Category Archives: Job Seeking Tips

What You Need to Know About Administrative Hiring Trends

 

As time and technology both march forward, you need to be sure that both your soft skills* AND your software skills** are at a sought-after level by potential employers—that when employers review your capabilities and experience, they find both skill sets highly desirable!

In a recent article in which Brandi Britton, district president of OfficeTeam, was interviewed by Certiport, she emphasized certain trends that administrative professionals need to keep in mind both for current and future career prospects.

Overwhelmingly, managers are aware that administrative professionals are important to the success of the managers of these companies. Consequently, and as Britton summarized this point, she noted that, “Employers are looking for support staff who are adaptable and can help with projects beyond their traditional job descriptions.”

Administrative professionals must be able to demonstrate their ability to save their bosses time without compensating quality. The old adage “time is money, and money is time” has never been truer!

Administrative professionals also must demonstrate their ability to communicate effectively and professionally with internal and external groups. Highly-developed verbal and written communication skills are essential to progressing up the career ladder.

Britton also indicated that it is essential for administrative professionals who want to emphasize their proficiency with the most widely-used office productivity software—Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access—to demonstrate they are proficient by showing proof—by passing the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) exams and thus earning the accompanying certifications!

She also pointed out that job advancement as well as the possibility of salary increases are two good reasons to work towards the goal(s) of passing one or more of these MOS certification exams. They are your proof that you are indeed knowledgeable and proficient in the given software application(s).

Brandi Britton closes her Certiport interview by leaving readers with some great advice for administrative professionals who are looking for employment in today’s job market. You can click on this link and then scroll down to watch that video.

If you are interested in getting more information on how you can get your Microsoft Office skills to a proficient level; or if you want to know how you can get your MOS Certification in one or more MS software applications, let Richland College’s BOSS program help you get the answers to these and other questions.

Question 1: I use Word and Excel on a daily basis at work, but how can I determine if I already know enough about the software to just go ahead and take one of the MOS exams without having to take any classes or training?

Answer 1: Because Richland College is an authorized MOS testing center, you can contact us at 972-238-6215 for more information on purchasing a testing voucher and then scheduling and taking the specific MOS exam here at Richland.

It is, however, strongly suggested that you click on your chosen software application link below and then analyze whether you feel you are proficient in all of these objectives for the application AND that you can complete the scenario tasks in a timed situation.

These objectives are the official Microsoft objectives for which individuals are expected to demonstrate their proficiency when taking the timed MOS certification exams.

MOS Access 2016 Objectives

MOS Excel 2016 Objectives

MOS Outlook 2016 Objectives 

MOS PowerPoint 2016 Objectives

MOS Word 2016 Objectives

Question 2: How involved are the BOSS Microsoft Office classes?

Answer 2a: The software specific BOSS classes are designed to provide you with comprehensive knowledge and skills development in basic, intermediate, and some advanced software features. The software is learned via presentation, hands-on assignments, tests, and software simulation training/testing of the MOS testing environment.

Answer 2b: The BOSS program offers specific software classes that are dedicated to students learning the software applications at a proficient level and incorporating all of the official Microsoft objectives through textbook tutorials and assignments, hands-on tests, and simulated software that provides further reinforcement through training and timed testing.

Question 3: Are these classes offered in more than one format, and how many times a week must I come to Richland’s campus?

Answer 3: These are great questions; and, yes, there are three learning formats available to you, as well as a special option:

(A) If you feel you need to have an instructor present the material and explain certain concepts and features to you on a face-to-face basis, we offer these courses on an “on campus” basis. Typically, the on-campus courses meet twice a week. Some sections may be offered on a flex-term basis.

(B) If you feel comfortable taking the classes remotely (you still have full access to your instructor) and your work/personal schedule make it difficult for you to physically attend on campus, then online is the format you want. The online sections include the same content, and you have electronic access to your instructor to answer questions that you may have about features, content, etc. You don’t have to come to campus.  Some sections may be offered on a flex-term basis.

(C) If time or transportation to campus is a big issue for you, but you still feel you need to interact face-to-face with your instructor, you might want to consider the hybrid format. You meet once a week on campus for the presentation of material, and your assignments are submitted electronically.

(D) Special Option: If, at any time, during the course you feel confident enough to take the MOS exam early and you do indeed pass the exam, you will receive an automatic B in the class without having to complete any remaining assignments, tests, etc. This option rewards you with earning college credit AND MOS certification early!

Question 4: If I decide to take more than one of these BOSS software classes, can I apply these credits towards some type of certificate?

Answer 4: Absolutely, there are three academic entry points that may interest you: the BOSS program’s (1) Software Application Specialist certificate, (2) Administrative Specialist certificate, or (3) Executive Assistant associate degree.

Question 5: I’m not sure I have the most up-to-date version of Microsoft Office on my home computer. Will I need to purchase the latest version?

Question 5: If you are already a student (or planning to become a student) at any of the Dallas County Community College District’s colleges (Richland is one of the seven colleges), then you will be able to download the latest version of Office 365 for free! Office 365 includes the software applications listed above and as well as others (such as OneNote, Skype, and Publisher).

In conclusion, let Richland’s BOSS program help you to maximize your potential in terms of your soft skills, your software skills, and your future career goals–enhance/acquire these skills at an affordable price!

You can get more details by visiting our website at https://www.richlandcollege.edu/boss

Richland College, which is located in northeast Dallas at 12800 Abrams Road, offers online, on‑campus, and hybrid courses in flex-term and full semester formats. For more information email RichlandBOSS@dcccd.edu or call 972‑238-6215.

**Richland College is an authorized Microsoft Testing Center.

*Soft skills have been defined as those behaviors and qualities that lead to satisfactory or above-satisfactory interaction with others such as communication (listening, writing, speaking), collaboration and teamwork, critical and creative thinking, leadership, self-management and initiative, social responsibility, etc.

** Software skills demonstrate an individual’s knowledge of and proficiency in computer technology software. Proficiency with such technology greatly assists with the management and successful completion of office tasks and managing data effectively and efficiently on a time and output basis.


5 Reasons to use Microsoft Publisher
  1. Affordable

Publisher is significantly cheaper than other desktop publishing programs.  In fact, it is bundled (or included) in many versions of Microsoft Office and Office 365 so you might already have it available on your computer.

  1. User Friendly

Publisher is very user friendly.  Since it is part of the Microsoft products, many of the commands are the same as in Microsoft Word.

  1. Templates

Microsoft Publisher comes with a large assortment of templates to help you create document.   These include flyers, posters, business cards, newsletters, banners, tickets, cards, and labels to name a few.

  1. Mail Merge

Publisher lets you use mail merge or email merge so you can customize publications to specific clients or information.  This provides a “personal touch” to your documents.  You can add merge to documents, emails, labels, or as a graphic overlay.

  1. End Product

You can save the file as a publisher file, a PDF file, a HTML file, a Word file, or a graphic file (JPEG, TIF, PNG or GIF).

  1. High Quality End Products

You can print the documents you create on your personal printer as an RGB color publication. There is also a wide variety of specialty papers you can purchase to print special document.  For example, there is special perforated, heavy stock paper you can purchase for business cards.    The documents created in publisher can also be exported to a file that is ready to be taken to a commercial printer.  Just make sure you are aware of any requirements the printer has before you create the document.

If you are interesting in learning more about a Publisher class or the Richland College Business Office Systems Program, send us an email at RichlandBOSS@dcccd.edu.


Wanted: Top-Flight Administrative Professionals Who Want to Grow with Their Companies!

499171549_aYes, today’s employers understand that not only are talented, highly-skilled administrative professionals assets to their companies but that they are also essential to the competitive success of these companies!

Over the years, the role of the administrative professional has changed dramatically, and the future shows that people who work in this capacity will continue to see changes in terms of duties and expectations.

In a 2015 joint research project conducted by Office Team and IAAP (International Association of Administrative Professionals), it was found that the skills most valued by employers and needed by administrative professionals include the following:

Time Management

The ability to maximize tasks effectively and efficiently is highly valued and desired. In fact, top-flight professionals are not only expected to manage their own tasks and time but also to manage the schedules of those whom they support—this may include team members, managing supervisors, and executives. Multi-tasking takes on a whole new meaning, but it goes with the turf for those who are truly successful in the art of task/time management.

Technical Skills

595140878_cBeing highly competent in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint—having your MOS certification in one or more of these applications—will go a long way in convincing a potential employer of your productivity capabilities.

Knowledgeable in layout and design—Microsoft Publisher for basic design (for more advanced projects, consider Adobe InDesign or Photoshop) can assist you in making your output look professional.

Collaboration and knowledge of databases—collaboration packages such as SharePoint are highly valued by companies as a way of housing company content and sharing this information within and among work groups. Other packages that are used by work groups for sharing (and by individuals) on projects include OneNote and Evernote. Your ability to work with databases such as Access and FileMaker Pro can only add to your attractiveness.

Social Media

Managers have increasingly turned to their admins in order to stay up-to-date on company social media interaction with customers, clients, and others. Knowing how to use social media professionally is now expected. Be sure you have a professional acquaintance with sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram; and know their role and how to use them as business tools.

 

170463151_eFinally, and according to Matt Krumrie, those skills that have become known as “soft skills” and that include excellent communication skills (written and verbal), outstanding tact and diplomacy when working with others, and strong critical-thinking skills are indispensable. These soft skills “round out” what goes in to becoming and staying a top-flight administrative office professional!

 

 

If you want to develop or upgrade your skills to help you in today’s job market, consider enrolling in the Business Office Systems & Support program at Richland College. You will have a wide selection of courses (offered online and face-to-face) from which to choose. These courses range from basic keyboarding, computer literacy, administrative office procedures, business communications, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Access (includes preparation for the Microsoft Office Specialist certification exam**) etc. These courses can all lead you towards a college-credit certificate or a 2-year associate’s degree.

Richland College is in northeast Dallas and located at 12800 Abrams Road. For more information, please contact Angela Nino at anino@dcccd.edu or call 972-238-6215.

**Richland College is an authorized Microsoft Testing Center.

***Get a Free Copy of Microsoft Office 365***If you are a student in the Dallas County Community College District, you are eligible to download a FREE version of Microsoft Office 365, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, Publisher, and OneNote, which can be used on up to 5 devices.
Sources:
1.  Krumrie, Matt (2016, July 7) What to Look For In A Great Administrative Assistant. Retrieved from  https://www.ziprecruiter.com/blog/what-to-look-for-in-a-great-administrative-assistant/
2.  Office Team (A Robert Half Company) and IAAP (2015) How to Hire All-Star Administrative Professionals and Maximize Their Potential. Retrieved from https://www.roberthalf.com/officeteam/office-of-the-future-how-to-hire-all-star-administrative-professionals-and-maximize-their-potential

 


Why You Should Learn Excel!

Click on the YouTube video below to listen to the song that was created by University of Texas Professor Clint Tuttle and get an entertaining, enlightening serenade on why you should learn Microsoft Excel.

According to a 2015 U.S. News & World Report article, “If you want a better job, master Excel.”

Middle-skill Jobs—those jobs that require more than a high school diploma, but less than a bachelor’s degree—are considered the jobs that have long been associated with middle income wage earners. For example, jobs such as office and administrative assistants as well as managerial positions in industry, communications, retail, healthcare, and other major sectors want their employees to be proficient in spreadsheets—Excel.

In fact the demand for digital proficiency for these middle-skill jobs has only grown over time and will continue to grow. You can read more about these jobs by clicking this link to read the 2015 report (PDF file) prepared by Capital One Financial Corporation and Burning Glass Technologies.

Meanwhile, sit back and enjoy Professor Tuttle’s musical message—it’s the truth, folks!

GET DIGITALLY PREPARED TODAY by taking an Excel class or other Microsoft Office productivity software classes—Word, PowerPoint, Access, and Publisher—through Richland College’s BOSS Program. The Microsoft Office 2016 version and Windows 10 will be offered this coming fall!

**Richland College is an authorized Microsoft Testing Center for the Microsoft Office Specialist certification exams.

DYK–if you take a DCCCD class, you are eligible for a free download of the latest Microsoft Office 365 version? You can use your MS Office software on up to 5 devices!

Richland College is located in northeast Dallas at 12800 Abrams Road. For more information on BOSS class offerings, please call 972-238-6215 or email Angela Nino at anino@dcccd.edu.


Are You Ready for These Administrative Assistant Positions???

03-31-2016-TI Job Search 515964426

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click on this image to find out more about administrative assistant positions that have recently been posted by Texas Instruments. Be sure to pay close attention to the qualifications and skills that are required for these jobs. Improve your hiring chances by making sure your skills are up-to-date.

If you need to update your communication and business writing skills OR your software skills, register for classes in Richland College’s BOSS program. For more information on classes, certificate programs, or the associate degree plan, e-mail Angela Nino at ANino@dcccd.edu or reach us by phone at 972-238-6215.


Are Two-Year Colleges Sometimes Better than Four-Year Universities?

graduation-hatCommunity colleges (also known as junior colleges) offer a two–year degree called an associate degree. A student with a strong academic record at a community college can then transfer to a more expensive state or private college for two more years to earn a bachelor’s degree.

However, the second function of community colleges is to prepare students for the job market by offering associate’s degrees in the career and technical areas and entry-level career training. Adult students who want to upgrade their skills for workforce reentry or advancement are also using the offerings of community colleges.

For some, community college is an opportunity to get extra academic guidance and support. Community colleges often have small class sizes. The priority of the faculty is teaching, not research. Plus there are generally lots of support services, such as mentoring programs and organized study groups. The difference in cost between a community college and a four-year university is substantial.

Read what the Washington Post had to say in an article published on June 29, 2015 regarding community colleges:  What’s wrong with going to a community college? How two-year colleges can be better than four-year universities.

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For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Angela Nino, Lead Faculty, aedwords@dcccd.edu, 972-238-6382.

 


Millennials: Make Sure Your Soft Skills Are Up To Par!

10-19-2015 Millennials Need to Work on Soft Skills 528314961It doesn’t matter whether you are looking for a job, currently employed, or thinking about a promotion; if you were born sometime between the early 1980s and the early 2000s, please, please pay attention to your soft skills and make sure you are on par to make the most of your career success.

Take the time to do an in-depth self‑assessment your skills and then answer the following questions honestly:

 

 

  • Do you take your writing skills seriously—is your writing clear, coherent, and free of misspelled words and incorrect word usage—example: their versus there?
  • Do you check, double check and, yes, even triple check your facts and accuracy of numbers?
    How well do you really know Excel and Word (make sure it’s more than just “getting by”)?
  • Do you really know how to use Word and Excel to increase your work productivity and come up with better workplace solutions? You may know how to text, IM, post to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but that may not be enough!
  • Do you really understand the background and goals of your current company?
  • Have you done your homework thoroughly and researched companies where you’d like to work?
  • Can you ask intelligent questions about these companies, their products and services, and their societal impact?
  • Do you look for logical, but innovative ways, to solve work problems?
  • Finally, as simple as it may sound, do you know how to follow directions?

One of the things that research has shown is that employers place high value on whether employees can communicate effectively in person as well as online, and that means you have to have a well-rounded, competent soft skills set.

As, you, the Millennials come of age, it is important to keep in keep in mind that you will be in the workforce for many more years to come, so it is important that your generation strive to be competitive on a global as well as national level.
Sources: http://blog.aarp.org/2015/04/27/millennials-need-to-work-on-bridging-skills-gap/
http://www.ets.org/s/research/29836/

If you need to improve your job skills, consider enrolling in the Business Office Systems & Support program at Richland College. There are a wide variety of courses (offered online and face-to-face) from which to choose.

These courses range from basic keyboarding, computer literacy, business communications, business English, office procedures, records management, Microsoft Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Access (in preparation for the Microsoft Office Specialist certification exam**). These courses can all lead you towards a college-credit certificate or a 2-year associate’s degree.

Richland College is located in northeast Dallas at 12800 Abrams Road. For more information contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu at 972-238-6215.

**Richland College is an authorized Microsoft Testing Center.

***Get a Free Copy of Microsoft Office Pro Plus 2013***If you are a student in the Dallas County Community College District, you are eligible to download a FREE version of Microsoft Office 2013 Pro Plus (or 2011 on the Mac) which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, Publisher, and OneNote.


Know Both Sides of the SM Coin

Take a look at the infographic below (click twice on the image to enlarge it) to get some tips on how you can use social media (SM) in your job search and career networking.

09-08-2015 Make Social Media Work For YouLet’s face it—Social Media is a part of the business landscape today; it can help potential employers find you online and connect with you, but you need to be sure your online presence is one that is inviting, engaging, and professional!

If you want to upgrade or develop skills that can help you in today’s job market, consider enrolling in the Business Office Systems & Support program at Richland College. You will have a wide selection of courses (offered online and face-to-face) from which to choose. These courses range from basic keyboarding, computer literacy, business communications, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access (includes preparation for the Microsoft Office Specialist certification exam**), office procedures, etc. These courses can all lead you towards a college-credit certificate or a 2-year associate’s degree.

Richland College is located in northeast Dallas at 12800 Abrams Road. For more information contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu at 972-238-6215.

**Richland College is an authorized Microsoft Testing Center.

***Get a Free Copy of Microsoft Office Pro Plus 2013***If you are a student in the Dallas County Community College District, you are eligible to download a FREE version of Microsoft Office 2013 Pro Plus (or 2011 on the Mac) which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, Publisher, and OneNote.

 

 

 


Are You Using Mobile Apps to Help With Your Job Search and Connections?

If you are looking for employment or wanting to increase contacts in your professional network, you should consider looking at mobile tools that are available to assist you.
In January 2015, Business Daily News featured at least 10 apps that can help you with your employment search and networking, and best of all, THEY ARE FREE!

The table below provides a brief description of each app and its availability on the Android and iPhone/iPad devices. For a more detailed description, click this link.

05-04-2015 PP Table for BlogIf you want to upgrade or develop skills that can help you in today’s job market, consider enrolling in the Business Office Systems & Support program at Richland College. You will have a wide selection of courses (offered online and face-to-face) from which to choose. These courses range from basic keyboarding, computer literacy, business communications, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access (includes preparation for the Microsoft Office Specialist certification exam**), office procedures, etc. These courses can all lead you towards a college-credit certificate or a 2-year associate’s degree.

Richland College is located in northeast Dallas at 12800 Abrams Road. For more information contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu at 972-238-6215.

**Richland College is an authorized Microsoft Testing Center.

***Get a Free Copy of Microsoft Office Pro Plus 2013***If you are a student in the Dallas County Community College District, you are eligible to download a FREE version of Microsoft Office 2013 Pro Plus (or 2011 on the Mac) which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, Publisher, and OneNote.

 


Do Your Administrative Professional Skills/Talents REALLY Measure Up to What Today’s Employers Want?

04-13-2015 Talent 188065235Talents, skills, talents, skills—these words are thrown around a lot today by employers and job seekers alike. And yet, what do these words really mean to people who want to get or upgrade their job marketability so they can be as attractive as possible to potential employers? What can you do to maximize your administrative skills/talents so that your earning potential is increased?

If anyone out there thought that careers in the administrative professional area were disappearing or boring, they need to read the latest reports to see how admin careers and roles are expanding and changing.

According to the 2015 salary guide for administrative professionals that was prepared by the Robert Half Company, 1.5 million new administrative professional jobs will be added between 2012 and 2022. Today’s administrative professionals will share a bigger role in company communications with customers and customer relations, and their salaries will be increasing.

Question: What does the changing role of administrative professionals mean if you are interested in the administrative professional field?

  • Answer: It means you need to have top-flight written and verbal communication skills—if you are bilingual, that could be a big plus.
  • It means you need to demonstrate to employers that you are flexible and willing to learn new tasks. Your related work experience is also a valued commodity.
  • It means you need to display professional behavior and keep abreast of trends by joining at least one professional organization.
  • It means you need to learn all you can about social media tools and how to use these tools in business settings. Some of the most widely used SM tools that are used by companies today include LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram. It means you will need to show potential employers that you have excellent problem-solving abilities.
  • It means your technical skills need to be proficient, and in some cases advanced, in software applications such as Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook. You can prove your software proficiency to employers by passing one or more of the Microsoft Office Specialist certification exams. These exams are available in Word (Core and Expert), Excel (Core and Expert), PowerPoint, Access, and Outlook.

04-13-2015 Career Ladder 81387343Question: What are some of the job titles for administrative professionals?

  • Answer: There are a large number of job titles in the administrative professional area; and while some of the traditional titles include Executive Assistant, Senior Office/Facilities Manager, Receptionist, there are new titles coming on the scene. These new job titles have been created by some companies to reflect the new duties many find admin personnel find themselves performing. According to Robert Hosking, who writes a blog for administrative professionals and employers, these new titles include Chief Executive Administrator, Administrative Services Manager, Director of Administration, and Administrative Chief of Staff.

Question: What are some salary ranges for administrative professionals and related jobs?

  • Answer: The table below, which was taken from data reported in the Robert Half Company survey, Administrative Hiring Trends Salary Guide 2015 reflects a “snapshot” for just a few of the titles reported and the salary gains from 2014 to 2015. For a more complete look at administrative salaries, click this link to visit the Robert Half Company web site and download the PDF 2015 salary guide (begins on page 10) for Administrative Professionals.

04-13-2015 Salary TableIf you want to upgrade or develop skills that can help you in today’s job market, consider enrolling in the Business Office Systems & Support program at Richland College. You will have a wide selection of courses (offered online and face-to-face) from which to choose.

These courses range from basic keyboarding, computer literacy, business communications, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access (includes preparation for the Microsoft Office Specialist certification exam**), office procedures, etc. These courses can all lead you towards a college-credit certificate or a 2-year associate’s degree.
**Richland College is an authorized Microsoft Testing Center.

Richland College is located in northeast Dallas at 12800 Abrams Road. For more information contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu at 972-238-6215.

***Get a Free Copy of Microsoft Office Pro Plus 2013***If you are a student in the Dallas County Community College District, you are eligible to download a FREE version of Microsoft Office 2013 Pro Plus (or 2011 on the Mac) which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, Publisher, and OneNote.