10 Ways a Job Search has changed

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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.

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Things to consider before accepting a job interview in Redmond

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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.

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Reputation matters when searching for Insurance Jobs

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1. Know What Is Out There

Don’t insist that you have a spotless online reputation without doing an actual check. Things have a way of slipping through the cracks, and better for you to find out now than to first hear about it from someone else. You may be able to get the unwanted picture or mention removed; at the very least, you won’t be caught off-guard.

  • Perform a thorough search of your name via Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Then, put your name in quotations and do it again.
  • Clean yourself up by setting tighter controls on sites that you can control such as Facebook and Twitter. On these sites you can use your privacy settings to limit who can view your information. On Twitter you can use “Protect my Tweet” and on Facebook you can use “Lists” to group different people together, such as professional connections.
  • Create a Google Alert that alerts you when you are mentioned online. By creating a Google+ Profile you can access tools that will allow you to remove a page from Google Search or reach out to Google directly for assistance.

2. Enlist the Help of Others

Dislike those pictures of yourself from junior high that mom loves posting or not eager to have a recruiter see that French maid outfit you wore to a party last Halloween? Let friends and family know that you’re trying to maintain a professional reputation to further your career. When they are done rolling their eyes about you being too sensitive, they will probably take down the photos and refrain from putting up similar ones in the future.

3. Be Active

Finally, remember that lacking online presence can be potentially dangerous, too.

The worst thing you could do would be to remove yourself from all social media because you’re worried about an employer finding you. But don’t create an account just to have one. Failure to respond to inquiries from others or keep profiles up to date can result in lost opportunities and make you appear lazy or disinterested. Instead, take advantage of LinkedIn to demonstrate that you’re on top of your professional game and Twitter or Facebook to show off the activities, hobbies, or volunteering you do outside of work. Hiring professionals are looking for well-rounded people!

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Sample elevator speech to take your job search to the next level in Redmond

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An elevator speech is a two-minute description of your skills and career goals.

It’s an easy way to share what you want to learn from someone who is in a position to help you.

Here’s an example:

“Hi. My name is ____________.

I’m looking for  (  a kind  of job  )  in an industry, field, or location   ).

I really enjoy  (   something about a past job or experience    .

I’m good at ( a certain job skill   ).”

After you’ve briefly stated these facts, you can ask for help or advice. For example:

  • “Do you have any advice for me?”
  • “Do you know anything about this company?”
  • “Do you know anyone who does know about ______________?”
  • “Can I use your name to contact them?”
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Etiquette Tips for insurance job seekers in Lynnwood

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Be courteous to everyone, everywhere all the time. Of course it should go without saying that you need to be polite to everyone when you are being interviewed. But you never know what cameras record in the reception area, or if your muttering in the restroom is unknowingly addressed to the hiring manager you are about to formally meet for the first time.

Hiring managers, human resources professionals and recruiters are all busy. Don’t be the person who keeps applying to the same job multiple times in the same week in order to keep popping up on the radar. When you are in an interview, keep your answers short, focused and to the point. Sometimes searches take longer than anyone anticipated. You can be sure that if you are the No. 1 candidate, you’ll be getting called along the way. Don’t allow yourself to be seen as a pest by overly frequent or demanding communications. Recognize that sometimes no news is simply that: no news.

Listen carefully to what people say. For example, it is typical for a hiring manager to describe the job or how the company goes about things at the beginning of an interview. It is the kiss of death when, later in the same conversation, you ask for information  you’ve already been given. Of course, you can ask for a clarification or an expansion of an earlier subject, but don’t do so in a way that suggests you never even heard the information that a person has just conveyed to you!

Turn off your phone. When you are in a business meeting, nothing conveys a sense of “you’re not worth paying attention to” or “you aren’t my highest priority at this moment” than fidgeting with or answering your cell phone. Make a point of leaving your phone home, in the car or at least entirely turned off. Your interviewer deserves and expects your undivided attention.

Extend your appreciation, and promptly follow up all interviews. A thank you note is expected generally by email the same day as the interview, and certainly not longer than the next day. If you promise other information, such as references for samples of your work product, be prompt in supplying them. It is simply rude not to follow up and recognize the courtesies that have been extended to you.

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Best last question to ask in an Interview when looking for jobs in Redmond

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We’ve all been there: It’s the end of the interview, and after nearly an hour of pouring your heart (and work experience) out to a potential employer, the hiring manager asks if you have any last questions before wrapping up.

It’s meant to be a formality, of course—a way to end the conversation without kicking you out right then and there. But it’s also an opportunity, intentional or not, to make one final impression and give your interviewer something to remember you by.

This final remark is actually a moment to “add value to the conversation” before you both head your separate ways. It’s especially noteworthy when you do manage to pull that off, since so many other candidates, having already asked many questions throughout the session, mindlessly shrug off this little last thing at the end.

But if you play your cards right, he says, it can turn a completely lost cause into a foot in the door.

“Actually yeah, I was wondering what your best moment so far at [Company Name] was?”

This simple ask, cleverly masked as innocent curiosity, can give you many important insights—on your interviewer’s values, the company, and how well you might fit in with a position there. Think about it: There’s no higher note to end on than with your interviewer’s fondest memory of the company, a feeling that can now be subconsciously associated with your prospects as a future employee.

And aside from being an emotional plus for you, it’ll also give you an idea of what your future co-workers might value, and the kind of culture that company cultivates for its team members. If your interviewer struggles to come up with a meaningful memory, that’s a helpful red flag for you to keep in mind if you end up with an offer.

So, the next time you’re hard-pressed for something to say in those awkward few moments before the door closes with you on the other side, give this question a shot. Odds are, it can only help.

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Writing Cover letters for Sales jobs in Seattle

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Some handy tips to remember while writing cover letters

  1. In your cover letter, employers don’t only want to hear about you. They want to hear about themselves, too.
  2. The secret to writing a great cover letter: Pretend that the person you’re writing to already loves and respects you.
  3. Think of getting to know a company like getting to know a person. What is he or she like? Quirky? Serious? Snarky?
  4. To help with your cover letter jitters, just imagine you’re writing an email to the hiring manager.
  5. Your cover letter is meant to complement your resume—not reiterate it.
  6. Creepy pick-up lines don’t work in bars. They also don’t work in cover letters.
  7. Leave that phrase “To Whom it May Concern” out of your cover letter. Now.
  8. A salesy tone in a cover letter can overshadow your solid qualifications and make you seem pompous and aggressive.
  9. “I won’t pretend your company’s mission is my passion…” started the worst cover letter ever.
  10. Not quite qualified for the job? Don’t apologize for it in your cover letter.
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Insights for Seattle job search

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Create Your Own Templates. Have copies of your resume and cover letter ready to edit. That way you can change the content to match the requirements of the job you’re applying for, but, the contact information and your opening and closing paragraphs won’t need to be changed.

Microsoft Word users can download free templates for resumes, cover letters and email messages which can be personalized for your own correspondence.

Review Samples. It’s always a good idea to look at sample letters and resumes to get ideas for your own job search materials. Take a look at our collection of resume, cv, and letter samples.

Use Job Search Engines. Search the job search engines. Use the job search engine sites to search the major job boards, company sites, associations, and other sites with job postings for you – fast. You will be able to search all the jobs posted online in one step. Use Advance Search options to find jobs that are the closest match.

Jobs by Email. Let the jobs come to you. Use job alerts to sign up and receive job listings by email. All the major job sites have search agents and some websites and apps specialize in sending announcements.

Time Savers. Strapped for time? Consider getting professional help writing or editing your resume.

References Ready. Have a list of three references including name, job title, company, phone number and email address ready to give to interviewers. Print a copy of your reference list and bring it with you to interviews. Here’s how to create a list of references.

Use Your Network. Be cognizant of the fact that many, if not most, job openings aren’t advertised. Tell everyone you know that you are looking for work. Ask if they can help.

Get Social. Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter can be a good way to get job listings before they are listed elsewhere. Plus, you can promote your candidacy using the social media tools that are readily available for free for job seekers and companies are increasingly using social media for recruiting.

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Starting a New Job? 9 Ways Entry-Level Employees Can Make the Most of Their First Week

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9 Tips for Your First Week on the Job

The academic year is almost over, and that means hundreds of thousands of high school and college students are saying goodbye to their school books and getting ready to enter the workforce. If you’re among this group of new professionals, you’ll want to make a good impression and an even better start.

Here are our top tips for making the most of the first week in your new job.

Prepare properly. Whether you suffer from first-week jitters or not, being prepared will undoubtedly make things easier. Select your outfits for the entire week so you’re not rummaging through your closet at the last minute. Make sure you have reliable transport to and from work—and know where you’re going! If you’re bringing your own device, check that it’s ready for the IT department to add to the network and set up your email.

Dress appropriately. You probably gained an impression of the dress code during the interview process, but if you didn’t, try to find out what’s expected. You can simply contact the hiring manager and ask, but if you’re not comfortable doing this, err on the side of convention. Avoid shorts, mini-skirts, crop tops, and flip-flops, and opt instead for business casual.

Get to work early, and don’t be the first to leave. As Hannah Morgan points out in her U.S. News Money article “5 Things to Do When Starting a New Job,” everyone will be observing you. Get to work before most of your co-workers, and at the end of the day, ask your supervisor if he or she has anything else for you before you head home.

Write down your colleagues’ names and functions. You’ll probably be meeting a lot of new people—and if you manage to remember everyone’s name and job function, you’ll definitely score points. When you have a quiet moment, make a note of the people you’ve met and what they do. Then refer to that list as needed.

Ask for a list of your responsibilities. Though the job listing probably mentioned the most important of your duties, it’s a good idea to ask your supervisor to give you a detailed list of what you’re expected to do and when. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification or assistance if something’s entirely new to you.

Ask for a tour of the premises. You need to know the layout of your workplace, so if your supervisor doesn’t volunteer a tour, ask for one. Make sure you know where the most important departments are, including HR and IT.

Be social. Even if you have responsibilities at home, it’s wise to think ahead and keep your early evenings and Friday night free. Your co-workers may want to socialize with you, so take every opportunity you get to establish rapport. Join others for lunch, a quick post-work coffee, or “TGIF” drinks.

Avoid gossip. Being social doesn’t mean you have to engage in gossip. In fact, you should avoid it as much as possible – and stick to that practice throughout your career.

Take time for yourself. You’ll have a lot to digest in your first week, so make sure to reserve some “you time,” whether that’s a long walk with your dog, yoga or simply reading a book.
Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll greatly enhance your chances of rocking your first week in your new job! Soon you’ll see—each of your successes holds the door open for the next.

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Asking for Job References in Seattle,

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When you ask for a reference, both whom and how you ask for this employment reference is really important. You need to be sure that the person who is recommending you for employment is willing and able to give you a good reference. This is critical because your references can be what makes the difference in getting – or not getting – a job offer.

In addition, you shouldn’t give out anyone’s name as a reference without their permission. The individual who is giving you a reference needs to know ahead of time that they may be contacted regarding a reference for you.

How To Ask For an Employment Reference

If you are in fact asked to submit employment references, you can ask for a reference by phone or by email. Email can be a good way to request a reference, because if the person isn’t comfortable recommending you it can be easier to decline by sending an email message than by telling you in person.

When you ask for reference, don’t just say “Could you give me a reference?” or “Could you write a reference letter for me?” Instead, ask “Do you think you know my work well enough to provide me with a reference?” or “Do you feel comfortable giving me a reference?” or “Do you feel you could give me a positive reference?” This way, your reference giver has an out if they don’t believe they can provide a strong endorsement or if they don’t have the time to write a letter or take phone calls from employers on your behalf.

When the person you are asking for a reference replies positively, offer to provide them with an updated copy of your resume, to share your LinkedIn profile, if you have one, and to provide information on your skills and experiences so your reference has current and relevant information on your employment history and skills.

How to Ask for a LinkedIn Reference

It’s easy to request a recommendation via LinkedIn’s messaging system. When you request a recommendation, ask the person to recommend you if they can and if they have the time. This way they have an out if they aren’t interested in giving you a reference, are precluded by company policy from giving references, or don’t feel they know you well enough to recommend your work.

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