LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION: Where you live can have a big impact on how much you make.
A new survey by human relations consulting firm William M. Mercer, Incorporated, found salaries in cities on the East and West coasts tend to be at or above the national average, while Midwest and Southern cities generally fall at or below average.
For instance, a salary that averages $60,000 nationally would be worth 17.4 percent more in San Jose, Calif., ($70,440); whereas Brownsville, Texas workers would receive 16.1 percent less ($50,340).
The survey, which studied more than 200 U.S. cities, found the higher a salary is, the less likely it is to be influenced by locale. A $60,000 salary would average 12 percent more in Los Angeles ($67,200), while a $90,000 income would only rise 8.1 percent to $97,290.
BE CAREFUL WHOSE NAME YOU GIVE: Reference checks can make or break your career, according to OfficeTeam, a staffing service specializing in administrative professionals.
''Despite the candidate-friendly nature of the marketplace, the quality of an applicant's references still plays a key role in the final outcome,'' said Diane Domeyer, executive director of OfficeTeam.
Domeyer suggests you don't leave your references to chance by always asking permission before listing someone as a reliable source. She also suggests you list people who can elaborate about your performance and back key resume points.
UP, UP AND AWAY: Internet usage by travelers is taking off!
A new report by the Travel Industry Association of America found that the number of people planning their trips online grew to 52.2 million last year, an increase of 54 percent from 1998.
But most people look, and don't book over the Internet. Among those who planned a trip online, only 32 percent, actually made a reservation or paid for a plane ticket, hotel room, rental car or package tour. Still the 16.5 million people who booked online was an increase from 6.7 million in 1998.
Those who didn't book online cited security and customer service as their primary concerns.
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