Leveraging LinkedIn

Everyone who is job searching or building their career should have a presence on Linkedin, the top site for business networking. Here are tips on how to get started on LinkedIn and utilize it to network your way to a new job.

• Create a LinkedIn profile that includes your education, volunteer experience, previous employers, and current employer (if applicable).

• Make sure to add a photo so that old contacts and potential employers can put a face to your name. Listing resume keywords under the “Skills & Expertise” section of your profile will also increase your visibility.

• Connect with people that you have a positive business relationship with and write recommendations for them. They will then have the opportunity to recommend you back in return.

• Use the “Job Search” section to browse current job listings and the “Answers” section to respond to questions of others or initiate your own question. Answering questions is a great way to establish credibility with your LinkedIn network.

• Follow companies that you would like to work with so that you can stay up-to-date with their latest news and connect with their current employees.

Follow Resource Staffing on LinkedIn: http://linkd.in/WfmZ81

Staying Fit at the Office

If you resolved to lose weight this New Year’s you are not alone. According to Forbes, weight loss is the most common New Year’s resolution but also one of the hardest to keep, especially for those of us with office jobs. Sitting at a desk for hours on end can trigger physical processes that cause disease and lower your metabolism increasing cholesterol and fat. So what is a health-conscious professional to do? We scoured the internet, consulted industry experts, and collected our favorite tips for staying fit at the office:

1. Get off your Butt

  • Every time you stand up, your muscles produce energy to hold your body upright. This simple act can actually double your metabolic rate. Try standing up while you are at your desk talking on the phone to improve your metabolism.
  • Need to communicate with a co-worker? Don’t email, call, or shout from the other room. Stand up and walk to their desk. Face-to-face communication is good for your health and your working relationship.
  • Live close to the office? Walking or riding your bike to work is another excellent way to spend less time sitting and more time burning calories (Bonus points for helping the environment).

2. Walk it Off

  • For those of you who live too far away to bike or walk to work, try parking as far away as possible to increase the time you spend moving your body throughout the day.
  • Don’t even think about taking the elevator. Climbing stairs firms your glutes and quadriceps and burns an average of 10 calories a minute (Bonus points if you’re doing it in high heels).
  • Find a co-worker you can buddy up with and spend your break time briskly walking around the building. Not only will walking on a regular basis trim your waistline, it will also increase your energy and improve your mood so you can be more productive when you return to the office.

3. Utilize Technology

  • Eating out on your lunch break? Restaurant Nutrition is a great app that offers caloric and other nutritional information for most major chain restaurants. Brown bagging it? The MyFood app offers similar information for the food that you buy at the grocery store.
  • Tempted by the doughnuts in the break room? Check out Cravings Manager, an app that can help you resist temptation and take control of your cravings. When a craving hits you open up the app and start a 5-minute timer. During that time encouraging quotes pop up, and by the end of 5 minutes your craving should subside.
  • Take pictures of your food. Most of us have heard keeping a food journal is an effective way to loose weight but who wants to carry around a journal and write in it every time they eat? Taking pictures on your phone and storing them in a folder to create a daily food diary is much more 2013.

Personal Finance Basics

Whether you are unemployed and penny-pinching while looking for work or busy running your own company and covering payroll expenses for your employees, everyone can benefit from a little Personal Finance 101.

1. Budgeting
Creating a personal budget is essential for gathering a clear picture of how much money you bring in, what your monthly expenses are, and how much disposable income you have left over. Many online banking platforms offer free reports that will show you a breakdown of how the money in your account is being spent. Using an online budget calculator is also a great tool for creating a personal budget.

2. Cutting Expenses
Once you have created your personal budget and you have a clear understanding of where your money is going each month, it will be much easier to see which expenses you can cut back on. For example, your daily morning Starbucks run could be costing you more a month than your utility bills. Make small lifestyle changes such as bringing coffee from home in a travel mug, making a sandwich for lunch, or carpooling with a co-worker can help you lower your monthly expenses and increase your disposable income.

3. Managing Debt
It is essential if not ideal for all of us to have some debt. Taking our loans and using credit cards build your credit score and is also a smarter way to manage your resources rather than paying for large purchases with cash. However, when people borrow more money than they can afford to pay back it causes serious financial trouble. The most important thing to keep in mind when paying off credit card debt it to always pay more than the minimum payment due each month. Paying credit card minimums could end up costing you thousands of dollars in interest payments in the long run. Speaking of interest rates, always pay the credit card with the highest interest rate first in order to reduce your overall interest expenses.

4. Saving
Many of us feel like we don’t have enough money left over at the end of the month to save. However, with the uncertainty of social security and the increasing unpopularity of company pension plans, saving for your retirement is more important than ever. The best way to start saving is to pay yourself first. That means once you have determined a realistic amount to set aside for your savings each month, have that amount automatically transfer out of your checking account and deposit it into a brokerage, mutual fund, or retirement account. Missing this money for your checking account may hurt for the first few months but if you commit to trying this method for a minimum of 6 months, at the end of that time you should have comfortably adjusted to living without it.

5. Insurance
We all work hard to acquire wealth and live a comfortable lifestyle. Insurance is an important part of your personal finances because even though it is an expense, it is a worthwhile expense to protect your assets. On the other hand, there are many types of insurance that are unnecessary and being over-insured can be a waste of your resources. For this reason, we recommend doing your homework by getting multiple quotes and ensuring you understand all of the line items in a policy before starting a new insurance plan. Everyone’s insurance needs are different but the four types of insurance most people should have are health insurance, life insurance, property insurance (regardless of if you rent or own), and auto insurance.