Thursday, June 28, 2007

How To Ask For A Raise

If you have been in your job for awhile and you have been doing a good job, you may believe that you deserve more money for it. Many employers simply take their employees for granted and they don't think to give raises as often as they should. If you are known for being a consistent employee who goes above and beyond the call of duty, it isn't unheard of to ask for a raise. Generally speaking, you won't want to ask for a raise if you have been employed for less than nine to 12 months but after that you are in the clear.

A great way to ask for a raise is simply to foster open communication between yourself and your direct supervisor. If you have this open communication from day one you will find that it is a lot easier for you to share your achievements, thus making it more obvious why you want a raise when you ask for one. Of course, this requires forethought so it may be a bit late to foster satisfying communication like this before you ask for your raise.

If you believe that you deserve a raise you can choose to either ask for the raise in person or you can ask for it through a letter or an email. Depending on who you work for, there may be a preferred method of communication and you should go with that. Many individuals find that they do better asking for this sort of thing through email because they can more clearly state their thoughts, but others are more than comfortable doing this in person. Decide for yourself which works better for you and be ready to present your thoughts carefully to your supervisor.

When asking through email or in person for a raise you need to be able to cite why you deserve such a raise without coming right out and bragging about yourself. Simply state that you have been working hard and you believe that you have been going above and beyond the call of duty. When you say this you can then cite instances where you have worked harder than your job description called for, instances when you helped others, and other important issues. You don't have to go into great detail, as this may come across as bragging, but you can highlight areas where you really shine.

Simply stating the facts like this will give your supervisor food for thought, and if possible they will probably give you a raise. You need to stand ready to answer hard questions that relate to opportunity areas, or areas where you could stand to do a little bit better. Everyone has these areas, but it doesn't mean that you don't deserve a raise. Simply put the information out there, letting your place of employment know how valuable you are. The worse thing that can happen is that you will be told that you cannot have a raise at the moment, but you will definitely be put on the radar for future raises. Accept this answer graciously, but remember that you can always ask again in the future.

Monday, June 25, 2007

3 Ways to Get Yourself a Promotion

In a perfect world, our skills would always be appreciated, our potential unleashed, and our career horizons unlimited. But are you stuck in a job you're tired of and can't get promoted to something better? From benefits to vacation time there are a lot of reasons to stay with your current employer. Here are three quick tips that can help you get a promotion before the job is posted:

Work Beyond Your Position: Look for opportunities to work on different projects with different people. Often managers may only think of you in terms of your job description. By showing you have untapped skills, you can quietly let them know you're overqualified for your current job.

This strategy may see you do more work or possibly someone else's work. But think of it as a job interview. If you're good at something new, it will be noticed. Remember, it's always better to say, "I'm glad to help out," than, "That's not my job."

Share Your Knowledge: Do you have off the job interests that might be valuable in the workplace? For instance, your job might involve sales but after hours, you spend a lot of time learning about computers. When you learn something new and interesting from your hobby, share it with your superiors. Just because you have a lower position in the organization doesn't mean that you don't have something to teach those above you.

This can be as simple as leaving an article in someone's mailbox with a note saying, "I thought you might find this interesting." You're sharing information but not telling someone what to do with it. Nowadays no one can keep up with all the information that's in our world. By sharing you can make someone's life easier while promoting yourself.

It's News to Me: If you never talk about career advancement, how would anyone know it's your goal? Use your annual evaluation to ask your supervisor about advancement opportunities. Find out if you're lacking a skill that you'll need to get to the next level.

You're not saying that you hate your current job but rather would like to explore other opportunities. In food terms, it would be like saying, "I always eat the chicken at this restaurant but I think I'd like to try the fish. Do you think I'd like the fish?" In this scenario, you may experience some rejection. But wouldn't you rather experience it now, when you can work on your deficiencies, instead of during an interview?

Friday, June 22, 2007

Dream Job - A Reality Check

In life the quest for the perfect career is a challenging experience. This is a dream almost all of us have in common. To quantify this success, we need to have clarity of thought and persistence in finding our potential.

Many of us tend to develop a laid back attitude, or are indecisive and wait, hoping for something better, letting go of the best opportunities. We don't recognize the goose that is here to lay a golden egg in our backyard.

There is an endless need for people in every industry and along with it are the competitions to reach to the top. When this big picture is cut into tiny pieces then it is easy to proceed in an organized and systematic manner. But if you are uncertain, then this same picture will appear jumbled like a jigsaw puzzle. You will be struggling with every piece, trying to match with the right shape and size.

As a college fresher, I had met with a guidance counselor for suggestions.

"So what kind of a job are you looking for?" she asked.

"A job with a lot of money," I replied with confidence.

"And what are you willing to do for this?"

"As little work as possible."

The rib-tickling laughter of the counselor still echoes in my mind.

First you need to know the expectations that you have from your career. The number one priority could be money. We all have to eat and pay bills.

The second could be job satisfaction. You need that to wake up in the morning, feel refreshed and be enthusiastic to start a new day. Besides these there are other factors that affect this decision like peer and family pressure. You may want to remain with that close circle of friends and pursue what they are doing or do what your parents want to you do, just to make them feel proud. In this process, you ignore the inner voice and suppress your aspirations.

Learn to diversify your skills and knowledge, keeping in mind the job descriptions. For example: If you are a person who loves to talk and enjoys making new friends. Then you can convert this trait into a profession. You can seek employment in a customer service department, public relations or guest relations of an organization. Going an extra mile to make people feel at home and developing a bond with them, fulfills your passion. And believe me, people do acknowledge this gesture. This also acts as a good recommendation for your future placements.

Skills never get wasted; it is their quality that diminishes because of our failure to consider them worthwhile. At many interviews a frequently asked question is, "Where do you see yourself five years from now?"

Can you truthfully answer this question without taking a minute to think? If you are able to, then you have made the right career choice. But if you are not sure and need to think of a diplomatic answer then you will have to reorganize your priorities.
So strike a balance with the market trends and your interests, widen and highlight your skills. Reword your resume and get the dream job that you are so passionate about.

Success is always at your fingertips, it is just knowing the right skill to grab it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Interviewing Tips to Get that Job! Are you Really Listening 7

It is important to be alert for the interview. Be prepared to answer questions by using examples from work, school and other experiences in the past. You may not have the right answer to all the questions, but your stories make you a real person. Try to get at least eight hours of sleep the night before the interview and always be on time, or early for it. It shows the organization that you are a professional, dependable and committed individual. Most organizations are looking to hire employees who are willing to work until the job gets done, which may be longer than nine to five.

Listen carefully during the question and answer period. If you have to describe for the interviewer the strength and weaknesses, then speak them clearly and distinctly. Do not mumble words or use street terms to the point where it is confusing and no one understands it. Answer all questions to the best of your ability and avoid nodding your head to answer a question. When asked a question, explain it to the fullest potential, and do not say "yes," or "no." Do not say "yea," but "yes." Do not say "na," but "no." Do not shake your head when responding to a question, but respond by saying "yes," or "no," then elaborate on it.

Prior to the interview, prepare an outline of all your skills and experiences (including volunteer work), and other duties and responsibilities that relate to the new job. Keep all your skills up-to-date so that you can express yourself well and leave a lasting impression on the interviewer. If possible, try to schedule the interview toward the end of the week so that you are not the first person. Employers are in better spirits toward the end of the week. Most employers are looking for people who are intelligent, knowledgeable about the work and communicate well with others.

Good listening skills will make you a more productive employee. You should listen carefully during the interviewing process. You should avoid talking too much or talking over the interviewer, while he is speaking. Listening allows you to pay more attention to your response to questions during an interview.

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Telecommuting - Five Ways to Find Your Next Job

The trend of telecommuting is on the rise as employers begin to see the savings involved in both gas and office space. With gas prices at an all-time high, many Americans are looking for ways to do less driving and more companies than ever before are offering telecommuting options to their current employees and searching for at-home employees to fill open positions. The question for the job seeker is now how to find these opportunities. Below are five methods you can use to find a telecommuting position.

First, check your local newspaper. When I began my search for an at-home career, I found my first employer through the Classified Ads section of our hometown paper. I was wary at first, but after thoroughly researching the company through means such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB), visiting the corporate office and meeting some of their current employees I found the company to be legitimate.

Second, search online using website such as and However, listings found online must be researched carefully to avoid the scams that abound on the Internet. There are also websites that will you allow to do job research in your own community. One such website is on which you can choose a city and then refine your search with keywords such as "telecommute."

Posting your resume on websites such as is a third way to locate at work-at-home job. Putting your resume online can bring employers to you, depending on your skills and qualifications. Another bonus of an online resume is that you can easily direct prospective employers to view it. It also makes life a bit simpler when applying for jobs, because you can attach your online resume instead of typing out your job history, qualifications, and so on, each time you apply for a job.

When posting your resume on the web, be sure to create an accurate and impressive representation of your abilities. You don't want to be wordy when describing past job experience, but you do want to be specific about the roles you've held as well as your accomplishments.

A fourth option when looking for at-home employment is to open a phone book and call businesses in your area. For example, if you're interested in doing administrative work, you might contact churches and small businesses in your area to see if they are looking for office help. Even if they are not currently seeking help, they may know of another business owner who is.

Along those same lines, the fifth way to become a telecommuter is to create your own opportunity. For example, instead of finding a company that will hire you as an administrative assistant from home, consider starting your own business as a Virtual Assistant. You can offer your services to many companies, which can both increase your income potential and allow you the flexibility of deciding which jobs you'd like to accept.

You can also create your own telecommuting position by talking with your current employer about work-at-home possibilities. More and more companies are finding that at-home employees are just as productive as those in the office, if not more. Companies also benefit financially by lessening office space and avoiding the costs of many office supplies. Many companies who are not ready to hire at-home workers will allow their current employees to work one or two days from a home office, so be sure to discuss this option.

The telecommuting field has become highly competitive as more and more people find that working from home is a possibility. Searching for a telecommuting position can be daunting, but by looking in strategic places such as online and in your local newspaper, you'll have a much better chance. No matter, how you find your telecommuting position, make sure it's something you would enjoy doing and also something you can make money at.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Career Change - Resume Problems

What can I do about gaps in employment?

There isn't much you can do about your work chronology—what's done is done. However, there are a few ways to present your work history so that the gaps are less apparent:

- Consider including only years worked (rather than months and years).

- Place employment dates next to job titles in parentheses.

- Never showcase employment dates around large areas of white space—this draws attention to your chronology.

-Think about other activities that you pursued during your employment gaps. You might be able to "fill in" your gaps with volunteer activities, training, travel, or development of a new skill.

My recent work history makes me look like a job-hopper. What can I do?

Try to take a positive spin on your work history. If you've moved around a lot, you demonstrate an ability to work in diverse industries or environments and to step into a role and immediately make a positive impact on the organization. Also, in some industries (such as technology and construction), it's common for employees to move from position to position to take on new projects. Sometimes, not moving around is a sign of stagnation. However, if you would like to minimize the appearance of job-hopping, you might be able to group similar positions under one employment heading.

How should I approach my resume if I'm transitioning from a military to civilian position?

Many civilian employers are unfamiliar with military terminology, so try to minimize military jargon, and replace it with terms used in the corporate world. If you achieved a long military career, some of these terms might be so ingrained that you don't even realize that you're using them. If that's the case, show your resume to colleagues and friends with no military background and see if they understand your document.

Military experience offers great opportunities for training, advancement, and performance awards, and you should certainly highlight these on your resume.

How do I transition from a corporate position to the nonprofit sector?

Your passion for the nonprofit sector of your choice should shine through on your resume and cover letter. Be clear on why you are making this transition and show how your skills developed in the corporate world would be valuable to a nonprofit organization. Nonprofits are organizational structures that need dedicated workers just like corporate structures, so demonstrate that you have what it takes to make an immediate and enduring contribution to a nonprofit organization.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Job Interviewing Questions

There are many different questions that an interviewer may ask. The questions that usually vary are the ones that relate to the field of study, and expertise you can give to the company. In addition, every company runs differently, so their questions will be based upon what the company's main goals are. However, there seem to be many questions that never change, and I have a few examples of how to answer, and how NOT to answer the more generic questions. Many of these examples are self-explanatory, but if you get lost, you may need to grab a dictionary (and hit yourself over the head with it)! Truthfully, I was a manager once, and DID have similar INCORRECT answers when I interviewed some "special" people (it's a good thing their mothers love them)!

First, the interviewer tends to ask, "Tell me about yourself." A CORRECT answer may be as such: "I am a recent college graduate of _____ University – where I majored in Graphic Design and Internet Technology. I received my Bachelor's Degree about four months ago, and have just recently begun searching for just the right job for me. I saw your ad in the paper, and thought I could give it a shot!" An INCORRECT answer would be, "Well, I'm a Virgo, and really, really into computer games. I have, like, three-hundred CD's because I am such a music fanatic! I really thought your job sounds cool, so I thought I'd just stop by and check it out!"

Interviewer: "Now, your resume says you have computer experience. Can you elaborate?" CORRECT answer: "I am proficient in Microsoft Word, Works, Excel, PowerPoint, and generally all of the Microsoft technology. I can also type about 60 words per minute, and can utilize the Internet as much as necessary." The INCORRECT answer: "Oh, I'm hanging out on MySpace about three hours a day. I also love playing Warcraft until all hours of the night. Oh, and I used it for a lot of my homework assignments, too!"

Interviewer: "So, why did you leave your last job?" CORRECT answer: "I was working while going to college, and – when I graduated – I moved back home, and I'm looking for a job around the area now." The INCORRECT answer: "They weren't paying me enough, and my boss was an absolute wiener. I also got into a fight with one of the other co-workers, and we both got fired for it."

Interviewer: "Why do you think you are the best fit for this position?" CORRECT answer: "I went to college for this exact kind of job, and I really think I can bring a lot of experience to the company. It is really the kind of position I feel I can be more than competent in." INCORRECT answer: "Hey, I don't know really. It just seems like the kind of thing I'd be good at! I mean, I love working this kind of stuff, so I figured – why not get paid to do it, you know?"

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Dot Net Questions - XML Reader Class

Xml reader and xml writer comes from namespace system.xml. These classes' helps in getting data from xml documents both of these classes are abstract base classes.

The xml reader class helps in to get xml data in stream or xml documents. This class provides fast, non-cacheable, read only access to xml data as the name suggest it is only forward only access. As I have told that this class is a abstract class and provide methods that are implemented by derived class to get access to element and attributes of xml data. There are various things too that gets from this class such as depth of the node of document means, xml documents also the number of attribute in a node.

There is no of derived class of xml reader one of this is xml text reader class. This xml text reader class read xml data. But this class not helps in validating the DTD or you can say schema information.

Another derived class of xml reader is xml validating reader class. This class read xml data and also supports DTD and schema validation.

The class xml text reader class allows fast access to xml data but not support DTD. It is helpful when we do not require reading full document in to memory. We can initialize xml text reader object to read data from xml document and also initialize an xml text reader object to read data from a stream.

I have explained some of the beautiful methods and properties of xml text readers.

Attribute Count: This property helps to get number of attribute in current node.
Depth: To get the depth of current node.
Item: get the value of an attribute as a string.
Value: get text value of current node.

Learn more on Dot Net Interview Questions here

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Questions To Ask In A Job Interview - 5 Simple Questions To Make Yourself Shine

There's more to job interviews than answering questions about yourself-a good interviewer will pay just as much attention to the questions you ask them. If you have an idea of the right questions to ask in a job interview you can impress the interviewer with how much you have researched the role and show them that you are the right person for the job! Check out these ideas for some great questions to ask in a job interview.

Avoid "housekeeping" questions like "when do I get paid?" and how many day's vacation do I get?" You can quite easily find these out by calling the company before the interview and requesting a copy of the company handbook before the interview. If you do this, be sure be sure to mention it during the interview, EG "Well I called up before and requested a copy of the handbook, that's answered most of my questions but I do have a few more about my role specifically..." This will show the interviewer how well you have prepared, and ensure that you have only the most well thought out questions to ask them in the actual job interview.

Ask them to describe the average day in the position. This is a great question to ask as it will not only show that you are serious about taking the role but it should give you some genuine insight. Have you ever shown up on the first day of a new job and thought "This is NOTHING like they described!"? If so you'll know what a truly horrible feeling that is, but if you have worked out some useful questions to ask in the job interview you can get a real idea of what goes on before the job starts.

"Is there room for advancement in the company?" This may seem like a standard boring, question, but you can show that you know your stuff by delving a little deeper-for example, ask them if there is a clear cut path for progression or is it more of a case that you can advance when someone leaves and creates a vacancy? Most people won't go to such detail, so it's a good thing to ask. Also useful to know, because do you really want to work somewhere where you have to wait for a superior to leave before you can move forward? Knowing the right questions to ask in a job interview can fix problems like this.

"How do you like working here?" This is another great question as it can often take an interviewer by surprise, leading them to give you a far greater insight than they would if they had a few standard lines ready prepared.

"Has this position just been created?" If they say that it was an existing role, ask some questions about what the previous person has gone on to do. This will show excellent attention to detail for yourself, and may also give you some indication of what you can expect if you land the job.

Being smart about the questions you ask in a job interview can not only impress the interviewer but it can also help you gain as much useful knowledge as possible when you decide whether or not you want to take the job, so it's very important to know the right questions to ask at a job interview!

Friday, June 1, 2007

Finding The Ideal Graduate Training Job

Many graduates in the United Kingdom go through training as they begin their career. Larger companies and government agencies provide job training and professional development sessions to help their new employees get ready for work. Graduates in fields like retail management and telecommunications learn a wealth of knowledge from experienced corporate trainers. However, many graduates and university students in the UK overlook the possibility of working as a corporate trainer. These trainers typically begin their careers immediately after their higher educational experience is over. Graduates who discover that they want to train the future of the UK workforce should consider what their ideal graduate training job will be.

One of the factors that a graduate trainer should consider before heading into the job market is whether a specific position allows for some creativity. Corporate trainers are often given a set script of the ideas and exercises that need to be done in training sessions. However, many corporations are beginning to allow their trainers to insert a bit of themselves into their sessions. For example, an experienced trainer may be allowed to insert different exercises or use simulations to enlighten sales trainees. Graduates interested in training jobs need to determine whether a potential employer allows some flexibility in training or if they require rote learning for their trainees.

Another ideal situation in graduate training jobs is when there are plenty of professional development opportunities for trainers. In essence, graduate trainers should look at their own training possibilities when taking a position. Many professionals take for granted that through experience and repetition, they will automatically become great at their jobs. However, even graduate trainers need to learn new skills in a new setting. Young professionals interested in training jobs need to determine whether their potential employer is interested in teaching the teacher, so to speak.

Finally, the possibility of advancement in graduate training jobs is important for young professionals. Many graduates now leaving universities in the United Kingdom assume that any job that they take includes the chance for management or executive level positions down the road. However, small firms or companies with a narrow corporate structure may not have the leeway to allow trainers to move upward. In these companies, trainers are given financial incentives or title bumps instead of new responsibilities. Graduates may find these rewards beneficial in the short term, but trainers are always looking for challenges. An ideal graduate training job allows professionals to move upward in the corporate world.