Thursday, December 24, 2009

10 Essential Tips For Landing Your Next Job

We’ve noticed recently on Twitter that a lot of people are talking about having been laid off over the past couple of months. TechCrunch reports that there have been almost 80,000 layoffs in the technology sector since August, and entire blogs have been started about web and tech people losing their jobs. But even with all that doom and gloom, many companies are still hiring. If you find yourself looking for work, or trying to find some freelance gigs on the side to supplement your income, here are some tips to help you stand out, stay organized, and ultimately land a job.

1. Get Your Resumé in Order

Your resumé is a record of your entire professional life condensed on a single page (or two). 95% of the time, it will be the second thing a potential employer will see (first is your cover letter, which we’ll talk about next), so that makes it supremely important that everything is in order.

First and foremost, that means making sure your resumé is up-to-date. Double check that all of your contact information is correct, and that all of your prior work experience, including your most recent position, is accounted for. Try to emphasize the positions that best relate to the jobs you’re most interested in finding, and remove the ones that don’t relate, especially if your resumé is getting too long (a lot of HR people won’t both with resumés over two pages in length).

Remember to give a brief synopsis of your responsibilities at each job because job titles don’t mean much. A product manager at one company might do less than an assistant at another.

2. Never Reuse Cover Letters

The cover letter is the first thing a potential employer will see when you apply for a job. It will often determine if your resumé even gets looked at, so it is vitally important that you put proper time into crafting a good one.

Your cover letter is your chance to tie in the work experience detailed on your resumé to the actual job you’re applying for. Go into detail about why your past experiences will help you excel at the position you’re gunning to land.

You should always tailor your cover letter to the specific job you’re applying for. You may not have to do a full rewrite each time, since you’re likely to be applying to similar job opportunities, but you should never send out a form cover letter that’s the same for every application.

3. Network (Offline)

Networking is essential to finding a new job. Neither of my last two jobs were advertised via traditional channels — I happened into them by meeting the right people, letting them know what I was good at, and making a positive impression.

You should set aside some time to become a regular at the local tech meetups (most cities have a few these days, even the smaller ones), join the local user groups about the technologies you’re interested in — and present at them, and attend nearby conferences. For the unemployed, conferences can be an expense that’s hard to justify, but if you can manage to afford the cheapest pass (the one that gets you into just the expo hall usually), you can meet some great people hanging around in the lobby and hallways.

4. Network (Online)

Remember that networking happens both offline and online.

Online it means developing and maintaining a network of active professional acquaintances on services like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, and making positive contributions to professional discussion communities like Hacker News and SitePoint Forums.

5. Start Blogging

Blogging is an excellent way to raise your visibility. Blog about the things you hope to be doing at your next job and start to establish yourself as an expert in your field. Along with all that networking you’re doing, blogging will help raise your profile and could attract recruiters. It’s never a bad thing when you apply for a job and the person on the other end reading your cover letter thinks, “Where have I heard this name before? … Oh right, he wrote that great article about unit testing!”

And who knows, blogging might even land you a job interview at Google.

6. Check Job Boards Often (Like, Right Now)

You’ll never find a job if you don’t actively look for them. Very rarely do jobs come to you — yeah, it happens sometimes, but it’s the exception, not the rule. In October, we published a list of 20 job boards that can help you find a job in web development or a freelance gig. These are a great starting point, and while you’re conducting your job search you should live on these sites.

Many of them offer RSS feeds of new jobs. Those RSS feeds are your new best friend. Subscribe to them all, set your RSS reader to check for updates as often as possible, and be the first to apply for new jobs and gigs as they go up. For sites that don’t have any RSS feeds, don’t be shy about using a service like Dapper to create your own. Staying on top of as many job opportunities as possible is essential to finding a new job — this is a marathon, not a sprint.

7. Know Your Price

Especially for freelancers, knowing your price is very important. It’s not enough that you can beat the other guy to the pitch, you have to be able to quote fast as well. As more and more people are pushed out of work and into the job market, and less and less jobs are available to go around, competition is getting really stiff for each new open position. Being able to quote quickly and accurately will raise your chances of landing that consulting gig.

8. Don’t Stop Learning

How many programming languages do you know? How good are you with CSS? Photoshop? Dreamweaver? Can you set up Apache in your sleep? That’s not good enough. Someone else out ther knows more, and knows it all better. The job market is competitive and you shouldn’t rest on your laurels and assume that what you know is enough to get by. Staying on the bleeding edge of web technology is a great way to set yourself apart from other job applicants, and honing your knowledge of your current skills is important to standing out in the crowd (also, why not blog about all the new things you’re learning, so recruiters can bone up on what you’re boning up on?).

You want to be the guy telling your potential next boss about new technologies even he hasn’t heard of and why he should be using them. That’s the sort of passion that will make an impression on employers.

9. Follow Up with Past Clients

A perhaps overlooked source of potential new jobs is past clients. Just because they haven’t contacted you recently, doesn’t necessarily mean there isn’t work to be done. Be proactive and ping past clients about what you can do for them. If nothing else, it’s a great way to reconnect with people that can act as potential references or talk you up to others in their industry that might be looking for help. Keep yourself on the radar screens of those who do the hiring and you’ll be rewarded for the effort eventually.

Similarly, if you haven’t heard back from them, it’s a good idea to follow up on jobs you’ve applied for a week or two after emailing your application. Ask if they’re starting interviews soon and reaffirm your interest in the open position. A well-timed follow up and move your resume to the top of the pile just as the employer is sorting through, and often times that sort of ambition will be looked upon favorably and rewarded. More than once in my past that type of follow up has led to an interview.

10. Keep it all Organized

Finding a new job rarely means just applying for a couple. I’ve read more stories than I care to count about people who had to apply for 15, 20, 40, or even more jobs before they landed just one interview. That shouldn’t be discouraging — finding a new job is hard work and could take months — but it does illustrate why you need to be organized about your job hunt.

Applying for the same job twice, or accidentally addressing a cover letter to the wrong employer would be major faux pas that you definitely want to avoid. We recommend Happy Job Search, a application written by web developer Daniel Higginbotham after he found himself laid off from work twice in the span of three months.

Happy Job Search is a very simple application, but it’s an exceptionally useful one. It lets you quickly log information about jobs that you come across in your search, and then keep track of the stage of your application — whether you’ve applied, heard back, have an interview scheduled, etc. When you’re applying to tens of jobs each week and scanning hundreds of job ads, an organizational application like Happy Job Search could quickly become your new favorite piece of software.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Five Things I Learned for The Year 2009

1. People are People
No matter how much you love them and they love you, sometimes they could hurt you. Learn how to understand and forgive them. That should help you strengthen your relationship with them. Try to tolerate some of their attitudes if it's not necessary to change it.

2. If You Can't Find It, Create It
How often do you get frustrated about not finding the best utensils, the best books, the best food, the best friend? (lol, I'm kidding about the last one), then create it! Perhaps it's a sign to start a business with the need to create something that people need but simply couldn't find. Most commercial products nowadays are simply too commercialized that value is often compromised. Start working on a project or a business that will change and even set as a standard for all others that currently exist.

3. Everyday is a Wonderful Day
Always tell that to yourself in front of a mirror first thing in the morning and you will really have a wonderful day. Sometimes there may be unexpected circumstances that you can't manage but as you stay true to your positive outlook, everything will be alright and you'd be surprised at how fast you've settled things.

4. Love and Be Loved Back
Do I need to say more? I've learned that in order for you to gain someone's love, you gotta love them first. This is not usually the case though. Sometimes the one you love simply can't or won't love you back. Whatever the case is, be sure to give love, and someone else, you may never know, at the right time will love you back.

5. Family
Our family will always be there for us no matter what. Love your family as much as you love your friends and treat your friends like your family.

Those are just five things I've learned for the whole 2009. Of course there are still some more but let me save them for 2010, haha.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Making Greeting Cards is Easy

Making Greeting Cards is Easy, Here's How.

Making greeting cards is a wonderful hobby to enjoy with your family and friends. In fact, card making is becoming more and more popular and it's now a novelty to send handmade greeting cards.

Have you ever look at a handmade card and thought to yourself, "So beautiful! I wish I know how to make my own greeting cards." Well, now you can! Imagine people receiving your homemade greetings with your name on the back!

Making greeting cards is easy. Many people are making cards and so can you. Make you own greeting cards and sign them by rubber stamping "Handcrafted by (YOUR NAME)" on the back of every of your handmade cards. Cool!

Taking up card making as a hobby is not expensive since you should have most of the supplies for making greeting cards in your home. For a basic homemade card, all you need is paper, cutter, glue and some color pencils.

But though inexpensive, making greeting cards has many benefits.

Creating beautiful homemade cards is such a rewarding way of spending time with family and friends. The joy of gathering cardmaking ideas, paper, embellishments, and other card making supplies to make the cards and the joy that the handmade greeting cards give to the recipients are just feelings that cannot be purchased. Receiving a handmade greeting card is so special, isn't it?

So start making greeting cards in the comfort of your home by following the instructions on this card making website.

Specially For You Who Feel That You Are Not So Crafty

To you who just are not the paper, scissors and glue kind, don't despair. Making greeting cards as a hobby is still a possibility. Yes, you can also make and send yur own homemade greeting cards to your friends. You could design your own greeting cards using a graphic software, or take a photo with your digital camera and upload it to your computer. Add an appropriate poem or quote and print it. Voila! A Personalised one-of-a-kind greeting card.

So whether you are a die-hard crafter or the digital designer, making greeting cards is a great way to relax, be creative and connect with others.

Interesting Celebrations and Events for September 2009

September 22nd (Tuesday) - First Day of Autumn
Make some cards with designs that are relevant to the events above and send them out to surprise your friends.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Decorating Your Home for Christmas

By now I'm sure most houses are already filled with many decorations to help us enhance our Christmas experience! If you're not yet sure how to decorate your place, here are just some of our suggestions.

Decorate your home for Christmas just the way you want it. If you’ve always loved all things Santa, then liberally decorate your home with the jolly symbols of the holiday – Christmas characters.

On your fireplace, instead of hanging up regular stockings decorated with names, hang stockings decorated with St. Nick. Use Santa Claus stocking holders to keep them in place. An FYI, there are beautiful vintage Santa stockings available for purchase.

Gather wooden Santa figurines – you can find these in a variety of sizes from many different materials and place these in groups all over your home. You can tuck them into a corner on a bathroom cabinet or group them together in a basket on the back of your toilet if you’re the type who decorates the bathroom, too!

Put up Christmas cards with Santa on them or display them on your mantel or entertainment center. Prop up vintage Santa postcards among your Christmas decorations. Use Santa quilts on the arm of your sofa to snuggle beneath or hang them from your wall.

Put out pillows on the sofa with prints of Santa. In the dining room, cover the table with a Santa tablecloth. At your Christmas Eve or Christmas Day dinner, use Santa snow globes as place markers. On the tree, hang hand painted Santa ornaments and Christmas balls with images of Santa on them.

If you prefer to decorate your home with Frosty the snowman, you can collect snowmen and line them up on wooden shelves in the living room or on a fireplace mantel or on top of your piano. You can stack Frosty collectibles in a snowman painted wooden bowl.

In the kitchen, you can serve drinks in Frosty the Snowman glasses or serve the traditional Santa cookies on Frosty the Snowman snack plates. By the front door, you can have a Frosty greeter – a three foot wooden replica of the beloved snowman.

Make sure it’s in a corner so that if something bumps against it, if it falls over, it won’t be damaged. Set up medium sized Frosty the Snowman collectibles around the bottom of the Christmas tree.

One of most beloved of all Christmas decorating characters among children and adults alike is that of Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer. This much loved character first came to be back in 1939.

The popular reindeer was written in a story by an employee of Montgomery Ward. If you love decorating with Rudolph, you can buy Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer ornaments to hang on your tree.

You can also find Rudolph collectible figurines to arrange around your home. There are Rudolph personalized ornaments, Rudolph stockings and even Rudolph pulling Santa’s sleigh displays for your yard. Look for a Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Christmas skirt to drape around the bottom of your tree.

Choose the Christmas characters that remind you of childhood and go all out working them into your holiday décor!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Gift Ideas

The time is far spent and so little remaining, so are you ready for your Christmas gifts? If not, it's not yet too late to buy some! I suggest that you purchase them online as to avoid the heavy queue in supermarkets.

If you need suggestions as to what to give this Christmas, here are some based on my experience.

Mothers love anything customized. Give them a customized Christmas card, bake cookies for them or anything that you've made with your bare hands. Nothing else could melt the heart than the fact that you've created something for them.

Dad loves anything that is related to their hobbies. If your dad is fond of golf, buy him golf accessories.

Girls love anything you give them as long as it's from you! Give them a ring or a necklace.

Those are just some of my gift ideas for Christmas. What are yours?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Memories

We all keep tidbits of memories of our childhood. What I wouldn't probably forget all my life is that Christmas memories I have with my family. I remember so vividly when mom would make me and my siblings knitted jackets and wrap them in boxes.

Also, the highlight of the celebration is when mom serves her special dish for Christmas eve. We would then take some pictures and videos for us to preserve our memories.

Oh I am so excited about this year's Christmas so we could taste mom's specialty, play games and open our Christmas gifts again. Most of all, I love Christmas because it's the Lord's birthday.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Gift for My Brother This Christmas 2009

Are you looking for something to give your brother this Christmas? Good, because that's exactly I am doing now too!

When I asked him what he'd like to have this Christmas, he said he wants a Nintendo Wii console. I haven't controlled myself and blurted out, "WHATTT?!" Well, we all now that it's a little costly. So I was thinking what if I give him a jersey or maybe just play online games with him? What do you think?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Happy Parenting

Parenting is probably the most rewarding career one would ever have. To see your kids grow in love and in harmony with the plans that you've made even when they were young makes one really proud of his or her children. Every parent's pride is when their kids grow up practicing the principles taught during their youth. The efforts required cannot be compared to the blessings one sees every time a child grows following the counsel of his parents.

Whether it's your first time parenting or for several kids already, always keep in mind that the best way in raising your children is raising them up in the gospel of Jesus Christ. They were entrusted by God to you to nurture them, support them, lead and love them. Being parents to God's children is a sacred duty.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Rent-a-Site Model Training Now Available

In the arena of offline consultation, there are many services that an offline consultant can provide to local small business owners, such as:
  • Website Design
  • Search Engine Optimization - SEO Services
  • Video for Web Commercials
  • Social Bookmarking and Web 2.0
Jamie Garside has created a product that teaches internet marketing consultants how to research niches and create websites that can be rented out to the business owners.

Terrie Soberg has developed a Rent-a-Site Model website to be used alongside his book with tips and hints that will help an offline consultant be even more profitable.

Visit her site at: Rent-a-Site Model Consultants for more information.

Legacy Through Family History

Have you ever thought what would be the best gift you could ever give to your posterity? I've always wondered if I've done enough or if my posterity will ever remember me, or if will they ever thank me for all the things I'm doing now. George Bernard Shaw best described what we can do so that our future generations will remember and thank us for all the things we've done.

"Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations."

You might ask: "How?"

1. Lessons

Keeping a record of your daily blessings will prove to be helpful to your posterity as they will learn from your past principles that are applicable to their present, or your future. There's nothing more precious than a compilation of great testimonies of God's dealings with His people and how you became a living proof of His divine love and mercy to all his children. Keep a journal and record the most important events in your life like your baptism, priesthood ordination, marriage, temple sealing and many other important events.

2. Pictures

Most history we're studying right now and the proof of their existence is made strong by the photographs of people involved, places where it transpired and details entailed in the records of the people who cared to record their history. Take pictures and keep them in a safe place wherein no floods will wash it away.

Keeping your family history or genealogy will not only bless you at present as well as the future generations. So keep a journal and save your history.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Legacy Through Line of Authority

My friend's son was called to serve a mission in Brazil. Both their son and his parents were so ecstatic about where he'd be assigned. Every week he'd write them letters and tell them how great his first area was, then his second area and how wonderful his companion, then this next companion, and how the testimonies of the local leaders, members and converts are helping him strengthen his own. He also mentioned as to how amazing he's learning the new language way fast that most of his colleagues.

Then the next week came his letter asking them his Line of Authority card and important it was for him for their next discussion with an investigator who wants to know how he got his authority to teach them the restored gospel. His parents, not exactly knowing what a Line of Authority is, referred the matter to me and wonder if my kids have one. Well, I told them my little boys have theirs since my boys are the only ones with priesthood authorities. It's their special link back to the Savior Jesus Christ. Now you might be wondering how could you obtain your priesthood line of authority card? Others are also worried that they might not be able to find their records in the archive. The Lord promised in the holy writ that those who seek shall find while those who knock will be opened doors. Resolve within yourself to find such a vital information and the Holy Ghost shall be your guide in the whole process.