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Posted May 28, 2016 by

Core advantages of vocational and technical education programs

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.

Posted April 29, 2016 by

20 ways to rock your resume

Resume with pen on table closeup courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Casper1774 Studio/Shutterstock.com

Another week without attention paid to your resume. You are applying for jobs that match your education and skills; you have a nicely formatted document; and you have outlined your work experience very well with bolded headings and bullet points like you were told to do. You’re qualified but just can’t manage to get that call for an interview. Could there be that many people more qualified than you? Maybe not. There may be some flaws in your resume you have not realized.

Here are 20 tips that can improve your resume.

Make sure you are emphasizing results, not responsibilities

It’s a common error; job seekers are trying very hard to list all of their responsibilities for each position. Their thinking, of course, is the more responsibilities, the more qualified they will be. What is more important to employers is the results, what job seekers have actually accomplished.

Take a look at the responsibilities you have listed for each position. Can you list any quantifiable results? Did your re-organization save the department $50,000 a year? Sometimes, you may think results will be hard to provide. For example, perhaps you took over a department that had no baseline data to work with to show improvement. And maybe the improvement was qualitative rather than quantitative. Take employee morale, for instance. You know you improved it when you took over that department. But how was the improvement measured? Maybe there was much lower turnover or maybe the rate of absenteeism dropped significantly. These are important figures to have. Never leave a position without gathering figures that support your results.

A lot of space was spent on this item. Why? Because it is the one thing employers say is usually missing from a resume.

Target skills/background for each position

This is the primary reason why you need to tweak each resume for every job opening. If you have background in training, administration, HR, and sales/sales management, and are applying for jobs that focus on one of those, then focus your resume in that direction. Spend far more space on that focus area than on others. Generic resumes don’t really work anymore.

Re-visit keywords for each position

Change out your keywords based upon two things: the job description and the company’s website. Sometimes, reading through the company’s home page and the “about us” page will give you more keywords to include. And keywords that relate to the position should be placed as close to the top of the resume as possible and included in your cover letter.

Include a summary section

A statement of your career goals at the beginning of your resume is not advisable. Companies don’t care about your goals; they care about what you “bring to the table.” Switch that out for a short summary of your skills and experience that relate to the position, with four to five sentences only.

Use standard software

Microsoft Word or a PDF version of your resume should be the only programs used to submit resumes. Scanning will probably not recognize any other programs, and you will never know your resume was unreadable.

Business woman unhappy with resumes of applicants and throwing them on the table courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Milles Studio/Shutterstock.com

Aim for one page

Edit, edit, edit. Take out anything superfluous, reduce sentences to phrases, and remove some of your contact information. Employers don’t need your address and don’t include references unless specifically asked to do so. If you are able to edit the resume to one page, that is ideal. But NEVER go beyond two pages unless you are preparing a CV.

Do not lie

Not about anything. Of course, you want to try to avoid resume mistakes, and of course you want to present yourself in the best light. Exaggerating or giving yourself a job title you did not actually have are big risks. These things can be discovered when references and/or social media are reviewed. Focus on your skills and qualifications completely but honestly.

Use action verbs

They are so much stronger. If you don’t know the difference, here is an example:

1. Responsible for implementing budget reduction by 10% without loss of productivity

2. Reduced budget by 10% without loss of productivity

The second phrase is strong and active. (P.S.: Never use “I”)

Visual appeal is a must

You’ve seen enough resume templates to understand what visual appeal is. The best font now is probably Arial, 12-14 point. The reason for this is there’s good, natural spacing between lines that are not complete and enough white space between bulleted points. Your final resume should have sub-headings in bold (e.g., each position), and a larger font to separate sections of the document. The goal is to make it scannable, not just by a computer program (applicant tracking systems), but by humans, too. No one wants to search for your information.

Be clear about job titles

So long as you are not exaggerating, use a job title that will make clear what you did at a previous organization. Sometimes, organizations have internal titles that mean nothing on the outside. So, if you were a “Level II Tech Support,” change that out to “Systems Analyst,” if that was what your position really entailed.

Be really brief

Do not use full sentences unless you are crafting a CV (These are prose documents). Brief phrases only, please. Remember – scannable.

Perfect grammar and spelling

Don’t rely only on grammar and spell-check programs. They will not recognize incorrect numbers or words that are wrong but are still words. And, in some instances misspellings will not be caught either. If you are really good in this area, read your resume backwards, and you will catch misspellings; read it forward line-by-line. If you are not highly skilled, get someone who is.

Avoid gimmicks

Having your resume hand-delivered by FedEx or courier is not appreciated, and, in fact, is a bit of a turnoff. Just don’t do it. Submit your resume according to the instructions on the job posting.

Graphics should fit the company culture

It is more acceptable today to use some color and graphics than in the past, but these resumes are best suited for younger, more progressive organizations. Tailor color and graphics based upon the culture of the company. If you are not sure, check the website. As a general rule, banks, financial, and educational/scientific institutions are conservative; tech and marketing companies are more progressive. For creative positions, graphics are certainly suitable.

Never state salary

Never include past salaries in your work experience. And absolutely never include your salary or benefit requirements for a new position. Epic fail if you do.

Don’t address negatives

If you were fired or laid off, never state this in your resume. That is the stuff for discussion during an interview. And don’t lie about it either; be as honest as possible, and never “trash” a former boss or company.

Add links

Long before submitting resumes, it will be important to have a professional online presence. Include the link to your LinkedIn profile and, if warranted, a website with a portfolio of your work and/or accomplishments. If you have been a guest blogger on relevant sites, provide links to those posts too.

Update consistently

It is often advised when you start a new position, you begin updating your resume. This is because you want to be sure to remember all of your accomplishments if and when you decide to make another career move, or if, for any reason, your employment is terminated (companies do close). Keep your resume updated all the time.

No tag lines

Lines such as “References available upon request,” are not necessary and just take up space. Leave them out. If you are asked for references or links to things during an interview, you can provide them at that time.

Do not abbreviate

The only abbreviation you can use is “U.S.” Otherwise, spell everything out. Even abbreviations for schools attended may not be known by employers. The rule for acronyms is the same; spell them out.

This article provides a good checklist for job seekers, whether they are crafting their first resumes ever or if they are veterans with several previous resumes under their belts. Sometimes, it’s the little things that can make a difference.

Need assistance with your resume for your job search? Get a free resume critique on College Recruiter. Also, come to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Kerry Creaswood, guest writer

Kerry Creaswood, guest writer

Kerry Creaswood is a young and ambitious writer from Savannah, Georgia. She is fond of various forms of art and thinks everything we can imagine is real. To find more about Kerry, check her Twitter.

Posted March 19, 2016 by

6 part-time jobs for college students in 2016

Looking for part-time job message courtesy of Shutterstock.com

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Are you a college student who needs a little bit of extra money? Sometimes, students can find a work-study position or other type of on-campus job, but those are sometimes few and far between, especially at colleges with large student bodies. If students haven’t found jobs on campus they like, it’s time to look elsewhere. Fortunately, there are a number of great part-time jobs out there college students are ideally suited for. Here are six highly remunerative part-time jobs college students may be interested in.

1. Non-profit charity fundraiser

Charities are always looking for young people to help them out, especially in the fundraising department. This type of job often entails manning donation tables at various events, which means college students are going to be talking to a lot of people. They’ll need to be able to memorize facts about the charity and who it helps, be personable, and be able to smile and chat for hours. It’s not a job for introverts, but for those who are outgoing and want to gain experience working for nonprofits, it’s a great option. It also pays well—students can make up to $30/hour!

2. Social media assistant

Everyone is on some form of social media these days, but not everyone has mastered it. Some small business owners don’t even have time to really develop their social media because they’re so busy handling everything else, and they don’t have the money to hire someone full-time. However, many can budget money for a part-time social media assistant. If college students love Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms and don’t mind putting in the time to learn how to truly harness these sites for a business, then this is a great job for them. It can pay as much as $21/hour.

3. Academic tutor

If college students are peculiarly sharp in one particular subject area, they might want to offer their services as academic tutors to other students. Sometimes, these jobs are available through the university, but there’s nothing stopping them from doing private tutoring. Students will need to be sure they thoroughly understand the subject, and know how to explain it to others. They will be able to set their own rate and schedule, which is nice, but there’s no guarantee being a tutor will be steady work. Tutors make anything from $15 to $30 a tutoring session, but the rate and the length of each session has to be negotiated.

4. Freelance content writer

Many websites, blogs, and online publications are in need of content, and while some do have writers on staff, many look to freelance writers for new content. College students can find a number of these jobs online, and many don’t require much experience in writing, as long as they can show them a few well-written sample articles. Their pay will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis. Sometimes, students will be paid per word, while other clients may want to set a flat rate per article. On the upside, they’ll be able to work when they want and can do so from home.

Receptionist wearing a headset and glasses smiling courtesy of Shutterstock.com

CJM Grafx/Shutterstock.com

5. Office assistant

It may not sound glamorous, but being an office assistant is a good, steady job for college students. Students get to see first-hand how an office environment works, and the skills they develop can be useful in their own careers. Here are some of the tasks they may do as an office assistant:

• Answer the phones

• Do filing and organization

• Do light computer work

• Schedule appointments

• Assist employees with various tasks as needed

Students’ duties may vary depending on where they work, but those listed are fairly common. Through the job, they may learn about various computer problems, organizational methods, and more. During off-job hours, students can easily stay connected with their customers via cloud phone systems. If they get office assistant jobs at a business in their fields, they may even be able to turn their part-time gigs into full-time jobs when they graduate.

6. Guest services coordinator

A guest services coordinator assists customers with all of their needs. They may do returns, help customers find products, or do special orders in a retail setting. However, guest services can be found in many different industries. Some may actually do more office work, while others may work in support roles. No matter what industry students are working in, however, they’ll be dealing with customers, so this is another job in which being a people person is a must. It’s possible to make as much as $21 in one of these positions.

Want to learn more about different jobs, visit College Recruiter’s blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter.

Photo of Sandra Lambert

Sandra Lambert, guest writer

Sandra Lambert is a CISCO certified computer networking specialist. She has a keen interest in writing about her knowledge and experiences. She writes about technology as well as about business. She has also developed interest in public speaking. You can follow her on Google+ and Twitter.

Posted January 28, 2015 by

Career Perspectives for College Graduates: Explore the Writing Field!

Female working at home. She is writing a blog

Female working at home. She is writing a blog. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

It was hard to be a college student, but it’s even more challenging to be a recent graduate, isn’t it? We all had great goals for the careers we would aim for, but the reality is harsh. Most of us are still far from our dream jobs, but have student debts to pay off, so we need to look for temporary solutions.

For me, one of those solutions was blogging and freelance writing. As soon as I started exploring the opportunities in the writing field, I looked at this job from a whole other aspect: it appeared as an exciting, challenging and perspective career with a huge potential for growth.

After long years of studying sessions, taking exams and writing academic papers, this career may not seem worthy of your skills. Trust me: if you have a thing for writing, then you should definitely explore what this market has to offer. In the continuation, I will tell you how you can use your talent to start making safe and steady income after graduation. (more…)

Posted August 25, 2014 by

Searching for Jobs Recent College Graduates? 7 Tech Savvy Qualities Employers Appreciate

Recent college graduates searching for jobs can impress employers with these seven tech savvy qualities in the following post.

Even if you do not work in a high-tech field or industry, technology has become an integral part of just about every job. Today, many recruiters and hiring managers see technical competence as a minimum requirement of employment. When it comes time to prove to potential employers that you are digitally competent, make

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Posted July 17, 2014 by

Young Professionals, Ready for the First Day on Your Entry Level Jobs? Don’t Do These 5 Things

Congratulations, young professionals on landing entry level jobs!  Now, that you’re about to start the first day of work, make sure to avoid doing the five things mentioned in the following post.

Several weeks into a job search, many recent grads are starting to see job offers come in. Soon, it will be time for that most nerve-wracking, yet exciting, of days: the first day on the job. And many of these new entrants to the workforce have a million and one

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Posted July 07, 2014 by

College Students, Need Some Advice about Getting Jobs and More? Ask Alumni These 7 Questions

Networking with alumni is one way for college students searching for jobs to get some advice.  Here are seven questions in the following post for students to ask alumni.

Looking for a new direction in your job search this summer? Attempting to expand your personal network after graduation? Struggling with career decisions? Been-there-done-that career advice and mentorship may be closer and easier than you thought. When was the last time you tapped your alumni network?

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Posted May 28, 2014 by

Interviewing for an Entry Level Job? How to Answer This One Important Question

When you’re interviewing for an entry level job, make sure you can answer this one important question found in the following post.

Common interview question: Why should we hire you for this job? Why they’re asking: They want to make sure you are confident that you can do the job and prove that you are the right person to do the job. Why it’s tricky: It’s a very open-ended interview question. It’s also sort of a bold question

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Posted May 07, 2014 by

Want Your Resume to Attract Potential Employers for Recent Graduate Jobs? 7 Cliches Not to Use

When writing resumes for recent graduate jobs, employers want to see if you stand out from other applicants.  In the following post, learn seven cliches you shouldn’t use if you want to attract companies.

You may think your resume is already tip top, but put yourself in the shoes of a recruiter. They look at hundreds of resumes every day. To them, most look exactly like all the other nondescript resumes in their pile. If you’re using the same tired phrases as everyone else, you’re not as exciting —

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Posted April 29, 2014 by

A Career in Wills Could Be Paying Under Proper Guidance

Someone's hand signing a last will and testament

Someone’s hand signing a last will and testament. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Pursuing a course in law is not unusual as it is one of the earliest subjects. What is unusual is pursuing a course in writing wills. Though wills could be made by any person and does not require any special qualification, people prefer to get it written by professionals. It is undeniable that a scholar in law is more equipped to scripting a will than a layman.

Most students studying law aspire to become solicitors, barristers, or paralegal professionals. Writing a will could be considered a paralegal activity being practised more by fresh law graduates. It actually is a stepping stone for larger assignments in the future. (more…)