How to Get a Raise in 2015


After 2008’s recession period, job growth has steadily been on the rise.  The growth has been slow but the statistics for a full year (2014) has shown steady growth in jobs every quarter, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  In November 2014, employers said that they had about 5 million openings, up 142,000 from October 2014.  In fact, employers have reported a higher number of openings that they can fill and this suggests that to make these jobs more attractive to fill, employers need to offer higher pay, improved benefits, better working conditions or a combination of these.

Short-term unemployment, which relates to workers out of jobs six months or less, is at its lowest since the start of the recession.  This indicates that there are workers available right now with readily available skills and who therefore can demand higher wages.

Furthermore, workers are more confident in leaving their current jobs if dissatisfied as they are more sure of getting hired based on their skill sets.  This “quit-rate” has hit its highest level in six years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ September 2014 job openings and labor survey.

Glassdoor’s quarterly Employment Confidence Survey, released Friday, January 9, 2015, reports that more than one in three employees plan to search for new jobs this year if they don’t get a pay raise in 2015.  Also, 48 percent of the surveyed workers feel confident that they can find a new job in the next six months in the event that they do quit.

If you are feeling that a raise is in order there are a few strategic ways to go about it to get the desired outcome.  Asking for more money is a sensitive matter so do not rush into it hastily and get disappointed but approach it carefully and consider the tips below:

Be proactive:

A raise will not fall into your lap.  You have to be proactive about it.  This means you need to start a conversation with your boss about your compensation.  Don’t come across as whiny and ungrateful for the compensation that you currently receive though.  Appreciate what you have and clearly state why you feel that you deserve a raise.

Timing is everything:

Timing takes on several layers.  Firstly, the timing should be right in terms of your track record.  You should have a sustained record of accomplishments you can point to.  A raise is a recognition that you are contributing at a higher level than before.  Secondly, you should choose the time to talk wisely, not when your boss is busy or having a bad day, or just back from a business trip and needs to catch up.  Reflect on a good time to have this conversation and set up a meeting.  Giving your boss an idea of what you want to discuss is also a good idea.  No one wants to be surprised or cornered or put on the spot.  You will never get a raise by springing the idea on your boss anyway.  He will ask for more time so why not give him the time before hand and let him be prepared for the meeting as well.

Remember too, that most employees do not get raises more than once a year, except in very unusual circumstances.  So if you have already received a raise in the last 11 months, then you might wait a little longer.

Build a strong case:

To present a compelling case for a raise, you need to show a list of achievements in the last year and the impact you have had on your team and organization.  If there are specific positive feedback you’ve received, now would be a time to showcase them.

Know your worth:

Before you ask for a raise, know the market rate for your position.  You cannot ask your employer to pay you significantly higher than the market rate so you need to research the fair market value for your position.  The best way to go about this is to ask recruiters, other people in your field and professional organizations in your field.

Finally, make sure to consider the noteworthy benefits your company provides like generous retirement contributions and unusual amounts of paid time off.

For more information, access our career tools here and read our career articles.

Good luck!


AJE’s Updated Reporting Tool with an Outreach Management Component


The 2014 Final VEVRAA Rule, which took effect March 24, 2014, requires that contractors advise the Employment Service Delivery System (ESDS) in each state where it has establishments that:

(1) It is a federal contractor, and

(2) It desires priority referrals of protected veterans from the state for job openings at all locations within the state.

The regulations also require the contractor to provide the ESDS with the name and location of each hiring establishment within the state and the contact information for the official responsible for hiring at each location.

Good faith efforts pertaining to Affirmative Action need to be expanded to increase the pool of qualified candidates. Outreach has to be external (to reach the wider labor market), and internal (immediate workforce). Proof of outreach must be meticulously maintained. Good faith efforts also encompass training and promotion of the internal workforce. Results of good faith efforts also need to be documented and kept for three years in case of an OFCCP audit.

Federal contractors and sub-contractors are required to set hiring goals for protected veterans and candidates with disabilities. For veterans the hiring goal should be at the 7.2% national average. The OFCCP does allow you to set your own hiring goal for veterans based on certain criteria but it is safer to just go with the national average. For Individuals with Disabilities (IWDs), a 7% utilization goal is expected in all job groups. Also set goals under EO 11246 as applicable.

How will America’s Job Exchange (AJE) assist you in accomplishing this task?

AJE has an updated Reporting Portal that includes a self-service reporting tool that provides links to employment offices in all 50 states, office locations, state credentials and account alerts to customers for state credentials updates. The portal is available to AJE customers 24 hours per day, 7 days per week for audit reports, account updates and information on the new regulatory requirements. Additionally, we have launched an Outreach Relationship Management System that we are excited about! The system will have the ability to record the following information:

  • Date of the outreach event
  • Event type
  • Location of the event
  • Outreach organization partner (and type) involved in the event
  • Outreach organization contact information for the event
  • Customer contact information for the event
  • Notes related to the event
  • Uploaded documents related to the event
  • Ratings of the success of the event (given by the customer/employer)

This Outreach Management Tool allows our customers the ability to create reports on the outreach activity recorded in the tool. Customers can filter by date range, city and state, organization type and will also be able to export the report to an Excel or PDF file.

Please contact your Account Manager at America’s Job Exchange for more information or for any questions you may have on our reporting tool.

You can download our OFCCP Compliance for Recruitment brochure here.

The new regulations have been in effect for about nine months and they have created enough angst. It is necessary to understand what the new rules require and to stay on top of them. Although you may have enlisted the help of a company like AJE to help with your compliance needs, it is imperative that you monitor and stay on top of the outreach, documenting and reporting data. Take charge of your outreach efforts and enlist our help!


The New Year is around the corner and we hope you are revved up for a successful job search starting now. Outlined below are your best moves for 2015. The US employment market is expected to strengthen in the New Year so get ready to find

For starters, update your resume. Use action verbs and list achievements. Find resources on resume building on our site. This is your prime marketing tool so build it with precision, accuracy and pizzazz. Get noticed!

Sign up for job alerts at our website. America’s Job Exchange uses Job Scouts to get job alerts directly to your email.

Send your resume to job boards such as ours for resume distribution. We have access to millions of potential employers and by registering with us you can access that extensive database. It saves time and gets results quickly.

Prepare for your interview. When you are granted an interview, you need to prepare very carefully. It is your chance to create the best impression that you can and show a side of you that cannot be demonstrated through a resume. People like to hire people they can connect with and with whom they think they can work well. Check out our site for interview success.

Staying updated and current in your profession is a must these days. The market out there is competitive so having an edge will help you get ahead and stay ahead. We can help you find the best online education program.

All the best in your job search and know that we are always here to assist you.



Successful Job Search Strategies for Veterans in 2015


You are back from the military, trying to assimilate into civilian life. The holidays are upon us and the job market is currently slow. No worries; take this lull to sharpen your job seeking skills and bring that edge to your search that will get you noticed and land you the job you want!

Transferable skills

When strategizing a career search, you have to first think about how your military training can be applied to a civilian setting. You might have had great results in conflict resolution. Or, you might have been known for your attention to detail and dedication, in the military. These are valuable skills that employers look for. Additionally, veterans are used to working long hours, which is a point to emphasize when looking for a civilian job. Remember to highlight evidence-examples of success, what attributes got you there, did you receive any awards? We at America’s Job Exchange can help you translate your military skills. Please visit the Veterans Exchange and you will find specific guidance on transitioning and the military-civilian skills translator.

Find Military-friendly Employers

There are many employers out there who are looking to hire veterans. The federal government often gives incentives for employers to hire our nation’s heroes, so know that there are resources and support for you to access. Browse the job search page of America’s Job Exchange’s Veterans Exchange.


Establish a Clear Civilian Objective

Take time to really be reflective to analyze what your strengths and needs are and where you want to achieve growth in your new career. Do some self- assessing, establish clear professional aspirations and take the necessary steps to get there.


Play up Your Skills and Strengths

In the military you have acquired strengths such as leadership skills, individual accountability and precise communication. Showcase these attributes, as they are valuable. You also have the ability to handle stressful situations. This is a huge bonus, appreciated by all employers.


Connect With Recruiters Who Focus on Military to Civilian Transitions

Recruiting entities like America’s Job Exchange can make a real difference to your job search efforts. Browse our site to get information on how to conduct an effective job search.


Prepare for Interviews

Do your homework about the industry and company you are interviewing for, practice speaking in front of the mirror to be mindful of body language, anticipate unexpected questions, strategize how you will dodge difficult or potentially uncomfortable questions without appearing to be evasive and be sure to know the types of questions you will ask the interviewers as that is something they will give you a chance to do. So don’t fumble or wing it, have some questions prepared that you can ask that make you look thoughtful, interested and professional.


Know Your Rights

The federal government has taken great care to ensure that veterans’ hiring rights are protected. The Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance (OFCCP) is big on equal opportunity hiring for veterans and affirmative action. Federal contractors are given incentives to hire veterans and there are stringent rules they need to comply with (VEVRAA) as well as have hiring benchmark goals for veterans in their organization.

You should know too that during an interview, no employer is allowed to ask you why you left the military and if you were honorably discharged. Also, under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), military members who leave civilian jobs for service are entitled to return to their jobs. In fact, the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) increases awareness of the law and resolves conflicts through mediation if needed. For more information about your rights read this article in our Veterans Exchange.


The New Year is your year-now go claim it! We are here to assist as and when you need it.

Best Wishes for a smooth career transition!


AJE Virtual Career Fair-Helpful Tips for a Great Seeker Experience!


Virtual job fairs have existed for a while but now are becoming more mainstreamed and being recognized as a very useful tool by both job seekers and employers. Companies looking to match job openings with candidates with the right skills are turning to virtual job fairs to reduce cost and also to expand reach. In these online events candidates and employers meet in a virtual environment but are able to have ‘face to face’ meetings and discussion. Job seekers can sign in and upload resume to be matched with employers, or are able to simply browse companies’ online “booths”. These “booths” are often staffed by recruiters and hiring managers and candidates can ‘line-up’ to ‘speak’ with them directly on topics such as job openings, growth opportunities, compensation, benefits and company culture.

America’s Job Exchange (AJE) is very proud to unveil its first virtual career fair, January 14, 2015, 12pm-5pm. On the actual day of the event, employers will have a chance to chat with candidates in a real-time live chat that is timed so that they can interact with numerous talented job seekers. The advantages of a virtual job fair are that candidates can be part of a recruitment event from the comfort of their own home. In one day, they are able to meet a multitude of recruiters and hiring managers from different companies. The travel expense is completely eliminated and there are ample networking opportunities. Also, much of the information in an online job fair can be digested at the job seeker’s own pace. Sometimes there are live one-on-one chats with high level executives that a job seeker would probably not have had access to in a traditional job fair.

Here are some helpful tips for a smooth seeker experience at our virtual career fair:

  • Answer questions about skills, experience and interests to decide company compatibility
  • Communicate with hiring managers and recruiters through instant message and other online technologies
  • Apply immediately to posted jobs
  • Visit virtual ‘booths’ to learn more about companies and also through their message and video boards

Before the Fair:

We will inform you about the organizations that are participating prior to the fair through email blasts. Select companies that you are interested in and conduct research on them. You should research company products, culture, news and events. Visit their website and see what job openings they have posted. Prepare questions for the hiring managers and recruiters. Your questions should reflect your knowledge of company needs and that you are the best candidate for them.

Update your LinkedIn and other social media profile. Along with that, also update your resume.

During the Fair:

On the day of the virtual fair, turn off your cell phone and sit in a quiet and non-distracting space in case recruiters/employers want to Skype with you. Have a hard copy of your resume handy to refer to while you speak and an electronic copy accessible so you can upload as needed. You need to dress well for the virtual job fair just as you would for a regular job fair, as this will help you respond in a professional manner. During a virtual job fair, a lot happens through Instant Messaging. Be mindful of being professional even while conducting a chat session. Take careful notes to keep track of people with whom you had conversations. During chats, keep on topic and do not deviate or appear familiar. An important thing to remember is to be patient as recruiters and hiring managers have multiple conversations going so there might be a delay. It is a great idea to network with other candidates to expand your network of contacts while you are waiting for responses from recruiters. Exchange leads and ask for referrals. If you come across a company that you are interested in but do not see an open position at the moment, just let the recruiter know and inquire if you can follow up and keep in touch.

After the Fair:

Quickly after the day of the virtual fair, send out thank-you emails and letters by mail. Connect with contacts on LinkedIn and stay in touch. Keep monitoring your social presence and make it stronger as you can be sure that recruiters and employers will revisit your social sites after they have had a chance to connect with you online if they are interested.

Check out our video for more information about this event.

Good luck and hope you have a great experience at our virtual job fair!


Stay on Top of Your Outreach by Using the AJE Daily Activity Report


Did you know that as a customer you receive a Daily Activity Report (previously called the Daily Transmission Report) to help you stay on top of your outreach for OFCCP compliance?

The Daily Activity Report is an enhancement we have designed to replace the Transmission Report and is full of useful information to keep you posted on what’s going on with your job listings. It’s an extension of our reporting tool and takes the form of a daily email designed to provide you with day-to-day account information and job posting information.  The report is reader- friendly and provides you at a glance, key information about your contract status, your job posting activity including job posting errors, any job feed issues, if present, and state credential status.  It will clearly show the number of jobs added, deleted, updated and unchanged.  The total number of new jobs added that month is also mentioned.  For job posting errors, exact information is provided so that you are aware of what needs to be “fixed” with that particular job.  For instance, a zip code could be missing or the city.  If you are missing any state credentials that too would will be documented for you to take action.  State posting credentials are required for mandatory job posting to the ESDS so the report will quickly allow you to scan the state where your credentials are needed and fulfill that requirement.  There is also an email address right under the missing credentials states, for you to contact one of our team members to assist you with this, if you so choose.

Achieving compliance for OFCCP regulatory requirements is a teamwork effort. Experience shows that when your company works hand in hand with your third party provider for employment outreach and diversity hiring and posting on State Employment Delivery Systems they become more successful in keeping up with compliance needs.  The OFCCP is going to want to see that you, as a federal contractor, are not just “pushing out” jobs but are actually involved in the necessary outreach and are partnering effectively with your third party provider to make your jobs available to talented job seekers.  As a federal contractor, the responsibility ultimately lies with you to get your jobs to all the channels needed for your diversity recruitment needs.

Our account managers are continuously monitoring your jobs and now they have a handy tool to pass on the appropriate information to you.  Please add  to your safe senders’ list.

We would love to hear from you so drop us a line.