Author Archives: Diane Turner

About Diane Turner

Career as a CNA By Diane Turner Nursing aids are responsible for providing basic medical care and assisting those in long-term health care facilities with their daily activities. This might include helping patients bathe or use the bathroom, turn or reposition patients that are bedridden. They may also help transfer those […]

woman submitting her resume to hiring manager

How Far Back Should a Resume Go? Answering Whether Your First Job Really Needs to Be Included

The way you write it and what you put in your resume can mean the difference between getting an interview or never hearing from the company to which you sent an application.

While it is essential that the resume is thorough, how far back should a resume go? I wondered about the answer to that question and decided to do some research to find out, and below is what I discovered.

How far back should the job history go on your resume? Your resume only needs to go back 15 years if you’ve been in the job market for a while. It's more important to include experience in similar positions, or that’s relevant to the industry of the job for which you’re applying.


What to Include on a Resume?

If you have been in the job market for some time, then you need to update your resume to include information that’s useful to recruiters or hiring managers. 

Many people don’t keep their resumes up-to-date, so if you’re looking for a new position, look over your current resume to see how you can update it. There will be things you should eliminate and others that only require simple, quick changes.

Update Your Job History

People who have years of experience in the job market don't need to list their first job unless it has been the only place they’ve worked. Then, they should include any promotions they received with that company. 

For instance, if you went from burger flipper to a national district manager for a fast food chain, then include your promotions from the time you started with them.

However, if you were a burger flipper at 16 and are now a manager at a software firm, don’t include your first job. How far back should a resume go is a question of relevance. If your first job is relevant to the position for which you’re applying, keep it on your resume. 

Also, keep it on there if you’re young and searching for your first professional job because it shows that you have some work experience. Only keep those positions on your resume that are relevant to the one you’re seeking or if you have experience within the same industry. 

If you’re seeking a job as a bank manager and you have experience as a teller supervisor, then that is the type of information that should remain on a resume.

hiring managers reading applicant's resume

Source: Freepik.com


Add New Skills

Many professionals improve their chances for promotion or getting a better position by going to classes to improve their knowledge and job skills. They may earn certificates in certain aspects of their profession, which they should include on their resumes.

Showing that you have an interest in maintain or improving your knowledge of the industry you work in shows ambition and the desire to stay within the industry. Also, look over the skills section and remove any out-of-date skills. As an example, remove that you’re proficient in Microsoft Word but keep information about your proficiency in Excel.


Update the Language

Read your resume and take out any dated language and replace it with more modern terminology. It’s no longer the World Wide Web, but the internet. Also, note that the word “internet” no longer requires capitalization. Any words or phrases that are out-of-date will date you, but by changing them for the modern versions, you are not giving away your age.

Since most companies use Application Tracking Software to sort through resumes, it’s essential that job seekers use the terms that they are looking for, which are keywords. Keywords are what people type in a search engine to find information. 

So, if you want to know about grammar, you may use the words “English grammar,” “grammar rules,” or the phrase, “what is proper grammar” which are keywords. Look up the keywords, or keyword phrases that are most people use on search engines like Bing, Google, or Yahoo when they want information about your job industry. 

Then, as you update your resume, use the keywords or keyword phrases within it to trigger tracking software into recommending your resume for positions in which you have an interest.

hand holding a full-page resume

Source: Freepik.com


Don’t Trim Too Much

A few years ago, most people tried to fit all their job, contact, and educational information on one page. While that is still the protocol for young people with limited experience, a seasoned professional can include a second page for their resume.

By leaving the relevant information on it, along with skills, education, and contact information, most people who have years of job experience will have a two-page resume. Don't try to get it down to one page as there may be valuable information that you could leave off.


Eliminate Dates on Resume

The only items on your resume that should have dates listed are your job history when you received promotions or made job changes. Remove any dates on your educational information to prevent it from dating you. 

Also, never include your birthdate on your resume, cover letter, or anywhere else. A hiring manager should never ask for it in an interview unless you’re filling out paperwork after being hired.


Re-Format Your Resume

Along with updating the content of your resume, you should also update its format. While several kinds exist, the ones to concentrate on are the:

  • Chronological Resume
  • Functional Resume
  • Combination Resume

Chronological Resume

The chronological resume is the most common type of resume for job seekers. The name comes from the fact that the applicant lists their work history from their most recent position to the other jobs they've held in reverse order.

As with most resume formats, it first begins with the applicant’s name and contact information, which should include their mailing address, telephone numbers, and email address. For people that have a website related to their work, they should include the URL for it as well.

A qualifications summary is next that briefly lists their overall experience, skills, and any specialized training the applicant has that's relevant to their careers. If there is more information that needs to go on your resume, then create space by shortening the summary of qualifications or eliminating them. Listing your work history is more important than the summary list.

After the qualifications summary, then you’ll list your work history in reverse order. Remember, do not include your first job unless the experience is relevant for the type of job that you’re seeking today. Your education information is next, followed by your relevant skills.

Functional Resume

If you decide to reformat your resume into a functional resume, then you need to highlight your job skills instead of work history. Start with the qualifications summary and highlight unique skills and key strengths by creating sections for each one. An example would be listing all technical skills in one paragraph while listing language skills in another.

After the summary of qualifications, you should add your educational information, and then your relevant work history. Functional resumes are suitable for people who may have gaps in their work history or young professionals who haven't been in the job market for very long.

If you've been in the job market for several years, comb through the skills section to get rid of any outdated skills. For instance, you don't need to mention 10-key skills or MS Word proficiency because most hiring managers assume you have them because computer skills are now standard.

Combination Resume

A combination resume uses the work history of the chronological resume and the skills emphasis of the functional resume. It begins with a general qualifications summary and then presents the applicant's work experiences they've had over the years. Their expertise includes the skills they have, what they did during internships, or on their jobs.

After writing about their experiences, their work history comes next. Its format is one line that provides the name of the company, their address, and when the applicant worked there. Any of the relevant information about what experiences or skills acquired on the job goes in the work experience section.


References

Finally, keep the references section on a resume, but don't list them. Instead, just write "references available upon request," and have them ready on another sheet of paper. Then when the interviewer requests them, you can hand them over immediately.


Change the Font

Along with updating the format of your resume, you should also look at it from an aesthetic viewpoint and make changes to make it stand out from the hundreds of resumes that many companies receive when positions are open.

Instead of using the more common Times Roman or Arial fonts, try out other professional styles. Two examples are the Cambria or Calibri fonts. These fonts are clean, legible, and more companies are requiring them on written materials instead of the fonts as mentioned earlier. 

Do not use other fonts that could be hard to read, such as fonts that mimic handwriting or those that do not like professional. Follow these suggestions if your curious about how far back should a resume go. 

Then its content will not only capture the attention of the application tracking software, but it will also get the attention of hiring managers before you interview with them. A nice-looking resume with good content will help you land an interview for most jobs for which you apply.

graphic designer working using color swatches and tablet

Graphic Designer Salary Overview: Crafting Enticing Visuals for an Interactive User Experience

If you want to become a graphic designer, you may learn how to craft stunning visuals that tell a story. Unlike many professions today, you don’t necessarily need a college education to land a lucrative graphic designer salary. All you need is skill and experience. Read on to learn how you can earn a living from your creativity and artistic talent. 

What a Graphic Designer Does

Graphic designers have a unique eye for design, and they may work on a variety of project types depending on their industry. Some work for companies, while others freelance and find their own clients. Regardless of work setting, graphic designers work to create impressive digital visuals to promote a product or brand. Their day-to-day duties continuously change depending on the project but may include:

  • Teamwork with creative or marketing staff
  • Strong knowledge of color theory, typography, and production
  • Developing and designing graphic art, whether web or mobile
  • Working with programs like InDesign, Photoshop, and Adobe Creative Suite
  • Meeting deadlines, within a pre-set budget
  • Learning continuously to stay up to date on current practices and technology
  • Adapting quickly to new technology

Graphic designers may work on projects such as designing a webpage for a company, creating designs for a mobile app, or making visuals for an advertisement. Whatever industry to type of digital experience you have, designers are expected above all to poses in-depth knowledge in proper theory and know how to execute ideas. They may need to present their work at times too, so verbal and written communication skills are vital. In this role, it’s important to be flexible and solve problems. 

top view of a graphic designer's workstation

Source: Freepik.com

If you work for a marketing or advertising department or freelance, you may also need to understand how to handle client relationships. Working as a part of a team is essential as well, even if you work in a remote position. Lastly, because technology is continuously developing, graphic designers must remain calm and roll with the punches in an ever-changing environment. 

Likewise, designers focus on a variety of different areas. Front end designers, for example, will focus on what the user actually sees whereas the back-end designer may have other tasks to perfection. Management positions may also come with various titles, such as Art Director, and they oversee teams of designers. Roles may include positions like:

  • Production artist
  • Commercial artist
  • Conceptual artist
  • UX/UI developer
  • Illustrator
  • Layout manager
  • Creative director
  • Art director

No matter what job title a graphic designer holds, they may work on a part-time, full-time, or contract/freelance basis with a company. 


Education Requirements

According to O*net, most graphic designers hold a bachelor’s degree. Although, not all employers will require graphic designers to attend college. Many people in the field may receive some form of technical training in graphic design or earn an art degree, and related fields will often allow you to find a graphic design position as well. 

In this profession, more emphasis is placed on work-related skill, artistic talent, design knowledge, and experience. If you find a position without a bachelor’s degree and begin gaining industry experience, for example, you may be able to still advance your career with ease. On-the-job training is expected with any new hire in this role. 


What is User Experience?

Well-designed content helps people want to interact and stick around longer. The brand stays on their mind, and they may buy your products and services or come back for more. The user experience, or UX, of design is all about how the user (i.e. your customer or reader) interacts with your plans. Bad content will turn them away, whereas a strong presentation with colorful visuals can keep them entertained for hours or more.

Whether a graphic designer works on a digital product or a service, they find the best solution to keep the customer’s attention while meeting business goals at the same time. It’s about much more than the images and colors used, it’s the entire construction of the product that makes a user experience better or worse. 


UX Best Practices the Best Graphic Designers Know

The best graphic designers got there by creating content people love. They know how to engage users by creating a story behind an interesting visual or honing in on what your audience enjoys, and they can move people into action through effectively relaying a great and simple story. Good UX doesn’t just happen, it’s built on over time and follows some standard best practices, including: 

  • Design strategy – How you organize the visuals and content in a way that effectively tells a story and makes people want to act.
  • Interaction design patterns – Form a brand icon, and you may save time on design tasks later, while users have a symbol to understand and interact with faster than words. 
  • Visual style guides – Keeps your brand colors and fonts consistent throughout all platforms and allows teams to stay on the same page when it comes to the design choices of a company.
  •  The rule of thirds – An understanding of how user’s eyes travel over a layout or image. 
  • Typography – Which fonts are right to convey the message you want, and how the weight of the font changes how it’s read. 

As a graphic designer, you will need to stay up to date on current visual design trends. Understanding the trend as well as why the trend works among customers today is important. You need to think about what a user wants and needs and establish a consistent style in all applications to produce stunning and reliable content. Don’t forget to communicate with teammates as well, especially if you’re only working UX while a colleague handles the UI design.

 

How Much is the Average Graphic Designer Salary?

Salaries tend to vary based on the industry you work in, your experience level, and your location. However, most graphic design salaries may also come down to skill. Talent is typically rewarded with higher salaries, and if you have extensive experience in a certain area, you may also be able to charge more for those particular projects. 

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), graphic designers overall make a mean annual wage of $54,680. The highest paid designers average around $85,760 and tend to hold the most experience, while the lower 10% of entry-level workers in this professional earn around $29,610 per year. 

In addition to these wages, designers who work for a corporation may earn other bonuses as incentives for reaching company goals or doing particularly well on a project. Some companies may also reward their employees with stocks and bonds in the company or possibly match the money you save in a 401k while employed. 


Who Hires Graphic Designers?

The average graphic designer salary you earn, however, can also vary based on the industry you work in. Each place of business may alter the type of work you do on a daily basis. Those who work in publishing could design book covers, for example, while designers in advertising may create visuals for ads. Graphic designers tend to find jobs in the following common industries:

  • Scientific and technical consulting services - $60,110
  • Specialized design services - $56,600
  • Advertising or public relations - $55,750
  • Newspaper, book, or periodical publishers - $48,530
  • Printing - $44,430

Jobs may also vary within the industry as well. Printing job involving print design, for example, have decreased while the move toward digital publishing techniques is still evolving. 

Nearly one in five graphic designers is also self-employed, meaning they opt to work for themselves and seek their own projects rather than work for a large company or print shop. Freelance or independent work is becoming more common than ever, especially because the job can be performed remotely as long as you have the right software and technology for your needs. Many remote workers travel to meet up with clients or use video chat software like Skype, and some will work as a part of a team this way. 

Group of Multiethnic Designers Brainstorming

Source: Freepik.com

If you work as a freelance graphic designer, you will set your own salary. However, you may ask for higher wages than a company would pay you simply because you complete all the administration tasks that an employer would normally take care of, like marketing, bookkeeping, and hiring new clients. Self-employed people also tend to have more irregular working hours, as they take on projects when they can and can choose when they work. 


Which Industry Pays the Highest Salaries?

Although most graphic designer jobs are found in advertising or publishing in recent years, these are not the highest paying companies to work for. Industries with the top wages tend to require at least a bachelor’s degree and extensive experience, often in government work or computer systems design. 

The industries who pay graphic designers the top graphic designer salaries include:

  • Federal executive branch - $83,090
  • Aerospace products and parts manufacturing - $79,250
  • Semiconductor or electronic manufacturing - $79,250
  • Legal services - $72,160
  • Natural gas distribution - $70,850

Which States Pay Higher Salaries?

Wages also vary based on your location. Graphic designers commonly find great pay in areas with the highest employment rates, such as large cities like New York City or Los Angeles, or places with the greatest need for people in these positions. The top 10 areas that pay the highest annual wages, according to the BLS, include:

  • District of Columbia - $71,180
  • New York - $64,840
  • Massachusetts - $64,010
  • California - $61,100
  • Connecticut - $60,700
  • Virginia - $60,540
  • Washington - $60,530
  • Alaska - $59,640
  • New Jersey - $59,140
  • Maryland - $58,610

You may also be able to charge higher wages as a graphic designer if you have a high skill set. When it comes to digital art, there is still a level of talent and skill that comes into play. Many designers learn over time as they gain experience, some take advanced education courses to stay on top of trends, and others simply have a better design eye or industry connections that can land them big paychecks. 


Job Growth Trends

Graphic designer positions have been increasing in recent years due to an increase in online publishing options, and tech-savvy artists are needed to work with publishers to create a range of work. However, those who find roles in computer systems design may see the most growth and job prospects according to the BLS whereas jobs involving print design will drastically decrease.

Overall, O*net shows the job growth for graphic designers at 2-4%, which is slower than the national average for all professions until 2026. There will be projects 26,000 jobs open nationwide. This means finding a position may become more competitive, especially if you live in a top metropolitan area known for hiring graphic designers like Los Angeles or New York City. Expect to polish your artistic skills and learn to follow clear instructions. 


Freelance Salaries vs 9 to 5 Salaries

Freelancers set their own salaries and do all the hard work it takes to run a business, so they tend to charge slightly higher rates for their services. The average freelance graphic designer, according to a survey by How Design, makes the highest rate in the Northeast, at $74 per hour. Most freelancers will also charge added fees for anything beyond the scope of the project terms or rush orders. These rates are much higher, on average than in-house graphic designers in any state. 

Self-employed people also have the availability to make extra income on the side, and side projects can encompass just a few added hours each week. Many designers will choose to split their time working in a particular niche with a side-gig in another industry. Being self-employed means you don’t need to do only one type of project, although people may stick with one thing they know how to do well. 

Man editing photos on a computer

Source: Freepik.com

Money isn’t typically the reason most graphic designers decide to live a freelance lifestyle though. It’s all about freedom. You pick the projects, rates, and when you work. You choose who you work with and have more flexibility in where you work. On the other hand, working for a corporation offers a steady paycheck with perks like insurance benefits and bonuses. For many, the free lifestyle is worth the risk of an inconsistent paycheck. 

Although freelancers tend to make higher salaries than people employed by a company, they also pay more in taxes. When you’re self-employed, you don’t have taxes taken out of each paycheck that is matched by an employer. Freelancers must pay more in taxes than traditional employees, and they often need to set aside money for quarterly tax payments to the IRS throughout the year. Otherwise, they may face steep penalties. 


A Final Thought

Appearance matters. Graphic designers use their eye for design to work on a variety of projects, from developing tv graphics and magazine to electronic media. The job prospects aren’t necessarily in high demand in the near future, making this creative role potentially highly competitive. 

With less than a bachelor’s degree and some artistic experience, you may be able to earn a lucrative graphic designer salary in no time. If you love art or graphics, it’s never too late to begin working toward a career as a graphic designer. 

 

technology network security digital cloud

The 16 Best Cyber Security Certifications to Have on Your Resume

Last year saw a rise in cybersecurity breaches with most of them suffered by major entities like Facebook, which had over 80 million records breached. These breaches not only lead to massive losses, but they also create opportunities for IT security professionals. 

A report by Cyber Seek shows that there are over 700,000 cybersecurity professionals in today's workforce. Moreover, the cybersecurity job opening is over 300,000 in the U.S. The number is expected to hit 500,000 by 2021.

Employers often go through certification when evaluating potential InfoSec candidates. Getting the right certification acts as a commitment to quality and measure of excellence. Certifications help you learn and understand the field while considering your career options. 

In this article, we look at what cybersecurity is, and what are the best cybersecurity certifications you need to have on your resume.


What is Cyber Security?

Cyber Security is an IT security that helps to protect the data and secure the system. The technology handles the safety of the system. Cybersecurity experts spearhead the effort to protect networks and devices. 

Business person logging in to his laptop

Source: Freepik.com

Why Should You Pursue a Cyber Security Certification?

Human error is a threat to cybersecurity. Getting cybersecurity training comes with various benefits like: 

An Excellent Way to Expand Your Knowledge

Being a subject matter expert makes you a valuable asset in the job market. Specializing in cybersecurity makes you stand out from other IT professionals.

Show Interest and Commitment 

An employer is looking for a potential employee who has an interest in and commitment to the job. Getting certified demonstrates your commitment to pursue further education and grow in the cybersecurity industry. 

Save Time

Cybersecurity certifications help you to save time by giving you skills on how to implement valuable, comprehensive, and repeatable processes particular to your role and to the company you’ll work. After the certification, you’ll have the confidence to implement an information security program that can handle any cyber threats.


The 16 Best Cyber Security Certifications 

You can now have access to different cybersecurity certifications if you’re looking to advance your skills and gain knowledge in specific areas. Depending on your experience and career goals, you may find one or more courses ideal for career growth. Some of the best cybersecurity certifications to pursue include:

Security +

Security+ is a beginner level certification ideal for those interested in joining the cybersecurity industry. The course by CompTIA covers the basics in cybersecurity with a focus on trends in threat management, risk management, and mitigation.

However, you need to have at least two years of experience in network security and pass an exam to get the certification. 


NIST Cybersecurity Framework (NCSF)

NCSF comes as a founder and practitioner certification. The course offers you an overview and skills necessary for management cybersecurity threats at every level in the organization. You can expect to learn the challenges organizations face, and how to mitigate risks with the foundation course.

The practitioner certification is ideal for operations professionals or cybersecurity engineers who need a detailed knowledge of the NCSF. 


Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

The Certified Information Systems Security Professional certification is an advanced course for information security professionals. Security professionals with this certification are in high demand in any industry. 

With this certification, you learn how to design, implement, and manage a cybersecurity program. CISSP also showcases your expertise and allows you to become an ISC member. The membership helps you unlock exclusive resources, peer2peer networking opportunities, and access educational tools. 

However, you need to have a minimum of five years’ experience before pursuing this course. Two of those need to be in the CISSP standard body of knowledge domains and the rest a four-year degree.

Also, it takes three years to be certified. You must earn 120 CPE credits during the three years. Nonetheless, after the three years, you’ll now have the skills to direct an IS framework. 

CISSP covers asset security, security operations, software development security, and security & risk management. It also focuses on security assessment &testing, security architecture &engineering, and communication & risk management. 


Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)

You need to pursue a CISM if you plan to work as a government or an enterprise-level security management professional. 

To sit for this exam, you need to have at least five years in the Information Security sector, with three of those in management, position in ISACA approved practice areas. The course recognizes the person who manages, design, and oversees an enterprise’s information security. Professionals with this course can align their initiatives with broad business goals. 

It’s also an ideal certification if you plan to move into a CISO role. The course covers information risk management, information security governance, and information security incident management. Moreover, you’ll get to learn about information security program development and management. 


Systems Security Certified Practitioner

The Systems Security Certified Practitioner certification is an entry-level course for those interested in joining the cybersecurity industry. The ISC2 recognized certification is a requirement for CISSP certification.

You can expect to cover security operations, networks, access controls, cryptography, coding, and analysis. The only requirement is to pass the SSCP exam to earn this certification. What’s more, you can apply for jobs in security engineering, monitoring, and implementation positions. 


Certified Information Security Auditor (CISA)

The Certified Information Security course is another ISACA certification that focuses on information system controls and monitoring skills. Pursuing this certification shows that you’re competent enough to secure vital business assets.

Cybersecurity experts need to demonstrate their skills to identify risk and apply the best practices to mitigate any threats. Getting the CISA certification tells employers that you have the experience, but also a professional who can handle security issues.

CISA focuses on information systems acquisition, development and implementation, management of IT, IS operations, maintenance, management, and Auditing Information Systems.


Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC)

A certificate in Risk and Information Systems Control shows potential employers that you can identify and assess IT risks, to help organizations meet their objectives. You’ll get the right skills to plan and implement the proper measures to mitigate risk. 

According to ISACA reports, most CRISC holders can work as CIOs, CEOs. CFOs, CISOs, or as security executives in enterprises. 

CRISC covers risk identification, risk response, and risk monitoring. You’ll also learn about risk assessment and evaluation. Other notable topic areas include Information Systems control monitoring & maintenance and Information Systems Control Design and Implementation. 


Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)

CCNA or Cisco Certified Network Associate certification gives you the skills to recognize threats and vulnerabilities, come up with security infrastructure, and implement the best practices to handle security threats.

CISCO asserts that the course provides the right foundation for roles like network security support, network security technicians, and administrators. Certified professionals can secure devices and data with the latest CISCO security hardware and software solutions.

Some of the areas you can expect to cover are Cisco advance malware protection, SIEM technology, Identity Services Engine, and 802.1x authentication. The course also covers cloud &virtual network topologies and Cisco FirePOWER next-generation IPS. 


Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP)

The CCNP course is ideal for Cisco network security engineers who have the task of securing routers, networking devices, appliances, and switches. Also, you should pursue this course if you support and troubleshoot IPS/IDS solutions and VPNs. 

A report by Cisco shows that the need for network security professionals will double by 2020. The course is broad and covers Cisco security devices, management services on Cisco devices, threat defense, and threat defense architectures. 


Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)

The Certified Ethical Hacker course is perfect for people interested in ethical hacking. The certification helps to identify weakness and vulnerabilities in security systems. Most cybersecurity practices, governments, and fortune 500 companies seek professionals with the CEH certification. 

Some of the areas you’ll cover in this course include ethics, security in regards to threat modeling, cryptography, firewalls, and the regulations. Also, you can expect to learn data analysis, programming languages, and a background in malware operations, protocols, networking technologies, etc. 


Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE)

Taking a CCIE certification helps you attain the necessary skills to implement, support, and maintain Cisco network security solutions using modern technologies and industry’s best practices. Candidates need to take a written exam and complete an eight-hour lab exam that tests their ability to secure the network in a timed manner.

You need to attempt the lab exam within a year and a half of passing the written exam. CCIE topic areas include evolving technologies, secure connectivity, advanced threat protection, virtualization, and intrusion prevention. 


GIAC Certified Incident Handler (GCIH)

The certification gives an IT professional the skills to detect and resolve computer security cases. Certified Incident Handlers can demonstrate various handling skills. It’s also an ideal course for security architects and system administrators looking to understand how cybercriminals crack passwords and infiltrate networks. 

The course covers incident handling, password attacks, network attacks, client attacks, and web application attacks. You can also expect to learn about cache poisoning, denial of service attacks, and covering tracks in systems and networks. 


CompTIA Security +

CompTIA Security + is an entry-level certification that provides you with technical skills and expertise in different security-related disciplines. Although it’s a beginner course, you need to have two years of experience working in network security.

The certification covers topics like security risk identification, identity management, threat management, network access control, security infrastructure, and cryptography. Another added advantage is that the U.S. Department of Defense approves the certification. 

You’ll need to take a single exam to get certified. However, you should note that those who took the Security + certification before January 2011 get the certificate for life, but if you take it after that date, you need to renew the license every three years.

The renewal involves taking 50 CEUs or take a CertMaster CE online course. 


Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP)

The CCSP course is ideal for anyone who would like to show his or her skills in data security and cloud computing. Also, the certification demonstrates your proficiency in cloud architecture and application in security considerations. 

The ISC2 approved course if ideal for system architects, security administrations, systems engineers, security consultants, and security managers. 

Nonetheless, for you to be eligible for this course, you need to have at least five years of work experience, three of which need to be in information security and a year in CSSP standard body of knowledge.

Alternatively, you can substitute the CISSP credential for CCSP experience. Moreover, you need to pass the exam and subscribe to the code of ethics for you to get an endorsement.


Licensed Penetration Tester (LPT)

The Licensed Penetration Tester is a course by the EC-council. With this expert-level certification, you can demonstrate to potential employers your cybersecurity techniques. For you to be eligible for the exam, you need to have at least two years of experience and hold the EC-council security analyst certification.

Furthermore, you need to have an industry-equivalent certification like the offensive security certified professional or the GIAC penetration tester.

You can expect to cover SSH tunneling, OS exploits, multi-level pivoting, and privilege escalation. 


Certified Protection Professional (CPP)

The Certified Protection Professional course is not an ordinary certification, as it’s advanced enough and one of the requirements most organizations look for when they want to hire a CISO.

You need to have at least nine years of security experience, three of which needs to be in a security function. 


Conclusion

Choosing the best cybersecurity certification depends on where you are in your career and what you're looking to achieve. As a beginner in cybersecurity, you can opt to start with Security + or Network+ to gain skills necessary to land a job and increase your experience.

After some years of experience, you can get hacker or CISSP certification to enhance your chances for a new role or promotion. 

 

hand holding a full-page resume

How Long Should A Resume Be? Settling The Debate Once And For All

Writing an effective resume is something both the experienced and those fresh from college struggle with, something that can be frustrating. Some HR experts argue that a resume should have a maximum of two pages; others suggest a single page. I was curious about the confusion; that’s why I delved and went through multiple sites to find the truth. Here’s what I found.

So, how long should a resume be? While it’s difficult to recommend a specific length, the best resume should be concise and convey your worth. A resume should have a length that entices hiring managers to call you for interviews.

Although it’s impossible to determine a specific length, that doesn’t mean you should write a long resume that hiring managers will find useless. Certain factors like years of experience, industry and the type of job determine how long your resume should be. In this article, we evaluate factors that should dictate your resume length.

When Should Your Resume Be One Page?

How long should a resume be if you don’t have a wealth of experience to show? A one-page resume is ideal if you have just graduated, whether in high school or college. At this point, your resume should focus on relevant experience which includes volunteer work and school projects, skills, and coursework.

Also, if you have less than two years of experience, your resume should be one page in length. For example, if you’re applying for a similar position, it’s essential to have relevant experience. Do away with any experience that doesn’t match the job you’re applying for to maintain the length.

You need to keep your resume to one-page if you plan to make a career change and the new career path doesn’t require experience. For example, if you’ve been working as an engineer for ten years, but you now need to transition and start a career in business development, your experience as an engineer is irrelevant.

You need to create a one-page resume with details of your business development experience whether it’s in training or work.


When Should Your Resume Be Two Pages?

Majority of people fall under this category. The length is perfect if you have two to over twenty years of experience. Although those with more than ten years of experience may find it difficult to include all the details in two pages, it’s possible to cover everything in two pages.

Hiring managers spend at least six seconds looking at your resume. A long resume may be distracting if the hiring manager has multiple resumes to review.

A two-page resume also works well if you are an award-winning student. You may have honors, tons of class projects, publications, awards, work experience, and extracurricular activities that may not fit in a single page. You may need a two-page resume if you must include specific sections on your resume.


Exceptions to the Resume Length Rules

You’ll realize that specific changes in your career may make it difficult to settle for one-page or a two-page resume. Depending on your career change, you may either transition to a one-pager from a two-page resume.

hiring manager holding the candidate's resume while doing an interview

Source: Freepik.com

Also, the result can be vice versa if you have multiple published works, several consulting gigs that state your experience, list of technical skills, or other proficiencies. If this is the case, you may have a three-page resume.

Your resume may also exceed two pages if you’re using an academic resume format to seek work in sciences or academia. Using an international resume to apply for vacancies outside the United States may also make your CV longer.


Essential Tips to Write a Concise and Relevant Resume

Always remember that your resume is a marketing tool and not your autobiography. Your resume should address who you are as a person, what experiences you bring, and your motivation for the position. It should also discuss what impact you’ll bring to the role. Below are some tips to help you trim your resume to the proper length.

Only Include Relevant Experiences

While it’s crucial to check the length of your resume, you need to understand what sets you apart from other candidates. Your content will make the difference between getting your resume read and it being discarded.

Only include experiences and positions that are relevant to the job. Sometimes you don’t need to add high school details. Also, you need to do away with any college extracurricular if you an experienced professional with over ten years of experience.

Cut Down Your Personal Statement or Career Objective

Don’t overdo your career objective or opening summary. Be descriptive in regards to your collective knowledge and experience. Avoid me-focused career objectives or mission statements that state your intention to find a fulfilling career with growth opportunity.

The top third of your resume should only include your impressive accomplishments and recent experience.

Avoid listing your street address at the top or including references at the bottom of the document.

However, if you graduated from college or if you’re looking for a job in a different industry, this rule exempts you. For example, if you went for an internship years ago, and this information is relevant to the position you’re applying for, then include it on your resume.

Use Different Format Technique to Get to the Right Resume Length

Sometimes all you need is to experiment with different fonts, check for spacing between the paragraphs, and adjust your style to get to the appropriate resume length.

You can use various font styles like Calibri, Arial Narrow, Trebuchet MS, and more. Fonts like Arial, Verdana, and Times New Roman take up more space. Margins and spacing can also dictate the resume length. Try decreasing the margins to 0.5 and the spacing between 0.5 to 1 points.

Ensure that the resume is easy to read as you experiment with various spacing and font options.

Also, avoid using bullet points carelessly. Although bullet points make your text scannable. Overusing them take up a lot of space. Look for points that you can combine to form a single sentence.

Some resume experts advise you to move the left edge of the bulleted content with the text of other lines; this extends past the margin. With this, you still create an easy to read resume and save space.

Do away with unnecessary section headers as they waste space, instead of having separate sections for volunteer and professional experience. Consolidate them under one experience section.

Although you may be tempted to shorten line spacing or trim margins, overdoing it could get your resume thrown in the trash. Always preserve readability even when editing your resume.

job interview

Source: Freepik.com

Consolidate Contact Information

Some people make the mistake of including all details of their address, the street they live in, and more. Avoid separating your email address, phone number, and social media accounts by line. You can use vertical bars to divide this information on one line.

Customize Your Resume Based on the Job Description

An effective resume should address how you’ve been working towards the job you are applying. Before drafting your CV, take time to study the job description to identify keywords qualifications, and experiences you need to include.

Go through each line of your resume to determine if it’s relevant to the job description. If it’s distracting, eliminate it.

Use a Master Resume to Write a CV for Each New Job

Drafting a CV from scratch is tiresome and time-consuming. What’s more, you may end up with a longer resume. You can reduce your stress by creating a master resume. In this resume, list all the skills you have, experiences, proficiencies, and qualifications you have.

With the master resume, you can create a tailored resume that will help you get to the proper length.

Always Include Keywords

Most hiring managers scan resumes for keywords. Keywords are priority phrases that act as a requirement for this position. Keywords can be anything from accomplishments, years of experience, specialties, language, and anything the employer is interested in finding in a potential candidate.

The job description has all the keywords relevant to the position. You can edit your resume to include these keywords and eliminate those that don’t add value.

Avoid Using Unnecessary Words

Most people make the mistake of using vague words and passive sentences, something that lengthens your resume. Avoid using weak words like in charge of, responsible for, and similar words on the resume.

Always use active voice when drafting your resume. Use action verbs like serve as, coordinate, analyze, assess, monitor, reduce, and more. Stay away from overused adjectives like driven, seasoned, exceptional energetic, and the likes.

Write Your Resume with the Employer in Mind

You should create your resume with your potential employer in mind. Remember that your resume needs to address what you can do for the employer, what you’ve done before, and what impact you’re looking to bring to the company.

female applicant talking during a job interview

Source: Freepik.com

Ask for Help

Sometimes all you need is a career coach to help you draft a professional resume. Also, you could consider asking your friend to help you trim the resume to ensure that it only contains relevant details.

There are a few best practices when writing a resume, including answering the question, “how long should a resume be.” Hopefully, these tips were able to give you someplace to start in your resume writing and formatting.

men shaking hands

The 6 Best Trades to Learn for Guaranteed Job Security


Even if you don’t intend to pursue them full time, some trades can give you extra job security and more employment opportunities. Many of the best trades to learn can improve your income at your current position, or allow you to take a more specialized role at work. 

An example of one of the best trades to learn can be expertise as an electrician. From manual labor jobs like coal mining to server staff at an IT position, the ability to act as a company's on-site electrician is highly valued. This is one of the best trades to learn because it improves the safety of the workplace, acts as a specialized role, and often leads to a pay increase.


Product FAQs

Why Are These Trades Unique?

How Do I Leverage These Trades For Increased Job Security?

Does Increased Job Security Mean Higher Wages or Salaries?

How We Reviewed

Choosing the best trades to learn can be difficult, even when you narrow down the criteria with factors like job security. In this review trades that provided exceptional job security when they were pursued full time were mentioned. The list also includes trades that increase your worth in a business even if they aren’t the main criteria for your employment.

All of the jobs below have a very small unemployment percentage. This means that those who received training in that trade spend minimal time unemployed. The length of time they spend employed at a single position without quitting, being fired, or also transferring effects this rating. 

Trending statistics were also taken into consideration. If it is believed that the wage for a particular trade will remain stable or increase soon, that was weighed in. The trades mentioned below are also expected to continue to grow, with their job demand exceeding the number of qualified trade professionals currently available.


The Top 6 Trades For Guaranteed Job Security

These are the best trades to learn for guaranteed job security. Some of these trades offer guaranteed security on their own, while others can increase your security in other trades entirely. The reason for each trade’s inclusion will likely be mentioned in their entry below.

Medical Trades

The first trade on this list is a bit of a cheat, but all of these trades have a common thread. Dentists, veterinarians, and physicians have the highest job security of any trade. The number of specialists in health and wellness falls far below what modern civilization demands, so the demand for people with these skills always exists.

If you have the training to become a physician's assistant or doctor's aid, your value in nearly any position will increase immediately. The income of hundreds of human and animal doctor positions continues to remain among the highest yearly salaries. Agreeing to be an on-call emergency staff at many workplaces can lead to an immediate raise.

woman working on a medical laboratory

Source: Pixabay.com

If you are in a full-time medical trade, there are some Cons. Work that puts the health and wellness of others in your hands can be extremely stressful. These trades have some of the highest rates of suicide, depression, and position transfers. The demands on doctors, nurses, veterinarians, and others have made the trades difficult to maintain full time.

If you can be approved as a physical fitness assistant or emergency staff, these serve as useful part-time trades. You still need to put in significant study time, but far less than a full-time nurse or doctor. You can leverage this as part-time work, and many open private practice businesses like the position of a life coach.

You may not receive offers in your exact field if you are a specialist. Any form of expertise in medical practice will grant you incredible job security. You are far more likely to quit due to personal trouble or emotional problems while pursuing one of these trades before you are fired unless you show serious ineptitude in your position.


Computer Network Architect

Computer Network Architects are one of the most important trades in modern society. They build online networks, connect the systems of a business into Local Area Networks (LANs), and perform complicated digital maintenance for companies. The average salary for a full-time CNA is over one hundred thousand dollars a year.

In the digital age, the security of a business largely falls on their IT staff. A Computer Network Architect is often tasked with putting security in place around a network once they’ve established it. They choose how to distribute the sensitive information of the company, and help created tiered informational databases.

man typing on a keyboard

Source: Freepik.com

If a business has to release its Computer Network Architect, the chance that they will have to renovate their entire network is high. The new CNA may redesign a business’ network using their own plans, and even then the former CNA may have some built-in access to the network.

It's a position that requires a lot of trusts, but it's vital for any digital business. If a company so much as has a computer in their office, a Computer Network Architect is necessary. If you can offer your service to a workplace, you are likely to have job security and probably a fair amount of say in your workplace.


Therapy and Personal Assistance Providers

Although these could easily fall under the blanket of medical professions above, therapists are separated for a reason. These positions offer mental and physical aid respectively, but they do so in a one on one setting.

The need for Personal Assistant providers is on the rise due to a growing population of elderly adults. Physical therapists are considered valuable helpers by athletes in training, actors preparing for a roll, and subjects of surgery looking to rebuild their strength and mobility. 

physical therapist assisting senior woman doing exercise with dumbbell

Source: Freepik.com

Marriage counselors, psychiatrists, and mental help therapists also have high job security. More and more citizens are seeking help with mental or social health issues, and these practices can easily pick up and move to where their practice is in demand.

The two contrast each other somewhat. Physical therapists have basic medical training that can be used for part-time work or to improve your job security in a full-time position. It is difficult to pursue this full work time. Training as a mental health therapist doesn't translate well to other trades, but you will have strong job security if you pursue one of these positions full time.


Statistician

Statisticians see their job blended with other similar fields quite often these days. The position provides decent job security if you are a dedicated statistician. It is equally helpful if you want to have more trades in your resume to increase the value you present at your present workplace. 

professionals working on a statistic report

Source: Freepik.com

Statisticians are needed to analyze business trends, a company's income and expenditures, and other vital aspects of a business. They sometimes work with company advertisers or other in-house positions or may hold both roles.

Statisticians influence nearly every job there is. Unemployment rates for statisticians are just below .8%. The position can be combined with others to give you a hybrid role in a business, which often comes with higher salaries. It also means you will be in high demand if you want to seek new employment elsewhere.


Engineering

To be specific, environmental engineers have the highest job security of any current engineering position. Environmental engineers have to know local codes before a business builds or stores materials in a certain area. Their positions can be environmentally friendly, but more often it involves knowing area codes and other intimate laws and bylines.

Mechanical engineering positions have higher average pay, but lower job security. Engineering as a whole requires an individual to be good in trades that use mathematics and physics. The longtime spent training and the precision required of their work means there is rarely enough manpower to fill all engineering positions.

hand working on construction plans

Source: Freepik.com

Engineering is a trade that translates well between different positions. Large corporate businesses like the fossil fuel industries offer a flat pay increase if you have training in an engineering position, even if that isn't your main role in the company. You can also choose to move into a full-time engineering position for greater job security this way.

Focusing on environmental engineers, they must regularly balance the demands of local governments, corporations, and complaints from local populations. If an incident does occur, they are often forced to shoulder the fault by one or more of these outside parties.

Engineering is a highly technical position. It is rewarding because you can construct long term projects in society, and build infrastructure for businesses or areas. It is challenging because you must regularly meet with others, give reports, and the risk of blame and personal admonishment is high. The pay is also considered low for what such vital positions should currently be making.


Database Administrator

This trade goes hand in hand somewhat with Computer Network Architects. The role of a Database Administrator is to create the databases where your company will store information. It creates different partitions and security levels, setting the rules for who can access what.

They create the roadmaps that tell computers in a business where to send information; the steps employees should take to log in, and so on. The databases are often connected by the network architect's work, so the positions often work together or are folded together. 

corporate man working inside a database room

Source: Freepik.com

This means that if you know one or both of these trades, your skills become that more essential to a business. Leaked information, digital attacks by hackers, and other disastrous events for businesses often have to do with a mistake made by one of these two positions. 

A database administrator touches the most sensitive information of many companies, so it is often guaranteed you can stay or leave on terms of your choosing. This is counterbalanced by the heavy responsibilities mentioned above, as you will almost singularly be held at fault if one of these terrible scenarios is to happen.

Like most IT positions, it isn't as easy to switch from another trade to Database Administrator, or visa versa, as many people think. IT positions are often lumped together if you prove you can fulfill both roles though, and you are often adequately compensated, receiving the work and pay off two or even three positions in a business combined.


The Verdict

The trade with the highest full-time job security at present is Dentistry. Unlike other medical fields, the specialized medical training of dentists doesn't easily translate to other medical positions. This means there is less job switching, and dental offices work hard to keep their dentists. This also accounts for the many dentists who are self-employed.

employee standing while working on her laptop

Source: Freepik.com


Medical Training Guarantees High Full Time And Part Time Job Security

The trade that offers the best personal job security is that of a physical therapist or physician. Medical training can easily be spun into private practice, such as a personal physical therapist, which allows you to remain self-employed.

These positions offer one of the highest rehiring rates. Private doctors and other direct medical assistance providers are positions that all continue to grow. If you don't want to pursue a full-time medical position, you are guaranteed to still find work if you have training in almost any of these trades.


Engineering Trades Are Useful For Upward Mobility In Companies, Or You Can Pursue Them Full Time

Engineering positions remain the best trades to learn to improve your job security in your current position. Electrical engineers, environmental engineers, and numerous positions in between offer you flexible skills that can be used in many workplaces.

Full-time engineering positions offer high guaranteed job security, but their salary can be slightly lower than other positions with high job security. The skills of the engineering trade can be leveraged if you offer to be an on-site engineer, but you can also choose to become a company's full-time engineer in businesses such as city planning and coal mining with ease.

Hand of a real state agent is holding a key and giving it to the couple

The Value of a Deal: What is a Normal Real Estate Agent Salary?

There is a lot of allure for people looking to enter into the real estate industry as a real estate agent. The prospect of helping people find the home of their dreams where they can raise a family and live a happy life is something many people are drawn to. Let's discuss about the real estate agent salary on this article.

Real estate agents also tend to make their own hours and manage their own schedules to suit the needs of their clients. But, most importantly, what does a real estate agent salary look like? Is the flexibility and rewarding parts of the job worth the money?

It’s also worth considering the additional factors that could affect a real estate agent salary. What kind of details separate the average earners from the top earners in the industry?

In this article we will shed some light on the real estate industry and help give you a better understanding of the details and factors that play a role in how much real estate agents can earn.

The Types of Real Estate Agents

There are two distinct types of real estate agents. While the basics of their job may be similar, the details make these two jobs very different.

The first and most common type of real estate agent you will encounter is a residential real estate agent. Perhaps you have even interacted with a real estate agent in the course of buying or selling your own home.

Residential real estate agents often work for large brokerages and help facilitate real estate transactions between buyers and sellers. There is a very rewarding aspect of being a residential real estate agent as these agents can help buyers find the home of their dreams and help sellers get the best offer for their home.

While selling a home may seem like a single job it is anything but. Successful real estate agents are also knowledgeable about marketing, customer service, and the legal process that goes into a real estate transaction.

The other type of real estate agent is a commercial real estate agent. These agents don’t work with individual clients but, instead, help businesses find properties to buy or lease. The value of these deals can be much higher than residential transactions but deals are often few and far between.

Commercial real estate agents also usually work for brokerages just like residential real estate agents. In many cases, commercial agents will partner with landlords or developers to help sell or lease business properties.

While commercial real estate agents do not help people find the home of their dreams where they can raise a family, they do help businesses find the perfect location that can help them grow well into the future. Both scenarios are incredibly rewarding, just in different ways.

Factors That Make Up A Real Estate Agent Salary

real estate agent holding toy house

Image via Freepik

In addition to the types of properties that real estate agents deal with, there are some other factors that play a major role in determining salary.

One of the main factors that determine how much a real estate agent can earn is licensing. Each state has their own unique licensing requirements and, within those requirements, there may be additional courses or certifications needed to take on certain roles.

For example, one can become a real estate agent in many states after completing a basic course. In other states, like Alaska for example, there are differing requirements for people who want to be real estate brokers, associates, and salespeople.

Licensing Requirements

The licensing requirements in your state may determine the types of deals you can complete and, in turn, the amount of money you can earn. If you have a specific type of real estate career in mind then you should pay careful attention to the licensing needed to carry out that role.

Where you live can also play a major role in how much money you earn as a real estate agent. Hot real estate markets with a high number of transactions will often lead to higher earnings when compared with cooler markets.

The amount of competition among other real estate agents and brokerages in the area could also determine your earning potential. A region with a lot of real estate agents competing for business may make it more difficult for new agents to break into the market and earn money.

As you can see, there are a lot of moving parts that go into a real estate agent’s earning potential. Where you live, the health of the real estate market, the amount of competition, and even which brokerage you work with could all play role in determining how much money you make.

What Actually Makes Up
A Real Estate Agent Salary?

realtor presenting house design to client

Image by yanalya via Freepik

Simply searching online for a real estate agent salary will bring up a wide range of results. The median real estate agent earnings in the United States comes out to around $40,000 per year. Of course, this does not tell the full story.

Real estate agents have a lot of control over how much they earn. This is because the typical real estate agent does not earn a salary in the traditional sense. Instead, most real estate agents are paid a commission by their brokerage for the deals they have helped work on.

When a property is sold there is usually a buying and selling real estate agent involved. The amount of commission is usually set by the selling real estate agent’s brokerage. A standard commission on the sale of a home is 5% which is usually split between the selling and buying real estate agent’s brokerages.

Commissions

From that commission, the brokerages take their cut. This can vary from brokerage to brokerage but usually amounts to about 40%. That means the individual real estate agent takes home 60% of their split from the sale before taxes and other expenses.

The number of sales and the value of the homes in the area can play a very large role in determining a real estate agent’s income. What makes a top performing real estate agent can depend on the area, the value of the homes being sold, and the brokerage that sets the definition for top performers.

Using the numbers provided above, someone who sells a single house worth $1 million will earn as much as someone who sells 5 houses worth $200,000 each. Increase the volume of homes being sold by real estate agent number 1 and they will have earned much more than real estate agent number 2 despite having sold fewer homes.

There are also other ways for real estate agents to earn money. Some agents work for brokerages that offer discounted commission rates that promise to save sellers anywhere from 1% to 3% on their transaction. In these cases, real estate agents stand to make less per sale than their counterparts that work for a full commission.

In addition to real estate agents that earn a reduced commission, there are also agents that work for a fixed, flat rate fee. This is less common but the practice has been growing in the United States and Canada in recent years. The appeal of flat fee real estate agents is the certainty provided to sellers as the commission they have to pay does not fluctuate based on the sale price.

Ready to Sell Some Property?

realtor and client shaking hands

Image via Freepik

If you are interested in becoming a real estate agent then there is a lot of potential to earn a significant income. Top performing real estate agents can earn well into the six figures.

Of course, there are a number of factors that need to be considered when determining real estate agent income. The cost of houses in the market, the number of houses sold per year, and the brokerage rules can all have a major impact.

Real estate agents are often also responsible for a large number of the costs associated with their work. Transportation, marketing costs, and other expenses may have to be paid directly out of pocket and should also be factored in when looking at income. The good news is that many brokerages will provide some assistance with expenses and other expenses can often be written off on your final tax submission.

For some, the prospect of only earning a commission based on sales is daunting. For others, it means that their hard work will be rewarded handsomely. If you fall into that second category then the idea of selling real estate may be very exciting.

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the best it certifications to look for

The Best IT Certifications Every Tech Professional Should Have Under Their Belt

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A career in IT is rewarding and fulfilling. You can work for the government, an enterprise, businesses, and even in the healthcare industry. However, IT being a competitive field, you need to hone your skills by getting the best certifications.

Getting the best IT certifications can improve your chances of career advancement. Nonetheless, getting certified can be expensive considering the training, study materials, and classes. It’s best to do your homework and find certifications that will help advance your career.

In this article, we look at some of the benefits of getting an IT certification and some of the best IT certification you need to have.

What are the Benefits of IT Certifications?

Pursuing an IT certification has some benefits for both individuals and businesses. With an IT certification, you can:

  • Get current skills in an evolving field
  • Improve your career options
  • Help you get a promotion and earn a higher salary
  • Use the certification to win new businesses
  • Make you stand out among your peers

IT certifications can also benefit the company by:

  • Providing value to an organization
  • Ensuring IT reliability
  • Improving the level of support and service
  • Promoting qualified employees

The Best IT Certifications

certifications and documents

Image from Pixabay

If you’re looking to advance your career in IT, below are some of the best IT certifications you should pursue.

Project Management Professional

Project Management Professional also PMP is an industry-recognized certification by the Project Management Institute. The certification is meant to provide customers and employers with an assurance level that a project manager has the knowledge and experience to plan and deliver projects.

PMP relies on exam success and project management experience. For individuals to be certified, they need to undergo 35 hours of training and have at least 7500 hours of PM experience for those without a bachelor’s degree.

The process of becoming certified starts at the PMI website. After approval, you need to sign up for an exam through Prometric. Also, for you to maintain the PMP certification, you need to undergo 60 professional development units every three years.

ITIL Foundation

ITIL Foundation has over the last 30 years acted as a framework for IT management around the world. The course combines a set of best practices for aligning IT services with an organization’s needs.

The certification covers capacity management, incident, and change management. With the introduction of ITIL 4, you can expect advancements in the digital revolution like Lean IT, Agile, and DevOps.

The entry-level ITIL certification, which is ITIL Foundation offers a broad-based knowledge of the IT service lifecycle. The courses try to bridge the gap between the needs of the business, and the inclusion of IT.

All you need to be certified is to pass the exam. However, you need to pass the Foundation exam to pursuing other ITIL courses.

Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect

The Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect debuted in 2017, and it enables IT, professionals, to get certified as cloud architects on the GCP platform. With this certification, an IT professional can design, develop, and manage a scalable and secure cloud architecture using GCP technologies.

Every organization requires some cloud skills. You can find a vacancy in cloud jobs as most businesses are struggling to get qualified cloud experts. Also, it’s one of the highest-paying certifications.

The certification helps an architect understand what solutions to implement in a particular scenario. You need to take the exam in person at Kryterion Testing Center.

CompTIA Network+

As someone looking to start a career in networking, you should consider getting a CompTIA Network+ certification. The course is ideal for help desk and networking technicians, not to forget junior network technicians and infrastructure installers.

The exam covers network installation, maintenance, and troubleshooting of other networks like Wireless and Ethernet. What’s more, the certification also tests you on network security and the different protocols for WAN and LAN.

With the CompTIA network+ certification, you can present yourself as an expert in network protocols and network infrastructure. You can use this certification as a bridge to pursuing other certifications like Cisco CCNA.

AWS Certified Solutions Architect

The AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate certification helps you learn how to design and deploy scalable systems on AWS. The market needs qualified AWS solution architects, the reason why it’s one of the best IT certifications in the market.

Although the course has been running for many years, its demand is still high because of the growth in the cloud. You need to get certified to receive the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Professional Certification.

However, for you to get this certification, you need to have at least six months of hands-on experience with AWS. The computer-based exam can be taken at the PSI testing centers.

The certification exam handles various topics like estimating AWS costs, designing on AWS, choosing the right AWS services, ingressing data, and estimating AWS costs. Also, the course helps to identify cost-control measures.

Linux Essentials Professional Development Certification

Linux Essentials PDC is a beginner Linux certification. Linux is an open-source, free, and community based operating system for server and desktop computing. Linux professionals are always in demand, and this certification gives you a view of how Linux OS works.

The course gives you an overview of open-source software and its origin. Also, it handles the basic usage of different Linux tools and components.

Cisco Certified Network Associate

The Cisco Certified Network Associate or CCNA is an associate level certification that gives you skills on how to install, operate, and configure enterprise-level networks.

Becoming CCNA certified allows you to find and solve typical network problems. It’s a must-have certification if you’re looking to build a networking career. Moreover, you can choose to specialize in wireless networking and security.

You need to complete two exams and have prior networking experience. Some of the job titles include systems administrators, network engineers, and network administrator.

Certified Information Systems Auditor

The Certified Information System Auditor certification gives you skills to report on institute controls, compliance and allows you to identify vulnerabilities within an ES. With this certification, you can enjoy an IT auditing career.

You’ll need five years of work-related experience in IT auditing, go through the course and pass the exam, and submit the CISA application. Also, you need to adhere to ISACA’s code of ethics and commit to pursuing continuous education. It’s a requirement to comply with Information System Auditing Standards to achieve the CISA certification.

Some of the job titles that come with this certification are systems auditor, information technology auditor, and security analyst.

Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert

The Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert certification is suitable for advanced IT professionals involved in the management of data centers. The accreditation covers desktop infrastructure, server infrastructure, enterprise devices, private cloud, and data platforms.

Also, the course gives you skills on business intelligence, SharePoint, and communications. However, for you to get the MCE certification, you need to have an existing MCSA windows server certificate and complete an extra MCSE entry-level course.

Certified MCSEs may be IT managers, system engineers, system administrator, or Field Systems Technicians.

Citrix Certified Associate

The Citrix Certified Associate covers troubleshooting, monitoring, maintaining, and management basics. It’s ideal for technical support staff and administrators. You only require hands-on experience and pass the exams for you to get this certification.

Although the number of certified CCA-V is low, the demand is high. It’s the reason why those certified earn a premium salary. You also need to get the associate certification before pursuing the Citrix Certified Professional Virtualization certification.

Apple Certified Associate

With Apple being the third largest computer system vendor in the US, it’s no wonder that Apple Certified Associate certification is in demand. The course focuses on getting Mac users integrated into an IT environment founded on Windows.

You can take the ACA exams online; you don’t need to appear physically at the exams venue. Also, you can access the training material online.

Certified Scrum Master

The Certified Scrum Master by Scrum Alliance gives you the skills to help scrum teams work. You acquire skills to work across departments and groups to ensure projects are on track. You need all the hard and soft skills to manage teams and projects.

You also get a logo once you become certified. Also, the CSM certification grants you a two-year Scrum Alliance membership; this allows you to access events, discounts, and online social networks.

Certification in Risk and Information Systems Control

Certification in Risk and Information Systems Control allows you to identify, assess, respond, and mitigate. Moreover, you acquire skills in control reporting and monitoring. However, you need to have three years of experience in this field. You also need to identify and manage risks.

Unlike other certifications, CRISC test runs for four hours and contains 150 questions.

Certified Information Security Manager

The Certified Information Security Manager certification is an internationally recognized course that showcases a person with skills to design, manage, oversee, and assess enterprise information security.

Getting a CISM comes with demanding responsibilities, but a good paycheck. CISM qualifies information risk managers and IT security managers as it needs a command of strategy and security policy.

You’re required to sit for an examination that covers information security incident management, information security governance, information risk management, and information security program development.

However, for you to sit for the exam, you need to have five years of experience in the field, with three of those in information security management. You cannot alternate education for an experience like the CISA.

Certified Information Systems Security Professional

The Certified Information Systems Security Professionals or CISSP is ideal for IT professionals interested in the design and maintenance of security infrastructure. The course by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium states that the certification allows you to detect new threats and implement practices and technologies to handle any risk.

When you take the exam, you’re expected to cover asset security, security & risk management, security operations, security engineering, software development security, security assessment and testing, and communications & network security.

However, you need to meet particular prerequisites like having a professional experience in any of those eight areas the exam covers. You also qualify for this course if you have a bachelor’s degree in an ISC-approved field.

CompTIA A+ Technician

The CompTIA A+ technician is an entry-level course for those who would like to handle operating systems, PC maintenance, printers, and other devices. It’s an excellent course to pursue if you don’t have any work-related experience.

You only need to complete two exams to acquire this certification. Some of the job titles include help desk technician, desktop support technician, and a help desk technician.

Microsoft Technology Associate

You should pursue the MTA certification if you’re looking to start a career developing and supporting Microsoft Products. The best part is that you don’t need any prerequisites to pursue the course.

What’s more, Microsoft gives you the chance to choose one exam out of many to complete, any of which will get you an MTA certification.

Cisco Certified Technician

The Cisco Certified Technician is an entry-level certification for those who would like to get to the networking side of IT infrastructure. With this certification, you can act as a Cisco hardware technician.

Some of the duties you could be responsible for include repairing network-related devices, installing network devices, and troubleshooting any network problems. The course has three specializations mainly telepresence, routing & switching, and Datacenter.

Conclusion

The courses above are the best IT certifications you need to have to have under your belt. IT professionals willing to acquire skills and get certified in networking, systems, cybersecurity, and cloud computing enjoy enviable salaries in the industry.

Do your research and find a course that fits your current needs and the career path you hope to follow. You can speak to a professional to understand what to look for in any certification to ensure you’re getting value for your money.x

man in white shirt pointing on the white board while other is listening while holding laptop

Project Manager Salary Overview: Seeing Tasks Through To Completion

Project Manager Salary Overview: Seeing Tasks Through to Completion

 

Whenever you see a building getting made or a road built, there is always someone either behind the scenes or onsite who makes sure that everything runs according to plan. That person is the project manager of a job, and while it is a tough job, the payoff can be significant.

 

If you do not mind putting in the time, education and work needed for the position, then the job can yield you a sizeable yearly project manager salary. But what type of skills while you need for this type of situation? What kind of person will ideally benefit from this type of position?

 

If you have been thinking about these types of questions that this project manager salary will suit you well. In this article, we will go over the job and the average paycheck that comes with it. We will also look at some of the qualifications and responsibilities of the position. Let us get started!

What Is a Project Manager?

businessman and woman looking in the laptop

Image via Pixabay

The position of a project manager is a job with many different roles and responsibilities depending on the specific situation. However, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the role of project manager belongs to the construction industry.

 

Still, all project managers, regardless of the industry, are responsible for starting, designing, overseeing, controlling, finishing and closing a project. When they begin a new construction project, the project manager is at the head of everything, from finding employees to budgeting the overall cost.

 

A project manager needs to worry about maintaining an internal staff department that they can pass work off to as it comes. Similarly, they also need to communicate with all the vendors involved with the project. Often this involves multiple material providers and interior decorators in the case of a building.

 

The project manager also looks after the budget during the entire process of construction. They must manage the scope and expectations of the work if it begins becoming more expensive than predicted. A project manager must report to each department head and let them know the current status of the budget.

 

They will also inform them of any progress and concerns they may have with the way things play out. As such, a project manager must come with extensive knowledge of departmental procedure. They also must know how to communicate with a large group of people quickly and concisely.

 

In terms of day to day operations, most project managers will work behind the scenes in office settings. However, they will also visit the site itself so they can know that day to day operations with the workers goes as planned.


Why Are Project Manager Important in the Workplace?

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If you cannot already tell from the job description, the role of project manager is by no means a small task. But why is the job important in the workplace? What causes the project manager salary to be so high?

 

A project manager remains a justly revered position because this individual is responsible for making sure that the end product matches up with the expectations of the client. The client will always bring strategies and desires to each business opportunity.

 

As we mentioned, these roles can be complicated and multifaceted. The project either succeeds or fails because of this position and the strategies it implements. It is the role of the project manager to make sure that by the end of the job all of these strategies come to pass.

 

Another reason this position remains highly sought after in the industry is it requires competent leadership skills. As the name suggests, you will need to direct other people and provide some guidance with each task they complete and how they complete it.

 

Oversight is crucial when you deal with any large scale, day to day operation. While documenting the minute details of your team's progress and budget might seem like tedious paperwork, it helps provide an accurate estimate regarding when the project will reach the final stages.

 

It also helps keep workers in line that might slack off under a less watchful eye. The leader is in charge of making sure that well-produced progress reports reach the stakeholders promptly. These reports should be technical, but also easy enough to understand for the average person who may not know much about it.

 

Without any good leadership, then projects can quickly turn into a car without a steering wheel — dangerous and out of control. A leader acts as that steering wheel by controlling the direction and progress of any construction work.

 

In plain terms, a manager remains necessary for the sake of accountability. If someone stands at the head of the project, then there is no confusion about who is in charge and who is responsible for any trouble that arises.

 

Project managers also remain essential due to their clarification skills. When dealing with both abstract concepts like design and real ones like building costs, it helps to have some who can redefine the listed goals for when they get too convoluted.

 

When management teams lack a leader, then goals the client set before them quickly become confusing and different for each person. As such, a project manager ensures that everyone remains on the same page in terms of understanding the task at hand.

The overseeing of money and time also remain essential reasons for hiring a project manager. Like the goals of a project, the projected budget and period estimated by a management team can quickly turn into over-ambitious guesses if there is not an individual keeping things in check.

 

This position helps set a realistic expectation for the client. It also helps combat possible negative conversations about budget projects or projects that arrive late.

 

Without a good project manager, complex construction projects can quickly turn into chaotic and expensive cash holes. As such, investors want someone they know can handle the responsibilities of the job.

 

A good project manager also ensures that the final project, once the team finishes it, maintains all the amounts of quality that the company promised the client. This part of the job is more natural said than done. In practical terms, it requires the leader to break down the project into stages which can be easily identifiable.

 

At each one of these stages, the leader will organize a quality control team to go through the project and make sure it reaches the standards that the client communicated.

 

Project managers also work to identify risks in the problem and deal with them before they become a bigger problem. Like diseases, or holes in a ship, when you catch them early on, you can minimize what likely would have turned into something of an irreparable loss.


How to Go About Being a Project Manager

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As you can probably expect, becoming a project manager involves more than just a college degree. However, a college degree is also necessary too — specifically a bachelor degree in relevant fields.

 

While some universities offer specific project manager majors, more often than not you will need to study a related field and then take additional certification measures. Generally, we recommend studying business management since this major will cover a lot of the necessary skills needed for the job.

 

However, you do not confine yourself to business management if it does not interest you. Computer science, marketing, and engineering degrees also come in handy — mainly if the project you lead specializes in these fields. Remember project managers usually work in construction, but not always.

 

If you do decide that you want to oversee a construction undertaking as a project manager, you will need some additional level of certification. Specifically, you will need to pass an exam offered by the CMAA, or the Construction Management Association of America.

These types of certifications help prove that you hold all the necessary qualifications for this type of job. And since they are universal, you do not need to complete multiple certifications for different companies.

 

You will also need experience before a client can trust you with the responsibility of a big project. No one is going to hand you a big, important job right out of school, so you will need to work your way up before taking on these type of projects.

 

Most project managers work as an assistant until they learn enough insider information on the job to handle one of their own. Be patient during this process and eventually you will get the project manager salary that you deserve.


Project Manager Salary

The most recent average released by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics places the typical project manager salary around $133,684 per year. However, the range of wages usually falls between a wide area of one hundred and twenty thousand and one hundred fifty thousand dollars.

 

However, keep in mind that these salary figures are not set in stone. Indeed, they rely on a variety of factors like the level of education you hold, the number of years you have in the industry, your reputation for finishing projects and any other additional skills you might bring to potential projects.

 

As such, you will need to work your way up the ladder and prove yourself before you start seeing consistent money coming in, in terms of a regular salary. Connections within the industry also help speed up this process considerably.


Why You Might Want to Become a Project Manager

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It takes a particular type of person to become a project manager — not everyone is cut out for the job. Simply put, excellent communication skills are a must for this job. When you talk about the goals of the project with your client and team, you must be the middleman for transferring a clear vision.

 

This skill means that you can answer any questions someone might ask you concisely and. It also says that if you do not know the answer, that you communicate that and get back to them. You must be able to demonstrate an aura of calm and respect during stressful situations and interaction.

 

As you can tell by the amount of education, certification, and experience needed for the job, a project manager also requires quite a bit of time that not every individual has the patience or financial circumstances for when applying.

 

Since the project manager must identify problems before they occur (or at least know where problems might arise), they must come with a good deal of foresight. While often this skill is taught through the job, it does not hurt if the candidate remains a prudent thinker throughout their life.

Leadership skills are another necessary trait. Some people just were never meant to lead anything — which is excellent! Not everyone needs to be a leader. But even in the leader world, there are spectrums of how effective a leader can be on the job.

 

Some good leaders point the team in the right direction and deal with problems as they arise. And then some bad leaders micromanage every team member and create more problems than they solve. It is crucial you know the difference between the two.

 

If the organization is an incredibly important part of your personality, then that is another sign that you would make a good project manager. With all the files, bills and forms needed during the construction process, if you do not maintain an incredibly streamlined system, then things will quickly back up.

 

Unorganized leaders will lose vital pieces of paper, or forget to pay a critical supplier. Anytime spent during the work process retracing your steps to get a document or idea is some time that you could spend on the project.

 

As you might guess math skills are another essential qualification for an individual in this job to possess. However, not only should they be well versed in dealing with large sums, but they should also be able to understand and contextualize them for the team.

 

When you deal with big money orders spent on labor and resources, then the figures you estimate can quickly turn into meaningless numbers. There is no better way for a project to head over budget. As such we recommend people who come with a knack for dealing and understanding large money figures.

 

We hope this article helped give you an excellent overall impression of what the roles and responsibilities of this position look like in the workplace. The project manager salary is a pretty good motivator for getting into the field anyway.

 

But, we strongly recommend that you find so passion in the field — either in the building process or in leading others. If you do this, then the nice paycheck will be the cherry on top of the sundae. But, if you do not like it, then you may quickly become overwhelmed and unhappy. Choose carefully!


2 garbage collector putting all the trash at the truck

Garbage Man Salary: What You Need To Know

 

Let's discuss what the average garbage man salary is, but before that, let’s look at what a garbage man does.

Garbage men are often thought of as the bottom of the pile when it comes to day jobs, and that’s simply because they drive around collecting all of our trash. What many don’t realize is that it takes quite a lot to be a garbage man physically and mentally. Just take a moment to imagine what our world would be like without waste management… Pretty gross, right?

What Is A Garbage Man?

These men and women deal with many of the things that the rest of us would rather forget about, and the job is full of ​potential hazards​. Besides dealing with road hazards, people’s trash tends to be filled with many dangerous items such as broken glass and hazardous materials; and then there are the illegal dumps and angry customers that they must deal with regularly.

This is a full-time job for the person who decides to take it up. Waste collection happens daily and no matter the weather.

2 Garbage man collecting garbage and put it on the truck

Image by netkids from Pixabay

A garbage man, also known as a garbage collector or sanitation worker, is a maintenance worker. They collect garbage and other waste along designated routes within a municipality. Generally, the garbage collector drives the track and removes waste materials from commercial, industrial and residential areas.

They then take that garbage that has been collected and compacted and take it to a designated deposit site. Once at the facility, the garbage man will sort through and remove anything that is recyclable, and the rest is incinerated.

From there, the garbage is moved into designated landfills where it is deposited and covered in dirt. In some cases, the garbage needs to be transported to other locations and must be transported by river barges or large semi-trucks.

In 2009, garbage men collected around 243 million tons of trash, equaling out to 4.3 pounds of trash per person, per day.

The average garbage man salary comes out to $35,200. However, there are a variety of different factors that can play into this figure. Some of those factors include education, skillsets, location, health, and experience.

Garbage Man Salary Factors & Influences

As mentioned earlier, in order to become a garbage man, it is important to keep in mind what it really takes to be one. Before contacting a waste management facility for a job, you’ll want to consider the following.

Education

Toy Garbage man and trash can

Image by jacqueline macou from Pixabay

While most garbage collectors don’t need to have a formal college education, it is recommended that the individual have a minimum of a high school diploma or GED.

Besides onsite training, if a garbage man plans to drive the truck, they will need to have and CDL license, more specifically, a CDL Class A or B license. This allows the driver to operate any vehicle with a combination weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more.

Skills


As mentioned before, one key item that is required to be a garbage man is having a Class A or B CDL license. While this allows users to drive and operate any vehicle with a combination weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more, there may be additional endorsements needed by each individual.

Some endorsements that may be needed to drive and operate a garbage truck include:

  • H Endorsement – Required for vehicles containing hazardous materials
  • X Endorsement – Combination endorsement for HAZMAT and tank vehicles

The best way to know what endorsement you need is to contact your state as different states may require different endorsements.

Experience

Truck full of garbages

While the average garbage man salary is around $35,200, acquiring experience in the industry can mean a higher salary.

A mid-career garbage collector with experience of five to ten years in the industry can earn closer to $36,000, and a collector with ten to twenty years of experience can reportedly expect to earn an average of $47,000.

Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash

Overall Health


While not exactly a written requirement in most areas, in order to be a successful garbage collector, a person needs to be of good health, with a lot of strength. Lifting garbage requires both upper and lower strength, and believe it or not, driving those large trucks requires some strength too.

Garbage collectors also need to be able to deal with anything that the universe throws at them mentally. From bad weather, nasty trash, angry customers and bad traffic, a garbage man needs to be able to keep their cool, be a people person and be able to think quick on their feet to avoid a variety of issues.

Garbage Man Salary by States

Inside a Person's pocket is a sum of US money

Image by Alexsander-777 from Pixabay

Of all the factors that play into a garbage man salary, one of the biggest is their location, especially in which city the route is in. Below are the top five states that pay their garbage collectors the most:

States

Salary

New York

$54,900

Illinois

$50,210

California

$48,080

Washington

$46,340

Rhode Island

$44, 670

When broken down by best-paying cities for garbage collectors, California claimed the top two spots, and the fifth, with New York and Washington filling in the gaps.

States

Salary

Oakland, California

$61,470

Santa Cruz, California

$59,600

New York City, New York

$57,080

Mount Vernon, Washington

$56,940

Salinas, California

$55,370

Garbage Man Types of Salaries

3 Garbage man collecting some garbage and put it on the truck

Image by netkids from Pixabay

Recycle Truck Driver $56,800

Environmental Sanitation Engineer $29,033

History of Waste Management

Organized waste management first appeared in London in the late 18th century. The creation of the Nuisance Removal and Disease Prevention Act took place in 1846 and was the beginning of the ever-evolving process of waste management in London.

In 1875, the Public Health Act gave local authorities the ability to purchase, repair or create sewers, to control water-supplies, regulate cellars and lodging-houses and to establish by-laws for controlling new streets and building in England.

In 1874, the first incinerator was built in Nottingham, and soon after, similar municipal systems of waste disposal began appearing throughout Europe and by 1895, first appeared in the United States in New York City.

In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency regulates all waste material under the 1976 Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). This includes provisions on the disposal of solid and hazardous waste, along with garbage and sludge from wastewater, water supply treatment plants and other discarded materials from industrial operations.

In the United States, the top five waste management companies include:

Waste Management Companies

Waste Management Inc.

Republic Services Inc.

Clean Harbors

Stericycle Inc.

Progressive Waste Solutions LTD.

Garbage Man Outlook – Conclusion

Employment of garbage men, garbage and recycle collectors, and their respective truck drivers are expected to grow by 13% from 2016 to 2026, which is faster than the average for all hand laborers and material movers.

Because the population is always expanding, and with today’s mentality that if something breaks, you simply replace it, garbage creation is only expected to continue increasing. Products simply are not built to last anymore. Where cellphone used to last 3-5 years no problem, current phones are becoming outdated within a year of purchase.

So what happens with those phones? Sure, some cases they are reused, but in many cases, they are taken apart for pieces and recycled. Some are even simply thrown in the trash.

With that being said, as trash and recyclables continue to increase, the need for solid waste collectors is only expected to grow.

Negotiate a pay raise

Learn How To Negotiate Salary Wages Like A Pro

Become Comfortable Negotiating Your Salary without Fear in a Few Simple Steps

Whether we like it or not, money makes the world go round. It doesn't often buy happiness, but it sure makes it easier for us to do the things in life that make us happy.

In order to get that money, most people have to head off to work. Whether you're an accountant, a teacher, a police officer, a sports analyst, or anything in between, you rely on your paycheck to pay for almost everything in your life.

And, like most people, you probably feel like you're not getting paid quite enough for the things you do. You work hard each and every day and deserve to be rewarded for that.

But what do you do if you're not making what you should be? The only choices are to suffer where you're at or go negotiate salary wages with your boss.

employee Negotiating salary with her employer

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Often one of the hardest things to talk about in life is money. People become sheepish, uncomfortable, and anxious when budgets, salaries, and bills come into the conversation.

It's important to remember that money is a fact of life, and people understand that more than you think. Especially people at a company or corporation.

If you're worth more than what you're currently making, it's important to take action. We know it can be terrifying, but think about how much better you'll feel when your salary increases.

No time to cry home to mama. We're walking into that office and not leaving until a change has been made.

Salary Shmalary

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Salary just sounds like one of those words adults say to sound sophisticated. But what exactly is that?

In generic terms, it is the amount of money that you can expect to receive for doing your job. A lot of times, a salary is something that is fixed, meaning you make the same amount of money on every check you get. 

This check might come to your weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly depending on the company. The specific amount you receive is decided on by an employer before being given to you. 

Overall, it's that sweet, sweet cash you get for showing up to work and doing your job.

Who's In Charge of Your Salary

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So someone gets to decide what your work is worth before you even begin to work? What kind of logic is that?

While it might seem a little strange, it is true. The higher-ups in your company are the ones that are ultimately in charge of your salary.

According to what level of skill they think your job takes, how skilled they think you are, how much they want to hire you, and how much money they are able to pay their employees, your boss will come up with a rough figure for you to receive before your job even begins.

This number can be altered over time, through negotiation, bonuses, and raises, but will likely stay at the same rate for at least a year.

What's the Point?

woman feeling uncomfortable when talking about salary raise

Image CC2.0 via Flickr

All this money talk is making everyone feel uncomfortable. Why even bother trying to negotiate salary wages anyway?

There are actually a lot of great reasons why you should consider trying to negotiate your salary. The most obvious, of course, is money.

If you take the time to negotiate your salary and are successful, you'll be able to bring home more money at the end of every week. This should enable you to do more of the things you want, invest in certain items, and maybe finally go on that Alaskan cruise you've been dreaming of.

women shaking hands and happy with the agreement they make

Image via Pixabay

What you might not initially think about is how much negotiating your salary will impact your future employment opportunities.

If you've filled out an application recently, or ever in your life, you probably know that dreaded field where they ask how much you currently make at your place of employment.

You might not think this is incredibly important, but it's actually a way for future companies to determine how much other people, and yourself, value your work. If they see that you're used to making something less than what you're actually valued at, they might follow a similar line of pay for you down the line. 

an employee working hard with a lot of customers in his store

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Similarly, negotiating your salary proves to your boss that you know what you're worth. You understand how skilled you are in your field and how much someone of a similar skill level makes.

Plus, you'll never know unless you take steps to ask for it.

An employer will not be aware of the fact that you are unhappy with your salary unless you talk to them about it. Many places can often be quite accommodating, but only once they know it's bothering you.

Speak up! Let them hear your voice so you can get the money you deserve.

If It's Important to You, It's Important to Them

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Another way to look at it is that if you're a good worker that the company values, they should care about what you want. Not only that, but they should be considerate of your time and effort and reward you for that. 

Having the courage to negotiate salary raises with your boss is so important. Not only for the sake of money but for the sake of your time.

Getting paid fairly makes you feel valued, appreciated, and ready to work even harder. This should be crucial to your company.

Keeping you happy at your job should be their top priority if they want you to keep doing a good job at it. Meaning that if you show them how important a raise is to you, they should find it to be just as important to them.

Negotiate Salary Notes: When and Where

When is the right time and where to negotiate a pay raise

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All this is great, but when would you even be able to do this? It's not like you can waltz into your boss's office at any time and demand a salary boost, right?

It all depends on what you have to say, and what you have to back that up.

A great time to begin negotiating is when you have a job offer in hand. This can be tricky waters but is something that could drastically improve your initial image of the company.

man shaking hands in accepting a job offer

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Think about it, if you're already unhappy with the salary you are expected to receive before you begin, imagine what you'll feel like a year down the line. It's best to resolve the issues before they begin to impact your actual work ethic.

Be sure to be patient until you have the actual job offer in hand though. You'll have a much better chance of succeeding with your negotiation skills if you are certain the company even wants you.

If they really want you, but you're going to decline their offer if the salary isn't higher, say something. Let them know, and they may be able to help accommodate with a bit higher of a salary right from the get-go.

woman exhausting all her resources to find the right job with the right salary

Image via Pexels

Once you've been at the job and have been working consistently, you may also want to negotiate salary raises.

Perhaps you've come to realize you're doing a lot more work than you initially thought, or your level of skill and leadership far exceeds that of your coworkers. It may be time to consider talking numbers with your boss.

However, only do so if you actually have a valid point to discuss. They will almost undoubtedly have questions for you before they decide to give you the raise you're looking for.

Why do you deserve this salary raise? Can you give me a good reason why I should consider giving you this raise? What have you been able to bring to this company that makes you worthy of a raise?

woman feeling overwhelm

Image via Pixabay

They're going to ask you these types of things, so make sure you're prepared for it. Go in knowing exactly what you want to say and how you want to say. 

And if you don't have a valid answer to any of those questions, maybe it's not quite time to negotiate. Trying to haggle your wages just for the sake of it can reflect poorly on you.

Instead, give it some more time. Learn more skills, get more experience, and show them your true merit in the company. Once you have something to back you up, and real-life examples to support it, head into that office once more.

Someone Give Me a Price Tag!

a blank price tag

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All this talk of money and worth is making it hard to think. Someone just say what the salary should be already!

It can be challenging to understand just how much you, as an individual worker, are worth. It's not like you can just Google what your net worth is.

While you may not be able to do that, unless you're Beyonce, you can Google what other people are making in your field. See what salaries people of similar background and experience make and compare that to what you're making.

If the numbers don't seem to line up, perhaps it's time to start thinking about a bit of negotiation. If they do, at least you know that you're making a fair wage compared to others out on the market.

Why Is This So Hard?

If negotiation is so important, why is it that so many people don't negotiate salary raises?

Honestly, it's difficult. Especially for someone who's never done that type of thing before. It seems harmful to your reputation, impossible to succeed with, and a challenge just to even think about. 

Why is that? What makes this seem like such a daunting task?

hand pointing at something that needs to be done

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The truth lies in our prior experiences. We often view negotiation as a sign of conflict. People are not agreeing in terms of money and must, therefore, go back and forth on how much something is worth.

This idea of conflict is only then heightened by the prior experiences we've had with conflict. Perhaps you've argued with your brother, your partner, your mom, or a friend from college.

You're bound to have lost an argument somewhere down the line, which then creates a fear of loss, punishment, and rejection. This fear then translates to your job when negotiation is brought to the table.

You don't want to lose your job or be somehow punished for trying to improve your wages. That alone makes trying to negotiate incredibly difficult for anyone at any stage of their career.

Women shaking hands after a negotiation

Image via Pexels

The important thing to remember here is that it's not a major conflict unless you make it into one. Unless you go in and begin screaming until you get a raise, you'll probably not experience the type of conflict your brain is imagining. 

Speak professionally, and you will be responded to professionally. Make them understand your points in a non-hostile way, and your idea of conflict should disappear. 

The first time you do this will undoubtedly be the most difficult. If you can push through that fear and walk out victorious, everything in the future will seem like a breeze.

Walk Me Through It

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Image via Pixabay

Great, it will get easier over time. But that doesn't help you the first time around. You need the right tools and mindset to tackle this task head-on. Which is why we've created a step-by-step guide to negotiate salary raises in a way that is simple to understand.

All you'll need to know is the word, negotiate. 

Notice the Problem 

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You'll never be able to fix a problem you don't see. Look around you, both at work and online, to see what people of your skill should be making.

There are a lot of variables to this, but stopping and noticing that something is not fair is the first step to it all.

Examine the Situation 

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Is this a good time? Do you have a reason to be making more? Have you established yourself at this company?

Consider your unique situation before jumping into a negotiation. Now may not be the best time, or it may be the perfect time. Take a look at your situation and consider the pros and cons of acting now or acting in the future.

Gather Insight

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Go Google it! See what other people in your geographical area and profession are making. Take the time to notice their skill level and experience.

Do a bit of research on what things you might want to say or do while negotiating. While we are able to provide you a rough outline, you may want to search for job-specific negotiation points.

Overcome the Fear

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Breathe. It's going to be okay. The world will not burn up in smoke just because you want to make the money you deserve.

Remember that negotiation does not necessarily equal conflict. Things can often be easily resolved, and there is no need to be fearful about it.

Take the Time to Plan Ahead

Do your homework. Think about how you want to speak to your boss during the negotiation and what you might be able to say.

Don't try to wing it the day of. Planning is a crucial part of any successful negotiation. Sure, not all the details may be said in the same order, but having a rough idea of what you'd like to say can make sure you hit key points in the heat of the moment.

Incorporate Details of Your Worth

Show them why you deserve it. Tell them what you have done for their company and what makes you worth more than what you're being paid.

Don't just say “You'll never find someone better than me.” Be honest and incorporate details from your experience. Don't brag about being amazing; explain to them why they should think you are amazing.

Anticipate Potential Questions

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Your boss is going to ask you questions. They're going to want to know why you want them to up your salary and why you deserve it.

Be prepared for this. Just because you have a speech ready does not mean that you'll succeed. You need to be able to calm their fears but successfully answering their questions when they ask them.

Talk Through the Offer Professionally

You're in the office, and you're going over all the things you've worked so hard to prepare. Everything is great except for one small detail: the way you talk.

Remember that you are in a professional environment and that you must, in turn, speak professionally. You're not hanging out with your friends and laughing about how stupid your job is.

Present yourself well, speak firmly yet warmly, and take the time to listen to what your employer has to say. If you remain professional and talk things out, you will likely be able to come to an agreement everyone can be satisfied with.

Enjoy Your Success

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You did it! You successfully negotiated your salary and came out victorious. Now it's time to bathe in that success.

Take some time to reward yourself for going through with the whole process. Perhaps you get yourself a fancy lunch, or maybe even those new pair of shoes you've been waiting for.

It's also going to be important to follow up with your boss to let them know that you are satisfied with the outcome and that you appreciate their flexibility.

Top Tips to Secure That Raise

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Now that you know exactly what to do, it's important that you know what not to do while attempting to negotiate salary raises.

It can be easy to get caught up in the heat of the moment and say things unintentionally. This could potentially end your chances of ever hoping to receive a salary boost from the company.

By knowing what not to say ahead of time, you can avoid these common slip-ups and have a better chance for success.

Now What?

Like with most things in life, it's important to follow up after the negotiation process is through. You want to let your employer know that you understand this was not just a big moment for you, but a big moment for them too.

Don't be apologetic about the experience; you deserve what you were given. But do be humble about the whole process.

Thank them for understanding your perceptions and thoughts and for being gracious with their offer. People like to feel acknowledged and appreciated, even your boss. If they know you're appreciative, they may be more willing to give you a raise again further down the line.

Reap the Benefits of a Job Well Done

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Money can often make or break the experience you have working at a job. It can stress you out and miss out on the wonderful opportunities a workplace can offer.

By learning to negotiate salary wages, you can eliminate that stress and get back to doing your job. You can help push your company forward, make great connections, and have the skills and resources to back you up as you continue to move forward with your career.

At the end of the day, remember to enjoy yourself. Negotiation can be scary, but if you're able to do it and do it well, you will feel so much better. Not just about your job, but about yourself.

So do yourself a favor and stop settling for less. Grab a bit of courage and go get paid what you're worth.

Now that you know exactly what to do, it's important that you know what not to do while attempting to negotiate salary raises.

It can be easy to get caught up in the heat of the moment and say things unintentionally. This could potentially end your chances of ever hoping to receive a salary boost from the company.

By knowing what not to say ahead of time, you can avoid these common slip-ups and have a better chance for success.

Featured Image: CC0 via Pexels