Things to do before that big job interview in Seattle

Research Earnings Calls, Quarterly Reports & Blog Posts

In today’s world, content is king. Goldman Sachs publishes quarterly reports, Microsoft records its earning calls, and every startup has a blog. With so much out there, I’m baffled that few of us look past the company’s homepage. Take the opportunity to read as much as you can about the company, dont just rely on the main website, look deep and look wide.

Use Social Sweepster To Clean Your Facebook & Twitter

Nowadays, employers search your social media for any red flags. While most people tell you to watch every single thing you upload, there’s a much easier solution. Use Social Sweepster, an app that detects pictures of red solo cups, beer bottles, and other “suspicious” objects. It even detects profanity from your past posts! Now, that’s f%$king awesome!

Prepare for The “What’s Your Weakness?” Question

 Most people overthink this question and give a canned answer like “I’m too much of a perfectionist!” Others give a genuine answer but still fall short of what this question is really asking. It’s not about admitting your weaknesses. It’s about showing how you overcome them. What systems have you put in place? What progress have you made? Include those thoughts to strengthen your answer.

Brainstorm 3 “PAR” Anecdotes

Your interview is as memorable as the stories you share. Many people have fascinating experiences but forget them when they’re on the spot.  To remedy this, have three anecdotes ready to plug into your interview. Your anecdotes should follow a simple format:

  1. Problem – what was the situation?
  2. Action – what did you do to solve it?
  3. Result – what changed afterwards?

With this format, you can adapt your PAR anecdotes to fit a variety of questions such as “tell me about a time you worked with a team” or “when have you struggled most?”

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

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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From Good to Great: Using a Personal Website to Position Yourself as a First-Choice Candidate

Your resumé is on point and under two pages. Your work experience is impressive and shows you’re a well-rounded candidate. And your cover letters are always impactful and customized to the position you want. 

However, you aren’t the only candidate who knows how to present him- or herself in a positive light. So what can you do to get from good to great—and position yourself as a first-choice candidate employers can’t wait to hire?

The key is to first, collect supporting materials that speak directly to your outstanding qualities, and second, find the best way to showcase them. Here’s how:

Create a personal website. A 2016 survey found that almost two-thirds of employers use social media to research candidates. (And if you haven’t scrubbed your social media pages of any information you wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing with an employer, do it right now.)

But even if your social media presence is fine, it might not provide the top quality professional representation you deserve. That’s why you need a website that clearly communicates your professional persona.

Weebly, Wix, Squarespace, Sitebuilder and DudaOne are all free, easy-to-use website builders. Each offers customizable themes; a simple drag-and-drop interface; and responsive design so your site looks professional on screens of all sizes.

Create great content that’s visual and user-friendly. Your content should be powerful, engaging, and easy to digest. Avoid reams of text, and instead, look for ways to communicate your message in a visual manner.

For example, instead of a written “about me” section, why not create a short video that intersperses images questions with clips of you answering those questions? If you prefer to write, include pictures and icons that break up the blocks of text.

To demonstrate the quality of your work, list your most important projects on a main page, and create subpages with more comprehensive descriptions and—if applicable—images. Don’t forget to include references! Create a separate page that features engaging excerpts from three to 10 testimonials.

If you really want to impress potential employers, start writing a blog. Since you want to showcase your professional knowledge, it’s okay to go in-depth and create longer posts—but keep them under 1,000 words, otherwise the reader might lose interest. Try to make each post as timely and relevant as possible to your profession. If writing isn’t your thing, you can discuss the same topics in a vlog (video blog).

Showcase accomplishments and certifications on a separate page. While an online workshop about communication preferences of Gen Z customers isn’t as impressive as earning your Master’s in Communication, it’s still something an employer needs to know about.

Make it easy to contact you. After a hiring manager has learned more about you, you want to capitalize on his or her enthusiasm and make it super easy to contact you. Include a “contact” page with a form, or place an email link in the header of your site so it shows on every page. Including your full address and phone number isn’t recommended, since it can compromise your privacy.

Because not every employer wants to see a personal website, you’re best advised to keep your portfolio and references on a zip drive to bring with you to job interviews. That way, you can still provide decision makers with top-notch supporting materials that show you’re the best candidate for the job.

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Cloud-Base Your Career Materials

You’re scrolling through job listings over your lunch break, and suddenly you see your dream job.

Naturally, you want to apply immediately—but then you realize your career materials are all on a zip drive you left at home. And that means you’ll have to wait until you’re back home before you can fill out an application.

Cut your response time
While there’s nothing wrong with keeping your career materials on a zip at home, it can be inconvenient and delay your application. If, on the other hand, you store your career materials in the cloud, then you have everything ready to go (give or take a couple of cover letter tweaks) and can respond to an interesting job listing as soon as you have a few minutes to yourself.

Preparing your career materials
We all know that you should tailor your resumé and cover letter to the position you want. Depending on how broad your job search is, that can mean focusing on different strengths.

For example, if you’re a PR professional, you might be interested in working for a start-up—but maybe you’d also consider a position with one of the country’s top PR agencies. To maximize the efficiency of using the cloud, prepare resumés and cover letters for each of the positions you’d consider. Remember: if something else comes along, you can always tweak your materials later.

Uploading your career materials to the cloud

You can use a cloud storage provider to simply store the documents. The best providers with free options are DropBoxGoogle Drive and OneDrive (free with Windows). From here, you can share your documents with others, or send them along as attachments to emails.

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New LinkedIn Tool for the Seattle Job Seeker

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could easily send recruiters a message that you’re open to hearing about opportunities?

And wouldn’t it be nicer if you could do that without broadcasting the information to your boss and the rest of the world?

A few months ago, LinkedIn launched a test feature that does just that. Now they’re rolling it out for wider use. They say that switching it on makes LinkedIn Recruiter users twice as likely to look at your profile.

LinkedIn Job Preference Details

You can take a look by going to LinkedIn and clicking Jobs/Preferences/Update Your Preferences.

Once there, you can specify your:

  1. Desired location.
  2. Experience level (trainee to executive).
  3. Industry preferences (from LinkedIn’s preset list).
  4. Company size preferences.
  5. Preferred field/functional area (from LinkedIn’s preset list).
  6. Preferred job title (up to three from LinkedIn’s preset list).
  7. Type of desired employment from full-time to five other options.
  8. Availability (now or a specific month). And:
  9. Whether or not LI can tell recruiters you’re open to new opportunities.
  10. Whether or not LI can share your detailed job preferences with recruiters.
  11. Whether or not LI can share your full profile with recruiters when you apply to jobs.

Items 9 through 11 stay switched on for 90 days, at which point you have to revisit your preferences page and reset them.

Will Your Employer See Your Job Preferences?

Maybe. LinkedIn doesn’t give you any guarantee of protection. However, be sure your current job is linked to your employer’s LinkedIn company page. When you do that, LinkedIn will try to hide you from Recruiter users at your company and its affiliated companies (more here).

If your company’s logo shows on your profile for your current job, then you have linked yourself to its company page.


Now Get Busy

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5 Etiquette Tips for your next job in Redmond

1. Be polite. Whether it’s a networking event, job fair, or other career-related event, showcase your inner strengths by patiently waiting your turn to speak with recruiters or hiring managers, properly shake hands (dry, firm, one-handed shake), and address the each person by his or her title (Dr., Ms., Mr.) and last name (unless the event is extremely informal — then you can use first names). There are times in job-hunting in which assertiveness is important (to demonstrate your interest in the job), but there is no excuse for not being polite.

2. Dress for the occasion. For job-search events in most professions, the suit is the expected attire — and especially for the job interview. You can do your research and determine the level of attire you need, but if you can’t, then it’s always much better to dress above than dress below.

3. Be punctual. One of the biggest etiquette mistakes a job-seeker can make is arriving late. Whether you’re simply going cross town or driving a great distance, always know the route you’re going to take, take a practice run (if possible), and build in extra time for getting lost, street closures, and accidents. Finally, don’t overstay your welcome — even if your return flight is hours away; when the interviews are done, say your thank-yous and leave.

4. Learn to listen. While a great deal of time is spent helping job-seekers prepare great job-search related communication tools — elevator speeches and interview responses — the art of listening is often overlooked. Ignoring what a recruiter or a network contact is saying so that you can simply throw in another plug for yourself is simply rude.

5. Be knowledgeable. Appearing ignorant — or disinterested — about a prospective employer is a major lapse in job-search etiquette. By showcasing your knowledge of the employer (and even the interviewer), you demonstrate how serious you are about the opportunity while also gaining serious etiquette points. Preparation is a key skill to learn.

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3 ways to land your new job in Lynnwood

1.       Be honest about your current situation. If you have no degree or certifications, just understand you may have a tough time with your job search. Understand your weaknesses and strengths and really think about what you want to do.

2.       Check your network. Somehow we believe that if we have hundreds, maybe thousands, of followers and friends, that we have a valuable network, but that’s not true. Check your network, maybe some of them have retired, gotten laid off, decided to launch their own business, fallen ill, or having a tough time themselves. If that is the case, then they won’t be able to help you find a job and the number 1 way to get a job is through a referral! Check your network.

3.       Update your credentials. Yes, as a resume writer of course I am going to suggest that you update your resume credentials but it not only because it’s my business, it’s because it is very important, just ask any recruiter. They are looking at everything now – your resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile and social media. Get yourself updated.

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Start 2017 Job search in Bellevue by answering these difficult questions.

1. What are you doing that’s difficult?

2. What are you doing that people believe only you can do?

3. Who are you connecting?

4. What do people say when they talk about you?

5. What are you afraid of?

6. What’s the scarce resource?

7. Who are you trying to change?

8. What does the change look like?

9. Would we miss your work if you stopped making it?

10. What do you stand for?

11. What contribution are you making?

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Always Keep Improving

Never Stop Learning:

Once you know the skills you need to achieve your job search goals, and are continuing to improve and update them, it can be useful to learn new skills or seek out new experiences that you have never had before. Volunteer work can provide you with opportunities to expand beyond the scope of that to which you are accustomed, and allow you to interact with people you may not otherwise have gotten the chance to meet.

There are countless resources for seminars, webinars, and online education that are either free or modestly priced, and allow you to learn at your own pace and whenever you can find time. In addition, thanks to the advent of the internet, nearly anything you want to learn is practically at your fingertips, merely a clicked link or a Google search away.

Improve Your Resume: Your resume should reflect the best you have to offer, and it should clearly and concisely communicate who you are and what you can provide to a potential employer, as it will need to get past a variety of filters and screeners before finding its way in front of the person in charge of hiring new employees. Keywords are an important aspect of a successful resume, as an overwhelming number of them are being electronically reviewed first. Search online for examples of other resumes, or ask to see ones being used by people you know, so you can compare and contrast them with yours. If your resume is getting you to an interview, then you know it is working, but it can always be improved. Don’t be afraid to ask potential employers what it was in your resume that made them pick you over all the other candidates, and what parts they ignored or did not like. Just remember that in the end, a resume is a tool to get your foot in the door, not land the job.

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Network your way to success in Seattle

Learn How To Effectively Network: If you are not already doing so, learning how to network with people is a skill that will help you succeed in your job search endeavors. With the number of candidates for jobs increasing while the amount of available positions is dwindling, job openings are becoming more and more of a precious commodity. While it is important to send out resumes and chase down leads from newspapers or job sites, that alone isn’t enough anymore to ensure success. There are many people from a variety of industries out of work right now, so going to a job seeker support group, taking continuing education classes, or attending unemployment seminars are a great way to meet others in a similar situation as you.

Inevitably, some of those people will get jobs, and if you’ve established a relationship with them, even if they are not in the same field as you, they could always hear of opportunities or meet other people through their company that could help you. At the same time, if you are the one who finds a job, keeping in touch with those you have met and reaching out to them if you think you could help them will ensure that you have a solid network built in the event that you need their help with anything in the future. Keep in mind most jobs today are part of the “hidden job market” you can only reach them through effective networking.

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