Using Job Hunting Websites Effectively

Many people today struggle with finding jobs. While driving around an area or mailing out resumes seems to be outdated, job hunting websites can be just as frustrating, especially since many sites are full of spam. These are a few ways on how to get the best out of job hunting websites.

online job searchOne of the best rules of thumb is to use only 10% of your job search time on these sites. In order to make your time count, choose job sites that are run by Google or have similar formats. and have millions of jobs and are some of the least “spammy” job search engines. It’s not enough to just go to these sites though and do a general search. Use the filters that will help you to use your time wisely. You can use a keyword or job title and then narrow your search by filtering for company name, location, salary range, and many other filters that are often important. The advanced search options can be your best friend and focusing on two or three sites and really digging in can help your job search to be more efficient.

Many of these sites will also notify you when new job postings appear in your particular area. Sign up for email alerts that will deliver new job postings each day. This is a great way to get a quick dose of information about these positions and not waste a lot of time doing a new search every day or even every few days. Be warned that even with these tips, you may still get a lot of job postings that aren’t in your field.

If you’re really trying to be efficient with your time, it can be a good idea to avoid the larger sites. Niche sites specific to your field can be your best friend. For someone who is looking for a job in the technology area, is a great site that has technology-specific jobs. For someone interested in non-profit work, has only jobs specific to that area. Government jobs can be reached through the U.S. government site. Also, many fields have online databases where jobs are frequently posted.

A surprisingly great resource for job searching online is Craigslist. This is one of the few sites that aggregators don’t tap. This is a good source if looking for a job in a particular area. If you are a top executive or are looking for a highly experienced job, this is not a great source. However, for entry-level positions and internships, this is a great site. Many hospitals and healthcare centers also choose to post on Craigslist, so any medical professionals can easily search through the postings on this site.

These are some basic tips on how to get the best out of job hunting websites. If you use these tips effectively and are able to focus on a few key websites, your job search will be streamlined and a much better use of your time.

Article Inspired by: Apply Direct

How to Start a Business from Your Hobby (Infographic)

Regardless of how wrong some experts think about starting a business from your hobby, it is probably the most effective and efficient one. There are some reasons to that…

Firstly, you don’t have to learn about anything from scratch. It’s YOUR hobby; you ARE the expert; even if you need to learn the technicality of your hobby, you are half-way there.

Secondly, it’s YOUR passion. People can be passionate about entrepreneurship; but if you are passionate about entrepreneurship AND everything you do and every product you create/service you offer, you are taking shortcut.

But still, just like any other business, you need to take some steps to startup right. Make it Cheaper, the business cost-saving expert, publishes this interest infographic about turning your talent or hobby into a business – check this out (please click on the infographic for the original size…)

Turn your talent into a business
Source: Make It Cheaper: The Saving Experts for Business

The Rise of Video Conferencing

Every business who wants to reduce their costs will probably jump at the chance to use a free service that could help them to improve the way in which they communicate with customers and co-workers. You may think that such a tool doesn’t exist, and that your company and its employees will have to stick to traditional methods of communicating with potential clients, but the Powwownow video conferencing service is perfect for any company looking to reduce costs and improve its operations.

video conferencing

How video conferencing works is that it allows you to make a call to anyone in the world with the same software from your office. Using your computer, you can arrange a call in a matter of minutes and invite anyone you like from different locations to every conference call. This is perfect if you want to get clients from different countries but don’t want to spend money on travelling to their office and back.

Something else that video conferencing can help with is allowing people to work from home to communicate with the office without having to travel to and from there every day. Remote working can be made possible with the right software, with those working from home not missing out on every single development at the office. Meanwhile, workers can save money on travel costs, while business owners can spend less on office costs for computing, electricity and office furniture.

What has helped to make Powwownow the leading conference call provider in the UK is the fact that their service is easy to use. For anyone who’s worried about not being able to get to grips with video conferencing, it’s not that hard to use for the first time. Having cheap, simple technology at your fingertips is something any business owner, remote worker or even if you work from an office.

Mobile Recruiting Trends: Are you Ready?

One of the most important aspects of recruiting is learning how to properly utilize technology. After all, we no longer live in a world where you will spend most of your time looking for qualified job candidates by making phone calls or attending networking events. Most recruiters now spend the majority of their time working on a computer, tablet or cell phone, and they are able to use all of these devices to find the perfect candidates without needing to leave their office.

Which Trends Should I be Using?Twitter for Android

If you do not currently have a cell phone or tablet that is synced directly to your desktop, then you are missing out on one of the easiest ways to recruit. After all, it is imperative to be able to access your contact lists and your calendar at all times, and setting up this connection between your computer and your mobile device will put everything that you need at your fingertips at all times. It is also important to fully take advantage of social networking sites.

For recruiters, however, LinkedIn should be their site of choice instead of Facebook. The LinkedIn site enables anyone to search for people who have specific skills or who have worked for specific companies and this can make the process of finding qualified candidates go much more smoothly. Some recruiters also make good usage of software to help them track the availability of individuals who they believe would be a good fit in the future.

Do I Really Need a Mobile Website?

More and more people are using their mobile devices to search for jobs. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise since there are now more cell phones than toothbrushes in the world, and for well over 25% of Americans, their mobile device is the primary way they access the internet. If you do not have a site that caters to these users, find a web design company to create one for you so you don’t miss out on these opportunities. After all, if a job seeker does happen to stumble upon your standard website with their mobile device, odds are they will leave quickly to find a mobile-optimized site.

While some of the new career apps have been getting excellent reviews, it is not realistic to think that an applicant that is searching through ten career sites will want to download as many apps. If you have a mobile site that offers easier to use searches and functionality, job seekers can access your information quickly from any mobile device. If you do not  respond to the career-seeking mobile users with a simple interface and a great mobile experience, your competition will.

How often do Recruiting Trends Change?

Every time there is a new technological announcement, you can be virtually guaranteed that it will impact the world of recruiting. For example, when smartphones were first released, they enabled recruiters to be much more efficient since they could carry their emails with them in their pocket. Now these phones have developed so much that recruiters have easy access to specialized apps that help them find, track and contact potential candidates. It is also extremely helpful that recruiters can now access their calendar from anywhere because this helps them prevent double booking their time.

How often should I Implement New Recruiting Trends?

Although some people feel more comfortable waiting for others to test out new technology before they embrace it, you do not want to get left sitting on the sidelines. After all, if you wait six months to try a new mobile recruiting trend, all of your competitors are likely to have already used it to locate several prime candidates who you missed out on. Therefore, it is not a good idea to take a wait and see approach with new mobile recruiting trends. Even if you try something and it does not work as expected, it is better to get the jump on your competitors than to find yourself always lagging behind.

At this point, all signs indicate that mobile recruiting trends will overcome the entire recruiting industry. Therefore, if you want to be able to compete, you will need to take advantage of every mobile option that is available to you. Make sure that you implement your mobile plan immediately if you are not already using one, and keep up on industry related news to find out when each new trend surfaces.

Author Shelby Warden researches the latest trends to write articles that can help you succeed. The 522 Digital LLC web design company in Washington DC provides a wide range of services for their clients so they can complete in today’s demanding business environment. Their experts will create the perfect mobile site to keep job seekers coming back to you time and time again.

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In Business in Houston? Best Tips for Making Your Commute Safer

of rides and resting(winds from the south)

When you work at a business in Houston, the daily commute is a fact of life. On a good day, traffic flows along like easy water in the bayous. On a bad day, it makes the Mad Max movies seem tame. Here are some tips to make the drive easier for you and your fellow road warriors.

1. Know where you’re headed and what’s coming. Check weather and traffic reports before you leave the house. Houston is a big town, and sunshine in your backyard doesn’t mean it won’t rain on the way to work. Find out if there are any accidents or closures between you and the office. You have plenty of alternative routes, so design an exit plan that will ease you out of gridlock. Knowing that you’re prepared when you head for work gives you confidence to tackle the road.

2. Get off to the right start. A good breakfast doesn’t belong in the front seat while you’re driving, so fill up before you head out. That cup of coffee gets to go along, but only in its own holder; otherwise, you might be wearing it to work. Tune in some relaxing music or enjoy an audio book. Let your morning mantra become peaceful mind over traffic-related matters. Your commute will be more enjoyable, and everyone will be safer on the road.

3. Don’t let distractions derail you. Office calls dominate so much of your time, so give them and yourself a break. Turn off your phone, and tune in some easy listening. Keep front seat clutter to a minimum by organizing the necessary diversions. Every gadget has a purpose, and it has a holder too. Don’t fumble for a better view of the GPS system; mount it so that you know where you are at a glance. You’re a better driver when you’re focused.

4. Make your car a comfortable chariot. Keep it uncluttered, free of distractions and running like a champ. Routine maintenance is your best protection against engine trouble on the way to work. It’s also a safety issue; working turn signals and properly operating brakes are vital to navigating Houston freeways. A quick inspection once a month gives you peace of mind every morning when you leave for work.

5. Make quick work of accidents whenever possible. No one likes surprises on the morning commute, but anticipating trouble makes fender benders easier to manage. Houston even has a motto for these accidents: Steer it, and clear it. Houston automobile lawyers might suggest that you pull over to the shoulder as quickly as possible, and exchange information with the other driver. Call your insurance company, then use your cell phone to take pictures of the damage to both cars. Make notes, and contact a reputable attorney – never assume that a simple fender bender will stay simple.

Navigating the daily trip into the office is part of your business. It doesn’t have to be hard just because you’re in Houston. With these tips, your drive will be easier and safer, and you’ll be a better road warrior ready to conquer the morning ahead.

Former news reporter Ann Bailey compiles this information for all drivers headed to work across town in Houston on a daily basis. Houston automobile lawyers work vigorously on claims to protect their clients, and their businesses and livelihoods when they are injured through the fault of another driver.

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The Internet and Customer Service – You’re in the Spotlight!

Money at handPoor customer service negatively impacts businesses in a lot of ways, and can create irreversible results with both new and repeat clients. First, prospects that you’d like to turn into customers will likely change their minds. Secondly, existing customers will become frustrated and take their business elsewhere. And both have the potential to cause damage when they report their experiences to others. In this digital age, customers share information with the click of a button, making it even more important to head off service issues at once. 

Hearing the Complaints

When a disgruntled internet customer makes a complaint, the best thing for any business to do is to have that complaint settled quickly by the company. Normally, having customer grievances “go public” makes it harder to deal with them and harder to effect some damage control. There are however, beneficial third party services that allow mistreated customers to air their valid complaints with the intent that the offending business will listen. Management that wants to stay in business wants to listen. Since you’re not seeing the customer in person, getting a chance to hear and solve gripes this way often allows resolution in a timely manner and with little effort. It’s not hard either to imagine the good PR that comes from being perceived as a big business that listens.

Small Business Catastrophe

Poor customer service is catastrophic for small internet companies because they absolutely rely upon repeat customers to survive. Additionally, if there is ever going to be hope of growing the business, prospects must be nurtured so that they turn into loyal shoppers. Positive word of mouth is always key for growth, especially for smaller firms.

Loss of Repeat Customers

Losing a long-time customer is a danger when poor service is allowed. If consumers arrive to your site and are ignored, treated with disrespect, or left alone to wander through pages and wait for service, the clear message they’ll get is that there could be a risk in spending their money here. As a result, many of these people will leave before even considering making a purchase, no matter what types of deals might be found. In fact, customer service is so important that many people are willing to pay more for it, just to feel like their time was well spent.

Loss of Future Customers

Customers experiencing poor online service almost always tell others about it – it makes for grand conversation. Whether out of frustration or because they don’t want their friends and family to have the same bad customer issue, people will relate details of experiences that upset them. Not only does this cost immediate business, but the lost business potential will be exponential over time. Making amends to a new customer who has registered a complaint often takes more input since they don’t have a positive memory of your company to “come back to.”

Employee Turnover

Great operations attract better employees. After all, no one wants to work in a chaotic environment where they are under-trained or where inadequate staff exists. This type of environment creates an unpleasant morale and leads to high turnover which is hard on everyone. Additionally, it does not reflect well on a company to appear as though it cannot sustain its staff. Thorough training of the entire staff in good customer interaction and company loyalty procedures may be the best investment for any business owner who needs to improve service reputation.

Loss of Profits

Everything connected to poor customer service ultimately leads to bottom line losses. No firm, particularly in a challenging business climate, can afford to lose business due to poor customer service. When it comes down to it, the most important aspect of any business is its reputation. Once that is damaged, it can be very hard to recoup it without a great deal of work.

For any internet business, new or long established, the fears of sudden drops in customer satisfaction, customer purchases, and customer traffic are all too real. Every effort should be made to maintain client loyalty and business reputation at all times by offering the best customer service available. Being dependable to listen to and solve any customer gripes in timely fashion will go a long way toward cementing high satisfaction scores.

Ann Bailey owns a small business dependent on client satisfaction and compiles these situations for consumers and business owners alike. The accessible website allows consumers a place to voice any customer issue they may have had with poor service and allows the relevant business an opportunity to hear about it and take measures to correct it.

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The Benefits of a Viral Video- Besides Money

Marketing has changed substantially over the past few decades. Advertising has stepped out of the traditional arena of television, radio and billboards and infiltrated the all reaching world of the Internet. Marketers can use methods like social media, search engine optimization (SEO) and many others to get their message out there. One of the most powerful marketing tools to have emerged, however, is online video marketing.Philips Casting für Youtube-Web-Soap "Nigel and Victoria"The Power of Video Marketing Blogs

It’s an absolute necessity for every business, corporation, entrepreneur or anyone else hoping to gain exposure to have a video marketing blog. Some individuals ask why it’s simply not enough to run television ad campaigns since they’re making videos anyway. The answer is quite simple: exposure. Television commercials are now easily skipped using digital video recorders (DVR), but this, of course, isn’t the only reason.

Most traditional marketing techniques, such as television advertisements, are referred to as “outbound marketing”. This means that marketers are throwing their advertisements out at absolutely everyone with the hope that a few will pay attention. Online marketing blogs, on the other hand, are a type of inbound marketing that entices people to seek them out. A person who actively searches for a company’s content is much more likely to convert than one who just happens to catch a commercial.

Video blog marketing also helps a company build authority, but it’s important that they’re posting the right types of videos. The majority of people are most captivated by videos that offer value. These marketing videos are usually educational. A bait and tackle shop, for instance, could post a video entitled: How to clean a Catfish. This type of video is informative, not overly zealous and even has the potential of going viral.

How Videos go Viral and their Benefits

One of the most powerful factors involved in video marketing is the opportunity to go viral. One company, for instance, that sells blenders decided to start a sort of video marketing blog. It is an ongoing series entitled “Will it Blend?” and showcases their blenders blending several different types of objects (ie. iPods, and other blenders). The campaign skyrocketed the company to success, and their latest video produced over 160,000 views in only four weeks.

There are a few things involved in making a video go viral. The most important factor is that the video must be shareable. This means that someone who watches the video must be tempted to share it with all of their friends. It’s also important that these videos target the right audience. This can be done by using social media and SEO (keyword targeting is especially important). Both of these methods will help increase a video’s exposure and move it up on search rankings.

Viral videos have numerous benefits for a company that’s lucky enough to produce them. The most obvious benefit is exposure. Many viral videos end up having millions of views. An often overlooked benefit, however, is the low investment cost that viral videos and video marketing in general have. The amount of exposure that a viral video can get makes the price of producing them negligible.

Anyone out there with even a small amount of advertising knowledge knows that online video promotion is an absolute necessity in any marketing campaign. The sheer reach that the videos can have is astonishing. With minimal investment, an individual can enlist the services of a marketing video production company and have promotional material that will consistently show a good return on investment (ROI). Plus, if a video is produced well and manages to go viral, the sky is the limit on how much profit the company will turn on their investment.

An art business owner, author Ann Bailey relays these viral video tips for those looking for the best strategies for their advertising.  The Washington DC metro firm of 522 Productions acts behind the scenes to help businesses with a video marketing blog by working out all the design, shooting, and editing steps.

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Small Businesses with Government Contracts: Why Play by the Rules?


Running a small business can be rewarding, especially if you’re able to land lucrative government contracts. Many government contracts allow small businesses to not only expand and grow, but also to gain a name for themselves within the business community. Unfortunately, some small businesses jeopardize these benefits when they don’t play by the rules, and the consequences for such actions can be dire.

Breaking the Rules and the Law

Many small business owners understand the unspoken rules regarding ethics in business and morality when doing business with a government agency, but too few understand that breaking these unspoken rules can actually lead to criminal and civil prosecution. Under the False Claims Act, business owners who have contractual business obligations to the government may face a variety of penalties upon being caught breaking the rules, and this can land such business owners in court and behind bars.

What is the False Claims Act?

The False Claims Act is a law that essentially allows individuals to prosecute contractors in court if the contractors are found to be defrauding the government. Referred to as “whistleblowers,” they generally stand to earn a handsome reward for their efforts in the form of monetary gain if a False Claims Act case is successful. Basically, a whistleblower acting on behalf of the government will be due a portion of the award handed down by a judge once a such a case succeeds, and this amount can reach into the millions of dollars or more depending upon the severity of the infractions and the contract’s terms.

Can Business Owners Benefit?

Aside from the potentially negative consequences of the False Claims Act for small business owners, there actually is a bright side. If you are able to prove that your competition is defrauding the government, you can contact a False Claims Act attorney and take it upon yourself to bring the fraud to light. By doing this, you’re not only helping the government and tax payers save money, but you’re also doing the right thing – of course, potentially putting your competition out of business and receiving a financial reward doesn’t hurt either.

Be in the Know

If you’re unsure as to whether or not your business is acting within compliance of your government contract, you might want to consider partnering with a False Claims Act attorney to discuss the issue. They will be able to review your contract and your practices, allowing you to find potential trouble spots that need to be addressed or corrected. Doing this will also help you to remain protected in the event that someone does blow the whistle on your business as a Whistleblower’s attorney will be able to represent and protect your interests in court.

Finally, as a small business owner who has a contract with the government, it’s up to you to ensure that all of your employees understand the severity of breaking the rules and the law. Even if an employee goes off on his or her own and commits fraud, you and your company may still get the blame. As a result, most experts recommend regular training sessions for all employees regarding the correct ways to conduct contractual business with the government.

Ann Bailey has formerly reported on business fraud for TV news and shares this report for employers who might be in contract positions. The attorneys at Goldberg Kohn aggressively represent clients involved in court-suits due to the False Claims Act or any business to government fraud situation.

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Premises Liability: Proper Outfitting for Your Small Business Location

Business owners face a variety of legal hassles when operating a business. Obtaining permits, collecting and paying taxes, and dealing with the ever present possibility of litigation can be cumbersome. Small business owners who operate a business that is open to the public also have a duty to keep their property free of hidden hazards. Failure to do so may result in liability for negligence.

premise liability
Image by mattj

Hazardous Conditions

One important note is that the property does not have to be free of hazardous conditions. The hazardous conditions must be latent, or hidden to be a liability. Additionally, the law normally requires the business owner to know about the condition or at least be in a condition where he or she should have known about it. This responsibility extends to the employees. Spills happen, people drop glass items, and individuals come into the store while physically ill on a regular basis. If the business uses a larger property with few employees, taking an occasional walk throughout the business to check for hazards or signs of theft may be a good idea.

With a small business, hazardous but hidden conditions can appear in a variety of ways. Obstructed or slippery floors can result in a slip and fall injury; oil, water, and ice are often invisible on the neutral-colored linoleum used by many small businesses. If the building is open during construction or maintenance, visitors may also encounter exposed wiring. If items are improperly stacked or if the shelves are of poor construction, items may fall off the shelves and onto customers, causing serious injury.

Protecting Yourself From Liability

The Perecman Firm says that, “property owners [at least] in New York are responsible for keeping people on their property reasonably safe from injury.” However, business owners who do not know or could not reasonably have known about the defect may not have a duty to repair it. Courts in most states hold the business owner liable for his or her constructive knowledge if the hazardous condition was caused by an employee; in other words, the business may be sued if the owner’s agent caused the defect. As a result, claiming ignorance of a defect is not normally a good tactic to avoid litigation.

Business owners can satisfy their duty to their customers in two ways. The first is through the use of warnings. Warnings can include signage, caution tape, fencing, or any other similar measure that would cause a reasonable person to recognize the hazardous condition. The second way to avoid liability for injuries stemming from the hazardous condition is by repairing the condition itself. By removing the danger altogether, business owners can avoid customer injuries.

The Issue of Negligence

Most U.S. states use a doctrine known as comparative negligence. In these states, a plaintiff who suffers an injury as a result of another party’s negligence may recover even if he or she was largely responsible for the injury in the first place. Different states have different rules on the matter; some states require that the defendant be at least 50 percent negligent to recover anything. However, some states do not have any cutoff limit. In those states, a slow-witted plaintiff can recover at least some damages even if he or she was 99 percent at fault for the accident.

This is important because when it comes to warnings, it does not take much to make a colorable argument that the defendant was one percent negligent or even ten percent negligent. Simply arguing that more signs, more warning lights, better placement of existing signs, or auditory signals would have reduced the probability of an injury happening can be enough to convince a jury that the store owner bears some of the responsibility for the accident. Warnings should only be used while the hazardous condition is being repaired, such as when an employee is getting a mop or a broom. From a liability standpoint, fixing the condition will be better than simply leaving a warning sign alerting customers to the defect.

When a hazardous condition appears on the property, owners have a duty to either repair the condition or warn customers away from it. In practice, most business owners will use a combination of the two approaches. For example, if water or ice is spilled in an aisle, posting temporary signage or briefly closing the aisle while an employee finds a mop and a bucket is a common tactic that businesses use to avoid liability. Closing a section of the store briefly while a defect is being repaired may cost the store a percentage of its daily sales, but it will be much less expensive than paying for an injured customer’s medical bills.

About the Author: Saam Banai is a freelance writer and editor and proponent of safe business practices.

3 Great Initial Investments for Small Businesses

Some may say that a business is only as good as the tools it uses. If you don’t start out with some form of efficiency, you could be doomed to fail. There are several initial investments you could purchase in order to start your business off on the right foot. While you don’t have to spend a great deal of money to provide stability, an investment of some kind is still required for immediate success in specific areas.

startup investments
photo credit: brianfling via photopin cc

1. Quickbooks – For the small business, Quickbooks can be one of your greatest assets. Not only does this program provide tracking for your bank accounts, but it also handles a large amount of your business practices. Inventory control, payroll, bills, and more can be tracked from Quickbooks providing a wide range of reports to help you analyze what areas your business needs to improve on.

Taxes and end-of-year business can be easily compiled and printed without putting much effort into it. As long as you entered the data correctly throughout the year, taxes could take you a fraction of the time and 1099s could be quickly produced for any contract labor you employed.

2. Computer Network – Having a computer network should go without saying. As nearly everything we do in today’s world requires access to the Internet, having a computer system can save a great deal of time and money. However, does your small business need an expensive server and network in order to function?

A file server could be beneficial if your organization uses a lot of files that need to be shared with one-another. For this purpose, a small $600 desktop server would suffice. Essentially, these servers are nothing more than a regular computer with a server software installed on it. It may not be a bad idea to increase the hard drive size as much as possible, but a file server doesn’t need to have a lot of power behind it.

For a small business, gigabit Ethernet capabilities are more of a luxury that shouldn’t be required. Again, this could greatly depend on the type of business you are starting. The basic 10/100 Ethernet network is far cheaper to build now-days and could serve your business purposes well. Unless you are planning to hammer the network bandwidth using a lot of streaming content, game playing, or other function that requires faster speeds you should save your money.

3. Website – As a large amount of people use smartphones to search for local businesses, you should have a website with all of your products and services described in detail. For less than $120 per year, you could have a website that could generate its own income or simply provide information about your business.

If you’re not interested in hosting eCommerce, your website could still serve a purpose to supply information to potential customers. With enough content, your website could generate revenue with Adsense by receiving money for hosting advertisements of other companies. There is a great deal of potential with a website and if nothing more, it can serve as a great way to advertise your business to the local community.

Although you can still start your business without any of the above tools, they are still a very wise investment. They can save you time, money, and stress from having to alter your methods of conducting business. As long as you track every dime and where it is spent, you can have a handle on how your business functions.

Author Bio: Nancy provides feedback on all elements of the site “” helping us to really make sure that we are making it as easy as possible for caregivers to sign up and find work.  In addition, she spends quite a bit of her time on freelance writing tasks.