Tuesday, Nov 24 2009 

5 Tips for Making Your Resume Competitive

Now, more than ever, you need to know how to get your resume past the first cut. There is so much competition for every job, your resume will be competing with hundreds for every position you apply for, many of which are not looked at more than once.

Tip #1

The first way to get positive attention is to spend time writing the best cover letter possible. You should write a different letter for every job you apply for and refer back to the specific position. Talk about specific positions you have held that make you perfect for the job. Most of all, make sure that everything is spelled correctly and that you have proofread all grammar. You need to show that you are invested in yourself and take your job search seriously.

Tip #2

Your resume should be changed for every position you apply to. Job duty descriptions can be altered so that you accentuate the experience that is most applicable to the position advertised. Of course, you do not ever want to lie about your experience, or anything else on your resume. Try not to make job descriptions passive. Instead of just listing your duties, show how they made a difference to the company. If you were instrumental in changing purchasing from a store across town to a website, you can legitimately say that you made purchasing procedures more efficient and cost effective.

Tip #3

When listing education, it is best not to put the years during which you attended schools. When you do this, the person reading your resume begins to get an idea of how old you are and will start making assumptions based on that. You could be discriminated against for your age and never even know.

Include any seminars or courses you have taken after college that are business related. In addition to adding to your marketability because of the material itself, it also shows that you are invested in yourself and in your career. If you took any courses for your degree that relate directly to the position, you might mention those separately. If there are any other skills you have that add to your desirability as an employee, include these. Many people list a separate section for computer skills as almost every position requires these. You can list all the software you are familiar with as well as how knowledgeable you are in each.

Tip #4

Volunteer experience can also be included on your resume. This shows that you are well rounded and that you care about other people. A prospective manager may make the leap that you will also be a good team player.

Tip #5

Keep your resume down to a page in length. You want it to be read, so it needs to be easy to read. Employers want to know what is most important and what you have done in your most recent work history that is relevant to the open position.

If you implement this advice on how to make your resume competitive, getting through the competition will be much easier. Getting to the interview is always the hardest part.

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Create a Self-Marketing Plan Tuesday, Nov 24 2009 

To start your job search process, it is important to create a self-marketing plan. Just like starting a new business, you need to determine your target audience, identify your unique attributes and selling points and look for effective ways to promote yourself by delivering a powerful proposition. Located below are a few tips on how to effectively market yourself to potential employers:

• Take Action
Post your resume to general and niche job sites that are targeted to your industry or location. Consider a resume distribution service to more effectively target key employers and improve your chance of getting noticed.

• Let People Know You Are Looking
Reach out to new and former contacts to inform them you are searching for a new career. The more people who know you are looking for a job, the better chance of finding a great job opportunity.

• Go the Extra Mile
Create an online career portfolio that incorporates your resume and other relevant career-related information to distinguish yourself from other candidates. Also, prove to potential employers that you are serious about your job search by getting a background check, which will save them valuable time and money.

• Create a Unique Brand Identity
Identify your strengths and capabilities that distinguish you from other candidates, and then effectively communicate these attributes to potential employers in verbal and written correspondence. Reinforce your unique selling point throughout your job search to convey the value you will bring to each organization. It’s OK to customize your message based upon your audience.

• Attend Networking Events
Join industry associations and attend career fairs to build connections and network. These events allow you to interact with professionals who may have a job opening in their company, or are aware of a job through their network of contacts. Networking is a powerful marketing tool.

• Protect Your Reputation
Review any social sites that you have subscribed to, in order to be sure that you are presenting yourself in a positive manner. Employers will review these sites and you will want to make a good impression. So, its important to protect your online reputation.

• Get Noticed by More Employers
When searching for a job, it is important to post your resume on as many relevant job sites as possible. Although it can be difficult to be in all the right places at all the right times, there are resume distribution services available that can help you gain maximum exposure to potential employers.

Resume distribution services allow you to instantly post your resume and job requirements to many well-known job boards, saving you hours of research and time. You can take advantage of this service by completing a simple online form, and within hours, millions of employers will have access to your resume.

JOURNALISM Monday, Sep 1 2008 

WHAT IS JOURNALISM?

Journalism is the timely reporting of events at the local, provincial, national and international levels. Reporting involves the gathering of information through interviewing and research, the results of which are turned into a fair and balanced story for publication or for television or radio broadcast.
Journalism is also a form of writing that tells people about things that really happened, but that they might not have known about already.
Simply put, journalism is the process of collecting, writing, editing, and presenting of news or feature articles for one of the media: newspapers, magazines, broadcast, or online (i.e the Internet). It involves reporting on ideas and events as they occur – from dogs that bite children to developments in ideas about the universe.
As a result, your schedule could change from day to day or month to month. It’s like always learning something new. Your typical day might begin by tracking people down and learning enough about them to interview them. You call sources and do interviews. You might be interviewing anyone from CEOs of corporations to criminals. Next, you might be busy reading clips and primary source material and taking notes for your articles.

People who practice journalism are called ”journalists.” They might work at newspapers, magazines, websites or for TV or radio stations.
The most important characteristic shared by good journalists is curiosity. Good journalists love to read and want to find out as much as they can about the world around them.

FORMS OF JOURNALISM

Journalism comes in several different forms:
I. News
A. Breaking news: Telling about an event as it happens.
B. Feature stories: A detailed look at something interesting that’s not breaking news.
C. Enterprise or Investigative stories: Stories that uncover information that few people knew.
II. Opinion
A. Editorials: Unsigned articles that express a publication’s opinion.
B. Columns: Signed articles that express the writer’s reporting and his conclusions.
C. Reviews: Such as concert, restaurant or movie reviews.
Online, journalism can come in the forms listed above, as well as:
• Blogs: Online diaries kept by individuals or small groups.
• Discussion boards: Online question and answer pages where anyone can participate.
• Wikis: Articles that any reader can add to or change.
The best journalism is easy to read, and just sounds like a nice, smart person telling you something interesting.

JOURNALSIS’ NEWS SOURCES

How do you get the facts for your news story? By reporting!
There are three main ways to gather information for a news story or opinion piece:
• Interviews: Talking with people who know something about the story you are reporting.
• Observation: Watching and listening where news is taking place.
• Documents: Reading stories, reports, public records and other printed material.
The people or documents you use when reporting a story are called your “sources.” In your story, you always tell your readers what sources you’ve used. So you must remember to get the exact spelling of all your sources’ names. You want everything in your story to be accurate, including the names of the sources you quote.
Often, a person’s name is not enough information to identify them in a news story. Lots of people have the same name, after all. So you will also want to write down your sources’ ages, their hometowns, their jobs and any other information about them that is relevant to the story.
Whenever you are interviewing someone, observing something happening or reading about something, you will want to write down the answers to the “Five Ws” about that source:
• Who are they?
• What were they doing?
• Where were they doing it?
• When they do it?
• Why did they do it?
Many good reporters got their start by keeping a diary. Buy a notebook, and start jotting down anything interesting you hear, see or read each day. You might be surprised to discover how many good stories you encounter each week!

NEWS-WRITING

Here are the keys to writing good journalism:
• Get the facts. All the facts you can.
• Tell your readers where you got every bit of information you put in your story.
• Be honest about what you do not know.
• Don’t try to write fancy. Keep it clear.
Start your story with the most important thing that happened in your story. This is called your “lead.” It should summarize the whole story in one sentence.
From there, add details that explain or illustrate what’s going on. You might need to start with some background or to “set the scene” with details of your observation. Again, write the story like you were telling it to a friend. Start with what’s most important, then add background or details as needed.
When you write journalism, your paragraphs will be shorter than you are used to in classroom writing. Each time you introduce a new source, you will start a new paragraph. Each time you bring up a new point, you will start a new paragraph. Again, be sure that you tell the source for each bit of information you add to the story.
Whenever you quote someone’s exact words, you will put them within quotation marks and provide “attribution” at the end of the quote. Here’s an example:
“Obasanjo is only a shameful fraudster who is always bold to prosecute fellow corrupt politicians” ten-year-old Folakemi Adams said.
Commas go inside the closing quote mark when you are providing attribution.
Sometimes, you can “paraphrase” what a source says. That means that you do not use the source’s exact words, but reword it to make it shorter, or easier to understand. You do not use quote marks around a paraphrase, but you still need to write who said it. Here’s an example:
Even though the class was hard, students really liked it, Folakemi pointed out.

JOURNALISM IS NOT JUST…

Fact-finding
Media analysis
Opinion writing, or
Commentary
Although all of those aspects can play a part at times.

WHAT DO BEGINNING JOURNALISTS DO?

Journalists who are starting their careers normally do not do commentary or opinion pieces. Rather, they cover hard news stories such as community news, courts, crime and speeches by notable people. In broadcast, beginning journalists also may do pre-interviews and research for senior journalists.
An entry-level reporter often does “general assignment” stories rather than stories for a specific beat. General assignment stories are given out to reporters by the city desk or assignment editor.

THE JOURNALIST’S DICTIONARY Monday, Sep 1 2008 

GLOSSARY FOR JOURNALISM

Journalism terms

Ad-abbreviation for advertisement

Advance (advance story)-news of an event to occur in the future

All caps-a word or word written in all capital letters

AP-abbreviations for Associated Press, a news-gathering service

Banner-type of headline stretching full width, usually at the top of a page; also called a streamer

Beat-news source that a reporter is assigned to cover regularly

Box-material enclosed, either completely or partially, by a printed rule

Byline-the name and identification of a story’s author

Caption-the heading placed above a photograph; sometimes used to refer to the descriptive copy below a photo

Center of visual interest (CVI)-the dominate item on a page – usually a photo, graphic or headline

Classified advertising-ads run in small type in a separate section, which is often classed into different categories, such as “Help wanted” or “Lost and found”

Column (1)-a type of feature that is regularly run in a paper, featuring a single writer

Column (2)-the vertical sections of type, which may have varying widths to story on a page

Column width-the actual measurement in picas or inches; also measured in character count as a way to determine the character count of the entire story

Copy-a story or article written for a newspaper; also used to describe a page or block to text

Copyreading-checking copy for errors before it is entered into computer or receives its final rewrite

Crop-to eliminate unwanted portions of a photo to emphasize its center of interest

Cut-term for a newspaper photo or art, taken from engraving parlance

Cutoff test-reporter’s check that final-paragraphs are not essential to story

Cutline-the descriptive copy below a photo

Dateline-line at beginning of news story giving point of origin, if not local, and date, if significant

Deadline-time at which job must be handed in or completed to make issue date of publication

Deck-each part of a headline in a single font, whether one or more lines (once used to define a single line of a headline)

Direct quote-the reproduction of a speaker’s exact words, set within quotation marks and correctly attributed

Downstyle-the use of a minimum number of capital letters in headlines and body copy, where good usage permits an option

Editorial-an article that represents the paper’s opinion

Editorial column-an article representing the opinion of a individual writer

Editorializing-inserting the writer’s opinion into a news story, which should be written objectively

Euphemism-a milder word used instead of another word, possibly offensive – not an acceptable way to soften a quote from a news source

Feature story-an article of special interest with a quality other than its timeliness as main attraction

5 W’s and an H-the Who, What, When, Where, Why and How – the key questions answered by a summary lead

Folio line-the heading of inside pages, indicating section, school name, issue date and page number

Follow-up-a news story written after an event has occurred

Graph-short for a paragraph (sometimes spelled graf)

Hammerhead-a large headline of only one or two words, followed by a longer and smaller head underneath – the reverse of a kicker

Headline-lines of display type printed above a newspaper story, calling attention to relative importance and attracting readers to the story’s content

Headline schedule-list of styles and sizes, often with counts, for use in a newspaper

In-depth report-a story that goes beyond the surface to discover the news behind the news; also called an investigative report

Indirect quote-using a version of a speaker’s words without quotation marks. Example: He said that he expected to reject the plan.

Infograph-a chart, diagram or graph presenting statistical information, such as survey results and enrollment figures, in easy-to-grasp form

Inverted pyramid-a method of writing a story using a summary lead and facts in diminishing order of importance

Kicker-short, lead-in phrase above main head

Label head-a headline without a verb; to be avoided

Lead (leed)-the first paragraph of a story (see also, under Desktop publishing)

Libel-untrue statement or material that damages a person’s reputation

Masthead-list of the paper’s vital statistics, including school name and address, staff members and other pertinent data, such as editorial policy; usually found on editorial pages

Menu-in newspaper terminology, a front-page box or boxes announcing a paper’s inside contents, sometimes called teaser (see also, under Desktop publishing)

Nutgraph-paragraph giving the key details of a news story – the 5 W’s and H – when a variation on the summary lead in used

Objectivity-an attempt to write a story without showing bias or injecting the writer’s opinion

Photo release-a permission form used by photographers for persons in photos not taken at news events, granting the right to print the photo

Plagiarism-unauthorized copying of another’s work. Reproducing copyrighted material without permission – whether words or art – is a crime

Profile-feature story about a person; personality piece

Pull quote-quote from a story or news source that is “pulled out” and set as a graph in a distinctive format and type to attract readers to a story and add visual interest

Retraction-a printed correction of an earlier error in the paper

Slug-one or two words that specifically identify a story, typed in the upper left-hand corner of work to be edited or processed; also includes reporter’s last name, plus date/time from edit menu

Stet-a term meaning “let it stand” – or disregard a change that was previously marked or indicated

Style-rules regarding punctuation, capitalization, abbreviation, etc.

Style book, style manual-compilation of style rules for a newspaper

Summary lead-a first paragraph that contains the essential 5 W’s and H of a news story

Teaser-a front-page box or boxes announcing a paper’s inside contents, sometimes called a menu

Trademark-the legal, registered name of a product or business. Be sure to use capital letters when using such trademarked names as Kleenex and Coke, which are sometimes used generically

 

JOURNALISM Monday, Sep 1 2008 


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Definitions of Public Relations Sunday, Aug 31 2008 

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