How To Write a Cover Letter

July 21, 2008 by  
Filed under Jobs & Careers

how to write a cover letterWhat is a cover letter? Obviously, it is a letter. This letter gives your employer a background of its proceeding documents (resumes, bio data, etc) for possible employment. It gives the reader (in this case, the employer) an introduction on what to expect in the proceeding documents.

Since it is an introduction (that’s why it is called a cover letter) of your job application documents, it must be written as professionally as possible. This is because you want to impress your employer from the start so that you will be his choice for the job you seek. The following are points to ponder in writing a professional cover letter.

General Directives:

A cover letter is written in a one whole page. Thus you may want to include important information about yourself. Avoid irrelevant information, for they will fill valuable space (which is intended for the most important ones) in your one-page cover letter. Be general in your cover letter. Reserve the specifics in the resume.

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In writing a professional cover letter, it is obvious to write it with correct spelling and grammar. Come to think of this: do you expect a professional to be wrong, especially in the most basic terms? Consider proper spelling of words, word association (like subject-verb agreement), etc. Also please use simple words that can be easily understood. Don’t use highfaluting words that cause “nosebleeds” to readers. Thus using such terms will bring you to nothing.

Unlike resumes, cover letters are written in a first person perspective. Thus the use of the terms “I”, “my”, and the like are to be maximized. A cover letter is a personal introduction about you. Thus you must personalize its form.

Specific Directives:

Generally, a cover letter is composed of three paragraphs. Each paragraph contains specific information about you.

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An introduction of the self must be contained in the first paragraph. It tells about you as yourself. It also tells about your desire to work with the company you are applying to and why the company wants your services. It must be short, but not hurried.

The second paragraph includes your professional career history and educational background. It must be included in this paragraph the skill, experiences, educational background, and job history acquired prior to the job you are applying for.

The third and last paragraph must include the opportunities that the company has in having you. You must also include a sentence which expresses an appointment time with the company.

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How to Become a Mystery Shopper

July 21, 2008 by  
Filed under Jobs & Careers

how to become a mystery shopperRetail establishments count mystery shopping to visit their locations and give feedback on service, aesthetics and merchandise. A mystery shopper is a spy, in a sense. If you become a mystery shopper, you’ll be given instructions to visit a certain store or restaurant, possibly at a certain time, buy something general or specific, and then that item will be reimbursed plus you’ll be paid for your efforts.

The job of mystery shopping isn’t the shopping – it’s filling out the paperwork after the shopping trip. You must be detailed and exact to help the establishment know what they are doing right and what areas need to be improved.

Becoming a Mystery Shopper

The easiest way to become a mystery shopper is by working with a contact that is already in a mystery shopping position for a company. If none of your friends work as a mystery shoppers, you can get your foot in the door through a variety of online applications.

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To become a successful mystery shopper, you must first sign on to a company that provides the service. You can also market your mystery shopping services on a contract basis, but you must have industry resources to find stores in need of your service as well as be able to provide the standard forms and information.

To sign on with a company offering the mystery shopping services, you must first find a legitimate mystery shopping company accepting applications. There are generally more applicants than there are positions in mystery shopping, so you must find a way to stand out in your application. Like any sort of business, once you’ve been assigned a shopping gig or two, you’ll be more desirable if you do a good job.

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To find a legitimate company, immediately eliminate any that require you to pay a fee or buy a start-up package. Research companies in the Better Business Bureau and see if any negative feedback pops up online when you search for information NOT from the company website. You can also check to see if prospective companies are members of the Mystery Shopping Providers Association.

Then, when you have a short list of legitimate companies, begin filling out the applications. As many have the same style of questions, save your responses in a word processing application to avoid having to retype each answer multiple times. Use time and care completing the application as it will likely be one among hundreds and you want to stand out in a positive way.

Follow up after applying and call to be sure it was received a few days later if a phone number is available. Once you land a position, do a great job every time and your reputation and future jobs will grow.

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How To Find The Best Place To Get a Job

July 21, 2008 by  
Filed under Jobs & Careers

how to find the best place to job searchWhen it comes to finding a job there are plenty of possibilities in which you can pursue to find the ultimate occupation. Looking for a job can be one of the most stressful times of your life, especially if you have monthly bills to pay for. This can eat up your hard earned savings or potentially take every cent you have. If you don’t have any money saved up it can force you to take out loans and credit cards which will incur interest and other fee’s making you build up unwanted debt.

A simple mistake of loosing your job or quitting before you have found an alternative method of revenue can bring more trouble then its worth. This is why it’s important to use every method available to get you back into work as soon as possible.

The first place you can look for a job is in your local job center, many of the newer job centers have computers with all the available jobs in your area so you log in with your details such as address, age and any other vital information. You then pick a selection of job categories which you are interested in and the computer searches through the database of jobs bringing up any that match your criteria. You can then print them off and contact them directly with your application, you should always apply for as many jobs as possible in order to increase your chances of getting one. It’s always best to apply for many jobs and turn them down, then to apply for one at a time and wait for a response before applying for your next one, this would make the process very time consuming and you could be waiting several months and still no have a job to show for it.

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Another method which is becoming more popular in today’s world is finding jobs online, this give you the advantage of being able to search through available jobs in the comfort of your own home at your own leisure. Another benefit of this is that you can upload your CV and information based on your interests and hobbies to certain job sites and employers can search through people that match their criteria. Consider using a CV builder to fine-tune your CV to each job listing. The amount of exposure you get can be immense compared to any other method because there are many existing sites of such sort with new ones being published all the time.

You can search in your local paper and stores to find work as many people advertise just about everywhere if they require more staff. By checking papers everyday might give you another method of receiving a job. By asking around the bars and shops near to you has also gave many people a career, simply print a few copies of your CV off and hand it in to various shops you would be willing to work in.

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If you have been trying to find a job and have had no luck then there are still options available for you, there are many agencies in which you can find locally or online in which you give them all your details and they find jobs you may be interested in based on the details they receive. They will take you right up to the interview stage and then it’s up to you to go the rest of the way. These agencies will take the payment from the company you’re working for and then pay you either weekly or monthly after they have deducted a fee.

In the end it’s always best to take advantage of as many different methods as possible, the worst that can happen is that you have to apply for more jobs. Finding a job can be a time consuming job in itself and you have to stick to it and maybe lower your expectations just to find a job which will allow you to have some free cash to play with. On the other hand you may get interviews from a few places, take them and then pick the best job or the one with the most promising prospects in the future. It all depends if you’re looking for a job to help time go by or if you’re looking for a new career.

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How To Prepare For an Interview

July 21, 2008 by  
Filed under Jobs & Careers

how to prepare for an interviewYou just got out of school and you’re raring to join the work force so you could start earning your keep. Or you must be an old-timer hoping to get a stab at that managerial post that’s been opened in your company. Like most candidates, you would have to go through an interview or even a series of it before the company hands down their choice.

What To Do:
Nothing beats preparing for an interview. Everyone knows that. If not, these candidates learn it the hard way and just shake their heads in disappointment after it’s been done. You don’t have to go through the same and miss that wonderful opportunity of getting hired and forego the feeling of accomplishment that goes with it.

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It is imperative that you completely understand your strengths and weaknesses. When you prepare your resume, make sure you can back up the details you put in there when asked for more specifics. Anticipate that questions will most likely be directed towards your skills, work experience, educational background, relevant training, career goals or lack of it. The interviewer might even give you situational questions related to the job you are applying for.

Research and Practice:
It would also boost your opportunities if you researched on the company and the position you are aiming for. The interviewer will most definitely ask you why you feel you are fit for the job. This is where researching would help you because no interviewer would appreciate being asked what the post is all about. I can just imagine the interviewer rolling their eyes at you. The interviewer may not be as expressive but you can go ahead and kiss your chances goodbye. Interviewers will want to hear your qualifications aligned with the requirements for the job. The person who fits the job most will most likely get past the interview and win the job.

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Now, you may the best fit for the job but you end up getting tongue tied and failing to express yourself in words because of nervousness. It is expected that a person who goes through an interview gets butterflies in their stomachs. The best way to overcome this feeling is coming in prepared. Practice in front of the mirror so you could see how you project yourself during an interview. Are your hands too distracting when you talk? Do you have that smug expression when talking about your accomplishments? Be sure to project yourself professionally so interviewers will take to you positively during interviews.

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How to Dress for an Interview

July 21, 2008 by  
Filed under Jobs & Careers

how to dress for an interviewLanding an interview is exciting. Unfortunately, the hard work you put into applications and cover letters is now behind you and you must wow your potential boss with your smooth talking and appearance.

Dressing for an interview is just as critical as what you say during the meeting. If you arrive looking sloppy or unprofessional, the interviewer will be getting a clear message that the interview simply doesn’t matter to you. No matter what your personal comfort level with professional attire may be, be sure you know how to dress for an interview.

Professional Dress

Once you’ve landed an interview for a job or career in a professional environment, you must show up looking the part. Even if the office is casual, you are not yet part of the office staff, so you must dress on par with management or even above management.

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This means you should be wearing a suit, complete with suitable accessories such as panty hose for ladies or neckties for gentlemen.

Select a suit that is dark, but not necessarily black. If you don’t have a full business suit, it would be an excellent investment for the future. When you are shopping, be sure to buy a coordinated dress shirt, although white or ivory will always do, and a mens ties in a muted color or scheme. Dress shoes and dark socks complete the attire.

Remove your jacket while driving keep it from getting wrinkled, and be sure your tie is tied correctly and hanging at the right length. It should touch the top of your belt buckle. Tying ties and having it lie correctly can be irksome, so practice a few times before the day of or get help from a friend or family member. Before entering the interview, pull your jacket back on and button the top button. The bottom button should not be fastened.

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Ladies have a few additional options for basic attire. They may wear a pants suit or a traditional skirted suit. A classic dress may be acceptable as well, but be careful not to be too casual or even too formal. Jewelry should be kept small and classic and any makeup should be carefully applied and tastefully limited as to not distract from the interview itself.

Ladies should wear professional shoes, meaning no sandals or even open toed shoes. Pumps or classic flats are acceptable, as are boots with a pants suit. Even if you despise them, pantyhose should be worn with dresses or skirts as they are professional and bare legs are not.

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How to Become an Egg Donor

July 15, 2008 by  
Filed under Health & Fitness

how to become an egg donorThere are countless families in the world who are desperately trying to have a baby, but struggle for any number of reasons. One of the increasingly more common reasons in the modern family is the age of the mother when its time to conceive. Older mothers have had an opportunity to build their career and experience the world, but unfortunately their eggs have aged along with them. Younger women have the opportunity to help build the family they want while making a bit of money for the time and effort spent.

Become an Egg Donor

Becoming an egg donor is not often mentioned in social circles, but donating eggs to friends, family or strangers is becoming more common as science advances and more families start at later ages. Women who are unable to use their own eggs or struggle getting pregnant sometimes turn to younger women whose eggs are younger and healthier for a donation. The donated eggs are then fertilized with the partner’s sperm and implanted to begin a pregnancy.

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The Egg Donation Process

Donating eggs is more complicated than donating sperm. Women release a egg from their ovary once every menstrual cycle, usually once a month. That egg travels to the uterus, waits to become fertilized and then leaves the body if it is not fertilized. Unlike men who can technically produce sperm until they die, women are born with a set number of eggs and those eggs age and are used overtime. At a point after the thirties, the likelihood of releasing a healthy egg that is ready to be fertilized and grow diminishes. This is why these women need your younger, healthier eggs.

To donate eggs, you would contact an egg donation agency and submit a profile. When a family who is in need of eggs decides you’re the ideal candidate you will be notified and the process will begin. You will likely be paid a portion of your fee upfront. (The total fee can easily be upwards of $6000.)

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You will be given hormone shots to encourage your body to release multiple eggs at once in the upcoming cycle. When you ovulate, doctors will carefully extract the eggs using a long needle and your job will be finished. Once the eggs have been harvested and the process is complete, you will be paid the remainder of your fee and you can enjoy that money knowing you’ve helped to make a family’s dream come true.

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How to Choose a Name for a Baby

July 14, 2008 by  
Filed under Family & Parenting

how to choose a name for a babyNaming a baby is one of the most exciting parts of pregnancy and childbirth. The name you select will have a profound impact on your child’s life and should not be taken lightly. To choose from all of the baby names available, consider the following steps:

Clear the Air

Be open-minded when you settle down with your significant to dream about baby and his or her name. Women are not the only ones who have ideas from childhood about what their baby will be named. The first step in discussing names is to get dreams, preferences and expectations out in the open.

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If you’ve always dreamed of naming your baby girl Samantha, but your significant other only likes creative and highly unusual names, you need to clear the air. Offer your own general opinions and the thoughts you’ve already had. Listen to his. Then put those on the back burner and work toward a compromise that suits both of you and the unborn child.

Family

Is there a tradition in your family that you would like to continue? If your husband is a junior, perhaps your son should be a junior. If girls are names after members of the family, you might prefer to follow the tradition.

Heritage

Examine your heritage. Are there specific names or customs that are especially meaningful and applicable to your baby? Is the due date on the pregnancy calendar symbolic in anyway?

Brainstorm

Use a baby naming website or book to browse through and brainstorm about possibilities. Each parent should make a list of top choices and then share the lists to look for similar or identical selections. If one partner has a strong opposition to a name, cross it off the list. Naming your child is about reaching a decision together, not forcing a name on both your spouse and your child.

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The Short List

Whittle down names until you have a short list. Then practice the names. Do they sound right with your last name? Do the initials spell anything embarrassing? Yell them up the stairs – does it fit your home and lifestyle?

You then can keep a short list until delivery or pick the name that appeals the most to both parents. If you are stuck between two names, ask a trusted friend for her opinion or use one name as the middle name.

Flexibility

Finally, be prepared to change your mind. It is perfectly acceptable to change your mind during delivery or even the last few weeks of pregnancy. Sometimes babies need names like, “Hope” or “Joy” that have extra special meaning you would never have known about before delivery. And other times you just realize that your little boy looks more like an Aaron than a Zebidiah once you’ve gotten a good look at him. Be flexible – you’ll need it the rest of your parenting career.

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How to Deal with a Surprise Pregnancy

July 2, 2008 by  
Filed under Family & Parenting

When you see an unexpected blue line or in our digital age, a glaring “Pregnant,” your world may grind to a halt. You’re pregnant. You didn’t plan it, and you’re not sure what to do about it. This is a high stress situation, but your first step is to stop worrying about that positive and let your initial emotions process. Then, when you’ve finished shaking, screaming, yelling, cheering and crying you’re ready to deal with your surprise pregnancy.

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Assess Your Emotions

Your emotions will tell you a lot about what to do next with your pregnancy. If you listen to your body for a few days and try to understand the whirl of emotions you might get a sense of how much you actually want to be pregnant. Is there an underlying dread about becoming a parent or are you excited about the possibility? As hard as it is, leave your marital, financial and other situations out of the emotional mix right now. The question now is what do YOU want?

Assess Your Situation

Your next step is to assess your situation. This time leave emotion out of the mix while you look at your living conditions, your relationship and your means of support. There are almost no conditions that can’t be overcome if you’re ready to become a parent, but knowing what you have on your side and what you’re up against will help you clear the way. Look at everything with the eyes of a potential mother, not just a girl or woman.

Option A or Option B

At this point you will likely clue your significant other into the pregnancy and be sure to give him time to process the news. Remember how you felt and let him vent and express his emotions. The first few hours are no indication of how he’ll feel once the shock has worn off.

Then the two of you will have to make an important decision. Do you want to keep the baby. You likely already know the answer to this based on your emotional response and your situation. Your emotions should win our over situations, however since you can work to change your situation.

Hear your partner out, but trust in your own instincts. Your partner is an important part of this decision, but you will be responsible for the next nine months. Only you can create a healthy baby if you choose to continue the pregnancy. There is no need to discuss adoption or any other plan at this point except possible a sneaky marriage if you’re trying to hide the “surprise” factor.

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Act on Your Decision

If you decided to abort the pregnancy, follow the requirements set forth in your state. Realize that there is a timeframe on your decision and laws may require you take certain steps before carrying out the procedure. If you decide to continue the pregnancy, arrange prenatal care immediately to get started on vitamins and a healthy diet to be sure your baby grows to be as healthy as possible.

Plan for Parenthood

Once you’ve started a pregnancy, you have eight months or so to prepare to become a parent. This might be enough time to train in a new career or finish a current program. It’s enough time to move to a new area or move back home to a better support system if your relationship doesn’t work out. Eight months is plenty of time to get married, get divorced or separate. You might even start a new relationship while pregnant.

It’s impossible to see into the future, obviously, but spend this eight months getting ready to become a parent. Even if you offer your baby in adoption, you’ll still need to understand the process of labor and delivery. You’ll also need to make arrangements for the future of your child.

If you’re keeping the baby, find a safe home for the two of you and a means of support. If you’re married this will be far easier than if you’re single, but there are many programs and support systems in place for single mothers. Regardless of marital status, find a support system through your family, a community center or religious center to help you through the process.

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How to Decide How Many Kids to Have

July 2, 2008 by  
Filed under Family & Parenting

Before you have your first child, it’s easy to plan your future family. Once the first child comes your plans might change. And if you’re completely enamored with your first and can’t image your life without another three or four angels, a second child might make you examine your feelings again. Kids are the absolute best reward for a lot of hard work, but only you can decide how many kids to have.

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Your Temperament

Your temperament can make a huge impact on the number of children you have. Parents must be patient and able to deal with the daily stress of children making demands of their time and energy as well as the constant issues that will arise throughout the day. Granted this work is paid off grandly with hugs and kisses, but if hugs and kisses won’t keep your emotions in check on a very stressful day, fewer kids might be the answer.

Your Age

Your age obviously impacts your future family. If you have your first child at thirty-nine, you’re already limited on the number of children you can have. Many mothers over thirty-five have one or two children as thirty-five is considered a higher risk age for child bearing. On the other hand, if you have your first child very young, you may decide to have an only child to give you an opportunity to reclaim your own passions and pursuits as soon as possible.

Your Spouse

Your spouse will have a huge impact on the number of children you have. If he wants an only child and you want four, unless he is willing to be convinced a house full of children is really okay, you’re likely stuck at one.

Your Finances

Numbers matter, especially with children. Diapers and formula can add up to hundreds per month and clothes, shoes and food for older children are not cheap either. Every child you have will be expensive even without adding in college costs. Granted the first child will be the biggest budget buster. After that each child represents a few more diapers and another plate at the table.

Your Other Children

If you have a child with special needs, you may decide to have only one child so that you can devote your time and attention to his needs. Some parents have additional children to build a caring family, but every child requires a huge portion of your time and attention. You can’t short one child for the sake of another.

Your Marriage

If your marriage is solid and your partner is a partner in parenting and pregnancy, multiple children are natural additions to the family. But if your marriage is not quite this ideal or your spouse works long hours or isn’t as involved in parenting as you are, fewer children will be easier to manage.

Your Time

Time is a finite resource. There are only twenty-four hours in the day and you likely spend close to eight of them sleeping. The remaining sixteen hours are divided between everything you must do in a day as well as meaningful time with each member of your family. The fewer family members there are, the more individual time each is able to enjoy. If your time is already stretched due to the requirements of your career or your lifestyle, fewer children will allow you to devote more time and attention to each.

Your Instincts

Sometimes you just know you’re meant to be the mother of many children and you love the idea of a loud, noisy home. If your instincts are telling you to have many children and your spouse is willing, there is absolutely no reason to not indulge yourself. Fill up your home with racing children and bouncing babies. Each child brings so much magic to a home, a home filled with kids is a home brimming with love.

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