Provisional Blog

4 Major Career Mistakes…& How to Avoid Them

January 21st, 2020

When it comes to your career, it’s easy to make mistakes. After all, there’s no particular guidebook that’s going to walk you through every decision, question and conundrum. As a result, you might hit some obstacles along the way. That’s normal; however, there are some steps you can take to avoid a few common mistakes and ensure they don’t sabotage your progress. Here’s a look at 4 of them:

Mistake #1: Accepting an offer without thinking it through.

If you’re in the midst of a job hunt and just go an offer, it’s certainly exciting. But take time to analyze it first and truly think it through. For instance, the salary might be highly competitive, but if the commute’s really long, will it impact your quality of life? These are the kinds of hard questions you need to ask yourself about the position, the company, the culture, and all the perks, benefits and challenges related to them.

Mistake #2: Getting comfortable in auto-pilot.

Once you get to a point in your career where you’re comfortable, you might simply want to coast for a while. That’s understandable. But don’t remain in auto-pilot for too long. If you do, you won’t learn and develop, growing stagnant in the process. So keep up on industry knowledge, work to gain new skills, challenge yourself with stretch assignments and put yourself out there so you can see if you have what it takes to achieve your career goals.

Mistake #3: Assuming it’s too late to make a change.

If you’ve been working for decades and have extensive experience under your belt, you might think it’s too late to do anything different. You’re too far down a particular pathway and need to just “stick it out.” But in reality, it’s never too late to make a change in your career. Whether it’s finding a new job, getting promoted or switching fields entirely, think about what will fulfill you professionally and then strategize how you can make it happen. You’ll only fail if you don’t try.

Mistake #4: Burning bridges when you have a negative experience.

If you’re leaving a job behind due to a boss you didn’t click with or toxic co-workers, don’t talk negatively about them in your future position. It’s a small world and you never know who might know the person you’re bashing. So be diplomatic and always keep bridges in tact. If you need to vent, talk to your family and friends instead.

Looking for help finding your next career step?

Turn to the Spokane, WA recruitment team at Provisional Recruiting. We’re experts when it comes to connecting talented professionals with rewarding jobs and can help you take that next important step in your career. Contact us today or search our jobs now!

How to Enhance Your Resume for 2020 & Get a Job You Love

January 7th, 2020

If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to find a new job, then you need to start with your resume. Even in 2020, a polished and professional resume is still expected if you want to land a great new position. The bad news? There are many candidates out there right now with the same resolution as you. But there is good news. By taking a few key steps and tweaking your resume, you can ensure it’s at the top of the pile for interview calls. Here’s what to do:

Focus on the most relevant strengths and experience.

When you’re applying to a particular job, don’t list every task and duty you’ve ever handled. Instead, focus on those most relevant to the opportunity so that the hiring manager can quickly see that you’re a good fit. This means you’ll need to edit your resume each time you apply for a job. But the extra effort will be well worth it in the form of more interviews and potential job offers.

Show your worth through numbers.

It’s important to talk about your responsibilities and experience. However, more than that, you need to demonstrate your worth through hard numbers. For instance, how many projects did you manage? What was the size of the team you led? Where did you save a past employer time or money? These are the types of accomplishments that are going to make you stand out – and make you more memorable – to a hiring manager. So wherever you can, bring your background to life through numbers.

Include continuing education and outside experience.

Beyond your paid work experiences, don’t forget to include those where you gained a new skill, earned a certification or volunteered for a role. While these might not have been formal positions, this shows hiring managers that you’re committed to learning, growing and giving back. It’s just another way to set you apart from other candidates with similar experience as you.

Follow proper formatting rules.

While what your resume says is critically important, how it looks is vital, as well. If the margins are too narrow, paragraphs are too dense and the font size is too small, then the hiring manager isn’t going to be able to scan your resume quickly. Instead, make it as easy as possible for them to read and get the sense that you’re a match for what they’re looking for by using plenty of white space, incorporating bullet points, bolding job titles, and using a font size that’s large enough to read quickly.

Include keywords.

In today’s hiring process, many times an applicant tracking system will screen resumes before a hiring manager sees them. They use relevant keywords to search out those candidates that are the right fit, which is why it’s so important to include them on your resume. So before you submit yours, read through the job posting and make sure that some of the most relevant, job-specific ones are included on your resume.

Beyond the tips above, make sure you proofread your resume multiple times to ensure there aren’t any typos or mistakes. You want to put your best foot forward every time you submit your resume, so you increase your odds of getting called for the job.

Interested in more help with your job search?

As one of the Northwest’s leading employment agencies, Provisional Recruiting is here for you with a range of top opportunities we can give you access to. Simply contact our team to get started or search our jobs now.

5 Job Search Mistakes to Avoid in the New Year

December 24th, 2019

If you’re heading into 2020 without a job, it’s easy to get discouraged. The good news is that there are some mistakes you can avoid to help speed up your search and fine a new position, faster.

To help you in the process, the Spokane, WA recruitment experts at Provisional Recruiting are here for you. Below are a few common missteps to avoid when you’re looking for a new position:

Mistake #1: Applying to everything.

If you’re out of work, you might be feeling desperate. But if your job search doesn’t have focus and you’re applying to anything and everything, you’re not going to find a quality opportunity. Instead, take a step back and take a deep breath. Then attack your job search once again with a more clear-cut approach that includes only applying to positions you really want and those you’re truly qualified for.

Mistake #2: Applying to jobs you’re over-qualified for.

If there’s a reason you want to take a step down in your career – such as new demands in your personal life – that’s one thing. However, keep in mind, if you’re willing to accept a big cut in pay and responsibilities, then it can have a long-term impact. Not only will it affect your budget, quality of life and enthusiasm for your job, but it can cut into your earning potential in the future, too.

Mistake #3: Being too persistent.

Persistence can pay off in a job search, or it can be a liability, depending on how you put it it use. For instance, if you continually pester a hiring manager about an opportunity, then they’re going to cross you off their list of potential hires. So walk the fine line when it comes to follow up, doing so in a way that’s reasonable and appropriate.

Mistake #4: Getting too personal.

During the job search and interview process, don’t get too personal with the information you’re offering. For instance, the hiring manager doesn’t need a photo of you with your resume or information about your hobbies and interests. Simply focus on your relevant strengths and what makes you the best candidate for the job.

Mistake #5: Getting discouraged.

When you don’t have a job for a period of time, it’s easy to lose hope and accept anything that comes your way. But try to hold off until the right opportunity opens up. Even if you’re pulling a paycheck, you won’t be satisfied in the long run with a position that’s not a match for your personality, career goals and lifestyle needs. So be patient, keep searching and you eventually will find that position that’s a great fit for you.

Looking for a new job in the Spokane, WA area?

Whether you’re unemployed or still have a job, the recruitment professionals at Provisional Recruiting are here for you. We’ll get to know your personality and work background, all so we can connect you with rewarding opportunities. Contact us today or search our Spokane jobs now!

4 Ways to Deal with Job Search Rejection

December 10th, 2019

It’s the holiday season and supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year. But if you’re dealing with rejection for a job you really wanted, you’re probably not feeling very merry or bright. But Spokane, WA’s job search experts at Provisional Recruiting are here to help. Below are a few tips for keeping your spirits high and eventually landing the job you want:

Ask for feedback.

You might not get it, but it doesn’t hurt to ask if the hiring manager is willing to explain why you weren’t chosen. It could have been as simple as the decision to promote someone internally, which is difficult to compete against if you’re an outside candidate. Or perhaps the other candidate had more experience. In any case, any insight you’re given will be helpful to your job search process.

Try not to take it personally.

Whatever you do find out, or even if it’s nothing at all, don’t take it personally. There are so many factors that go into a hiring decision, many of which you might not even know about. So while your anger or frustration might be center stage right now, try to take a deep breath and calm down. Vent to a friend or family member about it and then move on. There are plenty of other jobs out there in the Spokane, WA area.

Implement feedback.

Maybe you were late to the interview or didn’t give the strongest answers. Whatever the case, if there were areas for improvement on your part, take them to heart and work on them. You’re in control of these aspects of the job search process and you want to ensure they’re as strong as possible, so you’re in the best position for the next opportunity that comes your way.

Don’t let up on your search.

With the holidays approaching, a rejection might seem like a sign to take a break from your search. But it’s actually a great time to find a new job. Many other candidates take time off from the hunt, meaning there’s less competition. Likewise, hiring managers in certain industries are less busy during this season, so have the extra space in their schedule for interviewing and hiring. So don’t let any negative emotions sabotage your search.

Looking for professional help finding your next job in Spokane, WA?

Provisional Recruiting is here for you. With work with companies all over the area and in a range of industries and can connect you with the opportunity that’s ideal for you. Contact us today to learn more!

Want to Nail Your Next Interview? Here’s What to Do

November 26th, 2019

When it comes to job interviews, most hiring managers can spot a bad candidate from a mile away. However, when it comes to mediocre versus excellent ones, it can be difficult to tell the difference. That’s why you need to take the right steps to set yourself apart – and set yourself up for getting the offer. Here are a few to consider:

Remember the small things.

Details matter to hiring managers. For instance, responding quickly to emails, following up after an interview, following directions in the job ad, and supplying references when asked are all important to them. That’s why you should never let your guard down and always put your best foot forward, whether you’re on the phone, in a face-to-face interview or communicating via text or email.

Avoid common mistakes.

There are certain red flags that hiring managers are always on the look out for. These include mistakes such as arriving late, not dressing in professional attire, being rude or immature, keeping your phone on, or not asking questions after the interview. These all spell trouble to hiring managers, which means you won’t get a call back.

Don’t bring up perks or benefits.

If you’re having a phone screen or are going to your first interview, don’t be the one to bring up salary, health insurance and vacation days. The hiring manager will think that’s all you care about, not the actual job. Wait for them to broach the topic. If they offer you a position or it seems like you have a good shot at it, then you can inquire about compensation.

Make sure your references are in order.

Don’t let a poor reference sabotage the job offer. Instead, make sure your references are lined up ahead of time and well-prepared for the hiring manager to call. This means that you need to tell them a little about the role beforehand and why you’re a good fit. Also, suggest any projects you worked on together that would be relevant to the position and a good idea to bring up.

Quantify your accomplishments.

Numbers speak volumes to hiring managers. So if you’re prepared to talk about your accomplishments during the interview, then try to quantify them ahead of time in terms of how they impacted a past or current employer. Not only will you impress the hiring manager, but you’ll also be more memorable in the process.

Want additional help securing your next job?

Turn to Provisional. We work with employers all over the area and can connect you with some of the best jobs in the Northwest! It’s our passion and our pride.

What to Ask an Employer When Interviewing for a Job

November 19th, 2019

In the midst of a job search and preparing for an interview? You know you need to research common questions and have answers ready for each. But are you also putting together a list of your own questions; ones that will help you better discern whether the position is what you’re looking for? It’s a must if you want to land in a role that’s just right for you. Here’s a look at a few to consider:

Why is this position open?

It’s important to find out whether someone left or if this is a new role that’s being created. If it’s a new role, keep in mind, there could be some unexpected challenges to work out with it. If it’s an existing position, ask about what the last person who held it was like in terms of skills and experience and what made them successful in the job.

What are the most important qualifications for this job?

The job posting likely had a long list of different traits, skills and qualifications the employer is looking for. However, when asking this question, you want to find out the few that are the most important for the job. If those are your strength, then you’re in good shape. If they’re your weak link, though, you might want to re-think the opportunity.

What are the short-term goals and expectations for the position?

By asking this question, you’ll find out what you’re expected to achieve in the first few months on the job. You’ll then have a better sense of whether these objectives seem doable for you or if they’re outside your area of expertise.

What are some challenges that come with the job?

The last thing you want is to accept a position only to get blindsided by all the hassles and headaches that come with it. So if the hiring manager seems unwilling to answer this question or gives you the runaround, take note. They could be hiding something. If they are forthcoming, then at least you’ll know what to expect and can make a more informed decision if you are offered the position.

What are the workflow and communication like?

In other words, are you expected to respond to emails and texts at night and on weekends? Do most people stay on the job well after closing time due to hot projects and tight deadlines? It’s important to get a sense of the pace of the culture at the company and how often you need to stay in touch during your down time.

How often will I receive feedback?

The company might adhere to a once-a-year performance review policy. Or managers could check in with each team member on a weekly basis. It depends on the organization. But when you know the answer to this question, you’ll be able to tell whether the process is a fit for your performance needs.

Are there any learning and development opportunities?

The best employers invest in their people. That’s why asking this question is important. It will give you a good idea of what the company values and how much support and training you can expect if you get the job.

Walking into the interview prepared with a list of questions will not only put you in a positive light for the hiring manager, but also enable you to determine whether the job and the company are a match for you.

Need more help finding your next great job in the Northwest?

Contact Provisional. We work with some leading employers in the region and can connect you with rewarding jobs in the Northwest.

How to Find Out if a Job is Right for You

November 5th, 2019

When you’re looking for a new job, you’re putting your best foot forward. So, too, are hiring managers. As a result, in some cases, they might not give you the clearest picture of what the position really entails or what working at the company is like. And if you’re not sure, you could wind up in a role that’s not a good fit for you.

How do you avoid this kind of situation and find an opportunity that’s a better match? Here are some tips from Provisional – one of the Northwest’s top employment agencies – to help you:

Use your network wisely.

When you’re looking for job leads, your network is a great place to start asking around about possibilities. More than that, though, if you’re interviewing at a company and know someone there, you can reach out to them ahead of time for more insider insight into the culture, leadership team and other important details. 

Don’t know any current employees? Look to LinkedIn to find a connection. Even if they’re not a direct one, reach out to someone in your network who is and ask for an introduction. In most cases, people are willing to help.

Ask to talk to existing employees.

If you’re not able to find an employee to talk to on your own, ask the employer you’re interviewing with. In fact, in many cases, they’ll already have an employee as part of the interview process to give you more first-hand insight into what the job is like. If they don’t, though, ask to connect with one. Most companies will comply and for those who won’t, you’ll have to wonder why. 

Do your homework.

The hiring manager who’s interviewing you is only one source of information. You should be conducting your own research to get the scoop on the company’s reputation both in the field and as an employer. Google them and look for news articles about them. Also, read reviews on sites like Glassdoor and check out their social media profiles for any helpful information. 

Ask lots of questions.

During the interview process, make sure you’re asking questions about the position itself, as well as the company and what it’s like working there. Assess not only the answers you get, but how the hiring manager is responding. Do they seem genuinely open and helpful or more like you’re asking inconvenient questions? This will give you some insight into how upfront they’re being about the job. 

Go with your gut. 

If, after all your research, you don’t feel comfortable about the offer, even if it seems perfect on paper, go with your gut. Your subconscious is telling you something that you shouldn’t ignore.

Need more help finding your next great job?

Provisional is here with the connections and support you’re looking for. As one of the Northwest’s leading employment agencies, we can match you with rewarding opportunities with some of the area’s top employers!

5 Easy Prep Tips for Standing Out During Your Job Interview

October 8th, 2019

Unemployment is low. However, competition is still high for the top jobs in and around the Northwest. It’s why, when it comes to your interview, you need to make the best impression possible, so you get called back or offered the position. But how can you do that? It all comes down to how you prepare. Here are five easy tips to help you:

Tip #1: Research the company.

Do everything you can to get to know the ins and outs of the company you’re interviewing with. Start with their website, but also look to their social media profiles, as well as news articles about them. The more you know, the better questions you can ask and the more prepared you’ll come across. You’ll also feel more confident walking into the interview.

Tip #2: Know where you’re going.

You might think you know where the interview is located. But will there be construction along the way? What if there’s an accident? When do you need to leave to give yourself some extra time just in case? These are the kinds of questions you’ll want answers to with a clear route to the company mapped out ahead of the interview. This will help calm your jitters and ensure you get there with time to spare. 

Tip #3: Prep your attire well before the big day.

Make sure whatever you’re wearing – which should be a business suit in most cases – is cleaned and pressed. If you need to take it to the dry cleaners, then give yourself plenty of time to do that. Also make sure you choose something that’s more neutral and won’t distract the hiring manager as you’re answering questions. 

Tip #4: Pack the night before.

Bring with you a few different items and put them in your briefcase or bag the night before. This includes copies of your resume, as well as a notebook and pen. Also bring along a list of references in case the hiring manager asks for them. Finally, throw in some breathe mints to ensure you make the best impression possible.

Tip #5: Avoid common mistakes.

While you won’t know what questions you’ll get, there are some answers you should always avoid giving. These include “I don’t know.” If that’s the case and you’re not sure about something, then say simply instead “I’m not 100% sure about that. Let me get back to you.” Also, never talk in a negative way about your past employer or co-workers, or ask off the bat about time off or vacation days. These seemingly minor errors can knock you out of the running for the job.

Need more help finding out about job opportunities in the Northwest and preparing for interviews?

As one of the Northwest’s top employment agencies, Provisional knows what hiring managers are looking for in candidates and can help connect you with opportunities, as well as prepare for your interviews. Call us today to get started!

How to Advocate for Yourself – and Advance Your Career – in 4 Easy Steps

September 24th, 2019

When it comes to your career, you’re the only advocate you’ve got. If you don’t know how to properly promote your accomplishments and strengths to your boss or a future employer, it’s going to be much harder to get ahead. However, for most professionals, self-promotion can be awkward and uncomfortable. How can you make it easier, all while taking advantage of its power? Here are four simple steps to take:

#1: Know where you want to go.

If you’re not sure where you’re trying to go with your career, it’s tough to know where to begin when it comes to promoting yourself. Instead, take a step back and think about what you’re aiming for. Do you want to get promoted at work? Do you want to ask your boss to cover the cost of a continuing education class, so you can acquire new skills? Or do you think you’re ready for a different job entirely?

#2: Know your value.

When it comes to advocating for yourself and promoting your strengths, you need to get specific. Vague or generic statements won’t cut it when it comes to talking up your abilities to your boss or a hiring manager. So know the unique value you bring to the table and why it’s important for the company. For example, if you want a promotion, be ready to highlight specific accomplishments and the impact they’ve had.

#3: Know the decision makers.

When it comes to getting ahead at your own company, visibility it key. You’re not going to climb the ranks and acquire a higher position of company leadership doesn’t know who you are. That’s why it’s important to get on their radar. Seek them out and strive to make a connection with them, so they can learn about what you’ve done and what you’re capable of doing.

#4: Know when it’s time to look outside your company.

If you want to get ahead, sometimes you have to search for an opportunity outside your company. If there’s no room for advancement and you’re ready for a move, then now’s the time to take the plunge. But before you do, engage your network and reach out about any potential jobs they might know about. Also, stay on their radar by regularly posting on LinkedIn, sharing any work accomplishments, or offering your take on industry trends and news. You’ll stay top-of-mind, which could lead to a new opportunity.

Ready to advance your career by making a move?

Turn to Provisional, one of Spokane’s leading employment agencies. We can learn about your background, skills and accomplishments, then connect you with rewarding opportunities with top local employers. Contact us today to learn more.

Why You Need a Professional Photo on LinkedIn

September 10th, 2019

When it comes to your LinkedIn profile, your photo makes a big difference. In fact, if you don’t have one, you’re going to come off as spammy and phony to recruiters and hiring managers. Not only that, but according to LinkedIn statistics, those with a photo get 21 times more profile views and nine times more connection requests.

Even if you do have one, if it’s not professional-looking, then they’ll also think twice about considering you for a new opportunity. You won’t come off as a credible, quality candidate they want to hire.

So short of spending an arm and a leg on a professional photographer, what can you do to improve your online profile? Here are some quick tips to help you:

Avoid the selfie.

It’s an all-too-common type of image across social media. And it’s fine for your personal Facebook page or the family photo album. But avoid a selfie shot for your LinkedIn profile if you want to come across as a mature professional. 

Use a headshot.

Don’t post a family photo of you at the beach. Or crop one that has you featured in a way where you look blurry or off-center. Instead, get a simple headshot taken from a friend or family member, where you’re posed in a place with plenty of light.

Dress professionally.

You don’t need to be in a business suit or dressed overly formal. However, you want to present a professional image and if you’re wearing a bathing suit sitting poolside, for instance, that’s not going to happen. So make sure you look polished in whatever picture you post. 

Keep the background simple.

Wherever your picture is taken, just make sure it’s in a place without a busy background. If it is, then it will distract from the overall professional image you’re trying to project. Instead, choose something simple and neutral to serve as the backdrop. 

Want professional assistance with your LinkedIn profile or your job search?

At Provisional, we can help with every aspect of it. We’ll give you guidance on your resume, LinkedIn profile, interview answers and all other aspects of your job search. This will help you find a new job in Spokane, one you’ll love, faster. Search our jobs now