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A strong cover letter may not guarantee you land a good job, but a poor cover letter may guarantee you won't. On its own, an effective cover letter can catch the eye of hiring managers tasked with finding worthy candidates among stacks of applications, while a poor cover letter may ensure hiring managers never even glance at an applicant's resume. An effective cover letter should be concise, conveying an applicant's work history and goals in a few paragraphs or less. The following are some additional ways men and women can craft effective cover letters. Address a specific person when possible. When responding to a job posting that listed a specific contact, address your cover letter to that person rather than beginning the letter with, "Dear Sir or Madam" or "To Whom It May Concern." Personalize each cover letter you write so the hiring manager does not get the feeling that you are sending out cover letters en masse. Make sure names are spelled correctly and job titles are accurate. State your purpose early on. The purpose of your letter, which is to state the job you're seeking, should be made clear early on. Hiring managers often handle the vetting process for a host of positions at their companies, so the earlier the hiring manager knows which position you're applying for the better. Hiring managers may become frustrated when applicants don't make their intentions clear or do so in the final paragraph instead of the first. Explain why you are a qualified candidate. While it's good to note your work history, your resume will do the bulk of that legwork. A cover letter is your opportunity to show how your work history makes you a qualified candidate for a specific position. Remember to be concise but relate a specific example that illustrates how your work history would help you thrive in the position for which you're applying. Exhibit some knowledge about the company to which you're applying. An effective cover letter should help you stand out among your fellow applicants, and expressing some knowledge about the organization can do just that. The goal here is to illustrate how you and the organization are a good fit, so you don't need to go overboard or be too specific. But hiring managers are likely to be more impressed by applicants who do their homework and show knowledge of the company than applicants who submit a form cover letter where the company is scarcely mentioned. Be cordial in your closing. A cover letter should close with a cordial request for an interview or a friendly way of indicating you look forward to a company's response to your application. In addition, thank the reader for his or her time and mention you would be delighted to answer any questions he or she may have. An effective cover letter can go a long way toward making a strong first impression on a prospective employer. Men and women should look at their cover letters as their first opportunities to connect with a company and write their letters accordingly. - Metro Creative
People leave jobs for various reasons. Some individuals cite disparities in pay, an inability to advance through the company or incompatibility with a particular place of business as their reasons for seeking new employment, while others leave jobs to take time off for family obligations, only to re-enter the workforce at a later time. The Bureau of Labour Statistics says the average person changes jobs 10 to 15 times (with an average of 11 job changes) over the course of a career. Reports about employees in Fortune 500 companies have found, while women make up nearly 50 percent of these companies, they represent just 7.5 percent of top earners. Dissatisfaction with their income encourages some women to look for greener pastures. But whether you’re a man or a woman, transitioning between jobs is common. Professionals can take certain steps to ensure their transition works out for them and does not burn any bridges along they way. * Have a definitive reason for leaving. It's foolish to change jobs on a whim. Be clear about why you are leaving and whether problems can be remedied by speaking up or if leaving for another company really is the best solution. Having firm reasons for your resignation will enable you to leave with more confidence and conviction. * Provide enough notice to the company. If you have been working in a particularly poor environment, it may be tempting to run out the door even before your written resignation has finished printing. This may not bode well for future recommendations and leave your name tarnished within the industry. Instead, give ample notice and find a mutually acceptable window of time in which your position will be filled. While two weeks is standard, some positions may require more or less time. It's best not to drag your exit out too long though. * Meet with your boss first. Don't let a boss find out about your intentions to leave the company through the workplace gossip mill. It is always more professional to keep plans to yourself and show your boss the respect of hearing about your decision to leave first. Do so in person and not over the phone or via email. * Continue to do your job to the best of your abilities. Giving notice is not a ticket to goofing off or participating in an office vacation. Slacking off damages good will and is a sure-fire way to burn some bridges. Put in your best effort until the day you leave the company behind. * Avoid making negative comments. When discussing your reasons for leaving, be diplomatic but honest. Similarly, do not talk poorly about your former job to your new employer. You may inadvertently portray yourself as a disgruntled employee. Furthermore, word travels fast within many industries, and a loose tongue may compromise future networking opportunities. * Maintain decorum even if it was not your idea to leave. Being fired or downsized can hurt, particularly when you thought you were doing a good job. Remain cool and always be professional. How you conduct yourself when facing adversity could speak well to your future employers. William Shakespeare may have said that a person is remembered for his entrances and exits, and this is particularly true in the workforce. When it is time to leave an employment position for a new one, do so with grace and humility.   - Metro Creative
Fatigue can prove a formidable foe to anyone. Exercise enthusiasts and couch potatoes alike periodically can suffer from fatigue, which can affect performance at work and one's relationships with friends and family. Fatigue can be temporary or chronic, and while quick fixes like an energy drink might work for a little while, such solutions may only mask fatigue for a brief period before it returns once the stimulant wears off. Many times fending off fatigue involves making some lifestyle changes that can boost your energy over the long haul and make fatigue a distant memory. * Eat breakfast no matter what. According to a study published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, a high-fiber, high-carbohydrate breakfast can increase alertness between breakfast and lunch, a period of time during which many professionals begin to feel fatigue settling in. Whole-wheat toast or a bowl of high-fiber cereal can pack an energetic punch that lasts all the way to lunchtime. * Choose high-energy snacks. One of the problems many people have when dealing with fatigue is how they choose to combat their feelings of sluggishness. Eating a candy bar from the office snack machine might seem like the ideal energy booster, but a sugar boost does not last very long. Chances are your feelings of fatigue will return sooner rather than later. * Give yourself a break. Burning the midnight oil might be necessary, but failing to take breaks throughout the day will likely exasperate any feelings of fatigue. That's because taking periodic breaks throughout the workday has been proven to be very effective at combating fatigue. A study conducted at Louisiana State University compared a trio of different work schedules for workers who used a computer. Those who took brief, frequent breaks were better at fighting fatigue and more productive at work than those who did not. A short break of 5 to 10 minutes can be enough to provide an immediate energy boost and fend off feelings of fatigue. * Hit the road, Jack. Another way to effectively fight fatigue is to get walking. A decades-old study conducted by a researcher at California State University, Long Beach, found that walking briskly for 10 minutes provides people with more energy than eating a candy bar. Though the candy bar led to an initial energy boost, that boost died down within an hour, whereas the boost provided by a brisk walk increased energy levels for roughly two hours. Get up and walk around the office or take a brisk walk around the block or the parking lot of your office complex. You'll come back to your desk refreshed and ready to resume your workday. Fatigue is no laughing matter for many men and women. But a few tried and tested fatigue-fighting methods can increase your energy and productivity. - Metro Creative
The American Institute of Stress notes that various disorders, both emotional and physical, have been linked to stress. Such disorders include depression, stroke, hypertension, and anxiety, among others. In its 2015 Stress in AmericaTM survey, the American Psychological Association found that money, stress and family responsibilities are the three most common stressors. While the symptoms of stress are uncomfortable and potentially very dangerous, the APA notes that such indicators also serve as a warning from the body that it needs maintenance and extra care. The following are some of the ways the body might be telling adults to step back and make an effort to relieve stress. Headaches, muscle tension, neck or back pain: Some headaches or aches and pains might be mere nuisances or indicative of issues unrelated to stress. But when such symptoms are accompanied by stress, this could be the body's way of alerting men and women that the stress is approaching unhealthy levels. The AIS notes that when a person is under stress, his or her muscles tense up. The contraction of these muscles for extended periods of time can trigger tension headaches and migraines, among other things. Chest pains and/or rapid heartbeat: Chest pains and rapid heartbeat may indicate various problems, including stress. This happens when the body is stressed because stress causes the nervous system to signal the adrenal glands to release hormones that make the heart beat faster and increase blood pressure. Difficulty falling or staying asleep: Men and women who are feeling stressed out and also experiencing difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep should consult their physicians about ways to alleviate that stress. When strategies to alleviate stress are successful, adults should be able to return to normal, healthy sleeping patterns. Increased frequency of colds: Stress can attack the body's immune system, making it increasingly vulnerable to colds. The AIS also notes that a weakened immune system also makes the body more susceptible to additional viral disorders, including herpes, and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Loss of appetite or overeating: Stress can affect the gastrointestinal system in various ways, including influencing appetite. While not all problems with appetite are indicative of a body that is overstressed, stress can prompt some people to eat much more than they normally do, while others may eat considerably less than they normally would. Diarrhea or constipation: Another indicator that stress is compromising the gastrointestinal system is diarrhea or constipation. Again, while these problems are not exclusive to sufferers of stress, when a person is under stress, this can affect which nutrients the body can successfully absorb and how quickly food is metabolized. This can cause some people to experience diarrhea, while others may be constipated. - Metro Creative
When adopting more eco-friendly lifestyles, it can be easy for men and women to overlook their offices. While drivers can drive in ways that conserve fuel and homeowners can take steps to reduce their energy consumption at home, few people may give as much thought to making their offices friendlier to the environment. But there are many environmentally friendly practices that business owners and their employees can adopt around the office. Turn computers off at quitting time. Frequently turning computers on and off can produce small surges of energy each time the computer is turned on. But the Department of Energy notes that this energy surge pales in comparison to the energy consumed when computers are left on for long periods of time. When going home for the day or leaving your desk for more than 20 minutes, whether it's during lunch hour or to attend a meeting, turn your monitor off. If you expect to be away from your computer for more than two hours, turn both the computer and the monitor off. Employers who make these suggestions to their employees may reduce their office energy consumption and save money along the way. Recycle old equipment. Advancements in technology now occur at a breakneck pace, so the equipment businesses use today may very well be obsolete tomorrow. Businesses that want to be more eco-friendly should recycle rather than discard old equipment. Simply throwing equipment away might even be illegal depending on where an office is located. Some electronics contain mercury, lead or arsenic, hazardous materials that can do significant damage to the environment when not properly disposed of. Some retailers, including the office supply chain Staples, accept old equipment for recycling at their stores at no charge to business owners. If equipment is still functional but somewhat outdated, look into donating it to local organizations in need. Cut back on printing. Printing documents used to be the most effective way to share them with coworkers and clients. But nowadays printing is one of the least efficient and least eco-friendly ways to share documents. Instead of printing documents to show coworkers, create PDFs and email the PDFs instead. And rather than mailing contracts to prospective clients, email contracts that accept e-signatures, ultimately storing the contracts on your file server rather than in a dusty old filing cabinet. Develop telecommuting policies. Working from home is often seen as employee-friendly, but it also can benefit employers and the environment. When employees work from home, their employers need not purchase or lease as much office space, saving them substantial amounts of money. In addition, working from home cuts down on the number of commuters driving to work, decreasing fuel consumption and vehicle emissions. Employers who cannot allow employees to work from home full-time can still help the environment and their employees by allowing workers to work from home one or two days a week. Offices are not always eco-friendly, but there are several ways to make office life more efficient and environmentally friendly.  - Metro Creative
While losing weight and quitting smoking remain among the most popular New Year's resolutions each year, many more people resolve to change careers at the dawn of a new year. Changing careers is a significant step, especially for men and women who are firmly established in their fields. A career change can be just as rewarding and life changing as losing weight or quitting smoking, and there are some things professionals might want to consider before resolving to change careers in the new year. Changing careers vs. switching jobs Changing careers and switching jobs are not the same thing, and some people may want the former while others may only be in need of the latter. A full-fledged career change may require returning to school and a willingness to start from the bottom. A job change typically allows professionals to stay in their fields and move on to another position, whether it's with their existing employer or with another company. Career trajectory The direction of a person's career may also influence whether or not they want to make a career change. Established professionals mulling a career change should consider their willingness to start anew. Many mid-career professionals have worked for years to establish themselves in their fields and within their companies. Switching careers does not mean that experience and reputation is invaluable, but neither attribute may carry as much weight in a different line of work, and that can affect career trajectory and future earnings. Effects on others Established professionals must also consider the effect that a career change may have on their families. Married mid-career professionals should discuss changing careers with their spouse, and even their children if the kids are old enough to understand. Discuss the pros and cons of changing careers and the impact that making such a change may have on your family's daily life. Will the family have to move? Will the family lifestyle change dramatically, if at all? Spouses and children may feel better about the change knowing they were involved in the decision, and talking things through with family may help working professionals determine if changing careers is the best decision for them. Long-term goals Long-term goals are another thing to consider before making a career change. That's especially true for mid- or late-career professionals who may already have made significant progress toward achieving their long-term goals. Discuss long-term goals with your spouse or significant other and how changing careers might affect those goals. Long-term goals can change, and while the ability to realize those goals might not weigh heavily in your decision regarding a career change, understanding how such a change might affect your retirement or other late-life plans can only help you make the most informed decision possible. Many people resolve to change careers at the dawn of a new year. But such a decision requires the careful consideration of a host of factors. - Metro Creative
As the cost of college tuition continues to rise and the job market grows increasingly competitive, college students are giving greater consideration to their prospects of being hired before choosing a major. A 2015 study commissioned by the National Association of Colleges and Employers asked 201 employers, including companies like Aetna, Macy’s and Procter & Gamble, which degrees are most in demand, even distinguishing between the most in-demand bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees and doctorates. The following are the results of that study, courtesy of the NACE. Most in-demand bachelor’s degrees: Accounting Computer Science Finance Business Administration/Management Mechanical Engineering  Most in demand master’s degrees: Computer Science Electrical Engineering Mechanical Engineering Information Sciences & Systems Business Administration  Most in demand doctorate degrees: Electrical Engineering Computer Science Software Engineering Computer Engineering Mechanical Engineering   - Metro Creative
Balancing a career and a family can be difficult, and such a task gets even more complicated for professionals who decide it's time to further their educations. Though it can be difficult to balance all three, many degree programs are now more flexible than ever. In the past, night school was the only way working professionals could simultaneously pursue their careers and further their educations. But thanks to advancements in technology, distance learning has enabled men and women to pursue their educations without committing to night school. Flexible hours that allow students to complete coursework on their own time as long as they meet deadlines for assignments has made online degrees more and more attractive to busy professionals. Students and professors can keep in touch via the Internet, and some online students have found it easier to work with professors online than in a classroom. Many schools now offer the same curriculum and courses through distance learning that they offer on campus. Students who may have studied at a particular school for an undergraduate degree may be able to pursue additional degrees online at their alma mater. When pursuing such degrees, students must make sure the university is accredited. Those considering online courses should realize that online courses require a certain measure of focus that differs from the focus necessary to succeed in a more typical academic environment. If you are new to online learning, initially enrol in one course at a time to get a feel for the process. Focus on a single course at a time so you can gauge how much attention and time is necessary to perform your best. There is no point paying the tuition only to have to repeat the course again for lack of concentration from stretching yourself too thin. Sometimes professors will offer live lectures in addition to the standard coursework they assign. Make the time to participate in such live sessions. Make time too for daily study sessions, just as you would when taking classes on campus. Routinely communicate with your professor. This way you can promptly address questions about coursework. When taking online courses, students should resist the temptation to treat such courses as less important than those classes taken on campus. - Metro Creative
The last several years have seen a series of economic ups and downs. Managing careers amid such instability has been challenging for many individuals, but professionals looking for more security can take steps to find careers that promise more long-term stability. Focusing a job search on industries that have shown strong growth and the ability to ride out waves of economic turmoil can tip the odds in your favour. Certain industries have better long-term employment outlooks than others, and men and women looking for more stability should consider these industries when pondering their next career move. Accounting Thanks to ever-changing financial policies and greater scrutiny placed on lending practices and bookkeeping; accounting jobs remain solid career choices. Jobs in accounting can range from entry-level to more advanced (and more lucrative) positions requiring certification or a secondary education. Medicine Financial health does not safeguard people against illness, and health services are needed regardless of the state of the economy. That makes medical careers some of the most coveted and stable around. Healthcare professions can be lucrative, and careers in medicine are not restricted to doctors or nurses. Clinicians, medical imaging personnel and medical laboratory technicians also are needed. Computer Systems Computer systems analysts and programming experts are highly coveted in today's digital world. Many company operations are completely overseen by relatively autonomous computer systems. As technology keeps changing, employees who are able to stay abreast of the changes will only grow more valuable. Builders With more money injected into the economy, homes and businesses can once again resume growth. Labourers with skills in construction, masonry and residential building, and structure contractors can count on steady employment. Environment Clean-energy and other environmental jobs may currently make up a small percentage of employment, but reports from the Bureau of Labour Statistics indicate jobs in this sector are growing much faster than other fields, including healthcare. Workers ready to get in on the ground level may benefit from opportunities for advancement and the stability of working in a field that figures to grow considerably over the next several decades. Green jobs include work that is primarily involved in the production of green goods and services, such as renewable energy, pollution reduction and recycling. Green jobs also are those that involve education and training related to environmental compliance. Entering the job market for the first time or re-entering it with a new career direction can be intimidating. Focusing education and skills on careers that are proven winners can be the security and confidence boost professionals need. - Metro Creative
When a new school semester starts, children and young adults may not be the only ones who are returning to the classroom. Many adults resolve to expand their professional horizons by returning to school even after they have established themselves in their professions. Some may aspire to develop skills specific to a particular job, while others may want to make it easier to transition to a new career. Going back to school can be an exciting time, but one that also comes with a bit of trepidation. Many adults may not have been in a classroom in more than a decade. Many things have changed with regard to academia in recent decades, and adults may need some extra time and help to make their transition back to student go smoothly. Schedule a campus visit. Choosing a school is an important decision, and even though you might not be spending as much time on campus as you did when you were younger, don't overlook the importance of a campus visit. A member of the admissions faculty or even a current student may be able to offer a guided tour, explaining the layout of the campus, amenities and resources. He or she also may point out parking areas, study locations and the best way to navigate the campus. This will help alleviate a fish-out-of-water feeling the first day of class. Secure financial aid if necessary. School is expensive, but keep in mind that scholarships and other forms of financial aid are not exclusive to younger learners. Speak with a financial aid counsellor about programs that might be available to you. In addition, check with your employer to see if they offer incentives for returning to school. Brush up on school skills. Start reading more to refresh your vocabulary and other language skills. College involves critical thinking and reasoning, so explore free online courses or games that cover critical thinking skills. Refresh your memory on basic writing rules if essays and reports will be part of your curriculum. Honing your academic skills in advance of returning to school can help you start off on the right foot. Create a support system. Going back to school will require you to rearrange schedules and make certain sacrifices. Such adjustments may require the assistance of friends and family. Stop by your school's student services department and ask if they have help in place for non-traditional students. They may have guidance on balancing work, life and school. Such departments may also assist you with scheduling classes at the times of day that fit best with your work schedule. Many adults return to school for personal reasons or to advance their careers. Having a plan in place can make the transition go smoothly.    - Metro Creative