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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.

5 Time Management Goals for 2018

December 26th, 2017

Stretched thin in 2017? Ready for a better way in 2018? As one of the leading staffing agencies in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Provisional knows that one of the keys to a more productive year ahead is effective time management. To help you get off on the best foot possible in 2018, here are a few tips for better managing your time:

Tip #1: Assess how you use your time.

Similar to how you’d assess your spending habits to create a budget, assess how you spend your time to create a good time management plan. Over the course of a week or two, keep track of your time by writing down your activities and how long you spent doing them. You’ll then be able to see the activities that are taking up the most time, as well as where you’re wasting it.

Tip #2: Use a good time management approach.

In terms of managing your time, what’s the best approach? It’s often the simple task of prioritizing your “to do” list. That means splitting up your tasks into urgent, important and non-essential. This will help you gain a better sense of what needs to get done each day, week and month.

Tip #3: Set goals.

Goal setting is vitally important when it comes to time management. Not only should you be setting big picture ones, but daily and weekly goals as well. These will help to focus your day so you can get more done. It will also help you to set clearer boundaries, so you don’t take on more than what you can effectively handle at any one time.

Tip #4: Don’t procrastinate.

If you have tasks or projects you don’t want to work on, your best bet isn’t to avoid them. It’s to tackle them first thing in the morning. That way, you can focus your time and energy on other priorities the rest of the day without feeling distracted. Not only that, but this approach will give your day more momentum so you can get more done during it.

Tip #5: Practice good habits.

Good habits not only help you to be more productive during the day, but they crowd out the negative habits. So focus on developing good daily practices when it comes to both your work and personal life. For instance, get up a few minutes early each day so you can check your email and prioritize your work day. That way, once you get to work, you can hit the ground running and don’t have to waste time with email or listing making. You already know what needs to get done for the day.

These are just a few different tips for helping you to better use your time wisely in 2018. If, however, you’re stretched thin due to a skill or manpower gap on your team, let the experts at Provisional help. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, we can source, recruit, screen, interview, skill test, reference check – and more – all so you can hire better people and get more time in your day. Just give us a call 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.

6 Performance Review Mistakes to Avoid Making

December 12th, 2017

It’s the end of the year. As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington. Provisional knows that means performance review time for many companies. If yours is one of them and you’re getting ready to conduct them, you might be dreading the process. But as long as you avoid a few key mistakes, you can ensure your reviews go off without a hitch. Here’s a look at some common ones:

Focusing too much on the negative.

During a review, you should bring up performance issues and mistakes. But don’t focus all your time and effort on them either. It’s important to offer employees a more well-rounded experience, including what they’ve done right over the past year.

Not talking at all about the negative.

On the other hand, don’t avoid talking about the negative just because it’s uncomfortable. Most managers don’t like offering criticism, so that’s certainly understandable. But if you don’t, your employees will never be able to correct course.

Creating a one-sided situation.

A performance review should be a conversation with both participants engaged. It shouldn’t be a one-sided discussion where you do all the talking. So make sure once you discuss an employee’s performance, you open it up to questions and ask for your employee’s point of view.

Not looking at the big picture.

Make sure during performance reviews you look at the full picture of the last year. It’s easy to get caught up in a recent deadline that was missed or current project that’s not going well. But the point of performance reviews is to give an overall evaluation of both the good and the bad of the past year. So don’t focus only on recent events.

Not offering specifics.

You’re not going to benefit your employees in any way if you don’t dig into details and get specific with them. Vague input and feedback simply doesn’t go very far, nor will it help your team in any way. For instance, rather than saying someone is a hard worker, give an example that demonstrates this trait and the impact it’s made.

Not following up.

In a perfect world, you’d be offering feedback and input on performance throughout the entire year. Sometimes, though, that’s not feasible. However, if you have an employee who’s performance you’re concerned about, it’s vital that you check in regularly and follow up. If you don’t, they could continue their downward spiral, further impacting your bottom line.

While performance reviews might not be your favorite task, make sure you avoid the above mistakes so both you and your people can get the most from them.

And if you’re looking to conduct even more reviews next year and add to your team in 2018, turn to the experts at Provisional. As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, we provide customized staffing and hiring solutions to our clients all over the Northwest. Just give us a call today to learn more about how we can help you.

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.

Top 6 Communication Mistakes Managers Make with Their Teams

November 28th, 2017

As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, Provisional knows that just like in any relationship, the key to trust with your team is open communication. However, for many managers, it doesn’t come naturally. As a result, mistakes are made – ones that can impact your employees and your bottom line. What are they and how can you avoid them? Here’s a look at six:

#1: Using the wrong mode of communication.

When you have a controversial or complicated announcement, don’t send around an email. Meet with your team face-to-face. When you do, you’ll be able to immediately answer questions and provide more details– offsetting the rumor mill and any related anxiety that comes with it.

#2: You’re MIA and not regularly communicating.

Rather than connecting with employees regularly throughout the day, your door is closed and you’re MIA. But this sends the message that you’re not available to your employees, which can limit communication. Keep in mind, communication is a two-way street and if employees always see your door closed, then they’re going to be reluctant when it comes to communicating with you, even when issues that need your attention come up.

#3: Not being honest.

There are times when confidentiality is at stake. But lying to your team should be off-limits. If they find out, then it’s going to impact your team’s trust in you in the future, even if you thought you were looking out for their best interest. If there is really something you can’t say, then don’t lie. Simply let your team know you can’t comment right now.

#4: Thinking employees won’t understand.

Business can be complicated, especially when it comes to issued related to projections, financials and reorganizations. But don’t dismiss or underestimate your employees’ intelligence. Rather than assuming they won’t understand and not sharing important information with them, explain it in a way that they will understand. They deserve to know how issues and challenges are going to be impacting them today and in the future.

#5: Making promises you can’t keep.

You want to give your employees raises and promotions. But don’t make promises that you can’t keep – especially when you know the final decision in these areas doesn’t rest with you. Instead, explain to your people how valuable they are and that you will go to bat for them. At the same time, don’t make specific promises as to the outcome.

#6: Not offering enough praise and constructive criticism.

You might think your employees know you value and appreciate them. But unless you say it – often – they won’t. The same applies for offering feedback. Don’t wait until an employee gets so far off track that it’s tough to correct course. Regular and open communication with your team – with plenty of praise and criticism – will ensure you can consistently bring out their best.

Need more help with these and other HR-related issues?

Call the team at Provisional. As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, we use a consultative approach to provide customized hiring and HR-related solutions to our clients. Just give us a call today to learn more about how we can help you.

5 Tips for Promoting Work-Life Balance

November 21st, 2017

It’s a busy time of the year, between finishing up projects before the end of 2017 to getting ready for the holidays. As a result, it can be tough for your workers to remain balanced and productive. The good news is that it can be done with the right steps. Here’s a look at 5 of them:

Talk to your employees about balance.

If you don’t know where your employees are, you can’t work toward helping them to achieve a better balance in their lives. That’s why it’s important to ask them what they need. Whether it’s through one-on-one meetings or an online survey is up to you. But just make sure you ask questions about hours, flexibility and what your company could be doing better in terms of improving overall work life balance.

Know the signs of burnout.

As one of the Northwest’s leaders in specialized recruiting and staffing services, Provisional knows it’s important to understand the signs of burnout and how you can combat it. For instance, excessive absenteeism, more mistakes than usual, missing deadlines or being late to meetings are all red flags. Not only do these lead to issues with productivity, but they can also impact customer satisfaction. That’s why when you’re noticing problems like these, you need to take steps to combat them, from lightening the load of strapped employees to giving them some extra time off.

Offer flex time and telecommuting.

Another way to encourage a healthier work-life balance is to be more flexible when it comes to scheduling. Offer your employees the chance to work from home one or two days a week. Also, embrace flextime, letting your employees be more flexible in terms of the hours they work. Whether they want to come in earlier or stay later is up to them. But allow them to choose an option that works best for their busy schedule.

Educate employees on health initiatives.

When employees understand how to live a more balanced life – and have the resources to do it – they’re going to feel better and perform better, too. That’s why it’s important to offer access to educational initiatives, training classes and other health-related perks, such as discounted gym memberships or hosting in-house yoga classes.

Be a good example.

If employees see you coming in early and leaving late in the evening – and know you work nights and weekends – they’ll assume you expect the same from them. But no one can sustain this schedule for very long, especially on top of other personal commitments and obligations. So encourage employees to unplug at night rather than checking emails, as well as to take their allotted vacation days.

Need more help keeping the balance with your team at work?

Turn to Provisional. Since 1994, we’ve been the Northwest’s leader in specialized recruiting and staffing services, placing over 6,000 direct-hire professionals with companies in Seattle, Spokane, and Coeur d’Alene. To learn more, contact us today. We’re ready to help you find the people you need.

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.

4 Signs You Need a New Hiring Plan

November 7th, 2017

As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, Provisional knows that hiring is critical for business success. Without the right people in the right positions, you can’t fulfill orders, meet deadlines, or innovate and grow. That’s why a hiring plan is so important. When you have a solid one in place, it acts as a guide as you bring more employees on board today and plan to hire in the future.

But what happens if your hiring efforts have been falling short lately? Then it’s a sign you need a new plan. Here are a few specific red flags that it’s time to review your hiring efforts:

You’re not getting quality applicants.

If most of the resumes you get for job postings end up in the recycling bin, there’s a problem. Most of the resumes you receive should be at least somewhat of a fit for the position. But if you’re wasting hours screening resumes – without much success – then reconsider your job postings. Take a look at them to ensure the language is clear and your hiring needs are thoroughly explained.

Your top pick candidates keep dropping out.

Getting down to the wire during the hiring process can be a relief for many hiring managers. But it can quickly turn into a nightmare if your top-pick candidates keep dropping out of the running. This is often a sign that you’re moving too slow during the hiring process and other companies are making offers sooner.

You’re seeing an increase in turnover.

Some turnover is a normal part of any business. But when you’re noticing an uptick in it, it could be a sign that the right people aren’t being hired for the best-fit positions. This is a big problem because turnover is expensive, with some numbers putting it at around six to nine months of an employee’s salary. If they make $50,000, that means it could cost anywhere from $25,000 to $37,500.

You’re making hiring mistakes.

The applicant you interviewed was enthusiastic and confident. The new employee you got is notoriously late, not meeting deadlines and has an attitude problem to boot. Part of the issue could lie in your interviewing and vetting process. Make sure you’re spending enough time with each candidate to carefully assess them. Also, don’t skip steps, like reference checking and skills testing just, to hire faster.

If you’re facing these issues – or other recruiting challenges – the team at Provisional can help. As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, we can get to the bottom of your biggest staffing and hiring problems all so you can hire high quality people who can add value to your organization. Just give us a call 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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