Dress for Success or, The Idiot’s Guide to Ironing

Having your new certification and a brain full of knowledge is great, but as we all know, landing a job often comes down to making a good first impression at the interview.  Part of making that good first impression is obviously the way you speak and interact with the interviewer and how you convey your qualifications.  Yet, even more subtle but no less important is the visual first impression you make.  How you’re dressed and how you take care of your appearance is a powerful, unspoken indicator of how you will be as an employee.  To this point, it is critical that you wear appropriate clothes and that these clothes are nicely pressed and creased in the proper places.  This brings me to the point.  I don’t know about you, but I cannot afford to spend $12 per outfit to the dry cleaner for pressed shirts and pants.  Furthermore, I am challenged when it comes to ironing these items myself.  That was until I found this great post on Lifehacker.com explaining the finer points on DIY clothes pressing.  Read up on how to bone up your appearance and show up at the interview crispy, smart and ready to impress.

Resumè Samples

Getting ready to capture the return on your investment into online job training and education?  That means you’ll be taking your newly earned certification out to the market to land yourself a j-o-b.  The first step in that process is to line up some interviews.  And that means putting together a new resumè.  This is a task that a lot of people find daunting.  But, have no fear.  The best way to understand how to structure all the job history and qualifications information into a memorable resumè is to see some examples of other peoples’ resumès.  Here’s a great list of about 90 resumes from the folks at Monster.com, collected from people seeking many different kinds of positions.  Even if some of the samples are for jobs in other industries, it is still very instructive to see how people structure the information they include.  Have a look at some of these and remember, what you leave off a resumè is just as important as what you include.

Leading Edge of Medical Innovation

How lucky you are to be entering into such an exciting field?  The field of medicine has made significant advances in the last 100 years.  Quantum advances.  Advances that would have been scoffed at as flights of science fiction fancy by medical contemporaries in 1911.  Case in point, Mitch Hunter, a man whose face was dramatically disfigured in a car accident.  At age 30, he has successfully undergone a face transplant.  (No, not a face plant like this old blogger makes when trying to ride his 6 year old’s skateboard!)  I’m talking about an actual face transplant.  Only the seventh successful such surgery in the world.  Click here to read more about this fantastic medical advancement and be stoked to be training in a career field that holds such enormous potential for good.

June is Prevention and Wellness Month

OK, so the stereotype of the online denizen (this includes peeps like me who work in front of a computer all day, and peeps like you who study online in front of a computer) is a sedentary, Cheetos munching lot who cringes when the curtains are drawn open and light shines in.  All kidding aside though, in today’s modern life, it can be hard to carve out enough time to spend on health and wellness.  Kathleen Sebelius, the Obama administration’s Secretary of Health and Human Services, has declared June to be Prevention and Wellness month.In a recent article on the Huffington Post Sebelius said, ” We know there’s more to good health than going to the hospital when you get sick. Good health starts with steps we can all take to avoid getting sick in the first place, from getting regular check-ups, vaccinations, and recommended screenings, to eating a healthy diet and getting enough exercise.”  This blogger concurs with this line of thinking and has even taken the drastic step of adding a SECOND walk for his self and his dog Henry every day to try and keep physically fit.  So online students, save your work, take a pause and consider what you can do to boost your own health and wellness in June and for the future.

Got MRSA?

According to a Reuter’s article, scientists have found Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aurelius in raw milk samples in the US and UK.  The superbug has been growing in prevalence and represents a significant challenge to medicine because it is an infection that, as the name implies, is resistant to antibiotics.  Concurrent to this story is the outbreak of a new strain of E. Coli across Europe.  It would seem to this blogger that both these outbreaks are rooted, at least in part, in the practices of large corporate food producers and the sometimes shoddy agricultural processes in which they engage.  Read these past posts, here, here and here for more information on both MRSA and animal husbandry/food safety.

And Press ‘3’ to Shoot Yourself in the Face

New laptop malfunctioning?  Cell phone service wrongly interrupted?  Utility company make a mistake on your monthly bill?  You’ll have to dial a toll-free customer service number and then navigate through level after level of recorded messages trying to find the answer to your problem.  And after an hour on the phone, you’ll be no closer to a solution and about ready to kill someone.  Sound familiar?  We all have had to deal with customer service issues like this.  Well, awesome site, Lifehacker.com recently published this great piece on how to get better customer service when you should need to.   Included in the article is a link to an application called “Lucy” that does the “holding” for you so you don’t have to glue the phone to your ear while the company you’re calling is “experiencing unusually high call volumes resulting in long hold times”.  That’s a godsend to be sure.  And if that’s not enough, and the tips in this article still don’t get you satisfaction, the article provides a link to the Consumerist.com’s list of customer service executives from the world’s top companies so you can call a supervisor direct to lodge your complaint about the sorry state of their customer service department.

Interviewer: “Any Questions?” You: “Uhhh…”

Acing the interview is pretty much the key to landing a job.  The rock-solid resume gets you in to the interview.  But the interview itself is the “make-or-break” step in the job hunting process.  If you’ve done enough of these, you know that they typically ask you alot of questions about your background, experience, skills etc.  Then at the end, they always ask, “Do you have any questions for us?”  Most people don’t know how to answer this and either say, “No” which indicates unpreparedness or worse, being intellectually incurious.  Or many respond, “When do I get vacation” or “how much does the job pay?”  Both these questions do more damage than good.  There are questions you may ask of an interviewer which demonstrate that you are interested in the job and have a good head on your shoulders.  Click here to read “The Six Must Ask Interview Questions” as listed by Monster.com’s Joe Turner.  He explains why these are the most important questions to ask and what they say about the person who asks them.

The Intersection of Web and Medicine

AS regular readers of this blog know, we have been covering stories about MRSA, the antibiotic resistant staph infection.  Just recently, we published a post about the finding of MRSA carried in bedbugs (yechhh!).  In all the stories we’ve produced about MRSA, the news is always pretty grim so that’s why I was pleased to find the story linked here.  Evidently, it seems that occurrences of MRSA are able to be accurately tracked using none other than Google!  Yes, researchers have studied and found that spikes in Google searched for MRSA are directly correlated to actual outbreaks.  This innovative usage of Google clearly illustrates the nexus between the web and epidemiological research.  The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) will surely make good use of this new tool in their arsenal.  Allen School Online students already understand the synergies between internet technology and the study of medically related fields.

Top 8 Most Plagiarized Sites

Plagiarization is CheatingEven the most honorable student has contemplated taking a shortcut when stressing over term papers and overall work loads.  While most do not opt for this easy (if immoral) option, there are those that succumb to the pressure.  Well beware!  Educators are getting wise to the online sites used by cheaters to plagiarize content included in their school assignments.  Using new online technologies like the plagiarism detector software from www.turnitin.com, instructors are able to scan students’ term papers and learn if any or all of it has been “lifted” from other websites.  The top 8 most frequently revealed sites for cheaters to “borrow” from are:1) Wikipedia.com2) Yahoo! Answers3) Answers.com4) Slideshare.com5) OPPapers.com (Other People’s Papers)6) Scribd.com7) Coursehero.com8)  Medilibrary.comOf course, some of these, like Wikipedia are simply reference sites.  While others like OPPapers.com are designed specifically to sell content to cheaters.  Whether you clip a sentence, a paragraph or an entire term paper, it is still plagiarism and it is still wrong.  Think twice before stealing copy.  After all, you’re only cheating yourself out of learning what you have invested time and money into studying.