We know that you know better than to go on political rants on Facebook, shame celebrities on Twitter, or post inappropriate photos on Instagram. But your social media accounts could definitely use some improvement. Are you showcasing your best well-rounded attributes? Are you showing your kindness and respect for your family and friends? Are you using correct grammar? These are just some of the checkpoints that will make your social media accounts more accurately and positively reflect who you are to a future employer. Because according to a Careerbuilder.com survey, 65% of employers check out your social media before hiring. Gulp. Don't worry, there's time to clean it up. Here's how.

1. Keep it positive.

Facebook and Twitter are great forums in which to complain. Whether you want to share a story of horrible luck, post a picture of the burrito you dropped on the floor at lunch, or other relevant daily woes, your friends may find it funny and commiserate, but your employers might think you're a capital "C" Complainer. Humor is great, but don't get carried away in sarcasm.

2. Do a grammar check.

Contrary to popular belief, grammar is not dead. Even when you post online in a rush, bad grammar is something that future employers can judge. Especially if your desired field involves a lot of writing…If you need a brush-up on your grammar (it's okay, we all forget whether punctuation goes inside or outside of quotation marks), this will help.

3. Be interesting.

Okay. So you went out to the ice cream shop and took a picture of your vanilla ice cream cone. Does this mean you're just vanilla? Well, no. But future employers want to know that you can be beyond vanilla. That means peppering your accounts with interesting articles that you've read (that you've actually read) and providing insightful (but not offensive) commentary. Liking pages that you're impressed by such as organizations, charities, publishers, news sources, artists and companies will help give your future employer the implication that you have interesting passions and are deeply engaged with the world.

4. Lead with your strengths.

While people often brag on their social media accounts, there's a way to show that you are a competent citizen without going overboard. It's okay to post about a prize you've won, or a fun day you've spent with your long-lost brother. If you say you like to cook, then your social media accounts better have images of tonight's 5-star dinner. Social media, while informal, gives people a chance to see you deliver the goods.

5. Show that you're part of a community.

Friends and family are a huge part of appearing likable on social media. If all of your pictures are selfies, that might not make the best impression. It's great to showcase pictures of you having fun with other people, enjoying family time, and getting out there in the real social world. Also, thanking people when it's your birthday and wishing them the same when the time comes, giving random compliments to others, and tagging friends shows that you are conscientious and thinking of someone else other than yourself.

Still feel like your accounts could use some sprucing up? Check out this list for more ideas on how to be a pro on social media.

PayPath
Follow Us on

Developing further skills can boost your career at any stage.

Whether you are looking for a new job or trying to grow in your current one, getting a certification can be a great way to improve your skills.

Anyone can put that they are proficient in a computer program on their resume but having a certificate can help you stand out amongst the competition and give credence to the strength of your skills.

But what's the best way to invest in yourself without breaking the bank? Some certification programs can cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars. We are going to walk through six of the best certifications you can get for $100 or less.

Tableau

Tableau's data visualization capabilities are comparable to Domo and Power BI.

Who is it best for: Those who work with analyzing and presenting data.

Cost: $100 for Tableau Desktop Specialist; additional certifications are available for a larger fee.

More companies than ever see themselves as data companies. Being able to understand data and use it to guide decisions at your company is often critical to taking on a leadership role. Not to mention, being able to present the data in a clean, attractive, and compelling way can help get buy-in from others in your organization or clients. That's why Tableau is a great tool to have in your toolbox.

Tableau allows you to create interactive visual analytics dashboards. In layman's terms, you can take data; create graphs, maps, or charts; and then allow end-users to interact with these graphics to better understand the information. It's a fantastic tool allowing non-technical users to gain insights for data-driven decision-making.

Tableau Desktop Specialist certification starts at $100 and has no expiration date. There are many videos on Tableau's site to prepare for your exam as well as Tableau Starter Kits allowing you to play around and learn the different capabilities of the program. Tableau offers a 14-day free trial as well as free license for one year for students.

Additional certifications after Desktop Specialist are Desktop Associate and Desktop Professional. Those working with a Tableau server may also be interested in a separate certification as a Server Associate or Server Professional.

The Federal Reserve sets the guardrails for the federal funds rate, and through that helps control the money supply for the nation.

When you take out a loan for a car, charge something to your credit card, or get a personal line of credit, there is going to be an interest rate that applies to your loan.

A lot of different factors go into what you will be charged, including your own personal credit score. But even those with flawless credit still see a minimum charge that they can't get around. That all goes back to the Federal Funds Rate.

One thing consumers rarely realize is that all of our banks are lending money to each other every night. Banks are legally required to maintain a certain percentage of their deposits in non-interest-bearing accounts at the Federal Reserve to ensure they have enough money to cover any withdrawals that may unexpectedly come up. However, deposits can fluctuate and it's very common for some banks to exceed the requirement on certain days while some fall short. In cases like this, banks actually lend each other money to ensure they meet the minimum balance. It's a bit hard to imagine these multibillion-dollar financial institutions needing to borrow money to tide them over for a bit, but it happens every single night at the Federal Reserve. It's also a nice deal for those with balances above the reserve balance requirement to earn a bit of money with cash that would normally just be sitting there.

The Federal Reserve The Federal Reserve


The exact interest rate the banks will charge each other is a matter of negotiation between them, but the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) (the arm of the Federal Reserve that sets monetary policy) meets eight times a year to set a target rate. They evaluate a multitude of economic indicators including unemployment, inflation, and consumer confidence to decide the best rate to keep the country in business. The weighted average of all interest rates across these interbank loans is the effective federal funds rate.

This rate has a huge impact on the economy overall as well as your personal finances. The federal funds rate is essentially the cheapest money available to a bank and that feeds into all of the other loans they make. Banks will add a slight upcharge to the rate set by the Fed to determine what is the lowest interest that they will announce for their most creditworthy customers, also known as the prime rate. If you have a variable interest rate loan (very common with credit cards and some student loans), it's likely that the interest rate you pay is a set percentage on top of that prime rate that your lender is paying. That's why in times of low interest rates (it was set at 0% during the Great Recession), a lot of borrowers should go for fixed interest rate loans that won't increase. However, if the federal funds rate was relatively high (it went up to 20% in the early 1980's), a variable interest rate loan may be a better decision as you would be charged less interest should the rate drop without the need to refinance.

The federal funds rate also has a major impact on your investment portfolio. The stock market reacts very strongly to any changes in interest rates from the Federal Reserve, as a lower rate makes it cheaper for companies to borrow and reinvest while a higher rate may restrict capital and slow short-term growth. If you have a significant portion of your investments in equities, a small change in the federal funds rate can have a large impact on your net worth.

Getty Images/Maria Stavreva

Whether you're leaving a job involuntarily, departing for something new, or just want to prepare for the unknown, it is smart to understand all your options regarding your 401k.

Keep reading Show less