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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Cover Letter Articles

Cover Letter Articles
Be A Best Seller - Treat your cover letter like a book jacket for your resume. The potential interviewer will "judge the book by its cover" when it comes to your cover letter and resume so make sure that yours is the best it can be.Kerry Spivey
I'd like to Introduce Myself: Cover Letters Today - A cover letter could be your only chance to catch the attention of hiring managers. This article gives you some tips to making a positive first impression with the cover letter.
Cover Letters are King - The Dos and Don'ts - A cover letter is the ticket to having your resume read. Writing a great cover letter has been made simplier with this article covering the does and don'ts of cover letter writing.Joseph Eldon (May 2006 Feature Article)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

High-Paying Stimulus Jobs

High-Paying Stimulus Jobs
By Dona DeZube, Monster Finance Careers Expert 
President Obama’s $787 billion stimulus plan will create a number of relatively high-paying jobs for workers in construction, alternative energy, education and healthcare. While the best-paying jobs in those fields typically require at least a four-year degree, you can move into some well-paying stimulus-related jobs after spending half that time in college or training, according to Laurence Shatkin, author of Great Jobs in the President’s Stimulus Plan. Here are Shatkin’s favorite, relatively well-paying stimulus-boosted jobs you can get with no more than a four-year degree: Weatherization “There are any number of buildings that need to be weatherized, and that employment will be there for a long time,” Shatkin says. “In this job, you install insulation either with equipment or by hand.” You need only a GED to do this work, and the pay is about $31,000 a year. Don’t apply if you’re claustrophobic because the work sometimes takes place in confined spaces. Infrastructure Construction Stimulus spending on road construction, upgrading telecommunication lines and infrastructure repairs will boost jobs for construction managers, welders, pavers and iron workers. The line workers who extend broadband access to rural areas earn about $47,000 a year.
Rail Track Layers Some stimulus funding targets the repair and expansion of the rail network. While there’s plenty of long-term money in this field, you may work far from home as you follow the tracks. Average salary is $42,000 a year. Electricians Several stimulus spending areas are creating work for electricians. They’re needed to repair highways, modernize schools and connect new solar power equipment. “If you specialize in solar power, you can get in on the ground floor and be one of the industry’s pioneers,” Shatkin says. While you can train to be an electrician at community colleges and trade schools, Shatkin recommends union apprenticeships, where you earn while you learn the craft. Average salary for electricians: $45,000. Civil Engineers If you like math and are willing to attend four years of college, civil engineering can be a great career path. The civil engineers who will make sure the stimulus-funded construction projects are built correctly earn an average of about $72,000. Steel Manufacturing may be on life support, but the stimulus will boost companies that support alternative energy. For example, steel wind turbines are too heavy to ship from overseas, so they’re manufactured as close as possible to where they go up, Shatkin says. “That will create jobs for structural steel workers and welders,” he says. “There’s also a big demand for computer-controlled machine tool operators, who earn about $32,000 a year.” Jobs will also open up for mechanical engineering technicians, who help design mechanical parts and devices and earn $47,000 with an associate’s degree. Industrial Engineers Any industry that gets stimulus funding is going to need industrial engineers to help spend that money wisely. “They’re efficiency experts who apply the scientific method to optimize energy or work flow, and they earn $71,000 with a bachelor’s degree,” Shatkin says. Teaching Classroom teachers get great pensions and time off every summer. If you already have a four-year degree, you may be able to gain certification in just over a year by going to school full-time. Some areas allow teachers to start with a bachelor’s in another field while they seek certification, Shatkin says. Preschool, one of the areas the stimulus targets for expansion, pays the least, averaging only $23,000. However, secondary-school teachers average $49,000. Don’t like kids? Try teaching literacy, English as a second language or a GED class to adults. “There’s a lot of growth in this field because of immigration and the need for more basic skills as the economy becomes more technical,” Shatkin says. Average pay for adult educators is $45,000. Physical or Respiratory Therapy Assistant Armed with an associate’s degree, you’ll earn an average of $44,000 a year as a physical therapy assistant helping develop physical therapy plans, setting up equipment and assisting a physical therapist. Respiratory therapist assistants, who average $40,000 a year, help respiratory therapists treat breathing problems of patients in hospitals, specialty practices and nursing homes. Medical Records Experts The shift from printed to electronic medical records will create jobs for health information technicians who earn about $29,000 a year with an associate’s degree as well as systems analysts who make $70,000 a year with a four-year degree. Managers As the health, education, construction and alternative-energy fields grow from stimulus spending, they’ll need more managers to handle back-office functions such as accounting (average salary $57,000), as well as general managers and operations managers (average $89,000). To break into either field, you’ll need a four-year degree.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

What Am I Worth?

What Am I Worth?

In some cultures, bargaining is the norm. A buyer or seller makes an offer, and the other party either accepts or counters the offer. The two negotiate until they strike a deal or one party walks away.
When you're negotiating your salary with an employer, do you know what you're doing? Do you have any idea of what you're truly worth?
How Do I Find Out My Worth?
To be a good salary negotiator, you must know what a good deal looks like. First, research your fair market value. One easy way to do this is by using Monster's Salary Wizard. You can also compare notes with other Monster members using Career Benchmarking. Also look to recruiters, competitors and the US Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook to get a good idea of what others in similar positions are earning.
Networking is the key to getting fresh information. There's no better way to assess how you're doing than to schmooze with professionals in similar fields. Identify people who have the same position you have or want. Attend professional association meetings or trade shows, and connect with other job seekers online to compare duties and responsibilities, staff size, etc. Investigate the opportunities for job seekers with your skill set in the same company, different companies, different sectors and even different industries.
When networking, don't ask people what they make and expect a civil answer. Instead, ask, "Does this range sound right for this kind of job in this kind of company?" Chances are they'll reply either, "Wow! Where do you work, and how can I join you?" or "Well, that seems low for someone with your experience and level of responsibility." When you combine their comments with the salary information you already have, you'll have a better idea of how you want to approach your salary offer.
How Much to Ask For
Many companies have salary structures for their organizations. Each has a range in mind for any specific job. If you have a target salary within a realistic range, you'll negotiate from a stronger position.
Rules for Negotiating Your Salary
  • Don't be greedy. Seek a win-win agreement with a new employer. This cements good relations for you and the interviewer, and could save you from a lost offer if you hold out for the maximum.
  • When an employer asks for your salary requirements in an ad or on a job application, indicate that you are negotiable. If you're asked to provide current salary, respond with, "Will discuss during interview.
  • Never initiate salary discussions in an interview. Wait for the interviewer to bring the subject up, even if it's postponed to a second interview.
  • Avoid explicit comparisons to your current salary. You're negotiating the strengths you'll bring to the new position, not past salary.
  • Always assume the offer is negotiable.
  • Never accept an offer at the interview. Express your strong interest, but state that you always evaluate important decisions carefully. Negotiate a date when you'll contact the interviewer with your decision.
  • Discuss benefits separately from salary. Your list of benefits can include insurance, tuition reimbursement, relocation payments, stock options, bonuses and outplacement upon termination.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

How to Write and Publish Articles Online

How To Write and Publish Articles Online

Tips and Tools For Article Marketing

Writing your own articles and submitting them to ezines is one of the best and most effective methods of getting completely free promotion for your business.
Writing articles can help you -
  • Brand yourself as an expert in your field
  • Get free advertising through your resource box
  • Boost your sales and profits
  • Promote affiliate programs
  • Boost your Pagerank because of the links pointing to your website
  • Get more traffic to your site, when it gets published on websites or ezines whose readers you want to target

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Entry-Level Salary (Probably) Isn't as Negotiable as You Think

Entry-Level Salary (Probably) Isn’t as Negotiable as You Think
By Peter Vogt, MonsterTRAK Career Coach
Even in the best of economic times, salary negotiation is a risky proposition for most new college graduates pursuing entry-level positions. Sure, you might have some bargaining leverage these days if you’ve majored in a hot field like accounting or engineering, or if you’ve developed some rare skill that is very much in demand among prospective employers. But in more cases than you probably care to acknowledge, starting salaries are basically set, and you just don’t have enough to offer at this stage in your career to make employers budge. “You can negotiate if you have something extra special to negotiate with,” says Terese Corey Blanck, director of recruitment and placement for Corporate Interns, an internship and entry-level placement firm. But a college degree and a couple of internships aren’t enough, Corey Blanck emphasizes. “If you’re bringing some special experience or expertise to the table, then give [negotiation] a try,” she says. “But nine times out of 10, the company has to invest more money just to get you up to speed, so negotiating an entry-level salary really shouldn’t be your first priority.” Use Your Head That doesn’t mean you can’t attempt to negotiate an offer you’ve received, especially if you really do think you have something above and beyond to offer a prospective employer. But be careful -- very careful. “You’ve got to have a rationale for why you believe you should be paid more,” says Sheila Curran, Fannie Mitchell Executive Director of the career center at Duke University and coauthor of Smart Moves for Liberal Arts Grads. Moreover, you need to use your head when it comes to how you approach the negotiation itself, says Brad Karsh, president of JobBound and author of Confessions of a Recruiting Director. “Try once, and only once,” Karsh says. “If they say, ‘We don’t negotiate,’ then end it right there. You run the risk of damaging your reputation -- and risking your offer -- if you go too far.” Do Your Homework If, on the other hand, the employer you’re dealing with appears to be open to some negotiation when it comes to your salary and/or other benefits (e.g., bonuses, relocation allowance, tuition reimbursement), feel free to take a shot at it. Know in advance, though, that you’ll need to have completed some pretty extensive research ahead of time to make a compelling case for yourself. “The key to any negotiation is to do your homework,” Karsh says. That means tapping your school’s career center, professional associations in your field and Internet salary sites to get an accurate sense of starting salaries in your industry, in your geographic area and at your level of education and experience. “Know the market and whether you have the skills or experience that might warrant being paid differently than your peers,” Curran says. It’s also important to pursue your negotiation activities respectfully, employing thoughtful, strategic questions and not overbearing “show me the money” types of demands. “You can’t go in with an attitude of ‘I’m entitled,’” says Corey Blanck, “But, rather, ‘I have this specific experience and expertise -- is this something that’s worthwhile to you and, if so, are you open to negotiating a higher starting salary?’” You may not get what you want. But at least you won’t lose what you already have.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Savvy Telephone Etiquette

Savvy Telephone Etiquette
By Therese Droste, Monster Contributing Writer 
Picture a cross between a magician and a linebacker. Calls are coming in, people are trying to get through to your boss. You use a little misdirection, a few stubborn blocking techniques and, voila, you become an effective assistant.
"Your job is to protect your boss -- be a time manager," says Val Williams, a business coach with Professional Coaching and Training in Edison, New Jersey. "And you're an asset by being the traffic cop for persistent people if you know your boss can't be indiscriminately interrupted for calls."
The key to an assistant's job is to be direct and tell the truth, stresses Williams. While it's tough when a caller is persistent, Williams says to think of it as a hockey game. "The persistent caller's goal is to get to your boss," she says. "But you have a goal too, to protect your boss." You need to respect the caller's persistence by recognizing he's merely trying to forward his agenda while simultaneously respecting your own agenda, which is to help prioritize your boss's calls, says Williams.
And that's where many admins snag a toe on the rug. While it's crucial for a boss and her assistant to be in alignment with goals, admins often don't have enough contact with their managers to know their priorities. "If you want to do an excellent job, you must encourage your boss to meet with you for 10 or 15 minutes every morning to touch base," says Williams.
During the meeting, ask your boss to list his most important challenges of the day. "You want to find out the things that are stressing your boss and then find ways to help out," says Williams. This information allows you to be proactive. "At a minimum, it means running guard on unimportant or unplanned phone calls for the boss, as well as finding out which phone calls are super important."
That's a nice concept, but what about the pushy caller who's called four or five times already this week? Be direct, advises Williams. Try something like, "I'm sorry. My boss has been really busy, but I want you to know I've relayed your message."
"Say no more than that," says Williams. "If the person berates you and says he's called four or five times, just state that you passed the message along so the person doesn't conclude that you're blocking access to the boss. You've done your part."
Also, watch your tone of voice, cautions Williams. Use a neutral voice with no charge or tone in it. If you're overly apologetic, you merely validate that this person has been wronged in some way, and that's not useful. "Then the person wants to pull you into alignment with him by agreeing that this isn't right, it shouldn't be happening, and your boss really should call him back," she says.
"A super assistant digs deeper and gets to the root of why someone's even calling," says Williams. If you find out why someone's calling and then provide an answer to the question right away, you avoid spending time dealing with a person's persistent calls down the road.
The other part of the equation is that your boss doesn't look so hot by not returning phone calls. "Talk to your boss and point out that someone's called several times," says Williams. "Offer to call the person back to say whatever it is your boss wants you to." For example, you could call the person back and say the boss isn't available for the next couple of weeks and to call back after that time. Or simply say your boss asked you to return the call and that, based on the business goals, your boss is not interested in the person's line of business. "If someone keeps calling back after that, they're just rude."
"The bottom line is you must be an assertive assistant," says Williams. "Tell the boss you think you can help him out, and ask him how he wants you to handle telephone intruders. Let the boss delegate some responsibility to you and run with it."
For more information and tips to help you advance your administrative career, see all our advice for admin professionals.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Six top search tips

Six top job search tips

Your individual job search strategy needs to be tailored to your individual situation. The following tips apply to everyone, whether you are seeking an internship, co-op or permanent position, whether you are an undergraduate or graduate student.

Don't put all your eggs in one basket.
If you limit your job search to just one method, you will limit your options. Use a mix of methods.

No one job search method will reveal all of the jobs out there.
Not every kind of job or industry is represented in every job search method. For example there are many jobs you will not find through the On-Campus Interviewing Program, and there are many jobs you will not find posted on Internet sites. If you want to maximize your options, you will need to use multiple methods. (See pros and cons of the ways to look for jobs.)

Start early.
That means at the beginning of your final year if you're completing your degree, and it means in fall if you're looking for a summer internship. Some employers look for hires and recruit many months in advance of the anticipated work-start date. If you don't start early, you can still find opportunity, but you will have missed out on some of the options.

Learn how others pursuing your career field or industry have been successful.
Notice the plural on "others." Don't limit yourself to one source.Talk to faculty in your department.Talk to students who will graduate (or have graduated) ahead of you.Talk to members of your professional associations and student chapters of professional organizations. Talk to alumni volunteers you find in VT CareerLink.Go to the Post-Graduation Report. Look at the full report; select to view your major; look under "employment" at "job / employer source." That will tell you how past graduates of your major connected with the employers who hired them. You'll usually notice that referrals/contacts, a.k.a. networking, is one of the effective methods.

Learn to think beyond major.
Some of you have a major that equals a job title. Most of you don't. Learn to think about occupations, industries, kinds of businesses, job skills and career fields. The real world is not organized by major. A couple of good resources you'll find at researching careers and industries are Vault and WetFeet.

Don't expect your job search to be quick and easy.
A job search is hard work. Your motivation and attitude are the keys to your success. Expect to put in as much work, for two semesters, as a really tough 3-credit-hour class in which you want to get an A. It's worth that to you.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Dos and Don'ts of Big Four Interviews

Dos and Don'ts of Big Four Interviews

Dos and Don'ts of Big Four Interviews

Whether you’re about to graduate or can call yourself an experienced CPA, follow these tips to avoid common mistakes during the Big Four interview process.
  • Say only positive things about accounting.
  • Know the differences between Big Four companies, and be ready to explain to each why it is the perfect employer for you.
  • Think before you speak, and never curse.
  • Talk about 80 percent of the time in an on-campus interview.
  • If you're a foreign student, consider Ernst & Young. It hires candidates that need sponsorship.
  • Send a written thank-you letter to everyone who interviews you.
  • Show up in sneakers.
  • Treat communications with the firm casually. Your emails and voice mails will be scrutinized.
  • Let your guard down during the lunch or dinner portion of the interview. Order something you can eat without spilling.
  • Talk more than 50 percent of the time during an in-office interview.

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My interest with writing began by composing poems about nature in my childhood. I also co-wrote a play in my 4th grade class when I lived in New Rochelle, NY. It generated enough positive feedback that my class put on the play in the school auditorium. I was fortunate to have a lead part. After my high school graduation, I entered the working world. For over 30 years I have been steadily gaining writing, editing and digital publishing skills. I began by composing letters and emails to company clients. I contributed to articles written for The Commuters Register based in Windsor, CT. Since 2009, I have added social media, digital publishing and blogging here in Wilkesboro, NC. Since 2010, I write ad copy for the listing descriptions for each of my 3 Internet shops open at In 2012, I entered a poem about my dog Red in the World Poetry Contest. The poem was chosen for publication. I have written articles for the Winston-Salem Frugal Living Examiner and Hub Pages. In 2012, I acquired The Wilkes Gazette digital newspaper that was renamed the Wilkes County Gazette in 2014. I write under both my own name and my pen name, Jeanne Armonk.

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