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Career Booster: How a few choice changes can lead to higher salaries

Who doesn't want to make more money, right? Even if you love your job and have a respectable to remarkable salary, you still believe there's more money on the table to be had.

The flip side are those with paltry, meager incomes that undoubtedly want more.
One thing holding back both groups could be how they're perceived once they submit a resume, write a cover letter and, if they're lucky enough, participate in an interview with the supervisor, manager or person responsible for filling a particular position.

So when you sit back and wonder aloud and to yourself why you can't break through that proverbial glass ceiling that is your current salary, you might want to take stock in the aforementioned elements that are involved in garnering a job that pays you something respectable.

Let's start with the cover letter.

As much as it seems like commonplace and common sense, you might want to give that short sentiment a quick look and at least proof read it for poor grammar and misspellings. Nothing is going to send your resume to the bottom of the stack or in the garbage for that matter like words in the wrong place or sentences that don't make sense. That comes across as a lack of caring or attention to detail, two aspects employers want in their prospective new hire.

And as much as you want to sound glorious in your cover letter and tout your accomplishments, you also want to exercise a little restraint and not make this document too long winded or filled with generic rhetoric no one cares to read.
The resume itself should be no more than one page; anything longer gets pushed aside. As far as the content of the resume, it should be filled with facts and ways you made your previous employer better (i.e. more money because of a sales initiative or decreased marketing costs by 12%). What you don't need are fluffy, meaningless words like “team player,” “organized” or “savvy.”

Those don't mean nearly as much as concrete examples of your skill.

If you've managed to nail the cover letter and resume, chances are you'll be sitting across from the person who is going to hire you. Make every second of that interview count: know about the company, ask questions that pertain to the organization and the job itself and always dress in accordance with the position. If you're going to be supervising a warehouse, don't come in a full length suit. Conversely, if you're interviewing to be an assistant to a CEO, leave the denim at home.

Doing that, along with perfecting the cover letter and resume, stand to lead you down the path of a better job and more money.


Life Line: How to tell if you're bad at handling money

You'd think that you would, after years of budgeting or planning, know if you're either good or bad when it comes to handling money.

The problem is most of you think you're good at handling money without any real reasoning behind it. You take a look at your bank account and realize you have a little money set aside, and have a handle on paying bills and maybe miss a payment here and there, but otherwise are fine when it comes to all things related to money.

But most of the time you need to take a longer, harder and much closer look at a few key elements of your finances. First and foremost, you have to pay particular attention to your credit score. That magical, three digit number is how you're judged in the world as it relates to money, lending capabilities and, to some extent, whether you'll be considered for employment.

Yes, potential employers are often inclined to check your credit score.

Everything that leads to the credit score depends on the decisions you make when it comes to money, most notably missing payments. Of course, no one is perfect and sometimes payments can be missed, but the time between that mistake and cleaning up that mess is paramount to keep your credit score intact. Most long standing creditors of yours are more than happy to give you a pass on late fees but only if you don't take that graciousness for granted.

Aside from your credit score, you have to dig beyond the little bit of money you have in your checking account and really analyze your savings account or money you have set aside that goes beyond paying the gas or cable bill.

Granted, not everyone has thousands upon thousands of dollars to draw upon, but if you don't you should start considering where you can get started. You can't build a small fortune overnight but getting a little money set aside starts with a commitment to budgeting the right way. That doesn't mean borrowing more money when you're in a pinch but rather cutting back on the extras you need to do without for the time being.

If you can't have all 300 cable channels for a few years to start saving, then so be it. Maybe your cell phone plan doesn't have to include unlimited data. Oh well, that's the price you'll pay to find yourself in a class of people that actually are considered competent when it comes to money.


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