Professional Training and Development

Making the Most of Convention and Event Attendance

Events, conventions, and workshops offer unique opportunities to gather knowledge, exchange ideas, learn new skills, and hear about the latest developments in your field. While there, you also have a chance to connect with other people who share your personal and professional interests. And if you’ve traveled to the meeting, you’ll hopefully have a chance to experience some of the local highlights as well! In our “success map” for convention and event attendance, Cengage Learning Events Specialists Jason Berena, Sarah Miskelly, and Ilana Sims share their top suggestions for getting everything possible out of your investment, and share strategies for planning Read More…


Clarifying Written Communication Skills

In a digital world where we often communicate via a quick text or pack a message in 140 characters or less, we can’t overlook that having polished written communication skills is key for professionals in most any field. Your students likely need to compose e-mails to their instructors and potential contacts in their field of study, and correspond with fellow classmates on group work or discussion boards. Beyond their academic careers, students will likely find that good written communication skills are key to demonstrate in cover letters, requests for contact with potential employers, and correspondence with Read More…


Tips for Students: Creating a Resume

Are there specific résumé writing strategies that have worked for you or your students? How can these tips help land that next job? Share your comments below.  A résumé is more than just a list of skills and qualifications. This one-page document needs to inform potential employers of who you are and convince them why you would be the best fit for their company. Share these tips with your students, so that their résumés can help land them that next, or first, job. These tips, adapted from Dave Ellis’ Master Student to Master Employee, will help anyone at any Read More…


Career Skills Activity: The Importance of Looking Ahead

You have a lot to cover during your allotted class time. Though helping students make skill connections to the professional world is something you’d like to do, it may not always be feasible to cover in that time frame. However, there are ways you can quickly drive home the importance of professionalism and career skills without taking up much time. What are some of your ideas for quick activities, practices, or exercises that emphasize the importance of professionalism in a career? Share your thoughts below. In the Instructor’s Manual that accompanies Illustrated Course Guides: Professionalism – Soft Skills for a Read More…


Identifying Appropriate Guest Speakers for Career-Focused Class Sessions

As an expert in your field, you’re more than qualified to offer students insight into the opportunities, challenges, and required skill sets of your discipline and profession. But in the interest of providing students with the broadest possible perspective on potential career paths, you may also see the benefit in allowing them to hear from individuals whose experiences, skills, or work environments differ from your own. If this is the case, you may consider inviting a guest speaker to address career-related topics or current professional issues during one or more of your class sessions. By virtue of your own expertise and Read More…


Assisting Students in Connecting College Studies to their Careers

Beyond wanting your students to soak up all of the course-specific knowledge you endeavor to instill in them every day, you likely also work hard to equip them with skills that will benefit them as they grow throughout their time in school and move beyond it, not only to a workplace, but to a career. In this recorded virtual event, titled Career Readiness and Transferring College Skills to the Workplace, leadership coach, author of (among others) the Master Student series, educator, and philanthropist Dave Ellis encourages you to consider what you can do to help your students make the Read More…


Helping Students Develop a Positive, Success-Focused Attitude

Without a doubt, we need the pertinent professional skills to get where we need to go career-wise, but beyond that, our attitudes can define our path in a powerful way. By maintaining a positive–yet realistic–mindset, we can remain persistent and keep going when we might otherwise be tempted to give up. These discussion and activity ideas from the Instructor Guide for Lauri Harwood’s Your Career: How To Make It Happen, Eighth Edition can help your students frame their knowledge, skills, and achievements in the most positive light. By participating in these activities, they’ll learn to express their accomplishments in concrete terms and Read More…


Tips for Students: Planning Tomorrow’s Career… Today

Thankfully, we have seen some signs of improvement in the economy and employment opportunities. However, today’s graduating students continue to face a job market that presents many challenges, including relatively high unemployment rates, the potential for underemployment, and the possibility of returning to their parents’ home for financial (rather than familial) reasons. All is not lost, however! With preparation, dedication, and a willingness to squarely face today’s realities, it’s still possible for graduating students to find jobs that get them started down a viable career path. During Cengage Learning’s 18th Annual Course Technology Conference, Jeff Butterfield offered a special session Read More…


Tips for Students: Leadership Qualities — Staying On Target

Though certain people may seem to have that je ne sais quoi that inspires others to follow their lead, the ingredients of true leadership aren’t really a mystery. Many people have researched and studied the qualities that leaders possess, and they have observed many commonalities. If your students are aspiring to take on a management or leadership role in an institution or organization, or if they simply wish to have more influence in their circles of friends and classmates, encourage them to begin building the characteristics of a leader today. Andrew J. DuBrin has identified many of these characteristics in his book Read More…


Are Letters of Recommendation Worth the Effort?

Contributor: Michael G. Aamodt, PhD., author of Industrial/Organizational Psychology: An Applied Approach, 7th Edition. This time of year, faculty are often busy writing letters of recommendation for students applying to graduate school and responding to reference requests from potential employers. Considering the amount of time and effort spent writing letters, completing reference forms, and providing phone references, it makes sense to ask whether letters of recommendation actually predict student or employee performance. Given that one of the basic beliefs in psychology is that the best predictor of future performance is past performance, one would think that references would Read More…