Friday, October 31, 2008

US Oilfield Deaths Have Risen Sharpley

I look through job boards all the time and came across several websites offering jobs in the oil and gas industry. One had the following opening paragraph -

Imagine, within the next two short weeks we could potentially get you working in an oil industry position paying upwards of $100,000 per year! If you're absolutely serious about landing a high paying oil industry job, then you must apply today so we can attempt to get you working in the next few weeks!

From reading the testimonials it would appear that it would be relatively easy to land a six figure income working on an oil rig in a pretty short time.

A little more research led me to an AP article addressing the significant increase in the number of fatalities on oil and gas rigs.

Did you know that almost 600 workers died on the job in a US oil field between 2002 and 2007? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics during that period, the number of deaths per year rose by around 70 percent, from 72 victims in 2002 to 125 in 2006 and a preliminary count of 120 in 2007.

There has been a surge in the number of people employed in the nation's oil and gas fields since 2000. Many of the deaths have happened in Texas, which is the nation's largest producer of crude oil and natural gas.

Some of the factors experts blame for the increase in fatalities:
- New, inexperienced workers who speak very little English
- High pressure work environment where workplace safety lapses are common
- Drug and alcohol use among workers. Some may be turning to speed to get through 12hour shifts.
- Misuse of heavy machinery that can maim and kill easily

"A lot of the rig crews are made up of people who were working at Wal-Mart yesterday. Literally," said Mark Altom of the Woodard, Okla.-based Energy Training Council.

Source - AP

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Top 26 Wierd Jobs from Survey

This year’s top picks are:

A - Autopsy assistant
B - Bartender at the Liberace mansion
C - Cat nanny
D - Donkey trainer
E - Elf at Santa’s workshop
F - FBI Fingerprint examiner
G - Grave digger
H - Hurricane hunter
I - Ice sculpture carver
J - Junk mail machine operator
K- Kitty litter box decorator
L - Laser tag referee
M - Magician’s assistant
N - Nuclear electrician on a submarine
O - Opera singer
P - Parachute tester
Q - Quality control/taster for chocolate factory
R - Romance specialist
S - Scratcher (scratched backs for patients)
T - Turkey wrangler
U - Undercover vice decoy
V - Video game tester
W - Wallpaper peeler
X - X-ray technician for zoo animals
Y - Yawn counter at a sleep clinic
Z - Zamboni driver

Philadelphia Apprenticeship Opportunity for Electricians

Local Union No. 380, IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) in Collegeville, PA takes applications on a year-round basis for their apprenticeship program. The latest announcement from the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC) advises that the deadline for applying for the next selection process is November 26, 2008.

To be eligible for the apprenticeship program, persons must:

- be at least 18 years old
- be a high school graduate or possess GED
- have completed a full year of high school algebra with a passing grade or one post high school algebra class with a passing grade
- provide official transcripts
- attend scheduled notified meetings for eligible applicants
- achieve qualifying score on the IBEW/NECA (National Electrical Contractors Association) NJATC aptitude test

The JATC will conduct oral interviews of qualified applicants on an as needed basis.

For more on apprenticeship programs for electricians:

Pennsylvania at Work Blog as well.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Attention Class of 2009! Where are You in Your Job Search?

Although the news is mixed and changing from one day to the next, I think we can generally agree that the economy is in somewhat of a tailspin right about now. Regardless of how things unfold day by day, if you are job hunting you must keep a longer term view of your job search. Our goal here at BullsEye is to help you stay focused on securing a full time career after graduation or a competitive internship or fellowship opportunity.

The University of Minnesota has a great online tool, that is very similar to a checklist or career test I used during my time as a Career Counselor.

This checklist has thirty statements, each requiring a simple "Yes" or "No" response.

Questions are listed in 3 categories to measure different things:

A. What You Know About Yourself and Your Preferences
eg. I can name my favorite work activities.

B. What You Know About Employers
eg. I have researched at least three fields of employment.

C. Your Job-Seeking Contacts With Employers
I have prepared a resume with which I am satisfied.

It will take a few minutes to do this quick assessment and the results will help you, the upcoming college grads know where they are in the job search you are right now.

Once you answer the questions, take the results to your college career center to help you develop a job search strategy for troubling times.

Take the assessment here!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Apprenticeships for VoTech Graduates

College students looking to gain practical job skills in careers offering high hourly wages and future stable employment should consider an Apprenticeship training program.

Many college graduates are opting to add a recognized apprenticeship program after completing 2-year college programs.

The Department of Labor defines registered apprenticeships as follows:

"Registered apprenticeships are formalized career training programs that offer a combination of structured on-the-job training and related technical instruction to employees. The goal is to train employees in occupations that demand a high level of skill.

Apprenticeship training standards are industry-driven; an industry or program sponsor determines the skill requirements needed to build and sustain a quality workforce.

The apprenticeships can last from one to six years based on the occupation. The apprentice works and learns under the direction or experienced journey workers and typically salaries will increase as these college graduates gain more training.

The Department of Labor offers several online brochures to give more information on apprenticeship programs in multiple industries.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Stop Muddling Through Your Job Search - Get Focused!

I overheard a conversation on the train recently. One jobseeker was explaining to another rider how hard it has been to find a new job. From what I could tell, both were employed, but one was clearly more frustrated with her job than the other. It sounded like the more frustrated of the two was actually looking very hard for a new job. She recounted her experience at a recent job fair where she handed out many resumes to several companies.

When she was asked what kind of job she was looking for, she said, "Anything really."

I am not sure she realized just how much of a negative effect that lack of clarity and focus would have on her job search.

An effective job search strategy must begin with an acknowledgement of what is possible for one's ideal job. I am not talking here about "dream jobs". I am at least talking about knowing the basics like:

- Industry preference - retail? healthcare? education? banking?
- Type of work - administrative? call center? customer service? sales?
- Job skills you want to use - supervisory? training? writing?

I know that job seekers sometimes get desperate in the job search and think that they should expand their options. Many feel that if they limit their needs they are limiting the options. On the contrary, if you have no sense of what you want, you will show no passion in the search and employers will see that.

Muddling through the job search by applying for any and everything rather than focusing on your preferences, can make your search way more frustrating than it has to be.

Think about how much more impressive the job seeker could have been had she said, "I am looking for something in retail, where I can use my customer service skills. I really like training people so something where I get to do that would be important to me also."

The person hearing that information is much more likely to remember you when they come across a potential opportunity for you. Saying you will take "Anything", doesn't demonstrate lot of confidence and makes you forgettable.

Know what you want and stay focused by working towards the outcomes you want.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Why Starting a Business at Retirement Could Be a Bad Idea

Before you think I am crazy, you should know that I already wrote Starting a Business at Retirement is a Good Idea. To be fair and balanced, however, I have to share what I think is bad about starting a business at retirement.

Starting a business is a challenging proposition no matter how old you are. It takes energy, passion and a committment to 24-7 work. That might not be what you planned to do after retirement. If you can't see yourself waking up everyday prepared to work hard then maybe a business start-up is not for you.

Some of the things you need to think about?

If you do not have the energy to get-up-and-go, for whatever reason, do not think you are alone. You do not have to have health issues to just not have the drive to do long days anymore. Think about working part time rather than building a business. Starting a franchise does not make it easier, despite what you may have heard. As my big brother, an extraordinary entrepreneur, would say - buying a franchise is buying a job.

No time to make errors
Starting a business earlier in life means you might have several opportunities to recover from business errors. Several successful entrepreneurs started many enterprises before finding the right mix to succeed.

Learning curve
This is not to say that older people cannot learn or stay vibrant much later into life. This is not the case. Read my post about Paul Newman's career where he was driving race cars at 70 and producing TV shows at 80. Also read about the 73 year old college junior. Keep in mind we also have a candidate running for the US President at 72 years old. However, having said that, starting a new business, means you must be open, willing and able to learn new things and get new skills.

Set in your ways
Flexibility and adaptability are two key personal ingredients when starting a business. Many older people may be set in their ways and unwilling to change. This is not a bad thing, just a real thing. This is not just a reality for older workers. Inflexibility is an issue for younger people also when starting a business.

If you are sincerely interested in starting a business at retirement, make sure you mitigate the risk of losing your investment and your dream, by proceeding cautiously and only after doing honest self evaluation.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Considering a Career like Joe the Plumber?

The presidential campaign certainly has put one career solidly in focus over these last few weeks - Plumbing. Plumbing is a skilled trade and plumbers are well paid.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics shares these tidbits about Pipelayers, Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters:

- Although there are no uniform national licensing requirements, most States and communities require plumbers to be licensed.
- Most residential and industrial plumbers get their training in career and technical schools and community colleges and from on-the-job training.
- Applicants for union or nonunion apprentice jobs must be at least 18 years old and in good physical condition. Apprenticeship committees may require applicants to have a high school diploma or its equivalent.
- Job opportunities are expected to be very good, especially for workers with welding experience.

Industries and wages:
Median hourly earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters were:

Natural gas distribution - $24.91 hr
Nonresidential building construction - $21.30 hr
Plumbing, heating, and air-conditioning contractors - $20.44 hr
Utility system construction - $19.18 hr
Local government - $17.86 hr

Find information on plumbing apprenticeships here.

Vocational training programs at schools like Penn Foster can help students create a career like Joe the Plumber. The Penn Foster program can help students train for a plumbing career at home.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Should I Ask Questions in the Job Interview?

Yes. You should definitely ask questions in the job interview. Questions will show your interest in the part time job and that you did your research and know something about the company.

Think about and write your job interview questions down ahead of time. Do not be afraid to open your notes and read the questions.

Sample questions to ask in a job interview?

1. What non-routine tasks are involved with this part time job?

2. When do you want me to start working?

3. What do you like most about working here?

4. Who will be my supervisor?

5. How much training will I get?

6. How many people will I work with?

7. How may I contact you if I have more questions? Is there someone else I should speak with?

Most teens have a lot of energy and like to share their opinions. The job interview is not the time to be shy - Speak up!

Check out the BullsEyeResumes High School career blog for the latest job interview preparation tips.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Should You Be Allowed to Vote? Take This Test

In a perfect world we could have this quick quiz outside the polling station on election day so all who will vote will actually know a thing or two about the issues.

Take the quiz and see if you know the issues well enough to vote!

You Should Be Allowed to Vote

You got 15/15 questions correct.

Generally speaking, you're very well informed.

If you vote this election, you'll know exactly who (and what) you'll be voting for.

You're likely to have strong opinions, and you have the facts to back them up.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Career and Technical Education Best Alternative to 4-Year Colleges

The Career College Association (CCA) conducted a survey of 830 adults who were 18 and over in March. In a press release to share the results, The President of CCA, Harris Miller, stated:
"Most Americans realize and accept that a degree from a four-year university is not the right choice for all young people, and they see career colleges as better alternatives for skills development than community colleges by a nearly 3 to 1 margin. That fact speaks volumes.”

Certainly, four year colleges produce a large number of college grads in the US, however, they cannot meet the entire demand for qualified workers in a 21st economy. President Miller states that the survey offers convincing evidence that the US should be offering more skills training as part of higher education options.

Here are some of the findings from the survey:

1. When asked for the best alternatives to a 4 year college degree:
-45% said a career or technical school
-17% said community college
-23% said on the job training from employers

2. 65% of those responding says that the presidential candidates should pay more attention to ensuring a competitive American workforce.

3. 62% of the respondents felt that the average American has none to moderate opportunity to pursue higher education in America.

Friday, October 17, 2008

When Does High School Student Need a Resume?

Teenagers and high school students and graduates will need resumes to competitive in the economy today.

It is a good idea to get a resume ready since you will need to use resumes for the following:

- College applications
- Scholarship Applications
- Special Honors
- Grant applications
- Membership to clubs and organizations
- High School internship programs
- Volunteer opportunities
- Full time or part time work
- Finding a better job
- Getting a promotion at your current job

One good high school resume will work for most of these situations with just slight tweaking, depending on the requirements. Do not forget to ask for help at the career center or guidance counseling office at your high school. High School Sample Resumes.

Older Workers Should Create Positive Online Profiles

The internet should be adapted as part of the successful career reentry strategy for Baby Boomers and older workers. However, many are not using the available job search technology such as career blogs, job boards, online training and resume distribution or referral services.

One reason is fear due to the prevalence of online fraud targeting seniors. In 2004 alone the Federal Trade Commission reported that older Americans had lost over $150 million through these internet scams.

Older workers who want to develop an online job search strategy might want to include some of these practises in their processes:

- Secure your computer with anti virus software
- Use computers at local libraries or career one-stops
- Never enter your social security number as part of an online job search. If there is a request, send an email for clarification.
- Create a separate email account you will check regularly and that is accessible via the web. Use this email for your job search.
- Use niche job boards associated with specific industries and professional associations.

Additional reading:
- Job Hunting - Dust off your Online Persona
- Explore social networking sites
- Use job boards at professional association web sites

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Free "Cute" Career Tests from

I discovered this really cool, fun website - Blogthings - with several quizzes that will help you learn a little about yourself and your career habits. Disclaimer - Not sure we need one, but we need to say that career tests are tools and offer information to provoke your thinking. They do not replace your thoughts and these in particular offer no scientific observations.

Here is a list of career quizzes at Blogthings.

My favorite? What Should You be When You Grow Up. My results are below! I do consider myself an educator and do training. Maybe that counts as teaching? I think so. (;>

1. What Does Your Work Space Say About You?
2. How's Your Attention Span?
3. What Should You Be When You Grow Up?
4. Should You Get a New Job?
5. Are You a Natural Entrepreneur?
6. Is Your Boss Psycho?
7. The Quick and Dirty Career Test
8. Will You Be a Multimillionaire?
9. Do You Have a Type A Personality?
10. Should You Quit Your Job?
11. What Advanced Degree Should You Get?
12. How Machiavellian Are You?
13. What's Your Ideal Career?

You Should Be a Teacher

You are patient, optimistic, and good at explaining things.

You work well with all types of people, and you are a good role model.

Success and positive outcomes are extremely important to you.

You are both a good leader and instructor. People look up to and depend on you.

You do best when you:

- Can see the results of your work

- Are able to teach someone a new skill

You would also be a good nurse or non fiction writer.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

San Diego Hybrid High School/College

The San Diego school district in California has a new hybrid high school.

The San Diego Early/Middle College (SDEMC), hopes to maintain small class sizes and allow students to enroll in both high school and college courses at the same time.

By the time they graduate in four or five years, students will already be working on their associate's degree or transferring to a four-year university with academic credits.

The school is targeting two populations:
- Early college students who want a fast track to college.
- Juniors and Seniors in the 'middle college' who may be at risk of dropping out.

The Union-Tribune noted that, unlike similar schools where students "spend two days a week working at professional internships," SDEMC students "will stay on campus and focus on class-work."

Baby Boomers and the New Retirement

The monthly newsletter from the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals (, shed more light on what Baby Boomers seek in retirement.

Here are some of the highlights from the article:

- According to Stephen Carter and Joan Strewler-Carter, founders of Life Options Institute, the Baby Boomer generation is one of "over-achievers; a generation that will not stop working altogether in the traditional sense - nor will they want to keep working full time."

- A 2006 New Retirement Study from Merrill Lynch showed that 71% of Baby Boomers said they would continue to work after retirement. Merrill Lynch of course was one of those companies that contributed to job losses on Wall Street, during the current financial crisis.

- Companies are offering pending retirees opportunities to work in other divisions of the company under generous and negotiable employment contracts.

If you are planning for retirement as well, or a personal career bailout as I call it, you should check out the resources from The Life Options Institute.

One of the valuable bits of information I found on their website:
Industries Where Baby Boomers are Heading After Retirement—
From Businessweek October 2006

-The Government
-Financial Services (this may be evolving with all the job losses on Wall Street)
-Science and Education

Finding a Job In this Recession

With mounting job losses on Wall Street college students, Class of 2009 primarily, might be thinking about what may be in store for them next spring.

Bill Carson, director of the Center for Career Development at Morgan State University, offers these tips for a successful job search in a recession. (Read the complete article here)

- Use all the campus resources available to you. The college career center staff can share resume writing tips, interview preparation help and just general job search resources.

- Explore global careers and overseas job options. Not all foreign opportunities require employees to be proficient in a foreign language.

- Expand your network. Make sure to reach out to family members, prior employers and even alumni of your university.

- Sign up for professional associations. Many professional associations have student rates that are an absolute bargain. Take advantage of them while in school.

- Sharpen your interview skills. Get some help with behavioral interviews and panel interviews.

- Go government. Look for federal and state employment opportunities.

- Follow up on all the leads you receive.

- Be careful when preparing your resume and job search documents.

In a tight economy, expect that a successful job search might take up to a year. Start now!

Friday, October 10, 2008

2 High School Sample Resumes

BullsEyeResumes has posted two high school sample resumes for students on their website.

Please remember you can always share your resume with us for a free resume critique.

The BullsEye Team

Is it a Good or Bad Time to Look for Jobs?

In addition to doing daily tracking polls to see the state of the political race is between John McCain and Barack Obama, the Gallup polling organization also looks at how Americans feel about domestic employment issues.

The results? Eighty two percent (82%) of Americans think that now is a bad time to find a quality job. Per an article at Gallup, "Today's 82% of Americans rating now as a bad time to find a quality job far exceeds the 56% and 54% who felt this way in October 2007 and October 2006, respectively."

Although Americans are overwhelmingly pessimistic about the job market, there are job seekers who are still getting interviews and getting offers.

Here are some quick tips for those seeking work in tough times:
1. Be positive. Nothing really happens without positive thinking.

2. Get connected and rejuvenate your contacts. Share information with other people and remember that in networking - "givers gain".

3. Think outside of the box about ways to sell yourself and stand out from the crowd.

4. Volunteer. This might be one of those "out-of-the-box' suggestions, but it works. This is a great month to get involved with "walking for the cure". Who knows who might be walking with you.

5. Be steady. An erratic job search strategy will have you running in many directions and not walking through the job search process in a focused way.

6. Flip the script or switch careers or fields. If you were a victim of the job losses on Wall Street then consider a financial career in a growing sector such as healthcare.

7. Work with recruiters and head hunters.

8. Take a "fill-the-gap" job with the right company, where movement will be possible at a later time.

9. Think about going back to an old company. Hopefully, you left with your good reputation in tact.

10.Ask for help and support. Too many people really try to conduct their job search in a vacuum. Ask people questions and be open to the feedback you receive. Consider using professional services of a resume writer or job interview coach. Remember that in the US, job search expenses are tax deductible.

11. Try to figure out exactly where the job search strategy is falling apart. Is it the resume, the job interview, the follow-up or the access?

If you just need to get funds, there is no shame in going around the corner to get a job if you must. This will at least get you a paycheck relatively quickly.

Returning to the Job Hunt - Bracing for Job Re-Entry

Source - Jennifer Huget, The Washington Post
Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The job search, when you are 40 or over can be particularly daunting, shares Huget in this article. Some concerns are practical - Should I list all 20 years of experience on my e-résumé? and some are psychological - Who'd want me when they could hire someone younger?

The article continues with tips from Gail Geary, owner of AtlantaCareerTransition and Steven Greenberg who launched last year.

- Brush up on the basics of job search strategy and fundamentals
- Be flexible; don't just look to replicate a former career
- Get out of the house. Meet people. Atttend events.
- Stay or get active
- Gussy up!
- Don't pretend to be someone else
- Focus Forward

Thursday, October 9, 2008

CCA Calls on Students, Faculty and Staff to Vote

In a press release last week, the Career College Association (CCA) is encouraging civic participation from the students, faculty and staff from career education institution. There are over 1250 accredited, private postsecondary schools, institutes, colleges and universities that are member organizations of the CCA.

CCA member schools offer career education to almost 3 million students.

“Regardless of party affiliation, all agree this election is one of the most significant in modern times. Given the many challenges facing not just our sector but the nation at large, it is critical Americans vote into office leaders ready to tackle the challenges of tomorrow,” said CEO of CCA, Harris Miller. “Active participation in the most fundamental of all political acts—voting--helps our sector steer a better course and could have a significant impact on what is expected to be a very close election a mere five weeks away.”

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Preparing for the Job Interview in High School

For the latest career planning and job interview information for high school students, subscribe to the BullsEyeResumes High School career blog.

Here are 10 job interview tips for teens.

1. Visit the career counseling office at your high school for resume writing, samples job interview questions and interview tips.

2. Visit the company website and do some research on the company.

3. Practice answering sample job interview questions to demonstrate your job skills.

4. Prepare job interview attire so that you can avoid wardrobe malfunctions.

5. Arrive early for the job interview. Bring pen, paper and your high school resume. (High School Sample Resumes)

6. Be polite with everyone you meet at the job site.

7. Speak clearly and answer all the questions. You can say you do not know, instead of mumbling.

8. Make a list of questions you want to ask in thejob interview.

9. Have names and contact information for people who will give references for you.

10. Be careful filling out the job application.

11. Practise will improve your job interview performance.

Do not be disappointed if you do not land your first job interview. Sometimes it will take a while to land a job you like, especially in a tight economy.

Emerging Careers - Baby Coordinators

If you are thinking about career reentry, changing careers, working from home or starting a business, here is an option I came across recently - Baby Coordinators!

What is a Baby Coordinator you may be asking? To quickly get a sense of this emerging career, think Wedding Planner. As wedding planners are to weddings so are Baby Coordinators to babies. They help moms and families prepare for the arrival of the new family member.

Apparently the demand for baby-planning services has grown. It seems that many older, professional moms-to-be, with income to spare, are hiring Baby Coordinators. Per the article in the Wall Street Journal, rates for a baby registry consultation can be about $100 and about $500 for baby shower preparation.

The reviews are mixed and still coming in from Wall Street Journal readers.

"I could have used their advice to determine what NOT to buy. So many people told me what i ‘had’ to buy that I wasted a lot of money - I needed a baby planner to help me get to the bottom line!"
Comment by New Mom - September 16, 2008 at 2:57 pm

"This is what makes America great! I salute these entrepreneurs, even though I cannot imagine ever using such a service, even with all the money in the world."
Comment by TND - September 16, 2008 at 11:45 am

“Baby coordinator” = ridiculous
Comment by Native NYer - September 16, 2008 at 9:46 am

As with any new career or new job think carefully about:
- the marketplace
- the need
- your skills
- your ability to build a sustainable business doing something you enjoy.

There are many existing careers for work-at-home moms that years ago would not be considered possible. I personally know a Scrapbooker and a Virtual Assistant who are doing really well.

Additional Reading:
Baby Coordinators to the Rescue

Baby Coordinators - Useful or Indulgent?

Visit - The Baby Coordinator website
What's your idea?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Are you in a Dead End College Major?

Lists of hot careers with growing occupations and professions are a favorite of college students to help them choose a major.

However, a word of caution!

As college students peruse hot career lists with dying or growing occupations, they should know there are many careers and occupations, NOT on these list that could also lead to dead end careers.

College students should know that they can end up in a dead end careers, not only because they picked dead end college majors, but because they chose college majors and careers that were not a good fit for them.

Just as all careers are not for everyone, even from the hot career list, not all college majors are for everyone. Many college students are regrettably trapped in the wrong college majors, for them. Many of these college students, without intervention and changing majors, ultimately end up trapped in the wrong careers. For these college students, a bad choice of college major can lead to a profession where career nirvana is elusive and job satisfaction is almost impossible.

How to know when you are in a dead end major?

- No passion for the subjects in your core? If you are a psychology major and not enjoying or doing well in Psych 101, or basic Psychology courses, a psychology major may not be for you. If you don't read the text or participate in class discussions, you are in the wrong place.

- No curiosity about your college major? No interest in learning more? No interest in specific trends as you learn more? You may be in the wrong major.

- Were you pressured to choose your college major to fulfill someone else's dream? College students end up in wrong majors that will dead end for them, because parents, teachers or friends told them it would be a good choice.

Visit your college career center if you are have questions about choosing a major.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Making Video Resumes for Vocational Students

A Video Resume is a short video created by a jobseeker to showcase their skills and qualifications to potential employers. Many job boards including Career Builder, Jobster and MyWorkster, allow jobseekers the ability to add Video Resumes to their online profiles.

The Video Resume, will not replace your traditional paper resume, but can enhance the presentation of your skills to employers. Here are some tips on using a Video Resume for Vocational students.

TIP-*Students in vocational training programs can always check with the campus career advisors about partnering with film, video or graphic design students to help the others. When I worked at Westwood College in Southern California, I worked with faculty and students in the editing classes to video tape and edit mock interviews. Definite win-win situation!

1. Make sure to follow the employers' guidelines closely if you are using a video resume.
2. Dress professionally in business attire, just as if you were going to an in-person job interview. This is not YouTube.
3. Keep your video resume short at no more than three minutes.
4. Look at the camera not at the desk or table below you. It may take several turns before you are satisfied with your video resume.
5. Don't speak too quickly. Speak clearly and ennunciate.
6. Practice what you're going to say ahead of time as you would for a job interview.
7. Be sure to state your name (first and last). Use your 30-second spot.
8. Focus on your professional endeavors, not your personal life.
9. Discuss your job skills and your value to the company.
10. Thank the viewer for considering you as a job seeker.
11. Make sure there isn't any background noise and that the background is not too busy or distracting.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Philadelphia Student Speaks in Washington DC

Devron Lovick of Philadelphia PA, spoke recently in Washington, DC on behalf of teens across the country. Devron is a student at Hatboro-Horsham High School. He was participating in the sharing of survey data on the State of Our Nation’s Youth.

Here are some of the highlights from Devron's resport:

Global Warming
72% of teens believe global warming is an urgent or serious problem. Caring about the environment is important to them, however the majority (58%) of teens do not consider themselves “environmentalists.”

Education in the Global Economy
To prepare themselves for the global economy, one in three teens say the most important school subjects are science and technology, and 38% wish their schools had more up-to-date technology.

Cyber Bullying
Of the 14.9 million American high school students, 2.4 million (16%) reported that they have been a victim of cyber bullying. A remarkable portion of teens, almost one-third (30%), now view online bullying as a greater threat than traditional bullying in schools.

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

Thursday, October 2, 2008

College Students are Watching Wall Street

Source - By Aaron Brilbeck
Tuesday, September 30, 2008 at 5:24 p.m.

Students at the University of Toledo are keeping a close eye on the economic crisis. For most, their futures depend on getting college loans.

Freshman Colton Hulshof has already been turned down. "They told me they couldn't give me a loan because of the credit crisis that was going on and the economy looks pretty bad as it is. So, yeah, they turned me away", Hulshof says.

Hulshof is not alone.

Tyler Alt was able to get a loan for school because his parents co-signed. But what if mom and dad lose their jobs? "Probably have to work 2 or 3 jobs to hopefully, maybe pay for college.", Alt says. "If not than I'll probably have to drop out".

The U.T. financial aid office is seeing a lot of uncertainty these days. Federal loans are still available, but when those aren't enough, students have to go to alternative, private loans. And those lenders are starting to turn students away. "We've already had a couple of lenders just recently inform us that they weren't going to be into the alternative loan process any longer.", says U.T. Assistant Director of Loans, Sherri Jiannuzzi. "But they would fund the ones already processed".

That's good news for some students. But it doesn't help those who are still struggling to find financing. "Just worried.", Hulshuf says. "Really. Pretty much base myself on hoping I can get through college and get a job and get out there. But getting through college is going to be the hard part."

Paying for College When Banks have Stopped Student Loans

The credit crunch in the U.S. has forced many banks to curtail or discontinue their tuition loan business. In the past 12 months, 33 banks and lenders have permanently or temporarily closed their student loan businesses. Additionally, more than 100 lenders have cut back or eliminated their involvement with federally guaranteed student loan programs.

In the past 12 months, 33 banks and lenders have permanently or temporarily closed their student loan businesses. By March 2008, three of the banks that closed down funding were HSBC Bank USA, M&T Bank, and TCF Financial Corp that loaned more than $560 million of the $119.2 billion made in loans in the 2006 fiscal year.

Here are some of the things students have been doing to help fund college:
- Working more hours.
- Taking fewer classes therefore taking fewer loans.
- Apply for scholarships and grants.
- Families exploring PLUS loans.
- Some parents are taking home equity loans - provided they still have equity in their houses.
- Taking more classes for the same amount of money and graduate earlier.
- Finding less expensive schools and programs. Take classes at Community College and then transfer to four year schools.

- Big Student Lenders Suspend Business

Retirement is a Good Time to Start a Business

I found a really good article at the Spherion Career Blog with some tips and advice for mature women who are in the workplace.

One of the tips struck me:
If the changing marketplace does not support your current career, maturity is an excellent time to explore long-held dreams. Do you want to start your own business? More and more women (proportionately more than men) are doing just this. Do the work. A meaningful work life matters.

The concept of giving meaning to one's life through work is an old principle and starting a business at retirement can be a good idea.
There are definite advantages to starting a business later:

Capital - Although the job losses on Wall Street and the slide in 401K accounts might have people worried, older people will typically have more capital to leverage for starting a business.

Network - Imagine the list of contacts you could draw on as a mature person. You certainly have more than someone just starting out and that is a real advantage for starting and growing a business.

Skills and Self Knowledge- This one is key. I really feel that maturity brings a certain self knowledge and an understanding of strengths and weaknesses. Both are good personal attributes for starting a business.

So if you are retireing and still considering what your encore career should be, consider creating your own business.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

High School Teens are Confident About The Future

Education Week shared details from The 2008 State of Our Nation's Youth report showed that high school students feel that the pressure to get good grades has increased over the last few years. The report shows that in 2001, 62% of the students felt pressured this way, compared to 79% now.

Over that same period the number of high school students who reported that grade pressure was a "major" factor in their lives, increased by 19%.

Other report details:

- 21% of high school students said they spent more than 10 hours per week on homework. This is 9% more than in 2005.

- 34% of high school students were concerned about the economy.

- 31% of high school students were concerned about the war in Iraq.

Despite their concerns, 88% of high school students reported confidence about their own futures and 66% said they are optimistic about their own futures.

Let us know how you feel, if you are a high school student? What are you concerned about?

Second Jobs, Postponing Job Changes and Going Back to School

Expect more of the same for 2008 quarter four, says the latest Career Builder survey of 3000 HR professionals and 6000+ workers nationwide.

Job losses on Wall Street and the ultimate trickle down effects will continue to affect employment rates for the rest of the year. With the September unemployment numbers expected to be higher than the August 6.1%, employees are anxious about the future.

"Employers are maintaining a conservative approach to recruitment as they maneuver through a weaker economy that has produced its share of casualties," said Matt Ferguson, CEO of Ferguson also shares that IT and Healthcare still show solid job growth even though employers are planning to add fewer workers in quarter four.

Survey highlights:

- 21% of workers who found a new job in 2008, said the job search took four months or longer.
- 5% of employers said their companies required employees to take an unpaid leave of absence in the past six months as a cost-saving measure.
- 9% of workers have taken on second jobs in response to higher prices, food and healthcare. 24% are considering getting a second job.
- 38% of workers are postponing active job search and say will stay with existing company for another year at least.
- 41% plan to stay with their present employers until retirement.
- 34% percent of employers reported they are having a hard time finding qualified candidates in highly-skilled areas.
- 26% of workers plan to go back to school to obtain a degree, certification or other training.

Of those who plan to go back to school, 32 percent want to pursue a bachelor’s degree while 10 percent are going back for their MBA and 12 percent are going back for a master’s degree in another field.

Source - Career Builder Industry Trends Survey, September 2008