Saturday, April 7, 2012

How to Become a Paralegal

Paralegals have some of the most important jobs in the criminal justice system, and they don't really get a lot of credit for what they do. They are the ones responsible for making lawyers as successful as they are. Without paralegals, the legal process would not be nearly as efficient as it is. If you have been looking for a job that will promise great opportunities for your future, you may consider working as a paralegal. You just have to make sure you can get through the training first. Here is a guide showing how to become a paralegal so you can get a feel for the process.

Step 1 – Figure out If This Is the Right Career

Before you jump into any kind of training program, you have to determine if it is the right career path for you. There is a wide assortment of criminal justice careers in the world, and they all have slightly different duties to keep in mind. You need to do some research about working as a paralegal before you can decide that this is where you want to be. Here is a look at some of the job duties you will have as a paralegal:

  • Assist lawyers in trial
  • Draft correspondence
  • Investigate information about a case
  • Issue affidavits and other formal statements
  • Organize documents
  • Prepare reports for attorneys
  • Research laws and legal articles

If you think you can handle all of that and more, you can proceed to the training process.

Step 2 – Choose a Specialty

There are many areas that you can focus on as a paralegal, and all of them are different. You do not have to specialize if you do not want to, but that may lead to better job opportunities in the future. Possible industries to work in include:

  • Real estate
  • Criminal investigation
  • Insurance
  • Healthcare
  • Divorce
  • Civil litigation

If you know that you have a passion for one of those or something else along the same lines, you should adjust your education to suit your concentration.

Step 3 – Get an Education

To become a paralegal, all you need is an associate's degrees in paralegal studies. Some students choose to go beyond that though, which may be a good idea for you as well. Getting a bachelor's degree would give you a better chance to get a job in the future, and it would allow you to work in higher paying positions later on. Here is a list of degree programs you may want to pursue:

  • Paralegal/Legal Assistant Certificate
  • Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Arts in History
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Political Science

Step 4 – Get Certified

Once you have your degree in hand, you will need a certification to start working as a paralegal. This will verify that you know what you're doing, and it will give your employers more confidence in your abilities. Required certifications vary by state, so you will have to contact a law firm in your area to find out what you need to get. Possibilities include:

  • American Bar Association Certified
  • Certified Legal Assistant
  • Legal Administrative Assistant Certificate
  • Notary Public
  • Paralegal Certificate

Step – Find a Job

With all of that out of the way, the only thing step is getting a job. You can find work with a variety of employers, including:

  • College or university
  • Company
  • Foundation or trust
  • Government office
  • Hospital
  • Non-profit organization
  • Private practice
  • Work from home

Apply with confidence like you would for anything else, and you should be able to land a job that will support your lifestyle. Here is a look at the salary you may encounter once you land a job as a paralegal:

Salary by Experience
  • Less than 1 year of experience: $24,410 - $43,453 per year
  • 1-4 years of experience: $26,395 - $50,740 per year
  • 5-9 years of experience: $31,434 - $61,068 per year
  • 10-19 years of experience: $34,314 - $70,273 per year
  • 20+ years of experience: $36,109 - $75,249 per year

Salary by Company Size
  • 1-9 staff members: $26,211 - $54,947 per year
  • 10-49 staff members: $30,442 - $60,632 per year
  • 50-199 staff members: $30,663 - $69,263 per year
  • 200-599 staff members: $31,953 - $70,903 per year
  • 600-1999 staff members: $35,792 - $80,069 per year
  • 2000-4999 staff members: $36,786 - $76,073 per year
  • 5000-19999 staff members: $40,887 - $81,971 per year
  • 20000-49999 staff members: $39,745 - $88,590 per year
  • 50000+ staff members: $46,050 - $74,219 per year

You now know what it takes to become a paralegal. The only thing left is actually going through this process. Think about your career goals and figure out if this is the right option for you.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

How to Find Work in a Recession

When the economy falls, businesses stop hiring. They have less money and fewer customers, so they don't need as many workers to help them out. If you have been struggling to find work in this economic crisis, you may just need to tweak your strategy a bit. There are ways to find jobs even in the midst of a recession. You just have to know where to look and what to look for. As long as you have the educational background you need for your job, you should be able to find work without a problem. Here are some tips to help you get a job, even with a recession to worry about.

Look for Jobs Online

Some areas of the world have better economies than others, so you may be able to find work online through a place that still needs employees. This may not work if you're a critical care nurse or some other worker that needs to physically be on the job, but it would work if you are a graphic designer, writer, programmer, tutor, etc. I get all of my jobs form areas of the country or world that are better off than my own. That's just the beauty of the internet.

Get a Better Education

In some cases, you may just want to take this time to get a better education. You could try to live off your financial aid from school, and you could get a degree that will make it easier for you to find a job. Sometimes it only takes a year or two to get an advanced degree, depending on what sort of education you need to get. You might as well use this opportunity while you have it so you don't end up missing the great opportunities to come.

Sharpen Your Interview Skills

Because of the limited number of jobs available nowadays, you will most likely face off against heavy competition when you apply for a job. If you can nail the interview, you should have no problem landing the job. There is no guarantee that you will get a job after this, but it can't hurt to improve your chances in whatever way possible. Write a really good resume and try to charm your way into a position. This will hopefully help you get work in the middle of a recession.

Think of High Demand Industries

Some industries have a greater need for workers than others, so you may just want to turn your attention to them. For instance, let's assume that you normally work as a project manager in the field of construction. The construction industry is not in high demand right now, so you may struggle to find work that way. If you decide to work as a project manager in an internet marketing firm, you may have a much easier time getting work and keeping it. Think about the industries you can work in that may have a higher demand for employees. Those are going to be the places you want to apply to.


Everyone is struggling to find work right now, so do not feel discouraged if you are experiencing the after math of a recession. This happens, and you just have to find a way to get through it. If you got laid off from work, go on unemployment and try to find something to do while the economy is down. Then whenever things pick back up, you can hopefully have your old job back. You just have to get through these hard times to see success in the future.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

How to Become an Accountant

If you like working with numbers, money, and anything in between, you should learn how to become an accountant. This is not a time consuming process at all, and it could lead you to a highly successful career. That all depends on where you work and who you work for, but everything starts with a good education. If you can apply your learning correctly, you can make a ton of money working with money as an accountant. In this article, we will look at the different kinds of courses you can take in an accounting degree, and what that degree could lead to in the future. Read on to find out how you could get started in this career.

Getting an Accounting Degree

If you want to become a reputable accountant, you will need at least a bachelor's degree in accounting. That will take four years to complete, but it will give you a foundation of knowledge you need to work in this profession. You could choose to get a two year associate's degree, but that will only allow you to work in the entry level of the field. I'll assume you want something more than that. Here is a look at some of the different courses you may take in your accounting degree:
  • Accounting Ethics and Professional Relations
  • Accounting for Decision Making
  • Accounting Information Systems
  • Auditing
  • Business Statistics
  • Corporate Taxation
  • Cost Accounting
  • Financial Accounting Transaction Analysis
  • Government and Non-Profit Accounting
  • Individual/Estate Taxation
  • Principles of Accounting
You may also take some more specialized courses at the graduate level, if you decide to go that high with your education. This would be beneficial if you plan on working for the government, but it is not necessary as a whole. You can get a degree overview from a school you plan to attend if you want to know more about the specific classes you may be taking. Then you can make a plan from there. Working as an Accountant Once you have your degree out of the way, you will need to go through an examination process to become a certified public accountant. This will give you the authority you need to actually work with other people's money. With all of this in place, you can then work with clients or a firm to make a living. Possible pay rates for CPAs include… Salary by Years of Experience
  • Less than 1 year: $30,536 - $60,366 per year
  • 1-4 years: $37,796 - $64,856 per year
  • 5-9 years: $43,963 - $83,135 per year
  • 10-19 years: $48,215 - $110,229 per year
  • 20 years or more: $48,613 - $148,131 per year
Salary by Certification
  • Accredited in Business Valuation: $40,772 - $119,195 per year
  • Business Certificate: $39,112 - $96,651 per year
  • Certified Financial Planner: $44,385 - $193,692 per year
  • Certified Fraud Examiner: $43,276 - $100,800 per year
  • Certified Information Technology Professional: $48,679 - $72,208 per year
  • Certified Internal Auditor: $6,800 - $99,329 per year
  • Certified Management Accountant: $43,500 - $95,000 per year
  • Certified Public Accountant: $40,105 - $90,052 per year
  • Certified Valuation Analyst: $53,352 - $124,376 per year
  • Enrolled Agent: $41,124 - $85,067 per year

You may make more or less money in the industry, depending on the type of people you work for. As long as you apply your education in the right places, you are guaranteed to have a good job well into the future. Accounting is not for everyone, but it may be perfect for you. You just have to get out there and find out.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

How to Know If You Can Take the Day Off

If you are truly committed to your work as a customer service manager, you may not think there is every a day that you can just take off. You are needed every day of the week, aside from your natural times off. As much as you may love being a workaholic, there are certain times when taking a day off is not that big of a deal. You just have to figure out when those times are so you can appropriately relieve yourself from your work duties. Here is a look at some of the times when you just have to stay home, no matter how much you may want to do otherwise.

When You Are Sick

If you are really sick, you need to stay home. Period, statement, end of discussion. There are two reasons for this. First, if you are contagious, you don't want to run the risk of getting all of your customers sick. That may make them avoid seeing you again, which would be counterproductive. Second, you need to rest in order to get better. If you try to go to work without letting your body heal, you will drag the illness out a lot longer than it has to be. If you notice that you are sick beyond the point of a simple cough or tummy ache, stay off work.

When You Have an Emergency

If you have an emergency in your family that needs to be taken care of, it is okay to take the day off. Most employers will understand if you have a serious problem that needs to be addressed, like a car accident or a shooting. I was in a car accident a year and a half ago that left me without the ability to walk for a few months, and my mother (a banker) left work to come see me at the hospital before she even told anyone. She got a phone call from my mother in law, and she was in the car before she even clocked out. She was more concerned with me at that point, and her boss understood. She called while she was on the road, and he let her off the hook without question. Sometimes you just have to take care of your personal life.

When You Have Vacation Time

If you have some vacation time to use, you should not feel guilty about leaving work. A lot of workaholics will avoid taking vacations because they think that their time away from work is going to mess everything up at the office. If you do that though, you may actually hurt your office in the long run. In most companies, you have to burn off your vacation time before the end of the year. I'm not sure why that is, but it is a fact. If you don't spend your vacation time early, you may end up having to go on vacation at the end of the year when everyone else is leaving. That will leave your employer very short staffed during the busiest time of the year. Do everyone a favor and try to take your vacation early on.


At the end of the day, you have to realize when it is okay to be away from work. Otherwise you will drive yourself nuts slaving away at a bad time. The other workers can hold down the fort for a few days. Whatever may go wrong during that time can be fixed whenever you get back. Keep all of this in mind as part of your job description, and you will have a much better time at work in the future.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

How to Dress for a Job Interview

Job interviews can be nerve racking for anyone, no matter how insignificant they may seem. College students often have a hard time figuring out what to wear for a job interview because they don't want to come off as too formal. It would be a little weird to show up to an interview at McDonald's in a three piece suit, right? There is a thin line between formal and professional, and you have to try to move towards the professional side. Doing so will guarantee your success in a job interview. Here are some tips to help you dress appropriately for the next job you apply to. Follow them if you want to look your best.

Job Interview Attire for Men

If you are going to an interview at a fast food restaurant or a retail store, you should be able to just wear dark wash jeans and a nice shirt. You can wear khakis or even dress slacks, but that may not be necessary. The only reason you would have to do that is if you are applying for a pretty prestigious position. Then you might as well bring out the blazer, the tie, the button up, and anything else you would want to wear. If you choose to go with jeans, make sure they don't have any holes or stains in them. That will look unprofessional no matter what. Top everything off with some neutral tennis shoes, and you should be good to go.

Job Interview Attire for Women

Women are a little different than men because they have the option to either wear pants or a skirt, depending on what they want to do. If you are going to wear a skirt, make sure it is long enough for the workplace. You're not going to land a job just by showing off your junk (I hope). Otherwise, you can wear dark wash jeans or dress slacks. Do not wear shorts or capris under any circumstances, and avoid shirts that show off too much cleavage. That could come across as trashy in the wrong setting.

Heels always look more professional for a job interview, so throw some of those on. Put on a nice top that shows your confidence and your fashion sense at the same time. You can wear jewelry, but try not to make it over the top. You want your personality to shine through, not the giant flower on your neck. Whether you're applying to be a clerk or applying to be a forensic pathologist, you need to make sure that the employer can see who you are in spite of your clothing.

Job Interview Attire for Skype

A lot of people never have to actually go into a job interview. They just have to pop on Skype and talk to their potential employers online. I have landed several jobs like this, and I have landed even more through just instant messaging alone. I work online though, so I supposed I don't fit the norm. If you have a job interview through video chats, just make sure that you are wearing something nice on top. The person on the other side will never see what you have on down below. I usually put on a nice T-shirt and maybe some earrings, but I have interviewed in just a tank top. It all depends on the kind of work I am trying to get.

Plan your wardrobe around the type of job you want to get, and you will have the best possible chance at landing a position in the future.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

How to Get Rid of Acne Scars for Work

Acne is a nightmare that no one likes to deal with, which is why having to live with the memories embedded in acne scars can be almost unbearable. If you have to go to work in a public environment, you may be a little embarrassed by the scars you have left over from your acne. No matter how much makeup you wear or how much facial scrubbing you do, you will never be able to fully get rid of your acne scars with those efforts. There are ways to get rid of acne scars though, and some of them are not as difficult as you may think. Listed below are a few options you might look into for your scar problems.

Mineral Makeup

If you are using makeup to cover your acne scars, make sure that you use mineral makeup. This will contain some healing components, and it will be light enough to allow your skin to breathe. One of the most well-known forms of mineral makeup in the world is comes from Bare Minerals, but it is a little pricey. A friend of mine had really bad acne scars back in the day, but you would never be able to tell that because she wore Bare Minerals every day. The level of coverage this makeup provides is well worth the price you have to pay for it. It will keep your skin looking gorgeous so you can go to work with confidence.

Egg Whites

Simply covering the problem is not enough to get rid of acne scars. Thus you may want to start with some simple egg whites. If you rub egg whites on your face, you may be able to see your scars fade over time. You can apply them with a cotton ball and leave them on your face for a few minutes. Then rinse them off with warm water. You may have to do this several times over to see results, but the egg whites should help you out over time.

Cucumber Juice

You can also get rid of acne scars through the use of cucumber juice. You can simply apply this to your face with a cotton call and then leave it on there until it fades naturally. It will soak into the skin to lighten scars without causing any damage along the way. If you want to avoid smelling like a cucumber all day long, you can do this before you go to bed at night. Just make sure you leave your face up so your skin can breathe.

Lightening Creams

Sometimes natural remedies are not enough to get rid of acne scars. If you struggle with those recommendations or simply want faster results, you may want to look into a quality skin lightening cream. Biofade is one of the best products on the market for this, and it can also take care of age spots, sun spots, and other skin problems you may want to lighten. Through regular use of a cream like this, you may be able to lighten your skin enough to make it look like you never had acne. Even if your scars have been there for years, they can be lightened beyond recognition if you follow the right remedies.

Final Thoughts

You shouldn't be embarrassed to go to work every day. You should walk through the door with confidence, ready to tackle whatever employment throws at you. With a good acne scar treatment, you can remove all of the issues that have kept you hidden until now. Let your beauty shine through, and people will take notice of it – guaranteed.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

How to Write a Generic Cover Letter

A cover letter is an extension of who you are. It shows future employers a preview into your resume, and it sets them up for the wonder that is to come. If you do not hook those employers from the start, you run the risk of losing out on a job opportunity. Thus it is your job to carefully craft what you want to say so that you draw the reader into the rest of your job application. Rather than doing this for every single job you apply for, you may want to come up with a generic cover letter that you can modify for each position. Here are some tips to help you do just that.

My Cover Letter
Before I get into the specifics about making a good cover letter, I thought I would give you a taste of what mine says. Yours will obviously be different because of your line of work, but this should give you a rough idea of some of the components to your cover letter. Here is an example of what I normally send out with my job applications:

To whom it may concern:

I'm an experienced, communicative, and quick responding content developer, and I feel that I'm well qualified to handle your position. I have written on a variety of subject matters in the past 3 years, and I am flexible enough to work under any assignment stipulations. I have received nothing but perfect reviews from all of my clients because of my high standards, quality control, and constant communication with my buyers. You can check out my work profile at: (link to my work profile)
Most of my work does not have my name on it, but I currently run 70+ blogs and mini-sites for several clients online. Some of those blogs include: (list of blogs and sites I run – including this one)

I manage 200+ articles a week, and I've dedicated myself as a full-time content producer. I'm experienced in article writing, rewriting, spinning, blogging, forum posting, technical writing, editing, and content writing. My resume is attached to this email for your review. You can see a full set of links to my work in my attached resume. I have thousands of other samples for the taking. It just depends on what content you need. Let me know what work I could provide to further assist your decision.

Thank you for your consideration, and I hope to hear from you soon.


The Components of a Generic Cover Letter

The example above just shows you some of the different elements you may want to include in your cover letter. Here is a quick breakdown of them:

  • Generic Greeting: Anything along the lines of "To whom it may concern:" or "Dear Hiring Manager," should work just fine.
  • Intro with Interest: A brief explanation as to why you may want to apply for any given position.
  • Overview of Accomplishments: A short sample of the reasons why you are the best fit candidate for the job.
  • Reference to the Resume: A quick statement saying that you have attached your resume for further review, just to entice the reader to look for more.
  • Generic Conclusion: Something along the lines of "Respectfully submitted," or "Sincerely," along with your contact information so the person can get in touch with you.

If you maintain most of those components in your cover letter, you should be able to hold the employer's attention long enough to see your resume.

Tweaking the Cover Letter to Suit the Job

In some cases, your generic cover letter may not be enough to fulfill an application's needs. If you have to explain specific knowledge that you have in relation to a position, you need to try to put that information up at the front. When I send in applications online, I usually put a blurb at the very top of my cover letter, just so that they see it and get encouraged to read more. If I was applying for a writing job on a criminal justice site, I might say…

***My standard cover letter is written below, but I just wanted to mention that I have written for several criminal justice sites in the past, including You can read more about my writing experiences below.***

I try to keep this part of my writing fun and light, just to show employers my personality. You can try to find a way to do the same with your cover letters. If you tweak your cover letter correctly, you should have no trouble getting a job in the future.