Posts Tagged ‘Employment’

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Tax Relief for Hurricane Sandy Victims…

In Accounting & Finances,Business,Culture,Family,Insurance & Liability,Taxes on November 23, 2012 by Sufen Wang Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Hurricane Sandy Qualifies as a Disaster: Victims Given Much-Needed Tax Relief

Just because Hurricane Sandy has disappeared from the Doppler radar does not mean its aftermath dropped off the map. Almost a month has passed, but many East Coast residents are still picking through debris on their lawns and others will be homeless for the holidays. The storm really was a disaster in many ways – which is why it has been designated as a “qualified disaster for federal tax purposes.”

That’s actually good news: victims can exclude qualified disaster relief payments received from their employer (or anyone else for that matter) from their taxable income. So any payments used to repair homes or repair/replace the contents not covered by insurance, would not be included in the individual recipient’s gross income. This is also the case with any payments received for uninsured personal, family, living, or funeral expenses resulting from the storm. As a result, hurricane victims won’t have to worry about paying extra later when they’ve already lost so much.

Hurricane Sandy being named a “qualified disaster” will also help anybody trying to help the storm’s victims. Now, employer-sponsored private foundations can provide disaster relief to employee-victims in areas affected by the hurricane without having to worry that their tax-exempt status will change. An official list of those affected areas can be found here.

This tax relief is nice, but assistance for Hurricane Sandy victims shouldn’t stop there. Every cent does count, so donate whatever you can. Or if you don’t have a lot of money, volunteer a little of your time. It’s the season of giving after all.

Happy Thanks–Giving…. 

Sufen Wang 

Wang Solutions

Articles

Update Your Job Search Skills:

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

Look Back at the “Summer Job Search Series”

Whether you’re a teen looking for a summer job, or a more “mature” individual who’s ready to leave the cubicle for greener pastures, the job application process remains the same. Accordingly, it’s always useful to take a refresher course in job search basics. Lucky for you, I posted a special Job Search Series last summer and have included some highlights below. Be sure to read the full posts for all the juicy bits.

Work on your resume before anything else. Keep in mind that you need to keep it clean: both in the sense of providing honest information about yourself and also presenting it in a clear, easy-to-read manner. Resumes usually garner only a 15-30 second scan, so you want your potential employer to see the best of you immediately.

Your cover letter is your resume’s best friend. You need a good cover letter if you want a potential employer to even glance at your resume. Keep it short and sweet, and sound both confident and gracious. Most importantly, research the company beforehand so you can show the employer that you’re familiar with their values.

If you passed the previous two tests, you can expect a phone interview. In fact, it’s crucial that you expect the phone call; otherwise, you’ll sound unprepared to the interviewer. Since you and the interviewer can’t see each other, pay attention to the tone and rhythm of the conversation. Speak loud and clear, be enthusiastic, and be articulate in your responses.

Next up is the job interview. Your goal is to convince the interviewer that you are technically qualified for the job and a good fit for the company’s culture. How do you do that? Practice a lot beforehand, arrive on time (and dressed professionally), make eye contact, sit up straight, and be positive. Additionally, know your resume like the back of your hand and be ready to explain anything and everything on it.

The finishing touch on the job application process is the thank you letter. Send a short note thanking the interviewer for their time as soon as possible after the interview. The note (e-mail is okay, but real paper is even better) will show that you’re courteous and set you one step above the candidates who didn’t send thank you letters. Your goal is to make yourself memorable. Remember that and you’ll be hired in no time!

On the Job Search!  Sufen Wang, Wang Solutions


Articles

No Need to Outsource…

In Accounting & Finances,Business,Culture,Education,Human Resources on August 6, 2012 by Sufen Wang Tagged: , , , ,

Keep it Local Like GreenJobInterview!

With the political arena heating up, you can’t turn on the TV without hearing a debate about this domestic issue or that foreign policy. One hot topic is outsourcing: should we outsource the jobs overseas, or hire independent contractors to get tasks done, instead of hiring employees? A little BIG company in Costa Mesa, CA came up with a better answer. GreenJobInterview (www.greenjobinterview.com) decided to think inside the box and recently established its own 25-seat call center in its own office, with its own employees as customer service representatives!

GreenJobInterview has only been around since 2007, but it’s already been good for the environment and good for businesses. The company offers a live virtual interviewing platform via the internet for employers across the country and around the world. Instead of flying in potential candidates who, after all, might not be hired, recruiters from companies of all sizes use GreenJobInterview’s technology to conduct interviews with just a few mouse-clicks. And instead of traveling back and forth for a first interview, then a second interview, etc., a job candidate simply has to log on to his/her computer – preferably wearing something dressier than pajamas.

The job candidate sets up a webcam with the help of GreenJobInterview’s customer service representatives, and is trained over the phone on the interviewing process. The recruiter schedules the interview, and presto, recruiter and candidate are talking virtual face-to-virtual face.  No rushing around on planes, trains, and automobiles, and Mother Nature gets to breathe easier as a result.

Earlier this year, Theo Rokos and Greg Rokos, the CEO and President of GreenJobInterview reached an important crossroads in their enterprise: should they expand their customer service department to a full-service,24/7 call center in-house, or outsource it overseas or to another local firm? After much debate, they decided to invest in their own call center, hiring their own employees as customer service representatives for GreenJobInterview.

The best part of this company’s success and expansion is that Greg and Theo chose to invest in-house. Because of their decision, they generated employment in this depressed economy and spent money locally on the workstations, telephone systems, furniture, fixtures,etc. This small BIG decision is practically unheard of nowadays, and should be looked upon as a model to be followed.

Today, 25-seat Call Center, tomorrow 250-seat!  Two Thumbs Up for GreenJobInterview.com.
Eye on GreenJobInterview.com, Sufen Wang, Wang Solutions

Articles

Get a Summer Job!

In Accounting & Finances,Business,Culture,Education,Family,Insurance & Liability on July 31, 2012 by Sufen Wang Tagged: , , , , , , ,

At first, working during the summer sounds awful to most young adults. Then they usually stop complaining when their first paycheck arrives. However, they usually start complaining again once they realize that with income, comes taxes.

Meet Form W-4: Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate. This form is used by employers to determine the amount of tax that will be withheld from your paychecks to cover your income tax liability. You, along with everybody else, must fill out a W-4 when you start a new job – even if you work at that job for just one day.

Maybe you were lucky and found work as a waiter. Dealing with customers is difficult, but it also means you can get extra money from tips, and who’s going to say no to free,extra money? Unfortunately, you can’t just pocket your tips and forget about them– all tips you receive are taxable income which you must report. 

Perhaps you decide you want to be your own boss for the summer. You start doing odd jobs around town: babysitting, mowing your friend’s dad’s lawn, walking your neighbor’spoodle up and down the street. Congratulations on being a young entrepreneur,but the earnings you receive from self-employment are still subject to income tax. And if you end up mowing a lot of lawns and make $400 or more from self-employment, you’ll have to pay a self-employment tax.

If you get a job as paperboy (or girl), at least you’ll be done with work by the time most of America wakes up for work. And teens have special rules when it comes to federal taxes. Because newspaper deliverers are generally treated as self-employed, they have to pay the self-employment tax. However, if you’reunder 18, and you don’t meet all of the carrier self-employment conditions, you are exempt from that tax.

Everyone has to start working at some point. If you have nothing do this summer except wait for school to start, then you might as well start mowing some lawns! 

On the Money,

Sufen Wang

Wang Solutions

Articles

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

Articles

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…

 

JOB INTERVIEW….

 

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

Articles

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