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5 Signs You're In a Dead-End Job
Friday, August 16, 2013

A dead end job might actually be worse than not having one at all. Why? Because at a dead-end job you're pretty much stuck between a rock and a hard place. Leave the security of a stable income or stay knowing you're not going anywhere anytime soon.

Waiting for an opportunity to come along could mean waiting forever. If the following signs apply to you, it may be time to consider your next move.

1) No opportunities for promotion 
Depending on the company, the circumstances may not allow for promotions. This is something that should be recognized early on. It's important to consider things like is the organization expanding and if there is mobility in the organization. If you've noticed that some employees are getting promoted except for you, the problem may not be that it's a dead-end job, rather not the right job match for you.

2) You're unmotivated to get a promotion
You might not realize that the fact that you're not getting promoted is because you don't really want it, though you might have been expecting it. Promotions are not inevitable. In order to earn it, you have to want it first. This may stem from the fact that you don't like your job and don't want to solidify your position there. A promotion is a commitment that will prolong your employment there, and perhaps you know it, thus keeping you planted right where you are.

3) No raises were given in recent years
In some companies, even if they aren't moving people up, they could still be doing well enough to afford putting more into the pockets of their current employees. That may not be enough, but that's ultimately your decision. This is something that not a lot of people would complain about even if their job was dull.

Jobs aren't easy to come by, that's true. But a career is very much an important facet of your life as anything else. Just like you wouldn't keep bad friends around, you shouldn't be hanging on to jobs that you aren't enthusiastic about. Job are where people spend a majority of their lives, there's no point in holding yourself back when there are other places out there to get you moving forward.

Establishing Your Brand In Any Industry
Monday, May 06, 2013

Personal branding isn't something that marketing professionals made up nor is it exclusive to any certain industry. Whether you're a chef, a technician, teacher, or doctor,  you have a brand. A brand is basically how you're perceived by those you would consider your clients and colleagues. It's how others view you in respect to your career.

Even if you work for a major company, you don't have to take on the company's corporate brand as your own. In fact, a personal brand of your own will help you stand out when it can be easy to become invisible within a big company. A known personal brand is a great advantage for your professional pursuits. The more people know of you and your speciality that sets you apart, you'll gain more recognition throughout the industry.

Consumers in general tend to favor big name brands because they are more familiar with them than the lesser known, but usually as equally as good, brands. This is the same with people who have become household names. Building a personal brand tends to be a lengthy process because it can't just be thrown together. A brand is like a career itself. It has to have a foundation to build on and events to exhibit that brand to reinforce it.

Here are some other insights and advice for creating the brand known as YOU:

A personal brand has to be definitive and consistent. The key to branding success is that it's reinforced and instantly recognized. For an office employee, it may be a charismatic charm and signature gesture. For a business owner, it may be a unique service that they offer. In this job market, everyone is essentially a free agent so you have to act as your own publicist and manager.

Branch out. If you have a wide range of experience, then by all means make each useful to your job hunt. It's very common for people to have had a career in one thing, and use their experience from that career to thrive in another related one. Many farmers, for example, are also chefs. With years of experience of harvesting the crops and ingredients, they have a deep understanding for how the products should best be used culinarily. Find your other hidden talents and don't be afraid to market them.

Make the link with LinkedIn. You can try on a variety of different hats while experimenting with your personal brand creation, but where it can become a problem is when it isn't consistent with who you are across the board. How you represent yourself online should be the same way that you represent yourself in person. If you're applying to a job as a sales manager and a merchandiser, you don't have to have a separate LinkedIn profile but make sure that all the information on it is relevant to any job you apply to. Your resume may highlight certain parts of your background to cater to the specific position. Keep in mind that you want to create a lasting image of yourself, so avoid constantly shape-shifting because people aren't going to remember a single ones of those personas.

Where the Most Common Jobs in America Are Today
Monday, April 01, 2013

In the United States workforce today, there are over 4 million people, working as retail salespeople according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This 4.3 million figure is equivalent to the population of the state of Kentucky. 

The graphs below show the numbers of the largest and smallest occupations in the U.S. as of last year: (click to view larger)

Some other interesting facts from this study is that the most common government job at the federal level is postal service workers. At the state level, it's correctional officers and jailers. As a job seeker, this is informational gold. Now it's time to get searching!

How to Reflect Your Military Experience In Your Resume
Thursday, January 31, 2013

Our troops provide an invaluable service to our country and in return the country does all it can to provide the support they need. If you're an unemployed veteran then you know that the moral support of all the yellow ribbons in the world can't make up for the financial support necessary for you and your family to live comfortably. 

Job seeking for the average worker is enough of a challenge. For veterans having to navigate the unfamiliar territory of the job market, it requires an entirely different skill set than the one their used to using. The transition alone from military to civilian life isn't easy, let alone the transition from being employed to unemployed.

Getting back into the workforce shouldn't be another obstacle you have to overcome considering all you've already had to endure. Here are some tips to help make it easier for you blend your military experience into your job search:

Resume writing is a constant work in progress. Job searching continues to change in order to stay current, so what may be common practice one moment may have evolved into another version shortly after. Resume scanners are widely used by recruiters and hiring mangers to speed up the hiring process. That being the case, your resume has to incorporate the main keywords from the job description and be complemented by your own qualifications and competencies. Your words should focus on the accomplishments and qualities that make you stand out from other job seekers and other veterans. 

Summary of Qualifications
This is pretty much what it sounds like: your qualifications in a nutshell. In a paragraph, sum up your high-level skills an provide an introduction for what you have to offer. This somewhat serves as your resume's pitch, although your cover letter should do the same with more of your personality included. Use this as an opportunity for you to present the military skills you have that are transferable to the position you're applying for. Military skills aren't just valuable on the field, so be sure to show potential employers that what you know and can do will benefit them in ways they may not have thought of before.

Consider and analyze specific moments in your military career that demanded putting your transferable skills to the test. It's important to cater your language to the job applied for that directly ties in to your experiences in the military to give the hiring manager an idea of your abilities in a completely different environment. Include words such as: strategy implementation, leadership and decision making, team building, project management, etc. Add specific figures and examples to clearly outline the results your contributions produced.

A Word on Combat
Combat experience leaves a major impression on veterans that is hard to put aside. When it comes to resume writing, you want to be careful of including vivid details that others may have a hard time swallowing. Resumes are strictly for selling yourself as the ideal candidate for the job which usually don't need recounts of war and violence. Hiring managers realize that veterans may carry these aspects of war with them but will expect them to be able to leave it out of the workplace. The adjustment back into civilian life understandably takes time and employers want to be obliging to that need. For every small step you take, most will be willing to give your career a boost.

How Your Choice of Resume References Can Ruin Your Chances
Tuesday, January 15, 2013

When we see champions like Lance Armstrong lose it all with allegations (and subsequent confession) of cheating, it reminds us that no one is immune to the effects of wanting success. People will do just about anything to come out on top.

Job searching is very much a high-pressure competition where competitors can succumb to the temptation of taking dishonest measures. We've all heard that it's all about who you know and for some who don't, they try to fake it to make it.

It's easy to assume that as long as everything else on your resume checks out that there would be no reason to question a minute detail which in reality be more decorative than accurate. When providing any kind of information to the employer, always assume that it's going to be verified.

A recent survey by CareerBuilder found that 30 percent of the 2,500 hiring managers surveyed regularly discover misleading or false references. For whatever reason, some applicants believe that the hiring manager won't think twice if one out of the three references provided doesn't work out.

The fact of the matter is, unless they can be 100 percent sure that what they've seen from the start is what they're getting, hiring managers aren't going to take the risk of finding out later. Taking on a new hire is an investment that they don't take lightly. In fact, hiring managers will often check the references before setting up an interview.

The most common reason why applicants might stretch the truth about a reference on their resume is the title that person holds. They think that someone who holds more influence in the company as a whole will make a bigger impression on the hiring manager. This can actually arouse the hiring manager's interest in verifying this reference. References should always be people that your worked closely with, preferably a mix of peers and superiors. Anyone else and you may be compromising your professional credibility.

Make sure that, unless you know without a doubt that the person will speak highly of you, to get the green light from those that you include on that list. It's not uncommon for some candidates to include the name of a person they have never met and be caught in an awkward situation when the hiring manager puts in a phone call. On the other side of that, avoid listing people, such as friends and family,who cannot vouch for you as a colleague.

The kind of resume that usually makes the biggest impression on a hiring manager is one that doesn't have to try. It just does. Attempting to pull of an impressive reference list that isn't honest is career sabotage. The recipe to a winning resume doesn't require fancy references, just one key ingredient: truth.

Electronic Etiquette: The Proper Ways to Use Your Gadgets & Devices At Work
Wednesday, January 02, 2013

The use of personal technology is unavoidable as it continues to trail blaze in the mobile direction. People carrying out multiple devices on them is become increasingly common, and because of of the widespread use of these personal devices in public spaces, it's necessary for places like movie theaters and libraries to put signs up instructing people to turn the sound off on their cell phones. Imagine how disturbing it would be if everyone had their phones going off throughout a movie or while you're trying to read. These kinds of distractions disrupt workplace productivity and put you on someone's wrong side. 

Since offices don't put up signs advising you of proper electronic etiquette, they probably assume that you're already aware of the unwritten etiquette rules. Here are some of the basics you should have down in the office or anywhere for that matter:

1) Convey messages using one method.
One message needs only one way to get across. You can easily overdo it by sending an email followed by a voicemail regarding the same issue. This is very annoying for the recipient because it will seem excessive. You can make it known that the matter is urgent without having to contact them several times in several ways. Give them a chance to reply before making a second attempt.

2) Using speakerphone openly around others.
Out of common consideration for your co-workers you don't want to conduct a call or listen to a voicemail out loud which might disturb them. You also want to respect the privacy of the person on the other line. Even in a closed room, speakerphone noise can still reach beyond those walls. person otherwise.

3) Checking your cellphone during meetings.
Your full attention is especially important during a meeting as the point of meetings are to provide you with information essential to the job. Looking at your phone will give the impression that you're bored and not engaged with what's going on. If you're expecting an important call, be sure to make that known before or at the beginning of the meeting so that people don't think you're being rude.

4) Making calls that are noisy on your end.
Calling someone when you're in a noisy place will make it tough for the person on the other end to hear you. The person you call is going to wonder why you called them in such distracting circumstances. No one wants to receive a phone call where the caller is just going to put them on hold or when both have to constantly repeat themselves. Choose a time when you'll be able to devote your undivided attention in a quiet space.

5) Using "reply all" unnecessarily.
As a rule of thumb, you should address your emails to those whom your message concerns. If in an email chain, and you want to tell someone "thanks" then make sure you only reply to that one person. Others won't appreciate mail in their inbox that is not intended for them.

6) Have a clean email signature.
Your email signature should not include any religious or political message as it will have potential to ruffle some feathers. A neutral demeanor at work will keep you from getting on people's bad sides and not add to the obstacles in your career.

7) Keeping your work and personal email separate.
Sending the occasional personal email from your work email is fine but using that as your primary email is not a good idea. Personal use of your work email on a regular basis will cause problems later on down the road. Better to keep all personal matters, especially emails, separate from anything work related.

How to Make Extra Income On the Side
Friday, December 14, 2012

Many people prepare for some type of disaster, whatever it may be, likely or not, just to have an added sense of security to their lives.

While some may have their homes retrofitted in the case of a powerful earthquake, others go to further lengths like those you may have seen on Doomsday Preppers.

These are the typical events that we think about when we hear the word "disaster," but another kind that can hit people just as hard often isn't prepared for. What would you do if your finances were in jeopardy?

A financial disaster can happen out of the blue just like many others. One suggestion for establishing a safety net for this scenario is by having a second source income to fall back on. The idea of a second job or side project may seem like too much for one person to manage on top of everyday responsibilities. But with a little creativity anything is possible, just look at the preppers.

You've probably heard of people flipping houses to make a profit but you'll want to be cautious about getting into any high risk projects that may put you in a worse situation than you were to begin with. A good place to start is what you enjoy doing and what you're good at. Think about making money off of something you might already do as a hobby. For example, perhaps the entrepreneur in you always wanted to start an online business but never got around to it. Now may be a good time to start.

Job searches are hard enough without any back ups but having a second source of income can relieve some of that stress. Remember that these secondary sources can be anything you want them to be. Have some fun with them by recruiting friends and family to participate. Always ask for help before making any decisions

Creating anything sustainable takes time so expect it to be a slow and steady process. It will likely take up any free time you have, a normal sacrifice for anyone starting a business or working on other projects. However, it's the reward of knowing that something you worked hard for will help secure your and your family's future.

Whether it be a natural or financial disaster, the best way to avoid feeling the severe effects of it is to stay two steps ahead. Plan for the future and prepare yourself for any worst-case scenario.

5 Ways Online Networking Can Go Wrong
Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Now that the digital age has allowed us to connect to anyone anywhere at anytime, networking has become a necessary practice in every job hunt. It's one of the most powerful tools for landing a job when done well. When it isn't, networking can not only be ineffective but also have adverse effects on your job search efforts.

LinkedIn is one of the easiest and most basic forms of online networking, but you should never rely on just one resource to get you to your goal. Since it can be done through a variety of ways, the people you want to reach might be accessed more easily on some networks more than others.

A successful job search is usually the result of good networking skills. In fact, most of your job searching efforts should be dedicated to reaching out to industry professionals. With so much time and effort intended for networking, you don't want it all to be for nought. To help keep your efforts from amounting to a waste of time, here are some things that you should avoid doing:

1) Asking for a job.
Networking for a job does not equate to inquiring about job opportunities. The aspect of building relationships with people is meant to lead to job opportunities. While you might be eager to get quick results, these relationships are meant to benefit all parties therefore the process takes time. Instead of focusing on finding job prospects, try to gear the subject matter toward learning from and helping others in their pursuits. By showing your value as a connection others will be obliging with what they have to offer as well.

2) Using a generic approach.
Asking for some guidance or assistance from people you don't know well is not the easiest task to carry out. Naturally, you'll want to sound formal and professional without sounding like a robot, again, not easy to do. A big problem with reaching out to strangers more or less is that you can end up becoming another blank face to them. Show your personality when you talk to them. Give them a sense of who you are and what you're hoping to achieve with their help. Generic soudning communication is a thing of that past. Standing out requires showing individuality.

3) Only reaching out to those you think have the most influence.
If you're in an entry-level position and you think that reaching out to the head of the company is going to help get you in, you'll be doing this for a long time. Depending on the size of the company, this could work, however, you shouldn't limit yourself to who you reach out to based solely on their title or status. Mid-level professionals can offer just as much help in your situation. They can sometimes be thought of as a sort of liaison between those at the lower end of the company and those higher up.

4) Not using LinkedIn properly.
If you've exhausted all your direct connections (1st), don't neglect using the "introduction" feature.  This will allow you to branch out to your 2nd and 3rd degree connections. It's simply a request for your shared connection to forward your desire to get acquainted with that 2nd or 3rd connection. LinkedIn should not be thought of as a free-for-all to contact whomever you want. Be strategic in how you choose the people to make connections with and you'll have better chances for successful introductions.

5) Asking for too much too soon.
When contacting someone for the first time, it's understandable that you want to paint them a full picture of who you are.This can lead you to bombard them with a lengthy email full of questions and information, which doesn't make it easy for them to help you--so they probably won't. In case you haven't noticed, communication is getting downsized. Instead of thinking in terms of paragraphs and sentences we're now down to character limits. Keep the lines of communication fluid by being brief and succint in your messages; one topic at a time.

6 Behaviors That Will Stall Your Career
Tuesday, November 27, 2012

In rapidly changing times such as these, rules are no longer as concrete as they used to be. They are just as flexible as anything else that has to adapt to a new age. Here are some of the things that used to be the rules that were not to be broken but now can actually break your career:
1) Pleasing Your Boss
Nowadays it takes more than making your boss happy in order to get your career moving forward. You have to think about making your boss's boss happy too. You need to make your value known around the company by putting in more effort than is expected and getting recognition for it. Whenever you feel that you're not getting the recognition for your hard work, it's sometimes okay to go above your boss. While your boss may be your immediate supervisor, remember that you work for the entire company.

2) Doing A Job Well Done
Doing the expected simply doesn't cut it anymore. If you want to do exceptional in your career, your performance has to reflect it. Have you ever thought about things that you could do to improve your company's success but didn't because it wasn't in your job description? Or perhaps an opportunity came up that would allow you to go above and beyond because you didn't think you would get recognition for it. The choices made in those situations is what differentiates a good employee from an exceptional one.

3) Keeping the Customer Happy
The customer is king--most of the time. Meeting their needs without taking all the circumstances into consideration isn't a smart move. For example, a customer might demand that you do something against company policy in order to satisfy their complaint. Making clients and customers happy with your service is important but even more important is keeping your job. You should never sacfrice your own or the company's integrity for the demand of a customer that would cause you to do so.

4) Putting In More Hours
Contrary to popular belief, the longer your workday does not equal results. The way to working smarter, rather than harder, is by making the most of your time at work. Getting double the productivity done in the same amount of time is the way to go.

5) Playing to Workplace Politics
People love a good drama, especially ones that can unfold right before their eyes. While most if not all workplaces has their own set of politicsk you want to be sure you stay out of them. Staying out doesn't mean being completely oblivious. Know how things around your workplace run and who runs them. It might be hard not to take sides but the further removed your are the less risk you run of getting caught up when things hit the fan.

6) Looking Busy vs. Being Busy
Your boss will be able to tell which category you actually fall into. Looking busy can only take you as far as that. It won't produce the results that doing actual work produces. You can fake it all you want but you definitely won't make it with this approach. Anyone can try to look busy but that will end up getting old. If you find that you don't have enough to do, seek the work out and show that you're committed to being a proactive team player.

Gain Leadership Skills In An Entry-Level Job
Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Before leaders are able to reach their top position, they had to have started somewhere and that's usually at the bottom. Before they could have followers of their own, they too had to follow someone else.
Don't be fooled. Working in an entry-level position doesn't mean you are exempt or not capable of taking on some leadership roles. Employers want to see these traits in their employees it shows growth and initiative.
When you don't have anyone to manage, it can seem difficult to demonstrate leadership. But leadership is not defined by having the ability to give orders. It really means being able to take control of and handle a situation.
For anyone who wants to make their way up to the top, it can be hard to know where to start proving that they are leadership material. The key is to start small. As they say, you have to learn how to walk before you can run, or in this case, climb.
One way to start is by proposing charity project to your boss. With all the noble causes there are to contribute to, this is especially the time of year to think about getting on board. By organizing an initiative to give back, you're able to demonstrate your ability to manage a project completely on your own direction. Be proud of what you're able to accomplish and let people in on the results of the project. Be sure to shine a special light on how everyone did under your leadership.
Another good approach is to start racking up brownie points with the boss. Impressing your boss doesn't come from kissing up.  The right way to get on any boss's good side is by being a problem-solver. Showing your boss that you can look at a situation and find a solution for it that works will make you stand out from the rest of the team. Anyone can perform a task, but a leader looks for what tasks needs to be done.
If there are any interns or new people in the office, take the opportunity to offer them some guidance. Mentoring an intern or someone new allows you to move up from the bottom of the food chain. It's always a good chance to polish your people skills, something very important when it comes to being a being a leader. Your boss will start to notice that you're taking charge of things that exceed typical expectations.
Taking charge is just what it takes to show your boss the leader within. Step it up for the next big project. Take the lead and dispell any notion of being the shy employee waiting for someone to pick them. Management typically won't assign roles to people they don't think are up for it. Volunteer, speak up and cash in on a great opportunity to shine.

The Difference Between Auto Mechanics & Auto Repairers
Tuesday, October 30, 2012

If milk is supposed to do a body good (a human body, at least), then what is it that does an auto body good? This a question that any good auto body repair specialist would have the answer to.

The human body and that of a machine actually share a lot of similiarties. Both require proper maintenance for optimal performance. And just like we would see a doctor to assess our health when we're injured, we take our automobiles to auto repair shops to have a professional repair that damages.

You might be thinking, isn't that what my mechanic is for? As similar as they are, auto body repairers and mechanics have different specialized training. Auto body repairers work mainly on the exterior the vehicle while the mechanic works pretty much everywhere else. Auto body repairers and mechanics are great pairs when it comes to car restorations. If you've ever seen the show Pimp My Ride, these are guys who work together to tranform cars only an owner can love to cars everyone would love to own.

Those who choose the body repair route usually take an auto body repair collision course offered through a vocational program or local community college. These courses can take about six months to two years to complete, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For most, if not all, automotive careers, learning is always continued with on-the-job training.

In today's job market, certification in any industry including automotive has become increasingly vital. In May 2010,  the BLS reported that the average annual wage of automotive body and related repariers was $38,130. Top earners made more than $64, 320.

In recent years, the auto industry has been a popular topic of interest in terms of getting it back on its feet and workers back on the job. The BLS expected the overall job outlook for automtive body and glass repairers to grow by 19 between 2010 and 2020.

With more drivers on the road, the demand for more automotive specialists to maintain their cars will also rise. Another plus to becoming a moden auto body repairer is that with new car designs there are new things to learn about working on them. This will provide a competitive edge for new auto body repairers entering the work force.

Auto body repair is one of those fields that allows people to make a career out of a passion or hobby. For many others, their career paths are far removed from where they enjoy being the most. What's great about auto body repair is that it's an industry on the rise. Are you on your way up with it?

Careers in Automotive Engineering Provide Structure and Stability
Monday, October 15, 2012

Can you imagine your life without a car? Things would be very different in ways you probably wouldn't prefer. Everyone relies on cars whether they own one or not. Both drivers and passengers alike benefit from how easy they make it to get around. If it was uncertain before, it's now clearer than ever: the automotive industry isn't going anywhere, it's making a comeback.

What makes the automotive industry as invigorating as it is are the engineers pushing it forward. Cars come out with a new make and model every year made possible largely by the automotive engineering that goes into it.

Automotive engineers are the brains behind the structure and design of the vehicle. They work in areas of vehicle engineering from cars and trucks to motorcycles and dirt bikes. They incorporate elements of mechanical, electronical, software and safety engineering in order to create a safe and innovative product. There's no exaggeration in saying that automotive engineers are car wizards; they know everything there is know about what makes a car operate.

Getting into automotive engineering can come one from two ways: training in automotive engineering technology or obtaining a degree in mechanical engineering. Once you've decided which area you want to pursue, the right school and programs can get you qualified for an automotive engineering position.

A bachelor's degree is the minimum requirement for anyone wanting to obtain an entry-level position as an engineer. However, it is a complex discipline so many employers prefer applicants with a master's degree. If you don't have either, it's no reason to be discouraged.

Automotive engineering is a good field to get into if you have strong science and mathematics skills (geometry, algebra, trigonometry, and calculus). The amount of time spent toward school will typically range from 4-6 years, the six including the additional two years for getting a master's degree. Keep in mind that professions that require more schooling usually pay off  later in salary figures (medical school is a good example of this).

Now, here's the part you've been waiting for. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual median salary in 2010 was $78,160. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $50,550 and the top earned more than $119,480. It takes a dedicated individual to hold this position. Mechanical engineers work full-time jobs, some working hours up to and exceeding 60 per week.

Until now, you might have been under the impression that your mechanic is a magician when it comes to cars. In fact, it's the engineer who is the true guru. The mechanic will know how to fix and maintain car parts, but he won't know the science and technology that goes into developing those components.

Take a moment to think about the kind of car you have now and the kind you want to have. Are they the same? Automotive engineering is an ideal field for career opportunities for car enthusiasts who have an interest what goes into creating a car from concept to production. As an automotive engineer, you can afford the car of your dreams, and build the car of someone else's.

Branding Tools for the Job Market
Wednesday, September 05, 2012

A brand is anything you can recognize and relate to a certain idea or persona. A brand could pertain to anything from a company to a product or a person. When a cow gets branded, that label is there for life and that's exactly what all good brands aim for: lifetime recognition.

You might think that your brand would be equal to that of the company you work for. This is true but only partially. If you're unemployed, your brand is what you make it and how you sell it. Your goal once establishing it is to retain it no matter what company hires you thereafter. The better your brand, the more recognizable you are as YOU and your name will be associated whatever images and ideas you've attached to it.

Here are some tools to help get your online presence noticed and, most importantly, remembered:

Splash around: Splash pages are essentially a webpage composed of an image and some links that represents you. It's a social media profile in a nutshell. What's great about splash pages is that they provide a way to show yourself in a quick pitch. The links give it some depth like a resume and the image can be either of you, something you created, or something relevant to your field. Splash pages are the one-stop shop to you.

Create a chronicle: Keep track of yourself and give yourself a background story. Just like how company's have history's so you do and people want to be able to see where you've come from and where you've gotten. Brands are all about telling their story now because it's what makes them interesting. People want to know what's behind the front. Social media makes it easy to do this. You can start with a Tumbler or blog. Most blogs even incorporate Twitter feeds. Active and engaging feeds will attract followers and get your name out there.

Partake in Pinning: If you don't already have one, Pinterest is a great way to visually showcase your interests. As the fastest growing social media site, people everywhere are pinning away. As we've seen with Facebook's shift to the Timeline interface, the user experience is becoming a more visual one. To utilize Pinterest for personal branding purposes, create boards pertaining to your industry such as books, news, people, places you've gone for work (conventions, events, etc.), and infographics. If you have a hard time staying active on social media, Pinterest has been said to be fairly addicting. Try it and see for yourself.

The key thing to remember about creating social media sites and profiles is that they can't be left to go stale. Once people lose interest, it's hard to gain it back. You need to pick up speed and gain momentum. To get recognition that lasts a lifetime, it takes a nearly that to build and maintain it.

Tech Tools For Every Job Search
Monday, August 13, 2012

Job searches before technological advances have been a pretty straightforward process. One would scour the classified ads in the newspaper and make a phone or in-person inquiry.
Today's job search is similar but isn't as simple. With all the ways of being able to connect online, the expectations of putting yourself out there for a job has risen tremendously.

Technology can either be your friend or enemy depending on how well your ability is to use it to your advantage. Take a look at some of the tools that are available for your job search and find out how you can best use them to give yours a hand.

1) Email.

Email is nothing new but professional emails are in a league all their own. Many professionals use an email signature which is somewhat like a business card at the end of the email. This provides the reader quick access to your contact info. It also somewhat serves as a personal logo for your brand. When you send out emails to hundreds of strangers, you want to leave a personal, memorable impression. Don't forget to include a link to your LinkedIn profile.

2) Social Networks.

Speaking of profiles, hiring companies often take into consideration who you are on your Twitter or Facebook pages. They want to see if you are who you say you are and whether you represent that image in-person and online. It's basically an easy way for potential employers to call your bluff, but they want to get a better idea of who you are as well. The most important one to work on is of course your LinkedIn profile. It should be as complete as possible and include a professional photo since it's the only place it would be acceptable to put one.

3) Calendars.

Life is lived on day-to-day basis but that doesn't mean we can plan and prepare for the future. Calendars are a great tool for encouraging and maintaining productivity. Many positions are often done through the direction of a calendar. Having a back-up in print allows you to take on your responsibilities according to schedule and priority without feeling overwhelmed or scatterbrained. Whether you're employed or not, a calendar lets you put your life right in front of your eyes and organize it.

4) Manage contacts.

Networking, both on and offline, is key to any successful job search. Gettng contacts is important but more important is being able to manage them well. Good organization is a must in any job search because when you need to call someone or refer back to a number you'll have all your resources stored in one place. When you get business cards make sure you transfer this information into a database. Each contact should have notes attached and have a track record of your interaction with that person such as follow-up actions.

5) Reputation.

Do a search on yourself from an outsider's perspective and see what you can dig up. If you find anything negative, inaccurate, or misleading associated to your name you'll want to fix that ASAP. This can greatly harm your chances of getting a job if seen by a hiring manager. Plus, this can also get around to other employers and really keep you down. There are sites that can help you fix these issues, some free and some at a cost depending on your own needs.

One thing you should always remember is to keep up with the times. Staying current with the latest practices in job searching already shows potential employers that you keep yourself in the loop and know a thing or two about what it takes to compete in the job market.

Take a Chance on Chassis Fabrication
Thursday, July 19, 2012

These days, it doesn't pay to be a jack-of-all-trades. People--well, employers specifically--want someone on their team who knows what they're doing and knows how to do it well. Just like the culinary example, the same applies to the complex work of the automotive industry.
Chef, baker, chocolatier... These are just a few of the areas of expertise that people can acquire within the culinary world. They can even take it a step further and choose to have their specialization within a partiular type of cuisine.

Chassis fabrication gives automotive enthusiasts an area of interest that they can master and make money with. The world is becoming increasingly high-tech by the minute but no amount of computer technology can replace the traditional hands-on skills that go into producing quality cutting and welding.

Learning a trade lays the foundation for a clear-cut path to a career. Schools like Wyotech offer students the opportunity to learn about motorsports chassis fabrication. People who already like and know how to build, repair, or just tinker around with cars gain a valuable and marketable trade with something like chassis fabrication trade.

Getting training from a vocational school teaches you things that you wouldn't be able to learn on your own, or at least not as easily. Talent can get you started, but skills can get you off the ground. You gain the advantage of knowing how to develop techniques for using speciality patterns, read automotive related drawing, and draw basic specialty automotives.
If things like studying metal types, configurations, pattern and outline development, mechanical drawing, and pro-street frame sets sound interesting to you then chassis just might be a choice career for you.

An added bonus of these types of careers is that they allow you to work with you hands and mind. So for those who cringe at the thought of being chained to a desk every day, consider delving into the automotive world. You might be surprised what's hidden under your own hood.

Civil Engineering Is For Everyone
Tuesday, May 29, 2012

You can find their work under you feet, over your head and even within the walls of your house. Their ideas produce the bridges you cross, the airports you fly out of, and the roads you travel by.

Civil engineers are unlike that of the typical engineer in that they spend most of their time in an office rather than a laboratory. They often work on projects sites to monitor the progess of the construction.

Civil engineers can be thought of as industrial architects. They design and supervise large construction projects that create and maintain our very civilization. The sewer systems, tunnels, dams, etc. What they do allows the rest of the world to do what they do.

Types of civil engineers vary as well. Geotechnical engineers work on the foundations of structures to ensure that they are solid and stable. Structural engineers design and assess major projects to make sure the entire thing is strong and durable. Transportation engineers plan and design systems we use everyday such as streets, highways, and harbors.

Saying their work is important is somewhat of an understatement. This is why the demand for civil engineers have continued to grow. As demand grows, so does the competition.

Civil engineers have to at least have a bachelor's degree. Those who want to work self-employed must also have a license. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary of civil engineers in May 2010 was $77, 560.

Who Makes a Good Civil Engineer?

Civil engineers must be extremely good at what they do which why they go through years of learning and training. Certain qualities that are important for them to have are:
  • Excellent math skills
  • Strong leadership skills
  • Complex problem-solving skills
  • Good writing skills
  • Project management skills

Civil engineering is a highly popular job as well. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) providies membership benefits for civil engineers who join.

A career in civil engineering can also take you abroad. People who enjoy having a role where they can actively contribute to society can excel in a career as a civil engineer. As the world continues to grow, the need for professionals to help develop it will grow with it.

Take Your Career to New Heights
Friday, May 11, 2012

A career as a pilot is one that can take you places in your life, literally. Airplane pilots establish a life propelled by a distinguished career of leadership and command.

Whether you dream of flying commercial airliners or smaller, private planes most pilots get their start from the same places. Unless getting trained to fly in the armed forces, aspiring pilots need to earn their commerical pilot certificate from a commericial pilot ground school.

This training is similar to learning how to operate specialized types of machinery. Earning a pilot certificate requires 250 flight hours along with time spent in certain conditions and doing certain maneuvers. Once these hours are logged, the trainee takes a written and flying test.

Civilian training can be costly, however, it's comparable to the cost of paying out of pocket for other types of specialized education. Starting salaries for licensed pilots can range from $25,000 to more than $50,000. Experienced pilots can earn nearly $300,000 per year.

The life of a pilot is much different than that of a typical career. There are no set schedules since you may be departing from one part of the world and landing in a completely different time zone.

Pilots also carry a great deal of responsibility involves the safety of those aboard the plane. As captain, they must take charge of the crew to ensure that both staff's and passengers' lives are protected from danger.

Pilots have to also work long hours so balancing home life is a challenge. Holidays will also be a hard to juggle because, like hotels, businesses in the travel industry don't get breaks. Flying conditions can also take unpredictable turns so the captain will have to know what the right decisions to make in orde to ensure everyone's safety.

It takes a person who is passionate about aviation and can handle a great deal of pressure to be a successful pilot. Pilots have to know more than just how to fly a plane. It takes extensive knowlege of understanding meterology, flight theory, aircraft systems, navigation, regulations and air traffic control, and much more.

Pursuing a career as a pilot sets you up for a lifetime of adventure. The demand for pilots is always there with available positions ready to be filled by qualifed and skilled pilots. Not everyone has what it takes to be a pilot. Those who prove they can conquer the skies lead lives with fulfilling careers and the salaries to match.

Say Ahoy to This Career
Friday, May 04, 2012

Engineering is a popular occupation because of its broad job opportunities. One of these career possibilities can be seen at work out on open waters.

Marine specialists are the engineers who design and build ships and aircrafts. Things like submarines, sailboats, and tankers are all results of the work marine engineers do.

This type of work is always changing and requires people who have had special training. The facets within this industry are intricate so there are different positions within the marine engineering field. For example, some engineers specialize in repair and maintenance while other concentrate on the shipbuilding process.

Even though they're work involves building water crafts, the work environment is often situated in the office where they make planning decisions. This is extemely important becuase any flaw in the design can result in a catastrophic accident.

Testing the Waters
Getting started on a career in the marine engineering industry begins with education. Bachelor's degree programs will include courses like mechanical engineernig, marine engineering and ocean engineering.

Dipolomas at vocational schools are also available for careers in diesel and power generation along with mechanical and electrical systems.

The knowledge students gain in these courses are also applicable in other fields such as offshor drilling operations and the oil and gas industry. The need to transport energy products will continue to grow so the demand for marine engineers and naval architects will follow that growth.

Naturally, more demand means more pay. Two years ago, the average salary for marine engineers was nearly $80,000.

Marine engineering is a unique career that offers people the chance to work in a speciality field where their work helps create more career opportunities for others.

Renew Your Career's Energy
Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Renewable energy is a phrase we often hear in politics regarding job creation yet many are still waiting to see the promises put into production.

Despite today's termination of a federal grant program that would have created 75,000 jobs and put more than $25 billion to the economic flow, the rise of renewable energy is imminent.

The grant program was part of the stimulus package created in February 2009 to help keep the economy from further detriment during the peak of the recession.

With the continual push for less reliance on foreign oil, the U.S. Department of Energy is exploring ways toof taking advantage of energy sources with an abundant supply. The uses of renewable energy will be able to benefit for commerical and residential sectors.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), renewable energy sources would spark job generation stemming from research and production to construction. Renewable energy sources include solar, wind, and electricity.

Popular focus on renewable energy has been focused on its use in the automotive industry. Hybrid cars and the use of biodeisel is making continued developments and proving to have growing support.

The shared sentiment toward domestic solar energy among business exectives is optimistic. An attributing factor to this outlook is the 50 percent drop in average price for solar panels last year, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.

The solar power sector alone has potential to employ a broad spectrum of occupations throughout a range of industries. Just a few of the positions crucial to solar power are:

In all consideration, there is a vast range of jobs within other industries--like real estate, for example--that would also be needed in renewable energy projects. Most positions involved would entail having formal training and qualifications to perform the required duties, therefore, wages are competitive.

Solar power is one of countless areas of development that renewable energy boosts. With its power to generate jobs widespread among a variety of industries, it only makes sense why there is so much emphasis on getting renewable projects up and running.

Where Have All the Engineers Gone?
Monday, April 02, 2012

There's good news for job seekers in Michigan in the engineering field. Last month at an Engineering Society of Detroit job fair, the number of available jobs outnumbered seekers 6-1.

In attendence were 51 companies within the engineering industry looking to fill a total of 3,500 positions. The problem remains, however, that there is a shortage of qualifed workers to fill them. Applicants with mismatched skills are causing many positions to stay open leading to a stall in growth for business and the economy.

Even though unemployment rates continue to drop, the improvement is not fast enough to change the staggering high numbers. The hard times have compelled many people to either go into early retirement or change careers entirely.

Along with the engineering sector, others like power distribution, environmental and IT are feeling the shortage of talent. Many companies in these industries can have positions open form months.

As demand for software development increases, companies like WorkForce can't keep up without the adequate amount of man power needed. There were 600,000 skilled positions left unfilled just in the U.S. manufacturing industry alone, according to survey by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute toward the end of the summer.

What this trend is showing is that while jobs are generating in certain sectors and industries, there aren't enough workers skilled in those areas to fill them showing the need for more education and more training. In that case, instead of settling for last resorts, workers in Michigan should find ways of qualifying to fill these in-demand, high-paying positions.

Speaking of pay, faced with increasing pressure to close the growing gap in open positions, companies are now raising the pay to entice skilled workers to fill the demand. In efforts to help the engineering industries find the workers they so desperately need, groups like Global Talent Retention Inititative of Southeast Michigan, Shifting Code, and Made in Michigan Pipeline have initiated campaigns and programs.

These will either train or recruit candidates and hopefully get them back in the workforce and stimulate the dormant potential within Michigan's economy.

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