resume writing tips

Resume Writing Tips for Getting Your Next Job

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resume writing tipsLooking for the right job takes just a much work as a full-time position. To find the right job and get one within a short time frame, there are a couple of things that you can do to your resume to help it stand out from the crowd. Here are three resume writing tips you will want to consider to make your job search go faster.

Using Relevant Industry Keywords

When you are searching job boards for the right position to fill, you may find yourself looking for certain industry keywords that tell you what the job is about and whether your skills will match. The same idea can be applied to your resume. Before submitting to a company, make sure that the relevant industry keywords they use the job listing also appear on your resume, as long as they read well.

Tailoring Your Work History

Whether you have only had one previous position or many, it is important to tailor your resume to provide only the most useful information for the company you want to work with. You may be proud of your part-time retail job that you worked at during college, but if you are going into a completely different industry such as teaching or engineering, the skills are not necessarily relevant.

If you don’t have relevant work experience, you can include other ways you have gain applicable skills such as volunteer work and extracurricular programs.

Add Follow-Up Information

The best way to show a company you are interested in the job is to apply, have a good interview and then follow up after the interview. When it comes to your resume and cover letter, make sure you are specific about when you will follow up. Many great applicants will tell recruiters in the cover letter that they will follow up within a week after they have received the application.

If you are interested in learning more about searching for the right position and how to get your resume ready for applying, please contact us.

international students

What International Students Should Know about American Universities

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international studentsBefore deciding on an American university, international students should research the American school system. Universities in the U.S. differ from those in Europe and even from those in Canada. Before coming to the States, you should consider these topics:

Bachelor’s vs Masters’s

In the United States, Bachelor’s degrees typically last 4 years. They’re longer than the 3 year degree in Europe since American colleges require students to take general elective classes.

A Master’s degree, on the other hand, can last anywhere between 1 and 3 years. It completely depends on the program and how much time the student can dedicate to his studies. If you work full-time, for example, then you can take classes at night. This course of study lasts longer compared to a full-time student.

Popular majors

Many students in the U.S. study Business Administration, Communications, and Social Sciences. STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) are also popular and generally considered to be more demanding.

It’s important to note that degrees in the U.S. sometimes vary from degrees in your home country, even if they have the same name.

Living on-campus vs living off-campus

Universities in the U.S. typically guarantee housing for first-year students. After that, however, they’re usually on their own.

Living off-campus has its benefits, though. It’s cheaper, students have more freedom, and you can start to prepare yourself for life after college.

Ideal locations

Big cities in the U.S. like New York and Washington D.C. often attract international students. The city you study in is important for acquiring internships. If you study finance, for example, then you probably would prefer to study in Manhattan. But a political science major would have more resources in D.C.

American colleges are unique for several reasons. Before arriving, it’s important that you understand these differences and choose the university that fits you best.

To talk more about universities in the U.S., or anything else, please contact us. Thanks.

American Education Gulf Expo Announcement

University of the Potomac to Exhibit at American Education Asia Expo

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American Education Gulf Expo AnnouncementCome and meet us at the ISN’s Spring 2015 American Education Asia Expo from February 23 through March 23 in India, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and China. You will learn more about our University, degree programs, admissions requirements, tuition and fees, scholarships, life in Washington DC, and much more.

Below is the tentative Expo schedule. Please come back later to check the updated schedule.

New Delhi, India: Monday, February 23, 2015
4:00 PM – 6:00 PM – ISN Agent Expo: Holiday Inn, Mayur Vihar

New Delhi, India: Tuesday, February 24, 2015
8:00 AM – 1:00 PM – High School Visits

Hyderabad, India: Wednesday, February 25, 2015
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM – ISN Agent Expo and ISN Student Fair: Taj Deccan Hyderabad

Hyderabad, India: Thursday, February 26, 2015
8:00 AM – 1:00 PM – High School Visits

Chennai, India: Friday, February 27, 2015
8:00 AM – 1:00 PM – High School Visits
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM – ISN Agent Expo and ISN Student Fair: Hyatt Regency Chennai

Ahmedabad, India: Sunday, March 1, 2015
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM – ISN Agent Expo and ISN Student Fair: Courtyard by Marriott

Ahmedabad, India: Monday, March 2, 2015
8:00 AM – 1:00 PM – High School Visits

Jakarta, Indonesia: Saturday, March 14, 2015
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM – ISN Agent Expo and ISN Student Fair: JW Marriott Hotel

Bangkok, Thailand: Monday, March 16, 2015
8:00 AM – 1:00 PM – High School Visits
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM – ISN Agent Expo and ISN Student Fair: Four Seasons Hotel

Hanoi, Vietnam: Wednesday, March 18, 2015
8:00 AM – 1:00 PM – High School Visits
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM – ISN Agent Expo and ISN Student Fair: Sofitel Plaza Hanoi

Hanoi, Vietnam: Thursday, March 19, 2015
8:00 AM – 1:00 PM – High School Visits

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: Friday, March 20, 2015
8:00 AM – 1:00 PM – High School Visits

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: Saturday, March 21, 2015
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM – ISN Agent Expo and ISN Student Fair: Rex Hotel

Shanghai, China: Monday, March 23, 2015
8:00 AM – 1:00 PM – High School Visits
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM – ISN Agent Expo and ISN Student Fair: JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai

If you have any questions about the India and Asia Expos, please email us at international@potomac.edu.
We look forward to seeing you!

interview tips

4 Interview Dressing Tips to Help You Put Your Best Foot Forward

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interview tipsIf you’ve ever looked up how to prepare for a job interview, then you already know that one of the key ways to do so is by looking professional.  The first impression you make on your interviewer is by how you look.  So if you show up looking shabby, unwashed, unshaved or unprofessional in some other way, you’ve already lost a few points which it will be hard to get back.  Here are a few interview tips to keep in mind with regard to your attire:

  1. It’s always safe to wear a suit.  In some occupations, you might be able to get away with showing up business casual at the interview.  However, no one’s going to hold it against you if you wear a suit.  Even if you look really uncomfortable because you rarely ever wear suits, the interviewer will notice that you made an effort to be professional because you care about getting the job.  This earns you points.
  2. Neutrals or colors?  Most people will tell you that you should go with a suit in a neutral color like grey, black, navy blue etc.  In general, it’s a good idea to look understated on the day of your interview.  At the same time, wearing dull colors is likely to make you blend in completely with the pool of applicants.  You’re not going to stand out in any way.  For women, there are many options to stand out.  If you’re wearing a grey suit, you can pair it with a pink blouse.  You can also add scarves, brooches and earrings with a bit of color.  For men, adding color can get a bit tricky because interviewers may not care for yellow ties or mauve shirts.  So just try to make sure that the colors of your suit are crisp and eye-catching, even if they’re neutral.
  3. Grooming.  In some ways, grooming is even more important than what you wear because the interviewer is going to be focused on your face.  If your hair keeps falling into your eyes or you have a five o’clock shadow, these things will distract your interviewer who won’t focus on what you’re saying.  So you need to make sure your hair is neatly cut and set when you go in for your interview.  For women, it’s also important to make sure that your makeup is subtle and understated.  It’s fine to want to look attractive but you can save the red lipstick for a different occasion.
  4. Avoid Overly Revealing/Tight Attire.  This rule applies to men as well as women.  Women should avoid extremely plunging necklines and short skirts while men should avoid tight jackets or shirts which show off their muscles to advantage.  We’re not saying that you shouldn’t be proud of your body.  When you’re hanging out with friends or your significant other, feel free to dress exactly as you like.  But when you’re going for an interview, you want to impress your interviewer with your brains, not your brawn!

Contact us for more great ways to make sure you’re appropriately dressed for your interview.

career services

How a Career Coach Can Benefit Your Career

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career servicesHaving a professional career coach may help you gain new perspectives on your career and boost your confidence. What’s more, a career coach may  result in improved productivity and satisfaction with life and work.

Donna Sweidan, a career coach with over 15 years of experience, recommends career coaching in the early years of college or immediately post-college, though she says career coaching can be beneficial for any stage of a person’s career. Likewise, career coach and former CNN correspondent Gina London says anyone who is struggling from some aspect of their career can benefit from having a career coach’s guide.

This being said, here are benefits you get from having a career coach.

1. An Objective Perspective on Your Career

It’s helpful to have friends and family help you with your career, but because they’ve known you for a good amount of your lifetime, their advice can be slightly subjective. With a career coach, you’ll be getting a completely objective perspective. Career coaching, after all, involves in-depth career research and complex psychological theory – both of which require objectivity.

Case in point, Donna Sweiden shares how giving her perspective had helped one of her clients advance in her job search:

A recent client of mine couldn’t break the pattern of just submitting resumes to online job postings. After some prodding, she revealed that, because her parents both had bold personalities, it was her tendency to hold back. She struggled with being assertive, she was reluctant to ask for help and she was scared of rejection. I had to encourage her to develop the confidence that’s essential for networking—the piece of the job search that she was avoiding.

2. Measurable Progress

A career coach doesn’t just listen to your concerns. Rather, they give you tools, tips, and techniques to help you attain measurable results. This is what makes a career coach different from any other type of mentor: they don’t just give you advice based on their own life experiences.

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of career coaching for your career, feel free to visit ourwebsite and/or contact us.

Sources:

1. “10 Things You Should Know About Career Coaching” (Forbes)

2. “The Case for a Personalized Career Coach” (Fast Company)

skills you need in 21st century

Why You Should Learn How to Code

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skills you need in 21st centuryOut of all the skills students need in 21st century, none will as frequently requested by businesses as coding. Coding is something that’s used in several industries and will always be in demand.

There are two ways students can make themselves more competitive with coding. The first is to study computer science and learn the practice inside and out. There are tons of jobs available for coders both in the private and public workplaces.

The other route a student can take is to learn coding as a supplement to his or her degree. A business administration major who knows how to code is much more attractive to firms than the average student.

Either way, the skill will be useful in the job market. Demand for coding is expected to grow in the upcoming years. This recent Readwrite article talks about the current and future job markets for coding:

“The number of coding jobs is only expected to increase over time. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 913,000 computer programmer jobs in 2010. That number is expected to jump 30% from 2010 to 2020. Meanwhile, the average growth of all other U.S. jobs is predicted to be just 14%.”

An important aspect of coding is that it’s versatile. Whether you’re designing a web page, creating an economic model, or making a new app, you’ll either need to code or hire someone who can.

A common misconception concerning coding is that it’s too difficult to learn. While there are multiple coding languages, experience shows that the first language is by far the hardest to learn. After you already know one, you’ll be able to learn the others relatively quickly.

It’s difficult to compare coding to a similar skill during other time periods. There’s already a strong demand for coding, and that’s only expected to grow in the upcoming years.

To talk more about skills you need in the 21st century, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks.

interview skills and tips

Three Interview Skills and Tips You Could Really Use

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interview skills and tipsJust the word “interview” will bring out the anxiety in most people. Here are three interview skills and tips to help keep that anxiety at bay.

Do Your Research Properly: Everybody tells you to do your “research” on the company you are applying for but what does that really mean? Some people will inevitably research too much and then forget everything when they get in front of the interviewer and other people will not research enough. To make sure you do your research properly, choose just three things about the company you like and that you can remember, and be ready to talk about those three reasons that make this company better than any other company.

Make A Great Impression on Everyone: There’s a lot of talk about making a great impression on the actual interviewer but what about the rest of the people in the office? When you go in for a job interview, everyone is your interviewer so make a good impression on everyone. The receptionist and the other employees are all watching you so make sure you let them watch the best “you.” Smile at the receptionist and be friendly to the other employees you see in the office. You don’t want anyone to say anything negative about you that could affect a hiring decision.

Be Quick on Your Feet: Interviewers want to see how quick on your feet you can be. They will ask you questions that you don’t expect to see how good your problem-thinking abilities are and how quick you can come up with a solution. You don’t want to panic or get flushed as this will send the message that you don’t work well under pressure. A good way to make yourself ready is to practice. Have friends ask you questions about yourself such as your best attribute or your even your favorite restaurant and see how quickly you can come up with answers on the spot.

Use these tips and you will be able on your way to acing that interview and scoring that job! For more information, contact us.

higher education trends and innovations

Flipping Your Expectations of Higher Education Trends and Innovations

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higher education trends and innovationsThe classroom is always changing as new research and techniques become mainstream.  One of the higher education trends and innovations that has taken root in the 21st century learning environment is known as “flipping.”  What is flipping your classroom and what benefits would your students see?

Simply put, flipping a classroom is an instructional design that allows for students to do much of the lecture before class and in turn allows in-class time to be more focused on deeper learning activities.  This model does require some set-up in the beginning on the part of professors, but there are many technology tools that can assist you in creating lessons for your students to view at home.  One of the easiest to use is Office Mix.

This new add-on to Microsoft PowerPoint, available at https://mix.office.com, allows you to take your current PowerPoint presentations and add narration, video, and evaluation tools.  This option allows you to use presentations that you have already created and turn them into instruction that you can view from home.  Once you have created your Mix, Office Mix then saves your presentation to an online cloud that is moderated under your Microsoft account.  After your Mix is saved, you will be given a link to share with your students either through your LMS or email account.  Yet this is not your only option for saving your presentation.  Office Mix also gives you the option to save your presentation as an MP4; however, if you choose to save in this manner any interactive elements, such as the evaluation tools, will not be available.  You will basically have a video to share with your students.

What are the student benefits to a flipped model of teaching?  Well, one of the most obvious benefits for your students is the accessibility of the content.  In the traditional “sage on the stage” model of teaching students are only exposed to the critical content once, during class, but by providing them with an electronic version of your lecture students can revisit any of the content they find difficult.  This means that your in-class time can be better spent by addressing student concerns, which can be easily identified through the use of evaluation tools, and participating in deeper learning or hands-on activities that relate to the content delivered beforehand.  The result is a innovative way to foster student success.

If you’re interested in tools to help you flip your classroom, contact us.

northern virginia

Who Needs DC? Let’s Explore Northern Virginia!

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northern virginiaSure, Washington DC offers plenty of great things to do. It’s a city like no other…millions of tourists from all over the world agree. For a day trip or weekend, guidebooks will provide you–and all those tourists–with an endless list of activities. What if you’d like something less crowded?

But before you start the drive into the Capital, consider the rich history of Fairfax County. You may be surprised to learn what’s close and convenient. In Northern Virginia, everything you need is practically right out your door.

1. Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center:  Located on Washington Dulles International Airport property, this is the “twin” of theSmithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC. Housed in two giant hangars, you can see the space shuttle Discovery, a Concorde, and a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird. An IMAX Theater offers films on space and aircraft. The 194-foot Observation Tower gives you a 360 degree view of the airport and surrounding area. Admission is free; parking is $15.

2.  American history owes a great deal to Fairfax County. Three important sites played important roles, and are worth a visit:    1) George Washington’s Mount Vernon offers a chance to learn about The Father of Our Country, and how wealthy farmers lived in the 18th century. The mansion, grounds, and outbuildings are open to visitors. You may be surprised to know that Washington was in the whiskey business! In fact, it was one of the most profitable ventures at Mount Vernon. Admission is $17 for adults, ages 12 and over.    2) Sully Historic Site was built in 1794 by Richard Bland Lee. Mr. Lee was Northern Virginia’s first Congressman…and Robert E. Lee’s uncle. On the National Register for Historic Places, Sully Plantation still has its original outbuildings, along with representative slave quar ter and gardens. Guided tours highlight the early 19th century life of the Richard Bland Lee family, tenant farmers and enslaved African Americans. Admission is $7 for adults.    3) Manassas National Battlefield Park, although not in Fairfax County, is an easy 21 mile drive from Vienna, VA. The site of the Confederate victory in the Civil War’s first serious battle on July 21, 1861, the 5,000 acre site has been maintained by the National Park Service. An interesting note: The battle had been expected. Because a swift Union victory was anticipated, politicians and citizens from Washington DC went to the scene with picnics, unaware of the ghastly battle they would be witnessing. Admission is $3 per day for adults over 16.

3. After your fill of history, how about a return to modern times? Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax, VA, with two levels, is Northern Virginia’s largest enclosed shopping mall. With over 200 stores, restaurants, and specialty shops, it’s easy to spend time in a relaxing way. A short drive away is Fairfax Corner, with over 60 more fine stores and dining options!

4. When you’re ready to get outdoors again, head to Great Falls National Park for a day of recreation. Click here to see all the activities in the park, from hiking to fishing to climbing. Located on the Potomac River, Gorgeous views of the three falls are short 2-10 minute walks from the Visitor Center. The Patowmack Canal, one of the first canals in the nation, is also here.

5.  Northern Virginia offers a beautiful setting for entertainment at the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts in Vienna, VA. The Filene Center offers over 90 spectacular outdoor performances from late May to early September. Year-round, at The Barns, the schedule is packed with artists from all over the world, spanning the full range of cultural interests. As America’s National Park for the Performing Arts, Wolf Trap is committed to providing entertainment and art for all audiences.

Are you interested in learning more about life and education in Northern Virginia?  Please contact us, and we will tell you more!

 

resume writing tips

Alternative Resume Writing Tips: Thinglink

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resume writing tipsImagine yourself as a hiring manager.  Every day you are flooded with resumes from job applicants.  So what makes a resume stand out?  In order to be competitive and eye-catching, many people have turned to alternative resumes with tools such as Thinglink.

Thinglink is a web-based platform that allows you to place clickable links on a static photograph.  This presentation tool could easily be molded into an interactive resume with a creative graphic base.  To find base images, I would suggest searching for something that speaks to who you are and the job you are applying for.  For example, if you were applying to become an art teacher you might choose a favorite painting as a base image.  Once that has been decided, Thinglink allows you to add multimedia files as well as text to create your resume presentation.

After you upload your base photo on Thinglink.com, Thinglink will give you the option to start placing “tags.”  Within these tags you can place text, video, podcasts, and photographs.  A potential employer can then click through each of the tags to learn more about you as a future employee.  The only catch to posting multimedia tags (such as videos and photos) is that they need to be hosted somewhere online.  This is easily remedied with services such as Google Drive, OneDrive, YouTube, and many free photo hosting sites.  Most online hosting sites will give you an option to share your media via a link.  When creating a tag through Thinglink, simply copy the “share link” from your media hosting site and paste it into the appropriate place in your Thinglink.

Once you have finished your Thinglink, the site automatically saves your creation to a public cloud that allows for others in the Thinglink community to take your images and remix them for their own purposes.  If you would prefer to keep your Thinglinks private then you would need to purchase the premium version for $35/year.  However, with the premium version you also add the ability to add your own photos to use as tags and the ability to place tags within a video.  The ability to add tags to a video is a great way to take a video resume to the next level by adding a way for your prospective employer to see the proof of the projects you mention.  Unsure of where to start, click here to see a sample Thinglink resume.

As always, be sure to research the company you are applying for as not all employers will be open to an alternative resume.  If you are interested in more alternative or traditional resume writing tips feel free to contact us.