“A New Year, A New You!”

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What are your career goals for your degree?  Are you targeting a new job, a career change, a raise, or a promotion?  Are you earning your degree to stay competitive in your field?

The start of a new year is the perfect time for career-related self-assessment and goal setting to recharge your batteries.

Ask yourself three simple questions:

  • Will you have work or volunteer experience to qualify you for your future career goal at graduation?
  • Are you proactively building your network and your knowledge of the latest trends in your field through professional associations, LinkedIn groups, and social media sites like Twitter?
  • Is your resume updated with your latest experience, your current degree program, and the expected date of completion for your degree?

Would you have a few minutes to learn how our Career Services Center team can help with these strategies?  We invite you to watch our short “Meet Career Services” video to learn how we can support you in kick starting your career this new year!

For information on upcoming webinars and other programs, please visit our Career Center website.

Best wishes for a happy, healthy, and productive 2017 from the Career Services Center Team!

Written by Lisa Cook, Senior Director of Career Services

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Nine Tips from a Higher Education Faculty Recruiter

Helpful Tips. Magnifying Glass on Old Paper.

If your career goal is to teach in higher education, we have advice for you directly from Andrea, a Senior Faculty Recruiter for Walden University. She has spent countless hours reviewing applications and searching for talented instructors to fill faculty positions.

Here is her advice:

  1. Apply for positions that match your academic credentials, experience, and career goals.
  2. Watch college or university websites for open positions. They often post on their own website before posting on the large job boards.
  3. Seek out programs that are growing or institutions adding new programs, for example, the recent growth in Nurse Practitioner programs.
  4. Keep in mind that an institution can often receive up to 150 applications for one open position depending on the requirements and candidate pool. To get an interview, you need to show that not only are you qualified but that you are one of the best-qualified applicants.
  5. Update your LinkedIn profile. Use keywords relevant to your field and experience. LinkedIn is the go-to tool for recruiters to search for talent.
  6. Have a clear, concise, and well-organized curriculum vita (CV). Use a traditional format with:
    • A short tailored summary showcasing your professional and research focus.
    • Your education section at or near the top of the document.
    • Your experience in chronological order with your most recent experience first.
    • Keywords relevant to your field; recruiters use applicant tracking systems to search large numbers of CVs for keywords related to the education, knowledge, experience, and skills required for a position.
    • Publications and professional presentations if you have them; these sections are important and will help you stand out from other applicants.
  7. Use the college or university’s applicant tracking system to apply and to check the status of your application. It is ok to reach out through email with questions or to let an internal contact know that you submitted an application, but keep emails to a minimum.
  8. Prepare for the interview well in advance.
    • The initial phone interview is intended to screen applicants for a fit with the organization’s culture and to check that the compensation is in line with the applicant’s expectations.
    • Prepare to give a short sample classroom presentation via video, Skype, or live as part of the interview process.
    • Prepare to discuss your academic and professional experience; include examples.
    • Share your enthusiasm for teaching.
  9. Be patient, the process can take months.

We thank Andrea for sharing her advice!

You can find more information about finding a position in higher education at Career Services Doctoral Resources  and view higher education job postings at Higher Education/Online Learning Job Opportunities page

Written by Denise Pranke, Senior Career Services Advisor

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Top 10 Ways to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile

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LinkedIn is the number one professional networking site.  Here are 10 ways you can improve your profile for career management and job search success:

  1. Update Your Profile Photo

Make sure you have a professional headshot photo that lets your personality shine through.

  1. Communicate Your Unique Value Proposition in Your Headline

Write a headline that reflects the different “hats” you wear as a professional, your professional passion, or what sets you apart from other professionals in your field.

  1. Use the Summary Section to Tell Your Story

The summary should be more personal than the resume and written in the first person. Highlight your background, major accomplishments, professional passions, and describe your goals.

  1. Customize Your Public Profile URL

Make your LinkedIn URL easier to share by making it shorter.

  1. Click on Profile.
  2. Click Edit Profile.
  3. Click on the “settings” icon to the right of your URL.
  4. Under Your public profile URL section on the right of the page, click the “edit” icon.
  5. Type the last part of your new custom URL in the text box.
  6. Click Save.

 

  1. Be Strategic with Groups

Choose 2-3 groups of interest to join.  These can be alumni, skills, or professional groups.  Recruiters are known to seek out talent in groups.

  1. Ask for a Recommendation

Recommendations are essential to a solid profile.  Reach out to former colleagues or supervisors, clients, professors, or vendors.  Make sure that you ask someone who knows you well to write a solid recommendation.

  1. Connect with Coworkers and Walden Classmates

LinkedIn is all about building and cultivating your professional network, so reach out to those around you and invite them to connect.  This is an easy way to build your network.

  1. Share Your Professional and Academic Accomplishments

Attract attention by adding visual representations of your work to your profile.  Upload videos, images, documents and presentations.

  1. Showcase Professional Expertise and Writing Skills through the Self-Publishing Feature

LinkedIn makes it easy to share your knowledge through its self-publishing feature.  You can write a book review, share how you have applied your learning to the workplace, or write about your subject matter expertise.

  1. Utilize the New ‘Open Candidates’ Job Search Feature

LinkedIn lets users privately alert recruiters that they are open to new job opportunities. On the Jobs tab, go to Update your preferences to indicate:

  • The types of jobs sought
  • Preferred experience level
  • Locations desired
  • Preferred industries
  • Preferred company size

Updating your profile using these 10 improvements could make the difference between being overlooked for a position or called for an interview.

To learn more ways to improve your LinkedIn profile and experience, view the Career Services Center’s LinkedIn Webinar Series.

 By Nicolle Skalski, Senior Career Services Advisor

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Steps that Led to Finding Higher Ed Adjunct Teaching Positions

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Are you pursuing your doctoral degree with the goal of teaching in higher education?  Tarana, a Doctor of Business Administration student, shares with us what she did that led to two offers as an adjunct instructor― one at a community college and one at a four-year college. She had been applying for non-academic positions with no response, so she reached out to Walden Career Services and made an appointment.  She said by meeting with a Career Advisor, “I gained a wealth of knowledge on how to reduce clutter on my resume.”  She took the advice about her resume and applied it to her curriculum vita.  To “test out her newfound knowledge,” she applied for a higher education adjunct teaching position posted on a job board. She kept her CV focused on her expertise and experience “essential” to the position.  Within a day, she received an invitation to interview.  With one success, she was motivated to try for another position and her strategy worked again!

This is what Tarana discovered through working with a Career Services advisor:

Clean Up Your Curriculum Vita:

  • Use consistent and clear formatting throughout so that the document looks polished and professional.
  • Include a brief professional summary focused on relevant skills and experience.
  • Edit out irrelevant information. Irrelevant information distracts the reader from what is important.
  • Include “streamlined” statements that start with a strong action verb and describe your achievements and accomplishments.
  • Add special sections such as “Conference Presentations Delivered.”

Prepare for the Interview:

  • Research information about the student population and policies of the institution that affect classroom dynamics. Know the mission of the institution.
  • Review the job description and requirements and use them as your guide.
  • Prepare questions to ask during the interview such as “What student services are available to support students?”
  • Practice answering scenario type questions such as “What would you do if a student was caught plagiarizing?”

The time and effort that Tarana invested in strengthening her curriculum vita and preparing for her interviews worked! She received two offers and accepted both positions. Her final advice is to: “Take advantage of Walden’s Career Services, their advice is “absolutely priceless.”

We thank Tarana for sharing her story, and we wish her much success in her DBA program and her new adjunct teaching positions!

For more information on creating a curriculum vita and searching for a higher education teaching position visit the Career Services Center Doctoral Resources.

Written by Denise Pranke, Senior Career Services Advisor

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Time Management Tips for New Doctoral Students

Cynthia Hickman, a Walden Alumni Ambassador, will be awarded her Ph.D. in Health Services, in January 2017.  She is our guest blogger for this post.

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The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) journey is a gratifying experience that will mold your life and career. You must assume personal accountability to achieve a successful outcome. Commonly asked questions are, “What is the first step in the dissertation or Capstone process?”  “What steps do I take from there?”  Addressing these issues early can support your timely completion of your doctoral degree.

Here are three tips that supported my success in my Ph.D. journey.

1)    You must be proactive.

Controlling your Ph.D. journey begins with personal accountability, information, and the required tools associated with your academic program. As a new scholar-practitioner, you must act in anticipation of future program expectations and needs.

2)    Know the necessary documents for your program.

Every program has required documents, which are tools needed along your doctoral journey to be successful.  I advise you to read these documents early in your program. For Ph.D. programs, click here. For professional doctorates, click here.

At the start of my program, I printed:

  • the writing template,
  • the rubric,
  • the checklist for the research design under consideration,
  • the Institutional Review Board (IRB) application,
  • the Committee Member Nomination Form.

3)    Select Your Committee Early (6-month window). 

If you know your research interest, starting the selection process for committee members is a valuable and proactive step. Your prospectus course positions you to enter the dissertation shell with a firm blueprint for your study. Committee members are excited when scholars take this initiative.  It helps you decide how to develop the chapters that make up your dissertation.

I hope you find these tips helpful as you advance along your doctoral journey!

Written by Cynthia Hickman, Walden University Ambassador, Ph.D. in Health Sciences expected January 2017; M.S. Nursing completed December 2009 

For Writing Center resources and tips, please visit these links:

Doctoral Capstone Kits from the Writing Center

“Top 5 Things to Know Before Writing Your Dissertation“ Blog Post

Navigating Walden: An International Student’s Perspective

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Michael Mba is a PhD in Public Policy and Administration student who lives in Nigeria and works as a policy analyst for the Central Bank.  As an international student with a passion for statistics, Michael also tutors Walden students as a Graduate Assistant in the Academic Skills Center.

How did Michael join the Walden community, engage in networking efforts, tap into career resources, and pay it forward by helping others achieve academic success?

When Michael became interested in pursuing a doctoral degree, he began researching online programs in public policy.  When he came across Walden, he requested information and was invited to attend a networking event in Lagos, Nigeria, where he met four current students who shared their experiences. He was impressed with Walden’s PhD in Public Policy and Administration program and decided to enroll.

Michael admitted that, when he first started his program, his main focus was on the rigorous coursework, challenging assignments, and time-sensitive deadlines.  Eventually, he began exploring resources and offerings beyond the classroom.  When he received an invitation to attend an International Networking Hour event, hosted by Career Services as part of the International Student Success Conference, he accepted.  Through this virtual networking event, he connected with other international students, including a Public Policy and Administration student from Ghana with similar interests in networking with fellow students in Africa and beyond.  He also learned about Walden’s Academic Skills Center (ASC) and met ASC staff members who were attending the event.

Chatting with others, Michael uncovered potential opportunities where he could apply his statistical skills. He visited the Career Services Center website and used the CV Guide to enhance and update his CV with current knowledge and experience.  He also explored the Careers at Walden page to research available openings.  When he came across a Graduate Assistant position in Statistics, he applied and was selected for an interview. During the interview, he impressed the interviewers with his extensive knowledge of statistics and use of SPSS, and was offered the position.

As a Graduate Assistant, Michael enjoys the challenge of explaining complex statistical concepts in simple terms.  Michael commented, “My duty is to make statistics look easy.”  So far, he has mentored over 60 students within the last three months from a wide range of programs and backgrounds including health sciences, psychology, management, education, business administration, and public policy and administration.

Michael’s journey from a prospective student researching Walden in Nigeria, to an active online learner exploring Walden’s many resources, to a Graduate Assistant dedicated to mentoring and tutoring others; has helped him “pay it forward” and share his vast statistical knowledge within a global learning community.  Through active engagement, he continues to forge connections and gain new perspectives for his own career success.

Are you seeking new ways to share your knowledge and skills with others?

Watch Social Change Series webinars for ideas on how to leave your mark and make a difference.
Watch Statistics in the Workplace to learn how to apply your statistical knowledge in multiple work settings.

Written by Dina Bergren, Associate Director of Career Services

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Walden’s Military Services Team Supports Military-Connected Students

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In honor of Veterans Day, the Career Services Center sends a “Thank you” to all of Walden’s veteran and military-connected students for their service and our colleagues in Walden’s Military Services Department for the student support that they provide.

Walden’s Military Services team of five is dedicated and committed to supporting 5000 students through the complex process of navigating military educational benefits with all of the requisite forms and processes. When students are called for active military deployment during a term, they offer guidance on steps to manage the intersection of military and academic requirements.

The Director of Walden’s Military Services, Jon Lovald, served for 25 years in the US Army and Army National Guard. During his military career, Jon was initially trained in logistics. As his responsibility for the health, wellness, and training of up to 500 fellow soldiers increased, he was recognized for his communication and leadership skills. This recognition and his interest in the “people” side of organizations led to a transition from logistics to human resources.

When Jon left the military, he made the change to a civilian life by reaching out and connecting with former military colleagues, especially those in a leadership role, for advice. He also attended American Corporate Partners, VFW, and American Legion events, and he used LinkedIn to stay connected, build new connections, and follow organizations.

As Director of Walden’s Military Services, Jon leads a team of experts on military educational benefits and policies. Team members, Ann Tao, Fatima Benkhadda, Molly Kvam, and John Tripp, have in-depth knowledge of the distinct eligibility requirements and application processes of the different GI Bills.  In addition to assisting students directly, they educate and guide Walden staff and faculty on the unique issues and challenges faced by military-connected students.

Jon advises that all military-connected students should be sure to inform Walden of their military connection and visit the Walden Military Services website to learn more about the team and how they can support military-connected learners. For more information, visit the Walden Military Services website.

For information on transitioning from a military to a civilian career, visit the Career Services Center resources for veterans.

A special “Thank you” to Jon Lovald for his service and for sharing his story and information about Walden’s Military Services!

Written by Denise Pranke, Senior Career Services Advisor

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