• 4 winning resume tips for recent graduates

    August 01, 2016 by
    Businessman passing document to businesswoman photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    You don’t like getting spam, do you? Well, neither do hiring managers. It may be quick and efficient to upload your resume on popular job sites and send employers the same robo-resume, but hiring managers view these generic, mass mailings as spam. They can spot one-size-fits-all resumes in a nano-second and quickly discard them.

    Here are four tips from hiring managers featured in the book, Graduate to a Great Career, on how to create a winning resume:

    1. Add a short profile statement and your key selling points at the top “above the fold”

    Realize your resume is an ad for branding yourself. Like a newspaper, an ad, or web page, the most important “real estate” is in the top half of your resume. Branding resumes begin with a profile or qualifications statement, a couple of crisp sentences that define your value. A strong profile statement is critical for recent graduates. You don’t have an impressive job title and career history yet, so you’ll need to specify your career focus and value proposition in your profile statement. In fact, many hiring managers told me a big problem with new graduate resumes is it can be hard to determine what entry-level job the new grad is looking for, especially if the grad doesn’t have a career-specific major like accounting or computer science. A profile headline like “Seeking an entry-level positioning” is too generic and doesn’t convey your career path. Remember, it’s your job to convey your career identity, not the hiring manager’s. For example, a recent grad named Erin who was a psychology major pursuing a career in marketing began her profile with the headline, “Aspiring marketing assistant: Psychology grad with pulse on the consumer mindset,” followed by a few bullets outlining her focus, strengths, and marketing credentials through two internships.

    2. Expand your skill set to take advantage of new market opportunities

    Be willing to take advantage of where the momentum is in the marketplace. During her job search for marketing jobs, Erin, our aspiring marketer mentioned above, noticed big retailers were advertising entry-level jobs and internships in merchandising, an area related to marketing that involves selecting products and evaluating sales performance. She decided to expand her job search and pursue both career paths: merchandising and marketing. Because there were a lot of merchandising internships online, she snagged a three-month, part-time internship at a large global retailer. But Erin needed a different elevator pitch and resume to apply for full-time merchandising jobs, and now with her internship, she had a story to tell. She had a hands-on role in compiling trend and competitive analysis reports, which gave her specific marketable skills. Here is Erin’s new profile statement for her merchandising resume, “Merchandising assistant with strong analytic, merchandising, and marketing skills.” She included new skills such as “completed Excel reports for accurate demand forecasting that resulted in a 10% improvement in accurate buying.” Before long, Erin was offered a merchandising job at a top global retailer.

    3. Play to keywords and how the resume robots screen resumes.

    The first “person” your resume has to impress is not likely to be a human being but a computer. Due to the volume of resumes that large and medium-sized companies receive, most companies use ATS (applicant tracking systems). Most ATS’s are not kind to new grads since they are programmed to check for a strong keyword match. Since most recent grads have limited experience, they don’t score high on an ATS (Only 25% of resumes make it past the resume robots). If you do have a strong skills match with a job posting, take the time to use the same exact words in your resume so the resume robots pick them out. Your resume can also be discarded if you format it incorrectly. Keep the layout simple with commonly used section titles like profile, work experience, education, etc.

    4. Emphasize skills, experience, and results in the “Action + Numbers = Results” format.

    Employers now give twice as much importance to specific skills and work experience as academic courses and grades. How do you make your abilities and skills stand out when you’re a new grad with limited work experience? It might take more effort than for an experienced job seeker, but you have more experience and accomplishments than you realize. Make a list of everything you’ve ever accomplished in internships, school projects, volunteer activities, part-time jobs, and the like. Then, follow this formula to create a powerful results bullet:

    Action + Numbers = Results

    Did [A] + as measured by [N] = with these results [R]

    Here are a few examples of how college students and recent grads have created marketable results bullets out of internships and part-time jobs:

    • Raised $55,000 in first month calling alumni for university capital
    campaign; the top student performer all four weeks.

    • As a brand ambassador interning at X Company, challenged to increase
    website traffic, wrote ten blog posts that generated over 240 responses,
    and helped boost sales.

    • Prepared detailed Excel reports and pitches for business development
    group at fast-growing technology company that
    increased response rate by 15%.

    The key to a successful resume and job search is to go for quality over quantity. You need to invest a little more time to create a resume that is right for each job, but it will pay off. Your efforts will be rewarded, and you’ll be on your way to an interview in no time.

    Catherine Kaputa, guest writer

    Catherine Kaputa, guest writer

    Catherine Kaputa is a Personal Brand Strategist, Speaker, and Author of the newly-released book, Graduate to a Great Career: How Smart Students, New Graduates, and Young Professionals Can Launch Brand You. (April 2016. graduatetoagreatcareer.com). She is the author of two best-selling books, You Are a Brand and Breakthrough Branding for entrepreneurs. She is the Founder of SelfBrand (selfbrand.com). Speaking clients include Google, PepsiCo, Microsoft, Intel, Citi, Merck, Northwestern University, New York University, and University of Illinois.

  • Core advantages of vocational and technical education programs

    May 28, 2016 by
    Engineering photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    There are many purposes served by vocational and technical colleges. These colleges create many opportunities for students to further their professional careers and to earn more money. They also offer many career programs in practical fields that don’t require academic training in traditional four-year programs.

    This article will present some core advantages of vocational and technical courses offered by colleges to high school students.

    Shortening freshman year

    For high school students, the most prominent and motivating factor of enrolling into vocational programs is that they enable students to shorten their freshman year in college. Since the college years are in a traditional four-year degree program, quarters and semesters usually involve credits earned. Students can considerably shorten their freshman year and earn enough college credits during high school. This might add up enough to cut freshman year in half for some.

    Winning college credits

    It is a fact that high schools do not offer this option. However, there are many vocational and technical colleges that provide entry-level classes to students studying in high schools who have established a good capacity and ability for college education. Usually, this is ascertained through a counselor or mentor who guides students, even though there are some schools that allow high school students to enroll for classes.

    Since college level classes are taken by high school students, they are given the chance by vocational and technical programs to start their college education. Usually, students can attend classes at night, after the end of their regular high school duration. The credits won by these programs can be put toward first-year generals at a conventional education center.

    Getting used to college years

    The environment of a vocational and technical college program is one between high school and college. This approach makes an undeniably perfect learning environment for high school students to become familiar with a different learning experience.

    Typically, students want the stress-free and informal learning environment, and they can experience it by enrolling into a vocational program. It is a common fact that high school is usually infamous for being filled with ‘cliques,’ but the college life is more relaxed, as it involves more social aspect and social interaction.

    Creating a perfect college application

    The college application process for admission is another one of the motivating factors for taking a vocational and technical program during high school. Students want admissions to highly desirable and top-ranking universities, but getting in a college or university is fierce competition. Thus, students will have to do everything to make their college applications the best.

    Specialty career programs

    The subject matter in specialty courses is one more reason to consider vocational programs during high school. If we talk about the United Kingdom, there are many high schools dropping numerous elective programs and the budget cuts are the main reason behind it. There are many cases in which the first subjects and programs to be dropped are physical activities like shop, band, and physical education.

    For students with interests in any of these programs, their only option available is taking them at a vocational college. They can find an extensive array of these vocational programs at most vocational and technical colleges. Plus, the bonus is students will get in-depth and hands on vocational classes they can’t find in high school.

    Considering educational opportunities for your future? Visit the College Recruiter blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

    John Kelly is a professional and proactive article writer, as well as an education counselor. He also provides UK writing help to customers for enhancing their skills and knowledge. He also writes articles for the benefit of students.

  • Balancing academics and work as a college student

    February 13, 2016 by
    Photo of Anthony Taylor

    Anthony Taylor, guest writer

    Students go off to college, but it’s not the rosy life they see in the movies. There are bills to pay, tuition to afford, books to buy, and honestly, balancing finances at a young age is hard. Studying in college and concentrating on getting good grades is tough enough without throwing in a job into the mix. But the money has to flow in to either support the family or to support getting an education. Whatever the reason, here are a few tips to help college students juggle their working and studying lives.

    1. Find a job with flexible hours: Let’s face it; students are in college now. There will be coursework and assignments with tight deadlines, and studying should always be a priority. An education will serve as the building blocks for the future so students shouldn’t push it in the backburner. They should find jobs where they can easily accommodate their studies, too, so neither one suffers. These jobs could be within the college campus, as those kinds of jobs understand the balance between work and study, and they can help college students manage their homework.

    2. Manage time wisely: With so much on the line, it is wise to have a good time management schedule. College students should know where they spend their time. Many successful people plan nearly each moment of their day to get the most out of their 24 hours. Many times we end up wasting time and not realizing it when we could be putting it to good use. Use lunch breaks to catch up on math homework, or grab a few hours of work during a long lunch break in college. Those few hours can add up during the week. Students need to keep checking in to see if they’re on track per their schedules to know they’re not overcommitting themselves or falling short of their goals. If students know they function better in the mornings, they should get evening jobs so they can do coursework or assignments when they’re fresh and vice versa.

    3. Have family support: This goes without saying; without a support system, college students will find it very hard to adjust both lives alone. Students should inform their managers at work, friends, or family to support them in this decision, and help them both personally and professionally. This kind of support will help students infinitely when they feel the pressure is too much, or they need help with managing homework.

    4. Know what they want: College students should choose jobs wisely if they can. Students should think about how what they do now could benefit them in the future. Remember, everything can be added to their portfolios. If working in a store, think of inventory – managing time and stock. All of this could and should be interpreted as work experience, and this could boost entry into the working world by gaining experience, references, professional growth, and of course, the money.

    5. Be creative in getting homework done: By having a job, college students are effectively cutting down on their study hours. Students must be smart about juggling their time, and try listening to lectures while working. They should also keep their managers in the loop so they get that support system. This way, students can learn, revise, and perhaps even do homework during work hours, which don’t require much brain activity like sorting mail, etc.

    6. Take a mental break: It is important to have some time out from studies. Always having studies/ homework on the mind will stress students out, especially if they know they can’t do it during work hours. Allow a study free zone while at work. Know there is nothing students can do about it, so they should give themselves permission to relax. Many times we block ourselves, and take on more stress over things we cannot control. Those moments students are not thinking about studies could benefit them in the long run. This way, they can approach their assignments with a fresh mind.

    Smiling college students holding hands at graduation courtesy of Shutterstock.com

    Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock.com

    7. Stay focused on the end goal: The end goal should be graduating. Many times, once students start working, they find it hard to stay focused on education. It becomes easy to forget about studies and think about short term benefits, such as getting paid. This spending power lets many people forget about graduating. College students must find ways to motivate themselves. Keep pictures of graduates at their ceremonies or photos of people who managed to reach the pinnacle of their careers to have an aim and a goal to reach.

    8. Research on future courses: Students should find courses relevant to them and their future interests. Don’t choose a random course because friends are taking it, or because somebody else has a strong opinion about it. Students need to discover what they are passionate about and what they see themselves doing in the future. Doing some research on courses will help them achieve their future goals.

    9. Be smart financially: Money can flow through college students’ fingers like water if they’re not careful. Keep track on spending and where the money has to be allocated. If there are bills to pay, keep that money aside, or pay off debts before doing anything else. This helps students become more financially independent. This not involves their weekly paycheck, but also their tuition. Most colleges have hefty fees so be sure to enroll in a program where there are future benefits. Don’t get a job and go into debt due to careless spending, as this will cause a downward spiral.

    10. Be passionate: Happiness can only come from within. College students should be passionate about the courses they will be taking; passion will get them through tough times. If students truly do something they love, they will excel in it. Be happy at the workplace. Find a job that is mentally stimulating or has a good work team. This makes a huge difference in students’ mental health and happiness, and when they’re young and balancing their work and study lives, this is very important.

    The balance for managing studies and work can be a fine line, and one that should be carefully monitored so college students don’t end up suffering by their decision to work. This has become a recent trend, as many young students have bills to pay, and this enables them to gain work experience while also getting homework help and inspiration from their coworkers or family.

    Need more tips for college students, check out College Recruiter’s blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter.

    Anthony Taylor is a writer, student and editor on student’s writing website. He loves reading, writing motivational stories and spending the time with his family. You can follow him on Twitter and Google+ for more interesting stories.

  • 6 tips for making the most of your college career center

    December 17, 2015 by
    a sign at cambridge university marking the location of the careers advice centre in cambridge

    A sign at Cambridge University marking the location of the Careers Advice Centre in Cambridge. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

    Have you ever set foot in your college career center? Were you even aware that your college has a career center? You may have walked by its door a few times, but like most students you’ve probably never gone in – and that’s a terrible waste of a very valuable resource. The experienced staff is there to guide and help students towards the careers of their dreams. Make use of their expertise – that’s what they’re paid for!

    It’s never too early to call the career center for help and advice. Here are six tips to make the most of your career center. Continue Reading

  • Finding Your Career Path

    August 12, 2015 by
    a magnifying glass hovering over several career fields, centering on the words Find Your Career

    A magnifying glass hovering over several career fields, centering on the words Find Your Career. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

    In each country, there is a relatively high unemployment rate among the younger generation. Many complain about their inability to find a job. Or worse, they don’t know what they want to do with their life career-wise. They are ill-prepared for dealing with the real world. Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey made comments about people solving their financial problems by just getting a good job. How can people qualify or pitch themselves to get a well-paid job?

    More often than not, we find many of the younger generation going onto benefits programs or drifting along in life with no sense of direction. To overcome this obstacle, parents, teachers and mentors must strive to provide clear advice and direction to the emerging generations so that they can gain clarity on their purpose in life. Essentially, ‘where it is they fit in the world!’ Now often the younger generation has their sights set on becoming rich and famous by becoming a sports or music star. And even though it is a credible career choice, there are only a select few who will qualify to have a professional career in those chosen fields. Continue Reading

  • Four reasons to enjoy your college days

    August 07, 2015 by
    group of university students outdoors looking happy

    Group of university students outdoors looking happy. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

    If you remember your last few school days or months, you would realize how college excited you and also developed a sense and anxiety within you. The fear of changing your life, having to become more responsible, learning more advanced courses and preparing for professional life all contribute to your growing anxiety before you go to college.

    However, the moment you step on to the journey of your college as a freshman, you would realize that there is much beyond the general fear and anxiety levels. College is a journey which is like a transition period from the school and university. It acts as a bridge at an age where students are the most vulnerable and are during their teenage part of life. College teaches much more than mere education, it helps students find their feet in this world and learn to fight or combat various challenges and prepares themselves for even tougher life to come. Every student has their own perceptions and reasons to love college and enjoy the college days. However, in general, there are some common elements that can be taken into account when it comes to determining why you should love your college and enjoy the college days. Today’s guest post is exactly going to talk about those four reasons in the next sections of this article. Continue Reading

  • 5 Advantages of attending Career College

    July 31, 2015 by
    Illustration depicting a green roadsign with a training courses concept. Blue sky background.

    Illustration depicting a green roadsign with a training courses concept. Blue sky background. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

    There are various educational choices that we make throughout our life. With many options available to graduating seniors this year, there is no dearth of opportunities for them. Traditional colleges are becoming less and less ‘perfect’ for students. This includes both traditional 4 year colleges and community colleges. It takes simply too long to graduate from these traditional colleges and students end up with an outdated curriculum most of the time. Admissions aren’t easy either, with large waitlists for the flagship programs at top colleges, life becomes hell for graduating seniors in their pursuit of a good college to build their career in. These reasons make it extremely necessary to search for alternative sources of education. Continue Reading

  • How Business Majors Can Learn After College

    July 29, 2015 by
    Group of young business students working together on computers in office.

    Group of young business students working together on computers in office. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

    Just because you’ve graduated doesn’t mean that you’re done learning. Throughout your entire life there will be a countless times where you can learn. From learning from experience to learning the hard way, it never really stops. There’s a handful of ways to fine-tune your existing skills and find out new things about today’s ever-evolving business world. Here are four examples of how former business majors can keep engaged throughout their careers. Continue Reading

  • Your advisor is your academic planner: Ask them these 6 things

    June 11, 2015 by

     

    Although many college freshmen don’t think too much about seeing an academic advisor, due to the fact that they have so many other things to adjust to, it’s one of the most important things that they should do within their first few months on campus. You should see your advisor as your academic planner. They know just about everything that’s important about the academic situation at the university: grading systems, courses that lead to specific degrees, and so on. However, they will not seek out students; rather the student needs to be the one to take the initiative. Continue Reading

  • Certify Your Career In Cyber Security

    May 27, 2015 by
    Rakesh Singh photo

    Rakesh Singh, Head of Marketing at Aditi Staffing

    Information technology is growing at breakneck speed, and so are the number of threats aimed at disabling the progress of technology. Surveys show that the number of cyber attacks have only increased in the last few years, and show no signs of abating in the near future.

    According to Symantec, a leading company in the field of cybersecurity, web based attacks against governments, businesses and individuals have increased by 23%. Cyber attacks are so powerful that with the click of a button, governments can be brought down and political structures destroyed. This was the case when Stuxnet was used to cripple the Iranian nuclear mechanism. Though no one knows who was responsible to date, there is no doubt that cyber attacks are the future of warfare. Continue Reading