel voucher (a free round-trip flight, for example),  because vouchers come with restrictions and can be difficult to redeem.

3. Book The Right Airline –  JetBlue and Virgin America have almost NO overbooking or bumping issues. In fact, JetBlue has NEVER oversold a flight. Another reason I love that airline.

4. Who Gets Bumped? – If the airline has to bump a passenger they will usually choose them in this order:

  • Last To Check In – This is why it is so important to check in online 24 hours in advance.
  • Paid The Lowest Fare – If you are like me and are a fare shopper, really there is not much you can do for this item.
  • Don’t have advance seat assignments – When you purchase your flights make sure to choose your seat.  This is even more important when flying with families.   At the very least when you do your online check in confirm or choose your seats.   If you do not have an assigned seat in advance of going to the airport, make sure you arrive early to get a seat or at least be at the top of the list.

5. Join Airline Frequent Flyer Programs –  This will at least give you some status in the pecking order for who gets bumped. Make sure your frequent flyer number is attached to your reservation.

6. Fly Early in the Day –  This helps to avoid those passengers who were bumped or cancelled earlier in the day.

7. Fly Direct – The fewer flights you have to take the less chance you have of being bumped.

8. Buy an Upgrade – If you have a coach ticket you can purchase a seat upgrade to make it less likely for you to be bumped. Coach passengers are the first to be bumped.

9. Avoid The Rush – Try to avoid peak travel days.  Best days to travel are Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday.   Beware of holiday travel. The day before Thanksgiving and the Christmas holiday periods can also be called “bump season”

10. How Do You Get Rebooked? – Once your original flight has left then work with the gate agent to get you booked on your new flight.  As well, the gate agent is usually the person who needs to process your compensation for being bumped.

11. The Exception To The Rule – There are a few exceptions to bumping rule and how you are to be compensated:

  • If an airline must substitute a smaller plane for the one it originally planned to use, the carrier isn’t required to pay people who are bumped as a result.
  • Flights on an aircraft with 30 through 60 passenger seats, do not owe compensation if you were bumped due to safety-related aircraft weight or balance constraints.

Of course, it is best to do all you can to avoid being bumped in the first place.  But if you are bumped make sure to know your rights and make sure you are compensated.

Kimberly Milnes is a mother of 2 boys and owner of Adventures By Kim.  She is a Family Travel Expert and professional sharing family travel tips, and information as well as helping families’ plan amazing and hassle free family vacations.  Please feel free to contact her at [email protected] or

10 Gift Ideas for Children 0-3 That Encourage Language Acquisition

At this age children should have toys that encourage interaction with caregivers. This interaction exposes babies and toddlers to the rhythm and sound of language and encourages them to imitate the language models they hear. Here are a few suggestions.

I’ll be recommending toys for kids that encourage language use and are fun too! Each week I will focus on a new age group. I’ll start with 0-3.

  1. Books

Books are great at any age, but for babies and toddlers they provide a language model and their repetition and rhyming pattern encourage little ones to attend to the words and eventually imitate what they hear. Focus on books that are heavy on the rhyming and repetition. Here are a few of my favorites: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle; Is Your Mama a LlAMA? By Deborah Guarino; Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown; Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by Eileen Christelow

2.    Montessori Phonetic Reading Blocks

These blocks are great for babies and toddlers. Parents can say the sounds of each letter and the word that the letters make. While the kids use the blocks for teething or just have fun moving them around. Encourage toddlers to say the words too!

3.    Mula Shape Sorter

Encourage your little boy or girl to try and say the names of the shapes as you put them in! They’ll want to play with this over and over again, so they’ll have loads of opportunities to label the shapes and colors.

4.    A to Z Uppercase Maganatab

A magnetic stylus pulls the beads up to create solid lines for letters. Say the letters as you draw with your child or watch them draw. Encourage them to say their letters as they have fun “drawing”.

5.    Farm Chunky Puzzle

I haven’t run into a toddler who doesn’t love this animal puzzle. We practice labeling animals and making their sounds. This even helps the shyest of young ones begin to use their voice.

6.    Fisher-Price Little People Happy Sounds Home

This toy is great because it actually makes realistic environmental sounds. Practice labeling household items without walking around your house. You’re going to be surprised when your toddler suddenly labels some furniture after you’ve been playing with this fun toy for a while.

7.    Mozart Magic Cube

Practice listening to and labeling classical instruments. Babies and parents will enjoy humming the tunes while learning about instruments. This will help any baby learn to attend to different sounds, which will eventually help them learn to differentiate speech sounds.

8.    Baby’s First Words in Spanish

This is great for infants and Toddlers. Put the CD on and practice singing to your baby in Spanish. Toddlers will enjoy saying all the new sounds and hearing the different intonation, and infants will benefit from the exposure to a second language. I have to admit that I am a bit biased towards this product because it was developed by my wonderful graduate school professor Erika Levy. Give it a try!

9.    Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Case

Introduce your baby to the language of technology by encouraging them to tap, swipe and push buttons on the phone while they play one of the iPhone/iPod games recommended in my blog post titled, No More iPad Guilt : 9 Speech Pathologist Recommended, Guilt Free Apps for Kids.

10.                  Pearhead Ceramic Piggy Bank

With a piggy bank, parents can practice labeling coins and sticking them in the pig’s belly. I picked this piggy bank because many of the more child friendly ones (made of rubber, electronic etc.) had negative reviews about how hard it was to get the money out. When you’re practicing language you want to be able to repeat the activity many times, which will be hard if you can’t get the coins out easily.

For local shopping in Jersey City, try Pig and Pepper. They have some cute things for babies and toddlers and they’re right in the area. I love supporting local small businesses.

What I’m into…

Musicbox– Musicbox is an app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. It allows you to look up the song that you want to hear and play it…for free! Instead of waiting for your favorite song to come on Pandora, or buying it on itunes. It has thousands of songs so you’re bound to find whatever tune is in your head.

Netflix– House of Cards comes back in February! If you’re wondering what all the fuss is about, watch a few episodes from the first season. I’m not someone who gets into a popular series (I still haven’t seen an episode of Scandal….yes, seriously. But I plan on watching a few episodes soon, I promise!) however I find this one is really interesting. I guess because I’m always wondering how close to real politics the show is.

Please hit the like button down below if you like this week’s topic. And leave some comments, tell me who are, or just say hello!

Briana Evans, CCC-SLP is a licensed, certified speech language pathologist and owner of Speech Quest Speech and Language Therapy. She specializes in articulation, reading skills and early language development. She graduated from Columbia University with a Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology. In addition, she is working toward certification in PROMPT therapy, a kinesthetic articulation technique. She currently provides in-home or at-school services for children and teens. She believes in a lifestyle approach to speech therapy, which includes embedding support throughout the client’s daily life.

Twitter: @speech_quest

No More iPad Guilt: 9 Speech Pathologist Recommended Guilt Free Apps for Kids

The kind of pressure parents are under to create this completely organic, non-technological, enriching environment all the time for their kids is insane. We are human, and it’s ok for our kids, and other parents, to see us as such. As humans, we need a break. At least once a day, realistically, multiple times a day. When you need that break, you may hand your child an iPad. This is fine, you shouldn’t feel guilty, or be made to feel guilty by anyone. You need a break before you have a breakdown, and if anyone says anything about it, you tell them, while I’m taking a break my kid is learning, then you pretend to drop an imaginary bomb while saying “booooom” really slowly. Trust me on this one, it’s effective.

To help you feel even better about your break, I have recommended some apps that you can download for your kid while you get things done, or do nothing at all.

1.    All about sounds

I’ve used this app for kids working on a variety of different sounds. It’s a matching game. You can pick a phoneme for your child to work on and have them say the names of images out loud while finding the match.

Cost: Free, although the HD version is $2.00

Works offline: Yes

Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch

Recommended ages: 2+


2.    Preschool and kindergarten learning games free for toddler

I recently downloaded this app, I like it because it’s more like an activity center with all of the options that it offers. It’s great for practicing or introducing phonics and general pre-reading and writing skills. Check out their website for more apps,

Cost: Free, although many features are locked until you pay for the upgrade.

Works offline: yes

Compatibility: iPhone and iPad (iPad recommended)

Recommended ages: any child at a preschool/kindergarten reading/writing level


3.    Toonware categories for speech and language therapy

This app was recommended by a colleague. It teaches kids how to categorize and is divided into different levels (easy, medium, hard). I haven’t used this with clients yet, but it looks like fun and it’s easy to use. It also comes in Turkish and Spanish.

Cost: $4.99

Works offline: yes

Compatibility: iPhone, iPod touch, iPad

Recommended ages: 3-7 years

4.    Speech with Milo (verbs)

Fun app that teaches kids new verbs and how to use them. The child can go through Milo’s different actions and hear the new verbs used in a phrase. There are two additional versions of this app which teach kids prepositions and sequencing. This is an animation heavy app, so it may take a while to download.

Cost: $2.99

Works offline: yes

Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch

Recommended ages: 1-7 years


5. Felt Board

An electronic version of a traditional felt board where you arrange cutouts to create different scenes. I like this because it’s a new version of a classic pastime. Let your kids have fun with this and discuss the scenes they’ve created after they done.

Cost: $2.99

Works offline: yes

Compatibility: iPhone, iPad

Recommended ages: 4+


6. Berts Bag

Kids get to shake Berts bag and count the number of items that fall out. The items are random (bottlecaps, marbles etc.), so children learn to label things while counting.

Cost: $1.99

Works offline: yes

Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch

Recommended ages: 1-5 years


7. Now Louie

This is a story about a mischievous cat who always does the opposite of what his owner tells him to. Children can turn the pages of the story at their leisure and listen to all of the cat’s naughty behavior. In my experience, kids want to go through this story at least twice by themselves.

Cost: Free

Works offline: yes

Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch

Recommended ages: 2-6 years



This isn’t a game so much, it’s short clips of old trains riding down tracks and pulling into stations. I used this as a reward with one of my autistic clients who loved trains. One word of advice if you’re using this with kids who may perseverate on activities, use this in combination with the sand timer (I’ll explain that below). It’ll help ease the perseveration.

Cost: Free

Works offline: yes

Compatibility: iPhone, iPad,

Recommended ages: 1+



Kids learn to identify words that sound the same. It’s a great way to introduce rhyming which is important for pre reading skills. I’ve suggested this app to parents and have had good feedback.

Cost: $0.99

Works offline: yes

Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch

Recommended ages: anyone learning to read



This is not an activity, it is a timer that I use to keep track of length of activities. I like it because you can pick different songs to play when time is up. It also works while you’re on other apps. It’s a good way to keep kids on track while playing these games.


Things that I’m into…

I didn’t want to only focus on the kids, moms and dads need to relax too! So here are some relaxing activities that I’m into at the moment.

Wheel of Fortune App: Yes, playing Wheel of Fortune on my phone conjures up an image of a woman surrounded by cats. That is not me…even though I love cats. However, when I’m home, and have nothing to do, (or when I have 193,295 things to do) I break open my Wheel of Fortune app on my phone and play for big money!…ok it’s pretend money, but it’s still really fun.

Books: I am currently reading Without You There is no Us by Suki Kim. It’s a memoir about this woman who taught in an elite North Korean school. It’s good, although I feel like she is dragging some of the content out to create a book out of what could have been a long article. It’s entertaining though, and a quick read.

TV: I may lose readers after I say this, but I’m not ashamed, I watch reality TV! The worst kind….The Real Housewives series. Go ahead, close your browser in disgust….and then secretly watch all of the episodes you have saved on your DVR 😉 While I wait for RHOBH to come back on, I’ve been watching this show called Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce on the Fuse network. Take a look at it, it’s heartwarming and interesting, but you will be required to keep an open mind. Tell me what you think after! **this is not a show to watch with your kids.

Briana Evans, CCC-SLP is a licensed, certified speech language pathologist and owner of Speech Quest Speech and Language Therapy. She specializes in articulation, reading skills and early language development. She graduated from Columbia University with a Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology. In addition, she is working toward certification in PROMPT therapy, a kinesthetic articulation technique. She currently provides in-home or at-school services for children and teens. She believes in a lifestyle approach to speech therapy, which includes embedding support throughout the client’s daily life.

Twitter: @speech_quest

How to Jump-Start Your Job Search

Let’s face it: searching and applying for new jobs is never easy. Between figuring out your next career move, applying to different positions, and waiting for someone to respond, the process feels like a full-time job all on its own.

So what can you do to improve your chances of landing an interview and getting that job?

There are countless things you could do to improve your chances. But I recommend three key steps that will give you disproportionate results.

1. Make your resume relevant

It’s tempting to just submit your resume to dozens of positions you find online. But the fact is, the people (and machines) on the other end can usually tell when you’re sending a “general” resume and are unlikely to give it a second glance.

I know it takes more time and effort, but it really is worth looking at each job description and emphasizing your most relevant skills and experience.

For example: Let’s say the posting states that customer service is an important aspect of the job. And maybe you did some customer service at your last position, although you list it after the other things you spent most of your time doing. What do you do? Move it up! Make it the first bullet, and consider adding some info about your customer service experience in a “Summary” section at the top of your resume as well.

Which brings us to point number two:

2. Pay attention to keywords

What are keywords? Basically, they are the words and phrases used by employers to describe the job, as well as the main skills and competencies they are looking for. They are important for two reasons.

First, they show that you “speak the same language” as the employer. What if your resume describes your experience developing “marketing strategies,” but the job asks for someone who’s great at creating “marketing plans”? Change your wording! You are talking about the same work, but you should express it in the same words as the employer, which is a subliminal way of saying, “I’m one of you!”

Second, if you don’t use the same words as the employer, you can can actually eliminate yourself before a real person ever sees your resume. You see, most companies use something called Applicant Tracking Software, or ATS. The ATS “reads” resumes submitted for a position and determines whether the candidate is a good match based on the number of relevant keywords in their resume. The more keywords you have from the job description in your resume, the more chances your resume has of receiving a good ranking and be read by a live person.

3. Use your connections

Do you have any connections at the company you are applying to? Use them! If you have a friend or acquaintance at the target company, ask if they could submit your resume for you. Internally-submitted resumes often get priority attention, and if you end up getting hired, your friend might even receive a bonus for referring you.

It may seem like extra work, but by being strategic in your job search, you will ultimately save a lot of time and effort.


Lidia Arshavsky, CPRW is a certified resume writer and career strategist helping moms navigate job changes and re-entry into the workforce. For more info, visit

Save Time and Money by Hiring a Contractor

When considering home remodeling or renovation projects, home owners rarely like the idea of hiring a contractor.  We live in a “do it yourself” society, and many people believe they can save time and money by doing the work themselves.  Of course there are people who have the patience and the skillset to take on home improvement projects and successfully finish them, but we also live in a “right now” society meaning most of the time people do not realize how much time and effort it takes to remodel a home and the project either is not finished to the standards hoped for, or it just goes unfinished.  Contractors can be pricey, but if home owners want projects done to a high standard as well as in a timely manner, contractors are worth the price.  Another reason contractors are a great route to take is because home owners can sit back and give them their list of demands and the contractors will make sure the project is completed the way the home owner wants it.

Save time and money by letting contractors supply the products
One way home owners think they can save money is by supplying their own materials such as sinks or other features.  According to Remodeling, this is one way home owners lose valuable time and money.  More often than not, home owners who order their own products face many issues that can easily be avoided if they just allow the contractor to supply the products.  By allowing hired contractors to supply products, home owners do not have to worry about placing orders, making sure they arrive on time, and then making sure they are correct once they do arrive.  Measurements are easy to mistake, and if products are measured wrong it is quite the hassle for the home owner to send them back to the manufacturer.  Contractors are paid to make sure measurements are correct and that the home owners end up with the best products for the project.  A common mistake home owners make is ordering faulty or low quality products.  Most of the time home owners do not even realize they are ordering these types of products, and then they are upset when the products do not last long.  Contractors know which types of products are worth the price, and that will last without needing to be replaced.  Products that contractors supply are under the warranty of the contractor so if any damage happens to the products the contractor is responsible to repair or replace them.  When home owners supply their own products, any damage that happens to them is their responsibility.  By hiring a contractor, home owners do not have to worry about damaged products because it is taken care of by the contractor.  By hiring the right contractor, home owners can rest assured that their project will be completed to their liking as well as save them time and money.

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