How to recover from a mistake at work


Surprising places to find tech opportunities



Workers possessing specialized technology skills continue to be in demand. In fact, according to a recent CareerBuilder survey, among companies recruiting college grads, 28 percent are targeting computer and information science majors, making it one of the most sought-after majors in 2014.
While one may assume most of these job opportunities exist in Silicon Valley, there’s no need for college students – or any job seeker with technology experience – to pack up and head west just yet. Opportunities to work in IT can be found across the country, and not just in the obvious places like Silicon Valley; Seattle; and Austin, Texas. What’s more, if job seekers just focus their search on tech companies, they’re limiting their options.
Given how large a role technology plays in the operation of businesses, companies of all types and sizes need technology workers. Whether it’s internal computer support specialists keeping a company’s IT infrastructure running, or computer programmers writing code and creating software programs, IT workers are a central part of many businesses – inside and outside of the technology field.
Here are three examples of metros with big technology needs, and some of the more traditional and nontraditional places where IT job opportunities can be found:
This southern city is becoming one of the hottest emerging technology hubs in the U.S., adding more than 8,000 tech jobs from 2010-2013, according to Economic Modeling Specialists data. It’s also gaining traction as an appealing place for tech startups. According to an article in USA Today, “access to Hartsfield-Jackson airport and the metro area’s low-cost living and working expenses have encouraged many young startups to try Atlanta.”
Another reason job seekers will find a variety of tech opportunities in the area is because of the many notable corporations that are based or have offices there. For example, CareerBuilder’s headquarters reside in Norcross, and the company is often looking for qualified candidates to fill tech positions, such as software engineers, data analysts, IT support technicians and project managers. Other companies in the Atlanta area hiring for technology jobs include Corus360, NCR, Clearleap, Orion Technology Services and PGi.
The proliferation of tech startups, along with the demand for tech workers at large corporations throughout the area, have helped make Atlanta a hot spot for technology opportunities.
While Detroit is most often associated with the auto industry, it’s quickly becoming a tech hub. According to a report by Automation Alley, a technology business association and business accelerator based in Troy, Mich., tech industry employment in Metro Detroit was up 15 percent from the previous year’s study. In an article written about the study, The Oakland Press says, “No other analyzed region had a greater technology industry growth than Metro Detroit in this same period, surpassing Silicon Valley’s technology sector, which lost 10,000 in this time frame.” Technorati reports that companies are putting down roots and investing in the growth of IT here, with Quicken Loans building a technology center and Google establishing a tech hub to help startups connect with Silicon Valley.
And while the auto industry is still dominant, many jobs within this industry are technology related. For instance, Ford Motor Company has an Information Technology career path, and according to Ford, their IT team, “enables our manufacturing facilities to receive parts just-in-time, customers to check the status of their vehicles online, and empowers employees to facilitate the sale of millions of vehicles.”
Indianapolis isn’t necessarily a city that’s known for its technology jobs, but soon it may be. According to data from EMSI, the metro has experienced 12 percent growth for IT occupations from 2010-2013, higher than the national average (7.5 percent), and it’s looking as though this hiring trend will continue. A recent Robert Half Technology survey found that 25 percent of Indianapolis-area chief information officers plan to expand their IT teams in the second half of 2014, up 11 points compared to projections from the previous six-month period (January – June 2014).
One specific industry in need of tech workers in the Indianapolis area is health care. While doctors, nurses and other medical professionals usually come to mind first, technology is an integral part of the medical field, and thus workers are needed to fill these roles. For instance, the Information Services division of hospital system Franciscan Alliance is based in the Indianapolis area, and they are continuously hiring for IT positions, such as information security technologist and systems engineer.

While some metros may be better known for technology opportunities than others, tech centers are popping across the U.S., and job seekers may not need to venture far from home to find a rewarding career in IT.

Surprising places to find tech opportunities


How One Man Earns Up To $1,000 A Week By Standing In Line

Sample sale? Concert tickets? He's got you covered.

By Business Insider

Waiting in Line
By Maggie Zhang

Good news: You may never have to wait in line for Shake Shake, Cronuts, or iPhones, ever again.
Robert Samuel, New York-based founder of Same Ole Line Dudes (SOLD Inc.), will wait for you.

Samuel is a "professional line sitter." He waits for anything, from sample sales to Saturday Night Live tickets. Samuel charges $25 for the first hour and $10 for each additional half hour. In one week, he can make up to $1,000.

Samuel got into this business two years ago, when he lost his job as an AT&T sales representative and needed a new way to make extra cash. When the iPhone 5 came out, he put an advertisement on Craiglist offering to wait in line for it for $100.

Hours before he purchased the iPhone, Samuel's original customer cancelled on him, but decided to pay him anyway. Samuel was ready to leave the line, but decided to resell his spot.

By 8 a.m. the next day, after 19 hours of waiting, Samuel had earned $325 from selling his spot, inviting his friends to come down and sell their spots, and selling milk crates for $5 a piece to people who were tired of standing.

Samuel found this venture so profitable that he put a name to it and started SOLD Inc. in December 2012. It's not his full time job - he also works as a concierge for a luxury building in Brooklyn - but it's been a venture that he's hoping to grow.

Samuel's friends have even chipped in to help. "[They] have turned into my employees, and they pretty much do a great job," says Samuel. When he gains a new customer, he now sends a mass text out to about a dozen friends to see who wants the job.

One dedicated friend-turned-employee waited in line for a whopping 43 hours for a Shark Tank audition in Denver, earning the company $800.

More high-paying gigs like that began to roll in when the Cronut craze started last summer in New York City. For $60, Samuel and his line waiters offer to pick up two of the delicious pastries and deliver them straight to their clients. From this service alone, SOLD Inc. can make upwards of $240 per week.

Surprisingly, not all of Samuel's clients are rich. "It's all everyday people," he says. "Sometimes I get a customer who can't get out of work on time to wait for a movie premiere, or somebody on the Upper East Side who really wants a new Xbox but doesn't want to stand in the cold for seven hours before it goes on sale. It's a whole medley."

Even if Samuel isn't hired to wait in line for a big event, he will still go, just to hand out business cards. "I'm very grassroots," he explains. "When there's a line that goes around the block, I go and work the line." When he approaches people, he asks them, "Are you hot, tired? Don't want to do this again? I'll do it for you."

Samuel believes there's no such thing as overpromotion. "You have to consider everybody as a potential customer," he says. "Even if they don't take the card, I'll tell them our name. They can't unhear it, so I'll be as vocal as possible. That's business for us in the long run."

Social media works wonders for him as well. "I always tell whoever is working an assignment to send us pictures of where you are," says Samuel. "We post them to reinforce people's trust in our company and brand, and we also send the photo to the customer to show what they avoided by hiring us." In addition, he writes the name of his company in chalk on New York sidewalks, especially in SoHo near the Cronut bakery, sample sale locations, the Apple store, and subway entrances.

In the past, most line waiters were hired off Craigslist or Task Rabbit. Samuel's company is different because he put a name to it. "It's not like Joe Smith, some random person you found on Craiglist, is standing in line for you," says Samuel. "We are the Same Ol Line Dudes - people hear and talk about us, and I'm grateful for that."

7 in 10 Employees Value Skills Training More than Degrees

Glassdoor Employment Confidence Survey (Q2 2014)

By Glassdoor

Stack of diplomas

While 82% of college grads believe having a degree has helped them in their career, the value of an education remains an ongoing national debate. In fact, although most employees believe a degree is important, a majority of employees (72%) believe specialized training to acquire specific skills is more valuable than a degree in the workplace. This is according to Glassdoor's Q2 2014 Employment Confidence Survey¹, revealing how employees value their own education and higher education overall as it relates to their careers and the workplace.

Each quarter, the Glassdoor Employment Confidence Survey also monitors four key indicators of employment confidence: salary expectations, job security, the job market and company outlook.

How Employees Value Education

When it comes to what's most important to advance their career and earn a bigger paycheck, more than three in five (63%) employees report learning new skills or receiving special training, compared to those who report receiving a college or graduate degree (45%), transitioning careers or looking for a new job or company (38%), and networking with professionals (34%), among other options.

In addition, employers and hiring managers may be looking for something other than a specific degree as three in four (74%) employees believe their employers value work experience and related skills more than education when evaluating job candidates. Plus, half (48%) of employees with a college degree believe their specific degree is not very relevant to the job they do today, while four in five (80%) report that they have never been asked about their college GPA (grade point average) during a job interview. More than half (53%) of employees also believe a graduate degree is no longer necessary to be offered a high-paying job.

Despite this, employees acknowledge that higher education still adds value in the workplace, as more than half (56%) also believe if they had a higher level of education, they would be more successful in their career.

"The national conversation about the value of higher education and gainful employment is a topic alive within companies. While education is still valued as one piece of the puzzle for a successful career, we're seeing a shift in the workplace in which most employees feel gaining the latest skills relevant to their job and industry is more valuable to help advance their careers, and they're feeling it's what employers are truly seeking to really help move business forward," said Rusty Rueff, Glassdoor career and workplace expert. "For any employee looking to earn a bigger salary or move up the corporate ladder, they should do their research on how their industry is evolving, including identifying specific skill sets that are in demand. Going back to school may be one way to learn and improve, but there are also non-traditional ways, such as certificate programs, bootcamps, webinars, online non-degreed courses, conferences and more."

Pay Raise Expectations Drop

Down seven percentage points from last quarter, Glassdoor's Q2 2014 Employment Confidence Survey reveals 37% of employees expect to receive a pay raise or cost-of-living increase in the next 12 months. This is down from last quarter, when it was at its highest level in more than five years at 44%. More than two in five (43%) do not expect a pay raise, while one in five (20%) are unsure.

Job Market Confidence Remains High and Steady

Though employees are not as optimistic as last quarter about pay raises in the next 12 months, employees' confidence (including those self-employed) in the job market remains steady. More than two in five (44%) employees believe it is likely they could find a job matched to their experience and current compensation levels in the next six months, remaining unchanged since Q1 2014.However, among those unemployed but looking, 32% believe it is likely they could find a job in the next six months, up from 31% since the first quarter.

Check out more from our Q1 2014 Glassdoor Employment Confidence Survey, including our survey supplement which provides a detailed quarter-by-quarter breakdown of results.

¹ The Glassdoor Employment Confidence survey is conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Glassdoor.

23 Daily Habits That Will Make You Smarter

How to be a genius, like this cat

black cat with glasses lying on books

Getting smarter isn't something that happens overnight. Instead, you have to build your intelligence every day through intentional daily habits.

In a recent Quora thread, "What would you do to be a little smarter every single day?", readers shared their advice on good habits you can establish.

Here are some simple actions that could help you become a smarter person.

1. Come up with 10 ideas every day. Think about how to reduce poverty, how to solve a daily problem you have, interesting movie ideas, or anything. It doesn't matter what subject your ideas fall into, as long as you're working your brain and your idea muscles. Your list might even lead to a new startup idea or writing subject. -Claudia Azula Altucher

2. Read the newspaper. It will help you become more aware of the important things happening around the word. You'll learn to form your own opinions and connect the dots between seemingly unrelated things. You'll also have a lot more to talk about at parties or with friends. -Manas J Saloi

3. Play devil's advocate. Take something you recently learned and generate a unique opinion on it that wouldn't immediately come to mind. Try to support it with evidence, and be open to the idea that new evidence will change your opinion. Repeat this every day, and you'll become much better at thinking outside the box.

If you're feeling stuck, try reading and critically evaluating the editorial section of papers. They will help you understand how other people form arguments and express their opinions. -Peter DePaulo

4. Read a chapter in a fiction or non-fiction book. Aim to read a book a week. You can always find pockets of time to read, whether on your daily commute or while you're waiting in line. Goodreads is a great way to keep track of everything you read and to also find a community of other readers.

Fiction books are great for understanding characters and getting absorbed into another perspective, while non-fiction books are great for introducing you to new topics, from politics to psychology. -Claudia Azula Altucher

5. Instead of watching TV, watch educational videos. Sometimes, it's more fun to watch things about a subject you love than to read about it, and you can learn a lot from other people's experiences.

You can find fun, educational videos on Khan Academy or watch TED talks. You can also find good ones on Youtube's channel SmarterEveryDay. In videos, the information is often presented in a digestible, memorable way, so you can be assured they'll stick. -Hendrik Sleeckx

6. Subscribe to feeds of interesting information. Follow interesting voices on Facebook and Twitter, so you'll always learn something new when you look at your newsfeed or dashboard. For example, if you want to keep up with the latest news in science and technology, subscribe to the "I F***ing Love Science" page on Facebook. You can also follow email newsletters, such as Cal Newport's Study Hacks and Today I Found Out. -Saurabh Shah

7. Check in with your favorite knowledge sources. Every day, scroll through Quora, Stack Overflow, specialty blogs, or any other sources that satiate your hunger for knowledge. This is an extremely easy habit, because other users are curating the content for you, so all you have to do is follow the ones who write about topics interesting to you. Try using Pocket to save articles for later reading, and then try to get through them before going to sleep at night. -Manas J Saloi

8. Share what you learn with other people. If you find someone to debate and analyze ideas with, you can add to each other's knowledge and gain new perspectives. Also, when you can explain ideas to someone else, it means you've definitely mastered the concept. You can even share what you learn without directly talking to someone. Many people like to start blogs so they can engage others in online dialogue. -Mike Xie

9. Make two lists: a list of work-related skills you want to learn now and a list for things you want to achieve in the future. Google Docs is a convenient way to keep track of your lists. For both, decide what you want to learn, compile sources that will teach you these skills, and then work on them each day.

For example, if you work in a computer-science related field, your first list might suggest you learn something new in Python one day or that you try using MongoDB another day.

For your second list, you can think about long-term goals, such as whether you want to go into marketing or architecture. Write down the small steps you need to take to reach that goal, whether it's by reading the experts in those fields or taking classes at a local college. -Manas J Saloi

10. Make an "I Did" list. At the end of each day, write down what you completed. This will help you feel better about all the things you accomplished, especially if you're feeling discouraged. It will also help you reflect on how productive you were and how you can re-structure your to-do lists for the next day. -Claudia Azula Altucher

11. Write down what you learn. You can start a blog or use an app like Inkpad to help you keep track of everything you learn. Not only will this be a great way to keep a record of everything you're doing, but it's also a good source of motivation to keep you accountable. You will want to learn more if you know that at the end of the day you'll have to write about it. -Manas J Saloi

12. Stimulate your mind. Going on a daily run is a great way to get your brain flowing and to keep your mental health in shape. It's also a great way to think through difficult decisions or process new information. -Rick Bruno

13. Take online courses. Check out this list of the most popular online courses for professionals. Make sure you don't overload yourself; commit to one to two and truly focus on them. The syllabi will also keep you on track, so you know you will be doing something every day, whether it's listening to a lecture or working on an assignment. -Manas J Saloi

14. Talk to someone you find interesting. Even if they're strangers, don't be afraid to approach them. Ask about their interests and how they discovered them. Oftentimes, you learn the most from people you barely know. -Manas J Saloi

15. Hang out with people who are smarter than you. Spend as much time as you can with smart people. Every day, you should strive to have a coffee date or walk with someone who inspires you.

Always be humble and willing to learn. Ask as many questions as possible. If you are always around people who are more knowledgeable than you, you'll have no choice but to learn more. -Manas J Saloi

16. Follow your questions. If you see or hear about something cool, don't just let the moment pass. Follow up - pursue your curiosity and find the answer to your question. -Mike Xie

17. Use a word-of-the-day app. You will increase your vocabulary, which can help you in competitive tests like the SAT or GRE, or even just sound more eloquent in daily interactions.

You can also try to learn new vocabulary in a different language. Every day, try to add five to 10 more words to the foreign language you are trying to pursue. You can use LiveMocha, Basuu, or DuoLingo. -Manas J Saloi

18. Do something scary. "Getting out of our comfort zone always makes us wiser." Every day, push yourself a little further. Try public speaking by joining a ToastMasters class, lead a meeting by volunteering a proposal at work, or reach out to someone you really admire by sending a quick letter or email. -Claudia Azula Altucher

19. Explore new areas. If you can't travel every day, at least try to find something new within your hometown. You'll meet different people, learn new facts, and understand something new about the world. It's a lot more productive than staying at home and watching TV. -Manas J Saloi

20. Play "smart" games. Some games, like chess and Scrabble, expand your mind. Challenge yourself when you play them. For example, play Scrabble without a dictionary. You can also solve puzzles via games like Sudoku, 2048, and Doors. -Saurabh Shah

21. Set aside some time to do nothing. Oftentimes, sitting in silence can help you get inspiration and reflect on your day. -Claudia Azula Altucher

22. Adopt a productive hobby. If you have something you can work on every day, from knitting to fly fishing, you can actively learn more just from doing. For instance, you may try to play a new piece of music every day, read a physics textbook, write a few more pages in your novel, or learn a new computer skill. -Mayank Rajput

23. Apply what you learn. If you recently learned a new coding skill or how to play an instrument, make sure you are using that skill in your life as often as possible. Learning by doing is one of the most effective ways to become smarter. -Himanshu Pal

15 Things You Should Never Say In A Salary Negotiation

Never throw out the first number

By Business Insider

Woman handing man money

You secured the interview, brought your A game, and landed the job. Now comes the hard part: negotiating your salary.

"Salary negotiations are like any other type of negotiations - except the words you use can be extremely powerful, since there is a personal aspect to the discussion," says HR expert Steve Kane. "The negotiation is not over the worth and price of an inanimate object, but rather the value of you to some enterprise."

Here are 15 words and phrases that may hurt more than they'll help in a salary negotiation:

"I accept [the first offer]."

Remember: This is a negotiation, so be careful not to end it before it has even had a chance to start, says Ryan Kahn, a career coach, founder of The Hired Group, and author of "Hired! The Guide for the Recent Grad."

"I'm looking for X."

Never throw out the first number. "You want to leave room for discussion," says Lynn Taylor, author of "Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job."

Kahn agrees. "A good negotiation strategy is to let the employer offer the first number. That puts you in a position to see the number they are offering and gives you the opportunity to negotiate it up from there."

"That's all you're offering me?"

Never say this, or anything else that will offend the employer - even if you think the salary they're offering is laughable.


"In negotiations, you'll have to be willing to be flexible and provide counteroffers when the offer isn't in line with what you are seeking," says Kahn. By saying "no" you could be quickly closing the door on the offer at hand.

"I have other outstanding offers right now that are much more lucrative."

Even if it's true, you shouldn't use "that card" to pressure the employer, Taylor says. "Only discuss the offer at hand."

And if you don't have another offer on the table, you'll definitely want to avoid this tactic. "You could shoot yourself in the foot," Taylor says. "The hiring manager may ask you to elaborate and if you're bluffing, it'll be hard to save face."

"Bottom line"/"This is my final/last offer."

These phrases sounds like threats, and they typically close out the negotiation, says Kane. "If you say any of these things, and the demand is not met by the employer, the negotiation will be over and you'll have to be prepared to walk away."

"I know this may sound a little aggressive, but..."

If your rationale is based on fact, you should never have to preface your request with this type of disclaimer.

"I need..."

You should never say you need X amount more because of expenses or debt. "Don't bring in personal issues; this is about your merit and the job fit," says Taylor.

"I hate to have to ask for this, but..."

True, it might not be the easiest thing to ask for more money - but saying you "hate to have to do it" is a flat out lie. Plus, it's just a really terrible way to preface the negotiation.

"I think..."

Don't use "I think" or "maybe" or any other "uncertain words," says Jessica Miller-Merrell, editor of and CEO of Xceptional HR. "Always speak confidently."

"The least I'd be willing to accept is X."

If you tell them the parameters of the lowest offer your willing to take, that could be what you'll get.


Have confidence in yourself. "If you know your value and what you'll be bringing to the company, there will be no need to apologize for asking for more," Kahn says.


These words are demeaning or disrespectful to the employer, Kane explains. "The employer may decide they don't want you to work there after all because of the lack of respect you show them."

"But I'm worth so much more."

Of course you'll want to mention your value in a salary negotiation - but try to say it in a way that isn't so obnoxious. You never want to come off as arrogant.

"You might not think I'm worth this, but..."

Just don't.

"You want to be direct, polite, and concise in your negotiation to show that you are competent and a valued member of the team," Miller-Merrell concludes.

The 10 Worst Questions to Ask During An Interview

“How important is attendance?”

By Glassdoor

bad job interview   concept

By Heather Huhman

You're sitting in an interview, and the hiring manager is about to wrap everything up.

Just when you think you're free to leave, the hiring manager asks, "Do you have any questions for me?"

You're speechless.

In an effort to think on your feet, you blurt out, "How much does this position pay?" Immediately you realize this probably wasn't the best question to ask once you see the expression on the hiring manager's face.

There are two mistakes job seekers make during the interview process: They don't have questions prepared for the interviewer, and they ask the wrong questions.

As you prepare for your next job interview, here are 10 of the worst questions you should avoid asking a hiring manager:

1. "Can you tell me more about your company?"

Before any interview, the first thing you must do is research the company. If you ask this question, the hiring manager will think you didn't do your homework before the interview.

2. "How much vacation time would I receive?"

Never ask about additional perks or benefits during a job interview, especially not the first one. This question should only be asked if the the hiring manager brings up the discussion first.

3. "How quickly could I earn a raise?"

Again, this question is a big no-no. Questions regarding compensation should not be asked unless the hiring manager brings up the topic.

4. "Do you perform background checks?"

When you apply for a job, it should be a given that the employer will perform a background check. In fact, 69 percent of employers perform background checks on all job candidates.

5. "Who is your company's competition?"

If you've done your research prior to the interview, you shouldn't have to ask this question. Hiring managers expect you to have a good idea of how their company is positioned before you enter the interview.

6. "How important is attendance?"

Asking about attendance during an interview can send a red flag to the interviewer. You should automatically assume you should arrive to work on time and avoid taking off unnecessary vacation days.

7. "Can I work from home?"

If a company allows employees to work from home or telecommute part of the week, it's typically stated in the job description. There's no need for you to ask this question during a job interview.

8. "Do you have casual Fridays?"

Casual Fridays and other perks like company parties and entertainment are things you can learn about once you're hired. Save this question for your manager or coworkers once you're hired.

9. "What is your review process like?"

Although you might be genuinely concerned about your performance or how managers give feedback, avoid asking questions about the review process. This can make hiring managers worry about how well you'll perform on the job once hired.

10. "I don't have any questions for you."

Whatever you do during an interview, don't tell the interviewer you don't have any questions. Every hiring manager expects candidates to have at least one question to ask at the end of the interview.

Asking the wrong question during an interview can definitely cost you a job offer. By avoiding these questions and doing your research, you'll be better prepared with thoughtful questions to ask at the conclusion of a job interview.

4 Ways to Get Over Your Fear of Cold Calls

4 Ways to Get Over Your Fear of Cold Calls

Follow this step-by-step guide to banish fear of cold calls 

young man sitting on sofa with...

One problem that both Millennials and Boomers frequently share is the need to widen their network. Millennials, being young in their careers, generally don't have much of a network, and Boomers may have too narrow a network – for instance one deep in one industry but not wide across industries. When in a job hunt, a network can make the difference between just being a nameless resume in a pile and having a shorter, more successful job search with real people personally invested in and pulling for your success. Here are some tips to consider when preparing your own networking plan.

Everyone seems to accept the value of networking, but most tend to approach it in a very traditional meeting manner. They attend mixers, networking events at local meeting halls, or events that attract mostly job seekers rather than hiring managers. They spend time, money and energy in shallow networking, missing the real value of developing a personal relationship – one that puts you in direct contact with people of influence who can add something - anything – to enrich your job search.

The best way to do this type of deeper networking is from your desk, computer and phone not by standing in a meeting hall. As the career center of a prestigious university told one young person I know – find the people who have the jobs you might want 10-15 years from now and start talking to those people.

There are several ways to find these type of influential people from LinkedIn to industry association lists, references from your own contacts, and even cold calling a desired job title of someone in a company of interest. Many job seekers are afraid to call total strangers, but as my young colleague found – people like being contacted, particularly if you're asking an honest question and not formally seeking a job on the call.

Related Article: How I asked a Recruiter what recruiters want in a candidate.

Still nervous about calling someone you don't know? Here are 4 reasons to initiate a cold networking call with a potential new contact:

1. Get a question answered. Generally people are flattered to be asked a question as a perceived expert. Introduce yourself, and state that the reason for your call is to gain some information about a career aspect of your desired profession. Sample questions might include "Do you feel I need extra certification to get started in this field?", "Can you let me know if you feel it's worthwhile to join a particular membership organization?", or "I'm wondering which local companies you think might be leaders in this field that I should consider in pursuing potential opportunities?" The question should be one you really want answered, and without keeping the person too long on the phone, it should lead to at least one or two followup questions that allow you to have a quick,meaningful conversation.

2. Gain feedback. This is similar to getting a question answered, but more personal. You might ask the person to review your resume and let you know what skills they think you might be lacking or need to strengthen. If they did have a job open, could they role play with you and give you honest feedback on what their reaction might be to your resume? Since there is not official job open, their feedback may be more honest, and if you're really lucky they may know of a job position soon to be opening up. Either way, they'll be giving you hints of key attributes hiring managers may be seeking and how to better position yourself in the tight job market.

3. Get Industry Insights or Background. This is great for people looking to enter new careers. For instance, I was considering going back into the field of Association Management during my last job hunt. I made sure to contact association executives in several fields to get their insight into the viability of the career change.

4. Put Yourself on the Radar Screen. Just by reaching out with humility and genuine interest to an influential stranger you'll differentiate yourself as someone bold and willing to take risks. You must start the conversation by introducing yourself and letting the person know why you chose them for the call, as well as asking if they have the time to spare. If all the answers are in your favor, you've met a friendly person who will now know your name. And if you're lucky, your new phone "mentor" of the moment, may have a networking suggestion that can lead you to your next hiring manager, or help you in a career/life decision.

Related article: Embracing hard choices as special opportunities to become distinctive.

Never just hang up. The first conversation should be short – likely no longer than 15 minutes. After that time, it's smart to thank them for taking time out of their busy day. You can then ask for more time at a later date when they can fit you in for a longer conversation, or thank them for their time and ask if they can recommend anyone else you should speak to about positive career suggestions. If you only get one new name, it's someone who can continue to help you widen your network with people who can make a real difference in your career hunt.

Important Note: These types of calls are NEVER to HR people. You're targeting people known as "subject matter experts" - people in your desired career, in a desired company, or with a future goal title who can help provide insight on what it takes to succeed in their chosen and your desired career path.

People generally like to help other people. Effective networking means finding the people who can help without it feeling like an imposition on their time. For most, networking has become an evening out hoping to meet someone and generally falls flat. For great networkers, however, effective networking is more likely to be done on the phone. Making a great phone call is a skill most Millennials lack and many Boomers forget to use to their advantage. So the next time you're tempted to attend a local networking event – don't necessarily decline, but before you accept, make at least one new phone call.

The do’s and don’ts of networking


9 Tips to Negotiate Your Starting Salary

It pays to know the risks and benefits

By Linda Whitney

How would you like to get a raise before you have the job offer? It is possible, and candidates are doing it right now. Employers are not averse to increasing pay packages to secure the right candidate.

If you have the kind of specialist skill or unique experience that employers are desperately seeking right now, it could pay to negotiate over the starting salary for a new job. Here's how:

1. Benchmark your value. Check vacancies that require your skills and experience, and read relevant trade press articles and statements by recruiters that specialise in your sector. If it turns out that you are a desirable commodity, you stand a good chance of being able to negotiate up the salary quoted in vacancies.

2. Apply for jobs as normal, but try not to get involved in discussions about salary at initial interviews. Asking about salary before you have been offered the job is usually risky because it looks as though you are only interested in the money. For those who plan to negotiate the salary upwards, it's an even bigger mistake. You don't want the employer to rule you out at an early stage because they fear you will be expensive.

3. Meanwhile, prepare your case. Start with the current pay rates for employees like you, and then factor in the extra value you bring based on your special skills, experience, network of contacts, visibility within your sector and greatest successes, expressed in terms of financial benefit to your employer. Work out the amount of extra salary you ideally want, and have solid evidence that shows you are worth it. Base your reasons on the benefits you will bring to the new employer, not the benefits for you.

4. Then work out the amount you will settle for as a compromise. Look at the whole remuneration package, including benefits. If they will not pay the total salary you are looking for, they may be persuaded to make up the shortfall in increased benefits so as to bring the whole package up to a level that suits you.

5. Wait until they offer you the job. Simon Horton, author of Negotiation Mastery, says, "You are strongest when they have offered you the job but not named a figure. Then get in first with a high figure, otherwise they will start low and it will be hard to negotiate upwards." State your ideal figure. You may be lucky; they may simply accept.

6. If they demur, ask why and listen carefully to their reasons. Be prepared to explain why you are asking for more money. Again, stress the benefits for the employer. It will make you a stronger negotiator if you do not see it as an oppositional process. Horton says: "If you enter a deal with a win-lose approach, you will invoke a win-lose approach from the other party." Realise that you are both on the same side – they want you as an employee and you want their job. Then it just becomes a process of working out how you can achieve your mutual goal – both sides win.

7. Have a plan B, such as taking a job with another employer or staying with your existing job. If you have an alternative offer, it may be worth mentioning it. Whether you choose to do this or not, the knowledge that you have an alternative plan will make you a more confident negotiator.

8. Be flexible, but do not compromise too soon or too easily. Be prepared to give them time to think, and to ask for time to think yourself.

9. If all else fails, be prepared to walk away.

Making A Good First Impression With Your Interviewer

10 time-tested tips

Young woman having a job interview

By Susan Ricker, CareerBuilder writer

Meeting with a job interviewer evokes a strange feeling: This person, who you've likely never met before, has a strong hold over your future, and you want them to like you and approve of you. After all, that approval can translate to a job offer and other potential career perks.

What if you had a checklist of the important criteria the interviewer is hoping to see? A cheat sheet of what the interviewer is looking for in a star candidate?

From the time you get offered an interview to the days following your meeting with the hiring manager, there are some key steps to take that will ensure you meet the hiring manager's criteria, as well as stand out from the competition. Ford R. Myers, president of Career Potential, LLC and author of "Get The Job You Want, Even When No One's Hiring," offers job candidates his 10 guidelines to make a good - and lasting - first impression:

1. Be mindful of the other person's time. Ask how much time the other person has to devote to the meeting, and hold to that time frame.

2. Ask questions about the company and the open position.

3. Dress appropriately.

4. If you were referred by a mutual friend or colleague, reference that person in positive terms. This helps build a "personal bridge" and establish rapport.

5. Take notes throughout the interview. This shows that you are interested and engaged enough to be taken seriously.

6. Arrive to the meeting on time. This shows that you respect the other person and that you are a true professional.

7. Be fully prepared. Learn everything you can in advance about the company, the opportunity and the interviewer.

8. Make a connection between your past successes and how they relate to the prospective employer's needs and challenges.

9. Present yourself as a solutions provider rather than an applicant. Offer to be of service, and show genuine interest in helping the interviewer solve his business problems.

10. Follow up with a timely thank-you note. This is a must.

From Myers' tips, it's clear that hiring managers are most likely to consider candidates who demonstrate an actual interest in the position and company and show respect for the interviewer's time and expertise. Also key to a job candidate's success is creating a personal bond with hiring managers: Any common bond you can establish with them makes them more likely to view you as a good fit for their organization and someone they can relate to and work alongside.

Remember that the interview isn't a time to coast by on your intuition or something that you can get through by faking it. These opportunities are still infrequent for many job seekers and shouldn't be treated lightly. "In today's tight job market, so few job seekers actually make it to the interview stage," Myers says. "By incorporating these simple suggestions into the interview process, job seekers will make a good first impression, be memorable, receive better feedback and ultimately get more job offers."

And as Myers' tips and advice reveal, by taking time to prepare for the interview, being mindful of the hiring manager's needs and taking steps to be punctual and thoughtful before and after the interview, it's possible to make a strong impression on the hiring manager and even get the job.

The Weekly Roundup: All In On LinkedIn

43 Tips To Supercharge Your Profile

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LinkedIn is your resume, cover letter, online portfolio, professional social network, blog, business card and more all rolled into one. More than 300 million people use LinkedIn and it keeps expanding in size, power and influence. If you're not making the most of what the site has to offer, you are missing a massive opportunity to grow your network and forward your career.

I've written plenty about LinkedIn before, from the basics to headline tweaks to their newest app, so let's get right to business and see what the experts around the web have to say. We've got smart tips for beginners and hard-hitting advanced studies for the LinkedIn pros. That's a total of 43 great strategies and tactics to put to use immediately. And away we go.

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4 Rookie Mistakes You Need To Avoid On LinkedIn

Let's start with the basics. If you want to get a jump on the competition right from the get go, check out a must-read from the brilliant minds at Careerealism. This is a great primer in how NOT to behave on LinkedIn. Don't become a LinkedIn casualty, start your education here.

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3 Things You Must Do to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile
Social Media Today has more LinkedIn blocking and tackling to get you on the right track from the beginning. The focus on profile picture, job title and making the right connections is spot on and will set you up with a great foundation. Jump in right now.

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Do You Have a Professional LinkedIn Profile Picture?
It seems like a no-brainer, but countless people don't even have a headshot on LinkedIn and others post a photo that is completely inappropriate or unprofessional. Don't forget the power of a first impression, people. Still need help? AppleOne breaks it down into an easy checklist for you on their Career Seekers blog.

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7 Ways to Get the Most out of LinkedIn in your Job Search
Who better than a recruiter to tell you exactly how to optimize your profile to get results when hunting for a new opportunity? Andrew Glave from Simply 360 provides deep insights into making your LinkedIn presence recruiter-ready right here.

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6 Recruiter-Recommended LinkedIn Tips
Continuing on the Inside Baseball knowledge straight from recruiters, Social-Hire has not just six as advertised, but EIGHT great tactics to power your profile. This is all killer, no filler information and you can put them into action right away by heading to their website.

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10 Tips for the Perfect LinkedIn Profile
This might be one of my favorite LinkedIn pieces ever. The great people at Link Humans teamed up with LinkedIn on how to build the perfect profile. Not only did they break it down into truly actionable advice, they rocked it with an infographic suitable for framing. See it below and you can tap into additional wisdom on their site.

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10 Ways to Boost Your LinkedIn Presence to That Next Level of Awesome

Good things seem to come in tens this week. And this fine example of LinkedIn post-graduate studies from the US News & World Report On Careers blog is pure gold for job seekers. Some of these are expert-only, so if you want your profile to POP then start by clicking now.

What are your insider tips on optimizing LinkedIn for job search? Share them in comments. Have a great 4th of July weekend!

Debunking Workplace Mythology

Boilerplate career advice will only take you so far 

We're told to be passionate, dedicated, educated, and focused. But boilerplate advice will only get you so far before you begin to doubt it, and see what's really determining your career path.

Your work is your deepest passion, your truest love, and your reason for being.
Even when you like what you do, work is called work for a reason. Don't feel too terrible if you love your spouse more.

If you work hard and make yourself useful, you will be rewarded. Your status and position is entirely up to you.
Life happens. Politics happens. Recessions happen. Setbacks will occur. Not every talented person is rewarded, and some dim bulbs scamper up the corporate ladder with ease. Don't take any of it personally.

Your education, skills, experience, and dedication are the foundation of your career.
It's not about what you can do. It's about who you know. You can be brilliantly impressive on paper, but without connections, you will languish in the dark.

You need to specialize early and focus on a very narrow skillset, so that you can become an expert in your chosen field.
Times change. Markets change. People grow. Technology advances. You need more options than a tiny niche affords you. Give yourself room to think so that you can adapt to all these things.

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