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5 Mistakes New Grads Make When Searching for Jobs

April 17th, 2018

You graduated. Congratulations! As one of the leading employment firms in Spokane, WA, Provisional knows that now comes the hard part: finding your first job. While the thought of entering the workforce for the first time can be overwhelming, there are steps you can take to make the process a little easier. At the same time, there are also mistakes you could make that can sabotage your efforts. To ensure that doesn’t happen to you, here’s a look at a few of them:

#1: Taking the summer off.

You might want to take time off after graduation to relax. But if you do, you could miss out on a potentially great-fit opportunity. It might be a few weeks until you graduate. But don’t let that stop you from starting your search. It’s going to take some time to create a polished resume and find opportunities that seem like the right fit for you.

#2: Sending in a confusing or long-winded resume.

Your resume needs to be sharp and clear. It should also be tailored for every position you apply to. If, however, yours is complicated, hard-to-read, or doesn’t come across as organized and well-structured, it’s not going to be effective.

#3: Only searching online.

Online job boards are a good place to start, but they shouldn’t be your only source for job leads. After all, it’s easy for everyone to find out about jobs online, which means hiring managers and recruiters receive tons of applications from candidates. That’s why it’s important to take advantage of other avenues of finding a job, such as resources your college offers, by networking in person and online, and by working with a professional employment firm in Spokane, like Provisional.

#4: Applying for jobs you’re not qualified for.

When you come across what sounds like a dream job, you might be tempted to apply, even if it’s totally out of reach. For instance, it requires five or more years of experience and you have none. If you do apply, though, you likely won’t hear back, which can impact your confidence level. Instead, it’s always best to invest your efforts into applying for positions you are qualified for and have a chance at securing.

#5: Being unprepared or late for interviews.

Getting an interview is an important step in your job search process; make sure you treat it like one by taking it seriously, preparing thoroughly, and acting professionally. If you show up late, unprepared or dressed in inappropriate attire, you’ll only sabotage your efforts in landing the job.

To avoid this, dig deep into the company background and learn all you can through their website, social media accounts and news articles. Also, make sure you dress in professional attire and give yourself plenty of time to get to the interview location. These are seemingly small details that can impact your ability to secure the first job you want.

Clearly, there’s a lot that goes into finding your first job. If you’d like professional help with the process, call in the experts at Provisional. As one of the leading employment firms in Spokane, WA, we can help you with every step of the job search process, from resume and cover letter writing to finding job leads and getting interviews. Contact us today if you’re ready to get started.

What to Do Before Your Next Big Phone Interview

March 6th, 2018

As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, Provisional knows that in today’s world, most employers conduct phone interviews before in-person ones. During them, you don’t have to worry too much about your handshake and whether you make enough eye contact. But, there is still plenty of work that needs to go into each one. So what should you do ahead of your phone interview to help you ace it? Here are some tips to help you:

Learn all you can about the company.

Read through the company website. Conduct research online. Look for news articles and information about the organization in the local media. This will help you to learn as much as possible about the company, their core offerings, and the people they serve. Not only will you be able to answer questions more intelligently as a result, but it will also enable you to make a more lasting impression on the hiring manager.

Evaluate the job description.

Once you get to know all you can about the company, it’s time to dig into the details of their needs for the position they’ve posted. So read through the job description several times. Make a note of the strengths, skills and requirements that seem most important for the job. Then align your background and skill set with them, so you can talk about what makes you the best fit for the job during the phone interview. Be ready with specific examples of accomplishments that tout your abilities.

Take notes.

The beauty of phone interviews is that the hiring manager can’t see you. So you can jot down notes about your career achievements and highlights that are most important to discuss, then keep them by your side during the interview. Don’t follow it as you would a script. Simply use it to prompt your memory so you don’t forget to mention any pertinent details.

Prepare your space.

Before your interview, make sure you have a space prepared with a notebook and pen so you can write down important information during the interview, or a question that you need to circle back to. Also, keep a glass of water handy, since you’ll be doing a lot of talking. Finally, even though the hiring manager can’t see you, be mindful of your body language. Sit up, smile and remember to breathe. When you do, you’ll make a far better impression and hopefully get a call back for another interview.

Need more help finding your next great job in Spokane, WA?

Call Provisional. As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, we can help you with every aspect of your search, from interviews to finding great-fit opportunities. In fact, we’ve placed more than 8,000 direct hire employees with leading local employers since 1994. Contact us today if you’re ready to learn more.

Why is a Cover Letter Important?

February 20th, 2018

You know that your resume is vitally important to the job search process. But did you also know that your cover letter is important too? As one of the leading employment firms in Spokane, WA, Provisional knows that for many candidates, though, it’s an afterthought. They focus all of their efforts on their resume and give minimal attention to the cover letter that accompanies it.

However, in many cases, hiring managers put a lot of weight on a cover letter for a few different reasons:

  • It’s hard to get a sense of the person behind the resume. But a cover letter gives more insight into a candidate’s personality.
  • It gives each candidate an opportunity to set themselves apart by explaining why they want work at a particular company or why they think they’d be a good fit for a position.
  • It also enables a hiring manager to tell whether a particular candidate did their homework. They want to know, for instance, that you have a solid overview of the company and what the needs are for the position.

So now that you know why a cover letter is so important, what can you do to ensure you make the best impression possible with yours? Here are a few tips to help you:

  • Do some research. Get to know the employer and as much as you can about the position they’re hiring for. That way, you’ll be able to write more intelligently about why you’re a good fit in your cover letter.
  • Think about why you want to work there. One great way to stand out with your cover letter is to tell a story. You can do that by talking about the company and why you want to work there. Get into specific details about what in your background would make you a fit for the position and the company.
  • Talk about the value you can offer. Hiring managers want to know what’s in it for them. In other words, what can you offer to a potential employer and why should they hire you over another candidate. So connect the dots for them. Play up your skills and experience that are most relevant to the position and the employer, and how those will enable you to hit the ground running in the job.

Need more help with your cover letter or resume?

Call the experts at Provisional. As one of the leading employment firms in Spokane, WA, we can work directly with you to craft a great resume, prepare you for job interviews, and match you with opportunities that are a great fit for your background, skills, personality and career goals.

Contact us today if you’re ready to get started.

What Recruiters Look for on Your Social Media Accounts

February 6th, 2018

As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, Provisional knows that when it comes to hiring, recruiters have a variety of different ways they vet candidates. In today’s world, one of those is by searching social media accounts. This helps them to gain more insight into each candidate so they can make a more confident hiring decision. And in fact, according to a Jobvite survey, 55% of recruiters reconsidered a decision based on a candidate’s social media profiles.

So what do recruiters look for? Here’s some insight:

Your images.

As the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” And that’s true even on social media. When a recruiter gets to your profile page, that’s one of the first elements they’re going to be looking at, and they can either deter or impress them. Make sure you do the latter with a professional headshot that paints you in a positive light. Also, avoid posting any inappropriate photos, even if it’s on personal profiles.

Your connections.

Recruiters are also interested in who you know. If you share a mutual connection, it can certainly make an impression on them. Likewise, if you’re connected with many highly reputable professionals in your field, it will also stand out to a hiring manager. On the flip side, if you only have a couple of connections, it will be a red flag to potential employers. So aim to expand your network.

Your personality.

During an interview and in the application process, most candidates come off as completely professional and polished. But a look at social media profiles can give recruiters some insight into what’s really behind the candidate mask. When it comes to your profile, it should certainly be infused with your own unique personality; however, it should also always be professional and respectful toward others.

Beyond the areas above, recruiters also look for any warning signs in your background that could signal a potential hiring mistake. Some of these include:

  • Inappropriate images, including those with drugs and alcohol
  • Profanity
  • Poor grammar and spelling
  • Making sexual references

When it comes to posting on social media, the best rule of thumb to follow is that if you’d be embarrassed for your family to see it, then don’t post it. Chances are, you wouldn’t want a recruiter to see it either.

If you’d like more expert tips and advice with your job search, contact Provisional. As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, we can help you craft a great resume, polish your interviewing skills, and land the job you want! Contact us today if you’re ready to learn more.

5 Signs Your Resume Needs Work

January 16th, 2018

Looking for a new job? As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, Provisional knows you need a resume that’s going to position your background in the best light possible. If yours doesn’t, then you’re not going to get called in for an interview. How can you tell? Look for these signs that your resume needs work:

#1: You’re applying for jobs you’re qualified for…but aren’t hearing back.

You have the skills and experience to do all the jobs you’re applying for. But your resume seems to have entered a resume black hole. Sound familiar? If it does, then the problem isn’t your background, but how you’re representing it on your resume. So, take another look at it before sending it out again and make sure you are highlighting your strengths, following directions and job postings, and formatting the document properly.

#2: It’s more than three pages.

When it comes to your resume, stick to two pages or less. If you’re a brand new graduate or have limited work experience, it should be a page. Anything more than that is overkill, especially when you consider the fact that hiring managers only spend a few minutes reviewing resumes. So if your resume goes beyond a page or two, it’s time to revisit it and pare it down.

#3: You’re sending the same resume to every employer.

At its core, the resume you send to each employer is likely the same or similar. However, you should still be customizing it for each unique position you’re applying to. That means reviewing the job posting ahead of time and making sure your approach and the language you use best aligns with the particular position you are applying to.

#4: You only spent a few minutes creating a resume.

Your resume is your ticket into the interview process. It needs to be well thought out, as well as polished and professional. If it’s not, then that’s going to come through loud and clear to a hiring manager. So before you start sending out more resumes, take a step back and evaluate yours. Then invest the time needed to make it as strong as possible.

#5: You don’t think your resume really represents you well.

Resumes are hard to write. However, it’s vitally important to ensure the document you send to potential employers highlights your skills and abilities, and persuades them to call you for an interview. So if you don’t think your resume does a good job of representing you and the results you’re able to deliver, then it’s time to rework it.

Do you need more help creating a resume that gets better results?

Call the experts at Provisional. As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, we can help you with every aspect of your search, including crafting and polishing your resume for better results. Contact us today if you’re ready to learn more.

8 Tips for Getting Your Resume Ready for Your 2018 Job Search

January 2nd, 2018

Looking for new jobs in Spokane, WA in the New Year? Before you launch your search, you need to ensure your resume is ready for employers and recruiters alike. Here are some tips for helping you get there:

Tip #1: Use the right format.

When you send in your resume, a hiring manager expects it to be formatted in a certain way. This not only makes it easier for them to read through, but also helps you appear more professional. So be sure you include your name and contact information at the top; a summary of qualifications below; then list your work history in chronological order, using bolded type and bullet points to highlight your roles and responsibilities. After that, discuss your education, volunteer experience and any other pertinent skills.

Tip #2: Avoid unnecessary information.

For instance, unless you’re an entry level candidate, don’t include an objective statement at the top of your resume. These are no longer needed and will make you look dated. Also, skip the line that says “references are available upon request.” Hiring managers know this and it simply takes up valuable space on your resume. Finally, don’t include personal details that aren’t important for the position, such as hobbies, or whether you’re married and have kids.

Tip #3: Focus on accomplishments.

When you’re discussing your work history, don’t only talk about your tasks and responsibilities. Make sure you quantify them and point out the positive impact they’ve made at past employers. Also, get as specific as possible; vague generalities won’t land you an interview.

Tip #4: Customize your resume.

Don’t send in the same resume to every employer you apply to. Instead, tailor it for each opportunity. That will mean you’ll need to rework some of the wording, as well as the order you list your accomplishments, tasks and responsibilities in, always with the most relevant information first.

Tip #5: Be careful with your verbiage.

For instance, limit the adjectives, hyperbole and fluff, such as “motivated team player,” and “results oriented problem solver.” Hiring managers will simply skip over it, and you’re wasting valuable space on information that won’t get you noticed.

Tip #6: Be concise.

You don’t need to include every past job you’ve held from high school on. Instead, focus on the past 10 years of experience and those positions that are most relevant. In addition, limit your resume to two pages or less. Anything more than that won’t get read.

Tip #7: Incorporate keywords.

In today’s world, applicant tracking systems filter out resumes that aren’t the right fit. That’s why you need to take keywords into account when crafting your resume. Review the job posting and incorporate a few keywords from it throughout your resume. That way, your resume will have a better chance of getting through the system and getting into the hands of a hiring manager.

Tip #8: Proofread.

Before you send in a resume, make sure you proofread it multiple times. Even better, ask a friend or loved one to proofread it for you. That way, you can rest easy it’s error-free before submitting it.

Interested in professional help finding a new job in the Spokane area?

Call in the experts at Provisional. Since 1994, we’ve been matching qualified individuals with terrific new jobs in Spokane, WA – and we can help you too. Contact us today to learn more.

How Important Is Having a Really Good Resume?

December 19th, 2017

In today’s technologically advanced world, do you still really need a resume? The short answer is: yes. Despite online portfolios and LinkedIn profiles, the old tried-and-true resume is still used by hiring managers across the country and your best bet for getting your foot in the door for an interview. Here’s why:

It gives hiring managers a quick glimpse into your background.

As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, Provisional knows that hiring managers need to know that those they’re bringing in for an interview are qualified for the job. A resume is the best way to do that. It gives them a good indication of whether you have the skills and abilities to properly perform the work. That’s why, when you’re creating a resume, it’s so important to customize it to each position you’re applying to. That way, managers will get a better sense of why you’re a good fit for their job.

It shows how well you are at communicating via the written word.

You can have all the experience in the world. But if your resume is a complicated mess, then it’s not going to make a good impression on hiring managers. Even if you’re not applying for a position that requires strong writing skills, it’s important to make sure your resume is professional and clearly communicates your strengths and attributes.

It demonstrates whether you’re detail oriented or not.

When it comes to your resume, proper spelling and a document free from errors is vitally important if you want to get a call for an interview. That’s why, before you submit your resume, you should ask a family member or friend to proofread it and ensure it doesn’t contain any mistakes.

It helps you stand out.

How are you going to stand out among the 200 other applicants who are looking to secure the same job you are? The answer: with your resume. Your resume is like a marketing document you need to be using to explain why a hiring manager should hire you. It’s your chance to put your best foot forward, get noticed and get a call for any interview.

At the end of the day, your resume reflects who you are as a job candidate. If you put together a polished and powerful one, your chances of a successful job search are far greater.

Do you need professional help with your resume or your job search?

Call in the experts at Provisional. As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, we can help you with every aspect of your search, from resumes and interviews to connecting you with top opportunities. In fact, we’ve placed more than 8,000 direct hire employees with leading local employers since 1994. Contact us today if you’re ready to learn more.

5 Tips for Preparing for Your Performance Review

December 5th, 2017

As one of the leading employment firms in Spokane, WA, Provisional knows that the end of the year is a busy time. From wrapping up work projects to the hustle and bustle that come with the holidays, you’re stretched thin. On top of that, you have a performance review to get through. How can you prepare and actually make the most of the conversation? With these tips:

Tip #1: Take inventory.

When you walk into your next performance review, you want to be prepared. That means taking stock of your past performance over the year so you can bring up career highs and lows with your boss. For instance, plan to discuss your achievements, new skills you acquired, and responsibilities you took on, as well as any challenges you faced throughout the year.

Tip #2: Set goals.

In other words, what do you want to get out of your performance review? Are you simply looking for feedback from your boss? Do you want to get promoted? Are you having a hard time meeting expectations and need some guidance? Whatever the case is for you, it’s important to define what you want to get out of the review so you can get the most from it.

Tip #3: Know your numbers.

Another important area to focus on during your performance review involves salary and compensation. If you’re looking for a raise from your boss, then you need to prove your worth. That means knowing how much you make versus how much others in similar positions make. If there’s a big disparity, you’ll need these numbers to back you up in your case for a raise.

Tip #4: Practice your performance.

If you’re asking for a raise or a promotion, then practice what you plan to say. You don’t need to rehearse it to the point where you’re reciting a script verbatim. However, if you want to make the successful argument for yourself, then you need to be persuasive – and you don’t want nerves to get in the way. That’s why it’s important to practice ahead of time.

Tip #5: Dress to impress.

Your boss might see you every day in jeans and sneakers. But if you want to make the best impression possible – and set the tone for the review – take your wardrobe up a notch. If you don’t work in a more formal environment, a suit and tie might be overkill. However, do make sure you look polished, neat and professional when you walk into your boss’s office.

Ready to deliver a great performance – just in another job?

Call the job search experts at Provisional. As one of the leading employment firms in Spokane, WA, we can help you with every step of the job search process, from resume and cover letter writing to job leads and interviews. Contact us today if you’re ready to get started.

Why Keep Up Your Job Search During the Holidays

November 14th, 2017

Looking for new jobs in Spokane, WA? You might be tempted to call it quits over the holidays. But did you know that’s actually a prime time to continue on with your search? Here’s why:

Employers are hiring.

You might want to take time off during the holidays. But companies don’t close up shop. Not only that, but if their fiscal year starts at the beginning of next year – and they have a budget for new hires – they could be hiring in a hurry. That means you might miss out on the perfect opportunity if you take a break from your search.

Fewer candidates are looking.

Employers are hiring, but less candidates are looking because they’re taking time off for the holidays. And fewer candidates means reduced competition for you, increasing your odds of landing the Spokane job you want.

It offers plenty of networking opportunities.

From holiday parties to New Year’s celebrations, opportunities to network abound during this time of the year. You should even consider creating a business card with your name and contact information, which you can readily hand out to new contacts.

You can reconnect with old contacts.

Besides meeting new people, the holidays provide a great time to reconnect and catch up with old friends and colleagues. When you do, you can ask about potential jobs in Spokane, WA they might know about, or to simply keep you in mind if they hear of any openings.

You can keep up momentum.

Stopping your job search for a few weeks during the holidays is going to kill the momentum you’ve built up. Come January it will be harder to pick back up. Instead, when you keep up your search, you can stay on track and hopefully find a new job – faster.

In business, January is a big month for hiring. But it didn’t all start then. Interviews, screening and job offers were likely made back in December – which is why you should keep up your search.

Need more help with your job search in the coming months?

Call the team at Provisional. Since 1994, we’ve been matching qualified individuals with terrific new jobs in Spokane, WA – and we can help you too. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.

How to Plan Ahead for Your Next Big Interview & Cut Your Stress Levels

October 24th, 2017

Even when you’re a confident and experienced job candidate, a big interview can be nerve-wracking. But as one of the leading employment agencies in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, we know the more you plan ahead, the less you’ll have to worry about the day of the interview. To help you in the process, here are some steps to ease your worries and reduce your stress levels:

Know what you’re going to wear in advance.

This might seem like the least of your concerns. But the hiring manager will form an instant impression of you based on what you’re wearing. So in reality, this is a critical decision. You don’t want the outfit you have on to detract in any way from your chances of getting the job. So pick out what you’re going to wear well in advance, try it on to ensure it still fits you, then make sure it’s dry cleaned or pressed. Don’t forget to polish your shoes either.

Do a test run.

Before your interview, take a test drive out to the location to make sure you know where you’re going and there isn’t any construction or other issues that could slow you down. If you can, do it right around the time you’d be driving to your interview so you can assess what traffic is like at that point during the day.

Fill up your gas tank.

You don’t want to hop into your car the morning of the interview only to realize you have to stop for gas first. Instead, make sure you have a full tank the night before, so it’s one less thing you have to worry about the day of your interview.

Make a list the night before.

You’ll want to bring a copy of your resume, your phone and phone charger, breath mints, an extra pair of panty hose (for women wearing skirts, in case you get a snag) and directions to the interview location. But in your rush to get out the door the morning of the interview, it can be easy to forget these items. That’s why it’s best to make a thorough list when you have time the night before and then check it off in the morning before you leave the house.

Go to bed early and set two alarms.

No matter what time of day your interview is, it’s important to go to bed at a decent hour and get a good night’s sleep. If you don’t, it can impact your ability to think clearly and best answer the hiring manager’s questions. Also, if you have an interview scheduled for first thing in the morning, set two alarms, just in case.

Interviews are stressful experiences for everyone. So if you have a severe case of the nerves, you’re certainly not alone. But follow the tips above and you’ll be more prepared and more confident as you walk into your next interview.

Do you need professional help finding potential jobs and getting interviews?

Provisional can help. As one of the leading employment agencies in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, we’ll work with you to get to know your skills, background, and personality. We’ll then connect you with some of the top employers in and around the area. Search our Coeur d’Alene jobs now or contact us today.

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