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Archive for February, 2009

Tips For a Stress-Free IT Job Search

Friday, February 27th, 2009

The best source to look for jobs related to Information Technology (most commonly known as IT) is, obviously, the Internet.

Various sites offer listings of job openings for specific fields.  The key for a fruitful search is to know how and where to look for the best possible jobs available.

To have access on a certain site’s listing, an individual must first accomplish the following:

1. Register at the chosen site
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2. After registration confirmation (via an email from the moderator of the site), the individual may now have access to the list

3. In searching for the preferred or suitable job vacancy, you may be asked to fill out a form (online) that states an individual’s profile.

This is usually used for easier browsing of related work since IT has various fields of specialties.  Other sites automatically match an individual’s profile with the available or suited vacancy based on the information given by the person.

4. The applicant has the option to choose from contractual, full-time, part-time, trainee or temporary jobs category.

5. If the individual prefers work that is currently not listed on the site, he or she may have the option of posting his or her resume, from which prospective employers may browse through at some other time.

To avoid frustration while browsing through the numerous listings of IT openings on the Internet, take into consideration the following pointers:

1. Determine the following:

1.1 Organize your career portfolio in soft and hard copies.  While most employers will ask for a copy of you resume through the net (email), there are some that still require hard copies for submission at their respective offices.

1.2 Determine preferred location of work.  Is the individual willing to be relocated should a good position be offered in another city or state? Does he or she prefer work within commuting distance?

1.3 Salary.  Though it would not be wise to make demands on one’s salary especially during the interview process, an individual must have a predetermined range of salary that he or she would be willing to accept, whoever the employer would be or wherever it may be located.

2. Rank the items listed above based on one’s priority.
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3. Search the Internet for various sites with listings of IT job openings.

4. Register on a number of sites for a wider access to various lists.

5. Submit resume based on the predetermined priorities.

8 Ways To Get Attendees To Your Events

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

8 Ways To Get Attendees To Your Events
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When you plan an event, you want to make sure that everyone is going to attend it. You do not want to do all that work for nothing.  It is important that you have your event planned out well and this will include everything right down to the invitations. You want to have your guests learn about the event in plenty of time so that they can attend it.
1. The first way to get your attendees to your event is to make the invitations look great. You want your invitations to be exciting and bring some expectation to what they can have when they come to your event. You want them to get excited about coming.
2. Another way to get your guests to come is to advertise the event. You want to make sure that you are putting up the appropriate signs and getting the date and time out there for people to see. You want people to feel like they are welcome to come and enjoy the fun and excitement of your special event and this is one way to do just that.
3. You may also want to send email invitations to people about your special event. This is good way to make sure that people hear about your planned event and let them know fast. You can reach a lot of people by email and in a matter of a few minutes. This is a great way to make sure that everyone hears about your party and you will get the word out there fast.
4. Talk up the event. This means that you want to tell people what a great time this event is going to be and what they can expect. You want people to wander about the great party and want to come along for the fun. This is something that will entice their interest and get them wanting to come along. You will find that by talking up the great party, you will have more people show up.
5. Tell your friends to tell their friends about the great event.  Make sure that you are telling everyone to share the word and to let others know what a great time this is going to be.  Tell them to hit upon some of the wonderful things that they will be able to expect at the grand event. This will really get them wanting to show and if they are not invited, they may ask to be.
6. Advertise your event. You can put ad in the newspaper and on the television if the funds are there for you to do so. You can do this and you will be surprised at how many people you will be able to reach with your event. You will see that you are getting the news out there and getting the word across so that you can get more people aware of the fun that you are planning.
7. Put flyers in papers that are seen in your church, local organizations and many other places. You will be able to make up an interesting flyer that will catch the eyes of many onlookers and they will want to come to your event.
8. You may even want to have your special event written in the sky if you want. You can hire a sky writer to do the work for you.  This is a great idea and one that will get your word across.  You may also want to have your great even written on pieces of paper and floated away on with a balloon into the sky. This is a great idea and one this is cheap and very cool at the same time.

Seven Basic Salary Negotiation Tips

Friday, February 20th, 2009

Money is the most sensitive issue in the whole hiring process. Discussing the compensation often causes anxiety on both employee and employer. Here are seven ways to make the process of salary negotiating efficient.

1) Research:  Before the interview process begins, contact the professional organization that represents your field of career. As soon as they provide you with your salary information, you can now examine your monthly cash requirements. Remember that once your taxes are added to your paycheck, approximately 30% of your gross monthly salary is deducted.

2) Determine your skills: You should understand that different segments of the economy require a variety of skills depending on the industry setting. Once you have established what your skills are and what they are worth to the current employment market, you would know the limitations of your negotiation.

Salary range information is available at American Almanac of Jobs and Salaries, National Association of College and Employers, Career Center, and professionals in your related field.

In stating your salary range, avoid basing your desired salary on your current salary. Always tell the truth when it comes to your past salary. It is acceptable to extend a range to approximately $6,000 to show that you are within the company’s price range but interested in more compensation.

3) Weigh the company’s compensation package: To determine your fair market value for a specific job, you should consider the economic, geographic, and industry factors of the job offer. Weigh the benefits of compensation and promotions, insurance, allowed time off and retirement settlements of the offer to ensure a fair proposed salary.

4) Sell yourself: If you know what you could offer the company requires a larger income, never say it directly.  Once you sell yourself discreetly, the interviewer would understand that the proposed salary is not appropriate for your background.

5) Have a positive attitude: In negotiating, never compete. Negotiation is basically a process which could benefit both parties. Understand your needs and those of the company.

6) The final offer: Be aware when the negotiation is done. Pushing further when a deal has been set could give a negative first impression on your part.

7) Show what you are made of: The interview is only the first step in having an enhanced compensation. Once you are hired, offer your skills to the company and prove your worth by doing quality work. You may even get a promotion for doing so.

Based from a survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management, four out of five employees are willing to negotiate compensation. Understanding these basic tips will allow you to enhance the terms of your new job.

Why Small Organizations Mean Big Business

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

In the  movie “You’ve Got Mail”, the sub-plot aside from the love angle is that the heroine (played by Meg Ryan)  was forced out of business when the big-time bookstore owner (played by Tom Hanks) moved into town.

Meg’s character owned a quaint little bookstore which she inherited from her mother. Although the prices of her books were a little steep, she makes up for it in service. She packs the books in a specialized bag, and she knows all of her customers by name.
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Tom’s character, on the other hand, moved into town to build a branch of a big chain-bookstore which offered discounted prices and a huge building, as compared to Meg’s little bookshop on one corner of the town’s streets.

In the end, Meg was forced out of business because her customers went to Tom’s monstrous bookshop.

Nowadays, this situation will not hold true anymore.

More and more small organizations are paving the way and giving big businesses a shot of their own medicine.

In the movie, the reason why Meg Ryan was forced out of business is because she cannot profit anymore. Her prices are steep as compared to the other big business’ discounted rates.

Her only edge is that she gives personal service, she knows her customers by name and she has a very small staff, about 2 or 3 employees.

As a small organization you may turn around and have these qualities as your edge to compete against the big sharks in business.

Here are some tips on how you can hold your own against a big business:

1. Small businesses have big competition.

This means that you need to know how to survive out there.

No matter what nature of business you have, it is better to learn about the competition so that you will be able to survive.

Here are some tips on how you can survive the big competition:

>Keep your business alive.

When it seems as if your cash flow is in a downward slope, keep a tight rein on your budget.

Do not spend on unnecessary business purchases and always balance your books.

If you are one to buy on impulse or if you are the type to listen to those who sweet-talk you into purchasing “necessary” items, control yourself.

Get a second and third opinion if possible, as these impulsive buys may lead to the end of your small organization.

>Do not be afraid to seek professional help.

The fall of most small businesses start with decisions on problems which are not carefully analyzed.

Although you think that you already have a contingency plan, make sure that you have foreseen the results of a certain business decision.

In the long run, it is better to seek professional help rather than embark on a plan that could start the downfall of your business.

>Keep your books straight.

The better option is for you to hire a professional outside accountant to figure the returns of your investment and handle the other financial aspects of your business.

>Take advantage of every free business counseling whenever available.

This does not just help widen your knowledge, but it will also give you an idea of how other businesses are ran by small-scale owners.

>Know exactly where your business is headed.

In your day-to-day operation, make sure that you know where you want your company to be 5 or 10 years from now.

Be always aware of the trends in the industry that you are in, practice good money management and learn how to recognize potential problems before they arise.

2. Learn how to market your small organization.

Marketing is not about trying to sell your products and services to everyone.

It is about knowing who to market your products to.

In marketing, it is good to remember these fast facts:

> Know about your customers.

>Communicate with your customers.

>Build a good and personalized relationship with your customers.

This will be a great edge for you to have against the bigger companies.

They might offer discounted prices but it is harder for them to keep track of customers on a more personal basis.

>Do not stop the marketing process.

As a small organization, you need to routinely review the markets that you need to pursue so that you can better reach out to your customers.

Remember, small organizations are big businesses these days so do not be afraid to work hard for the company that you have – not matter how small.

If you work hard, make wise business decisions, learn how to market your small business and personalize your customer interaction, your small-scale business is sure to rise to the top.

Wage for the New Grad

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

Fresh out of college, most people are excited about landing that first job.  Given that most grads do not have work experience or only had a part time job while studying, it is not easy to secure an executive position right away.

Starting from scratch, one has no choice but to start from the bottom in an entry-level position then in time move to the top. The challenge most grads face in applying for a job is the competition. Aside from those who just graduated, there are also those who have left the previous job and are looking for a new one.
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According to hiring and compensation experts, there is not that much room to negotiate when one is just a fresh grad. This is because that person does not have substantial work experience as basis to negotiate for a higher wage compared to those who have already worked before.

The range of the salary fresh grads get are based on the course one has finished in college. To those who volunteered to be surveyed, it was found that people who graduated from the sciences were able to get a higher salary compared to those who graduated from the liberal arts.

A tip that may help a little in the negotiation process is knowing your potential and not easily giving in or selling yourself short. In the course of an interview, it will boil down to the how much you will be getting. Most fresh grads accept what is given immediately and reply “ok” ending it there.

It is best to only talk about the salary when an offer has been made. If the interviewer is good, it can wait. During that time, one can try asking how much the company will give for someone in that position then be able to negotiate about that further later on regardless of the figure that was given.

The applicant can then ask questions such as job responsibilities and mention that the contribution one can give to the company is more important than the salary you will be receiving showing the recruiter you are a team player.

Applicants can negotiate more by doing research on how much other companies are offering for the same job before giving an immediate answer. By knowing that information, it is possible for you to negotiate the salary offered for a little more.

Getting a job is not only about a salary. This includes other things that the company offers to its employees and by thoroughly checking out the other benefits and perks, it can also help in deciding whether the applicant should accept the job or not.

Searching for Perfect Teen Jobs

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

Just because you are a teen doesn’t mean you can’t find a good job to either help you through schooling or to get a few extra bucks for your various hobbies and needs. Here are a few tips on bagging a great teen job
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Labor Laws
You, of course, have to follow the law. And there are various laws that govern teen employment across different states. Teens that are hired to do non-farm work will at least have to be fourteen years of age to be allowed to work. Here are a few other restrictions. You will have to do a little research in the state you are at to come up to date with the latest laws and regulations.

Teens that are aged 14 to 15 are only allowed to work three hours per day, and eighteen hours a wee. When there are no classes and during summer breaks, this amount may be increased to eight hours per day, 40 hours per week.  Also work for teenagers of this age is limited to up to 7 o’clock p.m. within school days and 9 o’clock p.m. during summer breaks.

Employment Documents
In several states, when one has not reached the age of eighteen yet, it is required get working documents which are officially known as Certificate of Employment or Age to be allowed to work legally. Schools are good venues for one to acquire these important papers. The Department of Labor offers such service, too. Browse on the certification list for Age or Employment to know which rules apply to you. Your school’s Guidance Office can be of great help. One’s state office will assist greatly if one is directed to the Department of Labor. Particular states such as New York, for instance, have special web site sections on Youth Jobs, which will produce the information and documents you are required to have.

Fantasy Jobs
Make sure you take a job you can maintain interest in. You might want to consider after-school programs and working with kids. Or you may want to work part time on the beach, recreational facilities, zoos and other areas. The important thing is that you choose a job that you enjoy and can perform in with the best of your capabilities. It is very important that you do your best in your job and pick one you truly enjoy, as your experience with this job could very well dictate your future career.

Job Search
Your high school guidance counselor may be able to assist you with finding a part-time job that is just right for you. Aside from having contacts among local businesses, they may also help you evaluate which jobs you will enjoy and excel at.

It is also a good idea to tell everyone you know that you are looking for work. Don’t underestimate your network of acquaintances. They may very well have other networks of acquaintances that may help you find good jobs.

Job Hunting Tips

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

Are you a fresh graduate and planning to look for a job? Did you just recently quit your job and are looking for greener pastures? Are you unemployed and have little experience regarding ways to secure a job? Whatever your situation may be, it would be to your advantage to study the following tips:

Check your resume for mistakes
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Before submitting your resume to a prospective employer, check your resume for corrections at least three times before handing it over. After researching about the job position, it is critical that you format your resume to match the needs of the company. For example, if you are applying for an accounting job, you should put in detail your accounting experience on your resume. Typographical and grammatical errors are serious no-no’s. It is also ideal to keep the length of the resume’ to at least a page and a half long.

Taking the interview challenge

A survey conducted by a staffing and consulting firm based in California which corresponded with 1,400 chief financial officers concluded that candidates for employment made most of their mistakes on their interviews. Some of the mistakes they made include: arriving late, having little knowledge about the company and the position applied for, and having a superiority complex and behaving arrogantly. The body language of the applicant must also denote that he is confident yet not overpowering. He must maintain eye contact, have a strong handshake, and avoid looking defensive by the act of crossing the arms. Wearing the right clothes is crucial for projecting a confident stance. As they say, it is better to go to an interview over-dressed than being under-dressed.

Answer questions smartly

A common mistake of interviewees is that they tend to get tense and forget the questions that are given to them, which has the effect that they are not prepared for the interview. It is important to research about the company and the position applied for to prevent being side-tracked during the interview. If you do not know the answer to the questions being asked, it is better to admit you don’t know the answer to the question and add that you can research about it. Look for the skills or expertise that the company is looking for so that when interview day comes and the interviewer asks about your strengths and core competencies, you will be able to match it to what they need.

Getting the necessary referrals

Having a referral from one of the company employees can go a long way toward landing an interview.  A typical company may receive job applications in the hundreds and usually 35% to 60% of all job vacancies are filled by referrals. The odds of getting hired when you have a referral are very high if you have another 200 to 500 applicants vying for the same position. If you do not know anyone from the company that may give you a referral, it is a good idea to the alumni network of your college, trade groups, social networks, and professional associations. Remember, having a referral greatly increases your chances of getting the position.

On online application

With the current trend of technology and its merging with business processes, more and more companies are now requiring prospective applicants to submit their application online.  Thus, first impressions are relayed not by your first appearance but by the quality and content of your e-mail. E-mails regarding job application should be polished and well-articulated. When applying on-line, use the following tips:

Complete your sentences and do not abbreviate.

Employers do not like when you send them application letters that seem to be too casual. It is important to make a letter that is both formal and well written. This gives a good impression regarding your capabilities and skills.

Get directly to the point

When writing an application letter, you must be concise and straightforward. Do not put a story on the letter just to get the attention of the employer, chances are he or she will just get irritated with you and this only reduces your chances of getting hired.

Consider potential issues that may hinder you from getting the job

Although there are instances wherein there is a lot of need for a job but the requirements for the position may entail training programs that may bar you from getting the position due to its highly competitive nature. Some require a lot of experian even at least 3 years of work experience. Some may have no barriers to entry but the job itself may entail a very routine work flow.

Getting the job you want may be a challenge but never lose hope. It is better to wait a while and get the job that you will enjoy rather than get a job as soon as possible but ending up dissatisfied and unhappy. Make the right decision then act on it.

Matching Your Skills to Find Appropriate Jobs

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

Skills refer to the things you do well. The key to finding the most appropriate jobs in the industry is recognizing your own skills and communicating the significance written and verbally to a probable employer.

Majority of the most viable skills are those that are used in a variety of work settings. What are these skills? Would matching your skills to find the right job be successful?
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* Determine your skills. This would help you in becoming the lead candidate of landing the job. A skill does not necessarily mean it was adapted in a work environment. If this would be your first job hunt and you have no job experience to date, you still have a chance in the industry.

Majority of skills, including knowledge-based and transferable, could be absorbed and developed as a volunteer, a student, a homemaker, or in your other personal activities. The skills you have used for these activities can still be applied to your desired jobs.

Organizing and listing your personal skills could help you easily fill out job applications, provide useful information for job interviews, and prepare quality resumes.

First, you should categorize the skills by separating your interests and aptitudes from your work experience.

1) Aptitudes and interest.  These include all of your hobbies, activities you have been involved in the past, and all the things that interest you. By listing all of these down, you could examine the skills it takes to achieve each item.

Skills from aptitude and interest may be homemaking, playing basketball, fixing cars and many more. All of these items could determine if you are capable of working with a team, able to handle multiple tasks, have viable knowledge of human development, knowledge of electronics and ability to diagnose mechanical and numerical problems.  The list goes on, but make sure to consider the skills that would be beneficial for a working environment.

2) Work history. This includes volunteer, part-time, freelance, summer and full time jobs.  Once you have listed all your past employment, examine the skills you do work each work duty.

* Ask for help. As soon as you have your list ready, you could now go to job services that could help you acquire your desired job.  You could also search job yourself. However, always remember to match your skills and abilities in your list to the needed skills and abilities of various jobs.

In most cases, people who seek jobs are threatened with job titles. This should not be the case. As long as your skills and abilities could meet the requirements of the workload and job title, your possibility of acquiring your desired job increases.

Importance of Skills Emphasis on Job Interviews

Friday, February 13th, 2009

Skill emphasis during the interview is important to show the employer what makes you different from all the other job candidates. In this competitive world, companies search for the most qualified employees by weighing skills of the candidates and determining how they would benefit the company.

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Majority of the top companies search for employers who stands out based from their expertise, ability to give new developments, and pleasing personalities that would enhance the organization.

Skills are grouped into three kinds – knowledge-based, transferable, and personal traits.

1) Knowledge-based skills are those learned from experiences. These may include educational attainment, additional training, seminars attended, and other practices that you have studied to enhance your expertise.

Knowledge-based skills include computer and communication skills, marketing or managerial knowledge, product development, and many more. These skills vary depending on the field of industry of each job candidate.

2) Transferable or portable skills are those you bring to a specific job. This is the reason why interviewers ask, “What could you offer the company?” Transferable skills are important because companies strive to look for quality employees that would improve the development of the workforce.

Portable skills include problem solving, team leader potential, organized, writing and communication skills, customer service oriented, time and project management, and good with numbers and budget. This kind of skills varies depending on the experience and versatility of each job candidate.

3) Personal traits determine who you are. In a job interview, one of the most common things an employer says is “Tell me something about yourself.” Your response is vital because it would set the tone for the rest of the interview.

Personal traits include good judgment, well organized, analytical, goal oriented, flexible, creative and many more. Try to sell yourself in as modest as possible within a limited time.

* Self-assessment. In order to provide an impressive presentation, examine your resume and list all the skills you have used for each past job experience. Make a comprehensive list of your skills and strengths including personal traits, knowledge-based and transferable skills. This would be the basis for your personal commercial.

* Once you have completed your script, you are now ready to face the interviewer. Remember that employers are interested in your accomplishments. Use words that are concise, direct and clear.

Although many companies require a unique set of skills, you should still highlight your technical skills in the interview. These skills, which top companies usually seek, include leadership, communication, confidence, flexibility, problem solving and energy.

Emphasizing all of your strengths and skills on job interviews would increase your chances of landing the desired job.

Top 10 Technical Career Skills – Information and Resources

Friday, February 13th, 2009

1. Unix Operating System

The Unix Operating System is the foundation of the internet. Read about Unix, the history of Unix, and find resources for Unix training. Unix is a critical skill for a career in Information Technology.
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2. Linux Operating System

The Linux Operating System is a Unix-like operating system that is being used by many large companies. It is quickly growing in popularity and is a popular operating system to develop for. Linux is a great career skill if you want a career as a System Administrator.

3. Java Programming Language

Find information and training resources for the popular Java programming language. Java is an object oriented programming language developed by Sun Microsystems. Java is a popular career skill if you want a to be a Web Developer.

4. C++ Programming Language

C++ is another high level, object oriented programming language. C++ is often used in commercial application software development. It has been (and continues to be!) a hot programming career skill in the market. A career as a Software Engineer would be the most likely with C++ expertise.

5. Perl Programming Language

Perl is a dynamic scripting language that is used quite often in networking, system administration and web site development. Knowledge of this multi-use language is a must-have for many career paths.

6. MySQL Database Management

MySQL is a database management tool that is widely used. Knowledge of MySQL is necessary for many careers, including Database Administrators, Web Developers, and Software Engineers.

7. Microsoft C# Programming Language

The C# programming language from Microsoft Corporation is rapidly gaining popularity as more companies utilize the .NET framework. This is one of the hottest career skills in the market right now for Developers.

8. XML – Extensible Markup Language

XML or Extensible Markup language, is a popular language that makes information on the internet viewable across many different platforms. It is relatively easy to learn. While many Developers know XML, fewer of them are experts in XML. It is a specialty focus that is gaining popularity for a career in Web Development.

9. HTML Skills

HTML continues to be a necessary skill to have for Web Design careers. Expert knowledge of HTML is a must-have for this career path.

10. Project Management

Management of technical projects is a necessary career skill for advancement, no matter which technical career path you choose. Formal Project Management training is a great start to more senior level technical roles.