If you are anything like me, your work placement will not start for a few days or even weeks, but that little voice in your head will be telling you to prepare and you will do so by desperately searching the web for any advice on how to prepare and what to expect on your first day. To all of you, it will be fine.
Whether it is for school, university or for a CV boost, most of us will have to do a work placement/internship at some point in our lives. Though the lack of pay might make it seem like a bit of a chore, it is a great way to gain experience in your chosen field. So, how do you find and secure the placement that is right for YOU?
How to Thrive During Finals Week: A Survival Guide
By Donna Van Derveer
It’s crunch time once again for college students. It’s the last stretch, the final countdown. And for some, it’s “the end all be all.” Finals week is almost here. Are you ready? Try following these tips on overcoming stress and anxiety so that you can rock your final exams.
Procrastination is Not Your Friend
You hear the warning every semester, “Don’t wait until the last-minute to start studying.” And during each all-nighter you think, “Why did I wait until the last-minute?!”
Studying for finals can be daunting for most students, especially if their final exams are cumulative. Postponing study sessions may seem like the best option, but cramming for exams will just create extra stress and anxiety that you do not need during finals. The best way to break the procrastination curse is just to start. Break up your notes into sections and study at least one section each day. Try to study for each class a little bit every day. Repetition and practice are crucial for being able to recall facts and other information for your exam. Plus, by studying before finals week you will still be able to ask your professor questions in class or during office hours.
Safety in Numbers
If you are someone who can always find an excuse to delay studying, then finding a study partner is a great strategy for you. If you make plans to meet up with someone at the library, you are more likely to uphold that commitment than if you were to attempt to study alone. Your study partner doesn’t even need to be studying for the same exam. As long as it gets you to the library or wherever you study, then do it.
Forming a study group is also an optimal strategy for studying for a final. By doing this, you can work through problems with your other class mates and ask them questions. Your classmates can also show you some new study strategies that you had not previously considered using.
Find a study space that is quiet and free from distractions. You don’t have to live at the library during finals week but it certainly helps. Being at the library leaves you no choice but to study. If you don’t like the tense atmosphere of finals week at the library, find somewhere else you feel comfortable. Make sure that it’s somewhere where you will actually get something done.
Can’t stand all the quietness at your study spot? Find some music to listen to that will help motivate you and keep you awake. Just remember the headphones and anything else you may need to study. Don’t waste any time looking for materials and equipment.
Stock up on Brain Food
During stressful times, it’s tempting to reach for a bowl full of your favorite comfort food but don’t do it! Some studies have shown that increasing healthy food intake actually increases your brain power. So cut back on the caffeine and switch to water. Go for the apple instead of the chocolate bar. Fuel your body and fuel your Mind.
Make a Game Plan
With everything crammed into these last few weeks, it is important to follow a schedule. Get organized. Use your planner. Make a calendar just for finals week. Set reminders on your phone. Try some new time management strategies. Just be sure to stick to your schedule! Your life will be so much easier when you know exactly what you need to accomplish for each day.
When you are carving out time in your busy schedule for studying, make sure that you find some time to relax. It is important to take breaks to that you don’t become too overloaded with material. Any activity that gives you energy and puts you in a good mood is one that you will want to make time for during this week. Enjoy coffee with a friend. Spend some time with your pets. Play a game. Go to the gym or exercise class. Call your family or best friend (emotional support is crucial during finals week).
If you still feel tense as you prepare to study, take four to five slow deep breaths. Do some stretches or yoga. Go for a walk. Get at least six hours of sleep. Most importantly, think positive. Summer break will be here before you know it!
Before You Cross the Finish Line
Before you mentally check out after finals, there are a few loose ends that you may want to check up on. Some things you may want to ask yourself are:
- Am I actually registered for the class?
- Have I completed the online learning agreement and evaluation for my internship?
- Have I settled my outstanding balances with the school?
- Did all of my “do over” class grades get recorded correctly on my transcript?
- Do I have everything I need to check out of my dorm? Do I have to renew my lease on my apartment?
What do you do at the end of each semester to prepare for finals?
Image courtesy of survivingcollege.com
Twitter is a highly effective social media tool for writers when used properly (which is code for DON'T SPAM US ABOUT YOUR BOOK). There seems to be a lot of concern about numbers of followers, but I want to give some advice:
Ignore the Numbers
There is only one reason we need to care about Twitter numbers. We need to be following enough people in return or Twitter will not allow us to follow more.
Many college students change their major, and some dread telling their family about it. If you fall into this camp, don’t worry. If presented properly, you can solicit their support. Here are some techniques to help you break the ice and prepare for the conversation.
1. Start the conversation early.
The longer you wait, the more shocked your parent(s) will be.
Learn about one University of Montana student's internship abroad in Bolivia.
I know most people have common sense and therefore this post is more than likely irrelevant to whoever is reading it. But because of the few things I have seen on social media lately I figured I should at least offer my opinion on the over-share epidemic that is currently sweeping this great nation's social media sites.
During my last few blog posts I have written about the power of social media and how it can help you.
No, your eyes are not deceiving you; I am posting so soon after my last blog because I am now officially addicted to blogging. In other news, I have also began the process of mastering Twitter.
If you have been following/reading my past few posts you know that I have been struggling to get an internship for this upcoming summer.
The 5 W’s of LinkedIn Keywords
By Donna Van Derveer
YOU, of course. When others view your LinkedIn profile, a box displaying your profile highlights fills the screen. This is your chance to make a good impression. Therefore, the information in your profile should be complete, current and optimized by using keywords.
A keyword is a tool for scanning large volumes of information quickly to identify specific data to target. Recruiters use these keywords to search for viable job candidates. When a recruiter searches by a certain keyword, LinkedIn analyzes every profile to find that matching word. Therefore, using keywords is an absolute necessity if you want to pop up in search results.
You should start implementing keywords into your social media platform as soon as possible. Include strategic keywords when you first create your LinkedIn profile and update them as your experience and qualifications change. You may also want to search for industry buzz words to include in your descriptions. Make every word count.
LinkedIn allows you to fill in descriptions in the following sections:
- Profile headline
- Personal interests
- Volunteer Experience & Causes
- Honors and awards summary
- Job title
- Company Name
- Status Field
- Position Description
Make sure, when filling out these sections, to use keyword-rich descriptions to draw relevant search engine traffic. Some fields are more important to use keywords in than others.
For example, the summary section is like your elevator pitch. When you first create your profile, you may want to focus on this section first. Make it a priority to consistently update your summary. For example:
Another important section on LinkedIn is your headline. This headline appears in multiple places on LinkedIn and is the first item people see when they go to your LinkedIn profile. Until you change it, your headline will appear as your current or last position held. The algorithm LinkedIn uses to rank people puts a lot of emphasis on the words used in the headline. Be sure to check your company’s policy about how you describe yourself. Instead of using an official title, maybe you could ask your supervisor for a working title. Using a working title can help to improve the limitations of generic titles such as Sales Representative. In order to gain a better position in search results, optimize this section with keywords. For example, an optimized headline would look like this:
Your LinkedIn profile is not the only place where you can optimize keywords. You can take advantage of keywords on Twitter (Google now brings up Tweets in search results), YouTube, Facebook Pinterest, picture and other image tags, blogs, websites, in your resume and online applicant tracking systems.
Because LinkedIn is partnered with Taleo Corporation, candidates can now apply for Taleo-client positions using their LinkedIn profile. This tool reduces the amount of time required to submit this information by allowing candidates to use their LinkedIn profile to complete the work experience, education and contact information sections on Taleo applicant tracking systems. Because LinkedIn profiles frequently feature more current information than applicant data stored in a candidate database, the increased capabilities make it easier for both candidates and recruiters by ensuring candidate data is up to date.
This feature allows companies to pinpoint and engage passive candidates who maintain LinkedIn profiles that include keywords that match the critical skills required for the job. Recruiters are also able to access LinkedIn directly from their Taleo dashboard. This concludes whether the candidates are already in the company database. If they are, recruiters then will be able to instantly update the on-file resume with new information the candidate has on their LinkedIn profile page (another reason to keep your profile up to date).
You need keywords so that your profile can be found in the search results. You are on social media to get your name out there and to be found. The only way to make that happen is by using keywords. Optimization is crucial to any influential social media strategy. What steps are you going to take to implement keywords in your various social media platforms?
I recently wrote about what happens when you search for yourself on LinkedIn.
Now I’d like to address what happens when people don’t search for you by name, but rather try to find people like you using “regular” keywords and titles.
When it comes to Internet search, the goal for most people and companies is to be on the first page of search results for your keywords, and ideally #1 if at all possible.
When you search LinkedIn with the titles you have on your profile and keywords you’ve mentioned in your metro area, do you show up in the first 10 results?
Have you ever wondered if there was anything you could do to positively affect your ranking in search results when someone searches LinkedIn looking for people like you? Have you seen heavily keyword-loaded LinkedIn profiles and wondered if it really does any good?
You could get lost in all of the YouTube videos and blog posts on the subject of LinkedIn profile optimization, but most of it is pure speculation.
Before I go into some detail as to what I think is going on with LinkedIn search ranking and what you might be able to do to positively affect your ranking, I’d like to show you a little experiment I’ve run and ask you to do something similar and see what happens.
You have searched or have had someone else search LinkedIn by the titles and keywords you used on your profile to see where you rank, haven’t you?