Provisional Blog

4 Simple Tips for Writing a Cover Letter That Will Help You Get Hired

June 11th, 2019

When it comes to the job search process, one of the most challenging aspects for many candidates is writing a cover letter. What do you say and what should you avoid? How long should it be? And what are the best ways to get noticed and stand out? As one of the leading employment firms in Spokane, WA, Provisional has the answers you need. To help you craft a stronger cover letter, here are some tips to keep in mind:

Write one letter, then edit it for each opportunity.

You should first write a standard letter that offers you a template to follow as you’re applying to each job. However, it needs to be customized for every opportunity you apply to. Otherwise, it will sound generic to hiring managers.

To do so, make sure you focus on your key strengths that are most relevant to the position. Also, share a story about why you want to work for the company or highlight an important achievement. Whatever the case, make your letter uniquely your own.

Explain why you’re the right fit for the job.

Hiring managers are busy and don’t have a lot of time to devote to each cover letter. It’s therefore important that you connect the dots as to why you’re a great fit for the job. So don’t simply discuss your background in the cover letter. Instead, take it a step further and explain where you can contribute the most and the impact you can have on the company. Also, discuss the company’s needs and the ways you can meet them through your skills and abilities.

Include numbers and figures wherever you can.

It’s always best to back up your claims with concrete figures. This not only underscores your proven track record, but it also makes you more memorable in the process. That’s especially important when you consider that hiring managers get hundreds of applications for each job posted.

Don’t forget the basics.

If you’re copying and pasting from a previous letter, it can be easy to forget to change the name of the company or the hiring manager. That’s why it’s critically important to check the accuracy of these and other areas before you submit your application. It’s also important to proofread it several times prior to applying to ensure there aren’t any spelling mistakes or errors with grammar.

Need more help writing your cover letter?

Reach out to the team at Provisional. As one of the leading employment firms in Spokane, WA, we can give you more tips and advice on writing a great cover letter, help you prepare 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.

Do You Know How to Ask Your Boss For a Promotion?

May 28th, 2019

You know you deserve a promotion. But asking for one is stressful, plain and simple. What’s the best way to approach the conversation – and cut down on your anxiety in the process – all for the best possible outcome? Here are some tips to help you:

Prep thoroughly.

You can’t just walk into your boss’ office, ask for a promotion, and expect a positive response. Instead, you need to make your case for why you deserve it. This requires you to do some prep work first.

For instance, make a list of all your recent contributions and the impact they’ve had on the company or the team, quantifying them wherever possible. You have to show that you’re doing more than just your job; you’re an invaluable member of the team. Also, discuss the position you want, why you’re ready for the role, and how your skills and experience are a good match for it.

Time your conversation.

For a conversation of this caliber, don’t just pop into your boss’ office unannounced. Instead, schedule a formal meeting, letting them know ahead of time you want to talk about performance.

Also, be strategic about your approach. For instance, if you know your boss is bogged down and stressed by the end of the day, schedule a meeting for the morning. In addition, if you have a performance review coming up, then that offers an ideal opportunity to discuss your career ambitions.

Know your worth.

Part of the preparation process should also include doing some digging on the salary for positions similar to the one you want. This might not come up during your initial conversation, but if it does, you want to be prepared with facts and firm numbers.

Don’t get defensive.

If your boss turns you down, don’t get emotional or defensive. Instead, ask why and what you need to do to earn a promotion in the near future. There could be certain skills that are vital to the job that you simply haven’t developed. But when you find out these details, you can create a plan of action for acquiring the knowledge and abilities you need to get promoted soon.

Ready to get promoted to a new job with a new employer?

If you know you’re ready for the next step, but there’s no room for advancement at your current company, then let Spokane, WA’s employment agency experts at Provisional help you make your next move. Contact us today to learn more or get started.

Are You Making These Career Mistakes?

May 14th, 2019

Want to get ahead in your career? You know you need to show up on time, perform well, and avoid being the office gossip. These are a given. But did you know there are some less obvious things you could be doing that could actually be hurting your career? Here’s a look at a few common career mistakes, so you can avoid them:

Not asking your boss for feedback.

Most employees simply wait until their annual review to get feedback from their bosses. However, if you take a more proactive approach, and ask for it throughout the year, you’ll find out what you’re doing right and areas that need improvement sooner. While asking for feedback might be difficult, it can have a big impact in a positive way on your future career growth.

Staying in your comfort zone.

When you’ve been in your job for a long time, and know it inside and out, it’s easy to coast. However, when you do, you won’t be learning and growing. Even if you plan to stay in your current position for the foreseeable future, it’s still important to acquire different skills, learn new information and stay on top of industry news.

Being afraid to take a risk.

You might be afraid to fail, however, what’s worse is when you don’t take a risk and your career remains stagnant as a result. Don’t let fear of change or of making a mistake hold you back. Even if those things do happen, you’ll learn from them.

Avoiding networking.

You might think that just because you’re not looking for a new job that you don’t need to network. But networking can play an important part in career growth too. You can turn to your contacts when you need advice, support, resources and help. Likewise, you can position yourself as an industry expert when you’re able to offer guidance to others, as well. It’s therefore important to invest time and effort into regular networking.

Looking for a new job to advance your career in?

Connect with the experts at Provisional. As one of Spokane’s top employment agencies, we can assist you with all aspects of your job search from preparing for interviews to landing your next great opportunity. Contact us today to learn more or get started.

How to Turn Temporary Employment into a Full-Time Job

April 23rd, 2019

You’ve been on plenty of temporary assignments in the past. But this particular role or employer is an especially good fit for you. You want to stay on longer, but how do you initiate a conversation and either get your assignment extended, or turn it into a full-time job?

Follow these 4 easy tips from Provisional – one of Spokane’s top temporary employment agencies – for help:

1. Focus on the basics.

Before you even ask about the possibility of extending temporary employment into a more permanent work opportunity, it’s critical you’re meeting a few basic requirements first. For instance, make sure you’re:

  • Showing up on time and are well-prepared for the day ahead;
  • 100% reliable in the work you’re doing;
  • Displaying a positive attitude and enthusiasm; and
  • Going the extra mile to be a valuable contributor to the team.

If you’re not already following these steps, you won’t be considered for a full-time opportunity.

2. Build relationships.

If you are looking to turn temporary employment into full-time work, existing employees can help you achieve that goal. When you develop positive relationships with them, they can serve as a referral source and also offer go to bat for you when you ask for that more permanent role.

Beyond that, even if you’re not able to get a full-time job now, they can be a great source of insight on what to do to get hired in the future and about any potential opportunities that open up down the line.

3. Be direct.

If you’ve been hard at work for a company and know you’re a good fit for their needs, be direct about the situation. If you’re working through one of Spokane’s temporary employment agencies, then bring up the possibility of a full-time job with your recruiter. If you’re not, then talk directly to your manager at the company.

Whomever you have the conversation with, simply be upfront about the situation and that you’d like to turn the job into a more regular position. Ask whether that’s a possibility and what you’d need to do to achieve that goal.

4. Be patient, not pushy.

You’ve planted the seed and expressed your interest. If there aren’t an opportunities immediately available, it’s important to be patient. You might get restless, however don’t let it show. You don’t want to come across as too pushy or aggressive, which can sabotage your efforts to get hired.

There’s never any guarantee that you can turn temporary employment into full-time work or extend an assignment. However, by following the tips above and becoming an invaluable contributor, you can certainly improve your odds.

Looking for work on a temporary or temp-to-hire basis?

Call Provisional. As one of Spokane’s top temporary employment agencies, we can connect with your rewarding and flexible assignments with leading employers in the area. Contact us today or search our temp jobs in Spokane now.

4 Simple Tips for Finding the Right Seasonal Job

April 9th, 2019

Looking for seasonal work when the weather heats up? Don’t wait much longer. Now’s the time that employers in and around Spokane are seeking out qualified candidates for temporary jobs. So how can you go about finding one that’s best-suited for you? Here are 4 simple tips to help you:

Tip #1: Start now.

You might think that summer is still a way’s off and that you have plenty of time. However, there’s a lot that goes into the hiring process, which is why most employers are gearing up to hire for their summer season now. They want to ensure they have the time necessary to source qualified candidates, screen them, and train them properly. So if you’re interested in temporary jobs in Spokane, then get started with your search now.

Tip #2: Narrow your search.

If you’re applying to all different jobs, in many different industries, the process can be overwhelming. Instead, narrow your search and focus on a few key roles and fields that truly interest you. Not only will you be able to spend more time on researching possibilities and tailoring your application materials to each position, but once you do get a job, it will be one that’s a better fit for you.

Tip #3: Ask around.

Referrals are a great source of job possibilities. So ask your network of friends, family and other contacts whether their employers are hiring, or if they’ve heard of any potential seasonal openings. You’ll find a good source of temporary job leads faster. In addition, if there is an opening, you can ask your contact for a recommendation, which will improve your odds of landing a position.

Tip #4: Be flexible.

When summer arrives, you might want to keep plenty of time in your schedule for picnics and pool parties. However, if you want to snag the best temporary job in Spokane, you need to be flexible for employers. They’ll likely have fluctuations in terms of work demands and scheduling and therefore need you to adapt quickly. Not only that, but being able to tell a potential employer that you’re flexible and can come in as needed will make you more marketable during your search.

Finding seasonal work is just like any other search. Employers want to hire qualified people, so it’s important to approach the process in the same way you would if you were looking for full-time work. If you’d like help with it, turn to the team at Provisional. We can connect you with top temporary jobs in Spokane with leading employers in a variety of fields. Find out more today by contacting us.

Want to Find a Job You’ll Love? Here’s How

March 26th, 2019

For most people, they spend more time at work than with their families. It’s a sad reality. However, as a result, you want to ensure you’re going to a place each day that you really love…one that provides a rewarding experience and the balance you’re looking for. If you’re not currently in that kind of position, but are looking for it, here are some tips to help you get there:

Take a step back.

When it comes to figuring out your next step in your career, take some time to reflect. You don’t want to jump into a job search without total clarity. So think about your current position, what you like and don’t like about it, and where you want to head next. It could be on a similar path or into a whole new direction.

Be realistic.

You might be interested in pursuing the next step up in your career. But are you ready to do so? It’s important that you have the right background and experience that qualify you for the kind of job you’re looking for. If you don’t, then you’re simply setting yourself up for disappointment. Rather, take the time to acquire the skills, whether it’s through an online class, an accreditation course, or other continuing education opportunities.

Put different job search tools to use.

Don’t simply search online, on the major job boards, for your next opportunity. Instead, use a diverse mix of techniques to get the most from your approach. For instance, make sure you’re networking, both in person and online, whether it’s through a business organization or your alumni association. Also, look to industry-related and company career websites for job postings.

Connect the dots for hiring managers.

The more relevant your cover letter and resume, the more likely you’ll get called for an interview. That’s why investing the time and effort to make the case for why you’re the right fit is so important. In addition, hiring managers only spend a few seconds scanning each resume. So when you make it easy for them to see that you’re a match, then you’re going to make a better impression.

Focus on companies where you want to work.

Perhaps there are a few companies in the area that area that you’re passionate about and want to work at. Even if they don’t currently have the kinds of openings that are a fit for you, set up Google Alerts so you can stay on the lookout. Additionally, you can even send in a cold email inquiring about upcoming opportunities.

Finding a job you love isn’t always easy. However, once you do, it will be well worth the time and effort you invested in the process. If you’d like professional help in your search, contact the team at Provisional. As one of Spokane’s top employment agencies, we can connect you with rewarding opportunities with the area’s leading companies. Contact us today or search our jobs in Spokane now.

Are You Letting These 4 Common Resume Mistakes Sabotage Your Job Search?

March 19th, 2019

As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, Provisional knows that hiring managers across the area receive dozens of resumes each day. They scan them quickly and are trained to be on the lookout for red flags. So whether yours is filled with them – or you only have one or two – they can take you out of the running for the job quickly, sabotaging your hard work.

To ensure that doesn’t happen to you, here’s a look at a few common mistakes and how to avoid them:

#1: Poor writing and spelling errors.

Ultimately, your resume needs to be professional. So if grammar is sloppy and your writing is full of typos, hiring managers won’t give the document a second glance. If this isn’t your strong suit, then make sure you ask a friend or family member to proofread your resume carefully for you.

#2: Exaggerated language.

Dynamic problem solver. Visionary leader. Strategic thinker. It all might be true. But when you call yourself these names, you’ll quickly turn off hiring managers. Instead, lose the clichés and focus instead on supporting your claims with specific examples. For instance, rather than saying you’re a “problem solver,” talk about a problem you solved and its successful outcome.

#3: A disorganized format.

Your resume needs to be well organized so hiring managers can quickly get a sense whether you’re a good fit. If, however, it doesn’t follow a clear structure and make the case for why you’re qualified for a particular role, then the hiring manager will move onto the next candidate. Rather, make it easy for them to connect the dots by following a traditional reverse chronological format and promoting those strengths and abilities most pertinent to the job.

#4: Unexplained gaps.

Career gaps are common. However, if you don’t explain yours, then a hiring manager will assume the worst. They’ll think you’re hiding something or are a hiring mistake waiting to happen. If you have any in your background, make sure you use your cover letter to explain them. Do so in a way where you’re focusing on the positive and what you learned from the experience.

Recruiters and hiring managers can spot mistakes and warning signs quickly on resumes. Make sure yours doesn’t include the ones above and set yourself up for more success in your search.

Do you want more professional help and advice on finding your next job?

Contact Provisional. As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, we can help you with every aspect of your search, including giving you feedback on creating a more persuasive resume, one that gets better results on the employment market. Contact us today if you’re ready to learn more.

Attention Candidates: Ask These Questions During Every Interview

March 5th, 2019

As you’re preparing for a job interview, you’re likely focused on the questions you’ll be asked, from “what are your strengths?” to “why should we hire you?” But are you also thinking about the kinds of questions you want to ask? After all, an interview should be approached like a two-way conversation, one in which both you and the employer are trying to assess fit. You can’t do that if you don’t ask good questions to gain the insight you need about the position.

So beyond finding out about day-to-day responsibilities, what else should you be asking? Provisional, one of the leading employment firm serving Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, has the details you need. Here are a few possibilities to add to your list for every interview:

What’s important about this position? What kind of impact does it have on the company overall?

This will give you a sense of where the role fits in and the kinds of contributions you’ll be expected to make. It will also offer you some insight into the company itself and the hierarchy of it.

What’s the most challenging part of this job?

It’s vital to have a clear understanding of what the job entails and how success will be measured in it. Part of this includes the challenges the position comes with. While a hiring manager might focus on the more positive side, asking this question will give you a more accurate account of what you can expect if hired.

Who will I be working with? What’s the team like?

Gaining a sense of the dynamics of the team you’d be a part of can play a critical role in your decision-making process about the position. For instance, if you work better on a smaller, more casual team and the department is large and formal, it might not be the best fit for you. This is a detail that you’ll want to find out ahead of time.

What do you like most about working for this company?

Asking a hiring manager this question will offer you plenty of insight. Not only will they get specific about perks, company-wide values or benefits, but you can also assess their body language. If it’s clear they’re not enthusiastic about what they’re saying, it’s a red flag for you.

Does the company offer opportunities for professional development?

A company that invests in its employees’ growth is a good sign that they care about their team and see the value in development. When you’re ready to take the next step in your career – whether it’s within that same company or with a different one – these kinds of opportunities can make you more marketable.

While there are literally dozens of other questions you can ask, these are some to get you started. Keep in mind, too, these will not only help you get the information you need to evaluate whether a role is the right fit for you, but it shows the hiring manager that you’re informed, interested, and engaged.

Looking for expert help with your job search?

Call Provisional. As a leading employment firm serving Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, our recruiters have placed over 18,000 professionals with growing Northwest companies since 1994. Contact us today and experience the difference for yourself.

Declining a Job Offer? Here’s How to Do It Without Burning Bridges

February 19th, 2019

Getting a job offer can be thrilling. Yet, once you realize it’s not the right one for you, it’s also deflating. You want to turn it down, but what if another opportunity comes along at the same company, one that is a fit for you? First, don’t panic. There are easy steps you can take to decline an offer and still position yourself in a positive light. Here are four of them:

Reply as soon as you’ve made your decision.
However you respond and whatever you say, be prompt in terms of letting the hiring manager know your decision. Not only is it the professional thing to do, but they also have second and third pick candidates they’re entertaining. If you wait too long to reply, they could lose out on those.

Be heartfelt and appreciative.
Hiring managers spend a lot of time reviewing resumes, screening and interviewing candidates, and making final decisions. When you reject their offer, it can therefore be disheartening. You can soften the blow by simply being appreciative of their time and giving them a short, simple reason behind your decision.

Consider responding by phone.
If you’ve spent a lot of time with the hiring manager, then pick up the phone to tell them of your decision. It sounds awkward and a little bit scary. But in reality, it doesn’t have to be a long conversation and it will make a far more lasting and positive impression.

If not, you can send an email that states something like:

Thank you for the offer and taking the time to answer all my questions and consider me for this role. This position seems like a great opportunity. As flattered as I am, after some time thinking about it, I’ve decided to accept an offer elsewhere with another company where I can pursue my interests in XYZ. Again, thank you so much for your time and if you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Stay connected.
Even in Spokane, Washington, it’s a small world and you never know when you might cross paths again. So aim for a good ending to the experience. Reach out to the hiring manager on LinkedIn and try to connect. Or let them know that you’d be interested in future, better-fit opportunities with the company if one came along. You never know where your career is headed in the future and you want to ensure you don’t burn any bridges.

Looking for your next job offer in Spokane, Washington?
Let the team at Provisional help. It’s our passion and our mission to connect talented candidates with top jobs in Spokane, Washington. So if you’re tired of struggling on your own with your search, contact us today or search our Spokane jobs now.

6 Ultimate Tips for Preparing for Your Next Job Interview

February 5th, 2019

Gone are the days of answering a job posting, going to an interview and getting the offer within days. Instead, today interviewing can feel like a contact sport. There’s so much preparation to do ahead of time with the interview itself stressful and nerve-wracking. With so much at stake, how can you best prepare and increase your odds of landing your next Spokane job? Here are 6 tips to consider:

1. Spend some time researching the company and the hiring manager.

Look to several different sources, like their website, industry sites, news websites and social media, for a well-rounded picture of the company. Likewise, if you know the name of your interviewer, then do some background research on him or her too. This will help you to identify any areas of mutual interest that you can use as an icebreaker. It will also help you better prepare questions to ask them based on their background with the company.

2. Research common interview questions and prepare answers.

Chances are, you’ll be asked about your weaknesses or why a company should hire you. You’ll feel more confident walking into an interview when you’ve thought about the answers you’ll be giving. Wherever you can, quantify your responses with facts, figures, numbers and percentages. Your responses will be more persuasive and impressive to hiring managers.

3. Think about stories that best reflect your relevant skills and strengths.

You’re going to be talking a lot about yourself and your background during the interview. One way to bring your experience to life is by sharing specific stories about the skills and strengths you have that are most relevant to the job. For instance, don’t simply say you “go the extra mile.” Give a specific example of a time that you went above and beyond and the positive outcome that came about because of it.

4. Have a friend or family member perform a mock interview with you.

If you’re especially nervous before an interview, ask a friend or family member to conduct a mock one with you. That way, you can practice answering questions and get feedback, all of which can help you to improve your performance and your odds of landing the offer.

5. Plan ahead for what you’ll wear and bring to the interview.

You don’t want to be rushing out the door the morning of your interview only to realize you forgot to make copies of your resume. That’s why planning ahead is so important. Some specific areas to focus on include your interview outfit and making sure it’s dry cleaned and pressed. Also, bring with you several copies of your resume, a pen and paper, a list of your questions, and directions to the interview site.

6. Take good care of yourself the day before.

Make sure you eat right and get a good night’s sleep. Also, try not to stress too much about the interview, especially if you’ve spent plenty of time preparing. Instead, focus on doing something fun that will take your mind off the next day. When you’re well-rested and relaxed, you’ll perform better in the interview.

Need more help with your job search or getting ready for your next interview?

At Provisional, our goal is to help you land the Spokane job you want. To get there, we can assist with your resume, interview preparation, salary negotiations and more. Simply contact us today to get started.