February 23, 2018

Tips on How to Build a Great Resume and LinkedIn Profile

The following is written by Yan Tang and Aaron Rose, co-founders of CareerLight, LLC

Xinrui "Elsa" Li receives feedback on
her resume from Meghann Kern and
Paula Fitzgerald Boos
Writing a compelling resume or creating a LinkedIn profile that will attract the attention of prospective employers or job recruiters was a topic of interest among international students who attended our workshop on Oct. 12, 2017. Therefore, we are pleased that our workshop held on Feb. 7, 2018 in Seattle, Wash. provided attendees with the opportunity to learn tips for building an outstanding resume and LinkedIn profile, polish their interview skills to stand out from the crowd, and receive feedback from professionals in career development.

Paula Fitzgerald Boos, an executive coach and professional development expert with over 20 years working with thousands of professionals from the "C" suite to the production floor, and Meghann Kern, a senior recruiter at Delta Dental of Washington where she conducts full-cycle recruiting processes, provided direct feedback to resumes and LinkedIn profiles from a few of the workshop's attendees.

Regarding the resume, Ms. Boos and Ms. Kern presented the following recommendations:
  • Do not include months (e.g., Mar. 2014 or 03/2014) and use years only (e.g., 2014-2016);
  • Use an appropriate outgoing voice message if a prospective employer or recruiter calls your phone number and you are unavailable to answer the incoming call;
  • Limited your resume to text only and do not include a profile picture;
  • Organize your resume appropriately including listing your current or most recent job first when listing your relevant experiences; and
  • When you list your skills, it is important to include when and how your skills were utilized.
As for creating a strong LinkedIn profile, Ms. Boos and Ms. Kern suggest:
  • Including a profile picture and a concise, impactful profile headline;
  • Drafting a well-written summary;
  • Listing a current job entry, even when unemployed;
  • Showing your achievements; and
  • Adding recommendations from previous employers or supervisors.
Both speakers recommend not including your grade point average (GPA) on your resume or LinkedIn profile. Moreover, the content of your resume should be consistent with your LinkedIn profile.

Ms. Boos shared a resume template she created and Ms. Kern showed a presentation on how to build a strong LinkedIn profile.

Yi-Chieh "Carloine" Tan receives feedback
on her LinkedIn profile from Meghann Kern
and Paula Fitzgerald Boos
The workshop concluded with a session on interview questions attendees may not have the confidence in providing an appropriate response (we asked attendees to list their scariest interview questions). For example, when a job candidate is asked about whether or not they are interviewing for other positions or opportunities, "I am actively interviewing" is an appropriate response.

As for answering the question about your salary range, both speakers emphasized the importance of knowing your number. In other words, you need to provide your base number. It is recommended that you review the salaries of comparable positions on websites such as Glassdoor and Indeed.

Ms. Boos and Ms. Kern encourage interviewees to provide authentic answers (be honest) and speak energetically and with confidence. Both speakers encouraged the attendees to practice their interview skills.

Based on responses to a questionnaire the attendees completed upon the workshop's conclusion, the event was a success as it provided valuable information. Some of them have said that the workshop really prepared them for better performance in the upcoming interviews.

We wish to express our gratitude to our sponsors:
  • Ascend Seattle University
  • Center for Global Business at Seattle University's Albers School of Business and Economics
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (IEC) at Seattle University
  • International Student Center (ISC) at Seattle University
  • Koba Ethiopian, LLC
  • ROI3, Inc.
  • Seattle Best Tea Co.
  • TRInternational, Inc.
  • Yeeko Inc.
And a special "thank you" to our colleagues, Mohand Alturky and Shreya Mehta, for their great work in making the workshop a great success.

CareerLight, LLC is a Seattle, Wash.-based company that provides customized career training for international students to help prepare them for a successful career. Learn more about our company by visiting www.careerlight.net.

February 20, 2018

Young Entrepreneurs are an Important Source of Growth and Job Creation Across the World

Millennials (loosely defined as individuals born between 1980 and 2000) tend to be negatively viewed as spoiled, entitled or lazy. My experience with Millennials, however, have been anything but these stereotypes. Therefore, I was pleased to read a report, An entrepreneur's perspective: Today's world through the eyes of the young innovator, that "explores the similarities and divergences of today's young entrepreneurs and the general public."

Sponsored by FedEx and published by The Economist Intelligence Unit (The EIU), the report also "seeks insights into the elements of the business environment that matter most to entrepreneurs, as well as their views on a variety of issues including free trade and social responsibility."

The report importantly notes, "Collectively, young entrepreneurs are innovative by nature and their thinking is an important source of growth and job creation across the world. Today, with digital tools in hand, leaders are better positioned to expand their businesses across borders, seize niche opportunities and shape the global economic future."

Having co-founded two businesses, Yeeko Inc. and CareerLight, LLC, with a group of young entrepreneurs in the past couple of years, I agree with the assertion that "most of today's young entrepreneurs want more than status and a global corporate footprint. Their ideas of success arise from powerful social, political and economic convictions."

The EIU surveyed more than 500 of these young entrepreneurs worldwide about their motivations, ideals and priorities. The survey respondents were between 25 and 50 years of age and all founders, owners or partners of firms with fewer than 500 employees. They are living in North America, Europe, Middle East, India and Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America. They were surveyed on matters of globalization, technology and social values.

As explained in the report's Executive Summary, The EIU "then compared the survey respondents' "views with a similar survey of the general public in the same regions. Side by side, these surveys enabled us to differentiate the outlooks of today's young and innovative entrepreneurs. Our surveys identified four key mindsets that guide young entrepreneurs: leading with passion; thinking globally; embracing social responsibility; and banking on connectivity."

With respect to leading with passion, I appreciate the notion that "entrepreneurs have stories. Their businesses are inspired by the founders' experiences and interactions with the world around them. As businesses grow, experiences and values continue to define targets and guide mission statements."

For example, CareerLight, which provides customized career training for international students to help prepare them for a successful career, was created based my co-founder's, Yan Tang, interactions with other international students studying in the United States as they begin the job search process. Furthermore, Yan's experience of working as recruitment consultant for Manpower in Shanghai, China provides the inspiration that drives CareerLight's services to helping each and every client.

On the topic of embracing social responsibility, the report notes that "today's innovators are not purely profit-driven. Their business' bottom line remains critical, but young entrepreneurs are generally seeking impacts beyond wealth." My fellow co-founders of Yeeko, a digital media platform and publisher of Yeeko Magazine, a periodical that produces content on culture and literature for Chinese readers worldwide, "see their work as a way to bring positive social change in their home countries and the wider world."

Based on the interactions of my young entrepreneurial colleagues, I strongly agree with the report's conclusion:
Today's innovators are passionate. They believe strongly in connectivity and the future globalized marketplace. They put a high priority on change through connectivity and education, two essential ingredients of global expansion. They overwhelmingly embrace free trade, free movement of people and free exchange of ideas—concepts that often spark anxiety among the general public.
It is important for citizens and businesses alike to note the passions and the challenges associated with them, as well as the differences and alignment with public sentiment. Because in the hands of young and inspiring leaders, each opportunity to grow pulls our globalized markets and societies in new directions, strengthening connections and forging new ones.
Collectively, these actions play a role in shifting and shaping the future of trade, technology and social justices. It is heartening, then, that entrepreneurs are boldly and enthusiastically aligning their work with positive social impact. Better yet, they feel their success and status as innovators depend on it.
What are your experiences working with young entrepreneurs?

Aaron Rose is an advisor to talented entrepreneurs and co-founder of great companies. He also serves as the editor of Solutions for a Sustainable World.

February 9, 2018

Using Machine Learning to Detect Fake News

The following is a guest post by Alexander Brooks

Photo: Alex Brooks
We live in a society that creates a constant flow of information streams whether online or television. Being able to decipher the difference between credible and fake information is becoming increasingly hard. Last month I had the privilege to have a guest speaker at my Data Science in Action Meetup that built a site that identifies fake news. Today we’re going to discuss some of the highlights of Zach Estela's site and tool areyoufakenews.com.

Goal of The Tool

The main goal Zach set out to achieve was seeing if there would be an unbiased way to analyze online news and categorize into the fake or real news section. In order to identify fake news, he first needed to define what equates to real versus fake. Once he created labels and conditions for the tool to look for next was testing and visualizing the discoveries. Below I attached a snapshot of Machine Learning tool at work.

Tools Involved

There were several tools involved in this project to make things possible. Zach created a custom built a neural network to do the heavy lifting through the text. The text labels used to create the categories are stored in MongoDB. This tool effortlessly runs through 3,000 news sites and 100,000 articles to provide you with an analysis of what's real or fake news.


This was a great experimental project to build but there were challenges involved. Being bias can be viewed as subjective to a personal opinion. Everyone has their idea of what can be considered fake news and it's hard to go in one direction without making the other party disagree. Despite the challenges of building such a tool, Zach plans to continue the development.

Alex Brooks is the founder and CEO of AE Brooks, LLC (dba Entreprov), a Seattle-based firm that helps small and medium-sized businesses increase their customer base and extend lifetime value of current customers through machine learning and business strategy. Mr. Brooks may be contacted at alexb@entreprov.com.