Top 10 Resume Pointers


Top 10 Resume Pointers

Remember, your resume is the greatest asset you have—don’t forget this!

1. Keep It Professional

Keep it professional. Your resume is a business document, so it must be professional. Your resume is no place for gimmicks, pictures, or funny e-mail addresses. Although you may think you look great in your picture or your e-mail address is funny, this is not required on your resume. You may think it looks great, but your employer may disagree. Stick to the facts and keep it professional!

2. Make It Targeted

The more targeted your resume is, the better you have at landing an interview. Employers want to know exactly what you can do for their company. It is important you tailor each resume to each job (it will only take a few sentences to do this). Get rid of any information that is not required for a particular job. This will alleviate the tendency to overcrowd your resume with too much irrelevant information.

3. Make Sure It’s Well-written

A well-written, concise resume will make a greater impression with your employer than a long winded “padded” resume. Use positive action words such as: enhanced, influenced, restructured, and attained. This will add that extra boost to your resume. On the same hand, avoid everyday buzz words. Remember, your resume needs to focus on your key skills and achievements. Words such as “hard worker,” “reliable” and “ambitious” can have a more detrimental effect on your resume as these words are seen as adding no value to the resume.

4. Self-Promote

Your resume is a marketing document. Promote and sell yourself! Do not be scared to sell your skills, accomplishments, and abilities. If you don’t tell the employer, no one else will. Focus on what you can offer the business rather than what the business can offer you. Emphasize your skills, especially the ones the job is asking for. An employer wants to know you have the relevant skills for that particular job. If a coffee shop is hiring a barista, and you’ve already worked as one, make your skills stand out and take center stage. Just like with the example of skimming over the magazines, you need your employer to take one glance at your resume and want to read on.

5. Make It Tailored

Very important – the one size fits all approach does not work here. Every job is different, and depending on what the job is, you need to make sure you tweak your resume (and cover letter) for that particular job. Ask yourself, “What job am I going for, and does my resume have the skills and strengths required to present to my future employer?” Tailoring your resume to the specific job you’re going for will show the hiring manager you are serious about working for their organization.

6. Remember: Quality Over Quantity

Quality not quantity! Your resume is not a life story. Stick to the facts— using irrelevant data, waffling, and padding your resume are detrimental. Let your skills and experience do the talking for you.

7. Keep It Simple

Forget about fancy fonts or clever uses of italics. Keep it simple. Your resume is not meant to be a work of art to be displayed on the wall. Not only can it be hard to read, but there are multiple scanning software programs that might be unable to read it, meaning it will end up being deleted before even being opened.

8. Have Correct Spelling / Grammar / Punctuation

Every word program these days has spell check—USE IT! Poor spelling and grammar will immediately land your resume in the “deleted items” box. It is hard enough to get an interview—do not let yourself down with basic spelling mistakes. Re-read every word yourself, and get someone else to read it as well.

9. Keep It Consistent

Be sure your resume is written in a commonsense way—in order, logical, and easy to read. Be consistent throughout your resume with your margins, fonts, and line spacing. Don’t be scared to accentuate your skills or achievements with a different style of font or by using a bold font (but remember keep it simple. There is a fine line of going overboard when using different font styles). Consistency shows professionalism.

10. Don’t Mention Money

Unless you are directly asked about money, do not mention it. Keep your cards close to your chest. Do not rule yourself out before you even begin because of money.





Five more important elements:

1. Resume real estate is valuable, don’t waste it.  Have a “skills” section on your resume?  Lose it.  Frailey said this type of information should either be incorporated into the resume itself – and backed-up with specifics – or go into a cover letter.

For instance, on her resume Yvonne listed “talent acquisition” as a skill.  But lower down in the document she highlights that same skill with this bullet point: “Recruited and staffed over 300 vacancies within 3 months.” That’s a much more specific and compelling way for Yvonne to underscore her recruiting abilities than referring generally to her talent-acquisition skills, making the latter redundant.

2 Create a resume format that works for you. Don’t feel tied to the traditional functional or chronological structure for resumes. “New times call for new forms,” Frailey said. Your goal is to show off your skills to best advantage, period. For Yvonne, that might mean organizing her resume by “non-profit” and “corporate” employers.

3 Avoid the phrase “professional experience.” However you choose to organize your resume, stay away from the section header “Professional Experience.” Instead, choose a more specific header like “Human Resource Experience.”

“Because it will likely be in a larger, bolder font on your resume, the section header always catches an employer’s eye,” Frailey explained. But “Professional Experience” doesn’t tell the hiring manager what kind of job you want, or what kind of job you’re looking for.

Tailor this header for each job you apply for, she added — you want hiring managers to clearly see that you have the experience they want.

4 Don’t use self-assessing language. According to Yvonne’s “before” resume, she “contributed to successful recruitment and retention” as a director of HR. Sounds impressive, but Frailey doesn’t like it.

“As an employer I’m thinking ‘I’ll be the judge of that, don’t tell me what to think of your skills,’” she said. “I’ll know by seeing what you’ve actually done and by calling your references. So don’t waste any time on that sort of stuff.”

5 Highlight proper names. While she hasn’t had a full-time job since 2010, Yvonne has filled her time, and the gap on her resume, with consulting work. But while she listed projects she tackled for clients, she failed to identify the companies by name.

“People respond to proper names — they jump out,” Frailey said. “When I scan a resume, I should easily see where you worked.”

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5 Recruiter secrets every job seeker should know

By Dominique Rodgers
Monster Contributing Writer

Professional recruiters have seen it all. They know how to spot the best candidates and match them up with dream jobs because they’ve waded through an ocean of awful candidates and terrible jobs first.

Think you’re gonna fudge your qualifications and put one over on them? You’re not.

Think you’ve found a unique trick to stand out from the crowd? They’ve seen it before.

Instead of reinventing the wheel, why not take these recruiter-tips to make your job search go smoothly?

First Impress the Robot

“Many job seekers don’t realize that busy recruiters and employers often utilize automated screening tools to analyze how closely a resume matches the job description. If there is not a strong correlation, then your resume may never actually be seen by a human,” says Bob Myhal, CEO of NextHire, a digital hiring solution.

To get past the software, use keywords from your industry on your resume. Use words that will correlate with job descriptions for the types of jobs you’re interested in.

Be Consistent Online and Off

Myhal also recommends keeping your resume consistent with any social media sites recruiters may check — and they will check. If the resume in the recruiter’s hand says you’re the vice president of marketing at Consolidated Widget Factory, but your Facebook says “marketing director” and your Twitter bio says you’re a “freelance consultant,” that’s bad and will raise all kinds of red flags about your skill level, your social media savvy and your honesty.

“Make sure your information across social networks is up-to-date and aligned with your resume,” advises Myhal.

Do Your Homework

When someone says to “tailor your resume to each opportunity,” they don’t just mean to be sure you’re addressing your cover letter to the right company. You should use social media and do some digging on your prospective employer, advises career coach Chris Delaney. “Dig deep and look up their values, beliefs and work ethic and relate to this in your application and interview. Interviewers often make decisions based on their judgement and commonality increases likeability.”

Quantify Your Accomplishments

A great way to make your resume stand out is to include a bit of quantification when discussing your accomplishments, says Erik Bowitz, Sr., a resume expert with Resume Genius. Explicitly state the size of budgets you controlled, how many people you managed, or the percent by which you reduced turnover. Bowitz prefers percentages and dollar figures “as they jump off the page and help your resume leave an impression.”

Check Back Every Week or Two

Great recruiters work to maintain a proactive pipeline. They’ll take your information even if you aren’t totally certain about leaving your old job or if they don’t quite have the right opening for you, on the chance that a perfect match will arise. This is all part of the plan.

“The best recruiters aren’t making arbitrary connections to meet a quota, but are patiently learning about the job seekers to place them in the right position,” says Patrice Rice, president and founder of Patrice & Associates, the country’s largest restaurant recruiting firm. “If a recruiter doesn’t come to you with a job offer right away, don’t be alarmed. The right opportunity probably hasn’t come up yet. But don’t be afraid to contact the recruiter every week or two so you remain fresh on their mind.”

The 5 Best Things You Can Say in a Job Interview

The 5 Best Things You Can Say in a Job Interview

By Hannah Hamilton
Monster Contributing Writer

Interviewing for a new job can be incredibly nerve wracking and it’s natural to feel nervous about it. But if you take a deep breath and focus on preparing to say the things recruiters want to hear, you’ll be fine.

Just take these five tips from experts.

“Let me tell you about a time that I solved that problem.”

Even if an interview question could be answered with a simple “yes” or “no,” you want to be sure to say more so you highlight the value you’d bring to the organization if you’re hired for the position.

“Always have an anecdote or story about your previous experience that relates and can give more insight into yourself on the job,” suggests David Morgan, President of IT and Engineering at Addison Group.

“Can you clarify?

Asking follow-up questions such as “does that make sense,” demonstrates to an interviewer you’re intent on communicating thoroughly and accurately, a skill most employers appreciate.

“Checking-in with the interviewer by asking him or her whether things are clear and establishing a common understanding is a good way to not only engage, but also demonstrates a certain amount of care, both of which do wonders in getting that follow-up interview,” says The Workforce Consultants Managing Director Lynda Zugec.

“I read about that project on your web site.”

When two people meet for the first time, it’s polite to ask questions and express an interest in each other. In a job interview, though, you demonstrate your interest in the company by doing research before you show up, so don’t have to ask basic questions and can move on to having an intelligent conversation about it.

“I don’t mean memorizing the About Us page on the company website. I’m talking about doing your due diligence (read: research!) and knowing the company you’re applying to,”
says Voices Human Resources Manager Jessica Campbell.

“What made you decide to work here?”

Well-thought answers to an interviewer’s questions demonstrate your knowledge, experience and communication skills. But companies also want to see you’re curious about what they do.

“One of the best things you can do at an interview is come prepared with thoughtful questions for the interviewer,” says Cheryle Palmer, owner of Call to Career. Doing so demonstrates an interest in the company and the job, and shows you did your homework before the interview.

“I’d love the chance to join this team!”

There’s a huge difference between begging for a job and expressing a genuine desire to work for a company and fill the role you’re interviewing for. Recruiters are looking for people who are excited about the company and have a real interest in their prospective role.

“If the job truly is your first choice and you would accept it if given an offer, then say it,” says Jennifer Bevan, founder of Job Coaching. “Hiring managers want to give offers to exceptional candidates who have a high likelihood of accepting the offer.”

When a Raise Is Out of The Question

If you’re sick and tired of hearing about and dealing with the effects of our poor economy, then you’ll hate it more when your company has to hold raises back in order to keep operating. Many of us failed to see raises last year, and this year isn’t looking any better. But you still have a job, and that’s all that matters. Right? Even if there are improvements to your company’s bottom line, the fear is still present and many businesses are still holding back when it comes to providing their well deserved employees with their yearly raise. So what’s a person to do? has found some creative ways to getting around the no yearly raise and still show some improvements in your life.

Many employees have found that even though a raise would benefit their lifestyles immensely, there are other perks that can be negotiated that impact your life and your bottom line. Improved health care insurance, additional training, flexible scheduling, extra vacation days, sabbaticals, and telecommuting are just some to name a few. Retirement and health insurances are harder to negotiate for, but the others that are listed are obtainable.

Suggestions To Help You Get What You Want

1. Be honest with your employer. If an increase in pay is something of great importance and need to you, then tell them so. If an increase in pay is totally out of the question, then ask for other perks that will supplement the lack of pay raise.

2. Be realistic and use common sense. Many positions wont allow you to telecommute- so don’t bother to ask. However, if your position allows you to complete your work anywhere, then place it on the table. You can also suggest additional training if they have froze tuition reimbursement- it still gives you the opportunity to acquire more knowledge in your profession. And if you can offer them a very good reason why they should cover tuition for you, then use that as well- just be prepared to be shot down.

3. When you need something, don’t wait to ask- no matter what it is. By sitting on what you need, whether it is time off or further career development, the issue becomes more stressful with the longer you wait to tell your boss. Further more, if you wait too long, your request may not be feasible at that point.

The Many Faces of Management Accounting

Management accounting is a vital subfield which provides information to management employees in a company. It allows managers to make important, informed business decisions on a daily basis while maintaining said information confidentially. By using management information systems combined with a company’s own internal rules and controls, management accountants create information which will be utilized in future transactions- and never intending to be used as a record keeper of past transactions.

Cost, industrial, managerial, private, and corporate accountants are all entities that perform some kind of management accounting. In each area, the work remains relatively the same. However, professionals holding management accounting positions are required to analyze and document financial information that is directly related to their employers. They are responsible for performance evaluations, budgeting, cost management, and asset management. Many times they are vital participants of executive teams who are targeting new product development or strategic planning for their company. Overall, they are responsible for evaluating financial information that is required by corporate executives when making critical business decisions.

Management accountants have also been known to create financial reports for tax authorities, creditors, stockholders, and even regulatory agencies. Cost accounting, budgeting, planning, and financial analysis are also on a management accountants “to do” list if they are employed as part of an accounting department. believes that management accounting is a growing field with much potential for new hires. It is important to note, however, that most management accounting positions are usually given to professionals with previous accounting experience or through inner organization promotions. With the position supplying vital information needed and used in a company’s decision making, skills close to perfection are looked for when hiring.

Networking Steps That Show Results

The mere thought of getting out there and going face-to-face with folks that can potentially lead to a job is overwhelming for some of us. This, unfortunately, is more common than not, and it’s a huge factor in the job search that shouldn’t be skipped. It’s time to battle the phobias and grab the bull by the horns- get out there and actively sell yourself to the people that will help you in the end. Networking productively in all settings- informal or organized- is what will get those that matter to know your name.

Networking is often times ineffective when there is no follow-thru and a person is ill-prepared. believes these simple tips below are worth their weight in gold if you wish to make a lasting impression when networking.

Always Be Prepared
Opportunities knock at the darnedest times, and because you looking for a job, they’ll pop up when you least expect them. Be sure you have business cards on hand with up-to-date information such as phone number, email address, and any professional website page or social networking site profile address. Know what you’re looking for in a job and show confidence in yourself and your abilities. In simple terms… polish your image.

Know Your Personal Sales Pitch
When caught in a fortunate situation where you’re face-to-face with a potential employer, you better be sure you know how to sell yourself to the point where it simply rolls off your tongue and makes you shine like polished silver. You know what you’re capable of and know what you can bring to the table- now deliver it with confidence and ease that will impress the most obstinate of employers. “Practice makes perfect” isn’t just a rambling old coaches and teachers liked to repeat; it actually has weight- so do it.

Attend Functions Directly Related To Your Industry
The best place you’re going to find contacts within your field is at functions that cater to your profession. Target your networking energies at conferences, professional developments, and even college courses where there is the greatest potential for professionals who are already in positions of power in your field to make an appearance. Most of these professionals are used to and expect to be approached by potential hires and attend such events for this simple purpose- recruiting.

Bragging Isn’t Always Bad
If you don’t do it, no one will for you- so toot your own horn. A conversation that revolves around the “I” factor can be done in a way as to not make the other party want to strangle you and think you’re self absorbed. Throw in your abilities and/or accomplishments while listening to what the other person is saying. Pushing your resume is not always the best way to go- developing a relationship at the very basic level by asking to learn more about their company may be a better means to getting what you want- a job.

This is where most folks drop the ball. They went out there, did the proverbial handshaking, butt kissing, and schmoozing; then fails to take the final step in making the phone call, sending an e-mail, or asking for an additional meeting. This lets the person know that your appreciate them taking the time, are interested in possible employment, and creates a better relationship with them. Employers look for enthusiasm and initiative in potential hires- don’t take the back seat on this one.

Making It Through a Long Unemployment Period

To some, losing a job may be a blessing. However; for the majority of us, it can be a nightmare. The sudden change in the daily routine and the lack of receiving a paycheck places an enormous amount of stress on a person. Robert London, M.D., staff psychiatrist at New York University’s Langone Medical Center stated, “It’s a serious fracture in one’s world view. It doesn’t matter if you’re an executive or a bus driver- your identity is very much wrapped up in your job. And to suddenly be without that identity can be devastating.”

For the more fortunate, unemployment lasts no more than a blip of the eye. A person may experience some blue moments where they feel less than useless, but they still maintain that enthusiasm and work ethic that gets them pumped to get back to work. But what happens if your unemployment period is longer than you anticipated? Months, or even years? When interview after interview leads to a dead end, and you find yourself falling deeper in debt? This is truly a blue period where one doubts themselves and their skills. Where they find themselves sleeping more and withdrawing from friends and family- it’s depression. And for those who wish to survive the long-term unemployment, they better take steps to regain control their lives once again.

Paula Kliger, Ph.D., adjunct professor at Wayne State University in Detroit and executive vice president of the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute stated, “Being jobless can make you feel as though you have no control, and having control over your life is one of the most important factors to happiness and success. Make finding a job your new job,” she advises. “Get up, take a shower, and put decent clothes on. Follow a flexible but firm list of what you’re going to do all day. For example, networking online from 9 to 10 a.m., networking in person from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., searching job databases from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., etc.” She believes that by placing a set schedule for yourself while unemployed will keep the blues at bay- tricking your mind into thinking nothing has changed and that you still have a purpose. It also keeps you active in the job search on a daily basis.

It is also suggested by experts that a person use the time during unemployment to really find themselves. Discover what they want to do, what makes them the happiest, and what skills they are really good at. This may be the perfect opportunity to go back to college or even start up your own business. Do the research that will get you back on your feet again and guide you towards a profession that you’ll thrive at.

Sites like can assist in your job search and provide helpful tips and suggestions to get you the job you want. Job postings are placed on the board daily, and from several different regions throughout the country. Dr. London states, “Take a job sooner than later, even if it’s not the perfect position, in your area of expertise, or even in the pay range you’re expecting. If you’re innovative and a hard worker, you’ll be surprised how many doors open. And simply having something to do all day will do wonders for your mood.”

How To Revive The Job Hunt When It Takes a Downward Spiral

You’ve devoted years of your life to a company that just dismissed you without looking back. You feel rejected, lost, and depressed. The depression continues once you start looking for new employment only to find months have passed and still nothing. It’s time to stop the insanity and ask yourself what you need to change or what more could you be doing. You need to learn the in’s and out’s of the job hunt and understand that things aren’t done the same way the were 5, 8 or 10 years ago. The competition is tough and companies are looking to hire folks whose skills are well rounded to save themselves some bucks. You need to make yourself more marketable, and you’ll learn how to do it here.

You need to start with your resume. If it’s been some time since you’ve had to utilize one, then it’s best advised to use a professional career advisor to assist you in creating a new one. Depending on your specialty area, your resume should fit the job and not have any fluff that you once thought was impressive. Begin with a career goal and forgo the objective. Many times objectives don’t fit the job, but career goals are more broad and can show a potential employer what your plans are.

Next, you need to begin networking and marketing yourself in creative ways. Yes, contact anyone and everyone you know that you’re looking for employment and the skills you have- try to get referrals. But go a step further- create profiles on social networking sites where you can truly sell yourself. Share your skills and expertise including all projects that were successful in depicting your level of talent. LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are great places to get the word out and find information on possible job openings. Word of caution: Keep the information you post on these sites strictly in a professional manner. More and more businesses are doing further background checks of potential hires on these sites. You don’t want anything you post to keep you from getting employed.

You may also want to consider employing the services of career specialists and job coaches. You can find many reputable sites online that can assist you in your job hunt.,, and are just some sites where you can find job postings, resume/career advice, job/salary trends, relocation suggestions, and more. These types of sites are more than useful to folks new to the job market as well as seasoned veterans. You can also consider visiting your local Labor Department where they will assist you in resume and cover letter writing, and may even suggest employment agencies that can bring you together with companies that need employees with your skills.

If you’re a recent college graduate or active alumni of your college, old professors and college staff often have their finger on the pulse of your specialized industry. They have unlimited resources/knowledge of the market and know of local job trends. If the have instructed you first hand and have maintained a relationship with you, they can be the ultimate resource to utilize in your job hunt.

Many times, if the job hunt has become stagnant and you aren’t receiving many calls for interviews, it’s only because you need to change a few things. Know one knows better than we how stressful it is looking for employment. These simple suggestions can make the stress a bit more bearable and may just get you a job sooner than you think.

Getting It Right The First Time

As with any pivotal life-altering moment, passing the CPA exam makes all the difference in the world to someone who wishes to work at the corporate level rather than at some franchised tax shop where you’re trained for 20 hours to file 1040EZ’s. It is quite the accomplishment and folks recognize such an achievement both professionally and personally. What most don’t realize is the cost to the person involved in the test taking; the time studying, discipline, energy, commitment, and courage to obtain, understand, and use the knowledge needed to pass the CPA exam and become a successful professional. recognizes the need for assistance to all the folks out there at the launch of their career. The CPA exam is the “make or break” point that will stop any further advancement if you are not successful in passing it. We wish to extend some helpful tips and/or techniques that may help you achieve that 75 or better.

1. Some basic things to consider when preparing for the CPA exam are a study schedule, test scheduling, and juggling your current employment. To begin with, a study schedule which allows for ample time that is focused on areas of need is of great importance. You need to be aware of your knowledge strengths and weaknesses, and place your attention where it is needed the most. As for test scheduling, many times you will find there to be limitations or black-out periods when you can and cannot take certain sections of the test. Be aware of those parameters and schedule your tests accordingly. The final area to consider when prepping for the CPA exam is to know your limitations with your current employment. Try not to spread yourself too thin and wear yourself out from too much work and study. What’s more important; your job making less than $10 an hour, or the steps towards your career where your salary is worth your skill level?

2. Use a study buddy when cramming. Bounce information between each other and quiz one another orally as well as in written form. Many times, your study partner will be stronger in areas where you are not and vice versa. This partnership is very beneficial to all parties involved when preparing for the CPA exam.

3. Allow for some down-time. Your brain will turn to mush if you stay in “study mode” all the time. It’s not uncommon to feel unmotivated or unfocused- this is when you allow yourself some freedoms from the books and engage in things that will help you refocus your attentions. It’s okay to give yourself this time, just remember not to go over board and never forget that you have to once again crack the books.

4. Use the practice test materials that are available. Often times the questions that are posed in those practice books are derived directly from the CPA exam itself.

5. Understand that while your goal is to pass on the first go, you may become one of the majority who do not succeed the first time. Believe it or not, many candidates fail several sections when they take the CPA exam. It’s best to prepare yourself for the possibility and then take what you’ve learned from that failure and prepare to take that section again- and by no means let your self dwell in the failure itself.

Gathering References That Make You Shine

The references you use to get a job are more vital than you think. Many times, applicants just throw a bunch of names together not truly thinking of their importance. Human resource staff across the country all agree that references that rave about your skill and work performance are the ones that are highly regarded. It’s an importance aspect of the interviewing process that should be paid more attention to rather than giving a cursory glance.

When a human resource rep contacts references listed and they receive a less than positive response, it makes them wonder if the candidate really took the time to seeing towards their application packet. To begin with, did they even ask the person to provide a reference for them, and if they did, why did they ask a person who would give them a less than glowing characterization. It makes the applicant appear unorganized and as if they have a poor work ethic- not even figuring in the bad reference they received from one of their contacts listed. Even if the interview went great, odds are they will not receive a job offer. has supplied some helpful tips that will ensure you get your references back where they belong- making you shine like a rock star.

When Sarah Stamboulie worked in human resources at Morgan Stanley and then at Cantor Fitzgerald, she routinely checked job applicants’ references. They were not always positive. “You know it’s bad when you ask about the person, and then there’s that pause,” she says. “Or they might say, ‘Is attendance important to you?’” Or they claim that their company policy prevents them from talking about the person. “If you get three of those, you’re, like, this person is not good,” says Stamboulie, who is now a career coach in New York.

Choose references wisely
Which leads to the first rule of references: Use someone as a reference only if you’re certain he or she will sing your praises. “Hiring managers expect a rave,” Stamboulie observes. When you approach people to ask for a reference, you can make light of the fact that you’re asking for a cheering section, but do ask. Stamboulie also advises giving people an out, saying something like, “I know it takes time to be a reference, and I completely understand if you’re too busy.”

Deal with bad references head on
What if your immediate supervisor at your last job hated your guts? Try to find another reference who adores you, Stamboulie says. But if you know that boss is going to run around badmouthing you, take action. One of her clients had a job at Goldman Sachs, where a boss asked him to do something he considered unethical. He left Goldman and started looking elsewhere. Through the grapevine, he heard that his old boss was blackballing him. So he went back to the gentleman and confronted him in person. Soon after, he got a new job in an office that included a fellow Goldman alum. He wasn’t sure whether his strategy to silence that former boss had worked, Stamboulie says, but he did find employment.

Give examples for references to use
Another essential for getting strong references is helping them prepare not only to rave about you but also to offer specific examples of your brilliant accomplishments. Marcie Schorr Hirsch, a consultant and coach in Belmont, Mass., recommends that at the end of any job interview you ask the hiring manager about the strengths of the person who previously held the job. Then share that information with your references. Help them come up with stories of how you demonstrated precisely those strengths. Anita Attridge, a New York career coach, suggests sending references an e-mail with a bullet-point list of achievements they can mention when a hiring manager calls.

Look beyond former supervisors
Hirsch likes the idea of offering a “360-degree” set of references. That means including a superior, a colleague, and someone who reported to you. That way the hiring manager can get a sense of your strengths from multiple perspectives. Scott Robinson, a partner at the executive search firm Kensington International, says headhunters routinely search for references beyond the ones a job seeker provides: “We’ll say to a reference, ‘Who else do you know who worked with Bob?’” And Robinson, who recruits mostly for senior-level positions, sometimes grills references for specifics. Which is why it’s a great idea to supply them with a ready list of anecdotes that illustrate your brilliance.

Make graceful exits
It’s also important never to burn bridges as you exit, even if you’re furious at your soon-to-be-former colleagues. Robinson is currently working with a candidate who felt he was unfairly fired. “He made a big brouhaha about it,” says Robinson. “He had worked at the company for a long time, and now his only base of references is tainted.” The candidate would have been much wiser to have walked out the door, calmed down, and let some time pass before asking his old employer for a good word.

Finding Meaning In Your Job

Anyone can find meaning in their job. Whether you’re a doctor, priest, teacher, or an accountant; the work can and is meaningful to others if not to yourself. Many times, folks get bogged down with the humdrum work they do everyday- never putting much thought into the actual practices they engage in. What most of us seem to forget is that each person out there has a different definition of what makes something meaningful. The idea is to explore what gives you the most gratification in your work, and embrace it daily.

The inability to find what makes work meaningful is often the reason for a person to look elsewhere for employment. What those people fail to realize is that in every job, purpose and meaning can be found, and there is no reason to look elsewhere. Below you will find some tips that has put together to help you find the meaning or gratification in your work.

  • You first have to figure out what you want out of your job and in your work. Is there anything that makes you eager or excited about going into to work each day? Do you like the leadership role, or accomplishing a project your boss put you in charge of? Do you like the idea of your paycheck at the end of the week? Even if your reason is superficial, it still creates meaning in your work for you.
  • Take personal interests and try to incorporate them into your work. For instance, if environmental issues are a passion you look to participate in outside of work, maybe you could start a recycling program at work or devise some process where your company saves on energy or paper.
  • Focus on your goal- what you wish to accomplish if you feel there is no true meaning in your work. In other words, if you work to support yourself and your family, then that’s the meaning of your work. By keeping your eye on what matters the most, the work you do will mean all that much more to you.
  • Check your attitude at the door. If you’re negative about your job, it is going to carry over into your work. The cycle continues when you’re spoken to about your poor performance and so on… However, by simply changing your outlook and attitude, you will find yourself happier, getting more work done, and actually enjoying your work. Do what you have to get yourself squared away.
  • Keep your mind and options open. Over time, you’ll find that you’re interests and needs will change. When at one time, your kids were at home and need this and that to make it through the year, you’re now living alone while the kids are off living their live- thus changing your personal meaning for work again. It’s best to keep in mind that the meaning of your work will forever change throughout your lifetime. This is a process that is continual, and needs to be addressed from time to time to ensure your happiness.

Exposing Career Myths and Their Falseness

We’ve all heard of the many do’s and don’ts when looking for a new job. What we don’t know is that many of them aren’t true and have been used and proven to be effective. Tony Beshara, employment recruiter and president of Babich & Associates, and the author of “The Job Search Solution” and “Acing the Interview has busted many of these so called myths and proves some of them to be beneficial. He states, “I bust career myths because folks are misled by them.” Below you will find some of the more popular myths that he knows to be untrue. wishes to share his beliefs with you in hope that they help you in your job hunt.

1. The myth that you cannot land a job if you don’t have experience is as false as they come. Beshara says, “We all start somewhere. The key is to start somewhere. It may not be where you think you deserve after spending all that money and time on an education, but if you have to start sweeping floors, start there. More doors are opened from the inside than from the outside.” As many of us know, businesses and corporations nationwide recruit students straight out of school in entry level positions- not always in the profession they were educated in, and many employers fill vacancies from within their business. In other words, it’s beneficial to get yourself a position in the company where you ultimately want to use your professional skills, even if it is the desired position you want right away.

2. Another myth Beshara busted has to do with salary and how employees place great emphasis on it. He again proves this to not always be the case. He says, “If that were true, we’d all rob banks.” Of course money and salary mean a great deal, but if it were the end all of any job, there’d be several more positions open in companies than there are now. Most employees place job security and satisfaction over salary- especially in a rocky economy such as ours is.

3. As our seasoned workers are experiencing more so of late, lay-offs and down-sizing are forcing them into career changes. Many feel they are too old for a career change, and truth be told- it’s never too late. Beshara states, “If you have the energy and the attitude, it’s never too late.” “Recareering” at any stage of life can be scary and stressful. However, with the economic situation in which we live in this day of age, it’s common practice to come across a person in their 50’s and older just starting a new career.

4. It is believed that a skilled employee is able to multitask and turn out exceptional work. Truth be told, it is the least efficient way to get the job done. Your concentration is split and thus all your energy and focus aren’t on the particular job. It drains brain power and wills how up in your work.

5. The final myth buster has to do with working independently and being unable to get the job done without supervision. “There may be a few workers who need to be ‘pushed’ by someone else to get a job done. But most workers do their best without any coercion,” states Beshara. In reality, work performance declines when closely supervised, micromanaging has a negative impact on employee’s productivity, communication, and goal attainment.

Advancement In Your Job Through Career Development

If you haven’t already participated in some form of career development, it’s time to jump on the band wagon and jump start your career. Career development programs are a great way to advance forward in your current position, and look great added to your resume. They enhance your already expert skills and keep you up to date on recent events in your field. Whether classes or sessions are offered by your company or outside entities, they are well worth looking into.

Participating in some form of career development is not a difficult thing to do. It’s learning how to maximize the resources that your place of business offers, and locating reputable sessions to participate in. Many times, businesses offer to compensate their employees if they look to outside sources for their career improvement, while other times businesses offer them in-house. It is important to remember that you and you alone are responsible to attend the sessions, put forth the effort to complete any extra work involved, and you may have to expend some money from your pocket.

Below you will find some suggestions from that can aid you in your search for the best career development classes.

  • Read career oriented publications. This is one of the most inexpensive and up-to-date methods to keep you current in your field. They provide the most recent surveys, studies, and advancements in your field. Some employers may offer a stipend or a reimbursement clause for employees to utilize if they do so and share with their peers what they have learned.
  • Attend in-house career development sessions. Many companies insist on employees attending so many hours of career development sessions in a year. Not only do the classes keep their employees sharp and current on new methods, they also review procedures that are used within the company as a whole. These career development sessions are usually covered by the employer at no cost to you- except for your time and energy.
  • Look into taking career development classes outside the company. These types of classes are often times offered through local colleges and business entities. Expect to pay these types of sessions from your pocket, with the possibility of being reimbursed. You may even be able to get approved to attend these classes at the companies cost and get paid to go.
  • Participate in online classes. Human resources will often times post career development possibilities for their employees to consider. This type of class is paced at your own discretion and is usually covered by the employer or is free to participate in. Check with HR before you commit to any online source for career development first- many times if the class is not recognized by the company as a reliable source for education or career enhancement, you won’t get credit for it.

10 Old Resume Phrases That Need Replacing

Since resumes are the window to your professional side, it’s best to be innovative while expressing your true skill level. Years past, it was acceptable for resumes to behold phrases like excellent team player, strong work ethic, and seeking a challenging opportunity. But they just aren’t enough anymore they’re outdated and simply to broad. It’s up to you make the changes on your resume and paint yourself in alight that is flattering.

Here you will find ten old phrases that suggests you re place with hipper, more expressive ones that reflect your true accomplishments.

1. “Excellent team player”- Replace each outdated phrase with new, more informative information, “At Blah Blah company, I created and participated in a peer group which helped develop many of the company’s policy and procedure regulations.”

2. “Savvy business professional”- “As a PR specialist, I obtained free company exposure through local television news stations by holding a fund raiser in honor of a local at-risk youth organization.” This shows exceptional business savvy- getting the company exposure, and painting the company in a decent light caring for the youth in the community.

3. “Results-oriented professional”- “I love to discover solutions to the most impossible of job related problems.”

4. “Bottom-line Orientation” – “My accounting/auditing skills saved the company over $4M with thin the first two years.”

5. “Strong work ethic” – “I taught myself how to use the program Excel to further my marketability.”

6. “Superior communication skills” – “I conveyed and provided examples for the need of further training in the accounting department.”

7. “Exceptional organizational skills” – “I developed a new procedure and schedule when completing daily reports.”

8. “Exceeds expectations” – “Was invited to participate in an executive strategy conference during my first few years of the company.”

9. “Strong presentation skill” – “Current employer hired me after hearing me present at a conference.”

10. “Seeking a challenging opportunity” – “I’m looking for a position in a company looking to excel and surpass rival companies.”

7 Factors To Consider Before Leaving a Job

Before you jump on a job offer for another employer, you should look over all the factors of your current employment before making any final decisions. Many times, folks who do this realize their job isn’t as bad as they thought it was. The grass isn’t always greener, so be sure before you make the move.

Listed below are some factors suggests you consider.

  • The Pay: Make a comparison of what you’re making now to what the new position offers. Be sure to include any possible bonuses and/or perks that each job includes as well.
  • Location: Will your job be located in the roughest part of the city with smoke stacks for a view, or is it located near a public park perfect for lunch and walking? How long is the commute to each, and which job would use less gas and time? Do you need to relocate?
  • Coworkers: It’s hard to get a feel of possible coworkers until you’ve actually worked with them, but consider the folks you work with now. Is the team you work with currently supportive and make your job easier, or are they a difficult bunch with a bad work ethic?
  • Benefits: Compare the benefits packages offered at each job. This includes health, 401(K) plans, vacation and sick time, and tuition reimbursement. If your current benefits are outstanding, is it worth jumping ship to a job with poor benefits?
  • The economy: With the way the economy has been, job security just isn’t there. If in your current position, you hold a relatively safe position, you may want to consider sticking with it until the economy improves more.
  • Dress code: Will you have to change what you wear to work if you take a new position with another employer, or will you be comfortable with toting power suits instead of professional casual?
  • The boss: How’s your relationship with your current boss? Do you get on decently or are they a tyrant? It’s hard to find a good boss, and if you can share a beer with them after a long day, then think twice before jumping ship to someone else.

5 Ways to Ensure Mediocrity in Your Organization

By Liz Ryan
Provided By BusinessWeek

The recession is no excuse for ignoring, misusing, or demeaning talent. But hey, if that’s what you really want to do, follow these suggestions.

The last time I checked, the U.S. led the world in productivity per employee. That’s the good news. The bad news is that much, if not all, of that boost in productivity has come on the backs of workers, especially salaried types viewed by too many management teams as infinitely elastic resources. As one management consultant told me: “The average company takes better care of its copiers than it does its talent.”

Many chief executives use the tough competitive environment as a handy excuse to put off salary increases, tighten the screws on performance, and generally drop any pretense of creating a human-centered workplace. But the tough-economy picture has two sides. Only those companies that make the effort to keep their employees productive by treating them decently can expect to see continued productivity gains. Much of the workforce has tuned out, waiting for a more welcoming job market to make career moves. Those organizations that haven’t wavered on their commitments to flexibility, recognition of talent, and transparent leadership will keep A-list players on board as the job market improves. Their competitors may be wishing they’d paid a little more attention to employee TLC as employees start peeling off for greener pastures.

Here are five of the most insulting leadership practices, the ones that virtually guarantee a business will end up with the most self-esteem challenged, optionless team members when the dust settles.

1. If you desire a mediocre workforce, make sure your employees know you don’t trust them.

Nothing spells “You’re dirt to us” like a corporate culture that screams, “We don’t trust you as far as we can throw you.” I refer to company policies that require employees to clock in and out for lunch or software that tracks every keystroke and change of URL in case a molecule of nonwork-related activity squeaks into the workday. When employees know they’re not trusted, they become experts at “presenteeism”—the physical appearance of working, without anything getting done. Congratulations! Your inability to trust the very people you’ve selected to join your team has cost you their energy, goodwill, and great ideas.

2. If you want to drive talented people away, don’t tell them when they shine.

Fear of a high-self-esteem employee is prevalent among average-grade corporate leadership teams. Look how hard it is for so many managers to say, “Hey Bob, you did a great job today.” Maybe it’s a fear that the bit of praise will be met with a request for a pay raise. Maybe it’s the fear that acknowledging performance will somehow make the manager look weak. Whatever the reason for silence, leaders who can’t say, “Thanks—good going!” can plan on bidding farewell to their most able team members in short order.

3. If you prefer a team of C-list players, keep employees in the dark.

Sharp knowledge workers want to know what’s going on in their organizations, beyond their departmental silos. They want some visibility into the company’s plans and their own career mobility. Leaders who can’t stand to shine a light on their firms’ goals, strategies, and systems are all but guaranteed to spend a lot of money running ads on Marketable top performers want a seat at the table and won’t stand for being left in the dark without the information they need to do their jobs well.

4. If you value docility over ingenuity, shout it from the rooftops.

I heard from a new MBA who had joined a global manufacturer. “They told me during my first week that I need a manager’s signature to organize a meeting,” he recalled. “They said I’m too low-level to call a meeting on my own, because unauthorized meetings of nonmanagers are against company policy.” How fearful of its employees would a leadership team have to be to forbid people to gather together to solve problems? The most desirable value creators won’t stick around to be treated like children. They’ll hop a bus to the first employer who tells them, “We’re hiring you for your talent—now go do something brilliant.”

5. If you fear an empowered workforce more than you fear the competition, squash any sign of individualism.

When you go to college, you learn about Economic Man, but in the corporate workplace we see that real people don’t always act rationally. Lots of individual managers and plenty of leadership teams fear nothing more than the idea that a self-directed employee might buck authority. That’s equivalent to shaking the organizational power structure to its foundation, possibly a fate worse than death. Leaders who want the most docile, sheep-like employees more than the smartest and ablest ones create systems to keep the C players on board and drive the A team out the door. They do it by instituting reams of pointless rules, upbraiding people for miniscule infractions (“What? Twenty minutes late? Sure you worked here until midnight last night, but starting time is starting time.”) and generally replacing trust with fear throughout their organizations. Companies that operate in fear mode will never deliver great products and services to the marketplace. Their efforts will be hamstrung by their talent-repelling management practices. How long will it take these enterprises to figure out they’re shooting themselves in the foot? It doesn’t matter—you’ll be long gone by then.

Top Eight Criteria That Will Get You Better Pay

Companies today are willing to pay top dollar for the right employee with the better than average qualifications. It’s not even unheard of for a person to switch companies, do the same job, and get more pay. The questions to ask here are how are they able to get higher pay than rest of us and what makes them so special? Often times, companies will adapt or tweak their market data when determining a pay scale for a specific potential employee. They place a basic salary on the job before they figure in the skills a new hire could bring to the company. From here they are able to fine tune their pay practices and consider the new employee’s background and qualifications before determining a final salary figure.

It is now possible for potential new hires to access the same data that HR departments use when practicing salary configurations. This information can and does prove to be a handy tool when looking for ways to get better pay. Begin your research by utilizing a Salary Wizard. Here you can find what the average salaries are locally, regionally, or nationally. These programs determine figures for a certain position, not what you can bring further to the table. So again; this is just a starting point.

To get a closer figure as to what your net salary could be, dig deeper and use a more refined program that provides a personal salary report. These programs take into account your qualifications, experience, geography, and such. It will get you closer to the true figure any company should offer you. In addition to these simple steps that could be taken, wishes to further assist you by sharing the top eight criteria companies look for that can definitely boost your salary.

1. Education- This is a given. The more education you have, the better odds you’ll have of receiving better pay. The quality of your education can also contribute to any potential pay scale. If you receive accreditation from a top school or program, companies will look to you before considering candidates from a school with a less favorable standing.

2. Years of Experience- Sometimes experience will land more money in your pocket- but not always. If a position requires or is asking for 5 years experience and you only have 3, you may find the offering salary lower.

3. Professional associates and additional certifications- Belonging to professional organizations or associations in your field may be looked upon favorably. Additional certifications look very good as well. While some forms of business require certifications before hiring, others will allow their employees to work toward their certification after hiring- with lower pay of course.

4. Performance reviews- Individual performance is also a contributing factor when deciding the final salary figure. Previous employment reviews can prove to be valuable when in the salary negotiations.

5. The Boss- Your current or previous boss will have a direct hit on the final salary figure you obtain. Their recommendations or negative report can and will have a direct effect on salary negotiations.

6. Number of reports or managerial skills- If you have experience managing or leading other employees, your stock goes up. In some positions, the more folks you manage, the higher the pay.

7. Hazardous working conditions- Pay is always higher if you take a position where there is potential harm. Whether it be in research, or simply for the geography of where the position is at- danger pay is a factor.

8. Shift Differentials- Depending on the shift you are asked to work, the pay may be higher. This also includes overtime.

Top 9 Skills Required to Achieve Success in a Technical Career

Recent studies have shown that the majority of technical professional participants involved that have achieved success in their field, have 9 significant skills that helped them climb the career ladder. These key factors combined with their technical know-how and savvy differentiate them from the masses. The professionals that were studied all did very well for themselves- maintaining positions of authority and performing on higher levels proving their competency. It’s important for any job seeker or employed professional to encompass these qualities if they wish to succeed in a field that is highly competitive. believes that the following skills could prove to be of some assistance to anyone looking to experience career success.

1. Cognitive ability- This skill is a combination of using personal knowledge and identifying patterns, problems, and solutions to then form and execute plans of action that will benefit your team or company as a whole. The ability to tackle a task and deliver the final results understanding what is being asked of you is a true asset.

2. Perception- Seeing the whole picture and taking the correct steps to achieve a goal is what separates success from failure. In other words, are you a person who sees the glass half full, half empty, or a simple drink to quench your thirst? Perception does vary from person to person; it’s using your perception to reach your goals that counts.

3. Taking initiative- Anytime an employee initiates and takes responsibility above and beyond their job description, they are surely to be recognized for their effort. Seeking out and grasping technical opportunities that can lead to acknowledging your true potential is a positive career move.

4. Networking- Building and maintaining your professional network looks promising to any company. These branches of your professional tree allow you to remain current on new technology as well as what’s happening in other companies. It is the opportunity to continue your education in an unofficial way, and allows for you solve problems that arise that much faster and simpler. Many doors open for you when you tap into your networking force.

5. Teamwork- Your ability to work with peers is the most important skill to have to achieve success. It is impossible to do the work of 10 men, however, if you can delegate, brainstorm, create interdependencies, share knowledge, be capable of participating in dialogue and dissension, and such- you have the makings of a good leader and will experience success.

6. Leadership- These skills include knowledge, communication, a willingness to hear others out, negotiation, inter-personal skills, mentoring, and so on. They are vital if you wish to achieve success in a technical career- or any career for that matter.

7. Organizational savvy- Being organized in all aspects of the job show what a true professional you are. Planning or pre-planning for future projects and knowing when and how tasks are to be completed, and then having everything done when it’s suppose to be is a great skill to have and required to climb any professional ladder.

8. Followership- All great leaders know and understand that sometimes they need to be the follower on certain projects. It’s important to be able to share that role at times when situations arise where your not as versed as well as someone else.

9. Communication- Your ability to communicate through oral and written presentations and conversations is essential. Being in a technical career does not allow you to simply write in code and expect all others to understand. Expression and clarification of work is what will have you finding success.

Ten Characteristics To Look For In a Software Engineer

You won’t find many companies out there that don’t require some sort of technical assistance. Software is utilized more than it’s not, and a skilled software engineer is essential to keep things running smoothly in any business. For instance, quality code can be viewed as a competitive differentiator that is a definite necessity. And with companies in constant software competition, software engineers are increasing in demand.

Sometimes it’s hard to spot a truly skilled software engineer that would complement your company and create quality software. wishes to share some important key characteristics to look for when hiring a software engineer. The future of your business depends on it.

1. Be Able To Write Code- Not all software engineers write code. However, at some point in time it may become a necessity and your company would benefit if they had that skill.
2. Takes The Initiative- They are able to identify a problem-(input, output, processes), and are able to form solutions without direction or supervision.
3. Continuously Re-factors Code- Codes sometime need to be altered in some form or manner. A good software engineer is able to rework programs to suit the needs of the company. This is especially present in the prototyping phase of any software created.
4. Able To Create Design Patterns- A good software engineer is able to draw up charts, diagrams, and such to depict or describe functions to be written out.
5. Writes Tests- Look for a software engineer that is able to test boundary values and invalid data. Modular testing is an asset in that each test can validate each function separately, often by writing a test program that simply calls to this one function.
6. Leverages Existing Code- Is able to take pre-existing code and tweak it to function in a more proficient way.
7. Ensures Usability- Any software developed is functional and reliable to both company employees and business processes.
8. Completes Maintenance- Your software engineer should be able to fix errors, add new features, make changes to faster algorithms, etc.
9. Can Code in Any Language- Not a necessity, but very helpful in certain businesses.
10. Knows Basic Computer Science- Speaks for itself.

Seeing to Your Company’s Success Through Employee Happiness – Part 1

Your employee’s work performance and happiness mean the difference between your company’s success and your company’s failure. They matter- they really do. They are what keep you one step ahead of competitors and should be treated the same as you would any customer/client- with their needs in mind. Many experts believe that if you’re not nurturing them, encouraging, and praising them for the work they accomplish for you, they will ultimately seek employment elsewhere where their needs are met. And if they have established relationships with customers/clients, they too will leave you for greener pastures.

G. Sujansky, founder and CEO of KEYGroup states, “Many leaders don’t realize that the rules of business have changed almost overnight. The old paradigm says that your primary focus should be on keeping your customer happy. The new paradigm says the employee has taken over that spot. Keep her engaged and she’ll keep your customers happy. Neglect her needs and she won’t be so concerned about keeping her end of the bargain. In the end, not only will she go elsewhere, your customers may follow suit.” Being a business owner, manager, or HR rep, the last thing you want is for an increase in turn-overs to begin. This will inevitably affect the overall outcome of productivity and moral throughout the organization. An unhappy worker is one who cares little for what the customer/client wants.

Instead of wasting time and money on recruiting, interviewing, and training, your resources will be most beneficial if you aim them at the employees you already have on your payroll. has listed some suggestions that may prove to be helpful in your plight to keep employees engaged, productive, and still working for you.

Tip #1: Paint a true representation of your company at the get go. Don’t mislead a potential hire into thinking the culture of your company is something different than what it really it is. If an employee gets hired thinking one thing about the company, only to learn a few weeks later that you have misled them, they will resent you and thus look for different employment. They may very well be the best and the brightest of candidates from which you chose from, but by misrepresenting yourself and the company to them before they agreed to take on the job was wrong and you’ll pay the consequences for it. Honesty is always the best policy, especially when employees can see though a lie within the first weeks of employment.

Tip #2: Keep your employees actively engaged and productive through challenging assignments and opportunities that provide growth and development. If budgeting allows, offer to reimburse tuition for classes outside their degree, or offer professional developments that can lead to promotions down the line. Bored employees who become stagnant in their jobs produce far less than those who get a glimpse at other areas of the company through educational enhancements.

Tip #3: Ensure your company is truly one that represents multi- cultural diversities including race, gender, religion, age, lifestyle, education, personality, socio-economic backgrounds, and such. The culture of your company will be one that is truly rounded and provide for the best of knowledge bases anywhere. Creating a diverse workforce will improve overall productivity, problem solving, and be more stimulating for all involved. Your employees will grow to respect your openness and ability to allow differing ideas flow freely- the trick is to utilize the diverse workforce to your advantage.

Tip #4: Assist and offer your employees help with balancing their work and life outside the job. Many companies today offer daycare in building, or even allow employees to job share. Other times employees are working at home tele-commuting work they have accomplished. Something as simple as flexible scheduling will make a mom or dad happy for not missing their child’s soccer game or play. These easy accommodations will keep employees happy and satisfied with their employment station and will appreciate you more.

Recognizing a Top Notch Accountant

Every employer knows the importance of retaining an accountant, but are they experienced or familiar enough with the accounting profession to recognize a top notch professional? Normally, the answer to this no. Potential employers usually go with the basic requirements or credentials in the areas of need they require. This inexperience in recognizing a truly skilled accountant could be disastrous for a business. Accounting is more than keeping track of the finances, development of financial statements, and tax preparations. They are a companies business advisor that have the ability to budget, project cash flow, and assist in securing business finances. These transactions are things you don’t want to leave in the hands of the feeble minded. Incompetence is not acceptable where your business is concerned.

Here are some character traits to look for in a top notch accountant that feels are important.

1. Your accountant graduated from an accredited college, and passed the required testing to become a licensed Certified Public Accountant in the state your business is located.
2. They have additional specialized skills that could be utilized in your company.
3. They are familiar with the type of accounting you require for your business to be successful, and are experienced in your industry.
4. Your CPA belongs to a professional organization(s) that insist upon maintaining a certain professional code of ethics that are regularly reviewed for quality.
5. Your CPA firm has attorneys and other professionals on retainer for advice and services.
6. Your CPA participates in professional development and trainings that keep them up to date in the ever changing finance and accounting world.
7. Your CPA is familiar with banking processes and the institutions themselves thus making it easier to secure funding if needed.
8. Past and current clients of your CPA provide outstanding reviews/references of their job performance.
9. Your CPA will need minimal- if any- supervision to get the job done.
10. Your CPA initiates and seeks out business transactions that are beneficial to your company. (They also watch out for trends and downfalls)

Hiring a top notch accountant for your business will require a salary befitted for a skilled, experience professional. With them, you can relax knowing that your finances are in good hands.

Networking Your Way Into a Job

Anyone involved with job seeking knows the importance of networking. We are very fortunate today to have the technological capabilities to reach out and spread our virtual finger tips over the social networking sites that are out there. If this is done right, you may just link yourself up with a job faster than you ever thought.

It’s not surprising to see many companies utilizing the social networking sites to market their ideals, services, and products. They are also taking advantage of the enormous outreach these social networks have and are now starting to seek out employees from them. Along with seeking out potential employees, they also utilize these sites as a way to get better acquainted with new or potential hires. So, even though social networking could be a Godsend, it could also mean the death of your professional life if your social networking isn’t done right.

Below you will find some tips, suggestions, and so forth on the safest, most efficient ways to tweet, post, blog, ping, and poke your way into your next job.

1. The first thing you need to do is to make yourself more visible to the masses. You can do this by posting your resume on various employment sites, and even your own web page. You also want to consider joining some social networking sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Myspace. You are looking to create a professional profile- this is vitally important. These profile pages are not to be posts pages for friends and such to share intimate details about your life. This is where many folks make the mistake. Businesses access these sites to gather further background on candidates- so keep it clean and simple.
2. Make your personal profile private. In other words, block anyone outside your immediate personal social circle from seeing your personal silly side. Potential employers don’t need to see that your bud or girlfriend got tanked last night, or you hooked-up with so and so. You don’t want them having access to the personal information about your outside life that may cause them to pre-judge you. Many times, friends and family make comments that are degrading or inflammatory- even if they were just kidding, a potential employer may think otherwise.
3. Watch what you post, tweet, or ping to other people. Even if you believe that what you’re posting is only going to be viewed by a few, it may reach someone who is affiliated with an interviewing business. You’ll read constantly that someone got hired for a job, then went and posted something derogatory about the HR rep, the business, or the job itself. You’ll later read that folks affiliated with that company saw the posting and informed all parties involved- obviously resulting in the job offer being rescinded. It’s all true, it happens, so don’t do it.
4. When creating a profile about yourself, you really need to sell it. You are the marketable good and you’re looking for a buyer, so place your best foot forward and let your skills shine through print. Once that is accomplished, you need find avenues that will draw potential employers to your site. Be sure to inform all friends, family, and business associates that you’re looking for a job and give them the link address to your page. You can also create back-links to your page by writing brief articles about a subject in your field and posting it in an article directory. Many folks join blog sites and list their link way, while others will promote themselves through LinkIn and Twitter. encourages jobseekers to utilize whatever avenues are available to them to help them find a job.

IT Jobs and Salary Trends

Many IT professionals may be in for a disappointment this year when it comes to raises. Robert Half Technology projects an average decrease in pay of approximately 1.3% across the job market as a whole. However, if you have a secondary specialization in areas such as security, media, global business expansion, or network administration; you may just be in a better position if the predicted trends are correct.

The IT security field is the place to be in 2010. It is advised to obtain security-related certification as it continually increases in pay and value with new government security requirements. Corporations dividing operational security and strategic risk management tasks is also a huge driving force behind the growth of the field. Starting salary ranges for an information systems security manager are between $96,000 and $130,000.

Web Developers and Application Developers are becoming more in demand as companies try to improve their product’s image through social media and interactive web sites. Professionals fluent in Java, Soap, SQL, Sybase Adaptive Server, and Microsoft Commerce Server are the most sought after. For senior web developers starting salary begins at $78,000 and can reach up to $109,000 this year. If your looking for a position as a support tech or help desk professional, expect a salary range of $28,000 to $39,000.

Another profession trend on the rise is Cloud Computing- Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Software as a Sevice (SaaS). This area of expertise in network administration is the most in-demand skill set for 2010. Expect to see salary ranging between $54,000 and $80,000.

Professionals who have the global capability to consolidate Enterprise Resource Planning systems in different countries are predicted to increase in demand for the year. SAP Supplier Relationship Management, SAP Supply Chain Management and SAP Strategic Enterprise Management are three SAP specialties that are predicted to soar this year. While the integration of IT professionals into marketing teams and brand development is another job trend to consider. encourages all IT professionals out there to consider having a secondary specialty in order to increase their chances of a top salaried job for 2010. It’s not enough to have just a degree in computer sciences anymore. Consider branching out to hot areas such as bioinformatics (the application of computer science to the realm of molecular biology), and location-based services for cell phones (finding the closest pizza place to your current location). Any and all additional certifiations will have you earning top dollar this year.

Hiring the Best Person to Fit Your Accounting Needs

Locating and hiring the best accountant for your needs is a task that can prove to be more difficult than believed. In the vast world of finance and accounting, there are numerous candidates with various qualifications to fill positions that business owners require worldwide. It is vital to know what your business needs are in order to hire the best accountant. Furthermore, the relationship that is established between business owner and accountant can be the making or breaking of any successful business. wishes to assist their clientele the best way they can, and fully believe these suggestions can aid you in hiring the best person to fit your accounting needs.

  • Do thorough background checks on possible candidates- this includes any recommendations or referrals from associates and friends. Word of mouth references can often times lead to a successful business relationship. Remember, the information that is shared with your accountant is confidential and very personal. Therefore, a certain bond of trust needs to be present or established and hiring someone who is less than trustworthy isn’t acceptable.
  • Check credentials, references, and past performance if possible. An accountant that continues their education and takes initiative in learning the new laws/regulations is a person you want on your payroll.
  • Trust your gut feeling about the candidate. Do you feel comfortable with them as a person? Do you feel they understand what you’re looking for in an accountant? Do they understand the business goals that you have set and know how to carry them out? Take the time to get to know them in whatever fashion that makes you feel you have a true picture of the type of person and accountant they are.
  • Be sure the accountant you hire is experienced in the type of accounting that you need. Corporate accounting that develop financial statements and perform internal audits may not be appropriate for small business owners on the same caliber. Know what you want the m to specialize in.
  • Don’t be afraid to make a change if you feel you’ve made the wrong decision in a new hire. If your new accountant is not performing to the standards for which you have set, do not waste your time and potential money in the “wait and see game.” It could be a mistake that costs you your company.

The Green Act of 2009 Still Thriving in 2010

The increase demand for solar and wind powered products in homes, businesses, and else where have made these green career fields boom. The professional job pool for skilled, experienced employees is at an all time low leaving many positions unfilled. However, there has been some relief for business that have been functioning under-staffed. The Green Act of 2009 is allowing folks to receive the education and training in career areas where the growth is only in the beginning stages.

The Green Act of 2009 was passed as a part of the American Recovery and Investment Act of 2009. A part of this act offers home owners and businesses a tax break if they have installed solar and wind powered equipment and materials on their properties. These tax credits are to be experienced over a course of years, not just in a one time shot. This option/tax break has influenced many property owners to invest in green energy.

With the increased demand for services/products, the demand for skilled professionals increases as well. Educational institutions now offer more programs concentrated on green career fields. With the promising future job market outlook for positions in clean energy and such, students are enrolling in these programs hoping to fill the gap where the need is at it’s greatest. The events of increased demands for jobs and educational programs are a direct result of The Green Act Of 2009.

Training/education is becoming more available to the masses than ever before. Many companies are offering further training to candidates who have some experience in a career field that is relatively close to the position they need filled. The act was also intended to increase employment opportunities and has proved to be successful as it ran into the new year. It’s continued success is still evident as 2010 plays out. encourages it’s readers to take advantage of the opportunities that The Green Act of 2009 encompasses. Skilled professionals are in demand and the government is offering a chance to become one of the few green energy professionals to lead the way.

Gain Experience Through an Environmental Internship

For anyone looking to obtain experience in a green career, consider participating in an environmental internship to build up your resume. Environmental internships prove to be helpful for students still enrolled in college to the seasoned worker looking to transition to a different career. Many careers in the green field require experts with degrees in chemistry, engineering, biology, and other related disciplines. Adding experience obtained in an internship greatly improves your chances of landing a job.

By participating in an environmental internship, you increase your chances of getting hired through the company for which you completed your placement. Many businesses believe that since they are the ones that introduced and educated you further in their industry, they should be the ones to hire you when your internship is completed. It is a great opportunity to show management a true depiction of your skill level and professional expertise.

Green industry areas where you could find possible internships include air quality, clean technology-(wind, solar, and thermal energy jobs), wildlife preservation, and nature conservation. The renewable energy industry is thriving and you can find many opportunities where internships lead to an actual position upon completion. This is the best time to lay the track work to creating a working network and build invaluable experience in an area that is sure to grow with time. also recommends attending any green energy training course. There are many government grants from which participants can attend at little to no fee. If your interest in the renewable energy field is serious, it’s a great way to explore the many employment possibilities before committing to any environmental internship.

With green careers on the rise, and the many government sponsored environment jobs now available, the market is yours for the taking. Get the experience now and become a top competitor for positions that some can only dream about.

Forecast on Employer Trends

With a little more than a month left in the first quarter, employers are anticipated to make several moves involving employment trends. Taking into consideration our chaotic economy, companies are now looking to take matters into their own hands. They long to make up ground that was lost in the recession, and create situations that will work for them once again. believes the following employer trends are a great insight for future company developments.

1. Rehire Workers That Were Laid-off.
The majority of companies experienced some form of down-sizing through lay-offs last year. Out of the companies involved in lay-offs, 32% will begin re-hiring employees throughout the year.

2. Replacing Lower-Performing Employees
Many employees have taken on jobs that are beneath their skill level in order to continue working, or simply to get to back to work. It may please many employees to know that many companies are going to now recognize those folks and promote them to higher positions that could utilize their expertise. 37% of employers stated they would begin to take advantage of the large numbers of top talent in their labor pool and strengthen their workforce before going outside to look for talent.

3. Utilizing Social Media
Many companies experienced a negative impact for the decisions they had to make during the recession- and in turn for their brand/product. In order to turn this around, these companies plan to place an emphasis on the social media market. They plan to utilize folks already under their employ as well as hire to take on the responsibility of social media practices.

4. Flexible Work Arrangements
It may please some of you to learn that many companies are in tuned with their employee’s ability to balance their work with their home life. 35% of employers say they plan to continue improving such standards and even plan to add onto their already existing plan. Possible amendments they are considering are:

  • Telecommuting
  • Alternate schedules – individually adjust schedule ensuring contracted hours.
  • Alternate summer hours
  • Compressed work hours- more hours in a day, less days a week
  • Job sharing
  • Sabbaticals

5. Reducing Benefits and Perks
Just because there seems to be a lift in the recession for some companies, they still feel the sting of their previous losses. In order to save money and not find themselves in the position they were in last year, many companies plan to alter or reduce benefits in some form and manner. Medical coverage, bonuses, 401K matchings, and perks like coffee, water, and condiments are more likely to be suspended or trimmed back.

6. Rehiring Retirees and Postponing Retirement
Many companies recognize the experience and skill that a seasoned employee nearing retirement can bring to their business. They are now rehiring retirees and asking potential retire candidates to stay on- and have received positive results for such a tactic. Certain companies even consider hiring folks who retired from other companies to fill in the gaps.

7. Using Freelancers and Contract Hirers
Companies are now utilizing freelance and contract hirers more than ever. They realize the many benefits that come with doing so. They find that they keep the business flowing forward without adding a full-time employee and their expenses to the bottom-line. Three in ten employers predict hiring freelancers or contractors in 2010.

8. Green Jobs
More businesses than ever before will begin focusing a part of their energies toward the environment. New government regulations make it all but impossible to not add green jobs to their employee make-up. The positions in question of hire will reflect environmentally conscious design, policy, and technological improvements to conserve and sustain.

9. Bilingual Hiring
It’s important for employers to have a diverse workforce where business takes them all over the world. It’s also pertinent to maintain a staff where communication is possible with bilingual clients within the States. Employers are now looking to hire professionals who can fluently speak another language besides English. If it came down to you and someone who spoke more than one language, they would choose the bilingual candidate.

10. Travel Expenses
43% of businesses say they are going to cut business expenses this year. That means less travel, or even accommodations more on the economic side.

Creating A Candidate Rejection Letter

Many employers state they simply do not have the time to construct a rejection letter for potential candidates that they have interviewed. This form of communication is just as vital as the recruiting and interviewing process itself, however, many employers dismiss the ever begrudging rejection letter all together. The question that many potential candidates wish to ask is why? All they wish for is a simple response- post-interview- as to their standing in the running for the position. They are not asking for a full-out 5 paragraph response, but a few simple sentences to inform them of their status.

In defense for employers everywhere, the amount of time it takes to develop and send rejection letters is ridiculous- especially if the candidate response was high. However, to maintain respect and company reputation, time must be set aside for this final process of an interview. Below you will find some suggestions that wishes to extend to all employers who forego the simple process of rejection letters.

  • Set aside time to develop a basic template or form to use as your typical rejection letter. It should simply state the outcome of the interview in as little terms as possible. Some companies list reasons such as under-qualified, not enough experience, and even that they’re looking to hire in a different direction. Are the reasons vague? Definitely. Nevertheless, it gives a company wiggle room while saving time when a candidate looks to have a further explanation as to why they were looked over- and there will be candidates who will request further explanation.
  • At the interview, if the candidate hasn’t already listed their email address on their resume, ask them for it while they are present. Emailing rejections letters is an efficient way to get the word out to all that have interviewed. With your template/standard form already developed and ready to be used, it’s just a few clicks away from satisfying the candidates need to know immediately.
  • Word travels fast when a person feels they have been shunned or complimented by a company. By sending rejection letters, candidates will come to respect the organization more for thinking and respecting their own personal feelings. It thus improves your reputation as a company of worth, which will in turn attract skilled employees to your door.
  • Utilize computer programs which already have basic templates from which to create your rejection letter from. They are relatively inexpensive and some may even be free on the Internet.

Clean Energy Jobs That Hold Promise

It’s obvious that the green energy industry is booming. More people are buying into the green movement than ever before. For professionals in the clean energy field, jobs are increasing in demand leaving them with the pick of employment. With high job demands and the low number of professionals to fill them, it is a wise career area to get involved in. has found 4 career areas that will have the highest demand for jobs.

1. Smart Grid Engineer- This profession is relatively new to the job market. There is great potential for employment for those who are experienced or have the right credentials. The pay is relatively high with a wide-berth for growth.

2. Hydrogen Plant Operator- Plants that specialize in hydrogen use as a cleaner burning fuel source for vehicles are looking to increase their work force. With hydrogen being a renewable resource with little to no shortage capabilities once effectively separated, plants nationwide see it’s usefulness as a means to the energy crisis. Professionals skilled in plant operations are increasing by the day.

3. Energy Auditor- Energy auditors are becoming more popular as folks look to make their homes more energy efficient. The simple tasks these professionals provide impact both the environment and the folk’s pockets they work for. Numerous companies, both corporate and private, employ energy auditors as clean energy professionals on their payrolls.

4. Green IT- Green IT professionals are increasing in need as companies look to reduce the energy used by their computer networks. The ability to put together computing systems and initiate strategies to reduce energy consumption is what many companies are looking for in their new hires.

Broad Hiring Trends For 2010

For those of us looking for full time employment, twenty percent of employers state they intend to increase their full time, permanent staff this year. This is an improvement from last year’s fourteen percent. Sixty-one percent say they do not intend to make any changes what-so-ever this year, while only nine percent say they intend to down-size.

As for part time employment, eleven percent of employers say they are looking to increase their part time staff this year. This is a slight increase from the nine percent we experienced last year. Eight percent intend to decrease part time staff, while six-nine percent state they are not going to make any changes this year.

If you’re interested in the hiring trends per region, employers in the West intend to increase their staff numbers more so than any other region this year. Twenty-four percent of employers state they plan to hire on full time employees throughout the year. Twenty-one percent of employers in the Northeast are also looking to increase their staff, as twenty percent in the South and sixteen percent in the Midwest look to follow suit as well. As for decreases in manpower, the Northeast will lead the way with approximately ten percent of employers looking to trim their workforce.

When inquiring about industry trends, the industry leaders who intend to increase their workforce are in the information technology, financial services, professional and business services, manufacturing, and sales fields. A thirty-two percent increase is expected for the IT field, a twenty-three percent increase for financial services fields, and twenty-two percent of employers intend to hire full time staff in the professional and business fields.

At this point, it looks like one third of employers are looking to increase their workforce numbers in the area of technology, with eighteen percent looking to increase their staff numbers in research and development. Even with economic concerns still taking precedence in business spending, they still plan to increase their workforce this year. Some are even expected to increase salaries this year as well. suggests you consider using these job trends to assist you in your job search

Alternate Energy Careers in Research and Development Growing in Numbers

The way governments worldwide are now facing the ever increasing need to go green, careers in the alternate energies research and development sector are increasing by the day. Investors and financial analysts foresee much money to be made, with many positions that need to be filled. These positions are presently available and can be found nation wide and even globally. So if you, or someone you know, is looking for employment or a simple career change, now would be the time to begin your quest.

Former President Bush and now our current President Obama have both stated the need and budgeted for the advancement and increased technologies that are needed to develop the ability to make ethanol from plant fibers’ biomass as a renewable fuel. The development of biofuels derived from agricultural by-products like wood chips, corn stalks, and switch grass have scientists predicting that by 2012, the technology to create cellulose-based ethanol will be cost effective while simultaneously lowering our nation’s dependence on coal and oil by 30%.

Our economy is still in an influx leaving the masses without work, and desperate for any position when there doesn’t seem to be many. Businesses in the alternate energy fields are experiencing the exact opposite. The have the positions and the desperate need to have them filled, but they are lacking the qualified folks that can fill them. This shortage of workers is a challenge that is seen far to often, and has many experts believing the shortage is due more to a reduced work force than unqualified candidates. However, no matter the reason for the unfilled slots, there is great potential for career advancement or simple job placement in the alternate energy field. recognizes and understands that the need to find and place qualified professionals in positions that fit their skills is a top priority. Sites like this and are excellent in informing their clientele of the latest news, open regional positions, and career advice that will aid them in their job hunt. Now is not the time to let your career lead you; it’s time to be pro-active and lead your career into a position where there is great growth and longevity- and careers in the alternative energies is a definite winner.

8 Solar Careers on the Rise

The green energy job market can expect to see continued improvements throughout the year. One area where employment is going to increase in demand is the solar industry. Those with experience in any area of green energy can easily retool their current knowledge base and expand their search for employment. Below you will find some examples of solar careers that are expected to increase in demand.

Solar & PV Installer- If you have the skills to install electricity-producing photovoltaic (PV) solar panels into the roofs of residential, commercial homes, and buildings, the job market is yours to command. Skilled professionals are hard to find, and the job pool isn’t close to reaching the gap of the demand.

Solar Lab Technician- Employment will increase in this research and development industry. Companies are looking to hire professionals with skills in design, production, testing, and installation of new solar energy technologies.

Solar Operations Engineer- These engineers are responsible for designing new solar systems, the supervision and inspection of structures during construction, and the testing and monitoring of new/old solar energy facilities. They are essentially the architects of the entire facility operation.

Photovoltaic-PV Fabrication Testing Technician- These professionals are responsible to test and assemble solar cells into electricity-generating solar panels. With the increase of homes and commercial buildings looking to invest in solar energy, so does the need to find skilled professionals with the knowledge to get the job done.

Solar Hot Water Installer- Folks nationwide are purchasing more solar heating systems to harness the sun’s power. The technology involved increases/improves continually as does the need for solar hot water installers. The demand for professionals is across the board for commercial, domestic, and industrial industries.

Solar Radiant Heating Installer- With solar radiant heating systems being the most effective method of using solar energy, the industry is booming. Employment continues to increase worldwide for solar radiant heating installers.

Photovoltaic-PV Solar Designer- PV solar designers are in demand more as homes/businesses wish to ensure their PV solar systems are esthetically pleasing to the world. Training is relatively easy to obtain and worth considering to expand your chances of getting a job. encourages folks to increase their knowledge base when it comes to solar energy careers. Most companies are willing to train due to the low numbers of professionals with experience.

7 Tips To Becoming a Better Employer

Running a business is not an easy thing to do when considering every aspect of it. What it all comes down to is the bottom line, and if your employees are not producing the results needed to experience success, it’s time to take measures to ensure that they do. Below you will find 7 key elements that believes can aid you in becoming a better employer.

1. Recruitment, Hiring, and Induction Locating, hiring, and settling in the right employees is essential for any business. You need to be impartial, and maintain a strict hiring process where barriers and biases are not present. The position will be given to the best candidate regardless of their gender, race, or disability factor. It’s also imperative to have a comprehensive introduction to the business informing new employees of the company policies, procedures, opportunities, and values.

2. Leadership, Accountability, and Culture An employer who ensures it’s leaders are able to articulate, model, and carry-out the visions and values of the company is well on it’s way to becoming a great employer. You, as do your staff, need to be able to communicate openly, take constructive criticism, and leave nothing to guess. You need to be just as accountable for successes and failures as your employees are, and grant them the opportunity to participate in organizational decisions. A leader among employers recognizes and understands the culture of their company and staff, and takes it into account when considering goals and aspirations.

3. Employee Development, Promotion, and Exit Great employers ensure their company encompasses a positive learning environment where opportunities are given to staff to further their education through internal and external professional development classes/seminars. They offer mentoring for new employees and encourage promotion opportunities whether within or out of the company.

4. Flexibility and Work Design In order to assist your employees better with balancing their work with the rest of their lives, consider scheduling and work procedures to compliment your staff. Take into account each of the department’s requirements and possible parental needs. Your company’s organization and design could turnout to be a draw for talented skillful professionals to want to sign on with you.

5. Remuneration, Recognition, and Conditions Top employers recognize their employees for their skills and what they can bring to their company. They do not base salary on gender, association, or other aspects. They are fair across the board and review their remuneration system regularly.

6. Harassment and Bullying Prevention Some of the best employers have a zero-tolerance policy for any type of bullying, or harassment in any form. You should want your company’s work environment to be one of healthy collaboration and relationships. Be pro-active in your training of your managers to ensure the subject of mal-treatment is rarely- if ever-seen. Be sure to have a set procedure in place with consistent consequences for those who engage in acts of insubordination.

7. Safe and Healthy Environment Employers of any worth will ensure the safety and health of all their employees. They will provide training informing their staff of their rights and responsibilities, health and safety standards, and provides a working environment that provides for a safe and healthy work day. It’s also important to take steps to reduce the level of work stressors and to accommodate for those who have disabilities.

6 New Interviewing Questions: Out with the Old, In With the New

As times change, so do the needs of a company. Ordinarily, the recruiting, interviewing, and hiring process stays relatively the same with time. However, with the job market becoming more competitive with skilled professionals around every corner, and businesses looking to hire the best for the money, they are ensuring they cover all their bases and asking the right questions during the interview.

Many employment experts and H.R. professionals recommend getting rid of the old cliché questions that used to be the basis of every interview. By doing this, companies get a better picture of what each candidate truly represents and their abilities. Below you will find some interviewing questions that believes could improve your interviewing process.

1. OLD: “Tell me about yourself.” The problem with this question is that it is very vague. It’s not that unusually for some candidates to share some very private experiences- it happens more than you would think. There is a possibility that you’ll hear something of value, but more times than not, it makes the candidate uncomfortable not sure what you’re looking for exactly.

NEW: Refine your question to pin-point a specific notation from either their resume or cover letter. (“You mentioned an internship with Global Industries. Can you tell me more about that experience?” or “I see you were a participant in a project that generated more than $1,000,000 in revenues. What responsibilities did you have in bringing it to fruition?”)

2. OLD: “Tell me your biggest strength/weakness?” This question leaves the candidate open to tell you how they perceive themselves. They may not be intentionally fabricating details to make themselves sound good, but that usually is the end result. Often times, candidates don’t even realize their true potential and focus on areas where they are comfortable with talking about. You may be familiar with hearing, “I’m too much of a perfectionist”, or “I’m sometimes too ambitious for my own good.” as answers for a person’s weaknesses. No one wishes to paint themselves in a poor light- even if it is in an interview.

NEW: Again, ask for details about a specific work experience where their strengths were present or a situation where they inevitably learned something due to a skill weakness. Be sure to inform the candidate that weaknesses are not looked upon as deficits, but rather as possible opportunities to improve their skills.

3. OLD: “If I were to ask your boss to describe you in five words, what would he say?” You’re never going to find a candidate who will say their old boss would describe them as lazy, unorganized, unable to meet deadlines, and unmotivated. It just doesn’t happen- they will not paint themselves in a poor light. This questions proves to be useless with the interviewer learning nothing about the candidate.

NEW: “If I asked you to describe yourself going into your last job, what would you say? How would that description be different now?” This question is a better representation of their growth in their last job.

4. OLD: “Tell me about an experience in your last job where you had many obstacles to overcome, or have seen a project to it’s conclusion?” First off, if the person is truly a candidate with experience, they have seen many projects to success, and have experienced endless challenges. It’s too vague and will often times have candidates giving the internal eye roll.

NEW: Choose one of the candidates accomplishments found on their resume and use this as the basis for your question. “What are you most proud of from this experience and why?” “What would you do the same/differently if you were to participate in a project like this again?” These types of questions allow the candidate to talk in-depth about their accomplishments and experiences in a positive way.

5. OLD: “Where do you see yourself in five years?” If the candidate is like the rest of us, they don’t know what they’re doing for dinner let alone next week. This type of questioning doesn’t reveal a candidates true desires for the future.

NEW: “What are some things you wish to accomplish with this a new position?” or “How do you picture this position being different form your last?” It’s better to know where the candidate’s head is now, while trying to learn what they hope to achieve.

6. OLD: “Why should we hire you?” This question is quickly becoming obsolete. With the plethora of skilled professionals out there, many of them can pick and choose where they want to work. It’s the company’s job to draw them in and make them sign on. Even in our tough job market, the professional with experience and skill is the one with the upper hand.

NEW: This is the best opportunity to tell the candidate about the company and all it has to offer. Impress them with the many benefits, perks, flexible scheduling, dress code, and such. Then you can ask them what interested them most about your company or their ideal work environment.

5 Tips for Engineering Resumes

The resume today is a living body that should represent the best parts of you when wishing to be considered for a job. Engineering is a very broad career industry, and it’s important to consider these key concepts for your resume to be considered.

1. No matter how many times people have been told, they always seem to skip this part- have your resume checked/edited by a family member or professional. Spelling and grammar errors are a no-no when it comes to resumes. Simply proofreading your resume yourself isn’t enough, you need to ask for assistance in this area since we all miss the little things.

2. Be precise and concise on your resume. Many resumes get skipped over simply due to the fact of too much information. The information you present about yourself needs to be short, informative, and to the point. If you feel certain information could increase your chances of getting an interview, then by all means put it on the resume. However, even if said information is pertinent, it could be a topic of discussion during the interview itself.

3. Skip the objective. Many times the objective on a resume does not match the specifics of the job. Therefore, the resume is ditched in the slush pile. You can replace the objective with a qualifications summary. This is where you inform potential employers of your most stellar skills and qualifications. You’re looking to pique their interests into a call for an interview, where you can continue to awe them with your true talents.

4. Fit the resume to the job. Since the resume itself is a living document, it should be adaptable to changes on regular basis. It’s important to tweak your resume to cover specifications of the job you’re applying for. Many professionals often fail to do this and wonder later why they never received a call to interview.

5. Use bullets to list any key accomplishments. The text should again be precise and to the point giving only the highlights. These accomplishments usually start with verbs like: conducted, organized, initiated, started, regarded as, developed, and such.

6. Add a project list with your resume. If you’re able to do this without overflowing your document, do so- otherwise create a separate sheet with your projects listed. Be sure to list projects by employers and give a short description of what you did.   

4 Entry-Level Jobs That Bring Home The Bucks

For newly graduated candidates, finding a position that offers you more than decent pay is unheard of. However, they do exist and are in demand now more than ever. Below you will find four career areas where the starting pay is rather generous in nature, and get you on your path to career success.

Environmental engineer
The U.S. Department of Labor states that folks with a bachelor’s in engineering have the greatest beginning salary potential. Environmental engineers, to be exact, make among the highest starting salaries there is. Most positions in the field begin at an apprentice level, which gradually lead to a position with more independence and management. The average starting pay is around $68, 628, with many positions in need of filling.

Network systems/data communications analyst
Information technology is a rapidly growing field where getting field certification is more valuable than a formal education. So no worries if you don’t have a computer science degree. Experts believe that once you develop an area of expertise in areas like enterprise software or network securities, you can quickly become the person to look to solve company problems. You can eventually become the head of IT if your skills show a level high enough to lead. Starting salary for network systems/data communications analysts begin at $61K.

Marketing research analyst
Consumer-driven industries use and rely heavily on market data generate to make sound business decisions. No matter if the field is in high-tech to biotech, retail to hospitality, the market data is a necessity for these companies to function successfully. Candidates to be considered for these positions usually have a background in business marketing or in statistics. Starting salaries for market research analysts begin at $58K.

Financial Analyst
For recent graduates looking to find a position that require a business, finance, or statistics education, consider taking a job as a financial analyst. Jobs are plentiful even though the financial sector took a hit this last year. Companies are looking to rebuild what was lost, and utilizing financial analysts to research and recommend investments is what’s on their plate at the moment. Starting salaries for financial analysts begin at $60K.

Your Credit Score Can Stop You From Getting Hired

You would think that being unemployed is stressful enough, but when you find you’ve been passed over for a job because your credit isn’t as good as it was when you were employed, you tend to feel the pressure a bit more. It comes to much surprise that more and more companies are checking potential hire’s credit scores before making a commitment in them. The motivation behind this tactic- it is believed that your potential job performance can be loosely hypothesized through your credit score.

The Society of Human Resource Management recently surveyed employers and questioned whether or not they run credit checks on new employees and potential new hires. They found that 60% of employers currently apply credit checks as a standard practice in their businesses. This finding has risen 20% since 2006. Whether the practice is fair or not, it’s being utilized and can directly affect your chances of getting hired. It should be expected to become a more common practice with more companies as the job market becomes increasing competitive.

To give the credit checking employers a break, positions in the finance and accounting field bask in the limelight of money. Should they really employ a person who is unable to balance and handle their own finances? Their decisions to check an employee’s credit could simply be a safeguard depending on the nature of the position being applied for. Embezzlement and fraud are very popular these days and when employers need to hire for a position where it’s fairly easy to engage in, they need to take every precaution.

Other reasons for employers to check a credit score have to do with personal character and if money problems would affect their job performance, the ability to separate equally qualified candidates from another, and a simple comparison to verify if information of a resume matches up with their financial situation. If by chance a person is passed over due to their credit history, they have the right to be given that information by the employer and need to be given the information from which they based their decision on.

If you’re like many of us who are unemployed, your credit has slipped some here and there. has a few pieces of advice that shouldn’t be ignored.

* Prepare yourself for the credit check. Be aware of your credit score and record or history. Fix any errors there might be with the Federal Trade Commission. It’s a slow going process so be sure you have proof of the error.

* Disclose your credit standing if an employer asks to run a check. This is your opportunity to inform them of any personal information that explains your circumstances. Many companies want to be understanding, give them the chance to make their own call.

* Know you’re not alone. Many job seekers have been unemployed as long as or longer than you have been. Your situation is a common one that many unemployed folks experience.

5 Ways To Improve Your Professional Standing Through The Economic Recovery

There are many career advancement opportunities for folks to seize upon as our economy bounces back. Now is the time to take the steps that can improve your professional standings at work. Below you will find some suggestions that feel can be beneficial to you.

1. Participate in trainings.

Many companies offer various training sessions that can either keep processes fresh in your mind, add additional skills to your already skill set, and/or update you on new and upcoming methods in your industry. The majority of training sessions businesses offer are free of charge and are offered regularly. If there is something that is of interest to you that isn’t offered, approach your boss and make case as to why it should be considered. If you show how it could benefit the company, they may look into adding it to the trainings available- it also shows you have initiative to your boss. Besides in-house trainings, there numerous conferences and seminars that can increase your skill set as well as benefit the company. Many times these seminars can be reimbursed if it proves to be beneficial to the company as well.

2. Take the forefront.

Many projects that were set aside when the economy faltered are now starting to resurface and need to be lead by someone. Make it known that you are interested in leading these tasks and volunteer to begin right away. By taking an interest in these tasks, you increase your visibility with management and will be able to show you can handle more responsibility than you have been given in the past. Show off your true talents. Just keep in mind, don’t take on more than you can handle- the work you’re assigned can quickly become overwhelming if there is too much for you to do. Don’t let your eagerness for advancement bury you before you have the chance to show what you’re really worth to higher management.

3. Consider finding a mentor.

If you know what your professional goals are but can’t quite figure out how to achieve them, consider getting a mentor who has been in your shoes and has traveled the path to advancement you wish to take. A mentor can provide you with the advice and guidance needed to get you where you want to be. Just be sure the person you ask is aware of what you want from the relationship and how you want them to help you.

4. Don’t forget to network.

Just because you have a job and have been there for a significant amount of time, doesn’t mean you should stop networking. This is especially true if you’re interested in moving up the ladder. Whether the advancement you seek is in the company you currently have a position with, or a rival company your interested in transitioning to, you need to maintain the contacts and relationships that you created in your job search originally. Remember, these are professionals in your industry that can assist you in all future endeavors- so keep in touch. You’ll find if your looking to make an internal transfer, it’s more who you know than what you can offer. Your skill set can be easily accessible to management through review reports. But, a testament to your true character and ability from others in the company is what can get you that promotion. Use your allies and keep connections open.

5. Be knowledgeable of current trends in your industry.

Employees that make the best impression and prove to be a better asset to the company are those who are current in new processes in their industry. By keeping up to date with trends will show your boss that you have a finger on the pulse of your industry. The best way to accomplish keeping current is to join professional organizations and reading publications specialized in your field. Attending conferences where speakers discuss new trends and developments will certainly keep you current. Other ways to keep informed are to read blogs and online news and articles.

Using Organizational Culture As Means To Keeping Employees Happy

Organizational culture is a combination of employee interactions, values and time management skills, office rules, conflict level and intensity, superiority of end product, and the ability to maintain control and provide direction in the workplace environment.  Culture in any work environment is key in how productive your employees are and their ability to work together peacefully.  It is also believed that an organization’s culture can have a direct effect on it’s employees happiness, impacting their overall work experience supporting job satisfaction and communication throughout the business.

Many employers fail to see the importance in building an organizational culture where their employees feel valued and supported.  Then there are other employers that create a cohesive organizational culture without conscious thought or effort.  Between the two, the latter will have any employer seeing increased or better productivity.  And since it’s all about business, the bottom line should be the source behind an employers eagerness to improve organizational culture.

Below you will find four types or models of organizational cultures that have been identified.  Power culture, task culture, person culture, and role culture are the most prevalent models found in successful business today. has given you a brief overview of what each entails, and encourages you to find the one that fits your company best.

·      Power Culture- This type of organizational culture is exactly how it sounds; an environment where one or more individuals take on dominate roles where they make the majority-if not all of- the decisions in the company.  This model of organizational culture is fairly effective in smaller companies, and it allows for the business to react rather quickly to changes in the market.  The downfalls to this model may directly affect productivity, however.  If the main decision maker is out ill or what have you, any important, immediate decisions that need to be made have to wait until they return.  This model also leaves employees very dependant upon that key person(s) and therefore can stymie progress if they are absent.  This model is most common in smaller organizations simply because employer and employees have usually been there from the beginning and know the ins and outs of the company and its procedures. Thus making it easier for the company to experience success.

·       Role Culture- Role culture consists of a hierarchy where each employee has a specific role, or job, to do.  This can in actuality inhibit employees from being innovative and creative.  This type of organizational culture allows for employees to become complacent in their jobs, and often times the business experiences unnecessary losses due to the time constraints on decisions as they have to climb the ladder and reach the top dog before a decision can be made.  This model has seen some successes in creating a cohesive organizational culture- with each member of the hierarchy knowing their place and who is expected to do what.

·    Task Culture- A task culture is very productive where their main goal is to complete jobs, projects, and tasks.  This type of organizational culture is very rewarding to employees as they receive recognition to work completed and have a sense of value.  Job satisfaction in a task culture is normally high.

* Person Culture- In this type of organizational culture, the employee- or person- is viewed as a valued member of the company and in some cases more important than the company itself.  You’ll see this type of culture usually in the health and law professions:  doctor’s offices and attorney practices.  The person identified as the valued member will make confident decisions themselves and are able to run their businesses on a daily business without advisement.

Twitter: A Necessary Tool In Job Seeking

Now more than ever, social networking is taking a forefront in the ever grueling process of finding a job. Twitter, alone has increased in use by 8% from last year. And even more interesting is the number of companies that currently engage in the use of social networking to find qualified candidates. 90% of businesses who are in need of manpower use some form of social-media activity.

Twitter is quickly becoming a great avenue for job seekers to keep informed, establish a reputable online presence, and simply network. As more and more companies research candidates online, your reputation means the world. Twitter provides job seekers the opportunity to “clean up” their act and establish a true depiction of their character. By utilizing Twitter and other traditional methods to find a job, your chances of employment increase greatly. wishes to extend some words of wisdom to help you along in your Twitter journey and employment seeking.

1. Set up your account with Twitter. It literally takes only a few seconds. Be sure the user name you create is professional and respectful. Another important aspect of creating an account is developing a personal bio. This is where you let the world know who you are and what makes you a skilled professional. It is important to list any career goals you have in this bio.

2. Once you create an account, you need to decide who you wish to add to your main page and what categories to browse that are most beneficial to you. Twitter also offers to search your email address book for folks who are already members of Twitter. Independent searches can also be done where you can follow prominent professionals in your industry and/or company news/publications. You may find it interesting to see whom they follow and read through their tweets. Many times you can find interesting company news that you can use in your cover letter or resume.

3. Jump in feet first. Find a tweet you find interesting and resourceful and participate in the conversation. If you’re not comfortable with replying in the beginning, you can simply forward the tweet to folks that follow you or you’re familiar with. The key is to get dialogue started and yourself known.

4. Increase your followers and develop a pristine professional reputation. There are several ways to do this. One way is to share links that are of interest to you or your fellow followers. You can share recent updates in your industry, and/or tweet links to job openings. You also want to be sure to show you have a sense of humor and intelligence. Tweets that are insightful, interesting, and show you have human warmth get the most notoriety. Showing both your personal and professional side to a potential employer is a great way to get into the company. Remember: this is not the time to let your followers and the world know that you got loaded last night and are hung on the couch watching re-runs. Keep all tweets professional.

5. Make your Twitter account user friendly by managing it with programs like TweetDeck and HootSuite. These two programs are free and allow for a fuller-featured dashboard. They help you with things like shortening URL’s. Since these programs are free, try them both and see which is best for you.

6. Keep active online. Considering starting a blog about your industry–even if it has information about the hobbies you engage in as well. This gives you the opportunity to tweet about it while still maintaining your online reputation.

Traditional Resume Objectives: It’s Time To Make Change

You’ve probably read all the useful tips that have you believing your resume is as polished as it can be. You have useful keywords that will have any computer program recognize you for your skills, tweaked it specific for employers, and ensured your credentials and accomplishments took a forefront. You even took large amounts of time creating the best objective fitting to the type of job you want and where you want your career to go. Well, it’s to make yet another change to your ever living resume. The objective is rapidly becoming obsolete to may employers as they look to your actual skill set instead of your long term aim.

It seems employers wish to see the results from your accomplishments and not just what you wish to accomplish. They want to know the steps or practices you engage in that helped make your accomplishments successful, and/or how you can utilize those strategies in their company dynamic. Traditional resume objectives are often too generic or overlook a candidate’s true potential. Replacing it with a statement that’s true to your character, potential, and abilities is the key to grabbing an employers eye.

The first step in creating your new objective is to throw away terms like “resourceful”, “tons of potential”, “fast learner”, “dedicated, and so on… They are just words or phrases that explain nothing to hiring managers and employers. You need to be able to quantify and elaborate on why you believe those things to be true. Illustrate to them how your competency potential has unfolded at previous positions. It’s time to really get to know yourself and your potential- to be able to describe your skill set to prospective employers so they can understand it and find use of your abilities in their business.

One way to create a great objective statement is to assess yourself in the way many companies would do so when looking to identify competency potential. Those assessments are very accurate and will provide you with measures of your natural abilities in the workplace. This will assist you in creating an objective where your past accomplishments are clearly recognizable with little left to explain on how you achieved them.

If you still don’t know where to begin, sites like or have assessment tools for you to use at no cost. At, you can find competency and motivation assessments that recruiters utilize for potential candidates if you wish to go a step further. understands the time folks commit to ensuring their chances of getting employment. This is yet another step that may get you one step closer to employment.

On-The-Job-Training Or Education: What’s The Best Fit For You?

In the past, many professions allowed for an employee to be trained on the job- and many still do. However, these days, jobs of worth require candidates to have either an Associate’s or a Bachelor’s to be considered for the position. Colleges are adding new programs each year as business require new credentials. It’s important to know that just because a college offers a program in an area which you wish to concentrate in, doesn’t necessarily mean companies in your industry will require it. Sometimes it’s best to research the field you wish to go in and check what there is to offer before heading off to school.

Additional Search Options

There are many professions where you can enter a business with little more than the knowledge you’ve obtained in life and high school. Some companies will hire you at whatever education level you’ve obtained up to that point. This is because they require you to attend their own training seminar or will offer a tuition reimbursement program. This is a great way to get your foot in the door, gain experience, and have your education paid for. If you have such a company your interested in, be sure to check the facts of their education program. Many of them require you to work for them for a specified amount of time, or you’ll be asked to pay back the tuition or investment they’ve made in you.

Getting into a company that offers on-the-job-training or tuition reimbursement isn’t always easy. Before you are even considered, extensive testing is done to ensure you meet up to snuff. Some companies have testing that takes up to 8 hours to complete. Is it easy? Absolutely not. But if you feel you have a relatively well round bank of knowledge, then go for it. Just remember, theses are the kind of tests that don’t allow for re-takes. So you need to be prepared and focused for every type of question. encourages folks to do the research before diving into an education you either don’t need, or create a large debt from college classes that you could be taking for free.

Job Trends For The Second Half 2010

Career Builder and USA Today have released their findings of their nationwide Job Forecast survey results of employers. It looks that the second half of 2010 is going to be similar to the first half. Hiring is to be moderate and consistent through the remainder of the year. 2,534 HR reps and hiring managers responded to the survey with 42% of them not planning to hire at all, 41% planning to continue hiring, and a small 16% still unsure of their standings.

Positions in Accounting and Finance ranked 6 at 10% of the 41% of employers that intended to hire. Competition for these positions will be tough and rough going for those with minimal to no experience. It’s not saying that there aren’t jobs out there for new graduates- but you may be doing some grunt work until you have some time under your belt. recommends looking over these recruitment trends/company concerns that were brought to light by the survey.

* A staggering 56% of companies-or hiring managers surveyed- are concerned with their most skilled professionals leaving for other employment as the economy improves.

* There appears to be a lack of applicants that are skilled to fill positions. Even with the job pool so large, qualified professionals make up a small percentage of that.

* Company hiring is more prominent than company firing/lay-offs. Of the companies that were surveyed, 21% will hire full-time permanent employees, only 8% plan to downsize, and 65% will make no changes what-so-ever.

* Hiring trends are similar throughout the country with the Northeastern and Midwestern areas hiring full-time staff at 21%, the Western states at 22%, and the Southern states at 20%.

* 42% of employers say they will not make any salary changes, while 31% intend to increase salary by 1-3%, 12% intend to increase salary 4-10%, and only 1% intends to increase salary 11% or more.

Is It Worth Going Back To The Company That Laid You Off

Right Management recently conducted a survey inquiring whether or not unemployed workers would go back to the company that put them in the position they are in now. What they found was that 18% of laid-off employees were in fact rehired by their former employers within the year and an even higher percentage of the “down-sizing” victims saying they weren’t sure. What the majority agreed upon was the terms of their re-hire and the stability of their position. The question each unemployed worker has to ask is, “Is it worth returning?”

You may run across folks who have experienced such a situation where in the end it benefited them to return. Some were let go in the middle of projects or were promised their position to be safe. Only later did they find that they have been included in the mass lay-off. Feeling betrayed and angry, they leave thinking good-riddens. Months go by and they are then approached by the same company that led to their unemployment and asked to come back. A smart professional who has first hand knowledge of how unstable the job market is will return- however, they’ll do so on their terms.

If you know your skill and worth to be of value to the company asking you back, use this to your advantage. Many folks have asked for raises, increased/improved benefits, and/or more responsibility or independence. It’s time to try and use your negotiating skills to get what you want. Many companies will try and work with your demands for your return.

Many HR reps and hiring managers say they prefer to rehire prior employees. And in many cases, they were not hired back at the same salary or level of responsibility. For folks included in a layoff and asked to return, their departure wasn’t based on unusual or personal reasons. It was usually a result of the poor economy. Familiarity of the job, knowing company culture/procedures, and reducing the chances of a bad hire are the top reasons for a company to hire back. Most companies embrace employees returning to their workforce, and try not to make it weird at all. Again, it wasn’t personal.

Returning to work, even if it isn’t your ideal choice, is what recommends. You have first-hand knowledge in how unstable your position is, but a pay check is better than no pay check. Just because you returned to work doesn’t mean your job hunt has to stop.

Explaining Why You Quit Your Last Job

Many times during an interview, the hiring manager will ask that dreaded question most hate to answer, “Why did you leave your last job?” Not all answers are going to be as easy as, “The Company was down-sizing and I was unfortunate enough to feel the ax.” Many folks leave a job for not receiving promised outcomes, for have personality clashes with employers and/or co-workers, lack of company vision, and even for feeling undervalued. The entire situation may become even bigger if you quit and didn’t give the customary two weeks notice. However, there is a productive way to explain your personal situation that will still have you looking like a professional.

When an employee feels like they are being abused by their boss or are undervalued, it’ll take that one single moment where they’ve decide they can’t take anymore and then just up and quit. No notice, no explanation. At the time, they gave little thought to how they would explain their leaving at their next interview. However, just because they left rather promptly, doesn’t mean it could cost them any future employment.

The best advice is to not bring it up at all if they do not ask you. Most hiring managers will- but not all. If they do, you will have to have a well-crafted answer that will have the hiring manager empathizing with your situation and believing what you did was due to no other alternative. Never should you cast stones at a prior employer- your explanation should be truthful and very general. Employers don’t like to see blame shadowed over governing entities- and there is always two sides of a story… and yours can be checked. Taking responsibility for problems looks more appealing to a prospective employer than listening to a candidate belittle past bosses.

If you are asked why you left, instead of telling the hiring manager that your boss was a closed-minded jerk, you might say you and he had very different work styles. So much so you had to quit. Of course, they’re going to ask you to elaborate, so go further in saying that other bosses you’ve worked under allowed for more responsibility and independence in your work. While your latest boss approached projects differently, and had you feeling your work was undervalued and lacking. Again, take some responsibility for the reason you left- concede to the fact that you couldn’t handle your bosses work style. This is more product than kicking your old boss around leaving the hiring manager questioning your professionalism. has found that many interviewing questions today are more open-ended that require and interviewee to elaborate on situations that had occurred in previous employment environments. This type of questioning is more behavioral in terms where they look to see how a candidate reacted or would react to certain situations. You’ll almost always hear the question, “Tell us about a time in your previous employment history where you had a problem with a boss, co-worker, or the job itself.” They’ll then ask for to further explain what you did to solve the problem. Again, it’s all in the wording and how you make yourself look while still maintaining your professionalism.

Employers Using Second Life To Scout Out Job Candidates

Today’s technology is allowing potential employers to scout out possible job candidates without actually meeting them. An online virtual community called, “Second Life,” is causing quite the stir in several large corporations nationwide. Many of these businesses are experimenting with this new method to find, screen, and interview potential new hires. This program- owned by Linden Lab in San Francisco- has its job seekers create a type of avatar to represent their true image. This avatar will be used to communicate with prospective employers and executives in the form of an instant message. Whether or not it proves to be an effective recruiting method, the program itself gives a glimpse as to how hiring methods in the future could become.

Just recently, several large corporations put the program to the test at a virtual job fair that was hosted by TMP Worldwide Advertising & Communications LLC. Companies such as Verizon, Microsoft Corp., Sodexho, and Hewlett-Packard were just some of the participating employment entities that were present at the job fair.

This new ingenious way to recruit is yet another avenue from which employers can find employees. At this time, they utilize sites such as Facebook, YouTube, and MySpace- all online networking sites that are fairly easy to navigate. However, as for Second Life, if you’re a job seeker that is less than comfortable with computers and/or technology, your inexperience could be the ax that has your virtual head rolling.

Many folks that have utilized Second Life as a means to networking and job seeking have found it difficult to design and control the avatars they create. One man participated in the online training course for the site offered by TMP prior the virtual job fair. He spent 6 hours trying to design his avatar and learning to navigate the program. He tried to get his avatar as close to his appearance as possible, however, he found he couldn’t dress the avatar professionally for an interview. His ignorance as to how to dress his avatar led him to wear jeans and a pull-over to the interview. Although he experienced no technological problems, he was unable to seat his avatar in a chair, and became confused when several executives from the company asked him questions at the same time. Other participants found their avatars would start to float during the interview. It was very disconcerting for most that were serious about employment with the interviewing entity.

Job seekers weren’t the only ones who found it difficult to control their avatars. An executive’s avatar from the hosting company, Bain & Co., of a recruiting event this spring, slouched over in the middle of a meeting as if it were asleep. But as with anything, time will increase awareness and knowledge of the program and the program itself has only room to improve.

With all Second Life’s quirks and troubles, over 431,000 visitors utilized the site for employment purposes- as per the Web-tracking firm comScore Inc. Employers themselves have found it to be a great avenue to seek out, screen, and interview candidates for their companies. It is especially appealing to new graduates who find it a unique, innovative, and productive way to get your name out there and get hired.

Here’s a word of caution from to consider before purchasing/downloading this new technology. This software is not compatible with some wireless Internet services, satellite Internet, and dial-up Internet. You also have to have a computer with a certain processor speed and one that has a specific graphics card before it will work effectively.

Is this fast rising recruiting/interviewing tool going to replace other avenues used by job seekers and employers? Probably not. However, it is gaining popularity, and could be another facet for you to utilize in your job hunt. TMP states they are hosting another virtual job fair in August for those who are interested.

9 Tips To Working Better With Your Boss

If you’re employed or in the process of looking for a job, you’ll probably be dealing with your boss on a regular basis. Your relationship can greatly affect your career advancement, salary, and overall mental well-being. There’s no way around them, and it’s in your best interest to put most superlative foot forward and learn how to deal and handle them with ease. Below you will find some suggestions that believes may improve your relationship with your boss, or at least understand them better.

1. Keep in mind that your boss may be of help sometimes. Whether your boss has good management skills or not; he may have insightful advice for you to utilize on the job. There’s much to learn from a bad boss- just remember, odds are they didn’t get their job simply from their looks. Even the worst of bosses have word of wisdom or two.

2. Know and understand your boss’s expectations. Your relationship is symbiotic- meaning that if you’re successful in your job, so is your boss. Both of you rely on each other to accomplish tasks at hand, and your boss may have his/her boss come down on them if you fail to meet goals that were established. And we all know where the ax is going to fall if that happens- right at your neck.

3. Meet your boss’s expectations. Tip number two and this one go hand in hand. If you fail to accomplish the goals and objectives your boss has placed upon you, you have no one to blame but yourself. If the task is too obtuse for one person to handle or the assignment is unrealistic in nature, it’s up to you to approach your boss, enlighten him/her on your predicament, and either suggest an alternative or ask for advice on how to complete your job. Bosses across the nation would never begrudge an employee for occasionally checking on their performance status. It’s a great way to find out if you’re performing where your boss needs you to be.

4. Keep yourself squared away. Bosses hate nothing more than an employee that’s high maintenance. They will grow to question your ability and skill if they have to check your work continuously. They’d appreciate an employee they can depend on in a crunch, and understand if you make the occasional mishap- it’s going to happen and does so to everyone. Be the employee who doesn’t need to be told what to do at every turn, and take responsibility for achievements as well as trouble areas.

5. Be up front with your boss. If you’ve made an error or totally tanked on a project, then fess up immediately with a plan of action to rectify the problem if possible. You don’t want the news to reach them from one of your co-workers; or even worse- their boss or a client. This also applies to successful tasks and good news that will improve your boss’s job and work.

6. Give your boss “props” in your success. When you receive accommodations for work well done, it’s not the time to say that you worked damn hard with no thanks to your boss. Recognize them for their contributing factor in your triumph- even if it was so minute you can’t recognize it. If your boss is truly the ogre who barks commands and never lifts a finger to help, then now is not the time to address that.

7. Don’t get personally involved in your work. Easier said than done for some of us. However, when your work gets criticized you take it as a personal attack. By allowing your personal feelings to take over your professionalism, your work may start to lack- you may question your ability and produce less than stellar work. Just remember, your boss’s success is directly linked to your getting the job done right and competently. Not all bosses are able to recognize this, but they wouldn’t assign something to you they didn’t think you could accomplish. So, get it done right the first time- just the way they want it.

8. Don’t make your boss look like a schmuck. Upstaging them is one of the quickest ways to professional suicide. Correcting them in public as well as pointing out their faults will lead them to resent you. If they believe they misspoke during a presentation, but truly haven’t, then you can point out that they were correct the first time. Any other situation could land you in hot water.

9. Handle your boss if needed. It’s horrible to think that you may have to manage or handle your boss, but it happens a lot. It’s a definite if you’re looking to climb the ladder quicker then most. Manipulation in the good of the job isn’t the most professional method to get what you want. But folks do it everyday- especially if their boss is less than desirable. What’s better is to take the initiative, look for opportunities that will pull you away from the rest of the pack. Suggest a new S.O.P. and explain how it would benefit the business as a whole. Go further in asking his assistance to redirect upper management from saying no until you can prove it’s successful. This way your keeping the boss in the loop even you if really aren’t. …

7 Suggestions to Creating a Resume That Will Get Recognized Electronically

Now a day, resumes aren’t first viewed by the secretary of the hiring manager or the HR rep. In all actuality, they may not even be viewed by a person at all. Many businesses today are now using different forms of technology to screen the hundreds and thousands of resumes they receive daily. What they intend to achieve with this procedure is to shuffle out any candidates who do not meet the requirements that the company or job requires. Here’s the choker; you may be fully qualified for the position you sent your resume in for. But because you didn’t have keywords on your resume that the computer program recognizes, you lose out on any possibility for an interview.

Below you will find 7 tips that we feel could aid you in getting the recognition your resume deserves.

1. Know what key words to use. HR reps and hiring managers will utilize applicant-tracking systems/programs where certain keywords will be searched for. It’s best to look at the job posting itself, and try to use the same or similar language you see there. Use words that are most prevalent to the job, but keep you shining like a competent professional.

2. Use different styles of a key word. Some tracking programs focus on particular words and how often they are used- in every sense. So if you’re applying for an accounting position, try using accounting, accountant, and other variations of the word.

3. Be wise with your key words. Some electronic resumes allow for particular sections to hold key words. Yes- it will get you resume recognized more quickly than others. However, if and when an actual person reads it, they may toss it in the slush pile because it doesn’t read well.

4. Ensure you list a generic job title. By doing this, it allows for the tracking programs to fit the title to the job. By listing business analyst instead of process improvement specialist, the program will be more familiar with the generic listing than the actual one

5. Use at least nine key words. Any less than that and you may find your resume passed over. Any more than that and you’re going overboard. It’s good to list your skills this way, and can paint you in a competent picture a reader can value.

6. Be sure you use the right format if asked to paste your resume in a website text box. By saving you resume as a plain-text file, it ensures proper formatting takes place when pasting, and makes your resume readable and professional.

7. Obvious, but needed… follow directions. Check over the site your submitting your resume to and be sure you follow all their criteria.

Becky has been writing as a non-biased professional for providing the latest news and information that pertains to the finance and accounting employment world. The creators feel that her inexperience ensures that all her pieces are vastly researched and informative. They provide the reader with a full understanding of the content, without compromising the professionalism.

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5 Ways To Becoming A Better Boss

All of us have experienced the boss from hell at some point in our lives. During that time you were managed by the holy terror, you vowed that you would handle things differently if you were ever to hold a position in management. Well, that time is now and we all need a little advice to improve our management skills. You don’t want your employees to have the same feelings for you that you had for “What’s-his-name” back then. You will find that your employees will produce better quality work and work more effectively if they like what they’re doing, where they work, and who supervises them. And it all comes down to you.

Below you will find 5 tips that may improve your overall management techniques. By using these, common sense, and remembering past experiences, you’re well on your way to becoming a better boss.

1. Threatening your staff is not an effective motivator. Believe it or not, there are some bosses out there that feel that by instilling fear in their employees- docking pay, suspensions, firing…- they have the upper hand and are running their business in the most efficient way. However, when the environment employees work in is volatile; keeping employees under tight wraps and having them experience great amounts of stress on a daily basis, the overall end product is deficient. Staff turn over rates is usually rather high under bosses who run their business like a tyrant as well. This is not the most effective way to lead your staff.

2. Know your staff. Get to know them on a personal level without compromising your leadership role. By understanding and taking an interest in your employees, it shows you care and will allow you to find motivators that will improve productivity. Being able to have a relationship with your employees will also improve their opinion of you, and even make them more apt to stay with your company long term.

3. Ensure your directives are consistent and concise. Leave no room for misunderstandings. It is important to allow your employees to have the room and opportunity to make judgment calls. However, by leaving things aloof, it allows for wasted time as your employees ponder on the best way to complete the task.

4. Don’t ask your staff to do something you would never do yourself. This sends out a message of them being less than worthy. Yes, you have a position of power and what you say goes. However, if the task is something that will leave your staff uncomfortable or crosses personal and professional ethics for them, then it’s best you don’t make the request.

5. Keep your staff up to date on their performance- whether good or bad. Your staff shouldn’t have to wait until their review to find out how they are performing. By taking the initiative, it also allows for the opportunity to improve their skills. If staff is weak in some areas, offer them additional training and increase their skill set. If an employee is performing well, acknowledge their achievements; even offer incentives to make them feel more appreciated.

5 Stupid Mistakes Job Applicants Make

Finding employment is important to most of us. So why would anyone make the mistake of not following basic, common sense when it comes to job seeking. Employers are just as leery of potential candidates as they are of them. If they chose the wrong candidate, it could cost them more than the new employee. That is why many companies require certain criteria of candidates before they are even interviewed. In order to keep an employer’s interest and not send them running for the hills, be sure to avoid these five stupid mistakes.

1. Follow all requirements they ask of you. Failing to follow the instructions the company have insisted upon may have you missing deadlines, leave you looking sloppy and unprofessional, and give the employer a feeling that you simply do not want the job. If you’re unable to follow the simple instructions they asked for pre-interview, how are you going to perform if you actually get the job?

2. TMI- too much information. Your cover letter and resume should contain professional information only. Employers are not interested in knowing that you have two kids and a dog named Brutus. Your husband left you alone to raise the children, and at 43 you face trying situations that have you thinking on your feet daily. Your family situation, health, age, and hobbies unrelated to the position you’re applying for mean little to nothing to them. And remember: make sure you have an appropriate email address and not

3. Check the attitude at the door. Believe it or not, many candidates have been beyond rude when arriving for an interview. Whether they have made inappropriate comments to the secretary and other company staff or partook in a conversation on their cell that involved arguing and cursing in hearing distant of clients and customers has employers making up their minds before the actual interview. It is understandable that people make mistakes, but behavior like that gives employers a foresight in what they can expect of your behavior if employed.

4. Open mouth, insert foot. Be aware of what you are saying at all times. Don’t ask questionable questions or make comments that will have the employer questioning your common sense. Take pauses before answering questions- think before you speak- it’s allowed. Don’t ask a company rep when the baby’s due unless you’re absolutely positive she’s pregnant. And never tell the rep that you don’t know anything about the company. Do your research.

5. Focus on the company’s needs and not your own. Ask questions about the company and it’s mission goal and future expectations. Refrain from questioning their vacation policy and sick time. You may also want to hold back any suggestions on how to make their company function better- unless you’re asked. They’ve obviously been successful without your help, and it’s best to wait until you’ve got a foot in the door before making any recommendations.

Becky has been writing as a non-biased professional for providing the lastest news and information that pertains to the finance and accounting employment world. The creators feel that her inexperience ensures that all her pieces are vastly researched and informative. They provide the reader with a full understanding of the content, without compromising the professionalism.

5 Reasons You Got Passed Over For A Job

As the job market continues to be sketchy, getting hired is becoming harder as well. The competition is tough and businesses know exactly what they are looking for- more bang for their buck without complications. Many job seekers have gone through the process of applying and interviewing and have still come up with nothing. They may have even thought it was shoe-in after leaving the hiring manager, but alas, they have been passed over for the position. The question that presses them is why? Why didn’t they get the job when everything went so well? Below you will find 5 reasons that may be the reason you didn’t get the job.

1. You are overqualified. Yes, it exists and companies don’t want to have to pay more for someone who is more educated, more experienced, and deserves more money for their qualifications. They also want someone who will be with their company long-term. Folks who are over qualified for a position often will look to greener pastures in time. This costs the company more money in the end as they have to go through the interviewing process once more. Finding someone who fits their needs and doesn’t exceed them is more times than not, the better fit.

2. It’s not just what you know, it’s who you know. Even though you have extensive experience and a background that allowed for you to grow in skill and ability, the recent graduate may still get the job. Nepotism in businesses is alive and breathing, and is often the reason why many get passed over. This, however, is a situation that cannot be overcome. The only thing you can really do is send a note or letter expressing how appreciative you were to be in the running and hope you are considered if anything else arises in the company.

3. You related to the hiring manager on personal level, not a professional one. During the interview, you found that you and the hiring manager got along great and actually share many personal things in common. Unfortunately, that’s where the link ends. They, first and foremost, are looking for an employee, not a friend. And even though it’s great to connect on that level with them, you need to connect on a professional level as well. Try to find positive common links with them that pertain to the job- it may be worth your while.

4. You go into the interview with limits and requirements. Many businesses wish for their employees to be open to fit a position of need. Many of those positions may require you to work specified hours or travel. If you enter an interview with requests to work only Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays; chances are you’re going to be passed over. It’s best to keep your options open when interviewing and try to clear your schedule or make arrangements so you can accommodate the company. Try to compromise if nothing else.

5. The unknown reason. Many times you will never be truly sure as to why you got passed over. It may be due to a comment you made during the interview, or an area where you don’t have as much experience. The thing is, the unpredictable should be expected. You never know, but they may just offer you another job in a different position.

The bottom line is, whatever the reason, do your best to learn from it and apply it to your next interview. Don’t be afraid to politely follow up and inquire about why you weren’t right for the position–just make sure you don’t come off as the slighted interviewee. Be professional, and thank them for helping you to understand what you did wrong, or where you can improve. After all, if you made it to the interview stage once, you’re likely to do it again.