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Resource: Career Advice
Salary Negiotiating No-No's
Wednesday, May 30, 2012

We're all entitled to our fair share of compensation but most bosses aren't going to go around hanging out money--even if it's well deserved.

Working out a salary usually comes down to how well you make your case. You'll have to convince the manager that you will not only earn the amount you're asking for but deserve it based on examples of your performance.

Saying or doing the wrong thing can cost you. Here are some of those things that you'll want to avoid during the negotiation process:

1) Jumping the gun.

Unless you've already gotten an offer, there's no reason you should begin negotiating. Assuming you will get hired can actually work against you. Once an employer has made a clear-cut decision that they want you, you can then begin talking money.

2) Not having an idea.

Depending on where you apply, employers will either tell you what they will start you off at or ask you right off the bat. In both cases you can still negotiate your pay. But if you don't already have a figure in mind, don't expect the employer to start throwing out numbers for you. Do research on the typical starting salary range for your position .Know what you want and see if they are willing to give it to you or try to reach a middle ground.

3) Mentioning salary in your cover letter.

Salary has no place on a resume or in a cover letter. Talking about money at this introductory stage and can actually make you look foolish. Employers want to know what you can do for them, not the other way around. Until you can prove you're worth a certain amount don't put a price tag on yourself prematurely.

4) Taking too long to accept or refuse and offer.

It's good not too rush into anything you are unsure of, especially salary. When a company has agreed to give you some time to think about its offer, you should try your best to give them a timely response. Asking for more than a week will make it seem like you're keeping them on the backburner until you hear back from somewhere else. They won't waste any time finding someone else to fill the spot.

5) Talking about your personal finances.

We all need money. Impressing on them that you are in desperate need for a higher pay is bad form. Employers don't pay based on personal need. They compensate for the work so listing reasons why you need the money won't work in your favor.

Negotiating a salary offer from a potential employer is an encouraged practice. Employers like seeing that you highly value yourself and have the proof to back up it up. Negotiations should be a discussion leading to an agreement, not a plea. Reaching a compromise will produce a win-win situation.

What To Do When You've Got a Job Offer Dilemma
Monday, May 21, 2012

Having multiple job offers might sound like a dream come true. For some, it can be a nightmare when you hear back from one job before you hear back from the one you were really waiting for.

This can be a tricky situation because you don't want to tarnish your professional image when turning down a job offer. You might be tempted to accept the first thing that comes along, but refrain from doing so if you haven't heard back from other preferred choices.

Once you commit to one job, there's no turning back. Going back on your word after accepting the offer for one job can damage your chances of getting other offers from companies in the same industry. No matter what, it looks bad and leaves a bad impression on any and all hiring managers.

Companies usually won't wait for your decision since they can just as easily find another candidate to immediately fill the position. Contact the first company and tell them that you are very interested in the job but need some time to think it over. Ask when they will need a response. In this case, companies will generally give you at least a few days.

They will get the hint that you're waiting to hear back from other places but the longer you wait the more they will doubt your sincere interest and in turn become less interested in hiring you.

You'll need to immediately contact your preferred job choice and find out when they will have a decision. Explain your situation to them and emphasize that they are your first choice. If they are interested in hiring you they might speed up the process for offering you the position.

If they tell you that they can't give you an expedited decision, this can make a difficult situation even tougher. Weigh out the pros and cons of both choices.

Is giving up the first company's offer worth waiting to hear back from the other company on the chance that you may or may not get an offer? Or would it be better to take the first offer while you can while knowing you might have gotten the job you really wanted if you had just waited it out?

At some point in the future you may have another opportunity to seek out employment at your preferred company going back on your word for any company will ruin things for you at almost every company.

In the end, the choice is yours and depends on what you feel is right for you. Make sure to keep all parties' best interests are taken into consideration and your decision may be a little easier to make.

8 Job-Searching Mistakes That Are Hurting Your Career
Tuesday, May 08, 2012

It's becoming more common for people who put in the effort in their job searches to not get any takers without knowing why.

Usually, this is because seekers are repeating mistakes they are unaware of. Unless these errors are corrected, they won't see any change in the rate of rejections. They're easily fixable, but are sometimes hard to remember avoiding. Take it one step at a time and don't rush the job searching process. The goal is to make each attempt count, not to lose count of each attempt.

Here are some common mistakes made in a typical job search:

1) Taking outdated advice.

There's being traditional and there's being a thing of the past. Job searching conventions have changed with technological advances and are continually evolving. Professionals who started their careers decades ago haven't had to keep up with new approaches to job searching so the advice they give might not be as beneficial. Some of the best places to look are online job sites and from people who have recently done a lot of hiring themselves.

2) Neglecting accomplishments.

The habit that so many job hunters have a hard time breaking is just listing job duties on their resumes. Employers don't need to know what types of tasks were expected of you. More than likely, they'll already know. Stick to listing things that you did well consistently as well as any notable achievements you made at your last place of employment. They want to see what kind of worker you are and the contributions you made to the company.

3) Getting carried away.

A resume should be a brief list explaining your capabilities, accomplishments and interests. It's meant to be an introduction--usually condensed to a page or two--but those who turn their resumes into a biography are the first to get tossed. Even though you should be as detailed as possible, these details should refer to experiences that pertain to the most important experiences. The only experiences you should include in your resume are those that highlight you as an excellent employee and can be related to the position you're applying for.

4) Leaving out the cover letter.

These are just as important as a resume. No resume should be sent without a cover letter. The cover letter adds your voice to your resume and makes the interaction with the reader a little more personaland direct. Cover letters that can communicate well with the hiring manager and showing individuality to stand out. The candidates that stand out from the crowd are those that usually get the job. The time and precision that goes into a resume should also be put into a cover letter. Limit your use of generic cover letters as each should be written specifically for the potential company/hiring manager.

5) Pestering employers with follow-up.

Showing an active interest can easily become annoying for an employer. Imagine all the resume follow-ups they receive and then double it. You can easily change the hiring manager's sentiment of you if you call or email too much. Simply remind them of you and and wait for them to make the next move.

6) Showing up to interviews unprepared.

As humans, we expect our little mistakes to be forgiven but it's these same little mistakes that are actually hurting your chances of getting a job. Most hiring managers won't make a big deal if you forget to bring a resume, didn't make enough copies, or whatever else. They'll simply make note of it and rush you out so they can move on to the next prepared candidate. You want to make sure that you've done everything right on your part so that even if another candidate was more qualified you may have a good chance of getting hired.

7) Standing out in the wrong way.

While you want to stand out from the rest of the candidates, you don't want it to be for the wrong reasons. For example, don't stray too far away from conventions by sending in video resumes or even treats. Hiring managers are professionals and don't appreciate gimmicks. Interviews and jobs are given based on merit, not flattery or being over the top. Doing so can have an adverse affect and leave the hiring manager unimpressed and exasperated.

8) Have reliable references.

References above all should be trackable. Don't give hiring managers old numbers that may have since changed or to people who can only be reached at strict hours. Your references should act as your back up, but if you can't keep track of them the hiring manager sure isn't going to hunt them down. Provide references are not just co-workers but people who worked above you, they'll have more influential say on your performance.