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Elsie: You’re listening to the A Beautiful Mess podcast of all the interviews I’ve ever conducted. There is one resume that stood out to me. Today Keely is here to teach you how to make that resume. We’ll share tips for interviewing and creating a resume that lets the employer know that you’re very serious about wanting that position. So thanks for joining us, Keely.
Keely: Thank you for having me. This is like the ultimate compliment. I just can’t even. It’s so sweet.
Elsie: I know from time to time we’ve mentioned this before, but do you mind if I just quickly tell our listeners how your interview is different from some of the other interviews we’ve done through the years?
Keely: Go for it.
Elsie: OK, so I’ve interviewed a good amount of people through the years, maybe not as many as some, but lots, you know. And interviews and resumes are always tough. So a lot of times the resumes kind of look all the same. And they can really blend together, especially if you’re looking at a lot of them at once, which, you know, employers often are when they’re trying to fill a new position. They might have to look at more than 10 or maybe even more than a hundred resumes and they start to all look the same. So today I wanted to have Keely on this episode because she made a resume that stood out in kind of a bonkers way. It’s the best resume I’ve ever seen in my life. And she’s willing she’s volunteered to come on here and teach you all how to make this resume. So here’s what the resume looks like. It was colorful. It had her picture on it, which I find that very helpful to just like remember the person, you know, because when you’re looking at a sea of resumes, they can start to, like, all blend together and people’s credentials honestly, like, yes, you’re going to look for minimum requirements, but they’re not going to stand out maybe in the way that it feels to you. So I think having like a little bit of a visual there was really strong. And then the other thing she did, I was her second interview. So Emma did her first interview and I did her second interview, it was an in-person interview. And we actually had lunch at this adorable restaurant in Nashville that’s closed now…rest in peace
Keely: RIP. RIP. Ugh, such a good one.
Elsie: We went there. A bunch of it was called Little Octopus, if you’re wondering. It was really just…anyway. Way to derail in the first five minutes. So anyway, she came to the interview. It was my first time to meet her. It was her first time to meet me. We sat down for lunch. We were making our small talk and she slid across the table, this booklet to me. And so this wasn’t her resume. Her resume was cute and designed kind of similarly. But this was more of a presentation that — and I was interviewing her. I didn’t ask her to prepare a presentation. All it was normally is, you know, people show up and answer my questions. So I was blown away, to be honest, when I saw this and what was in the little…it was kind of like maybe would you say like seven pages or five pages?
Keely: Yeah, probably like five to seven.
Elsie: And it was bound together with just a ring. So it was very simple and it looked great. It kind of fit with the brand of A Beautiful Mess, which I think is very important. If you’re applying for a creative position, you can show in this way that you’re a creative person, you have creative abilities, which is very impressive. And anyway, what the book contained was kind of like some ideas and plans that she had for what she could do in this position and what she could do with our company. And I think here’s an important thing to understand about it. Even if the ideas that she shared with me in that first interview didn’t really apply to the position, it didn’t matter. She was showing me that she had ideas and that she was excited to bring ideas to the table. So don’t get so focused on whether or not your ideas are perfect, but just frickin bring some. I think that that — it’s definitely the reason she got hired, because as soon as I was back in my car, I was calling Emma being like, you have to see this little booklet she made, like the booklet sold the whole interview. So we’re going to teach you how to do that. We’re going to teach you kind of like just some basics about why I think a lot of interviews go wrong. And it’s stuff that I was never really taught. And I know I did all the wrong things in interviews I did in the past, not following up, not knowing that much about the business or the establishment going into it, or just being, like, so painfully shy that they didn’t get a sense for my personality at all, which for shy people or introverted people like I have your back. Like I understand that Keely is an extrovert and she’s like very bubbly, friendly person. But I’m painfully shy and it’s hard for me to show my true self in a first meeting with people. But I think that this little booklet could maybe help you as a bridge so that you don’t feel as much pressure to, like, talk and say the perfect thing. You’re like showing them in two different ways who you are. Keely, tell us a little bit about the resume you made, why you made it, and what effect do you think it had?
Keely: Let me preface by saying that this was my dream job. I Saw it come up. I had been a reader of a A Beautiful Mess for like seven years at that point and I just really, really wanted the job. So I immediately knew I had to do something different than I had done in the past, even though, like, I had applied and interviewed for jobs in the past and I had got them like I haven’t gotten every job I’ve ever applied for. And I had to get this one. And I’m sure you have had that job come across your desk and you’re just like, I, I don’t know what I’ll do if I don’t get this job. So that’s kind of where I was coming from, state of mind-wise. But even if you’re not that intense about it, I feel like maybe some of these things could help in your next job search. So that’s kind of why I went 110, all in — extra, extra, extra. My disclaimer for this episode is that I’m talking mostly about a creative job. So I understand there are some jobs that you can’t take a lot of liberties with the resume or be super creative or out there. They just require a very specific kind of resume. So this was also four years ago. I think I am — I will put the resume in the show notes so that you can see what it looks like. So just keep in mind, like it’s kind of old, but it’s it’s still, I think, a good point of reference.
Elsie: I know they’re gonnw want to see it and it will give them a really good idea. And if I could just interject, you don’t like if you’re not applying for a super creative position, maybe you don’t want to go this far in. But I still think these tips are applicable to show that you can fit the culture of whatever company, like find a way to show that you can fit in and bring value to whatever company you’re applying for. Like maybe it’s not like an all pink, all glitter, you know what I mean? Like, that’s fine, too.
Keely: It’s not that Elle Woods pink and scented resume, she thinks that gives it a little something extra and it does. (laughs) So if you are not a graphic designer, I came at this from a standpoint of being a graphic designer, so I got to kind of customize the resume for exactly what I thought it needed. But there is a great resource that I would love to share with you called Creative Market, its creativemarket.com and search resume template. You will see so many beautiful resume templates come up that you can design in Microsoft Word. You don’t have to have like an Adobe software to do it. And if you do choose one of these designs and you work really, really hard on it and it’s like absolutely perfect, this is a technical tip, but save it as a PDF because if you have a word document, someone could open it in pages or a different application and it will look absolutely wonky, like it will not look right at all. So save as a PDF. My first tip on the actual content is to be really succinct with your resume. It should be something that you can skim in 30 seconds and get the gist of the candidate. Like Elsie was saying, like sometimes you have a stack of resumes that you have to go through and you just don’t have the time to read through it line for line. So I think in the past I used to be really flowery with my wording and try to make it sound as impressive as possible. But on this resume, I just wanted to get my point across really quickly.
Elsie: I think that’s a great tip. I am one of those people. I think a lot of people are, if we’re being honest, where if it starts off with Hi, my name’s Keely. I was born here. I went to high school here. I had this job and this job for my first jobs. And then I went to college like, you’re not going to be able to read through all of that. It’s just going to, like, turn your brain to sleep. I guess that’s a terrible thing to say. But it is true. I’m shooting you straight. If you go in with, like, the most, like, relevant information that will catch that employer’s eye put that first. And yes, like, your education is important, but I’m personally not one of those people who thinks education is the number one most important qualifier for a job. So if you maybe don’t have as much education as some of the other candidates might have put other relevant information right up top things you’ve done, experiences, accomplishments. I think that that is extremely important. I think a lot of people skim past that and they just keep it like too technical.
Keely: I also — something that I tried to do with this resume is layer the information. So where you’ll see where I put my experience is the part where it’s really to the point. But I also did a lot of other little sections on there. So if someone was like, oh, I kind of like this candidate, I want to learn more about her, there were other things that they could dig a little bit deeper into, but front and center were all of those really important details that are you know, I’m qualified for the job, here’s why I’m qualified type of thing, but I did do a little blurb at the top about myself. There are a few things that I thought made me a good candidate for this position. And I wanted to make a note of that because, again, like with a resume, you just can’t say everything you want to say. So I did I did do a little bit of that. But my second point is don’t be afraid to adjust your resume based on the job and your relevant experience. So maybe you had a job that was on your resume that has nothing to do with this job. But maybe you had a job a couple years before that, that. Yeah, it was a little bit — it was a little bit longer ago, as far as timeline goes. But it really makes sense to tell this employer, oh, I had this specific job. So I would definitely not be afraid to do a little tweaking based on the job and really dig through your relevant experience. On that note, I know it’s like everybody kind of fibs a little bit on their resume like that.
Elsie: Really? Do you think so?
Keely: I think that’s a joke like, oh, on my resume — there’s like all these memes about it, like, you know, I’m so good at Excel and you’re really not good at Excel. Like instead of fibbing, maybe compensate for that. So instead of saying I’m so good at Excel, reiterate that you are a quick learner and coachable and teachable. If you don’t know the software because things like that, they are teachable, you can learn how to do those things. You can’t really learn how to be. I mean, I guess you could, but self-starting is a really important thing for that, yeah.
Elsie: Almost any position that’s in a medium or high level is going to have a lot to learn when you jump in. And your employer might not necessarily want you to pretend like you already know everything about a position that you’ve never done. It’s actually better to say, like, I’m a really fast learner. I love to learn. I love to work on a team. I want to get everyone’s opinion, you know, things like that. I love to hear those types of things for sure.
Keely: I’ve been in that position before where the job calls for something. And it’s so tempting to say, yes, I’m so good at this.
Elsie: Some of my friends did that. Now that you mention it my friend, like didn’t even know Photoshop. And then she got a job where she does that professionally.
Elsie: And it worked out for her. So I guess I just won’t give advice about that because I don’t freakin know. But I do feel like through the years, most of our employees have come in with some big gap in their knowledge. You know, like there’s something that they need to learn or be trained on, like that’s fine. That’s not something to be ashamed of whatsoever.
Keely: Speaking of software and systems, things like Excel, things like Photoshop, please also, I think this is important. Talk about the intangible skills that you have as well that aren’t like, oh, I can do this, this and this again. Tell them you’re coachable, tell them you’re teachable, tell them you’re a self-starter. Tell them that you’re hungry for new knowledge, like those things really do matter. And employers like to see that because I’ve been in this situation in the past where I was the employer and I’ve hired someone and they just like were missing a very crucial element that it took to be successful in that job. And I just it was so hard to understand that just based on one interview. So I think filling in those gaps for your employer and just letting them know all the wonderful things about you as a candidate that may not fit into your experience portion of the resume is definitely playing to your strengths. Elsie talked about the little booklet that I brought to the interview. And my next point is, don’t just tell them you be good at the job, show them how you will be good at the job. So I think a takeaway is a great way to do this, especially if it’s a creative job. You have the chance to flex some muscle there and show what you’re capable of. But other than that, just bringing ideas to the table, even if they’re not exactly the ideas the employer’s looking for shows that you are taking initiative. It shows that you have a lot of interest in the position. It shows that your mind is already turning. It’s already working on the job before you even take it. And I think that means a lot to know that someone is so invested in your business before they even work for you that they’re willing to kind of do a little case study maybe or a little — give a little taste of what they’re capable of. So I just made, they were kind of like index card, flash card size, and I just whipped him up really quick in Adobe Illustrator, but you could do it in Microsoft Word too. Like you don’t have to have fancy software to do something like this. I took them to like FedEx. I had them laminated and cut, and then I had them hole punched and just put a little jump ring, like a little ring through the top corner. It wasn’t the most impressive looking thing, but it was something to bring. It was simple and it fit in my purse. It wasn’t like this big presentation that I had to splay out all over the lunch table, but it was just a little bit of something extra.
Elsie: Let’s take a quick sponsor break.
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So recently Emma and I hired for A Color Story. We did a bunch of interviews together. It was really fun. We hadn’t done that in a little while and you would be surprised. So here’s a hot tip. Whatever company you’re interviewing for, make sure that you know what they do and you’ve tried their product. So we were hiring for an upper-level position and only one of the applicants in our first round of interviews had tried our product, which that’s really bad. So make sure whatever company — if you’re not that familiar, that’s OK. But do give yourself a little crash course and get really familiar. And then our second round of interviews, one of the applicants had listened to our podcast, had listened to the podcast where we tell the story of the app company. And that stood out to me. I was like, we’ve done a little homework and, you know, put in some effort to find out more about the company and. Yeah, so that those details are extremely important. I think the other thing that really stood out to me when we interviewed Keely is that you could tell that it sincerely was her dream job. And that’s like a dream for the employer to give someone a job that they feel like they’re truly going to love and that they truly want. You know, it’s a really good starting point. And not every job that you’re ever going to interview for is going to sincerely be your dream job. And that’s OK. But I think that when it is — find a way to show that.
Keely: I knew my resume. I had to stand out. I had no idea how many applicants Elsie and Emma were receiving, like I had no idea how many resumes they were going to have to read. And I know this is not something that you can do in every case, but like jump on it as soon as you see the job, like, don’t waffle over it. Don’t be like, oh, I don’t know if I’m qualified, just like jump in. I know Emma’s big advice is just to finish. Just get it done.
Elsie: I agree. Like if you hear a position is open, you don’t know how much longer, if they’ve already been interviewing, they might be about to select someone. So if you hear of a position you want to interview for, you really need to send your resume that day. And I know that feels intimidating, but I’m just I think I think it’s the truth.
Keely: Yeah, I think I think I even remember my subject line was something like really kind of cheesy, but I knew it would be eye-catching. And I will say I took a lot of risks with the application process for this position. I wanted it so bad and I just knew that I would regret not going all in on it. And I think that any job you want, you can go all in on. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I think if someone is turned off by you being extra about their company and about the position, it’s not the right fit.
Elsie: That’s true. Like that’s going to be probably a little more rare where someone doesn’t want their employees or their applicants to be excited. And if they don’t, and you’re very excited, I guess it’s probably good to just, like, get that out of the way and find that out.
Keely: And I wouldn’t feign excitement like I wouldn’t pretend like I was super pumped about the job just for the sake of it. Like, that’s definitely not what I’m trying to insinuate here. But I do think that if it is something you’re excited about, there’s nothing wrong with showing it that makes you human and it makes you a real person to whoever you’re appealing to, to try to get a job. With those risks that I was talking about. I did it like kind of a weird subject line. I think it was like like, OMG, I’m so excited or like, holy smokes, I’m so excited or something like that. It was, you know, it was really, really cheesy, I’ll admit that. But I also took some risks, like being more casual and fun on my resume. I don’t know. I just it’s me. That’s who I am. I am very, you know, talkative, extroverted. And I wanted that to somehow come across on my resume. I’m not saying this is right for everyone, but try to infuse some personality into your resume. So for me, that was like there was a lot of pink on my resume. There was a photo of me that I had taken for like a branding shoot. And if you’re going to do a photo for your resume, I just have a friend grab their phone, find like in your town or in your city a white wall or a pink wall or a colored wall of some kind. And just like, you know, dear, do your hair and makeup, don’t do your hair and makeup, whatever feels good for you, whatever makes you feel like you’re being yourself. And take a cute new headshot that’s current and put it on there like I have seen resumes where people put their wedding picture on because it’s the only thing they have, like…
Elsie: Oh no!
Keely: I know what it’s like if you’ve done that, don’t don’t feel bad or anything. But I do think that…
Elsie: I agree it’s not Match.com. Like, you don’t have to have a striking photo. You just a regular photo is fine. I love a photo on a resume because it just helped me remember the person better…
Keely: Just put a face to a name. Yeah.
Elsie: Yeah, just a simple photo is fine. Doesn’t have to be anything epic. And I know some people don’t put photos, but I do find them extremely helpful.
Keely: Yeah. Do we want to talk about interviewing at all?
Elsie: Sure. Ok, yeah. So what do you think. I mean I feel like interviewing. OK, I’ll give you my perspective based on my recent interviews because Keely’s interview, it was like four or five years ago. Like I don’t even remember, I remember meeting you but I don’t remember anything. We talked about anymore.
Keely: Same. Yeah, it’s been a while.
Elsie: Ok, so the recent ones we did like last month, I’ll just say the basic things. I think being friendly, nice, having some basic background on the company shows that you want the job. Don’t even go to an interview if you’re not going to know what the company does and what the position would somewhat entail and then asking questions. I would prepare a few questions that show that you understand what the position is. And then one of the most important things that I failed at in my past which my interviewing was like so long ago because you guys know I’ve owned a business a long time, but still I never was told about the importance of following up. So following up is super important. And it’s not just like a tip. It’s expected. If you don’t follow up, everyone we interviewed followed up either that night or the next day. And if you don’t do that, it seems like you didn’t want the job. So know that going in that you have to follow up and just send like a friendly email. That’s like I enjoyed the interview. Thanks for the opportunity. What are the next steps? Is all you have to say.
Keely: My husband, Michael, he hires a lot of interns for his job, and he tells me all the time, like, oh, my gosh, I had somebody follow up today. It’s so rare, especially, I think, for younger generations to do this. So it’s my — I have this tip on here and it says, look for any opportunity to add something extra. And for instance, that could be your follow-up. I remember this is another cheesy detail that I did, and I don’t even know if you remember it Elsie. But when I was applying for this job, it was to be the shop manager for Oui Fresh. So it was very retail heavy. I think they were looking for someone to take the Instagram in a certain direction and things like that. So instead of just sending a follow up thank you email, I sent a regular email, but I also attached to that email an image that I kind of styled. And I took a photo of a little letter board that said, thank you, Emma. And there were like balloons. And I just wanted to show them, like, I can also do photos, like I can also do styled photos. So that was an opportunity for me to do that. I think with Elsie, I had a pair of Oui Fresh sunglasses and I put them on a cactus and it looked like the cactus had sunglasses on. It was like so silly looking back on it but…(laughs)
Elsie: Keely is giving you guys good tips though. Like Oui Fresh was a little bit of like a cheesy retail company. So the — like what she did was perfect for that position. Find something that’s perfect for your position. But like the principle here is take every opportunity to show them that you’ll go the extra mile because you don’t get that many interactions. A lot of people, you will read a resume and maybe you’ll have one interview. Maybe you’ll have two. You really can’t follow up too much. I think following up a couple times a week while you’re in an interviewing situation is completely reasonable and normal. I feel like this is like the gold. So we would love to hear if you use these tips because, yeah, most of our episodes are about home decor and things like that. And this time I think job resume’s is like a little bit random, but I feel like it’s something that almost all of us are going to need at some point in our lives. And now let’s take a quick break and hear from our sponsors.
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Elsie: Should we do a hotline question?
Sarah: Hi Elsie and Emma, I’m Sarah from Rhode Island. I’ve been a long, long time fan of yours so I love your podcast. My question is, what do you…how do you handle if and when you lose your creativity? What do you do to kind of re-ignite that? I’m a mom, I’m exhausted a lot. And I used to be so into writing and blogging and cooking and all that. And I just kind of…puttered out. I have two kids less than two years apart. So it’s just been exhausting lately. So, yeah, any input, any offerings of advice or suggestions would be so welcome. I love you guys so much. Bye.
Elsie: Hi, Sarah. OK, first of all, I just want to send you the biggest hug. I have been in this situation more times than I can count in this past year. So first of all, There’s been so many days when I overanalyzed one part of my life that I felt like I was failing at and then zoom out and realize actually we’re surviving something really difficult right now. And, you know, with little kids, having little kids is already a really challenging season of life. So I’ve had lots of times when I felt like I was losing my magic. But I think giving yourself the space to not try to be everything all the time is the most like. It’s a gift we can give ourselves. I feel everything you said, like I want to — I want to make every craft. I want to go like 15 out of ten for every holiday. Like, I love all that stuff. But when you have little kids, I think the best thing you can do is just lower your expectations like lower than you think. And then it’s like, wow, I’m doing pretty good! (laughs) That’s the only advice I can really give. It’s it is — it’s the key to happiness. All right. Let’s do a quick guilty pleasure treasure before we go. Yeah. It’s Keely’s first guilty pleasure treasure.
Keely: I’m so honored. So honored.
Elsie: Ok, so my guilty pleasure treasure is how I’m surviving — is fake tan. I love a fake tan. It just makes me happy. And, you know, like I have lots of fake things about myself. I dye my hair. If I could I would have eyelash extensions right now. Maybe I’ll get to that. My micro blading is going away. I need more fake things in my life. But what I do have is the tan. I love this Vita Liberata foam and so all you need is the foam and the mitten. I will link them both in the show notes. It’s the best if you want something that is a clean product and then if you also want something that is a subtle like spray tan look. So it’s pretty subtle. You just put it on with the glove and then you can either rinse it off or honestly, like I just like leave it on usually and wipe off later, like the next day. It’s not going to leave you super streaky. I’ve had like one or two little streaks, you know, but nothing like what you like — some fake tan is so like I maybe I just don’t know how to put it on. I’m like one of those people that paints their nails and gets the nail polish all over my fingers. That’s me with a spray tan. Like I never want anything that is like the traumatic orange skin, you know what I mean? And it’s not like that.
Keely: So I don’t know if I don’t even think I mentioned this in this episode, but the job I had right before coming to A Beautiful Mess was actually an education lead at Sephora. And I will tell you something about Vita Liberata that’s really cool. They’re an Irish brand and their tan formulated for very pasty people and it actually has a green undertone instead of like brown tones. It’s got a little bit of green to it. So when it comes out of the pump, you’re like, oh, what is that? But it actually balances out and color corrects so it doesn’t come out orange.
Elsie: I, I definitely see that. Yeah, I’m a person. I love a spray tan where you let go in and they spray you down, you know, that’s the ultimate. But when I do it I always get a medium or a light depending. I would never go full dark. And a couple of times in my life I’ve had a traumatizing spray tan and it happens. But this is just it’s very, very subtle. And if you do it, like if you put the foam on, wait till the end of the day, take a shower, then it’ll probably work even better because I never do that step. So anyway, I highly recommend it. It’s the only fake tan that I use. I’ll also link the one that I use just for my face. But I will say I, I water it down with face oil like half face oil half this tanner, and it’s still even a little bit like I don’t like it, very intense.
Keely: It’s a good glow, a healthy glow.
Elsie: I definitely want it to look real and if it can’t look all the way real, I don’t want it. So, yeah. So this is definitely a great product. I’ll link it for you in the show notes and let me know if you try it because I bet you’re going to love it. What’s yours Keely?
Keely: Ok, so the only reason why I’m saying this is guilty is because some people are really grossed out by sweat and I’m just going to talk about it.
Elsie: Oh, my gosh. Like, why would you be grossed out about something that every person has to deal with?
Keely: It’s so true, though. So first off, the brand that I’m about to talk to you about is kind of a life-changer. It’s called Megababe, and it’s founded by Katie Sturino, who is really cool. She is a plus-sized woman and does a lot of like here is the size four plus-size people. Like here’s here’s the look on a celebrity that straight-size for plus-size people. And it’s really cute. She is cool. Elsie she has a lot of Jonathan Adler in her home in her Palm Beach home.
Elsie: Palm Beach.
Keely: Yes. Yeah.
Elsie: I like Megababe because the branding is so pretty.
Keely: The branding is amazing and a lot of their products are at Target, which is really cool. So I have two products I want to talk about actually three. But two of them go together. The first one is if you have any kind of thigh chafing, which I do, it is called Thigh Rescue and it looks like a little deodorant stick. And I’ve used odorant before. It’s just not the same as this. Like, this is truly…
Elsie: What is the texture?
Keely: It’s very silky. Like it’s got a very silky texture to it. A little bit oily, I guess, but it just like helps your legs to glide perfectly like if you’re going to Disney World or something or like going on a long walk and you’re wearing shorts, like this is the stuff. They even have a mini one, too, that you can keep in your purse for unexpected chafing incidents. (laughs)
Elsie: That’s perfect.
Keely: So the other one is kind of in line with this. They have a puff. It’s this beautiful big pink puff. And you used it with this stuff called body dust. And like, if the back of your thighs sweat or if you get under-boob sweat, like, you can pat this little puff everywhere you need it, everywhere you get really sweaty in the summertime. Or maybe you sweat all the time. But it is incredible and it just keeps you dry and comfortable. I love it so much.
Elsie: Nice. Yeah, awesome. OK, well I need to try their deodorant sometime. I’m always trying the new like oh I will always try a new natural deodorant.
Keely: Apparently — they just came out with two new ones and there’s a green one and apparently the green one is the holy grail of natural deodorants. So I want to try it.
Elsie: Ok, well, we will link all of that for you in the show notes. Thanks so much for listening. Our show notes are going to be really intensive this week with lots of resume tips. Let us know if you use them. Be sure and subscribe so that you get our podcast automatically every week.
Keely: As always, you can call in on the hotline. It’s 417-893-0011. And if you’re nervous, which don’t be because I’m usually the one that listens to your voice mails and I think you’re all sweet and wonderful and amazing, just send us a little email at Podcast@abeautifulmess.com with any questions you have.
Elsie: Oh, awesome. OK, we’ll be back next week.