Monday, December 31, 2007

If you are planning to change your life today through career education or vocational training here is a great resource I discovered today - Guide to Career Education.

This website is a source for to learn more about 2,500+ Degrees, Certifications & Career Colleges.

Information is categorized by:

Degree Programs - Associates, Bachelors and High School/GED
Fields of Study - Business, Criminal Justice, Design etc.

Programs are listed in the following groupings:
Online Career Schools
Campus Career Schools
Business Schools
Criminal Justice Schools
Design Schools
Education Schools
Engineering Schools
Healthcare Schools
Human Services Schools
IT & Computer Science Schools
Law & Paralegal Schools
Psychology Schools
Religious Studies Schools
Vocational Schools

Check it out here!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Speed Interviewing Anyone?

If you are jumping back into the workforce you need to be aware of new hiring and recruiting trends and practices that companies are using to compete for talent.

Speed Interviewing is one such technique that companies like pharmaceutical giant Abbott Labs and online retailer, Zappos is finding valuable.

Quote from an article by Sarah E. Needleman for Career Journal,
"Speed interviewing reflects employers' growing concerns about meeting their staffing needs as they face a looming shortage of skilled workers. This is due to a large number of soon-to-retire baby boomers and job growth in areas such as health care, finance and technology".

Some tips to handle the speed interview?

1. Although professional interview dress protocols still apply, stay on the side of comfortable attire. This is important if you are going to be onsite for a long time.

2. Eat right to keep your energy up. The last thing you want is to fade away by the end of long sessions.

3. Be flexible. You may have to stay longer than initially expected.

Read the complete article: Speed Date a Potential Employer And Get an Offer That Same Day by Sarah Needleman.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Preparing for the Spring College Recruiting Season

If you are heading back to college, this is a good time to start preparing for on campus interviews this spring. Chances are your college career center has already scheduled several big events and opportunities for you to meet employers this spring semester on campus.

Look at your college career center online calendar to find out about the following employer events on campus.

- Campus career and internship fairs
- Career Expos and Career Fairs
- Information Tables
- Employer Interview Dates

Register today with your college career center to make sure you have access to the latest information about employer campus visits.

Illegal Interview Questions in the Presidential Race

If you have been on the Internet anytime recently, passed a television set, looked briefly at a newspaper headline or even listened to the radio, you probably know that there is a highly competitive Presidential race going on now.

As I listened to one political analyst after another, I couldn't help but notice how many illegal interview questions were being asked of these candidates who are going for this top job in the US.

HR professionals know to stay away from the EEO minefields of Race, Color, Sex, Religion, National origin, Birthplace, Age, Disability and Marital/family issues in real job interviews.

However, Presidential candidates who have tossed their resumes in the ring to be CEO of the United States, are being asked, and even more interestingly, are answering "illegal interview questions" daily.

There are tons of these types "illegal interview questions" floating out there in media land and I often think about what we would do if faced with these kinds of questions in a real interview.

Then again, maybe the Presidential race is not a true reflection of a "real" interview or is it?

Complete article at BullsEyeResumes

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

State of Maryland Supports Vocational Training

Several States support vocational training programs.

One such really awesome program exists in the State of Maryland. The Maryland Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) offers programs and services that help people with the following:

-Career decision-making, counseling and referral

-Assistive technology—DORS works with individuals to educate them about products, services and devices that will help the disabled succeed.

-Post-secondary opportunities

-Pre-employment Skills Training

-Job placement services

-Supported employment/job coaching

-Assistance may also be available for transportation, maintenance and personal assistance services.

Where in the World are the Hot Job Markets

How do cities stack up in the Top 28 list of biggest changes from November 2006 to November 2007? These numbers represent the year-over-year growth in the number of online job postings with Notice the change to negative growth around number 18.

Rank Category % YOY Growth*
1. St. Louis 29%
2. New York City 28%
3. Pittsburgh 23%
4. Boston 21%
5. Houston 20%
6. Seattle 20%
7. Dallas 18%
8. Atlanta 18%
9. Portland 18%
10. Denver 14%
11. Kansas City 12%
12. Cincinnati 9%
13. Chicago 9%
14. Minneapolis 7%
15. Detroit 2%
16. Philadelphia 2%
17. Indianapolis 1%
18. Cleveland 1%
19. Phoenix -1%
20. Los Angeles -1%
21. San Francisco -2%
22. Miami -2%
23. Sacramento -3%
24. Washington, DC -3%
25. Tampa -5%
26. San Diego -9%
27. Orlando -13%
28. Baltimore -20%

*November 2006 and November 2007

Source -

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Teenagers Need Better Workplace Habits

A recent visit to a local supermarket demonstrated to me again that some teenagers need better workplace habits and office etiquette. Teenagers should be trained and observed by supervisors at work after being hired. The part-time teenage checker on my line spent more time chatting with the teenage bagger than paying attention to customers in line.

I assumed both were students at the same high school, since they talked about the same homeroom teacher who "sucked" and "for real" was too "old".

Typically, I would engage these teen workers on the job myself and use the opportunity to teach, but there were too many people around to be effective. I chose to speak to the manager of these teen workers instead. I suggested that more attention be paid to the new teen workers on the floor.

I wasn't surprised to learn that "training" of these teen workers involved about a 30-minute talk on customer service.

Many employers are failing on the job to train teenagers adequately at work. Many employers who may be short staffed are often so happy to get extra help, that they overlook this important step. Employers can definitely employ computer, self paced training to help get their teenage workers to another level.

Certainly at a minimum, no two new teenage workers should be working the same line. It might be a good idea to pair teenagers with more senior staff until they develop stronger job skills.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Network Your Way to Career Reentry

The holidays are just about behind us and I hope you were able to rejuvenate some of your contacts during the season.

Reentering the workforce is easier if you are working to maintain contacts that you have made over the years.

For many people the idea of networking is a scary proposition. Usually it is because we are thinking it is something very different from what we have done before. Some of us might be thinking that networking means we have to go out and find ourselves a whole new group of people to socialize as we overlook the good folks we already know.

An article by BullsEyeResumes at FORTYfied gives these simple reminders about networking.

1. Make time to maintain your contacts.
2. Become a resource for the people you know.
3. Keep a record of information on new contacts.

Complete BullsEyeResumes article - Career Change in Your Future? Master these
3 Networking Skills Now!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Sign up For Classes This Spring - It is Not Too Late

Franklin Covey completed their third annual New Year's Resolution survey recently.

Here are the results:


1. Get out of debt or save money
2. Lose weight
3. Develop a healthy habit (e.g., exercise or healthy eating)
4. Get organized
5. Develop a new skill or talent
6. Spend more time with family and friends
7. Other
8. Work less, play more
9. Break an unhealthy habit (e.g., smoking, alcohol, overeating)
10. Change employment

If you have been considering registering in a vocational training or career education program, now is the time to do it.

Many career education or vocational training programs have rolling enrollment. This means that you can apply at any time.

Since these schools are typically smaller with smaller incoming classes, it might be possible to go through the entire enrollment process in a short time. Many schools will work with you to get all formal transcripts and other documents in before or immediately after classes begin.

If you want to change your life and take advantage of more job opportunities, get into a training program this spring. It is not too late!

Take a look at the 30-Day Path to Greater Career Satisfaction through November 2007 posts.

Is a Career Change in the New Year's Resolutions?

Franklin Covey has released the results from their 3rd annual New Year’s Resolutions Survey.

The survey polled 15,031 customers and discovered that the respondents’ top ten New Year’s resolutions for 2008 are ranked as follows: Three are directly related to employment, job or career. Number 4 and 6 could be closely related.

1. Get out of debt or save money

2. Lose weight

3. Develop a healthy habit (e.g., exercise or healthy eating)

4. Get organized

5. Develop a new skill or talent

6. Spend more time with family and friends

7. Other (Other (For me, "other" would include more concerts and more weekend trips without my computer)

8. Work less, play more

9. Break an unhealthy habit (e.g., smoking, alcohol, overeating)

10. Change employment

There is no time like the present to really embark on career changes or career adjustments. Keep in mind that the New Year gives you 12 months and stressing because you don't get it right in the first month, doesn't really help.

Take your time, stay positive and be deliberate.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

College Career Reentry Centers

One of the best resources at my alma mater, California State Polytechnic University - Pomona, is the ReEntry & WoMen's Resource Center. The Center caters to students over 25 years old who are considering reentering the university as well as those already enrolled. The center conducts weekly workshops, meetings, drop-in hours and requests covering topics such as Financial Aid, Study Skills, Time Management, and Stress Elimination.

If you are considering reentering the workforce and want to return to school in the process here are some great college reentry centers that cater to more mature students.

Metropolitan Community College in Kansas City, MO.

Diablo Valley College - Services for Reentry Students, Pleasant Hill, CA

Cypress College Career Planning Center & Adult Reentry Program, Cypress, CA

Arizona State University - Learning Support Services

University of North Dakota

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Writing Help for New College Grads

The College Board's National Commission on Writing says that American corporations spend approximately $3.1 billion annually to remedy their employees' deficiencies in writing.

Those of us who do a lot of writing rely on several online resources for necessary support. Consider bookmarking the following websites to help you master your college writing skills.

1. The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University is an award winning service which fortunately is available for everyone's use. Get help here with the fundamentals of business letters and employment documents like resumes, cover letters and thank you letters.

2. Merriam Webster offers an online dictionary, Spanish/English translations and a Thesaurus.

3. Daily Grammar emails subscribers grammar lessons daily and even emails a quiz on Saturdays.

4. Business Writers Free Library provides a comprehensive list of writing resources.

5. Power Home Biz publishes business articles and has a great list of business glossary terms in an easy-to-read format.

Most of us are not gifted wordsmiths and need all the help and reminders we can get.

Do You Love Your Job or Hate Your Job?

How many of us would say we love our jobs vs. those who would say we hate our jobs. If the latest Conference Board report is any indication, an increasing number of us really are dissatisfied with our work.

If what we are searching for on Google is any indicator of how we feel about our jobs the following data might surprise some of us. I chose to search and compare the number of hits for the following phrases.

"I love my job" got 1.75M hits on Google compared to "I hate my job" getting 501K hits. (3 times)

"I love my boss" got 210K hits on Google compared to "I hate my boss" getting 37.5K hits. (6 times)

"I love my work" got 169K hits on Google compared to "I hate my work" getting 83K hits. (2 times)

Of course those numbers can change from one minute to the next and will differ depending on search parameters. However, it seemed that searches on positive terms and phrases about jobs and bosses, yielded more hits than negative phrases.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

South St. Paul Senior High School - Featured Career/College Center

From time to time, I learn about high school career and college planning centers that seem to be doing things really right.

Couple of days ago I discovered the College & Career Center at South St. Paul High School in St. Paul Minnesota.

Jenita Pace runs the center. Just from reading the site, I got the sense of how seriously Ms. Pace takes her responsibity to educate and prepare students beyond the classroom.

Ms Pace encourages students to visit the center and meet her. Here is what she says, "I want to be able to individually help you so feel free to come in and talk with me. It would be great to help you achieve your goals"!

The center is designed to help students and their parents with all aspects of college and career decision-making and planning.

Here are some of the services offered by the center:

-College catalogs and information files from numerous 4-year and 2-year colleges, universities, graduate schools and private career schools
-Information on military opportunities
-Registration forms and information for ACT, SAT and PSAT (includes practice tests)
-College, scholarship and financial aid applications
-Computers to research college and careers and apply to colleges on-line
-Direction in college selection
-Assistance in completing college applications
-Assistance in preparing resumes
-Monthly senior newsletters and bi-monthly junior newsletters
-College Information Night for students and parents in October
-Financial Aid Night for students and parents in October and Feburary salutes South St. Paul Senior High School. Keep up the awesome work!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Resume and Interview Tips for Older Workers

If you are an older worker returning to the workplace, consider what employers might be thinking as you apply for jobs .

The reality is, employers might be thinking that experienced or older workers cost more due to higher salaries, pensions, training and healthcare benefits.

As you strategize and conduct a professional job search, your goal is to consider seriously what you want employers to think about you. Your goal? Get the company to see that they can't afford NOT to hire you.

Think about the following as you write your resume and prepare for your interview:

1. Stay cheerful and high energy for all phone or in-person interviews. Learn more about Assessment Center Interviews

2. Speak to the benefits of your professional experience, professional maturity and the years of job experience you bring.

3. Keep your resume content current and stick to relevant information.

4. Speak to the long term value you can bring to the company.

5. Tell stories about outstanding outcomes in prior assignments using today's, industry relevant vernacular.

6. Consider using a functional resume.

7. Use cover letters to focus on relevant, recent experiences

8. Speak to your ability to collaborate and work with everyone from Boomers to Millennials.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

7 Ways to Get Your Creative Juices Flowing at Work

Media Orchard offers this list of 7 ways to get creative juices flowing at work. If mentally drained or overwhelmed at work, these tips can help get employees recharged.

My favorite on the list is "Taking a Break".

I heard former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Donna Shalala, currently President of University of Miami, speak at a conference for career planners and recommended that we never, if at all possible, eat lunch at our desks.

Getting away from your desk, if only for a few minutes, will clear your head and get your juices flowing again and reduce workplace stress.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Should Auto Mechanics be Scholars too?

"Yes," says Melissa Silberman, principal of Automotive High School in Brooklyn, NY, who has added AP classes to the automotive curriculum. Silberman is determined to reinvent Automotive High School as an institution that produces both great techs and scholars.

When Silberman got to Automotive High School, 80% of the entering freshmen class was reading below grade level. The school's library could only accommodate 20 students at one time. Silberman has relocated the library to a more spacious sunny classroom space that sends a clear message that academic success is as important as success in vocational training. The college center has also been relocated to a new central location that promotes a college education beyond the Automotive High School.

Learn more at:
Vassar Alumni stories
NY Times article - Vocational School Aims for Mechanics Who Can Write
H.S. 610 Automotive Career and Technical Education High School

Countdown to Graduation is a Countdown to Entry Level Jobs

Are you a college senior who is 2008 College Grad? You probably already did your application for graduation and getting your ducks in a row. It is a hectic time but you do want to find a way to include a job search in your plans for graduation.

Here are some great schools that get that connection between Commencement and Career Services:
University of Delaware
Santa Clara University - Leavey School of Business
The University of Chicago - Law School
Schoolcraft College

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Pennsylvania Job Search Resources

If you are searching for a job in Pennsylvania, here are great resources to check out.

1. The Commonwealth Workforce Development System (CWDS) provides access to Pennsylvania workforce development and independent living services provided by the Departments of Labor & Industry and Public Welfare. Find the local office near you to access job search services.

2. has done a great job compiling a list of employment and career resources for the state of Pennsylvania.

Find the following on
* Job search networking support groups
* List of Pennsylvania employers
* Education and Government employers

3. Check out also Workforce50 and select Pennsylvania. Formerly known as, Workforce50 is a premier resource for job seekers over 50 and lists jobs in Pennsylvania here.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Class of 2008 Job Market

What should the graduating Class of 2008 expect for the job market?

Marilyn Mackes, executive director of the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the nonprofit that conducts the annual survey of employers to forecast employer demand for new grads says, “We have heard from a number of employers that they are looking to hire more new college graduates to feed their ‘talent pipeline, Employers are looking at new grads as their future leaders and want to groom them for those roles."

Some survey highlights:
-Nearly 58% of the employers responding to this year's survey reported plans to increase their college hiring
-36.5% said they’ll maintain their college hiring at 2006-07 levels
-Less than 6% expect to trim their college hiring
-Employers interested in two-year graduates include utility companies, state and local government, and consulting services

Tip for the Class of 2008

Although the job market is expected to be good, planning early is key to having a competitive college resume. According to a survey of last year’s graduates, of those graduates who began their job searches before March 1, more than half had secured a post-graduate job by April 30.

Should I Name my References on my Resume?

No. As you progress through your career training program, begin to think about who your references will be when you begin job hunting.

Create a Reference Sheet that is separate from your resume and includes:
- Name of the person
- Title of the person
- How long you have known the person
- Contact information - Share best way to contact if you know. eg email or phone.
- Preferred time to contact

1. Ask permission BEFORE listing someone as a reference in a job search.

2. Share your resume with the person who will give you a reference.

3. Some professionals that can provide impressive references for a student in vocational training or career education program include:

Internship supervisors
Job Shadow supervisors
Practicum managers
Previous employers
Externship coordinators
Church leaders
Career Training Program Administrators
Professionals in the field
Family and friends

Monday, December 10, 2007

How Long Should My Vocational Resume Be?

The real answer here is - It depends.

The key to resume writing is relevance and so essentially you want to make the best possible case. You want to get the employer's attention as recruiters do the 20-30 second resume power scan.

If you do find that you are running beyond a page or even two, use some of the following layout techniques to help with page management.

1. Experiment with smaller margins. Microsoft Word has a default 1.25" margin. Experiment with .7" or .8".

2. Use tables and hide borders to make more efficient use of horizontal space.

3. Try a slightly smaller font.

4. Use text boxes to align information and use less space.

If you do have to use multiple pages, make sure your contact information appears on each page and heading is consistent.

Feel free to get a free resume critique from, if you want to avoid rolling to the next page.

Teens No Longer Just Shovel Snow, Rake Leaves or Cut Grass To Make Money

My husband and I were talking the other day about the increasing number of small landscape companies that we see working in and around our neighborhood. We wondered about the days when teenagers cut grass, raked leaves and shovelled snow.

Today's teens have moved away from this kind of labor.

They are now working alongside older employees in retail, sales and office jobs.

The next time you take a trip to the mall, look at who is not only working in, but managing shops in the food court. Pay close attention also to who is racking up the sales in electronics shops and every telecommunication booth you pass.

As teenagers increase their contribution in the retail sector, we have to find other ways to get our grass cut, leaves raked and snow shovelled.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Build Your College Resume During Spring Break

College students are planning all kinds of travel semester breaks.

Not only will Spring Break 2009 give college students needed rejuvenation, it provides an opportunity to add volunteer service and community service experience to your college resume.

These organizations help college students schedule meaningful Spring Break 2009 activities and internship programs:
Break Away
Spring Break Alternatives
Student Conservation Association
Hillel - The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life
Habitat for Humanity

Ask the college career center about spring break programs and opportunities to build job skills through volunteering for your resume.

Friday, December 7, 2007

40 Tips for Job Seekers Over 40

Ran into a great blog entry from JOBMOB that shares 40 tips for job seekers over 40!

My top 5 picks from the list:
1. Network, network, network (Check out Day 15 in the 30 Day Makeover at BullsEyeResumes blog)
2. Follow blogs to stay informed and learn new things
3. Specify recent professional development training or technical skills
4. Consider a chrono-functional resume
5. Be open to new careers

Worried or concerned about your resume over 40? Get a free resume critique - no strings, just help.
Happy job hunting!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Workplace Rules for Under 18 Years

The number of teens in the workforce is increasing. In 1999, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 57% of 14 year olds have some working experience.

Safety in the workplace is very important, but a HealthDay News report shows that 17.5% of working teens surveyed reported using power slicing tools or grinders, something minors are forbidden to do under federal law. Nearly half of those teens reported engaging in at least one work activity that's illegal for people under 18 years of age.

Here are the guidelines set by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for teenagers under 18 in the workplace.

- May not operate a motor vehicle as a regular part of your job
- May not operate a fork lift or many types of other power equipment such as a meat slicer, circular saw, or a box crusher
- May not work in wrecking, demolition, roofing, or excavation
- May not work in meat packing or slaughtering
- May not work in mining, logging, or in a saw mill
- May not work where there is exposure to radiation
- May not work where explosives are manufactured or stored

If you are an employed teen under 18 and are being asked to do any of these things, please tell a supervisor at work, an adult at home or your schools career counselor.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

"English Alive" Program at Drexel University

Drexel University in Philadelphia is piloting a new English program called "English Alive".

The English program had 550 college students enrolled last year and faculty are hoping that Drexel will continue the program where students get to present materials in a way that is meaningful and relevant.

Assignments would give college students opportunity to express themselves through posters, podcasts, web presentations, animation or traditional essays.

Although programs like this offer flexibility for college students to demonstrate learning through individual creative expression, students should not overlook the importance of strong writing skills.

A New York Times article reported that a study by the National Commission on Writing, a panel established by the College Board, concluded that a third of employees in the nation's blue-chip companies wrote poorly and that businesses were spending as much as $3.1 billion annually on remedial training.

Career advice college students should heed? Writing skills are important.

The Right Vo-Tech School Can Boost Your Career

Choosing the right Career Education program can really boost a career.

As you evaluate a possible Career Education program, watch for those who overpromise and underdeliver job placement beyond graduation.

Here are three resources to help you proceed with the selection of a Career Education program:

1. The Department of Education encourages college students to think seriously about their choices in the article here. THINKING ABOUT GOING TO A CAREER COLLEGE OR TECHNICAL SCHOOL?

2. Check with the Better Business Bureau for reports of illegal behavior by the Career Education program in consideration or if complaints have been filed against them.

3. The Federal Trade Commission offers a comprehensive check list to research Vocational Training or Career Education programs.

Is Your Boss Really A Jerk Or Just Misunderstood?

Who among us has not worked at sometime during our career for a boss or supervisor whose style or temperament just rubbed us the completely wrong way? Whether you work for the "all-good-ideas-are-mine" type; the "you-can't-have-an-independent-thought-without-my-approval" type or the "clock watcher," your day at the office will be worse than it needs to be.

The Merriam Webster dictionary defines "jerk" as an "annoyingly stupid or foolish person; an unlikable person; especially one who is cruel, rude, or small-minded". Robert Sutton, a Stanford University professor and one of the authors of, Hard Facts Dangerous Half-Truths and Total Nonsense; Profiting from Evidence Based Management, defines a "jerk" as "one who oppresses, humiliates, de-energizes or belittles a subordinate or a colleague, causing that person to feel worse about him or herself". Do these definitions really hold for your boss? No doubt some of us have these kinds of bosses; however, most bosses that we refer to as jerks are not really that way all the time and are certainly not in the majority.

So it leads to the question - Is it possible to have a boss who is not stupid or foolish; not cruel; not rude or small-minded who still is making your life at the office extremely stressful? I say - Yes.

Some of these behaviors from bosses I would consider an annoyance more so than "jerk" behavior are as follows:

1. The boss who watches the clock and thinks that work must only be done within the 9a to 5p time frame and wants you to account for every minute away from your desk during that time period. This person may actually not be mean or cruel, just uninformed about the way employees prefer to work today. Fortune Magazine is full of companies that offer flexibility of schedules. Maybe you need to educate your boss about this trend.

2. What about the boss whose self confidence is so low, that every new idea you present must be coupled with compliments about how wonderful or great he/she is? If your good ideas will move your career forward, you may just have to tolerate this until you can change departments. Do not let a boss with low self confidence kill your initiative and drive to succeed.

3. What about the boss whose fear of confrontation has him/her taking on all the work of clearly struggling employees, rather than addressing the issue or putting employee training in place? Getting HR involved might be one way to get around this kind of behavior.

4. What about the boss who does not want to showcase your good work, since it might bring too much attention to your department and think it is best when you stay off the corporate office radar? They are out there too. Finding ways to bubble up your ideas beyond your office is important here. One of the strategies I have seen that works is to put new ideas on the table when others, who will see it's value, are present.

5. What about the boss who has no life outside the office and expects you to stay late when he or she purposely delays work rather than go home - forgetting of course that you have a life outside the organization? Letting your boss know ahead of time is the best way to handle this. If you get the sense that this is the way the day is going to unfold, feel free to say what you will accomplish before leaving today and what you will pick up tomorrow.

6. What about the boss who plays favorites with employees and promotes trivial gains by one staff while overlooking significant contributions by others? With this kind of boss, it is imperative that you toot your own horn and record your own accomplishments. Make sure to get these contributions in your annual evaluations by creating your own Kudos file.

It is important that we be careful about how we label the people we work with. So before we call our boss a jerk, think about if someone might be labeling us incorrectly too.

(c) Copyright - All Rights Reserved Worldwide. You may reprint this article as long as the following byline is included.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Comprehensive List of 2-Year Colleges

Dan and Linda Solarek compiled an awesome list of 2-year colleges, technical schools, junior colleges, branches of four-year colleges which focus on associate degree education, and accredited two-year proprietary schools.

If you are considering vocational training bookmark this page as you do your research.

The website is a service provided by Engineering Technology Computing College of Engineering at the University of Toledo.

What's College Really Like?

Check out Year-One A College Blog hosted by Making it Count at

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Assessment Center Interview - Are You Prepared?

The Assessment Center interview is making a comeback. defines an Assessment Center Interview as a variety of testing techniques designed to allow candidates to demonstrate, under standardized conditions, the skills and abilities most essential for success in a given job or career.

Some consider the "traditional job interview" an inferior approach to determine a candidate's real potential for on-the-job career success.

Since HR departments can now more adequately measure the cost of a bad hire, the Assessment Center interview approach, although expensive, could be money well spent.

Generally speaking, most of the exercises or "tests" job seekers do in an Assessment Center interview will measure specific job skills and competencies. These "tests" reflect a combination of:

-Case Studies
-In-Tray Exercises
-Group Exercises
-Role Plays
-Job Skills Demonstration

Read the complete article on Assessment Center Interviews at Associated Content!

Attention Super College Seniors - This Blog's For You

You are not alone if you won't graduate in four years.

Here is what the US Department of Education says about college students graduating in four years:
The U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) claims that only 40 % of students are graduating college in four years.

If you are a "Super Senior", here are a few tips to finally make your college your alma mater.

1. Now is not the time to agonize about how long it has taken you to become a new grad. For college resume purposes - show graduation date only since there is no need to say when you started.

2. Take extra classes and work hard to finish this year. Get on a plan to finish. You will always be able to go back to school – in fact it is recommended. For now, focus on graduation.

3. The longer you stay does not necessarily translate to the more you know. Employers won't pay for this kind of experience. Entry level salaries are not attached to how much experience you have as a student.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Counseling Women on Career Reentry

Not surprisingly, women make up one of the largest segments of career reentry workers. Based on existing research, most reentry women are middle-aged and are returning to the workplace for numerous reasons including life changing activities such as divorce, death of a spouse or grown children.

For many of these reentry women, they are seeking to balance family with a new career. (Padula, M. (1994). Reentry women: A literature review with recommendations for counseling and research. Journal of Counseling & Development, 73, 10-16).

The Journal of Employment Counseling encourage those of us who work with career reentry women to work through the transitions by discussing:
- Career barriers related to gender role stereotyping
- Job trends for women
- Expectations for women reentering the workforce
- Raising the aspirations for reentry women

Read the complete article here at All Business.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Day 30 – Schedule Time with a Career Coach

My hope is that over the last 30 days you have had a chance to work on your personal development plan, you have increased your career and industry awareness and you have begun to lay the foundation for future career satisfaction.

This is a good time to schedule some time for a consultation with a professional Career Coach. Working with a Career Coach should be as important to you as getting together with your Accountant at tax time every year or meeting with your Insurance Agent to make sure your policies are as they should be.

Of course cost is a consideration and as with all other professionals you work with in planning your life, you look for a return on your investment. For example, just as working with an Accountant actually saves you money, working with a good Career Coach could save you stress and earn you more.

Most of us couldn't actually put a price on the personal and professional costs related to being in the wrong job or wrong career. Just as no career test exists to tell you what to do, do not expect a Career Coach to tell you what to do either.

Look for Career Coaches who are members of professional associations that uphold the highest levels of ethical standards.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Consider Working With a Career Coach

If considering career reentry or changing careers, consider working with a professional career coach or a professional recruiter. If you haven't been in job search mode for a while, things have changed.

Connecting with a career coach does not need to be a long protracted event, but you would be amazed at the kind of career reentry strategy help you can get in just one consultation.

Here is a great article from the AARP with some guidelines for selecting and working with career management professionals.

Does Double Major = Double Trouble?

Is there real value in having a double major in college? Is there an advantage when job hunting in a competitive market? Many college students have a second major because they believe it will positively affect a job search strategy. Here are some great and not so great reasons to attempt a double major in college.

Consider a double major if you:
1. Enjoy both subjects or disciplines
2. Are a hard worker and can maintain a good GPA in both areas
3. See a logical connection between both disciplines and can articulate same
4. Need to improve your college resume

Do NOT consider a double major in college just because:
1. Your friend, girlfriend, boyfriend is in that college major
2. Others say the major is easy
3. Professors in that major are said to be cooler than in the major
4. You heard that people graduating from that major get paid more
5. Your family member is in that major and they think it should be good for you too
6. College graduation is approaching and you don’t feel “ready” and think you should stay in school for a couple more years.

Read more - Double Majors do Double Duty
CollegeTips Double Major in College
No More Triple Majors Please by Brazen Careerist

Day 29 – Put Your References on Notice

National Career Development Month

If you are thinking about a career change or career makeover it is time to put your references on notice about the possible need for their future support.

This BullseyeResumes article at Associated Content gives you some insight on writing letters of recommendation. If you are asking for a recommendation keep the following tips in mind:

1. Make sure to ask people for their willingness to participate with enough notice.
2. If they say "No" it does not mean they don't support you, it may mean they do not currently have the time.
3. Be honest about the position for which you are applying.
4. Share your resume so your supporter will have all the relevant information including dates, job titles and company names.
5. Ask your reference to let you know if and when they are called.
6. Ask in a phone call or in person. Avoid email requests if possible.
7. Share some sample letters if it will help to expedite the process.

For the most part, people really appreciate being asked and enjoy spreading the word about how they enjoyed working with you. Be willing to do this for others as well.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Day 28 – Register with 3 Employment Websites

Today is a good day to explore creating a profile on three search engines.

1. Use one of the major job search websites available such as Monster, Career Builder or Dice.

2. Identify one industry specific job search website such as for Nonprofits.

3. Select a niche job search site related to a professional association. Eg Society of Human Resources Managers or the American Marketing Association.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Planning for Life Beyond High School?

Discovered a great website, TeensHealth, that gives highschool students all kinds of information on teen "STUFF" such as making good friends, study tips, job info, school violence, driving and preparing for college.

TeensHealth was created by the Nemours Foundation's Center for Children's Health Media. The organization prides themselves in giving up-to-date, jargon-free health information that high school students access. In fact more than 350,000 people access KidsHealth reliable information on an average day.

Good personal wellness habits go a long way to support job success and career success.

Day 27 - Identify Gaps in Skills and Competencies

Once you have identified 2-3 career options and the requisite skills for success in each, create a spreadsheet with 2-3 sheets, one for each option.

On each sheet create a simple spreadsheet with 4 columns:
1. Skills/Competencies required (here you list the skills required)
2. Rating (here you will rate yourself 1-10 on each skill or competence)
3. Example (speak to best example of your ability in any area you ranked 6 or above)
4. Gaps (what is required to build the skill or gain the competency)

Contact for a sample worksheet with additional instructions.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Interview FAQs for Career Reentry Professionals

If you are considering career reentry, interview help is available via Resume/Interview FAQs at

Find answers to following Interview FAQs and more:
-Any great niche internet resources for a career reentry professional to find interview help?
-How can I research a company before an interview?
-How important is the phone screening interview for a career reentry professional?
-I was fired from my last job; how do I handle that in the interview if I am asked?
-What is a Behavioral Interview?
-Would an Informational Interview help me prepare for the interview?

Day 26 - Identify 2-3 Career Options

National Career Development Month

You have done a lot of research, soul searching and asked a lot of questions this month. Hopefully your research and job analysis is giving you some clarity on your next career move. If your decision is to stay where you are, you have probably discovered some ways to enhance your existing job. If you know a career change, career makeover or career adjustment is in your future, you should be able to identify 2-3 career options you will explore in the future. Do not attempt to put a time limit on yourself at this point since time limits sometimes add extra stress. If you can fine, if you cannot do not stress about it, you are still on a fact finding mission at this point.

These might include:
-One option which is a modification or twist on your current role. A new assignment with your existing company or in your current industry
-One which has you moving in another direction completely to pursue something more meaningful to you
-One might be taking you towards business ownership

Whichever direction you choose at this point, identify 2 or 3 options.

Look at careers and related careers. For each career option visit O*Net and explore education, tasks, skills for success in that career. Explore a day in the life, schedule Informational Interviews and evaluate what is required, what do you have and where the performance gaps are that you will need to fill.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Day 25 - Learn about Informational Interviews

National Career Development Month

In addition to gathering information from career books, O*Net and great career websites, the Informational Interview is one of the best ways to learn about the in's and out's of a particular job, career or industry.

The Informational Interview is simply a way for you to connect with someone in the
field of interest and request a time and place to meet so you can learn more about a job, career or industry of interest.

Most professionals are usually happy to share information about what they do with others.

Learn more about Informational Interviews at

Note – Some tips:
-Keep your communication professional
-Do not abuse the time that someone is willing to spend with you
-Do not ask for a job during the informational interview
-Follow up and thank the person for their time
-Ask for the opportunity to follow-up later if you have additional questions

Reasons to Meet Employers During College Recruiting

Many college students overlook opportunities to meet employers on campus.

Too many college students only attend employer events events when they actually want to be hired. That may be too late if the competition has already met the hiring managers at a previous campus event.

How and why to meet employers on campus:

1.Convenience. Visit employer events between classes or take a quick walk across campus to spend 15 minutes with a hiring manager in the college career center.

2.Stress free meeting. Meet recruiters, employers or hiring managers at information tables or classroom visits before you have to meet them at the job interview.

3.Demonstrate positive “go-getter” attitude. Employers are impressed by students who know about campus visits and show up if even for a few minutes between classes to make a networking connection.

4.Branding your campus . To keep your preferred employer coming back to your college campus, show up to employer events. If employers experience low attendance of college students for events, they may drop your school or academic major from their recruiting schedule.

5. Get feedback on job search strategy. If you are job hunting and want some free career advice on to improve job search strategy, stop by and meet recruiters who can help with college resumes and job interview preparation.

Whether you are a college freshman, sophomore, junior or senior the career center values your visit to employer events to keep employers coming back.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Day 24 – Share your Resume and Get Feedback

National Career Development Month

Getting honest and unbiased feedback on your resume or CV is important. As with all of your job search communication including Resumes, CVs, Cover Letters or Thank You Letters, getting another perspective is important if you are considering a career makeover, career change or just a career checkup.

This is great time to pull together a list of people whose opinion you value and whose advice could help. As the holidays approach you might even see some contacts you do not see regularly and this would be a good way to start rejuvenating your contacts again and work on your networking skills.

Although most of the people you might share your resume or CV with are not professional resume writers, they can certainly give you good feedback about layout, flow or consistency. They may even know of opportunities you might want to consider.

Don't forget that many online resume writing services like can give you a free evaluation of your resume.

Finding the Right Vocational Training Program

There are great vocational training programs to get you trained relatively quickly with new in-demand job skills.

Before you select a program, consider an aptitude test to help determine strengths and weaknesses and what type of work environment suits you.

Once you have some ideas, research career education or vocational training programs based on needs. If you know what you want to study, take the assessment anyway to help confirm your career directions.

Once you find an area of interest, consider the following criteria:
-cost and financial aid
-services available such as career placement, job placement or career planning help
-length of program
-convenient schedules
-online classes

Visit for free vocational sample resumes that showcases skills and training.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Day 22 - Look for Work Life Balance!

National Career Development Month

I certainly hope you left the work at the office and are enjoying today with your family.

If you are thinking about a career change, career makeover or just wanting to explore career fitness, think seriously about how important work life balance is to you.

Since only 7% of families currently conform to the tradition of wage-earning dad, a stay-at-home mom, and one or more children, most of us are juggling a lot.

Take a look at some of the following niche resources to help you identify companies, organizations and industries that might be more family friendly:

Working Mother
Seattle Times Article
Career Builder Article

Internship programs from the Employer's Perspective

Much is written to help college students and new college graduates succeed in internship programs and cooperative education programs.

Explore employers' perspective in these exerpts from the new manual - Total Internship Management Guide; The Employer's Guide to the Ultimate Internship from Intern Bridge.

These exerpts will give you insight into what the employers are doing on their end to make sure there is a return on investment for their internship programs.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Day 21 - Job+Holiday = Stress; Get some perspective this season

National Career Development Month

This is an article I wrote originally in 2001 and have updated it yearly since then. I hope this abridged version helps you get some perspective this holiday season.

Through recent research, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health reported that 40% of workers reported that their job was very or extremely stressful. A 2000 Integra Survey also reported that 62% of workers routinely find that they end the day with work-related neck pain, 44% reported stressed-out eyes, 38% complained of hurting hands and 34% reported difficulty sleeping because they were too stressed-out. As year end approaches and they worry about personal security and their family’s well being, holiday activities which should be relaxing, tend to add to the stress felt by employees.

At this time of year employers and employees may often have conflicting priorities caused by pressures of too many projects, busy schedules and too little time. At a time when companies are trying to meet deadlines, finalizing budgets for next year, generating sales to get them into the black and wrap up year-end paperwork, workers might be stressing over their own Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday planning and rapidly approaching work deadlines. While businesses are focused on increased potential holiday revenues, workers are preparing to welcome friends or families while still trying to stay on top of what’s happening at the office. The pressures increase significantly when family and business collide, when you are entrepreneur and employee, rolled into one.

Many experience guilt and anxiety from having to choose between holiday programs at their kids’ schools, or working overtime to meet shipping deadlines. Many employers worry about holiday budgets and stress over employees’ reaction to smaller or sometimes nonexistent bonuses if an off year. Some employees will feel resentment about assignments that delay plans to decorate their houses like those on magazine covers that tantalize all of us as we wait in endless supermarket lines. Working Dads will feel inadequate when, because of work schedules, their house is the only one on the block still without lights a few days before the big day and working Moms will feel guilty for resorting to burning “Fresh Baked Cookie Dough” candles, since there was no time to bake. Many will be especially frustrated because we are too tired to participate in spiritual events as planned during the season.

For those of us who love our work we find ways to balance the two, knowing that this season will pass and next year will be here before we know it. For those already dissatisfied with their jobs, careers and organizations, routine tasks become unbearable, productivity declines further and going to work feels like walking a tightrope. The following few suggestions might help us get some perspective this 2007 holiday season.

-Identify what is important and plan your time to accomplish only those things - Our productivity will improve because of it.

-Ask for help and support from friends, family, co-workers, bosses and neighbors - Our relationships will grow from it.

-Stay flexible and open to all possibilities - Our sanity depends on it.

-Take walks with your families to admire the colors and decorations around you - Our bodies will thank us for it.

-Encourage communication in the workplace to resolve conflicts around time and projects - Our coworkers will support us for it.

-Managers should be flexible enough to support employees’ family commitments - Our organizations will be better for it.

-Employees should develop an appreciation and respect for company bottom lines - Our economy will grow from it.

-Focus on the pure simple truths of the holidays - Our communities will be better for it.

-Take time to be thankful we live in America - Our futures depend on it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Day 20 - Explore Career Assessments

How much work have you done to know more about your skills, your values, your interests, your personality and your abilities. Who you are and what you have to offer must be considered as you contemplate your next career steps.

Here are a few career assessments to help you get started.

Some sites have more free resources than others. Explore all of them.

*Remember that no Career Assessment will tell you what you should be or what you should do. The results, however, will offer you a framework within which to start exploring options or will reinforce your current choice.

Find your favorite:

Ansir – Dominant personality Styles in three realms: Thinking Working and Emoting. 30 minutes

Big 5 Personality Test - Five fundamental dimensions of personality. Fairly bare-bones chart assessing Openness to New Experiences, Extraversion, Nervousness, and others. 5 to 10 minutes.

Career Competency Explorer - Five career competency domains: Technical, Strategic, Innovation, Cooperation, and Influence. Very easy interface; questions seem somewhat repetitious. 10-20 minutes and registration is required.

Career Focus 2000 Interest Inventory – Looks at your level of interest in about 18 occupational fields. This assessment's 180 inventory items about work tasks, and helps you identify possible career goals that match your strongest personal interests. 20-30 minutes.

Career Interest and Inventory - This 180-question assessment is a measure of occupational and career interests. This 180-question assessment is a measure of occupational and career interests. 15 minutes and registration is required.

Work Preference Inventory - This 24-question forced-choice assessment that tells your work style. This assessment is based on the premise that the process of values clarification is very important in career planning.

Type Focus – Looks at personality. Quick and easy 66-question assessment that tells your Myers-Briggs type and offers a bit of career direction. 8 to 10 minutes.

Aptitude, Entrepreneur and Personality reports!

Day 19 - Update your Resume and CV!

National Career Development Month

If you are considering any kind of career transition, career change or just getting into a career fitness program, it is time to update your resume or CV.

If you have been on this 30-day journey with us for this month, you have probably already seen your personnel file, done a job analysis, updated your job description and created a "Kudos Folder". Doing those things should have helped you start to inventory your past, ultimately setting the foundation for moving forward.

It is now time to take a look at your resume. Check out Resume FAQs at!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Resume FAQs for Career Reentry Professionals

If you are getting ready to reenter the workforce FREE resume help and interview advice is available via Resume/Interview FAQs at

Employers Value College Graduates Who Study Abroad

Recent surveys showed increased value of study abroad to employers as they select new college graduates for career positions.

Before you plan a spring break trip to Jamaica, think about travelling with a purpose and spending your college breaks going global for meaningful reasons.

College students should learn about study abroad programs including "Semesters-at-Sea" and other great programs for meaningful vacations and breaks.

Read the complete article about study abroad by BullsEyeResumes here.

Additional resources for college students to study abroad:
Transitions Abroad - offers expert career and trip advice, first-hand experiences, and practical resources for college students wishing to find jobs overseas.

Student Traveler - Student Traveler encourages college students to see the world, believing that those who experience foreign cultures will change for the better.

International Student - Online resource for international students to see the world and improve their education experience.

Peace Corps - Established in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy to promote world peace and friendship through post college experiences.

Semester at Sea - A floating university that lets college students travel globally two to three months at a time.

British Council - British agency dedicated to building relationships between the UK and other countries through college student exchanges and scholarships.

Study Abroad - Comprehensive source of information on educational opportunities for college students who want to study abroad.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

What Employers Look For in Vocational Grads

Here are the top 15 characteristics and skills employers look for in new grads. You gain many of these skills in career training or vocational training programs.

1. Communication Skills
2. Honesty/Integrity
3. Teamwork
4. Strong work ethics
5. Analytical skills
6. Flexibility and Adaptability
7. Interpersonal skills
8. Motivation/Initiative
9. Computer Skills
10. Detail Oriented
11. Organizational skills
12. Leadership
13. Self Confidence
14. Well Mannered/Polite
15. Friendly outgoing personality

Source - NACE Annual Survey

Day 18 – Research Upcoming Career Fairs!

National Career Development Month

If you are thinking about making a career transition, one immediate way to quickly improve your career and industry awareness is to attend a career fair. These fairs generally have the same format and layout, cost you nothing but a few hours and give you a great opportunity to meeting hiring managers.

When searching online, be sure to use different keywords to find upcoming fairs since the names might vary slightly. Here are a few alternative ways to find a career fairs which could be of interest to you.

Search by location – eg Philadelphia Career Fair or Valley Forge Career Fair.
Search based on education or training – eg MBA Career Fair, Technical Job Fair
Search by industry – eg. Sales Job Fair, Nonprofit Career Fair, Healthcare Job Fair
Search by niche – eg Diversity Job Fair or Disability Job Fair

Don't forget to search for Virtual Job Fairs as well which are completely online events.

Read the following articles for more information on how to use career fairs to your advantage.

Making the Most of Career Fairs by
Career Fair Strategies, by North Carolina State University Career Center

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Using a Targeted Resume Objective

Hiring managers peruse stacks of college resumes for potential employees. When recruiters want to fill new career positions urgently, they go through stacks of college resumes and wince at cliche resume objectives.

Resume objectives such as: "Seeking a challenging career with a progressive organization to utilize my skills, abilities and education and allow for my professional growth within the company;" although well written, say nothing about skills, goals or potential value of your candidacy.

Read the complete article on writing college resume objectives by BullsEyeResumes at

College Sample Resumes

Friday, November 16, 2007

Day 17 - Create a Kudos Folder

National Career Development Month!

If I were to ask you right now how many emails or notes you have received from people complimenting you on great work done - you would probably say many. However, like most of us, you probably don't know where to put your hands on them right now.

Spend time today creating a "Kudos Folder" simply by adding a folder in your email account and getting a 3-ring binder for hard copies of 'kudos' you receive.

Once established, your "Kudos" folder becomes a great repository of compliments that showcases how others feel about your skills and talents.

Day 16 - Volunteer!

National Career Development Month!

If you are considering making any kind of career change or just want to enrich your existing job, think about volunteering. Many companies have a commitment to community service and encourage employees to give back to the community. If your organization does not have such a program - start one.

Look around your existing organization or your community for committees, projects or civic organizations for volunteer opportunities. Volunteering can help you:

-build a network of professional contacts
-gain new competencies
-develop leadership abilities
-test out a new career field you wan to learn more about
-enrich your existing job
-give back your skills to your community

Here are 3 great resources to help you locate volunteer opportunities:

The Center for Volunteering
Government Volunteer Opportunities

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Day 15 - Rejuvenate Your Contacts!

National Career Development Month!

If you are thinking about making career changes or just need a lift to get you over the job stress for the next few months, connect with an old boss, a former colleague or fellow professional.

Keep in mind that networking actually begins way before you are in the market for a new job or career.

Remember also that networking is always a two way street and maintaining contact with you former colleagues and other professionals is important. It's not just about what they can offer you, but what you can do to help them.

For some great networking tips, check out the following:

1. The Riley Guide
2. Quint Careers
3. Los Angeles Chinese Learning Center - Article by Carl Reid
4. Career Journal

Great book on Networking:
Masters of Networking; Building Relationships for Your Pocketbook and Soul
By - Ivan R. Misner, PhD & Don Morgan MA
The book is a collection of stories, ideas from well known authors, successful professionals and entrepreneurs.

Day 14 - Join a Professional Association

National Career Development Month!

Are you currently an active member of a professional association? Notice the emphasis on the word active. Many of us pay dues to belong to an association, but really do not take the time to even read the monthly newsletters or subscriptions you receive via email or land mail.

What kind of value is there in joining an association?

Aside from the obvious networking possibilities with people in the same profession, which could lead to great opportunities, there are other benefits such as:
- Building new skills through on line or in person workshops, webinars etc.
- An opportunity to shape the future direction of your profession
- The possibility to develop leadership skills by participating on or leading a committee.

Here are two great lists of professional associations. Find a few that you can further explore and possibly join so that you can maybe attend a national conference in early 2008.

1. Wikipedia
2. Jobweb

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Day 13 - Thinking About Starting a Business?

National Career Development Month!

If you have been thinking about starting your own business - today is a good day to begin exploring the idea more fully.

If you have dreamed about becoming your own boss, then today is the day to start taking steps to do that. Identify online or community small business resources that are available to help you move your idea from your imagination into reality.

Some great resources to get you started include:
Small Business Development Centers
Entrepreneur Magazine.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Do You Fear Going back to School? Start Small

Successful career reentry might not be in the cards for you without additional training. Although a college degree is always a good option, you could work your way towards that, by starting with a certificate program.

Professional certification is one way to gain credibility in a short time and really build your resume.

Per the Department of Education, 13% of students currently enrolled in college are single parents. This represents an increase from 7.6% in 1993. Some of the key reasons people go back to school and go back to work are economic need, changing careers or updating professional credentials.

Here is what the International Center for Educational Statistics says about the projected growth in enrollment of older students:
"The number of young students has been growing more rapidly than the number of older students, but this pattern is expected to shift.

Between 1990 and 2004, enrollment of students under 25 increased by 31%. Enrollment of persons 25 and over rose 17% during the same period. To 2014, NCES projects a rise of 11% in enrollments of those under 25, and an increase of 15% in the number 25 and over".

Back 2 College is a good resource for career reentry professionals.

Day 12 - Enhance Technical Skills at Work

National Career Development Month!

Take a look at the training schedule at your company. Is there a technical skill you need to learn or enhance that will help with career growth?

You may be able to receive training at no cost to you in new technologies that could enhance your job such as:

-Pod Casting
-Web design and development
-Customer Relationship Management software
-Advanced PowerPoint Presentations or advanced work in any office technology programs
-Look for any industry specific technology also such as SCT Banner in Education or Blackbaud Fund Raising software for non-profit management or SAP for Purchasing.

Think about a new program YOU might be able to offer as well.

Day 11 - What's in Your Personnel File?

National Career Development Month!

When was the last time you looked at your personnel file at work?

Schedule an appointment to take a look and find out what's in there.

Do you have enough citations or notices about excellent work you have done? Is there a current copy of your resume? Is the job description on file current? What are you currently doing that was not in your original job description?

Once you have completed a job analysis, it is a good time to audit your personnel file. It may be time for a reclassification and this is the proof you need.

Additionally, if you are looking for a new opportunity and will need someone to verify your work, it is a good idea that your file be most up to date.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Day 10 - Join Your Alumni Association

National Career Development Month!

Go online and find your college alumni association. Making connections through your alumni association is a great way to get connected with your alma mater. Colleges not only want alumni to donate funds, but often need assistance with many of their campus departments.

Reconnecting with an old professor, a college advisor or check in with your college career center to see what career planning services might be available to you as an alumni.

Day 9 - Get a Handle on Workplace Stress

National Career Development Month!

Workplace stress is a reality for many of us. If you are having workplace issues related to any of the following, spend sometime today looking for new ways to manage workplace stress.

1. Do you have limited control over your work?
2. Do you feel like you are being pulled in 50 directions?
3. Are you working really long hours? Putting in a lot of overtime?
4. Are you relocating or thinking about relocating? Is a spouse relocating?
5. Do you work on shift?
6. Are you worried about job security?
7. Are you overdue for a vacation?
8. Do you get along with your colleagues or your boss?
9. Have a jerk for a boss?
10. Have subordinates who are less than qualified?
11. Project deadlines approaching?
12. Too many projects and too little time?
13. Worklife/Balance out of whack?
14. Find yourself calling out sick more often than you used to?

Today is the day to explore joining a gym, signing up for a yoga class or treating yourself to a massage.

The following websites can provide some answers and great ideas for lowering stress and improving work life balance.

Check out the following articles on handling workplace stress:
1. Identify Workplace Stressors; Take Steps to Manage Your Day
2. Job + Holidays = Stress; 9 Ways to Put Things in Perspective this Holiday Season

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Day 8 - Start Working on a Career Portfolio

National Career Development Month!

Creative professionals have used career portfolios, sometimes known as the job search portfolio or "the book", to promote themselves and their skills. In today’s competitive, knowledge-based labor market, other professionals are discovering the value of a career portfolio.

If well thought out, the act of putting together a career portfolio will help candidates from any industry reflect on their skills and create an occupational focus for future employment. It can help employees develop a marketing tool which is strategically laid out to influence a potential employer's selection.

Read the complete article on career portfolios by BullseyeResumes at Ezine Articles.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Day 7 - Start a Career Journal

This is the day to start a Career Journal. Nothing fancy, just a book, a binder or an folder on your desktop to begin capturing your thoughts about your career. Here is where you write about your passions, start a skills inventory, make a note of something you might have read that inspired you to think about taking your career in a certain direction.

Some things to include:
- Careers you might have heard about and want to explore more
- Inspirational stories about others who have made changes
- Values which are an important part of your career decisions
- Skills you might want to enhance
- Articles you may have read that were particularly inspirational

Commit to setting aside 30 quiet minutes weekly to write down your thoughts about where you are and where you want to go.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Day 6 - Start Reading Career Blogs & Articles

National Career Development Month

Join an online career advice blog or sign up for a career newsletter. Many professional career coaches offer important career transition advice at no charge to you through online blogs. Add your comments and get engaged in the process. If you were thinking of buying a house, you would want to start reading about the real estate market, wouldn't you? Same principle applies here.

Here are a few blogs to consider:
Blue Sky Resumes
BullsEyeResumes Article Directory - Free Content for Websites and Ezines

Find other blogs here:

Many people blog about their work, jobs and careers. It is wise to observe safe blogging practices when you are talking about your work. Many people do not. Here is a CNN Money article that will give you some pointers.