All posts by Jason Nicholson

Tips for Building a Professional Online Presence

online social media icons

What would an employer find online if they Googled your name? What would they not find? These are important questions as you begin your college career, look for internships, and start your job search. In a world that centers on technology and social media, it’s more important than ever to ensure that you have a professional online presence. Don’t miss opportunities as you begin or build your career.

Clean it up

There exists a short window of opportunity to impress an employer. Use your cover letter, resume and interviews to make this lasting impression. Often what cannot be gleaned from your interaction can be found with a quick web search. It’s important that the information available helps boost your personal brand and not harm it. It’s time to ditch that email address you created in middle school. It’s time to make private those photos that may paint a picture that is not becoming of a top job prospect.

There are a number of ways to “clean” your online presence:

  1. Separate your personal accounts from your professional accounts.
  2. Set your privacy settings appropriately.
  3. Use your name and not a nickname to continue to build your personal brand as a professional.
  4. Review your current content and remove anything that harms your brand.
  5. Don’t follow people who harm your brand.
  6. Add content to help push down negative content during an online search.

Dress it up

Having no presence can be equally as detrimental as having a poor online presence. Employers wonder what you are hiding if they find nothing about you. Without a professional online presence, you are missing valuable opportunities to showcase your talent and skill. You are also missing opportunities to network with those in your chosen field.

Here are ways to “dress up” your online presence:

  1. Figure out which social media platforms are most used in your industry.
  2. Follow industry leaders on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and others.
  3. Are you in a creative field? Use Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook as a living online portfolio of your work.
  4.  Use LinkedIn to showcase your accomplishments, education, organization affiliations, and community services.
  5. Online media is a good step to build your network of professionals.
  6. Upload a professional head shot.

Share your expertise, accomplishments and creations through your professional online presence. This can help that employer determine that you are the best candidate for the job. Better yet, it can get you noticed and recruited before you’ve even applied.

SPC has dedicated Career Services Professionals ready to assist you as you build your professional resume, portfolio, and professional online presence. Ready to get started on that LinkedIn page now? Check out our previous article, Are you LinkedIn? for helpful tips and resources for your best online profile. 

Follow us on Instagram or Twitter at #careerspc,  #spcintern,  #workforcespc.

Ready to Work Certification

Are you ready to work certified? SPC students now have the opportunity to earn credentials.  These will help you stand out from other applicants.  It will show employers that you have the skills and initiative the employer is looking for. Florida Ready to Work is an innovative, new workforce education and economic development program. 

The centerpiece of the program is the Florida Ready to Work credential.  This is a career readiness certificate that confirms a student has the fundamental job skills necessary to succeed in today’s rapidly changing and competitive economy. The program is funded by the state and is free to students. The coursework is online and can be completed whenever you have the time.

Jobseeker Flyer

The program has several benefits for both students and employers:

  • Provides students with a standard credential that certifies their workplace readiness and ability to succeed on the job.
  • Saves employers time and money by taking the guesswork out of the hiring process.
  • Helps prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s jobs.

The Florida Ready To Work credential is a personalized certificate, signed by Governor Ron DeSantis, that shows a student is ready to work.  There are three academic credential levels –  bronze, silver and gold. In addition to the online coursework, a student must take three proctored Assessments- Applied Mathematics, Reading for Information and Locating Information. These three Assessments were selected because:

  • research shows that these three fundamental skills are necessary for more than 85 percent of all jobs today
  • these core skills are the basis for most other career readiness programs across the country, providing value wherever a student may move in the future.

The credential levels are awarded based on a student’s score on the final assessments. These assessments are currently offered at no charge on the Clearwater and Allstate Campuses. To receive the credential, a score of “3” or higher is required on each assessment.

The Florida Ready to Work program also offers a Soft Skills credential. Documenting these skills provides a huge leg up in the hiring process. The Soft Skills training measures:

Workplace Attitude Behavior Character
Interpersonal Interaction Listening/ Speaking Cooperation/ Respect
Self-Management Resource Management Time Management
Quality Management Customer Service Problem Solving

 This is a separate, but valuable, credential from the skills assessments above.

Ready To Get Started?

Workers who became certified.

The coursework is live and accepting SPC students. To get started, follow these steps:

  • Visit to sign in to your account
    • For students, Your access has already been created for you with the following credentials:
      • Username (SPC Student Email address):
      • Password: Your SPC student number
  • On your initial sign in, you will need to update your account profile and change your password
    • You will be prompted to do this automatically
  • Once your account is updated, you will have full access to the coursework
    • You can click an any individual credential to get started:
      • Each section will start with a placement test
      • Once the test is complete, you can start the modules
      • Just click on any section to begin:
Florida Ready to Work Dashboard

You can review more information and FAQ’s by visiting Feel free to reach Jason Nicholson with any questions by emailing

Follow us on Instagram or Twitter at #careerspc#spcintern,,  #workforcespc.

Soft Skills – What’s the Move?

Soft skills

By Carrie Root, Ph.D., Sawyer Hill and Jean Coleman with Alpha UMi Inc.

Across the country, workforce surveys are reporting that industry needs candidates with soft skills. What does this mean? It means they need employees:

  • with a high degree of emotional intelligence
  • who communicate well
  • manage their time effectively
  • show initiative and leadership growth characteristics
  • and who are respectful

All of this in an environment characterized today by five generations in the workforce.

Soft skills 5G on the job talk

Soft skills are the key to success

There are many older people in the workforce who will not understand the meaning of  “What’s the move?”, including millennials, Gen X, Baby Boomers, and Traditionalists. Do you know how to pay attention to their body language? Do you know when to offer an explanation to keep them in the conversation? How about when generational slang creates a potential barrier to understanding? Soft skills are important for bridging the generation gap.

Yes, you know how to keep in touch with your friends, check on what’s happening, submit your coursework on time. But do you really know how to communicate with someone four decades older than you? Someone who is not used to sharing information via text? Someone who likes to read words spelled the way they learned them way back in school. What about someone who has never heard of Urban Dictionary? Someone who expects phone calls, and may not even know how to text?

The work environment is changing and you will be a big part of that change. But being able to fit into a company’s work environment is needed before change can be made. Will an employer interviewing you believe you have the right stuff to send out to his clients? If not, you won’t be offered the job. Will that employer believe that you will fit into the corporate culture? Again, if not, you will still be looking for employment following that interview. Thinking further, are you even finding the right companies to interview with? Are you able to communicate your personal brand and be able to explain how it will fit into a company’s culture?

Consider 5G Power Skills certification

This dynamic course will jumpstart your professionalism. When you complete the course, you will receive digital, on-line badging. This is a stackable credential that can be used on your resume, and on social media. It conveys that you have been certified in 5G’s (generations) 25 soft skill competencies which are in great demand by the workforce today.

Get Your 5G Power Skills certification at SPC!

St. Petersburg College offers the 5G™ Power Skills Certification through our Workforce Insitute. The dynamic program is broken up into three workshops. The workshops address the top 25 interpersonal skills needed to foster collaboration and productivity to build a dynamic multigenerational workforce. 5G gives you the competitive advantage with certification in the sought after power skills required for a lifetime of achievement.

Check out all 25 competencies here. You can review more on the SPC program and express interest in an upcoming session by visiting

For additional information, please contact Sondra Seiter at or 727-791-5978. Learn more about Alpha Umi.

Follow us on Instagram or Twitter at #careerspc#spcintern,,  #workforcespc.

Titan Thursdays: Bringing the Experts to You

Do you have trouble making it to campus for events? Does your schedule force you to miss presentations from St. Petersburg College that you really want to see? Are you an online student, perhaps in another state? If so, our Titan Thursdays webinar series is a valuable resource for you. Participating in many of the webinars will also enter you into a drawing for a gift card!

What are Titan Thursdays?

A Titan Thursdays webinar is a live interactive video broadcast that attendees can participate in by asking questions and providing feedback. Our current platform allows participants to see our presenters in HD quality video and take part in the discussion directly via video (using a webcam), audio (using a microphone), or via live chat.

It’s best for participants to ask questions or make comments via audio or video whenever possible. This allows the presenter to have a back-and-forth conversation with the audience, similar to a face-to-face event. To participate, users simply need access to a relatively modern computer or a Smart Phone.

The best part is that you don’t have to miss the presentation even if you can’t attend the live session. All prior webinars are posted to the Titan Thursdays web page for later viewing. The recordings also are closed captioned.

Missed a webinar?

Many Titan Thursdays webinars have a career focus, including:

Upcoming webinar: Beer and Business

The next webinar will be of interest to those who want to start a business as well as others who want to learn about the local craft beer scene. Beer and Business will be held July 12 start at 6 p.m.

Join special guest host  Kellie Ziemak, SPC Student Services Project Coordinator, as she interviews Nathan Stonecipher, Chairman of the St. Petersburg College Board of Trustees, SPC alumnus, and co-owner of the Green Bench Brewing Company. Learn about the Green Bench brewing process, while also discovering what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur. During this interactive online event, participants will have the opportunity to see a tour of the Green Bench brewery and can ask Stonecipher questions about his views on entrepreneurship.

All participants who are current SPC students will be eligible to enter a drawing to win a $25 Amazon gift card.

Visit the Titan Thursdays web page to learn more and register for this exciting event!

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