job training
Getting paid for job training is likely not something that your boss will do on their own. But, that does not mean that it is completely off the table. Here are three tips that will help you get paid for job training: have all the facts, explain the benefits, and be a team player.

  1. Have All the Facts: If you want a clear answer, ask a clear question. It’s a lot harder to say “no” to a specific proposal, so make sure you’re armed with all of the facts. If you’re interested in attending a seminar or conference, make sure you know the location, date, and cost (including travel and hotel, if needed), and can summarize what you’ll learn.
  2. Explain the Benefits: Explain exactly what you want to get out of the seminar you’re proposing and, more importantly, how that will benefit your work and your company. When it comes to benefits, don’t be afraid to get creative
  3. Be a Team Player: Even though it will cost more overall, it may be easier in some instances to argue for training a group of people. It makes your request seem less selfish and reinforces the idea that you’re looking out for the team. If you have a large group (more than 10 people), some seminar companies will bring events in-house, reducing your travel and hotel costs.

When you approach your boss about paying for job training, think of it as a bit of a sales pitch. Keep it short but professional, and come armed with the facts, including a few bullet points about the benefits. Your boss isn’t always going to say “yes,” but if you know what you want, are sincere, and can demonstrate why training is valuable to the company, you’ll dramatically improve your odds.

thank you letter
When you receive a gift, you send a thank you letter. So why wouldn’t you send a thank you letter during a job search? Sending a thank you letter is a particularly important part of your job search, so you need to take the time to write a nice letter. Because you don’t need to send a thank you for every job prospect you look into, we offer the following guidelines to help you decipher when you should send a thank you letter and when you don’t need to.

  • If you have already gotten the job, you do not need to send a letter. You will be seeing the employer in person and you will be able to thank them then, which will mean more to your employer than a letter.
  • If you have given the company your resume but never heard back (even after following up), then you do not need to send a thank you letter.  If the employer didn’t bother to contact you, then why would you take time to thank them for something they didn’t even do?
  • If you have been contacted, but not given an interview, then you should definitely send a thank you letter. They made the effort to contact you even though you were not the right fit. You should thank them for their consideration.
  • If you have been given an interview but have not received a job offer, then you should absolutely send a thank you letter. They have put just as much effort in as you have at this point, and you should thank them for their consideration and effort.

Sending an appropriate thank you letter will help to ensure that employers remember you and hopefully think of you if future positions open up. There is nothing bad that can come from sending a sincere thank you letter.



You may think that if you search a recruiting agency’s job listings and there are only a few jobs, that a recruiter won’t be able to help you. That isn’t necessarily true. One of the actions a recruiter can take when he gets an exceptional resume, one with unique skill sets, is to skills market that job candidate.

Skill marketing occurs when a recruiter contacts a company that does not necessarily have a job opening, but knows that the company may find a particular candidate to be a valuable asset regardless of not having open positions. Skill marketing can be a good tool to use to get noticed and hired by a company. However, you must be able to present your skill sets clearly on your resume, and keep up to date on trends in your field so that you know which skills may get your foot in the door.

A good recruiter knows what those skills are, too, based on industry trends, but also on building relationships with companies. He/she often has a unique perspective on where a company is headed. For example, company Q may be known for digital printing, but the recruiter may know through conversations with hiring managers that company Q is moving towards other types of digital imaging as well. If you have skills working in digital imaging, the company may just create a position for you to spearhead their new ventures in digital imaging.

So don’t just rely on job aggregators that list job postings from all over the internet. Feel free to use them. But also develop relationships with recruiters. Let them know what you are looking for in in you next job.  If they don’t see any immediate openings for someone with your credentials, ask these recruiters to skill market you. You may just end up with a great job that didn’t even exist before you asked for their help.

professional bio

If you want to highlight your best career achievements concisely, a professional biography is the perfect tool. Your bio’s goal is to give potential employers an overview of your career achievements while presenting a window into your personality. This means that you should keep your bio up to date so that it reflects the most recent you.

To create a great professional biography, just follow these easy steps:

  1. Write in the third person. Instead of using the “I” word, use your full name on the first usage, then you can use only your first name after that. If you want your biography to be more formal, use your last name instead (e.g. “Mr. Martin”). Or, you can just use wording like, “Bill began his career taking on roles of …”
  2. Highlight your most impressive professional achievements, and provide examples. This should include any awards you have won, key promotions, and other major achievements. If appropriate, mention client names, which will make your biography more credible. Be specific in presenting numerical data.
  3. Define a personal brand. Differentiate yourself from other candidates by showcasing your unique professional and personal attributes. List publications for which you have written, articles authored, presentations you have given, speaking engagements, classes you have taught, seminars, and other achievements you are proud of. Be sure to include educational achievements. community service activities and organizational memberships may also be included.
  4. Don’t forget to include contact information. Make it easy for your contacts to reach you. Make your contact information visible and easy to find. If it helps, include a small professional photo.

resume planning

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, The Age Discrimination in Employment Act, protects workers 40 and older from age discrimination with respect to any aspect of employment: hiring, firing, job assignments, salaries, career advancement, benefits and other aspects. However, age discrimination is difficult to prove, so keep an eye on what you put on your resume. Is there any information on there that gives away your age? Listing a job you started in 1972 might be a bad idea.

Look to the obvious. Do not put your birthday, Social Security number or other personal information on your resume. If you live in a community that is well-known as an older community or retirement community, leave off the community name in your address. Many people leave their graduation dates out of the Education section on their resume. The Work History or Professional Experience section and listed skill sets on an executive resume may identify you as an older worker. However, most employers only expect your last 10-15 years of employment history to be listed on your resume, so this in itself may not give away your age.

Affiliations and Awards resume sections can also inadvertently give away your age, especially when they are age-related such as The American Association for Retired People (AARP) or lifetime achievement awards. Keep in mind that AARP membership and lifetime achievement awards are given out well before most American people now retire. Not a good idea to list AARP, just don’t do it.

The publications section on a curriculum vitae can also give resume readers a clue to your age, especially if it is extensive. This is because you would typically list publication dates for each work you have published. If you have 30 years of published works, your readers may assume that you are at least 50 years of age. 50 isn’t old, but you might want to summarize your earlier works in a paragraph format and omit the dates.

Check your resume or curriculum vitae routinely for anything that can easily identify you as an older worker. Do not give an unscrupulous employer any reasons to discriminate against you based on information from your resume or curriculum vitae.

The good news is that there are jobs out there for older workers, so get your resume polished up and go after them!

negotiating salary

Negotiating salary is a scary proposition for some people. It’s also quite difficult if you are rusty on your negotiation skills. I’ve put together a few tips for helping you get through the process with less sweat and more leverage.

Step 1: Don’t discuss salary until the employer makes an offer

A good rule of thumb is to refrain from mentioning salary expectations in your resume. If the the ad you are responding to requests past salaries as some do, then comply. Otherwise, don’t bring up salary at all. If asked during the interview, try to avoid the question. Respond in a manner such as:

  • “If you decide I’m right for the position, then I’m sure you’ll pay a fair and competitive rate, right?”
  • “I’d love to discuss salary with you, but before we get to that, I’d like to know more about the position. Tell me more about ______.”
  • “Is this a formal offer?”
  • “The going salary range for that level of responsibility is between _______________ and _______________. You pay in that range, correct?”

Step 2: Allow the interview to make the offer

She who speaks first loses. In salary negotiations, the first figure mentioned is the starting point. You don’t want to sell yourself short. Let the interviewer make the offer and you go from there. That way, if the salary they offer is way off base and you don’t see any way to meet in the middle, then you can gracefully bow out.

Step 3: Do the research

Don’t negotiate in the blind. After your potential employer makes an offer, do a little research to determine the going salary range for your level of skill and experience. Check a variety of sources for the sake of comparison or you could end up getting less than you deserve.

One useful source of information is the U.S. Department of Labor (Bureau of Labor Statistics). They publish annual salary data by occupation.

You can also perform a Google search to find other salary information online. Be aware that salaries can vary according to location and whether or not will be employed in the public or private sector or in a profit or non-profit organization.

Step 4:
Let negotiations begin

You want to get the highest salary possible. Your employer wants to pay the lowest amount to increase their bottom line. You should strive to be fair while maximizing your own value.

Determine your value to your company and make an offer based on that.

Step 5: Close the deal and keep negotiating

Your salary is only one component of the negotiating process. You can also negotiate perks and benefits such leave time, profit sharing, bonuses, etc.

depressed man

It is rare to complete a career and retire without one or two work history gaps along the way. Illness, family obligations and unemployment can all take their toll on a career. While some employers may see these gaps as a natural part of a career progression, others may look at your resume and question why you weren’t working.  No worries-there are many ways you can easily handle addressing gaps in employment in your career and on your resume.

One way to ensure continuity in your career while dealing with a work history gap is to freelance. You may be able to work on projects at home while caring for a sick loved one. One example of how to list this on your resume:

Freelance Pharmaceutical Project Manager — XYZ City, Maine 1992-1994
Provided project management for the following companies: ABC, DEF, and GHI.

Another way to fill the gap between jobs is to volunteer. When you volunteer, you are still continuing to use skill sets you already have while also learning some new ones. List your work history first on your resume, then prominently list volunteer experience below that. You can make this volunteer experience stand out even more by placing it in a section called Related Volunteer Experience, which can be separate from previous volunteer experiences.

A functional resume will also help you to minimize work history gaps. Creating a functional resume reorganizes your career information into a skills summary, or list of keywords that describe your skills sets. A Professional Experience section divided into a few main areas of expertise will emphasize your experience while a reverse chronological Work History section merely lists your employers, the cities in which they are located and dates of employment. Emphasis is placed on your skill sets and experience instead of dates of employment.

You could still choose to use the common chronological resume format for your resume, and just list why you were out of work for a certain period. Many people do this when taking care of a very sick loved one. However, many people are not comfortable giving out such personal information on their resume. If this is your situation, simply build your resume with the work information you have, and be prepared to discuss gaps in employment during your interview.

work history

A common problem that many people come across, particularly for those recently graduated and entering the work force, is that their work history is not long enough for them to make a full, complete, and impressive resume. But it is nothing to stress over. You can still have an impressive resume without a long or extensive work history.

The biggest key to having an impressive resume without a long work history is to not create fake jobs or fake references. This is the biggest mistake anyone can make. It will only cause you problems in your search and may cost you multiple job opportunities.

You  may want to take a functional resume route. In other words, focus on the skills that you have that will apply to the job you are applying for. You should still include the work history that you have, but the focus of your resume should be on your impressive skills and abilities. The skills would be formatted to look like this in your resume:

Auto Mechanic:

  • Responsible for tune ups, tire changes, and other basic level mechanical work
  • Worked as an oil change technician for 5 years
  • Shade tree mechanic for two years

Used Car Sales

  • Sold pre-owned vehicles on commission for 6 months
  • Examined vehicles for mechanical problems prior to purchase
  • Fixed major and minor issues on vehicles before resell

Not only is this a simple format, but it can fill up your resume, make it impressive and professional, and keep you out of future trouble with potential employers.

 Social networking is one of the fastest growing forms of communication and advertisement. It helps to connect people, including co-workers with each other and employers with their employees. It is also a great way for employers to examine potential employees. In order to have the best odds at getting a job you need to take advantage of social networking as well as creating an impressive resume and acing the interview.

The best way to use social networking for a job is to have a LinkedIn profile. This site is meant for professional and business connections, and is used by businesses, employers, and those searching for a job. If you have a LinkedIn profile, you need to let your potential employers know. List your profile URL on your resume so it will be easy for employers to find you. If they have a difficult time locating your profile, then they may become frustrated and may already have a bad impression of you when you come to an interview.

Since your LinkedIn profile will be for strictly professional and business purposes, it is imperative that you keep the profile looking professional. Reserve your LinkedIn profile for business connections only-save your personal activities for other networking sites, like Facebook or Twitter.  Be warned: employers will not only look at your LinkedIn profile, they will look for you on other social networking sites. Do not say vulgar or offensive things that could jeopardize your chance at getting the job. If you’re going to discuss aspects of your job search on social networking site, be sure you are only making positive posts/comments.  Make your personal information interesting and make it look professional. This will allow your potential employers to see your “human” side and help them decide if you are the right candidate for an interview and the job.

Using social networking sites in your job search is a great way for you to advertise yourself to potential employers. Take advantage of them and give yourself a step up on the competition.


The United States government provides a plethora of career information from the Department of Labor and the Bureau of Labor statistics. The Department of Labor can inform you about Workers’ Compensation, veteran’s assistance programs, disability, retirement, youth employment programs, unemployment, work safety and overtime. Among the Department of Labor’s top 20 requests are information on COBRA health insurance continuation coverage, the Family Medical Leave Act benefits, United States employment statistics, health plans, minimum wage and unemployment insurance. It is a good resource to use when you are not sure about work-related information or your employer has not given you enough information on any of these topics. If you want to make sure that information you have about jobs and working is accurate, the Department of Labor resources can verify it for you.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook provides profiles for many careers that give you job descriptions, educational requirements, median pay, job outlook for particular careers and the number of jobs within that career for a given year. The Occupational Outlook Handbook is one resource to use to find keywords to write a more effective professional resume. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is also an important resource for examining career trends and deciding which career you will choose and what type of education you will need. Statistics on United States productivity, employment and unemployment, pay and benefits, and on the job injuries are also provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Together, the Department of Labor and the Bureau of Labor statistics provide valuable government work information to help keep you working or to get you back to work if you have been laid off.

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5 Surefire Resume Tips To Dazzle The Employer & Get You To The Interview