Big changes for the tax year 2018! Job seekers, the federal government has ended job-search related expense deductions. You’ll definitely want to talk to your tax accountant if you spent money looking for a job in 2018. Perhaps she’ll find some kind of loophole in your favor, but most people will experience a three-prong loss: no income; job search expenses; no deduction relief. Ouch.
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Likewise, the moment I get this: “Hey Lauren, I sent you an email last week about our web development services but never heard back from you…” you also have obligated yourself to donate $50 to Bridge Communities (same LINK.) because these emails are especially annoying. Seriously, do these emails EVER result in a sale? Leave me alone and do some good in the world.
Do YOU want to learn more about the good that Bridge Communities does in the world? (It’s a lot.) Visit www.BridgeCommunities.org.
In 2018, tax day falls on April 17th (the 15th is Sunday and the 16th is Emancipation Day). That allows for 48 extra hours to figure out your taxes. Here are THREE important deductions that specifically help job seekers:
Did you look for a new job in 2017?
As long as you searched for the same type of job you last held, your job search expenses are deductible…even if you didn’t land a job in 2017. These expenses include:
- Car transportation ($.535 per mile, and tolls and parking)
- Food and lodging for out-of-town interviews
- Taxis and other transportation fare
- Professional fees such as industry association annual dues, networking group dues, and online subscription/membership fees (LinkedIn premium)
- ResuMAYDAY’s services, such as resume writing and coaching, and the services of a career counselor
- Costs of printing business cards, postage and other self-marketing fees
(Note: If you voluntarily changed your career industry or this is your FIRST job, these deductions DO NOT APPLY TO YOU.)
(2nd Note: The above job search deductions were eliminated in the new tax law. 2017 is the last year to claim them.)
Did you move more than 50 miles away for a job?
Deduct those expenses! Even if you moved for your first job or for a voluntary career transition, those fees can be deducted.
Back to School…
Rodney Dangerfield did it, and so can you. The Lifetime Learning Credit offsets higher education costs for courses relating to skills improvement. Eligible institutions include 4-year colleges, community colleges, and vocational schools. (The IRS links to a list, and advises you to check directly with the school.) The tuition credit maxes out at $2,000 a year with specific income limits. (Sadly, the IRS won’t give you extra deductions for mastering the Triple Lindy.)
This information was provided by ResuMAYDAY for informational purposes only. It does not replace professional tax advisement. To find out if these deductions and credits apply to you, see www.irs.gov and talk to your tax accountant.
When it comes to getting paid what you’re worth, it’s not just about your job skills. It’s about how well you negotiate at the table. Confidence aside, here are 3 concrete tips for helping you negotiate a salary that’s worthy of your skills.
Give Yourself a Raise if You Deserve It.
You’ve heard the old adage, “the first person who gives a number loses”, right? Well…wrong. The better negotiator always wins! If your negotiating skills aren’t on point, there’s no reason for you to start the numbers game. Remember that employers always negotiate down, so be prepared to initially ask for 10-20% higher than the salary you’re willing to accept. Do your homework so you know what that 10-20% equates to in dollars. If the company asks what your number is, first tell them you’re negotiable. However, don’t be surprised if they press for a number and when that happens, give your number. The negotiation has just started.
Always back your number(s) up with proof that you’re worth the money. Employers hire problem solvers; show concrete examples of how you can solve their problems.
Be Broadly and Deeply Informed About Salary Standards for Your Position and Responsibilities.
Research, research, research salary standards for similar experience and responsibilities in the same or similar industry. There are sites that even break this information down to the zip code. You need solid information to back up your salary expectations. When providing comparable data, using statistics and examples from their particular industry or something similar gives you more credibility.
If You (Genuinely!) Have Multiple Offers, Let Them Know.
One of the strongest negotiation positions is to have multiple offers on the table. This not only increases your perceived worth to the company, it can potentially open up more negotiating room. Do this with caution. If you give the impression you’re leaning towards the other offer, the company may tell you to accept it, and withdraw their offer. (That’s why you only want to mention the other offer at the negotiation stage – not before.)
When you’re discussing (briefly) the other offer, mention that the offer is for a similar position, so that it’s considered and apples-to-apples comparison. If there is no other offer, DON’T fabricate one!
Bonus Tip: When It Comes to Accepting a Position, Take Your Time, But Not Too Much.
When a company extends an offer, it’s fine to ask for a little time. Tell them you’d like 48 hours to thoroughly review through their offer and any information about the position, company and benefits that they’ve sent to you. If you ARE waiting for another offer, this gives you time to check in with that company and let them know that you’re considering the first offer. However, I don’t recommend more than 48 hours. Trust me, they already know who the backup candidate is, should you decline. If you ask for more than two business days, they could tell you that they have someone who is already waiting to hit the ground running. If you know before the 48 hours are up that you’d like to take this job, let them know right away. Don’t wait until the countdown ticks to zero.
The bottom line: The key to negotiating is to know your worth, and be confident in your ability to fight for it! For personal negotiations coaching, contact ResuMAYDAY at 630-901-3595.
Recruiters want to get to the point when scanning resumes. If yours is too long or too detailed, it could cost you the job. Get tips on what to include and what to cut from your resume to increase your chances of getting hired.
Your resume should include your name, address, and contact information. Phone and email are fine. Don’t include anything that’s not relevant to your ability to perform the job, such as whether you are married. Recruiters only need to know about the information that’s relevant to your ability to do the work, and nothing further.
Recruiters tend to scan resumes looking for only the most salient points. If your bullet points run onto multiple lines, you’re probably trying to pack in too much information.
Every job description should convey the most important points of information to pique interest, such as your role and accomplishments. If you’re invited to interview, you’ll be able to elaborate on the work you performed.
Multiple Page Resume
While you may be able to get away with a two-page resume, you cannot present a three-page resume unless you’re at a senior leadership level. If you pass along a resume that is too long, you will lose the recruiter’s attention.
Rambling or Repetitive Information
If your resume runs to over three pages, odds are you’re repeating yourself. Look for ways to condense your bullet points. If you’re using the same phrase in multiple job descriptions, cut back on mentions. Pare down responsibilities that appear across multiple jobs and focus on what’s unique about each experience.
Before you apply for your next position, review your resume looking for these mistakes. Fixing them will increase your chances of being invited to an interview.