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Posted April 16, 2016 by

6 apps for college students

Long gone are the days of card catalogs, Trapper Keepers, and other broken systems our parents had to wrestle with in order to do A-grade productive work. We are a generation of cyborgs forever enhanced by technology such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, and the apps these machines enable.

LD prod/Shutterstock.com

LD prod/Shutterstock.com

Okay, so maybe calling us a generation of cyborgs is a bit of a stretch, but to be successful a system is necessary. Thankfully many of us are lucky enough to take advantage of a plethora of great applications that make having a system a little simpler which makes being a student a little more manageable and a little less stressful.

Task Management is basically what life boils down to once you’re on your own and you don’t have mom and dad forcing study habits on you and trying to instill within you the virtues of priority. This is why it is imperative that you replace your parents with a task management app. My personal choice is Todoist. Todoist is a minimalist to-do-list app with all the features needed to keep tabs on what needs to get done and when. The app features natural language dictation, which basically means that instead of having to click through various tabs and settings to create a task, just type, “Algebra homework Thursday at five pm” and Todoist will create a task titled, “Algebra Homework” and remind you to do it at five-o’clock Thursday night. Todoist is available on almost any platform for free and is easily the most intuitively designed to-do application there is. There are, however, many other options like Wunderlist or Anydo if Todoist isn’t right for you.

A Calendar App like a to-do app is there to help you prioritize what you need to be doing and when and where you need to be doing it. However, instead of making lists of each individual task, a good calendar app allows you to quickly block out sections of time to plan out your day and easily view that day so it can be kept up with. The app I use is called Fantastical which also has natural language dictation like Todoist. Fantastical also syncs seamlessly with your Google Calendar, your iCloud Calendar, and any other calendar you might be tied into.

However, in spite of Fantastical’s inclusion in my productivity system, it is not the calendar I would recommend. Instead consider Sunrise Calendar. Sunrise Calendar has basically all of the same functionality as Fantastical, but it’s free and available cross-platform whereas Fantastical has a hefty price tag of $4.99 and is available on both IOS and in the Mac App Store.

Note Taking apps are a no-brainer. Try as you might, you are not going to do well in any lecture based class if you can’t take notes. App developers know this, and that is why there are too many note taking apps to count. Fortunately one sticks out above the rest, and that is Evernote. Evernote is the note taking app for any project really. The app finds use well out of college to collect recipes, shopping receipts, bank statements and some even use it as a word processor. Evernote takes any kind of note from text notes to audio recordings. Once a note is taken you can organize them all by notebooks or by tags or by ways I haven’t even tried yet. Evernote is free to use, very powerful, and accessible on just about any device. If you don’t like Evernote, you can try Microsoft’s OneNote which ties in nicely with the Microsoft ecosystem if that’s your thing. You could also just use Microsoft Word or Google Docs, but Evernote is a cut above the rest in my opinion.

File Storage apps for the most part go unnoticed and just sit there on your computer screen or tucked away into a folder on your phone, but they are far more useful than we give them credit for. Day one at college you are going to receive about a thousand syllabi. Do yourself a favor;  tuck all the hard copies away into a folder where you can find them later for back up. Then ask your professors to send you the syllabi digitally and save them all to an app like Google Drive, Dropbox, or Onedrive. This way you will always be able to access them and tweak them to accommodate snow days or when your professor moves a test around. It doesn’t really matter which of these apps you decide to use; just pick whichever one offers the most free storage possible.

Finally, in a category all their own are Miscellaneous apps. These are the apps that don’t really fit in any of the other categories but are still hugely helpful. First is Flux. Flux is actually a piece of software you can download onto your computer that will change the type of light your computer emits throughout different times of the day. At night Flux adjusts your computer screen to stop using blue light which can mess with your sleep patterns and switches to a less disruptive red light. The change on the screen is subtle, but when you have to pull an all-nighter and need to get a few hours of sleep, you’ll be happy to start the day feeling a little more refreshed than you otherwise would have.

Next is an app I use almost every day called Pocket. Pocket is a digital “pocket” where you can tuck things into to be viewed later. Reading an interesting article but have class in ten minutes? Save it to Pocket. Your roommate sent you a funny fail compilation, but you have a paper to write? Save it to Pocket. Pocket also has an article view function that takes the articles you save and converts them to plain text while removing advertisements and page-fluff. Finally an app that automates your life! If This Then That or IFTTT for short lets you create little recipes that help eliminate pesky tasks. One example is If I tag an article in Pocket “#research” Then save it to my research paper notebook in Evernote. I could go on and on, but for the sake of article length just download these apps, give them a whirl, and thank me later.

Billy Stidham, guest writer

Billy Stidham, guest writer

I coasted through high school and was never a productive student. I put all my homework off until the last minute if I even did it at all. However, during my senior year, I started to take my grades and the idea of college seriously. Once I got to college I lacked basic study habits. I had no system, but now these apps have turned me – a super procrastinator – into a cyborg of proficiency.

Billy Stidham is a writer and blogger. Hoping to earn a living by writing, Billy is pursuing his Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature at Lyon College in Batesville, Arkansas. You can follow Billy on Twitter @I_R_Beast  and on Linkedin.

Posted March 28, 2016 by

11 quick LinkedIn tips

Linkedin website on a computer screen courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Ingvar Bjork/Shutterstock.com

Did you know 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn to look for candidates? This means companies can find job seekers’ profiles and invite them for job interviews. For this to happen, though, job seekers need to make their profiles look appropriate. Adding their pictures and job titles is not enough anymore, as their LinkedIn profiles can be more important than their resumes. If job seekers want recruiters to visit their pages often and offer them great positions, here are some things they should consider.

1. Recommendations

Employers tend to pay a lot of attention not only to job seekers’ professional skills, but also to their corporate backgrounds. If applicants have proven to be excellent team workers at their previous jobs, they should seek recommendations from former bosses or colleagues. Ask some of them to write a couple of nice recommendations. Don’t exaggerate here, though. If applicants have had five jobs so far but have 15 recommendations, it might seem weird.

2. Write a longer headline

If you already have a job, but are open to new offerings, don’t just mention the company and your position there; it might be not enough to see what you do. Instead of writing, for example, “PR Manager at Example Company,” write “PR manager at Example Company: Helping big and small companies.”

3. Have enough connections

Having 50 connections on LinkedIn makes job seekers seem unfriendly, unprofessional, and unmotivated. Having 3000 contacts makes them look like they add everyone to their list of connections, and they don’t even care who’s there. Try to have a moderate number of connections, and you will be visible enough to make the network help your professional growth. Try to find all of your friends, former classmates, and colleagues if you’ve already worked somewhere.

4. Write only true information

We don’t want to lecture job seekers, but lying is unacceptable in the professional world. It concerns their LinkedIn profiles, too, particularly education and previous jobs. It is not only that recruiters can check everything, but it is also about ethics. Earning trust is an important step to professional success.

5. Be brief

No one likes to read lots of text, especially if it is not formatted correctly. Even if job seekers had tons of experience and they want to talk about it, they should organize it. Write a job title and describe your responsibilities point by point. Use headlines and short sentences; they are easier to comprehend.

6. Students can mention all the jobs they’ve had

Surely, when you are a big boss with 10 jobs behind, you can skip some of the gigs you’ve had such as pizza delivery or tutoring in college. However, college students or recent graduates might want to add at least some things to their work experience. Besides, most students do something during their college years. If they managed to study and freelance at the same time, they should mentions that. If students helped their professors grade papers, they can write about that too. Don’t leave a page blank; add at least something.

7. Choose the right picture for your profile

Don’t pick an Instagram-style photo or a cute picture with your pets; post casual photos on Facebook or elsewhere. Low-quality pictures are also not the best choice. Think of how you want potential employers to see you. The photo should be a recent, high-quality photograph where one can clearly see your face. You can also add a background picture; the best choice would be either a picture from some conference you participated in or some nature pic.

8. Write about your main skills, not all of them

We all know you are a talented person. However, if you are trying for an accountant job, recruiters probably don’t need to know you are a good cook. At the top of your LinkedIn page, your potential employer or recruiters need to see those skills suitable for them. Also, don’t mention the skills you don’t want to use in your next job. If you are tired of your current work where you need to design, for example, exclude this skill from your profile.

9. Add a decent email address

If your personal email address is dirtykitten@email.com or something like that, you probably want to get a new one. You must have had a laugh creating it, but now it is time to be more professional and to use your own name for your email address.

10. Don’t mention your age

Although all the companies say age discrimination doesn’t exist, that is not true. They always consider age when hiring. So, try not to mention it.

11. Make sure all is correct

Making mistakes in a LinkedIn profile is a no-no. Pay attention not only to grammar and spelling, but to style and formatting. Everything should be clear and understandable. Style should be formal and professional.

Try to look at your text as an objective reader, or better yet, show it to someone. Ask a friend, colleague, or professor to read it and correct the mistakes you might have missed.

A LinkedIn profile is much more important now than it was a couple of years ago. More and more professionals, companies, and headhunters create accounts and use them actively every day. Job seekers probably want to look equally experienced and professional on their pages, so spend enough time creating them and don’t be lazy.

Looking for more LinkedIn tips for your job search? Turn to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter.

Photo of William Sarto

William Sarto, guest writer

William Sarto is a marketer and content strategist working at the freelance writing board – gohunters.com. He shares his knowledge and experience in his articles based on current marketing trends and also provides actionable tips for students willing to build successful business careers. He is passionate about all new techniques and methods appearing in digital marketing. Working in one of the most fast changing industries requires many skills from young specialists, so if you have any questions feel free to contact Will @ twitter, Google+

Posted January 16, 2015 by

5 Career trajectories for graduates who earn doctoral degrees in education

 

If you want to move into educational leadership, getting your Ed.D. degree could set you on a path to advancement. People who earn an Ed.D. don’t just become school principals, although more than half of them do. They also lead by becoming superintendents, academic deans, or community college presidents. Still others become college professors who educate tomorrow’s teachers and administrators.

Generally speaking, the Ed.D. is for people who want to go into hands-on, day-to-day administrative roles, while the Ph.D. in education would prepare you for a life of educational scholarship and quantitative research. Both the Ed.D. and Ph.D. require a dissertation, but Ed.D.’s tend to perform more qualitative research. However, all of these differences are just generalizations. Plenty of Ed.D.’s go on to become tenured education professors, and Ph.D.’s can become school administrators. (See “Ed.D vs Ph.D in Education: What’s the difference?”) We will take a look here at some of the career doors that can open when you earn your doctoral degree in education.  (more…)

Posted June 27, 2014 by

Want Recruiters to Accept Your MBA Recommendation Letters? 5 Tips to Remember

When trying to get people to write letters of recommendation for business school, remember these five tips to impress recruiters in the following post.

Business, it is often said, is all about relationships. Success often hinges more on whom, rather than what, you know. That’s one reason it’s important to secure superior recommendation letters when applying to graduate business school programs. If you can show MBA admissions committees that you’ve done a great and strategic job networking with impressive people who are willing to

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Posted June 26, 2014 by

Grads, Writing Resumes for Entry Level Jobs? What Should or Should Not Be on Them

When writing resumes for entry level jobs, graduates should not assume what will or won’t count on them.  In the following post, learn some things that should or should not be included on a resume.

Many young careerists – even those with a couple internships under their belt – feel as though their resume and LinkedIn profiles are, for lack of a better word, lacking. And sometimes this is true – especially when you’re up against someone with three, five and even ten years of at least

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Posted June 23, 2014 by

Interviewing for an Entry Level Job? 10 Steps to Secure a Job Offer

When interviewing for an entry level job, understand that it is your job to impress the interviewer.  In the following post, learn 10 steps to help you secure a job offer.

Contrary to popular belief, your resume doesn’t get you a job; it is simply a sales brochure that gets you the job interview. Ultimately, it is your performance at that interview that determines whether or not you get a job offer. Many employers view a job interview as something akin to an

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Posted June 17, 2014 by

Want to Take Your Entry Level Job Search to Another Level? 10 Guerrilla Tactics to Apply

If your entry level job search needs a boost, perhaps you should consider applying these 10 guerrilla tactics found in the following post.

Career experts claim that only 20% of open positions are posted online. So if you want to get a job faster, become part of the 20% that is seeking 80% of the jobs… those which aren’t posted online. In other words, you must go guerrilla. You must get creative and do things differently! Here are ten guerrilla marketing tactics you

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Posted June 04, 2014 by

Are You Just Finding an Internship? Good Advice to Keep in Mind for Your Experience

Congratulations on finding an internship!  Now, you must make the most of it.  In the following post, keep in mind some good advice for your experience.

When talking internship advice the other day, I remembered an interesting post by Carmine Gallo in Entrepreneur called, “Steve Jobs and the 7 Rules for Success”. In that piece, Gallo provided a synopsis of the seven rules Jobs lived by during his run as an entrepreneurial magician. And then I thought: what if Jobs (an intern himself

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Posted April 14, 2014 by

Want to Enhance Your Search for Recent College Graduate Jobs While Getting an MBA? 7 Tips that Could Make a Difference

If you are earning an MBA, but still want to enhance your search for recent college graduate jobs, the following post has seven tips that could make a difference.

Going back to school to earn your MBA is often a means to achieving something greater: a job you’ll enjoy, and hopefully one that will reap a decent salary, too. That’s why MBA hopefuls will be glad to hear that more than 75 percent of the 211 employers who responded to a Graduate Management Admission Council survey intend to hire at least

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Posted March 31, 2014 by

Are You Seeking Jobs for Communication Majors or Other Career Opportunities? Practice in Class to Prepare for the Workplace

For those of you searching jobs for communication majors or other career opportunities, learning how to communicate effectively in the classroom can be beneficial in the workplace.  Find out how to practice communicating in class so that you’ll be prepared to do so on the job in the following post.

What are the ingredients that make up a top employee? A positive attitude, attention to detail, and organization skills are useful. But the one skill that elevates an employee the most is quality verbal communication. For those of us still in school, it may seem like the office is the ideal place to learn

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