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3 Reasons to Take Summer Classes This Year

For students at online schools, summer is increasingly becoming a time to stay enrolled in courses. While there are fun parts of taking the summer off, like beach getaways, weekend road trips or simply lounging by the pool, many busy adult students see the practical advantages of continuing to pursue their education. Below are a few of the reasons these students are choosing to stay in online school in the summer. Read More…

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How Can That Co-Worker Be So Smart – and So Clueless?

Have you ever worked with someone who, despite being obviously really smart, was pretty much just clueless when it came to being a productive human being? You know the one. Sheer brain power: off the charts. But people skills? Nada. Team collaboration? Zilch. Empathy? Not in her vocabulary.

And as you’ve probably observed, all those smarts often can’t compensate for a lack of people skills. In fact, it turns out that having a high intelligence quota (IQ) isn’t nearly as important to a successful life – and career – as is having a high level of emotional intelligence (EQ). Read More…

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Bridges – Build Them, Don’t Burn Them

Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will every regret.

– Ambrose Bierce

Yep, it’s only normal to want to drop-kick them out the office window and through the field goal uprights. You know who I mean: that jerk down the hall the fourth time she breaks out her with her rendition of Barry Manilow’s greatest hits – and that’s the fourth time today….

Or that co-worker who nuked his anchovy pizza in the office microwave and now your nostrils (and stomach) are in full revolt….

Or that boss whose idea of team motivation is group hugs and a mean game of Friday afternoon charades…. Read More…

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Resume Tips: Use a Summary Statement to Lead with Your Strengths

The last time I was putting together a resume, I had an “Objective” statement at the top that read something along the lines of “Seeking an opportunity to grow and contribute my professional skills in a dynamic corporate environment.”

Okay, what I really wanted to say was “After the group of psychotic bosses and co-workers I’ve had so far, I’m desperately trying to find an employer where intelligence and professionalism are actually valued rather than used for target practice!” Fortunately, those outmoded Objectives statement have been replaced by something much better: a Summary statement.

Resume Summary Statements

Basically, a summary statement is a very brief paragraph – think perhaps two or three sentences – that showcases all of your most important strengths. The language is concise and businesslike, and generally (because you’re trying to keep the wording as tight as possible), you drop pronouns (“I”) and focus only on those terms that deliver the greatest impact.

What Wording Might You Use?

As an example, if you had a background in healthcare customer service, your summary statement might be something like:

Healthcare customer service supervisor with 5 years managing increasingly large customer service teams for two largest HMOs in the U.S.  Track record of leading teams with high customer satisfaction scores and low employee turnover rates.  Especially skilled at managing multicultural, multi-generational, and virtual teams.

Or, if you had a background in managing retail establishments, for example, an art gallery where you’d been responsible for setting up art events, your summary statement might be along the lines of:

Experienced retail manager with demonstrated strengths in events planning, customer/client relations, website management, and administrative coordination. Marketing and operations management skills have been primarily deployed in the art and higher education environments, but are easily transferrable to additional business settings.

My background includes working as an information strategist for organizations, so my summary statement if applying for a job as an information strategist might look like this:

Experienced content strategist and content developer, working with corporations and nonprofits to develop information resources and processes that meet strategic goals. Expertise includes print and online content development, project-based research, information project management, and creation of information strategies that drive key organizational strategic goals.

Tailor Your Statement to Your Potential Job

When you craft your summary statement, you want to keep several things in mind. First, you want to keep it brief and focused on your most compelling strengths. Second, you want to highlight any differentiators that really set you apart as a job candidate (“especially skilled at coaching new hires for fast performance results”). Third, you want to proactively address any concerns the resume reader might have about your appropriateness for the job (“…skills have been primarily deployed in the retail and higher education environments, but are easily transferrable to additional business settings”).

Lastly, you want to make sure your summary statement is specifically tailored to the job you’re applying for. This may mean that you revise your summary statement for each different job you’re targeting, but it’s worth the effort – this is your best (and often your only) chance to catch the attention of that potential employer.

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Temping Can Deliver Permanent Benefits

Wondering if working a temporary job, or “temping,” might make sense for you? Actually, depending on your circumstances, temping can be a terrific option for keeping your career moving forward.

It can be a great solution for those in the midst of career transitions or life changes, those who’ve just moved to a new community and need to build professional contacts, or those who prefer the variety of temporary or project work to the predictability of a permanent position. Read More…

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How to Use LinkedIn to Advance Your Career

By now you’ve probably gotten the message that being on LinkedIn is a career must-do. But are you actively using its Groups feature to advance your career? If not, here are five ways to make the most of this valuable LinkedIn function.

Build your professional brand visibility. Search for groups in your professional discipline that seem to be the most active (most members, lots of discussions and comments), and join, then lurk for a bit to get a sense of the group’s interactions. Once you feel comfortable with the group dynamics, begin to engage by sharing your knowledge in response to posted questions, sharing information resources, asking thoughtful questions, and commenting positively on others’ posts. The quality of your contributions will begin building your visibility as a knowledgeable, engaged professional in your area of expertise. (Tip: check out the previous discussion threads before posting a question, just in case it’s been covered before.) Read More…

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Tips for Balancing Online Classes with Work

One of the many benefits of online classes is they can be prioritized around a student’s work schedule. Unfortunately, this balancing act is more easily said than done, especially when combined with the demands of family and extracurricular activities. The following tips can empower you to create a schedule that accommodates your varied responsibilities, while keeping your educational goals easily within reach.

5 Tips for Balancing Online Classes With Work Life Read More…

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How a Human Resources Certificate can Advance Your Career

A human resources certificate program is a valuable addition to your career portfolio. While work experience is important, there is no way to quantify whether or not a prospective job candidate’s experience has provided the education, knowledge and skill sets a company is looking for. Your human resource certificate will serve to validate your mastery of HR skills. In addition to advancing your human resources career, receiving an HR certificate can also help you to increase your lifetime salary potential.

A Human Resources Certificate Program is Your Academic Stamp of Approval

Once you receive an HR certificate, you have a stamp of approval from a nationally, and globally, recognized institute, indicating that you have the professional expertise and credibility required to be effective in an HR department. Your certificate can help you to land the jobs you want, as well as increase your ability to be promoted. Certificates oriented towards the field of human resources will also help you to move towards the upper-end of the salary schedule, which will help you to increase your net worth. Read More…

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Where Can Adult Students Search for Scholarships

Financial Aid is the key that unlocks the doors to higher learning for many adults, which is why knowing how to do a thorough scholarship search is a valuable skill. Unfortunately, most returning students take on their fair share of federal and private loans, unaware there are literally thousands of scholarships available if you know where to look. One of the best things you can do to eliminate the financial burden of college is to search for scholarships that will fund your tuition, and possibly your living expenses, to lower the overall cost of your continuing education. Read More…

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Why College Certificate Programs Are Increasing in Popularity

Certificate programs provide nationally recognized credentials that can replace or supplement a traditional degree program. They are offered in a wide variety of subjects, from IT security and web design to business finance and human resources compliance. Certificate programs are increasing in popularity for several reasons. These reasons include their ability to be completed in a reasonable time frame and their flexibility in regards to existing work and life schedules.

Certifications will enhance your resume potential and may often boost an employee’s earning potential. A certification program can serve as the bridge between an old career pathway and a new one. In some cases, companies require specific certifications preceding an employee’s advancement and/or wage increase.

Here are some of the many reasons you may want to pursue one of the many certificate programs offered at Bryant & Stratton College. Read More…

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