• 10 digital skills to help you land an amazing job

    July 25, 2016 by
    Young photographer at the studio doing some retouching photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    The digital age arrives with many benefits. Our lives are faster, online, and the information is easily accessible at the click of a button. However, you cannot be left behind, and you need to keep up with technology because it might end up replacing you if you don’t. In fact, it’s already happening. Many jobs that have been a staple of society in the past 100 years are slowly being given to automatons.

    Those are the jobs that require little social interaction and are based on pure demand or logical thinking. A human employee in simple services can be replaced by a few buttons. We’re moving forward, and many already believe that the younger generation needs to make sure their digital skills are sharp in order to fit into the future. How do you defeat this robotization of services and jobs? Learn to be the one who controls and creates them.

    It does not mean you necessarily have to learn how to build robots, but it means that you need to understand what sort of skills and talents future employees expect from you. Digital skills are certainly among them because they will play a major role in shaping the future. Your concern should be to belong among those who participate, instead of those who just watch, and here’s what you should definitely know to land a great job.

    1. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

    Even though SEO has been around for quite a while, it’s not known to many who have had no handle in creating or taking care of a website. However, keep in mind that skills using it are required by around 14% of companies in the digital industry, and that number is expected to grow. It’s an essential tool used to optimize a website in order for it to generate traffic and conversation. It’s an imperative skill for many jobs and one that will definitely impress employers in the industry.

    2. Coding (HTML5 or JavaScript)

    It may sound like a no-brainer, but coding is a major part of web browsing, especially in an age where websites are becoming more interactive. Numerous tech giants have switched to HTML5, dropping previous languages in order to create a better and seamless internet experience. The same applies to JavaScript, which works greatest with animation and making interaction an easy process. They’re tools that will be used in the future and some highly recommended for those interested in the field.

    3. PPC (Pay-Per-Click)

    In essence, it’s a very simple method that companies are looking for regarding marketing. It implies increasing a specific website’s traffic by buying ads on search engines that make potential customers click on it. However, you need to hone your skills in identifying promising keywords, creating a compelling ad, and measure the results. These will be excellent skills to have if you’re aiming to submit a winning job application at a tech titan in the industry.

    4. Analytics

    It’s not enough to implement digital strategies. Analytics are crucial and highly sought-after by employers because it means you are comfortable with analyzing and evaluating how those techniques are progressing. You need to be able to compare them constantly with others and provide excellent insight. It’s an incredible skill that will certainly land you a job. Everyone is looking to get better.

    5. Android or iOS Development

    Smartphones are taking over, and learning either one of these two platforms will look great on your resume. They have tremendous potential for the future because they are not going anywhere. You could find an amazing job if you master at least one of them.

    6. PaaS (Platform as a Service)

    Cloud software is everywhere, and many believe that they will ultimately become the quintessential platform for companies. PaaS is a tool that will help you develop these web applications that will no longer require customers to download sizeable programs on their hard drives. It’s a builder of accessibility.

    7. Personal branding

    Through the use of social media, you can create an excellent personal brand that will land you a fantastic job. You only need to learn how to do it. It implies understanding the use of all social media platforms, including Facebook, LinkedIn, websites, blogs, and everything else to create a beneficial image of yourself.

    8. Writing online content

    Everything is on the internet, and the ability to create quality content is highly sought-after. If you combine it with SEO and a few marketing skills, you could reach for a high-paying digital marketing job. It’s important to know how to flow between platforms, and manage your content for every situation.

    9. Web design and creating websites

    There are numerous tools out there to use, and mastering a majority of them will certainly make you desired on the job market. All you need is a bit of coding, tremendous amounts of creativity, and the patience to actually learn all the tools. Everyone and everything needs a website. Be the one who creates them, and you will be needed as well.

    10. Image and video editing

    Online digital media is in full force, so there will always be a need for someone who has extensive skills of image and video editing. Be it for advertising, marketing, or basically any industry, these are very valuable skills to learn. They look impressive on your resume, and every company needs someone with these abilities. If you truly want to impress them, grab the Adobe collection and master it.

    We have moved fast into the future, and our steps need to be quick in order to keep up. Basic knowledge of Microsoft Office is now not something employers require, but something they expect. Focus on the most advanced tools that will set you apart from the crowd of millennials still stuck behind technology.

    Want more information about how to integrate technology into your career? Visit our blog and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

    Amanda Wilks, guest writer

    Amanda Wilks, guest writer

    Amanda Wilks is a digital marketing intern and a part-time writer, passionate about social media and personal branding. She loves helping individuals create unique online identities and achieve their much-desired professional acclaim.

  • How college students can network professionally

    July 04, 2016 by
    Tablet photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    While obtaining a higher education, it’s a smart idea for college students to gather some contacts along the way. Building a professional network in college can be helpful when searching for internships and entry-level jobs. Don’t underestimate classmates, professors, or anyone else who can assist with your job search. John Moriarty, Director of the Career Development Center at Barry University, gives advice on how college students can build a professional network in school.

    “The old adage, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is as true today as it was 50 years ago. Building a professional network is the key to unlocking the secrets to success and scores of unknown opportunities. The internet makes it possible to identify professionals in your chosen field; passion, persistence, and determination will enable you to connect with those professionals.

    The first and most obvious place for college students to find professionals to connect with while still in school is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a professional social media platform where professionals create profiles detailing their professional experience, expertise, and education. Using the advanced search feature in LinkedIn, students can search various criteria to find the right person to connect with.

    Armed with a list of professionals who are working in college students’ desired fields, it is now time for students to contact the professionals about conducting an informational interview. Ask to meet with professionals (15 to 20 minutes) to learn more about what it takes to succeed in their professions and get advice as job seekers just beginning their careers. Request a face-to-face meeting, but if that is not possible, ask for a phone interview. This is an excellent opportunity for students to build a rapport with professionals and impress them with passion, enthusiasm, and a desire to succeed in the industry.

    Besides LinkedIn, college students should take advantage of other internet resources such as industry association websites, news articles, and blogs to identify connections. In addition, students should use the resources of faculty, staff, and the career development center to build their networks.”

    Learn more about building a professional network in college on our blog, and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

    John Moriarty, Director of the Career Development Center at Barry University

    John Moriarty, Director of the Career Development Center at Barry University

    John Moriarty has an M.B.A. from National University in San Diego, California, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Florida. A native of South Florida, and a Marine Corps veteran, John spent nine years recruiting employees for various local and national companies before joining the Barry University Career Development Center staff. John has served as a Career Counselor, an Assistant Director, and is currently serving as the Director of the Career Development Center.

  • What kind of degrees can be pursued online?

    May 21, 2016 by
    Learn photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    The availability of online colleges has increased drastically even just over the last 10 years, and with that change, the degree offerings have also become more widespread. Today, students can find almost any degree level or major offered through an online institution. With a little effort and commitment, they can find a career path that works for them and take them where they want to go. So, consider all of the possibilities offered today when it comes to online degrees.

    Certification levels

    Previously, the certification levels provided through online colleges were limited, but today, students can find degrees at any level to meet their needs. Here’s an overview of certifications and degrees available at most colleges and universities.

    •Certification: Many professional fields require ongoing certification to keep a license up-to-date. Fortunately, there are many certification program options, including those in medicine, education, counseling, and even business.

    •Associate Degree: Two-year associate degree programs are a good choice for many career options, and online institutions typically offer a wide variety of programs at this level.

    •Bachelor’s Degree: These four-year degrees are among the most popular online degree programs. Most online schools offer the widest variety of bachelor’s degree programs.

    •Master’s Degree: These options used to be much less common, but students can now find online programs to obtain an MBA, MS, M.Ed., or MA.

    •Doctoral Degree: This level of degree is still the rarest to be found on the internet; however, even doctorate degrees are increasingly offered online today. There are a variety of options ranging from business to education and even theology.

    Majors

    Many students believe they’ll be limited in their major choice if they choose to opt for an online program, but that simply isn’t the case. Online colleges offer a wide range of major options, including those in humanities, fine arts, business, finance, technology, science, health, medicine, education, and even law and criminal justice.

    Specialized degrees

    Today’s online colleges are even equipped to offer a wide range of specialized degree programs, such as a board certified behavior analyst program that can teach students to see the big picture. These degrees require specific preparation and advanced techniques that make them perfect candidates for an individualized online program. To pursue endorsement through a program like the behavior analyst certification, students are often required to complete specific prerequisites prior to applying for the program to ensure their success.

    There are more online degree options available today than ever before. Online colleges offer programs at all different certification levels, as well as degree programs in various subjects. The possibilities are unlimited.

    Are you thinking about going back to school? Find college majors with top entry-level jobs and go to our blog. Also, follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

    Rachelle Wilber, guest writer

    Rachelle Wilber, guest writer

    Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber; https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009221637700

  • 10 soft skills employers expect of recent graduates

    May 12, 2016 by
    Background concept wordcloud illustration of soft skills glowing light courtesy of Shutterstock.com

    Kheng Guan Toh/Shutterstock.com

    Are you ready to find your dream job as soon as you graduate? Then, it’s high time to draw a detailed plan with soft skills required for the workplace. This will help you stand out from other candidates and be a perfect fit for the position of your choice.

    To successfully accomplish the task, college graduates can analyze requirements for current vacancy announcements, make use of LinkedIn or Branded.me profiles of people with a great experience, and study analytical articles on the labor market to always stay updated.

    It’s not a secret, though, that plenty of online sources post about top soft skills potential employers want in their candidates’ CVs or resumes. So, why not focus on them to make your preparation for obtaining a good entry-level job a bit easier? Here’s what is highly demanded by most of the recruiters:

    1 – Lifelong learners

    Recent grads can hardly boast of knowing everything about the work they will perform daily. It’s quite natural when something is learned along the way. Sometimes employers prefer young, enthusiastic graduates over highly experienced professionals, since the former tend to learn and absorb new information more eagerly and are ready to develop a learning habit. The latter instead are quite often more stubborn and unlikely to reach a compromise, which can hinder team effectiveness. Additionally, lifelong learners are supposed to know how to obtain and process information to solve the problems they haven’t faced before.

    2 – Team players

    Teamwork is not only about collective responsibility for every team player’s actions. It’s also about communicating your message to others and achieving that goal with the help of knowledge and each employee’s efforts. Effective team performance depends much on the correct management and delegation of tasks. In contrast to past expectations for team players, modern employers are looking for those who will be proactive and suggest creative solutions. Initiative is strongly encouraged.

    3 – Effective time managers and schedulers

    Chaos brings no positive effect. To show high productivity and performance, it’s crucial to hone time management and prioritization skills. These two skills rank high on most employers’ lists of soft skills. For that, managers and schedulers need to negotiate deadlines and schedule tasks appropriately. Should tasks be equally urgent, they’d better discuss which one to take first together with their reporters. When using electronic or paper planners, think of short breaks that need to be made between tasks, divide time-consuming tasks into several subtasks, and leave about 10 or 15% of time for coping with emergencies and contingencies. Set reminders well in advance, and review to-do lists daily.

    4 – Good listeners and masters of convincing people

    Being a good listener doesn’t mean you should keep silent while somebody else is expressing his or her thoughts, so that you can further move on to your statements. The point is to really listen and hear other team players and choose the best solutions working together. Another important thing is to know how to make everyone understand what you mean. In other words, you should learn to use simple and concise statements, speaking with confidence to all people in the company regardless of their seniority.

    Problem solver words on business cards courtesy of Shutterstock.com

    iQoncept/Shutterstock.com

    5 – Problem solvers

    At the top of most top list of soft skills is “problem solving skills.” The first step to successful problem solving is to clearly understand what the problem is and what caused it. The next step is to carefully consider interests of others and list all suitable solutions. The final step is to evaluate suggested options by listing their advantages and disadvantages, and then choose the one that has the most pluses. To be an efficient problem solver, you need to get rid of fear. By focusing more on tackling the problem, you will be able to do it with ease.

    6 – Company fan

    Being a company fan means to be knowledgeable about your employer’s industry. Understanding what key benefits the company gives to its customers or clients, how the process of decision-making is organized, what main competitors the company has, etc. are among the things job seekers should learn before a job interview.

    7 – Data analyzer

    If you work with people with analytical mindsets, you are a lucky person. This allows you to quickly gather, assess, and analyze new information, selecting only the things you will need at work. This soft skill is highly required for making future plans or prognoses, and creating recommendations for others to follow. This skill is also helpful when you need to analyze your successes or failures, which is very important for your progress.

    8 – Tech-savvy person

    This means not only knowing how to create, delete, or remove presentations or surf the Internet proficiently. Being tech-savvy means knowing what tools and programs are used by the specialist you want to become. For example, if you want to become a web designer, you will need to master such programs as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, or Indesign.

    9 – Critical thinker

    If you have a chance to join a series of workshops on how to become a good critical thinker, jump at the chance! These practical lessons will teach you how to criticize somebody else wisely by finding a strong argument and how to accept criticism of your work. Being a critical thinker is essential for improving your communication skills and professional growth too. Critical thinking ranks high on the list of soft skills regardless of your job title or position.

    10 – Curious mind

    Being curious means to never be afraid of asking questions. Though, it doesn’t mean you should behave like a chattering box, annoying other employees with your never-ending questions. You should ask questions when you don’t know the answers so your work won’t be done slowly. You must use proper discernment to ask questions of the right person (your manager or mentors) at the right time (one on one and in quiet settings, and preferably not during the last five minutes of meetings).

    A few final tips

    Taking an active part in extra-curricular activities and voluntary projects can also help job seekers develop a set of useful skills for their future jobs. By establishing friendly relationships with people, you increase your chances of getting what you need. Who knows, maybe some of your peers or instructors will recommend you as a highly promising hire one day.

    Need more help with your job search? Head over to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

    Nancy Lin, guest writer

    Nancy Lin, guest writer

    Nancy Lin is a student of Rockhurst University and enthusiastic freelance writer who enthuses about rock music, writing, and classic English literature. Feel free to contact her at Twitter or Google+.

  • Reviewing job candidates’ social media profiles

    April 21, 2016 by
    Businessperson with social networking sites on digital tablet courtesy of Shutterstock.com

    Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock.com

    As college recruiters review job candidates’ social media profiles, they will find things they like and others not so much. These profiles tell recruiters not only whether or not candidates are qualified for specific jobs, but also if they are the right fit for their companies. Brandi Britton, District President of OfficeTeam, shares tips on what recruiters should look for when reviewing candidates’ social media profiles.

    – “Many recruiters and HR professionals perform online searches of job candidates’ social media profiles to learn more about them, including their industry involvement.

    – It may be a red flag to some recruiters if they can’t find candidates’ LinkedIn profiles or anything else about them online.

    – A good gauge of candidates’ online activity is how often they update their profiles and if they post useful advice or comments on articles on LinkedIn and industry forums.

    – In certain fields or positions, a greater emphasis is placed on digital activity. For example, many companies today rely on creative professionals to help build their firms’ online image, so they want to see that prospective hires have done the same for themselves.

    – Negative comments, especially about former employers or colleagues, can cause recruiters to question a job seeker’s professionalism. There may also be concerns that this job seeker’s improper language/behavior will continue in the workplace.

    – Employers may form conclusions about people’s personalities or whether they will fit in with the company’s culture based on online remarks.

    – Pictures showing candidates in an unflattering light may also deter recruiters from pursuing candidates.

    – Recruiters should look to get a sense of candidates’ capabilities through their online profiles. For example, check for information about candidates’ work history and key accomplishments.

    – It may be helpful to check if candidates incorporated key industry terms that describe skills and specialties recruiters are looking for.

    – Employers may also look for red flags like inconsistencies made on applicants’ resumes that would deter them from considering candidates.

    – Keep in mind that looking up candidates online definitely has some risks. Information on the Internet isn’t always accurate; it’s hard to be sure what recruiters find relates to particular candidates and not others with the same name.”

    At College Recruiter, we believe every student and recent graduate deserves a great career. We are committed to creating a quality candidate and recruiter experience. Our interactive media solutions connect students and graduates to excellent entry-level jobs and internships. Why not let College Recruiter assist you in the recruiting process? Be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook for more information about the best practices in college recruiting.

    Brandi Britton, District President for OfficeTeam

    Brandi Britton, District President for OfficeTeam

    Brandi Britton is a District President for OfficeTeam, the nation’s leading staffing service specializing in the temporary placement of highly skilled administrative and office support professionals. OfficeTeam has more than 300 locations worldwide and places tens of thousands of highly skilled candidates each year into positions ranging from executive and administrative assistant to receptionist and customer service representative.

  • Online portfolios: Using blogs to demonstrate college success

    March 26, 2016 by
    How to start a successful blog today note on laptop courtesy of Shutterstock.com

    Aysezgicmeli/Shutterstock.com

    For some college students, graduation day is coming soon. Okay, there may be a few more months, but after Spring Break, graduation is just around the corner. Time flies when students are having fun with those studies, doesn’t it?

    The post-graduation period is a time for job searching, especially if college students have loans knocking at their doors. Today, we are going to discuss a tool (blog software) and method (blogging your portfolio) that should help students in the following ways:

    • Remind them of just how wonderful they are.

    • Remind them of what they have accomplished.

    • Remind college students of what they are capable of accomplishing.

    • Provide an online resource for future recruiters and hiring authorities to see the details of what students have done → their online portfolios. Provide them with an opportunity to start (or continue) networking. This may be students’ way “in” to the companies of their choices simply because someone who faithfully reads their blogs works at a company where they want to work.

    • Give students practice in many contemporary skills, like blogging, marketing, social media marketing, time management, team management, and many more. These skills may also be added to resumes, especially if they have been consistent with their portfolio blogs, over time, and built up a following (i.e. subscriber base).

    It is helpful to keep in mind many times the reason companies hire “entry-level” candidates is two-fold:

    • College students fill entry-level jobs, and the cost of employment (including salary) is lower than more experienced candidates; and

    • The company can train students into what they want them to be as their employees. Many times, more experienced candidates are less trainable and more “set in their ways.” Or, at least that may be the view of the human resources department and may thwart the hiring of more experienced employees. This is an advantage for students, as recent college graduates.

    Even though we are using the term “entry-level” and it may not sound glamorous, students are actually in an enviable position. There are many of us who are disqualified because we are “over-qualified,” even if we are willing to be trainable and moldable. So students are in an excellent position for their job search!

    What we are suggesting here is college students add a bit of an edge to their credentials. That is, building a blog that displays what they have accomplished in a contemporary manner. It is like a “living resume,” played out by way of bite-size blog posts pleasing to read and ingest.

    It may not be likely the CEO of the company where students want to work will look at the blog, but the idea is they are getting their names, credentials, and authority out there. They have a place to send people when they really want to get a feel for what students are about and more importantly, what they have accomplished.

    Starting the blogging process

    The thought of starting a blog can be both tempting and daunting. However, it is very doable, and after all the hard work college students have put into acquiring their degrees, it should appear very easy. Why? Students are accomplished, and the process is much easier when students know what they need to do.

    There is a helpful article on “onblastblog.com” that walks students through a day-by-day process, with the goal of helping them understand what to know before starting a blog. It is a helpful process, even if it isn’t college-centric. The article should help to take the “scary” part of starting a blog out of the equation. Also, since this article is more about the college portfolio portion, that resource may help students with the blogging basics, if they are not already familiar with the blogging process. I highly recommend they “study up” on that process so what I am sharing here makes more sense in the context of their online portfolios.

    Reminder: There are some basics to setting up a blog like choosing a domain, choosing the software (I recommend WordPress), going through the settings, etc. That is where the link above is helpful for going through those basics. There are also some wonderful articles on the Internet. Students can find them through a simple “Google Search.” We are going to move forward with the assumption they have the basics set up and are ready to move on with the content (blog posts).

    The graphics for a blog portfolio

    We wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t talk a little bit about the graphics for college students’ online blog portfolios. Of course, one of the key aspects is to include a nice headshot of themselves. Possibly, students want to include some action shots (i.e. graduation; working with something that fires up their passion; etc.). Be creative! Find high quality photos representing who they are and where they are going in life.

    In addition to the images of students, there is also a need for a graphic appeal to their sites. One possibility, especially if students want to develop the branding component of their portfolios (the brand of “you”), is to hire a professional. It can be expensive but is something they should consider if they want to ensure they are using the most effective graphics for their online portfolios.

    There is a new way of soliciting graphic design examples from the professionals. It is call crowd-sourcing, and it is done by groups like Designhill.com. The idea is to take the heavy lifting and hard work out of students’ efforts to come up with a description of what they are looking for in a design and sort of present it as a design contest to a bunch of professional designers.

    By doing it that way, the heavy lifting is done by the graphic designers, as they vie to get students’ attention with their wonderful design skills. They peruse all of the designs, and choose the one that appeals to students. That way, students are not spending all their time (and money) going through multiple iterations with one designer, only to possibly be disappointed with the final outcome.

    Fortunately, I had the opportunity to interview the co-founder of just such a company, and he explains it much better than me, in this interview. Watch as Rahul Aggarwal, co-founder of Designhill, explains the concept of crowd-sourcing the graphic design process:

    If the video is not playing or displaying properly click here.

    Turning a blog into a college portfolio blog

    Now it is time to discuss blogging in the context of being a recent graduate. Ideally, if college students are reading this, and they haven’t yet graduated, it is a great time to start the blogging process. Of course, they wouldn’t want the blogging to interfere with the time they need for their college studies (or social and relaxation time). The reason it is a great time is it 1) gives students time to network prior to graduation; and 2) gives them time to write articles about their experiences with their projects, while it is fresh in their minds.

    Fresh in your mind also creates that sense of “real person,” transparency, and engagement → all very popular in our culture.

    For college students who graduated some time ago, this doesn’t leave them out of the game. I have been blogging for years, and I am just now starting to re-purpose my essays into blog posts on my site at Tech-Audit.com. Many of the articles on that site were inspired by experiences in corporate America, but also, many of them were inspired by knowledge gained during my college studies. Now, the next step is to re-purpose my essays.

    Process overview

    Like I mentioned, I am getting ready to add some of my essays and papers to my blog. Students can set up their blogs to indicate (i.e. in the tag line) this is a portfolio. That way, readers will expect that is what they are reading, records of students’ projects and accomplishments from college. This gives an audience a chance to feel like they are being included in something special.

    In my case, I set up a professional blog on the topic of finance and technology and where they intersect. I am about to embark on including my essays into the blog. It is possible, since my current degree is I/O Psychology the blog will morph into a bit of a different topic. That is okay. Today, there are so many options to make modifications on our blogs; the sky is the limit.

    It may not be ideal to change the name or tagline, as it would be recommended we stick with the original intent of the blog (and that is what students are likely to read in the “how to blog” type articles), but in this case, we are sort of defining our path as we go. Also, loyal readers will become interested in what YOU have to say because this blog is more personal about students own paths and accomplishments, so an audience is less likely to care if they change the tagline later. When viewers get attached to a blog about a certain topic or company, it is a little different. In those cases, the audience may not be as attached to the person and may become be more bothered by a tag line change. Fortunately, this is a blog about and by students, so they have more leeway.

    So, here is my process, as an example for you…
    I’m looking through the essays I wrote in one of my favorite classes, “Social Psychology.” I found one titled “Group Cohesion.” Ok, that sounds interesting.

    Let’s take a look at this essay that earned a grade of 100%, and then you tell me:

    Group cohesion

    For research to have scientific merit, one of the components needs to be the analysis of future implications. In other words, what is the outcome of this research? As a part of that analysis, questions like, “How does this research affect the scientific community, or a specific group, or the subject of the research?” may be asked.

    Ok, I am yawning, even though I wrote it. It was great for the class, but will people read it on the blog? Honestly, I’m not sure I would read it! So, let’s revise it a bit:

    Why group cohesion is so important

    Research often plays an important part in understanding how we relate to one another, even how we relate to each other in social media. While we may not want to spend all of our time studying research expertly performed by scientists, it is helpful to consult what has been studied.

    One reason quality research is so important is it analyzes future implications. In other words, if done correctly, it helps to identify what the outcome of the research is. After all, how important is the research if it doesn’t help us to apply it to what we are doing and help us to improve our skills?

    Ok, it might still bore us a little, but college students can start to see how they can take their academic work and play with it, mold it, and make it into something interesting. It is possible, if students truly enjoy writing, they may end up with a completely different blog post when they are done.

    Remember those APA formatted references at the end? I suggest students find a link to the resource (journal), even if it is a link that requires payment and use that inside their articles (instead of the “References” section). Why do I suggest that? Many times readers are confused and steer away from their posts because they don’t know what to do with the “References” section. It is easier for readers to understand a link in the middle of the article and helps them feel more comfortable. Students can still write a final paragraph thanking the researchers of the journal articles they consulted, but they want to ensure it is written in a personable enough manner that readers are not scared off and away from their blogs.

    Don’t forget how to format those articles with proper APA formatting. College students never know when they will have the opportunity to be published in the peer-reviewed journal. That is worth retaining those skills they have learned in college!

    Note to the non-writers:
    If students detest blogging, there is still a place for them. What I described above was how to blog their essays. They are certainly welcome to just paste the essay “as is,” and let people know they are reading students’ essays (see note at the end of this article regarding the university and any policy concerns). That is ok. It is about managing expectations, and letting your readers know what they will find on the site/blog/portfolio.

    University student receiving award courtesy of Shutterstock.com

    Volt Collection/Shutterstock.com

    Those accomplishments

    We didn’t forget about the accomplishments! Sometimes, those are the easiest because college students can insert an image of themselves receiving an award, or a snap of the award itself, or whatever the accomplishment is. Maybe they have a video. It can be uploaded to YouTube and inserted into a blog post with a description of the accomplishment. Again, don’t forget to consult the “how to blog” expert articles for more details and tips on how to do this.

    After blogging everything possible about the portfolio

    Yay! Congrats to you!

    Keep in mind college students may feel like they have blogged everything they can think of as far as accomplishments and school papers, essays, etc., but… They are accomplishing things every day! The path of accomplishment is not over yet. So, there is no reason why students cannot continue to write about their current accomplishments and insights as they come to them. In fact, I dare say they have become experts in other areas, even beyond what they learned in college by the time they’ve reached this point.

    Granted, students may not feel like they are writers, and they have had it with writing. I can’t assume just because I love writing that means students love writing, now can I? That is ok, too. In that case, they want to package up their blogs as if they are literally that online portfolio of what they have accomplished in their degrees.

    Promoting a portfolio

    College students will want to include the link on their LinkedIn profiles. There are options to insert external links, and that is a great place to insert the link to their blogs/portfolios. If students have opted to keep it as just a portfolio, then list it as a portfolio. If they have opted for it to be a continuing blog, then list it as a professional blog.

    Now it’s time to get started

    Do students have ideas coming to mind? Initially, they can almost copy/paste their work from college. Please do keep in mind any plagiarism rules that may exist in college. If they are currently attending college that may be a concern; ensure writing on students’ blogs doesn’t flag a “TurnItIn” alert that affects their current studies. Students will definitely want to check with their universities if they are current students and have these concerns.

    I hope college students have seen this is not the impossible task. If they start something like the blog set-up, and are not entirely sure they “did it right” or they want their portfolios to always look that way, they do have the option to change it easily without impacting the content they have entered. This allows students to get started today and tweak it as they go.

    Isn’t that really the way life works? We have to get off our duff to get going and get it done, but we can fine-tune our process as we experience more life lessons along the way. It doesn’t stop at college graduation. We have the opportunity to continue the learning process and impart that to others, as we go through life. Now, let’s share it, shall we?

    Looking for additional job search tips for college students and recent graduates? Go to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

    Photo of Deborah Anderson

    Deborah Anderson, guest writer

    By Deborah Anderson

    http://www.Tech-Audit.com

    @techauditcom and @socialwebcafe

    Deborah Anderson is on her way to finishing her doctorate in I/O Psychology. Along the way, she has served as Chief Technology Officer in the financial industry (in Beverly Hills), Director of Marketing in the health industry, Host of an iHeart Radio marketing talk show, and even a #1 Jazz Singer (Deborah E). From this background, she shares insights to help others overcome their challenges and succeed in their personal and professional lives.

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