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Blog post written by David Hackel.

Congratulations! You have sometime in the not-so-distant past received a degree from a higher education institution (or are in the process of doing so), refined your skills in varied fields, and seriously begun the process of transitioning into the phase of life deemed “the real world.” This is also the stage in life where you are monetarily rewarded for your services, if you know how to market yourself to get your dream job.

And since you’ve come this far…and spent years—essentially you’re entire existence—preparing for this moment, you might as well do a bit of research into how to get that job you are oh-so-keenly interested in. Why? Because attaining that job may certainly provide you with a sense of personal gratification but will also help to place you in a comfortable financial position.

So take a few minutes to peruse this list of four ways to market yourself and be a desired job candidate. After all, you deserve that job. And you deserve a great financial future!

4 Ways to Market Yourself for a Job

1. Be Personable

This is perhaps the most crucial element of learning how to market yourself to be offered your dream job. According to MarketWatch, David Deming—an associate professor of education at The Harvard Graduate School of Education—has thoroughly studied the job market and has concluded, “The labor market increasingly rewards social skills.”

According to Deming, an aptitude in mathematics and quantitative skills—too—is a plus. Jobs that include high social skills and high math skills include: physicians, financial managers, and engineers. Meanwhile, jobs that contain intensive social but relatively limited mathematical proficiency include: police officers, detectives, social workers, lawyers and dentists.

However, as automatons become an increasingly vital part of production and the job market, rote-based (largely mathematical) jobs will progressively be replaced. And as such, personable, warm, and social individuals will become more desirable. Similar to the study performed by Professor Deming, a 2014 report by the Pew Research Center, stated that: “Traits such as empathy, creative thinking and judgment are things that machines will never be able to do, or anything approaching a short timeline.”

Interestingly, according to MarketWatch, the increasing importance of social skills is closely tied to a progressive closing of the gender wage gap. Currently, women dominate fields that include nursing, education, and accounting—all of which require you to be a likeable character. Thus, as these fields’ services become more preferred, their wages will ultimately increase.

We’re not saying you need to hug everyone you meet, but it’s certainly in your benefit to be personable and someone that others want to work with on the daily. Ultimately, that’s what matters when it comes to marketing yourself and for placing you in the best position to score that job.

marketing yourself

2. Be Confident

Be confident, and be someone your interviewer respects and admires. According to Tim Sackett, current president of HRU Technical Resources, at the final stage of an interview for an HR position at Applebee’s, Sackett’s future boss asked him one last question: “Are you better than me?” This is a horrifying position for an applicant to be put in. If you answer “yes,” do you disrespect your superior? If you answer “no,” do you show weakness and lack of faith in yourself? Sackett responded, “Yes.” He got the job. That’s a great example of how to market yourself right there! However, most people would not have the courage to respond as such. Executives and those responsible for hiring prefer confidence and a belief in one’s ability. Display that you maintain faith and courage. Be a leader: someone who your future boss wants not only to respect, but to learn from.

Famed CEO and Co-Founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg has given a succinct response to what he searches for in a candidate: “I will only hire someone to work directly for me if I would work for that person.”

So…

Speak of your achievements. Be confident and proud of who you are and what you’ve done. As stated by Entrepreneur.com, many prospective job candidates “make a…fundamental mistake: They never state, in clear language, what they’ve done for a previous employer or in their academic pursuits.” When marketing yourself in an interview, be sure to run through your academic, work-related, and personal accomplishments. This will distinguish you from your competitors! And on your résumé and LinkedIn Profile do not simply state your past duties. Boast (modestly, please) about your triumphs!

market yourself

3. Be Informative and Stand Out

Résumé. Since most employers will merely glance at your résumé—and not study it as thoroughly as you would your own—it should not only be impeccable, but it should stand out. What is very rarely considered when marketing yourself for a job on a résumé, and what is also crucial, is the order in which you present information. Please, for your sake, list accomplishments, strengths, and the pinnacle of your achievements at the top of your page. Continue the list in order of decreasing splendor. Think about this logically. If an employer must read through thousands of applicants for one position, he or she can only spend so much time reviewing each candidate. Some aspect of the candidate’s résumé must strike the employer as intriguing or fascinating in order to move through to the next stage of the application process. And since nearly all people on this lovely planet of ours read from top to bottom, place this captivating information about yourself near the top of the page.

LinkedIn. Additionally, as we have become engulfed in the digital age—LinkedIn has become an ever-so-important aspect of the job hunt and, yup—you guessed it, how to market yourself for a job. So make sure your LinkedIn page is up to date.

Here are several tips to keep in mind, thanks to the kind folks over at Forbes:

  • Display at least 50-100 connections.
  • Ask colleagues to endorse you or to provide recommendations on your profile.
  • Post articles or blog posts you may have written.
  • Add a professional-looking picture.
  • Join and participate in relevant professional groups, which will then be listed in your profile.

Keep these suggestions in mind—for your résumé and LinkedIn profile will likely be what scores you an interview.

ways to market yourself

4. Be Practical (with Your Major)

That said; certainly do not force yourself into a field for monetary or outside-motivating factors. More than anything, you should engage in work that you are passionate about. However, there is an important balance between what you find interesting and what is practical after the collegiate world. Ideally, attempt to determine a major that contains both factors.

Keep in mind, however, the direction in which the world is heading. For your convenience, we at BankMobile have gathered together a list of college majors with the highest / lowest unemployment rates AND majors with the highest / lowest starting salaries.

According to StudentsReview.com, university majors with the lowest unemployment ratings include: Nuclear Engineering; Astronomy; Radiological Sciences; Neuroscience; Kinesiology; Chemical Engineering. These majors are all graced with unemployment percentages of lower than 2.5%.

Meanwhile, university majors with unusually high employment rates include: Dentistry; Animal Studies: Art and Design; Interior Design—which range from roughly 13% to 29% unemployment.

As for starting salaries…the highest starting salaries for majors—according to ThinkAdvisor.com include:

  1. Petroleum Engineering: $102,300
  2. Chemical Engineering: $69,600
  3. Computer Engineering: $67,300
  4. Nuclear Engineering: $67,000
  5. Computer Science and Engineering: $66,700

On the contrary, the worst paying starting salaries are for students who major in:

  1. Early Childhood Education: $29,700
  2. Child and Family Studies: $31,200
  3. Culinary Arts: $31,900
  4. Child Development: $32,200
  5. Early Childhood and Elementary Education: $32,300

Lastly, when it comes to your major or your career of interest: Stay up to date on all relevant information—being in the know gives you an edge when marketing yourself! You should subscribe to email lists, attend networking events, and be prepared to “WOW” your interviewer, as you proceed to discuss the new and latest trends with fervent interest.

Go out and conquer. Your dream job and a fruitful financial future await you!

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Scary Good Ways to Reap Halloween Savings

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Photo credit iStock by Getty Images

Save Money on Halloween…

Are you ready for Halloween? Before you hit the party supply store, we have some great tips to  help you save money on Halloween this year.

Last year the National Retail Federation reported that Americans were spending almost $3 billion on Halloween costumes and just over $2 billion on candy! As part of our #LiveFreeBankFree movement, we think there’s a better way, and wanted to share some scary good ways to help you reap some serious Halloween savings without eliminating an ounce of fun.

Decorating

Want to turn your home into a haunted house for a night? Sure you do! Get crafty and DIY your own décor to save. The best way to keep it simple is to pick a theme for your Halloween decorating, so everything from your candy to your costume and party supplies will look cohesive. We found an awesome blog post on savvysassymoms.com that has some simple, cheap Halloween decorating ideas (our fave is the boo-tiful marshmallow ghosties made from a lollipop and marshmallows). And if you’re not into DIY, we recommend checking out Oriental Trading’s Halloween Sale for some cheap party supplies and Halloween decorations.

Food

Every great Halloween party needs some frightful food and drinks. But food and drinks can eat up your budget rather quickly if you’re not careful and fearful of getting creative. To help you out, we found a great post that features 24 wicked good Halloween appetizers and breaks down the cost per serving of each. Need even more inspiration? Check out this Halloween Food Ideas Pinterest board for some spooktacular recipes. We hope you’re starting to get a taste of all the Halloween savings available to you!

 

Music

No Halloween is complete without some spooky sounds and songs. For Apple users, check out the Halloween Spooky Sound Box app, which gives you a variety of tunes for Halloween. You can also find some frightfully awesome sounds on YouTube to play from your mobile device or laptop, like this one that has 75 minutes of old school Halloween sound effects.

Costumes

One of the best parts about Halloween is figuring out your Halloween costume, and you don’t have to buy a ready-made costume to make an entrance. Our first Halloween costume tip is to take advantage of all of the unused costumes that may be filling up the closets of your friends and family members and do a swap. If that’s too much of a hassle, here are a few budget-friendly Halloween costume ideas you can make on your own:

  • Mummy: Just wrap yourself with toilet paper…over and over and over.
  • Ghost: Grab an old sheet and cut a few holes in it. Done.
  • Nerd: You could grab most of these supplies at a thrift store or dollar store: bowtie, button down shirt, tight pants, and glasses – don’t forget the tape!
  • Housewife: Grab an apron, a dress, and a headband.
  • Old School Hip Hop: Some cool sunglasses, a gold chain, some gear and kicks and you’re good to go!

Need some more ideas? Check out these cheap and easy last minute Halloween costume ideas from Buzzfeed.

 Candy

Halloween is one of those times that procrastination can work in your favor. If you wait until the last minute to buy your Halloween candy supply, you may get lucky with the stores marking down their Halloween candy a few days before to make it move so they can get ready for the next set of holidays. Opt for bulk buys to save money and check your local newspaper for some coupons. When your cute ‘lil trick-or-treaters ring your bell, don’t let them reach in and grab a handful of candy. Instead – pass it out yourself.

Trick-or-Treat Bags

Do you remember going out trick or treating with a pillowcase? Why not bring that concept back and remix it with a new school twist by decorating an old pillowcase together as a family! Bust out the glitter and paint and go to town before you hit the streets.

Stick to Your Halloween Budget

Halloween doesn’t have to be scary expensive. And if you need a way to save for this holiday, consider opening up a free high-yield savings account and transferring some money over each week to build your Halloween fund. Having a dedicated fund will help you stick to your Halloween budget.

If you have some of your own spooky ideas, share your tips in the comments below. Happy Halloween!

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Real-World Ways to Avoid Online Scams

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You may think that people who get scammed online are the ones who respond to those crazy emails from a foreign prince, but online scams happen to millions of innocent people each year.

The Bureau of Justice reported that identity theft cost almost 17 million Americans roughly $25 million in 2012—and that’s just one of many types of online scams.

That my friends equates to 7% of people in the U.S. over 16 years old! And college students specifically are a population at risk because they may not necessarily take the steps to protect their personal information from being stolen from their laptops and mobile devices or even their dorm. So what exactly do these online scams looks like and what are some ways to avoid those online scams?

Beware of These Types of Online Scams

  1. Phishing:No – we’re not talking about catching that big fish – but phishing is quite similar in the realm of online scams. The phish scammers are trying to catch you – and they do it by sending you spam or getting you to click on pop-up messages online (the bait) so they can get your personal info if you bite (giving them their big catch).
  2. Identity Theft:Online scammers use stolen captured personal information, like your Social Security Number, to open credit cards or create new bank accounts in your name. They also use it to withdraw money from an established account, go on shopping sprees, apply for loans in your name or even rent apartments or storage units!
  3. Smishing:A close cousin to phishing, smishing is a newer scam via text/messaging. Often times the text/message is something alarming and contains threats of awful consequences if you don’t reply ASAP. And what do they want? Your confidential information.
  4. Keylogging:Another online scamming term is keylogging, which is a way thieves use malware that records your keystrokes to capture your personal information right as you type it in. This could be your online banking password. Yikes.
  5. Flipping money:This is an older scam that’s been repurposed via social media. Messages are being posted via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to entice you into making BIG MONEY quickly. Some of these tweets and posts have a photo of someone holding up a huge check or tons of cash. If you contact them about this amazing opportunity, they will ask you to buy a pre-paid card and give them the PIN so they can take the money and run – without any paper trail.

How to Avoid Scams Online

While no one is impervious to online scams, there are ways you can lessen your chances of becoming an online scammer’s next victim. Here are some helpful ways to avoid scams online:

  1. Don’t post too much personal information online or via social media. Love getting those birthday wishes via Facebook each year? We do too. But don’t post your actual birthday, including year, as this is one of those pieces of personal information that online scam artists are after. Also be cautious about posting your travel plans or sharing pics while you’re not home. You don’t want to tip off any crooks that your house is fair game for a week. Other things to avoid posting – your pet’s name, your address, your mother’s maiden name – basically anything you use to create a security question for your online banking can be sourced via your Facebook page.
  1. Make your passwords strong and keep changing them. Did you know that a 4 digit number password can be hacked in just 0004 seconds and a password with 10 characters containing letters, some of which are capitalized, digits, and a symbol (like a comma, period, or exclamation point), can take 17,000 years to hack? The lesson here is to make strong passwords and change them often. Read our post to learn how to make a strong password that’s easy to remember. Don’t use information like your birth date or phone number either – it’s too easy to guess. And don’t ever share your password. You also should avoid allowing your computer to remember your username and/or password.
  1. Safeguard your computer and mobile devices.Make sure to keep your computer updated with the most current anti-virus and anti-spam software. You’ll also want to install a firewall and anti-spyware software to be safe. To keep your mobile phone safer, make sure to update your apps, especially your financial and mobile banking apps, and only install apps that are from trusted marketplaces.
  1. Be careful with Wi-Fi.Don’t do your online/mobile banking or send personal information over public Wi-Fi. Others on the network can intercept it and use your info in an online scam.
  1. Never give your personal information to random people.Please never give out your sensitive, personal information through email, over the phone or via text. Make sure the company you are communicating with is legitimate, and if you’re ever unsure, call them instead. Only share personal information with those you trust.
  2. Be prepared. Keep a record of your account numbers and their expiration dates. Also make sure you have your bank’s phone number in case you need to report any weird or fraudulent activity.
  1. Don’t hand over your debit or credit card. Never give out your debit card to anyone—not your children, friends or roommates. Also don’t get in the habit of leaving your receipts or bank statements lying around where anyone can see them. When it’s time to throw these out, always shred. (Yes, people have been known to dumpster dive to get this type of info!)
  2. Keep tabs on your credit. Check your credit report annually – it’s free at annualcreditreport.com. Check over these reports and look out for any errors – that could be a sign of identity theft.

FTC’s Tips for Protecting Yourself Online

The Federal Trade Commission recommends these tips below for protecting yourself online:

  • Only bring the card you need with you, and don’t put your debit and credit cards in your wallet. If someone steals your purse or wallet, it will help minimize your loss.
  • When making a purchase, keep tabs on your card and get it back before you leave.
  • Don’t sign a blank receipt. If there are any blanks, cross them out.
  • Save your receipts and compare them with your bank statements.
  • Open your bills quickly, or look at them online regularly, then reconcile them with the purchases you’ve made.
  • Report any questionable charges or transactions to the card issuer ASAP.
  • If you’re going on vacation or moving – call your bank, whether it’s a branch bank or an online/mobile bank  and card issuers so they don’t keep sending your statements for someone else to view.
  • Don’t write down your account number on the outside of any envelope.

How to Report Online Scams If You’re a Victim

If you think you are, or may be, a victim of an online scam, contact your bank, credit card and other financial institutions ASAP. Additionally, if you believe you’ve been scammed online, reporting online scams by filing a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is recommended. A good resource to visit is IdentityTheft.gov – they have information on where to file a report, and how to begin the recovery process.

Online Banking Scams Happen

As a branchless bank, we want you to understand that online banking scams are a reality in our world today and you should take the necessary steps to protect yourself.

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Saving 101

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In the age of instant gratification, it’s hard to think of saving as something fun. But if you start with the end goal in mind, saving is merely the method to get you what you want. Maybe it’s not right away, but there’s a certain pride you exude when you earn something that you worked hard to achieve. You may think that you don’t have enough money to save when you can barely pay your bills, but where there’s a will there’s a way. Here are some simple savings tips to help you find your way to a brighter tomorrow. (more…)

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