Don’t Forget These Five Essentials in Your Apartment

As you prepare to move out of the house or dorm and into your first real apartment, you will have a long list of items you need to buy, borrow or steal. For starters, there is the furniture: a bed frame and mattress, dressers or drawers, a couch and other seating and a table. Then you’ll need staples like dishes and cookware and cleaning supplies.

In the midst of all this shopping and packing, a few things are bound to slip your mind. So before you move, make sure you have these five essential items often left out of a first apartment.

Tool Box

While setting up decorations and picture frames, making small repairs or replacing batteries, you will need a tool kit. However, these handy tools are easily overlooked when moving, especially by girls. You don’t need to make a major investment in your tools (nice and detailed boxes can cost hundreds), but make sure you have the basics: hammer, pliers, screwdriver, wrench, nails and screws. This kit will make your life much easier when a picture falls in the middle of the night or your necklace breaks as you’re about to leave.

Read more: Top 5 DIY Skills for Renters

Storage Bins

At your childhood home, you are likely to have much more storage room than in your new apartment, so finding places to put all of your stuff in a tighter space may be a challenge. After ciphering through your things and throwing the junk out, buy a few cheap but durable, large plastic bins. Use them to store off-season clothes, school and home supplies, extra blankets, sheets and pillows or books and movies. Then, move the bins to the back of your closet or under your bed.

Read more: Creative Home Storage Ideas

First Aid Kit

Accidents happen, and you should always be prepared for the medical variety with a first aid kit. Whether you buy it or build it, yours should include: tweezers, ibuprofen, adhesive bandages (several sizes), antibiotic ointment, hydrogen peroxide, medical tape, gauze, rubbing alcohol and gloves.

Read more: How to Baby Proof Your Apartment

Lighting

Since most apartments come equipped with the big lighting fixtures, the smaller ones are often left off apartment checklists. You’ll need lamps for your bedside table and desk and perhaps for extra lighting in your living room. You’ll also need a flashlight and candles in case the power goes out. Therefore, make sure you also have appropriate battery sizes and matches on hand.

Read more: Fire Prevention Tips: 14 Ways to Avoid Setting Your Apartment on Fire

Sewing Kit

You may not be the next fashion designer or expert seamstress, but you should know how to (or at least have the supplies for) re-sewing a button or quickly stitching up a small hole. Sewing kits are cheap and contain a few needles and small spools of the most common colors.

Read more: DIY Fixes for Old Items

Tomboy Tools, Inc., an Entrepreneur Magazine Top 100 Brilliant Company, and provider of hands-on education and high-quality tools for women, sponsored this post.

Photo Credit: iStockphoto/Nadzeya_Kizilava

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Source: apartmentguide.com

Subsidized vs. unsubsidized loans

The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, act as legal, financial or credit advice. See Lexington Law’s editorial disclosure for more information.

The federal direct loan program offers subsidized and unsubsidized loans to college students. A federal direct subsidized loan is a loan where the government pays the interest while the student is in school. A federal direct unsubsidized loan is one in which the student is responsible for paying all interest, receiving no additional federal aid.

What Is the Difference Between Subsidized and Unsubsidized Student Loans?

The main differences between federal direct subsidized and unsubsidized loans are the qualification criteria, the maximum limits and how the loan interest works.

A chart displaying the differences between subsidized and unsubsidized student loans.

Loan Qualifications

Subsidized: To qualify for a subsidized loan, you must be an undergraduate student who can demonstrate financial need based on the information you submit through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (“FAFSA”).

Unsubsidized: Unsubsidized loans are available to both undergraduate and graduate students, and there is no requirement to demonstrate financial need.

Maximum Loan Limits

Subsidized: Your school will determine exactly how much you can borrow each year, but there are federal limits. These limits are based on what year of school you are in and whether you file as a dependent or an independent. Subsidized loan limits tend to be lower than unsubsidized limits. The aggregate limit for an independent student with subsidized loans is $23,000.

Unsubsidized: Unsubsidized loan limits tend to be higher than subsidized loan limits. The aggregate limit for an independent student with unsubsidized loans is $34,500.

How Interest Accrues

Subsidized: The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest for subsidized loans as long as the student is enrolled in school at least half-time. They will also pay the interest during your grace period—defined as the first six months after leaving school—and any period of deferment. This means that the amount of the loan will not grow once the student graduates, since the government has been paying the interest.

Unsubsidized: Whether you’re an undergraduate or a graduate student, you’re responsible for paying all of the interest during the entire life of your unsubsidized loan.

What Are the Similarities Between Subsidized and Unsubsidized Student Loans?

When it comes to interest rates, fees and the “maximum eligibility period”—the amount of time you’re able to take out loans—subsidized and unsubsidized loans are virtually the same.

Fees

On top of interest, you can expect to pay a small fee for both types of loans. This is approximately 1.06 percent of your total loan amount, and it is deducted from each loan disbursement. 

Both subsidized and unsubsidized student loans have a fee of 1.06% of the total loan amount.

Undergraduate Interest Rates

The interest rates for both subsidized and unsubsidized loans for undergraduate students are the same. Currently, the rate is at 2.75 percent for loans first disbursed from July 1st, 2020, to June 31st, 2021. The one exception is for direct unsubsidized loans for graduate students, which have an interest rate of 4.30 percent. 

Maximum Eligibility Period

For both loan types, the time in which you’re eligible for your loans is equal to 150 percent of the time of your program. For undergraduates pursuing a four-year bachelor’s degree, this means they will be eligible for their loans for six years. Those pursuing a two-year associate’s degree will be eligible for three years. This ensures that students can still receive loans even if they’re unable or choose not to graduate within the program’s time frame. 

How to Apply for Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

Once you’re ready to apply for a federal direct loan, fill out the FAFSA. Your school will send you a detailed report of what student aid you’re eligible for. Any grants or scholarships are free money, so make sure to accept them. They’ll also decide which loans you’re eligible for, the amount you can borrow each year and what loan type you can get—subsidized or unsubsidized. 

No matter what type of student loan you go for, it’s important to understand how they affect your credit so that you can set yourself up for financial success after graduation. With responsible, on-time payments, you’ll be well on your way to healthy credit for life.


Reviewed by Cynthia Thaxton, Lexington Law Firm Attorney. Written by Lexington Law.

Cynthia Thaxton has been with Lexington Law Firm since 2014. She attended The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia where she graduated summa cum laude with a degree in International Relations and a minor in Arabic. Cynthia then attended law school at George Mason University School of Law, where she served as Senior Articles Editor of the George Mason Law Review and graduated cum laude. Cynthia is licensed to practice law in Utah and North Carolina.

Note: Articles have only been reviewed by the indicated attorney, not written by them. The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, act as legal, financial or credit advice; instead, it is for general informational purposes only. Use of, and access to, this website or any of the links or resources contained within the site do not create an attorney-client or fiduciary relationship between the reader, user, or browser and website owner, authors, reviewers, contributors, contributing firms, or their respective agents or employers.

Source: lexingtonlaw.com

7 Things to Do After College Besides Work

Numerous college students have a trajectory in mind for navigating life after college. For some, getting a job is their top goal. But, are there other things to do after college besides work?

Beyond looking for a traditional entry-level job, there are alternative choices for new grads—including internships, volunteering, grad school, spending time abroad, or serving in Americorps.

Naturally, the options available will differ depending on each person’s situation, as not all alternatives to work come with a paycheck attached.

Here’s a look at these seven things to do after college besides work.

1. Pursuing Internships

One popular alternative to working right after college is finding an internship. Generally, internships are temporary work opportunities, which are sometimes, but not always, paid.

Internships may give recent grads a chance to build up hands-on experience in a field or industry they believe they’re interested in working in full time. For some people, it could help determine whether the reality of working in a given sector meets their expectations.

Whatever grads learn during an internship, having on-the-job experience (even for those who opt to pursue a different career path) could make a job seeker stand out afterwards. Internships can help beef up a resume, especially for recent grads who don’t have much formal job experience.

A potential perk of internships is the chance to further grow your professional network—building relationships with more experienced workers in a particular department or job. Some interns may even be able to turn their short-term internship roles into a full-time position at the same company.

Starting out in an internship can be a great way for graduates to enter the workforce, “road testing” a specific job role or company.

2. Serving with AmeriCorps

Some graduates want to spend their time after college contributing to the greater good of American society. One possible option here is the Americorps program—supported by the US Federal Government.

So, what exactly is Americorps? Americorps is a national service program dedicated to improving lives and fostering civic engagement. There are three main programs that graduates can join in AmeriCorps: AmeriCorps NCCC, AmeriCorps State and National, and AmeriCorps Vista.

There’s a wide variety of options in AmeriCorps, when it comes to how you can serve. Graduates can work in emergency management, help fight poverty, or work in a classroom.

However graduates decide to serve through AmeriCorps, it may provide them with a rewarding professional experience and insights into a potential career.

Practically, Americorps members may also qualify for benefits such as student loan deferment, a living allowance, education awards (upon finishing their service), and skills training.

It may sound a bit dramatic, but AmeriCorps’ slogan is “Be the greater good.” Giving back to society could be a powerful way to spend some time after graduating—supporting organizations in need, while also establishing new professional connections.

3. Attending Grad School

When entering the workforce, graduates may encounter job postings with detailed employment requirements.

Some jobs require just a Bachelor’s degree, while others require a Master’s–think, for instance, of being a lawyer or medical doctor. Depending on their field of study and career goals, some students may opt to go right to graduate school after receiving their undergraduate degrees.

The number of jobs that expect graduate degrees is increasing in the US. Graduates might want to research their desired career fields and see if it’s common for people in these roles to need a master’s or terminal degree.

Some students may wish to take a break in between undergrad and grad school, while others find it easier to go straight through. This choice will vary from student to student, depending on the energy they have to continue school as well as their financial ability to attend graduate school.

Graduate school will be a commitment of time, energy and money. So, it’s advisable that students feel confident that a graduate degree is necessary for the line of work they’d like to end up in before they apply or enroll.

4. Volunteering for a Cause

Volunteering could be a great way for graduates to gain some extra skills before applying for a full-time job. Doing volunteer work may help graduates polish some essential soft skills, like interpersonal communication, interacting with clients or service recipients, and time management.

Another potential benefit to volunteering is the ability to network and forge new connections outside of college. The people-to-people connections made while volunteering could lead to mentorship and job offers.

Volunteering is something graduates can do after college besides work, while still fleshing out their resume or skills.

New grads may want to volunteer at an institution or organization that syncs with their values or, perhaps, pursue opportunities in sectors of the economy where they’d like to work later on (i.e., at a hospital).

On top of all these potential plus sides, volunteering just feels good. It makes people feel happier. And, after all of the stress that accompanies finishing up college, volunteering afterward could be the perfect way to recharge.

5. Serving Abroad

Similar to the last option, volunteering abroad can be attractive to some graduates. It may help grads gain similar skills they’d learn volunteering here at home, while also giving them the opportunity to learn how to interact with people from different cultures, try to learn a new language, and see new perspectives on solving problems.

Though it can be beneficial to the volunteers, volunteering abroad isn’t always as ethical as it seems. And, not all volunteering opportunities always benefit the local community.

It could take research to find organizations that are doing ethically responsible work abroad. One key thing to look for is organizations that put the locals first and have them directly involved in the work.

6. Taking a Gap Year

According to the Gap Year Association , a gap year is “a semester or year of experiential learning, typically taken after high school and prior to career or post-secondary education, in order to deepen one’s practical, professional, and personal awareness.”

While a gap year is generally taken after high school or after college, one common purpose of the gap year is to take the time to learn more about oneself and the world at large—which can be beneficial after graduating from college and trying to figure out what to do next.

Not only might a gap year help grads build insights into what they’d like to do with their later careers, it may also help them home in on a greater purpose in life or build connections that could lead to future job opportunities.

Graduates might want to spend a gap year doing a variety of activities—including:

•   trying out seasonal jobs
•   volunteering
•   interning
•   teaching or tutoring
•   traveling

A gap year can be whatever the graduate thinks will be most beneficial for them.

7. Traveling Before Working

Going on a trip after graduation is a popular choice for graduates that can afford to travel after college. Traveling can be expensive, so graduates may want to budget in advance (if they want to have this experience post-graduation.

On top of just being really fun, travel can have beneficial impacts for an individual’s stress levels and mental health. Research from Cornell University published in 2014 suggests that the anticipation of planning a trip might have the potential to increase happiness.

Traveling after graduation is a convenient time to start ticking locations off that bucket list, because graduates won’t be held back by a limited vacation time. Going abroad before working can give students more time and flexibility to travel as much as they’d like (and can afford to!).

With proper research, graduates can find more affordable ways to travel—such as a multi-country rail pass, etc. It doesn’t have to be all luxury all the time. Budget travel is possible especially when making conscious decisions, like staying in hostels and using public transportation.

If graduates are determined to travel before working, they can accomplish this by saving money and budgeting well.

Navigating Post Graduation Decisions

Whether a recent grad opt to start their careers off right away or to pursue one of the above-mentioned things to do after college besides work, student loans are something that millions of university students have taken out.

After graduating (or if you’ve dropped below half-time enrollment or left school), the reality of paying back student loans sets in. The exact moment that grads will have to begin paying off their student loans will vary by the type of loan.

For federal loans, there are a couple of different times that repayment begins. Students who took out a Direct Subsidized, Direct Unsubsidized, or Federal Family Education Loan, will all have a six month grace period before they’re required to make payments. Students who took out a Perkins loan will have a nine month grace period.

When it comes to the PLUS loan, it depends on the type of student that’s taken one out. Undergraduates will be required to start repayment as soon as the loan is paid out. Graduate and professional students with PLUS loans will be on automatic deferment while they’re in school and up to six months after graduating.

Some graduates opt to refinance their student loans. What does that mean? Well, refinancing student loans is when a lender pays off the existing loan with another loan that has a new interest rate. Refinancing can potentially lower monthly loan repayments or reduce the amount spent on interest over the life of the loan.

Both US federal and private student loans can be refinanced, but when federal student loans are refinanced by a private lender, the borrower forfeits guaranteed federal benefits—including loan forgiveness, deferment and forbearance, and income-driven repayment options.

Refinancing student loans may reduce money paid to interest. For graduates who have secured well-paying jobs and have improved their credit score since taking out their student loan, refinancing could come with a competitive interest rate and different repayment terms.

Graduating from college means officially entering the realm of adulthood, but that transition can take many forms. There are various financial tips that recent graduates may opt to look into.

Thinking about refinancing your student loans? With SoFi, you could get prequalified in just two minutes.



External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
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IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO REFINANCE FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS PLEASE BE AWARE OF RECENT LEGISLATIVE CHANGES THAT HAVE SUSPENDED ALL FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN PAYMENTS AND WAIVED INTEREST CHARGES ON FEDERALLY HELD LOANS UNTIL THE END OF SEPTEMBER DUE TO COVID-19. PLEASE CAREFULLY CONSIDER THESE CHANGES BEFORE REFINANCING FEDERALLY HELD LOANS WITH SOFI, SINCE IN DOING SO YOU WILL NO LONGER QUALIFY FOR THE FEDERAL LOAN PAYMENT SUSPENSION, INTEREST WAIVER, OR ANY OTHER CURRENT OR FUTURE BENEFITS APPLICABLE TO FEDERAL LOANS. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income-Driven Repayment plans, including Income-Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.

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SoFi Private Student Loans are subject to program terms and restrictions, and applicants must meet SoFi’s eligibility and underwriting requirements. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information. To view payment examples, click here. SoFi reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at any time. This information is subject to change. SoFi Lending Corp. and its lending products are not endorsed by or directly affiliated with any college or university unless otherwise disclosed.

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Source: sofi.com

Our Seasonal Guide to the Best Outdoor Gear Deals

Planning a vacation in the great outdoors in the next year? Now’s the time to start thinking about new gear and how you can get it for less.

Outdoor equipment can be pricey, but buying it at the right time of the year can get you the gear you covet at a better price. The savings will give you more cash to spend on the outdoor adventures themselves.

We’ve noted national retailers as good sources, however you might be able to get better details from Facebook’s Marketplace or Nextdoor for secondhand equipment. At Gear Trade you can buy both new and used equipment.

It’s time to get out there.

Guide to Buying Outdoor Gear at the Right Time

Ski Equipment

Best time to buy: Fall and March

Details: When ski shops shut down for the season, they usually have to clear out the inventory. Many of these stores stay in the outdoor gear business year-round, converting to bicycle or camping gear stores come spring and summer. But there’s always the question of what to do with all the bulky skis and snowboards that are left. The answer is usually to sell them cheaply. While the selection might not be great post-ski season, the prices are. Another option is to buy used ski equipment via GearTrade.com. Every week that an item doesn’t sell, the price drops so you can watch your favorite items until the price is right (unless someone else snags it first).

You’ll save: 50-60 percent

Where to buy it: Backcountry; REI; Gear Trade

Camping Equipment (Mostly Tents, Things to Sleep On)

Best time to buy: September

Details: In September, retailers don’t typically have many people clamoring to buy camping gear because it’s getting cold in much of the country, and they want to sell as much as possible, Priobrazhenskiy says. November through January are also good times to purchase when people are searching for holiday gifts. If you have a last-minute outing, you can find discounted items in late August as well, says Andrew Priobrazhenskiy, the CEO of DiscountReactor, an e-commerce business.

You’ll save: 50 percent

Where to buy: REI;  Dick’s Sporting Goods

Seasonal Sports Clothes (Ski Coats, Bathing Suits, Hiking Clothes and More)

Best time to buy: May

Details: If you wait until July or August, you’ll also be able to get your hands on great sale options and discounts as well, says Priobrazhenskiy.

You’ll save: 50 percent

Where to buy: REI;  Patagonia; Moosejaw

Outdoor Cooking Gear

Best time to buy: February, June and August

Details: These items such as camp stoves and cooking supplies and utensils tend to go on sale during these months. This is when most people plan their camping and outdoor trips, and retailers want to snag the business, Priobrazhenskiy says.

You’ll save: Up to 60 percent

Where to buy: Dick’s Sporting Goods

Stand Up Paddleboards, Surf Boards, Kiteboards, Windsurfers

Best time to buy: August

Details: Purchasing your water sports equipment at the end of the summer is best because many stores hold end-of-season clearance sales, says Holly Appleby, a marine conservation researcher and surf instructor who runs Ocean Today, a project dedicated to ocean education. If you purchase at the end of the season, however, ensure you have adequate storage for your new equipment. Surfboards and paddleboards should be stored out of the sun in a cool, dry place, Appleby says. And while many items can be purchased secondhand, Appleby cautions against purchasing water sports equipment this way. “Purchasing secondhand usually means you can get good deals year-round, but while you’ll likely save money, there’s a chance the safety of the item has been compromised,” she says.

You’ll save: 40 percent

Where to buy: Dick’s Sporting Goods; REI

Kayaks and Canoes

Best time to buy: End of August

Details: The prime season for paddling around lakes, rivers and other waterways in much of the United States is August. So the end of August is a great time to buy a discounted kayak, canoe or other piece of paddle equipment. Don’t want to store it for a year before you’ll get to use it? Memorial Day usually draws major lake equipment sales, as does Christmas. The worst time to purchase these items is spring, when the new inventory arrives in the stores. Often, you can find used paddling craft and equipment on Craigslist or on local Facebook groups for half the price during the spring and fall months.

Two people kayak in the water.
Getty Images

You’ll save: 40-50 percent

Where to buy: REI; Cabela’s

Hiking Gear

Best time to buy: March and April

Details: The majority of sporting goods retailers like Dick’s Sporting Goods, Bass Pro Shops and Camping World will have closeouts in the spring to make room for new gear and accessories for hiking such as boots, packs, navigation tools and trekking poles, says Vipin Porwal, founder and consumer savings expert at Smarty and Smarty Plus. “It’s very important to take advantage of any available savings with trending coupons and rewards like cash back in order to assure the best price, regardless of the stores you’re shopping in,” Porwal says.

You’ll save: 10-40 percent

Where to buy: Dick’s Sporting Goods; Bass Pro Shops; Camping World

Bicycles and Helmets

Best time to buy: Fall

Details: This is when the stores get rid of the previous summer stock and to make room for new models. But you can also get good deals on Black Friday and around the Christmas season. If you’re looking for a specialist bike, such as a mountain bike or a road bike, these will be on sale whenever they’re out of race season (usually the winter months). Save even more by asking to purchase a demo bike. These are the bikes that shops lend to prospective buyers. They tend to be well-maintained, and are the equivalent of an open box item in an electronics store.

You’ll save: 20-35 percent

Where to buy: You should purchase bicycles at a local store to get the correct fit.

Fishing Gear

Best time to buy: February

Details: About two months after the December holiday season is the sweet spot: It’s too early to fish in much of the country except for all but hardy ice anglers and stores need to sell off their older gear. Make sure to look in the used sections as well because that’s where better deals can be found.

You’ll save: 25-40 percent

Where to buy: Cabela’s; Bass Pro Shops

Car Racks to Carry It All

Best time to buy: November

Details: Black Friday is the best time to snag racks for bikes, watercraft, skis, snowboards and more, but you’ll rarely see these for more than 20 percent off. Want a better deal? Look for these on EBay or Craigslist, or scour local Facebook Marketplace listings. These are sturdy so you don’t typically have to worry about it being damaged and often, people will use theirs for a trip or two before getting rid of it.

You’ll save: 20 percent

Where to buy: REI; Backcountry

Danielle Braff is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder.

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Source: thepennyhoarder.com

Tips for Navigating Night Classes

When the sun is setting, happy hour consists of a stiff caffeinated drink or two for some. Their brains are still on the job.

More on liquid stimulants later, but add that sort of choice to the list when it comes to getting an education: Commute or live on campus, study full time or part time, and pick a major, to name but a few.

Once you’ve landed on a college and enrolled, it’s time to sign up for courses and plan your schedule. In many cases, schools offer courses throughout the day and evening to accommodate a broad range of students and their different schedules.

Night classes may be a convenient option for students who have to balance work and school. Given the cost of education, this is a large share of the student body. In 2018, 43% of full-time students and 81% of part-time students were employed during their studies.

Taking night classes can be an adjustment from studying during the traditional 8-to-5 window. Staying focused after a long day of work or rewiring your brain to study at night can be challenging.

Whether you’re gearing up for a degree’s worth of night school or a one-off evening class, take a look at these tips to survive night classes.

Nocturnal Animals

Generally speaking, night classes take place between 5 and 10 p.m. College night classes typically follow the traditional semester schedule, though there may be shorter timelines for special-interest topics or certificate programs.

Because night classes are geared toward nontraditional students with family and work obligations, they typically occur once a week for two to four hours, but it depends on the course credits and subject matter.

Although this condensed format may mean fewer trips to campus, it can also make for much longer days. Students may want to keep the following issues in mind.

Controlling Caffeine Cravings

When feeling tired, it may be a natural inclination to grab a cup of coffee or other caffeinated beverage to get a boost of energy and keep going. While this may help a student get through a night class or hammer out an assignment at the last minute, it can disrupt sleeping patterns, creating further fatigue the next day.

Caffeine can last up to 12 hours in the system after consumption. Even for night owls, a coffee or a Red Bull® or a Monster® after lunch could keep them awake well beyond when they want to go to bed.

If cold turkey seems like too drastic a change, you might want to try experimenting with less caffeinated beverages, such as tea. Everyone is different, and the goal is finding the sweet spot between staying awake and engaged during night classes and not losing precious sleep later on.

Staying Nourished and Hydrated

Staying focused during night classes can take practice and preparation. Packing healthy snacks and water is one way to maintain energy and feel comfortable as class discussions and lectures progress into the later evening hours.

If a professor doesn’t permit eating in the classroom, a student can likely squeeze in a quick bite beforehand or during break time.

Remaining Active

Between work, studying, class time, and other obligations, exercising may seem like a luxury that there isn’t enough time for. This can feel especially true on days when a full day at work is followed by a three-hour night class.

The Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults complete at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week. Broken down over the whole week, that’s about 20 minutes of exercise a day.

If you’re really in a pinch, fitting in a brisk walk before night classes start or during the midway break in a three-hour seminar can help with your energy and work toward meeting the 150-minute threshold.

Befriending Classmates

Night classes can draw a more diverse student body than traditional college classes. For discussion-oriented classes, this can enrich the conversation with more perspectives.

It is also an opportunity to network and find a study buddy or two. Because night classes usually meet only once a week for a 15-week semester, even one absence could lead to falling behind or missing out on critical information. Classmates can be a resource for sharing notes and staying in the loop on what happened in class.

Also, becoming friends with classmates could make lengthy night classes more fun and add motivation to keep up strong attendance.

Creating a More Flexible Work Schedule

Even full-time students can expect to have at least one or two nights free from scheduled classes. If you have a flexible work schedule, you’re already in a position to craft an ideal balance of work, school, and social life.

However, if you’re working some version of the standard 9-5 schedule five days a week, the days with back-to-back work and class can feel like a marathon. Getting an education takes work, but you may not get the most out of it if it becomes something you dread.

Redistributing work hours to accommodate your night class schedule might prevent burnout. For instance, being able to come in an hour later on mornings after night classes and make them up later in the week can spread out the workload and help in catching up on sleep.

Talking to supervisors may feel intimidating, but if your college night classes are providing skills and knowledge to perform better at your job, you can make a case for getting some wiggle room at work while you finish school.

Avoiding Procrastination

As school traditionally runs from morning to early afternoon, conventional wisdom dictates completing homework and assignments the night before, at the latest. With night classes, the window to procrastinate can be extended later in the day.

Planning can help a student avoid a situation that requires picking between going to work or completing an assignment for class. Mapping out assignment due dates at the onset of the semester is one method to stay on track.

Managing Time

Between exams and papers, college classes often have a steady stream of readings and assignments to keep up with from week to week. Setting aside specific time frames to study for each class may counteract an urge to slack off between major assignments. Repetition can also improve knowledge retention, compared with cramming at the last minute.

After taking care of other responsibilities, such as an internship, job, or team practice, it may be difficult to recall readings and information at the end of a long day. Finding a moment before night class to review your notes could better prepare you to participate in discussion or ace a quiz. Creating a brief study guide covering key themes and topics for each week could help if you’re pressed for time.

Pacing Yourself

Before going full steam ahead with a full course load, you can consider testing the waters with one or two night classes. Education is a financial and career investment, and figuring out what’s right for your work-life balance could be the difference between burning out and graduating.

Keep in mind that whether you study full time or part time could affect financial aid or scholarships.

Exploring Night Class Options

Night classes are offered at community colleges and four-year universities alike. Researching multiple options could help a student find an ideal balance of cost, reputation, student body demographics, and campus environment.

Online courses are another option to consider. Synchronous courses may still have online lectures and discussions but allow students to participate from the comfort of home.

Paying for Night Classes

Education comes at a cost. Beyond tuition, taking night classes may require buying textbooks, paying for a parking pass, and other associated fees.

Work-study programs, scholarships, and grants could cover all or part of these expenses, but some students take out loans to pay the remaining cost for their degree or night classes.

Federal loans can come with protections, flexible repayment benefits, and loan forgiveness in certain cases.

When federal loans and other aid aren’t enough, private student loans are an option to consider. Students enrolled full or half time may qualify for a loan from SoFi, whose no-fee private student loans offer flexible repayment plans, helping students find an option that best meets their needs.

SoFi is here to help you reach your educational goals. It takes only minutes to find out what you’re prequalified for.



SoFi Private Student Loans
Please borrow responsibly. SoFi Private Student Loans are not a substitute for federal loans, grants, and work-study programs. You should exhaust all your federal student aid options before you consider any private loans, including ours. Read our FAQs.
SoFi Private Student Loans are subject to program terms and restrictions, and applicants must meet SoFi’s eligibility and underwriting requirements. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information. To view payment examples, click here. SoFi reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at any time. This information is subject to change. SoFi Lending Corp. and its lending products are not endorsed by or directly affiliated with any college or university unless otherwise disclosed.

SoFi Private Student Loans
Please borrow responsibly. SoFi Private Student Loans are not a substitute for federal loans, grants, and work-study programs. You should exhaust all your federal student aid options before you consider any private loans, including ours. Read our FAQs.
SoFi Private Student Loans are subject to program terms and restrictions, and applicants must meet SoFi’s eligibility and underwriting requirements. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information. To view payment examples, click here. SoFi reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at any time. This information is subject to change.

SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp (dba SoFi), a lender licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law, license # 6054612; NMLS # 1121636 . For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal.

Checking Your Rates: To check the rates and terms you may qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. A hard credit pull, which may impact your credit score, is required if you apply for a SoFi product after being pre-qualified.
Third Party Brand Mentions: No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.
External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.

SOPS20049

Source: sofi.com

25 Best Travel Jobs | Make Money While Traveling The World

Are you looking for the best travel jobs? Are you wondering, “How can I make money and travel?”

The best travel jobs give you a chance to make money while pursuing your passion of travel.

Travel is a dream for many, but it doesn’t have to just stop there — you can side hustle, or earn a full-time income while traveling the world.best travel jobs

best travel jobs

Whether you want to make extra money or if you’re looking for a full-time career, this list of best travel jobs may help you reach your goal to travel more.

Yes, it is quite possible to make money and travel full-time.

Making money holds many people back from traveling more, but it doesn’t have to.

This is because there are many different types of best travel jobs that can make your travel dreams become a reality.

We sold our house, moved into an RV, and started traveling over 6 years ago, and we’ve now been living on a sailboat for around 3 years.

I’ve been location independent since 2013, and have been traveling full-time since 2015.

Because I work a job that allows me to make money while traveling, I have been able to travel extensively, while also being able to pay my bills and save fully for retirement.

Over the years, I’ve met many full-time travelers. There have been people who have saved up enough money to travel for an extended amount of time, those who are retired, those who find odd jobs on the road, those who work some of the best travel jobs I’m about to tell you about, and more.

The majority of the people I have met are not bloggers or Youtubers. I know you see a lot of that online, but the reality is there are many people traveling while working more traditional jobs. 

Everyone has their own way of doing things to make full-time travel work, so I’m sure you can find something that will fit you the best.

Related content to best travel jobs:

Here are 25 best travel jobs.

 

1. Find remote work

Many, many of the people that I have met who travel full-time have remote jobs.

By remote jobs, I mean that they simply work full-time or part-time for an employer through their laptop. These aren’t jobs that pay you to travel or jobs that require international travel. Instead, they are just regular jobs that can be done online.

So, these people are able to work from anywhere, but they usually need to be available Monday through Friday during certain hours — just like if they were going into the office.

Because of the events of 2020, many companies have moved their employees to remote work, and there are many companies that plan to stay that way. Jobs like analysts, programmers, customer service reps, human resource management, and more can all be done remotely. And many big companies — Amazon, American Express, Siemens, Microsoft, etc. — have announced plans for staying remote or making it optional for the future.

If your company currently doesn’t allow for remote work and you’re interested, you can see if they are willing to work with you. Make a plan to meet with your boss and be prepared with reasons it would work for them too, and then talk about the possibility.

You can learn more about what makes remote work one of the best travel jobs in Remote Work: Work, Live, and Travel Where You Want With Remote Jobs. You’ll learn:

  • What a remote job is
  • How to make money as a remote worker
  • How much a remote job will pay
  • How to find remote work

What jobs allow you to travel the world?

What jobs allow you to travel the world?

2. Become a blogger

Blogging is great because you can work from anywhere. I know I’m biased, but it’s definitely one of the best travel jobs out there.

Blogging is what allows me to travel full-time. I make a great income and have enough saved to retire whenever I would like. Blogging also allows me to have a flexible schedule, meaning I can enjoy many of the places I travel to.

As a blogger, you may make money through advertising, affiliate marketing, sponsored partnerships, reviews, creating your own product, and more.

You can create your own blog here with my easy and quick tutorial. You can start your blog for as low as $2.95 per month, plus you get a free domain name when signing up through my guide.

Related content: How To Start a Blog Free Course

3. Become a park ranger

Becoming a park ranger can allow you to really get to know a new place, and you can transfer to different parks to visit new areas.

The website ParkRangerEdu.Org is a great place to learn more. According to the site, earning a college degree in a relevant major such as earth science, forestry, conservation, biology, and more can be very helpful to becoming a park ranger.

As a park ranger, you may help protect the park, wildlife, visitors, and more, and may work at the visitor center, as law enforcement, protecting animals, guiding tours, and so on. It all depends on the position that you are looking to fill.

This would be one of the best travel jobs for people who love to be outdoors.

 

4. Cruise ship worker

If you want to know what jobs allow you to travel the world, working on a cruise ship is definitely one of them. You can work and travel through the Caribbean, Mediterranean, and more.

We went on a cruise many years ago and met a man who was sitting in the hot tub waiting for his wife to get off work. She was a balloon artist on the cruise ship, and he got to join the cruise and stay with his wife. She didn’t work a lot of hours, and they both seemed extremely happy with their travel and living situation.

There are many different types of opportunities to find on a cruise ship, including:

  • Daycare/childcare worker
  • Cleaning crew
  • Boat crew
  • Photography team
  • Salon/spa
  • Fitness center
  • Restaurant server or cook
  • Entertainment

Those are just a few of the jobs you can find on a cruise ship, and there are over 300 cruise ships in the world, and hundreds of workers on each cruise ship.

With a job on a cruise ship, you would live on the cruise ship and many of your expenses, such as room and board, may be paid for by the cruise ship company. You may also make a salary and tips.

 

5. WWOOFer

WWOOF stands for Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms, and it’s an organization that connects visitors with organic farms around the world.

WWOOF allows volunteers to choose an area and country to travel to and volunteer in at a farm. The stay can range from a few days to several months, depending on what is agreed upon.

In return for your food and provided accommodations, you may work 4-6 hours a day on the farm. 

This is one of the best travel jobs if you are looking for an affordable way to travel the world. You won’t make a full-time income, but it sounds like a fun way to visit new areas.

 

6. Freelancer writer

A freelance writer is something that you can work on from nearly anywhere. And, it’s one of the best online jobs because there is a growing number of freelance writing jobs.

A freelance writer is someone who writes for different companies, such as websites, magazines, books, and more. They don’t work for one specific company, instead, they work for themselves.

So, this means that you can have a flexible schedule and travel full-time.

My friend Holly has a successful freelance writing career and has earned over $200,000 each year writing online! 

Learn more about one of the highest paying travel jobs at How I Earn $200,000+ Writing Online Content.

 

7. Au pair

Au pairs are like nannies, but they go to live abroad with a family in a foreign country so they can learn the language, experience the culture, and travel. Au pairs don’t usually get paid a salary, but their host family pays for food and stay and gives the au pair some spending money.

Working as an au pair is one of the best travel jobs for anyone out of high school, in college, or younger adults who want to travel.

My sister was an au pair in Italy a few years ago. It was an interesting experience, and she had both positives and negatives from it.

In the blog post linked to below, she talks about:

  • How much an au pair can earn
  • The positives and negatives of being an au pair
  • Tips to find a host family to work for
  • Questions that you should ask the family before moving in with them

You can read more at How To Become An Au Pair And Travel The World.

 

8. Campground worker (workamper)

Campground workers or workampers are people who work at a campground in exchange for free stay and sometimes pay. There are many campgrounds across the country looking for workampers, and this can be one of the best travel jobs for people who like to camp.

You can find amazing campgrounds that are on the beach, in national parks, state parks, forests, and more. Pretty much any kind of campground can use workampers.

After RVing full-time for many years, I have met many happy workampers who enjoy their jobs. And, it’s something that I would definitely do myself!

After all, you get to stay for free, and many times you’re even paid to stay in some of the most beautiful places in the world. It’s a great way to make RVing work full-time.

As a work camper you may be:

  • Answering phones and making reservations in the campground office
  • Cleaning RV sites and bathrooms
  • Helping RVers learn their way around
  • Making food for visitors

As a workamper, the way you are paid can vary. Workampers can be paid with an RV site to stay in, at an hourly rate, or a mixture of the two.

Many times, campgrounds prefer a couple as well.

Related content: How To Make Money While RVing

 

9. Outdoor guide or instructor

If you’re the adventurous type, then becoming an outdoor guide or instructor is one of the best travel jobs available.

You will need some sort of skill level in order to safely do this, of course.

Outdoor guide or instructor jobs may include:

  • Hiking guide
  • Rock climbing guide
  • Scuba diving guide
  • Wilderness and survival guide
  • Kayaking/rafting guide
  • Fishing guide
  • Surfing instructor

As a guide or instructor, you may work for yourself, work for a park, a summer camp, or for another company.

 

10. Flight attendant

Many people desire to become flight attendants because of the travel opportunities that you are given.

There are strict requirements for becoming a flight attendant, but you may receive super discounted flights for you and companions. This can be a great way to travel while you’re working, and when you’re not on duty as a flight attendant, you can explore new places.

 

yacht crew travel jobs

yacht crew travel jobs

11. Yacht crew

Working as part of a yacht crew is a super interesting travel job. And, people are always looking for help on their boats, whether it’s a small 30 foot sailboat or if it’s a 200 foot mega yacht.

My husband has delivered two sailing catamarans for a total of around 4,000 miles (that doesn’t even include the amount of sailing he’s done on our boat), and we’ve both been offered crew jobs on several other occasions as well.

Being on a yacht crew doesn’t always pay (full-time jobs do pay well, though), but it does allow you to travel because that’s literally the job!

As yacht crew, you may be working as the:

  • Captain
  • Mechanic or engineer
  • Server
  • Chef
  • Cleaner
  • Crew

Now, working on a boat is not easy. It’s usually quite hard work, but it can be extremely rewarding and one of the best travel jobs if you’re interested in sailing.

To find travel jobs on a boat, a lot of it is about networking. Simply hanging around the docks may help you get some jobs, there are websites that you can join which connect crew to boats, and agencies that can help you find yacht jobs as well.

 

12. Photographer

We’ve met some amazing photographers ever since we started traveling, and I’ve always thought this would be one of the best travel jobs.

There are so many different kinds of photographers that make a living traveling the world. These include National Geographic photographers, people who travel around the world chasing crazy races and taking pictures of them, people publishing amazing photos on Instagram, and so on.

This is a very creative job that many people dream of.

 

13. Take surveys or take part in focus groups to make money traveling

Taking surveys definitely won’t be a full-time job, but it may help you make some extra money while traveling. It’s perfect if you’re looking for traveling jobs with no experience.

Some survey sites I recommend include:

  1. American Consumer Opinion
  2. Survey Junkie
  3. Swagbucks
  4. InboxDollars
  5. Branded Surveys
  6. Pinecone Research
  7. Prize Rebel
  8. Opinion Outpost
  9. User Interviews

With survey companies, it’s a good idea to sign up for as many as you can so that you can get the most surveys opportunities each month.

 

marine biologist travel jobs

marine biologist travel jobs

14. Marine biologist

Becoming a marine biologist was definitely something that I dreamt of as a kid. I can thank movies for that, haha.

Now, I live on a boat so I guess that’s the next best thing!

As a marine biologist, you may work for a university, the government, or a nonprofit organization that is focused on the water. You may work with wildlife, doing research, working as a naturalist, researcher, consultant, guide, or in some other role.

This travel job clearly requires more education and training than many of these other jobs, but if your dream is to travel and spend a lot of time near the ocean, this is something to work towards.

 

15. Proofreader

This is one of the best travel jobs because it allows you to travel full-time and be your own boss.

Proofreaders look for misspelled words, punctuation mistakes, and formatting errors, and they contract out their services to other business owners.

As a proofreader, you may be editing and proofreading articles, blogs, website copy, advertisements, emails, and so on.

You can learn more at How To Become A Proofreader And Work From Anywhere.

 

16. Travel nurse

Travel nurses are RNs (registered nurses) working short-term positions at healthcare facilities. Whenever there are nursing shortages, which happen often, travel nurses help healthcare facilities fill these roles.

I have had several friends become travel nurses, and I’ve also met a few travel nurses while traveling. Travel nurse jobs usually last around 3 months and can come with many benefits, and they also tend to pay quite well.

 

17. Write your own eBook

Writing your own book, whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, is a great way to make money and travel full-time.

My friend Alyssa self-published her first book and has sold more than 13,000 copies. Her book was all about RVing, and she earned over $6,500 in one month alone, all while traveling.

You can learn more about making money while traveling by writing your own eBook at How Alyssa is making $200 a DAY in book sales passively.

 

18. Find items to resell online

If you’re traveling full-time, then you may come across items to sell quite often because you are visiting so many different places. 

I’ve met people who travel the country in vans or RVs and pick up items as they travel. They sell their inventory online and ship items out from wherever they’re staying.

Etsy, eBay, Craigslist, and countless others are great places if you decide to sell items online.

You can learn more at How I Made $40,000 In One Year Flipping Items.

 

How can I make a career in traveling?

How can I make a career in traveling?

19. Work as a freelancer

Freelancers are people who work for others and businesses hire them for one-time gigs or long-term contracts.

Freelancing is a growing field because companies are hiring more freelancers instead of full-time workers because it’s more cost-effective for them. 

In addition to some of the freelance jobs I’ve already mentioned (writing and proofreading) there are many, many other freelancing gigs such as:

  • Bookkeeping
  • Graphic design
  • Web design and development
  • Video editing
  • Sound design
  • Programming

There are so many different types of services you can offer as freelance work. It makes this one of the best travel jobs for lots of different types of workers.

20. Sell printables on Etsy

This might surprise you, but you can travel while earning a living selling printables.

Printables are digital files that can be bought and sold nearly indefinitely, and because they are delivered online, you don’t have to ship anything or store physical products.

Some examples of printables you can sell while traveling are:

  • Grocery shopping checklists
  • Gift tags
  • Candy bar wrappers
  • Printable quotes for wall art
  • Holiday printables

You can learn more at How I Make Money Selling Printables On Etsy.

 

21. Teach English

Teaching English is a very popular travel job. Whether you’re teaching English online or if you find a school in a foreign country (such as China or South Korea), teaching English is one of the best travel jobs because it’s in-demand and can take you to so many different places.

In this section, I’m mainly going to talk about teaching English online, as that’s very popular these days.

You do not need to be a teacher to teach English online or speak another language, which is great. You only need to speak English.

Typically, you can earn around $14 to $22 per hour by teaching English online.

There are a couple of companies I recommend signing up for if you want to travel and make money as an online English teacher:

  1. VIPKID
  2. Education First

Learn more at Make Extra Money By Learning How To Teach English Online.

 

22. Amazon Camperforce

Amazon has a program where they hire RVers to work at their company “picking, packing, stowing, and receiving” packages. 

If you’re an RVer, Amazon’s CamperForce program is one of the best travel jobs because it’s pretty flexible and easy. They offer hourly pay, a completion bonus, referral bonuses, and paid campsites for those that join and complete their CamperForce program.

23. Ecommerce shop owner

There are so many different things you can sell online, everything from clothes, home decor, electronics, outdoor equipment, and much more. And unlike a brick-and-mortar business, ecommerce shop owners don’t necessarily need to store inventory or handle shipping.

If you’re unfamiliar with this idea, it works this way because of something called dropshipping. Your online store is the middleman between the wholesaler and customer.

That makes running an online store one of the many jobs that allow you to travel because you can manage your online store from your laptop.

Learn more about running an ecommerce store in How Jenn Makes over $10,000 A Month With Her Online Store In Less Than 10 Hours Per Week.

24. Peace Corps

Working for the Peace Corps as a volunteer could be one of the most life changing travel jobs. I’ve heard it is a very rewarding experience as you will travel to places you’ve never thought you’d visit while helping people along the way.

But, the Peace Corps isn’t for everyone. This is technically a volunteer position, and volunteers live with hosts in the community. You are paid a small monthly stipend that is enough to live on in a developing country. 

25. Virtual assistant 

Many individual and small business owners hire virtual assistants (VAs) to help with tasks that don’t need to be completed by the business owner. It’s a way for business owners to free up their time and focus on more important tasks

Virtual assistants work online doing things like billing, scheduling, basic website tasks, responding to customer requests, and more.

As long as you have an internet connection, you can work as a virtual assistant from anywhere in the world. 

You can learn more in How Kayla Earns $10K From Home As A Virtual Assistant.

What are the best travel jobs?

There are many different travel jobs that may interest you. It’s all about finding the one that you are passionate about, the one that pays the bills, one that fits your skill level, and so on.

There are pros and cons to each type of travel job, so there is no single solution — it’s all about finding what will fit you best.

As a recap, some of the best travel jobs talked about above include:

  • Remote jobs
  • Blogger
  • Park ranger
  • Cruise ship worker
  • WWOOFer
  • Freelancer writer
  • Au pair
  • Campground worker
  • Outdoor guide or instructor
  • Flight attendant
  • Yacht crew
  • Photographer
  • Take surveys or take part in focus groups
  • Marine biologist
  • Proofreader
  • Travel nurse
  • Write your own eBook
  • Find items to resell online
  • Freelancer jobs
  • Sell printables on Etsy
  • Teach English
  • Amazon Camperforce
  • Ecommerce shop owner
  • Peace Corps
  • Virtual assistant

Are you interested in finding travel jobs? What would your dream travel job be?

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Source: makingsenseofcents.com

Land a Job with These Must-Have Skills for Your Resume

It’s no secret: job hunting is a pain in the neck. Sending out resume after resume hoping an employer emails you back for an interview can get pretty tiresome after a while — especially if you’re really looking for that perfect dream job. 

There’s no surefire process to guarantee a job, but there are big steps that you can take to make your resume more appealing to potential employers. One way to do that is showcasing your skills. Skills are a great resume booster because they show potential employers exactly what you’re bringing to the table. Sure, education and past experience are important to include, but often, employers want a more direct description of your abilities before they seriously consider you for a job.

 In this post, we’ll walk you through what you should know about skills for resume building. Read through and apply these tips to your resume today to start seeing better results in the future. 

What are the best skills to put on a resume?

Good skills to put on a resume depend on your industry and personal expertise; there’s no one-size-fits-all set of skills that will work for everyone. However, there are some prominent skills that almost every employer will find appealing, including:

  • Clear, direct communication
  • Time management
  • Organization
  • Team leadership and collaboration 
  • Problem-solving
  • Basic computer literacy 

When listing skills, it’s a good idea to tie them back to some experience that you have. For instance, let’s say that in your current job, you collaborate with a team to produce a budget report every month. When you list your “Team leadership” as a skill, be sure to cite your budget meeting collaboration as an example. 

We’ll explain more about how to include and format skills in your resume further down. But first, there’s an important distinction that we should explain. 

The difference between hard skills and soft skills

You might have heard recruiters, HR reps, and other professionals mention hard skills and soft skills. It’s not a hard science, but this is how each one works. 

  • Hard skills: Industry-specific skills that often require school or training to achieve 
  • Soft skills: General skills that can be applied to a diverse range of work environments

It’s easier to understand the difference by considering a few examples. 

Hard skills: examples for your resume

As mentioned, hard skills are developed through training or in school, and usually apply to one or more specific industries. For example, here are a few hard skills for your resume that employers are often interested in:

  • Computer programming
  • Web design
  • Technical writing
  • Marketing copywriting
  • Applied math
  • Engineering
  • Heavy machinery operation
  • Research skills
  • Legal analysis
  • Medical diagnostics
  • Psychological counseling 
  • Electrician skills

Typically, hard skills are part of the hard requirements for a job. If you don’t have chemical engineering as one of your hard skills, you will likely not be hired for any job that requires it. To learn hard skills, it’s a good idea to attend a trade school, junior college, or four-year university and take the necessary classes. 

There may also be industry-led training programs that you can apply to, such as initiatives to train employees in programming and other skills for growing industries. If you need a certain set of hard skills to put on your resume in order to succeed in your favored industry, your first step should be to research how you can get those skills. 

Soft skills: examples for your resume

On the other hand, soft skills are more general. They can also be developed in a variety of places: in school, on the job, volunteering, and sometimes people are just born with them. Soft skills often involve working with others. A few examples of soft skills for your resume include:

  • Communication
  • Cooperation
  • Time management
  • Leadership
  • Empathy 
  • Active listening 
  • Public speaking
  • Problem-solving
  • Computer literacy 

Soft skills might not be strict requirements for many positions, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t important. In fact, because many applicants to a given position will likely already have the hard skills required to perform that job, soft skills can make a huge difference when it comes to setting you apart.

For instance, say you’re applying to that chemical engineering position mentioned before. Likely, most of the applicants will have a four-year degree or equivalent training, and will know the basics it takes to get the job done. However, you might be the only one with a proven track record of communicating and collaborating with a diverse team. Highlighting that skill can set you apart from the pack. 

How to match your skills to the job description

Something you may have read online or heard from professionals is that it’s smart to match your skills to the skills asked for in a job description. It’s pretty clear why you’d want to do this: potential employers are looking for someone with a certain set of skills, so you want to make it obvious to them that you have those skills. 

On top of that, some employers use algorithmic methods to sort out resumes because they get so many applicants. Using the skills mentioned in the job description increases the likelihood that the algorithm will serve your resume to the human hiring manager. 

Matching your skills to the job description is pretty simple. Take a look at your resume, then look at the skills the job description asks for. Let’s say that the job description asks for an “effective communicator,” and your resume skills section (more on that in just a sec) says “clear communicator.” These are pretty much the same thing; simply change the wording on your resume to match the wording from the job description. 

Where to include a skills section on your resume

We’ve mentioned a few times that it’s a good idea to have a skills section on your resume. These days, having a well laid-out, dynamic resume is important. A simple Word document printed in black and white Times New Roman may still be the standard for some industries, but in many fields, visually standing out is important. 

One way to do that is to have clearly labeled sections on your resume, sometimes graphically laid out in modular boxes that are fun and eye-catching. Whatever layout you choose, prominently identifying your skills is usually a good idea. In that section, simply list your skills. Some professionals also recommend giving clear examples of your skills in action. 

For instance:

  • Web design: Build company website from the ground up using HTML and CSS coding. 
  • Clear communicator: Worked collaboratively with a team of designers to improve software UI
  • Leadership: Stepped up and took the lead on a project when the manager had to step out. 

Using evidence to support your skills gives potential employers an idea of what they can expect from you — a critical leg up as they assess their many options. It’s also just part of having a strong, well-rounded resume

When it comes to placing the section for skills for your resume, there is some debate over where the best location might be. There are some options to choose from:

  • As the first item on the page: This bold move demonstrates your abilities immediately, before even getting into education or experience. This might work better for jobs that require a number of harder-to-find hard skills. 
  • Near the bottom: Some jobs might be pickier based on education or experience. If that’s the case, you’ll still want to include your skills, but foregrounding those other accomplishments might be the savvier move. 
  • MIxed in with experience: Some resumes pepper skills in with experience. List each job you’ve had, then under it, the specific skills (and accomplishments) that you attained there. 

Ultimately, the important thing is that you customize your resume to suit the job you’re applying to. Different industries, different employers, and even different individual hiring managers might all have their own preferences and standards. Doing your research to try to match your resume to those standards is your best bet when trying to stand out. 

  • Pro tip: if you’re headed to a career fair soon, don’t just stop at your resume. Check out our guide to questions to ask at a career fair so you show up informed and prepared.

Resume-boosting skills: the takeaways

Here’s what to remember as you start putting together your professional resume:

  • The best skills to put on your resume include both hard and soft skills. 
  • Hard skills for your resume usually require education or training, and include skills like:
    • Computer programming
    • Technical writing
    • Medical training
  • Soft skills are more general, can be learned from experience, and can be applied to many jobs. Good soft skills to put on your resume include:
    • Communication
    • Leadership
    • Computer literacy 
  • One way to help your resume stand out is to phrase your skills so that they match the job description. This lets employers know you’re paying attention, and will help keep you from being sorted out by a resume-sorting algorithm (if they use one). 
  • Different jobs and industries require different resume layouts. However, it’s usually a good idea to highlight your skills in their own section. 

Having a well-written resume can increase your earning potential, help you find better jobs, and even help with getting a promotion or salary increase. Try these tips out as you continue your job hunt — and good luck on the market!

Sources

Harvard Business Review | Indeed | Purdue OWL

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