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What is VIA Character Strengths--and how can I use it my job search?

What is VIA Character Strengths?
The VIA Institute on Character is a non-profit organization based in Cincinnati, Ohio. VIA focuses on the science of strengths through research, surveys, and tools.  To date, over 4.6 million people have taken the VIA Survey. This survey takes inventory of your character strengths, offering a tool for reflection and giving you a vocabulary to use when communicating them. It is a psychometrically validated personality test revealing your positive character attributes.

How can I determine my strengths and why should I know them?
First, take the free survey HERE. Remember that this is an inventory of your character strengths, not an invitation for you to immediately jump to the last page and focus on your weaknesses! 

Upon taking the survey you will receive a report of the 24 character strengths, beginning with your strongest. Short descriptions of each are provided, and it is recommended that … 

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Cocktails with company reps...and other dining etiquette concerns

I’m sure that title got your attention, didn’t it? In this week’s blog, we will cover business dining etiquette, specifically during the interview process. Companies want to hire smart, hardworking, and dedicated new employees.  They also want to hire students with good social skills and etiquette.  A strong GPA or prior work experience may get you an interview, but if you don’t display proper social etiquette, you may not get the job.  To gauge this, companies will often host a lunch or dinner as part of the final interview or site visit. Is this part of the interview? YES! Consider any interaction, including a meal, with company representatives as part of the interview process. Below are my top 5 tips for acing a business meal.

  1. Attire: Many meal invitations will come with an expected attire, but if not, it is acceptable to ask the recruiter.  If … 
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Understanding online application processes

Applicant tracking systems (ATS) are being used by a lot of organizations to screen resumes to increase recruiting efficiencies. Taleo is one of the largest ATS systems. This blog will cover some tips for applying to jobs that use an ATS system. How do you know the employer is using an ATS system? Typically if you look at the URL, the ATS system will be included.

As we know, data analytics is becoming a big player in many industries. ATS systems were initially used to help insert resumes into the employer’s database, have basic functions of screening, and follow the applicant through the hiring process. System are now more advanced. Systems can be programmed for just about anything including but not limited to: scanning for keywords, years of experiences, job title similarities, past employers, educational background, skills, projects, qualifications, and the list goes on and on. Companies have a hiring strategy … 

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Starting the New Year Off Right: TedTalks for Career Motivation

Welcome back! If you are like me, then this is the time of year that you realize all those things you thought would get done over winter break were never actually accomplished. Goals like getting organized, catching up on a semester’s worth of laundry, or starting your job search might still be looming over you. While this entry isn’t about organization skills and won’t help you with the laundry—watching these inspiring videos will undoubtedly motivate you as you start or progress through your job search.

Shawn Achor: The Happy Secret to Better Work

In this talk Shawn presents the research to support that happiness and success can (and arguably do) go hand-in-hand. The video highlights the importance of enjoying what you do in your career and how some positive psychology principles support a productive workplace.

Angela Lee Duckworth: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

What characteristic determines success in a … 

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What Can I Do With My PhD?

If you are wrapping up your PhD, congrats!  Completing an advanced degree is quite an achievement.  It's likely you haven't had to think too much about employment prospects, but once the end of the road is in sight...you may be thinking "what now?"  Today's blog will outline some options that you may want to consider.  

Postdoc:  A postdoctoral researcher (postdoc) is a temporary position in academia, industry, a nonprofit organization, or government.  This type of role is primarily for gaining additional education and training in research for the purpose of acquiring the professional skills needed to pursue a particular career path.  It may be a stepping stone to a faculty role.  

Faculty: Many PhD candidates pursue their advanced graduate degree with hopes of obtaining a full-time, tenure track faculty position at a university. With an interest in both gaining and transferring knowledge, a faculty position seems a likely career fit … 

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