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For Students: Motivation (2)

Friday, 12 October 2012 21:39

Are You Employable?

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Are You Employable?

Excerpted from "Career Building: Your Total Handbook for Finding a Job and Making It Work"

Here's the bottom line: You have to get a job, you have to go to work and someday, you'll probably have to change jobs. "CAREER BUILDING: Your Total Handbook for Finding a Job and Making It Work" (Collins Business) is a one-stop guide for navigating all those times in your career.

If you find your job hunt isn't giving you anything but a stress headache, maybe it's time for a refresher. Ask yourself these questions:

Is my résumé targeted?

Just because you're applying for multiple jobs, don't assume the same résumé works for every position. Each job posting will stress different qualities over others, so rework each résumé to highlight the experience and skills that correspond to that particular employer. Your résumé will prove not only that you're qualified for the job but that you also pay attention to detail.

Am I networking?

We've said it once; we'll say it again—networking is crucial. Think about this: There is only one of you and there are thousands of job openings. The more people know you're looking for a job, the better your chances of finding one are. You can never be sure who will know of an available position. Networking can also connect you to a hiring manager, directly or indirectly, giving you the edge over other candidates.

Do I know something about the companies I'm applying to?

"Tell me what you know about the company" or "Why would you fit in well here?" have become staple interview questions, so don't be caught off guard. Shrugging your shoulders and saying, "I don't know" isn't going to score you points. Look at the company's Web site and read press releases and newspaper articles to see what's going on with your prospective future boss. In addition to preparing for the interview, you'll learn whether the company and its culture are a right fit for you.

Has someone else evaluated my résumé and interview technique?

Feedback is critical to job hunting. Ask someone else to read your résumé and review it as if they were hiring for the job. Friends or colleagues can provide objective points of view to help you revise your résumé.

Your interview skills need the same attention. Are your answers succinct or too short? Thorough or rambling? What you think you're saying isn't necessarily what others hear, so find this out now rather than in the interview. If you don't think that a colleague or friend can offer constructive feedback, make an appointment with an interview coach.

How am I presenting myself?

Employers are assessing your presentation before you even show up for an interview. Your e-mails and phone conversations with hiring managers or recruiters should also send a professional message. Don't send emails written in all capital letters and/or using three exclamation points—it's bad netiquette in personal correspondence, but it's even worse in business. Put the same thought into your outgoing voice mail message. Don't try to be funny by playing 30 seconds of your favorite song or talking with a mouthful of food. Hiring managers might hang up instead of ask you to call them back. Give a normal, casual greeting, or use one of the preprogrammed options that come with most accounts.

If a recruiter calls you, don't try to hold a conversation with your TV blaring in the background or your child screaming on your lap. If you're asked whether it's a good time to talk, you can be honest and say you're in the middle of something. Then ask if he or she can call you back in 15 minutes or find another day that's convenient for both of you. You'll be prepared to answer all the recruiter's questions and won't be distracted.

Your goal is to find a better job than you had, right? So you have to conduct a better search this time around. Put the effort in and you'll see the results.

Friday, 12 October 2012 20:18

Careers in Web 2.0 and Digital Media

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Careers in Web 2.0 and Digital Media

Are you an Internet junkie? This is the field for you!

By: Jacqueline Bodnar

Are you someone who likes to create Web sites, play online video games, or spend time making the most of the latest social media outlets? If so, careers in Web 2.0 or digital media may be right up your alley. With the ability to use your creativity to help drive the online world, you can have fun and earn a good living at the same time. And with the growth of technology in this area over recent years, there are plenty of job opportunities to go around.

Working in Web 2.0

"Web 2.0 is a term commonly used to refer to Web applications that allow interactive information-sharing, the development of 'mash-ups' or Web pages that are capable of combing data from a variety of existing Web resources, and collaboration over the World Wide Web," explains Dr. Kevin Floyd, assistant professor of information technology at Macon State College in Macon, Georgia.

Even those who may not be familiar with the term "Web 2.0" probably have used it for one thing or another. Examples of Web 2.0 include social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. But it also includes blogs, wikis (i.e., Wikipedia), and shared videos like YouTube, Web applications, and even mash-ups, such as Google Maps.

Given the number of online sites and applications that are available online at any given time, it's easy to see that there are plenty of opportunities available in this area.

"Web 2.0 technologies are rapidly becoming a part of all major industries – like government, health care, education, and private business – who seek to provide convenient, interactive and secure data resources to their customers," adds Floyd.

Doing Digital Media

When it comes to other opportunities for working in the online world, many people choose careers within the digital media sector.

"Digital media technically is any content that is created and displayed electronically," says Alicia David, assistant professor of digital media at Macon State College. "From my perspective as a professor of information technology (IT), digital media is the creative side of IT."

She explains that the term is often used to refer to the collection of specialties that includes digital video production, digital audio, digital art, digital design, interactive game development, 3D animation, and other areas.

What many people like about the digital media field is the opportunity to be creative; you have new things to work on, and something "real" to show for all your effort. With a variety of diverse projects available, and the continual changes in technology, it keeps people challenged and interested.

"You have to be able to handle change, and you also have to be skilled in multiple areas," adds David. "If you are a digital designer, for example, you will probably also have to be skilled at developing Web pages, digital art, animations, and so forth."

Digital art is another are where many students find favorable job opportunities following college. Most digital arts programs focus on training students in the skills they’ll need in order to master the area of digital design.

"There are two challenging areas that most students master, in this type of program," says Joe Reinsel, associate director of the master's degree program in digital arts at Goucher College, in Baltimore, Maryland. "The first is developing their own ideas that focus on using digital media. The other is showing and distributing those works to a wider audience. Both of these are important aspects, and both are integral to the career of an artist or designer."

Digital Salaries

How much you can expect to earn in this field largely depends on the specific area that you choose to go into. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that multimedia artists and animators earn a median annual salary of around $56,000.

If you would like to study Web 2.0 and/or digital media in college, it is never too early to start taking classes in video, television, yearbook, journalism, and Web-related courses. Also, computer classes that deal with digital art would be helpful, as would Web page design, presentation, and animation.

Gone Digital

Whether you see yourself working as a digital media journalist or designing the next social networking site, there are plenty of options for those interested in helping to guide the Internet to the next level.

With plenty of variety in positions, above-average salaries, and the ability to work freelance, Web 2.0 and digital media careers are ones you may want to consider.




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