Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Will You Need More Training After College?

If you are in the Class of 2008 and not feeling completely prepared, you are not alone.

Having worked with many college grads over the years, the fear of feeling like one does not know enough is not unusual. Employers and colleges are recognizing that additional training might be required to get new grads on the right path.

In an article published in the Deseret Morning News, Wendy Leonard says, "Colleges and universities dump a lot of graduates into the work force, and yet some in the work force still needs additional, specialized training to perform well in the jobs they choose."

Salt Lake Community College and Utah College of Applied Technology are offering programs that allow employers to tailor courses to meet employment needs.

If you are graduating and feel you are not completely prepared you might want to consider additional training when you evaluate companies to begin your career. You might want to look for companies that can offer you training in some of the following areas:

-team building
-leadership or supervisory training
-customer service and client relations
-interpersonal skills
-project management

Consider working on professional certifications also to help your professional development.

Check out professional associations in the career areas you are considering and look at certifications that these organizations support.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

College Enrollment Soars for Career Changers after Job Loss

"I lost my job in October through corporate downsizing because of the economy," said Deanna Helton, formerly a title insurance underwriter in Florida. "It was a complete shock. They announced there would (be) 1,100 layoffs nationwide, but I never expected it would be my position."

38-year-old DeAnna Helton has returned to college. (Daytona NewsJournal Online)

Florida's college head count dropped when construction and hurricane clean up jobs were readily available. The article continues that these jobs have disappeared as the housing slump takes it's toll on the construction sector.

Daytona Beach Community College has seen a 28% increase in the number of students since 2005.

The State University System of Florida reports 13.4 percent more people applied to graduate school in 2007 than the prior year.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Can a Vocational Graduate Use a Functional Resume

There are three fundamental resume formats typically used by candidates who are job hunting.

-Chronological resume lays out education and work in reverse chronological order.
-A Functional resume clusters skills in 2-4 major groups.
-Combination resume uses both formats to create a cohesive marketing tool.

Job seekers in vocational training can experiment with all 3 styles of resume writing.

Consider the Functional Resume format for your job search if:

1. You have a diverse professional background and may be changing careers after completing your vocational training.

2. If you are completing career or vocational training after a gap in employment. A parent returning to the workforce after raising a family could write a functional resume to cover up employment gaps.

3. You want to showcase transferable job skills that you developed outside of your current work. eg. The functional resume is a great way to show skills developed through volunteer work or the military.

4. If you have done the same work for multiple organizations and you want to avoid repeating job descriptions.

5. You are a older worker who wants to show only relevant skills.

Vocational Sample Resumes

Saturday, January 26, 2008

10 Ways to Ace the Phone Interview

The phone interview or phone screening is really an important part of the job search. Blow the phone interview or phone screening and your chances of going further as a job candidate are slim.

Phone interviews have become a practical way for recruiters to narrow the field of candidates while keeping recruiting costs down. It is a great way to screen the initial field of candidates and make some preliminary decisions about setting up face-to-face meetings or to terminate the jobseekers' candidacy.

1. Find a quiet spot to do your phone interview. The last thing you want is to have distracting noises in the background, be they children, pets, music or just a noisy street.

2. Do not accept phone interview calls at your current work place or office, during working hours.

3. If you are using your cell phone, find a place where signal strength is strong and stay there until you finish the call.

4. Speak clearly and watch your tone and energy level. One seasoned recruiter from a Big 4 Accounting firm shared with me that job seekers who sounded drowsy or low energy usually were not called again.

5. Be professional and polite in your phone interview. If you are on a speaker phone, acknowledge everyone who is listening to you.

6. Watch your use of slang.

7. Listen carefully. Since you are not in front of the recruiter, you can't read their body language so it is very important that you listen carefully and answer clearly.

8. Ask questions in the phone interview. The most important question you should ask is to schedule the face-to-face interview which gets you closer to the job you seek.

9. Smile. Your pleasant persona will actually come across over the phone. A fellow call center manager with whom I worked several years ago actually kept a mirror in her desk drawer. You knew she was on the phone with an irate customer when she took it out.

10. Be very clear about the next steps when you get off the phone. Wrap up by clarifying details about the next steps for you as a job applicant. Do not get off the phone before restating your interest in the position.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Virtual Career Fair for International Students in STEM Disciplines

In a recent press release the National Association of Colleges and Employers shared their response to the shortage of graduates from STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) in the US. Their answer? A Virtual career fair for international students.

The virtual career fair is “designed to make it easier for employers and international students to find each other, so that talent and opportunity can come together in productive ways for candidates and organizations,” says Marilyn Mackes, NACE executive director.

This virtual career fair will be open to:

1. U.S. employers with overseas operations who want to expand their global work force.

2. Global employers who are seeking candidates currently studying in the United States who wish to return to their home countries for internships or careers beyond graduation.

3. International employers with offices in the United States looking to hire candidates with international skills.

4. International students currently attending NACE-member colleges and universities in the United States who:
- Want to return to their home country for full-time or internship opportunities.
- Are currently pursuing one-year Optional Practical Training (OPT) and/or long-term opportunities in the United States.
- Are currently pursuing summer Curricular Practical Training (CPT) internships in the United States.

Employers will begin posting internships and job opportunities on January 22, 2008. The virtual career fair will open to students in February.

Mark your calendars and check for updates here!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Do You Make These Mistakes in a Panel Interview?

The panel interview, sometimes referred to as the "tag-team interview" or the "team interview", can cause great stress for some candidates. The thought of meeting with just one hiring manager in a job interview can be terrifying enough.

The key to managing this kind of interview stress is the same for managing other types of job interviews – Preparation. Doing the required company research and knowing what you want will increase your confidence level in the job interview regardless of the number of interviewers.

Plan for your panel interview in the same way you would for all other interviews and don't let the thought of multiple interviewers or recruiters in the job search add to your stress.

Here are a few tips based on some of the questions that candidates ask about meeting with an interview panel.

1. Make eye contact with more than one person on the panel.

2. Take extra copies of your resume and business cards to the interview.

3. Do not be distracted by strange or odd behaviors you perceive from the interviewers.

4. Try to get contact information for the interview panel. You will want to talk to everyone.

5. Feel free to ask questions of any or all the interviewers on the panel. You may get additional insight into other areas of the company.

6. Manage your stress before, not during, the panel interview. Get there early so you will have time for some deep breathing exercise before you get before the panelists.

(Read the complete article here at

Changing Careers? Check Out LifeScript's Career Quizzes

Most of us like to take online career quizzes. We especially love them if they are short and will take us less than about 10 minutes to complete. Here are a few to bookmark at

There are certainly no guarantees that you will get any more than enjoyment out of these quizzes, but they certainly might be a good way to spend 10 minutes and break up a day.

LifeScript actually has other quick quizzes that might have little or no impact on your career choices, but fun anyway.

Parenting; Health; Money;
Fitness; Food & Diet

Manufacturing Jobs are Not Completely Gone

Although the US has lost millions of manufacturing jobs to countries like China, there are still opportunities for employment in the manufacturing sector. In a study on the issue, the U.S. Labor department reported that too few young people consider manufacturing careers and often are unaware of the skills needed in the more advanced environments. As more and more baby boomers retire, the problem is expected to accelerate.

Here are how some states, schools and companies are collaborating to address the labor shortfall directly through vocational training.

State of Wisconsin
Wisconsin governor Jim Doyle announces tax credits for manufacturing businesses. Under the "Next Generation Manufacturing" program, existing tax credit programs will be consolidated into an $85 million tax credit program to assist companies that are creating jobs and training workers to develop the Wisconsin labor pool. The goal of the program is to create 5,000 new jobs and to train 4,000 workers for existing jobs in Wisconsin.

Northwest-Shoals Community College in Alabama
Enrollment at Northwest-Shoals Community College in Alabama has increased 3 percent over last year's figures, to 3,250 students. College president, Humphrey Lee, attributes the increase to three factors: distance education and the welding and machine tool technology programs where enrollment is up 50 percent. A Canadian company, North Alabama Corporation, that builds railcars is a major employer in the region and needs welders and machinists.

Hamill Manufacturing
In a 2007 survey from the National Association of Manufacturers, 20% of small to medium manufactures cited retaining or training employees as their primary concern. One manufacturer feeling the effects is precision parts maker Hamill Manufacturing, near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

This maker of high end parts for military helicopters and nuclear submarines is currently has machines without operators. In a Reuters story, John Dalrymple, president of Hamill, says the factory working under capacity is not the result of a shortage of business, in fact he has more orders than the company can fill. Instead the machines have no operators because of a shortage of skilled workers.

Hamill Manufacturing invests an average of $120,000 per apprentice to try and train the qualified workforce they need.

Keep in mind that there is still general decline in the low skilled manufacturing sector in the US. Job seekers who are considering careers in the sector, must do the needed research to find the pockets of growth and specific niche areas where job skills are in demand.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Don't have to be an "A" student for a great high school resume

Writing your first, second or even third high school resume is not easy. No one ever said it was. Having said that, however, writing your first, second or even third high school resume is probably easier than mastering some of the popular video games our teens know so well.

One of the big obstacles I have seen to getting teens to even sit down and take a swag at writing a high school resume, is fear that their grades are too low. Teens as well as high school counselors have shared with me in workshops that some students think only the “bright” students or “brainiacs” have anything to put on a high school resume.

Besides, teen job seekers feel most employers don’t really even want a high school resume so why bother to do one. They believe that all the employer wants them to do to get the job is complete a job application.

My usual response is to agree that most employers are still fine with only a job application. However, I stress to teens that it is very important, especially if they feel their grades might be a hindrance, that they increase their marketability by writing a high school resume.

If your teen is not an A student, the high school resume is the way to stand out from all the other job applicants. It is definitely a way to impress the employer.

Employers tell us time after time which key behaviors they look for as they hire people for jobs. Although the list of employer requirements will change from job to job, these fundamentals have basically remained the same for years.

Below are 4 of the key behaviors that you can show on your high school resume if you feel your grades are too low. These skills and behaviors will impress employers and demonstrate you are the person for the job, whether you are an A student or not. Consider the following examples of activities to include on your high school resume.

Good communication skills
Can you read, write and speak without using slang? Cite examples of specific classes where you did really well by doing presentations, term papers or public speaking. Also identify any clubs or organizations on campus that have allowed you to improve your speaking abilities.

Honesty and Integrity
Are you trustworthy and will others vouch for you? If you have been really helpful to a teacher or have been in a trusted role to monitor activities, you can use these examples on your high school resume.

Teamwork and Interpersonal Communication
Do you get along well with others? Are you on any teams at school or have been called on to lead any groups or projects? Cite these examples to show what you will be able to do on the job.

Work Ethic
Are you a hard worker? Can you demonstrate the amount of responsibilities you have? Do you have a skill or an interest that was self taught? For example can you create Podcasts or create web pages and learned how to do that on your own or by following instructions?

The simple fact is that all of us have talents that could be an asset on the job. You must demonstrate these job skills on your high school resume.

A part time job as a high school student might be just the exposure teens need to help them realize what their likes and dislikes are at work. There may even be an improvement in grades as teens realize their options could be limited without academic achievement. In the meantime, high school students should draft the best high school resume they can with the intention of continuing to build their job skills.

Once the resume is complete, email it to BullsEyeResumes for a free high school resume critique. Follow up also and read all the High School Resume FAQs and High School Interview FAQs to prepare for the summer job search.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Free Online Career Evaluation

Successful career planning requires constant self evaluation. It is important to know where you are and if you are staying current.

Check out these two free quizzes at JobSniper that will help you evaluate your current career situation.

1. Professional Online Career Evaluation - Select your location in the US, Canada or the UK.

2. Job Hunter Exam - 24 True/False questions that helps you shore up your job search skills.

Going Back to Work After Children

Found a great article to share with those of you who might be considering going back to work after staying at home and raising a family.

Back to School = Back to Work by Dawn Rosenberg McKay

For those of you with not enough time to read the entire article, here are some of the highlights:

1. You and your family must make the decision based on the needs of everyone involved
2. Plan for the unexpected such as a sick child or family member
3. Think about where you want your career to go. Consider meeting with a career

One additional tip I want to suggest? Explore multiple options and talk with others who have made that transition as well.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008 Lists Top Entry-Level Employers for 2007

If you are a 2008 college grad who is getting ready to start your career search, here is a list you can work with.

Although this list is for hires in 2007, it is still a great place to start. I have included the top 30 companies from the list here. However, I encourage you to explore your options and research the entire list of top entry-level employers at

Avoid the tendency to only look at names that you recognize!

Employer Name and Projected 2007 Entry Level Hires

Enterprise Rent-A-Car 8000
Walgreen Company 4600
Lockheed Martin 4500
PricewaterhouseCoopers 4200
Peace Corps 4000
Ernst & Young 3525
Deloitte & Touche USA LLP 3500
Target 3035
KPMG 3000
Schlumberger 3000
Teach For America 3000
U.S. Department of Agriculture 3000
Avis Budget Group 2500
Bank of America 2500
Hertz 2500
Fidelity Investments 2250
U.S. Customs and Border Protection 2250
Boeing 2200
Allegis Group 2000
State Street 2000
U.S. Marines 2000
84 Lumber 1700
Intel 1500
National Security Agency 1500
Northrop Grumman 1500
UBS Investment Bank 1500
Southwest Airlines 1400
PNC Financial Services Group 1350
Jos. A. Bank Clothiers 1300
Microsoft 1300

Consider a Military Career After High School

Are you graduating from high school this year and considering your career options?

You might want to consider a career in the military.

Read more or call to find recruiting locations near you.

Army - 800.USA.ARMY
US Marines - 800.MARINES
Navy - 800.USA.NAVY
Air Force - 800.423.USAF
Coast Guard - 800.424.8883
Army National Guard - 800.TO.GO.ANG
Air National Guard - 800.GO.GUARD

Two additional resources:
Military Spot

Read an article from Denise Witmer called Five Reasons Your Young Adult Should Consider the Military

If you don't have time to read the entire article here are the major advantages the author identifies as advantages of a military career.

1. Maturity, Focus, Pride
2. Education Benefits
3. On-the-job Training
4. Lifetime career
5. Veteran's Benefits

Monday, January 14, 2008

Technical Skills are Vital to Michigan's Future

So says an editorial in the Detroit News of January 10th.

The editorial reports results of two recent surveys that says that thousands of jobs are currently waiting for those who qualify.

A survey of clients of the Accident Fund, a worker compensation insurance firm, found that 30,940 jobs in the small to mid size business sector could go unfilled.

The other study done for Automation Alley noted that salaries for skilled workers grew even though the number of jobs in the region shrunk. Automation Alley is a business and government group in southeast Michigan that supports the region's technology industry.

The study reports that 2004-2005 saw a 5.1 percent increase in the average wage in the technology.

The study implies that as Michigan bounces back from 7.6% unemployment rate in December 2007, technical skills will be in demand.

Employees willing to jump into technical programs and vocational training should reap benefits.

Learn more about technical, vocational training programs in Michigan.

Have You Considered a Career in Nursing?

The U.S. Labor Department in it's projection out to 2016, reports that registered nurses were at the top of the list of occupations with the largest growth. They are projecting that there should be 587,000 nurses working by then.

A cousin of mine retired at 50 from a major international chemical company and moved to Florida five years ago. After a few months of relaxation, she enrolled in Daytona Beach Community College and completed an Associates of Science degree in Nursing.

She is just one of that new kind of retiree who is pursuing completely different careers in retirement.

Learn more about Nursing and other healthcare programs in your area.

6 Interview Dont's from Presidential Race

1. Don’t make false claims about your past job performance. False claims about work performance can easily be verified. This is especially important if you are trying to stretch the truth or clearly fabricating information. Recruiters and hiring managers are spending a lot of money to verify prior job information included in resumes and on job applications.

5. Don't schedule your interview at a time when your energy level is low. Sometimes you have no choice about the time you schedule a job interview, but many times you do. Some people are not "morning people" and early interviews are a killer. Fatigue shows not only in the glazed over look on your face, slow rambling speech and even in the way you sit in the seat. To keep your energy level up, make sure you are well rested and have eaten.

2. Don’t use cliché terms that everyone is tired of hearing. Everyone understands that there are industry buzz words that come with every job. Using them will give your interviewers an indication of how well you understand the issues and could be an indicator of how well you will do on the job. However, imagine you were the interviewer and had to listen to a number of job candidates back to back and they all said exactly the same thing in exactly the same way. After a while, you, like the interviewer might tune out as well.

3. Don’t speak badly of your current employer or try to distance yourself from your present affiliations. The interview is not the place to talk about how right you have been when everyone else on your team was bad.

4. Don’t get angry in the stress interview. You really do not want recruiters, hiring managers, or your competitors for that matter, to really see you sweat. Interviewers are looking for rational behavior to have confidence in your ability to execute well on the job in the future.

6. Don't be arrogant. Interviewers and hiring managers are not keen on hiring arrogant team members. Of course there is a fine line sometimes between confidence, which you do want to show and arrogance.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Checklist to Proofread a Teen Resume

After writing a first resume draft, put your high school resume aside for a day or two.

On day three, use the following checklist as a guide to proofread your resume.

1. Check all the spelling and grammar. Use spell check in your word processor!
2. Verify that all the contact information is correct and current.
3. Make sure the education section has graduation date and current status.
4. Make sure all relevant honors and achievements are included.
5. Keep education information in top 30% of the high school resume.
6. Do not include the names of your references in your high school resume.
7. Limit your high school resume to one page.
8. Make sure you used the same font consistently.
9. Keep bullets and general formatting consistent also.
10. Include volunteer work and community service.

You should also make sure your high school resume is critiqued by the career counseling staff at your school.

Your parents can help to proofread your high school resume as well.

High School Sample Resumes

Friday, January 11, 2008

Most Overrated Careers of 2008

Marty Nemko has crafted this list of the most overrated careers in an article for US News & World Report.

The list is subjective, and does not mean that people are not happy in these careers. These conclusions were derived from a review of books, articles, websites, forums, and blogs about people's experiences in careers, supplemented by confidential counseling sessions with 2,600 people over a period of two decades. By the way, Nemko says these are the jobs we see on television and think look really glamorous.

Here goes the list. Are you in one of these careers?

Advertising executive
Clinical psychologist
Medical scientist
Nonprofit manager
Police officer
Real estate agent
Small-business owner

As far as Teacher and Nonprofit Manager goes, I think people think these jobs allow people to really give back and make a contribution. Of course, everyone wants to be able to do that. Often, Teachers and Nonprofit Managers are overworked, underpaid and definitely unappreciated. They also work within bureaucracies that impede progress sometimes.

Regarding the other careers on the list? Most people just don't think about the training required to succeed in these careers or the high level of day to day stress involved. Most people might see high salaries, prestige and flexible schedules, but not much else.

Your thoughts?

Career Philly - An Amazing Resource for College Students in Philadelphia

CareerPhilly is one tool that the City of Philadelphia is using to attract and keep college graduates in the region.

Created by Knowledge Industry Partnership, (KIP) Career Philly is a student retention initiative to entice the 300,000 students attending the 83 colleges and universities, and the 50,000 that graduate annually, to remain and begin their professional careers in the region.

Career Philly:
- Hosts job and internship fairs for the regions' students
- Partners with regional college career centers
- Hosts a website full of job search resources

Through KIP, the OneBigCampus program was developed to impact students as they progress from prospects deciding where to attend college (CampusVisit), to students attending college (Campus Philly), to graduates launching their careers (Career Philly).

Call up city hall and see what your city offers!

If you live in Pennsylvania, find career resources on our Pennsylvania at Work Blog as well.

Vocational Job Board and Education Website

Check out if you are hunting for jobs requiring vocational training and career education. JobaLot also offers resources for vocational training and career education.

Check out

Select job type, city and state. Use larger metropolitan areas to get the best results.

Happy Job Hunting!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Employers attracted to older workers' experience

Although employers are attracted to older workers and their experience, they are concerned about the healthcare costs associated with an older workforce.

While employers find the work ethic and experience of older workers attractive a 2005-2006 MetLife Employee Benefits Trend Study found that "81 percent of senior managers ranked healthcare costs as their top concern."

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is estimating that the number of workers 55 and older will increase by 50% between 2002 and 2012.

Whatever you can do to tame the fears of employers about the potential costs is important. Here are two reasons that some experts and employers are pointing to that might help you to manage the employer fears here.

- After age 65, workers will be eligible for Medicare, which will make the company health plan a secondary provider, cutting the employer's cost.
- Workers in that age group are less likely to have children who need coverage in the company's health plan.
- Let them know as well if you are already covered in alternative plans.

The AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) is promoting the value of older workers as well, by urging employers to meet the needs of this segment of the workforce by "offering more flexible schedules, providing updated training and using retired workers as consultants."

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Are You Watching the Presidential Campaign?

The news is that college students are engaged in this process this election cycle as they haven't before. This is a good thing since the current presidential campaign can have the following impact on your future career:

- The unemployment rate went up to 5% this past December. Is that an indicator of the job market for the Class of 2008 and 2009?
- How will the cost of healthcare impact your entry level career and entry level salaries?
- How can government affect or offset the rising costs of higher education?
- How will competition from China or off shoring jobs to Asia affect your job, major and career choices over the next few years?
- What does international security and instability mean for your career choices and options?
- What lessons are you learning about how bad behavior can follow you in this time of 24 hour media?

There is no shortage of questions and hopefully our college students are paying attention!

6 Interview Do's from Presidential Race

It is impossible to watch the current Democratic and Republican presidential debates and not think about some interview Do's and Don'ts. Of course most of us could not withstand these "interviews from hell" but we can at least learn something as we watch from the sidelines.

Here are some of the interview do's we have seen in the 9 way race between Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Rudi Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, John McCain, Barack Obama, Bill Richardson, Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson.

Interview Do’s
1. Do talk about prior job accomplishments where you worked with a team to reach a successful outcome. Just be clear that you were a part of a team and didn't do everything by yourself. It's not believable.

2. Do speak to outstanding outcomes in clear and concise terms. Avoid the urge to over sell prior job "accomplishments". This is especially true if these prior outcomes are easily verified. Especially, if when closely scrutinized, they might yield less than flattering results.

3. Do bring your personality into the job interview. Hiring managers are not looking for robots. They are looking for real people to do real work. They are turned off by energy, animation or a sense of humor, if done in excess. Interviewers appreciate real people who let their positive persona shine through.

4. Do answer the specific questions asked. Sometimes a long preamble and set up for the answer will have your audience, the hiring manager, fading away, zoning out or thinking you aren't truly listening.

5. Do own your failures. There is nothing as unimpressive as someone in a job interview who cannot or will not speak to any lessons learned from prior career missteps. Especially if asked directly. You do not need to dwell on job failures, but you need to acknowledge them at least. It comes across as disingenuous if you don't.

6. Do speak to transferable job skills. No two careers are identical. People go in different directions and therefore have different stories to tell. The key is to focus on your transferability of job skills from one situation to the next.

I will keep adding others as I see them. Feel free to add your thoughts as well?

Sunday, January 6, 2008

January is "Get Organized" Month - Are you organized for Career Reentry

The National Association of Professional Organizers celebrate January as "Get Organized" month.

If you are planning career reentry here are some tips to help you "Get Organized" and get ready:

1. Do you know where your resume is? When was the last time you looked at it? Is it updated? Read the Career Reentry Resume FAQs to find the latest on resume writing.

2. Organize your wardrobe and see how many pieces of clothing you have suited for professional attire. Get your suit out of moth balls.

3. Where are your certificates, degrees or proof of training or education you have?

4. Have you read the 30-Day Career Fitness Plan for National Career Development Month? (Read ALL the November 2007 blog entries)

5. Have you taken care of the issues that kept you out of the workplace?

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Career Placement at Your School - Can They Help?

If you are enrolled in a vocational training program, your school probably has a career placement office. Do not let that name fool you, however, since no one can actually “place” you in a job.

They can, however, help get your foot in the door by doing the following things to support your job search:

1. Develop strong relationships with employers
2. Secure job leads
3. Post job leads for students
4. Assist you to create a stronger resume
5. Help with interview practice and preparation
6. Coach you on general job search etiquette
7. Host employers for on-campus interviews
8. Provide faculty and administration with feedback about training demanded by industry

Despite all they do, YOU ultimately will be in the interview by YOURSELF and you must sell your skills to employers.

A proactive student in a career training or vocational training program must take responsibility for his/her own job search.

Keep in mind also that you will have to conduct a successful job search many times throughout your career. Gaining the skills to do it successfully is critical to your long term professional success.

Grads Still Looking For a Job

Congratulations to you if you graduated in December.

If you graduated and have not yet secured a position, here are some tips for the post graduation job search.

1. First and foremost - Do not panic! You are not alone and keep in mind there are still great opportunities available.

2. Reconsider your options and parameters eg relocation, salary, commute etc.

3. Explore multiple industries. eg Psychology majors do not all work in Healthcare but are in demand in other industries as well.

4. Sign up for alumni career services with your campus career center.

5. Commit to and schedule daily job search activities. Set a minimum activity schedule daily and work on it.

6. Consider post graduation internships and fellowships.

7. Read the Resume FAQs at BullsEyeResumes-College and make sure you are on the right track.

8. Consider travel with a purpose. (Read - Congratulations! You Graduated From College; Now What?)

Contrary to what a lot of people think, January is typically a hot job search month and steady and consistent is what will pay off in the long run.

Here is additional reading that will help:

6 Avoidable Errors College Grads Should Watch For
Looking for the Right Place to Work? Do Your Research!
Education And Training Are Key Resume Builders - Make It Count!
Congratulations! You Graduated From College; Now What?
Looking for a Job? Make it Easy for Recruiters to Find You

January is "Get Organized Month"

The National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) celebrates the month of January as National Get Organized Month.

In their January press release to announce the month, NAPO President, Standolyn Robertson, says “Getting organized is one of the top 5 New Year’s resolutions people make and January is the perfect month to get organized".

Here are NAPO's suggested goals for workplace organization this month.

• Bring structure, logic, and control to your organization at all levels.
• Optimize workflow to increase productivity, reduce stress, and heighten profitability.
• Build companywide systems or define responsibilities for individual employees.
• Motivate the team with real solutions to the everyday or ongoing challenges of too much to do, changing priorities, and information overload.

Some quick action items from BullsEyeResumes for workplace organization this month:
1. Get your calendar in gear
2. Clean out your desk drawers
3. Bring some life into your office or cubicle - add a plant or change your photos!
4. Organize your files
5. Get rid of broken, old stuff - too many offices have old, dusty knick knacks that overwhelm a space

Set some time aside to do a quick office makeover monthly to stay on top of office clutter.

Friday, January 4, 2008

High School Sample Resumes

If you are a high school teenager planning to go job hunting for a part time job soon, here are two resources to help complete ahighschool resume.

1. High School sample resumes from BullsEyeResumes.

2. Read the Resume FAQs and use the sample high school resumes. Email your completed resume to mr (at) BullsEyeResumes (dot)com for a free resume critique.
1. Select the "My First Resume" link.
2. Fill in the easy form and click "Get Resume"
Although it is not saved and you will need to print it out, it can be a good simple way to quickly get started.

Good luck writing your first high school resume!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

What information should I include in my high school resume?

There are several online resume writing resources to help you get a high school resume complete.

Your first stop? The career counseling office at your high school.

Once you begin, you will find it is not that difficult to write your first high school resume, if you keep in mind the following FIVE key areas to be included in the resume.

1. NAME and CONTACT - Make sure this is current and correct.

2. OBJECTIVE - What is the purpose of your high school resume? A sample objective for a high school resume could be - "Seeking a summer internship position in retail".

3. EDUCATION and SPECIAL TRAINING - List the most recent or highest achievements and work backwards in time for a chronological resume.

4. EXPERIENCE- What have you done? include volunteering in the community or working in a family business.

5. SPECIAL SKILLS - Include language skills or advanced computer skills.

Other potential information to include on your high school resume?

1.Volunteer or community service
2.Interests eg web design, church or school clubs and bands
3.Activities eg ROTC
4.Awards eg Acknowledgements for participation or outstanding work
5.Membership - Joined any clubs or teams?
6.Leadership - Selected to lead teams or groups? Started a group or rejuvenated an old group?
7.Classes - Taken honors classes or classes outside of school?

The high school resume is the place to showcase your talents and is only a part of the job search.

Once you have a good high school resume, be professional with all your contacts and get help with interview preparation.

Read High School Interview FAQs

Submit completed high school resume to for a FREE resume critique.

Connect with Your College Career Center

If you are heading back to college soon, it is a good time to start preparing for interviews on your college campus this spring. Chances are your college career center has already scheduled several big events for you to meet employers. Use these opportunities to learn more about companies, careers and internship programs they offer.

The recent Job Outlook 2008 survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers shows that employers are expecting to increase college hiring by 16 %. Employers are projecting that the 2007-08 recruiting season will be highly competitive for this year’s crop of new graduates. This is the fifth consecutive year in which employers have projected double-digit increases which is exciting news for the class of 2008.

As you prepare return to school, go online and take a look at your college career center calendar for some of the following types of events already scheduled:

- On campus job fairs, career fairs and internship fairs - These events allow organizations to come to campus for a big recruiting event. Usually held in a central campus location and open to students of all years, alumni and sometimes even community members.

- Employer Information Tables - Organizations, usually one at a time, visit your campus to meet students and sometimes alumni. The typically are sharing general company information, but might also be doing positive recruiting for internships, part time jobs and entry level careers open at that time.

- Campus interviews - College students have an amazing opportunity to meet recruiters and HR Managers right there on campus, conveniently between classes.

- Employer panel discussions - Usually comprised of 3 to 5 different company representatives speaking to a specific career development issue.

Here are some ways you can use the rest of your time at home to prepare:

1. Get important dates on your calendar. Whether you use your phone, a paper calendar or an online calendar - get important dates on your calendar immediately. Before you know it the semester has started and your schedule is out of hand.

2. Register online with the career center. Registration gives college students access to the latest information about employer campus visits and layout the process for participating in interviews. Whether you college career center uses MonsterTrak, eRecruiting, NaceLink, Simplicity or a custom program designed for them, this is probably the best way for them to communicate with you.

3. If you don't already have a suit or other professional attire, get one. (Read - Avoid Wardrobe Malfunctions When Dressing For The Interview) It is important that you put your best foot forward during on campus interviews and a good suit that fits you well, is one sure way to do that.

4. Take a look at who is coming to campus to conduct interviews and pay attention to job application deadlines or GPA requirements.

5. Get your resume, cover letter and thank you letter ready. Your campus career center offers free resources to help you with all of these. In many cases you can download resume samples from your career center website. Once you have completed your resume, drop in to your career center for a free critique or even get your resume critiqued via email.

College students should know they have real advocates working on their behalf in their college career centers. Their goal is to help students with their career development process and to make facilitate meetings between students and employers. Make a visit to your college career center as soon as you return to school.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

So 2008 is Here - Relax About the New Year Resolutions

A happy New Year to all!

I was talking with a friend today who shared that she was already stressing out about the New Year's resolutions she might not be able to keep.

Another friend reminded her that the purpose of creating the resolutions is to enhance our lives, not to add to our stress levels.

I thought it might be a good idea to start the year right by quickly measuring our tendencies towards typical Type A behavior. This free assessment at Eli Bay; The Relaxation Response Institute in Canada will take you less than 10 minutes to complete.

Once you complete the assessment, you might want to add stress management to your list of New Year's resolutions for 2008.

Based on what the pundits are saying, 2008 might have some workplace challenges in store for us.

The more we know about our tendencies, the better.

These two articles from BullsEyeResumes can help keep you positive this year.

Identify Workplace Stressors and Take Steps to Manage Your Day
A Positive Attitude is Key to Successful Career Transitions

Become a Tax Preparer This Tax Season

Did you know that:
- In 2004 there were 86,000 tax preparers in the US
- Tax preparers earned a median wage of $13.15 per hour
- 50.3% of Tax Preparers have high school or less and some college, but not completed a college degree

If you think you would want to help people at tax time and reenter the workforce on a part time basis, think about becoming a tax preparer this tax season.

Some of the activities involved in a tax payer's day-to-day work?
-Process & Evaluate Information to determine compliance with standards
-Use relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards
-Interact and listen to customers
-Use computers, computer systems and tax preparation software
-Analyze data and information

Here are some related occupations that are projecting high demand to consider also:
-Credit Analysts
-Insurance Underwriters
-New Accounts Clerks
-Insurance Claims Clerks

Find out more about becoming a Tax Preparer by looking at tax training programs at:
National Tax Training School
H & R Block tax Courses
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) near you.

Consider also volunteering with a local Tax Preparer to see if a career would be a possibility for you. Not only do they need an amazing amount of help this time of year, you could be developing skills that will help you in the long run.