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What Qualities Do Employers Look for in a Potential Employee?

May 16th, 2018 by

What Qualities Do Employers Look for in a Potential Employee?


Whether you’re stepping out into the corporate world for the first time or transitioning from one job to another, you have to appeal to potential employers and prove that you’re best for the job. While past experience, particular skills, and a great resume will all help, there is more to landing that perfect job than just looking good on paper. As Diahann Mathis, Principal of SDVS, says, “an ideal candidate that stands above the rest [has] skills that are more important to the key technical skills pertaining to a particular job.”

We’ve interviewed some hiring experts and asked them about the qualities that employers look for in potential employees, and here’s what they said.

A Positive Attitude

It has been said that “attitude is everything.” Although cliché, it appears that phrase may be true. At least, it is when it comes to getting a new job. Employers want employees who are happy and pleasant to be around. Brianna Rooney, Founder and CEO of Techees, says, “My number one [quality] is someone that is happy and optimistic. It sounds funny because you would think that’s something so obvious, but I need people in my office that are happy, go lucky, and always positive. You’d be surprised how many people I have passed on because they were too low key.” A positive attitude can help employees overcome challenges more easily, it can contribute to general office morale, and it typically leads to more productive and driven people.

Willingness to Learn

Most of the experts we spoke with told us that a willingness to learn is usually more important than having the required technical skills or past experience in the field. A new job means new challenges and new tasks, so even precise technical know-how from a previous related job may not translate directly, and employees will still be asked to learn new skills, software, and more. “Demonstrating a willingness to learn and adapt, as well as [having] a track record that speaks to flexibility and [an] ability to learn new skills, is absolutely necessary when considering a new job candidate,” says Nate Masterson, HR Manager at Maple Holistics.


Especially when paired with a willingness to learn, ambition is another top quality that employers look for in new hires. They want individuals to be ambitious in making and reaching goals, driven towards success, and motivated in achieving whatever they set their minds to. Employers want new employees to embrace the vision of the company and move forward as they ambitiously seek to bring that vision to life. Christopher Lee, Founder and Career Consultant at Purpose Redeemed, says, “As they say: ‘hire for character, train for skill.’ Applicants aren’t expected to know everything. But they must be motivated and able to carry out the job once trained.” Diahann Mathis, Principal of SDVS, agrees with those ideas. She says, “Th[e] ideal candidate would be passionate about their career, always bringing fresh, new ideas to the organization as it continues to grow… making them a great asset to the company.”

Teamwork Capabilities

In just about every role within an organization, an individual will be expected to work in a team in some sort of capacity. People who don’t work well with others, who are too abrasive, or who don’t take constructive criticism well are not the type of people employers are looking to hire. Founder and CEO of Badger Mapping, Steven Benson states, “It is important to know if the candidate is a team player, regardless of how impressive their resume, referrals, and credentials are.” He goes on to say that he looks for team-oriented projects on their resumes and he expects team players “to listen to healthy constructive feedback and to actively listen to and acknowledge the efforts of their colleagues.”

It’s important to have a baseline of education and technical capabilities when you’re applying for any job, but be sure to consider what some say are the most important qualities of a potential employer.

Note-Taking Tips

May 1st, 2018 by

Note-Taking Tips


Note-taking is a vital part of learning as it helps you to not only better absorb the material when you first hear it, but also to have something to refer to when studying for an exam, writing a paper, or reviewing a concept. The goal of note-taking is to record the important parts of a lecture quickly, while also making your notes thorough enough to recall the key information upon studying it later.

Different people have different ways to take notes, and while you need to find out exactly what works for you, we’ve compiled this list of note-taking techniques, tips, and tricks to help you make the most of your note-taking.

Explore different note-taking techniques and find out what works best for you.

Consider the outlining note-taking technique, where you begin with a main topic, include subtopics underneath, and then include key points under each subtopic. You could also utilize the column method, where you create one column of notes during class, focusing just on the main points, and then you add details to the second column after class based on textbooks, lecture recordings, and what you remember hearing during the lecture.

Keep your notes in a three-ring binder.

Rather than taking your notes in a spiral or composition notebook, keeping them in a three-ring binder allows you to remove or add pages as needed, making your notes more thorough and complete.

Use a highlighter while taking notes.

Teachers and professors often make comments about particular concepts being “very important,” in which case you should highlight them.

Review notes within 24 hours of taking them.

Studies have shown that 62% of what people learn is forgotten within the first day, so reviewing your notes within 24 hours of taking them will help you retain the information better and longer. Additionally, you’ll be able to pinpoint any unclear areas while the lecture is still fresh on your mind and you can clarify and expand on your notes.

Keep them brief.

While it can be tempting to write down everything your teacher says during a lecture, time is of the essence when you’re taking notes. Write down just enough to help you remember what the instructor was talking about and take the time to fill in more information later if needed.

Utilizing these note-taking tips and tricks will help you to perfect your note-taking techniques and allow you to get the most out of each of your lectures and the notes that result from them. Thorough notes will help you comprehend the information better and will ultimately lead to a more successful schooling experience and will help you be more successful in your classes and beyond.

SDVS Testimonials

May 1st, 2018 by

SDVS Testimonials


Online schooling offers a unique opportunity for students, particularly those who have struggled in traditional schools or cannot fit the rigid schedule of a regular school into their lifestyles. Students of all academic levels, including those with disabilities, have found SDVS to be a great fit for their educational needs. Our virtual school is committed to meet students exactly where they are and partner with them to achieve success and meet their educational goals.

We have gotten a lot of feedback from students and parents over the years, and we really value what they say. Here are just a few things we’ve heard about our curriculum, our staff, and the overall online schooling experience with SDVS.

  • The online schooling staff is passionate and dedicated, and they love encouraging students and walking with them through their educational journey. The teachers are exceptionally attentive and helpful, as well as communicative with both students and parents.
  • A student’s virtual learning experience and academic proficiency go hand in hand, and SDVS’s virtual school teachers are incredibly supportive and truly care for their students with compassion and understanding. The teachers are patient and kind, and they strive to keep the students focused and motivated.
  • The online schooling techniques are incredibly efficient. The staff endeavors to help students make the most of their time in the virtual school environment, which means that they not only learn a great deal, but they also don’t spend countless hours each day doing busy work that doesn’t result in much education.
  • The curriculum is challenging and relevant, which just contributes more to the quality of the virtual learning experience. The teachers are exceptional and many parents and students have recommended San Diego Virtual Schools to countless acquaintances.

We truly honor, respect, and appreciate the input of our current and former students. We value what they have to say about their virtual learning experience, and we take to heart what they tell us about their time at SDVS. We constantly strive to improve the experience that our students and their parents have with us, so the feedback we receive is incredibly important to us.

We appreciate all of our current and former students and their parents, and we are thankful for the opportunity to serve you and provide a quality online education.

Meet the SDVS Staff: Understanding the Importance of Teacher-Student Relationships

April 24th, 2018 by

As a student at an online school, it can be difficult to have the social experiences and relational connections to the teachers and peers you interact with. Even though you’re communicating with your teachers daily, you should seek to build real relationships with your instructors, as this can create long-lasting benefits for both you and the other students in your virtual school. Here at SDVS, we want you and your instructors to connect in a positive way and in a way that enhances your online school experience. Here are a few key things that good teacher-student relationships can offer.

More Comfortable Communication

Online learning is tailored to those who want something different than traditional school, but it can come with challenges. For students who need extra help, online school is a great option, provided that they reach out for assistance when they need it. By forming good relationships with your teachers, you’ll feel more comfortable asking for additional help or clarification on something you didn’t understand.

Higher-Quality Learning

When students are more connected with their instructors, they’re more likely to stay engaged and interested in what they are teaching. This leads to more effective learning atmospheres, higher-quality instruction, and more information retention by the students. When a teacher knows his or her students on a more personal level, he or she can utilize the student’s interests to explain a concept or offer them assistance in something they might be struggling with in a more personalized way.

Grow Mutual Respect

It is incredibly important for students to learn how to respect themselves, their peers, and their authority figures. When teachers and students connect in a beneficial way, the teacher is able to show respect to the student, and their relationship will bring about respect from the student in return. Learning mutual respect is a skill that will benefit students far beyond the virtual school classroom, so it is a great characteristics for teachers to encourage students to pursue.

Create Long-Term Love of Learning

The more interactive students are with their teachers, the more likely they are to enjoy online school and love learning. This facilitates long-term positive results, including a love of learning and interest in knowledge that continues on long beyond a student’s schooling years.


Check out our video to start getting to know the SDVS staff. We look forward to connecting with you and helping create an incredible online school experience for you!

Tips to Beat Stress

April 24th, 2018 by

Tips to Beat Stress


With finals just around the corner, you likely have a lot on your mind and a lot on your calendar. In order to set yourself up for success, you need to minimize anxiety and do your best to beat stress. Check out our top 5 tips to stay as stress-free as possible.

Make a Schedule

Knowing what you have to do and what deadlines you need to meet will help you get an overall idea of what needs to be done. It will help you prioritize assignments and help you set realistic expectations for how much time you have to spend on each task. Making a schedule will also allow you to see how much free time you have so you can use your spare time wisely.

Eat Well

It’s easy to snack on not-so-healthy, easy-to-grab food when you’re writing papers, cramming for finals, and finishing up big projects. Even though it may take some extra preparation, eating well is vital to keeping your stress levels down. Nutritious food will fuel your body, as well as your brain, making it easier to focus on what you’re studying and retain information for your exams. Foods rich in vitamin C can help minimize stress-levels by lowering stress hormone levels, and foods high in Omega-3s can also be calming.

Prioritize Sleep

With so much to do, it can be hard to prioritize sleep. But being well-rested will help you fight stress, improve your focus, and allow you to perform better on your finals. Getting a full 7 hours of sleep per night will maximize your productivity during the day. Be sure to minimize caffeine in the afternoons and don’t eat too late at night to ensure you sleep well.


In the midst of preparing for finals, exercise can quickly drop to the bottom of your priority list. But studies have shown that even 20 minutes a day can lower your stress hormones, clear your mind, and improve your mood. When you’re busy preparing for finals, give yourself a break from studying and go for a brisk walk or a quick bike ride to refresh yourself and get your heart pumping.

Breathe Deeply

If you are feeling overwhelmed or overly anxious, try some deep breathing. Breathe slowly, in through your nose and out through your mouth. This helps lower your blood pressure, slow down your heart rate, and reduce stress hormone levels.

As you’re preparing for your final exams, try not to get too overwhelmed. Utilize these stress-relieving tips and try your best in all your classes, and you’re sure to have a successful end to the school year.

Study Tips for Online Schooling

February 28th, 2018 by

study tips online schooling

Online learning has very distinct challenges that students in traditional schools don’t have to face. So how do you go about improving your studying habits and getting an effective study session in when you’re an online student?

Check out our favorite study tips for online schooling. Try a few out for yourself and see what works the best!


Hacks to Improve Concentration (For Online Students)

February 22nd, 2018 by

hacks to improve concentration

Trying to stay focused on your work as an online student can be a real challenge at times! Whether you’re a student in an online school or a traditional school, all students are faced with the challenge of maintaining good concentration on their homework and studies.

Let’s look at a few quick and easy “hacks” you can use to improve your concentration in times when you need it most.


Organization Is Key: How to Stay Organized in Academics

February 7th, 2018 by

academic organization

Staying organized during the school year can be a challenge, but it’s completely possible with the right mindset and approach. If you’re not the organizational type, don’t fret! Try a few of these organizational strategies and see what works for you. Implementing just one or two can be a great start to helping you stay more organized this year.


Brain Food – Foods to Help Learning

February 2nd, 2018 by
brain food

Brain Food – Foods to Help Learning

Students of all ages are looking for ways to improve their ability to learn, retain information, and process information. From improving their study habits to optimizing the time periods they study and more, there are many ways to get the most out of your education.

And today we’re going to look at “brain food” as another option available to you to help you improve your studying and academic performance. Food is probably not the first thing most people think about when it comes to improving your ability to learn, but the foods you’re consuming can have a positive or negative influence on different systems in your body.


Online School Survival Guide

January 31st, 2018 by
online school survival guide

Online School Survival Guide

Discovering that you can go to school online and still get a great education can be an incredible relief for some families, especially those that travel or live a unique lifestyle. There are pros and cons to online school, just as there are for traditional schooling.

If you’re considering online schooling, check out our quick little survival guide on how to get started with going to an online school.