Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Social Media Blogs to Enhance Your Career

Social media and networking online can be intimidating. Even trying to find blogs that explain blogs can be like chasing your own tail. Below are a few blogs that will help bring some clarity to the social media chaos. The various sites below were chosen to specifically help WGU students and graduates understand the use of social media when it comes to both job searching and managing your professional profile. Be sure to explore the WGU Career & Professional Development Center’s own homepage for other tips and insights to Social Media mastery!

How to Use Social Media to Land a Job
“I’m not very techno-savvy”, “I don’t want to put myself out there on the internet”, “I’m a private person”. If these are some responses to why you’re not using Social Media as part of your job search, you may be missing out on a huge piece of the action. Many recruiters today use Social Media to network with possible candidates. Miriam Salpeter, who writes for US News & World Report, offers tips on how to use these tools successfully.

Social Media Do’s & Don’ts: 10 Tips for Keeping Your Profiles Professional
Recruiters and hiring managers are now using the web and Social Media to vet candidates for jobs. What will they see if they “Google” your name?  Megan Ruesink is a freelance writer for Rasmussen College and she gives some do’s and don’ts when it comes to your professional presence on social networking sites.

35 of the Most Influential Career Sites for 2014
Here’s a link of a comprehensive list of some of the best career, interviewing, job search and recruiting blog sites. These are long standing sources that are consistently updated and have shown significant expertise in the field.  Ken Sundheim is the CEO of KAS Placement and a contributor to Forbes.com. He has collected these sites for job seeker’s convenience.

How to Use Social Media for Professional Development
Devika Arora is a professional writer currently focusing on the extensive domain of job search and career building. She contributes to Social Media Today. This blog demonstrates how various social media platforms can help both job seekers and working professionals develop and leverage “personal learning networks (PLNs)” to advance their career goals.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Creating Accomplishment Statements for a Commanding Resume

When creating a powerful resume, it is important to highlight your accomplishments for each position you have included on your resume, going beyond just listing job duties. A job duty only describes what you did and an accomplishment describes how well you did it. Hiring managers are familiar with job duties, but you want to tell them something they don’t already know.  They want to know what sets you apart or what you have accomplished in your past positions that would be beneficial to their organization.

It can be challenging to turn job duties into accomplishments. Following the steps below, you’ll soon be able to change standard job duties into accomplishment statements that highlight the results and outcomes of your actions. 

1. Brainstorm. Start by taking time to create a list regarding what you have accomplished in each of your positions without worrying about wording, grammar, and punctuation.  Amy Michalenko from The Muse shared these questions for consideration as you develop your list.
  • What did I do that was above and beyond my normal job duties?
  • How did I stand out among other employees?
  • Was I ever recognized by a supervisor for a job well done? When and why?
  • Did I win any awards or accolades?
  • What new processes did I implement to improve things?
  • What problems did I solve?
  • Did I ever consistently meet or exceed goals or quotas?
  • Did I save or make the company money?
  • What made me really great at my job? 
2. Utilize Numbers.  Whenever possible, try to incorporate numbers, percentages, and figures into your accomplishments. Utilizing numbers can help the employer understand the scope of your work and the level of your responsibility. Numbers help paint a clear picture of what you accomplished that employers can understand.

3. Create your accomplishment statements to add to your resume. Utilizing the information from the steps above, you now want to apply consistent formatting to each accomplishment, paying close attention to wording, spelling, grammar, and punctuation. You’ll want to start each accomplishment with an action verb followed by a description of what you did and how well you did it. The University of Utah Career Services created this table as a tool to help you develop your own winning accomplishment statements.

Action Verb
Who/What/How Many
a new policy and procedure for auditing reports
increasing accuracy rates from 65% to 90%
Created and managed
a fundraising event  for 250 attendees
that sold out and raised more than $100,000
all customer questions and concerns were addressed 
consistently receiving unsolicited praise from customers and supervisor 

Utilizing accomplishment statements is a powerful way to help your resume stand out from the pack. WGU Career & Professional Development would be happy to assist in creating accomplishment statements, providing resume feedback, or answering any additional career questions you may have.