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Careers In Herpetology And Herpetoculture

So you think you want to establish a career where you get to work with reptiles and amphibians. If that is the case, this article is for you. Why did I write an article about getting what seems to be an easy-to-obtain job? First, there are a lot of people who contact zoos, museums, and websites asking just that question. While there are some pamphlets available that briefly address the question (ASIH, no date; SSAR, 1985), there are few other published resources available (Barthel (2004); Sprackland and McKeown, 1995, 1997; Sprackland, 2000). There are some guides to entering the academic world of biology (i.e., Janovy, 1985), but these generally focus on career paths in the university world, while the field of biology is far broader than herpetology or even organismal zoology. This article, then, gives professional colleagues a resource that may help them answer specific questions from their clients.

Second, many people do not consider a career in herpetology or zoology until they reach the stage where it has become obvious that their collections have outgrown their personal resources. They either wish to expand their contact with large reptiles in a zoological park setting or perhaps wish to engage in meaningful field or laboratory studies. Among the ranks of this group are many seasoned and competent herpetoculturists, and they form a significant group seeking information about how to “turn pro.”

Career Options I: The Private Sector

There are probably more paying opportunities in the private sector than can be found among the zoological parks and academic markets combined, though it may also be safe to say relatively few private sector jobs will pay a living wage. Among the jobs that can be classified as “private sector” are those that receive funding as commercial, for-profit ventures. Typical jobs would include animal dealers, pet shop workers, breeders, lecturers, and writers. For most of these positions, success will be based largely on experience and knowledge-from whatever source you obtained it-and less so on formal academic training. Some notable herpetologists came from the ranks of the privately employed sector, including Lawrence Klauber, Constantine Ionides, E. Ross Allen, Steve Irwin, and Hans-Georg Horn, as well as many of the most knowledgeable contemporary reptile breeders.

Working in the private sector generally has two paths available to you. First, you may work for someone who owns a reptile-related business. Pay is variable in such situations, and may be based more on the financial condition of the business than on any experience you may bring. Perhaps the more financially rewarding route is to operate a business of your own. Many commercial breeders start by specializing in a single species (such as leopard geckos) or a genus (such as rat/corn snakes). From there you may branch out to handle other species, or you may remain a specialist dealer and supply your personal passion for exotic reptiles with a private collection.

There are also herpetological supply businesses, school lecturers, and reptile food suppliers, among other possibilities. The key to making any of these ventures work is to tackle them as serious business activities. Take some business classes, or buy some good books about writing a business plan (essential for getting loans) and operating a small business. Take advantage of free advisory services of friends in business or the U.S. government’s SCORE program (Service Corps Of Retired Executives), where experienced business people will review business plans and loan requests, discuss accounting and inventory control, and be available to help in a myriad of ways that will make you life easier and business more likely to succeed.

Career Options II: Zoological Parks

It was once true that if you were willing to clean cages and apprentice under an “old timer,” you could get a position at even the most prestigious of zoos. By the last third of the 20th century, though, a variety of factors at zoological parks had changed drastically. Operating costs, including salaries and benefits, utilities, insurance, cost of animals, and greater competition for visitor’s dollars all made it essential to streamline the operations and assure better-trained staff from their date of hire. People wishing to work in the animal care departments were routinely expected to have completed a two-year associate’s degree in biology, animal husbandry, or zookeeper training. Now it is much more likely that a zoo will want new hires to possess a bachelor’s degree and have a few years’ experience as either a zoo volunteer or part-time worker. Moving into management may require you to have a master’s degree as well.

Why all this focus on academic qualifications? There are several reasons, and we’ll examine each in detail. First, of course, is that many employers see completion of a college degree as an indicator of your ability to take on a long term project, with all its ups and downs, and finish. An associate’s degree program at one of the few community colleges that offers such a course of study will consist of far more hands-on (or “practical”) time working in a small zoo that a student would get in a traditional university setting. The two-year course is vigorous, and potential zookeepers will be trained across the lines of the zoo world, being exposed to bird and large mammal care, administration and administrative duties associated with a broad spectrum of possible career positions. The more traditional and popular four-year university degree route may entail little practical zoo keeping experience, but provides a very broad range of classes that include English (good communication skills are expected of new hires), math, history, Western Civilization, philosophy, chemistry, physics, biology, and a variety of optional, or elective, courses. There is rather little focus on zoology during the four year program, so a candidate who can “tough it out” is seen as being a well-rounded individual with a solid background in sciences and who can complete a long-term project that appears to have little direct bearing on the final goal.

The second reason for wanting a strong college background in new zookeeper hires is because animals are becoming more expensive to acquire, maintain, and replace. Zoo managers rightly expect modern keepers to know considerably more about the anatomy, physiology, behavior, and diseases of the animals for which they will have responsibility. The keeper is the first line of action for keeping animals healthy and recognizing when something may be wrong, and the better trained the keeper, the better he or she should be at handling that responsibility. College teaches students how to do research, and the working zookeeper may have to use library, on-line, or professional contact sources to get information necessary to the well being of animals.

Breeding was once the rare and much-heralded accomplishment of few zoos, and then only for large, usually mammalian charges. The pre-1965 efforts were often on so-called “postage-stamp collections” of animals, where zoos would try to obtain one specimen each of as many species as possible. With the mid-1960s enforcement of the U.S. Lacey Act, establishment of the Endangered Species Act and the beginning of CITES, zoos were limited in their abilities to acquire new animals. It quickly became fashionable, responsible, and fiscally necessary to learn to breed more species and use progeny to populate zoo collections. During the pioneering days of captive husbandry, zookeepers with a greater knowledge of physiology, reproductive biology, and the natural history of the animals in their care had a decided advantage over other keepers. Such staff members became crucial to the continued success of many zoo missions, helping drive the recruitment of new employees with a more solid and diverse background in the science of biology.

Third, many zoos have come under increased scrutiny both by the general public, wanting to be sure that the zoo’s mission is actually being accomplished, and by groups who advocate against the keeping of any animals in captivity at all. Today’s zookeeper needs to know how to educate the public to the needs of animals and the important roles played by well-run zoological parks. An indispensable part of being such a zookeeper is to have a broad view of the mission coupled with exceptional speaking and/or writing skills. Every keeper is also an ambassador for their zoo and the value of all zoos to the visiting public. Employers often equate your ability to handle these tasks with the training you received in university.

Career Options III: Academia

The academic world has much to offer, but also makes considerable demands. Careers under this heading include primarily university positions-almost all of which have teaching responsibilities as well as research-and the small number of museum curators. For an entry into any of these fields a candidate must certainly hold a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degree, and most jobs now also require you to have held a postdoctoral position as well. There has been a fair amount of discussion since the middle 1990s to create a new post-Ph.D. degree, the chancellorate, but most critiques argue that by the time a student would attain that degree, they would be facing retirement age!

An academic herpetologist may have the greatest freedom to explore the topics of personal interest, especially in a museum setting, but even there the job will require expertise and skills that extend beyond studying reptiles. University and museum professionals enter the profession as assistant professors or assistant curators. They will be charged with setting up a research program that is funded by grants-which they must raise with limited institutional help. Earning a grant means having a solid research proposal, excellent writing and budgeting skills, and the resources that will guarantee the promised results if you are funded. Your employer will also expect a certain quantity of peer-reviewed publications (those that appear in the scientific or technical journals) from you. If, after three to seven years, depending on the employer, you meet these goals, you will probably be offered a promotion to associate professor or associate curator and tenure. Tenure means that, barring an extremely serious breach of responsibility, you have a job for life.

But it is not as easy as the previous paragraph describes to get tenure. You will also need to serve on committees, provide input on institutional projects, and establish some sort of interaction with the broader community. Each of these tasks is designed to give you the chance to be seen as an authority in your subject and prepare you for increased responsibilities in the future. Your success or failure will also weigh in on whether or not you earn tenure. On top of all this, university faculty are also expected to teach, which means that you will essentially be charged with two very distinct jobs.

College Preparation

College education is not for everyone, and with the increased competition for available entry slots in each year’s classes coupled with ever increasing tuition and related expenses, it should be a well-planned and carefully considered step (Sprackland, 1990). For those of you still in high school-or for parents whose children want to prepare for a career in herpetology-I shall offer some basic advice on how to prepare for college. The sooner you can start your efforts, the better, because you will need three solid years of the right kinds of high school courses in order to be seriously considered for admission to a good university. Opt for the college-prep route, and take three or more years of math (algebra, geometry, algebra II, and calculus), three of laboratory-based science (biology, chemistry, and physics), and work to excel in English, particularly composition. By the junior year of high school you should be researching colleges. Find out which schools offer degrees and courses of interest; not all schools offer zoology paths, and of those that do, not all offer courses in herpetology. Start reading one of the major scientific journals (Copeia, Herpetologica, and Journal of Herpetology) and study where the authors are who have interests that coincide with yours. Each scientific paper includes the author’s address and, almost universally, e-mail address.

When you find authors you wish to contact, do so. Write a brief polite letter introducing yourself and expressing interest in studying herpetology. Ask for information about the author’s university, its courses, degree offerings, and admission requirements. Plan early, because entry requirements vary somewhat among universities.

If you choose to go the community or junior college route, there are some differences in your procedure from what you would do to get into a four-year school. You do not need the same rigorous high school course load to enter a community college, and entry requirements vary from none to minor. There is little difference to the student between the first two years of college whether at community or four-year colleges, and in many cases the former is a better educational deal. Why? Because unlike four-year colleges, community colleges do not employ graduate students to teach. Faculty almost universally have at least a master’s degree plus several years’ experience as instructors, providing a considerable potential edge over the graduate student teacher.

Once enrolled at community college, you must meet two objectives if you wish to eventually earn a solid bachelor’s or higher degree. First, be sure to register in courses that will transfer credit to the four-year school you plan to attend. If this is not possible-some universities do not recognize some community college courses as adequate-then have an alternative university to aim for or go directly to the four-year school of your choice. Second, take every course as seriously as you can. Work to earn an A average, especially in science, math, and English composition courses. Don’t waste your time at community college, assuming it is the easy alternative to a four-year school; this is rarely the case. Many community college instructors are leaders in their respective fields. The late Albert Schwartz was a herpetologist who probably did more than any other zoologist to study and document the herpetofauna of the Caribbean islands, and he is still extremely highly regarded by his peer community. Yet for his entire career, Schwartz taught only at a community college. Several distinguished herpetologists are doing just that even today.

When enrolling at university should you sign up for the bachelor of arts or bachelor of science program? There is a small difference, though few students (or graduates) know what it is. In the bachelor of science (BS) track, you have almost all of your courses determined by a university-set plan. You are required to take specific classes and have very few elective options. The bachelor of arts (BA) is more liberal; it still has a considerable number of required courses, but you have far more latitude in elective class choices. Because my interests were so broad in my undergraduate days, wanting to study paleontology, Latin, and philosophy as well as zoology, I opted for the BA program. Had I taken a BS route, I could not have taken such a range of classes and still graduated in four years.

Graduate School and Post Graduate Options

Graduate school is definitely not for everyone, though it is absolutely essential if you wish to obtain an academic career or a position as a senior zoo employee. Collections managers and zoo keepers typically opt for a master’s degree, which provides advanced coursework and a chance to engage in some project or activity that has a direct bearing on the requirements of an advanced career path. A doctoral degree is a research degree, meaning the recipient has been trained to conduct original studies. This is the degree needed for professorial and curatorial positions. The vast majority of people who plan to earn a doctorate do not need to earn a master’s degree en route.

Master’s programs take from 18 months to three years of full-time effort, and include a large number of courses, some research or work as research assistant in a lab, and often require a written thesis based on library or research work. Some master’s programs will require you to either work as a research assistant or as a teaching assistant, supervising laboratory sessions. Doctoral programs in the United States start off similar to the master’s route, and with classes, lab or teaching duties. Upon completing a set of qualifying examinations, the student becomes a candidate for the degree and begins working on an original research project, which will eventually be written up as a thesis. If the thesis passes faculty scrutiny, the Ph.D. is awarded. U.S. doctoral programs typically span five to seven years of full-time effort, after which the herpetologically oriented graduate faces a daunting job market. If you want a Ph.D., go ahead and earn it, but do not assume it is a guarantee of an academic job. During the particularly tight job market of the 1980s and 1990s, my contemporaries joked that Ph.D. stood for “Pizza Hut Delivery.” (This seemed somewhat appropriate given that we survived graduate school by ordering astronomical numbers of Pizza Hut pizzas to our labs; now “the hut” could pay our salaries!)

If you decide to enter graduate school, begin your job hunt no later than a year before you plan to get a master’s degree, or two-and-a-half years before a Ph.D. Once again, read the journals, attend conferences, and find out where people are with whom you would be compatible as a new colleague. Whose research could complement yours and help you on the road to tenure? Make those contacts early and make sure you have people who will vouch for you when those precious jobs become available.


Perhaps none of the previous categories applies to your interests. That still leaves a considerable number of possible careers that will allow at least some work with reptiles. Most require a bachelor’s degree, though a job announcement will often claim “master’s degree preferred.” Among the choices are-

Government biologist-Positions with federal and state wildlife agencies sometimes allow study of herpetofauna. Among the obvious agencies are fish and wildlife, game, and environmental services. However, biological work is also undertaken by the U.S. Geological Survey, forest services, and occasionally in military research (the U.S. Army and Navy long operated a considerable snake venom research facility).

Teacher-Both primary and secondary school teachers have numerous opportunities to acquaint children with the natural world. In many states the teacher must hold a degree in a content area-say biology or zoology-while other states accept applicants whose degree is in education. Check carefully to determine the requirements for the state in which you wish to teach.

Community College Instructor-As tertiary schools have increased their dependency on lower-paid part-time instructors (who typically do not receive health or retirement benefits), the ranks of part timers has exploded. While the working conditions are extremely variable, part-timers can expect to have limited or no campus office space, no faculty standing, and perform the same teaching duties as full-time colleagues, but for 40% to 70% of the hourly pay rate. The rare full-time opening in this market is considerably more attractive, and carries no research, grant-seeking, or “publish-or-perish” responsibilities. Generally, the candidate must have a master’s degree in biology, teaching experience, and the ability to teach some combination of general biology, microbiology, and anatomy and physiology.

Writers-Natural history writing has its ups and downs, but many a herpetologist has earned at least some money from commercial publication. Choose a niche, such as writing about herpetoculture or more broadly about a specific group of animals, to get started. Financial success will ultimately depend on reliability, excellent writing skills, and the ability to expand to reach broader audiences. The more biological or scientific topics you can cover, the more your potential income. Although herpetology is my grand passion, I have also published on the topics of education, philosophy, sub-micron electronics, non-metal conductors, evolution, venom research, and history.

Photographer/illustrator-Just as a financially successful nature writer must reach a wide audience, so too must the photographer or illustrator. Few, if any, of these professionals make a living wage by only illustrating reptiles; there is more security in animals and general nature shots.

Veterinarian-A secure field if you do not plan to care only for reptiles. Like graduate school in general, there are serious academic hurdles to meet, and competition for openings (there are fewer vet schools than medical schools) is fierce.


Ackerman, Lowell (ed.). 1997. The biology, husbandry and health care of reptiles. 3 volumes. TFH Publications, Neptune, NJ.

ASIH, no date. Career opportunities for the herpetologist. American Society of Ichthyologists

and Herpetologists, Washington, D.C.

Asma, Stephen. 2001. Stuffed animals and pickled heads: the culture and evolution of natural history museums. Oxford University Press.

Barthel, Tom. 2004. Cold-blooded careers. Reptiles 12(12): 64-75.

Burcaw, G. Ellis. 1975. Introduction to museum work. American Association for State and Local History, Nashville.

Cato, P. and C. Jones (eds.). 1991. Natural history museums, directions for growth. Texas Tech University Press, Lubbock.

Janovy, John. 1985. On becoming a biologist. Harper & Row, NY.

Myers, George. 1970. How to become an ichthyologist. TFH Publications, Neptune, NJ.

Pietsch, T. and W. Anderson (eds.). 1997. Collection building in ichthyology and herpetology.

American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists Special Publication 3, Lawrence, KS.

Rajan, T. 2001. Would Darwin get a grant today? Natural History 110(5): 86.

Sprackland, Robert. 2001a. To the parents of a young herpetologist. Bulletin of the Chicago Herpetological Society 36(2): 29-30.

Sprackland, Robert. 1992. Giant Lizards. TFH Publications, Neptune, NJ.

Sprackland, Robert. 1990. College herpetology: is it for you? Northern California Herpetological Society Newsletter 9(1): 14-15.

Sprackland, Robert. and Hans-Georg Horn. 1992. The importance of the contributions of amateurs to herpetology. The Vivarium 4(1): 36-38.

Sprackland, Robert. and Sean McKeown. 1997. Herpetology and herpetoculture as a career. Reptiles 5(4): 32-47.

Sprackland, Robert. and Sean McKeown. 1995. The path to a career in herpetology. The Vivarium 6(1):22-34.

SSAR. 1985. Herpetology as a career. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, Cleveland.

Winsor, Mary. 1991. Reading the shape of nature: comparative zoology at the Agassiz Museum. University of Chicago Press.

Zug, G., L. Vitt, and J. Caldwell. 2001. Herpetology: an introductory biology of amphibians and reptiles. Second edition. Academic Press, San Francisco.

Source by Dr. Robert Sprackland

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7 Keys To Job Hunting Success

While there are signs that the job market may be improving in the U.S., it is still very competitive with many highly qualified candidates vying for the same few open positions. Still, even with the increased competition there are ways that the motivated job seeker can stand out from the masses and ensure that she wins the attention of recruiters, get calls for job interviews, and ultimately lands in positions that are personally, professionally, and financially rewarding. How? Here are seven tips to help you to conduct a successful job search and put yourself on the path to career success.

Tip #1: Clearly specify who you are and what you’ve got to offer. Even if it’s a little uncomfortable, remember that you are marketing yourself. Your job as a job hunter is to "sell" yourself as the ideal candidate for a job opening. What is your unique value proposition? What are the benefits you bring to the table of the employer? You need to be very clear about this and be able to speak atriculately and comfortably when somebody asks you "what do you do" or "tell me more about you."

Tip #2: Be single-minded about your goal and go after it. Without clear goals your job search can be neither efficient or effective. If you’re not certain about your career goals, spend time now to think about this and define them before you launch your search. Once you know what it is you want to achieve you can determine what you can bring to the table in relation to that goal and this will give you confidence that simply won’t be matched by most of your competitors.

Tip #3: Yes, baseline qualifications for a position are important. But most of your competitors will have those as well. To stand out you need to understand and promote what makes you different and unique from your peers. What is it that you do especially well? What do your co-workers or bosses repeatedly rely on you for? What are your major achievements over the years? Is there a common thread that runs through them? The key here is to differentiate yourself.

Tip #4: Diversify your job search and use multiple job search techniques. Answering advertisements is not enough by itself, neither is working with headhunters exclusively, or going through a process of researching and targeting specific companies. Combining all these approaches with Internet job searches, networking, and other techniques will help you achieve success far more quickly.

Tip #5: Your first impression must be your best one. Like it or not, your resume is that first introduction and you must use it to best effect. Your resume must be a very highly focused marketing document that is written strategically to sell you as the best solution to an employers’ needs. You can not cut corners with your resume. To do so could cost you months and months of extra time in the job market, lost income, and missed opportunities. It is well worth the investment to work with a professional resume writer to ensure your resume is effective and competitive.

Tip #6: Network as much as you can. Talk to everyone and nurture relationships. Make sure that everyone you know is aware that you are job searching. Never ask people in your network for jobs. Instead, ask them for introductions to other people they know and continuously expand your network. It has been said that 80% or more jobs are "unpublished." These are effectively jobs that are landed through referrals or word-of-mouth, rather than through posting resumes to databases, answering advertisements or other techniques. Networking will provide you access to these jobs.

Tip #7: Make sure that you follow up. Don’t underestimate the importance of a handwritten thank you note, or a formal thank you letter sent to a networking contact, or after attending a job interview. If you say you will call, do it. If you sent your resume in response to an opening, call to ensure it has been received. Few people do this and it will give you a competitive advantage. Follow up!

While it may at first seem there are no jobs out there, there are. Following these tips will help you make the most of them. Finally, remember that failure is not an option. You must not give up. This requires persistence and consistency. But the more effort you put in the more potential leads you will get and eventually the more job offers you will get.

Source by Michelle Dumas

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Mining Jobs and Mine Job Employment

The best aspect of the Australia mining jobs is that people from all backgrounds and working professions can find a position suited to them. Typically, available mine job positions are best suited to those that like to challenge themselves physically. While there are still are number of positions suited to people who prefer hard labouring work, the industry also requires workers to fill positions in a number of areas and capacities.

Working conditions in the mining industry have improved greatly with a big emphasis on safety these days. You may need to undertake safety training before you work in the mining environment. This is due the physically challenging working conditions you will find yourself in, not to mention the 12 hour shifts. The mining industry is focused in the states of Queensland and Western Australia, however there are mine sites and regions located in all of the other states as well, including in the Northern Territory.

An attractive aspect of the Australian mining industry is the rosters that are available. There are a number of different rosters available, depending on the company you work for. Some mining jobs rosters range from 3 weeks on and 1 week off to 9 days on and 5 days on.

Another great aspect of the Australia mining industry is the ability to secure a fly In, fly out (FIFO) position. As many mines are located in remote areas, mining companies will cover the costs for you to fly to the mine site during your rostered work period. Your employer will cover and provide all of your accommodation, food and laundry needs. FIFO positions also gives you the opportunity to save a lot of money. You employer will also generally cover the cost to fly you back home during your rostered time off.

Accommodation in the mining camps ensures that all of the workers are comfortable. Living quarters provided at camp sites range from 2 by 4 metre portable homes to permanent 6 by 8 metre rooms with ensuites. Fridges, single beds, television, electricity and water are also provided with rooms.

The industry in Australia is the worlds leading producer of lead, and the second largest producer of uranium. There are also large gold mines in operation throughout the country.

One of the most popular Australia mining jobs that people look to gain is that of a Dump Truck driver. Why is a Dump Truck position a great position to gain in the mining industry? – because of the income you can earn! You can expect to earn up to $100,000 in some states. Dump truck drivers come from all sorts of backgrounds and there are no age or gender restrictions. This position does require you to be in good physical shape and be able to pass a medical, to ensure you can safely operate these large trucks.

A common question from people who want to work in the mining industry is “are there entry level jobs for someone with no experience?”. The answer to this is ‘Yes!’ For example, entry-level jobs include sample preparers, drillers assistants and labouring positions. These are available for people willing to work hard in return for a good income. In fact, the mining industry is looking for people from all backgrounds. Employers need to fill a number of Australia mining jobs from labourers, truck drivers, catering and cleaning staff to tradespeople, engineers and even office staff.

A concern for a number of people who would like obtain mining jobs is that they may be required to move to another state. Contrary to popular opinion, there are jobs the mining industry all across Australia, in all states. Also, for many people that are interested in making the change to an industry that offers them a great career and lifestyle opportunity, they will often question if they may be too old. Gaining employment is based more on your physical ability. As long as you are fit and capable of putting in a hard days work this is much more important than an arbitrary age limit.

Though the Australian mining industry is often portrayed as a male dominated industry, there are many career options for women in the industry. In fact, women are being hired not only on the basis that they are able to perform the job well but they have great safety records and work ethics. Gaining employment in the mining industry has become a great career option for couples as well.

If you are serious about wanting to work in the mining industry, there is a lot to know before you starting applying for mining jobs. Don’t ruin your chances in the industry by applying for the wrong mine job, or the right jobs in the wrong places – as this can damage your future employment prospects.

Source by Claire Calkin

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Expert Career Advice for Your Resume

Expert Career Advice: 5 Quick Fixes to Make Your Resume Stand Out

Resumes are such a two edge sword; on one side you are holding in your hand the keys to better financial security, maybe better suited hours for work… in short your entire security for you and your family, then the other side is that boring document, that a family member quickly wrote for you a few years back.

Let me tell you that you are not doing yourself any favors if your resume is over 6 months old! Resumes today have a harder time reaching the employer. Updates and formatting for today’s standard is a MUST!

Automated systems now scan your resume looking for relevant keywords, so if you were wondering why you haven’t had a call for an interview, now you know.

So let’s fix this right now.

1. One Page Resumes are not a thing anymore.

Sure 20 years ago you might be able to fit what you need on one sheet, but in today’s job market professional are complex and recruiters know this. One page resumes will actually hurt your interview chance.

Now this doesn’t mean you can now waffle on and create a war and peace novel out of your resume; your resume needs to be laser focused, something I will discuss in the next fix.

2. Resumes with frickin’ laser beams on them.

A focused resume is necessary because gone are the days when sending out the same resume to 100 different jobs worked. Most companies use an ATS system which scans resumes for keywords.. I’ll let that sink in. Your ‘box standard resume fits all’ is being looked at by a machine first and foremost. Now do you see why you need to have your resume laser focused? Whatever the position is you are going for, your resume needs to be tailored to that position- that automated system is searching for exactly what the recruiter is looking for.

3. Market that email.

Use your email as a chance to make it memorable and I don’t Your email can work for you as it appears at the top of your resume (did I mention it HAS to be clickable?)

Consider getting an email for your particular field.

My point here is to get an email to market your particular skills and it shows an employer how serious you are about your field.

4. Professional Experience.

Look at the what the job you are applying for is asking for in a candidate, then ensure you tailor your professional experience section to use those same keywords.

5. Target acquired.

Your resume has to have a target job title. This will appear at the top of your resume and I strongly advise you to tailor that job title target to whatever the job is that you are applying for. This will give the resume automated scanners a great chance of picking your resume up over others.

If there is a resume issue you would like me to write about, let me know by contacting me on my website.

Source by Vivian Green

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Job Search Tips – Some of the Best Answers For Retail Management Interviews

Are you applying for a job as a retail store manager? If so, it is only natural to be nervous about the job interview and all those job interview questions. If you are looking for some help on answering some of the most commonly asked questions, please keep reading on.

Question: Why are you interested in retail?

Please note that unless the job interviewers asks “why are you interested in retail management,” this question is more geared towards the retail environment as a whole. Lets face it, working in retail can be a hard and stressful job (despite what some people believe). The best answers for retail management interview questions like this include: the past-paced environment, the ability to work in a consumer-driven industry, and so forth.

Question: What are some responsibilities you associate with a retail management position?

This is a tricky question, but one that can easily be answered with a small amount of research. Do a quick search online to learn about the company and their store management positions. I bet you will find some information on common responsibilities and then some. It is important to not underestimate the responsibilities associated with retail management or give off the impression that you’d only do the bare minimum. For example, some smaller retail store managers must do more than just work in the office. They are commonly required to run a register during a rush, help stockers unload trucks, and so forth.

Question: How many hours would you be willing to work each week?

This is another tricky question that might feel as if it is a trap. You don’t want to say too many hours because then you might be expected to work them. But, you don’t want to say too few hours because you don’t want to seem like a manager who will hit the road whether or not the necessary tasks are done. The best answers for retail management interview questions like this include doing two things. First, research the average number of hours a manager works each week for the company or simply state “as many hours as it requires getting the job done.”

Question: How would you handle a problem or dispute in the workplace?

One of the first things you want to do is mention that your response would depend on the situation in question. For example, you might handle a store employee who steals differently than a store employee who shows up late to work from time to time. It is best to stay that you would step back and take a close look at the situation and ask yourself a number of questions; where any laws broken, was a zero-tolerance workplace policy violated, what is the employee’s history, what damage was done, and can this employee fix the problem if given a second chance?

Now that you are familiar with some of the best answers for retail management interview questions, are you ready to start your job search?

Source by Adnan Masood

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Federal Employment Law – Layoffs and Severance Pay

A severance agreement is a contract, or legal agreement, between an employer and an employee that specifies the terms of an employment termination, such as a layoff. Sometimes this agreement is called a “separation” or “termination” agreement or “separation agreement general release and covenant not to sue.” Like any contract, a severance agreement must be supported by “consideration.” Consideration is something of value to which a person is not already entitled that is given in exchange for an agreement to do, or refrain from doing, something.

The consideration offered for the waiver of the right to sue cannot simply be a pension benefit or payment for earned vacation or sick leave to which the employee is already entitled but, rather, must be something of value in addition to any of the employee’s existing entitlements. An example of consideration would be a lump sum payment of a percentage of the employee’s annual salary or periodic payments of the employee’s salary for a specified period of time after termination. The employee’s signature and retention of the consideration generally indicates acceptance of the terms of the agreement.

Federal law, the OWBPA, establishes specific requirements for a “knowing and voluntary” release of ADEA claims to guarantee that an employee has every opportunity to make an informed choice whether or not to sign the waiver. There are additional disclosure requirements under the statute when waivers are requested from a group or class of employees. Even when a waiver complies with requirements, a waiver of age claims, like waivers of Title VII and other discrimination claims, will be invalid and unenforceable if an employer used fraud, undue influence, or other improper conduct to coerce the employee to sign it, or if it contains a material mistake, omission, or misstatement.

When employers decide to reduce their workforce by laying off or terminating a group of employees, they usually do so pursuant to two types of programs: “exit incentive programs” and “other employment termination programs.” When a waiver is offered to employees in connection with one of these types of programs, an employer must provide enough information about the factors it used in making selections to allow employees who were laid off to determine whether older employees were terminated while younger ones were retained. Even if you are parting amicably with your employer, make certain to ask for advice about whether you should sign it, whether the terms are reasonable, and whether you should ask your employer to change any of the terms. Make sure you understand what you are giving up in exchange for severance pay or benefits. Your employer has its own attorneys and human resource department working against you. You need both legal AND human resources experts on your side to assist you in getting the best severance package!

Get what you’re worth,

Get what you’ve earned,

Get what you’re legally entitled to receive,

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About Career Protection®

A leading national provider of employment negotiations advice, the human resource and legal experts at Career Protection® have protected the careers of professionals throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. Career Protection has negotiated hundreds of employment agreements and severance pay packages. Career Protection’s HR and employment law experts have previously served as Vice Presidents of Human Resources, Directors of Human Resources, Corporate Counsel/Attorneys, or Recruiters for many Fortune 500 and Global Corporations.

Source by Kirk Nemer

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How to Take Your Fashion Modeling Career to the Next Level

If you are reading this article, you probably are a model, who wants to step up your fashion modeling career to the next level. We have the answers, but it’s not going to be sweet and easy.

We list some of the most important lifestyle changes and steps to take if you are serious about succeeding in this industry (Warning: Not for the faint hearted).

Strict Dieting

This is the first and foremost lifestyle changes to make. The top models such as those from Victoria’ Secret put complete dedication into eating healthy. They do not eat processed food at least 95% of the time, and stick to whole, real foods with low-glycemic index. They strictly follow the diet of eating heavy (carbohydrate-rich diet) for breakfast followed by subsequently lesser quantities of food throughout the day.

Typically a breakfast consists of lean meat, eggs, oatmeal, assorted vegetables; the main target is to get complex carbs and proteins early on in the day. Lunch consists of mostly vegetables and light steamed meat, most importantly carbohydrates are consumed little to none. Dinner consists of vegetables and soups, with some healthy meat. Snacks throughout the day consist of natural sugars and low salt; mostly snacks are assorted fruits (healthy sugars) and nuts (salt-free). Furthermore, a strict following of at least 8 glasses of plain water a day, and cutting out alcohol (Okay maybe you can have a drink once in a while, but no binging).

Some fashionistas such as Kat Von D and Madonna pride in a vegan diet that is free of all kinds of eggs, meats, and dairy. You can look up on their diets and how it is linked to good skin and overall health.

Strong exercise regime

If you want to be fit there are plenty of exercise regimes out there, but our favorite one for women is that of Australian supermodel Miranda Kerr, who exposes her fitness regime and dietary plans on Women’s Health and Fitness Magazine, and an excellent article by Huffington post on fitness plans for male models who should be focused on bodybuilding and toning of their muscles

Know your target market

As you intend to step into the fashion industry, you should also think about what target market best suits your look. For example in America there is an advent of plus-sized models, because they are more representative of regular, everyday women in America. As such, there is a need to think about the market that best suits the look and style you have to offer. You may have started out in your own home country, but as you decide to pursue a long term career in fashion modeling, there derives a need to think of international possibilities to advance your career.

Sign on with a model agency

If you are currently freelancing, a good way to step up your game is to sign on with a credible modeling agency that will spearhead your career. As a freelancer, you have the ability to undertake multiple contracts with various modeling agencies. You will thus be able to make a more informed choice on the modeling agency that will best work with your interests. Signing on a year’s contract or similar to that like, will mean getting more opportunities with bigger clients, and representing the agency on the international stage as well. As a model you have everything you need looked after, and you can focus your entire attention and energy into your job.

Pursue further studies in Modeling

Gaining industry knowledge and expertise in your specialized field and area will never be a disadvantage. A professional qualification in modeling will prove your capabilities as a model, and give you an edge as you progress in the modeling field.

Finally as Rihanna puts it, “work, work, work!” is the only real way to progress in the field and there is no substitute for hard work. Keep striving, getting more jobs, landing more opportunities and clients, while you have the beauty and energy to do so, and you will definitely progress far in a fashion career.

Source by Rachel Evan

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Competencies, Attitude and Behaviour of The Graphic Design Learner For Employment and Customers

The Graphic design learner has to develop some competencies, attitudes and behavioral traits that would enable him or her to be very proficient in his chosen career or field of study. These attitudes and behavioral patterns do not come by chance. The amateur Graphic artist or learner has to cultivate these traits as he undertakes his projects patiently and with the greatest care. Some of these competencies, attitudes, and behaviors have been discussed below.

1. Ability to observe- The learner has to develop the ability to make critical and serious observation and examination of things in the environment with the view of making an accurate or precise representation of the object or form. It includes the critical observation of linear patterns, variations of shapes, textures, gradation or tones of colours of natural and manmade objects found in the environment.

2. Ability to use memory and imagination to derive and develop ideas- This is the learner’s ability to use his or her own imagination to create things without resorting to copying from already existing items. He should cultivate the attitude of brainstorming new and relevant ideas that can be used in creating useful Graphic products.

3. Ability to pre-image/ visualize and make designs of items- The learner should be able to use his senses especially the sense of sight to foresee or visualize how the idea imagined can be used in creating designs which in turn can be translated into items.

4. Ability to translate ideas and paper designs into three-dimensional items to solve problems or satisfy an identified need using the design and technology process- Designs are two-dimensional in form or flat. These paper designs are often generated into three-dimensional forms. The learner has to be able to meticulously follow the steps in the design and technology process to produce functional items. He should have the mastery to be able to translate designs on paper into free standing items.

5. Dexterity and creative use of tools, equipment and a variety of materials- This refers to the efficient use of the tools and materials. This involves the correct handling of the tools to execute the work. The learner has to understand the nature and feel of the tools and materials so that he can use them appropriately to give the right effect in the artwork.

6. Application of knowledge and understanding to constant practice for proficiency and perfection- The learner should ultimately aim at achieving perfection in the various techniques of artistic production. He should be able to consistently apply the knowledge that he had acquired through constant practice to produce items with great proficiency or skill.

7. Creativity, originality in thinking and end products- The young Graphic artist must make it his or her hallmark to produce items that are original in design, form, colour etc. His ability to create new things should be evident in his thinking as well as in the final products he makes.

8. Ability to respond to an artwork by using knowledge and skills in perception, appreciation, criticism, judgement, evaluation and aesthetics- The learner must have the ability of quickly responding to artworks he comes into contact with. He should be able to apply his senses well in talking intelligently about the aesthetic qualities of the work. He must be able to evaluate, appreciate and criticize an artwork using the knowledge and skills that he has amassed.

9. Critical thinking and problem-solving skills, healthy competition, good human relations, etc. – The learner must also be able to think in concrete terms and always ready to bring out ideas that can solve pertinent problems faced by individuals in the society. He should be able to engage in competitions and exhibitions of Graphic arts held in the school, society or country. He must partake with a clean and clear motives of improving on his skills while learning and taking inspiration from the works of other Graphic artists.

10. Demonstration of human and moral behavior in thinking, feeling and acting e.g. honesty, commitment, self-discipline/respect, diligence, patience, tolerance, teamwork, etc. – There are some moral or behavioral traits that the learner must strive hard to cultivate. These include honesty, respect, diligence, patience, tolerance, and teamwork. People would like to have business transactions with an honest and respectful person. The learner has to be patient and tolerant to be able to absorb the pressures from clients which may sometimes be irritating or annoying. As a learner, he must also be ready to work with other people to achieve the same goal. This quality would enable him to work in a broader working environment such as in an industry or factory. In today’s working environment, teamwork is really essential for the success of any enterprise.

11. Portfolio of works- The learner has to cultivate the attitude of keeping a portfolio of his creative works either in hard or soft copies. This would enable him to enhance and improve upon his creative works every time.

12. Ability to perform tasks with little or no supervision- The learner should be able to perform his assigned work with little or no supervision. He must strive very hard to work independently with or without a tutor around. This would assist him to develop his skills at a relatively faster rate.

13. Self-learning/evaluation for improvement- The learner must be experimental, trying to learn new things on his own without being instructed to do so by a teacher or supervisor. He should explore new methods and techniques of achieving already existing production methods and techniques. It should be his or her attitude to try using the tools and materials readily available in the environment to produce meaningful and useful artefacts. Also, he should periodically self-evaluate himself by comparing his previous and current works for the purposes of knowing the mistakes in them and improving upon them.

14. Perseverance – The learner must show fighting spirit in attending to his creative works. He shouldn’t give up in his attempt to produce a difficult product or challenging exercise. He must not shy away from handling difficult artistic Graphic design products.

15. Time-management- The learner must be able to manage his time very efficiently. He should be time bound or time conscious in producing his artefacts. He should be able to meet deadlines set for producing works.

16. Work ethics- This refers to the accepted work behavior and attitudes expected of a Graphic artist. These accepted working behaviors include neatness, cleanliness, accuracy, and precision which are the hallmark of a good Graphic artist. The learner must be determined to display these work ethics in his artistic productions.

17. Self-confidence- The learner must be very confident when attending to his duties. He must not exhibit signs of fear. He should trust in his abilities, qualities or ideas. This would make it easier for him to gain the mastery over his artistic creations.

18. Communication skills- The learner must know how to communicate well with people. Cultivating these communication skills would enable him to communicate effectively with clients. People will certainly like to do business with people who speak politely than those whose manner of communicating pierces as if with a sword.

Source by Dickson Adom

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Career Change At 50 – 7 Online Writing Jobs

Unplug From The Rat Race

7 Writing Jobs Online

Maybe you’re like so many, ready to retire but can’t afford to stop working just yet. Why not focus on changing your career instead and joining the increasing number of retired and semi-retired people who are earning their income or the majority of it online.

There are so many awesome and talented seniors that can be productive and contribute from the comforts of their home, even starting businesses and selling products on Amazon, eBay, and taking advantage of many other internet opportunities. Many have been finding the answer to their situations by pulling themselves out from the 9-5 rat race, and the daily traffic grind, to set up at home with all of the conveniences and comforts. These wise ones are looking for an alternative way to earn a living without the rigors of daily grooming, the workplace settings, health concerns, car repairs and more. Well, rest assured that there are many online opportunities that are waiting just for you.

Below is a list of 7 opportunities for those that enjoy writing:

1. Content Writing

There are so many website businesses on the internet and in order for them to get and maintain their search engine rankings, they need to post quality articles, short and long, on a daily or weekly regular basis. Many of these site owners hire writers that can deliver quality articles relevant to their businesses, and there are millions of these site owners. Do you know about search engine optimization to target specific viewers?

You can attract lots of traffic to your site but if they’re looking for Bald Eagles or The Eagles band and your website is on the Philadelphia Eagles, you won’t be getting the desired results. Many will come to see what the site is about and then immediately click away to find what they’re really looking for. There is a way that you can modify your web pages and posts to fit a certain like-minded group of individuals so that a percentage of the approximate 2+ billion internet users land on the right site that has the answers to their search entry.

2. TextBroker

The textbroker author produces unique quality content that captures the reader’s attention and increases your search engine ranking. has many writing assignments and you can choose something that you can research and write about. They will also hire someone without prior experience and your article quality will determine your pay rate. They have a lot of writing jobs to choose from so it’s possible for you to work as much or as little as desired.


Offers bulk content service to several Web, Media, SEO, and Social Media, they offer unique quality content, customized to their client’s keywords or topics chosen. They hire writers to produce short informative articles for their client’s websites. There is always a quick research required in order to write the articles and the topics can vary within their niche.

4. Blogmutt offers high-quality white label blog content for marketing agencies and businesses within the US and in 15 other nations globally. They hire freelance writers to produce quality original content for their customer’s websites. Their clients are usually blog owners or web businesses that need to produce content weekly or even daily and simply don’t have the time to produce it themselves. Your pay will depend on how many produced and accepted posts that you can write, and good writing will always earn you more money. Blogmutt pays out every week via PayPal and there is no minimum payout requirement.

5. Upwork

A great place to find new clients and to run and grow your own freelance business. You can run your own business and choose your own clients and projects. Fill out a profile and Upwork will highlight ideal jobs for you. You can also research projects and respond to client invitations. With you have the freedom and flexibility to control when, where and how you work. Each project includes its own workspace which is shared by you and your client. This enables you to send and receive files, share feedback in real-time( text, chat or video ), and you can also use their mobile app. This is also great for someone making a career change at 50.

There are many others, however, choose wisely and compare your options and get the most that you can for your skills, time, and effort. There is also a number of editing jobs online if that’s what you prefer to do. Making a career change at 50 is so much easier with all of the available online opportunities.

6. Editfast

A Canadian based online editing service mainly meant for professional editors, proof-readers, writers and more. Editfast caters to the requirement for all of your painting needs. They hire writers and editors for a variety of jobs and among these are plenty of editing jobs available. When new projects are received from their clients they entrust the job to the most qualified editor, taking in full view the needs of the client and the requirements of the document. Editfast pays out via Paypal on the last day of each month.

7. Contena

A complete system for launching your own freelance writing business. They’ll show you what works and what doesn’t from day one with Contena Academy. They’ll give you all the tools that you need to find the best writing gigs. They don’t hire writers or editors but they find the jobs for you when you join the site. You can find jobs for writers, editors, and proof-readers of all skill levels. The pay will depend on the client you work for and the services that were ordered.

These are only a few of the online writing opportunities and there are many more that you can take part of. Every day growing numbers of people are choosing a career change at 50 and any age. Actually, there are enough people in their 50’s choosing to work online that websites like the American Association of Retired Persons have work from home positions and articles listed on their website. Just because you need to earn an income does not mean that you have to get caught up in the rat race anymore, or even have to leave your home.

Source by Peter Mangini

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The New Employment of America Will Lead Many Into Filing Bankruptcy

Since around 2010, the government has added trillions of dollars to add liquidity to the markets in hopes of some form of economic recovery. The scary thing is, this money was not real money that they have in their coffers but money printed out of thin air in the form of quantitative easing. Most Americans don’t understand what quantitative easing is, but in a nut shell it is nothing more than making up money that is backed by nothing. In essence, it devalues every dollar we earn. The Federal Reserve admits to increasing the money supply by 20 times, so if I have my math right every dollar in my pocket is only worth a nickel now. The media has been beating this drum of a complete recovery when in reality jobs are leaving by the millions. In fact, this actually began back in 2000 when US corporations started moving all of their manufacturing offshore. This is when the US economy became debt driven and nothing more. We are no longer makers of anything, but only consumers and that will only work as long as they keep printing money to give to the banks to loan it to the consumers.

Looking at the unemployment numbers it’s hard to believe that it is only 6.7% at the last checking. You can’t pick up and read the financial papers without hearing about a major corporation filing bankruptcy or the announcement of layoffs and or closing of numerous corporate locations. At the peak of unemployment a few years back, the employment to population ratio was 62% and that’s when unemployment was over 10%. Now at 6.7%, that ratio is now 56%. Once again, checking my math, that ratio should be increasing as the evidence points to number decreases. It’s obvious someone’s cooking the books. The good news is, for all those out there that are struggling bankruptcy filing is still available. They just need to look for that silver lining in the bankruptcy cloud and see the positive side.

Historically, when the topic of filing bankruptcy comes up all you really care about is the negatives. Rarely does anyone hear about the good things that filing bankruptcy offers. If someone wants to hear some good news about the topic they should consult a bankruptcy attorney. A bankruptcy attorney will tell the individual about the automatic stay and how powerful it is. The automatic stay is put in place at the time of filing bankruptcy and stops the creditors from collecting on any debt. In fact, it is so powerful it will stop all legal activity including, foreclosure, lawsuits, judgments and wage garnishments. Creditors will no longer be able to even contact the debtor, as a result, debtors will enjoy the peace of not worrying about who’s on the other end of the phone when it rings.

The second most positive benefit of filing bankruptcy is the bankruptcy discharge. The bankruptcy discharge is the secret that creditors don’t want the debtor to know about. Creditors want individuals to believe that a bankruptcy filing will destroy their life. This is why there is so much negative information online. Debt collectors will do anything to talk someone out of filing for bankruptcy because they know that once the person files, they will no longer be able to call the person and when the bankruptcy discharge comes they will receive nothing. When filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy all unsecured debts are completely wiped out with no repayment whatsoever. When it comes to Chapter 13, the debtor and their bankruptcy attorney are required to submit a feasible repayment plan to the bankruptcy court. In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, debts are paid by priority with secured getting the first crack at the cash. Usually, very little will be paid on the unsecured debt and any remaining amount will be included in the bankruptcy discharge at the end of the repayment plan.

The truth is, there is no economic recovery that the media is talking about and people need to be proactive to search for the truth. When things don’t add up, take the talking heads at face value understanding who they work for. Many Americans are starting to wake up to the truth as it’s getting pretty hard to cover up the non-existent recovery when over 50 million people are receiving food stamps and many are moving home with their elderly parents because they can’t keep a roof over their heads.

Source by Bob P Jones