Orange You Glad O's Opening Day Is Just around the Corner?

by Stacy Tharp 27. March 2014

Have you found yourself dreaming about the smell of Esskay hot dogs, the crunch of empty peanut shells beneath your feet, the perfect balance of a cold beer on a hot day, the eruption of cheers surrounding you? If you have experienced these symptoms, then you, my friend, have a bad case of Orioles Fever. Yes, it is contagious, and it has been spreading like wildfire over these past couple weeks.

Before you find yourself getting into trouble at work trying to start the wave in Conference Room B, we have just the place for you to channel your O's energy!

Join us TOMORROW in celebrating the start to the O’s season with WBAL Radio. They’ll be bringing their “Orange You Glad It’s Friday” caravan to our Canton Tower location (3301 Boston St, Baltimore, MD) on Friday, March 28th from 9:30 – 10:00 a.m.

What can you expect at the Orange You Glad It's Friday party?

  • Get your car decked out with the Orioles/WBAL car stencil
  • Pick up a pair of orange and black sunglasses
  • Get in on the chance to win Orioles game tickets

We're on the edge of our seats with excitement for Opening Day - the official start to summer in Baltimore (says me, that's who). We look forward to seeing YOU tomorrow! Go O's!

5 Actions that Help Your Credit Score

by Sara Seeger 20. March 2014

Credit Report

A credit score is a three digit number, usually ranging from 300 to 850; the higher the score, the better the credit risk, and by having a better credit risk you could be offered more attractive interest rates on loans. The three main credit bureaus used to evaluate credit worthiness are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Each of these credit bureaus has a slightly different credit range they use when making decisions. If your credit is run and found to be not at the level you expect, don’t fret! While blemished credit can be both stressful and costly, it won’t last forever. No matter how hopeless a situation might seem there are actions you can take immediately to move your credit score in the right direction.

1. Pay Your Bills on Time

One of the best ways to improve your credit score is to pay all of your bills on time. A person’s payment history affects 35 percent of their total credit score. It is imperative to pay at least the minimum balance before it is due. Delinquent payments, even only a few days late, can negatively impact your credit score.

2. Check Your Credit Report Annually

Mistakes can happen. In fact, one-fourth of credit reports contain a serious error, which can affect a credit score. Check your credit report annually. The three major credit bureaus offer a free credit report check once a year. This review will allow you to see any discrepancies or mistakes, and fix them immediately.

3. Develop a Credit History

For newly obtained credit, it is important to not only develop a credit history, but develop a positive and active credit history. Open a credit card account and pay it off responsibly. A great way to do this is to open a credit card, charge a low amount to it per month (anywhere from 20-50 dollars), and pay it off every month. This action creates a successful payment and credit history.

4. Keep Your Credit Card Balance Low

Even if your credit card maximum limit is $2,000 dollars, do not max out that limit. Carrying the maximum balance will actually hurt your credit score. A good rule of thumb is to keep your debt to 30 percent or less of your credit limit. For example, if your credit card limit is $2,000, do not exceed $600 of debt.

5. Establish Different Types of Debt

If you are financially able to obtain different types of debt, it would be beneficial to do so. Lenders like to see that you can manage diverse types of debt. A mix of major credit card loans, car loans, or home loans is healthy for a well-managed credit portfolio.

If you found this article useful, be sure to check out these related articles:

Five Ways to Reduce Your Credit Card Debt

Establishing Credit for Beginners

Credit Scores: GPAs for Adults

How to Use LinkedIn to Further Your Career

by Sara Seeger 18. March 2014

LinkedIn Networking

If you haven’t jumped on the social media bandwagon, I would suggest you do so, immediately. In today’s personal and professional world, social media is more than just updating others of your activities, your family, your whereabouts, or your social status. It is about connecting, interacting, and sharing with others. Humans are social creatures and we choose to interact more frequently with each other through social networking websites. While Facebook and Twitter dominate the social and personal connection, LinkedIn has emerged as a go-to site for job and career conversations. It is a great tool to interact with current co-workers and offers an additional benefit of being an interactive resume, which connects you with recruiters and potential future employers. Listed below are a few tips to improve your LinkedIn profile and potentially enhance your career.

1. Effectively Decorated Resume

LinkedIn states that your profile is 40 times more likely to be seen if you have a 100% complete profile. A complete profile includes listing your current and previous positions, listing education information, including a profile photo, utilizing the profile summary and specialties sections, and having at least three recommendations from your connections. Whew, that may seem like a lot of work, but in the long run, the name of the game is visibility. Ensure your LinkedIn profile is as complete as possible and optimize it by using key words throughout your descriptions so that your information becomes more recognizable and searchable. Oh, and most importantly, remember to be truthful.

2. Connect, Connect, Connect

Co-workers- check! Contacts from undergrad- check! Vendors- check! Connect with other LinkedIn members to build your network. Remember, the more connections you have, the more opportunities you have to be noticed. However, getting your information out to the masses is a strategy that requires you to think quality over quantity. Manage your tendency to connect with people you don't know. It is not about gaining the most connections; it’s about connecting with people who can help you accomplish your objective.

3. Be Interactive

The best way to reach more people on LinkedIn is to interact. Join groups that interest you, share article and blog posts, and comment on and “like” articles your connections share. These actions allow your profile to be more visible, while also establishing yourself in your profession or industry.

4. Build Your Resume

Think of your connections as recommendations. To a potential employer, a LinkedIn recommendation is a reference in advance. Ask your supervisors, co-workers, professors, etc. for professional recommendations. Although recommendations don’t take the place of reference letters or calls, they effectively decorate your LinkedIn profile which may increase the chance of it being visible to potential employers.

If you found this article useful, be sure to check out these related articles:

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