Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Evolution of the Cellphone (Our Best Friend)

History of the Cellphone
Imagining a time without smartphones is as hard as believing that bigger-than-bricks wireless phones ever existed outside of Saved By the Bell. Believe it or not though, even 10 years ago journalists were skeptically analyzing things like “text messengers” and “M-payments” that we now use without thinking.
Check out some of the milestones that contributed to the miracle in your back pocket:
1899: In an attempt to reduce maritime collisions, Italian inventor Russo d’Azar devises a wireless system that ships can use to communicate. The Times notes that the Italian Navy has “definite orders” to adopt the technology once it's been perfected.
1946: Ralph Hersey, a native of New Jersey, receives a patent for a combination radio-telephone system that doesn't rely on wires to send transmissions.
1973: Motorola releases the “Dyna T-A-C,” the first wireless portable phone. The device weighs just under two pounds, and “can connect with any telephone anywhere.”
1983: Ameritech Mobile Communications introduces the “first cellular mobile radio service” — what we would later call a “car phone.” The article also predicts that the device will pave the way for “telephones that will be small and light enough to fit into a briefcase or back pocket.”
1990: The Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Company reveals it has developed the lightest and smallest telephone in the world, at 9.2 cubic inches and 8.1 ounces. The device allows for continuous conversations of up to 45 minutes.
1992: Pacific Bell says it won’t offer its customers caller ID, citing low profit potential and customer concerns about privacy as the reasons. Had it approved the service, it would have charged $6.50 a month to “see a caller’s phone number on a special display.”
1996: AT&T announces “Pocketnet,” which allows customers to wirelessly connect to the Internet and view data on a three-line screen.
1997: Nokia announces project “Responder,” which aims to “combine Internet, computer and phone technologies to produce a portable machine that could use all of them equally.”
1999: Complaints regarding lack of service are on the rise as the number of devices, and the stress they put on networks, finally draws attention to the importance of wireless infrastructure.
2000: Tech thought leaders start predicting the next step in mobile revolution will be something they called “m-payments,” or transactions made on your mobile device.
2001: The Nokia 5510 is released, with a list of features including the first QWERTY keyboard, a headphone jack and a whopping 64 megabytes of memory.
2003: Long before Instagram, Snapchat and #selfies , the introduction of camera phones makes people concerned, paranoid and really uncomfortable.
2004: The popularity of the Razr, the Motorola phone that prioritizes a thin body of rich data services, is seen as evidence that voice will continue to be the primary use for cellphones, rather than text messaging or data services.
2006: After two years of “Apple phone rumors,” people still aren't sure if Apple will ever release a cellular device.
2007: In the first of many anticipated events, Steve Jobs reveals the first “iPhone” and says that Apple will drop “Computer” from its name to better represent the suite of products they will now make.
2007: The tech world celebrates the 15th anniversary of the first text message, a humble “Merry Christmas” sent from a computer to a phone.
2012: The Galaxy S III dethrones the iPhone 4S to become the best-selling smartphone in the world. The release of the iPhone 5 means Samsung doesn't get to stay in the top spot for long, however.
2014: Amazon announces Fire Phone, with image recognition software and a 3D image display.
2014: In a landmark decision that validates the importance of data held on devices, the Supreme Court rules that a cellphone can’t be searched without a warrant.

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Building Begins NOW - Considerations for College Seniors!

Building Begins NOW!
For college seniors, returning to school in September is the beginning of the last hurrah: One last football season in the student section, one last round of fraternity and sorority rush and one last chance to host the epic house party that will be remembered for years to come.
Unfortunately, an impressive keg stand record doesn't count as a hard skill, and adjusting the margins on your resume to make it look beefier won't fool potential employers as easily as it did your Lit 201 professor. In today's competitive job market, now is the time to start thinking about post-grad plans, particularly if your resume is lacking.
While senior year is absolutely a time to milk the most out of the remaining days of college (and concentrate on, you know, class), it's also the time to start considering your long-term path. If the question, "So what are your plans next year?" makes you hyperventilate, we've outlined a few expert tips on how to set yourself up for success.

Maintain contacts from summer internships

Now that school is back in session, try to avoid falling into the trap of "out of sight, out of mind." Stay in touch with the connections you forged during summer internships so that you can use those resources as future references.
Nicole Williams, official career expert for LinkedIn, says that the best course of action is to develop relationships with your superiors over the course of the internship, requesting one-on-one meetings to discuss skills you'd like to develop. "You’ll not only gain invaluable insight, but will also demonstrate your eagerness to learn more about the industry," she says.
By now, you've likely already left your summer internship, but it's not too late to retroactively reach out to those connections. Asking for a recommendation on LinkedIn is one way to stay top-of-mind — though, with these types of requests, it's important to understand that you're asking a favor; you'll want to come across as confidant, but also sincere and grateful. "Be persistent without being pushy," says Williams. "Connect, but understand the boundaries — especially those of busy professionals."
For seniors who haven't yet dipped their toes into the working world, it's worth applying to internships during the school year. "Internships are important for several reasons: You get to work on real projects with real deadlines, build a network, increase your odds of employment after graduation and, if nothing else, add to your resume," says Sanjeev Agrawal, founder of collegefeed.

Practice networking

While the term "professional networking" can be daunting, the opportunities to make valuable connections extend far beyond stuffy industry events. Simply developing rapport with fellow students — particularly those with influential connections or leadership positions — can pay off long down the road. "Nothing is more important than human relationships," says Agrawal. "Break-out opportunities often arise when people take chances on people."
Make an effort to get to know your classmates and members of various campus organizations — being recognizable on campus can leave an impression on all the right people. "Throughout your entire college experience, you should be building your professional profile and network; not just when you are ready to look for a job," says Williams. "The majority of jobs are found through the relationships you develop and cultivate. You never know who may be able to offer you a serendipitous job opportunity."
When it comes to networking, practice makes perfect — and it's often easier to establish a professional relationship with influential contacts while you're still in school. Alex Mooradian, CEO of Readyforce, says that students shouldn't hesitate to reach out to business leaders or alumni at companies and in industries in which they're interested. "Few students actually do this," he says. 
As for seeking internship opportunities or asking for recommendations and career advice/introductions, students may not have to look too far. "Leverage your existing network," says Carly Keller, marketing associate at Chegg. "This doesn’t mean going around to networking happy hours with strangers; it means connecting with the people that you already know and asking for guidance.""Most people will be willing to meet or talk with you while you are in school, but may be less welcoming once you are in the workforce. Start those relationships now."

Campus involvement: Better late than never

If you've spent the past three years of your college career on the sidelines of campus activities, it may be time to step up your efforts. Getting involved in a variety of organizations not only boosts your resume, but can open doors to surprising connections — and you may discover a discipline that will serve as foundation for your career: Volunteering at a local school may awaken a passion for social work, or running for president of your fraternity may incite an interest in politics.
Use your downtime to explore the extracurriculars campus has to offer, or join (or create) a new organization that aligns with your interests. "The idea that only freshman join new clubs is completely a myth, so challenge yourself to try something meaningful," says Keller. "Join an organization in preparation for a particular career field, such as business, project management or engineering — these clubs can help you gauge what skills you'll need to be successful, and can link you to job opportunities with former members.""Now is the time to take some risks. You are young, with no kids and few responsibilities, so don't be afraid to do something unique, because life only gets more complex,"says Mooradian.

If you're already involved on campus, try your hand at leadership. Much like two years at one company looks more impressive on a resume than many short stints at various organizations, a leadership role in one campus activity will impress employers more than minimal involvement in twenty different clubs. "Committing yourself to a leadership position will make real-life scenarios seem less intimidating, and allows you to practice skills you won't learn in class: How to work with someone who doesn’t respond to your emails, how to run an event with moving parts or how to collaborate with someone you just don't like," says Keller. "Understanding which aspects of leading a team you enjoy most can tell you a ton about your professional persona, as well as the environment that fits you best."

Start exploring passions

Hand in hand with student involvement comes the opportunity to explore your passions. If you participated in your sorority's group dance competition as part of Greek Week and loved it, or volunteered with a local cause that awakened a thirst for philanthropy, make note of these discoveries — there may be a way to incorporate them into your post-grad career plans, even if they are completely unrelated to your major.
With the job market increasingly focused on the "maker movement," showing initiative and an entrepreneurial spirit can have professional benefits as well — and these endeavors don't necessarily need to coincide with your major. Have you always enjoyed arts and crafts? Try your hand at jewelry making. Considering learning to code? Take a class on Ruby, and gain some experience building an app from scratch. These types of "hobbies turned potential businesses opportunities" can make impressive additions to your resume, and showcase diverse skills and thirst for knowledge."Having a job that you are passionate about makes work feel like a hobby," says Mooradian. "It makes hard days easier, and your efforts and successes will be a hundred times more satisfying."

Agrawal suggests that now is the time for college seniors to start doing some soul-searching about their future path: Students should consider the "macro question" of priorities — learning vs. earning. "'Learning' happens in post-grad programs, startup jobs, starting a company on your own or when working with really smart people, just for the sake of learning from them. 'Earning' inevitably happens in all the above cases, but may [take longer]." Agrawal warns against being swayed by dollar signs when searching for your first post-grad job. "If your passion is writing code and you get a job at a bank because it pays more, you're being short-sighted," he says.

Start resume-building

Students who think that a 4.0 GPA is enough to land a highly competitive job straight out of school may be in for a rude awakening. "Good grades are just not enough anymore," says Mooradian. In addition to doing well in class and getting involved on campus, well prepared students will enter the job force equipped with tangible skills.
"Learn the skills employers desperately need," says Keller. "Take the time to research the expertise you'll need for your first job, and then act on it.
According to a recent study conducted by Chegg, there's a significant disconnect between what students believe are important skills for landing a job and the experiences hiring managers are actually looking for. While 50% of students rate themselves as "completely" or "very" ready for a job in their given field of study, fewer than two in five hiring managers agree. The skills with the most significant discrepancies are soft skills, readiness to prioritize work, ability to manage projects, written communication skills and organizational skills.

To get a grasp on what employers expect, Williams suggests setting up informational interviews with potential employers, even well before graduation season rolls around. "Use the summer and winter breaks before graduation wisely," she suggests.
Taking advantage of online resources can also help students learn hard skills they may not be able to fully master in one semester. "If you’re a STEM major, try and build something that you can showcase with a demo and code base hosted on GitHub. Post questions — or better yet, answer questions — on Stack Overflow. Take coding challenges at sites like topcoder,InterviewStreet, etc., or maybe take some specialization courses on Coursera," he suggests. For non-STEM majors, he recommends writing blog posts on Medium or familiarizing yourself with WordPress, taking or teaching classes on Skillshare or Udemy, or poking around on Quora to give and receive insight. "There's an ocean of topics out there; there are so many avenues to showcase yourself," he says.
As for your physical resume, it's a good idea to have one in the works by senior year, if not before. While the rules of the traditional resume are changing, your experience — and how you convey it on paper — is still the first impression you give potential employers. "It doesn’t have to be one page. It doesn’t have to look like those thousands of samples. Write your own story. Be creative," says Agrawal.

Take advantage of school resources

The career center you've walked by every day for the past three years (but never set foot in) is around for a reason: Most colleges have a vested interest in helping their students succeed, and will go to great lengths to do so. (Successful alumni = more money, higher rankings and a better reputation.)

"Leverage the resources you have," says Keller. "College is the only place you’ll ever live –- outside of a Utopian society -– where nearly every service at your fingertips is included in the cost of tuition. You have resources at every turn; try to explore the areas on campus you’ve mostly avoided during the last few years." She suggests campus recruitment fairs and events that can assist students with their resume, elevator pitch or introductions to industry experts.

Professors can also be helpful connections or references, particularly for a first job, suggests Keller. Since they typically watch hundreds of students graduate year after year, they have the expertise to offer sage advice. "They've probably heard your same concerns of 'I don’t know what I want to do with this degree,' 'I’m not sure if I should go to grad school,' or 'how do I apply what I learned in class to the real world?'" She suggests developing authentic relationships with professors, advisors and — if possible — administrators. "Professors are often tasked with writing job recommendations, and the better they know you, the stronger the letter," she adds."Take advantage of these tools while you still have unlimited access."

Williams suggests asking professors for recommendations on LinkedIn, as well. "It's a common misconception that these recommendations must come from a previous employer. A recommendation from a professor or academic advisor — especially one with experience in your industry or with whom you worked closely — speaks volumes to your ability to stand out among the masses," she says.
In addition to your school's internal career network, the following platforms can also be hugely helpful for seeking internships and general career advice: InternMatch, Career Sushi (formerly Intern Sushi), The Muse, collegefeed, and Readyforce's new "Explore Your Options" platform, which promotes transparency between companies and internship candidates.
When it comes to prosperity during senior year — and afterward — Agrawal says success isn't limited to one group or person: "Never underestimate yourself. With grit and persistence, you can achieve anything."

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

4 Tips for Moving on From Your First Post-Grad Job

Bigger and BETTER Things
To the college graduation class of 2009 and other alums that graduated soon after, here's a hardy congratulations — you officially no longer fall under the "recent grad" category of employee. In fact, you have now joined the ranks of the “experienced” worker.
As the dog days of summer approach, you're not getting ready for another year of college, but for another level of advancement in your career. For most junior hires — particularly those that graduated during the recession — the first job straight out of school is rarely the "dream job" for which you're ultimately striving. If you're thinking ahead to what the future holds, now is the time to think — and act — differently than you did during your first job search after graduation.
Below are four helpful tips for moving on from your first post-grad opportunity, and onto bigger and better things.

You now have some experience –- act like it

Your first job may have come through your college career center or a career fair hosted by your university, via on-campus recruiting. You have now moved up in the world and understand that, while college may have been a good foundation, your work experience is additional experience to build upon. While (most of) you can't expect to become the chief executive of a Fortune 500 company two years after graduation, you can — and should — be confident enough to begin taking on some additional responsibilities in your career path. 

Think of your combined work experience and college degree as your "pedigree." One definition of pedigree is the origin and history of something, especially when it is good or impressive. Taking this definition to your career history, consider what it is about you, your education and (now) your work experience that not only adds up to, but also multiplies your ability to exceed expectations in your next job. A note of caution on pedigree: Having it isn't enough. Make sure you understand and can articulate why your pedigree makes you the best candidate for the role.Many companies are wary of hires straight out of school; you are not one of these employees anymore, so be sure that your work ethic, mentality and attitude reflects it.

For example, instead of simply indicating, “I started my career at X Company,” be more specific: “I started my career at X Company, where I learned how to ABC, which is why I will be able to accomplish XYZ at your firm.”

Check those social profiles

Your LinkedIn profile needs to be complete, and in addition to following your university and college-related groups, follow companies that align with your interests and goals. Posting things about your alma mater isn't a bad thing — but it shouldn't be all that a prospective employer sees when they visit your page. Join professional groups, and join some conversations.Re-check your social profiles and make sure they do not scream, "I am in college!"; instead, they should scream, "I am a young professional."

Reconnect with alumni

Your alumni network is still very valuable, so be sure to join the alumni groups in various social networks and in whatever area you land after graduation. LinkedIn offers a variety of alumni groups, as do a number of other social networks.
Don't confine your networking exclusively to virtual opportunities — your university may have an active alumni network in your city, and you can check for Meetups as well.

Attitude counts

The factors that led you to get your first job may still be strong assets for your next role. Are you good at interviewing? Do you have unique experience traveling abroad? Are you skilled at networking? These useful skills still lay the groundwork for your future success — but building upon the lessons you've learned from your first job and other professional experiences add layers to the foundation of your long-term path.As with your freshman year of college experience, your "sophomore year" (and/or second or third job after college) is leaps and bounds beyond your first year of professional experience. While you still may require seasoning in order to take over as the top of the food chain, you've already gotten the lay of the land, and should have developed a better feel for your interests and long-term goals. This knowledge should be conveyed to potential employers and recruiters with confidence (not to be confused with arrogance) about your abilities to adjust to a new job and new professional opportunity. A note about experience: You may not know you have experience in something until you are called upon to use it.

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

DO NOT Send Your Resume Without This Advice!

With competition for employment as fierce as ever, it's critical job candidates leave a lasting impression on their potential employers. Resumes and interviews are the key opportunities job candidates have to make their mark. While no one thing will guarantee a candidate gets hired, here are 10 key words potential employees can use on their resumes or in their interviews that will help them land a job.
Potential job candidates should highlight their persistence in always doing the best they can, according to Timothy Wiedman, an assistant professor of management and human resources at Nebraska's Doane College."Hiring intelligent employees is a good business practice, but intelligence without persistence rarely leads to long-term success," Wiedman told BusinessNewsDaily. "Persistent employees do not give up so easily and will generally produce superior results."
On resumes, Lynne Sarikas, director of Northeastern University's MBA Career Center, believes it is critical for job candidates to highlight the past achievements that have earned them recognition.
"Use this to list special awards at work or in professional associations," Sarikas said. "Employers like to see someone another employer considered a star."
In the end, employers want to know that new hires are going to get the job done, which is why career coach Ronald Kaufman encourages job candidates to use the word "results" in each interview.
"To get the job, you need to make the interviewer believe that you can produce and give them the results they want, in the way they want them," Kaufman said. "To support this belief, be prepared to prove you have the skills and traits they want based on your experience."
In an interview, employers want to hear from candidates the type of positive impact they will have on the company if hired, according to Jen Strobel, human resources manager for Flagger Force.
"I am interested in knowing the value a candidate will bring to the organization and the impactful ways a candidate will positively influence the organization, especially in relationship to our corporate mission, vision and values," Strobel said.
Competency is a key word that most candidates don't use, but should, according to Alan Guinn, managing director of The Guinn Consultancy Group.
"I equate responsibility in most cases with competency," Guinn said. "Any employer is seeking candidates who can prove that they can fulfill the job requirements in the position into which they have been or are being slotted." 
Communication is critical in a successful business, which is why Brennan White, co-founder and managing director of social media marketing firm Pandemic Labs, wants to hear how direct job candidates can be.
"These days, communication at work is a minefield of emotions, legal issues and technologies," White said. "The ability to cut through the clutter to get things done is a must."
Career counselor Bruce Hurwitz said employers want to know what potential job candidates have learned from past mistakes and how they are ensuring those same mistakesdon't happen again.
"Everyone has failures," Hurwitz said. "What's important to relate to an employer is how the failure became an educational experience."
More than ever, employers are looking for employees who are dedicated to their job and the company. Therapist Nancy Irwin said job candidates consequently would be wise to explain how strongly they would be committed to the organization if hired.
"What are you committed to and how will that commitment serve the company?" Irwin said of questions job candidates should be trying to answer during an interview.
In today's fast-paced work environments, flexibility is a key trait that candidates must highlight to prospective employers, according to career coach Andrea Ballard.
"Today's workplace is constantly changing," Ballard said. "It doesn't matter what skills you bring to the office now; stay relevant and successful, you need to be able to change and adapt rapidly."
Human resources consultant Delmar Johnson said employers want to hear how potential new hires will solve problems.
"Employers are looking for candidates who are problem-solvers, and are drawn toward those who speak a language that is solutions-based," Johnson said.

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