Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tech School or Learn on the Job

It’s one of the great debates recently….
Is it worth it to attend a tech school, or should you just get a job at the local shop and work your way up as you learn?
Well, there is no right or wrong answer. It really depends on what risks you want to take and (like most things in life) how hard you are going to apply yourself to be successful.
Let’s take a brief look at both scenarios.

Mechanic Schools
There are a wealth of high-quality mechanic schools in the United States.  At these schools, you can earn a degree/diploma in just about any facet of the moto repair industry.  The schools are staffed with professional teachers, equipped with the latest technology and tools, and are committed to helping you succeed, if you put forth the effort and are willing to deal with a few hiccups on the way. In a lot of cases, it’s not just technology training – it’s everyday life training.
By attending, applying yourself to the coursework, and graduating from any of these top schools, you have a very good chance of landing a sweet job right out of school.
Of course, you have to pay tuition, which is not cheap – no question about it. Many students qualify for financial aid to help out, but you are still looking at spending a significant chunk of change to attend most of the top mechanic schools. Looking at it from a different perspective, you are investing in your future, so are you worth it?

- you earn a certificate/diploma/degree which shows you can set your mind to a goal and complete it
- you can get highly specialized manufacturer specific raining that makes you very valuable in the industry
- you might be able to secure a job right out of school with a specific dealer or manufacturer
- in some cases you get a good starter set of professional tools
– you make connections with fellow students, teachers, and others in the industry
- you typically get job placement assistance
- many students qualify for financial aid to help pay tuition
- you end up working on vehicles that you worship, and you’re actually happy to wake up in the morning and go to work

- you have to pay tuition and possibly student loans after you graduate
-you might not get a job… even with your shiny new diploma in hand
- if you don’t apply yourself 110% in your classes, you might not learn a whole heck of a lot considering how much you paid in tuition (that would be your fault…)

Apprenticeship or Learning on the job
The other road to become a professional mechanic is the tried and true. Learn a good bit tinkering on your own, and then look for an entry level position in a local shop, and work your way up. You can pepper that with taking a few certification courses along the way, and bingo, you might have yourself a nice career.

If you are already good with your hands, own a good set of pro tool, and can find a local shop with a mentor who will teach you the in and outs – then go for it! Get certified here and there over the years to stay current, and you’ll be good to go.

- you don’t have to pay tuition
- you might earn an hourly wage while you learn on the job/apprentice
- you might end up taking over for the owner/lead mechanic eventually and run the shop yourself

- you might get a very small (or none at all) hourly wage while learning on the job
- the person you are learning from might not know as much as you thought they did.
- you might not learn to do what you really want to be doing(changing tires, oil, etc day in and day out…)
- you have to buy or borrow every last one of your tools yourself
- you might get laid off first since you are the low man on the totem pole

Hopefully this article has given you something to think about. Maybe put things in perspective a bit. Or even made you think of a few things you hadn’t considered. That was the goal.

We need more good, qualified, honest, professional technicians in the industry. Hopefully, whichever road you take, you become one.
Best of luck in your endeavors!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What You Need to Know about the New Facebook “Send” Button

Facebook has announced the release of a new open graph tool, the “Send” button, which joins the “Like” button as a social utility across the web. Right on the heels of the 1 year anniversary of the “Like” button, which has been integrated into over 2.5 million websites to date, the “Send” button will enable sharing content from the web with specific sets of people.

What is the “Send” button?

The Send button is a social plugin that, like the “Like” button, websites can use to let users broadcast information they’re consuming on the web to their friends on Facebook. The “Send” button is different from the “Like” button in that “Send” enables private sharing. Where a user hitting the “Like” button within a website publishes a feed post of this activity to his entire list of friends via his public newsfeed, hitting “Send” will enable that user to instead choose the exact people he’d like to share the content with. This linked content can be sent via Facebook message, email, or posted right into a specific Facebook Group’s wall. This addition to open graph sharing abilities will enable greater private sharing and more social sharing among groups of friends. Facebook is already calling it “the easiest way to privately share things with groups and individuals.”

From Facebook:
The Send button is a social plugin that websites can use to let people send a link to a friend through Facebook Messages, post it to a Group, or email it to an individual. For example, if you see a Mother’s Day gift idea on 1-800-Flowers.com, you can now send a message or email to your family members to discuss. Or say you’re training for a marathon and you come across a great article about running shoes on The Huffington Post. Now you can share it with your entire running group in just one click.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Interview Blunders

If you’re looking for a new job, have been out of work for a while or have been on dozens of interviews – all to no avail, then here are a few reasons why you might not have been hired.  Applying a few ground rules will hopefully stack the odds in your favor next time.  So don’t make these mistakes…

Being late
Being late is a really bad sign.  Always time your journey and then add 10 minutes.

Nobody likes a wet fish! 
If you take nothing else away from this article – go and practice shaking hands.  A firm, genuine grip works best. 

The Resume From Hell
A badly written, scruffy resume which goes on for ages will never be read, and will never get you an interview. 
-       Print it on pristine clean paper, keep it short and to the point. 
-       Add all the relevant information so that an employer knows how to get in touch with you. 
-       Print it on white paper, with a regular font (i.e. Ariel, Verdana or Times New Roman). 
-       Include bullet points to save space. 
-       Include key areas where you have demonstrated expertise or a success. 
-       Try to keep it under 2 pages.

A Bad Attitude
Remember to be polite and courteous at all times.  When asked about your past experiences or why you left your previous job – don’t go on and on about how bad your last boss was or how badly you were treated. 

Is that your phone ringing?
I think the worst nightmare is your phone ringing during an interview, worse than that is having a ring tone that sounds like Lady Gaga, but the fatal mistake would be actually answering it, OR carrying on a lengthy conversation. 

Don’t be a smart a#@
Don’t spend the whole interview sitting with your hands behind your head, leaning back in your chair as if to say “yeah, I could do this job standing on my head”.  Of course you need to look confident, but don’t over do it.  Sit leaning forward, make eye contact, smile, be yourself and look interested. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Social Networking Facts - for the Job Seeker

Having a social networking profile is a good thing — it presents you as technologically and professionally savvy.   Just make sure your profile is helping to present your best side — not the side that got drunk at your buddy's New Year's party.

Surveys suggest that approximately 30% of employers are using Facebook as part of the applicant screening process and 80%+ hiring managers are checking LinkedIn as part of the applicant screening process.  In short, keep your Facebook profile clean and make certain that the security settings are consistent with the type of information you care for "outsiders" to know.

Be careful about the following issues on Facebook and LinkedIn: 

1. Inappropriate Pictures (Facebook) 

2. Complaining About Your Current Job (Facebook) 

3. Posting Conflicting Information to Your Resume (Facebook/LinkedIn) 

4. Statuses You Wouldn\'t Want Your Boss to See (Facebook/LinkedIn) 

5. Losing by Association (Facebook – consider editing your "friends" from Facebook if they make you look guilty by association).

Hoping to change your career path?
The most likely way career changers will find new employment is through the people they know. People are more likely to take a chance on someone who comes through a recommendation. With preparation, persistence and the right job search strategy you can network your way into that new career. 

Make certain your LinkedIn profile is updated and be certain to ask 1 - 2 colleagues from previous jobs about recommendations. Ask them to write about your versatility and level of commitment. These recommendations will help position you for your career change.

How to break the awkward silence at an Interview
You can use LinkedIn to find the people that you’re meeting.  Knowing that you went to the same school, both own a certain brand of motorcycle, or shares acquaintances is a lot better than an awkward silence after, “I’m doing fine, thank you.”

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

April Specials

1. 30-day Resume Browsing PLUS one 30-day Job Posting for just $269
2. 30-day Job 3 pack (valid for 12 months upon purchase) for just $299
3. 60-day ad for just $149

Understanding LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site mainly used for professional networking.  As of March 2011, LinkedIn reports more than 100 million registered users.  Quantcast reports LinkedIn has 21.4 million monthly unique U.S. visitors. The membership grows by a new member approximately every second.

The site allows registered users to maintain a list of contact details of people with whom they have some level of relationship.  Users can invite anyone (whether a site user or not) to become a connection.  The "gated-access approach" (where contact with any professional requires either a preexisting relationship, or the intervention of a contact of theirs) is intended to build trust among the service's users.

LinkedIn and Motorcycle Industry Jobs.com
  • Motorcycle Industry Jobs automatically posts your job listing to LinkedIn to expand the search for potential candidates.
  • The list of connections can be used to find jobs recommended by someone in one's contact network and/or to gain an introduction to someone a person wishes to know through a mutual contact.
  • Job seekers can review and discover which of their existing contacts may know the hiring managers or someone within the hiring company.
  • LinkedIn also allows job seekers to research companies with which they may be interested in working.

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