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The Scoop on What Happens to Your Resume After You Apply

March 20th, 2018

Submitting a resume is stressful, not simply because you want it to make a great impression, but you’re not really sure if it will make any impression at all. Once you hit the send button, it’s hard to know what happens next. Does anyone even see it? And if they do, how much time do they spend reviewing it? As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, Provisional has the answers you need. Here are some insights into the process, so you know what to expect and when:

Filters through the scanning system.

Most companies nowadays use some kind of scanning system to filter out resumes from poor-fit candidates before a hiring manager even sees them. These systems often rely on keywords in order to perform the job. That’s why, before you send in a resume, it’s important to use keywords and phrases from the job posting when describing your background and work experience.

Goes to HR for review.

If your resume does make it through the scanning system, it will likely go to the HR department next. Personnel in HR will dig a little more into your resume, scanning it for the qualifications and requirements of the position. At this point, if you’re a good fit, they could even call you to conduct a quick phone screen.

Gets sent to the hiring manager.

After these initial screening steps, your resume will then be submitted to the hiring manager for review. These managers are often the ones responsible for making the final hiring decision, but they’re also busy running their departments. They therefore need the resumes that come across their desks to be pre-screened and qualified. If the hiring manager likes what they see on your particular resume, you’ll then get a call for an interview.

Didn’t get a call?

If you don’t get a call for an interview, then it’s likely your resume was eliminated at one of these points during the process. Competition in the job market is fierce, which is why it’s so important to invest the time to submit a well-written, powerful resume that stands out to a potential employer. It’s also important to ensure your resume contains the right keywords so you’re not cut by scanning software right out of the gate.

Need more help with your resume, or any other aspect of your job search?

Call the experts at Provisional. As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, we can help you with every aspect of your search, 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 about how we can help you.

What to Do Before Your Next Big Phone Interview

March 6th, 2018

As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, Provisional knows that in today’s world, most employers conduct phone interviews before in-person ones. During them, you don’t have to worry too much about your handshake and whether you make enough eye contact. But, there is still plenty of work that needs to go into each one. So what should you do ahead of your phone interview to help you ace it? Here are some tips to help you:

Learn all you can about the company.

Read through the company website. Conduct research online. Look for news articles and information about the organization in the local media. This will help you to learn as much as possible about the company, their core offerings, and the people they serve. Not only will you be able to answer questions more intelligently as a result, but it will also enable you to make a more lasting impression on the hiring manager.

Evaluate the job description.

Once you get to know all you can about the company, it’s time to dig into the details of their needs for the position they’ve posted. So read through the job description several times. Make a note of the strengths, skills and requirements that seem most important for the job. Then align your background and skill set with them, so you can talk about what makes you the best fit for the job during the phone interview. Be ready with specific examples of accomplishments that tout your abilities.

Take notes.

The beauty of phone interviews is that the hiring manager can’t see you. So you can jot down notes about your career achievements and highlights that are most important to discuss, then keep them by your side during the interview. Don’t follow it as you would a script. Simply use it to prompt your memory so you don’t forget to mention any pertinent details.

Prepare your space.

Before your interview, make sure you have a space prepared with a notebook and pen so you can write down important information during the interview, or a question that you need to circle back to. Also, keep a glass of water handy, since you’ll be doing a lot of talking. Finally, even though the hiring manager can’t see you, be mindful of your body language. Sit up, smile and remember to breathe. When you do, you’ll make a far better impression and hopefully get a call back for another interview.

Need more help finding your next great job in Spokane, WA?

Call Provisional. As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, we can help you with every aspect of your search, from interviews to finding great-fit opportunities. In fact, we’ve placed more than 8,000 direct hire employees with leading local employers since 1994. Contact us today if you’re ready to learn more.

What Recruiters Look for on Your Social Media Accounts

February 6th, 2018

As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, Provisional knows that when it comes to hiring, recruiters have a variety of different ways they vet candidates. In today’s world, one of those is by searching social media accounts. This helps them to gain more insight into each candidate so they can make a more confident hiring decision. And in fact, according to a Jobvite survey, 55% of recruiters reconsidered a decision based on a candidate’s social media profiles.

So what do recruiters look for? Here’s some insight:

Your images.

As the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” And that’s true even on social media. When a recruiter gets to your profile page, that’s one of the first elements they’re going to be looking at, and they can either deter or impress them. Make sure you do the latter with a professional headshot that paints you in a positive light. Also, avoid posting any inappropriate photos, even if it’s on personal profiles.

Your connections.

Recruiters are also interested in who you know. If you share a mutual connection, it can certainly make an impression on them. Likewise, if you’re connected with many highly reputable professionals in your field, it will also stand out to a hiring manager. On the flip side, if you only have a couple of connections, it will be a red flag to potential employers. So aim to expand your network.

Your personality.

During an interview and in the application process, most candidates come off as completely professional and polished. But a look at social media profiles can give recruiters some insight into what’s really behind the candidate mask. When it comes to your profile, it should certainly be infused with your own unique personality; however, it should also always be professional and respectful toward others.

Beyond the areas above, recruiters also look for any warning signs in your background that could signal a potential hiring mistake. Some of these include:

  • Inappropriate images, including those with drugs and alcohol
  • Profanity
  • Poor grammar and spelling
  • Making sexual references

When it comes to posting on social media, the best rule of thumb to follow is that if you’d be embarrassed for your family to see it, then don’t post it. Chances are, you wouldn’t want a recruiter to see it either.

If you’d like more expert tips and advice with your job search, contact Provisional. As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, we can help you craft a great resume, polish your interviewing skills, and land the job you want! Contact us today if you’re ready 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.

Upcoming Phone Interview? Here’s How to Nail It

May 2nd, 2017

As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, Provisional knows getting a phone interview is great news. It means your resume and cover letter made the cut. So congratulate yourself – and then get down to work preparing for your phone screen. Here are 6 easy tips you can put to good news to nail your call:

Dig into the company’s background.

Some candidates make the mistake of treating a phone screen too casually. But it’s really just an interview, albeit a shorter one. So you need to prepare if you want to perform well. That means researching the company, reading through their website, digging up any news articles about them, and learning about industry trends.

Practice your answers.

Before your screen, come up with a list of commonly asked interview questions and practice your answers. Some of these include:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • Why do you think you’d be good in this position?
  • What do you know about our company?
  • What can you do for our company?

The great thing about phone screens is you can also keep notes by your side during it. Just make sure you don’t sound like you’re reading off of a script.

Set the stage.

It’s not a good idea to schedule a phone interview when the kids are home from school, or during a time when you’re going to be distracted with other tasks. Make sure you set it up for a time when you can totally focus. Also, find a quiet space that’s free from distractions. And be sure to have your resume, a notebook and pen, and a glass of water handy.

Keep it short.

Phone interviews can be stressful because you can’t see the person you’re interviewing with or read their body language. That’s why, when pauses happen in the conversation, it’s easy to ramble. But don’t do it. Keep your answers clear, simple and concise.

Speak slowly.

When you’re nervous or excited, it’s easy to speak too fast. So make a conscious effort to slow down and take your time when answering questions. Also, take time to gather your thoughts so you can properly answer each question. Remember, this isn’t a race.

Be enthusiastic.

It’s important to convey your enthusiasm about the job during your phone screen. Though it sounds corny, smiling during your answers is a great way to infuse your voice with enthusiasm. Also, let the interviewer know you’re interested in learning about next steps in the process.

Need more help with your job search?

Call the experts at Provisional. As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, we can help you with every aspect of your search. In fact, we’ve placed more than 8,000 direct hire employees with leading local employers since 1994. Contact us today if you’re ready to learn more.

3 FAQs About Phone Screen Interviews

January 10th, 2017

It used to be that if an employer was interested in you, they’d call you for an interview. Today, though, the norm is to conduct a phone screen first. As a result, you might have some questions about them – and how to best impress a hiring manager during one. To help you with the process, here are a few frequently asked questions and the answers:

Why do employers conduct phone screens?

As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, Provisional knows there are a variety of reasons that employers conduct phone screens:

  • It’s an efficient and effective way to filter our weaker candidates and focus on the best fit ones. Rather than inviting 20 candidates into their office for an hour-long interview, employers can spend 15 minutes on the phone with each one and then create a shorter list of candidates they want to bring in for an interview.
  • In addition, conducting phone screens helps them to gauge your interest in the position and also fill in any gaps on your resume.
  • Also, it’s hard to get a sense of a candidate’s personality with a resume. But a phone screen gives employers some insight into your soft skills – such as communication – and whether you’d fit with the company’s culture.

Can I take a call for a phone screen during the workday?

If possible, try to schedule a phone screen before or after hours. If that’s not possible, then consider your lunch break and taking the call from your car as a possibility. Or, you can tell your boss you’ll be coming in late one day or leaving early and schedule your phone screen during one of those times.

But do not schedule a phone screen while you’re on the clock with your current employer. Most reasonable employers will understand that you have a job and therefore are somewhat limited as to when you can take these calls.

How long should I wait if the hiring manager doesn’t call or pick up?

If you’re supposed to call the hiring manager – and they don’t answer, double check the number and make sure you have the right one. If you do, or if they’re supposed to call you at an appointed time and they don’t, wait five minutes. They could simply be running late from a meeting.

If, however, after a few minutes you don’t hear anything, then call and leave them a message. Leave your name, phone number, reason for the call, and also how much longer you will be available for. In any case, don’t stress about this too much. It’s very likely not a reflection of you as a candidate but probably due to a busy hiring manager’s schedule.

Have more questions about phone screens? Need expert help finding a new job? Let Provisional be your answer to all your job search needs. As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, we take your career success personally. Not only will we work one-on-one with you to learn about your background and personality, but we can also connect you with exciting and rewarding opportunities at some of the top employers in the area! Contact us today if you’re ready to learn more.

4 Tips for Planning Out Your Career in 2017

December 27th, 2016

Whether you’re in the beginning stages of your career, an industry veteran, or you’re ready for a change, you need a plan – specifically, a career plan – if you want to get ahead. As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, Provisional knows a career plan will help you carefully strategize your career, so you can achieve your goals. Not sure where to start? Follow these tips to begin the process:

#1: Determine your final destination.

What’s your dream job? Where do you ultimately want to end up? You have to be clear on where it is you want to go in order to develop a career plan. If you’re not sure, then ask yourself where you want to be in the next two years, five years and 10 years. Be completely honest with yourself in the process.

Beyond just thinking about the kind of work you want to do, also consider the type of company you want to work for. For instance, what type of culture do you prefer? How much travel do you want to do? What kind of schedule do you want to work? Knowing your ideal work environment will help you better evaluate and find opportunities that are right for you.

#2: Find out what it takes to get there.

In other words, what skills, knowledge and experience do you need to obtain to reach your ultimate career goal? Do you need an advanced college degree? Or simply a certification? Do you need more experience in what you’re already doing under your belt? Carefully think about and consider the investment of time and other resources it will take in order for you to reach your career goals.

#3: Write it out.

You know where you want to go – and what you have to do to get there. Now get all that information out of your head and onto a piece of paper. There’s power in writing out your career plan for several reasons.

  • First, it will help you really think through each step and every goal in the process.
  • Second, you can then modify and edit where needed. For instance, maybe you need to break one big goal into multiple smaller goals and steps to make it more realistic.
  • And third, seeing your plan in print will make it seem more tangible and easier to commit to.

#4: Put it into practice.

Now it’s time to step outside your comfort zone and just do it. The first step can be hard and you might feel uncertain. But you’ll never know what’s possible if you don’t step out. And once your successes start to add up, it will be easier to keep going.

Ready for a better career – and more success – in 2017? Call the experts at Provisional. As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, we can help you with every aspect of your search. In fact, we’ve placed more than 8,000 direct hire employees with leading local employers since 1994. Contact us today if you’re ready to learn more.

5 Tips for Surviving – and Thriving – in a Panel Interview

October 25th, 2016

You’ve had plenty of interviews with hiring managers, one-on-one. But now you have your first panel interview coming up. What should you expect – and how can you deliver the best performance? Here are 5 tips to help you:

Tip #1: Know the panel.

As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, Provisional knows that before the interview, it’s important to know who’s on the panel so you can best prepare. Most panels consist of representatives from various sides of the business – for instance, HR, executive level, and the department you’ll be working in. So ask your company contact if they can tell you about the mix of people on the panel. They’ll most likely be able to give you a list of those you’ll be interviewing with.

Tip #2: Try to engage everyone.

If you interviewed with the hiring manager before – and built a rapport with them – they might feel like the safe person in the room. But don’t aim all your attention and answers at them. Try to engage everyone on the panel with your responses. When answering a specific person’s question, look them in the eye and strive to persuade them that you’re the right fit for the job.

Tip #3: Be aware of your body language.

It’s only natural to be more nervous during a panel interview. But it’s important to look cool, calm and collected on the outside. So be sure to sit up straight, make eye contact with those you’re speaking to, don’t fidget, and smile at the people interviewing you.

Tip #4: Be prepared to tell stories.

One of the best ways to engage your interviewers is through stories. So before your interview, think of a few real-world examples of accomplishments most relevant to the job. When one of the interviewer’s asks about your problem solving skills, for instance, then illustrate through a real-world example about how you solved a conflict or issue at work. Doing so will bring your background to life and make a much stronger impression among the group.

Tip #5: Hold a mock interview.

If you’re really nervous about an upcoming panel interview, hold a mock one with friends or family. Ask them to develop some typical interview questions and not to hold back on you. Have someone standing by, recording the interview. That way, you can both practice your answers, as well as critique your performance once it’s over.

If you need more help preparing for your next interview – or finding out about great job opportunities in the area, call Provisional. As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, we’ve placed more than 8,000 direct hire employees with leading local employers since 1994. And we can help you find a new job too!

Contact us today if you’re ready to learn more.

5 Tips for Dealing With a Rude Co-Worker

July 26th, 2016

From gossiping to bullying, the office can sometimes feel more like the school yard that a professional place of business. If you’re working in this kind of environment, it can seriously impact your success at work – from decreased productivity to lower work quality and higher rates of absenteeism. As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, Provisional knows if it gets bad enough, you may even feel like you have no other choice but to leave your job.

Before you make a move, however, first consider these 5 tips for handling the situation:

Tip #1: Stay calm.

It’s tempting to blow up at your rude co-worker. And while doing so might feel good in the moment, it won’t help resolve the situation – plus you’ll wind up looking bad. Instead, get a hold of your anger and vent it later to someone you trust.

Tip #2: Don’t take it personally.

It’s easy to get offended when someone is rude. But keep in mind: Your co-worker’s behavior says more about them, then it does about it. In addition, if you are generally a more sensitive person, take a step back before you react. Doing so can help you to more objectively figure out the situation. It may be a case of you taking remarks or behavior too personally.

Tip #3: Try to understand your rude co-worker.

If they’re only rude to you, there must be a reason why. And if you’re going to nip the behavior in the bud, it’s important that you know the root cause of it first. So approach your co-worker and ask to meet in private. When you do, calmly explain how their behavior appears to you and see if there is a specific reason for it. It may be a simple misunderstanding, or they might not realize they’re coming across as rude.

Tip #4: Let it go.

Whether or not your co-worker changes their behavior, there comes a point in time where you need to let it go. If you can avoid working alongside them, then try that instead. You can’t control others, but you can control your reaction to them. So by mentally letting go of the situation – and your anger about it – you’re actually re-asserting control over it.

Tip #5: Escalate the issue.

That said, if your co-worker’s behavior is bordering on bullying, discrimination, or worse, then it’s time to escalate the situation. Talk to your boss or someone in HR. It’s also important to document the behavior – what was said and when – so you have a written record to back up your claims. When you do approach HR or higher ups, stay calm and professional as you discuss the situation and explain that you’d like to work toward a resolution.

If you have rude co-workers, or you’re not happy in your job, let Provisional help you find a new opportunity that’s a good fit for you. As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, we’ve placed more than 8,000 employees with leading local employers since 1994. And we can help you too!

Contact us today if you’re ready to learn more.

Fact Vs. Fiction: 5 Job Search Myths You Need to Ignore

July 12th, 2016

When it comes to job search, you may have certain beliefs about the hiring process and how it all unfolds. Unfortunately, as one of the leading employment agencies in Spokane, WA, Provisional knows that oftentimes these beliefs aren’t rooted in reality. To help ensure you’re on the same page as potential employers, here are a few myths to ignore:

1. With so many candidates out there, I need to use gimmicks to stand out.

Some candidates overnight their resume or send fancy gifts to hiring managers. But these approaches won’t get you a job interview. What will? It’s simple really – a solid resume with a track record of success and a great cover letter that shows why you’re a fit for the job.

2. It’s been a week and I haven’t heard back. That means I didn’t get the job.

You might think a week is a enough time for an employer to make a decision. But in reality, hiring can take a long time – a lot longer than most candidates assume. If a month goes by, then you’re probably not in the running. But if it’s only been a week, don’t assume the worst.

3. I meet all the qualifications, so I’m a shoo-in.

Meeting all the qualifications of the job description doesn’t mean you’ll get the job – or even an interview. In fact, most employers get resumes from many highly qualified candidates for each position and they only have time to interview so many. So just because you’re a good fit, doesn’t mean you’ll get hired.

4. I had a great interview so I know I’ll get the job.

Don’t assume anything – and don’t stop your job search until you have a formal offer letter. A great interview is certainly a step in the right direction. But anything can happen after your interview. Another candidate could perform even better than you did. Or there could be a last-minute decision to postpone the hiring process due to budget issues. There are myriad things that could happen – so don’t presume anything until you have an offer.

5. My advanced degree will make me stand out.

In certain fields, a graduate degree is the norm. So having one will simply make you a competitive candidate – not one that will necessarily stand out. In other fields, it’s not required – and employers may find it irrelevant as a result. They’re looking more for a record of accomplishments and strong soft skills – like a good attitude and work ethic.

Finding the right job can be a tough journey to navigate. If you’d like expert help with the process, contact Provisional. As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, we can help you craft a great resume, polish your interviewing skills, and land the job you want! Contact us today if you’re ready to learn more.

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