Top 10 Common Resume Mistakes

October 18, 2011

One of the top ten common resume mistakesContributed by Missy Nolan, Top 10 Guru

Stop blaming the economy for your lack of employment.

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Top 10 New Career Opportunities

August 29, 2011

Contributed by Lindsay Shugerman, Top 10 Guru

Once upon the time, people made a good living as sales clerks. Times changed, and new careers in factory assembly became the most sought-after way to make a good living.

Fast forward to the 2000’s and in-demand careers have radically changed again. If you’re trying to figure out what career opportunities will be there when you graduate, or what to choose for your next career, we have some suggestions for you. Here are the top 10 new career opportunities, from high tech to old-fashioned service.

10. Sustainable building contractor

The combination of mainstream acceptance of green building choices and the skyrocketing cost of energy means the demand for contractors who build and remodel using green materials and sustainable energy will continue to grow.

Students with studying architecture will want to make sure they have a solid grounding in low-impact materials, use of local materials and incorporating renewal energy options.

9. Remote employee labor law expert

The old standard of recording hours worked by seat time is in the process of changing. While remote employees are more productive and committed than their in-office counterparts, they present new challenges for employers attempting to comply with minimum wage, overtime and medical leave policies.

Both penalties and lawsuits are expected to rise as these issues are worked out, and that means more labor law attorneys and paralegals will be needed.

8. Genetic counselor

Genetic testing, once reserved for a few rare diseases, is going mainstream. But unfortunately, most of the results don’t come with a matching treatment.

That means people will need genetic counselors to help them understand the implications of the results, and how it might impact decisions about medical care, having children or choosing a lifestyle.

7. Geriatric nurse

The huge numbers of baby boomers now in their late 50’s and 60’s means that demand for age-related health care is rising. Geriatric nurses and nurse practitioners will be providing much of the health care for this aging population.

Ironically, the nurses from that same generation are leaving the workforce, creating an even larger gap between need and available nursing staff.

6. Fertility specialists

Over the past 10 years, the infertility issues have reached a large portion of the population.

For many couples, the new norm of spending more years in college, followed by a decade or more in the workplace before attempting to start a family have resulted in problems conceiving.

There is no sign of this trend reversing, so demand will remain high. And a brand new increase in first time moms in their 50’s will add to the demand for fertility researchers and doctors.

5. Mobile app programmer

The smart phone and the tablet are replacing the laptop as the mobile computer of choice. And the most popular aspects of those handheld devices lie in the apps.

More and more businesses are using apps as tools for connecting with customers or providing value-added content to their standard offerings. And that means more and more programmers needed for a trend that shows no sign of ending.

4. Green technology engineer

Like the sustainable building contractor, this career is being driven by a widespread acceptance of the green agenda, coupled with high energy costs.

Budget-conscious consumers are no longer willing to pay huge premiums for green products, so engineers will also be needed to make existing green tools more cost-efficient.

3. Concierge doctor

The irony is that these at-your-home doctors are more of a return to the old model of medicine, rather than a new development. As people become less willing to submit to the impersonal – and often dangerous – clinic or hospital setting, these concierge medical practioners will become more and more in demand.

2. Cyber security specialist

Cloud computing, with its large online storage of often personal data has lead to an increased need for cyber security specialists. Remote access tools, smart phones and other devices are multiplying the risk – and the demand.

1. Boutique hotel owner

For years, people sought out familiar hotel chains as a guarantee of predictable quality. But with a growing weariness with ugly polyester bedspeads and a realization that predictable did not equate to quality, the boutique hotel trend began to grow.

Like the consierge doctor, this growing trend represents more of a return to an earlier model than a new idea. But none-the-less, the predicted growth means many opportunities for hotel owners, managers and support staff.

Top 10 How to Pick a Career Tips

August 29, 2011

Contributed by Lindsay Shugerman, Top 10 Guru

You could always use a dartboard. Or maybe paste a few choices on that old Twister spinner. But there are better ways to pick a career. And we’re here to give you 10 of them.

10. Look at your past

What did you always love doing? What came easy to you? What activities or subjects could keep you occupied for hours? All of these are clues to the best career choice for you.

9. Take a test

There are hundreds of choices tests you can take to help you identify the best career choices for your aptitudes, skills and interests. Try some of the free online tests, ask your school counselor for career tests, or work with a career counselor to guide you towards the best tests.

8. Talk to a counselor

Talking with a professional counselor can make it easier to pick a career. No, they can’t tell you what you should be, but they can guide you and provide you with tools like aptitude tests and opportunities for internships.

7. Ask people who know you well

Sometimes it’s easier for friends and family to see our talents and skills. Ask a few people you trust about the careers they see as a good match for you.

6. Follow people around

Ask to shadow people in a variety of careers. Or volunteer if you can’t find a professional to follow around. By seeing the day to day aspects of a number of jobs, the question of how to pick a career becomes easier to answer – you will have seen it firsthand.

5. Research the requirements for various careers

Before you decide on a career to pursue, make sure you understand the requirements. What degrees are required? Is there other professional training needed? Do you have to serve an apprenticeship or an internship? Is there a qualifying test? Make sure you know exactly what’s required.

4. Network

One way to pick a career is to start with a broad field, like medicine or law, and then network with people throughout the field. You may discover a new career path you never knew existed.

3. Research the costs and time involved in preparing for a career

Once you know the amount of education or training required, make sure you have a clear picture of the cost in both time and money. This will make sure your process of picking a career doesn’t come with sticker shock.

2. Check out predicted growth in the job

Hiring trends, changes in technology and national economic health all play a role in the number of job openings expected. Make sure the career you pick has good growth and stability.

1. Make a plan

No list of how to pick a career advice would be complete without a recommendation about planning. Knowing exactly what has to be done, and when, will go a long way towards making your career choice a success.

Top 10 Ways to Change Careers at 30

August 23, 2011

Contributed by Lindsay Shugerman, Top 10 Guru

It used to be that a major career change was something reserved for the midlife crisis years, when minivans were traded for red sports cars and successful executives reinvented themselves as surfboard artists or organic cheese makers.
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Top 10 Steps to Change Your Career

August 16, 2011

Contributed by Lindsay Shugerman, Top 10 Guru

Are you ready to change your career? Whether you’re looking for a whole new field, or just a new way to use your existing skills, our top 10 steps will help smooth the way to your new career choice.

10. Decide how big a change you want to make

For some people, a career change means choosing a different path within their current industry. For others, it’s a complete switch in direction, skills, and focus. Decide which way you want to go.

9. Write down your experience

This is more than just a resume. It’s a complete listing of every job you’ve ever had, paid or volunteer. This is just for you, so don’t worry about style or spelling. Just list every job you’ve ever had, then add all the things you did in each. Take your time and try to get as much detail as possible.

8. Make a top 10 list of your skills

Use the list of jobs and tasks to identify the 10 things you do (did) best throughout your career history. Don’t forget to include skills you used in unpaid or voluntary positions.

7. Research the jobs you would like to do

If you want to change your career, it’s important to know whether your skills are a good match for the job you want. Spend some time reading about each career you are considering for your change. Check off how each of your top 10 skills matches with the job requirements.

6. Fill in the gaps

If there are gaps between your best skills, and the requirements of the new career you want, identify what training, education or experience you need to fill in those holes. Look for schools, volunteer opportunities, internships or other ways you could close the gap.

5. Talk to people in the field

Take your list of top 10 skills, and your ideas about what is needed to change careers to people who are working in your chosen field. Ask them to review your lists, and offer suggestions or corrections.

4. Make a plan

Once you have a good idea about what’s involved in making a change in your career, make a plan. Include classes you may need to take and on-the-job learning or volunteer opportunities you’ve found. Also include any licenses or certifications you’ll need.

3. Make a timetable

While there are probably some instances where you can change your career overnight, most major changes require time. Make a plan for your training, job hunting, testing and any other steps you need to take to start your new career.

2. Plan for income

If your career change involves a lengthy course or study or an internship, make sure you’ve planned for money you’ll need while you’re learning. You may want to stay with your current job and learn part time, find a new part time job, or apply for grants to carry you through.

1. Look ahead

When you’re working to change your career, it’s easy to get discouraged, especially if you’re tired from working and attending classes. Keep your eye on your goals, and remember that the hardest part will soon be over. You have a brand new career ahead of you, and that’s a great reason to keep going forward.

Top 10 Midlife Career Change Tips

August 16, 2011

Top 10 midlife career change tips”

Contributed by Lindsay Shugerman, Top 10 Guru

Sometimes it’s by choice, when the career that seemed so exciting at 25 has lost it’s zing at 50. Other times a midlife career change becomes a necessity when technology changes or companies downsize.

But whatever the reason, looking for a new career as an adult can be a wonderful chance to grow and explore new options. Ready to take the plunge? Here are our top 10 tip for making a midlife career change a success.

10. Beware of snake oil salesmen

Midlife career change snake oil”

Before you commit to that $10,000 program that promises to be the latest and greatest thing to ever hit the Internet (or the stock market or … ), stop and do your research. The lure of instant wealth and a new ready-made career is understandable, especially if your midlife career change was forced upon you. But be careful. Check out complaints online, visit the Better Business Bureau site, ask around.

9. Revisit old dreams

Midlife career change snake oil”

Think about what you wanted to be once upon a time. Always wanted to be a vet? Maybe four more years of college isn’t an option, but becoming a vet tech might work. Be creative.

8. Ask for change of career advice

Odds are you know more than a few people who have made major career changes in their life, so ask for their help. Whether theirs was a midlife career change or something earlier, they may be able to point you in the right direction for success.

7. Do your job prospects homework

Spend some time researching your career options. Find out where there are needs in your areas of interest. Make sure the new career you choose needs entry level employees.

6. Check out the requirements

Maybe you always wanted to be a firefighter. You know you have the physical endurance the job requires, and you’re able to stay calm and collected in an emergency. But some jobs, like firefighter or police officer, have age, height, weight or other requirements that can’t be addressed by study or degrees. Make sure you qualify.

5. Volunteer

A great way to find out if the career you think you want is really right for you is to volunteer. Not only will you get a great feel for what the job entails, you’ll be making contacts in your new field. That could give you an advantage when it comes time to apply for a paying position.

4. Network

Most cities have networking groups for people experiencing midlife career changes. Religious groups, community schools, local business publications and online networking sites are all great places to look for groups. No career change groups in your area? Consider business networking groups instead. Either way, the human contact will make the process easier, and the connections you make may help you find a new career faster.

3. Stay open to detours

Especially in the early stages of a midlife career change, it’s important to keep an open mind. On your way to what seemed like the perfect new field, you might find a detour that leads you to something even better.

2. Be realistic

If you’ve spent 20 years in an office processing accounts receivable, it’s going to be difficult to get on the path to becoming a surgeon. While almost anything is possible, make sure your expectations are realistic. Know what your career change requires, in detail. And then go for it.

1. Be optimistic

A midlife career change can feel daunting, especially if it’s been years since you’ve been in a classroom, or learned a new set of skills. But with patience and persistence, you could discover that this experience becomes one of the best times of your life.

Top 10 Tips for Choosing a Career

April 12, 2011

A list of the top ten tips for choosing a careerContributed by Cindi Pearce, Top 10 Guru

Sometimes a career chooses you instead of the other way around, but you can’t count on that.

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Top 10 Careers that Require No Degree

February 25, 2011

Contributed by Cindi Pearce, Info Guru

Not every career requires a degree. Many have succeeded quite well, thank you, without that piece of paper hanging on their wall.

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