Transferable Skills–Bob Sweigart

Transferable skills are those that utilize any of these examples of marketable skills for a resume. Think about what work or volunteer experiences have shaped you and think about how that experience transfers to a resume.

Many times I am asked by a student or graduate if it is important to include professional experience that is not related to their field of study on their resume. My advice is don’t be afraid to include positions that aren’t directly related to your field of study, especially if you have limited work experience.  You can use this experience to demonstrate what we call “transferable skills” that can really upgrade your resume.

Some examples of transferable skills would include, meeting deadlines, ability to delegate and plan, results oriented, customer service oriented, supervision of others, increasing sales or efficiency, instructing others, good time management, solving problems, managing money/budgets, managing people, meeting the public, organizing people, organizing/managing projects, team player, written and oral communications and working independently. So where does that type of knowledge and experience actually come from? These skills can be honed and developed in many ways including after school programs you have participated in, childcare work, volunteer work, school projects, and even as a result of hobbies that you enjoy. One of the best ways to understand the organization of these skills is to put them into categories similar to those published by Princeton University. Think back on all of the past responsibilities that you have had, even things you did for your relatives, and how those responsibilities could be perceived in a formal work environment.

Look at the job description, responsibilities and required experience and think about what you may have done or learned that could be applied. If a job is looking for someone who has managerial experience and you have never been a manager, but you have supervised a group of volunteers or worked as a lead on an important college project, that might be a way for you show that you have the experience they are looking for.

However, if you feel that your transferable skills are not as good as you want them to be, my advice is do NOT overstate the skills that you do have. If an interviewer asks you details pertaining to a skill that you have listed and you don’t have any answers, your interview will soon be over. If you list that you have managerial experience when in reality you worked alone, that won’t go over well. Take the time to work on your speaking skills and be your own promoter instead!

“Take the time to work on your speaking skills and be your own promoter instead!”

It is often important that you can identify and give examples of the transferable skills that you have developed — this will go a long way to persuading prospective employers that you are right for the job. Don’t be afraid to apply for a job if you do not have the exact experience they are asking for because you could still be the exact candidate that they are looking for.

For more career oriented advice, visit the Career Services staff at Coleman University. All of our current students and alumni are eligible to receive Career Services assistance and we have many resources to help our community find long lasting careers. Call 1 858 499 0202 today!

Game Development Capstone Presentation is a Huge Success!

 

What does it take to design and create a video game from scratch? Have you ever wondered what your ideal game would look like, or what you would want to see in a new game, or how long it would take to make your vision into a physical game? The students in our Game Development program took that dream and made it into a reality for their capstone presentation this month. Over the span of ten weeks, a student group came together to create their own game from beginning to end. This included story boarding, character design, background music development, character movement, and multiple game levels. We can only begin to appreciate the amount of work that went into this project! The capstone game is called “Savage Island”, and takes place on an isolated island overrun with dinosaurs that are hungry and looking for a human sized meal. Game players are put into a 2.5D map and have to fight their way through each level until they finally encounter The Boss, a massive T-Rex who will not go down easily! At their capstone presentation the designers discussed their original plan for the game and the challenges that they overcame to make this game a reality. Programs used to create this game include: Unity, Visual Studio, Source Tree, Trello, Photoshop, 3DS Max, zBrush, FreeSound, and Audacity (for the sound mixing and sampling). Each member of the development team took on a specific role in order to efficiently produce content for this game. From the concept art, background set up, and character movement, each aspect of the game was the responsibility of one of the four team members and when the game was presented to the audience it was clear that this was an incredible project. Overall the team discussed their work, and the various programs that they used to develop each piece that they were responsible for. The audience heard first-hand what skills and technologies the team members had to develop in order to complete the assignment, as well as what they plan to add to the game  After the initial presentation audience members were asked to play the game themselves and see close up how the mechanics of the game work and try to destroy as many dinosaurs as possible. Audience members were also encouraged to ask questions and some of our Coleman staff members who attended were thrilled to learn more about the game development process from the student’s point of view. What’s next for these game developers? We hope big and exciting things! Congratulations to these excellent students!!

Tips for Developing a Well-Crafted Resume

This post was written by the Director of Career Services, Robert Sweigart in preparation for the upcoming Job Fair, on March 28, being hosted on our campus. Thank you to Mr. Sweigart and his team for working so hard to help our students find their dream careers! Contact your Career Services adviser for help with your resume, or email careerservices@coleman.edu.

At Coleman University, our diverse student population includes those seeking their first job, returning veterans, students interested in changing careers, and individuals returning to the workforce after a leave of absence. What they all have in common is the need to create an appealing, professional resume that catches an employer’s eye.

Today, employers spend only a few seconds on each resume they receive. Therefore, employees need to develop a resume that differentiates their work background from the competition. Coleman’s career services advisors work one-on-one with students to provide personalized professional development services, and our experience shows that when it comes to resumes, one size does not necessarily fit all.  There are requirements and recommendations that we have for each of our programs. What suits your resume is not guaranteed to work for your peers. The basics of a resume are the same, however each resume is unique. If you need help updating your resume or would like to have it reviewed make time to visit your Career Services Advisor as soon as possible so that we can help you get into the career you really want.

Candidates should thoroughly read the job description and tailor their resume to the needs of the company. Is the company interested only in candidates that hold a specific degree or certification? Does the company require candidates to submit a portfolio of their work? At Coleman, our graphic design and game development and design students are encouraged to refine their portfolios and post them online, so that they are easily accessible to employers. You do not need to bring an arsenal of technology and handouts to go with your resumes, but keep in mind that employers will search for your name online and it is pertinent to ensure that what they find will not disqualify you as a candidate. Update your portfolios, websites, or any other digital media that you curate, before you begin submitting resumes.

Keep in mind that many large and small companies utilize applicant tracking systems to assist in their recruiting efforts. These systems search for key words in your resume to add to their database. It is important that candidates include those key words from the job description so that they are not automatically disqualified before they even meet with an employer.

What other aspects should be considered when writing a resume?

  • Formatting is important. You may want to research resumes from peers in your field to determine whether there is a certain outline that should be followed, or speak with a career advisor. Use (but don’t overuse) bullet points. Avoid graphics, large blocks of single-spaced text, and varying font sizes.
  • Proper grammar and punctuation is critical. There is no place for slang words in a resume. If you have questions about grammar or punctuation, check out grammar books from the local library, view online sources, or seek out a career advisor or trusted friend for advice.
  • Place name, phone number(s), address, and e-mail address in the top left-hand corner. Create a professional e-mail address and take a professional photo for social media sites.
  • Write a succinct profile that highlights work experiences and the skills you have to offer an employer. This profile should entice a hiring manager to read further.
  • Resumes no longer include an objective. Instead, we recommend students write a summary of their skills, using bullet points to identify all the relevant abilities that pertain to the job for which they are applying.
  • The work experience section of the resume should include dates of employment in reverse chronological order, the name of organization, the physical location of the employer (city and state), the title of the position, and description of work responsibilities. Under each position, emphasize specific results generated (how you reduced costs, increased sales, overcame a challenge) and use action verbs.
  • Maintain a simple and direct resume. Do not exaggerate your experience or your qualifications as that is a good way to put yourself in a work situation that you may not be ready to handle. Be honest and concise with the information that you put onto your resume as it sets the tone for what an employer can expect from you as a potential employee, including your work ethics.
  • The Career Services Department strongly suggests avoiding using a template for your resume. Downloaded or borrowed templates are not guaranteed to look the same after they are sent off and employers will notice immediately if you have sent in a template resume, which will not work in your favor.

If you experienced a gap in employment due to illness or caring for a family member, be prepared to give a short response that explains the situation. Business Insider gives 3 tips for addressing a job gap: be honest and upfront, consider doing volunteer work or taking relevant classes, and, explain the skills acquired while you were out of work. Gaps in employment are not necessarily viewed as negative if it can be explained how time away from the workforce has strengthened your background as the perfect candidate for the job.

  • The education section should include the name of the institution, dates attended, and degree or degrees earned. Remember to include the major, minor, and important certifications. Make mention of academic awards if they are applicable to the position. Include a GPA if it is higher than 3.0, or if you do not have previous work experience.
  • Veterans are often concerned how to transferring their military experience into civilian terms. Many skills gained in the military, such as organization, leadership, responsibility, and technical ability can be easily translated to a civilian job.
  • Make sure that you include everything that an employer asks for with your resume submission, which may include a cover letter. The Harvard Business Review suggests a list of important cover letter aspects that will make your resume stand out. The Career Services Advisors at Coleman are here to help you with drafting your cover letters. Again, it is important that you make time to speak with them as soon as possible in order to be completely prepared for your career search.

Now that you have an understanding of what to include in a resume, we recommend omitting the following information:

  • Personal information, such as age, marital status, race, or number of dependent children need not be included. Hobbies should be mentioned, only if they are applicable to the job. There is also no need to include high school graduation information.
  • Irrelevant work history and nonessential extracurricular activities should not be listed. Think of your resume as your personal “elevator speech.” Only include work experience that highlights relevant skills and experience.
  • All employers expect job applicants to have references, so there is no need to include a statement such as, “References will be furnished upon request.”
  • It has become a more common practice among employers to seek out the private social media profiles of candidates in order to gain better insight into an applicant’s background. However, there is no need to include links or information pertaining to your personal social media profiles on your resume. It can be beneficial to include a link to your LinkedIn profile, so make sure that you have updated your LinkedIn before you start applying to employment opportunities. However, that is not something you are required to provide as part of a resume submission.

While we all live in a fast-paced world, it is important to take time with the resume process. Developing a carefully constructed resume could be the difference between hiring you, or the competition, for the next “dream” job.

The Cybersecurity Club Gets a New Identity!

The Cybersecurity Club at Coleman University will henceforth be known as… Team Antikythera! You may be thinking, “Team What?!” and to answer your question, Team Antikythera is named after the Antikythera Mechanism, the earliest known mechanical analog computer. In ancient Greece, it was used to predict astronomical positions and eclipses for calendrical and astrological purposes, as well as the Olympiads; the cycles of the ancient Olympic Games.

Over 2,000 years later, the mechanism was discovered in a shipwreck off the Greek island of Antikythera, and now resides at the National Archaeological Museum, Athens.

 

antikythera_photo

The ancient Greek-designed Antikythera mechanism, dating between 150 and 100 BC, via Wikimedia Commons

 

Like the mechanism, Team Antikythera is the first of its kind at Coleman University. Its purpose is to bring students together for the opportunity to gain real world, practical experience in configuring, defending and attacking computer networks.  As well as to facilitate open communication between participants of various backgrounds of experience.  This will help alleviate stress for new students while honing the skills of senior students and Alumni.  Participation in study groups for classes and IT Certifications, and Penetration Lab events will be a mainstay of the program.

After the name change, the next step for Team Antikythera to fully utilize its new identity was to create a logo. Instead of just a wordmark, an icon was preferred in order to incorporate some of the visual components of the Antikythera mechanism. The goal was to create an icon that could stand on its own, avoiding a direct illustration of the mechanism, while still displaying a clear connection to it. The most prominent pieces of the technical schematic were used, shown below, and the logo grew from that center element.

 

Schematic of the artifact's known mechanism (left) with elements used in design highlighted (right)

Schematic of the artifact’s known mechanism (left) with elements used in design highlighted (right)

Choices, choices, choices

Choices, choices, choices

 

After the two main circular & crossed shapes were isolated, smaller elements were brought in, and the mechanism was abstracted further. A lot of possibilities emerged, but Team Antikythera held the deciding vote in what was to be their new logo & icon. The team went with the one of the least abstracted logos, sticking close to the analog roots of their new chosen name.

 

Final logo for Team Antikythera

The final logo for Team Antikythera

 

For more information about Team Antikythera, please click here. If you are interested in forming your own student club at Coleman University, please speak with your Student Services Advisor.