Category Archives: 1. The Scoop

Waiving SAT, ACT Causes Huge Uptick in Applications to Top Schools… Grab Hiring Managers’ Attention… Novel System Improves Note-Taking

Waiving SAT, ACT Causes Huge Uptick in Applications to Top Schools

Another casualty of the pandemic was the college application process for the class of 2025.

When social distancing measures resulted in students’ inability to sit for the SAT and ACT tests, many of the Ivies and other highly sought-after colleges decided not to use them as part of the calculus for admissions. This led thousands of students who otherwise would not have applied to do so, overwhelming admissions officers at campuses across the country and potentially creating a freshman class unlike previous ones.

© The Wall Street Journal

Without the test scores–which critics say favor students from wealthy households—admissions committees were forced to gauge a student’s potential for success at their institutions by relying on a more holistic approach, which may have benefitted non-traditional students.

Another factor affecting the profile of the class of 2025 is the broader pool of applicants. This application season allowed students from rural areas as well as Black and Latinx students to partake in virtual rather than in-person tours, further opening up the possibilities for a very different freshman class.

How this experiment will play out is anyone’s guess. Experts say colleges won’t know what their classes of 2025 will look like until enrollment begins for the fall semester.

Source: Korn, M., & Belkin, D. (2021, March 16). College admission season is crazier than ever. That could change who gets in. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from https//

Grab Hiring Managers’ Attention

When applying for a position, job hunters have to make a good impression instantly, and that means grabbing hiring managers’ attention with a compelling e-mail. Experts offer pointers about how to attract the right eyes to a job application e-mail.

  1. Craft a clear subject line. Don’t try for cute or catchy—indicate the exact job you’re going for.
  2. Address a specific person. Do the research to find the correct individual to read the e-mail. Dear Sir or Madam is a deal-killer to most hiring managers.
  3. Describe what you can provide. Hirers want to know what skills and talents a new-hire will bring to the position. Never write about what the job would do for your career.
  4. Show you want to work. Be enthusiastic about the company to which you are applying. Refer to an actual motivator that drew you to the organization, such as hearing an interview with the CEO, listening to a company executive’s speech, or admiring the firm’s involvement in the community.
  5. Customize each e-mail. Tailor your application e-mail to the specifics listed in the job spec. Never use a template when applying for a job.
Source: Leibowitz, S., Cheong, W., Teng, M. (2021, January 24). How to write an email that gets the hiring manager’s attention at your dream company. Business Insider. Retrieved from

Novel System Improves Note-Taking

Whether in a lecture or a meeting, taking meaningful notes can be challenging. Writer Ria Tagulinao came up with a system that may take you from gibberish to an organized way of revisiting details you want to remember.

Tagulinao divides her notes into four categories she labels “mind banks” and creates sections for each. She either divides one sheet of paper into four sections or uses notebook with tabs. When she takes notes, she puts information into the category that best represents what she wants to keep track of. Her four categories are:

Question bank—Ideas you didn’t understand or want to learn more about

Minutes bank—Important concepts, new ideas, factual information, quotations, or key takeaways

Idea bankAha! moments such as an idea for a new project or a thought about something you’re working on

Reaction bank—Opinions, thoughts, ideas that come as you listen

Note-taking not only serves as a repository for what was said. Research suggest that we retain information better when we handwrite our notes than when we type them in class using a notebook or laptop.

Tagulinao, R. (2020, October 14). A better note-taking system for your scattered brain. Retrieved from

Answering the Dreaded Salary Question… Ace That Video Job Interview… Questions Not to Ask in Job Interviews

Answering the Dreaded Salary Question

“What are your salary expectations?” may well be the diciest question job seekers are asked. How does one frame the response so that the salary range is not too high to turn off the potential employer or so low that it will drag down your income indefinitely?

The first thing to remember is that being asked about salary expectations is standard, but being asked about current salary is actually illegal in some states. Therefore, it pays to know your region’s regulations.

Because all job seekers know the question is likely to come up, preparation is key. Experts recommend the following strategies:

  • Research typical salaries for the job title and geographic location of the position. Factor in your skill level and any other unique qualities you bring to the table before tossing out a number.
  • Know your needs. Determine the amount you need to sustain yourself.
  • Ask for details of additional benefits. The amount an employer chips in for health care, child care, bonuses, or stock options can affect the final salary figure.
  • Delay your answer. If you do not know enough about the position yet, respond by saying you can’t answer until you know more about the total compensation package.
  • Respond with a range of salaries. Rather than picking a single figure, provide the potential employer with a salary range you would find acceptable.

From Business Insider

Ace That Video Job Interview

Video interviews are much like in-person meetings, so prepare by conducting pre-interview research.

  •  Investigate the firm. Visit sites such as Glassdoor or Indeed to learn about what employees say about their company. Pour over the organization’s website and social media to find out what the company says about itself.
  • Scope out the interviewer. If you know who will be interviewing you, visit LinkedIn to learn about the interviewer’s background and current position.
  • Prepare your interview space. Make sure lighting, camera angle, clothing, and background show you as a professional. Also try using your communication technology before the interview to ensure you are comfortable with it.
  • Practice answers. If you’ve never been on an interview, locate lists of typical questions and rehearse your answers ahead of time.
  • Focus on your value. Be prepared to convey what your specific skill set can bring to the organization rather than what the organization can do for your career.
  • Ask the interviewer questions. Make sure you have questions to ask at the end of the meeting. Jot down questions that arise during the interview, too.
  • Send a thank-you e-mail. Use specifics from the interview in your follow-up e-mail, which should go out within 24 hours after the interview.

Finally, remember that each interview helps prepare you for the next one. Learn from each experience.

From The New York Times

Questions Not to Ask in Job Interviews

It’s common knowledge that interviewees should have a list of questions to ask at the end of or during an interview. But here are some questions to avoid.

  1. Personal questions (Are you single? Is that a picture of your child?)
  2. Easily researched questions (What does your company do? Is your company eco-conscious?)
  3. Self-involved questions (Will I have my own office? Will I have to work long hours? Did I land the job?)
  4. Gossipy questions (Are the rumors about a buyout true? Is it true you promote from within the organization?)

However, it is okay to ask about the next steps in the hiring process.

From Business Insider

Faculty Burnout Blazes…Ta-Ta, Open Offices… LinkedIn Offers New Tool

Faculty Burnout Blazes

Between the pandemic, childcare issues, increased workload, and heightened expectations, faculty members are not in good shape. The risk for burnout is always high in academia, but now that risk is higher than ever. Instructors have had to move courses to a new platform, learn new technologies, avoid becoming ill—all while dealing with their personal lives.

Burnout, which includes mental health issues and disillusionment with work, occurs when people feel they have no control over their outcomes. The pressures of being on-call to students, caring for and teaching their own children, and high expectations from institutions combine to make this period especially challenging for all faculty.

Experts advise coping skills to ward off burnout:

  • Don’t compare yourself to others.
  • Know you are not alone.
  • Recognize more work does not always equal productive work.
  • Find space to recharge.
  • Focus on teaching instead of research.

From InsideHigherEd

Ta-Ta, Open Offices

Another fallout from the pandemic may be the beloved open office format tech companies have embraced for several decades. In its place is the “dynamic workplace.”

With many workers toiling at home, open offices have become akin to ghost towns, and  managers have been forced to rethink where their workers work. Organizations are talking about a “dynamic workplace,” in which fewer people come into the office on a given day and rotate being on-site with working remotely. These changes have obliterated the need for huge open spaces as a way to engender spontaneous interaction.

This new dynamic workspace will include moveable, soundproofed pods instead of fixed desks and café-style seating with outlets and wireless charging. To foster social distancing, workplaces will install sensors to track the number of people in an area and no-contact employee sign-in stations.

Whether companies even need the huge office spaces they currently use is up for grabs. Once the pandemic is over, it’s likely that a central location with workers huddled together will be no more.

From The Wall Street Journal

LinkedIn Offers New Tool

In addition to a new look, LinkedIn has added a tool that allows users to post minute-by-minute updates that disappear in 24 hours, called Stories.

Created to share “lightweight conversations” related to an individual’s worklife, the feature allows people to casually discuss their careers. This leads to providing career coaches a way to share spontaneous advice for job seekers.

But experts warn that the new feature looks and acts a lot like Snapchat or Instagram and users should not be tempted to post pictures of meals or overshare. Neither should Stories be used to denigrate a boss or an organization. Instead, users should use the platform to post questions to their network, provide insights on breaking news, and offer tips for developing new skills.

From Business Insider