Tag Archives: strategies

How to score scholarships

While applying for scholarship programs may not yield a windfall this big for you, yours odds of getting it are exactly zero if you don't!

While applying for scholarship programs may not yield a windfall this big for you, yours odds of getting it are exactly zero if you don’t!

It has been said by many observers that a college degree is the new high school diploma these days. The price of admission to even decent jobs is often a piece of paper of varying specialties, be it from the arts, science or business, or another field of study. The problem with this is that while secondary school is free, having been paid for through our taxes through the years, colleges and universities shift the funding burden to the student.

While this expense had been easily payable through hard work and diligent saving on the part of former generations, the exponential rise in the cost of school has made it virtually impossible to get through these years debt-free even with a paying side gig. However, there is one avenue of funding still remaining that allows bright and deserving students the opportunity to get through college without stunting their post-school life underneath mountains of loan payments.

This method is none other than the scholarship, which allows applicants the chance to receive money in part or in full for the course of time that they spend in the school and program of their choice. So, how will you get your grubby little mitts on some of this life-changing money? The steps outlined below will help get you over your attitude of inadequacy and on with the task of applying for scholarship programs that will liberate you from financial worry.

1) Start by searching locally

Don’t look on wistfully at the high profile scholarship that require high grades to even qualify for applying – right now, in your community, there are businesses, service organizations, trusts, and religious institutions looking to give a motivated, hungry individual like yourself some badly needed cash to get you through school with greater ease.

If you can write an essay showing your passion for a subject, your community involvement, and your ideas for a better future (among other topics), there is an excellent chance that you’ll be able to score some cash at home before moving on to the heavier hitters.

2) Take your cash quest to the internet

The internet has changed the game in countless quarters of life – and the process of applying for scholarships are no different. Databases like Scholarship.com has organized countless post-secondary funding programs under one digital roof, allowing you to line them up and apply to these sources of money en masse. Using lessons learned from successful applications locally, use your best practices and track your results as you go, making changes where necessary.

3) Don’t give up

If your initial efforts are met with deafening silence, don’t get down on yourself. Try niching down and applying to smaller, lesser known scholarships, where you stand a better chance of being noticed by evaluators. Consider experimenting with specific aspects of your application, from citing specific activities over others, to writing essays on a completely different subject. Track the results of each approach, and go with the better performer.

How to write your resume

Want to get an interview with an employer like this dude? By learning how to write your resume effectively, you'll get to this step quicker!

Want to get an interview with an employer like this dude? By learning how to write your resume effectively, you’ll get to this step quicker!

Your senior year is just over the horizon, and you’re scared witless. For three or four years, you have gone to class and learned everything there is to know about your chosen field, socialized with your fellow peers via clubs, fraternities/sororities, and volunteer organizations, and through it all, you’ve had a blast.

However, this chapter in your life story is drawing to a close, and the start of your working life is within sight. While you have the youthful drive to take on the problems that employers need solved, you have to first introduce yourself in a formal and professional manner. Of all the tools used to accomplish this, the resume has held fast through the decades as one of the most important of these. Companies use it to assess not only your raw skills, but your organizational abilities, attention to detail, as well as many other cues that reveal to them the type of candidate that you are.

Want to learn how to not only ensure that you are shooting yourself in the foot by committing an innocent mistake, or forgetting to include essential information? This article will cover how to write your resume, plus a few extras that will help you establish an edge in the 21st century world in which we live.

List your accomplishments

The central role of a resume to communicate everything you have to offer a potential employer, so include information on anything worthwhile that you have accomplished in the past few years. This obviously includes work, academic degrees and internship experience, but also include volunteer work (displays additional skills + your concern for society at large) and clubs (shows that you socialize, making it more likely that you play well with others).

Target the content of your resume towards a specific job or job type

Not everything that you have done in your past will relate well to certain positions. For example, your involvement in your universities’ video gaming club may not matter to a recruiter for a standard office job, but it becomes a big plus if you are pursuing a job as a programmer in the gaming industry.

Proofread your completed resume militantly

Once you have finished your resume check through multiple times and make sure that there are no misspelled words, misplaced words (many errant keystrokes when typing will result in a properly spelled word that is another word altogether from what you originally intended), or other tragedies of grammar. We don’t mean to intimidate you, but resumes with these miscues often get deleted on sight, as it is perceived as a lack of attention to detail on your part.

Leave a link to an online supplement to your resume

While the tips above have been repeated ad infinitum through the ages, change is ripping through the world of employment like a blustery gale. To avoid being sunk by this maelstrom of change, adjust your sails by enlisting the services of online accompaniment to resumes like about.me or LinkedIn.

The former provides you an online slate to express yourself in a way that paper resumes do not allow, while the latter provides social proof to your claims of experience from your colleagues, professors and peers.

Create a portfolio

If you are in a field that is is dominated by media or the visual arts, cobbling together a portfolio to go with your resume will put you heads and shoulder above those that are aimlessly carpet bombing resumes everywhere.

By detailing your best and most representative work, be it in the form of a web page showing off your creations, a Vimeo submission that demonstrates your cinematography skills in action, or a Flickr account that bears witness to your unmatched eye for photography, selling yourself to a prospective business becomes infinitely easier.

Experiment with alternate formats/strategies

In today’s increasingly congested job market, doing the same old thing as everyone else is a sure way to avoid getting noticed. Exciting and eye-popping templates abound throughout the internet, giving your submission to a business a look that will grant you a closer examination than other candidates. You could also write a proposal letter to an employer, explaining exactly how you would solve a problem in their field, or if you are so bold, you could cold call an important person in a position of influence and persuade them how you would add value to their organization from day 1.

This might be scarier than hitting send on a hundred resume e-mails and waiting for the phone to ring, but you’ll likely find yourself prospering in an entry-level position while your friends pile on more debt by going to graduate school because they couldn’t find a job after getting their undergrad degree.