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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.

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.

The 5 Areas to Negotiate in Your Next Job Offer

March 8th, 2016

You’ve just been offered a new job. Congratulations! But what if you’re less-than-thrilled about the proposed salary?

Don’t reject the job offer right off the bat. Keep in mind: Everything is negotiable. But before you sit down at the table, you need to make sure you have hard facts in hand. Here are a few areas to focus on during your negotiations:

#1: The salary.

Make sure to perform research online to determine average salaries for the position in the location where you’ll be working, as well as your market value based on experience in the field. Resources you can use include Payscale and Salary.com. Don’t tell the employer you really need the extra cash to pay off student loans. The fact of the matter is that they want to save as much money as possible when hiring. So if you can’t prove your worth, than you’re not going to be able to win a bigger paycheck.

#2: The signing bonus.

Are signing bonuses the norm in your field? If they are, then you need to bring that up at the negotiating table, especially if the employer won’t budge on paying a higher salary. Make sure you know your numbers ahead of time, though, including how much similar employers are paying in signing bonuses.

#3: The vacation time.

Another area that’s open for negotiation is vacation time. Two or three weeks may be the standard policy for new employees. However, it doesn’t hurt to ask and to explain how your high level of productivity warrants more vacation time.

#4: The schedule.

While a flexible schedule might be more important to you than a bigger salary, this point could be difficult to negotiate since the employer hasn’t seen your work ethic in action. But it’s still worth bringing it up and discussing the possibility of a flex schedule or telecommuting once you’ve achieved certain performance milestones.

#5: The relocation costs.

If you are relocating from another area, ask about the employer covering relocation expenses. Most times, they’ll discuss this during the interview process – and not all companies will reimburse you. However, if it’s an issue that hasn’t been broached yet, be prepared to talk about it at the negotiating table with firm calculations and costs you’d need covered.

Negotiating can be a stressful experience. But don’t leave money or extra perks on the table just because you were afraid to ask. Follow the tips above to ensure you land an offer that meets your needs and pays you what you deserve.

Do you need more help finding your next job or negotiating an offer? 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.

How to Find a Job on LinkedIn

May 26th, 2015

Whether you can believe it or not, LinkedIn is more than a decade old. Since its inception, it’s grown from a niche social networking site to a must-join for job candidates and professionals all over the world. With an increasing number of hiring managers looking to the site to find or vet recruits, it’s worth reviewing your profile to ensure it’s doing the most good. Here are some areas to focus on:

  • Your photo. Profiles with photos get many more page views than those without. So if yours doesn’t have an image, make sure to upload one. Also, make sure that it’s a professional one in an appropriate environment.
  • Your content. If you’re searching for a job, then look at job listings you’re interested in and determine which keywords show up most frequently. Then add those to your descriptions to ensure you are found by recruiters and hiring managers searching for people with your skill set.
  • Your followings. If there’s a company you’re interested in working for, be sure to follow them on LinkedIn. When you do, you’ll be able to find out when they’re hiring and any important career-related news at the company.
  • Your connections. Connections are the backbone of your LinkedIn profile; they are what gives your network strength. For instance, if you’re interested in working for ABC Company and you see that one of your connections knows someone there, you can ask your connection to make an introduction for you. And the more connections you have, the more likely those kinds of contacts will show up. Also, when you do send a request via LinkedIn, don’t use the canned “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” message; instead write a personal note, even if it’s a brief.
  • Your groups. Recruiters and hiring managers look for talent in LinkedIn groups. They search for thought leaders or people with clear expertise in a specific field or skill set. So the more you participate in group discussions, the more visible you’ll become to potential employers.

Do you need more help finding a new job? 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.

What to Look for When Researching a Potential Employer

March 24th, 2015

As one of the leading employment agencies in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Provisional knows that in today’s job market, there are a lot of candidates out there. How can you stand out from the crowd? By doing your research about a prospective employer ahead of the interview.

But you shouldn’t be looking for the date the company was founded, or who sits on the board of directors. Instead, look for the following:

  • Information about their products / services / clients. By having a general sense of their offerings and whom they serve, you’ll be more prepared to answer the interviewer’s questions.
  • What challenges the company faces or anticipates facing in the near future.
  • What specific problems they’re looking to solve by hiring.
  • What makes them different, better, or unique when compared to their competition.
  • What their reputation is in the industry and as an employer.
  • Any reasons they’ve made the news recently, such as contracts awarded or new products coming out.
  • Who the key players are at the company so if their names are brought up during the interview, you’ll know who they are.
  • Information about the company’s culture so you can clearly explain why you’re a good fit for it.

The interviewer probably isn’t going to quiz you on the information above. Although, they might ask a general question, such as: “Tell me about what you know about our company.” But what you can do is tie in the facts you do learn through research into your answers to the interviewer’s questions.

For instance:

“I noticed in the News section of your website that the company recently acquired an auto parts retailer. With my 15 years of experience in the automotive industry, I think I could do a lot to build relationships with both new and existing customers.”

Don’t worry about memorizing the company’s website. Instead, focus on the tips above so you’re not caught off guard during a job interview and so you stand out among the sea of candidates who aren’t as informed about the company as you are.

If you’d like more help finding your next job, 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.

Are You Asking About Company Culture in a Job Interview?

October 28th, 2014

Are you interviewing for new jobs? If you are, do you ask about a company’s culture? If not, you could be setting yourself up for disappointment and failure once you secure a new position.

What is culture – and why is it so important?

A company’s culture is simply like it’s unique personality. For instance, is it more formal and traditional; young, cool and cutting edge; or somewhere in between? Culture also encompasses an organization’s vision, values and beliefs. Some companies are highly focused on giving back to the communities they live in; while others like to focus on charity within by offering educational reimbursement for employees looking to better themselves. Culture also includes the systems and processes that are the norm for an organization.

As one of the leading employment agencies in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Provisional knows that if you’re like most people, there are certain cultures you’re more comfortable in and those you aren’t. And if you wind up working in a culture you don’t mesh well with, then it’s going to impact your success on the job – and not in a good way. Even if it’s a position you’re well suited for, you will eventually wind up disengaged, frustrated and unhappy.

The lesson here? Don’t put yourself in that position to begin with. The best way to avoid it is to ask the right questions during the job interview. Here are a few examples to help you get started:

  • Can you sum up the company culture in a few words?
  • What do you like most about working here? Least?
  • What do employees generally like most about working here?
  • What’s the most common complaint among employees about working at the company?
  • What things do you wish you’d known before starting to work here?
  • What does it take for someone to be successful here?
  • How does the company invest in its people?
  • What kinds of philanthropic activities is the company involved in?

Also, if you know anyone who works at the company, reach out to them and ask to pick their brain. They may be able to give you the unfiltered, inside scoop of the inner workings of the organization – information that can help you make the right decision for you.

Once you’ve learned all you can about the company’s culture, take some time to consider what’s important to you. For instance, if employees like the flex-time policy the most and a flexible schedule is vital for your lifestyle, then that’s one indication the opportunity is a good fit for you.

If you need more help finding a new job, 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.

Large Corporation vs. Small Business: The Pros and Cons of Working for Each

March 19th, 2013

As one of the leading employment agencies in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Provisional knows that when it comes to career happiness and success, it’s not all about the specific job you’re doing. Where you’re doing it is just as important.

For instance, if you hate the culture of your employer, you’re simply not going to be happy regardless of how much you like your job. On the flip side, if you mesh well with the culture, you’ll feel more comfortable, more secure, and do a better job as a result.

And when it comes to workplace cultures, large corporations and small businesses seem to be on the opposite ends of the spectrum. So if you’re looking for a new job, how can you tell which culture is right for you? Here’s a look at some pros and cons of each:

Large Corporations

Pros

  • Better pay and benefits. Larger companies can typically afford to offer their employees more in the way of compensation.
  • More opportunity for advancement. There are simply more positions in a large company, which means more opportunities for you to get ahead. Likewise, a larger company may be able to compensate you for earning an advanced degree or obtaining additional certifications.
  • A more diverse workplace. In a large company, there are simply more workers, which means you have an opportunity to network with a broader range of people, collaborate more often, and grow as a result.

Cons

  • More red tape. As a result, projects usually move slower and taking personal initiative to get something done without getting prior authorization is typically out of the question.
  • More people working on each project. This means it’s harder to be heard as an individual and you have to go the extra mile to really stand out.

Small Businesses

Pros

  • Less competition. There are less people at a smaller company, which means you have fewer people to compete with when it comes to promotions and job advancement.
  • More responsibility. At a smaller company, you’re expected to wear many hats. As a result, you’ll gain more knowledge and experience along the way. In addition, you can make more of an impact on the company and its bottom line.
  • More autonomy. Unlike their larger counterparts, small businesses generally don’t have the same level of bureaucracy. You can therefore take initiative and do your job in a way that suits your skill set and personality, rather than one dictated to you.

Cons

  • More work for less pay. At a smaller company, you may be expected to take on roles beyond your job title and you may not be paid extra salary for doing so.
  • Not as much room for promotion. If you work at a company with only a handful of people, there’s not a lot of room for growth.

Are You a Qualified Candidate in Search of Your Next Opportunity at a Company – Big or Small?

If you are, let Provisional know. 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.

Should You Accept a Counteroffer?

September 25th, 2012

The good news: You’ve been offered a great new job opportunity with a different company.

The bad news: Your current employer counteroffers with the promise of more money – and now you’re not sure what to do. Take the offer or cut your losses?

As one of the leading employment agencies in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Provisional can tell you that there are certainly pros and cons when it comes to counteroffers. While the final decision ultimately rests with you, there are some thoughts to consider before you make your move. Here’s a look:

Pros of Accepting a Counteroffer

  • You’ll make more money and perhaps get promoted into a position that will advance your career.
  • Getting another job offer can serve as a reminder to your current employer of your worth. It also demonstrates that you’re in demand.

Cons of Accepting a Counteroffer

  • Your reputation in the company could take a hit. You could be viewed by colleagues or higher-ups as less-than-loyal to the company.
  • According to studies, employees who accept counteroffers only stick it out for less than a year. So you could be passing up a once-in-a-lifetime new opportunity with a different employer and be back on the job market in just a few months.
  • If your colleagues find out you accepted a pay raise, then they might be envious or annoyed that by handing in your two weeks notice, you now earn more than them.

Now you know what some of the pros and cons of counteroffers are. But did you also know that there’s a way you may be able to avoid them altogether?

If you don’t like your job, rather than embarking on a job search, determine the source of your unhappiness. Meet with your boss to determine if there’s something that can be done to rectify the situation, whether it’s through taking on varied assignments, working more flexible hours, switching departments, or learning about what you need to do to get on track toward a promotion.

If, after this kind of conversation, nothing comes to fruition and you’re still miserable, then by all means move ahead with your job search. But if you do get a counteroffer once you’ve found a new position, at least you’ll know without a doubt your answer should be “no thanks!”

Need Help Finding a New Job That’s a Better Fit for You?

Let Provisional know. As one of the leading employment agencies in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, we work with top employers in the area and can match you with opportunities that are the right fit for your skills, background, and career goals. Contact Provisional today to learn more.

Answering Tough Questions About Resume Gaps

February 21st, 2012

As one of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho’s top employment agencies, we know that many people – especially in today’s economy – have gaps in their work history. Whether it’s due to a lay off or taking time off to raise children, those gaps can be a red flag for a potential employer. So how can you handle them and still keep yourself in the running for a job? Here are some tips to consider:

Explain the gap in your cover letter.

Don’t let a glaring gap in your employment history do all the talking to a potential employer. Offer an explanation for it in your cover letter. It doesn’t need to be long. Just state that you were out of work for whatever reason and that you are eager to return to the workforce. However, if the gap in your employment happened ages ago, don’t even mention it.

But don’t stop there.

Also include your explanation under the “Employment” section on your resume. The reason? Cover letters don’t always get passed along with resumes to key decision makers.

Tell the truth.

Whatever the reason for your gap, be honest. If you’re dishonest on your resume, you’ll probably live to regret it. It’s easy for employers to verify your work history and if you put inaccurate information on your resume, they can find out in just a phone call.

However, that said, it’s also easy to de-emphasize the amount of time between jobs without lying. One way is by including years of employment, rather than months and years. For instance, there’s a difference between being employed somewhere between “2009 – 2010” and being employed there between “November 2009 – January 2010.”

Focus on what you have been doing.

Don’t focus too much on why you were out of work. Instead, talk about the new skills you acquired thanks to your time off. For instance, if you’ve been home with your children, have you done any volunteer work, like with the school PTA? If you were laid off, have you been spending some of your time freelancing, consulting, or volunteering?

All of these experiences are work and can be included on your resume to fill any gaps. Even if you simply enrolled in a class to expand or sharpen your skill set, it gives you a good answer to tell employers when they inevitably ask what you’ve been doing during your hiatus from work.

Also, keep in mind that employers may be more understanding about your gap given the recent economic conditions. So don’t be too hard on yourself and try to focus on the positive during your interview.

If you need some additional help with your job search, let us know. As one of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho’s top employment agencies, we can give you access to rewarding job opportunities with the area’s leading employers. Get started now.

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