Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Toppel Stars: Priyanka Surio

Written by Oleg Ignatenko

This month Priyanka Surio is being recognized as one of the Toppel Stars.  She is originally from Lakeland, FL and she recently graduated from the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Political Science.  Currently, Priyanka is employed as a Medical Scribe through ScribeAmerica Program at Florida Hospital in Kissimmee/Orlando, FL.

As a UM student, Priyanka had several internships and research positions.  Some of her internships included the Health Policy internship on Capitol Hill with Health and Medicine Counsel of Washington where she learned firsthand the health needs of hospitals, organizations devoted to medical causes, and medical schools and how politics plays an important role. Her second internship was with Watson Clinic, LLP in Lakeland where she shadowed doctors and nurses and assisted several departments including Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, Dermatology and Allergy. Her research positions have been with the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Jackson Memorial Hospital where she was able to learn about the endeavors of personnel and doctors in these institutions. She also learned how their research was helping benefit patients, hospitals, and doctors' efficiency.

Recruitment was very subtle. She learned about this program solely by observing someone at her local hospital and asking them about what kind of work they do. Then she looked up the website and applied to a few places in neighboring cities. The interview consisted of similar questions on the application as well as about her future career goals and availability.  Only a few weeks after applying, she received a call for an interview.  Priyanka ultimately chose the company because she believed it to be the perfect job to have before continuing on with her studies in Medicine.

This is her advice for other students.

"The main words of wisdom I impart on other job seekers is to never give up, never get too comfortable, and know what you are and aren't willing to sacrifice.  It is important to not put all your eggs in one basket and count on that one dream job reaching back to you in a timely manner. Personally I had a few job offers throughout my time after graduation but none seemed to appeal to my needs. I kept pursuing other options because I knew I was deserving of a certain salary, and that I wouldn't be able to relocate somewhere far, and also needed something flexible. Finally after about four months I was able to secure this ideal job."

Priyanka also wanted to share a paragraph with Toppel, in which she described why she wanted to be a scribe on her application

My name is Priyanka Surio and I have obtained a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Political Science from the University of Miami. I recently became aware of the Scribe America program through observing a few people working as scribes in the local hospital I volunteer for. After asking them about their experiences I knew that acting as a Scribe strongly aligned with my interests and prior skills as a secretary, health policy analyst intern, and research assistant for several years. A Scribe is someone who is efficient and effective in recording down the important information in a hospital to minimize the time it takes doctors to record data. I have often been given the name of “encyclopedia” not only for my efficiency in being able to relay information effectively but for continually being resourceful and extremely organized in my collection of important documents. Work ethic is an important factor in my ability to provide such efficiency. It is my work ethic that drives me to know more, ask more, and even demand more of myself so that I can continually help those around me and simplify complicated endeavors. Currently I am applying to Medical School but I have recently graduated and have some time off before starting medical school. Acting as a Scribe is exactly the type of experience I wish to accumulate before beginning a medical career.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

How to Make Your Resume a Masterpiece!

 By: Bree Blair

Want to make your resume a success? We can help! The Toppel Career Center is an excellent resource for that, but if you are like most college students with a crazy schedule, it gets a little difficult to find time to even leave the library! Since we're always here to help you out, here are some helpful hints to make sure your resume is ready to hit the stage (aka the employers).

Some things you never want to forget:
  • Your contact information! Along with that, try to make sure that your email is appropriate for an employer to contact you.  For example, you might want to avoid something like (just saying). It may not leave the best impression.
  • Use spell check! I know this sounds a little strange, but spelling mistakes on a resume are typically a thumbs down. If you're applying for a job, you want to make sure the employers are aware of how intelligent you are! Usually they are silly typos, but just keep an extra eye out for that.
  • Skills section! Employers really want to see what you are able to do, whether it's technical or a certification that you have. A lot of people don't think to list Microsoft Office applications, but please do! It may seem like a common computer program, but not everyone knows how to utilize them. So if you do, don't hesitate to list each one.
  • Use key words! Employers will most likely not read every single word on your resume, so it's very important to use key terms when describing an experience. For example, if you were a manager, try to use action verbs that best demonstrate your responsibilities, such as organize, supervise, maintain, etc. Employers will catch these words and be able to get a glimpse of your daily routines or projects.
  • Elaborate on an experience! Whether it is a job, internship, volunteer activity, or anything in between, don't forget to give enough information about what your experience was like. This is where the key words come in. Each experience should have at least 2-3 bullet points or statements, but try not to have more than 5-6. Resumes should be as concise as possible, which is why strong key words are so important!
  • Eye Appeal! The information on your resume is extremely important, but the way it looks is important too. Making your resume reader-friendly helps the employer pick out the most important things, which will in turn help them remember you more. If your resume is all cluttered and inconsistent with formatting, the employer may get lost in the craziness and not remember you as well. 
With all these tips and your own personal touch, your resume is bound to be a masterpiece! Don't be afraid to add your own little flare- just make sure you would feel comfortable and confident handing it to an employer! For more information on resumes, view Toppel's Resume Writing Webinar and the Resume Development Guide. The Toppel Career Center is always here to help and you can come in Monday through Thursday from 10:00-4:30 for a resume critique- no appointment necessary!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

How do you Dress for Success?

By: Taylor Duckett, Toppel Ambassador

 Have you ever gotten an invitation to a networking or social event where, you look at the attire and are left completely confused? I have been there more times than I can remember and so I began to do research and have come up with simple descriptions of some of the most common things that you will be asked to wear.

Smart Casual
Smart casual is in fact an actual style that you may be asked to wear. For males, it consists of a nice pair of jeans with either polo or a dress shirt, completed by a blazer, vest, or sweater. Ties are optional and this style is usually worn with loafers. Slacks are also acceptable. Women have a few more options. The first decision is skirt or pants. If you decide to wear a skirt, shorter skirts (to the knee or slightly above) are acceptable. If you decide to wear pants, slacks and jeans are acceptable but I would avoid neon color pants or skinny jeans. Most women wear middle or high heeled shoes, flats, or boots with smart casual. As far as tops go, a nice simple but dressy shirt will do with a nice cardigan and accessories to go along with it will do.

Miami Casual
Miami is so special that they invented their own style, Miami Casual. Miami is a laid back place and this style reflects that. With Miami Casual, boat shoes are acceptable to wear to work as well as collared shirts without ties. For women, sundresses can be worn without a cardigan or blazer. I would still shy away from the flip flops and shorts however.

Business Casual
How can something be both business yet casual at the same time? It’s very simple; for women, business casual can consist of a nice pair of khakis, slacks, or a nice skirt (at least to the knee) with low heels, and a nice, conservative blouse. Limited jewelry should be worn and bold nail polish should also be avoided. Business casual for men means a nice pair of khakis or slacks, and clean, polished loafers. A polo or button down dress shirt should also be worn, blazers and ties not needed. 

Business Professional
Business professional is simple; it means no khakis for anyone, male or female. It also means that both genders need to wear blazers and men need to wear a tie. The pants or skirt suits should be in neutral colors with a solid colored dress shirt.

Men should wear a full suit; a vest is optional (though I always think that if you have a legitimate reason to wear a vest you should). A tie, either a straight tie or bow tie, should be worn with a simple dress shirt. Try to avoid linen suits, though comfortable, they don’t exactly fall into the semi-formal family. For women, dresses are always a safe bet but pant suits are okay depending on the material they are made out of. The outfits should be somewhat conservative, not showing too much leg or cleavage. Shoes and jewelry should add to the elegance of the outfit, not subtract from it.

When invited to a formal event, think incredibly dressy. Men wearing tuxedos would be appropriate as would women wearing floor length dresses and simple, yet elegant jewelry such as pearls or broaches.
This list is not exhaustive, but hopefully it will give you the basics to get through any event.

Monday, January 14, 2013

A Bigger (Better) Job Search

Career Toolbox Series: Career Shift
Written by Thien Van Tran
Part of the Career Toolbox Series

So let's say you missed out on the Career Expo, several networking events, info sessions at Toppel, and other related conferences. What do you do now? Panic. Go crazy. Straight up Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. You simply look elsewhere. Most people, myself included, will tell you that scouring the internet for potential jobs is one of the most ineffective ways to actually land an interview. There are so many job search engines that millions of people have access to, so you have to compete with all of them. However, there are a number of specific websites that are worthy of your time. The one I will discuss today is CareerShift. This is a job search / job management tool that not many people have access to, since there is a pretty significant monthly fee you must pay in order to be a member. But, for a limited time only, if you call in the next ten minutes, if you are a student at the University of Miami, it is offered at no charge!! The school sponsors your membership, so I highly recommend that you take advantage of this resource. And let me tell you, it is the for-real deal. A few of the most useful components are highlighted below.

My Jobs

Seeing as this is a "private" website, you may be wondering, "how many jobs are on there exactly?" Well it's most likely somewhere between 50 and all of them. But I'm just guesstimating here.

Spongebob: Wow, look at all these mattresses. How many do you think there are?
Patrick: Ten.

CareerShift's job search tool returns results that pull from almost every career site and job board available, including company websites. The good thing is, you can perform your search based on keywords, company, area, job type (full-time, part-time, etc.), salary estimate, source, relevance, and date, in order to provide a concise set of links. However, if you want a broad scope of available jobs, you can also just type in a keyword and leave everything else blank. So is it better to perform a very narrow search rather than a broad search? I think we all know the answer to that: MAYBE!

Now let's suppose that you don't have time to apply to all of these jobs that come up in your search. Maybe you're too overwhelmed with the website's sheer awesomeness. Maybe you're too busy feeding your parrot. Whatever it may be, do not worry. You can save these jobs to your account so that you can come back later!

My Contacts

 If you've ever been interested in working at a certain company but believed that it was out of reach, welcome to the club! You don't know where to start, since this company doesn't recruit on campus, or is in a different region of the country. Well the CareerShift contacts search allows you to search for contacts using criteria such as: contact name, company name, area, industry, and position. Ain't that fabulous? Now, I must warn you that this is a professional tool for finding professional contacts. I'm not saying you'll take advantage of it and harass some hiring manager or try to find out what your ex has been up to which, fyi, does not work. But I'm sure you know there are those among us who are citizens of Crazytown. Me? I'm the Mayor.

My Documents

Everyone knows that in order to make sure your resume is always relevant and up to date, you have to constantly revise it, or tailor it specifically for various job applications. Keeping track of all these different versions of your resumes, cover letters, transcripts, etc. can be a bit confusing. Luckily, you can upload these documents, as well as compose some new ones with the online tools, right on the CareerShift website! You can then access your documents from any computer that has access to the internet. It's pretty great. But hey, don't take my word for it just because I have some serious street cred, try it out yourself.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Career Toolbox Series: Career Insider

By: Oleg Ignatenko
Part of the Career Toolbox Series

You are walking into an interview and you realize that you have no idea what that company does.  Has this ever happened to you?  Well, it shouldn't.  Especially not with the resources that are available today.  Fortunately, this week you are being presented with another chapter of the Career Toolbox Series: Career Insider.  Through the use of this site you will be able to find out the background information of the company, their high's and low's, their various rankings, featured reviews from associates and some helpful tips that might assist you in becoming a part of their organization.  Company information is not the only thing provided, Career Insider also offers career advice, guides, videos, blogs, discussions and other career related material that will help you develop a solid understanding and knowledge of information you need to succeed in the future. I will go over the top three areas that you should check out when visiting this site.

One of the best tools that Career Insider provides is their guides.  Career Guides are known as the premier resource for insider information.  Forbes Magazine calls them "Cliff notes for careers."  These guides provide information on resumes, interviews, employers, industries, and other career related topics.  By selecting one of these topics, you will have the ability to choose from a variety of different guides that focus on specific parts of that topic as well as have the ability to download it.  Popular industry guides include Vault Guide to Capitol Hill Careers, Career Launcher: Film, and Career Launcher: Fashion. Under Interview and Resume Guides, you can download Vault Guide to Advanced Finance and Quantitative Interviews and Vault Guide to the Case Interview. After reading any one of these guides, you will be one step closer to finding out which industry and company is right for you and how to get your dream job.

Another area that is extremely helpful is Company Research.  You will have the opportunity to view the most popular companies as well as research the companies by name, location or industry.  Depending on your career focus, you can also view the best companies to work for based on the type of industry you are looking for such as Accounting, Banking, Law, Consulting and other industries.  In each industry the firms are ranked by Vault and are usually listed in top 10 or top 25 order.  You will be able to view the rankings, the scores and the location for each of those firms in order.  Once you click on a company, you can also view their ranking in other various subjects such as Diversity, Prestige, Leadership, Benefits, etc.

The third area that you should definitely take a look at is Career Advice.  Here, you will find a variety of categories that can help you in your search for more career information.  Some of the categories include A day in the Life, Internships, Career Change, First Person, and Unemployment.  So, for example, take a look at the A Day in the Life category.  There are about 90 articles that you can click on and you will get a detailed description of what a specific person's daily activities on the job.  These descriptions will go by a time schedule and you will feel as if you are shadowing a person at their job.  Obviously, not every day will consist of communicating with the same clients or conducting meetings on the same exact topic but there will definitely be similarities and you will get a better perspective on how that employee or manager handles their daily activities and tasks.

So there it is, a little preview into the world of Career Insider by  To access your free Career Insider account, login to HireACane and on the Home page on the right side of the page you will see a heading called Additional Resources.  Under Additional Resources, click Vault Career Online Library: Career Insider and then create your personal account. There are many more tools and areas besides the ones that I discussed that are also very valuable and worth taking a look at.  It is almost like having your own personal career center on your computer.  Use it as often as you can to get the scoop on career advice and it will undoubtedly help you succeed in your future career endeavors.