Letters of Reference Defined

As I point out on the main page of my recommendation and reference resource Website, there is a great deal of general confusion about the differences and similarities between letters of reference and letters of recommendation. For instance; which is which, and why? How are they different? In what ways are they similar?

It's confusing enough for the average person who only has to write one of these letters every once in a while. However, when you look into it in-depth as I have, and realize that many of the so-called "experts" do not even know the differences between a reference letter and a recommendation letter, the general state of confusion is very understandable .

Based on further research into the subject, I define a "letter of reference" as one that is normally more general in nature than a letter of recommendation and IS NOT addressed to a specific requestor. Typically, "letters of reference" are addressed as; "To Whom It May Concern" or "Dear Sir / Madam".

The most common letters of reference are:

o Employment-related – general reference letter

o College-related – general reference letter

o Character reference letter – general-purpose personal reference

o General reference letter – various subjects

EMPLOYMENT-RELATED Reference Letter

These are more general letters that are often requested by employees when they leave the employ of an organization. Usually factual in nature, they are usually addressed, "To Whom It May Concern" and provide basic information such as: work history, dates of employment, positions held, educational credentials, etc.

These reference letters sometimes contain a general statement (as long as a positive one can be made), about the employee's work record with the company that they are leaving. Employees often submit these letters with job applications in the hope that the letter will reflect favorably on their chances for the new position.

COLLEGE-RELATED Reference Letter

These letters are very similar to college-related letters of recommendation, EXCEPT that they are not addressed to a specific individual or requestor. In the college and university context they are typically addressed to officials such as: Director, Admissions or Chairman, Scholarship Selection Committee, etc.

These college-related letters can be as specific as a recommendation letter when it comes to describing the subject / person about which the letter is written, but they are more general / generic in terms of targeted addressees. That's because at the time they are written it is often not clear exactly to which businesses or institutions they will be sent. For example, a person plans to apply to a number of colleges but when the letter is written, the specific colleges are unknown.

CHARACTER-RELATED Reference Letter

Character reference letters are always written about a specific person by someone who knows them fairly well, and usually focus on a person's general personality characteristics. They are often used in business and community service situations. Typically, a person will ask for a general character reference letter when they are leaving a company or service organization.

The focus of character reference …

How to Pick Your Baby's Gender

Choosing the sex of baby – no longer just a collection of wives tales, baby gender is now something that can be unlocked before you conceive your next child. For families with two or three girls already, having that boy is now a distinct possibility. For those with a bunch of boys running around already, giving birth to that baby girl is something you should not just leave to the toss of the coin. There are now proven ways on how to pick your baby's gender, backed by fact – not fiction. These new methods and techniques use modern science and documented research to cut through all the myth and magic surrounding natural gender selection.

* Timing – Do you really understand your ovulation cycle? The closer to your exact ovulation date (and time) you have sex, the better the chances for producing a boy. This is because the (boy) y-sperm swim faster than the (girl) x-sperm. Yet if you have sex 3 days or more before you ovulate, your chances for a girl increase. This is because the weaker y-sperm die sooner, leaving a greater concentration of x-sperm.

* Mom's PH Level – Did you know that having a more acidic PH level in your body can encourage the conception of a girl? This is because, once again, the weaker y-sperm will die first in a very acid environment. A more alkaline level in your tract will always favor having a boy. In determining boy or girl gender, this should be kept in mind.

* Dietary Factors – Do you know which foods will influence PH to be acidic, and which will result in higher alkalinity? Highly acid-forming foods include dairy, sugar, wheat products and pastas. These will all favor female-based conception. If you're trying for a boy, eat more salty and protein-laden foods such as red meats, fish, eggs, peas, zucchini, beans, corn, and bread. Caffeinated coffee, right before sex, is also something the male partner should drink in order to increase the chances of a baby boy.

* Boxers or Briefs? – Are you aware of that this simple choice is vital in choosing the sex of baby? Briefs encourage higher sperm temperatures, and with y-sperm being weaker, wearing this type of underwear is favorable to producing a baby girl. When trying for a baby boy, boxers are the way to go. They allow for a much higher concentration of male-laden sperm.

* Intercourse – Do you know which positions maximize your chances for having each particular baby gender? Which types of penetration, shallow or deep, are better for a boy or a girl? Do you know the role that the female orgasm has in conception, and how can you apply in how to pick your baby's gender?

Think about the above list you just read … imagine how much doing two or three of these things, or even all of them, can influence the chances of you actually determining baby gender! Now imagine that there are …

Ghosts Of Black Rock

“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus”

Mark Twain

Black Rock is located at the northern tip of the Oquirrh Mountains where the range ends abruptly at the southern shore of the Great Salt Lake. This is a very historical place and it is an absolute shame that it is in the condition it is. Black Rock is now a place where fools go to practice their graffiti or throw their garbage. There are old pilings, large blocks of concrete that no doubt once served as breakwaters for the numerous resorts that have been located here over the years. Old supports of long gone piers jut from the salt water here at the edge of the inland sea. The place has a sort of skeletal appearance to go along with the ghostly history of the rock.

Many years ago, Black Rock was a very different place. Lush grasses, reeds and rushes once crept down to the beaches of the lake in this area. Streamlets of pure, crystal clear water, fed by the melting snows of the Oquirrh Mountains once flowed into the lake in this area. One of the first mentions made of Black Rock was Heinrich Lienhard’s Journal. In this journal Lienhard kept a daily account of what he observed and experienced as a member of an emigrant party which passed through Utah and crossed the Great Salt Lake Desert on their way west, only weeks before the Donner Party.

Here is an excerpt from that journal “August 8th, 1846; In the vicinity of this spring, stood an immense, isolated, rounded rock under which was a cave and those going into it found a human skeleton.” Now it is clear that the party was in the vicinity of Black Rock at the time but whether this is a description of Black Rock or one of the many caves and boulders just up the hill at the foot of the Oquirrh Mountains is unclear to me. There have been numerous reports of archaic human remains being found in caves in the vicinity of Black Rock. The area must have held some significance to the ancients as it was a much utilized burial ground. University archaeologists extensively studied the sites and much knowledge was gained concerning these peoples who lived in this area long ago.

In 1850, Captain Howard Stansbury was conducting a survey of the Great Salt Lake and adjacent areas. He utilized Black Rock for various purposes. Captain Stansbury kept a careful record of this expedition and these records culminated in the following work “An Expedition to the Valley of the Great Salt Lake of Utah – Including an analysis of its geography, natural history, and minerals, and an analysis of its waters” by Captain Howard Stansbury – Captain; Corps of Topographical Engineers, U.S. Army. This volume is another one of my personal favorites concerning Utah History.

The following are excerpts from this volume that relate to Black Rock “April 19th, 1850; After …

Leave Your Car In The Garage And Take Advantage Of Distance Education Degree Programs

Things have changed. Once just about anyone could get a job without getting a degree. Now a mere bachelors degree never seems to be quite enough. In addition, once upon a time, if you wanted to get a degree or earn a higher level degree, you signed up for a class and made sure you were there every day. Today, you can take those classes online, with the instructor on the computer, and sometimes available for live chat.

These online education degrees program are available for a wide range of professions and majors. Engineers who are currently degreed but would like to advance to a higher level, or high school students just starting out have lots of options for moving ahead in the field of green. Walden University offers a degree in engineering management. This is a program designed for someone with an engineering background already who is interested in managing his or her own business, department, or projects.

If you are an engineer and you must attend a class in a given area, you can earn field related certificates by utilizing an engineering online degree or certificate program. These programs cost much less than traditional campuses because of the lack of overhead, but the quality of the education remains consistent with that of some of the older more traditional institutions. At Must University, you will be able to complete the class on your own, on your own time and at a far more reasonable cost.

Another thing that has changed is the field of criminal justice. While we may still picture a drab precinct with a few guys walking around joking with one another, this is far from the truth. Today's criminal justice offices are technologically advanced with high tech computers and forensic equipment. While criminal justice is an exciting field, success in this field will require that you spend some time with online criminal justice degree programs. These classes are available at your convenience and will give everything you need to be successful.

The Kaplan University School of Justice is a great place to look if you want options in online criminal justice programs like, 2 Masters degrees, 5 bachelors, and 2 associates degrees. You will need to decide if you wish to choose an area of ​​specialization, like homeland security, corrects, fire safety, or law enforcement. The degrees you earn here will be accepted across the country because they come from an accredited institution.

A doctoral degree option is available at Capella University. When you choose to obtain this particular degree online, you will have a few options for areas of specialty, including fire service administration, health policy, forensics, or public policy and management. Your decision will rest on what your current positions requires of you. Whichever you choose, you will have the option to move the class along as slowly or quickly as is appropriate for you, your learning style, and your mandatory requirements. If you are hiring for a promotion, you may work more quickly …

Why Not Cyprus For Study Abroad?

The number of US students studying abroad seems to be increasing significantly on an annual basis. Although there is not adequate research to understand why, the anecdotal evidence would suggest that this generation of "Millenial" students realize the primary need of understanding others that are different from themselves to achieve success in business, politics, and general global welfare.

The 2008 IIE Open Doors Report suggests that in 2006-2007, study abroad by US college students increased by 8% from the previous year and an increase of close to 150% since 1996-1997. The IIE Open Doors Report has been the primary source of data for international education enrollments in the US for several decades. However, it is not clear that the significant increase in study overseas participation data is not purely a result of better data collection and reporting efforts in the last decade.

The Open Doors Report 2008 also suggests that US college students are participating in programs in much more diverse geographic locations, seeing reporting increases in study abroad destinations. "The number of US students studying in China, Argentina, South Africa, Ecuador and India each increased by more than 20 percent over the previous year."

However, the 2008 Open Doors Report shows insignificant participation in Cyprus. Why should a US college student explore Cyprus as a relevant and meaningful destination for study abroad?

So, if participation in study abroad is increasing and students are increasingly seeking out "non-traditional" locations, why do so few US college students study abroad in Cyprus? Unofficial reports would suggest that prior to 2005, fewer than five (5) US college students studied abroad in Cyprus every year.

We can only speculate as to why Cyprus has not previously been a common study abroad location for US students. But some of the main speculations include:

1. Few Americans know much about Cyprus

2. Because the first language in Cyprus is Greek, many American students and Study Abroad Advisors may incorrectly assume that without students are fluent in Modern Greek language, they would not be able to study at a Cypriot institution of higher education

3. There are very few colleges and universities in Cyprus

4. Cypriot institutions have not promoted themselves to the American study abroad market

5. Because Cyprus is a bi-communal society divided by a United Nations demilitarized zone, some people may think Cyprus is a dangerous location

6. Because Cyprus is so close to the "Middle East" some people may think that it is an Arab nation and / or may have security issues related to "Middle Eastern" countries

It does not require a sophisticated investigation to learn that most of these provided obstacles to study abroad in Cyprus should not be obstacles at all. …

Should College Students Take Unsubsidized Federal Student Loans?

One of the first questions on the mind of any college student when they receive their financial aid award letter is, What is the difference between subsidized and unsubsidizedfederal student loans? Sometimes students are only offered unsubsidized loans and they are puzzled about whether they should accept them are not.

Both subsidized and unsubsidized federal student loans are offered through the Federal Direct, or the FFEL Stafford Loan programs, which are administrated through the federal government. Both types of loans must be repaid. Although the terms and conditions of the loans are set by the federal government (generally making them the best loan options students have), the system is set up so that the actual money comes from and is paid back to private institutions – that means banks.

Now, here's what you really need to know before taking out an unsubsidized student loan.

First, with subsidized loans the government covers the interest payments for you while you are in school and / or in deferment. The loan accrues interest just like any other. You're just not responsible for paying any that accrues before you enter loan repayment on the principle. Students who take out $ 10,000 (for instance) in subsidized loans, find that, six months after they leave school, they basically owe $ 10,000 plus whatever interest that gets charged after they start repayment , whenever that might be.

When you take out unsubsidized loans, you are liable for all the interest that the loan (s) accrue, even while you are in school. While managed and during the deferment period, you will be given the choice of making voluntary payments on that interest. Making payments like this is a good idea if you are able; it keeps you from being charged interest on your interest. If you do not pay along the way, the interest will be added to the principle of the loan. This could mean that you pay a lot of extra money in interest, which is the largest drawback of unsubsidized loans.

On the other hand if you have not gotten any subsidized loans, because you were told you had no need because your parents make too much money or something, there's still a good chance unsubsidized federal loans are the best option for you. Subsidized loans are need-based and unsubsidized loans are not. Your level of financial need gets represented by specific numbers calculated from the information you put on your FAFSA application. Without getting in to all the particulars, students who have greater levels of financial need qualify for subsidized loans that those with less need do not. Even if you have no need at all (according to the governings reckoning) you can still be offered and receive unsubsidized loans.

Knowing the differences between these two types of loans can save a lot of confusion, and a surprising amount of money, for you through your college career. If you are ever in a position where you are being offered a combination of subsidized and …

Details of 6 Universities Offering Online Degrees

Academic excellence is very important in a person’s life when it comes to a job or any opportunity for that matter. Highly acclaimed academicians and reputed institutions agree that online education as well as distance learning does not have any negative or slowing impact on the learning process. They also say that it can actually act as a beneficial factor to the students as educations takes on a whole new digital level when it is conveyed online.

We can safely say that, if online education has reached this level now, it will go even higher tomorrow. The main motive behind the launching of online education was to teach those who are living in remote areas or are restricted to their homes because of some medical condition. During the course of education, it may be necessary that the teacher and the students meet at least once or twice for lessons like labs, or exams. This, in any case will not exceed 25% of the total term of the course.

There are many online universities that provide degrees in many subjects. Here is a list of some.

(1) University of Phoenix

Online degrees offered in- business, technology education, health care and criminal justice.

University of Phoenix is considered one of the most reputed accredited online universities currently. The university guarantees superior education. It has locations in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada. The university is credited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a part of North Central Association.

(2) Kaplan University

Online degrees offered in- business, criminal justice, information technology, paralegal studies, health care management and nursing.

Kaplan University is one of the pioneering institutes offering undergraduate, graduate and professional career education. They provide professional certificates, unite degrees and bachelor degrees. The university is credited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of colleges and Schools.

(3) American Intercontinental University

Online degrees offered in- information technology, visual communication, business administration in marketing, health care and human resources.

American Intercontinental University is one of the largest and most successful online universities in the contemporary world. It has produced some outstanding world leaders in various fields. They offer bachelor degrees and associate degrees. Bachelor degrees are offered in IT, visual communication and business administration. Associate degrees in business and IT. Master’s courses in IT and MBA in marketing, human resources and health care.

(4) Strayer University

Online degrees offered in- business, criminal justice, engineering, web designing, culinary arts etc.

Strayer University was founded in 1948 to provide education to career persons. They offer bachelors degree, masters degree and doctoral degrees. The university is accredited by Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Philadelphia.

(5) Everest University Online

Online degrees offered in- business, information technology, social sciences and criminal justice.

Everest University online is a division of Everest University. They offer a flexible program that permits the applicants to complete the course at ease. Everest University is accredited by the Accrediting council for Independent Colleges and Schools.

(6) Grand Canyon university…

Top 10 Universities in the World

It’s not about the money-it’s all about getting the best quality education. And when it comes to earning your university degree, you may want to set your sights on the following top 10 universities in the world first (please note that course fees are just estimates).

University of Cambridge United Kingdom

Description: One of the oldest universities in the world, it has established itself as the hallmark for academic excellence. It has received a lot of commendations from a variety of world-renowned education organizations, such as the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education. Students learn not just by lectures and seminars but also by hands-on experiences.

Famous For: Their age-old buildings, plethora of museums and libraries Course Fees: £3,375 for the first year How to Apply: Submit UCAS and Supplementary Application Questionnaire online. Depending on the department, take a test and undergo an interview.

Harvard University United States

Description: Harvard University is notorious for its law program, but in truth, almost all its departments are extremely popular. Besides being the oldest institution in the country, Harvard is also the alma mater of well-known figures such as John Adams, Theodore Roosevelt, and Al Gore. The university strives to continuously push its students to innovate, learn more, and challenge themselves. Like Cambridge, Harvard is also peppered with libraries and museums, including Museum of Natural History.

Famous For: reputable degrees, such as law and medicine Course Fees: $48,000 a year, including health services, student services, room, and board How to Apply: To be accepted, you must be on the top 10 percentile in your high school class. You should also have a score of 2,080 to 2,370 (SAT) or 31 to 34 (ACT).

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) United States

Description: When it comes to science and technology, MIT should be first on the list. For hundreds of years, it has dedicated itself to the growth and development of science and technology, among others, primarily through lecture and research. The campus is composed of 34 departments and 5 schools.

Famous For: computer science and engineering programs, research laboratories, and nearness to Harvard Course Fees: roughly $50,000 a year, including books and personal expenses, and room and board How to Apply: Less than 15 percent of the applicants are accepted here. To enter MIT, you have to go through rigorous tests including demonstration of academic competence. You can apply for early decision, wherein you submit your application months before the actual application process.

McGill University Canada

Description: One of the oldest universities in Canada, it is the seat of medical studies and degrees in the country. It has its own hospital and offers a wide variety of medical science-related courses such as occupational health, emergency medicine, diagnostic radiology, anatomy and cell biology, biochemistry, and human genetics. Some of the institutes are Bioinformatics, Biomedical Ethics, Bone and Peridontal Research, and Centre of Genomics and Policy.

Famous For: affordable fees, medical and engineering departments, and highly diversified students and staff Course Fees: C$ 24,000 including insurance, …

Mark Gasnier – Brilliant Career Marred By Controversy

Mark Gasnier was born on July 19, 1981 and raised in Sydney in New South Wales, Australia. He is one of the young and popular professional football players in Australia. He plays for the St. George Illawarra Dragons in the National Rugby League.

He is also known to be the nephew of the famous Rugby League legend, Reg Gasnier. Reg Gasnier is named as one of the 20th century's finest players. After his football playing career, he also became a football coach.

Mark Gasnier played for the Australian Schoolboys team in 1998 and 1999, while he attended high school at the famous Peakhurst High School. He then toured New Zealand with the Australian Schoolboys in 1998.

Gasnier debuted in his junior rugby league playing for the Renown United club in the St George District. Mark Gasnier made his 1st Grade debut for the Dragons in the round 8 of the 2000 season against the Newcastle Knights and made his International debut in a 2001 Test match against the Papua New Guinea Kumuls and scored a try in each match.

In 2004, Mark Gasnier was taken out of the New South Wales State of Origin team because of a harsh and controversial phone message he sent.

In 2005, after trudging himself as the best center of the team, he won the Dally M Center of the Year. In that same year, it was reported that Mark Gasnier would be able to progress to rugby union. Gasnier entertained highly publicized meetings with New South Wales Waratahs Coach, Ewen McKenzie and Wallaby Coach, John Connolly. Nonetheless, he finally signed for a new one year contract, with added one year options for the next four years with the St George Illawarra Dragons. In 2006, he once again won the Dally M Center of the Year.

At the start of 2007 it was reported that Mark Gasnier, together with Jason Ryles and Ben Hornby would captain the St George Illawarra Dragons. Gasnier was moved to five-eighth position for the Dragons, even though he was famous for being the center.

After tackling with Nigel Vagana in the Charity Shield pre-season finals, Mark Gasnier unfortunately tore his pectoral muscle. As a consequence, he was not able to play until July. Gasnier made a big comeback to the St. Louis George Illawarra Dragons on July 21 in the five-eighth position. Fortunately, the team won against the Penrith Panthers with a score of 38 – 20.

He was chosen to play for the Australian Kangaroos in October against the New Zealand Kiwis in Wellington.

Gasnier became the sole captain of the Dragons for the season of 2008. He came back to the center position with Matt Cooper.
He is now chosen to join the New South Wales Rugby league team for the 2011 State of Origin series. …

10 Reasons I Love Marketing

Marketing is the profession I chose in college. Yes, I am one of the few people who is actually working in the field she studied in school!

Why did I choose marketing? Why do I still enjoy it after 21 years?

Here are the Top 10 Reasons I Love Marketing.

(1) It's never boring. No two days are ever the same. Because no two projects are ever the same. And, because no two clients are ever the same. So even if I am doing the same task there are always enough variables to keep in interesting.

(2) It's creative. Marketing is about generating ideas. It's about creating ways to make more, get more and sell more. It's a creative industry, filled with creative, idea-generating people. And I LOVE creating!

(3) I get to learn about all sorts of businesses. Over the past 21 years I have created and implemented marketing plans for clients in every industry imaginable. I've marketed fitness, new cars, new homes, resale homes, newspapers, websites, hotels, restaurants, products, and the list goes on. In the process, I get to learn about each of these businesses and it's fascinating.

(4) It involves writing and I love to write. Writing is one of my favorite creative outlets. To have the opportunity to do it every day in my work is pure joy!

(5) It enables me to have my own business. When I decided I wanted to be home more with my kids, I was able to successfully open my own business because I knew how to market. And, it continues to allow me to successfully open new business ventures.

(6) It lends itself to freelance and independent work. Marketing is not just something you can do in a 9 to 5 job. There are many freelance and independent work opportunities available. Because of this I was able to easily transition from a full-time marketing job to my own business.

(7) I get to meet all kinds of interesting people. From clients, to the media, to production vendors, to partners, to podcast interviewees, I have had the opportunity to meet so many interesting people over the past 21 years. And, I continue to meet new ones every single day. It's awesome!

(8) It's always changing so it keeps me on my toes. It seems they are always inventing new ways to market. In the past two years alone I've had to fully learn about Internet Marketing, Blogging and Podcasting – things I knew nothing about before. I'm telling you, it keeps my brain young!

(9) There are so many facets to a marketing career. Over the past 21 years, I've worked in advertising agencies in production, media and account services. I've been a marketing director on the client side. I've run my own virtual marketing agency, DLC Marketing. And, I've had the opportunity to create and build 10stepmarketing, Twin Connections and now 6FigureWorkAtHomeMom.

(10) It has supported me well over the past 21 years! While I admit I did …