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Asking for a payrise
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That's one of the most difficult things you can do, is ask for a pay-rise. Another one is resigning, that's a difficult thing, but focusing on asking for a pay rise I think, firstly you've got to have information about:

How did you perform in the past twelve months, in your role?

Did you have KPI's? (Key Performance Indicators) against which you performed, and how you fared against those;

What you're looking for, in the future, with the organisation.

So you don't just go in and say "I think I'm worth more money." You actually sit down and think objectively about the work you've done in the past 12 months, how you went, what you're looking for in the next 12 months.

And then, if you're clever, you get on the Internet and you'll come onto to something like LinkMe, and you'll compare yourself to other people in similar jobs and you'll have a view, an objective view, to talk to your boss about. About where you compare with your peers, doing similar sorts of jobs, what sort of money they're looking for.

You can look in the newspaper, look at job advertisements for the similar role that you're doing now, and see what salaries are being offered. So, if you're with a small company, and they're offering salaries similar to yours in small companies, but they're offering more money in medium or larger companies, you can get a perspective on where you sit in the job market.

Another way, before you ask your boss for a job, is to go to a recruiter and talk to a recruiter about what you're doing now and what you might be able to get in the next move you make, or if they moved you in the same role, what sort of salary you would be getting there.

So, in other words, plan and think objectively.

Show your boss that you've understood what you're doing now, what you want to do in the future, and you understand your value, and so you are confident.

I always say, information is knowledge, knowledge is power. So when you talk to your boss about getting more money, be professional about it. Be objective. Give him, or her, information to allow them to make a decision to say yes for you, because most bosses are nervous about "Oh, I know I've got to give you an increase, and we'll make it CPI - just a cost of living increase". But you should say, ok - cost of living is 5 percent, but I think I've performed over and above most people and these are the reasons why, and this is what I think I should be getting.

So, make it easy for your boss to give you a salary increase.

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This month's top rated article
Top 5 cover letter mistakes

If you're going to take the extra time to write a cover letter that you include along with your resume, you might as well write it properly! We talked to a few recruiters and found out that they frequently find mistakes so annoying that cause them to immediately discard some applications all together. Here's a sample of some of the mistakes they mentioned:

Letter addressed to the wrong person or company: It doesn't annoy hiring managers that you're probably applying for other jobs, but it does annoy them when you don't take the time to check that your cover letter is addressed properly. Sending it to the wrong person or company will get your application deleted immediately.

Spelling and/or grammar mistakes: You're probably tired of being told to check and re-check your work, but it is extremely important! When spelling or grammar errors show up on your cover letter, the person reading it is going to think that you either don't know how to write properly or that you didn't bother to check it over. Either way, it's bad news for you.

It's too long: Cover letters should be short and to the point. They should provide some basic information about how you are specifically qualified for the job in question. That's pretty much it. Anything longer than a few paragraphs starts to look more like an essay, and it's an immediate turn-off.

No contact details: It happens quite frequently - people forget to include their name, let alone a way to contact them. While your details may be on your resume, no one wants to take extra time to fish for information that should have been provided for them right away.

No cover letter: This is the worst mistake of all. You're competing against dozens of other applicants who have instantly shown that they took more time to apply than you.

At the end of the day, you just want to give yourself the best chance possible to be called for an interview. Think about what a potential employer wants to know most about you, and try to convert this into a cover letter.

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Popular questions
Should I have an objective statement on my resume? Are there other ways to make my resume stand out from the crowd?

Replacing the Objective Statement with a Qualifications Profile on your resume

Does your current resume begin with a generic objective statement telling the reader what type of jobs you are looking for? Let me guess that it reads something similar to this:

"I am seeking the opportunity to expand my skills, knowledge and experience in a challenging professional environment. I am honest, reliable, eager to learn and open to tackling a range of tasks. I am a strong and empathetic team player and always complete tasks to a high degree of quality and to deadlines"

If this is how your resume begins, it's time to make changes. In the competitive job environment where hiring managers may receive upwards of 500 applications for a single position, an objective statement is more likely going to lead to your resume being deleted. From a hiring manager's perspective, they are not interested in a non-specific, all-purpose statement that adds no value to the resume and provides them with no reason to want to hire you. You may have the best skills and be the perfect fit for the job however, you may never get this opportunity because your resume has already been deleted.

What is a Qualifications Profile?

A great way to introduce yourself on your resume is by creating a qualifications summary or career summary. Rather than telling the reader you are seeking an opportunity to expand your skills, rather promote what skills you actually can bring to this specific role. A targeted resume including a targeted profile will encourage the reader to continue reading the resume as opposed to pressing the delete button. For example, if you are applying for an IT job that requires programming skills, list you're programming skills within your introductory profile. That way, the reader will straight away be interested to read on as they know that you have skills that are required for this position.

How long should my Qualifications Profile be?

The last thing you want to do is turn your qualifications profile into an essay! Statistically, a hiring manager will only spend between 15 to 20 seconds when initially reading your resume. If they open your resume and see a half page profile they are more likely to be turned off as they won't be bothered to read all this information. A well written profile should be no longer than 2-4 sentences. It needs to be targeted and present value.

Final thought:

When you begin to write your new resume, don't forget the number one rule. Your resume is a marketing document. The more you can showcase your skills and achievements the greater chance you will have of being selected for the interview stage.

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