Bellevue Sample Thank-you letter

This is a sample letter, its just a template please customize to fit your situation

Good afternoon, XYZ,

Thank you for taking the time to speak with me yesterday about the staff writer position with Business News Daily.

It was a pleasure meeting with you, and I truly enjoyed learning more about the role and the company. After our conversation, I am confident that my skills and experiences are a great match for this opportunity.

I am very enthusiastic about the possibility of joining your team and would greatly appreciate a follow-up as you move forward with the hiring process. If you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me by email or phone. Thanks again, and I hope to hear from you in the near future.

Best regards,
ABC

Seattle Salary Negotiations

When you’re finally down to the wire on your impending job offer, there will come a time to talk numbers. “That one last conversation — where you negotiate salary — can unnerve even the most savvy job seeker.”

While most employers expect you to come back with a counteroffer, many job candidates avoid the practice and leave money on the table. “You don’t have to be one of them,” she says. “You’d be well served in your career to become comfortable with the process. You get one chance to accept a final compensation package at your company, so be prepared to make a persuasive argument.”

So how do you stay true to your target without alienating the hiring manager or hurting your prospects?

First, to prepare for that discussion, you’ll want to do your research ahead of time and figure out what someone with your experience and skills typically makes in this particular role.

Once you hear their offer and it’s time to negotiate, you should keep those numbers in mind, “but also consider the nature of the first offer and how much bargaining power you think you have,” Taylor says. And think about whether you’re currently under- or overpaid.

As a general rule of thumb, however, it’s usually appropriate to ask for 10% to 20% more than what you’re currently making. 

That means if you’re making $50,000 a year now, you can easily ask for $55,000 to $60,000 without seeming greedy or getting laughed at.

“If the original offer is on the low side of the scale, you have more leverage,” Taylor explains. “If you get an offer for 20% over your current salary, you can still negotiate for more — ask for an additional 5% — but know that you’re already in good stead.”

The bottom line: Do the math (and your research!) beforehand — know what a 10% to 20% pay increase would total, and what the going rate for someone with your skills is — and ask for that amount. Worst case scenario, the employer says “no.”

Redmond Salary Negotiation

Present your value.

Even if you’ve done you’re due diligence in researching salary levels for the position, you might not get what you’re worth unless you can prove that you’re worth it. “In serious salary negotiations, it is all about value proposition, If the company believes your value to be in multiples of your cost, you will have negotiating room. The higher your perceived value, the stronger your negotiating position.” If the employer doesn’t think you have greater than expected value, you will not negotiate more than a token handout.

To convince the hiring manager that your documented, numerical contributions far exceed your total financial package cost, he says you must describe the size of the problems you solve. “This is the heart of your ability to ask for more money. “They can hire anyone for routine tasks, but they mostly judge your value by the level of difficulty of problems you solve. They pay well for those who exceed expectations for performance.”

4 Things you need to know while searching for jobs in Seattle

  1. Find someone to refer you. You are missing out on job opportunities by not identifying someone inside the company to refer you for a job. While job boards are the primary source of hiring, 71 percent of HR professionals surveyed rated employee referrals as the best source for finding candidates, yet only 7 percent of job seekers surveyed viewed referrals as their top source for finding a job.
  2. Invest in learning technical skills. Job seekers self-reported that their top weakness was technical, computer or specialized skills. If this is your weak spot too, do something about it, because a quarter of employers rank these as top skills they are looking for. Take an online course to develop the skills you lack or need. More than 40 percent of job seekers have never invested in online training, but it is one way to improve your confidence and candidacy.
  3. Expect to meet several people during your interviews. It is unlikely you’ll be hired based on one interview. Almost 60 percent of HR professionals said the interview process involves meeting two to three people, and some employers will have you meet with as many as five people during the interview process.
  4.  Highlight these top three skill sets. Communication, adaptability and results-driven are the top skills HR is looking for in candidates. Unfortunately, job seekers miss the mark. While job seekers did list communication skills as a top skill set, they missed the mark in the other top skills they reported, which were leadership and teamwork.

Emerging Job Trends in Seattle and Bellevue

It will be harder for job seekers to land interviews

There are two reasons for this. First, employers are utilizing a more cumbersome applicant screening processes.  Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) require more time to sift through all available information to source the best candidates, using more forms, questionnaires, etc. as part of the screening process.  Second, employers are automating some jobs at the expense of employees.  As a result, job seekers should invest ample time in self-assessment process, in order to understand how their skills and background best fit each targeted position.  Then, effectively communicate their skills and experiences to employers.  A key outcome of this trend, Richards points out, is that résumés and applications must be more meticulously tailored to specific openings, in order to be selected for an interview.

5 Tips for a Successful Online Job Search

Before the rise of the Internet, the first place you would go to find out what jobs were available was your local newspaper’s classified ads. Now, of course, you can see all manner of jobs, from any kind of employer, with a simple search on job boards like Monster or aggregation sites, such as Indeed and SimplyHired. And, with some quick clicking, you can apply to scores of jobs in an evening.

Unfortunately, many people feel that this is the way you are supposed to conduct a job search to the exclusion of everything else. When you approach it this way, you are in for a long and frustrating experience with diminished chances for success.

Recently, a person complained that he’s been diligently applying to jobs on Indeed. He claimed to be selective and, over the last several months, sent out more than 80 applications. “So, what’s your response been to all this activity?” he was asked.

“Nada. Zilch. Zero … not a single interview,” he reported with a marked sense of exasperation.

People often don’t realize how great the odds are stacked against job seekers for virtually every online advertisement. Recruiters and human resources screeners commonly see hundreds upon hundreds of resumes submitted in response to ads. Of those, only a scant few will result in a conversation. Yet, on the employer side, it’s not uncommon to find someone to hire by placing an advertisement.

Put differently, you have only a small likelihood of success with any given response you make to an online job posting because each application is, statistically speaking, like flipping a coin. No matter how many jobs you apply to, you’ll still have the same odds – one in however many scores or hundreds of applicants reply.

At this point, you might throw up your hands in despair. Don’t. There are things that you can do to increase your odds of being chosen for a position that fits you well. Here are some strategies that are often most effective.

1. Take time to build your network, both in person and online. Attend networking events, participate in your professional organizations and introduce yourself to people. Practice the art of small talk. Understand that, with every new acquaintance you make, you enlarge your network.

2. Narrow your applications to a relatively few positions. Don’t bother with a lot of “Hail Marys” for which you clearly aren’t well suited to meet the employer’s needs. Instead, look for positions where you can add value to employers.

3. Do your research before you reach out to the employer. Check out the company in the news or on LinkedIn. Figure out its challenges, and how you can add value with your skills and experience. Use this research as you make your case for being considered in your cover letter.

4. Figure out how you can network your way into the company before you apply. You can use LinkedIn to find people in the company you can proactively reach out to for informational interviews. Don’t ask for help at the onset, but instead spend some time building a relationship and make yourself the first one to offer help before you ask for it.

5. Ask your contact if the company has an employee referral program. If so, would he be interested in forwarding your resume to the right person? Remember that, if you’ve already submitted your resume to the company, the employee won’t get credit for your application, and that makes a big difference.

Remember the old story of the tortoise and the hare. Slow but sure can win the race. The same is true with your job hunt. Go for fewer job applications, but do a thorough job of researching each and making a clear argument for how and why you can add value to the company. It’s tedious work, but in the end, your chances of success will skyrocket.

Happy hunting!

Bellevue Recruiter tells you how to answer a few tricky questions

What is your greatest accomplishment?”

Although the interviewer is asking you about your greatest accomplishment, you still have to choose one that is more professionally relevant. This is a good time to illustrate how you can contribute to the company if you are successfully recruited, so it will be to your advantage if you mention an achievement that applies to the position.

Let’s say you are applying for a position that requires a significant amount of problem solving and troubleshooting. You might want to talk about a time when you resolved a persistent problem that had plagued your company for years. You can explain how you initiated some research and made a useful suggestion that was eventually implemented to all departments. If possible, quantify your results in terms of savings made and increased productivity for instance.

Why did you apply for this position?”

Even if it’s true to a large extent, don’t give them the vibe that you applied for this job because you were retrenched from your previous company. Or for that matter, don’t give the impression that you are here because you need to make a living. Any company wants someone who is committed to the organization and eventually developed a sense of belonging with it. It doesn’t help claiming that you’re here for the monthly paycheck.

In fact, the best way to answer this question is to spend some time examining what you like or would like about your work and the company. It is likely you will find something, such as the culture, work environment, meaning of your work, etc. If you didn’t find anything, then you should seriously consider if this is the right job for you.

Once you know why you want this job, you can then answer them in a manner that’ll relate how well you fit with the position. For example, if you like the customer service work involved because you enjoy communicating with people, bring up that sociable personality of yours. Convince them that you’ll fit in very well here, and you’ll in turn convince the interviewer that you’ll be an asset to the company.

Why should I hire you?”

This is the part where you link your skills, experience, education and your personality to the job itself. This is why you need to be utterly familiar with the job description as well as the company culture. Remember though, it’s best to back them up with actual examples of say, how you are a good team player.

It is possible that you may not have as much skills, experience or qualifications as the other candidates. What then, will set you apart from the rest? Energy and passion might. People are attracted to someone who is charismatic, who show immense amount of energy when they talk, and who love what it is that they do. As you explain your compatibility with the job and company, be sure to portray yourself as that motivated, confident and energetic person, ever-ready to commit to the cause of the company.

Personal SWOT Analysis for Bellevue Job Seekers

Many professionals recognize the value of a SWOT analysis for their companies. Understanding a business’ Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats gives leaders a new perspective on what the organization does well, where its challenges lie and which avenues to pursue. However, few people realize that a personal SWOT analysis can do the same for an individual in pursuit of his or her career goals.

The SWOT analysis was first devised as a business tool in the 1960s by business icons Edmund P. Learned, C. Roland Christensen, Kenneth Andrews and William D. Guth. In 1982, Heinz Weihrich took it one step further, constructing a 2-by-2 matrix to plot out the answers to the four key questions for easy comparison. Strengths and Weaknesses were across the top, and Opportunities and Threats in the bottom row. This remains the most common and effective way to conduct the analysis.

Most professionals look at their strengths and weaknesses, a SWOT analysis takes things a step further by forcing people to think about the external factors that bear heavily on the health and direction of their careers. Looking at the quadrants together can be a creative way to think about where you are in your career and the directions you could take,

SWOT can also help people become the best versions of themselves. Self-assessment is a key activity in striving to achieve a sense of one’s personal best. The SWOT analysis exercise ignites an enhanced awareness of what one brings to the table in a balanced light of both advantages and challenges. Organizations roll out elaborate schemes to remain competitive as well as innovative. Why wouldn’t individuals want to achieve the same level of excellence for themselves?”

To conduct a personal SWOT analysis, ask yourself questions about each of the four areas being examined. Answer honestly. Honesty is crucial, or the analysis will not generate meaningful results. With that in mind, try to see yourself from the standpoint of a colleague or a bystander, and view criticism with objectivity.

It’s also important to imagine the potential of what you can become,

“Don’t limit yourself to the strengths that you’re currently exhibiting in your job.  List all of your strengths, even the ones that have been dormant for a while. And pay particular attention to the things that you have that your peers don’t — how are you different, unique and special?”

Begin by identifying your strengths. These are the traits or skills that set you apart from others. Questions to ask include:

  • What are you good at naturally?
  • What skills have you worked to develop?
  • What are your talents, or natural-born gifts?
  • How strong is your network of connections?
  • What do other people see as your strengths?
  • What values and ethics set you apart from your peers?

The next step is weaknesses.This part examines the areas in which you need to improve and the things that will set you back in your career. Questions to consider include:

  • What are your negative work habits and traits?
  • Does any part of your education or training need improving?
  • What would other people see as your weaknesses?
  • Where can you improve?
  • What are you afraid to do or most likely to avoid?
  • What negative feedback about your personality or work habits have you received?

For the opportunities section, look at the external factors you can take advantage of to pursue a promotion, find a new job or determine a career direction. Questions to examine include:

  • What is the state of the economy?
  • Is your industry growing?
  • Is there new technology in your industry?
  • Is there new demand for a skill or trait you possess?
  • What are the biggest changes occurring in the current business environment?
  • Have customers or co-workers given you feedback about new services you could provide, or ways to improve your manner?

Finally, look at any threats to your career growth. This part takes into account the external factors that could hurt your chances to attain your goals. The factors to take into account include:

  • Is your industry contracting or changing directions?
  • Is there strong competition for the types of jobs for which you are best suited?
  • Do your weaknesses inhibit your ability to rise in your company or change jobs?
  • What is the biggest external danger to your goals?
  • Are there any new professional standards you cannot meet?
  • Are there any new technology, education or certification requirements that will impede your progress?

Finding the necessary objectivity to conduct a personal SWOT analysis can be a challenge. For this reason you are advised to invite others who know you well to review your ideas for accuracy. We often cannot see how we come across in our interactions with others, so their feedback is valuable.

In some cases, you may be well-served by getting the help of a professional. We encourage job seekers to work with professionals certified in various assessment instruments, or to research assessment tools online that can provided measured feedback for consideration.

Once you have filled out the matrix, there are two ways to analyze the information and build a strategy: matching or converting.

Matching means connecting two of the categories to determine a course of action. For example, matching strengths to opportunities shows you where to be aggressive and take action. On the other hand, matching weaknesses to threats exposes those areas you should work on or situations to avoid, and lets you know where to be more defensive of your position.

To convert is to turn negatives into positives — in other words, converting your weaknesses into strengths, or threats into opportunities. This can mean growing a skill set through education, or finding a creative way to feature a weakness as a strength. For instance, if you are very outgoing, working in an introspective and isolated environment may not suit you very well. But if you can work toward a position, such as sales, in which you interact with many people, that weakness turns into a strength and could allow you to excel.

Once your personal SWOT analysis is complete, it is crucial to follow through on the insights you uncovered.

SWOT analysis can fail to be effective if it is simply treated as a ‘laundry list,’ without any tie-in to how the elements identified in the analysis can be put into play for the individual carrying out the assessment. For example, how can the identified strengths move the needle in the endeavor to achieve a key goal? Or how can one navigate a potential threat once it is identified, so as to ensure no ground is lost?”

“The best outcome is to take action and succeed in the opportunities you have identified.  This can benefit you on a personal and professional level, and set you apart from your peers and colleagues.

Those who want to conduct their own SWOT analyses can visit numerous career sites providing online templates and further information:

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