Monday, October 31, 2011

How to Negotiate the Perfect Salary

A company is interested in hiring you for a new opening in the company. You feel as if you are in high demand because you are in a skilled labor or professional position that requires skills that you possess. If you are considering any new position and you currently are already employed, you should be seeking higher wages, a better working atmosphere, and an overall improvement in your career...

Not asking about your wages up front is a mistake. During most every interview the employer is going to ask you that one question, "What wages are you asking for if you were to come to work for us?" While this can be a difficult question to answer point blank when you don't know the current rate of pay in the company, you can come prepared for the question and negotiate a higher rate of pay.

Never act surprised when that big question is askedCome to your interview prepared! Make a list of questions that are always asked during interviews, such as: Are you new to the area? Do you have a degree in this industry? What did you like best about your last job? What did you like least about your last job? Can you name three strengths you have, and that would apply to this position? What are your weaknesses?
Being prepared is going to help you get through the interview; then as it comes time to negotiate your salary you are better prepared, not only with good conversation, but also in selling yourself to this company, which is essentially what you are doing! You want to start out with a base-level salary, but you are expecting a review of your performance in 60 days, or 6 months. In stating you are asking for a base salary and then expect a raise as you show you can perform and be beneficial for the company, you will show the potential employer you are confident in what you do and in how you complete your job.

Along with asking for a higher salary right from the start, you can also have a conversation with the employer that you are prepared to accept a set dollar amount per week, but you also would require additional benefits. Many times, the benefits are going to be easier for the company to provide, but even with a base salary, overall you are getting paid a higher rate. Examples of benefits include a laptop computer so you can work from anywhere, a cellular phone, a gas card for traveling, and perhaps an expense account for dining with customers or dealing with marketing needs.
You may be permitted a clothing allowance, a tool allowance, or perhaps you could start out with two weeks of vacation per year instead of one. But you need to remember that the perfect salary is going to be one that you are happy with and one with which you feel you can support yourself and / or your family. You don't want to give up too much of your salary to get the benefits that will not be cash in your pocket.

Preparing your answers up front before the questions about salary are asked during your interview will show you are confident in your abilities, and that you know what you are worth. Never be afraid to ask for another $29 per week, or another $200 per week, when you know what the salaries are in the industry you are working, and you have the experience to back up the negotiations for additional salary! If the employer states that your price is a little out of their range, remind the employer they are going to save money by hiring you because you are trained, you are bringing years or months of experience, and you have ideas for the position that will boost your overall levels of input and productivity that will benefit the company almost immediately. Never be afraid to state what you know, and what you can do for the company.

Negotiate with the employer before the first day of employmentIt is important that if wages were not discussed during your interview, that you make an appointment and discuss your salary before you start working anywhere for anyone. While you may have a set wage in your mind and what you know you should be paid, the employer may have a scale, stating you are paid X dollars per week, and raises are given yearly. If you are not sure what your salary will be, then nine times out of ten you are not going to get the wages you expected.

Negotiate with confidenceWhen you are negotiating your wages, you need to be confident in your answers, and in what you are asking. If the question never comes up during the interview, then you need to initiate the topic. Look the employer in the eye, showing you are not afraid of any topic, any time. Ask what the salary is. If the answer is not high enough for you, add additional questions.
Looking the person in the eye, with a strong voice, ask what the benefits are, and when reviews for raises are considered. If you are not happy with the answer, make a statement along the lines of: "I was expecting the position to pay $X." If you are not satisfied with the beginning salary, set expectations about when you expect reviews, or find out what the company has in their policy for reviews and raises in compensation.

Things you can do if you find the employer is not going to budge on the salary being offered
If you are interviewing at more than one location, for more than one job, don't be afraid to bring up the fact that another company is interested in you and is, in fact, offering you a much more competitive salary (if it is true, of course). This will reveal to the employer that you are valuable and perhaps they should rethink the salary offer they put on the table.
By L. M
State that you will have to think about it, and then don't call the employer for a week. If you are not calling the employer and they need to fill this position right away, there is a chance they will call you and offer you a higher wage.
You can ask for additional benefits, such as the gas card, expense account, cellular phone, or extended vacation time.
Your compensation also includes a combination of sick time, personal time, and medical benefits. If you are not able to get the higher salary you want or need, inquire about the company paying full medical benefits, more sick time, more personal days, and similar types of benefits. These are benefits that hourly employees may not be offered but ones that you can negotiate into your salary package.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Management Tips for the Working Student

Many students become floor managers or supervisors at their part-time job. Here are some tips to help you solve those tough issues…

So you have been promoted to manager at the hotel where you spent your college work life. The bump in pay was nice, but you could never have guessed how many problems you now face. Here is some help for dealing with the difficult situations.

Keep focused on the problem

One issue many students face is they are nervous or unsure when dealing with customers many years older than themselves. Many customers think it is all right to talk down to young, inexperienced students. Fight this by staying focused on the problem at hand. Whether your problem is with a customer or fellow employee, address the problem head-on and use blunt language if necessary.

Understand the other side

Ask the person you're are confronting for an explanation for their action. If a coworker is wasting time on the Internet instead of getting things done, ask them why they believe they can do this at work. Maybe that coworker has time management issues. His finances could be a wreck and he is trying to get his life in order. Whatever the problem, you will be better served if you understand where they are coming from.

Follow Up Quickly

Once you understand the problem and every parties position, decide on a quick course of action. The worst thing you can do is let something drag on without resolution. Instead, use your position to enforce company rules and move on.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Are You Ready for an Unexpected Job Interview?

Most job-seekers wait to polish up their interview skills until they are looking for a new position. Important interview opportunities, however, can present themselves at any time. For example,..
  • Unplanned internal job openings: You encounter a sudden opportunity to advance your career from within, and your boss recommends you as a candidate for the job. Are you ready to communicate your contributions to the company?
  • A recruiter calls: The position sounds like just the career move you've been wanting. Will you say the right things to win the job, or will you blunder your best chance?
  • A former colleague introduces you to his boss:The organization is building an exciting new division and looking for new staff. Can you entice the boss's interest in you as a must-have new team member?
Those who continually grow in their careers are always prepared for these situations. Their interview skills are sharp at all times. To know if your skills are sharp enough to handle a surprise interview, see if you can answer the following four questions: 

1. Can you concisely state your value proposition in 30 seconds or less? A value proposition is meant to intrigue your listener with a quick overview of your skills, expertise, and industry know-how. If you can offer a precise summary of why you are the perfect candidate for that job, you are more likely to get to the second or third interview. A concise value proposition can make a critical difference in winning you a new position. 

2. Can you list your top five accomplishments, and can you communicate their impact to your employer's bottom-line initiatives? A list of your top accomplishments will enable a prospective employer to imagine what you can do for he organization. Accomplishments give employers a way to associate your skills with their needs and a reason to remember you. Be prepared to list your top skills and show how they can help meet corporate needs. 

3. Are you prepared to answer your own toughest interview questions, or do you hope they just won't come up?  Don‚t leave yourself vulnerable to such questions as: "If you‚re doing so well in your job, why do you want to leave?" A good recruiter or hiring manager will see you sweat and stutter and squirm; you'll lose their confidence and destroy a chance to get your dream job. Think about the questions that will be your biggest pitfalls and be prepared to answer them. 

4. Do you know how to find out your interviewer's motivations to understand how best to answer his or her questions? This is a very important question. Without knowing your interviewer's motivations, how will you know if your answers hit the mark of what he or she is looking for in a perfect candidate? Conduct research and determine exactly what that employer needs. Once you have those answers in hand, you can target your interview answers accordingly. 

A good career coach can help you answer all these questions and more, preparing you for the interviews you plan -- and the interview you didn't expect. With those answers in hand, you can take your career from mediocre to marvelous with "always-ready" interview skills.

by D.W

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

How Internships Can Help with Career Planning

Students: Need help with career planning? Whether you're still trying to explore your career options or are seeking work experience to bolster your resume, internships can prove invaluable as you develop your career. Read on to learn more about the professional benefits of internships...

The Benefits of Internships

Transitioning from college to career can be intimidating. Many graduates struggle to identify the right career path or find themselves getting lost in the competitive job market. Completing an internship - or several - while you're in school can help you get an edge on this process.

Find Your Dream Job

There aren't very many people who start school with a 'dream job' already in mind. Internships can help you narrow your professional focus by giving you the opportunity to explore different fields and different positions. Write down a list of your interests, then meet with your school's career counselor to find out what types of internships may be available to you in those areas. Try to pursue a couple of very different opportunities in order to really get a feel for your options.

Improve Your Resume

Even if you already know what you want to do after you graduate, chances are that your resume isn't a mile long yet. Many recent college graduates have a hard time meeting minimum work experience requirements in jobs for which they might otherwise be qualified. Completing at least one internship can help you gain professional experience while still in school and give you something impressive to put on that resume.

Develop Professional Skills

Even though internships mimic jobs in many ways, they're truly about learning. You'll probably earn college credit instead of cash, but you're not free labor - it's your employer's role to give you on-the-job professional training. This can give you the opportunity to practice what you're been learning in the classroom in the 'real world' and develop hands-on, practical skills. And those look great on a resume, too.

Network, Network, Network

Making professional connections is a crucial part of getting started on your career path. Not only can knowing the right person help you get your foot in the door in most workplaces, having good connections helps you tap into a whole network of professional information and resources. An internship is a great place to make these connections. If you perform well, your employer may be willing to write you a recommendation and introduce you to other people in the field. Furthermore, your fellow interns and coworkers will one day be your professional peers and may themselves prove to be useful connections. And some lucky interns even find a salaried job at the same place after graduation.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

9 Tips for Better Online Job Hunting

It goes without saying that the Internet has drastically changed the way people today hunt for jobs. After all, it's probably been a few years since you've submitted a resume via mail or fax. But even though most professionals turn to the Internet first for help locating a new position, not all understand the finer points of a Web-based job search. Following are some tips to keep in mind the next time you look online….
1. Think big. It's wise to start your search by visiting large job sites such as because of the sheer number of listings offered. In addition, employers of all sizes and in every industry are apt to list their job openings on sites with strong brand recognition. Checking out smaller niche Web pages can be helpful, but if you're at a crossroads in your career or willing to relocate, the big boards offer the widest view of what jobs are currently available.
2. Scan the oldies but goodies. When visiting job boards, many job hunters make the mistake of limiting their search to positions posted in the last few days. A position posted one month ago might still be open, especially if it requires hard-to-find skills. Plus, with most job seekers focusing on recent postings, you may be competing with fewer candidates. A dated job advertisement doesn't reflect the quality of the company or the potential desirability of the position.
3. Visit recruiter sites. In addition to browsing the large boards, visit the Web sites of recruiting firms that specialize in your field, which maintain their own job postings. Some even offer detailed career information and job search advice. The advantage of these sites is that job seekers can conduct highly targeted searches and also connect with a recruiter who can work on their behalf.
4. Go surfing. Job sites offer more than just listings. They also can serve as a launching pad for other opportunities. For instance, you may find an appealing job posting for which you are overqualified. Though you're not right for this role, you now know the company is hiring. Visit the prospective employer's Web site to see if there are any additional openings. Send a resume and cover letter to the company expressing your desire to be considered for future jobs.
5. Get social. Networking is one of the most effective ways of locating new opportunities, and the Internet makes it easier than ever to expand your web of contacts. Social networking sites such as provide "virtual" opportunities to connect with other professionals -- in your area or halfway across the world. Participating in chat rooms and discussion forums, such as those hosted by professional associations in your field or industry, also is an excellent way to find about open positions.
6. Don't blast away. Most job sites enable users to apply for a position with the simple click of the mouse. But don't blindly blast your resume to every company you come across. Hiring managers seek tailored resumes that directly tie a job seeker's unique skills and abilities to the requirements of the position. Take the extra time and effort to customize your application materials to each specific opportunity.
7. Spell well. Completing employment applications online is convenient but potentially costly if you're not careful. Be mindful of your spelling and grammar when typing information directly onto online forms. Typos are no less problematic on screen than on paper. In a Robert Half International poll of employers, typos and grammatical errors were cited as the most common mistakes job seekers make on their resumes.
8. Tread carefully. There's a time and a place for everything. With that old adage in mind, be careful of when and where you do your online job hunting. Using your company's computer and Internet connection to look for a new position is a bad idea. Employers have the right to monitor the sites you visit and the e-mails you send. So, resist the temptation to hunt for a new job at the office if you want to keep the one you have for the time being.
9. Follow up! When job hunting online, it's critical that you follow up with prospective employers after applying for a position. More than a few resumes have gotten lost in cyberspace. If you've submitted your application and haven't heard back from the company, make a call or send an e-mail to verify that the resume was received and to reassert your interest in the position. Don't worry; you're not going to annoy the employer. Eighty-two percent of executives polled by our company said job seekers should contact hiring managers within two weeks of submitting application materials. While the Internet has revolutionized the way job seekers connect with prospective employers, an online job hunt shouldn't be the only strategy you use to find a new position.
The best searches combine a variety of approaches, including exploring the services offered by recruiting and staffing firms, touching base with members of your professional network, and participating in industry events where you can hobnob with hiring managers.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

10 No-Cost Ways to Attract a Job

Job hunting is a lot like dating. If you’re down, if you’re desperate, or if you’re disheveled, you probably won’t have much luck. But if you invest a little in time improving your energy and appearance, jobs will come to you much more easily…
Really? Yes. It’s the law of attraction. People want to be with winners, they want to be around winners, and they want to hire winners. Improve your energy and then start to mix in new circles. You will attract people and things will happen.
Here are 10 rules of attraction to help your job search that won’t cost you a dime.

1. Get fresh air and exercise.
Is your job search stressing you out? There’s no pill or cream that can do more for you than fresh air and exercise. The result is healthy skin, more energy and reduced stress. Did I forget to say burning calories? Reducing munchies? Decreasing your appetite? All of the above are important reasons for taking a walk, run or bike ride to get fresh air in your lungs. Cold weather is no excuse – it’s just colder. Put on some layers.

2. Smile.
How much does that cost? Absolutely nothing! People respond to smiles: they smile back. More importantly, they will remember you! And that’s a good thing.
In a job interview, one of the best things you can do is wear a confident smile. This will tell hiring managers that you're enthusiastic and motivated. It even helps to smile during a phone interview! You might feel silly smiling when no one's watching, but trust us, the interviewer will hear that smile in your voice.

3. Listen.
Next time you meet someone new, whether in a job interview or at a party, practice your active listening skills. Active listening means giving the other person your full attention and then repeating what they say in your own words to show that you understand. Active listening is a fun way to get to know people and be remembered. If you are listening-challenged, and that goes for men and women, then you really need to practice this. Nobody is attracted to conversation hogs who talk about themselves incessantly.

4. Ask questions.
 Questions are a sign that you are listening. Even if the person you’re speaking with is boring you to tears, ask at least one question. It’s the polite thing to do – and you might learn something new. Asking questions during a job interview is essential. If you don't, the interviewer will get the impression that you don't care much about the job.

5. Practice remembering details about new acquaintances.
Names are the most important thing. If you have trouble with names, look at the person’s face and make a connection – “Perfect Teeth Tanya.” It’s a game the pros learn to do well. But don’t focus on something that will change, like hairstyles or clothes! Once you’ve got a person’s name, try to remember at least one detail about their family, interests or work that you can bring up the next time you meet them. This may make all the difference in impressing a potential boss or coworker.

6. Laugh.
Enjoy the moment. Poke fun at yourself or the celebrity freak-out du jour. Don’t make fun of others, and don’t divulge your political persuasion in casual conversation or job interviews. (You’re allowed one vote. Keep your politics to yourself.) Find something to laugh about and your new friend will appreciate your humor.

7. Wash your hands often.
I always feel better after I wash my hands. I feel clean and protected from viruses. I know if I meet someone new, I can shake with confidence. And a warm, strong, clean handshake makes a fantastic first impression in a job interview. (There’s nothing worse than shaking hands with someone who had fast food for lunch and didn’t wash their hands.)

8. Shine your shoes.
If you don’t have a shoe shine kit, this one’s going to cost you a little cash. But polished shoes make a difference. Shoes give you confidence if they fit right and look well-cared for. Jos. A. Bank makes an on-the-go brush you can keep in your car or computer bag. For less than $10, you can ensure your shoes will always look their best.

9. Keep your hands groomed.
There’s no excuse for chipped nail polish, ripped nails or long, uneven fingernails. Some headhunters I’ve met say they can judge a candidate by the look of their hands. It shows how much time you take for yourself. Besides, when your hands are cleaned and groomed, that tells an interviewer you pay attention to detail.

10. Stand tall, shoulders back.
Mom was right: Slouching definitely says you’re lacking confidence in yourself. If you think you need help in this regard, ask a friend to poke you in the back when you hunch over. Eventually good posture will come naturally, and people will notice.
These rules of attraction are something we all know. When you realize they work, you will make them part of your everyday habits and great opportunities – in your job search and your life – will start to come your way.

By Ann Wallace Khan