Provisional Blog

5 Common Job Seeker Mistakes that Will Sabotage Your Search

September 4th, 2018

When you’re looking for a new job in Spokane, you know you need to network, customize your resume, and prepare for interviews. But did you know there are mistakes you might be making right now that could be hurting your chances of finding a new opportunity, sabotaging all that hard work in the process? Here’s what they are and how to avoid them:

You’re sending in a resume that’s too long.
Hiring managers only spend a few seconds on each resume. So if yours is three or four pages long, it’s not going to get read. Keep in mind that your resume should simply offer the highlights of your career, it shouldn’t go into detail about every aspect of it. If you have a ton experience, a two-page resume is acceptable. If you’re entry level, though, keep it to one page.

You’re using a generic cover letter.
When you’re looking for jobs in Spokane and sending in the same cover letter to every company, hiring managers will notice. You’re not going to make a favorable impression when it’s obvious you’re submitting a cover letter that 20 other employers have received. Instead, take the time to tailor yours. Research the company, identify their hiring needs and challenges, and think about what specific skills and accomplishments you have that are most relevant. Then talk about them in your cover letter.

You’re casting too wide of a net.
When you apply to too many jobs, you’re stretching yourself thin and therefore won’t be able to focus your efforts on those Spokane jobs you’re truly qualified for. Instead, pick and choose. If you’re not sure about a position, don’t apply. Only send your application in for those opportunities you’re truly interested in.

You’re not preparing for interviews.
There are plenty of job candidates in and around Spokane who want the same jobs as you. That’s why you need to set yourself apart. One way to do that is through preparation. Make sure you learn about the company, what they do, whom they serve, and where you can fit in and make a contribution. This will help you to answer questions more intelligently, so you stand out in the process.

You’re going it alone.
Sometimes, you need expert help when it comes to a job search. This is especially true if you’re changing careers or aren’t having any luck on your own. That’s when it’s time to get help from an employment firm. They’ll be able to offer objective advice and guidance on your resume, cover letter, interview skills and more. As a result, you can often find a better-fit job faster.

Ready to learn more about the difference a professional can make in your job search?
Contact 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 finding job leads and getting interviews. Contact us today if you’re ready to get started.

Don’t Let These Common Job Search Mistakes Cost You Your Dream Job

January 24th, 2017

As one of the leading employment firms in Spokane, WA, Provisional knows that even the most experienced job candidate is bound to make a mistake or two during the job search process. Some mistakes aren’t a huge deal; while others can cost you big time – in the form of your dream job. What are they? Here’s a look at 5:

Mistake #1: Not Googling yourself.

Before you submit your resume for a job, Google yourself to check and see what comes up. You might be surprised at the results. If, for instance, there are negative remarks about a past employer, a hiring manager will wonder what you’re going to say about them should they hire you. And most hiring managers will Google you, so it’s important that all the results are professional and appropriate.

Mistake #2: Not researching the company ahead of time.

Whether in your resume, or during an interview, it’s important to showcase that you’ve done your homework. Before you submit your resume, or go in for an interview, research the company – who they are, what they do, and their customers. That way, you can share insights and talk intelligently about what you’ve learned, as well as connect your background and skill set to their unique needs.

Mistake #3: Being unprofessional.

Dressing inappropriately, or showing up late can seriously impact your chances of getting the job. Employers will think if you can’t get it right during the interview, then you’re certainly not going to once on the job.

Mistake #4: Talking poorly about a past boss or employer.

You may have had a bad experience at your last company. But don’t tell that to a hiring manager. They’re only hearing your side of the story and speaking negatively in this way will only make you seem unprofessional. Plus, you never know if the hiring manager interviewing you knows your past boss. So it’s best to always focus on the positive instead.

Mistake #5: Asking about vacation time and benefits during the interview.

Sure, you want to know what the job is offering in terms of benefits. But wait until the hiring manager brings it up. Asking about it during your first interview makes it seem like you’re more interested in paid time off than actually doing the job.

Need more help landing your dream job in Spokane? Call Provisional. As one of the leading employment firms in Spokane, WA, we can work directly with you to craft a great resume, prepare for interviews, and match you with Spokane jobs that are a fit for your background, skills, personality and career goals.

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

The Sound of Silence: Why You’re Not Getting Calls for Interviews

April 1st, 2014

You’ve searched high and low for job leads and applied to dozens of openings – but still no interview offers. Are you the victim of bad luck, or could you be making some mistakes that are hampering your job hunt success?

As one of the leading employment firms in the Northwest, Provisional knows that sometimes an opportunity just isn’t meant to be. However, if there are areas where you could improve upon in your approach, then you’ll certainly increase your odds of getting interviews.

To help you, here are a few common mistakes we see people making when searching for jobs and how to avoid them:

You’re Applying Everywhere

It’s tempting to submit your resume to every position that sounds even remotely close to what you’re looking for. This is especially true if you’ve been searching for a job for a while or are unemployed. But resist the urge. If you don’t, you’ll simply spread yourself too thin, spending too little time on submitting a few solid resumes and cover letters and more time on sending out stacks of resumes.

You’re Applying for Jobs You’re Overqualified For

A job search, particularly a long one, can shake the confidence of even the best candidate. But if you’re applying to openings you’re overqualified for, you’re causing the hiring manager to wonder: just how long will you stay on the job once hired? That said, if you’re really passionate about the position or the company, go for it every once in a while. But if you have 10 years of industry experience, don’t apply for entry level positions.

You’re Applying for Jobs You’re Not Really Interested In

If you don’t really care about the position and are looking for any old job, it’s going to come through loud and clear to the hiring manager receiving your resume. Just imagine getting a resume from a candidate who thoroughly researched the company and the position and then explained in detail – with examples of accomplishments – as to why they’d be a good fit for the position and how they could help the company. Then imagine getting a vague and boilerplate cover letter and resume. Which candidate would you choose?

Your Cover Letter and Resume are Weak

Employers want to know what you can do for them. If your cover letter and resume don’t showcase your accomplishments or demonstrate why you’d be a great employee, then hiring managers have no reason to call you for an interview. Worse, if they are riddled with mistakes, hard to read, and don’t follow a proper format, then they’re going to wind up in the trash.

Getting an interview can sometimes seem like a crapshoot. But if you avoid the mistakes above – and tailor your cover letter and resume for every position – then you can absolutely improve your odds of success.

If you’d like more job search help from the experts, call Provisional. As one of the leading employment firms in the Northwest, we can connect you with the area’s top employers and top jobs. Contact us today to learn more or search our Northwest jobs now.

6 Big Job Search Mistakes You Could Be Making

January 24th, 2012

As one of the top employment firms in the Northwest, we know that searching for a job is hard work. And it’s no surprise that candidates make a lot of mistakes during the process. Some are subtle, while others are glaring – and can have a negative impact on a candidate’s ability to get hired.

So what are they? And how can you avoid them? Here’s a look 6:

Mistake #1. You immediately discount imperfect positions.

This is where if they job description doesn’t sound completely ideal, then you immediately disregard it. However, look at the big picture. For instance, if the company posting the job has a terrific reputation as a generous employer, then it could be a huge boon to your career to get your foot in the door there – even if the position is less than perfect. Just look at Carly Fiorinia, former CEO of Hewlitt-Packard. She started her business career as a secretary, even though she had an undergraduate degree from Stanford.

Mistake #2. You ignore Northwest temporary jobs.

The same goes for temporary jobs in the Northwest. If it’s with a great employer, and you’re not doing anything at the moment other then sending out resumes and sitting by your phone, then it can’t hurt to take on some temp work.

Mistake #3. You don’t check your references.

Only give out references after you’ve spoken with them and let them know a company representative will be contacting them. Also, while it’s ok to offer one reference from a colleague, also offer two or more from managers as well. Colleagues don’t hold as much weight with employers as managers do.

Mistake #4. You use your work email on your resume.

If you’re looking for a job, and you’re still employed, don’t use your work email. This sends the message that you have no problem using an employer’s systems or equipment for personal use. In other words, it says you’re dishonest.

Mistake #5. You don’t research yourself online.

A potential employer is most likely going to Google or Bing you. So do it first, and deal with any negative information before applying for Northwest jobs. Clean up where you can, set your social media profiles to private, and if there’s something negative about you that you didn’t post, ask the person who posted it to take it down. If they refuse, contact the company directly.

Mistake #6. You think it’s all about you.

Your job search is about you to a certain degree. After all, you want to find a rewarding and well-paying job you enjoy. However, it’s also about the employer and what you can do for them if they hire you. So when applying for Northwest jobs, focus on how you can help an employer streamline processes, save money, or enjoy some other kind of valuable benefit.

And if you’d like some more help finding a new job, give us a call. As one of the top employment firms in the Northwest, we work with leading organizations throughout the region and can give you access to a variety of opportunities. Search for Northwest jobs now.

7 Comon Mistakes That Can Cost You the Job Offer

January 25th, 2011

The competition in the Northwest job market can be fierce. That means there’s no room for error. Unfortunately, even the most careful applicants can make mistakes that could cost them the job offer. What are they – and how can you avoid them? Keep these mistakes in mind for a better chance at winning that job.

1. Typos on your resume or in your cover letter.

Typos may seem trivial to you, but, as a Northwest employment agency, we can tell you that they make a sloppy first impression. The last thing you want is your resume to end up in the trash because you misspelled one word, especially if it’s a Northwest job that you’d be a terrific fit for. So before hitting the “Send” button, proofread everything. Better yet, ask someone else to proofread your cover letter and resume for you. When you’ve been reading the same thing over and over, it’s easy to miss typos.

2. Including too much fluff in your cover letter and resume.

It’s o.k. to talk about your strong work ethic and drive to deliver. But back that claim up with specific examples. Hiring managers are looking for results, not rhetoric.

3. Arriving late.

Arriving at an interview late is a good way to lose out on the job offer. Granted, the interviewer may look past this one faux pas if you have a good reason, but you’ll also be under much more scrutiny as a result. To avoid this situation, give yourself plenty of time to get to the interview location. Account for things like bad weather, traffic, and construction.

4. Not preparing for your interview.

Before your interview, you should have researched the company, developed a list of questions you have about the company and the position, and prepared your answers to some commonly asked interview questions. If you don’t prepare thoroughly, it shows. Trust us. It also gives off the impression that you’re not really interested in the job.

5. Talking too much during the interview.

Whether it’s due to nerves, or an uncertainty as to how much information to offer, some candidates talk way too much – and end up shooting themselves in the foot. So keep your answers short, sweet, and targeted to the question the interviewer asked.

6. Talking too little during the interview.

On the other hand, some candidates don’t seem to want to talk at all, only offering “yes” or “no” answers. This is your opportunity to sell yourself to the interviewer, so don’t be afraid to clearly state your achievements and why you’d be a good fit for the position.

7. Dressing inappropriately.

Not dressing the part is another good way to miss out on the offer. When you’re dressing for the interview, think conservative, polished, and well-groomed.

And if you need some help finding a job in the Northwest, please contact Provisional. As an experienced employment agency, we work with some of the leading employers in the region and can help you find a position that’s a great match for you.