Monthly Archives: December 2009

Top Blog Posts and Polls of 2009

This has been a year full of twists and turns, ups and downs, and a lot of learning. This year we’ve provided you with a lot of information about how and where to look for a job, building a standout résumé, interview skills and follow-up advice, etc. So, if you missed anything, check out our most read Movin’ on Up blog posts and polls of 2009.

Top 5 Blog Posts of 2009

  1. 30 Power Words to Power Up Your Résumé & Boost Your Job Search – Help employers take notice of your résumé by using these 30 words to help showcase your skills and abilities.
  2. Where to Find Hot Summer Jobs – Think summer jobs only consist of retail or fast food? Check out these summer employment opportunities to help make some extra cash.
  3. Negotiating Salary in a Recession – Although many companies enforced salary freezes in 2009, there is still a chance to negotiate your way to a higher salary. How? Get the scoop here.
  4. 6 Things to Bring to an Interview – Before you go to your next job interview, make sure you take these six basic things with you to help you land the job.
  5. 5 Ways to Say Happy Birthday at Work (Without Breaking Your Budget) – Sometimes birthdays can get expensive when you have several co-workers. Learn five tips on how you can still celebrate the occasion, while saving money in the process.

Top 5 Blog Polls of 2009

  1. This Holiday, Do You Need a Second Job? – To get a pulse on the economy and to follow up from our summer job poll, 53% of respondents said they are on the hunt for a second job. See all the results.
  2. What's the Most Important Soft Skill Today? – Employers do look at your soft skills when considering you for a job. According to those surveyed, what are the most important soft skills?
  3. This Summer, Are You Looking for a Second Job? – What was the outlook on taking a second job during the 2009 summer? Take a look at these results and then compare to the follow-up holiday poll at the top of this list.
  4. This Year, Is Higher Education Worth the Cost? – During this recession, with unemployment numbers at an all-time high, many are choosing to return to school. Is it worth it?
  5. Generations and the Job Search: Who’s Having a Harder Time? – When it comes to finding a job, are new grads or mature workers having a more difficult time finding work?

Here’s to a bright 2010. Happy New Year!

Are Success and Happiness Linked?

A friend once told me that life is what you make it. I laughed when she first said that, because sometimes, bad things just happen, and you can’t control it – perfect examples are the results of the recent economy. Many people lost their jobs, and if you are one of the lucky ones who weathered the storm of massive layoffs and are still employed, then you’re probably still dealing with issues like more stress, longer hours, and less pay. The affects of either of these situations can impact your happiness, both in your professional and personal life. 

But, did my friend have a point? Does your attitude and what you make out of a situation really impact the outcome? How does improving your happiness improve your situation?

According to Sonja Lyubomirsky, a longtime happiness researcher and professor of psychology at the University of California-Riverside, half of our happiness is determined by genetics, 10% comes from life circumstances, and about 40% of happiness is under our conscious control. Although you can’t control your genetic makeup regarding happiness, you can consciously control most of the factors beyond genetics and circumstances. That means, how you handle your attitude can directly impact how you look at situations and the outcomes of those circumstances.

Abraham Lincoln once said, “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” So, if you can make up your mind you’re going to be happy no matter what happens in your life, then the sky is the limit.

Experts maintain that happiness is a direct correlation to success, both in your personal and professional life. The happier you are, the more successful you can be! So try to enjoy the simple things in your life that make you feel happy. Volunteer at a local charity, listen to your favorite song in the morning before you start your day, or spend time with friends and family as often as you can. Whatever it is that brings a smile to your face, try to do that more often to see how happiness can transform your life and career.

Life really IS what you make it. So, after careful consideration, I came to realize that my friend has a point. Don’t look at the glass as half empty, look at it as half full. Don’t look at others’ lives to measure your success. Look at your own life, and count the blessings bestowed upon you. Don’t dwell on the negative, focus on the positives, and you will be well on your way to a better life.

What makes you happy? Leave us your comments in the comments section below.

Give Back and Add Holiday Cheer to Your Résumé

If you’re looking for a job this holiday season, now is the perfect time to spruce up your résumé with community involvement. A résumé that illustrates activity and involvement outside work demonstrates a well-rounded individual with a diverse range of skills, talents, and background. All of these characteristics could help you stand out like a brightly lit Christmas tree in your next interview.

Community involvement not only establishes your character, work ethic, and abilities, it also shows a potential employer you’re worth investing in, that you have history, interest, attachment, loyalty, and care within and for your community. Traits that also translate to a good employee. As an added bonus, volunteering for a local charity or at an event is a great way to network and give back. And what better time to start giving back and brightening your résumé than in the season of giving?

Not sure where to start? Begin with your passions and interests. If you are a runner, consider organizing or volunteering for a local Santa run. If you like working with children, get involved with your local children’s hospital or an organization like Toys for Tots. An energetic and outgoing individual who isn’t afraid to bust out an a cappella carol is everyone’s favorite Salvation Army bell ringer.

The sky’s the limit, so start with something you enjoy and care about. It’s a great way to make someone’s day brighter, and make your résumé shine like tinsel.

Six Job Search Rules You Should Never Break

When applying for a job, it’s everyone’s goal to stand out from other applicants and be noticed by employers. However, there are both good and bad ways to stand out. Be aware that there are certain rules you should never break when applying for a job to ensure you make a positive lasting impression.

  1. The résumé rule. A résumé is a must-have when applying for a job. There are creative ways you can design your résumé to help attract attention, but the key is to submit one. This is the top way, besides an interview, that an employer gets to know you. Just make sure that it’s not 10 pages long. The more work experience you have, the more understandable it is for you to have multiple pages, but aim for two pages or less. If you don’t have a lot of work experience, try to keep it to one page. And, when it comes to a résumé, make sure everything you include on it is true.
  2. The typo rule. If a potential employer finds several typos on your résumé, that is enough reason for them to throw your information out, no matter how great your qualifications are. ALWAYS take the time to proofread and run spell check before submitting. You might even have a friend or family member glance over it just to make sure everything looks good.
  3. The cover letter rule. It might seem old fashioned, but submitting a cover letter shows you’re interested in the available position and that you’ve put some thought into preparing your application. Going above and beyond what is expected will help you get noticed. Also, a tip to remember is to keep your cover letter formal. Don’t include jokes in your cover letter. Humor is better interpreted in person, so a joke-gone-bad on paper could cost you a chance at the job.
  4. The thank-you note rule. Following your interview, send a thank-you card within a few days to let the interviewer know you were grateful for their time and consideration, and that you’re eager to hear back about the job opportunity.
  5. The interview rule. Under no circumstances should you show up to an interview looking sloppy! Landing an interview is a big step and a good sign the company is interested in you. Be sure to look professional for every interview. Don’t show up in dirty, wrinkled clothes with your hair in a mess. This gives the employer the impression you don’t care, and they may move along to find someone who puts forth more effort. Remember, you don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression.
  6. The follow-up rule. If you feel you have to call the interviewer, you should have a valid reason to call. Don’t just call for the sake of calling. If you interviewed for a job, the employer knows you’re interested. It won’t score you any extra points to check in with them daily on the status of the position. If you haven’t heard anything back about the position within a week or so of interviewing, that is a valid reason to call and discuss the process. Calling multiple times each week or day could end up costing you brownie points.

Follow these simple rules to ensure your résumé makes it to the top of the pile, rather than the bottom. Be a standout job applicant!

Would You Job Hop in 2010?

While the economy begins to improve, the labor market is still lagging behind. But, experts say that next year, as business picks up, employers will begin searching for top talent to boost their staff. Many say the talent crunch could quickly increase demand for highly-skilled workers. So, does this mean that job hopping will rise next year?

We want to know what you think, whatever your current employment situation. If you already have a job, would you leave the one you have for a better opportunity or higher salary? Or, do you want to build experience and job security by remaining in a job long term? If you’re unemployed and find a position, would you leave it for a better one when the job market picks up?