Thursday, July 10, 2014

What You Need to Know About Application Tracking Systems

An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a software application that enables the electronic handling of employer recruitment needs. Nearly all major corporations use some form of an applicant tracking system to handle job applications and to manage resume data. Applicant tracking systems are error-prone and if your resume isn't formatted a certain way or doesn't contain the right keywords and phrases, your resume can end up in a black hole, never to be seen by a human eye, despite your qualifications.

To increase the chances of your resume getting through an applicant tracking system,
consider the following tips:

Utilize Key Skills and Qualifications
  • An ATS runs on keywords. Start with the job description and make sure to incorporate key skills and qualifications directly from the job posting. 
  • Don’t stop with the job description. Check the Skills section of the LinkedIn profile builder for keyword skills that relate to your industry/profession. 
  • Research the industry and similar job descriptions from different companies to ensure you have a comprehensive set of key skills and qualifications included in your resume. 
  • Use unusual words at your own risk! ATS software is programmed with common words. If you choose to use unusual synonyms, they may not be caught by the ATS.
Focus on Formatting
  • A single column, Word document is best, as PDF’s are easily misinterpreted by an ATS.
  • Avoid tables and graphics. An ATS can’t read graphics and tables are typically misread.
  • Length does not matter to an ATS. A resume should be as long or as short as you need it to be without going over 2 pages. 
  • Avoid excessive creativity. ATS software is not creatively savvy. Consider having a couple versions of your resume – one for the ATS and one in a more creative, eye appealing format for humans.
Tap into the Power of Networking
  • Employee referrals from a well-respected employee are often given priority over the online-generated candidate pool. Look to your network to see if you know anyone within the company who can help get your resume in front of a recruiter or hiring manager. 
  • Schedule informational interviews at companies of interest with individuals in roles similar to those you in which you are interested.
  • Expand your network. Utilize social media like LinkedIn to connect with recruiters and hiring managers. Attend networking events and professional meetings, conferences, or conventions. Join professional associations. 
  • Networking is the best use of your time. Learn, engage, and follow up!
Contact WGU Career & Professional Development for a personalized resume review and career assistance. We're here to help!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Create a Public Profile in CareerBeam

CareerBeam is a full service career development portal designed to provide all the resources necessary to guide individuals through the strategic job search process and achieve their career goals.

Through CareerBeam, you have the ability to make your resume searchable and visible to employers. You can accomplish this by building a resume within the CareerBeam system using the Chronological Resume Builder or Custom Resume Builder. You can access the resume builders by logging in with your WGU portal credentials. You can access the resume builders from our resume page under Covering the Essentials on the WGU Career & Professional Development website.

Once you have completed your resume, from the resume edit page you can toggle between setting your resume to Private or Public. The default setting is Private. To change your profile to Public, click on the red Private button and you will be given options to create your Public Profile.

You can customize your Public Profile by adding a profile picture, recording a video introduction, selecting your account settings, adding profile skills and uploading additional documents that you’d like to share. To ensure your Public Profile is appealing to employers, contact WGU Career & Professional Development for feedback and suggestions.



If you would like to make your resume Private again, you can do so by going back into your resume from My Documents in CareerBeam, clicking Edit and then toggling to Private.

You also have the option of uploading a resume to CareerBeam. It will NOT be keyword searchable, but you can make it Public so that employers can view your resume.  To upload and make a resume Public, go to My Documents and you will see an option to upload your resume.  Once your resume in uploaded, click the “lock” icon beside the resume name and that will toggle the resume to Public.

We are here to help! Please do not hesitate in contacting WGU Career & Professional Development for individual assistance in creating a strong Public Profile or to answer any additional career questions you may have.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Career Options for Bachelor of Arts In Educational Studies (BAES) Degree

If you are student or graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Educational Studies (BAES) degree, you might be wondering what kinds of career options are available to you, since this is a non-licensure teaching program.  While it is easier to get a teaching job with a teaching license, it doesn't mean that a teaching license is out of the question for you.  You just might need to take a different route to get there.

If you haven’t already done so, you should research your state’s “alternative certification program” on your state’s Department of Education web site.  Every state has a procedure for non-traditional licensing.  Some states will give you a temporary teaching license with the understanding that you need to complete their alternative certification guidelines within a year or two’s time-frame.  Other states will want you to complete their alternative certification program first and then grant you a teaching certificate at the conclusion of the program.

If you aren't interested in obtaining a teaching license but would still like to work in the field of education, consider the following career options as alternatives:

  1. Educational Centers such as museums, zoos, theme parks, science centers, aquariums, renaissance fairs and summer camps all need directors and staff to handle their educational programming.
  2. Opportunities exist to teach English abroad through private organizations.  Some of these positions require you to move to the country and other opportunities allow you to work from home and tutor on-line to international students.  If you want to work for DODEA (Department of Defense Education Activity), you will need a teaching license.  In addition to teaching internationally, you could also consider the role of Foreign Exchange Program Coordinator and create exchange programs for schools in your community.
  3. Textbook Companies need curriculum developers, textbook writers, textbook editors and sales representatives to sell their product to local school districts for textbook adoption.  A quick Google search will give you a list of US Textbook companies to research for opportunities in your area.
  4. Business corporations need corporate trainers, educational consultants, professional development facilitators and motivational speakers to train their staff and keep their employees current on trends within their industry. Most businesses will post these positions on popular job search engines.
  5. Testing centers across the country also have a variety of positions to fill in education.  Positions such as test developers, proctors, assessors, quality assurance and security jobs are also available to those with education based backgrounds.  Many of these positions are located in a certain geographic region of the country, but if you’re willing to move, there is great opportunity in this industry.
  6. Support roles within a school are a natural way to land a full time teaching job.  Obtaining a job as a paraprofessional, coach, tutor, resource teacher, teacher’s aide, substitute teacher, daycare or preschool teacher are great ways to get your foot in the door at a school to network every day with the administration.  Finding a role in this area, while simultaneously pursuing your alternate certification program for your state, leads to a great opportunity for the following school year to get your first classroom.
  7. Consider returning to WGU for your Master’s degree in a specialized field.  There are a lot of educational opportunities available to you that don’t require a teaching license.  In K-12 education, you could assume roles as a media specialist, technology specialist, curriculum developer, learning specialist and reading coach.  In higher education, opportunities such as academic advisor, adjunct professor and mentor don’t require a teaching license, but usually will require an advanced degree.

If you have further questions about these types of roles, please visit WGU Career & Professional Development to take our career assessment and explore more career options.  Before applying for any position, remember to have your resume reviewed by one of our specialists.  You can e-mail it to careers@wgu.edu in a Word document and we’ll get you some feedback for improvement!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Great Summer Reads from the WGU Career E-Library

As summer gets underway you might be looking to add to your summer reading list. Stop by the WGU Career E-Library for some relevant information and resources to enhance your job search and career. Do you have questions about industries that might interest you? Are you wondering how to handle a recent job loss? Are you interested in resources for job seekers with disabilities? The WGU Career E-Library has information that can help you answer these questions (and then some).  Let’s take a tour!

  • One of the featured resources in the WGU Career E-Library is the Riley Guide. Here you will find comprehensive online information and resources to assist you in your career and job search.  The Riley Guide brings you the latest information on career management resources on the Internet. Simply use the alphabetical index to locate your area of interest and you’ll be directed to the best sites available. 
  • WGU also offers excellent resources to research a variety of industries from First Research and Hoover’s, Inc. These tools provide hundreds of industry profiles, covering over 1000 industry segments. Profiles include in-depth data and are continuously updated. There is even a feature with industry specific questions you can ask in an Informational Interview. 
  • Interested in opportunities in federal service? The Career E-Library links to Go Government – a one-stop shop for how to find and apply to federal government jobs.
  • The Career E-Library also features job search and career development resources for veterans, job seekers with disabilities, LGBTQ job seekers and mature job seekers. 

WGU Career and Professional Development is ready to assist you in compiling your summer reading list. We are happy to answer any questions you may have, help you navigate the plethora of resources available and also point you to additional resources. In addition to your summer reading, schedule an appointment with one of our specialists to talk through your next career steps.