Archive for May, 2015

4 Simple Salary Negotiation Tips

May 25 2015 Published by under Uncategorized

Salary negotiations can be intimidating, to put it lightly. While you want a job, you also want to be paid what you’re worth- or at least close to it. It’s true that money can’t buy happiness, but if you feel undervalued, you won’t be satisfied in your new job or position.

With that in mind, here are four simple salary negotiation tips, guaranteed to make your wallet happy.


Do Your Research

Consider where you live and your profession, and research the average salary for both. Monster has an online calculator to get you started. Knowing these things will help you set a base line parameter and help you set your expectations. The research will also help you feel more confident in your negotiating. Remember: knowledge is power.

Set the Tone

You want to be serious, but not overly aggressive in your talks. Think logically, not emotionally. The previously mentioned research stage will help you stick to the facts. Do not issue ultimatums. Be respectful and listen, letting your boss (or future boss) know that you understand his interests as well as your own. U.S. News & World Report has some helpful tips on how to get your boss to listen.

Evaluate Experience

Beyond an arbitrary number for your field, is your personal experience. If you are just starting your career you will not have as much leverage as someone who has more on the job experience and expertise.

Talk About What You Deserve, Not What You Need

When we talk about what we need, things often get personal—so don’t. Instead, focus on the salary you deserve. Focus on that experience you have, or that degree. Focus on your work ethic and strengths. Focus on what you can do for the company, and how you will be an asset.

Be Flexible, but Realistic

It’s a good idea to have a salary range in mind, as oppose to one exact, fixed number as it helps you to be realistic throughout the process. This does not mean you should accept any salary offer, however. Think of salary negotiations like buying a house. You will likely have to compromise. So, consider how much compromise you’re willing to do, and have a “plan B” in the event that things don’t go as planned and you have to start searching for another opportunity.


Salary negotiations aren’t easy, but don’t let that stop you- especially if you’re deserving. Just breathe and push through the anxiety. And remember: You’ve got this.


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Internet at Work: How Much is Too Much?

May 18 2015 Published by under Uncategorized

Most of us have spent time surfing the web when we’re supposed to be working. Sure, some of us more than others- but when it comes to Internet at work, how much is too much?

One survey, published by, showed that 25% of employees openly admit to spending at least 10 non-work related minutes online while on the clock. That same survey showed 13% spend at least two hours online every day. If that weren’t enough Forbes reports that as much as 75% of workers age 18-35 confess to spending work-time online. If time is money, we definitely have a problem.

Take that information and consider the countless stories of people being fired for improper use of the Internet at work—often dubbed “improper use of company time/materials”—and there are more questions raised than answers.

How much is too much? What is considered improper? Should I stay offline completely?

Well, it depends. Ask yourself the following questions and proceed with caution.


What Does My Employee Handbook Say?

Your first go-to guide in order to determine the gray (or not so gray) area surrounding your work’s Internet usage policy is your employee handbook. The Internet isn’t a new phenomenon and most companies at least have some basic outlines about what is and is not acceptable. Note that Internet use policies typically extend to email and other Internet communications. (Example.)


Yes, many of these guidelines are related to what you’re doing online and not so much about how much time is acceptable, it’s a good rule of thumb that if follow the “dos and don’ts” set forth by your handbook, you’ll be off to a good start.


Does it Significantly Affect My Productivity?

If you can’t resist the occasional game of Candy Crush or the odd retweet, but still manage to get your work done, congratulations! Outside of any formal rules, you want to maintain your work ethics, forgetting of course that you aren’t being paid to do anything other than work at, well, work. In fact, many employers combat internet related slacking with monitoring software.


If, however, you find that your Internet consumption is impacting your productivity, it may be time to re-evaluate your usage at work, before you no longer have the option. But let’s be honest: anytime spent not working ultimately hinders your productivity. The question is: what level of productivity keeps you in the clear?


Am I Reading/Writing Something Generally Considered Inappropriate?

Browsing the Internet on company time is one thing, but going to sites or corners of the web where you know you’re going to get in trouble is another. And you know. If you have any question about whether or not the site you’re visiting or what you are saying online is bad or good, consider how easy—on a scale of one to ten—the site would be to justify to family, friends, coworkers, and your boss. If the thought of explaining it to any of these makes you cringe, just don’t.

Here are a few of the top “banned” sites at work.


Is it Noticeable?

This question goes along with productivity, but is slightly different. Think of it as your mom’s way of asking, “What would the neighbors’ think?” If your coworkers are hard at work and see you playing Facebook Bingo all day, resentment will brew. Forget about your boss, your coworkers at the very least will loathe you.

Ultimately, there are no hard and fast rules as to what is and is not acceptable. There is a little common sense involved, however. Ask yourself these questions, and use common sense.






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Making the Most of Your LinkedIn Profile

May 11 2015 Published by under Uncategorized

LinkedIn is a useful social networking tool, whether you’re happy at your current job or looking for something new. You can connect with recruiters, endorse others (and vice-versa), view job postings and follow companies. And your profile is more than just a profile- it’s a virtual resume, where you can list your achievements and highlight your history.

With so much to see, there’s a lot that can go unseen too, and your virtual resume can easily get lost in the crowd—no matter how amazing you may be at all the things.

If you want to spruce up your LinkedIn profile and make it stand out for recruiters, here are a few pointers.


Own The Headline

Your headline is your first impression. The description pretty much makes or breaks it all. If your headline is good, people will be more likely to click through. If it’s boring and uninteresting? Nope.

By default, your headline will simply list your name and your job (current or most recent). Instead of relying on this alone, use your headline to illustrate just what you have to offer. Sure, a job title is good, but in a sea of potential candidates, good just isn’t enough. Think specifics when you list your job title and include your industry. It’s all about the details. Here are a few tips on making any job sound better.


Enhance Profile Summary

Congratulations, someone has clicked through to your profile. Now what? While the profile summary section may not seem all that important, it is the next essential step in detailing your assets and how you’d benefit potential employers.

Let people know what you specialize in and what you’ve accomplished. It’s important to use familiar industry keywords and phrases that will increase the odds that you’ll show up in the search results of a potential recruiter.


Discuss Experience/Skills

Don’t just list where you’ve worked, talk about your skills. A job title only shows that you held it, it doesn’t describe your worth. It doesn’t describe your value. You’ve got to do that.

Recruiters are looking at skills. Specifically, they’re looking for skills that are key to the job at hand. You should include relevant, key skills with this in mind. And, whenever possible, quantify your experience. Use keywords. You didn’t just perform x, y, z. Instead, you performed x, y,z which led to a specific positive outcome.


Make Connections

Surprise, surprise—who you know matters. And, in the case of LinkedIn, a mixture of quality and quantity of who you know matters (but mostly quality). You should aim for at least 50 connections, but make sure most are relevant, because if most are unrelated to your field of work, it may hurt rather than help your cause.

If you don’t know many people that you feel are relevant, reach out and join groups. Participate in discussions. Comment on articles and shares. It’s really no different than offline networking. Exchange a few comments and send an invitation to connect. Still confused? Read Mashable’s beginner’s guide to LinkedIn.

With just a few simple tweaks, you can get the most out of LinkedIn. Even if you aren’t in the market for a new job, you never know when an opportunity will find you!

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When a Recruiter Calls at a Bad Time

May 04 2015 Published by under Uncategorized

When you’re looking for a new job, anytime is a good time for a recruiter to call. At least, that’s what you think. And, in theory, it’s accurate. After all, you want a job. You want that call. You want to get that call about the job.

But timing really is everything. At the very least, it matters.

If a recruiter calls you at a bad time, it may be obvious—whether you want it to be or not. Your concentration and reaction speed will be subpar. Your lack of enthusiasm and stress level may translate into disinterest.

So what’s a girl or boy to do?

Don’t panic. Here are a few guidelines to follow the next time a recruiter (or anyone, for that matter) calls you at a bad time:


Be Assertive

In some instances the “bad time” may not allow for an answer, but in many cases it does. And when it does, it’s important to answer the phone in a professional way. Show that you are calm under pressure. Prepare yourself mentally. Rather than wait on the recruiter to ask for you, be direct. Don’t simply say, “Hello.” Instead, say, “Hello, this is [insert name].

This eliminates any initial awkwardness and sets the tone.

Be Grateful

“Please” and “thank you” goes a long way– especially when non-verbal clues are non-existent. You’ve been waiting for this call, so smile and be enthusiastic. Thank them for calling. Tell them you’re happy to hear from them. Let them know you are excited about the opportunity.

This lets the recruiter know you are genuinely interested.


Be Truthful

While you don’t have to say that it’s not a good time because your dog just used the bathroom in the house, and you shouldn’t be brutally honest. There’s no need for specifics. Simply tell the recruiter that now isn’t a good time to talk. It’s not rude; it’s professional. Don’t just end the call, offer an alternative. Now is not a good time, so set up a specific future time to return the call. And remember to use “May I” as opposed to “Can I.” Yes, details matter.

This will highlight your professionalism and turn chaos into advantage.


It may all sound simple, but when life is at its worst, it can be all too easy to get swept up in the crazy. Having this plan in place will make sure that even at your worst, you’re ate your best.

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