Resumes that impress — no matter your background

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young latin woman working at home with laptop and documents

When you’re looking for a job, your resume is a chance to sell yourself to a potential employer. Typical advice on writing a good resume is to describe your worth to prior companies. But instead of simply listing job duties, you should explain how you positively affected the bottom line. Show a prospective employer why you would be a valuable addition.

But sometimes your positions don’t have the proof points to fit that mold. You may have to think outside the box to describe the impact of your experience without obvious benchmarks — like driving millions in profit.
 

Design should dazzle

If you don’t have a lot of experience or a huge list of accomplishments from your previous positions, a visually appealing design can showcase your experience in an eye-catching way so you stand out. You can hire a professional to craft a beautiful resume, but there are many free templates available online through resources like Canva.

[Pro Tip: Know what to leave off your resume. Focus on your experience.]

Describe your strengths

Include an overview or profile section at the top packed with impactful words that describe what makes you different from and better than other candidates. Here are some examples:

  • Top-notch communications skills
  •  Skilled at handling sensitive information
  •  Incredible project manager
  •  Excellent at prioritization and organization

Think about the unique skills you bring to the table that others might have.

Demonstrate your impact 

Maybe you didn’t personally lead the company in double-digit growth or create programs that led to millions in savings, but every employee has an impact. Think about the ways your work helped others — your manager or boss, your team, your department — plus improvements and achievements. Describe your abilities and how your work positively affected others, not just your duties. Get creative with your description while still being truthful about your duties.

For example:

Old: Kept the boss’s calendar, scheduled meetings.

Bold: Optimized executive time through thoughtful calendar management. Balanced needs and confidential requests of executive’s direct reports with creative and fast-paced scheduling efficiencies.

Customize it

Slightly adjust and tailor your resume to target multiple types of jobs so that it directly relates to the position or industry. This can be tough if you are applying to a bunch of different positions, but you can create several types of resumes for various job titles or openings and then send the appropriate one when you apply.

Add training, development, and volunteerism

Certificates, training, and places you have volunteered all round you out as a potential candidate and help show the recruiter your personality. Be sure to include software programs you know, classes you’ve taken, and committee work.  If you volunteer in your community, include that as well. You never know what will make a difference to someone scanning your resume.

Make it letter-perfect

No matter how many times we look over our work, it’s easy to miss typos, spelling mistakes, and grammatical errors. Use trusted methods to double-check your resume for mistakes. Consider asking a friend to review it — you may be surprised at what they find. Or, get professional resume review assistance through programs like Resume Services by Indeed.

Source: Glassdoor

 

The World’s First Astronaut with a Disability is Here

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Great Britain's John John McFall running in race with an artificial leg

By Natalie Rodgers

As the world prepares for the next chapter of space exploration, the European Space Agency (ESA) has introduced 17 new astronauts into their program, including the world’s first astronaut with a disability. Former British Paralympian John McFall has been chosen to be the first “parastronaut” in the history of space travel. His journey to the stars will be part of a feasibility project, looking for the most efficient ways for astronauts with disabilities to be included in space travel.

“I thought, ‘Wow, this is a such a huge, interesting opportunity,’” McFall stated to the ESA. “I thought I would be a very good candidate to help ESA answer the question they were asking, ‘Can we get a person with a physical disability into space?’”

A native of Frimley, Surrey, in England, John McFall is best known for his extensive athletic career as a Paralympian. At 19 years old, McFall was involved in a serious motorcycle crash in Thailand that resulted in the amputation of his right leg above the knee. After being fitted for a prosthetic in 2003, McFall decided to take up his former passion for running and quickly worked his way into becoming a professional athlete. He was selected to represent Great Britain at the International Paralympic Committee European Championships in 2005, where he mainly competed as a 100m and 200m dasher. McFall’s athleticism earned him five bronze medals, three silver medals and five gold medals over four years, with many penning him as one of the fastest men in the world.

John McFall headshot
John McFall appointed the first astronaut recruit with a physical disability, during a ceremony to unveil the European Space Agency new class of career astronauts.(Photo by Joël SAGET / AFP) (Photo by JOEL SAGET/AFP via Getty Images)

In addition to competing in the Paralympics, McFall spent his free time studying sports, exercise and medicine at several universities throughout Wales with the intent of becoming a doctor. After retiring from his running career, McFall became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons, one of the most prestigious surgical institutions in the United Kingdom. He is currently a Trauma and Orthopedic Specialist Registrar, otherwise known as an orthopedic doctor.

In 2021, a friend and consultant of McFall texted him that the ESA was looking to hire its first intake of astronauts in 13 years. The ESA was looking for a Paralympian to join the space program and aid in research for how to accommodate the needs of people with disabilities in space travel. In tandem with his medical degree, McFall noticed that he met all of the desired qualifications and decided to apply. Just shy of two years later, McFall was inducted into the astronaut class of 2022 and at the beginning of his journey to becoming the first astronaut with a physical disability to go to space.

McFall will join 16 other newly recruited astronauts in the next year to complete training before he takes his first journey to space. While he has expressed his excitement to join the ESA and to make strides for the disability communities, McFall is also adamant that this endeavor is not about him:

“I am slightly conscious that I am not representative of the entire disabled population,” McFall stated in an interview with ESPN. “I have a very straightforward, static disability; there are people out there with more complex disabilities. It’s important to recognize that this is a small step in addressing a larger question of inclusivity in all realms of employment of people with disabilities. So, this is not ‘The John Show,’ this is a stepping stone to push the envelope [to] get people talking about disability more because the more people talk about it, the less stigma it has, the more opportunities in life they will have.”

Sources: ESPN, KSL TV, ESA, Wikipedia

Navigating Interviews When You Have a Disability

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women sitting in a wheelchair at work giving a high-five to a coworker

As employers have ramped up hiring following the pandemic, they’ve increasingly added workers with disabilities to their payroll. The latest Current Population Survey, from the U.S. Census Bureau, shows that the share of disabled adults who are working has risen much quicker than the rate for people without disabilities over the past two years.

This applies to people with both visible and hidden disabilities—so if you have a disability and are looking to find a new job, it’s a great time to start researching employers in your area, networking and sending out your resume. Then take a look at the following tips for acing your interviews.

How do I explain recent gaps in my work history because of my disability?

While there is not a perfect answer, this is an opportunity to talk about what you have been doing, and how it may relate to the position. Have you volunteered, overcome a hardship, provided care for children or a parent, gone to school? If you disclose your disability to answer this question, focus on how you have dealt with challenges in a positive manner, are ready to move forward and are able to do the job.

Can an employer require a medical examination?

An employer cannot require you to take a medical examination before you are offered a job. Once an offer is made, they can require that you pass a medical examination, if all entering employees for the job category have to take it.

Are there questions an interviewer should not ask?

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, an interviewer cannot ask about a disability or the nature or severity of a disability. An employer may ask questions about your ability to perform specific job functions and may ask you to describe or demonstrate how you would perform a specific function. They may also ask whether you can meet their attendance requirements.

What if the interviewer asks an illegal question?

You do not have to answer it. However, how you handle it may affect the impression you make. Rather than confronting the interviewer directly, you can explain that you are not comfortable answering the question, or you can ask for the underlying reason for the question and address that. For example, “I understand you may be concerned about my low vision, but I am able to read screens using a device, and I’m able to participate fully in all activities of the job.” Recognize that an interviewer may make mistakes, but this does not necessarily have anything to do with your being hired.

Are you required to tell an employer about your disability?

No. Disclosure of a disability is not required. But job candidates should be aware that once disclosure of a disability or an accommodation request is made, employers may ask the employee about the limitations related to the job and are permitted to make medical inquiries.

When is the best time to disclose a disability?

If you have a visible disability, you may want to anticipate the concerns of the employer. Consider taking charge during the first interview to talk about your disability and how you would handle any impact on the job. You may want to describe any accommodation you use, how it helps your performance, or demonstrate how you would perform difficult functions.

What should I say?

Many experts suggest disclosing before a job offer in order to communicate self-confidence and refocus the employer’s attention on your ability to do the job. Some people with non-visible disabilities may choose not to disclose their disability at all.

Share examples of the strategies you use to do your work. For example, a candidate with low vision might say: “In my previous work, I was responsible for maintaining our inventory. I created a labeling system with a good color contrast that I could see easily. It turns out that this was a benefit for others as well.”

Let the interviewer know that you would be glad to answer any questions they might have about how you would do your work and the accommodations you use. Being open and direct about your disability will help put the interviewer at ease, which is a critical factor in whether you receive a call for a second interview.

Source: CareerOneStop

Cerebral Palsy Doesn’t Hold Back White Sox Announcer

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Jason Benetti sitting in announcers booth smiling with baseball field in background

by Molly DeVore, The Times/TNS

VALPARAISO, Ind. — If life is one big March Madness bracket, Jason Benetti jokes, he was born a 13 seed. The White Sox play-by-play broadcaster was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, which impacts his balance and mobility, at a young age.

“I was born an underdog,” Benetti told attendees during a recent presentation at Ivy Tech Community College in Valparaiso.

Even as a kid, Benetti always had an affinity for the NCAA basketball tournament, especially when a long-shot team would pull off an upset.

“It never really hit me why it mattered so much to me until last year,” he said.

The 39-year-old said he finally realized that it’s because he can relate.

“I totally get where they’re coming from,” Benetti said. “I’m the underdog. … I walk around the world, and people assume something about me.”

Despite being born an underdog, Benetti said, it was the people around him, the people who saw his potential and pushed him to do more, that helped him pull off his own metaphorical upset.

First it was his third grade teacher, who would let him grade papers after school while he waited for his grandma. Then it was the middle school basketball coach who made him assistant coach, and then the high school band instructor who put Benetti behind a microphone and had him announce the upcoming sets.

“Every step of the way, there was somebody who said, ‘You’re more than just a really cool story; you’re more than somebody we just want to give something to,’” Benetti said. “They tried to find things that would make me whole, make me fulfilled.”

Benetti has also had to navigate plenty of less-than-fulfilling situations. Having a visible disability, Benetti said passersby often make assumptions about him, constantly offering help he doesn’t need and talking down to him.

To bring awareness to these interactions, Benetti partnered with the Cerebral Palsy Foundation for an animated video series called “Awkward Moments with Jason Benetti.” The short clips highlight some of the misconceptions people with disabilities deal with on a daily basis.

“Having a disability is a constant hum that spikes in volume whenever we encounter somebody who hasn’t encountered it very much,” Benetti explained.

The Ivy Tech presentation was one of several events organized as part of Valparaiso’s recognition of March as Disability Awareness Month.

“One in four people has a disability,” Mayor Matt Murphy said. “These people are our friends, family members, neighbors and co-workers. We intend to continue listening and working to improve programs and services better serving our entire community.”

Benetti noted that despite making up 25% of the population, there are very few people with disabilities on TV.

“There are artists out there, there are actors out there, there are comedians out there, there are people who know how to do great stuff and they just get weeded out because nobody encourages (them),” Benetti said. “Go be that person who asks for more of the person with a disability.”

Photo Credit: Ron Vesely

Read the original article posted on Disability Scoop here.

Kickstart Your Career With Public Health AmeriCorps

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A desk covered in work essentials and a notepad with the words

As communities across the country work to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and build a healthier, more resilient future, there is an urgent need to grow our nation’s public health workforce.

Our communities also need innovative solutions to help break down barriers to good health and improve health equity. That’s why AmeriCorps and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are teaming up through Public Health AmeriCorps, a new program that supports the recruitment, training and development of a new generation of diverse public health leaders.

Opportunities Are Now Available Near You

AmeriCorps is recruiting thousands of people to serve in public health roles at health departments, government agencies, community-based organizations, schools and other settings across the U.S. Adults of all ages and educational backgrounds are eligible to join Public Health AmeriCorps, which aims to recruit members who reflect the communities where they serve.

“Public Health AmeriCorps members add much needed capacity and support for local organizations and help address critical public health issues — like health equity, mental health and substance use disorders, COVID-19 recovery and more,” said Michael D. Smith, AmeriCorps CEO. “This program will not only meet urgent public health needs, but also help fill the shortages in the public health workforce with thousands of Public Health AmeriCorps alumni who represent the rich diversity of the communities they serve.”

Depending on the organization’s and community’s needs, some common roles include:

  • Health education and training
  • Community outreach and engagement
  • System navigation, referrals and linkage to care
  • Research, data collection, analysis and assessment
  • And more!

For example, AmeriCorps members have helped more than 2.5 million people at COVID-19 vaccination sites and conducted 1.7 million wellness checks. Members have also served as recovery coaches to help individuals overcome opioid addiction by providing substance use prevention, education, screenings and assessments.

Why Serve with Public Health AmeriCorps?

For many AmeriCorps members, serving is a way to gain valuable, first-hand experience to help further or transition their careers. Members receive on-site experience in a public health setting and have access to a comprehensive training program. Serving is also a great way to help make a difference in communities and give back. In addition, members receive benefits including:

  • Professional development opportunities: Gain transferable skills employers value including leadership, teamwork and problem-solving.
  • Living allowance: Receive a living allowance to cover basic expenses during your service term.
  • Money for college and trade school: Individuals who complete a term of service will receive an education award which can be used for a range of educational expenses.
  • Loan deferment and interest forbearance: AmeriCorps members are eligible for forbearance for most federally guaranteed student loans. In addition, interest payments that accrue during service may be eligible for repayment by AmeriCorps.
  • Access to the national AmeriCorps alumni network: Be part of a network of like-minded leaders who are passionate about improving communities. AmeriCorps alumni receive access to unique benefits and resources.

Learn More & Apply

Is this a good fit for you? Visit AmeriCorps.gov/PublicHealth for a complete list of opportunities to serve and guidance on how to apply. Part-time and full-time roles are available in rural and urban locations across nearly every state, D.C., Guam and Puerto Rico. You can also subscribe to AmeriCorps’ newsletter (public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USCNCS/subscriber/new) and contact publichealth@americorps.gov with any questions.

The Mentor Match – Would You Be Swiped Left?

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A woman using her iphone

By Allison Struber

Recently, a friend shared with me she was meeting a lot of great people by swiping right. I was a bit taken aback because she is, what appears to be, happily married. My response caused her to grin and clarify she was not looking for romance. She was using a new app to find mom-friends. It has similar features to the infamous Tinder dating app, but the purpose is to narrow down the vast number of moms in an area to those who share similar interests.

As she further explained how the app worked and her success, my opinion of this swipe left/swipe right function began to change. With correct intentions, the technology could be helpful.

HOW TO SWIPE FOR NETWORKING SUCCESS

Consider all of the factors that go into choosing a mentor or mentee. It would be great to quickly swipe through professional profiles to find a good match. I would look for things like: integrity, honesty, enthusiasm, skills and experience. I would want someone who was passionate about growing new leaders and committed to investing the time it takes to do so. But just like the popular dating app, a swipe right on a mentor’s professional profile would not mean a match. My profile would also need to reflect good mentee status.

If you were seeking a mentor, here are a few things you would need to get swiped right.

Availability

Good mentors and good mentees use their time intentionally. It can be difficult to find coordinating availability, so be accommodating. Make this opportunity a priority and accept the meeting time offered.

Prepared questions

Good mentors have a wealth of knowledge, and a good mentee is going to pull out that great information. Think about what you admire in this mentor and ask questions to discover how he/she developed that skill or ability.

Teachable

Nothing is worse than a person who ‘knows it all’ except a person wanting to be mentored who ‘knows it all.’ If the conversation turns to a topic you feel confident about, pivot the discussion to something else with a new question or ask for feedback about a time you have utilized that specific knowledge.

Listener

It is ok and important to open up and share about yourself, but give your mentor the chance to lead the conversation. If you are doing most of the talking at every meeting, the balance is off.

Willing to take advice

No mentor is perfect, but there is an assumption their role has been given because he/she has been successful in an area. There is no expectation that a mentee must mirror the mentor’s experience, however, if instruction/advice/guidance is continually being disregarded, you will be right on track to find yourself without a mentor.

Willing to be a mentor

A good mentor has a goal to inspire and teach others. It is a reward to see the investment of their time multiplied by their mentee becoming a mentor. Honor your mentor and give yourself the joy of pouring into someone else. Swipe right on your own mentee.

Source: ClearanceJobs

Your first career move, powered by Netflix

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Man in wheelchair on computer doing Apprenticeship

Netflix is partnering with Formation to build a world where people from every walk of life have a seat at the table in tech.

Our program will be completely free of charge for students accepted. It is designed to unlock your engineering potential with personalized training and world-class mentorship from the best engineers across the tech industry.

The below information will be required, and adding why you want to land a New Grad Engineering role at Netflix.

The application requires:

Info about your experience, education, and background

Info regarding your eligibility for the program

A one minute video telling us about yourself

Apply today at https://formation.dev/partners/netflix

Application deadline is March 5, 2023.

Tips for Every Stage of the Interview Process

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woman hiring manager reviewing resume

Interviewing is a critical part of the job selection process and allows you to discuss your experience, education and training. It is also a chance for you to gain a better understanding of the organization and the position. As important as resumes and applications are, it is essential to remember that hiring managers are the ones who do the hiring, and this is your chance to connect with them.

The job interview is a two-way discussion between you and the interviewer. The interviewer is attempting to determine if you have the skills the position requires, and you are trying to decide whether you will accept the position if the job is offered.

Both of you are trying to gain as much information as possible to make an informed decision.

Preparing for the Interview:

  • Research the position and organization (e.g., mission, goals, etc.) prior to the interview. Familiarize yourself with the duties, responsibilities and requirements of the position. Don’t assume you know everything about the organization, even if you have experience with the organization. Always do your research.
  • Review your application and resume and be prepared to support past accomplishments with specific information targeted towards the position requirements. Be sure that you focus on your paid and non-paid experience. Consider that the interviewer doesn’t know everything about you.
  • Practice interviewing. Take the time to research and review typical interview questions to help give you a framework for your responses.
  • Be flexible with scheduling and allow sufficient time for the interview. Be sure to ask for specifics regarding the time, location, point of contact (POC) and any other logistical details.
  • Ask whether there will be one or multiple interviewers.

During the Interview:

  • Plan to arrive early. Check with the POC regarding appropriate arrival times, check-in procedures and logistics. Keep in mind that security/access requirements and time to get on the site may vary by location. Remember, you get one chance to make a first impression.
  • Be prepared to summarize your experience in about 30 seconds and describe what you bring to the position.
  • Listen carefully to each question asked. Answer questions as directly as possible. Focus on your achievements relevant to the position using examples of how your knowledge, skills and abilities fit the job. Be sure to ask the interviewer to restate a question if further clarification is needed.
  • Remain positive and avoid negative comments about past employers.
  • Be aware of your body language and tone of voice. Remain engaged by giving your full attention to the interviewer.
  • Take limited notes, if desired.
  • Be sure to ask any final questions about the organization or the position. Also, ask about the next steps in the selection process, including timeframes. Request POC information should you have any follow-up questions.
  • Reinforce your interest in the position and thank the interviewer(s) for the opportunity to interview.

Note: Conversations regarding salary, benefits and other human resources (HR) matters should be addressed with the servicing HR POC listed on the job opportunity announcement.

After the Interview:

  • Provide any additional requested information as soon as possible.
  • Be patient. Remember, the hiring process takes time. You can follow up with your POC if you have not been contacted within the established timeframe.

The hiring official is looking for the right person with the right skills to fill the vacant position. During the interview, it is up to you to demonstrate that you are that person.

Remember, you will not get a job offer for every interview you attend, which is okay. Just keep your head up and know that you are qualified and will find your future career.

Source: Department of Labor

The Fastest Growing Jobs of 2023

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man in wheelchair with woman sitting next to him looking at laptop

The job market is as different as ever, especially given the events of the last several years. Whether you’re looking to enter the workforce for the first time or want to make a career switch, it can be easy to become discouraged in the search for a job that is financially and market secure. As we enter 2023, take a look at some of the highest paying and most in-demand careers of the year and what you need to get started.

Nurse Practitioner

Nurse practitioners are primary or specialty care providers, delivering advanced nursing services to patients and their families. They assess patients, determine how to improve or manage a patient’s health and discuss ways to integrate health promotion strategies into a patient’s life. Nurse practitioners typically care for a certain population of people. For instance, NPs may work in adult and geriatric health, pediatric health or psychiatric and mental health. While nurse practitioners are predicted to be one of the most in demand jobs of the next year, the healthcare field in its entirety is growing rapidly.

  • Education and Experience: Nurse practitioners usually need a master’s degree in an advanced practice nursing field. They must have a registered nursing license before pursuing education in one of the advanced practical roles. Working in administrative and managerial settings can also be a great way to gain experience and move up in the field.
  • Desired Skillset: Science education background, communication, detail-oriented, interpersonal skills
  • Average Salary: $127, 780
  • Job Growth Rate: 40% (higher than average 8%)
  • Estimated Jobs Added from 2021-2031: 118,600

Data Scientist

Data scientists are responsible for using analytical tools, scientific methods and algorithms to collect and analyze useful information for companies and organizations. Data scientists additionally develop algorithms (sets of instructions that tell computers what to do) and models to support programs for machine learning. They use machine learning to classify or categorize data or to make predictions related to the models. Scientists also must test the algorithms and models for accuracy, including for updates with newly collected data.

  • Education and Experience: Data scientists typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, statistics, computer science or a related field to enter the occupation. Some employers require industry-related experience or education. For example, data scientists seeking work in an asset management company may need to have experience in the finance industry or to have completed coursework that demonstrates an understanding of investments, banking or related subjects.
  • Desired Skillset: Analytics, mathematics, computer skills, problem-solving, industry specific knowledge
  • Average Salary: $100, 910
  • Job Growth Rate: 36% (higher than average 8%)
  • Estimated Jobs Added from 2021-2031: 40,500

Information Security Analysts

Cybercrime is at an unfortunate all-time high. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, cybercrime has skyrocketed by 600 percent, creating a greater need for workers in cybersecurity. Information security analysts are responsible for planning and carrying out security measures to protect an organization’s computer networks and systems. They work to maintain software, monitor networks, work closely with IT staff to execute the best protective measures and are heavily involved in creating their organization’s disaster recovery plan, a method of recovering lost data in a cybersecurity emergency.

  • Education and Experience: Information security analysts typically need a bachelor’s degree in a computer science field, along with related work experience. Many analysts have experience in IT. Employers additionally prefer hiring candidates that have their information security certification.
  • Desired Skillset: Established and evolving knowledge in IT, analytics, problem-solving, attention to detail
  • Average Salary: $102, 600
  • Job Growth Rate: 35% (higher than average 8%)
  • Estimated Jobs Added from 2021-2031: 56,500

Financial Management

If math comes easy to you, the field of financial management won’t be slowing down any time soon. Financial managers are responsible for the financial health of an organization or individual. They create financial reports, analyze market trends, direct investment activities and develop plans for the long-term financial goals. They often work with teams, acting as advisors to managers and executives on the financial decisions of a company. Financial Managers may also have more specific titles for more specific roles such as controllers, treasurers, finance officers, credit managers and risk managers.

  • Education and Experience: Financial managers typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in business, economics or a related field. These disciplines help students learn analytical skills and methods. Although not required, earning professional certification is recommended for financial managers looking to provide tangible proof of their competence. Having job experience as a loan officer, accountant or related job may also be helpful in becoming a financial manager.
  • Desired Skillset: Mathematics, organization, communication skills, attention to detail
  • Average Salary: $131, 710
  • Job Growth Rate: 17% (higher than average 8%)
  • Estimated Jobs Added from 2021-2031: 123,100

Computer and Information Research Scientists

Technology is advancing and its need exists in just about every industry. Computer and information research scientists design innovative uses for new and existing technology. They study and solve complex problems in computing for business, science, medicine and other fields. They design and conduct experiments to test the operation of software systems, frequently using techniques from data science and machine learning, often having expertise in programming and/or robotics.

  • Education and Experience: Computer and information research scientists typically need at least a master’s degree in computer science or a related field. In the federal government, a bachelor’s degree may be sufficient for some jobs.
  • Desired Skillset: Mathematics, logical thinking, IT and AI experience, analytics
  • Average Salary: $131,490
  • Job Growth Rate: 21% (higher than average 8%)
  • Estimated Jobs Added from 2021-2031: 7,100

Sources: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Emeritus Blog, Wikipedia

4 Reasons to Consider a Career in Energy

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Businesswoman shaking hands with disabled business owner

Implementing clean energy is far from just a phase, it’s a necessity. Given the growing concern with the climate crisis; scientists and innovators from across the country are working together to power our daily lives through environmentally friendly means. By joining a career in clean energy, you could not only aid in these efforts, but do so while securing a stable, growing career.

Here are five reasons why you should consider the clean energy workforce:

It’s a Growing Field in Every Way

We all know that clean energy is popular on a societal standpoint, but even economically the field is thriving. In late 2021, President Biden passed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which among other things invested $65 billion in support for clean energy infrastructure, research, jobs and much more. More recently, the CHIPS and Science Act, as well as the new Inflation Reduction Act, have added billions in investments for clean energy jobs and technologies. This makes the salaries of those in Renewable energy higher than average.

Along with being incredibly well funded and well equipped for hiring, the industry also has a lot of opportunities for advancement. Since the industry is relatively new, many clean energy sectors look to promote within their current employees.

The Job Types are Endless

When we think of jobs in renewable energy, we tend to think of scientists, engineers and even construction workers. While all of these areas of expertise are looking for jobs, you don’t have to wear a lab coat or a hardhat to join the field. In fact, you can come from just about any background and find a career in energy that will work for you. For example, the Department of Energy hires for positions in an extensive list of positions including:

  • Business Administration
  • Communications
  • Construction
  • Engineering
  • Finance
  • Human Resources
  • IT/Cybersecurity
  • Legal Affairs
  • Marketing
  • Manufacturing
  • Operations Research
  • Physical Science
  • Public Policy
  • Safety
  • Sales

It is never too late or too difficult to join the clean energy workforce, and there are so many different ways in which you can apply your skills.

The Work Environment

As an often well-funded and new career industry, the clean energy sector tends to do a better job at keeping up with current business trends and creating a thriving work culture. This allows for many of the employees in the field to be positive and passionate about their work. Benefits of the work environment of the clean energy sector can include:

  • Fantastic diversity and inclusion initiatives in every sector
  • Health care benefits
  • Retirement plans
  • Working with passionate, like-minded coworkers
  • Opportunities to work in-office or from home
  • Opportunities for creativity, innovation and collaboration

You’re Making a Difference

There are many reasons to work toward a clean energy future. Whether it’s to protect the environment, promote energy justice, secure national energy independence, make scientific advancements or lower energy costs, there are many moral reasons you may have for wanting to join the field. In some industries, it can be difficult to see how any of the work you’re doing is making a difference in the world, but the clean energy industry does the exact opposite. In clean energy, no matter what your part is, your field is working to literally change the world every day by fighting climate change and promoting a healthier world for generations to come.

Sources: Department of Energy, Whitehouse.gov, Michael Page

How to Boost Your Visibility Through Networking

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networking-tips

Making professional connections is very similar to, if a little more formal than, making connections in a class or via social media. If you’re uncomfortable with connecting in person, consider how it’s similar to connecting virtually. If you’re uncomfortable with both, read on for some networking tips.

The key to get from awkward to comfortable while networking is planning and practice. But it’s hard to practice talking to recruiters — the stakes feel too high! Start by connecting with your peers, your classmates or other attendees at recruiting events.

At any event, you can ask other attendees the reason why they are there and what interests they have. Networking with peers is great. Peer mentoring is hugely beneficial and feels like less risk since peers don’t have the power to reject you for employment. You don’t have to make lasting connections with everyone you meet. Talk to a lot of people. Find those that have things in common with you. Build off those similarities to forge stronger, more meaningful connections with them.

Why is networking important?

The “why” of networking and making connections is probably obvious to you. The more connections you make, the more people you know and the more resources you have available to your when you want to learn more, collaborate on research and/or look for a job. But the “how” can be a little trickier. The secret is: you already know how to make connections. If you have worked on a group project, joined a study group, played a team sport or commented in an online community, you’ve been forming connections. Forming professional connections is fundamentally the same thing.

How should I network with a recruiter?

Approach recruiters like the people they are. You already know why they are there to recruit, and you should already know what they’re recruiting for. So, you can tailor your conversation to help them learn a little about you.

  • Tell them a little about your goals, your background and the positions at that organization you’ve already looked at and are interested in.
  • Ask if the position(s) seems like a good fit, or if there are other positions, they might recommend for you to look at.
  • Ask about the next step on how to apply and if you can reach out to them at a later time.
  • Ask about things that aren’t available on the organization’s website, like what’s their favorite thing about working there; what was their first day like; what is their day-to-day like; how have they progressed through their career at the organization.

Keep in mind that you may not have a lot of time to ask many questions at the recruiting event. Be aware of how many other people are waiting to speak to the recruiter, and be respectful of their time. If your initial questions have gone over well, ask if you could continue the conversation. At conferences, you can ask if they’re free for coffee after the sessions are over for the day, by email, phone call or video call. Online, you can ask to follow-up by email or phone call.

Another thing to keep in mind is that people like talking about things they like, such as their research or the company they are recruiting for. Introduce yourself, be conversational, and ask them (peers and recruiters alike) questions so they have a chance to speak. The more you do this, the more natural it will feel, and the more easily follow-up questions will come to you.

How to get started

If you’re really struggling to get started, here’s a game you can try at your next conference or recruiting event. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is:

  1. Talk to three people with the same color shirt that you’re wearing;
  2. Talk to three people in your intended job/research area/academic study;
  3. Find two people who might want to talk to someone else you’ve spoken to today.

Then follow-up! Send a quick note through email, LinkedIn or wherever you’ve connected to briefly remind them how you met, what you spoke about and thank them for their time.

Outside of events, you can expand your network by reaching out to people you already know (family, friends, coworkers, professors, members of regional or national societies you’re a part of etc.) and ask them for suggestions on people you could speak with. Give them a specific topic you’re interested in talking about (e.g. a job in optimization or petroleum chemistry) so they can think about who you might want to connect with.

Ask new connections if you could schedule an informational interview. Instead of talking to a recruiter with the intent of finding a job, talk to a staff member with the role you want, and ask them how they got into it, what skills they use regularly, what skills they wish they had before they started that they ended up learning on the job and anything else that could help you prepare for an interview down the line.

Keep it conversational, but your goal is to learn about the company, so you can better prepare for a potential interview. Afterwards, remember to follow-up with them to thank them for their time and any insight you gained.

Source: Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education

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Upcoming Events

  1. City Career Fairs Schedule for 2023
    June 6, 2023 - December 12, 2023
  2. Small Business Expo 2023 Business Networking & Educational Events Schedule
    June 23, 2023 - February 22, 2024
  3. Chicago Abilities Expo 2023
    June 23, 2023 - June 25, 2023
  4. B3 2023 Conference + Expo: Register Today!
    June 29, 2023
  5. 2023 Strategic ERG Leadership Summit
    August 3, 2023 - August 4, 2023