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Free online aptitude tests

Posted by on Jul 21, 2016 in Uncategorized

I just realized that not all of the information in the first Tip in my book is still accurate. In that Tip, I suggest three free online assessment tests to help you identify your skills and strengths. The first test, previously offered by BlueRectangle.com, is no longer available. The second test, offered by CareerColleges.com, is still available as listed in the book. The third test, offered by the Dewey Color System, is still available, but at a different URL than the one listed in the book. The new URL is...

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What NOT to share when networking

Posted by on Jun 11, 2015 in Networking, Uncategorized

This past Saturday I led a session on networking at a Career Day event hosted by the Carolina Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication. One of the topics I covered in the session was networking phobias—the reasons people give for not networking—and one of those phobias is the idea that you don’t want other people to “know your business.” Although not a good reason to avoid networking, it is a good reminder that there are certain things we should keep to ourselves. An article posted recently on entrepreneur.com provides an excellent overview of “12 Things Successful People Never Reveal about Themselves at Work,” which can also serve as a list of things not to discuss when networking! Not all 12 items are relevant to job searching, but the items that are fall into several categories: When talking about work, don’t Say that you hate your job Describe co-workers as incompetent Reveal your salary When talking about your personal life, don’t Discuss your religious or political views Describe your sex life (or anyone else’s, for that matter!) Talk about your alcohol consumption Tell stories about your misspent youth One final suggestion that doesn’t fall into either of those categories: Don’t tell offensive jokes. And if you’re not sure if...

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Social media and you

Posted by on Jun 9, 2015 in Uncategorized

I’ve written other posts for this blog telling you about the importance of having an up-to-date profile on LinkedIn, using all the tools that LinkedIn has to offer, and making sure that your other social media sites present you in a way that is professionally acceptable. However, last week I read an article on cio.com that took a different approach—it talks to those who may have thought they could succeed at finding a job without having any social media presence at all (or by having their profiles set to “private”). According to research from CareerBuilder, many employers won’t even consider an applicant if they can’t find information about them online. For some people, that’s a frightening thought. I have friends who take a great deal of pride in the fact that searching for their name online doesn’t lead to anything relevant about them. But most of those folks aren’t interested in looking for a job! If you’re actively searching, or even if you’re in a position where you have a job but would be willing to consider something different, you need to make sure that your information is available. In addition to LinkedIn, Twitter has become an important resource for recruiters. A related article (found on sofwareadvice.com) gives detailed...

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Where to look for work

Posted by on Jun 4, 2015 in Featured, Uncategorized

As a follow up to Tuesday’s post about the success my NC State students had in finding work after graduation, it seems only fair to tell you that Raleigh, NC, is the number one city in the U.S. “for Jobs Right Now” according to research conducted by Glassdoor and published by Forbes a couple of weeks ago. The criteria for the rankings included the “ratio of available jobs to population, cost of living, and job satisfaction among residents.” Raleigh’s population is listed as 1.3 million, but that’s really the total metropolitan area, which includes Durham and Chapel Hill and the surrounding towns. The number of available jobs was shown to be more than 24,000, the median base salary came in at just over $50,000, and the median home value was just under $200,000. All of those factors make it a highly desirable area and explain why the population has grown dramatically in the past two decades. Other cities making it to the top ten were (in order) Kansas City, Missouri Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Austin, Texas Seattle, Washington Salt Lake City, Utah San Jose, California Louisville, Kentucky San Antonio, Texas Washington, D.C. The northeastern part of the U.S. is noticeably missing from the list (although, in fairness, Boston did come...

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More success stories

Posted by on Jun 2, 2015 in Uncategorized

Each fall and spring since 2005, I have taught an undergraduate internship course for student majoring in any program within the NC State College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Students in the course are required to spend 120 hours at an internship relevant to their career interests, attend the class that I teach, and complete assignments pertaining to job search and application processes and strategies. The students must be either juniors or seniors when they take the class, and this past spring most of the students were seniors. After the semester ended, I asked them to write and tell me what they’re doing next—either for the summer or after graduation. I only heard from 10 of the 23 students—but they’re responses were pretty impressive, and they emphasized the value of internships. Six graduating seniors had secured full-time jobs, two of which were with the organization where they interned this spring, and three of which were directly related to the internship. One graduating senior will be working free-lance for the newspaper where she interned (and also waitressing to pay off some debt) and is planning on applying to graduate school for fall 2016. One graduating senior had been hired full time for the summer at the law firm where he...

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