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  • Marie Spaulding 8:55 pm on February 10, 2016 Permalink  

    Skill Series #3: Written Communication 

    writing scrabbleWhy is it important to write well? What does ‘writing well’ mean, anyway? Every day I read resumes, cover letters, personal statements, essays and email and text messages. So do you.

    Have you ever gotten a text that made no sense? Was the verb or subject missing? Maybe you thought that you knew what the person meant to say, but you had to guess.

    Let’s start with some examples….

    • My courses in History and Philosophy taught me strong critical thinking skills.

    Your courses taught you? YOU had nothing to do with amassing these skills? Don’t you think that YOU learned or developed critical thinking skills by taking courses in History and Philosophy?

    • Other responsibilities include progress toward degree meetings every semester.

    What does this mean? Who made progress? And, what did this person do to advance the progress of these meetings?

    • I have developed a valuable database of employer relationships that get results.

    Have you known databases that get results? I have not. I thought that people used databases and the information in databases to get results.

    • My educational experiences and my work experience have allowed me to develop exceptional interpersonal, clerical, analytical and leadership skills.

    Your educational and work experiences gave you the opportunity to develop interpersonal skills – how did that work? Would it be accurate to say that while you pursued your education and gained work experience, YOU strengthened your interpersonal…..skills?

    • I am the daily liaison between coaches and instructor’s.

    Your turn….what is the issue?

    • Young Democrats of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah May, – June 2006

                   Volunteer Champagne Manager

     Have you spotted the typos?

    • I am interested in applying for the position of with you organization.

    Did this person read the sentence out loud? How many problems do you see?

    • One who will make a positive contribution to your college.

    Is this a sentence? Does it include a complete thought OR do you feel something is missing?

    • All of these experiences have shown that children and animals are forever bonded and the stories arising from that relationship inform us how to approach and respect

    Be clear about what and who you are referencing. WHAT RELATIONSHIP is this person talking about? And WHO exactly are we approaching?

    Whether you are writing a resume, an email or an academic essay, writing skills are critical.

    Here are some tips for writing as clearly as possible to convey what you mean to say:

    • Use active tense: Experiences do not teach you. YOU learn skills by engaging in experiences and completing projects.
    • Be specific and include details: As a senior majoring in Anthropology, with a minor in History, I have traveled to WWI battlefields in Belgium and worked with forensic anthropologists to uncover the remains of soldiers who died in the trenches.
    • Use a font that is large enough to see. No one will read your work, no matter how excellent it is, if the person can’t see the text!
    • ALWAYS read what you have written out loud to yourself. That is the only way you will notice if you have left out a word or used the wrong phrase.

    Resources in the Career Center Library:

    Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The zero tolerance approach to puncuation, by  Lynne Truss

    On writing well: an informal guide to writing nonfiction, by William Zinsser

    Get to the Point!  by Elizabeth Danziger

    Writing That Works, by Kenneth Roman and Joel Raphaelson

  • Marie Spaulding 10:00 am on October 13, 2014 Permalink  

    Take a course for FREE on the AU Campus 

    Have you ever read a job description where the employer asked for skills using SPSS? What about qualifications with Python? How about ArcGIS?

    What do you do if you do not have these skills?

    Did you know that you can take courses in all three of these areas, and many more, at no cost through the Center for Teaching, Research and Learning (CTRL)? The CTRL Lab is in Hurst Hall, Room 202 – they offer courses Mon – Saturday. If you would like to register simply go to http://www.american.edu/ctrl/rsg.

  • Marie Spaulding 5:30 pm on October 8, 2014 Permalink  

    Looking for part-time employment? 

    Whether you are looking for a job on or off campus, it can be challenging to find part-time work. Here are some tips:

    • Take the time to Prepare your application materials
    • Apply by submitting your resume and a cover letter targeted to each specific employer and
    • Follow Up by emailing or calling the person who is reviewing the application materials.

    Make an appointment to meet with your Career Advisor who can help you to develop, or fine-tune, your resume and cover letter. You can also drop by the Career Center and meet with a Peer Advisor in the Career Center Library.

    (More …)

  • Marie Spaulding 7:50 pm on September 26, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: advisor, , , ,   

    Do you want to intern during spring 2014? 

    Think about your class schedule in the spring. Will you have blocks of time when you will not be in class and can intern? Can you spare one-two days a week to gain experience outside the classroom? If yes, here are some tips:

    • Start early. Make an appointment to meet with your career advisor now and bring a copy of your resume to your appointment. If you have not created a college resume, go to the Career Center website for helpful tools and sample resumes to offer you guidance.
    • Think about what skills you want to use: do you enjoy writing, doing research, interviewing people….
    • What organizations are you eager to work with?
    • Create a profile in AU CareerWeb (AUCW), the Career Center database of jobs and internships.
    • Then, do an advanced search in AUCW of all job listings, internships, with Metro access, in DC, MD and VA and enter a keyword that you hope appears in the job description or the job title. Click Submit and see how many positions you find.
  • Marie Spaulding 7:31 pm on May 26, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , happy, , , , think   

    Literature Career Night ‘Word Cloud’ 

    Take a look at key ideas from the “one thing students learned” at the Spring 2010 Literature Career Night.

    View original wordle

  • Marie Spaulding 6:36 pm on May 24, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , , , professors   

    Literature Career Night – Advice from alumni… 

    “Follow your passion,” “Be interested and interesting,” “Operate on no one’s time line but your own,” “Take advantage of your professors”… For more great advice, watch this video….  [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0zRAg9lwW4]

  • Marie Spaulding 11:19 pm on February 25, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , Private Sector, ,   

    What CAN you do with a Philosophy major? 

    Philosophy majors make happy people” according to one student who attended Philosophy Career Night on February 18, 2010.  Students had the opportunity to hear about the varied lives and careers of six Philosophy alumni.  Students at Philosophy Career Night learned such tips as “Studying Philosophy enables a deeper understanding of societal issues and a greater sensitivity to social justice” and “private sector can be useful for getting higher power jobs in nonprofits later”.

    Listen to our video to hear more of what students learned from our amazing alumni:


    If you couldn’t make the event here are tips the alumni shared:


  • Marie Spaulding 4:54 pm on October 12, 2009 Permalink
    Tags: , ,   

    AU Alumni Will Offer Advice If You Just Ask… 

    Have you ever contacted AU alumni seeking advice?  Start by joining InCircle AU’s online community of close to 100,000 alumni.   Next, search using keywords such as your major or field of study.

    Once you identify alumni, send an email to ask if they will meet with you at their workplace.  Prepare questions to learn about their skills, background, and career path as well as insights they may have on the future of their field.  Build rapport, get your foot in the door, and gain a sense of the workplace atmosphere.

    Be sure to write a thank you note.

    Stay tuned for more on Information Interviews….

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