Provisional Blog

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

4 Simple Tips for Finding the Right Seasonal Job

April 9th, 2019

Looking for seasonal work when the weather heats up? Don’t wait much longer. Now’s the time that employers in and around Spokane are seeking out qualified candidates for temporary jobs. So how can you go about finding one that’s best-suited for you? Here are 4 simple tips to help you:

Tip #1: Start now.

You might think that summer is still a way’s off and that you have plenty of time. However, there’s a lot that goes into the hiring process, which is why most employers are gearing up to hire for their summer season now. They want to ensure they have the time necessary to source qualified candidates, screen them, and train them properly. So if you’re interested in temporary jobs in Spokane, then get started with your search now.

Tip #2: Narrow your search.

If you’re applying to all different jobs, in many different industries, the process can be overwhelming. Instead, narrow your search and focus on a few key roles and fields that truly interest you. Not only will you be able to spend more time on researching possibilities and tailoring your application materials to each position, but once you do get a job, it will be one that’s a better fit for you.

Tip #3: Ask around.

Referrals are a great source of job possibilities. So ask your network of friends, family and other contacts whether their employers are hiring, or if they’ve heard of any potential seasonal openings. You’ll find a good source of temporary job leads faster. In addition, if there is an opening, you can ask your contact for a recommendation, which will improve your odds of landing a position.

Tip #4: Be flexible.

When summer arrives, you might want to keep plenty of time in your schedule for picnics and pool parties. However, if you want to snag the best temporary job in Spokane, you need to be flexible for employers. They’ll likely have fluctuations in terms of work demands and scheduling and therefore need you to adapt quickly. Not only that, but being able to tell a potential employer that you’re flexible and can come in as needed will make you more marketable during your search.

Finding seasonal work is just like any other search. Employers want to hire qualified people, so it’s important to approach the process in the same way you would if you were looking for full-time work. If you’d like help with it, turn to the team at Provisional. We can connect you with top temporary jobs in Spokane with leading employers in a variety of fields. Find out more today by contacting us.

6 Ultimate Tips for Preparing for Your Next Job Interview

February 5th, 2019

Gone are the days of answering a job posting, going to an interview and getting the offer within days. Instead, today interviewing can feel like a contact sport. There’s so much preparation to do ahead of time with the interview itself stressful and nerve-wracking. With so much at stake, how can you best prepare and increase your odds of landing your next Spokane job? Here are 6 tips to consider:

1. Spend some time researching the company and the hiring manager.

Look to several different sources, like their website, industry sites, news websites and social media, for a well-rounded picture of the company. Likewise, if you know the name of your interviewer, then do some background research on him or her too. This will help you to identify any areas of mutual interest that you can use as an icebreaker. It will also help you better prepare questions to ask them based on their background with the company.

2. Research common interview questions and prepare answers.

Chances are, you’ll be asked about your weaknesses or why a company should hire you. You’ll feel more confident walking into an interview when you’ve thought about the answers you’ll be giving. Wherever you can, quantify your responses with facts, figures, numbers and percentages. Your responses will be more persuasive and impressive to hiring managers.

3. Think about stories that best reflect your relevant skills and strengths.

You’re going to be talking a lot about yourself and your background during the interview. One way to bring your experience to life is by sharing specific stories about the skills and strengths you have that are most relevant to the job. For instance, don’t simply say you “go the extra mile.” Give a specific example of a time that you went above and beyond and the positive outcome that came about because of it.

4. Have a friend or family member perform a mock interview with you.

If you’re especially nervous before an interview, ask a friend or family member to conduct a mock one with you. That way, you can practice answering questions and get feedback, all of which can help you to improve your performance and your odds of landing the offer.

5. Plan ahead for what you’ll wear and bring to the interview.

You don’t want to be rushing out the door the morning of your interview only to realize you forgot to make copies of your resume. That’s why planning ahead is so important. Some specific areas to focus on include your interview outfit and making sure it’s dry cleaned and pressed. Also, bring with you several copies of your resume, a pen and paper, a list of your questions, and directions to the interview site.

6. Take good care of yourself the day before.

Make sure you eat right and get a good night’s sleep. Also, try not to stress too much about the interview, especially if you’ve spent plenty of time preparing. Instead, focus on doing something fun that will take your mind off the next day. When you’re well-rested and relaxed, you’ll perform better in the interview.

Need more help with your job search or getting ready for your next interview?

At Provisional, our goal is to help you land the Spokane job you want. To get there, we can assist with your resume, interview preparation, salary negotiations and more. Simply contact us today to get started.

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.

8 Tips for Getting Your Resume Ready for Your 2018 Job Search

January 2nd, 2018

Looking for new jobs in Spokane, WA in the New Year? Before you launch your search, you need to ensure your resume is ready for employers and recruiters alike. Here are some tips for helping you get there:

Tip #1: Use the right format.

When you send in your resume, a hiring manager expects it to be formatted in a certain way. This not only makes it easier for them to read through, but also helps you appear more professional. So be sure you include your name and contact information at the top; a summary of qualifications below; then list your work history in chronological order, using bolded type and bullet points to highlight your roles and responsibilities. After that, discuss your education, volunteer experience and any other pertinent skills.

Tip #2: Avoid unnecessary information.

For instance, unless you’re an entry level candidate, don’t include an objective statement at the top of your resume. These are no longer needed and will make you look dated. Also, skip the line that says “references are available upon request.” Hiring managers know this and it simply takes up valuable space on your resume. Finally, don’t include personal details that aren’t important for the position, such as hobbies, or whether you’re married and have kids.

Tip #3: Focus on accomplishments.

When you’re discussing your work history, don’t only talk about your tasks and responsibilities. Make sure you quantify them and point out the positive impact they’ve made at past employers. Also, get as specific as possible; vague generalities won’t land you an interview.

Tip #4: Customize your resume.

Don’t send in the same resume to every employer you apply to. Instead, tailor it for each opportunity. That will mean you’ll need to rework some of the wording, as well as the order you list your accomplishments, tasks and responsibilities in, always with the most relevant information first.

Tip #5: Be careful with your verbiage.

For instance, limit the adjectives, hyperbole and fluff, such as “motivated team player,” and “results oriented problem solver.” Hiring managers will simply skip over it, and you’re wasting valuable space on information that won’t get you noticed.

Tip #6: Be concise.

You don’t need to include every past job you’ve held from high school on. Instead, focus on the past 10 years of experience and those positions that are most relevant. In addition, limit your resume to two pages or less. Anything more than that won’t get read.

Tip #7: Incorporate keywords.

In today’s world, applicant tracking systems filter out resumes that aren’t the right fit. That’s why you need to take keywords into account when crafting your resume. Review the job posting and incorporate a few keywords from it throughout your resume. That way, your resume will have a better chance of getting through the system and getting into the hands of a hiring manager.

Tip #8: Proofread.

Before you send in a resume, make sure you proofread it multiple times. Even better, ask a friend or loved one to proofread it for you. That way, you can rest easy it’s error-free before submitting it.

Interested in professional help finding a new job in the Spokane area?

Call in the experts at Provisional. Since 1994, we’ve been matching qualified individuals with terrific new jobs in Spokane, WA – and we can help you too. Contact us today to learn more.

Should I Include Volunteering Under “Work History” or in a Separate Category on My Resume?

June 28th, 2011

The answer is: It depends.

Where you list volunteer work depends on how relevant it is to your career. For instance, if you work in marketing and volunteered as a marketing consultant at a local non-profit, then include that work in your “Work History” section. In addition, don’t use the title “Volunteer,” which can minimize your role; instead use “Marketing Consultant.”

If, however, your volunteer work is unrelated to your career, then include it in a separate category, such as under “Community Involvement,” toward the end of your resume.

Another factor to keep in mind is who the employer is. If you’re applying for a job in Spokane at a non-profit, you may want to include your volunteer work front and center, whether it relates to your profession or not. For a community-minded employer, the fact that you do volunteer work can put you a step ahead of your competition.

How should I describe the volunteer work?

Treat it as you would any position that you were paid for. Explain the skills you put to use, the results you were able to deliver, and any important lessons you learned in the process. Also include the name of the organization you volunteered with and the dates you were there.

Why should I include volunteer work?

For an employee, volunteer work demonstrates a certain kind of character. It shows that you are an involved citizen, someone who works to make the community a better place. That said, including volunteer work can be especially valuable for three groups of people:

  • For entry-level workers, volunteer work demonstrates interests and experience beyond the classroom.
  • For those returning to the workforce, volunteer work illustrates a desire to stay sharp and remain involved.
  • For laid off workers, volunteer work can help you fill an employment gap, as well as network during your job search.

If have any other questions about resume do’s and don’ts, or need help with any other aspect of your Spokane job search, please contact Provisional. Since 1994, we’ve helped thousands of area candidates find rewarding jobs in and around Spokane. And we can help you too.

A Checklist for Dealing With Being “Downsized”

February 22nd, 2011

Being laid off can be a devastating experience. And unfortunately, it’s something that can happen to even the best of us. So if you’ve been laid off, here are some steps to help you survive and get back on track toward finding a new job in Spokane:

1. Check.

Your first step should be to check with your company’s HR department about benefits you’re entitled to, such as COBRA, which will help you continue your health insurance coverage and is mandated by law as long as your employer has 20 or more employees. In some cases, the employee pays the full amount of the coverage; or, in other cases, the employer pays for some or all of the coverage for a period of time as part of a severance package. Also be sure to ask about any severance pay, retirement benefits, accrued vacation time, and overtime and sick time.

2. Ask.

Having glowing references can be the deciding factor in whether you’re hired for a new job in Spokane. So before you leave your old job, ask your boss and colleagues for reference letters, or ask if you can list them as a reference when applying for a job.

3. File.

Before you even start your job search, file for unemployment. Why? Because the sooner you file, the sooner you will start receiving money. Go to Washington State’s Employment Security Department for more information on eligibility requirements and how to apply.

4. Reflect.

Don’t jump into your job search right away. Take some time to rethink your career path. List your accomplishments and the tasks that you’ve enjoyed doing most. You may realize that you will be happier – and more productive – in a role that is slightly different from the one you were just laid off from.

5. Rework.

Rework your resume to reflect the kind of job you’re looking for. Be sure to include any accomplishments you achieved in your last position.

6. Start.

Searching the Internet 16 hours a day will only get you so far in your job search. Instead, approach your search like it’s a job. Get up in the morning, just as you would if you were going to work, get dressed and spend a few hours online searching for openings or making connections. In the afternoon, consider going to a networking event or job fair. Have lunch with former colleagues or friends. Or send out emails to your current network of contacts in case they have any job leads.

If you’ve been laid off, and would like some help finding a new job in Spokane, please contact Provisional. Since 1994, we have been the Northwest’s leader in specialized recruiting and staffing services, placing over 6,000 direct-hire professionals with area companies.

Is Your Spokane Job in Jeopardy?

September 7th, 2010

With unemployment officially inching upward, you may be concerned that you’re going to get the ax at your company. So what are some of the warning signs that your Spokane job could be in jeopardy? Here are a few:

Consultants.
Your company hires a consultant to come in to help redefine the strategic direction or mission. Recommendations typically include restructuring or downsizing.

Closed door meetings.
These can be another sign that layoffs are on the horizon, especially if your boss typically has an open door policy.

Mergers & acquisitions.
Your company is in negotiations with another company that will probably result in an acquisition or a merger.

Cost-cutting.
Your boss has announced drastic cost-cutting measures such as hiring freezes, and cuts in salaries and travel budgets.

Competitor lay offs.
Your company’s competitors are laying off people. If your company is publicly traded, and the market responds well to layoffs from another company in the industry, your company may follow suit.

Outsourcing.
Your company is looking into or has decided to outsource some of its major functions.

Communication changes.
Your boss or co-workers are treating you differently. For instance, avoiding eye contact or choosing to communicate with you through email instead of in person.

Responsibilities are assigned to someone else.
Your workload has suddenly lightened – and you don’t get new assignments, even when you ask your boss for them.

In this economy, getting laid off isn’t something you should hang your head over. If you think your Spokane job might be in jeopardy, you need to take action. Start polishing your resume and connect with your network to see if there are any job opportunities that would be a fit for you.

And if you need help finding a job in Spokane, or in the Northwest, please contact Provisional. We are a leading employment agency and can offer you access to jobs in a variety of fields, including accounting, law, healthcare, administration, and IT.

5 Quick Tips for Improving Job Satisfaction

June 22nd, 2010

When you started your Spokane job, it seemed ideal – you were happy, motivated, and inspired. But now the honeymoon is over and you’re just not satisfied. Workdays seem longer and weekends seem to go by faster. So what can you do to reignite your career passion and improve your job satisfaction? Here are five quick tips:

Tip #1: Pinpoint the problem.

Why exactly are you unhappy at work? Are you having problems with a co-worker or your boss? Are you unhappy about working conditions or your salary? Once you pinpoint the problem, you’ll have a better idea how to deal with it.

Tip #2: Don’t be afraid to ask.

Is there an easy fix to whatever is bothering you at work? If yes, then ask for it! What are you waiting for?! Nobody at work is a mind reader and so taking that first step is up to you.

Tip #3: Stay positive.

Ever hear about the power of positive thinking? Changing your attitude about your Spokane job won’t make things better overnight. However, developing a more optimistic point of view (i.e. the glass is half full) and reversing negative self talk patterns can go a long way in making you feel more productive and less stressed at work.

Tip #4: Maintain balance in your life.

When all you do is work, work, work, it’s only natural that your stress level is going to increase and you’re going to be unhappier as a result. It’s time to assess your situation and determine which areas you don’t have enough time for, such as family/relationships, hobbies, and exercise. Now create a priorities list and take action so that your lifestyle better reflects your interests and becomes more balanced.

Tip #5: Re-evaluate your goals.

If you’re feeling unfulfilled at work, perhaps your goals and your job requirements are out of alignment. It’s time to figure out what your career goals are and how you see yourself getting there. For instance:

  • Are you in field you want to stay in for the next 5, 10, or 20 years?
  • If not, what would you rather be doing?
  • Where do you want to be, career wise, in the next 5, 10, 20 years?

The answers to these questions should give you a general idea of what you want out of your work life. And if you want to make a major change, now is the time to do it.

Job satisfaction isn’t a destination, it’s a journey. And the bottom line is that it’s up to you to make that journey. If you’re not happy at work, there are actions you can take now to help you become more satisfied. However, if you’re completely in the wrong job at the wrong company, it may be time for a change. If so, we can help. As a leading employment agency in Spokane, WA, Provisional can give you access to a variety of exciting job opportunities in Spokane. If you’d like to learn more about us, simply visit our website or contact Provisional online.

7 Tips for Blue Ribbon Success at Job Fairs

January 12th, 2010

Attending job fairs can sometimes seem unproductive. You come prepared with a stack of neatly printed resumes, readily answering every question potential employers ask you. And yet, you’re still sitting by the phone waiting for an offer, or at least an interview.

So how can you improve your job fair performance? Here are some tips:

Tip #1. Do your homework.
Get a list of the companies who will be attending and do some research beforehand. Hone in on the companies you would most like to interview with and make sure you go to their website and read about who they are and what they do. Don’t waste your time interviewing with companies you don’t want to work for.

Tip #2. Dress for success.
This should be a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised by the number of candidates who attend job fairs dressed inappropriately. So two words: Business suit. You can’t go wrong in a suit. Plus, it’s better to be overdressed, rather than underdressed.

Tip #3. Bring enough resumes.

Count on handing out at least two resumes for each company that interests you, plus bring some extras, just in case. Also, if there are different positions for which you qualify, make sure you have multiple versions of your resume. For example, if you’re in sales, bring resumes for positions as both a sales associate and a sales manager.

Tip #4. Create a plan of attack.
This step goes hand in hand with the research step. Once you have a list of companies you want to interview with, find out where each is located at the job fair. Decide who you want to interview with first, second, etc. You may want to interview with your top choices for employment in the morning, then stop back at the end of the day to thank them for their time.

Also, be sure to check to see if any new companies have registered that you’re interested in. You don’t want to miss out on any exciting opportunities.

Tip #5. Make a great impression.
You only have a few minutes to make a great impression. So be prepared with your “30- to 60-second commercial.” This way, when a potential employer asks you to “tell me about yourself,” you’ll know exactly what you want to say to position your skills in the best possible light.

Also avoid common interview pitfalls, such as chewing gum, not making eye contact, and fidgeting. Once the interview is complete, be sure to have some questions prepared to ask the interviewer.

Tip #6. Network with others.
Job fairs are all about networking. Obviously, you want to network with the decision makers and recruiters at companies you’d like to work for. But it’s also important to network with other candidates. They may have tips for job leads and could be a great referral source for you in the future.

Tip #7. Make sure you follow up.
Send a thank you note or email to the person you interviewed with the following day. In your note or email, restate your qualifications and reiterate your interest in the position. Also enclose or attach another copy of your resume.

As a leading employment agency in Spokane, WA, Provisional knows what employers are looking for during job fair interviews. If you’re searching for a job and need helping preparing for a job fair, please contact Provisional today.