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Advice for the recent Bellevue Graduates.

Be aggressive. Is there a job you have your heart set on this year? Be more aggressive by applying to the job(s) you really want to thrive in. Reach out to potential employers and properly introduce yourself. Stopping by the company is a great way to make new connections and really highlight your interest in working for a particular niche.

Be practical. Even if your current job is merely another gig to pay the bills, this year remember to be practical. Don’t quit your current gig unless you have another job lined up. There’s no need to make hasty decisions. This year, be practical when it comes to career choices.

Network frequently. You never know who a new person is until you start chatting with them. Whether it’s a passenger on public transportation, someone on their laptop at a coffee shop, or even the person behind you in the checkout line at the grocery store, try to network. Always carry business cards on you at all times and remember to be friendly. Striking up conversations with random people could lead to a job. Try it.

Attend conferences. Conferences are great resources for professionals of all walks of life. There’s so much to learn from keynote speakers and the content you discover at conferences could very well put you in a more professional setting someday. Research affordable conferences in your area or ones within reasonable traveling distances. See if your current employer will cover the registration fees. Do what you can to make an appearance at one or two conferences per year. They’re fantastic networking opportunities, and great for your resume to make you a marketable candidate.

Invest in yourself. This year, make a point to invest in the tools that will improve your career. Whether it’s a new laptop for better functionality, a course to brush up on your networking skills, or a website membership to start your own online presence, try to invest in yourself. Do what you can to improve your professional platform this year.

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Preparation is everything when it comes to giving job interviews in Lynnwood

Job Interview Preparation

After you’ve started your research, compile two or three intelligent, well-thought out questions to ask your interviewer when she says: “So, do you have any questions?” Don’t use this opportunity to immediately propose questions about the position’s salary, vacation time, and retirement options. Unless those issues are brought up, cool your jets with these questions until you’re through with the first round. Instead, write down two or three thoughtful questions that you may have, either about the interview process itself or the company’s background.

Prepare and practice answers to common interview questions such as why you left your last job, or “Tell me something about yourself.” Omit negative responses or long stories about your evil former boss or coworkers. Never discuss controversial views or politics. Keep things in a positive light and focus on elements in your background that directly relate to the position at hand. Tossing in fun information about your appropriate hobbies will also help the hiring manager or human resources executive remember you after you’re on the train back home.

Also, use an online mapping tool to plan your route so you know exactly where you’re going ahead of time. A sure way to bomb an interview is to be late. Bring your contact’s name and phone number along with the exact address of where you’re going. You may have been in “the area” years ago to visit a long lost friend but the landscape has changed: highways have been constructed and new roads paved, so use observant caution and online mapping tools to help you find your way.

On the day of the interview, time yourself so you get there about five to ten minutes ahead of time for your interview. Any earlier than that is inconvenient to your interviewer. The person you’re there to meet has set aside a predetermined block of time to meet you. Arriving 20 or more minutes early puts both of you in an awkward position.

If you’re out in your car waiting for 30 minutes you may encounter scrutiny. Find a spot where you can sit and “hide out” in case you arrive way too early. Keep in mind that your interview actually begins the moment you exit the elevator: all eyes are on you. If you’re adjusting your clothes when you exit the elevator you might catch your interviewer on his or her way into the office–first impressions count.

First and foremost, be polite to the receptionist. The receptionist isn’t just a receptionist but actually is a First Impression Specialist. How you treat this person is part of your overall assessment and will be reported back to the assessment team.

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Critical questions to ask during Job Interviews in Bellevue

#1. Gather critical information about the unwritten requirements of the job.
Job postings are generally written by human resources and are likely to be somewhat vague. All too often, the hiring manager’s true needs will not be listed or prioritized appropriately. So, without first finding out additional information, it can be awfully difficult to present yourself as the ideal employee.

Be proactive, ask questions and assume the role of a consultant rather than simply a job-seeker. Moreover, do this as early into the interview as possible. It is only after you have gathered the specifics of the problems the manager is facing that you should begin selling yourself to the position. The following will be helpful in getting the interviewer to start talking:

  • What do you view to be the most critical aspects of the job?
  • In your mind, what needs to get done immediately?
  • How can the new person make your life easier?

#2. Overcome age-related objections.
One of the biggest stereotypes younger managers hold against mature applicants is that they are set in their ways and reluctant to take direction. You can address this misconception by opening up the dialogue with questions that show you welcome the opportunity to learn.

Further, you want to let them know that you thrive on change and new challenges. Because people make up their minds about you within a very brief amount of time (first impressions), you want to counteract any stereotype about your age as quickly as you can.

Preface your questions by saying something like, “I enjoy being challenged and learning new things…”

  • In your estimation, what are the major demands of the position so that I might continue to increase my knowledge and grow my skill sets?
  • How do you see the work moving forward as the technology develops? (Be sure to underscore how you enjoy keeping current with the latest advancements in your field.)

#3. Help the hiring manager define his or her true needs. Many times (especially if the position is new), hiring managers may not recognize the specifics of what they truly hope to accomplish. You can help them clarify these outcomes by asking open-ended questions about the ultimate goals of the position:

  • What do you consider to be the most pressing objectives and/or goals of the job?
  • How will a successful employee in this position benefit your team and your desired outcome overall?

Follow up with, “If I’m understanding you correctly, you are looking for someone who can…” and then explain how your skills and experience are a match with their needs.

#4. Show you have done your homework and are knowledgeable about the job, the organization and the field in general.
You want to present yourself as a knowledgeable insider— someone with the skills, experience and personal strengths for the job. You also want to let your interviewer know that you took the time to thoroughly familiarize yourself with the particulars of the position and the goals of the company.

Prepare open-ended questions that will underscore these facts. You can even begin with the phrase, “Well, I’ve done my homework and…”

Job interviews are your time to show how your skills, experience, attitude and enthusiasm will support the needs and goals of the hiring manager. This can only be done if you have a thorough understanding of what is involved. So ask open-ended questions often and early. Take on the role of consultant and make this conversation a true exchange of information and ideas.

By posing smart questions, explaining how you can make a difference and presenting yourself with confidence, you will make that all important, powerful first impression. In fact, with a little luck and the right timing, chances are good that your well-positioned, open-ended questions just might help you get the offer and land the job!

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How should I optimize my LinkedIn Profile?

Lots of people have LinkedIn accounts, but few of them are as polished or robust as they can be for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes. For starters, replace that picture of you and your dog. It’s cute but not the right type of photo for a professional network. It might be right for another platform, but you’ll probably want to use a more professional headshot for a solid first impression on LinkedIn.

Never leave the summary field blank. Max it out to the 2,000-character limit. This is where you highlight your accomplishments rather than your formal job description. Recruiters want to see what you’ve done so they can decide if you’re a good fit for their client.

Claim the vanity URL that has your name so it looks like “linkedin.com/in/yourname” (here’s how to do that). Since LinkedIn often ranks well in organic search, including your name directly in the URL can also help you rank well. Once you’ve finished giving your LinkedIn a spit-shine, you can add that URL to the bio of your other social media profiles.

Include other places where people can find you online by customizing the website listings in your contact information. Rather than using LinkedIn’s default of “website,” select “other” when you add links to your profile so you can label them with a specific company name or note it’s a writing portfolio, for instance. That can help it stand out when someone views the contact info on your profile.

Your final step in optimizing LinkedIn is deciding how much of your profile you want to make available to the general public. Your public profile can be modified so you limit what people see when they aren’t logged into LinkedIn. There are some upsides to doing that; requiring people to log in before they can see your employment history and accomplishments allows you to see who viewed your profile, unless their own viewing settings are set private. But if you want to make it easy on recruiters (and you do!), make your full profile available to everyone without requiring a login.

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Seattle Job search techniques

Create your online career brand. The job market is slowly evolving from a paradigm of job-seekers and employers using job boards to find each other to one in which employers find job-seekers online — whether through LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or the job-seeker’s personal Website. Building your brand simply means showcasing your expertise and passion online where employers searching the Web could find it — and removing any unsavory — digital dirt — you can find.

Get organized. Before you start applying for jobs, going to job fairs, or interviewing with employers, take a moment to develop a system that works for you in organizing your job-search. A simple spreadsheet works best for many — and some online sites can even help keep your job-search organized.

Build, cultivate, and utilize your network of contacts. For the vast majority of job-seekers, a large and strong network of contacts — of people who know you and want to help you uncover job leads — results in more job opportunities. Networking — in person and online — is essential to your job-search success. Continually seek out new people to add to your network.

Attempt to complete several job-related goals daily. It’s a bit of a cliche now, but in all cliches there is truth — and that truth is that it takes a great deal of time and effort to find a new job. In a long job-search, it’s easy to get discouraged and distracted, but by focusing on achieving daily goals you can motivate yourself while also building a foundation for success.

Develop anecdotes and stories that showcase your skills. People remember stories over bullet points, so your goal should be developing a set of anecdotes you can use in networking and interviewing situations that clearly demonstrate your skills, accomplishments, and passion for your work. Using stories may also help you feel more comfortable talking about yourself.

Excel in the job interview. Research the employer and interviewers, know your route for getting to the interview, dress appropriately, arrive about 10 minutes early (to compose yourself, observe your settings, complete any paperwork), greet everyone warmly (from receptionist to hiring manager), use positive body language (firm handshake, strong eye contact, attentive posture, and friendly smile), confidently respond to interview questions, show enthusiasm, ask questions of the interviewer(s), and close the interview with appreciation and a request for information about next steps in the process.

Write thank-you notes after interviews to all interviewers. A quick note (by email and/or postal mail) of thanks that emphasizes your interest and fit with the job and employer will not get you the job offer, but it will help make you stand out from the majority of job-seekers who do not bother with this simple act of courtesy.

Continue following up with hiring managers. Your work is not done once the interview is complete or the thank-you note sent. Following up with the hiring manager regularly shows your interest and enthusiasm for the job. The key is doing so in a way that is professional while not making you sound pesky or needy.

 

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Relevant Work Experience for jobs in Lynnwood

Your dream job just got posted, and you’re super excited. There’s just one problem: You literally (and I actually mean literally) have zero relevant work experience. Whether you’re a career changer or a new grad with no internships under your belt, what can you actually put on your resume that makes you look as qualified as possible?

Fret not. There are a few different things you can include, as well as a couple of formatting tricks, that will help you present yourself in the best light possible.

Relevant and Transferable Skills

Most resumes will begin with relevant work experience (or education followed by relevant experience if you’re a new grad). That becomes a problem when relevant experience isn’t your strong suit. But rather than waste that prime real estate on your resume on things that will just confuse the recruiter, start instead with your relevant skills.

And don’t tell me you don’t have any. There must be a reason why you think you can do this job. You might have transferable abilities from a previous, unrelated experience, or maybe you developed skills while in school doing academic projects. In any case, if you’re a career changer, try tying all your skills together with a summary statement at the beginning of your resume. New grads, pop your skills section from the bottom of your resume to the spot right under your education.

Related Side and Academic Projects

Speaking of academic projects, it’s important to note that those are fair game and should definitely be included in your resume. The same goes for side projects that you’ve tackled outside of work or school. As long as you are clearly labeling this experience as project work, there is nothing preventing you from including it in your resume—and you absolutely should! Don’t make the assumption that only full-time, paid experiences can be on your resume.

One way to do this is to create a “Projects” section. Here, you would write about your project work the same way you would for work experience. Think about the experiences you’ve had that helped you realize your career interests. Was it a class project? Maybe you volunteered to help with something that ultimately sparked your newfound career goals—that’s experience that you can include on your resume under a “Projects” section. Format it similarly to help the recruiter understand that this, too, is valuable experience that should be evaluated when considering your candidacy for the position you are interested in.

An Enthusiastic and Specific Cover Letter

Okay, this isn’t technically part of your resume, but I am a firm believer of always coupling a resume with a strong cover letter. This is especially important if you have no relevant experience or a winding career path. This is true for career changers, too, but you also have a little bit more experience to work with. The cover letter is the perfect opportunity for you to connect the dots between the company’s needs and the skills you’ve built across your eclectic career. Be specific here. You want to really spell it out for hiring managers and explain why your non-traditional background might even be an asset, so that when they’re done with your letter they have a good understanding of why it makes sense for them to hire you.

Breaking into a new career is hard work, especially since many entry-level jobs are now asking for two or three years of experience. The trick to overcoming this is to really tease out those details like relevant skills and related side projects, and break out of the resume “rules” that are preventing you from including them front and center on your resume. Add on a riveting cover letter and, with a combination of networking and some luck, you’ll be sure to pique a hiring manager’s interest soon.

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Soft Skills you will need while looking for tech jobs in Seattle

If you’re looking for a top tech job, you’ll need to up your game. Sure, your field is in high demand and has a low supply of qualified professionals. And in my years helping technical recruiters attract tech talent, I’ve heard their most common complaint: there are just too many recruiters trying to get your attention. But I’ve also heard that businesses look for something that some tech workers just don’t have: soft skills.

Soft skills are things like collaboration, leadership, and critical thinking. Some companies even prioritize these skills more than pure tech talent when looking for their next great hire. In fact, a recent study that analyzed millions of job postings found that, even for highly technical jobs, 25 percent of the required skills were soft skills.

This means that you gain even more negotiating power with potential employers when you bring strong soft skills to the table. So if you want to gain the best opportunities, read on.

Be a Problem Solver

Some intel from the other side: One huge topic in the hiring world is how to find and hire critical thinkers. Critical thinking, intellectual curiosity, and problem-solving are a must as companies continue to blur the lines between business and IT.

Build this skill with empathetic thinking. Do you see common frustrations around you? What is the best way to solve these problems with technology? This is your opportunity to make an impact and create value for others.

Work on Your Communication

The professional business kind. This includes writing, listening, and presentation skills. Technology is no longer in a silo. It touches everything—and can improve everything, so everyone wants a piece of it.

That means that people from all departments will want solutions you have to offer, but you need to really listen if you want to understand their needs. And you won’t be able to share your solution with leadership if you have trouble speaking about and presenting your ideas.

Build your communication skills by practicing active listening and look for opportunities to speak up in meetings. The more you practice, the more you’ll improve.

Show You’re a People Person

Technology is getting more complex; and, thanks to the Internet of things, it’s becoming intertwined with more intricate products. This means many types of skills are brought to the table, which means many people—and a lot of chairs—will be around that table.

No matter how great you are at your technical skill set, if you can’t play nicely, then you won’t last long. Boost your collaboration credibility by seeking out opportunities to work in a group environment, especially cross-functional teams.

Always Ask Questions

Curiosity also leads to creativity and innovation. Why? Curious people aren’t content to just do things they way they’ve always been done, especially without a full understanding of the reason behind them and looking into ways they might be done better.

How to Show Off Your Soft Skills

Having soft skills only helps you if you can demonstrate that you have them. Here are some quick ways to show potential employers that you’re the full package.

  • Showcase projects you’ve worked on with videos and other types of rich media on your LinkedIn profile.
  • Explain a solution you’ve delivered in terms of the economic and stakeholder value it created for your company.
  • Clearly communicate that you understand the purpose behind your past projects, whether solving a customer problem or serving an internal business need.
  • Organize a group of colleagues who can verify that you’re a positive team player. Bonus points if you write one another recommendations to display on your personal websites or LinkedIn profiles.
  • Become a thought leader in your domain. Engage via social networks, local meet-ups, guest blogs, podcasts, and communities to inspire others.

If you think beyond coding, and learn to master the soft-skills code, you’re likely to land a gig at a dynamic company (or grow in your current position). After all, where would you rather be in 10 years? Sitting behind a screen… alone, or surrounded by a collaborative team to help you take projects to the next level.

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Learn valuable leadership skills on the job in Redmond

When you’re in college, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the unknowns of your future career. What if you never get a job? What if you get one and hate it? How are you going to build a career you love?

It’s all too easy to feel bewildered, running in circles trying to chase the perfect position. But at this stage in the game, a better approach is to think about the skills you want to gain. And what should be on your short list? Leadership skills.

Although there’s no one way to become a leader, entry-level job programs—structured programs for interns or new grads that help acclimate you to the working world—are designed to help you build the skills you’ll need to become the next Sheryl Sandberg or Elon Musk. And these fundamental leadership skills will help you no matter how your career unfolds!

Here are some awesome leadership qualities you can get through these types of programs, plus some real-life examples of young professionals who became leaders on the job.

1. Confidence

To build a thriving career, you need confidence—after all, believing in your own skills and abilities will help you take risks, tackle challenges, and put yourself out there for new opportunities. But that’s pretty hard to do when you’re starting your first job and you don’t even know where to make a cup of coffee.

Experts agree that the best way to build confidence is stepping out of your comfort zone and trying new things, both of which are actively encouraged in most entry-level job programs.

 

2. A Willingness to Ask for Help

As counterintuitive as it seems, humility is just as essential for leaders as confidence. As a leader, you won’t know everything so it’s important to be approachable and open to new ideas and ways of doing things. But, because many cultures emphasize self-reliance, entry-level professionals often start their first jobs feeling like they should already know everything. Organizations create these job programs specifically to help new professionals learn the ropes, offering built-in support to make it easy to learn how to learn.

3. Clear Communication

When you think of the quintessential leader, you probably imagine them standing at a podium. The most impressive leaders stand out because of their ability to communicate clearly and professionally, especially in front of groups.

If the mere thought of this makes your palms sweat, know that the best entry-level job programs will give you regular opportunities to get comfortable relating to and inspiring other people. You’ll be immersed in nearly every form of communication, from drafting everyday emails to leading big presentations in front of your peers.

4. Relationship Building

You’ve heard the term “networking” countless times before—and for good reason. The ability to build relationships across teams and pay grades is essential to becoming a leader. That said, reaching out to pick someone’s brain over coffee can feel artificial and forced—especially when you’re the low person on the totem pole. When companies successfully incorporate interns into their company culture, they create the ideal environment for people to build organic relationships.

5. Problem-Solving Skills

Every career has challenges that require serious problem-solving skills. Successful leaders don’t buckle under the weight—they overturn conventional thinking and come up with solutions.

But learning how to solve problems in a corporate environment, rather than the classroom, doesn’t come naturally to most of us, which is why the best entry-level programs give participants a range of experience solving problems in multiple situations.

In short? By participating in an entry-level job program, you cultivate leadership qualities that will serve you through your entire career. And the sooner you get started building these must-have skills, the quicker you’ll stand out as a young leader ready to tackle the next challenge.

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Non Verbal Cues for Successful Job interviews in Seattle

Practice good nonverbal communication

It’s about demonstrating confidence: standing straight, making eye contact and connecting with a firm handshake. That first nonverbal impression can be a great beginning — or quick ending — to your interview.

Dress for the job or company

Today’s casual dress codes do not give you permission to dress as “they” do when you interview. It is important to know what to wear to an interview and to be well-groomed. Whether you wear a suit or something less formal depends on the company culture and the position you are seeking. If possible, call to find out about the company dress code before the interview.

Listen

From the very beginning of the interview, your interviewer is giving you information, either directly or indirectly. If you are not hearing it, you are missing a major opportunity. Good communication skills include listening and letting the person know you heard what was said. Observe your interviewer, and match that style and pace.

Don’t talk too much 

Telling the interviewer more than he needs to know could be a fatal mistake. When you have not prepared ahead of time, you may ramble when answering interview questions, sometimes talking yourself right out of the job. Prepare for the interview by reading through the job posting, matching your skills with the position’s requirements and relating only that information.

Don’t be too familiar 

The interview is a professional meeting to talk business. This is not about making a new friend. Your level of familiarity should mimic the interviewer’s demeanor. It is important to bring energy and enthusiasm to the interview and to ask questions, but do not overstep your place as a candidate looking for a job.

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5 Free job search resources for job hunters in Bellevue

  1. Emurse.com: This is my favorite place to put a resume online, nothing more, nothing less.  Get your paper resume out and simply fill in the blanks.  Your online resume will be accessible from a URL like jones.emurse.com.
  2. LinkedIn.com: I usually only recommend upgrading for people who will be searching a lot and need to reach out to the people they find.  This might describe you, but if not, just get the free version.  YOU HAVE TO BE ON LINKEDIN.  PERIOD.
  3. Job-hunt.org: This site has a tone of stuff, and can be overwhelming to navigate, but two gems that you can’t miss.  First, Deb Dib’s article on LinkedIn for the executive job seeker.   Second, when to find a local face-to-face network meeting, go to Job-hunt.org and look to see what they have listed there.
  4. Twellow.com: Go to Twellow.com (which is like the “yellow pages of Twitter”) and search for people in your city, state, profession or industry.  You’ll find influencers who are probably well-networked – these are people who you want to develop relationships with.
  5. Indeed.com: Yup, a job board, but not for job board’s sake.  Use Indeed to do COMPETITIVE INTELLIGENCE RESEARCH.  Find out what companies are hiring, what your target companies competition is doing, what job titles look like, etc.  Ignore the idea of applying for jobs using job boards and think about this as a rich database research tool
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