Talent Development Centre

All posts by Guest Author

Top 5 Tech Trends That You Should Follow in 2020

This guest post is provided by Anastasia Stefanuk at Mobilunity

Changes in the technology trends are very disruptive as well as very rapid in recent decades, especially in the field of IT and communication. The impact of technology changes in information and computer technology ICT has put the employment of a large number of employees on stake. Numerous recruitment process outsourcing models emerged to replace traditional employment. Automation of industrial processes powered by the ICT has almost revolutionized the employment landscape globally.

According to the latest research, more than 47% of the global employees are facing the risk of losing employment due to the technological factor affecting business in all kinds of industries worldwide. Let’s explore the major tech trends in business in 2020 that can disrupt the existing way of doing business in the world.

Importance of Technology Trends

Circuit board pattern and puzzle

Technology trends are very crucial for all kinds of businesses in the world nowadays owing to the widespread influence of ICT and other technological factors in modern businesses and industries. Almost half of the world employment is at stake due to the pervasive influence of automation processes. The expected number of industrial robots to be deployed in the industries across the globe in 2019 is about 2.6 million units. These robots improve work efficiency and industrial productivity significantly. According to the Statista predictions, the total size of the robotic process automation RPA is expected to cross $4.9 billion by 2020.

There are many other technology trends such super-speed communication networks, smart vehicles, home automation, virtual reality, wearable devices, and centralization and integration of businesses processes will impact all types of industries, businesses, and lifestyles of this world. In short, change is a big technology factor in the business of the present world.

Top 5 Tech Trends in Business in 2020

If we look at the global ecosystem of the industries and business across the world, we will come to know that technology trends are continuously changing. But, it is very important to note that the major disruptive changes in any field of technology are powered by the ICT advancements. The other technology changes are also heavily influenced by the changes in ICT technologies. So, ICT is the technology trendsetter in the present global world. Let’s have a look at the top 5 technology trends in business in 2020.

Trend #1 AI Powered Development

Artificial intelligence is not a new thing in the world of technology, but the maturity of the technology is ripened nowadays in all forms of business and industries. The software development powered by artificial intelligence AI and machine learning has opened up new dimensions for communication automation, entertainment, digital marketing, healthcare, defense, and other fields of businesses. The use of chatbots is one of the examples of AI enabled software development. Virtual reality and augmented reality (VR/AR) are the major components of AI enabled development that is getting stronger roots in modern businesses across the globe. According to the latest research, more than 80% of the routine repetitive tasks in documents, record management, HR processes, bookings, CRM, and other processes can be automated through the next generation software programs powered by the AI and machine learning technologies.

Trend #2 Internet of Things (IoT)

Internet of things commonly referred to as IoT technology is a new tech trend for a few years now. It will also remain a top technology trend in 2020. According to the Energias Market Research forecast, the total size of the IoT market is expected to reach $6.5 trillion by 2024 from just $1.2 trillion in 2017. The global market size of the internet of things is projected to grow at over 26.6% CAGR between 2018 and 2024.

This technology is not only growing in the home automation but also in all fields of businesses and day to day life. With the help of IoT technology powered by the high-speed internet and modern trends of communication, you can automate processes in your car, at home, at the garage, at the office, at public places, at government offices, and even everywhere you just name it. Internet of things is an integrated technology based on sensors and integrated communication technology. The sensors sense different parameters and communication technologies help to send signals to alert the human or automated process to take action remotely or automatically.

Trend #3 Blockchain Technology

Blockchain technology is emerging as one of the most powerful and secure software technologies for managing numerous software-based processes in all major industries of the world. The origination of this technology is associated with the Bitcoin cryptocurrency, which is a type of virtual currency without any intermediary authority to regulate. This technology is a chain of blocks of information that are distributed across computer networks in the world. It is also known as distributed information ledger.

According to the TMR forecast report cited in the Global News Wire says the total market size of blockchain technology is expected to reach $20 billion by 2024 with a gigantic growth of 58.9% between 2016 and 2024. There are many governments in the world are considering this technology to use in the most secure and mission-critical government systems like finance, defense, voting, and utility systems. The introduction of cryptocurrencies in different countries is also becoming a big option for many governments in the world.

Trend #4 5G Communication Technology

5G communication technology is going to become a big technology trend in 2020. It has already hit the ground in many countries of the world. According to the Future Marketing Insight projections for 5G technology, the market size of 5G is expected to cross $248.46 billion by 2028 from just $608 million in 2018. The growth of this technology is estimated at about 82.4% CAGR during 2018 and 2028. It will be one of the top technology trends in 2020 across the world. The impact of this technology will be high on different industries, businesses, and lifestyles.

Trend #5 Virtual Reality & Wearable Devices

Wearable devices powered by the virtual reality and augmented reality (AR/VR) software development is setting new trends in entertainment, gaming, and TV industries. The number of wearable devices shipped across the globe is increasing continuously. It is expected to grow the shipment of wearable devices in 2020 significantly. It will maintain its status of top tech trend in 2020.

Impact of Disruptive Tech Trends on Business Efficiency

The impact of disruptive technology trends on businesses is significantly big. As we know, the present day business market is so competitive and very fast-paced. The technology-oriented businesses are highly prone to the changes in the technology to even survive in the industry. The user experience is one of the most significant components of modern businesses. The customers have become so demanding and so aggressive that any little deficiency in the service or product can cost a business hugely.

The entire range of the above disruptive tech trends improves the speed, reliability, security, and productivity of the businesses. Creating a great user experience is the top objective that can be achieved by using modern technologies.

Final Takeaway

The landscape of technology is changing rapidly and consistently. Almost all tech trends are influenced by the ICT changes in the present day world. The top expected technology trends in 2020 may include blockchain, internet of things (IoT), AI-powered development, 5G technology, and wearable devices. The growth forecasts of all these technologies clearly declare them to remain as top tech trends in 2020.

Ensure You’re Working on a Secure Device… But Don’t Spend Time Securing It

The following guest post was provided by NPC

IT and professional contractors are the definitive mobile professional.  Moving between jobs that can be anywhere from a few days to a few years, mobility, adaptability and professionalism are essential to their success. They’ve been mastering the “gig economy” long before it was topical. Many contractors make exceptional money, better sometimes than their permanent-staff counterparts. The difference between the winners and losers may not be the luck of the draw on the positions they land, but how they organize and present themselves. Running an efficient and secure one-person office is critical to being able to focus on the work opportunity, and to maximize revenue generating hours.

But as solo entrepreneurs, how a contractor spends their time doing just that is important.  Like it is for any professional, time is money. It’s reasonably certain that someone who owns a car dealership no longer changes their own oil. Smart producers look carefully at their operational responsibilities and how they spend their time. They watch for opportunities to offload a task to someone that can do it faster-better-cheaper. Even though it may be a task they know how to do themselves, once the value of their skills overtakes the value of the task, they offload it.

As-a-Service models are related to and fast becoming as ubiquitous as Cloud Computing. They are great opportunities for professionals of all types to offload some of the time-consuming and low value work that is not only a bit of pain to keep up with, but takes away from either their revenue producing work, or, more importantly, precious personal and family time.

An example of this is NPC DataGuard’s secure managed computer offering. For a single monthly fee NPC will provide a professional with a top-of-line laptop, desktop or hybrid tablet, that is already sourced, configured, and secured with industry leading backup and security tools.  Giving the responsibility to someone else to provide a computer that is built, managed and monitored, always in warranty, with single-point-of-contact 24/7 support, can be a big time saver for the Contractor.

For those jobs that require the contractor to “BYOD”, being secure and protecting their business interests, and that of their clients, is essential. The level of security that can be achieved in these types of specialized models is exceptional. Fully encrypted and biometric access devices will impress those clients that require you to work on a secure device. As well, as an example, NPC DataGuard’s Pro product comes with $5M in privacy breach remediation insurance if an NPC ever failed to protect critical personal information you may work on for your client.

The impact on a contractor from a lost, stolen or compromised device while in a contract can be devastating.  What is your plan today for such an event? What’s your personal Business Continuity Plan?  A secure managed computer includes a full back-up completed each day into a secure data centre.  A lost, stolen or damaged device can be replaced with data restored, saving you countless hours doing it yourself and getting you back to work.

“As-a-Service” models offer products and services to ensure the contractor does not waste time on tasks that pay him or her less than what they can make, as well as levels of  technology performance that even an IT professional might find hard to achieve on their own.

Spending a lot of time buying, configuring and securing your own computer can now be a thing of the past. Key to driving top revenue is showing up professionally with military-grade security on a slick new computer and being able to focus on the opportunity at hand.

This guest post was submitted by our friends at NPC. Visit this page to learn more and to get a special offer for all of our readers.

10 Tips for Writing a Job-Winning Developer Resume

Recruiter Reviewing Job Applicant's ResumeWriting the perfect resume is not just time-consuming; it’s challenging. With a market that is bursting with talent, job posters can quickly receive hundreds of applications for the same project. Showcasing your skills in the best way possible is a practice in precision.

While there are different schools of thought on resume writing, web developers should be aware of a few critical factors. The best way to get an edge on the competition is with great style and well-presented information. Let’s take a look at what developers ought to do to craft a job-winning resume.

Formatting

As with any writing, utilizing good structure is important. Recruiters generally scan resumes to maximize their time during job searches. Therefore, using effective formatting can help get your resume to the top of the pile.

Consider organizing the information in your resume in this order:

  • Professional Career Summary
  • Skills
  • Work Experience
  • Projects
  • Software/technology programs
  • Education
  • Certifications

Today’s recruiters tend to prioritize good experience above all else. Your education and certifications still have value, but they don’t need to appear first on your resume.

Personal  information

Traditional resume formats included too much personal information. Clients don’t need to know your weight, height or eye color. While adding some personal data is necessary, it should only be the bare minimum.

Your name, title, email, phone number, and website are all you need to write on your resume. Although some are against it, feel free to include a photo of yourself. Depending on where your client is based, they might even expect to see your headshot in the top corner.

Professional Summary

Chances are if you are searching for a job, you have a LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn has made it the norm for job seekers to present themselves with a professional summary. These summaries allow you to quickly highlight your soft and technical skills as a web developer.

In summary, you provide recruiters an overview of your career. Thus, be sure to include how many years you’ve been in the field. Also, write about any tech programs you’ve completed in that time. If you were in charge of training or managing other employees add that, too.

Keywords

Using the right keywords isn’t just for top-notch SEO; it works for your resume, as well. Pay attention to the terminology clients use to describe a project. If you use the same terminology as them, you’ll have a higher chance of being selected.

Plenty of businesses use automated systems to sift through resumes and keywords are vital to their algorithm. Unfortunately, if your word choice doesn’t match with a prospective client’s criteria, your resume may be wholly passed over. Ensure that you get a foot in the door by fine-tuning the keywords in your resume.

Experience

The experience you include on your resume is a primary deciding factor for your candidacy. Remember to remove any irrelevant experience. Furthermore, remove any experience from over ten years ago.

Hiring managers want to see what explicitly makes you perfect for the position they are looking to fill. Write a short paragraph about what your main contributions were to previous positions. Also, highlight previous experience that directly connects with the project you are currently applying for.

Spotlight Projects

While experience is essential,  projects can also help prove your worthiness as a candidate. Especially, if you are entry level and don’t have much experience, yet. Whether it’s an internship or a freelance project, adding it to resume helps you stand out.

First of all, they show your dedication and drive. Second, they illustrate any unique skills you may have acquired. If your projects are online, include a link!

Education

Although your education has to be on your resume, it’s not as crucial as your experience or projects. One line descriptions will suffice. However, you can certainly include extra information if you feel it will be particularly interesting for the position.

Education must be in reverse chronological order. Additionally, ensure that you list any special programs, boot camps or courses you completed. Certifications can go here, as well.

Technical Skills

When arranging your technical skills, be sure to eliminate any that are outmoded. No one will be impressed if you say you know how to use Windows 95. Show that you are keeping up with the latest software and programs in this section.

Connect your knowledge to your experience and elaborate on how you used your technical skills in the real world. Recruiters will appreciate concrete examples. Also, label your skills with a proficiency level, but avoid saying you’re a beginner.

Interpersonal Skills

Although web developers’ primary skills should be technical, interpersonal skills are important, too! Clients will appreciate a programmer who is a people person. Show your interpersonal abilities by utilizing specific language.

Strive to include active verbs like delivered, organized or elevated. Showcase your sensitivity to time and your ability to work well with deadlines. Moreover, go into detail about any leadership roles such as training or leading projects.

Tailor Your Resume

It might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s essential that you adjust your resume for each job posting. Even though the jobs may be similar, you need to optimize keywords and reorganize every time. The relevance of your resume depends on it.

Furthermore, keeping your resume as up-to-date as possible is never a bad thing. After all, technology is continually evolving. Tailoring your resume for each job is an excellent opportunity to check that your information matches your current skills.

Conclusion

Once you’ve perfected all of your content, take care to adjust your presentation. Opt for a spacious set-up instead of cramming information in. Don’t get too caught up in whether your resume fits into a single page.

Instead, please pay attention to your content and ensure its scannable. A colorful and creative presentation can be eye-catching; however, don’t go overboard trying to impress. Do your best to incorporate these ten tips, and you’ll be on your way towards your next web dev position.

Kristin SavageKristin Savage is interested in writing and planning to publish her own book in the nearest future. Also, she has been a reviewer at Pick Writers for a few years and is known for her thorough approach to accurately assess newcomer translation services. You can find her on Facebook.

How to Achieve Financial Freedom Through Passive Income

This post by Jose Michaca was originally published on the CPA4IT Blog on January 17, 2019     

How to Achieve Financial Freedom Through Passive IncomeImagine what your life would be like if you knew that all of your living expenses were covered. That you could roll out of bed, do nothing, and still have all of your basic needs met. That instead of living paycheck to paycheck, you could do the work you want to do rather than the work you have to do. This is financial freedom, and it can be achieved through passive income.

Now, the common misconception is that financial freedom is synonymous with retirement. It’s not. Regardless of age, when you generate enough passive income from your investments to cover all of your living expenses, you have financial freedom. Once your living costs are covered, employment becomes optional, and you’re free to focus on the things you’re truly passionate about.

It sounds pretty ideal; however, building enough passive income to realize this goal requires careful planning. As a small business accounting and tax accounting firm, CPA4IT regularly helps clients to determine their “financial freedom number” and then set a clear path forward. Here’s how we do this.

OUR PROCESS

Identify how much passive income you require

Financial freedom means having your base monthly expenses covered, which means you need to know what those expenses are. So, the first step is to make a list of all of your necessary financial commitments—rent/mortgages, utility payments, internet and phone expenses, insurance premiums, car payments, health expenses, school expenses, childcare expenses, basic food, clothing, entertainment, travel expenses, and so forth.

The amount of passive income a person needs will vary. A younger person who may be putting a child through school will have higher monthly expenses than an older individual whose children have left home. For the purposes of this article, let’s say you break down those costs and determine that you can live off $6,000 a month.

Determine your financial freedom number

Now that we know what your expenses are, it’s time to figure out how much money you need to save and invest in order to make $6,000 per month in dividends. To start, we look at your personal balance sheet to determine where you are now, financially. Do you have a house? RRSPs? A TFSA? Unregistered investments? Assets?

Once we determine what your current equity is, the next thing to figure out is how much total equity you need. So, if we take your monthly expenses of $6,000 and assume a 5% dividend, you would need a $1,444,000 principle to generate that amount. We then subtract your current equity from that amount to give you your financial freedom number. Let’s say you’ve currently got $700,000. Your financial freedom number is $744,000. Once you hit that target, you’ll be able to sustain your lifestyle through passive income.

Now that we know how much you need to put away, the next step is to establish a game plan for how exactly you’re going to do that.

Apply the Financial Freedom Pyramid of Power

The Pyramid of Power is most commonly applied to business strategy and goal-setting. However, at CPA4IT we’ve developed another version—the Financial Freedom Pyramid of Power. The Pyramid breaks down into four simple steps that we use to help you achieve financial freedom through passive income. Let’s take a look at these steps and their related strategies in more detail.

Invest it—start earning passive income.

Protect it—insure yourself and your assets.

STEP 1: MAKE IT

Maximize your earnings by …

Evaluating your income.

Obviously, a big part of building equity relates to your income. If you’re an employee, what is your base pay rate and are there additional skills or trainings you could get that would earn you a higher hourly rate or salary? If you’re a business owner, what are your short-term and long-term plans for business growth? How will that impact your income over the next 3-5 years?

Let’s say you’ve built up your net worth but it’s just not enough. Perhaps you had a rough time in the market and worry that you no longer have enough money to retire, or perhaps you started saving late and worry that you won’t be able to hit the amount of equity you need in order to achieve financial freedom.

Then the question becomes, how can you generate more money with what you’ve currently got? Can your current assets generate more income? Are there expenses that could be cut? If not, we usually may get out clients to work on developing a full traditional Pyramid of Power to help us explore options.

STEP 2: SAVE IT

Maximize your savings by …

Evaluating your spending habits.

As stated earlier in this article, it’s important to understand where your money is going. In fact, one of the very first things we do with our small business accounting clients is evaluate spending. Whether you’re working with an accountant or not, it’s a useful exercise. Ask yourself, where is your money going right now? Is there anything that can be cut out? Are there non-essential expenses that are ultimately less important to you than your financial well-being? If yes, cut those costs, and save instead.

Banking every raise you get.

Usually when people make more, they spend more. Unfortunately, this is not the best saving strategy. The best strategy is to stick to your existing budget and divert that raise directly to savings. Of course, there will be times when unavoidable new expenses arise; however, as an overall strategy banking your raises can really help to boost the amount of money you have available for investment. This strategy is particularly useful for millennials who may already be accustomed to living on a budget and could divert raises to paying down student debts more quickly.

Setting aside $0.30 of every dollar you earn.

As a base minimum, you should be diverting $0.10 of every dollar you earn towards savings. But there are other considerations. Namely, taxes. Taxes are deducted automatically for company employees, but if you’re a business owner, entrepreneur, or self-employed individual, you should be setting aside at least $0.30 on every dollar to cover your GST and taxes owing. You’ll likely use $0.20-0.25 of that to pay your taxes. Once you’ve settled up with the CRA, anything left over can be pushed to your savings. If you can manage the other $0.10 on top of that $0.30, even better.

Paying off bad debt.

If you have debt, your first instinct may be to pay that off before you begin saving. Sometimes this is a sound strategy, sometimes not. There’s a difference between good debt and bad debt. Good debts are low interest debts, like lines of credit and mortgages. Bad debts are high interest debts like credit cards. Debts to the CRA, such as amounts owing on your GST and payroll / source deduction taxes or personal income taxes, also fall into the not-so-good category. It’s wise to discuss your current debts with your small business accountant to ensure that debt repayment is adequately accounted for in your saving strategy.

Investing (slightly) less in your business.

Entrepreneurs and small business owners work hard, often putting everything they make back into their business. But that’s putting all of your eggs in one basket. What happens if, in 20 years, the business doesn’t work out? Even entrepreneurs need a bit of a balance. Moreover, as a small business owner, you won’t have access to a large company or government pension. Instead of investing 100% of your profits back into your business, make it 75% and use the rest to build up your nestegg.

Worrying less about the mortgage.

Contrary to common belief, paying off your mortgage isn’t the best path to financial freedom, particularly when you’re self-employed since your mortgage is a deductible expense. By paying it down you’re losing that deduction. Sure, you’re paying off debt, but that debt is only costing you 3.5%. If you invested that money in the market instead, you could make more than that amount in dividends. Strategies like the Smith Maneuver can also be used to simultaneously build up your net worth while paying down your mortgage.

STEP 3: INVEST IT

Maximize your passive income by …

Starting to invest right away.

Now that you’re saving, you want to start earning passive income as soon as possible so that you can continue to increase your savings. Unfortunately, you usually need $200,000 or more before a financial advisor will be interested in working with you, which means that initially you may be reliant on your own knowledge.

There are plenty of resources out there. Start by looking for investments that provide at least a 5% dividend, ideally 7%, and have minimal management fees (if any). Your small business accountant can offer suggestions on how to manage investment accounts and can offer you a few pointers on what sort of investment options will be most accessible and manageable for you based on your current level of equity.

STEP 4: PROTECT IT

Maximize your long-term security by …

Protecting your investments.

What we’re talking about here is insurance, and the strategy is pretty straightforward—get some! The key types of insurance you should invest in include health insurance, life insurance, homeowner’s / rental insurance, disability insurance, and car insurance (if you own a vehicle). In terms of stocks and bonds, there’s no way to directly insure these assets, but you can make sure your portfolio is diversified and consult with a financial advisor to develop strategies for handling your investments in times of market turmoil.

If achieving financial freedom through passive income appeals to you, we’re here to help. Contact CPA4IT for a more information about how to arrange a consultation.

Motivation and Opportunity: Entrepreneurship, Career Change in Canada’s Female Workforce

Guest post by Gloria Martinez of womenled.org

Motivation and Opportunity: Entrepreneurship, Career Change in Canada’s Female WorkforceA recent study of Canadian workers by the recruitment agency Hays Canada has revealed that half of the working professional population are unhappy in their current jobs. And unhappiness among female workers appears to be at an all-time high — 54 percent of Canadian women fantasize about quitting their jobs with many claiming they want more money, while others put the blame on a bad culture fit.

For many Canadian women, happiness at work didn’t happen until they made a career change. Many chose to follow a private passion rather than fight their way along a difficult and frustrating career path to advancement in companies that showed little interest in cultivating and promoting in-house talent. The fact that Canadian women are starting businesses at a higher rate than women in any other G20 country is a positive and encouraging indication that many are seeking personal happiness through entrepreneurship.

Opportunity and pay

Many have gone out on their own having grown tired of too few opportunities to take advantage of their education and experience. Canada’s gender pay gap is one of the largest among industrialized countries, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. Pay inequity has led many Canadian women to seek better options in other fields, including finance, construction and civil engineering, and take advantage of hot new job markets, such as computer and information systems, medicine and human resources.

A new career

One of the most positive life changes you can make is deciding to turn a passion into a career and start enjoying the prospect of going to work every day. Former Toronto advertising exec Jane Canapini decided to start a travel blog after a memorable hiking trip to Greece and Italy. Andrea Raco left the insurance business to become a personal success coach. If that sounds appealing, decide on what happiness and success mean to you. It could lead to anything from starting a dog-walking service to designing commercial websites or writing online marketing content for a broad range of clients.

Emphasize personal strengths

Becoming an entrepreneur can mean embracing radical change, like working from home or working a second job while getting a new business idea off the ground. Phoebe Fung of Calgary gave up a career in the oil and gas industry to pursue her passion for wine to open Calgary’s first wine bar. Despite struggling to find financing, within a decade Fung’s Vin Room had opened three locations in the Western Canadian city. The appeal of doing what she loves was strong enough that Fung was willing to forego a salary in the first two years according to the details of the financing deal she was able to secure.

Refreshing your resume

For anyone wanting to sell their strengths and experience to a prospective employer or seek funding for a new venture, an updated, well-written and attention-grabbing cover letter and resume are essential. Remember that a good resume should strike a balance between brevity/concision and compelling information, while a solid cover letter will be written toward the industry to which you’re applying.

If your resume needs a good overhaul, check out online resume templates for appealing designs/layouts and color combinations. A potential employer in a different industry will want to see evidence of initiative, creative thinking and resourcefulness; in other words, evidence that you would make a good addition despite having come from a different field.

Today, women in Canada are heading financial technology companies, philanthropic organizations, fashion companies and boutique bakeries, while organizations like Women in Communications and Technology seek to encourage greater female participation in the digital industry. An increasingly tech-savvy and agile workforce is helping create new – and, in some cases, unforeseen – opportunities.

Essential Email Etiquette Advice for Job Seekers to Succeed

Guest Post by Freddie Tubs, Business Writer and Communication Manager at Ukwritings

Essential Email Etiquette Advice for Job Seekers to SucceedLooking for a job used to mean going out and handing out resumes, or maybe even making a few phone calls. But now almost all applying is done online, and a lot of businesses don’t even want you to walk in with your resume in hand. So, it’s important that you know a thing or two about how to properly email a potential employer. Here are seven email tips that will help you get hired.

Have a professional email address

This probably seems like common sense to most people, but it’s surprisingly common for people to send job seeker emails with an inappropriate email address. Don’t use an email with slang or really anything besides your first and last name. Soccer_fanatic95@hotmail.com is not a professional email address. It won’t matter how qualified you are, sending out emails with that address will never get you hired.

Send it to the right person

Do you know who you are applying to? Whenever possible, avoid addressing an email as “to whom it may concern.” Always try and find out who is the best person to send your message to. You have a much better chance doing this than just sending your email to a general company inbox. While you’re at it, send yourself a copy as well. By doing this you create a record of where you have already inquired and you won’t accidentally email the same company twice, that’s a big no-no.

Appropriate subject lines

Whenever you send out a job seeking email you need to include a subject line. Your subject line helps the recipient by letting them know what you are messaging them about. Not including a subject line, or a poorly chosen one, dramatically lowers the chance of your email being opened and read. Your email could even end up in a spam box. In your subject line write the position you are interested in, and you can include your name as well if you like. Companies receive a ton of email, so you need to give them a reason to open your email.

Write it like a business letter

Write your email formally, as if you were writing a business letter. That means no slang, no acronyms, and definitely no emoticons. Keep in mind that you are communicating with a person you would like to work for, not your friends and family. Begin your email with a polite salutation and close it with a signature. The only real difference between your email and a formal business letter is that you don’t need to include the recipient’s contact information in the upper left corner. In every other aspect it should be identical to a letter you would send in the mail.

Include a signature

As mentioned above, end your email with a signature. We’re not talking about the kind you would write on paper, but an email signature. Your signature will include your first and last name, your email address, your street address, and your LinkedIn profile. If you don’t already have a LinkedIn profile, then strongly consider setting one up. They are very useful for showing recruiters your skills.

Properly edit and format your email

Part of following proper email etiquette is taking the time to edit and format your email. As a job seeker, you don’t want to leave in any mistakes that could disqualify you.

Don’t forget the attachments

Don’t forget to attach any documents you have mentioned in your letter. If you forget and need to send a second email with the attachments, you will not make a good impression. These documents, such as resumes, are important because they give the employer a lot of information you don’t have time to discuss in your email.

Conclusion

The majority of applying for jobs now happens online. Your email skills and etiquette are very important because they are the first impression you make on an employer. Use these seven email tips that will help you get hired

About the Author

Freddie Tubbs is a business writer and a communication manager at Ukwritings. He regularly attends recruiting and communications events, and contributes columns to Boomessays and Essayroo blogs.

100+ Amazing Facts About Voice Search

Modern technology plays an integral part in our everyday lives. Through the years, many major technological breakthroughs have been made and one of them is certainly voice enabled technology, or as it is more commonly known – voice search.

It can be found in various portable devices such as smartphones and smart speakers. The most famous technology companies in the world have implemented voice search, and whether it is Google Assistant, Alexa, Bixby, or Siri, they all have the same goal – making life easier for the people using them. Because of this they’ve steadily been increasing in popularity, with infographic created by teams at seotribunal.com states that 1 in 5 adults use voice search on a regular basis.

Before we take a look at some interesting facts about voice search, let’s see how it actually works.

  1. First of all, voice search processes and transcribes the human speech into text.
  2. Next, it analyzes the text in order to detect questions and commands.
  3. After that, it connects to an external data source such as a search engine to find the relevant information.
  4. And finally, it translates that information into a digestible format and fulfills the user’s intent.

Modern voice search devices are often interactive which makes them capable to maintain a dialog with humans. The rapid growth that they are experiencing is only going to make them more and more sophisticated in the years to come.

Voice search can be used while driving, watching TV, working, and even when showering or using the bathroom. The main reasons why smartphone users worldwide use voice-enabled technology are presented in the following list.

  • Doing online searches – 60%
  • Finding information on a product in which they are interested in – 51%
  • Asking questions – 50%
  • Asking a fun question – 49%
  • Asking for directions – 42%
  • Making a call – 41%
  • Playing music – 41%
  • Asking for the weather forecast – 40%
  • Finding a local business – 34%
  • Looking for info on a local business – 34%

These facts, along with more than a hundred of others, are contained in the infographic below. Take a look at it to find out more fascinating facts about voice search technology.

How to Stay Loose and Healthy When Working in an Office Setting

Guest Post by Ryan Tollefsen, founder and team leader of Unity Home Group

Exhaustion at the end of each workday is a familiar feeling to many who work in an office. Most are quick to blame the stress from difficult clients, a too-tall workload, or a draining commute. One culprit typically overlooked is the sedentary nature of office work.

The Telltale Signs

Feeling physically and mentally drained could link to a lack of physical activity while on the job. This translates into tension and a lack of initiative to make evening or even weekend plans. Nighttime activities might include eating, maybe some TV, and falling into bed.

Common physical symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Throbbing legs
  • Backache
  • Tingling or numbness in fingers
  • Dry, tired eyes
  • Sore feet
  • Tension in the hips, shoulders, neck, and back

Sometimes it’s hard to remain healthy while working in an office, whether you commute to a job or use a home office. Workers who sit most of the day must be proactive to stay healthy and keep their bodies loose.Here are three helpful steps.

Start With Posture

Sitting for extended periods often leads to slouching and other poor posture. The first step to solving problems with posture is becoming aware of your body’s position. Your goal is keeping the ears lined up with the shoulders when seated to avoid leaning too far either backward or forward. Making sure the computer screen isn’t too high or low can help with this issue.

A number of quick exercises can help posture. When you can get up, stand against a wall with legs spread apart, hold arms at a 90-degree angle to the body, and raise and lower them.

While seated, you can shrug your shoulders and prop your feet on some office supplies for comfort. Whenever possible, pull back the shoulder blades to avoid rounding. A lumbar pillow is a helpful spinal support. Also investigate the possibility of using a standup desk.

Avoid the Obvious

Physical activity for staying healthy is a real challenge if you’re too busy to make it to the gym after work or at lunch. Fortunately, there are easy ways to work exercise into your workday without being obvious.

Consider cutting your commuter ride short and walking part of the distance to the office. After arriving, pace while talking on the phone. Substitute a stability ball for a desk chair. Whenever possible, take the long way when walking to a meeting, move during short breaks, and speed walk on errands. Try to get away from your desk and move, even for a five-minute walk, when it’s time for lunch.

Looking at a focal point away from a screen and periodically moving your hands after taking them off the keyboard are helpful actions without being obvious. Other tips include crossing and uncrossing your legs, flexing and tightening your abs for 30 seconds and 10 reps, and periodically moving your shoulders.

Enjoy Those Stretches

Desk stretches are valuable ways to release tension that accumulates while seated. Try sitting sideways on your chair with feet on the floor and hands on the chair’s back. Use your arms to twist and pull your body toward the chair to stretch your neck, chest, and spine. Loosen hamstrings and avoid lower back pain by standing, bending at the hips, and allowing your head to drop loose and arms to dangle.

Pamper shoulders and back while seated by flapping your arms like an eagle and performing neck rolls. Counteract the toll of texting and typing by placing hands on your desk with the palms down while standing. Lean forward to stretch and release tension from wrists and fingers.

It’s possible for those who work in an office to help out their body by taking just a few easy steps to increase physical activity. Best of all, your co-workers will have no idea what you’re up to — unless you decide to share your tips to help them, too.

Ryan Tollefsen is the founder and team leader of Unity Home Group.

Best Productivity Tools to Save Time

Guest Post by Chanell Alexander

Describing the life of an independent contractor as busy is an understatement. Managing deadlines, producing quality work, distributing invoices, scheduling appointments, collaborating with clients, and everything else in between can be more than overwhelming. An independent contractor in IT is a one-person band, and while technology is not necessarily a cure-all, it can help to accomplish daily tasks more efficiently. Here are five productivity tools to save time.

Best Productivity Tools to Save Time

1. Flipboard – Stay current on industry trends

 

If an independent contractor specializing in IT knows one thing, it is that staying up-to-date on technology industry trends and emerging developments is essential. Flipboard is an app that individuals can use to receive curated news by selecting topics they want to see. This app collects news from various news outlets so that users do not have to take the time to comb the web for issues relevant to them.

2. JibberJobber – Keep track of the job search

Looking for new clients and ongoing assignments are a regular part of the life of an independent contractor. After multiple emails and job submissions, it can be challenging to keep track of the job application process. JibberJobber is a platform that enables the user to keep track of jobs applied for, track relationships and follow-up opportunities, and relevant company news. Contractors will never have to worry about whether they already applied for a position, or when they should reach back out to check a job status as JibberJobber takes care of this guesswork.

3. Harvest – Time management and invoicing

Keeping track of hours worked, projects started, and deadline can be a day’s worth of work in itself for an Independent Contractor in IT. Harvest allows users to track the amount of time they have worked on a project, ensure they are staying in budget, track expenses, and turn billable time into invoices that can be emailed directly from the application in PDF form. Users can also do a bit of forecasting to ensure projects meet budgetary and time requirements.

4. Hubspot – Customer Relationship Management

An independent contractor makes an excellent contact at a networking event. Great! Now, how can they continue to stay on top of nurturing this person from contact to customer without the hassle of an Excel spreadsheet? Hubspot is a free customer relationship management system (CRM). Contractors can keep track of appointments scheduled, conversions, and sales activity. All information and every interaction with a potential (or actual) client can be recorded in Hubspot. Many Hubspot users mention how easy to use the platform is and how simple it is to set up email campaigns.

5. Asana – Project and Workflow Management Tool

Asana is an all-in-one project management program. If contractors are collaborating with multiple staff members in one company, or are working side-by-side with clients to develop a deliverable, Asana is a great place to begin the journey. Contractors can track progress, assign tasks, set deadlines, and report on work progress. Users mention that Asana can even integrate with Harvest to turn tasks into billable hours for invoicing. This program also has a mobile application so contractors can manage tasks and productivity on-the-go.

The Wrap Up

The life of an independent contractor is anything but easy, but having an arsenal of tools to stay on top of the workday can go a long way to make life a little bit easier. As long as contractors intelligently map out how these applications and those like them can increase their productivity, then the day can unfold a bit more smoothly.

Chanell Alexander currently resides in Atlanta, GA. When she’s not traveling and trying new restaurants in the Metro Atlanta area, she writes about the latest technology and tools for TrustRadius.

How the Mining Industry is Creating New Opportunities for IT Contractors In Canada

How the Mining Industry is Creating New Opportunities for IT Contractors In CanadaMining in Canada generates $35.6 billion to the country’s gross domestic product, with approximately 320,000 people operating within the mining industry. With mining being such a crucial part of Canada’s economy, it’s important that they make mining as efficient and easy as possible. Manually, miners will use large drills and rock tools to extract their minerals. But, with several technological advances taking the world by storm, Canada have jumped on the computing technology bandwagon to make their lives easier and extract more minerals than ever before. In fact, there are several computing technology solutions that continue to help hundreds of thousands of workers in Canada perform their job better. With this in mind, a huge number of new opportunities are opening up for IT Contractors in Canada within the mining industry, and here, we’re taking a closer look at a few of the areas that are impacting the industry the most.

Cloud Computing

Before technology became our most reliable source, a mining company would have to manually send a worker into the mining field in order to inspect on how the day-to-day running was. But, with cloud computing solutions weaving their way into the Canadian mining industry, that is a thing of the past! Beforehand, the person sent to check on the site had to compile a detailed report addressing the recent mining operations, which would usually take a week or even months to be seen by executives in the headquarters. By using cloud computing, though, business leaders can learn about on-site conditions in real time, allowing those within the Canadian mining industry to make any necessary changes to their mining procedures.

The Use of Robotics/AI

Mining is a very laborious job, with tasks such as extracting, drilling and blasting requiring a lot of time and effort from workers. Robotics has been tested in a range of different industries across the world, as with the right programming, they can perform these laborious tasks more efficiently than the average worker. This is ideal for miners, as not only do robots not feel pain (we are jealous), but they are also able to get jobs done quicker, thanks to high advanced technology. This isn’t the only advantage of using AI within the mining site though, as Canada still suffers with situations of miners being trapper underground, or restricted from reaching highly-valued areas. ANDROS Wolverine was the first mine rescue robot, and whilst he was unsuccessful during the Sago mine explosion in 2006, it certainly showed the potential for using robots in places that even humans can’t enter. Plus, we have had 11 years since the explosion to develop our technology, so who knows what we’re capable of now?

Airborne Gravity Gradiometer Technology

It sounds very confusing and complex, but it can prove as extremely helpful for Canadian miners. The ability to access mineral bodies is very time-consuming for miner, not to mention massively expensive. This type of mining technology is very impressive, as it measures subtle changes in the Earth’s gravity field, helping it to determine where ore bodies can be found within the mines. In addition, improvements have been made to the airborne gravity gradiometer technology in recent years, meaning that we can expect even more precise detections in the future. In fact, we have seen this technology prevail in Canada within the Ekati diamond mine, so it’s clear to see the benefits that it holds for the Canadian mining industry.

Plasma Technology

Canada is already makes huge amounts of money from the minerals that they extract in mines, but with plasma technology thrown into the mix, they could make even more! Plasma technology can boost the yield of precious metals, including the likes of gold, silver and platinum, by over 1,000 per cent compared to the standard metallurgical process. In fact, new radio frequency plasma technology has been developed in recent years, which heats complex ores such as zinc and nickel to extremely high temperatures in order to break down the structure of the ore. With such innovative technology, Canada can definitely expect to see a rise in their gross domestic product due to the new easy and efficient methods that technology provides to Canadian miners.

With traditional industries beginning to implement technologies in order to ensure that their processes are efficient and more eco-friendly, the implementation of cloud computing, AI and more are proving that IT contractors are more in demand than ever.