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Ten Jobs That Pay $80,000 Per Year …

What do Lauren Bush’s engagement ring, and the Icon CJ3B Army Jeep have in common? They’re two of the things you can buy with $80,000. And while most working stiffs can only dream of plunking down that kind of cash, the median family income in the U.S. brings in only around $50,000 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) there are some career tracks that can bring those luxury visions a little closer to reality.

Here are ten jobs that earn at least $80,000, according to online salary database PayScale.com, all in industries that are expected to grow through 2018.

01. Commercial Jet Pilot
Median Income: $89,600

The sky’s literally the limit if you’ve always dreamed of flying for a living. According the International Airline Pilots Association, there are many paths to the cockpit but you must have a combination of pilot certificates and ratings, as well as flight experience, and a great attitude. Veterans of the armed services are particularly in demand due to the military’s excellent training and the well-rounded education such a background provides. Bonus: the military route won’t cost a thing.
Commercial Jet Pilot Jobs


02. Clinical Trial Manager
Median Income: $88,800

From doctors and nurses, to teachers and statisticians, clinical research professionals can come from a wide variety of careers. Training often happens on the job – including everything from testing drugs, to medical equipment, or other biological products. While breaking into the lucrative field of clinical research does require a Bachelor’s degree, pursuing a clinical research curriculum can be done online or through a community college with flexible hours, according to the Society of Clinical Research Associates (SoCra).
Clinical Trial Manager Jobs

03. Chief Lobbyist
Median Income: $88,700

Public relations professionals take note: if you’re passionate about a cause or special interest your skills are perfectly suited to a lobbying firm. Lobbyists can be found on the staffs of corporations, industry trade-organizations, unions, or public interest groups. Lobbyists are employed to help influence legislators in favor of the industries they represent.
Chief Lobbyist Jobs

04. Security Architect, IT
Median Income: $88,100

Keeping hackers at bay is just one of the daily challenges IT security architects face on the job. Those who set up, test, and enforce corporate security policies don’t have time to get bored. Security needs are ever-changing and an architect needs to be adaptable and keep up with the latest technology. Earning certification via a professional organization such as the SANS (SysAdmin, Audit, Network, Security) Institute will help boost both job and salary prospects.


05. Pharmaceutical Sales Representative
Median Income: $87,900

There are literally thousands of medications available to help diagnose, prevent, and treat disease. It takes a legion of talented sales people to put those drugs into the hands of health care professionals. However, this high-growth field is competitive, and membership in a professional organization such as the National Association of Pharmaceutical Representatives (NAPRx) will help entry-level reps network and learn how to get a leg up in the field.
Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Jobs

06. Oil Well Driller
Median Income: $85,100

The global demand for oil and gas continues unabated. It is possible to enter the field with only a high school diploma as a roughneck or roustabout, and train on-the-job, or for college students to secure an internship or part-time employment as an assistant drillers. Either way, the opportunity for promotions is great for self-motivated, diligent workers.
Oil Well Driller Jobs

07. Six Sigma Black Belt Project Manager
Median Income: $84,000

You won’t have to master the martial arts, but you will have to pass a number of exams on your way to obtaining a Six Sigma Black Belt. This business management strategy is used in a variety of industries from education and government, to healthcare and manufacturing, as a standard of quality to improve processes. The American Society for Quality (ASQ) offers an internationally-recognized certification track that can help you stand out from the competition, not to mention improve your project management skills.
Six Sigma Black Belt Project Manager Jobs

08. Certified Nurse Midwife
Median Income: $82,700

With increasing demand for natural and home-based childbirth, certified nurse midwives provide a holistic approach to delivering babies, working both with obstetricians as well as on their own. But their work doesn’t stop with childbirth. Midwives can provide continuing care and counseling to women of all ages, according to the American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM). Most are registered nurses who have graduated from a nurse-midwifery education program, and are certified by the ACNM.
Certified Nurse Midwife Jobs

09. Auditing Manager
Median Income: $81,400

There are many types of auditing managers but for most thier responsabilites include evaluating and manageing their organizations’s risk, as well as the ethics and values within their organization, according to the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA). Financial auditors analyze and communicate financial information and can be found working for various entities such as companies or individual clients, as well as federal, state, and local governments.
Auditing Manager Jobs

10. Supply Chain Manager
Median Income: $80,000

Helping businesses save money by streamlining processes for manufacturing and delivering goods has become increasingly important during the recession. In addition to a bachelor’s degree, candidates who earn certification in production and inventory management, offered by such organizations as the Association for Operations Management (APICS), will stack the hiring odds in their favor by mastering resource and strategic planning, scheduling, and production operations.
Supply Chain Manager Jobs


Negotiating Salary After Disclosing Current Salary or Salary Expectations

Oops, you already told the employer what you’re making or expect to be making. Now what?

All is not lost! Just because they know your current salary or salary expectations doesn’t mean you can’t negotiate for a fair market value.

Once you’ve broken the sound barrier, so to speak, on your salary, you at least have one advantage: no more tug-o-war between you and your potential employer about revealing salary.

If salary bumped you out of interviewing, it will be hard to gain reentry at all, and even if you do, it might be at the price of an informal pre-interview agreement that if chosen, you’ll consider a pay cut.

If you’re still in the running, however, your “disclosed” circumstances make it doubly important to do your research well. In this case, you don’t need to address salary again until there’s an offer. At that point use researched facts, not your past salary, to substantiate your salary request.

When they’ve decided on YOU, that is, when they’re making you the offer, not your competitor(s), then it’s time to make the move away from the number you disclosed to your ideal compensation. Don’t let your past salary be the starting point for negotiations. Let your own satisfaction and joy of receiving great pay be the motivating force behind you at this point.

Remember that what you negotiate now is what you’ll live with for a long time. A minute or two here can engender months and months of satisfaction — or the opposite if you miss this opportunity. Let’s assume they’ve made an offer. What do you say?

Respond with: “I know I’ve discussed my [current] salary/salary expectations. I want to make sure from this point forward that we’re looking for a compensation package that is not just a ‘raise’ from my previous job, but rather a motivating, fair, value-based salary we will both be satisfied with. Can we agree on that principle?”

Once you have your agreement on that, then follow the rest of the salary negotiation rules.

by Jack Chapman

You should be well equipped with these most in-demand I.T Certifications/Exams, Before searching any job, Visit http://www.ComputerTipsnTricks.com/ITcert.htm for Free Practice Exams, Free Study Material / Books etc.

Job Offer Too Low? Use These Key Salary Negotiation Techniques to Write a Counter Proposal Letter

Here’s an ideal scenario: After a grueling number of job interviews with a prospective employer who is hiring someone for the job of your dreams, you’re again meeting with the hiring manager when she turns to face you and gives you the job offer, but at a salary below what you had expected. You are still excited, elated actually, but what you do next could have consequences for years to come.

Even if the job offer is acceptable to you, most career experts agree that you should take the time to clear your head and consider the offer — away from the pressure of an interview. So, make sure to thank the interviewer for the job offer and express your interest in the job and the company, but ask for some time to consider all the details.

But what if the offer is unacceptable to you? If it really is one of your dream jobs or even simply a job you really want — you should consider moving into the negotiation phase by making a counter proposal to the employer. That’s what this article is all about — taking you through the key negotiation strategies you should apply and providing you with one key tool — the counter proposal letter — as a means to negotiating a better offer for yourself.

Key Salary Negotiation Strategies

  1. Delay salary and benefit negotiations for as long as possible in the interview process. You’ll have more power to negotiate when the field of candidates has been reduced to just you — when the employer is completely sold on you as the best candidate for the position.
  2. Remember that you’ll have your greatest negotiation leverage between the time the employer makes the original offer and the time you accept the final offer. Once you accept an offer, you have little to no room to negotiate.
  3. Don’t negotiate at the time the initial job offer is made. Thank the employer for the offer and express your strong interest and enthusiasm in the job, but state that you’ll need time to evaluate the entire compensation package. Most employers are willing to give you a fair amount of time to review — and if you run across an employer who wants a decision immediately, consider long and hard whether you want to work for such a company.
  4. Do your research. The greatest tool in any negotiation is information. Make sure you have done a thorough job of determining your fair market value for the job you are seeking, the salary range of the job for this specific employer, and geographic, economic, industry, and company-specific factors that might affect the given salary. Also try to obtain information on the employer’s standard benefits package so that you have information beyond salary.
  5. Just do it. While a large percentage of corporate recruiters (four out of five in one study conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management) are willing to negotiate compensation, only a small percentage of job-seekers actually do so. You don’t have to be an expert negotiator to get a sweeter deal; you just need to know the rules and strategies of negotiation.
  6. Negotiate to your strength. If you are a smooth talker (an extravert), call the employer and ask for a follow-up meeting to discuss a counter proposal. If you communicate better in writing, follow our guidelines for writing a counter proposal letter (below).
  7. Always ask for a higher salary (within acceptable limits) than you are willing to accept so that when the employer counters your proposal, the salary should be near your original goal. And when possible, try and show how your actions (once on board) will recoup the extra amount (or more) that you are seeking — through cost savings or increased sales revenue, productivity, efficiencies.
  8. If the salary you’re offered is on the low end — and the employer has stated that salary is not negotiable (probably due to corporate salary ranges or pay grade levels), consider negotiating for a signing bonus, higher performance bonuses, or a shorter time frame for a performance review and raise. Always negotiate base salary first, and then move on to other elements of the job offer.
  9. When presenting a counter proposal to the employer, be sure and include a few benefits that are expendable so that you can drop them in a concession to the employer as negotiations continue.
  10. Remember that even if all salary issues are “off the table,” there are still numerous other benefits you can negotiate, such as moving expenses, paid vacation or personal days, professional training, and more. See the sidebar for the entire list of negotiable items.
  11. Never stop selling yourself throughout the negotiation process. Keep reminding the employer of the impact you will make, the problems you will solve, the revenue you will generate. And continue expressing interest and enthusiasm for the job and the company.
  12. If you have no intention of accepting the company’s offer, don’t waste your time or the company’s by entering into negotiation. Negotiation is a process designed to find common ground between two or more parties.
  13. If you have multiple job offers, don’t put the companies into a bidding war for your services; it rarely works out.
  14. Don’t enter negotiations with the wrong attitude. Always have in the back of your mind that your goal with these negotiations is a win-win situation. You want to get a better deal, but you also need to let the employer feel as though they got a good deal as well.
  15. Given a number of factors, such as the strength of the economy, the size and vitality of the company, and the supply of job candidates with similar qualifications, some employers simply will not negotiate.
  16. Never make demands. Instead, raise questions and make requests during negotiations. Keep the tone conversational, not confrontational.
  17. Be prepared for any of a number of possible reactions to your counter proposal, from complete acceptance to agreeing to some concessions to refusal to negotiate.
  18. You have to be willing to walk away from negotiations. If you don’t have a strong position (a good current job or one or more current or potential job offers), it will be harder for you to negotiate. If you really need or want the job, be more careful in your negotiations.
  19. Once the employer agrees to your compensation requests, the negotiations are over. You cannot ask for anything more or risk appearing immature or greedy and having the employer’s offer withdrawn or rescinded.
  20. Always be sure to get the final offer in writing. Be extremely wary of companies that are not willing to do so. Note: one advantage of writing a counter proposal letter is that you list the terms of the offer in your letter.

Negotiable Elements of a Job Offer

  • Salary
  • Non-salary Compensation: signing bonus; performance bonus; profit-sharing, deferred compensation; severance package, stock options
  • Relocation Expenses: house-hunting, temporary living allowance, closing costs, travel expenses, spouse job-hunting/re-employment expenses
  • Benefits: vacation days (number, amount paid, timing), personal days, sick days, insurance (medical, dental, vision, life, disability), automobile (or other transportation) allowance, professional training/conference attendance, continuing education (tuition reimbursement), professional memberships, club (country or athletic) memberships, product discounts, clothing allowance, short-term loans

Job-Specific: frequency of performance reviews, job title/role/duties, location/office, telecommuting, work hours and flexibility, starting date, performance standards/goals

Writing the Counter Proposal Letter
While there is not a specific formula to writing a successful counter proposal letter, there is a basic structure you can follow for maximum likelihood of success.

First Paragraph: Statement of Interest and Enthusiasm for Job/Company; Key Selling Factors
This paragraph is critical in setting up the tone and direction of the negotiations. Be direct and sincere in expressing your interest for the company, thanking the employer for the job offer. Be sure to follow-up with your key selling points – how you will make a direct and immediate (or longer-term) impact on the organization.

Second Paragraph: Negotiating Item #1 — Offer and Counter Proposal
Restate the particular point from the original offer that you wish to negotiate, followed by your counter proposal — ideally supported through research, a desire to be fairly compensated, or reinforced by the value you will bring to the company.

Third Paragraph: Negotiating Item #2 — Offer and Counter Proposal
Restate the particular point from the original offer that you wish to negotiate, followed by your counter proposal — ideally supported through research, a desire to be fairly compensated, or reinforced by the value you will bring to the company.

Fourth Paragraph: Negotiating Item #3 — Offer and Counter Proposal
Restate the particular point from the original offer that you wish to negotiate, followed by your counter proposal — ideally supported through research, a desire to be fairly compensated, or reinforced by the value you will bring to the company.

Fifth Paragraph: Negotiating Item #4 — Offer and Counter Proposal
Restate the particular point from the original offer that you wish to negotiate, followed by your counter proposal — ideally supported through research, a desire to be fairly compensated, or reinforced by the value you will bring to the company.

Concluding Paragraph:
Conciliatory Comments with Strong Moving-Forward Statement
Stress that your requests are modest and that your potential impact is great — and that you look forward to accepting the job offer and getting a jump-start on the position as soon as possible.

You can also include paragraphs for items of the original proposal that you completely agree on — doing so makes the letter seem more balanced and that you are not picking apart the entire offer.

You can also include paragraphs for any items in the offer that you need clarification- – or where you are seeking more information, typically for complex issues such as confidentiality and non-compete agreements, bonus plans.

Free Sample Job Offer Counter Proposal Letter
What does a salary negotiation counter proposal look like? See our sample counter proposal letter given below:

Lisa Lively
3428 Talamas Drive SE
Clemson, SC 29631

Mr. Frank Ian
Director, Industrial Systems
General Electric Company
41 Woodford Avenue
Plainville, CT 06062

Dear Frank:

I am excited about the offer you extended on October 29, 2009, and look forward to accepting it. I feel confident I will make a significant contribution to the growth and profitability of General Electric’s Industrial Systems division over the short and long term. The terms you have described in the offer are acceptable, with a few minor changes.

Base Salary: $55,000 per annum
The research I’ve done on comparable salaries and cost of living differences between Clemson and Plainville show that a base salary of $75,000 would be the market value of my experience for this position. The current offer of $55,000 would result in a dramatic reduction in living standard. Based on the above, I would like you to consider as a compromise a base salary of $65,000.

Bonus Opportunity: 3% of quarterly team results above stated quotas
Because I expect to have an immediate impact on both cost-savings and increased sales revenues, I would like to suggest increasing the bonus percentage 6% of results above quota.

Relocation Package: GE will compensate up to $10,000 for your reasonable costs incurred for relocation to Plainville, CT. Further, GE will provide temporary living assistance and reimburse for any commuting for up to 6 months from date of hire.
As far as relocation is concerned, I feel your relocation package is quite generous and I appreciate the company’s policy.

Stock Option Plan: developed and implemented after 1 year of service
If this policy is standard for all employees, I can accept it, but again, I am convinced that I will make an immediate impact on a key division of GE, and I would like to see the stock option plan developed in the first six months of employment.

Benefits Package: standard employee benefits package
In discussing the standard benefits package with Jim Cline in HR, I am quite pleased with the GE benefits package. I would only ask that the waiting period for these benefits be waived.

Start Date: December 3, 2009
I am actually available to start to telecommute as early as next week — as soon as we agree on the final aspects of the offer.

If you could see to making these modest improvements to your offer, my performance will show you a handsome return. I am prepared to hit the ground running as part of the GE Industrial Systems team, and achieve the next “home run” for this division.


Lisa Lively

by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D.

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Countering Aggressive Employer Salary Gambits for Salary Information

What should job-seekers do if the employer is insistent about knowing your salary? This article contains proven tips for countering aggressive employer salary gambits.
These days, salary negotiation skills are not just a luxury to get more money, but are critical as you fight for survival in a competitive job market.
Lately, many people have been complaining about being screened out of contention for jobs because they’re “overqualified” (read: highly paid). They’ve asked me about responding to aggressive employer tactics around salary.

I’ve always preached that the first rule of salary negotiations is to avoid salary discussions until the employer offers the job. Talking about salary too early may lead the boss to decide that:

   a)  S/he can underpay you; or
   b)  You are not as qualified as the smooth-talking candidate, who earns $15,000 more than you; or
   c)  You are too expensive, and not worth an interview.
This aggressive employer probing can strike fear into the hearts of job hunters. Let’s look at how to respond to these tactics.

The Employer Demands Your Salary History
This tactic is not new. Many job application forms have boxes for you to fill in your previous salaries. Likewise, job ads sometimes request a salary history. Often, these ads threaten that you will not be considered if you fail to comply.

Solution: Don’t give them the information, but be polite. Leave the salary boxes on the job application blank, but put an asterisk with a phrase like, “would be glad to discuss in an interview.” If you are responding to an ad, write in your cover letter, “I am making a competitive salary for a _______ (your position) with _______ years experience, and I will be happy to discuss salary in an interview.”

Probably, some employers actually do eliminate candidates who fail to furnish salary information. However, we’ve found most employers are interested in finding good talent to solve their problems — with or without a salary history. We think it’s a far better risk to not disclose salary. Revealing it opens you to being screened out because your salary is too high or too low–or you might box yourself into being underpaid.

Telephone Screenings

The second tactic is also not new, but is becoming more common. Employers screen candidates by phone before agreeing to a face-to-face interview. During the screening, the employer will abruptly ask about past salary or current requirements.

Solution: As in a face-to-face interview, your strategy is to convince the interviewer that salary will not be an issue. You might respond, “I’m sure you pay fair salaries, don’t you?” or “I’d like to fit into your salary structure, if you think I’m the best candidate. Can we talk about the job?” If the interviewer is persistent, you might say, “I’m very uncomfortable talking about money at this point, since I don’t want to get screened out because I was making too much or too little.”

If the interviewer still persists, you might say, “Could you give me the range you have in mind? I’ll tell you if we’re in the right ballpark.”

Company Website Forces Salary Disclosure
The third tactic is new. Some company web sites now present job applicants with a screen that demands their desired salary range. Without that information, applicants cannot advance to the next screen and complete the application.

Solution: Give a salary range that you feel will not get you screened out for the position. Negotiate for what you are worth later. This carries some danger of being boxed into a low salary, but good negotiations can compensate for any damage done. Unfortunately, the only alternative is to not complete the application.

Final Thoughts
Many people believe that you’re either born with negotiation skills or you’re not. We hope this small illustration demonstrates that you can learn and improve your past performance, and will spur you to learn more about how to be effective.

by Jack Chapman

You should be well equipped with these most in-demand I.T Certifications/Exams, Before searching any job, Visit http://www.ComputerTipsnTricks.com/ITcert.htm for Free Practice Exams, Free Study Material / Books etc.

Degrees of Salary Negotiation for Job-Seekers Who Can’t Afford to Say No to Job Offers

What if you can’t afford to lose this job offer? Can you still negotiate for a better salary? Sure you can, but some strategies offer more risk than others.

Broke. Flat broke. It happened to Donald Trump and to almost every millionaire you can think of. At one time or other they were broke, busted. But they did not give up negotiating. It can happen to you. It will make you feel that you have to take what’s offered or risk losing the offer altogether. But, getting more money is not a matter of extremes: all or nothing at all. It has gradual increments.

There are varying degrees of negotiating depending on the strength of your negotiating position. The strongest position is to be able to walk away. You can take it or leave it. That puts 90% of the negotiating advantage in your court.

The opposite end of the spectrum is “I can’t afford to say no, no matter how low the offer it, I need a job paying something!”

Obviously there is a minimum acceptable income — bigger than zero — that’s your bottom line. So it’s not true that you have to take anything they offer. We’ll look at your leverage and show how you can trade your leverage in successive increments as your need for security declines.

Double Lock Down
This strategy has a 99 percent chance of non-jeopardy to the job offer it gives away the most negotiating power, but gains the most job-offer security.

I must be frank with you. This job is important to me, and if the offer you just gave me was the best you could do, I would accept it, no question. However, I would like to discuss it a bit provided that you’re comfortable with that. So, just to make sure… I wouldn’t jeopardize this offer by discussing it would I? (Single lock down.) [No Problem.] So, I can be sure, then, that the offer as it stands is a firm one? (Double lock down.)

Single Lock Down
This strategy offers the best combination of safety and negotiating room.

Thank you for your offer. I’m delighted to receive it. May I ask you, there are a couple items I’d like to talk about to see if they could be adjusted, but I would only want to talk about them if you’re okay with it. Can we talk about a few things without jeopardizing the offer as is?

This strategy presents a blend of negotiating and job offer security.

Wow. I’m so glad to get this offer. I presume it’s a firm offer, right? I mean if I talked through a few things right now and took it home to really examine it thoroughly, it would still good tomorrow morning, right? [Yes] Good, because I’m better when it comes to money if I have some quiet unpressured time so I can make sure both of us will be satisfied with it.

No Lock Down
This strategy does present a small risk of losing the offer.

I appreciate your offer, and I’m sure you put some thought into it. Likewise, I’ve been thinking of the work, my unique contribution, and have some ideas of my own. I appreciate your offer of $X, and I think at that level we’ll need to talk through this because we’re just a little bit apart at the moment. Now, talking about money can sometimes be a charged or uncomfortable conversation. That’s not always true, of course, but could I ask you a favor? [Yes] Could you hang in there with me until we get to a good agreement even if it gets uncomfortable. It’s important to both of us, I think, to make sure we’ve got a compensation we’ll both be happy with.

Final Thoughts
Notice, in all of these negotiations, the employer promised, in a way to keep the offer open even if you try to negotiate it higher. You can pick the level of risk you want to take, it comes at the expense of security. But you CAN negotiate and not put the job at risk.

by Jack Chapman

You should be well equipped with these most in-demand I.T Certifications/Exams, Before searching any job, visit http://www.ComputerTipsnTricks.com/ITcert.htm for Free Practice Exams, Free Study Material / Books etc.

Keys to Passive Salary Negotiation For Job-Seekers Who Don’t Like Negotiating

Passive negotiating. So you’re not one who enjoys conflict? In fact you avoid confrontation of any kind? You don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or take advantage of anyone. You’re a giver — not so good at receiving? You’re a helper, not so good at being helped?
Here’s the two things you can do that will not create the dreaded possibility of tension and disapproval, but give you a chance to add dollars to your paychecks.
Some negotiations require action on your part. Documenting, comparing, estimating, promising, etc. Other things are more passive. you want the least amount of negotiating besides saying “OK” (which is simply no negotiation at all!) consider these two passive techniques.
1. Be quiet when it’s time to be quiet. You can still be an agreeable person, just don’t agree right away! Use “The Flinch.” When it comes time — and it will come time to do this no matter how nice you are — to talk money, simply let them talk. You don’t need to break in; don’t need to counter offer; don’t need to do anything proactive, or even reactive: just be quiet. When you hear their offer, repeat it and say “Hmmm.” Think about it. You will probably get a raise on the spot.
2. Ask “What’s the best you can do?” You don’t need to argue, present your evidence, make a case, etc. You don’t need to say “no” to the offer you received or re-negotiate terms or cover fine pits. You don’t need to demand more money or even ask for more money. You won’t push them outside their comfort zone. Simply say, “Wow, thanks for your offer. I look forward to starting. And I’m not a very good negotiator, so I prefer to leave this up to you — I trust you’ll tell me the truth. What’s the best you can do?
There, that’s not so hard, is it? Have fun!
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A Job-Seeker’s Guide to Successfully Completing Job Applications

Hello Friends,
New to job-hunting? This article is designed to provide you with the critical information you need to successfully complete a job application. Should filling out an application be a stressful event? No. If you have a resume, you should have just about all the information you need. If you don’t have a resume, now might be the time to create one.
When are job applications used by employers? For many part-time, entry-level, and blue collar jobs, employers use applications to screen potential employees; they use the information from the applications to determine who they are going to call for a job interview. For other types of jobs, applications are simply the paperwork the Human Resources department requires of all job applicants; employers often ask you to complete an application after they have invited you for an interview.
Why do employers use job applications? Many employers use applications as a way of standardizing the information they obtain from all job-seekers, including some things that you would not normally put on your resume. Your goal is to complete the application as completely and honestly as you can all the time remembering that the application is a key marketing tool for you in the job-hunting process. Remember that some employers will use your application as a basis for deciding whether to call you for an interview.
So, armed with this knowledge, here are the ins and outs of completing job applications.
Arrive prepared with the information you need. Be sure to bring your resume, social security card, driver’s license, etc. You probably will also need addresses and phone numbers of previous employers, as well as starting and ending salaries for each previous job. It’s always better if have too much information than not enough.
Read and follow instructions carefully. Always take a few minutes to review the entire application. Some applications ask for information differently and all have specific spaces in which you are expected to answer questions. Think of the application as your first test in following instructions.
Complete the application as neatly as possible. Remember how important handwriting was in school? Neatness and legibility count; the application is a reflection of you. Consider typing it if you have access to a typewriter. If completing it by hand, be sure to use only a blue or black pen and consider using an erasable pen or taking some “white-out” to fix minor mistakes. Don’t fold, bend, or otherwise mar the application.
Tailor your answers to the job you are seeking. Just as with your resume and cover letter, you want to focus your education and experience to the job at hand. Give details of skills and accomplishments, and avoid framing your experiences in terms of mere duties and responsibilities. Show why you are more qualified than other applicants for the position. Include experience from all sources, including previous jobs, school, clubs and organizations, and volunteer work.
Don’t leave any blanks. One of the reasons employers have you complete an application is because they want the same information from all job applicants. However, if there are questions that do not apply to you, simply respond with “not applicable,” or “n/a.” Do not write “see resume” when completing the application (but you can certainly attach your resume to the application).
Don’t provide any negative information. As with any job search correspondence, never offer negative information. Your goal with the application is to get an interview. Providing negative information (such as being fired from a job) just gives the employer a reason not to interview you.
Always answer questions truthfully. The fastest way for an application to hit the trash can is to have a lie on it, but that doesn’t mean you need to give complete answers either. For example, many applications ask your reason for leaving your last job. If you were fired or downsized, you should try to be as positive as possible and leave longer explanations for the interview; some experts recommend writing “job ended” as the reason you left your last job.
Do not put specific salary requirements. It is way too early in the job-seeking process to allow yourself to be identified by a specific salary request. You don’t want to give employers too much information too soon. In addition, employers often use this question as a screening device and you don’t want to be eliminated from consideration based on your answer. It’s best to say “open” or “negotiable.” You can find lots more information about all aspects of salary and benefits by going to our Salary Negotiation Tips.
Provide references. Employers want to see that there are people who will provide objective information about you to them. Pick your references carefully and make sure you ask if they are willing to be a reference for you before you list them. Where do you get references? From past employers, to teachers, to family friends. Most young job-seekers have a mix of professional and character references, while more experienced job-seekers focus on professional references who can speak of your skills and accomplishments.
Keep your application consistent with your resume. Make sure all dates, names, titles, etc., on your application coincide with the information on your resume. Don’t worry if the application is based on chronological employment while you have a functional resume. Don’t know the difference between the two types of resumes?
Proofread your application before submitting it. Once you’ve completed the application, sit back and take a moment to thoroughly proofread the document, checking for all errors especially typos and misspellings.
One final word. Be prepared for all kinds of job applications, from simple one-page applications to multi-page applications; and some will be clean and crisp copies while others will appear to be photocopied a few too many times. Regardless, take your time and do the best you can, always keeping in the back of your mind the goal of the application getting you an interview.
If you have not heard from the employer within a week of submitting your application, you should follow-up with the employer. There’s truth to the “squeaky wheel” cliché. Ask for an interview and ask to have your application kept on file.
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