How to Get a Job and Keep a Job

Over the past few years, layoffs and downsizings have become common events in the workplace. People who have enjoyed long-term employment with major corporations found themselves out of a job after years and years of service. An even more startling event was their realization that they were in no way prepared to re-enter the job market. Recent college grads found that their degree alone was not enough to get them the job since they were competing with candidates who had years of real world business and practical experience, as well as a degree.Whether one is new to the job market or have found themselves faced with a career transition, there are some strategic and tactical strategies that position job seekers for a greater chance at success.Resumes and Cover LettersSubmitting a resume and cover letter is standard operating procedure when applying for positions. The most common mistake made with these two important documents is that the information is sometimes too general and non-impactful. If the HR professional or hiring manager reading your cover letter or resume is not compelled to continue reading, then you will not likely be the one who gets the interview.Your cover letter is a request for interview that should denote the job you are applying for and provide brief, specific experience and skills that confirm you are a job match for the position. Sending a cover letter that is not specific to a job (i.e. “I recently graduated with a Marketing degree and would be interested in a position with your company”) sounds as though the job seeker is desperate for any job and has not done research on the company to determine what jobs are actually available. Also, simply listing degrees and experience is not very compelling because many of the other applicants will have degrees and/or experience. Job seekers should review the job description and list 3 – 4 specific bullet points that reflect how their knowledge, skills, and abilities match up to those listed in the job description.Your resume should also not merely be a timeline that list your titles, skills, and abilities. Instead, applicants should emphasis specific accomplishments, competencies and transferable competencies, along with activities and the results of those activities! Place focus on things that are specific to you such as degrees, certifications, specialized training, internships, involvement in professional and/or volunteer organizations, and relevant awards and achievements. Spend time reviewing your resume verifying that your content has correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation.Last but not least are your references. Do not include references who have not agreed to speak or write a letter on your behalf. Also, notify your references that you are currently applying for positions and that they may be getting calls. Generally, potential employers do not begin calling your references until after the interview.Professional DevelopmentBecause the job market has become so competitive and our country is still experiencing economic strain, employers are definitely pursuing the biggest bang for their buck and they have a large selection pool to choose from. In order to stay current and competitive, you must prepare a strategic action plan that promotes growth, strength and diversity in your career portfolio. It is imperative to stay current with practices, knowledge, skills, and advancements in your field through professional development. According to the Digest of Education Statistics, in 2005 almost 27% of Americans age 25 and older held a college degree. Therefore your degree is no longer your ticket to success nor is the lack of a degree always a roadblock. Professional development should be on-going, regardless of what your educational level is. Professional development could include attending workshops and seminars, specific continuing education courses, self-initiated research, tutorials, and on-line learning. Your resume should then highlight your professional development as it relates to the job you are applying for. Investing time and money into professional development is an investment that is likely to yield stronger results.Human Relations and Interpersonal SkillsGone are the days when having the greatest skills and education meant you were a shoe-in for the job. Skills can be taught much easier than behaviors can be modified. Everyone says (and usually thinks) that they have great interpersonal skills, are valuable team players, and are fast learners, but unfortunately, that is a matter of opinion. Employers expect you to walk the talk and are not interested in pacifying employees with bad attitudes and behaviors. Many times employees cannot control unwanted change or unwanted job responsibilities, but what they can change is their approach to the situation. Being an effective follower, all the time and not just when you agree, is a prime behavior employers’ value. Leadership and Management generally control decisions regarding policy and production. It is highly likely you were not hired to buck the system because you are sure you have a better way or that their way is going to fail. The job of the employee is the implement and produce at an above average level. No one says in the interview that they are going to do the bare minimum and will only follow instructions and/or policies and procedure when they agree with them. So it is better not to bring those attitudes and behaviors into the workplace. If your employer doesn’t function in a manner that meets your moral or ethical standards, then you are not in an appropriate job match.Employers are also seeking candidates who know how to manage their locus of control (refers to the extent to which individuals believe that they can control events that affect them). People with an external locus of control tend to blame outside forces or people for situations while those with an internal locus of control looks for areas where they (the individual) can make a difference and find ways to positively impact the situation. If you did not talk about finger-pointing and assessing blame in your interview, then steer clear of that once you get the job.With jobs as few and far between as they are, and with the competition constantly mounting, job seekers not only have to be in a position to impress employers, but to be the IT candidate who is most memorable and brings more value to the table than anyone else.

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Payday Loans – Are They Really Worth It?

There is no denying it; we are living during some rough economic times. Unfortunately it appears there is no relief in the immediate future and for some people things will get worse before they get better. When you factor in the skyrocketing cost of living, rising number of newly unemployed and lenders bracing for record losses you have the perfect recipe for crippling financial situations for many families. What happens when the paycheck that once lasted until the next no longer makes the stretch? With limited resources and no safety net many people are turning to payday loans to help them in an emergency. Do these loans really provide relief or just get you further in debt?Payday loans (sometimes referred as cash advance loans) are a small, short-term loan that is intended to cover a borrower’s expenses until his or her next payday. The length of the loan is generally no longer than two weeks with the borrower making arrangement by either writing a post dated check or authorizing an automatic withdrawal from their bank account on their next payday. Up until this point everything seems on the up and up regarding this type of loan, right? There are some things to consider before you accept this type of cash assistance:* Consider the fees. Payday loans can get you out of a tight spot in the event of an emergency, but you will not get this assistance for free. You can expect to pay anywhere from $10-$40 per every hundred dollars you borrow. All payday lenders have different contract terms so the payday loan length and dollar amount can vary widely, however it is agreed that payday loan APRs are very, very high when compared to other APRs. Some lenders “allow” you to rollover the repayment essentially extending the loan and you can get caught in a cycle of fees and increasing debt.* Consider your credit. This type of loan will appear on your credit report. Even if you borrow the money and pay it back without extensions or being past due, any future lenders who see that you have been in such dire situations to need to use this type of loan will consider you a higher risk for repaying their money.* Consider the source. To find a payday loan, you can physically go to a business offering this type of loan or apply online. If you are applying online be sure to research the company you are dealing with to ensure it is legitimate as you will be required to send them sensitive information such as your checking account numbers, social security number and other information that in the wrong hands can cause you much more trouble than a seemingly simple loan.Let’s face it. If you are contemplating a payday loan due to a financial emergency you are likely already between a rock and a hard place. This type of loan is beneficial as it requires none of the formalities of a traditional loan and you will have access to the funds within 24 hours. The problem does not come from borrowing the money rather can you pay it back? If you had something come up- your car broke down or some other unexpected expense that put you off track financially and you just need the money until you get paid, you might make out getting a payday loan. Regrettably many people that simply don’t have enough money and WON’T have enough money will get these loans and end up deeper in debt than they were to begin with. Proceed with extreme caution before you borrow money you may not be able to pay back.

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Pre-Employment Screening and Lies

It is a well-known fact that people tell lies. Having accepted this fact it is reasonable to assume that applicants for employment positions will tell lies, or at least believe it to be acceptable to jazz up their CV’s by exaggeration.A recent survey conducted by an Internet recruitment site found that two thirds of the British workforce believes that it is acceptable to lie to obtain employment. Indeed most UK employers will no longer accept CVs and claimed qualifications at face value. Increasingly job seekers are facing a range of assessment tools such as psychometric profiling and ability tests. More and more employers are utilising the services of pre – employment screening or checking into the backgrounds of their prospective employees.Some employers now have the lawful right and duty to obtain conviction material about their employee’s via the Criminal Records Bureau. With effect from autumn 2008 those who wish to be employed with children and vulnerable adults will have to enter into the newly formed Vetting & Barring Scheme. From point of entry they will be subject to monitoring and employers will be made aware of matters that might affect their continued suitability to work with these groups. Existing employees working within these fields will also have to enter into the scheme ensuring that people working with those at risk are constantly monitored and subject to vetting to ensure continued suitability for the work.More and more employers are turning to pre-employment screening and background checking to give them the comfort of knowing that the applicant is who they say they are, can lawfully work in the United Kingdom and does not present a risk to themselves, their work colleagues and the company’s clients. Pre-employment screening when carried out thoroughly can reveal information that the applicant either deliberately or mistakenly omits to bring to the attention of the prospective employer. A quality based pre-employment screening process should check the authenticity and integrity of identity documents, claimed qualifications and employment and educational history.Robust background checking of an applicant’s claimed employment history can reveal a lot about the applicant and coupled with other pre-employment screening tools enables employers to select the best candidate for the position.GSL, via its Employment Screening & Validation Service (ESVS) offers a tried and trusted process of background checking and screening to clients, which is based on over 50 years experience. ESVS has to meet exacting pre- employment screening and vetting standards on applicants for employment within its business streams many of which offer employment opportunities to individuals who will ultimately work on sensitive government contracts.The GSL service can help organisations control their people risks by providing a comprehensive checking and validation solution to support recruitment and operational decisions. It will provide accurate information and impartial advice about people that companies need to be able to rely on including permanent or temporary employees, job applicants, agency or contract staff, sub contractors, suppliers and potential business partners.GSL offers a range of service level options according to the sensitivity, authority and responsibility of the position for which candidates are being screened. Alternatively, its consultants will work with clients to create a customised service to meet their individual company needs. At the most basic level is a check that the subject is who he or she claims to be, that they have the education and qualifications that they claim that they have the right to work in the UK and that their previous employment record is consistent with their CV.GSL is a leader in the UK and on an international scale in the provision of critical primary and support services for corporate organisations and public authorities. As such, the company has extensive experience in designing and implementing clearance procedures for positions in high security or sensitive environments.The GSL consultants include former senior police officers experienced in combating fraud and identity theft, alongside former special branch and intelligence staff together with human resources and information technology specialists.GSL ESVS is registered with the Criminal Records Bureau and Disclosure Scotland and authorised to act as an umbrella organisation to carry out criminal records checks and checks against people who have been barred from working with children or vulnerable adults. It is registered under the Data Protection Act and complies with standards set by the security industry and Financial Services Authority and the relevant requirements of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.GSL’s director of ESVS Paul Leadbeater said, “Effective checking minimises the cost of poor performance by candidates who have exaggerated their qualifications, abilities and experience. It could reduce turnover and associated costs of recruitment and training. It helps avoid industrial tribunals or involvement in situations that could damage the organisation’s reputation. It will significantly reduce an organisation’s exposure to risk of fraud or dishonesty that cost industry billions of pounds a year. Employers who fail to carry out appropriate pre -employment screening and background checks may be held accountable if an employee placed in a position of trust commits an offence while working.This includes illegal workers with falsified documentation or candidates who hide a criminal record that is subject to disclosure or the fact of having been banned from working with children or vulnerable adults.”

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