Know Your Employment History

Be sure that you provide accurate information on your job applications and resume. Don’t guess as to where you worked and when. If you don’t remember the details, recreate your work history before you apply.

The most important thing is that you be truthful about all information you give to prospective employers. If you’re worried about what prior employers will say about you, proactively cultivate and supply positive recommendations to counter any potential negative feedback about your performance, or attitude.

Bellevue Job Search Tips,

Accept That You Will Never Bore Anyone Into Hiring You

Don’t get me wrong—you absolutely must come across as polished, articulate and professional throughout your job search. However, many people translate this into: Must. Be. Boring.

Wrong, wrong, wrong. Realize that few people get hired because they had perfect white space on their cover letters, memorized all of the “correct” interview questions or used incredibly safe, common phraseology (i.e., clichés) throughout their resumes. All of this correctness is going to make you look staged and non-genuine. Instead, give yourself permission to be both polished and endearing. Memorable, likable candidates are almost always the ones who go the distance.

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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.

Email Etiquette Tip 2

2. Watch Your Tone

Tone is how you, as a writer, can express your attitude in an email message. It influences how it is received. You usually want to make sure to come across to the recipient as respectful, friendly, and approachable. You don’t want to sound curt or demanding. Reread your message several times before hitting send.

When writing to someone with whom you’ve communicated before, begin by saying something friendly like “I hope you are well.” While emojis may help you convey tone more easily, refrain from using them in professional email unless you are writing to someone with whom you have a very informal relationship.

Never use them when writing to a prospective employer. It is always considered poor email etiquette to write an email or a portion of one in all uppercase letters. It will make you look like you are shouting.

Email Etiquette Tip 1

1. Mind Your Manners

Even in a world where we are rushing to get things done as quickly as possible in order to move on to the next task, take the time to use good manners in your email.

Don’t neglect to say “please” and “thank you.”

When addressing people you don’t know well or at all, or with whom you only have a formal relationship, address them by their title and last name, unless they have asked you to do otherwise. For example, say “Dear Mr. Murphy” or “Dear Ms. Stone.” If you are replying to an email and the sender of the original message has signed it with his or her first name only, then you can safely assume it’s okay to address them in the same way.

Quick Tips for Bellevue Opportunities

You need a specific cover letter, or your resume may not get looked at. You only have a few seconds to impress a hiring manager enough to select you for an interview. I know hiring managers who screen every application personally, and they tell me that if you don’t show what you can do for the company in the first paragraph of your cover letter, you’re not going to get an interview.

You should also target your resume to the job. It’s not just your cover letter. Your resume should be edited and tweaked, so it’s as close a match to the job as possible. Otherwise, it may not get picked up by the applicant tracking systems companies use to screen resumes or the recruiter who reviews it.

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.

Bellevue Recruiter Tips

Thank You Matters

I once placed a candidate into an engineering role with a company that manufactures packaging equipment. He was competing head-to-head with another engineer, who had similar talents and wanted the job just as badly. My candidate sent a thoughtful, non-robotic thank you note to each person with whom he’d interviewed, within about two hours of leaving their offices. The other candidate sent nothing.

Guess why my candidate got the job offer? Yep, the thoughtful, non-robotic thank you notes. They sealed the deal for him, especially considering the other front-runner sent nothing.


Consider crafting, original, genuine thank you notes (one for each interviewer) the moment you get back to a computer, following the interview. The speed with which you send the notes, and the quality, will make an impact.

And finally, remember that the interviewer cares much more about what you can do for them than what you want out of the deal. Certainly, they’re going to care a bunch about what you want once you establish your worth. But during the interview, you must demonstrate why you make business sense to hire, period.

Bellevue Recruiters, Job Interview Tips

Got a job interview coming up? If so, ask yourself the following: How certain are you that your responses will make the grade? How can you build rapport, speak to your abilities with confidence and leave a favorable impression? How might you best position yourself as a knowledgeable insider — someone who can be counted on to hit the ground running?

In order to present yourself well at a job interview, it goes without saying that you need to prepare in detail. You have to thoroughly research the company, the needs of the hiring manager and the principle goals of the organization. Once you’ve done that, you will want target your responses to the specific skills and attributes they are seeking in a future employee.

But there are some shortcuts. You can count on several basic questions coming up — in one form or another — in almost every job interview. And fumbling your answers to these frequently asked questions can really trip you up. If you don’t take adequate time to prepare and target your responses, you will swiftly be eliminated from the candidate pool.

The following are five basic questions you absolutely need to nail:

1) Tell me about yourself…
Not only does your response to this interview opener form your all-important first impression, it can often set the tone for the follow-up questions your interviewer will pose.

You need to respond with your branding statement consisting of:

  • What you do — the functions you perform, prior position titles and the responsibilities you have held
  • Your experience level and (if helpful) your training and educational degrees
  • Some key skills and accomplishments relating specifically to the position for which you are applying

2) Why do you want to work here?
Make certain to let them know you have researched their company. Begin by saying something like: “I’ve done my homework and I’m particularly impressed with…”

Name several positive aspects about the organization:

  • The latest innovations they are making in the market
  • Ways they outperform the competition
  • Expansion plans
  • Positive press, etc.

3) What do you consider to be your greatest strengths?
This is your invitation to sell yourself. You want to highlight how your skills and experience combine to create a direct match with the position requirements. You also want to distinguish yourself from the competition by displaying the added value you will bring to the job and to the company as a whole.

Make certain you are well practiced in your responses to this question. To be a standout candidate, you need to speak to your strengths with confidence.

  • Be prepared to list a minimum of five to 10 skills that relate specifically to the position for which you’re applying
  • Substantiate these targeted skills with of examples of how you have used them to perform your work at its best
  • Note the positive results you’ve achieved for your previous employers — quantifying your accomplishments whenever possible
  • You can use speech softeners as sentence openers if you find them helpful. For example, “I pride myself on…” “I like to think that…” “My supervisor always complimented me on…” “People turn to me for…”

4) Give me a time when you… (the event-specific question)
These types of queries are also known as behavioral-style questions. For greater detail on how to respond most effectively, check out my previous article for Huffington Post, “3 Key Tips to Help You Ace the Behavioral Style Interview.”)

  • Study the job description and pinpoint the specific skills requested in the ad
  • Anticipate questions and prepare targeted examples
  • Create a “cheat sheet” complete with trigger words that will help you remember the examples you want to use

5) Do you have any questions for us?
Yes, you do! It is critical that you come with a list of well thought out questions. Then you can pick and choose the most appropriate as the interview unfolds.

It’s best to start with open-ended questions that will get the hiring manager talking about his/her true needs.

  • What do you see to be the most critical components of the job?
  • What needs to be done immediately?
  • What are some of the long-range goals of the position?
  • How can the new person make your life easier?

Also be certain to ask questions that show you’ve done your homework.

  • I understand your company is expanding into new markets in Asia. How will this affect your department?
  • With the launch of product X, what do you anticipate customer reaction to be?

If you prepare compelling and targeted responses to these five typically asked questions, you can approach the interview from a position of strength. Take pride in the skills and experience you offer a future employer and get yourself psyched to win. With the right attitude, confidence in your abilities and a little luck, you just might find yourself at the top of the candidate list!

Source: Mary Eileen Williams

Resume Tip for Seattle Job Hunters

If you are conducting a job search, ask yourself the following questions: Is your resume providing you with the results you want? Is it a compelling document that highlights your skill sets and accomplishments to your best advantage? Are you distinguishing yourself from the competition by prominently displaying your added value?

Many times, your resume will serve as your all-important first impression. It will form the primary and initial indication of your viability as a candidate. Yet, as any savvy job-seeker knows, the ideal is to be introduced to a potential employer through a networking contact. Then your resume will act chiefly as a substantiating document, showcasing your skills, experience and fit for the position. In either case, however, you need to choose your words carefully. This critical document has to be succinct, compelling and powerful.

Applicant-Tracking Systems
Technology has altered the hiring process significantly, especially when it comes to resumes. Due to the overwhelming volume of responses to posted positions, most mid- to large-sized companies are now using applicant-tracking systems to perform a first-level screening of incoming resumes.

Although the software has been around for a while, many job-seekers are unaware of how it works. This mistake can be costly because applicant-tracking systems process today’s massive numbers of resumes, whittle them down to a manageable size and select only those that are suitable to pass along to reviewers and recruiters. You should, therefore presume that the resume you submit to an online posting will be screened in or out by this software.

Words to Use:

Keywords currently in demand
Study the job postings for your line of work and identify the skills that are currently in the greatest demand. If you have these skills, be certain to cite them liberally throughout your resume. Make sure to also incorporate these keywords in basically the same sequence you find them in the ads. Employers generally list job requirements in order of importance. Therefore, you will want to note your skills accordingly. By doing this, you will be showing employers that you are both highly qualified and possess expertise that is cutting-edge and in demand.

Specifics each employer wants
When submitting your resume in response to a particular position, you will need to further match your skill sets as closely as possible to the posted requirements. Whatever you put on your resume has to be 100 percent truthful; however, it is your decision as to which skills you choose to emphasize. So ignore your creative urges and mimic the words you find in the posting. Remember, your document will likely go through an initial screening by an applicant-tracking system. Software cannot make assumptions — your resume needs to duplicate the advertised skills as closely as possible.

Words that highlight your accomplishments
Every employer is looking for the same thing: a problem-solver who will meet and resolve challenges as they arise. Past performance is considered to be the key indicator of future performance. So emphasize your past accomplishments with words that highlight the positive results you have achieved and remember to quantify your results whenever possible.

Begin your resume statements with words such as: Exceeded, Expanded, Effected, Increased, Decreased, Maximized, Minimized, Doubled, Tripled, Reduced and Saved. Then follow these accomplishment words with percentages or other numerical markers of your success.

Words that show initiative
You also want to underscore how you have used initiative to come up with innovative solutions to problems, handle unforeseen issues that arise and/or motivate difficult team members. Words that describe initiative include: Developed, Drove, Effected, Eliminated, Implemented, Launched, Turned Around, Managed, Produced and Spearheaded.

Words that display your added value
Whenever possible, be sure to demonstrate how your experience and skills give you the edge over the competition. By starting a couple of resume examples with words such as, “unique combination of X and Y” or “winning combination of…” you will make the point that you bring abilities that others do not.

Words to lose:

Vague claims about your strengths
Although personal strengths such as attitude, work ethic and personality will help you land the job in an interview, you do not want to load your resume up with vague terms. Words such as: “contributing team player,” “reliable and responsible” or “motivated self-starter” are, in actuality, claims you are making about yourself. It is far better to show hard skills (the ones that are specific to your line of work), your actions and the results you have achieved. You want your resume to document your demonstrated skills and the valuable accomplishments you have produced.

Greatly reduce or eliminate terms such as: Self-motivated, Responsible, Hard Worker, Team Player, Go-to Person, etc.

Words that represent a job description
Remember that the main goal of your resume is to highlight your achievements so that potential employers are made aware of what you are capable of producing. Although responsibilities are important, do not rely heavily on the previously popular resume terms such as, “responsible for” and “duties included.” These terms represent position descriptions — they do not describe what you actually accomplished.

References available upon request
This phrase is passé, totally unnecessary and a waste of valuable space. Employers assume that you will provide references if requested.

Given your resume’s effect on your chances for success, therefore, review it carefully to ensure that it is a powerful representation of your talents, skills and what you are capable of achieving. Do not forget that this all-important document will often be the first impression a recruiter or hiring manager will have of you. Think of your resume as your sales brochure and turn it into a marketing powerhouse. Load it up with words that describe your strengths and eliminate the ones that serve to diminish your impact. Above all, be very sure that you are presenting yourself as the valuable and accomplished candidate you are. That should make any resume reviewer sit up and take notice!

Source: Mary Eileen Williams