Sunday, April 19, 2009

Job Interview Tips: Follow Up the Right Way

MonsterTRAK Career Coach

You've applied online for a job you really want. But you can't help wondering what your chances are against other applicants or whether your materials have disappeared into cyberspace. A follow-up phone call or email to the employer might help you see where you stand. But is that really a good idea? It depends.

"Hiring managers tell me they appreciate tenacity and the expression of enthusiasm and confidence about their fit that applicants convey by calling to follow up," says Carol Anderson, director of career development and placement at the Robert J. Milano Graduate School of Management and Urban Policy in New York City.

"We recently hired a student who wrote a lovely email detailing his background and why he wanted to get his work-experience requirement through working with our firm," says Julia McKinley, national recruitment for Grant Thornton LLP in Canada, which is part of global accounting and consulting company Grant Thornton International. "When he called to follow up, I was impressed. He had done his research on the firm and had concrete reasons why he wanted to gain experience with us. So even though we had no budget and no opening, we hired him."

But there's another side to this story: The follow-up call that impresses one hiring manager may just annoy another.

"I think that following up on a resume sent through the mail was more accepted, even if it was to make sure that the right person received the resume," says Bonita Martin, field employment and retention manager for Western & Southern Financial Group in Cincinnati. "But now that the Internet provides recruiters with hundreds of people sending resumes for positions, and each person may or may not meet the qualifications for the position, I prefer that candidates not follow up on an initial resume or reply to an advertisement."

It's ultimately your decision as to whether you should follow up with employers. But if you decide to do so, keep these key suggestions in mind.

How You Follow Up Matters

Most college students and recent grads who follow up with employers "call and say, �I haven't heard anything,'" says Al Pollard, a career-development specialist at the University of North Texas who spent seven years working as a recruiter for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. "My thought is, �you won't hear anything with that attitude.'"

Instead, let the person you're dealing with know "you sent a resume for the position of ______, and that you want to make sure your resume was received and check on when people might be contacted for interviews," says Linda Wyatt, director of the career center at Kansas City Kansas Community College.

No One Likes a Stalker

If you do follow up, particularly by phone, make "not 10 phone calls, mind you, just one or, at most, two," says Anderson.

Also, remember that it's best to wait at least a few days before following up. And employers who include "no phone calls, please" in their job listings do so for a reason.

Email Is a Viable Option

Some employers hate getting follow-up phone calls but don't mind such emails. "It really is just a matter of convenience and time management," says Martin. "I'm able to print a thank-you or follow-up email and include it with a resume/candidate file and quickly reply to a candidate that the recruiting and selection process may take up to two months."

A Simple Script Comes in Handy

If a follow-up phone call sounds intimidating, use a brief script. Here's an example:

This is ______ calling. A few days ago I applied for the ______ position in your company's ______ department/division. I'm calling to make sure you received my resume and to reiterate my interest in the position.

Be sure to practice your words until they sound unscripted before you pick up the phone.

Monster's Resume Expert Kim Isaacs offers more sample follow-up scripts.

Brief Is Best

Nobody wants to be on the receiving end of an unexpected 20-minute phone call or a four-page email. So keep your follow-up concise. You don't need many words to make a strong impression that will lead to an interview and hopefully, the job itself.

Visit My Monster, or learn more about conducting your entry-level job search on MonsterTRAK.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

How to Write a Visa Letter of Invitation

A letter of invitation is not an official document, but rather a personal letter you write in which you state who you are, whom you are inviting, what the link between you and the visa applicant is, why you are inviting the individual in question, for how long, where your guest will stay (in a hotel or in your home, for example), and so forth.

The letter must provide the embassy or consulate with full details of the planned visit. Belgian embassies and consulates still require an original document (not a copy).

Normally you will send your letter to the visa applicant, who can then submit it to the embassy or consulate when applying for their visa. If you are unable to send your invitation directly to the visa applicant, you may instead send it directly to our embassy or consulate, in which case your letter must state whether or not the applicant in question has already submitted their visa application (and if so, cite the date and official reference number).

I found this at, and wanted to share it with everyone.

If you are interested in finding out how to write a visa letter of invitation for a guest to your country, there are many helpful resources that you can use in order to write the best visa letter of invitation that you possibly can. One such source is at the Queen Mary, University of London's website, in the Advice and Counseling Service Section, where there is a detailed explanation on what procedures to go through in writing your letter of invitation for a friend or family member to be admitted into your country through the visa and entry service established within Great Britain. For instance, the website at the Queen Mary, University of London's website gives the following information on writing a visa letter of invitation. According to the site, this is what you need to put in your invitation letter:

the full name and date of birth of the proposed visitor(s)

their relationship to you (parent, friend, etc)

why they want to come and visit you (for a holiday, to attend your graduation, etc.)

how long they want to stay in the UK and, if possible, their proposed arrival and departure dates

where they intend to stay; if they plan to stay with you, give your full address

your own immigration status in the UK (for example, student until 2007)

You can find a sample of a letter of invitation at or

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Which Types of Pet Fish Are Compatible?

Which Types of Pet Fish Are Compatible? -- powered by

Take Heed! Your Pet Fish Could Fall Sick Too!

There are mainly two
different types of pet fish. These are:

* Tropical Fish
* Coldwater Fish

The most popular children's pet fishes tend to be coldwater fish. Many people keep them in a small fish bowl though that is not really recommended. All fish whether they are tropical or coldwater fish need an adequate amount of space to swim around in.Tropical pet fish need more hard work.

Popular Fish Breeds
Despite being a large variety of different fish breeds, there are a few species that are more popular than others.

The most common coldwater fish include:

* Goldfish
* Barbs
* Bloodfin Tetra
* Guppy
* Cat fish

Goldfish are the most popular type of fish as pets. Long gone are the days when the goldfish was boring and dull. There are now 300 different colors. Goldfish need special goldfish food as their dietary needs are different

Barbs need to live in groups of 6 or more otherwise they can become aggressive. They need an aquarium with a tight fitting lid. They are small, colorful and very active.

BloodFin Tetra
The Bloodfin tetra is a fairly non-aggressive fish and it can live peacefully. They are ideal for beginners and have long life span. They grow up to two inches in length and they are widely available.

Guppies grow around 5cm and they come in a small variety of colors. They live up to two years and they are well known for their breeding abilities. They can have up to 50 babies a time.

Cat Fish
There are different kinds of cat fish and they live up to different sizes. Some can grow quite large and they will need quite a large tank. The red tailed catfish in particular can grow quite large and should not be kept with other smaller fish.

The most popular tropical fish are:

* Betta
* Clownfish
* Swordtails
* Danios

Betta fish are one of the most popular tropical fish found in a lot of aquariums. They are extremely colorful .They are also known as the Siamese fighting fish and if put together, the males will fight to the death. Females can be kept together in groups of six and they can live with other gentle community fish.

The clownfish has become increasingly more popular since the film 'Finding Nemo', and they are recognized by bright coloring. There is a high demand for this type of tropical fish so breeders are cashing in by charging a fortune for them. They usually live in pairs.

These fish are aptly named for their sword-shaped tails. There are different colors and shapes available due to crossbreeding and they are easy to care. They like to live with plants. They do like to be kept with their own kind so it is always worth having around six of them.

There are a few members of the Danio fish family and one of the most common types is the zebra Danio. They grow to be around 2 inches long and they like to live in a tank with rocks and plants.

Factors to Be Considered Before Buying Fish

Before analyzing the types of pet fish, you should bear certain factors in mind, including:

* Costs Involved
* The Tank
* The Equipment
* The Different Breeds of Fish
* Food

All of the above are extremely important factors that need to be researched thoroughly before you buy pet fish. There are many pet fish supplies that you will need so it is worth bearing them all in mind.

You also need to decide how much space there is in your house for a tank. The equipment also needs careful consideration. Each breed of fish likes to live in a certain type of setting. Some fish love rocks and plants yet detest logs, while others like logs and plants but don't like rocks.

If you are thinking of having tropical fish you will more than likely need a heater to keep the fish at the right temperature. If you are having live plants in your aquarium you may also need a lighting system. Aquarium Gravel is also essential when keeping plants. Make sure you know what equipment before buying your fish.

There are different varieties of fish and not all of them get along together. Fish generally live with other fish of the same temperaments as themselves. However they do like to live with a group of the same kind of fish. So it is always worth buying in groups when choosing your fish. Certain breeds of fish, such as the Siamese fighting fish, do not like to live with other males and they will fight to the death in some cases.

Food is also another factor to bear in mind. If you are getting a goldfish you must give them special goldfish food. Other breeds such as some tropical fish will need special tropical food. Whichever breed of fish you have, you should never over feed them.
How Can I Tell If My Fish Is Ill?
Just like all other animals, fish will occasionally become sick and as they are so small and you cannot handle them, it is sometimes hard to see if there is anything wrong with them. Some symptoms are:

* Skin Abnormalities
* Bloated Abdomen
* They are not swimming right
* Not eating properly

Overall, all fish as pets can be difficult to keep and require a certain degree of patience in order to keep them happy and healthy. Coldwater fish are the easiest to look after but many people prefer tropical fish to look at. Whichever types of pet fish that you choose always make sure you know what you are doing before you buy them.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Lindsey Turrentine wrote an interesting article on CNet about the social pitfalls to avoid by those of you that want to give up Facebook or other social networking addictions for Lent.

Lindsey writes: “I’m not Catholic, but every year when friends and family give up wine, cheese, or bad TV shows for the 40 days of Lent, I get into an ascetic spirit.”

“I think maybe I do need a break from Facebook. Checking Facebook first thing in the morning, all day long, and just one more time after I brush my teeth is probably not the best use of my time. My children, my marriage, and my houseplants need me more than that guy I met one summer in art school.”

Lindsey signals a trend this year of Catholics and other Christians pledging to give up Facebook, Twitter or the Internet all together to free up time for more spiritual activities.

However, says Lindsey, “a sudden break from your social network – virtual or otherwise – creates a social minefield for anyone concerned with online manners. With more than 175 million active users on Facebook, at least one or two will want to “friend” you in the next 40 days. What to do?

Read Lindsey’s five tips for anyone wanting to go “Facebook cold turkey”: article

What do you think of this new trend? Post your comments below!

BTW: I’m not giving up Facebook for Lent, it’s an important tool to communicate with my audience. I’m not giving up talking, preaching or podcasting either

Thanks to Steve Marquez for the link to the article on CNet!

read more HERE!!!

Tackling Today’s Drink Culture with the Help of "LENT"

thirst for life will help you make a difference, whether you join thousands of others who go alcohol-free over the traditional Lent period (starts Feb 25th) or do your own 40 days some other time.

thirst for life will give you the chance to take control – to see if you can do it – and to show others that it is possible.

You’ll find lots of support in this site to help you do something positive about the binge drinking culture which threatens our nation’s health. And it’s not just younger people – every age group has its alcohol problems.

If you are involved with a church or community group, then you could invite a Hope UK Educator to help you. Their awareness sessions are lively and participative and they can also look at tobacco and illegal drugs at the same time. AND if you’re going to thirst for life, why not be sponsored for a good cause.

The situation
Everything we do is now associated with drinking. The big night out, the office party, a trip to the theatre or a night in with a DVD. Government statistics highlight the impact boozing is having on our society.

We all want to live full lives but have we as a society become too dependent on the glass of wine or pint in the local? It’s time for some sober thought on how we use alcohol.

Why not take the thirst for life challenge to go alcohol free for 40 days?

…thousands of people going alcohol free for 40 days.
…spare beds in casualty departments.
…police with time to solve crime.
…city centres that are safe in the evening.

Get on board as we tackle the issue of Booze GHANA!

read more HERE!!!

A Methodist girl's Story about "LENT"

Yes, I am a Methodist girl. But, honestly, Lent is one of the coolest seasons there is in the church calendar. It is all about self-examination and what we are about, who we believe Jesus is, and how we long to be more like Him.

So, I have decided for Lent, essentially to be a more disciplined person. I have gotten a bit specific, just so I can be held accountable, but over all, it's about discipline.

My middle school girls and I discussed the difference this weekend between discipline and punishment. They are so insightful, honestly in the way they think and respond to things. They said that discipline is knowing right from wrong and doing the right thing. They said punishment was when you do wrong, though you knew the right thing, and you need to learn from your mistake. I love them. They are why I do what I do.

So, my Lent plan is: go to bed early...check the time, it's 11:09pm. I am about to turn the light out, as soon as I press Publish Post!
get up early: this means between 7:30am and 8am. I know this is not early for some people, but really, I have no reason to get up early, so most of the time I just sleep til 9 or 9:30, sometimes 10, let's be honest.
not drink cokes: because, let's face it, I am addicted. Every afternoon a good and cold diet coke is what keeps me going. Here's to water!!! Yay!
read the books on my nightstand: really, they have been sitting there since Christmas and I haven't even cracked them...yikes. it's time to open these pages...i mean, the first one is by Bill Johnson! I am excited to read it!
and be more productive: honestly, I could do a lot more by just getting up, I am pretty sure I am going to be more productive because I am giving myself more time in my day!

So, there it is. My plan. I am going to do this. I am determined to be a more disciplined person. I think it is what God is teaching me in this season of my life. It's going to be a good 40 days. I hope it becomes a lifestyle. Pray with me.

read more HERE!!