Fri 19 Oct 2012
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In the business world, it’s easy for executives to believe their reputation is based on solid facts. Perhaps the company has an established history of providing great products and outstanding customer service. Their pricing is competitive and they pride themselves on efficiency and responsiveness. Additionally, they consider themselves to be an asset to their community since they provide jobs and assist local charitable organizations.
On the surface, there doesn’t seem to be any reason that this company should be concerned about their online reputation. Nevertheless, it is absolutely essential that such an organization learn about reputation management. That’s because no matter how well the company performs, there will always be differing opinions in the public.
It’s a fact of doing business that eventually a customer or supplier will be unhappy with their experience. This is an unfortunate circumstance, but it can become downright disastrous if that person starts airing their displeasure online.
If they are really upset about the situation, they’ll want the world to know about it. They’ll post about it on blogs, message boards and consumer review websites. Before long, when a prospective customer types the company’s name into a search engine, the only results they see are the negative reviews posted by one angry client. This can easily scare a potential client away, straight into the services of the competition.
With proactive online reputation management, this doesn’t have to be the case. The first step is for someone in the company to take a long look at the current state of the organization’s online reputation. Doing so is as easy as typing the company name into a search engine. If negative mentions of the company come up in the first couple of pages of search results, then it’s time to take control of the situation.
Start by making certain that the company website features keyword rich content that prominently features the business name. This will help search engines rank the company website among the first search results. Next, deal with the situation of the negative reviewer head on by engaging them in a dialog to see if their situation can be turned around.
Additionally, get involved in online industry communities and social networking websites to establish a positive online reputation. Doing these things can easily change a company’s online reputation from tarnished to shining.
Althouth the above tips are directed at businesses, they are equally valid for individuals—especially those looking for employment. Be proactive about monitoring your online reputation—it’s to your benefit.
Tue 22 May 2012
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Going back to school to pursue an advanced degree has become a necessity for many people who already have a college education. Individuals with higher education tend to have more career opportunities and higher pay than those with little or no college; however, pursuing an advanced degree requires more time and money. Some employers offer help with tuition and financial aid is typically available to those who qualify. For most people, the advantages of obtaining an advanced degree are worth the extra effort.
Individuals who hold advanced degrees are more likely to move into positions with higher pay and greater financial security, including the ability to save more money for retirement. With a higher paying salary, you will have more money going into your retirement accounts and you can afford to put aside extra savings for the things that matter most to you.
Promotions are another advantage to those with higher education. Many companies require an advanced degree no matter how much time and experience an employee may already have. For instance, many upper level management positions in business require a master’s degree or higher.
Remain More Marketable
The job market is still very competitive. An advanced degree makes you more marketable and more likely to be considered for a position than someone with less education. Many employers look at fresh, new skills as an asset to their company. For example, social work is a broad field with many different positions. Those with a master’s or doctorate degree have a wider range of career opportunities available.
Many people pursue higher education for personal growth and satisfaction. Learning new skills and facing new challenges often boosts self-esteem and enhances confidence levels. Some people are unhappy with their current career choices and may desire to pursue another path. People are typically more successful in a career that they are passionate about. For example, registered nurses who have a passion for educating can earn an advanced degree to help them pursue their dreams of teaching.
There is a good reason that employers place emphasis on higher education. An advanced degree often shows them that the prospective employee is hard-working and committed. South University in Tampa is an example of a school with a wide variety of courses to help individuals who are new to the job market and also those who are looking to advance in their current careers.
Mon 26 Mar 2012
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Looking for a job? While attending courses at one of the various community colleges in Miami, Florida or Los Angeles, California or where ever you live can definitely make you a more attractive applicant, the time and cost isn’t always something a job seeker can afford. If going back to school isn’t an option for you, you may want to look into some e-learning resources to help boost your skill set. By learning some important basic concepts, an entire new market of jobs may open up to you. E-learning makes it easy for you to learn these skills—oftentimes without any cost to you. Below are some e-learning resources to help you on your way.
The Khan Academy
The Khan Academy is a not-for-profit e-learning organization that allows you to learn almost anything for free. From algebra to venture capital, the Khan Academy has a course that you will find helpful. In addition to math and economics, the academy offers science, humanities and computer classes. While these classes will not appear on a transcript, you can highlight them in your resume to showcase your new skills to potential employers.
Wikiversity is an open learning community project designed by the Wikimedia Foundation, the same people who are behind Wikipedia. More than ten thousand educational articles are currently a part of Wikiversity. Wikiversity offers K-12 resources, as well as college-level and more advanced resources. Similar in design to Wikipedia, it is very easy to use. However, the content is mostly educational articles that are not presented in a classroom or lecture format.
BBC Language helps users to learn more than forty languages. In fact, their online video courses make it possible to learn a language in as little as twelve weeks. Whether you are looking to learn French, Spanish, Greek, Chinese or a variety of other languages, this is one of the best resources the web has to offer. Again, these courses cannot be used for credit at an educational institution, but you will be able to highlight your new language skills on your job applications.
Open Yale courses allow anyone with a computer to access a selection of introductory courses taught by Yale staff and faculty. Open Yale courses do not count for credit, but they are completely free of charge. Many science and humanities courses are available through this program, as well as some economics courses. Taking any Open Yale courses will help you to become more well-read, which is an asset that many employers seek.
Open Culture collects free courses from around the web and organizes them in one place, allowing for maximum ease of use. Learners can access any of these courses to educate themselves on a variety of topics. If you are interested in e-learning but are not sure where to start, Open Culture is a good place to begin. You can search through their wide array of courses to find something that strikes your interest.
An education gives you an edge in the job market; however, not everyone can afford to go back to school to pursue a degree. Using free e-learning techniques will show employers that you are committed to pursuing an education, even if you do not have the means to pursue a traditional degree. Employers will value your dedication to learning, and will be impressed with the skills you have gained.
Wed 22 Feb 2012
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This guest post is by Jesse Langley on behalf of Colorado Technical University.
As a young professional entering the professional world fresh out of college, there’s a chance you have no idea what you should look for in your first job. In this economy, many professionals are grateful to even have job prospects at all. But it could benefit you to hold out for a position that contributes positively to your professional development, instead of settling for a dreaded “dead-end” job. To determine if your job fits the prototype of an ideal first job, ask yourself (as well as your interviewer) the following questions before committing to a position.
Will this job challenge me?
Although you are just starting out, having a job that asks you to complete menial tasks and monotonous paperwork will not aid in your professional development. Your job should come with several challenges and responsibilities that will help you grow as a professional and give you a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. If a job requires very little skill or effort, it might diminish your sense of purpose within the company. Without a sense of purpose, it could be difficult to find the motivation to continue giving it your all a couple of years down the line.
Are there opportunities for advancement?
Although a challenging work environment may offer opportunities for advancement, the two concepts don’t necessarily go hand in hand. For this reason, seek out jobs that give you the opportunity to climb up the corporate ladder after investing time and effort in the company. Upward mobility is an important feature of any job because it allows you to develop as a professional and gain experience in leadership as a reward for your hard work with the company.
Does the company offer tuition reimbursement?
Perhaps you have been delaying your education because the rising cost of tuition has made it inaccessible. Many companies are willing to invest in your professional development by offering tuition reimbursement in exchange for more highly skilled and knowledgeable workers. Choosing jobs that offer this option can give you the opportunity to attain the education you have always wanted without the burden of student loan debt. To balance your work schedule with your school schedule, consider online education alternatives to obtain a quality education at a more accommodating pace.
Will it make me a more well-rounded professional?
Some jobs give you the opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and work with professionals from all different backgrounds in several different departments of the company. Look for jobs that allow you to work as a team with a variety of professionals to develop transferable skills. Having a holistic experience in your company will make you more marketable to potential employers once you move on to other professional endeavors. In addition to adding a diverse list of achievements to your resume, working in a collaborative environment will also develop your people skills, which are equally valuable to employers.
Asking these questions can give you more than just insight into a prospective company; they can also help you discover which jobs would be best for you and your future.
Tue 3 Jan 2012
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This guest post is by Jesse Langley of Colorado Technical University.
You have just graduated, or are half of a semester away, and have had no luck or leads in the workforce. You’ve tried everything: local job fairs, a detailed and comprehensive LinkedIn account, a personalized resume for each of the 100 jobs you have applied for so far, but the phone still hasn’t rung. For many graduates in the U.S., this scenario is an everyday fact of life. If you feel like you have exhausted all of your resources, it’s possible that you have overlooked one very obvious place: your alma mater. Nearly all institutions have some sort of department designed specifically for helping students transition to the workforce. If you haven’t yet taken advantage of the helpful resources available right on campus, consider all of the beneficial tools available at your alma mater.
Individual career counseling
It’s possible that you haven’t found a job yet simply because you haven’t been using your unique characteristics and credentials to your advantage. Through individual career counseling at your alma mater’s Career Services office, you can have a professional evaluate your credentials to determine the appropriate steps to take from there. You have likely heard and read plenty of advice regarding the job search in general, but a plan tailored to your unique professional advantage can greatly improve the efficacy of your search.
Seminars and workshops
Many colleges hold seminars and workshops devoted to helping graduates find success in the workforce. Usually, these programs give students the opportunity to meet with professionals who have the key to finding a job despite the current state of the economy. With these seminars, graduates and students alike can discover new opportunities and improve their preparedness for the job market.
Network of professors and peers
Chances are your college experience has already led to the development of professional contacts through your professors and classmates. These contacts are essentially your first professional network, and they can often provide references and leads for potential job opportunities. Each of these contacts can also help you broaden your network by introducing you to other professionals in your industry.
On-campus recruiting programs
Let the jobs come to you by participating in your alma mater’s on-campus recruiting programs. Many companies and businesses are looking for the best and the brightest at universities all over the country, and are willing to come right to the source to find them. Ask your counselor about both on-campus and off-campus recruiting programs available to improve your chances of finding a job.
Job and internship listings
Many colleges have job and internship listings available that can help you approach the market in a more effective way. Naturally, getting a paying job is preferred, but sometimes you may have to settle for an unpaid internship to prepare for something better down the road. Some internships actually pay small stipends for workers, while also providing valuable experience in your industry. Who knows? Your internship may even lead to a paid job if you leave a good enough impression.
The job market is improving, but progress is slow and the job market is still competitive. Working with your current resources, and finding new ones, can help you get a leg up on the competition.
Jesse Langley lives in the Midwest with his family where he loves reading, writing, and blogging. He writes on behalf of Colorado Technical University.
Mon 31 Oct 2011
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Unemployment is up, few companies are hiring, and every open position now has dozens of qualified applicants. There’s no question about it: getting work is a tough and competitive undertaking these days. With this in mind, we obviously want perfection out of every element of our application for a given job. We want the best and most applicable work experience. We wish we went to a prestigious college and held several graduate degrees. And we always want to be smoother, more knowledgeable, and more confident in interviews.
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to improve your education and work background overnight. But it is possible to insure that the more concrete elements of your application – your cover letter and resume – are as flawless as possible. There’s no excuse for submitting a poorly constructed resume, but many people do. Here are some tips for making your resume the best advertisement of you possible:
Make It Clear and Concise
Unless you’re applying for a job in art or graphic design, no employer wants an overly creative or cluttered resume. Find a basic resume template to use and then insert your information in as succinct a manner as possible. If a past job doesn’t require three bullet points of explanation, don’t force in a third. If your computer proficiency is limited to Microsoft Word and Excel, don’t list them. Also make sure not to include an “Objective” section; this practice lost favor years ago. This is also a good place to cut out elements that don’t relate to the job you seek. If you’re looking for construction jobs, work experience may be more important than education and honors received. If you seek healthcare jobs, your research background may be more important to highlight.
Highlight Your Strengths
Although all resumes have similar forms, sending out a “generic” resume won’t work in today’s competitive marketplace. To get notices, you must tailor your resume to match each job you’re applying for. Highlight your strengths and the specific experience you have that is most applicable for the job you seek. If you’ve done similar work before, provide more details about those jobs and cut out some others. If you have limited experience in the field, focus on showing that the skills you developed in your diverse employment background can be applied to any work situation.
This should go without saying, but all too many people apply for jobs with grammatical and spelling errors in their resumes. For some employers, one typo is reason enough to disregard an application—not because they seek perfect spellers but because they want a worker who has an eye to detail and who takes pride in the work. Proofreading thoroughly and repeatedly is a must to keep your application from the reject pile.
Remember, the purpose of your resume is to get the interview. When you take the time to focus your resume on a specific job, you increase your chances of getting to the next step in the hiring process.
Thu 15 Sep 2011
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The current unemployment rate is still around nine percent, which is pretty high, and has forced many people to either stay in or take jobs that they normally wouldn’t. There’s not a large number of options for people out there as growth figures remain static. Job search engines are one of the most popular resources on the web as people continue looking and applying for better jobs. It’s important to not lose hope because things are tough out there, but you might also want to think about some of the reasons that might be keeping you from getting that job you want so much:
You Don’t Have The Necessary Skills or Education
Very often people apply for jobs that they’re not qualified for. After the job market tanked and millions of people found themselves out of work, they were all of the sudden put up against a lot of people that had better degrees from a accredited online colleges and traditional universities. This has been a big problem for Americans as the market has shown a clear lack of skills and education. Many Americans, in order to improve their chances for employment, have returned to the classroom to raise their profile. Employers want skilled and educated labor and are putting more emphasis on these qualities than ever before.
Lack of Networking
Social media and networking have become a powerful tools in the job market and if you’re just sitting in your house or current job and applying online, then you’re not taking a proactive approach to finding a better job. You have to add more action to your searches and attend job fares and contact employers. The idea is that you want to form connections with people that can help you right now, as well as later on. Make your face known and put yourself out there. Build connections that can help you long and short-term.
Your Expectations Are Too High
You might have to consider the possibility that your salary and job expectations are too high. Maybe you won’t be able to secure the salary you had before and accepting this might help you out with your job search. You want to get employed in the field you’re interested in but maybe you’re asking for too much money or expecting too much from a position. Beggars can’t be choosers. That’s not saying you should have to beg for a job, but it’s an employer’s market right now. You have to work with certain realities that you might not get everything that you want.
Perhaps these issues aren’t the problems that face you right now, but it is the issue with many. Consider taking a step back and taking a hard look at your approach. Sometimes all it takes is a little tweaking and that can mean the difference between having a good job and working in a job you hate. Have a positive attitude and a systematic, pragmatic approach in your efforts and you’ll be far more successful.
Sat 3 Sep 2011
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Photo by bohman
There is more competition than ever for people looking to break into the creative field. If you write, design, paint, draw, sing, dance, or even contort; there is always someone else who can do it better than you… and they are applying to the same jobs. Instead of letting other people take away your dream of breaking into the creative marketplace, there are steps you can take to ensure a career in your desired field.
Choose a Field that Fits You
There are many options for someone who is interested in graphic design; you can design print ads at a newspaper, create dynamic Flash websites for an interactive agency, or even become a screen printer and design and make t-shirts all day.
Finding an industry that suits your needs and talents will allow you to hone and develop your skills. Selecting the proper industry will also ensure you don’t lose motivation and creative inspiration by just going through the motions all day. You wouldn’t want to write for a celebrity gossip magazine when you don’t even watch TV
Find the Right School
Finding the right college is an important for becoming accredited in your field. If you want to break into journalism, consider going to a University that has a state of the art J-School like the University of Missouri. If you want to break into advertising, there are several schools and art schools across the country which specialize in developing your portfolio for the job market.
Buy the Right Equipment
Purchasing quality equipment is more important in some fields than others. If you want to become a writer, you might just need a decent laptop with a good word processor. If you are getting into a field like graphic or motion design, it is important to have a powerful computer equipped with Adobe Creative Suite and a powerful processor. It is also important to have a tablet or smartphone like the Samsung Exhibit 4G Android Phone to demonstrate your ability to design for mobile devices.
Networking is not only an important part of finding a job; it is also a skill that seasoned professionals use to generate more business and clients for themselves and their agencies. In a recent article in The Nation, manager of APM group Arinya Talerngsri says people who master networking skills not only increase business, they also find valuable information for important decisions.
By using social media to network, you can discover job postings in your area that might not be available on sites like Craigslist and Monster. By following industry leaders and trendsetters on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube you can gain valuable insights into what types of skills they are looking for and learn how agencies and businesses in the area operate.
Never Stop Learning
Just like any other profession, it is important to never stop learning in order to stay on top of the latest trends and technologies in your field. If you are a professional journalist, it is important to read other newspapers and magazines to see how your colleagues cover stories. If you are a copywriter at an ad agency, you should read trade magazines and study ad campaigns. Artists should learn the latest techniques and technologies by studying online tutorials and taking courses online, as discussed in this previous blog post.
The most important step to take is to keep practicing. By gaining experience on your own time, your experience will develop and your skills will stay sharp. A creative profession should come naturally and you should have no problem adhering to this tip.
Thu 18 Aug 2011
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There are a lot of difficulties when pursuing a degree with an institution for higher learning. Managing the finances and daily life can be difficult enough without throwing on the increased demands of keeping track of everything going on in your classes. Unfortunately, not obtaining training from universities and accredited online college classes is not an option.
Today, you have to have a degree because people are finding it practically impossible to get a decent job without one. Now, with exceptional tools like the Internet, students can manage their course work and use resources with unprecedented ease. Consider some of these options to improve the management of your classes and work performance:
If you’re writing a paper or doing a presentation, it’s tough to find exceptional source material besides the books you’re given for class. With sites like Fathom, students can go online and pull from a large archive of material. This site is supported by many accredited scholarly institutions from across the world. From one location, a student can access excellent information on many topics. Fathom has many contributors from the education and professional field. This resource allows students to have a diverse learning experience through materials made available on the site. So if you’re having trouble finding quality support material, check out this site to give you a foundation for your next paper or presentation.
Time management is another key factor in the student experience, and finding the time to do everything isn’t easy. Classes, assignments, and other obligations can get overlooked amidst the overwhelming din of responsibilities. Application developers have noticed this issue and have created apps that are designed to help. There are many apps, but iStudiez Pro is one option that students can use to create a cohesive work schedule. With this app users can input detailed and color coded information for every class. It includes everything form assignment info and due-dates to note taking features. Similar apps are an invaluable resource for anyone who has trouble keeping track of all the things going on with the busy life of a student.
Personal Education Resources
Not every college or university has the classes one might like to have. Whether it’s for their personal edification or essential for their future profession, there are online resources that people can use to get the education without the cost. Online Education Database is a site where people can go and use an compilation of free academic courses. You won’t be able to get a degree through this site, but you can get material and learning from a number of educational institutions from around the world at no cost. It’s more of a way to supplement your education and expand your knowledge on any area of specific interest. You can even use this resource as a way to get extra material for a class you’re already taking.
Every college student is already painfully aware that the cost of attending school goes far beyond tuition fees. Books are one of the biggest expenses, but online shopping has made it far more affordable than it’s been in previous years. BigWords is just one resource for students that allows them to browse through a large database of books. With this app, you can do comparison pricing through a search engine and figure out the cheapest place to find the textbook you’re looking for. You can also download digitized textbooks for your eReader at a reduced cost. Overall, the idea is to save as much as you can and using online comparison resources will help you curb some of the exceptional education costs.
Whatever your need, you should know that the Internet is the best resource for any student in need. Whether it be financial or educational, there are programs, apps, and sites that are devoted to providing students with the best experience possible. If none of these options apply to you, there is more than likely something out there based on your need. Check out some of these resources online that you can use to help you through your years in college.
Tue 12 Jul 2011
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Photo by Brian Hawkins
The unemployment rate for the month of June was a huge disappointment to most experts, analysts, and officials. It showed a sharp increase despite assurances that hiring was at a steady pace keeping unemployment relatively stagnant. From May to June 2011, the American unemployment rate rose from 9.1% to 9.2%. Currently, 14.1 million individuals are classified as unemployed. Of nearly 9 million jobs lost since the Great Recession began, less than 2 million individuals have been able to return to work.
If you think these numbers are bad, consider that they’re just the overall picture. Those numbers include all levels of education, all industries, and all the individuals who’ve managed to get some part-time labor under their belt but need full-time paychecks to survive. When you start to pull the figures apart, you start to see how the level of education a person has affects their chances of getting hired. Simply put, the more education you have, the more likely you are to find a job.
According to the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, people over the age of 25 without even a high school diploma are doomed with an unemployment rate of over 14%. Those with a high school diploma have it a little better, but not by much, with a 10% rate of unemployment. That’s nearly a single point higher than the current overall unemployment rate. Things start to improve a little once individuals carry their education past high school. For folks with some post-high school schooling, the unemployment rate stands at 8.4%, and for those who earn an undergraduate degree or higher, the rate of unemployment is less than half of the 9.2% national figure, at 4.4%.
What does all this mean? It means as jobs that demand technical prowess increase and employment opportunities that require hard labor and physical prowess decrease, a college degree has never looked better. The opportunities that are out there call for higher education from the workforce, and there’s no easy way of getting around that.
But getting yourself a college degree is easier than you think. Stop viewing four years or more of extra education as an obstacle too intimidating to conquer. That’s a drop in the bucket compared to the chunk of your lifetime you’re going to spend struggling to make ends meet if you don’t get a college degree. Consider too that attending an online university can not only make the experience more user-friendly, it can also reduce the cost by eliminating campus living expenses and can even get you out of the door and on to starting your career in less time than the traditional university experience. And it doesn’t have to stop with an undergraduate degree—getting an advanced degree, like an online MBA, has become a very viable alternative to traditional graduate studies.
The statistics don’t lie. College is essential in finding work. You might be employed today without a degree, but what about tomorrow? Next year? One decade from now? The unemployment rate isn’t going to change for the better anytime soon. Consider improving your odds.
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