Non-Traditional Students

National “Non-Traditional Student Week” is the first week in November. We thought this would be a good time to talk about areas that would focus on a few items that are of interest to our non-traditional students.

First, what is a non-traditional student? According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), there is no real definition. In general, a student who meets the following criteria is generally considered non-traditional:

  • Delays enrollment (does not enter post-secondary education in the same calendar year that he or she finished high school);
  • Attends part time for at least part of the academic year;
  • Works full time (35 hours or more per week) while enrolled;
  • Is considered financially independent for purposes of determining eligibility for financial aid;
  • Has dependents other than a spouse (usually children, but sometimes others);
  • Is a single parent (either not married or married but separated and has dependents); or
  • Does not have a high school diploma (completed high school with a GED or other high school completion certificate or did not finish high school).

While this may not be a formal definition, you can see why non-traditional students have some needs that are unique to them. Because of those unique needs, I thought it would be useful to list a few resources that might be useful to you as a non-traditional student. Since most non-traditional students are very busy, time management is a major concern. Get your Time Management skills in order.

One of the areas I always struggled with was test taking. Here are some resources to help you become a better test taker:

In some cases, you might just need some good Study Guides and Strategies.

Another skill you have to acquire is writing. This is useful not only for class work, but when you are looking for a job; it’s a skill employers are looking for!

Finally, a few more important to-dos:

Congratulations on your decision to return to school and the best of luck to you!

Top Three Job Search Tips From Recruiters

2013 World Water Week Young Professional's_24

Tip #1 – Be focused

Before you start looking for a job, know what kind of job you’re looking for. While it’s good to be flexible, you need to know what you’re good at, what you’re interested in, and what environment shares your values.

Don’t apply for just any job you see. Do your research. If you are qualified for the job and it interests you, apply.

Keep in mind, an organization wants the best person for the job. Why are you the best person for the job for which you are applying? Be able to articulate, both on your resume and at an interview, why you are the best. If you are asking an organization to accept your word that you are the best, here’s a hint – they won’t. If you can’t tell them specifically what they want to know and back it up with facts and figures, that interview, much less the job will not be yours.

Tip #2 – What have you accomplished?    

It’s good to be a “leader,” but what, exactly does that mean? What have you accomplished as a leader? Be prepared with facts and figures to back up your statement.

Do you have good communication skills? What specifically did you accomplish with those skills? How are your customer service skills? Again, what specifically did you accomplish with those skills?

Accomplishments are strong indicators of how qualified you are. They are more significant than your job duties/responsibilities. Make sure your accomplishments are verifiable and measureable and related to the job qualifications and description.

Tip #3 – Learn how to network effectively

Long before you start looking for a job, you should learn to effectively network. Good networks take time to generate. Think about your best friend. How long have you known him/her? Have you been friends for years?

Like good friends, networking is a two way street. You’ll want to help them just as they help you. None of this happens overnight. If you expect someone to recommend you for a position, they need to know you, which will take time. If you want a recruiter to think of you for a job that’s open with their organization, they have to know if you will be a good fit, which also takes time.

Finally, don’t forget your contact just because you found a job. Keep in touch with them. Congratulate them when you hear about a promotion they receive. Did you find some information that may be of use to them? Forward it to them. Or just keep in touch by saying “Hi.” If they helped you find your job or gave you some good advice, don’t forget to thank them. A little kindness and courtesy goes a long way.

Do you have any good advice to share with us? We’d love to hear from you!

Photo by worldwaterweek.

Resume Resources

Some of you bring your resumes to the office and meet with us individually, some come to see us at Resume Doctor, some of you email your resume to us, and some of you have others look at your resume. Whatever you choose to do, I hope you have found some great resources. If you are still looking for help with your resume, let me suggest some resources that might help you.

Start by reading Three Reasons I’ll Read Your Resume.

Connect with a staff member in Career & Leadership Development:

  • Call us at 262-472-1471 and schedule an appointment to sit down with a counselor to go over your resume.
  • Send your resume as an attachment by email:
  • Check out the resume resources on our website.

Some other helpful resources and articles from across the Internet:

There are many more resources out there, but this should give you a good start.