Saturday, May 31, 2014

23 Ways to Find A Job This Summer

It’s warm outside but summer officially starts June 21, 2014.  Summer is a great time to enjoy the weather, spend time with family and friends and relax.  Unfortunately many Americans are still out of work, some college graduates are having a hard time finding jobs and teenagers are also looking for you.  This creates a huge demand for summer jobs. 

If you have computer skills or a trade it is easier to find a job.  If you are currently unemployed develop short and long term goals you want to achieve.  Develop an action plan and target date to ensure that you achieve those goals.   If you want to get employed you have to make opportunities happen.  If lack of finances are a major factor in your life you will have to think outside of the box and think of creative ways to make money.   Here are 12 tips to find a job: 

  1. Use social media and the internet to search for jobs
  2. Contact youth organizations
  3. Attend youth networking functions
  4. Go to youth job training centers to gain skills that are in demand
  5. Talk to your school counselor or former counselor to learn about possible job opportunities or job leads
  6. Look for college internship opportunities or fellowships
  7. Consider outdoor jobs involving heavy labor or behind-the-scenes jobs
  8. Offer to work evening and night shifts and to fill in for vacationing employees. Search for these types of positions during the hours they operate.
  9. Sell your skills by starting on one block and going from business to business. Ask for an application and introduce yourself to build a relationship with the hiring manager.
  10. Call parents and relatives to get information on job leads. Contact friends and other classmates, especially those who have been able to find jobs.
  11. Wear your best outfit to interviews even if you are applying to do construction work. This ensures the focus is on you and your skills and not your hot pink lipstick, jeans, t-shirt and tattoos.
  12. A company that did not hire you a couple of months ago might need more workers now due to the high turnover of seasonal employees.

Here are 11 tips to help you earn money.
  1. Cleaning.  Become a maid or janitor by cleaning houses or office buildings.
  2. Dog walker.  Walk dogs or offer to bathe dogs or cats.
  3. Part-time.  Look for part-time opportunities including those not in your field.  Some companies hire part-time employees later on as full-time employees or offer benefits.
  4. Volunteer.  Offer to become a volunteer at a company that is in the same field or a similar field you want to work in.  Some companies hire volunteers as permanent employees.
  5. Babysitter.  Offer to watch children during the week or on weekends when parents need to run errands or go for a night out.
  6. Seasonal Work.  Get hired during seasonal employment recruiting periods such as Christmas and during the summer. 
  7. Temp Agency.  Sign up with 5-10 temporary or staffing agencies that find part-time or full-time temporary jobs.  Some jobs are converted to permanent employment after 90 days.
  8. Service Industry.  If you have good customer service skills you can work as a customer service representative answering phone calls, serving as a hostess, waitress or receptionist.
  9. Secret Shopper.  You can become a secret shopper for a company or go shopping for elderly or sick individuals.
  10. Sell Items.  Sell new or unused items on eBay or Craigslist.
  11. Network.  Network with neighborhood workers to see if they need assistance with doing odd jobs such as lawn care, snow removal, tree removal, washing cars, etc.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

21 Career Advice Tips for College Graduates

You graduated college now it’s time to get a job! A typical job search nowadays usually takes between 3 - 6 months or longer. Many new college graduates will spend the summer tenaciously applying for positions and going on interviews. Some will land jobs right away, while others may find employment months later.  Going to college you live a sheltered life because you are not aware of the realities of the real world.  Your parents shelter you and you live in a micro-society at college that seems so distant until graduation day arrives and reality sets in. 

Now it’s time to be an adult and make decisions that will affect your future. Each daily decision you make will affect your future. If you decide to spend all your money each paycheck, buy a luxury car, go into debt or default on your student loans, all of these bad decisions will come back to haunt you in a tragic and costly way.

Graduating from college you may have to start doing things you didn’t do in college such as attending networking events, keeping track of dates and appointment such as job interviews or training classes, creating a budget to track your spending and setting goals for the future. 

A common saying is “It’s not what you know, but who you know”. Sometimes this is true and sometimes it doesn’t matter how you know, if you are the best candidate for the job you will get hired. According to a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, employers plan to hire 13% more new college graduates than in 2012, however the job market is still competitive. Here are 21 career advice tips for college graduates.

  1. Prepare. Do research on the company. Write down questions to ask on the interview. Don't take the first job offered unless you are in dire need of employment. Ask for a signing bonus.
  2. Employment.  Contact staffing agencies or consider relocating to another state. Work with at least 3 recruiters to help you find a job.  Provide them with writing samples, highlight your strengths, mention classes you exceled in and inform them of community service or organizations you are a member of. Apply for at least 5 jobs a week until you get hired.
  3. Stay encouraged. Avoid going to graduate school because you are frustrated with the job hunt. This will put your further into debt and you may miss out a good opportunity because you are in school.
  4. Memberships. Join a professional organization or attend networking events.
  5. Volunteer. Volunteer in a field you are interested in working even if you get hired.
6.      Use social media. Many employers look for candidates on social media websites. Use social media sites like Facebook and Linkedin or Craigslist to find employment.
  1. Credit. If you have bad credit disclose that information during the interview or on your job application. You also need to have a plan to improve your credit score or provide an explanation of why you have bad credit.
  2. Ask. Talk to your school counselor or former counselor to learn about possible job opportunities or job leads. Tell everyone you know and meet you are looking for a job.
9.      Dress the part.  Dress like an executive. Borrow clothes from a friend or relative or go to a thrift store or consignment store to fit professional suits and shoes. Dress conservatively when working unless you are told otherwise.
10.   Interview. Hide your tattoos and remove your piercings.  For men remove the earring(s) in your ears. For women have only one pair of earrings in your ears.  Don’t wear loud or noisy jewelry. Avoid using your phone or texting during the interview. Turn your phone off or on silent during the interview. Sit up straight and make direct eye contact during the interview. If you don’t know the answer to a question be honest and say so and avoid giving the “blank stare look”.
11.   Training.  Search the internet for interview tips, free online quizzes or training classes or read books on how to prepare for an interview and how to advance in your career.
12.   Use Connections. Use your social connections, alumni, membership organizations or social organizations that you are member of and ask about employment opportunities.
13.   Socialize. Attend networking events, local Chamber of Commerce events in your area, membership open house events, alumni events or membership events to make connections that may help you gain employment.
14.   Profile. Create a simple email address for employment. Clean up your social media profiles and remove videos and pictures of you in bathing suits, questionable poses, pictures of you drinking or making signs in the air, dancing or making advances someone.  Remove posts on your profiles that contain profanity, sexist remarks or remarks that may seem offensive, rude or questionable. Consider changing how you communicate on social media if you want to get hired for a full-time job. Avoid talking about who you had sex with, how much you like to party, who you don’t like or how drunk or high you got the night before. This may prevent you from getting hired.
15.   Contact. Keep your contact information up-to-date with recruiters and on job websites and list your email address on your social media profiles. 
16.   Resume. Use a standard resume format. Avoid using highlight, color or italics. Use bullet points and keep your resume to one page or less. Keep your resume up-to-date and tailor your resume for specific jobs.
17.   Edit. Proofread all application materials prior to submission and ensure that you are qualified for a position prior to applying. Customize your cover letter for every job you apply for.  Knowing how to properly use grammar and spell or use spell checking tools will definitely help you when writing a memo or email when looking for employment and after you get hired. Avoid using slang, texting abbreviations and words in the workplace and in workplace conversations.
18.   Support. Create a support network of friends, relatives, co-workers or others who can encourage you and provide advice to help you achieve your career goals. If your friends are not on the same path as you are consider getting new friends. You should have at least 3 friends who are most successful than you are who can help you move up the career ladder.
19.   Mentor. Get a mentor who can provide advice and lessons learned on how to be the best employee and help you achieve your career goals. A business mentor can help you become an expert in your career and personal life. Mentors also provide valuable advice, help you solve problems and help you think strategically about your career.
  1. Be creative. Think outside the box and be creative. While you are looking for employment consider starting your own business either part-time or full-time.  If you are aware of a problem think about creative ways to solve it or find something that you are passionate about and use that to start your own business.
  2. Stand out. Find the most senior person in your office and learn everything they know. Volunteer for additional work, large projects, to work late hours or on the weekends.

Friday, May 23, 2014

7 Tips to Save Money on Memorial Day

Many advertisers take advantage of the Memorial Day holiday as another way to make money.  Unfortunately they rarely or never say anything about the real reason for Memorial Day.  Advertisers should provide extra discounts for those who have served in the military or are currently still serving in the military.  If someone fights for our country, why can’t you give them a discount or products or services?    

Memorial Day is usually the official start of the summer season when pools are opened, families begin cooking on the grill, summer clothes are pulled out and people start heading to the beaches.  Many families and friends get together during this weekend.  Many people also go to the mall to see what sales they can find.  If you have to go shopping or spend money this Memorial Day weekend here are 6 tips to save money. 

  1. Budget. Create a budget or shopping list and only buy the things you absolutely need for the holiday.  Visit local vendors, food co-ops or discount stores to purchase meats, fruits and vegetables which will be much cheaper than the department store.
  2. Food.  If you are having family or friends at your home keep the menu simple but provide variety.  Use different sauces, toppings and marinades to provide flavor and variety. Ask everyone to bring a dish or dessert to help save money.  If you have to go to the store don’t go when you’re hungry.
  3. List. Create a shopping list and stick to it, this includes decorations and accessories.
  4. Free.  Check your local newspaper or listen to your local news station to find free events to attend during the holiday weekend.
  5. Save money on gas. With the cost of gas prices I have cut back on driving here and there and take into consideration the distance I have to drive.  Create a traveling zone when driving.  When considering driving use MapQuest to map the address and see how many miles it is from your home or office.  If the distance is more than the maximum number of miles you are willing to drive do not attend the event. My maximum is 30 miles one way from my home or work. 
  6. Fun.  Skip going to the movies or amusement parks and play games outside such as volleyball, soccer, cricket, horse shoes, sack races etc. to save money and spend more time with your family and friends.
  7. Skip the mall.  Don't let the media or advertisements trick you into buying something this Memorial Day weekend simply because it is on sale. Most prices during holiday sales are marked up and a discount is given on the marked up price.  If you have to buy something at the mall comparison shop and determine which store is offering the best holiday sale. Check online sites to see if you can get a better deal.