College Planning Specialists

August 13, 2008

Forget Facebook Impress Your Future Employer And Network With Linkedin Now

Facebook is a fine toy if you are in college-it’s the serious version of myspace. But what is that going to get you when you graduate and you are looking for a job? Answer: connections other college grads who are also looking for a job.

Get Serious With Linkedin

College students will do themselves a huge favor in the fight for employment, if they join and strategically network into the business community.

Advantages of Linkedin

1. Initiative: Introduce yourself to the business community as a soon to be new talent in the job market

2. Job Listings: many fantastic opportunities are posted on Linkedin and nowhere else. This is a powerful job search tool

3. Q&A: this section allow people to ask questions or provide answers. Asking a solid question will bring numerous responses which opens the doors to new connections. Answering a question is the opportunity to show your expertise and knowledge in a way that could impress the right hiring manager or HR director

What does Linkedin really mean to you and your search for employment ? According to Linkedin the following:

1. Control Your Professional Brand- show case skills and talents via your profile and Answer section

2. Network and Reconnect- 24 million members strong, an excuse to call on an old friend or business connection

3. Share Your Knowledge- and Expertise: allows you to show case your talents, gain exposure, or find answers

4. Receive Opportunities- it could be a job offer, consulting assignment, or appearance opportunity

What Makes Linkedin Serious Business?

All the ways to connect and utilize this tool for so many different people and tasks

1. New Users Guide Users manual with powerful strategies
2. Job Seekers Tips for landing a dream job along with ideas on how to market and brand “you”
3. Entrepreneurs: tap into experienced professionals and answer critical questions
4. Attorneys: Manage reputation, demonstrate knowledge and expertise, create client base
5. Business Development: Foster partnerships, look for opportunities, find new channels
6. Consultants: Demonstrate expertise while building your business
7. Journalists: Resources to news and inside information a vast resource for writers
8. Non Profits: Bring awareness of your cause and find the right resources
9. Venture Capital: Opportunities and Ideas come to you with connectivity

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July 4, 2008

College Student’s Guide To Change: Susan Hanshaw’s 7 Step Action Plan

The following “how to” article was written by my business partner and author Susan Hanshaw of personal development firm Inner Architect and publishing firm Inner Architect Media. Please consider these steps as a check list action plan to begin your journey of change and discovery. Her new book “Inner Architect: How To Build The Life You Were Designed To Live” made it’s debut in June to wonderful reviews such as the review written by Tom Royce of http://therealestatebloggers

photo of susan hanshaw

Susan Hanshaw

Is there something that you wish to achieve or create in your life, yet you lack the confidence in yourself to follow through? Here are some tips for staying relentlessly focused on your goal.

  1. Break your goal into executable steps.
  2. Recognize that the key to achieving your goals is following through with the necessary steps.
  3. Assign a schedule for each step and commit it to your calendar.
  4. Use your calendar as your “to do” list. If you can’t get to a step on the scheduled date, reschedule it. Keep the step on your calendar until its completion.
  5. If you are feeling resistance to following through with a particular step, get in touch with the belief that is in your way.
  6. Replace the limiting belief with an idea that empowers you to move forward. Get inspired from someone who believes in you.
  7. Hold yourself responsible for the life you create. Don’t allow room for regrets!

May 21, 2008

San Francisco’s Horrible Secret: Golden Gate Bridge The Last Destination

The clip above from “The Bridge”

I am stunned! I am sitting here trying to wrap my arms around what I just witnessed. No film has had the effect that “The Bridge“, playing on the Independent Film Channel, has had on me in a very long time. It is a documentary about the Golden Gate Bridge. Unlike every documentary I have watched on our beloved landmark, this one focuses on the bridge’s notorious reputation as the #1 spot in the world for suicide.

In 2004 Eric Steel set up multiple cameras trained on the Golden Gate Bridge. What he caught was 20 separate suicide attempts; Steel spotlights 4 cases with interviews with family and friends of the victims. In two cases, he interviews the actual subjects of this documentary.

Although all of the cases were extremely compelling and shocking, the most important message came from the story about “Ken.”

This story is about a young man who suffers from bi-polar disorder. “Ken” describes his illness with passion and honesty. He describes his torn relationship with his father which is a central theme in “Ken’s” life. Interjected within this vignette, is “Ken’s” father’s description of “Ken’s” history and struggle with this illness, his own search for answers for his son, and a forlorn resolve that his son is one bad day away from tragedy.

The results of “Ken’s” struggles with family relationships and his illness was his attempted suicide from the deck of the Golden Gate Bridge in 2004. Ken, in minute horrific detail, gave his account of his last minutes before his leap. Although he jumped from a height of 220 ft., traveling at 75+ mph, “Ken” survived the leap with multiple fractures of his lower back.

Since his suicide attempt,”Ken” has become a very spiritual person; he seems to have taken steps toward a better more normal life. “Ken’s” father sums it up best: “Ken” has resigned himself to the fact that he must stay within the boundaries, the safe brackets if you will, of his medications.” “Ken’s” illness is controllable.” According to “Ken’s” father, it (bio-polar disease) is unlike a serious case of cancer where a person has little control over their destiny; he believes “Ken” should feel lucky to have control through medication of his medical situation.

The reality of this problem is the role we all can and should play in helping our fellow human beings. If we could feel compassion, take action, and believe in being proactive in a “My brother’s keeper” way. . . maybe together we could help spare just one lost soul from a permanent horrible decision.

May 4, 2008

Student’s #1 “Cost Of Living” Tool: Economic Research Institute

The best source for students to find free “calculator” tools, to help decide on the best cities in the US to live, are provided by the Economic Research Institute. The best page to find these valuable tools is the ERI “Career and Cost of Living Comparison” page which includes the following free tools:

2 Career Cost of Living Comparison Tools For Students

1. Salary Potential 2023: This tool “reports the estimated annual mean salary potential for 5,634 positions in the Year 2023.”

2. Student Cost of Living: This tool is a fantastic point of reference. It calculates cost of living for cities around the world and in some cases neighborhoods within the cities.

In my example I found the following information about San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood: “Student Cost of Living for Consumables as a percentage of the U.S. National Norm: 125%”

There are many more detailed reports comparing cities globally or nationally, cost of living conversion rates and economic condition calculators. Although these reports are not free, the descriptions of the reports can give you a starting point to performing your own (free) research.

April 18, 2008

Top 10 Cities: Job Prospects For College Graduates To Consider

As a college graduate you are either buried in student loans waiting to be paid, you have lived a bare thread existence, or you are just ready to prosper after a long preparation period called your “whole life.” The following list was compiled from Hannah Clark’s beautiful article in Forbes.com “The Best Cities To Get A Job.”

The numbers represent a small part of why these cities are considered the top 10 cities for college graduates to find a job. Each city’s economy is outlined with new companies or industry highlights. In addition “affordability” ratings for housing (NAR calculator) and cost of goods (Cost of Living Index by infoplease.com) should be areas that students investigate on their own.

Top 10 Cities

1. Washington D.C.: Unemployment rank: 4 and Job growth rank: 12

2. Phoenix, Ariz: Unemployment rank: 17 and Job growth rank: 8

3. Las Vegas, Nev: Unemployment rank: 12 and Job growth rank: 1

4. Orlando, Fla: Unemployment rank: 5 and Job growth rank : 6

5. Bethesda, Md: Unemployment rank: 2 and Job growth rank : 32

6. Richmond, Va: Unemployment rank: 6 and Job growth rank : 28

7. Raleigh, NC: Unemployment rank: 18 and Job growth rank: 22

8. Jacksonville, Fla: Unemployment rank: 13 and Job growth rank: 20

9. Oklahoma City, Okla: Unemployment rank: 21 and Job growth rank: 44

10. Virginia Beach, Va: Unemployment rank: 16 and Job growth rank: 25

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