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Provisional Blog

How to Find a Job When You Have No Experience

September 26th, 2017

As one of the leading employment agencies in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Provisional knows that finding a new job when you have experience can be a challenge. Finding a new job without it can seem downright impossible. So what can you do when you need a job – but don’t have enough experience to get one? Start with these tips:

Look for entry level opportunities.

One of the biggest mistakes new job seekers make is applying for positions they’re not really qualified for. If a job requires four years of experience and you have zero, the hiring manager is not going to look the other way. So stop setting yourself up for disappointment. Instead, make sure you’re targeting and applying for entry level positions.

Think about your positive attributes and focus on them.

You don’t have a ton of experience. But perhaps you did a lot of volunteer work in college. Or maybe you speak another language and could be an asset to a company with an international customer base. Whatever the case for you, think about your education, extracurricular activities, and community service projects – and the skills and abilities you’ve developed from those that could be attractive to a potential employer.

Be open to internships.

You might not want a job where you’re paid very little, or not at all. But an internship can actually be a great way of acquiring valuable skills and experience, not to mention making new connections with professionals in your field. On top of that, you can even get your foot in the door with a company that you’ve always wanted to work for.

Make time for networking.

In today’s world, word-of-mouth and referrals are still the best way to find out about a new opportunity. So make time for networking in your schedule, whether it’s joining a niche industry group online or attending seminars and courses at your local chamber of commerce. Whatever approach you take, it’s a great way to get your name out there and get connected.

When you’re looking for a new job without any experience, sometimes you need to get a little creative to make up for what you’re lacking. But follow the tips above and you’ll be well on your way to landing a new gig in no time.

Looking for professional help with the process?

Contact 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.

Struggling with Your Cover Letter? Here’s How to Write an Effective One

September 12th, 2017

As one of the leading employment firms in Spokane, WA, Provisional knows that many candidates struggle with cover letter writing. And for good reason. Most don’t know where to begin, let alone what to include in theirs. So they end up regurgitating their resumes, or pulling a boilerplate letter from the Internet and swapping out details for their own.

But in today’s competitive job market, that’s not the way to get hired. Instead, when you’re trying to write your cover letter, but get stuck with the process, follow this format instead:

The Beginning.

  • Your contact information should be at the top of your resume. That way, hiring managers don’t have to search through your application, resume and cover letter for it. It’s front and center.
  • In terms of the greeting, if you don’t have the name of the hiring manager, and can’t find it despite your best efforts, it’s ok to address the letter “To whom it may concern” or “Dear hiring manager.”
  • In the first paragraph, you need to grab the attention of the hiring manager, and also make it clear you’ve done your homework and understand what they do.
  • If you were referred to the job by a mutual contact, then this also a good place to drop their name.

The Middle.

In the rest of the body of the letter, keep in mind you’re trying to highlight why you’re the best fit for the job. The most effective way to do this is to talk about a past project or accomplishment that’s most relevant to the position. For instance, if you mentioned you increased sales by 10% in a past position on your resume, your cover letter is the ideal place to further explain how you went about doing that and what impact that had on the company. Whenever possible, use numbers.

The End.

The ending of the letter is the place to reaffirm your interest and enthusiasm for the role. It’s also a good place to thank the hiring manager for their time.

A few other tips:

  • Your cover letter should be short and sweet, and less than one page.
  • It should be formatted in a way that makes it easy to read, with a good size font and plenty of white space.
  • If you have an online portfolio or work samples, you can also provide a link in your cover letter.

Your cover letter is your chance to shine. It’s important that you not only highlight the skills and abilities that make you unique, but how you can contribute to the potential employer’s bottom line. You also need to come across as a real person, not a robot, with some energy and passion.

If you’re still having trouble with your cover letter, give Provisional a call.

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.

Dealing with the Job Rejection Blues

August 22nd, 2017

It happens to the best of us. You interview for a job and think you’re a shoo-in. But then you get an email that informs you otherwise. Someone else got the job.

As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, Provisional knows it’s certainly a tough pill to swallow, especially if you really wanted the opportunity. However, there are some steps you can take to ease the pain and move onto greener pastures. Here’s a look at them:

Look at the big picture.

It’s easy to lose sight of the reality of the situation when you’ve just been rejected. You’re focusing on every comment you made and where you went wrong in the interview. However, rather than getting bogged down in the details, don’t forget about the big picture. In the case of your job search, that’s your long-term career goal. Despite this setback, it’s simply all a part of the typical job search experience. And it means you’re one step closer to find the position that is ultimately right for you.

Learn from the experience.

Now that you have proper perspective, dig a little into the details to try and figure out what you can do better next time. The rejection email might offer some clues if it explained why the position went to another candidate. If not, though, consider emailing the hiring manager back and very politely asking for any feedback. They might not give it. But if they do, at least you’ll know if you made any mission critical mistakes that impacted your ability to get the job.

Focus on what you can control.

Going forward, strive to put your best foot forward in any interview. That means ensuring you are well-prepared before you step foot into a hiring manager’s office. You want to set the right tone and the right message with what you do, but also with your body language too. These are areas you can control and can work to improve with a little practice.

Wallow for a minute…then move on.

When you don’t get the job you want, it’s upsetting. Acknowledge those feelings and then move on. Whatever you do, don’t wallow in them. If you take that approach, fear, uncertainty and anxiety will simply take root and grow, which can impact your confidence and job search success going forward.

Need more expert job search advice and help?

Call in the team 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 Must-Do Steps Before Every Job Interview

August 8th, 2017

As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, Provisional knows that interviewing for a new job is a stressful experience. After all, you have a lot on the line. What steps can you take to make the most of the opportunity – and hopefully land the offer? Start with these 6 steps:

Step #1: Research the company.

Before you walk into an interview, you need to prep yourself by researching the company. Read through their website and blog posts. Look for news articles about them online. And check out their social media profiles and most recent updates. That way, you can better tie in your background and experience with their needs.

Step #2: Research the hiring manager.

If you know the name of the hiring manager, look for them on LinkedIn. Search out any background commonalities, whether it’s a former employer or where you went to high school. You can use this information to break the ice during the interview and also make a connection with the hiring manager.

Step #3: Make a list of questions.

Asking the right questions is a vital part of the job interview process. Not only will it help you gain the insight and information you need to make the right decision should you get an offer, but it also sends the message to the hiring manager that you’re well prepared. So create a list of questions to ask about the position, the company and the culture.

Step #4: Review your job description.

The day before the interview, take another look at the job posting so it’s fresh in your mind. Look for any qualities or requirements that didn’t stand out to you before that you need to address. Also, make sure you’re prepared to talk about why you’re a good fit for the position and the contributions you can make in it.

Step #5: Think through your answers.

While you don’t want to practice your answers so much that you sound rehearsed, you do want to make sure you think through how you would answer common interview questions. Look up some questions online and list out any important points about your background or experience you’d like to highlight for each one.

Step #6: Know where you’re going and what you’re wearing.

Before the day of the interview, do a dry run and drive to the location at a similar time as your interview, if you can. That way, you can get a sense of the level of traffic and any construction that might slow you down. In addition, make sure you select your interview attire well beforehand and ensure it’s dry cleaned and ready for your big day.

Need more professional help landing and preparing for interviews?

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, 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.

What’s a Contingent Job Offer?

July 25th, 2017

Congratulations! You just got offered a new job. If it’s contingent, though, it’s not final yet. What exactly does that mean – and what steps need to happen to complete the process? Here’s a look.

A contingent job offer is a conditional offer, whether verbal or in writing, that an employer presents and that depends on you passing certain checks, such as a background or reference check. If you do pass, then you’ve got the job. If you don’t, however, the employer can rescind the offer.

So what are the contingencies at stake here? As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, Provisional knows the most common ones are:

Background checks.

Not all companies perform background checks before hiring. They tend to be more typical in certain industries, such as education, elder care and finance. When an employer conducts a background check, they want to ensure you don’t have a criminal history that could impact your performance on the job. For instance, if you’re being hired as a bookkeeper, an arrest for writing bad checks is going to impact the offer.

Another reason employers conduct background checks is because they can be held liable if an employee injures someone on the job. So, essentially, they want to verify your background before they assume that liability.

Reference checks.

Another contingency involves the reference checking process. If a reference cautions the employer about hiring you, then the offer likely will be rescinded. However, if you have solid references in place with past managers, then you don’t have anything to worry about. Just remember to give your references some notification before your new employer contacts them so they can prepare ahead of time.

Drug screens.

Alcohol and drug abuse can create serious safety hazards on the job, especially when there’s manual work involved. That’s why many employers today conduct drug screens.

False statements.

Most job offers are contingent upon you being honest with the employer. So if you’ve made false statements about your background, experience and credentials – and your employer finds out even after you’re hired – they can and will terminate you. For instance, lying about graduating from college and earning a certain degree is cause for termination. Even if it’s years after you’ve been hired, many companies have zero tolerance policies toward this and there’s no statute of limitations on it.

If you pass through all of the above steps, and you’re comfortable with the terms and conditions of the job, then ask for a final written job offer. Just don’t quit your existing job until you have one in hand from your new employer. Until that happens, anything is possible .

Need professional help finding your next job?

Call 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 – and we can help you, too. Contact us today if you’re ready to learn more.

What You Need to Know Before Launching Your First Job Search

July 11th, 2017

You’re about to start your first job search. It can be both a stressful and exciting experience. What do you need to know to put your best foot forward? Here are 6 tips to help you:

Tip #1: Mistakes are a big deal.

As one of the leading employment agencies in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Provisional knows that while a typo in a college paper might not have raised eyebrows, it’s different when you’re submitting your resume to an employer. If you hand in sloppy work, you’re not going to get a call back for an interview, no matter how talented you are. So take the time to check your resume and cover letter carefully before you send them in to potential employers.

Tip #2: Attitude matters.

You might do great work and have a lot to offer. But if your attitude stinks, don’t plan on getting a job anytime soon. This includes being unprofessional or unprepared at interviews, as well as being negative or coming off as entitled or arrogant. Employers want new hires with good attitudes and who will make a positive impact on the team.

Tip #3: You need more than just intelligence.

If you’re smart and talented, and performed at the top of your class in school, you might think getting a job will be a breeze. But employers look at more than just book smarts. They want to know how well you work on a team, whether you can handle pressure, how you adapt to change, and the strength of your interpersonal skills. Being smart won’t give you an advantage if you aren’t able to offer employers the full package.

Tip #4: Deadlines are different.

In college, if an assignment was due July 15th, you probably handed it in the day of or the day before. Job searches are different. Hiring managers don’t wait until the deadline to start reviewing resumes. They typically screen applications as they come in. And if they find enough qualified candidates to interview before the deadline hits, you could miss out on the opportunity if you wait too long to apply.

Tip #5: Research is still vital.

Just as in college, research is a vital component to your job search. In fact, when you thoroughly research a company before you apply, you’ll be better able to customize a cover letter and resume that are a fit for their needs. Likewise, during an interview, you’ll be able to talk more intelligently about what you can offer and why they should consider hiring you.

Tip #6: You don’t always hear back.

In some cases, if you’re not a good fit for the job, then you won’t even hear back from the employer. In other cases, you might get a form letter or email from them stating that. Don’t get discouraged, though. All you need is one good opportunity and you’ll be well on your way in your career.

Need more help finding your first job?

Call the team at 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.

5 Steps to Take BEFORE You Start a New Job Search

June 27th, 2017

You’ve made the decision to launch a new job search. Now you’re ready to move full speed ahead. Wait just a minute! As one of the top employment agencies in Coeur d’Alene, Provisional knows before you start sending out resumes and following up with hiring managers, there are a few steps you need to take that will improve your odds of finding a job. Here’s a look at 5 of them:

#1: Know what you’re looking for.

If you don’t like your current position, it’s tempting to look for an easy out in the form of any job opportunity. However, you don’t want to make the same mistake twice and land in another position you’re not happy in.

That’s why, before starting any job search, it’s important to take stock and think about what you really want in your next job. In other words, what type of role are you looking for and what type of environment do you want to work in?

#2: Take the time to polish your resume.

Most candidates dread working on their resumes. And it’s certainly not the most exciting part of a job search. However, if you take the time to update and polish it, then you’ll benefit in the long run with more interview offers.

So don’t wait until you find a position that interests you to pull out your resume and start working on it. If you do, you’ll feel pressured to complete it quickly. Instead, before you launch your search, get your resume into great shape and then customize it for each position you’re applying to.

#3: Review your online presence.

While you’re updating your resume, it’s also a good time to review your online presence, specifically your LinkedIn profile. You want to ensure that your profile and resume both complement each other and that’s there no contradictory information on them. It’s also important to Google yourself and make sure that what comes up in the results doesn’t negatively impact your job search.

#4: Start networking.

In 2017, the best way to find a new job is still through your professional network. That’s why, if you’re gearing up for a job search, then it’s also a good time to start ramping up your networking efforts. Research and plan to attend industry conferences or networking events. Also, if there are a few companies you’re interested in working for, start following and interacting with them on social media. You could make a valuable connection or find out about a great new job opening.

#5: Strengthen your skills.

If there’s a certain skill that’s important in your field – and you could use some help sharpening it – then now’s the time to sign up for a class or certification course. Even if you have to postpone your search for a few weeks or months while you gain the skills you need, it will feel good moving forward toward your goal. Plus, you’ll be a stronger, more marketable job candidate as a result.

Would you like professional help with your job search – so you can find a better job, faster?

Call in the experts at Provisional. As one of the top employment agencies in Coeur d’Alene, we can offer you access to a variety of rewarding job opportunities in accounting, healthcare, legal, technical, and office fields. Contact Provisional today to learn more.

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.

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