Monthly Archives: July 2014

If Your Resume is the Cake, Your Cover Letter is the Icing

Cover letter writing is almost as important a skill for a job seeker to learn as resume writing. The cover letter accompanies the resume at all times as the primary support document. Whether you use traditional mail, email, faxing, or another type of electronic submission, this should always be sent with the resume. There are, of course, other tools you’ll use when job seeking. Your cover letter and resume come first of course, followed by follow-up letters, thank-you letters for after the interview, reference sheets, salary histories, and job acceptance letters. If you have good cover letter writing skills, and good resume writing skills, the other written tools should be a snap to compose.

Your goal in this is to get the attention of the hiring manager, just as it is with resume writing. The method and format are a little different however. Your resume will cover all, or most of your professional career, and will be from one to two pages. Your cover letter will be a very brief page serving as an introduction to the resume. Cover letter writing style must be direct, to the point, and able to grab the attention of the reader quickly, with a goal of making the reader want to read the attached resume.

Many people, when engaged in this type of writing, have a tendency to say too much. Good cover letter writing is short and punchy, and will take two or three key points from the resume and emphasize them. The old adage “tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you told them” holds true in both resume writing and cover letter writing.

As an example, let’s assume that you are a materials handling manager for a defense contractor, seeking another position. In your line of work the buzz words are MRP, lean manufacturing, ISO 9000, and cost savings. Your writing efforts should reflect these buzz words to show your value to your current employer and any future employers. Your resume will go into more detail about how you accomplished these goals. The cover letter will simply point out to the hiring manager that you accomplished them. An example of this would be two bulleted paragraphs in the body of the letter that say….

• Experienced in quality assurance and quality control, MRP, ISO 9000, QS 9000, and Lean Manufacturing.

• Demonstrated results in saving significant money for employers through cost savings, inventory level reductions, and on-time supplier delivery.

The hiring manager, according to many surveys, devotes only about fifteen seconds to each resume and cover letter he or she reviews. With that in mind your writing skills need to be top notch to get this person to look at your resume. Your resume writing skills need to be just as good to get the reader to want to grant you an interview. In turn, your interviewing skills need to be excellent to get the hiring manager to offer you the position. This long, and hopefully positive chain of events begins with good cover letter writing skills and ends with job satisfaction and a nice paycheck.

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What You Should Look for In a New Job

Are you interested in changing jobs? If you are, you may already have a dream job in mind. Although it is nice to dream, it is important that you keep reality in mind. Finding a new job can be difficult, but it is more than possible for you to do so. A few of the many things that you may want to look for in a new job are outlined below for your convenience

When searching for a new job, you will want to look for those that are intended to be long-term. Long-term positions are ideal if you are looking to quit your current, stable job. They are also ideal if you rely on your income to help support your family. You will want to have and possibly need to have income not only right away, but income that you can rely on for months or years to come. That is why temporary positions may not be in your best interest, as a job that only lasts one or two months may be unable to provide you with the security that you want and need.

The ability to advance is another thing that you will want to look for in a new job. If you regularly find yourself setting goals that you would like to achieve, such as higher pay or a position in management, you may will want to work for a company where you have the opportunity to advance. You will want to look for those that advertise that they like to promote from within. Promotion from within is what gives you a better chance of advancing. In fact, advancement is something that potential employers like to hear, so be sure to mention your hope for advancement in your job interviews.

Good, but realistic pay is something else that you should look for in a new job. Unless you are sure, you may want to try and refrain from taking a pay cut. If you are able to receive additional benefits that you currently do not have, a pay cut may be worth it, but it is advised that you proceed with caution. Before you search for a new job, you may want to create a budget for yourself. A budget can help you determine how much money you need to make. This will ensure that you are able to find a new job that allows you to adequately pay your bills and support your family.

Health insurance is something else that you may want to look for in a new job. Although it may be unnecessary, you should keep health insurance in mind. Not all employers provide their employees with health insurance coverage and many companies have a ninety day waiting period before health insurance coverage can be acquired. If you are unable to get health insurance through a family member, such as your spouse, you may want to keep this in mind. You may be able to extend your current health insurance coverage, for a monthly fee, but that extended coverage often has time limits and other restrictions.

Close proximity is another feature that you may want to look for in a new job. Location may not be an issue if you are willing to travel or relocate, but you should take your possible commute into consideration. Jobs that are a ways away from your home may require extra travel time, possibly taking you away from your family. You also need to examine the cost of gasoline and wear on your vehicle. Although location should be taken into consideration, you should remember that there are other, more important, features that you should look for in a new job, a few of which were outlined above.

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What You Should Do If You Are Laid Off From Your Job

In today’s society, it seems as if layoffs are increasing in popularity. Lay offs are something that you can regularly hear about in the news. As more businesses are forced to downsize, you may find yourself laid off from your current position. This layoff may be permanent or temporary; it often depends on the needs and current state of your employer. Either way, should you find yourself laid off, you will want to continue reading on.

When it comes to layoffs one of the most commonly asked questions is “what should I do?” In all honesty, there is actually a lot that you can do. For starters, you will want to first examine your state’s laws on unemployment. While there are some variations, you will find that most states award unemployment compensation to those who are laid off from their jobs. This may be able to help you and your family out financially in the short-term run.

In keeping with unemployment, it is important that you examine it. Unfortunately, there are many individuals who view this money as a handout or money that they do not need. What you need to remember about unemployment is that it is designed for individuals just like you. If you are laid off from work, you should find that you are entitled to unemployment, especially if you did not receive any severance pay or compensation in another form.

Even if you do seek unemployment payments, it is still important to remember that they will not last forever. Unemployment compensation is designed to work as a temporary fix. That is why you will want to start taking action to help you find a new job, possibly the sooner the better. The first step in doing this involves creating a resume for yourself. You can either create your own resume or you can hire a professional resume writer to do the job for you. Either way, you will want to ensure that your resume is one that will turn company heads.

Once you have a resume in hand, you should then start examining all open job positions in your area. When doing so, you should either use your local newspaper or the internet. Career job searching websites are a nice and easy way to find and apply for jobs online. For your own safety, you will want to refrain from giving your personal information, especially your bank account information or social security number, to any companies that you have never heard of before or companies that you are unable to research online.

If you were employed at your last position, before being laid off, for two or more years, you may be a little bit nervous about finding a new job. If this is a feeling that you are experiencing, you should know that you are not alone. Finding a new job can be a stressful process, especially when it comes time for a job interview. That is why you may want to consider doing a few practice interviews with your friends or family members. They can ask you common interview questions, such as your strengths and weaknesses, as well as why you want to work for that particular company. This practice, if done enough, can help to reduce the nervousness often associated with job interviews. You may also find that you are able to give better answers, as well as answer all questions in a timely matter at your next interview.

If you are unsuccessful in your job search, you may want to consider seeking professional assistance. This assistance can come for your state’s labor department or a professional recruiter or career agent. Of course the decision is yours to make, but you may want to try and avoid your local temporary employment agencies. If you are able to secure unemployment compensation, you will want to spend your time looking for and applying for secure, long-term job openings.

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What You Should Do If You Find Yourself Fired From Your Job

Each week, millions of peolpe go to work, do their jobs, and collect their paychecks. Unfortunately, there comes a time when that cycle is disrupted. If you have recently found yourself fired or terminated from your current place of employment, you may be in shock. Although shock is a normal feeling, it is important that you start taking action right away, should you ever find yourself fired from your current position.

As previously stated, you should take action right away if you ever find yourself terminated from your current work position. This action is very important if you rely on your income to pay important bills, such as your rent or mortgage, or if you use your paycheck to help support your family. Depending on the circumstances, you will find that most states do not allow those terminated from their jobs to collect unemployment payments. This typically only happens if you are laid off. What does this mean for you? It means that means that you may need to try and find a new job right away.

Speaking of taking action and finding a new job right away, one of your first steps should involve creating a resume for yourself. This is important, as you will need a resume to apply for new jobs. Even if you are able to fill out a traditional job application, you will still want to attach a resume. Resumes add professionalism to all job applications and they can help to set your application apart from all the rest. If you are unsure how to write your own resume, you may want to consider using the services of a professional resume writer.

In keeping with resumes and job applications, it is important that you proceed with caution. Unfortunately, many job seekers make the mistake of including a job in which they were fired from on their job application or on their resume. However, in that same sense, many make the mistake of leaving the job that they were recently terminated from off of their resume, when it should really be on it. That sounds a little bit confusing doesn’t it? If you are unsure as to how you should prepare your resume, you are not alone.

When trying to determining how you should prepare your resume, what you need to do is examine your reasons for being terminated, as well as how long you were employed by your past employer. Many employers do not like seeing gaps over one or two years; therefore, if your last job, the one in which you were fired from, lasted over two years, you may still want to include that position on your resumes and job applications. With that in mind, you also want to use your best judgment with cases such as workplace confirmation, multiple missed work days, or theft.

Once you have created a resume for yourself, you can start to go finding and applying for jobs. This is the easy part, as you will find that you have a number of different options. You may want to start with your local newspaper. Most newspapers have an employment section. What is nice about using your local newspaper to examine all open job positions is that most of your jobs will be local. There is typically no sorting by location needed. In addition to using your local newspaper, you can also use the internet to help you research companies with open positions.

Once you have a collection of jobs that you would like to apply to, you will want to create a cover letter for yourself. Cover letters typically should not be developed in advance, as you will want to personalize your cover letter with the name of the position you are applying for, as well as the company you are applying at. You can create a template for yourself, but make sure each and every one of your cover letters is personalized in one way or another.

The above mentioned steps are just a few of the steps that you should take, should you ever find yourself terminated from your current position. In dire circumstances, such as ones where you need income right away, you may want to visit your local temporary employment agency, as they can help you find short-term temporary jobs.

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What to Do If You Would Like to Change Jobs

Are you currently unhappy with your employer or your job? If you regularly find yourself in a work related conflicts, if you are regularly required to work late, or if you unsatisfied with your current pay, you may be interested in changing jobs. If this is something that you would like to do, you are advised to proceed with caution. Terminating your position with your current employer and finding a new job is something that is more than possible to do, but you need to be careful with your actions, as they can have dire consequences.

Before officially deciding to quit your current job and find a new one, you will want to examine your reasons for quitting. You shouldn’t quit your job if you are finding yourself faced with difficult coworkers or another small problem. Your job is your source of income and you should never, at all possible costs, let another individual or a small issue prevent you from making money that you or your family may need to survive. With that in mind, if you feel unsafe at work, feel as if you cannot advance any further, or if you need a new job to help you support your family, you will want to examine all of your options.

Speaking of examining all of your options, you may want to consider examining the current employment outlook or employment situation in or around your area. Unfortunately, many individuals end up quitting their jobs on impulse and many are unhappy to learn that there are only a limited number of job openings in or around their area. As previously stated, if you rely on your income to pay your bills or to help you support your family, you may want to refrain from making impulse decisions concerning your employment.

Since it is advised that you examine the current employment outlook in your area, you will want to start examining all current job openings in or around the areas in which you are willing to work. You can easily do this with local newspaper employment sections or the internet, namely career job posting websites. What you will want to do is examine the current pay levels for all open jobs, if the information is given to you. If you can survive on the listed income, you will then want to examine all job requirements, such as any needed training or work experience. While you may be awarded a job that you are under qualified for, it is advised that you do not count on this happening.

If you are satisfied with what you see, you may want to start applying for open job positions in your area. This is the time where you may want to consider submitting your resignation, with a two weeks notice, to your current employer, but the decision is yours to make in the end. Regardless of whether you are interested in submitting your resignation now or in a few day or weeks, you may want to start applying for all job openings that interest you right away, as many of the best jobs tend to fill up with applicants quickly.

Before you go about applying for jobs, it is important that you “brush,” up your resume. In fact, you will first want to make sure that you have a resume to submit. You can easily find free resume templates online or with most computer programs, such as Microsoft Word or Works. You can also hire the services of a professional resume writer, should you wish to do so. A professional looking resume is important, as it is what can enable you to land a job interview and possibly be awarded the job of your dreams.

The above mentioned points and steps are all things that you will want to take into consideration, should you be interested in changing jobs. As a reminder, it is advised that you do not terminate your current position with your current employer until you know for sure that you are able to get a new job or at least know that the chances for you doing so are relatively high.

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What Not to Do When Resigning From Your Job

Are you currently unsatisfied with your job or the company in which you work for? If you are, you may have considered changing jobs. If you have thought your decision over and decided that seeking employment elsewhere is best for you, you will need to resign from your current position. Unfortunately, for many individuals this is a lot easier said than done.

If this is the first time that you are attempting to hand in your resignation, you may be unsure as to how you should proceed. Perhaps, the best way to go about quitting your job, in the appropriate matter, is to familiarize yourself with what you shouldn’t do. A few of the many steps that you will not want to take, when quitting your job, are outlined below for your convenience.

One of the worst things that you can do, when looking to resign from your job, is quitting on impulse. This most commonly occurs after receiving discipline or when a work related conflict arises. No matter how upset or frustrated you are, you will want to try, at all costs, to not quit on the spot. This can not only reflect negatively upon you at the moment, but an impulse resignation may impact your chances of finding employment in the future. That is why you will want to try and give your employers notice, should you wish to seek employment elsewhere.

Speaking of giving your employer an appropriate amount of notice, when looking to change jobs, you are advised to do so in a reasonable amount of time. Most employers expect to receive at least two weeks notice. If you do not have a new job lined up, you may want to extend your notice time or offer to help your employer until they are able to find a replacement or until you are able to find employment elsewhere. It is also important that you submit your resignation in a professional matter. Try and do so in person, with a formal written resignation as well.

Another one of the many things that you do not want to do, when looking to resign from your current position, is bad mouth your bosses to others, including your friends, coworkers, or during future job interviews. You need to make sure that you do not “burn any bridges.” This is extremely important, as you never know when your words or your actions may come back to haunt you. You will want to ensure that your current employer, the one in which you no longer want to work for, is able to give you a glowing recommendation for years to come.

Another one of the many things that you will not want to do is “go out with a bang.” Even if you are quitting your job because you are unhappy with your pay or with your boss or other coworkers, you will want to leave as quietly as possible. You will want to put a happy smile on your face, no matter what your real emotions are. As previously stated, you will want to ensure that you able to use your current employer as a job reference for years to come. You also need to remember that you never know when you may come into contact with your bosses or coworkers in the future.

It is also important that you do not try and mislead your current employer in any way, shape, or form. If you are not planning to quit your job until you have a new one lined up, you will want to proceed with caution. You will want to make sure that your prospective employers will not contact your currently employer asking for a reference. To prevent this from happening, you may want to inform all prospective employers that you have yet to submit your resignation or submit your resignation before you start applying for new jobs.

By keeping the above mentioned points in mind, you should be able to submit your resignation without causing any harm to your finances or your good name. In all honesty, all you really need to do is just use your best judgment, as it is usually the best guide to follow.

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To Ask for a Raise or To Not?

Are you currently satisfied with your job, but unhappy with the pay? Do you need an increase in pay to support your family? If you do, you may be interested in asking your supervisor about a raise. If that is the case, you may want to continue reading on. A few of the many factors that you should take into consideration, before you decide to ask your employer for a raise, are outlined below for your convenience.

One of the many factors that you will want to take into consideration, when trying to determine if you should ask for a raise, is your duties. Have you recently taken on more duties at work? If you have, were you compensated for those additional duties? If you were not, you may be within your right to ask for pay raise. With that in mind, you also need to examine the other aspect of duties. If you recently had your workload reduced, you may want to refrain from asking for a pay raise, as it may give off an unpleasant impression of yourself.

Seniority is another factor that you will want to take into consideration, when trying to determine if you should ask for a pay raise. Your length of employment can play a large role in whether or not you are able to receive the raise that you were hoping for. Generally speaking, the longer you work for a company, the more likely it is that you will be able to get a raise. In fact, before asking for a raise, you may want to refer to your employee handbook, as your company may already have a pay raise plan in place.

The minimum wage for your state is another one of the many factors that you will want to take into consideration, when examining pay raises. In recent years, may states have made the decision to increase their minimum wage pay rates. In fact, some of these wage increases have been quite high. You will first want to make sure that you are making more than minimum wage. If your state recently increased its minimum wage, your employer should have done so as well, but there is no harm in checking. You may also want to see about requesting a pay raise that will increase your wage in conjunction with any state minimum wage increases. For example, you will want to make sure that you are making at least a few dollars more an hour than all new hires.

Speaking of the starting wage for your company, you may want to verify this information. Generally speaking, long-term employees should be making more money than new hires, especially in similar positions. You may be able to examine the average starting pay for new hires in your company by examining any company job listings that you are able to come across. You may also be able to get information from other employees about their salary. With that in mind, many companies require confidentially when associated with pay. Therefore, if you are aware of a coworker’s income, you will want to refrain from citing that as an example with your supervisors.

The above mentioned factors are just a few of the many factors that you will want take into consideration, before you make the decision to ask for a raise. Should you decide to ask for a raise, you will want to take a positive, friendly approach when doing so.

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The Importance of Doing Research Before Changing Jobs

Are you currently employed, but unhappy with your current job? Whether you are unsatisfied with your current pay level or feel as if you are unable to advance within your company, you may be interested in changing jobs or possibly even careers. If that is the case, you are urged not to act on an impulse, as doing so can create more harm that good.

Should you be interested in changing jobs or careers, there are a number of important points that you will want to take into consideration, before you take action. These points can help to ensure that you are able to easily and effectively change jobs, without causing any harm to your good name or your finances. A few of the many points that you will want to keep in mind are outlined below for your convenience.

One of the most important points to examine is the current job outlook in or around your area. This is important, as it can have an impact on your ability to change careers or find a new job. Another one of the many reasons why it is important to first examine the job outlook for your area is because once many individuals decide that they would like to have a career change or a job change they go right ahead and do so. If you rely on your current job to support yourself and your family, you will want to try and refrain from outright quitting your current job without a new one in place.

As ideal as it is to hear that you may want to keep your current job while trying to find a new job at the same time, you may be curious as to how it is even possible to do. While it may require a lot of hard work and tough scheduling, it is more than possible for you to do so. In fact, you may want to consider giving your employer your notice, if the job outlook in your area is enough to give you hope. With that in mind, you may want to consider giving more notice than the traditional two weeks. This can help buy yourself time, as well give your employer ample opportunity to find your replacement. This may also give you the opportunity to take off time for job interviews. However, if you feel uncomfortable taking this approach, it is advised that you use sick time or vacation time to attend any upcoming job interviews you are able to land.

The above mentioned tips can help you if you are looking to change jobs; however, if you are looking to change careers there are more points that you will want to take into consideration. One of those points is the needed training and experience. For example, if you are currently working as a secretary and if your dream job involves working as a nurse, have you attended nursing school? If you have yet to do so, you may be unable to find a job in the field of nursing or even healthcare for that matter. Although this does seem like common sense, it is a scenario that many hopeful job seekers fail to take into consideration.

The above mentioned factors are just a few of the many points that you will want to take into consideration, before you decide to automatically go ahead and change jobs or change careers. In all honesty, it is advised that you use your best judgment. Never assume that you will land a new job until you are actually offered it and never count on being awarded job that you are unqualified for. Using your best judgment is the perfect way to find a new job or career, but without hurting your good name and your finances.

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What to Consider Before Changing Career Fields

Are you currently unsatisfied with your job or the direction of your career? If you are, you may be interested in changing career fields. While this is more than possible to do, it is important to remember that not all jobs and career fields are the same. For example, just because you may make a great legal security, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are qualified to work as a nurse or another healthcare professional. That is just one of the many factors that you will want to take into consideration, before changing career fields. A few of the other factors that you will want to take into consideration are outlined below.

As previously stated, not all jobs and career fields are the same. That is why it is important that you do not make any assumptions. Assuming is the worst mistake that you could ever make, especially with something as important as your career. Before officially deciding to change careers, you will want to take the time to thoroughly research each career field that you may be interested in entering. These career fields may include medical, automotive, legal, retail, and so forth. This research can easily be done online or at your local library. Important points that you will want to examine include current and forecasted job outlook, as well as pay.

Once you have at least one or two career fields that you would be interested in entering, you may want to start searching for open job positions. The only thing is that you may want to refrain from applying for any of those jobs just yet. Instead, you will want to examine a number of different factors. One of those factors is pay. For the positions that you would be interested in apply for is the pay enough to support your family? While some circumstances may allow you to take a pay cut, you may want to refrain from doing so if possible.

In addition to pay, you will want to examine some of the job openings that you are able to come across to learn as much as you can about average job requirements. These job requirements may include education, training, or previous work experience. What is nice about this information is that it is easy to come across. You will find that most job listings, both in print and online, will outline all of the requirements needed for the job. This will give you a good idea as to whether or not you are qualified for the job or jobs of your dreams. With that in mind, if you have yet to quit your job, you may want to take the time to take a few night or weekend training courses to help improve your training and experience.

In keeping with career training, if you are interested in increasing your chances, you will want to consider taking a few of these training courses or classes. They come in a number of different formats, but they are all designed to help you prepare for a career change. For example, hopeful accountants may learn how to prepare taxes, keep accurate business records, and so forth. In all honesty, the length of training needed or required will all depend on the career field that you are interested in entering.

If you are interested in using career training courses or classes to improve your chances of seeing a successful career change, you will want to use your local newspaper or the internet. Many career training courses are advertised in both locations. You may also want to examine your local community colleges or vocational centers to see what they have available. Yes, you will have to pay to attend a career training course or a class, but it will almost always be worth in the end. Hopefully, the end result will be a successful entrance into a new career field, namely the career field of your choice.

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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Relocating for Your Job

Have you recently been asked by your employer to relocate? If you have been, you are not alone. Each year, thousands of individuals are asked about relocating by their employers. In today’s society, many companies are finding it difficult and costly to run a business. This is what leads many companies to consider downsizing or moving their headquarters to areas in which it is cheaper to operate a business. With this common occurrence, you may find yourself being asked by your employer to relocate.

If you have been asked by your employer to relocate, you may be unsure as to how you should proceed. One of the best ways to determine if relocating for your job is the right decision for you is to examine the advantages and disadvantages of relocation. These advantages and disadvantages can make it easier for you to make the decision that is best for your needs and possibly the needs of your family. Just a few of the many advantages and disadvantages to relocating that you may want to take into consideration are outlined below.

Perhaps, the greatest advantage to relocating for a job is the fact that you are able to keep your job. While circumstances may vary, you will often find that you are given three choices when asked to relocate. Those three choices often include accepting the relocation offer, quitting your job, or being fired or laid off. If you have been faced with these choices, you may want to seriously consider relocating, as it will enable you to keep your job and often your current position, pay, and seniority as well.

Another one of the many advantages to relocating for a job is a fresh start. Many times, families or individuals just need a chance to start over. If you or your family are currently unhappy with where you live or life in general, a change may do you good. It is also important to mention cost of living. To save money, many companies make the decision to relocate in areas that are known for their low or affordable cost of living. This is what can enable them to save money. This low or affordable cost of living may also make it easier, as well as more affordable for you to go about buying a new home and so forth.

Although a fresh start may sound nice for a large number of individuals, it doesn’t mean that it is right for everyone, like you or your family. Relocating may be difficult or even impossible for you to do if you have a spouse who is currently employed or if you have a teenager is satisfied with their current school and friends. These are all factors to consider. With that in mind, relocation isn’t a decision that you should make on your own, especially if you have a family. It is a decision that should involve everyone who would be impacted, in one way or another, with relocation.

The cost of relocation is another disadvantage or downside to doing so. With that in mind, it is advised that you speak with your employer about assistance. If you aren’t given a choice or if your employer wants to keep you on their team, you may be able to get financial assistance for relocating. This financial assistance, if it is offered, will likely vary, but you should be able to get assistance with the hiring of a moving company, as well as the cost of gasoline or airline tickets to your new destination. Even if financial assistance for relocating is not offered, it would not hurt for you to at least inquire about it.

The above mentioned factors are just a few of the many factors that you will want to take into consideration if you are ever given the opportunity to relocate. As a reminder, the decision to relocate is one that should be made in conjunction with you, your employer, as well as your family.

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