Get Your Resume Past the Electronic Screeners

With so many people looking for jobs in this tough economy, hiring authorities are getting buried under mountains of resumes.  Many have turned to automation software to scan and screen paper resumes and sort out the relevant ones from the rest.  As a result, most resumes aren’t reviewed by a human being until they have been selected by the algorithm of a sophisticated “applicant tracking system” software.  Wanna know how to game that system and make sure that your resume is actually viewed by the hiring manager?  I BET you do.  Let me hook you up with some pretty savvy, tech-based, Human Resources secret knowledge.  Visit this awesome article from the cool nerds over at Lifehacker.com.  It tells you the whole story on how to use keywords and other techniques for getting past the robot screener.

Don’t Believe the Hype – 10 Job Hunt Myths

We’ve all heard them.  Seemingly solid tips on how to land the gig of your dreams.  “Don’t send your resume out during the holiday season because HR is slackened off at the holidays.  Wait ’til January and start your hunt again in earnest.” Or my favorite, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know!”Well, it would seem this advice is nothing more than well-worn hogwash.  According to an article published in US News and World Report, the holiday season is among the best times of the year to get hired and it most definitely does matter what you know.  Should your resume be no longer than one page?  Should you price yourself lower than the position typically pays in order to beat out competition?  Does a cover letter really matter?  All these answers and more in this “10 Myths About Job Searching” article.There!  Now, don’t say I never gave you anything for Christmas!

Boost Concentration and Memory

Being an Online Student at Allen School Online (or really being a student of medical billing and coding anywhere) requires great levels of concentration and memory.  There are many specifics to learn, commit to memory and recall, as needed once you enter the fast paced work world.  For this reason, I think nearly all our readers could benefit from some tips on how to keep your brain fresh and operating at optimal levels.  |Some of these things are intuitive like, “Don’t deprive yourself of sleep if it can be helped” and “Eat more foods with Omega 3 fatty acids which help boost brain activity”.  But there are alot of other techniques too like “Making sure to find laughter and laugh often” and “Enjoy a glass of wine several times each week” which don’t seem like the standard, run of the mill suggestions.Here and here are some links to several sites offering more orthodox and unorthodox ideas for keeping your mind sharp.

Productivity Boosting Sites for Students

Being an online student at Allen School means you’re already someone inclined to multi-task and to find innovative ways of getting work done more quickly and efficiently.  So you’ll probably be stoked with this list of nearly 30 websites designed to help students optimize their activities in such student-centric areas as online research, homework composition, buying/selling of textbooks, handy tools and academic social networking.  Find easy PDF converters, textbook exchanges, professor reviews and many other tools, services and products to help optimize your productivity as a student.  Visit this Student Productivity Guide for the details.  You can thank me later!

Top Job Locations for 2012 – Hope You Like the Desert

Forbes magazine is out with its list of top states for job growth in 2012.  Four of the top 5 on the Forbes list of 10 are desert states.  Texas, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico are numbers one through four.  Before you pull up stakes though, pack your freshly minted Allen School Online medical billing and coding certificate and head West, consider this important caveat.  All the states on Forbes’ list are so-called “right to work” states.  These are states that have instituted laws making it more difficult for unions to organize.  As a result, lots of large companies, particularly manufacturers, have made the move into these states to take advantage of lower wage standards in the absence of collective bargaining.  This may explain the jump in available positions and new hiring in these states.  While medical billing and coding jobs are generally not candidates for unionized workforces (except maybe in large healthcare organizations), it is worth noting that workers  “right to work” states generally suffer lower overall earning power than their counterparts in other states.   So unless you’re super fond of painted desert landscapes, native American artwork and motifs or warm winter months, you may be better off staying coastal.  After all both Oregon and Georgia made the list too!

5 Fresh Tactics for the Job Hunt

So this isn’t going to be the tired old “Dress for Success, Write a Thank You Letter, Make Eye Contact” kind of post about how to land the job.  The net is jam packed full of old, tired advice on what it takes to turn the job interview into a salary.  As many may have already found, what was useful even 10 years ago is no longer relevant given the radically different (read: exceedingly tough) job market.  Monster.com recently published a piece with what seems to be some very astute recommendations regarding what is needed to help a candidate succeed in the interview.  And it has nothing to do with clothing or how to turn “your top three weaknesses into strengths”.  The 5 fresh tactics are:Pain Spotting Story Telling Using a Human Voice Showing Relevance Knowing Your ValueClick here to read the article at Monster for the details on what these suggestions involve.  Then go out and get ’em!

Why You’re Studying

OK, so this is a bit of comic relief but it is a true story and it underscores the need for QUALIFIED medical office help.   Keeping track of medical records is a tough job.  So many people with so many different ailments and specific requirements.  It seems like an overwhelming task to keep it all straight.  This is why Allen School Online students study hard.  Consider the case of Les Kennington who was told that his severe abdominal pains were likely the result of his past hysterectomy! Yes, you read that right.  This New Zealander’s doctor’s office insisted Les’s pain was a result of his having had his uterus removed because his medical records said he’d had one! Click here to read the story that would be hilarious if it weren’t true.  Then get back to your studies because this is important stuff you’re working on!

Remember, They Fought for Our Freedoms

On this Veteran’s Day, the Allen School Online Blog would like to offer sincere thanks and profound gratitude to all those who put themselves in grave harm’s way to protect and defend our Constitution, Bill of Rights and the freedoms they enumerate.  Their sacrifice and dedication should never be forgotten.  Please honor the memory of those who have fallen and those who have returned to us by being an engaged citizen.  Vote, participate, celebrate your right to self governance and thank a veteran for the gift of being able to have a voice in your country.“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. — John F. Kennedy

Zero Unemployment In Many Medical-Related Fields

OK, so I cannot say that Medical Billing and Coding made the list, but a recently published list of the Top 10 college majors with the lowest unemployment rates after graduation contained no fewer than 3 medically-related fields.  The list put out by Liz Godwin at the Lookout was mirrored by recent research performed by the Wall Street Journal showing that majors in the following job fields all enjoy between 0-2% unemployment rates:Majors and their unemployment rate:1. Actuarial Science—0 percent2. Astronomy and Astrophysics—0 percent3. Educational Administration and Supervision—0 percent4. Geological and Geophysical Engineering—0 percent5. Pharmacology—0 percent6. School Student Counseling—0 percent7. Agricultural Economics—1.3 percent8. Medical Technologies Technicians—1.4 percent9.Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology—1.6 percent10. Environmental Engineering, Nursing, and Nuclear Industrial Radiology and Biological Technologies—2.2 percentClick here to read the whole article. If you are trained to work in medical offices as a billing and coding professional, you’re entering a field where there is categorically high employment.

Thanks is Not Enough – The Purposeful Interview Follow-up

Everyone knows that the proper protocol is to send a thank you letter to the interviewer after having been interviewed.  It’s as well-known a part of the job hunt process as “dressing for success” and writing a custom CV for each application.  But with the job market as tight as it is, you need every edge you can come by to stand apart from the other applicants.  The Allen School Online certification is a good start.  But consider this wisdom regarding how you can leverage the obligatory “thank you” letter into a memorable vehicle to reinforce your interview.Www.interview-secrets.net has a great article on this topic.  According to the piece, most people either skip the thank you letter thinking it is a pointless formality.  Others simply send in a letter that expresses thanks, but does nothing more to help you stand out and seal the deal.  Read the article here for some secrets on how you can create a potent, meaningful and strategic follow up letter to your job interviewer.