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Archive for August, 2010

How to Find a Job in One Day – according to AOL

“Just tell us how to get a job!” you’ve implored us at AOL Jobs, and we listened. We’re getting out the heavy artillery for you by posting the “One-Day Career Makeover” from the book ‘Career Comeback–Repackage Yourself to Get the Job You Want.’ It’s a makeover you can give yourself at home, so it costs very little, if anything and you can do it no matter where you live. In just one day, it can put you head and shoulders above your competition.

Dare we say it? It can even be fun, if you do it right. This doesn’t have to be an expensive, laborious, months-long process: Everything can be completed in a lively eight hours, the equivalent of one normal work day. Recently, Kristen went from looking like a fun mom to a fund raiser in a matter of hours. This recently divorced mother of three needed to re-enter the working world fast, and in only one day she was ready.

“I hadn’t had a full time job outside the home in years–I was busy at home raising my kids,” she said. “Everything had changed 180 degrees since last time I looked for work. It’s overwhelming trying to figure out even where to start. This immediately got me going in the right direction.”

Kristen’s small son had recently battled cancer, and she decided she would like to work for a non-profit organization to help raise funds and comfort families. She needed to know how to incorporate her invaluable personal experience in her professional resume, how to use social networking to reach out to potential donors and sponsors and how to dress professionally to approach them in person. She was able to accomplish all of this and more in just one day.

Even if you already have a job, you might be worried about hanging onto it. Why not set aside a Saturday to give yourself this one-day career makeover, so you’ll be ready to start a job search if, god forbid, you get laid off. It never hurts to reconnect with old (and possibly influential friends) This is also a helpful exercise if you’re happily employed and seeking a promotion.

“Once I started suddenly dressing better for work and sharpening my image,” said Anne, who prefers not to give her full name so as not to tip her hand, “people thought I was going on interviews for other jobs. Within two weeks my bossed called me in, asked me if I was happy, and offered me a raise and a promotion even in this economy! It was great!”

Who knows? Once you complete these steps, you just might wake up the next morning and find, waiting patiently in your e-mail box, a few job opportunities from employers who are looking for you!

Here’s your agenda:

8-10AM: Spend two hours producing a killer resume, highlighting your special skills and eliminating work experience that is irrelevant to the types of positions you’re currently seeking. You might want to create a few different resumes, if you’re applying for diverse jobs in different fields. See emurse.com for answers to all your resume questions, as well as resume templates and useful examples and tips.

10AM: Start the physical process. If you’re feeling flush, go for a blow dry if you’re a woman or a haircut and/or shave if you’re a man, at your favorite (budget) salon. If you’re watching your pennies, wash, dry and style your hair at home so you look your best

11AM: Women: Have your makeup done for free at the makeup counter in your favorite department store. You might want to at least buy a lip-gloss to thank them. If you’re doing the home-version of this makeover, carefully do your makeup in-house, as if you were going to an important event. Men: Take this time to shave and trim any unruly facial hair.

Noon: Select a fresh, hip, outfit from your closet. Make sure there are pops of color in it — no plain white shirts, or a boring cream shirt and black jacket combos. Feel free to use the news anchor’s trick of wearing a colorful shirt/top and/or tie with jeans or sweats underneath — you’re only going to be shooting head and shoulders. No big prints, and no busy backgrounds. It’s best to stand against a plain colored or brick wall, so no one will be able to tell where you are. Once you look your absolute best, have a friend, spouse, neighbor, whomever, snap several digital photos and download the best on your home computer.

1PM: Serve your photographer lunch — it’s the least you can do for his or her services. While you’re eating, have your photographer proof your resume. You should NEVER send it out without having at least one other person proof it.

2PM: Select an elegant business card template from one of the many free online providers like Vistaprint.com or Bizcard.com. Some sites will print the cards for you free — all you have to do is pay postage. You’ll want these cards to have your name, your e-mail address, and your phone number. No street address, and only include your profession or the position you’re seeking if you have something very specific in mind. Otherwise, leave it open.

3PM: Start your own blog so it will be easy for employers to find you online. Post that fabulous digital photo you just took and a professional profile using information from your new resume. Also, provide snippets, tips and teases from any online articles about your profession that you’ve read recently. Make sure you provide a link to the original article. A few sites that offer free blogs include blog.com, blogger.com and blogster.com.

4PM: Begin your social networking campaign. Post that flattering photo on LinkedIn.com, and fill in all the professional information that site allows you to. Remember to use the job title you’re seeking quite a few times, so that recruiters who are searching for people in your field can find you easily. Send connection requests to people who work for companies you admire. You can do the same thing on a professional Facebook page. If you already have a personal Facebook page, start a professional one that has no pix of your kids, pets or any references to Farmville or Mafia Wars, etc. Find connections and friends in alumni groups, former employer groups and special professional interest groups on these sites, and any other networking sites that pertain to your profession. Search old yearbooks and company directories for ideas about connections.

5PM-on: Step away from the computer. Relax on the couch, kick your shoes off, pour yourself a glass of your favorite beverage and indulge yourself with some mindless TV, reveling in the knowledge that even while you’re sleeping, prospective employers could be searching for you, finding you, and praying that you’ll take the job they’re offering.

“It was a lot of work, and it was tiring, but it was actually a lot of fun,” says Kristen. “When you look good, you feel good. I wasn’t at all ready to go out and find a job before, but now, it’s definitely time! I feel really confident!”

———————————
By Lisa Johnson Mandell

Get a Good Paying Job with No Degree Required

After digging through some research from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, these are the highest paid jobs that don’t require a college degree. Most of the jobs were compiled by the highest median hourly wage, some by average rates. The pay will vary by state, company, and related experience.

Airline Pilot-
No college degree is required to be an airline pilot, but it helps. Military service is also a plus. All airline pilots must possess an airline transport flying license, be at least 23 years old, pass a written and practical exam, and have 1,500 flight hours experience. Being a pilot can be stressful and dangerous. A pilot must be able to work under stress. The average salary for an airline pilot is $135,000.

Air Traffic Controller- Air traffic controllers must take an FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) course and pass a test. Before employment, air traffic controllers must pass medical and drug tests, as well as a security clearance. Air traffic controllers are in charge of the safe departures and arrivals of flights. Air traffic controller occupations can be stressful. To be an air traffic controller, you must be able to work in stressful conditions and make quick decisions. On average, air traffic controllers earn over $50 an hour or about $107,000 dollars a year.

Mine manager- Managers of mines get paid very well. They must plan mining procedures, enforce safety rules, implement training programs, and more. Mine managers must be highly organized and efficient. If you don’t have a college degree, experience working in the mines is required. The average salary for a mine manager is over $100,000.

Life Coach-
A life coach encourages professionals to perform better. These may be business owners, authors, entrepreneurs, or potentially anyone that wants to succeed in a personal goal. No degree is required, just a persuasive, enthusiastic personality and the ability to motivate people. Hard statistics are difficult to come by, but about 20 percent of life coaches claim to make at least $100,000 yearly, according to related industry organizations. Think of the phenomenal success of “The Secret” and it’s understandable.

Manager-
Most management positions that don’t require a degree pay about $38 an hour, or $79,000 a year for an annual salary. Managers need organizational and leadership skills. Being a manager requires a person to be able to interact well with other people.

Industrial Production Manager- It is more difficult to get a position as a production manager in an industrial setting without a degree, but it is possible. Being an industrial production manager requires the same sets of skills as other managers, plus knowledge of the particular industry. Industrial production managers make about $36 an hour or $76,000 a year.

Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Manager-
Transportation, storage and distribution managers work with governmental departments to ensure that products are transported, stored, and distributed according to government policies. Previous experience in the same field is usually required. As with other management positions, transportation, storage, and distribution managers must be able to work well with other people and display leadership qualities. Transportation, storage, and distribution managers earn approximately $33 an hour or $69,000 yearly.

Nuclear Power Plant Operator- A college degree isn’t necessary to obtain a job as a nuclear power plant operator, but it helps. Previous military nuclear experience is also a plus. Nuclear power plant operators are usually trained on the job. The job is potentially dangerous. Nuclear power plant operators earn about $32 an hour or $66,000 a year.

Police or Detective Managers or Supervisors- Just like other management positions, managing a group of police officers or detectives requires a likable personality, ability to get along with others, and leadership skills. A college degree isn’t required, but related work experience is needed. The hourly wage is about $32 and yearly salary is approximately $66,000.

Printing Press Operator- No college experience is needed to be a printing press operator. However, completion of a four year apprenticeship is required. A printing press operator makes over $30 an hour. Most printing press operators work overtime, which can lead to a six-figure yearly income. However, the position is expected to decline in demand over the next decade.

Court Reporter- No college experience is necessary, but training to be able to type 200 words per minute is required. The training usually lasts a few months. The job is expected to grow through 2010. Court reporters can do a lot of work from home. The median hourly rate is about $30. The median salary is about $62,000, but it can hit six figures in some areas.

Managers of Non-retail Sales Workers- Managers of non-retail sales workers oversee the sales department of a company. The position requires organizational and leadership abilities, the ability to work well with others, and previous experience in a related field. The hourly wages are about $30 and the yearly salary is about $62,000.

Firefighter Managers- Firefighter managers oversee a firefighting team. They must be able to work closely with people, resolve conflicts, and exhibit leadership. The job can be stressful. The hourly rate is about $29 and the yearly salary is approximately $61,000.

Sales Representative for Wholesale, Technical, Pharmaceutical, and Scientific Products- Getting a position as a sales representative for technical, pharmaceutical, and scientific products doesn’t always require a degree. Most companies have an extensive on the job training program. This position requires a hard worker, an enthusiastic and likable personality, and salesmanship. Most of these positions require travel, often overnight. The hourly wage is about $29 and the yearly salary is about $61,000.

Casino Manager- Casino managers have to be organized, exhibit strong leadership, intelligent, and have superb people skills. Related work experience is required. The hourly rate is close to $29 and the annual salary is almost $60,000.

So, there you have it. If college just isn’t your thing or you don’t have the time to go to college, here are some possible job options to consider. Good luck in your hunt for the perfect career. 

 
——————

How to Find a Job in One Day – according to AOL

“Just tell us how to get a job!” you’ve implored us at AOL Jobs, and we listened. We’re getting out the heavy artillery for you by posting the “One-Day Career Makeover” from the book ‘Career Comeback–Repackage Yourself to Get the Job You Want.’ It’s a makeover you can give yourself at home, so it costs very little, if anything and you can do it no matter where you live. In just one day, it can put you head and shoulders above your competition.

Dare we say it? It can even be fun, if you do it right. This doesn’t have to be an expensive, laborious, months-long process: Everything can be completed in a lively eight hours, the equivalent of one normal work day. Recently, Kristen went from looking like a fun mom to a fund raiser in a matter of hours. This recently divorced mother of three needed to re-enter the working world fast, and in only one day she was ready.

“I hadn’t had a full time job outside the home in years–I was busy at home raising my kids,” she said. “Everything had changed 180 degrees since last time I looked for work. It’s overwhelming trying to figure out even where to start. This immediately got me going in the right direction.”

Kristen’s small son had recently battled cancer, and she decided she would like to work for a non-profit organization to help raise funds and comfort families. She needed to know how to incorporate her invaluable personal experience in her professional resume, how to use social networking to reach out to potential donors and sponsors and how to dress professionally to approach them in person. She was able to accomplish all of this and more in just one day.

Even if you already have a job, you might be worried about hanging onto it. Why not set aside a Saturday to give yourself this one-day career makeover, so you’ll be ready to start a job search if, god forbid, you get laid off. It never hurts to reconnect with old (and possibly influential friends) This is also a helpful exercise if you’re happily employed and seeking a promotion.

“Once I started suddenly dressing better for work and sharpening my image,” said Anne, who prefers not to give her full name so as not to tip her hand, “people thought I was going on interviews for other jobs. Within two weeks my bossed called me in, asked me if I was happy, and offered me a raise and a promotion even in this economy! It was great!”

Who knows? Once you complete these steps, you just might wake up the next morning and find, waiting patiently in your e-mail box, a few job opportunities from employers who are looking for you!

Here’s your agenda:

8-10AM: Spend two hours producing a killer resume, highlighting your special skills and eliminating work experience that is irrelevant to the types of positions you’re currently seeking. You might want to create a few different resumes, if you’re applying for diverse jobs in different fields. See emurse.com for answers to all your resume questions, as well as resume templates and useful examples and tips.

10AM: Start the physical process. If you’re feeling flush, go for a blow dry if you’re a woman or a haircut and/or shave if you’re a man, at your favorite (budget) salon. If you’re watching your pennies, wash, dry and style your hair at home so you look your best

11AM: Women: Have your makeup done for free at the makeup counter in your favorite department store. You might want to at least buy a lip-gloss to thank them. If you’re doing the home-version of this makeover, carefully do your makeup in-house, as if you were going to an important event. Men: Take this time to shave and trim any unruly facial hair.

Noon: Select a fresh, hip, outfit from your closet. Make sure there are pops of color in it — no plain white shirts, or a boring cream shirt and black jacket combos. Feel free to use the news anchor’s trick of wearing a colorful shirt/top and/or tie with jeans or sweats underneath — you’re only going to be shooting head and shoulders. No big prints, and no busy backgrounds. It’s best to stand against a plain colored or brick wall, so no one will be able to tell where you are. Once you look your absolute best, have a friend, spouse, neighbor, whomever, snap several digital photos and download the best on your home computer.

1PM: Serve your photographer lunch — it’s the least you can do for his or her services. While you’re eating, have your photographer proof your resume. You should NEVER send it out without having at least one other person proof it.

2PM: Select an elegant business card template from one of the many free online providers like Vistaprint.com or Bizcard.com. Some sites will print the cards for you free — all you have to do is pay postage. You’ll want these cards to have your name, your e-mail address, and your phone number. No street address, and only include your profession or the position you’re seeking if you have something very specific in mind. Otherwise, leave it open.

3PM: Start your own blog so it will be easy for employers to find you online. Post that fabulous digital photo you just took and a professional profile using information from your new resume. Also, provide snippets, tips and teases from any online articles about your profession that you’ve read recently. Make sure you provide a link to the original article. A few sites that offer free blogs include blog.com, blogger.com and blogster.com.

4PM: Begin your social networking campaign. Post that flattering photo on LinkedIn.com, and fill in all the professional information that site allows you to. Remember to use the job title you’re seeking quite a few times, so that recruiters who are searching for people in your field can find you easily. Send connection requests to people who work for companies you admire. You can do the same thing on a professional Facebook page. If you already have a personal Facebook page, start a professional one that has no pix of your kids, pets or any references to Farmville or Mafia Wars, etc. Find connections and friends in alumni groups, former employer groups and special professional interest groups on these sites, and any other networking sites that pertain to your profession. Search old yearbooks and company directories for ideas about connections.

5PM-on: Step away from the computer. Relax on the couch, kick your shoes off, pour yourself a glass of your favorite beverage and indulge yourself with some mindless TV, reveling in the knowledge that even while you’re sleeping, prospective employers could be searching for you, finding you, and praying that you’ll take the job they’re offering.

“It was a lot of work, and it was tiring, but it was actually a lot of fun,” says Kristen. “When you look good, you feel good. I wasn’t at all ready to go out and find a job before, but now, it’s definitely time! I feel really confident!”

———————————
By Lisa Johnson Mandell

Get a Good Paying Job with No Degree Required

After digging through some research from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, these are the highest paid jobs that don’t require a college degree. Most of the jobs were compiled by the highest median hourly wage, some by average rates. The pay will vary by state, company, and related experience.

Airline Pilot-
No college degree is required to be an airline pilot, but it helps. Military service is also a plus. All airline pilots must possess an airline transport flying license, be at least 23 years old, pass a written and practical exam, and have 1,500 flight hours experience. Being a pilot can be stressful and dangerous. A pilot must be able to work under stress. The average salary for an airline pilot is $135,000.

Air Traffic Controller- Air traffic controllers must take an FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) course and pass a test. Before employment, air traffic controllers must pass medical and drug tests, as well as a security clearance. Air traffic controllers are in charge of the safe departures and arrivals of flights. Air traffic controller occupations can be stressful. To be an air traffic controller, you must be able to work in stressful conditions and make quick decisions. On average, air traffic controllers earn over $50 an hour or about $107,000 dollars a year.

Mine manager- Managers of mines get paid very well. They must plan mining procedures, enforce safety rules, implement training programs, and more. Mine managers must be highly organized and efficient. If you don’t have a college degree, experience working in the mines is required. The average salary for a mine manager is over $100,000.

Life Coach-
A life coach encourages professionals to perform better. These may be business owners, authors, entrepreneurs, or potentially anyone that wants to succeed in a personal goal. No degree is required, just a persuasive, enthusiastic personality and the ability to motivate people. Hard statistics are difficult to come by, but about 20 percent of life coaches claim to make at least $100,000 yearly, according to related industry organizations. Think of the phenomenal success of “The Secret” and it’s understandable.

Manager-
Most management positions that don’t require a degree pay about $38 an hour, or $79,000 a year for an annual salary. Managers need organizational and leadership skills. Being a manager requires a person to be able to interact well with other people.

Industrial Production Manager- It is more difficult to get a position as a production manager in an industrial setting without a degree, but it is possible. Being an industrial production manager requires the same sets of skills as other managers, plus knowledge of the particular industry. Industrial production managers make about $36 an hour or $76,000 a year.

Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Manager-
Transportation, storage and distribution managers work with governmental departments to ensure that products are transported, stored, and distributed according to government policies. Previous experience in the same field is usually required. As with other management positions, transportation, storage, and distribution managers must be able to work well with other people and display leadership qualities. Transportation, storage, and distribution managers earn approximately $33 an hour or $69,000 yearly.

Nuclear Power Plant Operator- A college degree isn’t necessary to obtain a job as a nuclear power plant operator, but it helps. Previous military nuclear experience is also a plus. Nuclear power plant operators are usually trained on the job. The job is potentially dangerous. Nuclear power plant operators earn about $32 an hour or $66,000 a year.

Police or Detective Managers or Supervisors- Just like other management positions, managing a group of police officers or detectives requires a likable personality, ability to get along with others, and leadership skills. A college degree isn’t required, but related work experience is needed. The hourly wage is about $32 and yearly salary is approximately $66,000.

Printing Press Operator- No college experience is needed to be a printing press operator. However, completion of a four year apprenticeship is required. A printing press operator makes over $30 an hour. Most printing press operators work overtime, which can lead to a six-figure yearly income. However, the position is expected to decline in demand over the next decade.

Court Reporter- No college experience is necessary, but training to be able to type 200 words per minute is required. The training usually lasts a few months. The job is expected to grow through 2010. Court reporters can do a lot of work from home. The median hourly rate is about $30. The median salary is about $62,000, but it can hit six figures in some areas.

Managers of Non-retail Sales Workers- Managers of non-retail sales workers oversee the sales department of a company. The position requires organizational and leadership abilities, the ability to work well with others, and previous experience in a related field. The hourly wages are about $30 and the yearly salary is about $62,000.

Firefighter Managers- Firefighter managers oversee a firefighting team. They must be able to work closely with people, resolve conflicts, and exhibit leadership. The job can be stressful. The hourly rate is about $29 and the yearly salary is approximately $61,000.

Sales Representative for Wholesale, Technical, Pharmaceutical, and Scientific Products- Getting a position as a sales representative for technical, pharmaceutical, and scientific products doesn’t always require a degree. Most companies have an extensive on the job training program. This position requires a hard worker, an enthusiastic and likable personality, and salesmanship. Most of these positions require travel, often overnight. The hourly wage is about $29 and the yearly salary is about $61,000.

Casino Manager- Casino managers have to be organized, exhibit strong leadership, intelligent, and have superb people skills. Related work experience is required. The hourly rate is close to $29 and the annual salary is almost $60,000.

So, there you have it. If college just isn’t your thing or you don’t have the time to go to college, here are some possible job options to consider. Good luck in your hunt for the perfect career. 

 
——————

How to win salary negotiations – according to CNN

While some employment opportunities state in black and white what wage an applicant can expect if hired, other positions are grayer in terms of salary.

Talking about money with a potential employer might feel a bit awkward, but coming to terms that leave both sides content is crucial.

Below, experts offer suggestions on how to prepare for salary negotiations.

Timing
Not wanting to look like they are only in it for the money, job seekers often hesitate to break the ice on the issue of salary. Is it OK for a candidate to bring up the topic?

“I get asked this question by friends all the time, and the honest answer is that it depends entirely on the position,” says Paul Peterson, national talent resource manager with Grant Thornton in Toronto.

“If you are a campus hire, you do not ask upfront (first interview) as it can give the impression that you are solely money-focused. For experienced candidates, it’s perfectly appropriate to bring up the topic, especially if you want to ensure that you are at least close in range.”

Anastasia Valentine, a product strategist and career coach from Ottawa, agrees that it is fine to bring up salary during the initial meeting — but not as the first point in the conversation. If the employer doesn’t eventually broach the subject, a tasteful approach is to ask for a salary range.

The dreaded question
Perhaps no question scares candidates as much as, “What salary are you expecting from this position?” The last thing the applicant wants to do is sell himself short, but he also might fear pricing himself out of the running.

Jen Rallis, author of “Ugly Résumés Get Jobs,” suggests turning the tables by asking, “What salary range are you willing to pay for this position?” Once the employer provides a range, the candidate can simply respond, “That’s suitable” if the numbers are in line with his needs.

Likewise, job seekers being pressed for figures can offer the employer a suitable range. To avoid making an uneducated guess, candidates should find out before the interview what similar positions in the field are paying.

“Being prepared and understanding market rates for the worth of experience and skills not only demonstrates confidence and preparation, it also keeps the discussion on a factual versus emotional level,” Valentine says. “This speaks volumes to an employer beyond the request for a specific dollar amount.”

Peterson advises choosing numbers carefully.

“Candidates need to remember the cardinal rule when giving ranges: If you give a range, for example 60-75K, the employer generally remembers the 60 while the candidate remains focused on the 75. Be prepared to give a small range.”

Proving worth
Candidates who land offers at the higher end of a salary range are ones who can demonstrate to an employer that they are worth the price. Some ways to do that include:

Quantifying experience. (“My client increased sales by 8 percent after implementing my marketing idea.”)

Researching the company beforehand so that you can tailor information to its needs. (“I see the company is interested in becoming ‘greener.’ Here are some ways I might be of help.”)

Pointing out any extras that set you apart (advanced training, special certifications, knowledge of a second language, etc.).

Reaching an agreement
Ideally, both sides should have similar expectations regarding salary by the time an offer is issued. Yet sometimes there are surprises.

Lisa Martin of Vancouver, British Columbia, a top talent consultant and coach for Lisa Martin International, suggests this diplomatic approach to dealing with an unfavorable offer:

“Call back the next day (do not use e-mail or any other electronic format where your intent can be misunderstood) and tell the interviewer all the reasons you’d like to work with the company but that after due consideration there seems to be a misalignment with their needs and the value you bring to the organization. Ask if there is a way to bring the two into better alignment. If there seems to be interest, make a counteroffer.”

Rallis agrees that most employers will leave room for negotiation if not on salary then on other benefits. “Ask if a car allowance, cell phone allowance or extra vacation days are available to compensate for a lower salary.”

Finally, try to view negotiations as seeking a win-win situation for all involved. An employer with enough interest to go through all the stages leading up to an offer has already invested a fair amount of time and energy. The company may be just as eager as you to make things work.

By Beth Braccio Hering

How to win salary negotiations – according to CNN

While some employment opportunities state in black and white what wage an applicant can expect if hired, other positions are grayer in terms of salary.

Talking about money with a potential employer might feel a bit awkward, but coming to terms that leave both sides content is crucial.

Below, experts offer suggestions on how to prepare for salary negotiations.

Timing
Not wanting to look like they are only in it for the money, job seekers often hesitate to break the ice on the issue of salary. Is it OK for a candidate to bring up the topic?

“I get asked this question by friends all the time, and the honest answer is that it depends entirely on the position,” says Paul Peterson, national talent resource manager with Grant Thornton in Toronto.

“If you are a campus hire, you do not ask upfront (first interview) as it can give the impression that you are solely money-focused. For experienced candidates, it’s perfectly appropriate to bring up the topic, especially if you want to ensure that you are at least close in range.”

Anastasia Valentine, a product strategist and career coach from Ottawa, agrees that it is fine to bring up salary during the initial meeting — but not as the first point in the conversation. If the employer doesn’t eventually broach the subject, a tasteful approach is to ask for a salary range.

The dreaded question
Perhaps no question scares candidates as much as, “What salary are you expecting from this position?” The last thing the applicant wants to do is sell himself short, but he also might fear pricing himself out of the running.

Jen Rallis, author of “Ugly Résumés Get Jobs,” suggests turning the tables by asking, “What salary range are you willing to pay for this position?” Once the employer provides a range, the candidate can simply respond, “That’s suitable” if the numbers are in line with his needs.

Likewise, job seekers being pressed for figures can offer the employer a suitable range. To avoid making an uneducated guess, candidates should find out before the interview what similar positions in the field are paying.

“Being prepared and understanding market rates for the worth of experience and skills not only demonstrates confidence and preparation, it also keeps the discussion on a factual versus emotional level,” Valentine says. “This speaks volumes to an employer beyond the request for a specific dollar amount.”

Peterson advises choosing numbers carefully.

“Candidates need to remember the cardinal rule when giving ranges: If you give a range, for example 60-75K, the employer generally remembers the 60 while the candidate remains focused on the 75. Be prepared to give a small range.”

Proving worth
Candidates who land offers at the higher end of a salary range are ones who can demonstrate to an employer that they are worth the price. Some ways to do that include:

Quantifying experience. (“My client increased sales by 8 percent after implementing my marketing idea.”)

Researching the company beforehand so that you can tailor information to its needs. (“I see the company is interested in becoming ‘greener.’ Here are some ways I might be of help.”)

Pointing out any extras that set you apart (advanced training, special certifications, knowledge of a second language, etc.).

Reaching an agreement
Ideally, both sides should have similar expectations regarding salary by the time an offer is issued. Yet sometimes there are surprises.

Lisa Martin of Vancouver, British Columbia, a top talent consultant and coach for Lisa Martin International, suggests this diplomatic approach to dealing with an unfavorable offer:

“Call back the next day (do not use e-mail or any other electronic format where your intent can be misunderstood) and tell the interviewer all the reasons you’d like to work with the company but that after due consideration there seems to be a misalignment with their needs and the value you bring to the organization. Ask if there is a way to bring the two into better alignment. If there seems to be interest, make a counteroffer.”

Rallis agrees that most employers will leave room for negotiation if not on salary then on other benefits. “Ask if a car allowance, cell phone allowance or extra vacation days are available to compensate for a lower salary.”

Finally, try to view negotiations as seeking a win-win situation for all involved. An employer with enough interest to go through all the stages leading up to an offer has already invested a fair amount of time and energy. The company may be just as eager as you to make things work.

By Beth Braccio Hering

Top Ten Companies Hiring for Work from Home

Can you imagine how simple your life would be if you never had to drive to work? If you have the self-discipline to work from home, the right opportunity could help you get back those commute hours and gain some extra time each day to do whatever you want.

Wondering where to start? Here are 10 companies hiring for work from home right now:

1. Alpine Access
Website: http://www.alpineaccess.com
Job Title: Customer care professional

This forward-thinking company plans to hire 1,200 new employees in the first three months of 2009. “We look for people who are self-motivated, self-reliant problem solvers who have a strong work ethic,” says Remi Killeen, Recruitment Manager at Alpine Access. Besides offering the flexibility to work from home, Alpine Access, a virtual call center, provides health-care benefits, 401K, flexible work schedules and opportunities to grow. Each worker is an actual company employee with regular work hours and assignments.

2. HireMyMom.com
Website: http://www.hiremymom.com
Job Titles: Virtual assistant, professional blogger

HireMyMom.com is a Web-based job service designed especially for professional working mothers. Founder and President Lesley Spencer Pyle says the two most popular positions HireMyMom.com fills are professional blogger and virtual assistant. Bloggers write about their employer’s company, products, or services, often in response to user inquiries or industry discussion. They use specific “keywords” in their responses to get favorable Web search engine rankings. A virtual assistant is a professional office administrative assistant who can work from anywhere.

3. Sylvan Online
Website: http://www.sylvan.com
Job Title: On-line certified teacher

Do you have experience teaching but aren’t interested in managing an entire classroom? Sylvan Online may work for you. It’s a Web-based tutoring service that seeks certified teachers to tutor various subjects and levels. Job requirements include a current teaching certificate, a Windows-based PC and high-speed Internet access. Sylvan offers paid training on-line and opportunities range from 8 to 29 hours per week.

4. National Shopping Service
Website: http://www.nationalshoppingservice.com
Job Title: Mystery shopper/researcher

Do you love to shop? Do you like to share your opinion? You can make money doing both. A mystery shopper earns perks or a paycheck for helping companies learn about their products and customer service. Paycheck amounts range from “$5.00 to $25.00 for a 15- to 60-minute engagement,” says Matt Wozniak, president and CEO of National Shopping Service. “The vast majority of mystery shoppers do not mystery shop for a living, although we have had a few earning over $40,000 a year. It’s a great way to pick up a free pizza on your way to get the kids from soccer or get some free gasoline.”

5. oDesk
Website: http://www.oDesk.com
Job Title: Various professionals

If you have experience in software development, Web design, language translation and other computer-based careers, oDesk can help you get hired for work at home. Recently featured on “Good Morning America,” oDesk lets job seekers apply for contract jobs, large and small. Job seekers search job listings which include the job requirements, pay and estimated time commitments. “Our business has three components hire, manage and pay,” says Gary Swart, CEO of oDesk. Plus, you don’t have to submit invoices for your contract work, which saves time.

6. Working Solutions
Website: http://www.workingsolutions.com
Job Title: Transcriptionist, customer service representative

Are you a speedy and accurate typist? You might be interested in a contract position as a transcriptionist, someone who types down information from a recording, live reading, or conversation. Established in 1996, Working Solutions hires independent contract agents for various transcription and customer service assignments. You can earn up to $30 an hour if you have the right skill-set and experience.

7. Language Lab
Website: http://www.languagelab.com
Job Title: Teacher, actor, customer service representative

The best way to learn a language is to go someplace where you can practice with native speakers. Why not travel via the World Wide Web? Using a computer and Internet connection, Language Lab lets at-home students visit “English Town,” a virtual city where teachers help them learn English as a second language. Language Lab is looking to hire more English teachers. Shiv Rajendran, director of operations at Language Lab, says, “Teachers need to be native English speakers, Celta or Delta certified with five years of teaching experience.” Celta and Delta certifications are not college degrees, but post-high school certifications. The company also plans to hire actors and part-time customer service reps.

8. 1-800-FLOWERS
Website: http://www.1800flowers.com
Job Title: Customer service representative

If you have a phone headset, a way with people and, hopefully, a love of flowers, consider working for the long-established 1-800-FLOWERS. The company expects to hire temporary, full-time customer service representatives this year. It even promises competitive hourly rates plus a bonus at the end of the temporary assignment.

9. Aetna
Website: http://www.aetna.com
Job Title: Account manager, negotiator, customer service representative, nurse and more

From nurses to contract negotiators to account managers, Aetna is a nationwide company with a variety of telework-friendly jobs to offer. Whether you are medically savvy or are simply good with people on the phone, you could find a position with this reputable company that offers benefits and a possibility of a bonus. Even better, Aetna has been ranked 48th by BusinessWeek “Best Places to Launch a Career.”

10. Elance
Website: http://www.elance.com
Job Title: Legal, Web design, engineering, admin, marketing or writing professional

Elance creates a space where skilled professionals and would-be employers can bargain, haggle and place competitive bids for all sorts of projects. Elance works well for people who can provide video production, Web design, software engineering and other home-office-friendly services. If you have a computer-based skill, get yourself onto Elance.com and let the opportunities start rolling in. Plus, Elance does its best to ensure that the employers on their site are trustworthy and pay on time. And, employers rate workers so, the better work you provide, the better your chance of getting more gigs.
 

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By Molly Hallman

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