Archive for the ‘Human Resources’ Category


Disability Employment App Challenge:

In Accounting & Finances,Business,Culture,Education,Human Resources on July 24, 2012 by Sufen Wang Tagged: , ,

Help People and Win Cash Prizes!

After seeing those government apps last week, do you feel inspired to create your own? Well, now is the perfect time to start working! The Department of Labor is offering $10,000 in CASH prizes for the best apps that help promote the employment of people with disabilities. 

That’s because disabled individuals have a higher unemployment rate and a lower labor force participation rate than everybody else. Your job is to build an app that changes this. Sound like a big project? Luckily, there are specific guidelines to keep you focused.

They want your app to achieve at least one of these goals (but feel free to be an overachiever and accomplish all of these things):

-Promote recruitment resources for employers.

-Develop job-training and skill-building tools for job seekers.

-Facilitate employment-related transportation options.

-Expand web and Information Communication Technology accessibility. 

It would be a good idea to use technology that makes your app accessible for people with disabilities, and to keep in mind that all different kinds of people will be using the app differently. The rest is up to you to be creative. Your submission can be designed for internet browsers, smart phones, feature phones,or as Windows or Macintosh applications. It can be a game, a social network, or anything else you can think of. But get thinking, because you only have until August 23rd to submit!

If your app is good enough, you could win the $5,000 Innovation Award Grand Prize, the $3,000 second place People’s Choice Award(voted on by the public), or the $2,000 third place Above and Beyond Accessibility Award. Of course, it’s nice to win a one-time prize, but it’s even nicer that your tool will work every day to help find people work. For full details on the contest,head over to the Disability Employment App Challenge site.

Eye on the Prize!
Sufen Wang
Wang Solutions


Government On-The-Go:

In Accounting & Finances,Business,Culture,Education,Entertainment,Family,Human Resources on July 8, 2012 by Sufen Wang Tagged: , , ,

Mobile Apps for Every Occasion

Poke. Poke. Poke. Need a break from Facebook during your lunch break? Put your smart phone and mind to better use by trying out the apps your government has to offer. Oh yeah, they’re all free, so you’ve got nothing to lose.

While not everyone will find all these government apps useful, there’s something useful for everyone. For example, it’s unlikely that a teenager would scramble to download the “Budget of the U.S. Governmentapp, which provides info from the FY13 Budget book, or the “House and Senate Member Guide,” which offers a picture directory of every single Member of the 112th Congress. Exciting?! Eh?!

However, if that high school student forgot to do their homework, they might want to download “ Mobile” to find quick answers to all their science questions. Or if they think they’re too cool for school, tell them to download “SatelliteInsight” – it looks like a video game, but it really teaches kids about NASA’s GOES-R,the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, R series. If you don’t know what that is, then get the app too!

Of course, many of the apps are perfect for the average, working American. First, check the forecast with the “National Weather Service.” Then, when you make it to work and start to feel claustrophobic in your cubicle, whip out the “Tactical Breather” app and gain control over your stress level. If that doesn’t help, and you need a cigarette, use the “QuitSTART” app to become tobacco free. When you’re done for the day, use “DOL-Timesheet” to record the hours you worked. If your boss doesn’t pay up, you can always use the “USAJOBS” app to find federal employment.

Admittedly, some apps are very strange. The “MojaveDesert Tortoise” application allows you to upload a photo, take a survey, and find out more info if you happen to encounter this threatened species in the middle of the desert. Though, you’ll probably be more concerned with finding water than taking pictures.

There’s a lot more where these came from. Be aware that some apps were designed only for the iPhone, some only for Android,etc., so pick those compatible with your device. Now all you need is an app for finding apps.

On the Apps,
Sufen Wang
Wang Solutions


Managing Your Tax Records After Filing…

In Accounting & Finances,Business,Human Resources,Taxes on April 23, 2012 by Sufen Wang Tagged: , , , , , , ,

You’re Not Done Yet!

Now that you’ve filed your tax returns, you might be tempted to push your tax documents out of sight, out of mind. That’s not a good idea. Keeping good records after you filed is a good idea, just in case the IRS selects your returns for an audit.
In general, any documents relating to your federal tax returns should be saved for at least three years. This includes bills, credit card receipts, invoices, and any other records that support deductions or credits you claim on your return.
Don’t pull out the shredder for your whole filing cabinet just yet. To be on the safe side, you should keep any and all real estate refinancing loan docs, exchange calculation, escrow closing statements, inheritance or funds gifted to children, trust-related issues, stocks and bond trades, etc. for more than 3 years. Let’s try 5 to 7 years.
Finally, any and all payroll related records should be kept for about 10 years. Yes, you read that right: one whole decade. A few years ago I encountered a case where the State of California Employment Office (EDD) could not reconcile data on an employee, dating back to 1999 and decided to seek out my assistance via an audit. Fortunately, I was able to complete the audit, clean as a whistle, because I had all of the original records on the subject employee. 
That just goes to show that employers should make room for keeping records. If you want to save space, go digital and scan all of the employees’ records – but always ensure that their signatures are clear and legible in the scanned images. However you do it, save your records now so you can save yourself some trouble in the future.
On the Record,
Sufen Wang
Wang Solutions



JOB SEARCH SERIES: Thank You Letter!

In Business,Human Resources on August 12, 2011 by Sufen Wang Tagged: , , , , , ,

How to Get the Job Done Right When You Want to Get a Job… 

Thank You Letter….


Now that you successfully impressed your future employer with an excellent job interview, you’ll need to wrap things up by sending a thank you letter as soon as possible. You can’t be in the same room as the interviewers anymore, so the letter must grab their attention and make you stand out in their minds. This is your final opportunity to reinforce your skills and prove that you deserve the job. 
Indeed, most interviewers expect you to write a thank you letter – in the tech industry, a thank you email is appropriate. The letter shows that you are courteous, knowledgeable, and professional. It also elevates you above competing candidates who didn’t bother to write thank you letters. If you forgot to mention something important during your interview, this is your chance to include that information. The letter will demonstrate your written communication skills one last time and confirm your understanding of topics discussed so that there are no misunderstandings.  

Ideally, you want to write the interviewers a short note and get it in their hands by the end of the interview day or first thing the following morning. I’ve been on both sides of the table, as an interviewer and an interviewee, and in my personal experience, a hand-written personalized note is even more effective than a formal letter, e-mail, or fax. Your goal is to make yourself memorable and top of mind recall is an amazingly potent influence at times. If other candidates are perceived to be as qualified as you, then your follow-up letter may well be an important differentiator.

Your thank you letter should include the date and position that you were interviewed. If more than one person interviewed you, then send a letter to each one and make each note unique. Thank the interviewer for their time and bring up one significant point you would like them to remember. Reemphasize your interest in the position and how your skills will correspond to the employer’s needs. Keep the letter short and simple,and as always, check your grammar and spelling!

Writing a thank you letter after your interview is a quick and easy way to increase your odds of being hired. Your interviewers will appreciate your thoroughness and attention to detail. When your prospective employer reviews your Thank You Letter, along with your Resume, Cover Letter, Phone Interview, and Interview, they’ll see that….

you get the job done right and they’ll give you the job!

POSTS IN THE SERIES:  Resume ; Cover Letter; Phone Interview; Job Interview.

On the Job Search,
Sufen Wang
Wang Solutions


JOB SEARCH SERIES: Job Interview….

In Business,Human Resources on August 6, 2011 by Sufen Wang Tagged: , , , , ,

 How to Get the Job Done Right When You Want to Get a Job…




Well, the good news is that you have been selected for an in-person interview with a prospective employer. But the bad news is that pre-interview symptoms, ranging from mild uneasiness to downright panic, are developing as you prepare for your job interview. However, there have been no reported cases of job seekers dying from nervousness due to a job interview, so RELAX!

No matter what type of job interview you encounter as a job seeker, the goal is always the same—you need to convince the interviewer that you are technically qualified for the job. You also need to show that you are sufficiently motivated to get the job done well, and that you will fit in with the company’s culture/organizational structure and the team in which you will work.

Make sure you prepare well before your interview: give yourself time to review information on both the organization and the position. You should be able to fluently explain how your assets relate to the company as a whole, and to the specific job position. Practice makes perfect and it also ensures that you won’t get caught off guard during the actual interview.

Be on time! Better yet, be early. First impressions set the stage for the entire interview and you will also want to dress for success. Dress according to the job position for which you are interviewing, and when in doubt, always overdress. Oh yes, keep the fragrance subtle – you want a job, not a date! As in the phone interview, vocal intonation is important, but now also remember to make direct eye contact and be aware of the non-verbal messages you send (i.e. body posture). Professional grooming, combined with a friendly and self-confident personality, will help you establish rapport with the interviewer.  

When you enter the interview, know what you wrote on your resume and be ready to talk about every point – extensively. Be honest with yourself and the interviewer, but never criticize your current and/or past employer(s) or work environment. Even if you are asked a negative question (e.g., what did you like least about your previous work), frame your answer positively. If you are interviewing with a firm from a different country, be sensitive to cultural differences. The end of the interview is your chance to ask the interviewer questions, so prepare some insightful ones beforehand.

DO NOT interview for a position you do not want. Don’t waste your time and the interviewer’s time. However, if you’ve made it this far and you’re serious about the job, and you take the time to prepare for the interview, then you are going to get the job! Now, all you have left to do is send a Thank You Letter / Note…

Posts in the Series: Resume ; Cover Letter; Phone Interview.


On the Job Search,
Sufen Wang
Wang Solutions


JOB SEARCH SERIES: Phone Interview…

In Business,Human Resources on July 30, 2011 by Sufen Wang Tagged: , , , , , ,

How to Get the Job Done Right When You Want to Get a Job…

Phone Interview:

Brrriingg brrriingg brrriingg! The telephone rings. It’s a prospective employer calling in regards to the cover letter and resume they received from you. They reviewed your application and think you might be the right person for the job, but first they’ll need some more information. What are you supposed to say?    

 Many job candidates find telephone interviews more difficult than in-person interviews. Accordingly, you should prepare before the phone rings. Once you send out your resume, always “assume” that you will get a telephone call and any phone call you receive from a potential employer is a “telephone interview.”  

The telephone interview is your gateway to the hiring process, and your objective is to sufficiently impress the caller so that a personal interview is arranged. However, it is impossible to read body languageover the phone. You will not have visual feedback, such as facial expressions, to help gauge your impact on the interviewer. Research has shown that in non face-to-face situations, communication revolves around nonverbal signals and tone of voice. Thus, on the telephone, the tone and rhythm of the conversation are as important as the words themselves.

Sit up straight! Your voice will project better and sound more energetic if you allow your diaphragm to fully expand. You can also exude enthusiasm. if you use vocal inflection. and avoid a monotone delivery. If you smile when you speak, it will positively affect your tone of voice, and the caller will be able to tell that you are smiling. Your main goal is to sound hirable on the telephone, so always speak loud and clear and avoid mumbling.

 It is a good idea to treat the phone interview as you would a face-to-face interview and prepare for it with the same care. You can even dress as if you are going to an in-person meeting, because it enhances your energy level and professional presence. However, always be aware that the caller can’t see you—can’t see your hand gestures, can’t see you taking notes, etc. – so don’t distract yourself with unnecessary movements. Most importantly, listen closely to the questions you are asked. Interviewers usually work from a specific list of points designed to find clues to your qualifications and inconsistencies in your resume. So, listen!

The key to a successful telephone interview is to present yourself in an articulate and organized manner. Make a significant point – something the interviewer will remember – and emphasize it through repetition. Once the interviewer indicates they have everything they need, make a closing statement and thank them for calling. If you followed all of the aforementioned tips and aced the phone interview, your potential employer should contact you soon about a JOB INTERVIEW…

Check out previous posts: JOB SEARCH: Resume ; JOB SEARCH: Cover Letter.

On the Job Search,
Sufen Wang
Wang Solutions



In Business,Human Resources on July 23, 2011 by Sufen Wang Tagged: , , ,

How to Get the Job Done Right When You Want to Get a Job…


Cover Letter:

The cover letter is your first opportunity to sell yourself as the right candidate for the job. This is the place to make an immediate, good impression on your prospective employer – similar to arriving well-dressed, confident, and poised for an interview. An effective cover letter will set you apart from the other applicants before the employer even takes a look at your resume

Your cover letter must be unique to each employer, and it should follow a basic three-part format: introduction, body, and closing. Keep the length of both the introduction and conclusion to one paragraph each, and the body to one or two paragraphs. A long-winded cover letter will lose your reader’s attention, so keep it short and make every word count.

Introduction: Begin by stating why you are writing and why you are interested in this particular employer. Do enough research before you apply so that you can deftly express an understanding of the employer’s goals. Then, specify both the position for which you are applying and where you heard about the job opening. If you are writing because of a personal referral – someone known to the reader – then state that in the first sentence (be sure you have permission to use her/his name). The first paragraph must attract enough attention to make the employer want to read further.

Body:  You must sell yourself and your abilities in the body paragraphs. Present only the most relevant information and communicate how valuable your skills and experiences are to the employer. At the same time, balance confidence with humility. Portray yourself as the ideal candidate by explaining how your professional experience directly relates to that employer.

Closing: Avoid endings that lack assertiveness. This is where you should propose taking the next step in the application process. Reassert your interest in the position and arrange for a specific day/week when you will contact the employer to set up a meeting.  Write your letter as though you expect the meeting to occur and always remember to thank the reader at the end.

Here are some general tips for all letters: Make your letter graphically pleasing—print it on the same, high-quality stationery as your resume. Make it perfect—that means no typos, no misspellings, and no factual errors. Keep copies of every letter you send out—when making a follow-up phone call, it’s helpful to have your letter in front of you. Finally, send the letter to the appropriate person—find out who is in charge of the department you are interested in and address the letter to them.

Stay tuned as the Summer Job Search Series continues: next week, it’s tips on how to answer that long-awaited-phone call – the Phone Interview!

Check out last week’s post: JOB SEARCH: Resume.

On the Job Search,
Sufen Wang
Wang Solutions



In Business,Human Resources on July 17, 2011 by Sufen Wang Tagged: , , , , ,

How to Get the Job Done Right When You Want to Get a Job…

In order to get the job you want, you must identify what that job wants from you. An applicant should ask several questions: Who is the employer and what is the employer’s product or service?  Where has the employer been, what is their current status, and what are their future visions and goals?  What kind of employee does this company need?  Finally, are you the qualified candidate and do you want this job? If so, then you’ll need to prepare if you want to successfully apply for the position!

The job application process consists of five basic components: Resume, Cover Letter, Phone Interview, Job Interview, and Thank You Letter.

Anybody can go to Google, search for a template, and construct a decent resume. However, these tips and tricks will help you write a dynamic and persuasive resume that is sure to attract the attention of potential employers.
Resumes should be clear, in a traditional, plain-vanilla format: name at the top, a summary of one or two sentences, and then a succinct review of employers and jobs held, in reverse chronological order. According to experts, resumes usually garner just a quick scan—no more than 15 to 30 seconds. If the reviewer cannot gain a distinct sense of your qualifications in that time, your resume will most likely be set aside. Always be honest when writing your resume. It will be more effective if you can clearly state your career goal, work history, education, background, and any special technical skills you may have. Make sure you list your accomplishments and not just a string of job descriptions. Your resume should tell a story about you, and what you highlight about yourself needs to be unique and compelling. 

The typical approach to resume writing considers one’s strengths, weaknesses, and accomplishments. Competency-based resumes focus more on the employer’s needs and are built from one question: what characteristics does the employer seek?  Check the company’s pulse and analyze the particular job in which you are interested. Then describe yourself using terms based on the competencies the employer is looking for; in other words, you should cater your resume to each specific job posting.  (“Competency-Based Resumes” by Robin Kessler)
The advent of the internet, where information flows quickly, means that the job application process has also changed. Traditional delivery of the resume through snail-mail has largely been replaced by e-mail. Whereas before, job seekers might mail their resumes to only ten or twenty people at a time, now they can easily attach their resume to an e-mail and send it to hundreds of employers – without spending a dime. However, the quality of your resume will always be more important than the quantity you can send out. You should continue to focus on creating a skill-based and quantitative resume. Indeed, many large companies now have software that searches for key words in the multitude of resumes they receive. Try to reserve a special section for especially descriptive or significant terms that prove you are a qualified applicant.

As a whole, your resume should be straightforward and built from factual facts. Avoid wordiness and meaningless introductions, and always keep the 15 to 30 second rule in mind. Error-free spelling and grammar, and use no more than three different font sizes are also crucial in making your resume an easy-read for the reviewer. Alone, a good resume will not get you the job, but it will get you in the door for an interview. Stay tuned as the Summer Job Search Series continues: next week, it’s tips for the document that goes hand-in-hand with your resume – the Cover Letter!

On the Job Search,
Sufen Wang
Wang Solutions