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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.


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.


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.



Self Assessment

Start with self-assessment. Before starting your job search, take time, to reflect on your strengths and weaknesses and the type of work you like accomplishing. The better you know yourself, the more likely you’ll find a new job that provides you with greater satisfaction.

Conduct critical research. Information is the true secret of a successful job-search. Gathering information on types of jobs, job openings, and prospective employers (and those employer’s hiring managers) not only provides critical information for tracking down real job leads, but helps you in tailoring your resume and preparing for the job interview.


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.


LinkedIn Resume Builder leads to more opportunities in Bellevue

Use LinkedIn Resume Builder to Create an Updated Resume Fast

If you’re like me, your LinkedIn profile is much more up to date than your actual resume. But if you need to update your resume fast for an available opportunity, don’t spend hours on your computer. Instead, export your LinkedIn profile into a classy looking resume using LinkedIn’s Resume Builder .


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.


Standout with a Unique link on your resume

Put a Short and Unique LinkedIn URL on Your Resume to Stand Out to Recruiters

Instead of using the URL that LinkedIn assigns you with letters and numbers, customize it so it contains your name and the career field or job title you want to go into. (You can do this by clicking “edit profile” and clicking “edit” next to your LinkedIn URL.) This extra keyword will help when recruiters are searching for you, and sticking the URL on your resume will encourage recruiters to head to LinkedIn to learn more about you.

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Personal Lines Account Manager Needed for a Top 10 Broker

Our client, who is one of the top 10 largest insurance brokers in the world, is actively looking to add an additional account manager in the personal lines division.

This division is growing and shifting toward taking on mid-market and high net worth clients. You can feel confident that you are working for one of the absolute best and secure knowing that this company and division is growing rapidly.

If you are looking to move your career forward by making a move to a large brokerage and improving your current compensation, then this could be a great role for you!

Experience working in the personal lines department of an insurance broker is necessary to qualify for this role. Experience working with carriers Chubb and Pure or High Net Worth clients is a major plus but not necessary.

This role is full time with a salary that is open depending on experience and prior earning history. Employer has a program to help with use of public transportation as well as a full benefit plan. Career development plans are also available if you are interested in advancing your skill set and career.




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.