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5 Tips for Job Interview Etiquette

June 13th, 2017

You can have all the experience in the world. But, as one of the leading employment firms in Spokane, WA, Provisional knows if you don’t follow proper job search etiquette, then you’re not going to land the job you want. So what are some basics to keep in mind as you start interviewing? Here’s a look at 5 of them:

#1: Dress the part.

Don’t show up to a formal interview in business casual attire, or worse. If you want to be taken seriously, then you need to dress the part. And that still means a suit. Keep in mind too, it’s better to overdress than to underdress. So choose a dark, solid color suit, a pressed shirt, polished shoes, and simple, manicured hair and nails.

#2: Show up on time.

Nothing ruins your chances of an offer quite like showing up 10 minutes late to an interview. It shows a lack of care and preparation. The interviewer will wonder whether you really want to the job and if you make being late a habit. It’s not a good foot to get started on. That’s why you should leave early enough to get to the interview location a few minutes ahead of schedule.

#3: Be polite.

From the secretary to the CEO, be polite to everyone you meet during an interview. Many companies will ask everyone who came into contact with candidates about first impressions. So if you’re rude to the receptionist, but go out of your way to make small talk with an executive, it won’t reflect well on you. Keep in mind, during an interview, everyone’s watching.

Also, when you’re interviewing, be sure to address everyone by name, make eye contact, smile, and offer a firm handshake at the beginning and end of the interview.

#4: Follow up with a thank you note.

Send either a handwritten or emailed thank you note to those you interviewed with to solidify the positive impression you made. Keep it short and simple, offering your thanks for their time and reiterating why you’re a good fit for the job.

#5: Don’t be pushy.

That said, don’t be pushy and start following up every day with phone calls and emails. If the interviewer said you’d hear from them by Monday and it’s now Wednesday, it’s ok to follow up. But other than that, don’t get aggressive with your follow up unless you want to annoy the interviewer and get passed over for the job.

Need more help finding out about job leads or nailing your next interview?

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.

6 Advantages of Temporary Work

May 16th, 2017

Struggling to find a new job? Don’t want to tie yourself down to one industry yet? Temporary work may be the answer. Here are 6 advantages you can gain from it:

#1: You can try out jobs before committing.

Temporary work gives you a great opportunity to try out different positions, fields, and types of companies on a temporary basis. As a result, you can get a better sense of which jobs and employers really resonate with you – and pursue full-time opportunities with those. Also, if you’re working in an assignment you love and a full-time job opens up, you’ll already know you’re a good fit for it.

#2: You can build up your experience.

Is your resume a little light? Are you returning back to the workforce after years away? Temporary jobs in Spokane provide an ideal way to beef up your resume. Not only can you enhance your existing skills, but you can also gain new ones in the process. As a result, when you do go to apply to full-time jobs, you’ll have a far more impressive background to promote.

#3: It fills gaps in your resume.

Having gaps on your resume looks bad to potential employers. Even if you were laid off from a position due to downsizing, an extended gap can still set off warning bells. Fill your resume, instead, with temporary work.

#4: It expands your network.

With each new assignment, you’ll be meeting many different people that can help you in your career aspirations. So always be respectful, professional and friendly wherever you go. Also, stay in contact with those you met at previous temporary assignments. You never know when the next great opportunity will come your way.

#5: You can access assignments with competitive pay.

It’s a myth that temporary work doesn’t pay well. Reputable employers will offer fair market value for your skills. So you can keep your schedule flexible, all while earning a steady income with temporary work.

#6: You can get career tips from experts.

Most temporary assignments are filled through an employment agency. When you sign on with one, they’ll match you with an experienced recruiter who can help you in the short-term in finding assignments that are a good fit for you, but also in the long-term with professional development.

If you’d like help finding temporary jobs in Spokane, please contact Provisional. As a temporary employment firm with more than 16 years of experience, we can place you on temporary assignments that are a great fit for your skills, goals, and lifestyle needs. Contact us today or search our temporary jobs in Spokane now.

Upcoming Phone Interview? Here’s How to Nail It

May 2nd, 2017

As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, Provisional knows getting a phone interview is great news. It means your resume and cover letter made the cut. So congratulate yourself – and then get down to work preparing for your phone screen. Here are 6 easy tips you can put to good news to nail your call:

Dig into the company’s background.

Some candidates make the mistake of treating a phone screen too casually. But it’s really just an interview, albeit a shorter one. So you need to prepare if you want to perform well. That means researching the company, reading through their website, digging up any news articles about them, and learning about industry trends.

Practice your answers.

Before your screen, come up with a list of commonly asked interview questions and practice your answers. Some of these include:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • Why do you think you’d be good in this position?
  • What do you know about our company?
  • What can you do for our company?

The great thing about phone screens is you can also keep notes by your side during it. Just make sure you don’t sound like you’re reading off of a script.

Set the stage.

It’s not a good idea to schedule a phone interview when the kids are home from school, or during a time when you’re going to be distracted with other tasks. Make sure you set it up for a time when you can totally focus. Also, find a quiet space that’s free from distractions. And be sure to have your resume, a notebook and pen, and a glass of water handy.

Keep it short.

Phone interviews can be stressful because you can’t see the person you’re interviewing with or read their body language. That’s why, when pauses happen in the conversation, it’s easy to ramble. But don’t do it. Keep your answers clear, simple and concise.

Speak slowly.

When you’re nervous or excited, it’s easy to speak too fast. So make a conscious effort to slow down and take your time when answering questions. Also, take time to gather your thoughts so you can properly answer each question. Remember, this isn’t a race.

Be enthusiastic.

It’s important to convey your enthusiasm about the job during your phone screen. Though it sounds corny, smiling during your answers is a great way to infuse your voice with enthusiasm. Also, let the interviewer know you’re interested in learning about next steps in the process.

Need more help with your job search?

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. 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.

6 Cover Letter Secrets Every Candidate Needs to Know

April 18th, 2017

If you’re like most job candidates, you dread writing cover letters. What are you supposed to say that’s not already discussed in your resume?

While writing a cover letter can feel like a pointless exercise, it’s not. As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, Provisional knows that hiring managers do read them and they’re actually an opportunity to promote yourself – and why you should get the job. To help you put together one that gets results, consider these tips:

#1: Don’t rehash your resume.

The cover letter shouldn’t be a duplication of your resume. Instead, it should be used to explain something new about yourself that your resume doesn’t showcase. For instance, if you’ve used the company’s products and services – and are a fan – then you can explain why you’ve always wanted to work there. In fact, telling a story is a powerful approach for cover letter writing.

#2: Focus on facts, not fluff.

Don’t make statements, such as “I’m a top-notch candidate best suited for this position.” You don’t know that; other candidates could be stronger or better suited. Instead, stick to facts about your background and the value you can bring to the potential employer.

#3: Be real.

Don’t be overly formal or use corporate jargon in your cover letter. When you do, you wind up sounding more like a robot than a real person. Also, don’t copy and paste a boilerplate cover letter and simply swap out the company and hiring manager’s name. They’ll know in an instant. Instead be professional, but also warm and engaging with your tone and language.

#4: Talk about what you can do for the employer.

Your cover letter shouldn’t be all about you. It should be about how you can help the company succeed, whether it’s through increased sales, more efficient processes, or shaping better policies. You may need to re-read the job posting to get a better sense of how your background and skills can contribute to the company’s bottom line.

#5: Use numbers and statistics.

Hiring managers want to see real results – in the form of dollars, percentages and statistics. So brainstorm an accomplishment that you can quantify and talk about it in your cover letter, including how you approached the problem and the results you were able to achieve.

#6: Expect to re-write it a few times.

No one gets their cover letter right the first time. Expect to write a few drafts and then revise it many times before it hits the mark. Also, make sure to proofread it plenty of times before sending it out to potential employers. That way you can rest easy it’s well-written and error-free.

Need more help with your cover letter, resume or job search?

Call the experts at Provisional. As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, we’ve placed more than 8,000 professionals with leading local employers since 1994. From writing your resume to getting interviews and offers, we can help you with every aspect of your job search, start to finish. Contact us today if you’re ready to learn more.

Guidelines for Applying for a Job at a Past Employer

April 4th, 2017

You’re in the middle of a job search and just came across what sounds like an ideal opportunity – except it’s with past employer. Should you apply or simply cross it off your list? Here are some guidelines to follow:

Consider the terms you left on.

If you quit without two weeks notice, or were fired, then it’s not the best idea to apply for the position. You burned some bridges and people will remember. Even if you did get the job, it could be awkward and uncomfortable due to the terms you left on.

On the other hand, if you left on good terms and simply found a better opportunity, then it’s certainly a job worth considering. After all, you already know the company and its culture. And if it was a good fit in the past, it’s a probably still a good fit for your now.

Just a word of caution: If you left because there wasn’t opportunity for advancement, or you butted heads with company leadership, then carefully weigh the pros and cons of working there again. Chances are, the same issues are still happening and you might wind up having to deal with them again if you get hired.

Reconnect with old friends.

You’ve considered the past and decided you’d like to apply for the job. Then start reaching out to any connections you have at the company. Whether it’s an old boss or former co-workers, let them know you’re interested in the position and ask whether they could refer you to HR or to the hiring manager.

Don’t assume you’re a shoo-in.

One mistake candidates in this position can make is assuming they’re a shoo-in for the job. But that’s not the case. While you might be in the running, there could be several equally strong candidates you’re competing against.

That’s why, if you do get an interview, it’s important to prepare just as you would for any other company. Do you research, show up on time and be professional, ask meaningful questions, and know how to communicate why you’re the best fit.

Be prepared to talk about retention.

One issue hiring managers have with boomerang candidates involves retention. If you left once, what’s to say you won’t leave again? That’s why it’s important to explain the passion you have for the work and the company and how you’re ready to re-commit and make a valuable contribution.

If you left a former company with a good impression and without burned bridges, it’s certainly worth it to consider a future job there. Just follow the guidelines above to increase your odds of getting hired.

If you need additional help with your job search, call Provisional.

As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, we take your career success personally. Not only will we work one-on-one with you to learn about your background and personality, but we can also connect you with exciting and rewarding opportunities at some of the top employers in the area! Contact us today if you’re ready to learn more.

Are You Hurting Your Reputation at Your New Job with These Mistakes?

March 21st, 2017

As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, Provisional knows that starting a new job can be a nerve-wracking experience. But did you know that how you perform in those first few weeks can impact your reputation for years after? That’s why it’s so important to put your best foot forward and to avoid these 5 common mistakes:

1. Running late.

It’s your worst nightmare come true: you hit a traffic jam on the second day on the job. Not to worry. Things like this happen to the best of us. However, if running late is starting to become a habit, then it’s a problem. You’re basically showing a lack of concern for company rules when you’re late to work or meetings. It happens once in a while to everyone – and when it happens to you, apologize. However, never let it become a habit.

2. Being a know-it-all.

You have a lot of knowledge and experience – and you want to share it. That’s great. However, don’t go about it in a way that makes it seem like you’re a know-it-all. Sometimes, it’s best to sit back and listen, so you can understand an issue in depth more or a gain a better sense of the big picture – before offering your opinion. However, don’t ever hesitate to ask questions to learn more and get up to speed faster.

3. Sucking up to your boss.

You want to make the best impression on your boss. But don’t kiss up. Your boss will likely see through it and even if they don’t, your new co-workers will – and it can impact your relationship with them. So always be respectful, but avoid going overboard.

4. Getting involved in gossip.

It might seem like gossiping helps you get to know your new co-workers. But really, it’s setting a bad standard. Not only does it make you look immature, but it can also lead to a reputation as a gossip at work. Your boss and co-workers might therefore hesitate in sharing important company news with you in the future.

5. Disparaging your new employer on social media.

Nothing on the Internet is really private. And you’re taking a big risk by posting negative information about your new boss or co-workers. If you’re having an issue, talk privately about it with family or friends. If it’s serious, then bring it up with your manager. However, don’t go to social media to air your frustrations.

Making a great impression in your first days and weeks on the job requires a few key elements: hard work, drive, and not making the mistakes above. Good luck!

Do you need help finding a rewarding new job in Spokane?

Connect with Provisional. As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, we take your career success personally. Not only will we work one-on-one with you to learn about your background and personality, but we can also connect you with exciting and rewarding opportunities at some of the top employers in the area! Contact us today if you’re ready to learn more.

You’re Job Interview’s Over…Now What?

March 7th, 2017

Ever been to a job interview that you thought went well – only to hear nothing weeks later? As one of the leading employment agencies in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Provisional knows it’s happened to even the best candidates. So before you go to your next job interview, here are some tips to help you handle a stressful hiring process:

Know what comes next.

Before you leave the job interview, ask about next steps. This will give you a general idea about subsequent interviews, as well as when to expect a decision. It will also minimize the time spent waiting by the phone. If, for instance, you know you won’t hear anything for at least another week, you can focus back on your job search, instead of constantly checking your email.

Send a thank you note.

Some hiring managers read them, others don’t. But a well-written thank you note could be the deciding factor between you and another equally strong candidate. So get yours out within 24 hours of your interview. Just make sure before you leave your interview, you asked for the correct names and contact information for those you interviewed with.

Connect with your recruiter.

If you’re working through an employment agency, then reach out to your recruiter after the interview. They may have news to share from the employer, or, at the very least, they’ll want to know how the interview went and whether you’re interested in the job.

Continue your search.

Even if you’re confident that you performed well and got the job, don’t stop your search. It’s never a good idea to place too much importance on any one opportunity until you have an actual offer. That said, if you really think the chances of you getting the job are high, then you might want to start reaching out to contacts to ask for permission to list them as a reference.

Follow up.

If you got another offer, then it’s reasonable to use that as an opportunity to follow up. Just don’t issue an ultimatum. Simply let your contact know you received another offer, but are still very interested in their opportunity and would like to know the status of the hiring process.

Don’t burn bridges.

If you don’t get the job, be professional about it. Simply look at the situation as an opportunity for you to make new connections that could be useful later on in your career.

Need more help finding a job you’ll love?

Call Provisional. 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 match you with rewarding jobs that are a great fit for you. Search our Coeur d’Alene jobs now or contact us today.

Secrets of a Great Interview Thank You Note

February 21st, 2017

You applied for a job you really want. You got an interview and all went well. At this point, do you send a thank you note? Does it really make a difference and influence the hiring manager’s position? Or should you just sit tight and wait?

The answer: It depends.

Many hiring managers report they don’t take into account whether or not a candidate sent a thank you note. However, you never know if the person who just interviewed you actually falls into that category…or not.

As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, Provisional knows another situation where a thank you note can make a difference involves when a hiring manager is considering two equally strong candidates. If you send a well-written, thoughtful thank you note – and the other candidate doesn’t – it could be what sets you apart and leads to a job offer. In addition, if a hiring manager is interviewing a sea of other candidates, a thank you note can be the one element that helps them remember you over other applicants.

That’s why it’s typically a good idea to send one. That said, there are some tips to keep in mind before you fire one out to your interviewer:

  • Be timely. Don’t wait a week to send out a thank note. You should mail or email yours within 24 hours of the interview.
  • Send a note to all who interviewed you. That means, before you leave an interview, you need to gather everyone’s names and contact information. Make sure you personally address the notes and write something unique in each one (such as a shared interest or mutual acquaintance).
  • Be authentic. Write something genuine and heartfelt, rather than from a boilerplate letter you find on the Internet. That said, don’t go overboard with praise and appreciation. Keep it simple.
  • Reinforce why you want the job. Talk again why you think you’d be a good fit for the position and your enthusiasm for it. Also, cover any key points you forgot to bring up during the interview.
  • Keep it short. Don’t write anything overly long or flowy. Your thank you note should be short and to the point – approximately three to four paragraphs.
  • Carefully proofread your notes. Before sending them, read through each note multiple times to check and ensure they make sense and don’t have any typos.

Need more help finding and landing your next great job?

Contact the experts at Provisional. As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, we’ve placed more than 8,000 direct hire employees with leading local employers since 1994. And we can help you find a new job too! Contact us today if you’re ready to learn more.

5 Tips for Avoiding Burnout in 2017

February 7th, 2017

If you’re like most professionals, you invest a lot of time and energy in your work. But if you’re coming in early, staying late, and have an unreasonable workload – all with no end in sight – then it can lead to burnout. As one of the leading employment firms in Spokane, WA, Provisional knows everyone experiences burnout from time to time. But if you want to make sure it doesn’t sabotage you and your career, follow these tips:

1. Take breaks during the day.

There are certainly busy times or seasons where you skip lunch or don’t take breaks so you can get all your work done. But this shouldn’t be a habit all year long. You need breaks in order to stay focused and energized. Plus, sitting for hours without getting up isn’t good for your physical health.

2. Take care of yourself.

Are you staying up late, only getting a few hours of sleep a night? Do you eat a lot of junk or processed foods? Do you drink coffee all day instead of water? All of these unhealthy habits could be contributing to your stress and ability to manage it. It’s important to take good care of yourself in order to prevent burnout. That means eating healthy foods, getting enough rest at night and drinking plenty of water throughout the day.

3, Take yourself offline after hours.

With today’s technology, it’s tempting to stay plugged in at all hours. But this too contributes to burnout. Instead, don’t check your email after a certain hour and turn your phone off. Constantly checking your phone and email will only contribute to your stress level. So unplug and relax at night. You’ll be better able to manage communications and activities during the day when you know you have down time at night.

4. Take a look at technology.

Are there certain kinds of technology – software or processes – that could make workflow more efficient for you and everyone on your team? If you’re noticing you’re spinning your wheels in areas that could be streamlined or easier through technology, then do your homework. Investigate possible solutions so you can present your ideas to your boss and the team.

5. Take time to talk with your boss.

Stress may simply be a part of the job. However, if it’s truly getting out of hand, then speak up and connect with your boss. Be ready with specific examples of challenges you’re facing and ideas for solutions. You don’t want to come off as a complainer, but as someone who is noticing a problem and is prepared to work toward a positive resolution.

Sometimes, especially if you’re being overworked and underpaid, a new job is the answer. If you need help in your search, contact Provisional. As one of the leading employment firms in Spokane, WA, we can work directly with you to craft a great resume, prepare for interviews, and match you with Spokane jobs that are a fit for your background, skills, personality and career goals.

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

4 Tips for Planning Out Your Career in 2017

December 27th, 2016

Whether you’re in the beginning stages of your career, an industry veteran, or you’re ready for a change, you need a plan – specifically, a career plan – if you want to get ahead. As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, Provisional knows a career plan will help you carefully strategize your career, so you can achieve your goals. Not sure where to start? Follow these tips to begin the process:

#1: Determine your final destination.

What’s your dream job? Where do you ultimately want to end up? You have to be clear on where it is you want to go in order to develop a career plan. If you’re not sure, then ask yourself where you want to be in the next two years, five years and 10 years. Be completely honest with yourself in the process.

Beyond just thinking about the kind of work you want to do, also consider the type of company you want to work for. For instance, what type of culture do you prefer? How much travel do you want to do? What kind of schedule do you want to work? Knowing your ideal work environment will help you better evaluate and find opportunities that are right for you.

#2: Find out what it takes to get there.

In other words, what skills, knowledge and experience do you need to obtain to reach your ultimate career goal? Do you need an advanced college degree? Or simply a certification? Do you need more experience in what you’re already doing under your belt? Carefully think about and consider the investment of time and other resources it will take in order for you to reach your career goals.

#3: Write it out.

You know where you want to go – and what you have to do to get there. Now get all that information out of your head and onto a piece of paper. There’s power in writing out your career plan for several reasons.

  • First, it will help you really think through each step and every goal in the process.
  • Second, you can then modify and edit where needed. For instance, maybe you need to break one big goal into multiple smaller goals and steps to make it more realistic.
  • And third, seeing your plan in print will make it seem more tangible and easier to commit to.

#4: Put it into practice.

Now it’s time to step outside your comfort zone and just do it. The first step can be hard and you might feel uncertain. But you’ll never know what’s possible if you don’t step out. And once your successes start to add up, it will be easier to keep going.

Ready for a better career – and more success – in 2017? 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. 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.

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