Evaluating Candidates in Redmond

Once interviews are completed, most employers will seek input from all parties who have encountered candidates during the interview process.

Keep in mind that even seemingly lower level employees like administrative assistants who greeted you and set up your interview day may be asked for their impressions. Treat everyone respectfully and be your best professional self at all times, including informal lunches or dinners with prospective colleagues.

Of course, it is hard to anticipate what each employer will be looking for as they make final decisions about candidates, but it is useful to consider some common factors.

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Seattle Recruiter, Dispelling the Myths

If there’s one thing I wish I had known about job searching before doing it—it’s how the recruiting process actually works. Yes, we all know the basics: A recruiter’s job is to find the right person for a specific position. So when one contacts you, he or she thinks you’re the rightperson. Right?

Yes. But not quite, at least not yet. It’s a little more complicated than that. As a former recruiter, I’ve seen the other side and I know a few things now. For example, that initial call you get—the one that happens even before your actual interview with the hiring manager—is really nothing to freak out about. It’s more or less a formality, a pre-step before the interview process if you will.

So, for you own sake, here are three myths about those initial phone calls that need to be debunked, ASAP. Especially if you’ve recently been contacted by a recruiter and you have no idea what to expect.

Myth #1: You Should Drop Everything for a Recruiter

When you’re in the middle of a job search, any phone call from an unfamiliar number is pretty thrilling. They’re so thrilling, they can often feel like the most important call ever. And because they seem so important, it’s tempting to drop everything you’re doing so you don’t miss them. The only problem? These calls are not interviews. Not even close.

When you get one of these preliminary calls, it means you’re on that recruiter’s shortlist of contenders. Which is really good news. In fact, I used to think it was such good news, I needed to reschedule meetings to answer the phone. Or take longer than usual “lunch breaks.” What I eventually learned after a while was simple—I didn’t need to be nearly this flexible. The recruiter’s only goal on these initial phone calls is to find a time for the two of you to speak more formally. That’s it. So, if you need let one of these go straight to voicemail, there’s no need to stress over it.

Myth #2: You Should Sell Yourself as Hard as Possible

Here’s a mistake I always made as a job seeker. Even when a hiring person made it clear he or she was just reaching out to find some time to talk more formally about a role, I did everything in my power to make it clear I was awesome on that phone call. In hindsight, this was probably the most annoying thing I could’ve done.

When I was interviewing people for a living, I had a game plan for every actual conversation I conducted. This included a script with questions I needed to ask before we could make a hiring decision. If I was just reaching out to someone to chat about the logistics of setting up a formal interview, I had no script. And no real questions to ask. I was literally trying to find out a few more details before connecting you with the hiring manager.

So when someone calls you just to set up an initial meeting, don’t feel the pressure to sell yourself. Save your time and energy for wowing the interviewers when you’re actually being asked questions about why you’re awesome. And if you’re in doubt as to what step of the process this is, let the interviewer lead.

Myth #3: You Should Prepare for a Job Offer

I used to think recruiters had the power to hire the best people as soon as they got them on the phone. “There’s no point of bringing me in for interviews if they think I’m right for the job,” I thought to myself. “I need to really impress this person over the phone so she’ll offer me a million dollars per year to come work for her.” While that all probably makes sense, especially if you know you’d be great at a particular gig, that decision is not going to happen in a first call with a recruiter. Which is actually good news for you.

The truth is that whoever is reaching out to you for the first time doesn’t wield all the power to make a hiring decision right away. He or she’s simply trying to figure out if you’re interested in the job you applied for. Yes, you can still make a great first impression over the phone, but all you’ll leave with is a timeslot on that hiring manager’s calendar. Bummer? Absolutely. But the good news is that if you don’t answer a question the way you would have liked to on the first phone call, it really has no bearing on whether or not you’ll ultimately get the job.
The job search is a really stressful time. There’s nothing groundbreaking about that statement, but when you’re in the middle of one, it’s easy to blow a lot of things out of proportion. Especially when it comes to handling those first phone calls with recruiters—who really are just trying to find an interview time that works for you. So, before you panic about this step of the process, take a deep breath. Your experience and talents will speak far greater volumes than any “mistake” you could make on a first call with a recruiter.

Are soft skills important for Bellevue Job Seekers?

What Are Soft Skills?

Soft skills are the personal character traits or qualities each of us has. They make up who we are, generally encompassing our attitudes, habits and how we interact with other people. They are much less tangible than hard or technical skills, and unlike them, you do not learn soft skills by enrolling in a training program. You can, however, acquire them through educational, work and life experiences but it will take a concerted effort on your part. Let’s say, for example, you are terrible at managing your time but find yourself enrolled in a class that requires you to complete numerous projects. If you want to do well you will have to improve your time management skills in order to meet your deadlines. You can learn how to better manage your time by seeking advice from faculty and fellow students or reading helpful articles.

Examples of Soft Skills

  • Verbal Communication: People with good verbal communication skills have the ability to convey information to others by speaking.
  • Interpersonal Skills: Having good interpersonal skills means that one has not only the ability to communicate with others, but is willing to listen to people without judging them, share ideas and pitch in when co-workers need help.
  • Writing: Good writing skills allow you to relate information using the written word.
  • Problem Solving and Critical Thinking: Problem solving is the ability to identify a problem and then come up with possible solutions. Critical thinking skills allow you to evaluate each possible solution, using logic and reasoning, to determine which one is most likely to be successful.
  • Active Listening: Good listeners make an effort to understand what others are saying, interrupting only when appropriate to ask questions that will help clarify the information being shared.
  • Active Learning: Active learners are willing and able to acquire knowledge and then apply it to their jobs.
  • Organizational: Those who have strong organizational skills know how to take a systematic approach to every task.
  • Time Management: Those who are good at managing their time know how to schedule their tasks in order to complete projects according to deadlines. They are good at prioritizing their work.
  • Team Player: Those who are team players are cooperative and can be leaders or participants, as necessitated by the situation at hand. They are willing to share responsibility with other team members, whether that means taking credit for successes or responsibility for failures.
  • Professionalism: This characteristic is hard to define, but it’s very apparent when someone is lacking it. It’s probably the one trait that every employer desires, regardless of what you do or where you work. Professionalism encompasses many things including showing up on time, being polite, being generally pleasant and helpful, dressing appropriately and taking responsibility for your own actions.
  • Reading Comprehension: Individuals with strong reading comprehension skills have little difficulty understanding the content of written materials.
  • Flexibility and Adaptability: People who are flexible and adaptable react well to changes in their jobs and work environments. They have a positive can-do attitude about anything that gets thrown their way.

Why Do You Need Soft Skills?

Soft skills help us do our jobs.

They allow us to effectively and efficiently use our technical skills and knowledge. They improve the way we interact with our bosses, co-workers and customers. They permit us to get our work done on time. They influence how we feel about our jobs and how others perceive us.

Every single occupation you can think of demands that you have specific character traits, whether you’re a doctor who needs to be an excellent communicator in order to convey information to her patients, a janitor who must have good interpersonal skills so that he can get along with his co-workers or an actor who must be persistent in spite of facing rejection over and over. An important thing to note is that soft skills are transferable between occupations. While you may have to go back to school to learn new technical skills if you change careers, you can always take your soft skills with you since they are valued in a variety of fields.

In addition to what is required by your occupation, employers also expect you to have certain character traits. Just look at any job announcement and you will see a laundry list of qualifications that includes not only the technical skills you need to do the job, but qualities like “excellent communication skills,” “strong organizational skill,” “team player,” and “strong listening ability” listed there as well. Even if you have the technical skills required for a job, if you can’t demonstrate that you have the specified traits you probably won’t get the job. Make sure your resume lists accomplishments that demonstrate the desired soft skills and that you also find ways to discuss them during your job interview.

Education Requirements for job seekers in Seattle

Why Do You Need to Know About Educational Requirements?

Before you decide to pursue a particular career, you must make sure you are willing to fulfill the educational requirements that will allow you to get an entry-level job. If career advancement is important to you, you will also want to discover what you will need to do to move up in that field. If you are unwilling to meet the educational requirements, or if you must start working immediately and don’t have time to get the appropriate training, you will have to think about other options. On a similar note, you may not want a job that doesn’t require a certain amount of education, for example, a college degree.

How To Find the Training You Need

When the required education for an occupation is very precise, for instance, if you must get a particular certificate or a degree from an accredited program, you will have to decide what institution to attend. There are several ways to go about finding out where to get the training you need.

  • Professional Associations: Use any search engine to find the professional association for an occupation. Then go to the organization’s website and look for a section about education or careers. If you must get your training or degree from an accredited program, it will probably say so here. There will likely be a list of programs, as well, or links to resources you can use to locate that information.
  • CareerOneStop Find Local Training Tool: Search for training by location. Programs listed include colleges, trades schools and short-term programs.
  • Your Network: If you have contacts in your prospective career field, find out where they received their training. You may also uncover this information through informational interviews with people who work in the occupation you are researching.


Create Your Employer Target List for Seattle

These may be companies that tend to offer jobs that fit your interests, organizations that have the company culture you desire, and/or organizations with a mission you believe in.

A Target List Saves You Time

With a target list in hand, you will actually save yourself time in your job search.

Even if it feels productive to apply to every job opening you come across, you are actually wasting your time and energy. Instead, you should only apply to jobs at companies that you believe are a good fit for you.

There is no need to waste your time applying and interviewing for jobs that do not match your qualifications and/or goals. Even if you accept a job at a company that is not right for you, chances are that you will not want to stay there very long.

It is better to take the time to find your ideal companies and apply to jobs there, in order to find a long-lasting job that you love.

Creating Your Target List

Below are a few ways to begin to create your target list.

  • Look at best company lists. Many web sites list the best companies to work for in a variety of different industries. For example, Fortune ranks companies in a variety of categories, including the Fortune 100, Fortune 500, and Fortune 1000 (based on gross revenue), the best small companies, the best companies for millennials, and more. Look through the lists that match your interests, read the descriptions of each company, and write down the companies that fit your industry interests and your ideal company culture.
  • Look to your Chamber of Commerce. Your local Chamber of Commerce should have a list of local companies. Take a look at this list to see if there are any local companies that fit your interests.
  • Look to your professional associations. If you belong to any professional associations, look on their websites to find a list of member companies. If you do not belong to any associations, click here for a list of associations by industry. Find associations in your industry, and see if you can access each association’s list of industries.
  • Browse LinkedIn. If you have any contacts who work in your field, look on their LinkedIn profiles (or other social media profiles) to see where they work. Similarly, look at members of LinkedIn groups that are related to your industry, and see where they are working.

Narrow Down Your List

Once you have created a list through these methods, it is time to narrow your list down to only the companies that are truly a perfect or near-perfect fit. To do this, you will need to research the companies on your list.

First, visit each company’s website. Read each company’s mission statement and any other information the site may have about the work environment, the people the company hires, and anything else about the company culture.

You can also visit LinkedIn’s Companies section to find company information. This section provides information on each company culture, as well as job openings and connections you have at each company.

Based on this information, cross out any companies on your list that are not a strong fit.

The Final List

Ultimately, you should have a list of 10 – 20 companies that you will proceed to target in your job search. As you continue to job search, feel free to remove or add companies as you get a better feel for the type of organization you would like to work for.

Searching for a job in Seattle? These tools will help…

1. Email signature. Your email signature is possibly one of the most important branding tools you’re not taking advantage of. It’s your chance to let everyone know what your expertise is, how to contact you and where to learn more about you online. Employees are often required to add the company logo, tag line and contact information to email signatures. As job seekers, an email signature is a subtle way to remind people what you do.

Quick tips: The most important information to include is your name, phone number, email address, desired occupation and link to your LinkedIn profile. An easy solution is to use an app like WiseStamp to create and insert your signature.

2. Active and robust LinkedIn presence. LinkedIn has become a go-to source for companies of all sizes to seek out talent. While your profile will be similar to your résumé, it is not exactly the same. LinkedIn is a social network where people share information. Besides having a profile rich in content and media, you should also share newsworthy articles to help build your online reputation and stay connected with your network.

Quick tips: You must have a headshot, a headline that describes what you do and a summary where you tell your story. But don’t stop there. Embed a presentation that summarizes your experience or includes testimonials. Have you downloaded the SlideShare app for LinkedIn? What about the LinkedIn Connected or Pulse apps? ​These tools give you a better mobile LinkedIn experience.

3. An easily accessible, on-the-go résuméThere will be occasions when someone wants you to send your résumé ASAP or when you arrive at an interview and your résumé is MIA. Save your résumés so you can easily access them and share them from your mobile device.

Quick tip: Being able to access important documents from anywhere is critical not only in your job search, but at work, too. Learn how to save and share documents using Dropbox or Google Drive, which provide free storage and are easily accessible from any device.

4. Business cards. This may seem old-fashioned, but business cards make life easier. When you meet someone new or reconnect with an old friend, just hand him or her your card at the end of the conversation.

Quick tip: Your business card need only include the information you want to share: your name, occupation (or desired occupation), phone number, email address and links to any social media profiles, like your LinkedIn URL. If you want to use something more high-tech, try one of the apps that allows you to share your card from your phone, like CardDrop. Or pick up a business card with FullContact’s Card Reader.

5. Your perfected pitch. You only have one chance to make a great first impression. Don’t blow it. You’ll need it when you meet people and they ask what you do. You’ll also need one customized for every interview you take. Your pitch conveys what problem you can solve for an employer. Use words and language to ensure your unique style and personality come through. And avoid résumé-speak or jargon that isn’t universally understood.

Quick tip: Keep your pitch under a minute, and practice so it sounds natural. If you need some guidance, check out the myPitch app created by Karalyn Brown of InterviewIQ.

6. Target list of potential employers. Rather than searching job boards all day, looking for the perfect job and getting lost in the black hole of applications, why not approach people inside companies you would like to work for? This route is more work up front, but it will help you stand out and rise to the top of the referral pile if you make the cut.

Quick tip: There are tons of apps for finding posted jobs, but what you really need is additional help networking. Don’t miss Alison Doyle’s new app called Career Tool Belt. It’s loaded with job hunting tips, including the 30 Days to your Dream Job series to guide you day by day.

7. A dose of motivation. Job searching tends to lead to frustration. Rejection is an unfortunate part of the process. Invest time doing things that rejuvenate your energy and keep you feeling hopeful, such as exercising, volunteering or learning a new skill. Keep moving forward and create to-do lists and follow-up actions every day.

Quick tip: Whether you use a calendar system or an organizational app like Any.do, mapping out your weekly activities helps maintain momentum and puts you in the driver’s seat.

Bellevue Hiring Managers Wish You Knew these 4 Things

  1. Focus on What You Want, Not Just What You’ve Done“Spend some time considering what you really want out of your next job, your career, and your life. Be honest with yourself, and try to get clear and specific. Then rewrite those ‘goal’ and ‘objective’ sections (yes, they’re OK in some cases) with newfound clarity.”
  2. Don’t Include Everything“Focus on the person coming across in your resume. If you want to be ‘the social media guru,’ anything that doesn’t at least tangentially relate to social media should be de-prioritized. If you want to come across as ‘the academic research all-star,’ by all means put your educational experience on top, throw in your GPA, and get in-depth about your awards and publications. Feel free to leave off your real estate experience.”
  3. Use Numbers“You increased recruiting? Give us the percent increase. You raised money for charity? Tell us how much you raised! This can turn average-looking experiences into impressive head-turners and help distinguish you from other candidates.”
  4. Add Non-Work Work“Volunteer work, particularly if it’s long-term or if it gives you the chance to lead a project from beginning to end, can be a great substitute for full-time work. Some organizations give titles or recognition to regular volunteers, so find out if there are any formal credentials that you can use (if not, just use “Volunteer”). Just like you would for a paid job, list bullets that show your major accomplishments and what you learned during your involvement.”

6 Job search tips for Lynnwood Job Seekers

1. Treat every day as a new opportunity for a fresh start. If you are looking backward with a tinge of guilt for sitting at the beach when you know you could have been working more productively to advance your career, give yourself permission to let it go. Recognize that every day presents new opportunities, and resolve to put in maximum effort from today onward.

2. Get support from your family. As schedules move into fall mode, this is a good time for a family conversation about your own needs for time to concentrate on getting a job. Make sure your family members understand you need to have regular hours set aside for that purpose. Help them understand that a critical way they can support you is by not asking you to run errands or do other things for them during the day just because you don’t have a job that you need to be at.

However, remember: In turn, you have an obligation to fulfill your end of the bargain and make effective use of your time. Set a schedule for your daily job hunt to include all the elements of a job search, including researching, connecting, networking, interviewing and so on.

3. Rework your 
résuméTake a fresh look at your résumé. It’s time for a major rewrite if you have an objective statement or bullets that begin with “Responsible for,” or if you haven’t presented the story of how you fulfilled what what was expected of you and what results you’ve achieved at your current or former jobs. Remember to look at your résumé not just as a catalog of everything you did, but rather as a marketing document that shows the value you offer your next employer.

There are numerous books and articles about how to build an effective résumé, but if best practice “résumé speak” seems outside your grasp, you may well consider making an investment in yourself with a solid résumé writer or coach.

4. Make new connections, and consciously expand your network. 
All kinds of groups and organizations are coming to life in September after a summer hiatus. Make sure you are plugged into the local chapter of your college alumni association, trade and industry groups, professional organizations and so on. Attend lectures, meetings, classes, continuing education opportunities, retreats and other events.

Make a point of talking to new people and showing an interest in them. This way you are bound to meet people with whom you have something in common. Make certain to get names and contact information, and later check them out, connect with them on LinkedIn and keep your conversations going.

5. Be slow and deliberate rather than fast and frantic. 
Sure, you can apply to dozens of jobs online in an evening. But your chances of landing a job this way are very limited. Instead, take time to research companies in which you are interested. Carefully craft cover letters to show why and how you can fulfill their needs, and then network your way inside. Remember that it is always the value you can add that’s important, rather than the opportunity an employer could offer you.

6. Curate your online presence. 
Write a blog, and be sure to include links to professional articles you find interesting or stimulating. Engage in dialog within LinkedIn groups to answer and ask intelligent questions. And, on the flip side, get rid of anything on your Facebook page or elsewhere that could cause someone to form a negative opinion of you.

10 Ways a Job Search has changed

1. Google has replaced the resumé.Recruiters are now using Google and LinkedIn searches to find talent, instead of paying for job-board or talent databases. Many companies are even mandating that every new application go through a Google screening process. So that means the first page of your Google results matter much more during a job search than they ever did before. I’ve written an article showing how to increase your rank in Google a nd attract the attention of hiring managers.

2. A summary of your work history is enough. Because there are so many candidates competing for each job, HR people (or hiring managers, if they are tasked with recruitment) often scan resumés very briefly. The average time spent on a resumé is 30 seconds. LinkedIn gives you a way to create a summary; use it.

3. Social proof is a must. Social proof — the testimonials, endorsements and recommendations of your abilities that appear on social networks — seriously reduce the perceived risk of you as a candidate.
The most costly mistake a hiring manager can make is to give a job to the wrong person. Some say that if a new hire leaves within three months, it costs the organization one and a half times that person’s annual salary. And with the economy as tight as it is, you can understand why hiring managers are so risk averse. If you don’t have many endorsements and recommendations in your LinkedIn profile, get some before looking for a job.

4. Resumés and cover letters aren’t read on paper anymore. Most organizations are not receiving paper resumés — and when they get them via email or their application system, they don’t print them. So expect your resumé and cover letter to be read on a computer screen. This means you have to format your resumé and other job-search documents in a way that makes screen-scanning easy. I’ve written an article that shows you how to format your resumé properly.

5. Relationships come first, resumés second. Resumés are not used as introductory documents much these days. In fact, “send me your resumé” is often an afterthought once an introduction is made.
And if an introduction is made electronically, then your online profile offers much more information than a resumé. So shift your priorities from “I have to get my resumé done!” to “Where can I meet some more people today?”

6. Employers only care about what they want. In years past, a resumé or job application was focused on the job seeker’s needs. This is not true any more. Now an application, resumé or cover letter must speak to what value the prospective employee can bring to the organization. So be sure to demonstrate how you can help the company and how soon it can expect to benefit.

7. Work gaps aren’t big problems. Large gaps in your resumé are not as important as they used to be. Not only do employers today realize that millions of great and wonderful people got laid off, they also appreciate it when those candidates have showed initiative and tried to start their own thing, even if that took time and resulted in a period of unemployment.

8. Nouns are the new currency. Screening software and LinkedIn talent searches have introduced an unexpected element to the way a resumé should be written. Because these tools rely on nouns or keywords to deliver search results to recruiters, the resumés with the right combination of nouns often win. If you want to succeed in today’s job search, make a commitment to learn how to research keywords and use them appropriately.

9. Everyone has a personal brand – yes, everyone. Ten years ago, not many people knew what a personal brand was and having one wasn’t easy to explain. (Your personal brand is what sets you apart as a job candidate.) These days, even if you don’t know what your personal brand is, you still have one – as well as an online reputation revealing it. And because recruiters and hiring managers are looking for red flags, inconsistencies in your image or messaging will prevent you from passing their screening. So you have to decide, will you be in control of your image or will someone else? I think the Brand-Yourself.com video tutorial is the best tool out there to help you establish your brand.

10. Typing isn’t a skill anymore. Being able to type used to be a skill people would highlight on their resumé. No longer. What really matters is how well you’ve prepared yourself for the job that’s available. To really shine, focus on customizing each resumé and cover letter to the position you’re trying to get. It’s better to send off a few very targeted applications then it is to spray and pray.

Things to consider before accepting a job interview in Redmond

In reality every job interview is an opportunity but before you go down the path of saying yes to every interview that comes your way consider these three things.

1. Make sure you and the hiring manager are on the same page. 

It’s easy for information to be lost when it’s passed down from top management, so make sure you know exactly what you’ll be discussing. If you’re looking for a full-time job, confirm that it’s not a freelance position. If you have management experience, confirm that it’s not entry-level. The last thing you want is an expensive plane ticket that leads you nowhere.

2. Address any other concerns. 

If you’re clear on the position but still feel on-the-fence, you can buy yourself more time to think by asking questions. If you have salary requirements or are curious about the company’s parental leave policy, it’s totally OK to ask for that information upfront. This new data gives you an opportunity to reconsider—and if you do back out, it’s time saved on both ends, not just yours.

3. Finally, ask yourself, “Would I accept this job if they offered it to me?” 

So you’re clear on the title and parental leave policy is, like, 10 years down the road for you. Still, it’s a good idea go back and give the job description another good, hard read (because let’s be honest, it may have been weeks since you applied). Now that time has gone by and new opportunities have come down the pipeline, are you still interested? If you can no longer see yourself accepting the position, then there’s no reason to take the interview. Simply say your circumstances have changed and thank them for the consideration.