Tech Tip Tuesday – Apps for College Students!

Here’s another post from our fabulous student worker, Eleni!

In this day and age, the computer and smartphone play a vital role in many students’ lives. We use Google to research, Microsoft Office programs for assignments, and email to communicate with peers and professors. Thanks to app developers, there are now apps for your phone and desktop that you can utilize for your basic education needs! Here are a few:

Evernote

Whether you are taking an online course or face-to-face class, note taking is essential to learning the material. Evernote is a free program for your computer, phone, and mobile device (iPads, tablets, etc.) that you can use to take all of your notes. It also allows you to make separate folders for each course, capture audio or video, and you can search your notes easily using keywords or tags! And the best part? You can access all of your notes on all of your platforms. So if you’re away from your computer, you can access those same notes on your phone. It’s so convenient to have all of your notes and information in one place! I use Evernote for all of my classes.

Dropbox

Dropbox is another cloud-based program that allows you to upload your files online that you can access wherever you go. Because the service is web-based, you will need some kind of internet access to get to your files. This app is great for sharing files quickly between you and your peers or simply just storing them online for access between home and university! I, personally, find it easier to use Dropbox over email because it keeps all of my files in one place instead of scattered between emails.

Time Out Free

If you find yourself sitting in front of your computer for hours on end doing homework, this app is perfect for you. Everyone needs a reminder to take a break, and sometimes policing yourself just doesn’t cut it. With this app you can set up breaks and the program will grey out your screen to remind you to take a minute and rest your eyes and brain.

myHomework

myHomework is an excellent organization tool. The app will split your to-do lists into three categories – upcoming, late, and completed. Very simple and very effective!

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Job Seekers: What Not To Do

You have been told what to do as a job seeker, but what about what not to do?  Below are some examples of bad advice.  What is the worst advice you have been given?

 

DON’T INCLUDE A SUMMARY OR OBJECTIVE

You’ve probably heard that you should not include a Summary or Objective. The Summary or Objective at the top of your resume tells the reader, “This person knows who s/he is, what s/he’s done, and why it matters.”

TELL US EVERYTHING

Long-winded resumes are a liability. A resume should be 2 pages maximum when printed.  (Academic CVs, curriculum vitae, are another story.)   Limit your resume to what’s most noteworthy or relevant.

 USE CORPORATESPEAK

Do you use phrases like “think outside the box” or “cross-functional multi-faceted team member” with your friends? Neither do I. Write your resume the way you speak.

DON’T EVER POSTPONE A PHONE SCREEN

Schedule a time that works well for you, not just the potential employer. A good employer will give you a list of times that will work.

DON’T BRING UP MONEY

You shouldn’t put your salary requirements at the top of your resume, but you should bring up money by the second interview, and let the employers know what your salary requirements are.

SEND YOUR RESUME VIA AN ONLINE JOB AD OR THE COMPANY WEB SITE, ONLY

The shotgun approach only works when you’re hunting for dinner. Successful job-seekers use friends, LinkedIn contacts, and anybody else in their network to locate and reach out to contacts inside a target employer.

NEVER SEND A PAPER RESUME

Yes, we are a wired world, but the response rate can be higher for a paper resume, and the approach can be considered friendlier. A surface-mail letter may get you an interview in a case where an e-mail would get ignored or spam-filtered.

WAIT FOR THEM TO CALL YOU

Be proactive! Call and follow-up on the resumes you’ve sent.  Your resume is in a stack with 150 others, and if you don’t push it up the pipeline, no one will.


Source: http://www.businessweek.com/managing/content/aug2008/ca20080829_918789.htm

Friday Fun

TGIF BPSers!

Is the end of the first week of the new semester and you probably need a little break in the action. What are some of your spare-time activities?

Do you knit? Here’s a fun knitting website where you can shop for yarn, needles, and other crafting knickknacks.

Love music? Vinyl records are making a big comeback. If you got some Christmas money left to spend, check out Jerry Raskin’s Needle Doctor website for new and unique turntables. For records, head to your local used book store or record shop.

Outdoorsy? It is winter and in many parts of the country, we’re dealing with some winter weather. Check out this site to find some fun winter activities.

Whatever you do, take a few hours off from homework and enjoy the new year.

10 Rules for Writing Perfect Emails

For good or ill, we do a lot of emailing in our everyday lives. Here are a few tips before you start composing that next electronic mail message.

  1. Make your subject-line specific. No one wants to read an email with a subject line “Question”. Instead, relate your subject line to the actual topic of the email, like “Question about the Murphy project, phase 2”.
  2. Get to the point in the first paragraph. Don’t make the people you’re emailing have to read through a lot of fluff to get to the meat of what you want to say. Say it right off the bat and you’ll probably write a shorter email.
  3. Call to action. Finish off your email with a definite end in mind. Tell your reader you’ll call them on Monday to follow-up or that you’d like suggestions on how to proceed.
  4. Write like you talk. Are you cold and blunt when you talk to your co-workers in person? No? Then don’t do it via email.
  5. Proofread. Misspelled words and other typos can make you look like you don’t know what you’re doing. Take a few seconds to read through your email before you hit send.
  6. Is the address right? Sending an important email to the wrong person not only wastes time, but can reflect poorly on you. Stop and check the email address.
  7. Be good. Avoid sensitive topics, politics, race, religion, sex, and disabilities.
  8. Not everyone needs to be cc’d. Only cc someone if they’re working on the project.
  9. E.T. Phone Home. If you’re spending 5 or more minutes on an email, why not just pick up the phone and explain the situation. Or, if possible, get up and walk to your co-worker’s office or desk to talk to them in person.
  10. No need for thanks. It’s unnecessary to reply every time with at “Thank you!”.

Keep them simple and keep them from clogging up your inbox.


Source: http://shine.yahoo.com/work-money/10-golden-rules-writing-perfect-email-160700740.html

Planning for the Semester

It’s a new semester (first term!) and it’s a good time to set up a plan for the next three months.

One great way to start the semester is to go through the syllabi for your classes, have your calendar at the ready, and mark the due dates for important assignments. Preparing now for that term paper that’s due at the end of the term will make your school and home life a lot less stressful.

Is there an assignment where you’re not sure about how to complete it? Read through the assignment prompt a couple of times and then contact your instructor with some pre-determined questions. Our BPS instructors are top-notch and are here to help you succeed. As always, we are here to help you, too!

Good luck in the new term!

Tech Tip Tuesday – Netiquette

Netiquette, which is short for ‘internet etiquette’, is an important part of today’s society considering how much we use the internet. It’s particularly important for students taking online courses (like me!). Here are some helpful guidelines for you!

–          Avoid leet speak (substituting ‘3’s for ‘e’s and ‘1’s for ‘I’s or ‘L’s) or other computer jargon and abbreviations. Lol and brb work in a chat room and not on online classrooms or discussion boards.

–          Use complete sentences, correct grammar and spelling, and proper punctuation when making posts.

–          Try to make your posts clear and concise yet complete.

–          Avoid all caps. Reading a sentence in all caps makes it seem like you’re being yelled at and it’s just not nice.

–          Stay on topic; make posts that add value to the discussion, either by asking questions or offering comments and which promote further exchange of related ideas.

–          This may seem like a no-brainer but respect copyright laws.

–          And finally, be respectful of your fellow classmates. Get permission before sharing classmates’ e-mail addresses or other information.

Happy New Year!

In 2012, the Chinese New Year Falls on January 23rd.  The Chinese New Year is a time to welcome longevity, wealth and prosperity and to eliminate any negative chi from the past.  In Chinese tradition, each year is dedicated to a specific animal. The Dragon, Horse, Monkey, Rat, Boar, Rabbit, Dog, Rooster, Ox, Tiger, Snake, and Ram are the twelve animals that are part of this tradition.  In 2012, the Dragon is welcomed back after the 2011 year of the Rabbit. While the Year of the Rabbit was characterized by calm and tranquility, the Year of the Dragon will be marked by excitement, unpredictability, exhilaration and intensity.


Source: http://chinesenewyear2012.net/