Category Archives: Professional Development

Michelle, Week 5 Discussion

I have fielded a lot of questions about Portfolios–what they should look like, what they should have in them, how they should be organized, et al. So, for today’s discussion, I’d like you to find that information for yourself. First, read the ehow article and discuss what you’ve learned from it. Did it help you understand better what items should be in your portfolio? Did it give you more questions than answers? What questions? What answers?

Now, look for two more websites about portfolios. Share the links and the key words you used to find them. Summarize the websites, hitting the key points the site emphasizes. Do you agree or disagree? Why? Also, if it primarily mentions online portfolios or art-related portfolios, what concepts can you take from the site to use on your professional portfolio?

This needs to be at least 250 words. It is due on February 6th by 6pm (initial response). Your second response is due by Tuesday February 11th, by 6pm.


Michelle Discussion Week 4

Professional Inventory

Mission: Find a job ad for a job you would like to get after you complete your training here at Interface. Use the job ad (copy the link into your response) and fill out a professional inventory. Look for phrases in the job ad (usually found in the requirements) and copy them into word. Write how you meet that criteria, with evidence. This is called a professional inventory. You use these phrases/evidence in your pointed cover letter. Please note that you do not have to show proof of every single requirement, just what you can.

Example of phrases from a job advertisement

evidence of your experience

Must enjoy working with animals

– volunteered for Spokanimal for three years

Excellent customer service skills

worked as a waitress in a busy, well-known restaurant for ten years, helping customers and making sure they enjoyed their stay

2. Write a paragraph for your pointed cover letter for this job ad using the phrases from the job ad and your evidence to back it up. Do you see how it may differ from other cover letters you’ve written in the past? How will this professional inventory help you out when it is time for you to search for a career?

I just wanted to clarify a bit here. Your evidence should be full sentences that showcase how you could prove your expertise/experience. The two I had were examples of what I was looking for. Your paragraph should be a paragraph you would actually include in a cover letter and would have their key terms that you put into the professional inventory, as well as your evidence. So for mine, my cover letter would say something like:

Must enjoy working with animals volunteered for Spokanimal for three years
Excellent customer service skills worked as a waitress in a busy, well-known restaurant for ten years, helping customers and making sure they enjoyed their stay

I thoroughly enjoy working with animals and have been a volunteer for Spokanimal for over three years. During my time at Spokanimal, I worked with animal intake, cleaning kennels, and exercising dogs. Though I worked mostly with animals, I also helped with customers who were looking to adopt animals and with those who were going to surrender their animals. Since I was a waitress for over ten years, I was able to use the skills I learned in the customer service industry during my volunteer work. While the type of customer service in a shelter differs from that at a restaurant, I was able to use my ability to make sure that the customer was happy and helped in a way that would make them want to return while at Spokanimal.

See what I mean? Try to whittle down errors and misspellings. Make it professional. Take your time.
Your response is due by Thursday, January 30th. It should be at least 200 words in length (this includes words in the table).

Your second response is due by Tuesday, February 6th by 6pm. These should be at least 75 words.

Michelle – Week 3 Discussion

Tell Me About Yourself (TMAY)

Preparation: Please review the TMAY: You will be doing your first mock next week, and it is important to be prepared. You will bring me your resume, portfolio, and be ready to answer the me when I say, “tell me about yourself.”

First Response: What does TMAY stand for? What are the main parts? Now type up your TMAY. What items are you going to put into your portfolio? How and when will you introduce it? Response should be at least 250 words. This is due by Thursday, January 23rd by 6pm.

Second Response: Read my response. Answer any questions I ask, revise your TMAY as needed. Response should be at least 100 words. This is due by Tuesday, January 28th by 6pm.

Michelle – Week 1 Discussion


Do an internet search on “current resume trends” – read at least three articles and summarize what you find after you give the links. Copy and paste three URLs of the sites you find. Do you agree or disagree? How do they differ from what is in the PD website or what you’ve been told by myself or Margaret, if they do differ? Will you use any of the information, if so, what and why? Your results should be trends in the last 2 years.

For a bit of extra credit, find a sample resume you really like and attach it and tell us what is great about it and why. Then, find a sample of a bad resume and attach it. What changes (just a few) could be made to make it better? I’ll give 30 pts of Extra Credit for this!

First response should be at least 200 words and is due on Thursday January 9th. Second response should be at least 75 words and is due by Tuesday, January 14th by 6pm.

Week 4 Discussion – Monday/Wednesday

The Cost of Losing an Employee

  1. Research on the internet the “cost in replacing an employee.” Cite at least two web sites where you found this information (copy URL into your response).
  2. Summarize your findings of components of cost that is part of the total cost to replace an employee.
  3. Discuss what options a company has to reduce different components you found in #2.
    • List the cost component
    • Identify how the company might try to reduce that cost  (for example, if the cost is “high recruiter costs,” the company might reduce this cost by stop using a recruiting agency and take on that function in their own Human Resources department if they have the resources to do it).
  4. Give your opinion on how a company can reduce “employee turnover” which will minimize costs in replacing employees.

Please number each response so everyone will be able to more easily identify and respond to each of the four components.


First Response is due by Wednesday, December 4th by 6pm. This response needs to be at least 200 words and contain 2 Links.

Second Responses (2) are due by Monday, December 9th by 6pm. These should be in response to two of your classmates and be at least 100 words.

Professional Research – Both Classes (Week 3)

Professional Research

Preparation: Research a career of your choice on the internet.

First Response: Tell us about the career you researched. Why did you choose this job? Please provide us with the hyperlinks to three sites that you felt were the most informative on this career path. Tell us why you chose these sites. What should we know about this career? What should we think about while we read the sites you sent us to? (For example, you might research Networking jobs and then have us comment a variety of different theories of security for a company, or you could research Freelance jobs for your career, you may have us discuss why choosing to do Freelance work would be the best choice for your career. I’m looking at you, web people!) Responses should be at least 250 words.

Second Response: Please read two of your classmates’ messages. Please visit the sites that were provided for you. Now please reply to your classmate. What did you learn about this career? What questions do you have about the career? What do you have to say in response to the items that your classmate asked you to think about while reading the sites he/she sent you to. Responses should be at least 100 words.


First Response is due by Wednesday, November 20th by 6pm. (It should be 250 words.)
Second Responses (2) are due by Monday, December 2nd by 6pm. (These should be at least 100 words.)


First Response is due by Thursday, November 21st by 6pm. (It should be 250 words.)
Second responses (2) are due by Tuesday, December 3rd by 6pm. (These should be at least 100 words.)

Monday/Wednesday Discussion — Mock Interviews A’Comin’


Since a couple of you have your 2nd mock interview coming up in the next few weeks, and a few of you will be having your 1st mock interview soon, I thought this an appropriate topic of discussion. Remember, your resume and portfolio are not your only tools for selling yourself during an interview–there are many aspects that should be considered before going into an interview.

Read each of the short articles below first.  Then, I want you to respond to the following questions:

1.  What are the the three most relevant tips from the articles that you are already prepared for? Explain why and how.
2. What are the three most relevant tips that you need to work on?  Explain why.
3. Do you have a hard time selling yourself in general?  Explain why.

When responding to your classmates, be sure you include anything that they can do to overcome what they have a hard time with about selling themselves, how they can work on those relevant tips they listed, and just make sure it is a conversation in general.

Your initial response is due by 5:59 P.M. Wednesday, November 13th.  Your initial response should be 250+ words.

Your responses to two of your classmates are due by 5:59 P.M. Monday, November 18th, 2013. These responses must be at least 75+ words.

Access Week 1 Mon/Wed ONLY

I…Just…Can’t…*sniffle* *snort* Show Emotion in…in…in…Professional Emails

Today’s topic is about emotion in email.

Once, someone received a professional email with the following statement, “I’m always happy to correspond with women who are smart…” I want you to give me your opinion as to if this is an appropriate sentence? Is it a negative statement or a positive one? Discuss how this could be taken in a positive light or a negative one as well.

How you communicate is very important, especially in email, whether personal or business related. If you misspell words, fail to capitalize the first word of a sentence, or use abbreviations consistently (ie. Shortcuts common like lol, or other IM shortcuts), most people assume you are young, or worse, stupid. This is not what you want in the work place. Also remember that it is very difficult to control how a sentence is conveyed, so you have to look at your language usage as well.

Read these articles:

There is some good information about how to write an email and how to keep it professional.

Lastly, after all that you have read about good emails, I want you to construct an email to me. You have a problem with me. I gave your promotion to someone else and you worked for it much more than the other person. Remember that you feel very emotional about this, so your email can be highly charged, but be careful with your wording. You need to look for a balance where you get your point across. It is OK to convey that you are frustrated, but you don’t want to make me mad either (or I may fire you!). Your email has to have at least 2 full paragraphs and a third paragraph with a closing.

This email should be in your response to me. First, respond to the first part, then write the email.

Your first reply should look like this:

Response to the first part of the blog–was that inappropriate? Why? How could it be worded differently?

Dear Dawn:

Here is your first paragraph. Talk about the raise, the problem, and your question.

Here is your second paragraph. Give me examples of why you should have been hired instead.

Here is your third, thanking me for reading, etc.


Your Name

First Response: Due Wednesday, November 6th by 6pm.This should be at least 200 words.

Second responses (2) are due by Monday, November 11th by 6pm. Don’t just say you agree, tell us why. Also, feel free to critique the writer’s email to me. Find words that you think could be considered overly emotional or harsh or unprofessional; give suggestions for possible changes. These should be at least 75 words each.

Interviews – Monday/Wednesday Class (Week 6)

Interviews are Fun!

Click here  to see a list of typical interview questions.  Select 3 questions from any of the Sections of the list and provide your answers to the questions based on your experience and skills.  (Do not use tell me about yourself.) Remember, when you answer questions for a potential employer, you should be thorough and provide proof by example if possible.  You also want to always maximize your strengths and minimize your weaknesses.

Bonus Mojo for choosing a brainteaser question!

First Response: Your first response is due on Wednesday, October 30th by 6pm. You will respond with at least 250 words.

Second Response: Your second (2 of them!) responses are due on Monday, November 4th by 6pm. You will respond to two of your classmates, at least 75 words each post. How could they strengthen their responses? Did they provide enough proof by example? How could they word it differently?

Your original post should look like this:

Question? (section it is from?)

Your answer

Question? (Section it is from?)

Your answer

Question? (Section it is from?)

Please use word to write your original response(s). Use spelling and grammar check. I do not want to see sentences that do not have capital letters at the beginning. I want to see periods that end a sentence more than once through the whole post. Treat it as you would a professional interview. And remember, as always–the code of conduct.

Week 5 Discussion -Both Classes

Let’s Look At…

Resumes change over time. If you learned how to create a resume as little as 5-years ago, then you are using older ideas. The trends for resumes change drastically, and if you are searching for a job, it is up to you to do research on what you should and shouldn’t include in a resume–or even how to design it. What you learn in class today will more than likely change in the years to come. With all the new media that is widely available, the types of resumes change as well. There are

First Response: Your mission, should you accept it (and you will accept it, because you have to) is to review the sites I’ve posted. Would you use any of those resume types? Why or why not? Now, find two websites. Copy the URLs and paste them into a word document. Using your mind, give us highlights of the three sites–what trends do they show? What are they suggesting? Do these suggestion differ between the two? What stood out to you the most in the two articles? What would you actually USE from the articles? Find a third article. This one should be about things to AVOID in a resume. Copy and paste the link. Did you know to avoid these things? Does this page clash with the ones you’ve posted (for example, does it say not to do something that the others suggested)? Once you’ve reached 200 words, feel free to post your response below. (You can go beyond 200 words!) See the due dates below.

Second Response: For your second responses, click on the links provided. Were they the same as any of the other links already posted? Did the information provided in the link make sense? Did you agree/disagree with their findings? What did they find that you didn’t?

Please use Word to write your post. Included in Word is a wonderful spell-checking tool. Use it. Also, make sure you capitalize your I’s and the beginning words in sentences. Your post should look like this:

Stuff about the links I posted.

What you say about your link. Using words from your MIND!

More words from your mind. You are amazing!

Words from your mind that explain what NOT to do according to this link here.


First response is due by Wednesday, October 23rd by 6pm – 200 words (or more)
Second response is due by Monday, October 28th by 6pm – 100 words (or more)


First response is due by Thursday, October 24th by 6pm – 200 words (or more)
Second response is due by Tuesday, October 29th by 6pm – 100 words (or more)

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