Archive for June, 2011

Add personality to your resume!


If you think your resume feels like it might be lacking experience, add a section titled “Interests and Hobbies.” Although it may appear not to be relevant to the job you are applying for, it can provide better insight as to the type of person you are. 

Use your cover letter to add some personality to your application, as long as you keep your letter and resume professional – don’t include your scrapbooking samples or photos of your pets.

You never know: your hobby may just make a personal connection with a hiring official.

Article Source | Claire Bradley,

Six Tips for a Better Interview


Recent studies have shown that employers will form an opinion of you within the first 10 minutes of the interview. But here’s the kicker, it’s not always based on what you actually say, but it’s on something we term “body language”. For instance, 85% of what you communicate is not with words. It’s through the tone of your voice, the way you sit and a wealth of other messages that your body involuntarily sends.

With this in mind, here are six do’s and don’ts on the art of non-verbal communication to give you a winning advantage in a job interview.

1.) Be Real From the Start: When you greet your interviewer, smile a real smile that engages your eyes, and offer a firm handshake. Say something like, “I’m pleased to meet you” to provide a positive anchor.

2.) Watch the Excess Energy: The more energy you have, the more will need to be vented. What this means is that excess energy gets dissipated into fidgeting, a definite sign that you’re nervous or ill at ease. While it’s easy to say, “watch the fidgeting”, Driver suggests you never touch your face, throat, mouth or ears during an interview. The interviewer may feel that you’re holding something back, typically, the truth. Although this is a false assumption, it’s necessary to avoid touching your face.

3.) What to Do With Those Hands and Arms: Driver says that clasped hands are a signal that you are closed off. A palm-to-palm gesture with one thumb over the other thumb sends the signal that you need the interviewer’s reassurance. To come across as confident, receptive and unguarded, have your hands open and relaxed on the table. When your body is open, you project trustworthiness. Avoid crossing your arms over your chest. When you do, you signal that you are close-minded, defensive, or bored and disinterested.

4.) Leg Crossing: Don’t cross your legs. This posture creates a wall between you and your interviewer. It can also become a distraction when you keep crossing your legs back and forth. Crossed ankles are a “no-no” because you could be signaling that you want to be elsewhere.

5.) Posture: A straight posture is imperative during an interview. Pull your shoulders back and sit up straight. You’ll give yourself a burst of confidence and allow for good breathing. This can help you to avoid, or at least reduce, feelings of nervousness and discomfort.

6.) Finger Gestures: Bet you never thought you had to worry about your fingers during an interview. Steepling your fingers make you look arrogant and never point your index fingers.  These are the types of aggressive messages you want to avoid sending.

While it’s a no-brainer to focus on how best to answer those typical interview questions, don’t forget to pay some attention to that other 85% of what you’re communicating non-verbally. It can pay dividends after your interview when you realize your body often speaks louder than your words.

Article Source | Joe Turner,

Is a Cover Letter Still Important?


A cover letter is often times considered the gate keeper to securing an interview with a potential employer. It is typically the first communication that potential employers receive from a candidate and can directly impact whether or not they choose to read your resume and ultimately call you for an interview.

An effective cover letter should engage the reader to want to know more about you and should showcase your personality and passion for your career. It should also focus on the attributes that make you uniquely qualified for the job and describe your skills and how they would be applied to add value in the position.

Here are a a few simple tips that you should use to create an effective cover letter:

1. Avoid the “standard” cover letter. You only get one chance to make a first impression, which is why it is crucial to tailor your cover letter to each and every employer and position. Whenever possible, try to address the letter to a specific person rather than using a generic salutation.

2. Get creative. If you have a difficult time crafting a cover letter, consider creating a video cover letter, which can be very effective in showcasing your personality to potential employers. Consider enhancing your online career portfolio by including your video resume or cover letter.

3. Demonstrate credibility, but don’t go overboard. The last thing you want to do in your cover letter is to give a synopsis of your resume. Keep your letter concise, focusing only on the skills that are relevant to the open position and specifically address the needs of the employer. Use your cover letter to provide detailed examples on how you would bring value to the organization and leave them wanting more.

4. Pay attention to detail. Always remember to proof-read your cover letter and be sure to include the correct date, position title and contact information. This may seem obvious, but even one mistake in your cover letter could cost you the interview, so it is important to not overlook the details.

5. End with a call to action. Conclude your cover letter by requesting an appointment to discuss your qualifications in further detail. Give a specific date and time that you plan to follow-up with the employer and demonstrate your ambition by following through on your promise. Make sure to give the employer at least a few days before following up as to not sound too anxious or desperate.

By following these simple tips, you will be on your way to creating an effective cover letter that will increase the chance that your resume will be read by potential employers.

Article Source |

Academy of Learning is the right choice!


 The staff at Academy of Learning really cares about both your progress and about you as a person. You are always made to feel welcome and supported both while attending as a student and after completion of your studies. I would encourage anyone who is interested in a certificate, diploma or just wanting to take a few courses to consider Academy of Learning as the right choice for learning new skills and improving your career options.

-Sara Roxburgh, Conference and Event Planner Diploma Graduate

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Do I use Bad or Badly?


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Do I use I or Me?


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