National Women’s Health Week

The Office on Women’s Health (OWH), part of the US Dept. of Health and Human Services, focuses on improving the health of women and girls through information, education and support. With topics from Anxiety to Cancer to Pregnancy, the OWH covers it all.  And every year beginning on Mother’s Day (don’t forget that is THIS Sunday!), the OWH sponsors National Women’s Health Week which runs May 8 – 14 this year.

No matter what your age, take the pledge to live healthy. Find out what kind of screenings, tests and vaccines are suggested at various ages, get tips on fitness and nutrition, or focus your mental health. It’s never too late to change your life.

Spruce Up Your Resume

Whether you have a job or not, or love your job or not, you should keep your resume updated. You never know what opportunities might fall into your lap. With an updated resume, you’ll be able to jump at those opportunities when they knock.

One place to go is the US Dept. of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook. I know, it’s a mouthful. But this is a very valuable tool when it comes to making career decisions and planning for the future. At the OOH online, you can browse different occupations and find out what the jobs are about, what requirements you have to have going into them, and what you can expect to get paid.

For example, you want to be a teacher. You look up the Education, Training, and Library category. You browse through the list of related occupations and pick one. Say you’d like to either work with preschoolers or kindergarteners. You can click on Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers and immediately see that the median annual salary is $54,550 per year and you have to have a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree. There is a great deal of detailed information about the job so you can decide whether or not it’s right for you.

To compare, you back up to the jobs list again and this time click on Preschool Teachers. Right away you can see that preschool teachers earn a median $28,570 a year and only require an Associate’s degree to get started. This is important information when thinking about choosing a career path.

You’ll find not only teaching job information, but you’ll find occupations like Pest Control Workers, Electricians, Bartenders, Economists, and Firefighters.

So let’s say you already have a field that you have experience in, and want to keep working in it. What would you need the OOH for? Along with introductory information about the occupations, the OOH also lists the duties for each job. These are KEYWORDS that you should be using on your resumes! Compare your resume to the list of duties for your occupation. Are you using similar ones? If you’re not, you should be, because these are the strengths potential employers are looking for.

And as a side tip from someone who has taught numerous sessions about resumes–use action verbs to list your skills, and keep them in the present tense. Potential employers don’t want to know what you used to do, they want to know what you can do now.

So take a stroll through the Occupational Outlook Handbook and see how your job stacks up, or browse for a new career. Either way, you’ll find some interesting and useful information!

Where’d They Get That Number?

When you watch the news and reporters talk about crime statistics, did you ever wonder where they’re getting their information? The most widely cited crime statistics come from the FBI’s UCR, or Uniform Crime Report.

In the 1920’s crime reports were collected and shared by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). But in 1930, Congress passed legislation for the government to collect, classify and preserve crime records in the US. The  Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was the agency that was chosen to complete this task. They have been doing it ever since.

The UCR’s primary goal was to develop a uniform set of definitions for crimes and create a format of how police departments record crimes. Reports from over 17,000 county, state and local law enforcement agencies across the country provide the FBI with data on arrest rates. The information that the UCR provides is accessed by law enforcement agencies for administrative and operations management, by those in the criminal justice profession, professors, students, journalists, librarians, researchers, or anyone else interested in crime statistics. The information is free to access.

Now keep in mind, these reports are focusing on ARREST information and how many crimes are reported. Crimes that are unfounded (no supporting evidence of a crime) are not counted in the final data.

 

(Thank you Dr. Nicky Jackson, Criminal Justice Professor at Purdue University Calumet for being such an awesome instructor! Even after years, I still make use of notes from your class and apply them to everyday life.)

Where’s the Money?

Where’s the Money? What’s going on with presidential campaign finances?

Here in the U.S. we are deep into the presidential primaries and candidates for president are in the news every day. But do you believe everything that the candidates say or that is said in the news? At the Federal Election Commission ( http://www.fec.gov ), you can check some of the facts yourself.

In the Campaign Finance Disclosure Portal, you can track where the money comes from and how much is being spent in each state.

You can look up financial statistics for this year’s campaign season, or years past in the archives at the Campaign Finance Statistics page.

And if you think you might be interested in running for an office, you can go to the Quick Answers menu and click on Candidates, where you’ll get information and instructions about how to become a candidate.