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Education and Training Are Key Resume Builders – Make it Count!

Millions of job seekers looking for great career opportunities pound the pavement and troll the on-line job boards monthly with resumes in hand. Unfortunately many of those resumes will be less than perfect. Frankly, most will be bad.

Despite the volume of FREE resume writing advice on line, in college career centers and libraries stocked with FREE job search resources, most job seekers still do a last minute rush job with their resumes and hope for the best.

If you are an upcoming college grad trying to write a targeted resume here are some pointers to focus attention on the Education section of your resume.

1. Move Education close to the top of the resume – The EDUCATION section on the college resume immediately follows the RESUME OBJECTIVE, if you choose to have one. It should not go to the bottom of the resume or after your EXPERIENCE. The fact that you are completing your college degree is the single most marketable thing that employers are interested in right now. It needs to be in the top 30% of your resume.

2. High School Activities – As a rule, do not mention High School beyond your college Sophomore year unless you had a significant and outstanding accomplishments there. For example if you held leadership roles, set academic or athletic records and you can add them without exceeding a page – go ahead and include them. If you are in college and beyond your Sophomore year, you should have had enough activities in college to replace the ones from high school. If you do not, make that your goal. If you are a skilled worker without a college degree, try to focus on any on-the-job training or apprenticeships you have done.

3. Can You Name Your Degree or certificate? Visit the Registrar’s office on campus to find out the correct name of your program. Did you receive a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration or a Bachelor in Business Administration? Is it a BS, BA or BBA? You should know this and state it correctly on your college resume.

4. Major – What was your area of emphasis within your degree? Was there an emphasis? Did you double major? Did you have a Minor?

5. Coursework and Projects – When listing relevant coursework on the college resume, avoid repeating the subject names. Listing both English “I” & English “II” really means nothing to the recruiter. Eliminate “I” & “II” and try “English, 2 years” instead. It saves space and gives a sense of advanced studies. Include non-trivial projects and coursework that demonstrate your ability to work with teams or practically apply your knowledge.

6. Graduation Date – Many college students, grads and anew alumni will add the date they started college, but omit the date they will actually graduate. Do not leave the recruiter guessing about your graduation date. This is important especially if you are not on the 4-year or 5-year college track anymore.

7. Status – If you are a college student are you a Freshman, Sophomore, Junior or Senior? If you started college, but did not finish your program, state the number of credits accumulated. This really gives recruiters a sense of how much knowledge you might have already acquired and therefore what internship roles within the company might be best for you.

8. GPA – Is it a requirement for the college students’ resume? NO it is not. Will it work against you if you omit it from your resume? It very well could. The fact is that recruiters want to know what your college GPA is. If low, it is better to let them know up front but have an explanation for why it is low, rather than try to hide it. Without an explanation, the recruiter might second guess your qualifications or think that you have a poor work ethic. State both Overall GPA and a Major GPA if it tells a better story.

9. Certifications, Honors and Awards – Did you gain any certifications throughout your college experience? Food Safety, CPR or technical certifications like Cisco Certification are a great way to showcase a commitment to go above and beyond. Highlighting academic honors and awards you received will go a long way to set you apart from other candidates as well.

10. Language and Technical Proficiencies – Do NOT claim technical or language proficiencies that you do not possess. It only takes a simple conversation for a recruiter to spot a fake quickly. It is so much more powerful to leave it off the college resume, but mention knowledge of a language or technical skill in the interview.

Once your resume is complete, have it proof read by a career professional. Many online services are available to help you with FREE resume critiques and can offer feedback to help you increase positive response to your resume.

If Experience and Training in Distribution Centers Is So Bad: Why Don’t Statistics Show It?

A new hotel employee was asked to clean the elevators and report back to the supervisor when the task was completed. When the employee failed to appear at the end of the day the supervisor assumed that like many others he had simply not liked the job and left. However, after four days the supervisor bumped into the new employee. He was cleaning in one of the elevators. “You surely haven’t been cleaning these elevators for four days, have you?” asked the supervisor, accusingly. “Yes sir,” said the employee, “This is a big job and I’ve not finished yet – do you realize there are over forty of them, two on each floor, and sometimes they are not even there… “

The story may be familiar to some. Nonetheless the underlining message is proper training in an unfamiliar environment is essential. Warehouses and distribution centers focus a lot of attention on management training they look for the brightest, talented, and most experienced person available. Yet when it comes to hiring the staff of people who are actually going to do the work they obtain someone with minimal education and work experience. Most companies hire hourly workers who may have been to several companies in past and assimilate them into their organization immediately and getting familiar with operation as they go along or in some cases not at all.

The problem with this method is that the company gets maybe a few months of productivity from the employee before the effects from a lack of proper training and experience starts to appear. If the situation persists it can result in a lot of challenges from inventory accuracy to audits not to mention a loss of revenue for the company and the cycle repeated by terminating the employee and making the same mistake again with a new hire.

The majority of new employees in the warehouse come from other organizations or temporary services and after a few days on the job practice former company habits in receiving, storing, picking, and moving products. But all companies are not the same and although you may want them to perform in a different manner if you haven’t trained them in your company culture and processes or worst they come with a lack of experience then they usually learn from others which may not be the right way if you want to have a quality workforce.

Deficiency in Training and Experience

Deficient training and experience can have an adverse affect on your organization. In travelling the world I’ve noted many excuses as to why organizations can’t train their hourly workers properly. Some were for example “if I train them they will leave and take the training elsewhere.” Or “we don’t have the budget for company training.” But the question is can you afford not to train them? According to recent statistics the average company experiences a minimum of 1.6 hours of downtime per week (i.e. reduced production, delays in maintenance, shutdowns, and inaccurate data collection). To put it in a more proper perspective a distribution center with 50 employees who are paid $29 per hour ($15 per hour salary + $14 per hour in benefits) the downtime cost of such a company would be $9280 weekly which translates into more than $110,000 yearly.

This under the assumption that all workers in the company will be forced to stop all production during a downtime scenario which may not happen but just a few key distribution workers on the docks could create a severe impact on the operation. But before you can assess your downtime cost you need to determine its origin. The best way to accomplish this is to do a downtime threat analysis. Some threats that could cause downtime,

1. Internal and external sources

• Technological

• Accidental versus intentional

• Controllable risk or those beyond the organization’s control

• Events with prior warning versus those with no warning

• Employee sick leave

• Absenteeism

• Qualified versus non-qualified workers

2. Three questions that should be focused on when doing a threat analysis.

• Identify the relevant compliance issues

• Establish a cost associated with each compliance issue

• Develop processes to reexamine downtime threats on a continuous basis

The Benefits of Training and Experience

Having skilled and dedicated workers at the lower levels is good business practice and makes good sense. Empirical evidence shows significant correlation between experience and compensation (see Robert Willis 1986 and Theresa Devine and Nicholas Kiefer 1991 for surveys). Moreover, on-the-job-training, apprenticeships and internships provide experience at significant costs to both individuals and organizations: Sherwin Rosen (1972: p327) states, “(w)workers demand learning opportunities and are willing to pay for them since their marketable skill or knowledge and subsequent income are increased.”

The importance of experience and training your employees can provide more than just compensation it can save time for the organization; workers have a more positive feeling about the organization, they get off to a good start and, they know what they are doing.

Experience and training adds value to your organization and employers acknowledge that the values these employees bring translate to;

• Increased profits

• Decreased costs

• Increased quality, and

• Increased customer satisfaction

Heymann and Barrera (2010) exemplified the values of employees in their study where they interviewed employees at all levels, from the lowest paid to those in top management positions including CEOs, CFOs, and COOs in nine different countries. Companies ranged in size from 27 to 126,000 employees and included those in the public and private sector of the automobile, financial services, personal goods, technology hardware and equipment, pharmaceutical, food production, construction materials, and industrial metals industries.

They concluded that companies such as Costco and Great Little Box Company because of the incentives they offered from the lowest level employee to senior management had happier, more productive employees and a lower turnover ratio than their competitors in the same industry. They also found for Costco treating workers well was important it led to increased motivation and a higher quality of service. This combination along with good wages and the knowledge that there were opportunities for advancement were important incentives for employees to work hard. The high quality of service by motivated and engaged employees at Costco, coupled with the low prices, meant that customers returned, and were willing to pay the membership fees.

Great Little Box Company practiced an open-book management strategy (holding monthly meetings discussing the organizations, finances, production, and sales performance with staff members at every level) this gave employees a sense of ownership in the company yet in or to be more effective the organizations leadership incorporated profit sharing. The Great Little Box Company also encouraged employees to come up with cost saving ideas. One such idea resulted in cross-departmental use a particular piece of equipment used exclusively in the labeling department but now shared with the department charged with printing folding cartons which resulted in a cost savings of 12% a task sourced out to a printing company in the past.

Ideas and strategies of employee involvement is nothing new we’ve seen programs like TQM, Quality Circles, and Agile all stress the same thing but unlike The Great Little Box Company that actually implemented and followed through; it was just another fashionable idea that died out when the next great wave of pop management techniques came along.

The open-book management strategy has served The great Little Box Company well in terms of substantial gains and profits. The last decade their sales have doubled from 17m to 35m and in the past seven years the company’s success has enabled it to purchase the assets of six companies.

Zenger, Folkman & Edinger (2010) concluded in their study of companies that were profitable. They identified five areas that were common among the companies with substantial growth.

1. Employee satisfaction/commitment

2. Employee turnover

3. Percent of employees who think about quitting

4. Satisfaction with pay

5. High commitment

Zenger, Folkman & Edinger (2010) study although not inclusive makes a strong case that experience, training, and employee involvement is essential for growth and profitability of a company. Costco and the Great Little Box Company are two good examples of companies succeeding with experience, training, and company involvement at every level but it’s not the exact rule of thumb. Incentives and involvement are factors worth noting but in order to have great ideas to save organizations money there needs to be a certain amount of experience and training among the staff at each level.

Achieving the type of success that Costco and The Great Little Box Company has obtained; companies need to find what works for them and how it relates to company goals. Don’t follow other organizations or emulate their systems of operation because each company is different and doesn’t necessarily translate into success for your company.

References

Heymann, J., & Barrera, M. (2010). How Businesses Can Profit From Raising Compensation At The Bottom. Ivey Business Journal Dec 2010.

Rosen, S. (1972). “Learning and Experience in the Labor Market,” The Journal of Human Resources, 1972, 7. pp. 326-342.

Zenger, J., Folkman, J., & Edinger,.K. (2010). How Extraordinary Leaders Double Profits:

Decoding Leadership Trends to Discover the Patterns.

Radiologist Assistant Education and Training

A radiologist assistant (RA) is a radiography technician, or a radiographer who has taken additional education and certifications. They are able to accomplish advanced imaging jobs and will work under the supervision of a radiologist. In many cases, they will operate in quite an autonomous way, not being under the view of a radiologist, but merely operating under the auspices of a licensed physician who is a radiologist.

Today, the field of RA is a relatively new one, with fewer than fifty courses available to take around the United States at last count. More and more universities are expected to follow suit as radiology assisting becomes more accepted. More universities today are offering radiologist assistant courses than in the previous years. The courses are in some cases, still in development, as this is a reasonably new addition to the allied medical professions.

Educational Requisites for a Radiology Assistant

In order to become a radiologist assistant, you will be required to complete a radiology assistant course that has been recognized by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologist (ARRT).

There are, as of in 2010, about 11 programs in the United States which are offered for the radiologist assistant program. These confer degrees at either the Bachelor’s degree or the Master’s degree level. There are no degree levels which are lower than a Bachelor’s degree available for the radiology assistant and currently no certificate programs exist.

In order to become a radiology assistant, you are required to complete the course and graduate in good standing in your class. Only those who are already a radiography technologist or technician, and who have several years of experience as a working technician are eligible to enroll in the accredited RA programs.

The curriculum of the degree programs for a radiologist assistant program typically require about two years of study to finish components of study will include: assessment of the patients; care and treatment plans; testing and diagnosis; information management; radio-biology; clinical radiology, pharmacology, legal aspects of health care, medical ethics and imaging.

If you elect to take a Master’s Degree level radiologist assistant course you will also be required to produce a master’s thesis in order to complete your course. In addition to the educational requirements to graduate from the accredited program of study, you may also need to add continuing education to remain certified and to continue in your employment.

Certification and Licensing Requirements for Radiologist Assistants

Aside from the graduation of an accredited degree program for your profession, the radiologist assistant must also take and pass an examination in order to practice. While not every state requires some kind of state licensing, there are accrediting bodies that require it for your profession. That being said, there are some states that require a state license, which currently takes place in11 different states.

There is a certification examination which is offered by the ARRT that must be taken in order to acquire your Registered Radiology Assistant certification.

The ARRT also requires that, like nurses, physicians and Paramedics, you be certified in Advance Cardiac Life Support, or ACLS, which is offered by the American Heart Association.

Your radiologist assistant licensing and registration must be renewed each year and you must maintain your radiology technician certification by renewing it every two years.

Your radiologist assistant job will be contingent on an annual renewal. They are also required to keep their technician certifications current by paying the renewal fees and filing application every two years. In order to perform as a radiologist assistant you must also be a radiologic technologist.

As a radiologist assistant, you will be performing many of the same procedures which are typically only done by the radiologist, who must be a licensed MD. You will typically assist or perform invasive techniques such as fluoroscopy, MRI, x-rays, and other examinations. The radiologist assistant will typically conduct these tests and then report the results to a licensed radiologist, who will make all final decisions as to the testing outcome.

The ASRT reports that the need for new graduate radiology assistants will continue to grow exponentially as the work continues to grow for the radiologists. There are currently not enough radiologists or radiologist assistants to keep apace of the work that is already being done. Being unable to keep pace with the vast numbers of people requiring diagnostic testing, the need for this health care field will continue to increase.

Currently the American Medical Association (AMA) – in reports published in 2009 and 2010 offered that radiologist assistants are becoming more popular. They further state that as of 2008, the licensed radiologist assistant can expect to receive about $100,000 USD per year in compensation for this employment position, depending on the geographic area in which they are practicing.