Provisional Blog

The Best Step to Take to Get Your Resume Noticed

August 13th, 2019

Despite low unemployment, there are many candidates out there looking for the same kinds of jobs in the Spokane area as you. How are you going to stand out among them, so you get a call for an interview? The best way to do that is by customizing your resume.

When you do, that simply means you’re not sending in the exact same resume for every position you’re applying to. Instead, you’re editing it for each opportunity, so it best speaks to that particular hiring manager. Not only will this make you look like a better prepared candidate, but a better fit one to. 

If you’re not sure where to start, here are some steps to take to tailor your resume:

Focus on your summary of qualifications.

In today’s world, you should be including a summary of qualifications at the top of your resume instead of an objective. This is simply a bullet list of your biggest strengths and best accomplishments. However, what you choose to include, as well as the order you list them in, should certainly change depending on the employer. 

Connect your tasks to specific outcomes.

Hiring managers don’t simply want to know what you were responsible for. They also want to understand the outcomes you achieved. So wherever possible, illustrate your background through specific examples and stories, quantifying them wherever possible. Also make sure you’re focusing on the accomplishments that make the most sense for the employer. 

Highlight the most relevant strengths and abilities. 

Each position comes with a unique set of requirements. Make sure that the skills and abilities you focus on in your resume are aligned with each opportunity. For instance, for one position, collaboration might be key, while for another, knowing a certain software program is critical. It’s up to you to read through the posting to identify the company’s specific hiring needs and then discuss how you can meet them thanks to your unique background. 

Include keywords.

While you’re editing your resume, make sure you’re also including keywords from the job posting. When you do, it will have a better chance of making it through the applicant tracking system, so you get a call for an interview.

Searching for a new job can be tricky. If you’d like help with the process, turn to Provisional. As one of the leading employment agencies in Spokane, we can help with every aspect of it, from tips and advice on your resume to access to hidden jobs with leading local employers. Contact us today to get started

5 Tips for Mentally Preparing for Your Next Job Interview

June 25th, 2019

Whether you’re an entry-level worker or an executive, interviews are stressful. There’s a lot at stake and it can often feel like you’re in an interrogation. While you might have some nervous energy no matter what you do, there are some steps you can take to better prepare mentally, so you knock your next interview performance out of the park. Here are 5 tips to help you:

Put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes.

Read through the job posting, as well as the company website. Then, based on what you learned, think about what’s important for the hiring manager to find out about you. When you take this approach, you’ll have more insight into the kinds of questions you’ll likely be asked, so you can prepare with more confidence.

Know your key strengths and skills.

Ahead of time, make sure you identify those hard and soft skills that are most relevant to the job you’re interviewing for. This means not only being able to discuss technical abilities, but other attributes, like strategic thinking, communication or organization that are important for the position.

Be ready to talk about top accomplishments.

Underscore your strengths by discussing accomplishments related to them. Tell a story or share a unique achievement. Whenever you can, include facts and figures, such as if you saved the company time or money in the process.

Use stress management techniques.

Interviews are stressful, plain and simple. The good news is that there are some practices you can employ to manage the process and feel more calm about it. For instance, deep breathing techniques and meditation can help you relax more in the days and weeks leading up to the interview.

Use positive visualization.

For instance, picture yourself answering questions to the best of your ability, impressing the manager and winning the job. See yourself actually sitting at your new desk and meeting co-workers. Think about how that will make you feel. Visualizing success combined with the right preparation can often help you achieve the goal you want.

Need more help with your job search?

Turn to the professionals at Provisional. As one of Spokane, Washington’s top employment firms, we’re here for you, with access to leading opportunities at top employers, all so you can achieve your career goals. Contact us today to learn more or search our Spokane 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.

Want to Find a Job You’ll Love? Here’s How

March 26th, 2019

For most people, they spend more time at work than with their families. It’s a sad reality. However, as a result, you want to ensure you’re going to a place each day that you really love…one that provides a rewarding experience and the balance you’re looking for. If you’re not currently in that kind of position, but are looking for it, here are some tips to help you get there:

Take a step back.

When it comes to figuring out your next step in your career, take some time to reflect. You don’t want to jump into a job search without total clarity. So think about your current position, what you like and don’t like about it, and where you want to head next. It could be on a similar path or into a whole new direction.

Be realistic.

You might be interested in pursuing the next step up in your career. But are you ready to do so? It’s important that you have the right background and experience that qualify you for the kind of job you’re looking for. If you don’t, then you’re simply setting yourself up for disappointment. Rather, take the time to acquire the skills, whether it’s through an online class, an accreditation course, or other continuing education opportunities.

Put different job search tools to use.

Don’t simply search online, on the major job boards, for your next opportunity. Instead, use a diverse mix of techniques to get the most from your approach. For instance, make sure you’re networking, both in person and online, whether it’s through a business organization or your alumni association. Also, look to industry-related and company career websites for job postings.

Connect the dots for hiring managers.

The more relevant your cover letter and resume, the more likely you’ll get called for an interview. That’s why investing the time and effort to make the case for why you’re the right fit is so important. In addition, hiring managers only spend a few seconds scanning each resume. So when you make it easy for them to see that you’re a match, then you’re going to make a better impression.

Focus on companies where you want to work.

Perhaps there are a few companies in the area that area that you’re passionate about and want to work at. Even if they don’t currently have the kinds of openings that are a fit for you, set up Google Alerts so you can stay on the lookout. Additionally, you can even send in a cold email inquiring about upcoming opportunities.

Finding a job you love isn’t always easy. However, once you do, it will be well worth the time and effort you invested in the process. If you’d like professional help in your search, contact the team at Provisional. As one of Spokane’s top employment agencies, we can connect you with rewarding opportunities with the area’s leading companies. Contact us today or search our jobs in Spokane now.

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.

Should You Send an Interview Thank You Letter?

December 4th, 2018

You just wrapped up an interview and it couldn’t have gone better. All you have to do is sit and wait for your phone to ring with an offer, right? Actually, there is one final step you should take before you kick back and relax: write a thank you note. While you don’t have to send it right after your interview, you should submit it within a day or two at most.

When you do, you’ll reap the benefits by:

  • Standing out among other job candidates who don’t send one.
  • Re-iterating your interest and enthusiasm in the position.
  • Bringing up any key points you might have forgotten about regarding your background.
  • Showing the hiring manager your respect and appreciation.

So, now that you know why interview thank you notes are so important, how should you go about preparing yours? What should it say and how long should it be? Here are a few easy tips to help you:

Tip #1: Thank the hiring manager for their time.

Let them know that you appreciate the opportunity to interview and are looking forward to a decision.

Tip #2: Reinforce aspects of your background that showcase why you’re the best fit for the position.

Pick a couple of key strengths and expand on them more.

Tip #3: Talk about what you liked most about the company and the position.

This will help to underscore the point that you’re a good fit not just for the job, but for the entire organization, as well.

Tip #4: Personalize your message with any details you learned about the hiring manager.

Remember, you don’t want to sound like a robot, but an authentic candidate with real rapport with the hiring manager.

Tip #5: Proofread it before you send it to ensure it’s error-free.

Otherwise, you could sabotage all your time and hard work with a simple mistake.

Tip #6: When it comes to length, just keep it to a few paragraphs.

This should be a quick note, not a total regurgitation of your background and resume. Also, while a hand-written note is a nice touch, an email is faster. This can be important if the hiring manager plans to make a quick decision.

Need more help navigating the interview or job search process?

Call the experts at Provisional. As one of Spokane’s top employment agencies, we can learn about your skills, background and career goals, all to help you find a rewarding new job, faster. Simply contact our team today to learn more or search our Spokane jobs now.

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.

How to Toot Your Own Horn in a Performance Review

December 9th, 2014

You’ve spent the past year working hard for your employer. You’ve landed new clients, successfully managed projects, and now it’s your turn to get some recognition for your efforts. But did you also know it’s up to you to toot your own horn during your performance review? Otherwise, all those great results could go unnoticed by your boss. Here’s how to get the recognition your deserve:

Create a brag book.

As one of the leading employment firms in Spokane, WA, Provisional can tell you if you try to recall in December what you accomplished in February, it can be hard to remember details. Instead, create a document that helps you keep track of your achievements. Every time you accomplish a goal, go above and beyond, or get positive feedback, log it in your book. Think too how each accomplishment helped the company. Before your performance evaluation, review your brag book so your accomplishments are fresh in your mind for your sit-down with your boss.

Get specific.

Don’t just tell your boss you’ve “done a great job this year.” Get specific about the value you’re offering each day. Think of two or three major accomplishments you’d like your boss to be aware of and focus on those. Be sure to not only describe the accomplishments, but also how they impacted the company in a positive way.

For instance, if you successfully managed a major project, was it because it came in under budget, you completed it before the deadline, or you delivered terrific results? Whatever the case, be sure to focus on the facts and not vague statements.

Ask peers to provide input to your boss.

In a perfect world, your boss should be soliciting feedback from co-workers for performance reviews. However, most are too busy to take this step. So, take it for them by asking your colleagues to put in a good word for you with the boss.

How do you ask? Keep it simple: “I have a performance review next week and since we’re working on XYZ project together, I was hoping you could share some feedback of my work with our manager.”

If you’re ready to make a change to a new job in the new year, 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.

When Your Boss Sets Impossible Deadlines

August 26th, 2014

It’s your boss’s job to set deadlines for your projects. But what about when those deadlines are not only totally arbitrary, but also completely impossible to meet? How can you deal? Here are several ideas to help you:

Talk to your boss immediately. Don’t sit on the problem for days trying to figure out how to approach your boss. Speak up and let him or her know why you can’t meet the deadline. When you bring up your concerns with your boss, ask about factors that you’re not aware of that could be driving the project deadline. Although a deadline may seem arbitrary or foolish to you, there may be a valid reason for it.

If there’s not, though, don’t complain. But do give specific reasons as to why the deadline is problematic and offer a new deadline that’s reasonably close to the original one. Explain why your deadline is attainable and how it offers the time to do a quality job.

Offer several scenarios. If your boss sticks to his or her guns on the original deadline, then negotiate what you can do within that time period. For instance, explain that you can complete A and B of the project, but not C because that will take too much time. If that’s not doable, ask whether additional people can be brought in to help complete the project and meet the proposed deadline.

Get your boss to focus on the big picture. Explain how the deadline will hurt the company in the long run – i.e. it will force you to cut corners that will impact quality. That in turn could harm customer relationships and profits, as well as reduce employee morale.

If you feel your boss chronically sets unreasonable deadlines, think about whether you’re just used to a slower pace. For instance, if you’re new to the company, you might be used to longer or more flexible deadlines. However, fast-paced deadlines might be par for the course at your new employer.

One way to tell?

Talk to your colleagues. Ask them about how they go about meeting deadlines. If there’s general grumbling all around you, then you know that deadlines are a problem. However, if your co-workers seem to meet their deadlines without issue, ask them for pointers on how they do it.

If you think crazy deadlines are undermining the quality of your work – and you’re ready to make a move – call Provisional. We work with employers throughout the area and can give you access to top jobs in Spokane, Washington that aren’t always advertised. Contact us today to learn more or search our Spokane jobs now.