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When you’re getting started in a new field, it can be difficult to convince others that you have what it takes to do the job, especially when the lineup for interviews is out the door. More and more, job applicants need to find a way to set themselves apart from the competition and let their personality shine through - even before the interview process begins. Sure, a great cover letter comes in handy, but the more creative among career seekers are learning that a cleverly designed website or online portfolio handed over at first contact with a prospective employer shows drive, work-ethic, and personality. Related: 3 Reasons Not Having A Personal Website Might Be Costing You Big In this blog post, we’ll provide you with a list of the top three reasons why a free website builder can help you score your dream gig. We’ll also throw in some tips and online tools to help you get started.

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With the advent of technology, an increasing number of students around the world are opting for online education. Whether you are planning to take up a business course or an IT course, choosing to study online does not necessarily mean you have to settle for a sub-par option. Related: Juggling Act: How To Balance An Internship With School Although this has been deemed by many to be an inferior choice when compared with face-to-face education, students who study online often report a very high degree of overall satisfaction with their course. Furthermore, a study conducted by SRI International for the US Department of Education revealed that online students actually performed better than those receiving a more conventional education. Studying online has some fantastic advantages. Let's take a look at the ways in which online education may have the upper hand on attendance-based courses.

1. Flexibility

Perhaps the number one reason more and more students are opting for an online education is flexibility. This is a big advantage as you can choose where, how and when you study. Although this doesn't mean that your coursework will be any less rigorous, you won't have to commit to going to classes on certain days at fixed times. This makes online education highly suitable for mature students because the flexibility allows them to fulfill other obligations such as work or family.

2. Online Access

All you need is a computer and an Internet connection to access all your course material, including lectures and assignments. This isn’t only advantageous in terms of access; the different forms of online educational media, such as recorded classes, MCQs, interviews and presentations, make learning a lot more interactive and engaging.

3. Performance

Tutors are always available via e-mail or phone, so if you have any doubts or questions about your course, you won’t have to wait until office hours for some one-on-one interaction with your tutor. Students can often receive instant feedback via online quizzes and tests, while assignments which require the tutor's evaluation can be graded as soon as they are submitted. This increases performance through establishing accountability, because students know that all their assignment submissions, scores, course completion and participation can be checked at any time.

4. Cost

The only fees you have to pay to enter most online courses are tuition fees. There will be a set amount for the year and it is usually cheaper than conventional courses because you won’t be paying for classroom space and the other costs associated with attendance-based education. You will also save money on extras like registration costs, commuting to and from campus, dining in the cafeteria, and pricey textbooks. The lower cost also makes the course accessible to demographics with lower incomes that are generally under-represented in traditional universities.

5. Up-To-Date Information

Textbook-based learning is slowly becoming a thing of the past. Despite the sometimes ludicrous costs of these books, we are making new breakthroughs in scientific and social research. Any information we have is always evolving, or completely rewritten, and online education allows for tutors to keep their materials up to date with the latest information. For more information, check out some of the online universities available in your country.

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Online Personal Brand

Do you know what people are saying about you online? You should. Your online personal brand is not a static thing. In fact, it’s not a thing at all. Perhaps, a brand is best described as a process. Think of a candle. At first, the candle produces no flame. Then you strike a match, and light the wick. Then, the candle will burn just as long as there is something to burn, oxygen, wick, and wax. Remove any of these conditions and the light goes out.

Keep The Fire Of Your Brand Burning

If you’ve invested in building your brand, you will want to monitor it weekly to make sure it keeps burning. Of course, you will be guest posting, writing articles, and doing other things to feed the fire. But what if someone slanders you? How will you know about it? What if someone uses your name and you want to comment? What if someone else, with your name, has a drunken Facebook photo posted? Google is one way to find out, but I want to show you a new tool, one that is focused on the social web.

Social Mention, The New Google Alert

SocialMention.com surpasses Google Alerts by a long shot. The tool reaches deep into the catacombs of the social web, blogs, tweets, comments, questions, images, events, newsreels, and profiles for your name. Enter your name in quotation marks. Choose “All” and then search. And the robust tool searches “the universe” for any little tiny bit of mention about you.

How Do YOU Rank?

Social Mention gives you four grades, Strength, Sentiment, Passion, and Reach. Strength - The likelihood that your name is being mentioned right now. Sentiment - Ratio of mentions that are positive over the ones that are negative. Passion - How likely is it that people will be repeatedly talking about you. Reach - The number of people talking about you over the total number of mentions. Give this tool a try if you are serious about building a strong online reputation. Over time, you will begin to see your scores improve, which feels great.

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