Monthly Archives: January 2010

How to Conduct Your Job Search and Stand Out from the Crowd

When a job position is advertised, thousands of job seekers apply for the post. So, how do you plan to stand out from the crowd? To beat out the competition, you need to take your job search as a marketing campaign. As a competitive jobseeker, you are required to locate job positions before they are actually advertised. Marketing your skills and yourself means you have to find out people who can offer you job opportunities.

If you really want to beat out the competition, you can not wait till the employer finds you. You have to reach out to them before they find you. For that to happen, you need to polish your job search skills and make use of variety of resources to help you in the job hunting process. Once you track down those who can hire you, the next important task is to tell them what you are capable of doing. You can then meet them in person, write to them or telephone them to tell what you can do and to market your talents and skills.

When company launches a new product or a new service, it employs a strategic marketing plan. And here you are the product and you have the job of marketing and selling yourself. That is why we say, take up the job search process as a marketing campaign and act accordingly. Develop a plan and put the plan into action. It takes a disciplined approach and strategic planning when it comes to finding a job.

While you conduct the job search, you should also be aware of the different approaches that you can take to make to marketing campaign successful.

Professional networking and referral building
Getting in touch with potential employers directly
Informational interviewing
Employing agencies and recruiters
Searching for specialized job listings
Using help-wanted classifieds

Of all the above listed approaches for job search, the professional networking and referral building approach happens to be the most effective one. It can result into getting you the maximum number of referrals, leads and contacts. Getting in touch with employers directly and using the cold calling method is more likely to result into landing a job.

When it comes to marketing yourself as a product, you should be ready with an action-plan. Developing a job search strategy also needs some research on your own. By devoting some time to this strategic planning and putting in some sincere effort, you can really enable yourself to have a competitive edge over other jobseekers.

So, are you ready to launch yourself?


Filed under career counseling, career planning, job search, jobs

Getting the Raise You Deserve

Everyone who is employed will need a pay raise sooner or later. Employees need to develop some strategies so that they can get the raise they deserve. For many people, talking to the boss and asking for a raise happens to be an anxiety creating event. But, when you follow the appropriate strategies, both short term and long term, it will shrink the anxiety and get you the raise that you deserve. So, be ready to prepare yourself for achieving your salary and pay raise goals.

Developing a plan
You can not just walk in and talk to your boss about a raise. First and foremost, develop a plan and schedule a meeting with the boss for talking about the salary raise. Develop a strategy and follow the steps to be successful in achieving your raise goals.

Knowing what you are worth
When you expecting a raise in salary, it is essential to know what you are worth. Not only inside the company, but you need to determine your value outside the company as well. A good idea would be to get in touch with the human resource department and know the pay scale of those who have a similar job like yours. You can also use a salary calculator to get the pay scale that you deserve in your geographic location.

Having realistic expectations
An employer would neither pay you a salary out of the range, nor would they give you a pay raise in one shot. It may be possible that you have great talent but are hired at a lower salary. In any case, the raise in salary is not going to happen all of a sudden. Maximum number of employers considers the raise by looking at the percentage increase. So, it is also necessary for those who are employed to have realistic expectations.

Tracking your achievements and accomplishments
Remember you are not going to demand a raise. You need to deserve it to get it. Have a worksheet ready with all your accomplishments and the contributions that you have made to the company. Oftentimes, even the boss is not well informed of what you have achieved and accomplished. Bring your achievements to the notice of both boss as well as the final decision maker.

Focusing on the future
Besides showing the company your achievements till date, you also need to inform the company how you are going to contribute to the company’s growth in the future. Show how you are going to contribute towards helping the boss, the department and the company.

Understanding the employer’s position
While you are expecting a pay raise, you also need to be well informed of the company’s rules and policies. It is important to understand your boss’ feelings about giving a raise. Try to know how your boss feels about your position and standing in the department or the organization.

Finding yourself a mentor in the senior management
It is a good idea to find yourself a mentor in the senior management of the organization. Finding a mentor holding a higher position in the company will bring a number of benefits, apart from helping you to get the raise you deserve. You can start building the relationship by asking for advice from the person.

The planning and strategy will depend on the situations that may vary from time to time. With proper planning on your part, you can really enable yourself to get a salary raise and get better success in your career.

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Filed under career counseling

How to Become a Chemist

The major responsibility of chemists is to conduct chemical researches, seek new information and develop a range of materials including drugs, adhesives, synthetic fibers, cosmetics, lubricants and paints among others. Right from food and medicine to computers and plastics, chemicals are used in almost everything we use in our daily life. Trained chemists are responsible for understanding the properties of all these chemicals and manipulate them.

Chemists are also involved in petrochemical processing and improved oil refining among others. They perform these tasks with a view to conserving energy and decrease pollution. Many of the professionals are involved in research and development work of chemicals. While conducting these researches, chemists study the composition and the properties of matter and the governing rules of the mixture of elements. One field of the research field is applied research where chemists are required to formulate new processes or make modifications to the existing ones.

To become a chemist, computer proficiency is also required. Computers are extensively used while performing experimental analysis, simulation and modeling. Very often, these professional choose to specialize in a particular field of their interest – analytical, macromolecular, medicinal, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, theoretical chemistry etc.

Educational Requirement & Training
The minimum requirement for entry level jobs is a bachelor’s degree in chemistry or a relevant field. Candidates who aspire to become a part of a research project should possess a master’s degree or a doctoral degree in chemistry. In addition to the degree, candidates also need to undertake courses in computer science and mathematics to make the most of their careers as a chemist. Today, there are numerous colleges and universities across the United States offering chemistry degree programs for aspiring candidates.

Career Prospects
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment growth rate for chemists’ job is expected to grow as fast as the average of all occupations, increasing at the rate of 9% between the years 2006 and 2016. Job prospects will be quite good for chemists with an advanced degree and a few years of working experience. Employment opportunities will be created even as a large number of chemists reach the age of retirement or leave the field for their own reasons.

Annual Salary
The salary of chemists ranges between $41,053 and $51,288 annually. With a few years of working experience under the belt, chemists can earn around $57,000 annually or more. Salaries of professionals also vary depending on the geographical location.


Filed under careers, Healthcare, Medicine

How to Become a Drug & Alcohol Counselor

This is very unfortunate to see that dependency on alcohol and drugs is increasing in our society. When individuals are addicted, professional help is required. Drug and alcohol counselors are specially trained professionals who use a variety of techniques to help the affected overcome their addictions and dependency. These counselors are, therefore, responsible to help the addicted deal with their problems and help them lead a better life.

Oftentimes, the counseling is provided to the addicted people in groups. However, drug counselors also hold one-on-one sessions, depending on the requirements. Comparatively, group counseling is more beneficial in terms of group discussions, getting feedbacks and interacting with one another about different experiences. Besides counseling, drug and alcohol counselors also conduct multiple programs targeted at preventing addictions of alcohol and drugs.

Training & Educational Requirements
A bachelor’s degree in drug and alcohol counseling is the minimum requirement to become a counselor. To make a successful career, candidates need to have a master’s degree. Extensive coursework and supervised clinical experience are a part of most of these degree programs. Besides being equipped with the degree, candidates also need to be equipped with the latest therapy and treatment research methods.

In addition to the degree in drug and alcohol counseling, licensing requirements also need to be met. Obtaining of license depends on the state where professionals practice their occupation. 3,000 hours of supervised clinical training is required, aside from the master’s degree. Apart from that, professionals also need to adhere by ethical standards and codes and need to pass a state examination.

Today, degrees in drug and alcohol counseling can be obtained both via campus mode and online. Students need to select an option according to their requirements and preferences. Online education gives a lot of flexibility to students and also saves a lot of time and money.

Career Prospects in Drug & Alcohol Counseling
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment growth rate is expected to grow faster than the average of all other professions, increasing at rate of 34% between the years 2006 and 2016. As the awareness about drug and alcohol addiction increases, more and more people turn to counselors for treatment. This increasing requirement also creates good job opportunities. More job positions will be created, as a large number of drug and alcohol counselors reach their age of retirement and take transfers due to their own reasons.

Annual Salary
Salaries of drug and alcohol counseling may vary depending on the work location and working experience. These counselors earn an annual salary ranging between $40,173 and $51,106. With growing experience and skill, the salary of these professional can go beyond $60,000 per year.


Filed under careers, counselor

How to Make Yourself Three Times More Likely to Get Hired

According to a research conducted by the executive search industry, it has come to light that the first person interviewed gets the job only 17.6 percent of the time. On the other hand, the last person interviewed gets the job almost 56 percent of the time, which is more than three times of the first person interviewed getting the job. So, what are you thinking now? Are you really going to make yourself three times more likely to get hired?

Well, we are not going to end the discussion at that. But we will also talk about the reasons behind this interesting fact. It is probably in human nature that we are wary of or are a little apprehensive of accepting the first choice offered. Another reason can be the corporate inertia. The sense of urgency may not be strong enough when the search begins.

So, if you want to increase the your chances of landing jobs three times, you can try to position yourself among the last candidates interviewed, and certainly not being among the first. In the light of the executive search industry study, aged ads can be a good option to get interviewed among the last candidates. If you come across a help-wanted appeal, you can wait for around 10 days before you respond to the requirement.

When you get a call from an interviewer, you can try to push the day of appointment as far as possible. There are numerous other studies that have been conducted to throw more light on the issue. One study has revealed that Monday is the worst day of getting interviewed for a job whereas the worst time for being interviewed is late afternoon.

Let’s move one step further and examine some more results of researches. According to a research, around 2/3rd of the time the best qualified candidates do not get the job offer. And the people selected for the job often have less than 50 percent of the job qualifications.

Candidates who get the most job offers are intimidated least, promote themselves best and listen the maximum. In addition to having formal qualifications, strong listening skills are required to increase your chances of getting the job. To get the job offer, candidates need to give a masterful presentation. Likability plays an important role. So, you are responsible for compelling the employer like your candidacy. And when you want the employer to like you, one important thing is to listen to them attentively.

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Filed under career planning, interviews, job search, jobs

How to Get Rid of the Fear of Public Speaking

Human fear is of many kinds. But the one that heads the list of all is the fear of public speaking. According to Forbes, the fear of speaking before the public is actually the fear of being embarrassed in front of people. Oftentimes, speakers have the feeling that the audience is going to judge them and they are worried about how they going to sound while they speak. To check the fear of speaking in front of a public, it is crucial to analyze those fears and prevent them from causing anxiety.

Conquering Public Speaking Embarrassment
Public speakers who are engulfed by fear may face different problems. Some of the most common fears while giving public presentations are as follows.

Fear of forgetting the words
Fear of falling
Fear of looking strange
Fear of facing the audience’s judgment

To start with the speaker can practice giving the public presentation in front of a mirror, as many times as possible. The point is to envisage what the audience actually sees when a public speaker gives a presentation. Try to envisage a positive outcome and practice more and more. When you run through the entire talk, it enables you to become familiar and alleviates many of the fear that of looking foolish to the audience or making mistakes in front of the public while delivering the presentation.

Tips for Public Speaking
It is all a mental exercise which prepares you to give presentation before the public. If you keep on doing this exercise, it makes you more confident and you get rid of the fear. Public speakers should try to develop a positive mindset. Think not of the public as your opposition, but as a partner in the speech. All that the audience wants is that you give a great presentation. And the audience is actually wishing for it.

While speaking to a large public, imagine that you are in talk with just one person. Imagine a person who you are comfortable with. Imagine that this person is present right at the edge of the stage. And keep talking.

Fear of Speaking in Public
Sometimes the usual fear of speaking in public turns into a public speaking phobia that can affect as many as 75% of the public. This phobia can also lead to panic attacks even when the speaker addresses a small audience.

To get rid of public speaking phobia, speakers can take help from the following –

Soothing Music
Visualization Techniques

Using the above mentioned relaxation techniques can really help speakers get rid of the fear of speaking to a large public. If you are ready to handle the situation, it is never going to be a difficult task for you.


Filed under Public Speaking

Five Career Resolutions for Being Successful

Having a successful career needs a lot of careful planning, an eagerness to excel, persistence and courage. While everyone else is planning their New Year resolutions, why not plan some career resolutions to follow in the New Year. If you are ready to give your career high priority, it is definitely going to have a positive affect on your personal life, family and relatives as well. If you have made up your mind to make five most important career resolutions, you should also be ready to keep them. There can be more career resolutions that just. However, these five resolutions are the most important ones of all others that you can make.

Resolution # 1. Make Career Planning a Top Priority
To get career success, it is very essential to assess your career, to know where exactly you are heading. Like you schedule and devote specific time for other important life activities, you need to devote some time to review your career as well. You can pick a long weekend to have a look and assess your career goals and how you need to go about achieving those goals. Yes, there are other priorities in the life of an individual. Try to make your career a top priority. If you start ignoring your career, it can have its toll on your personal life, bringing unhappiness to your entire family and friends.

Resolution # 2. Be Ready to Find Yourself the Ideal Career Path
There is a mountain of a difference between a job and a career. When you actually enjoy doing your job, it leads to a career. Many times, people do their job but they do not have contentment and satisfaction. Yes, there can be several reasons behind that. But if you are unhappy with the career you have chosen, it is about time you made a career change. Making a career change decision takes a lot of courage. However, there is nothing wrong with making such a decision. All that matters is whether the decision you make is right or wrong. So, take a look at you hobbies, interests and passions and find out a career that you actually like and are passionate about.

Resolution # 3. Make Sincere Effort to Find a Better Job
To find yourself a new job, you need to prepare yourself and fine tune your job hunting skills, resume writing skills and interview skills. Initially, when you are out in the job market, you may be a little apprehensive. But if you have prepared yourself well, you will definitely find at least one job offer which is better than the last one. Make use of the job hunting tools, put in sincere effort and polish your skills of job hunting to land a better job position.

Resolution # 4. Position Yourself for a Promotion, Raise or New Job
It is really good news if you say that you like both your job and the employer. Now, the career resolution that you need to make is to ready yourself to get a pay raise or a promotion. Measure your work performance and achievements and try to build your personal brand. When you are able to set yourself apart from others, on the ground of your achievements, you will position yourself for a raise or a promotion.

Resolution # 5. Obtain New Skills, Education & Training for Career Advancement
When you are ready to learn and acquire new skills, age can never be a bar. Acquiring advanced skills and education is an essential ingredient of making a successful career or making a career change. So, even if you need to go back to school to obtain required education, you should not be discouraged. Keep striving to enhance your skill set, academic qualification and training for career advancement. What’s more, you can always opt for online education programs or distance education without disturbing your work schedule. Obtaining education online also saves you both time and money.

Now that you know that five important career resolutions, prepare yourself to not only make these resolutions but also be ready to stick to them. Following these career resolutions will definitely move you up the success ladder. And when you have a better career, your life too is going to be better and happier.


Filed under career planning, job hunting, job search