Why You Should Have a Professional Portfolio

September 30th, 2014

Whether you’re looking for a job or are fulfilled and secure in your current job, keeping a professional portfolio is essential. A professional portfolio is documentation of your achievements. It may include visual examples of your previous work, written descriptions of prior job duties, lists of references, etc. Benefits of maintaining a professional portfolio include: 

You Are Always Organized. 

If you have held more than one position over the last few years, it’s easy to confuse certain tasks or duties that you’ve performed for the various companies. By creating a professional portfolio, you will always be organized in terms of dates, bosses, tasks, duties, and special skills learned. You will be able to compile all the information from each job or contract you worked so it is easily accessible in the future. 

You Will Be Reminded of Past Experiences. 

Having a professional portfolio serves as an excellent reminder for past experiences. No one remembers every piece of his or her work history. With a quick glance at your professional portfolio, you can recall that specific experiences and reference them for any current interviews or job opportunities. 

You Have a Tool to Show Future Employers. 

If you have a professional portfolio, you can bring it to interviews to physically show potential employers. They will be able to look through examples of your work and progress while you are simultaneously describing it to them. Not only will your potential employer be impressed with your organization, he/she and will be more likely to remember you over other candidates.

If you have developed your professional portfolio and are looking for a job, contact Olympic Staffing. We will match you (and your portfolio) with best match companies and positions.

 

 

How to Describe a Weakness in an Interview

September 23rd, 2014

Someday, you could be asked to describe a weakness of yours while in a job interview. Many people struggle with this question because they don’t know whether to give a real weakness or a strength that is disguised as a weakness. Here are some tips on how to describe a weakness in an interview:

Prepare for This Question in an Interview. 

Asking you to describe a weakness seems to be a reoccurring question in many interviews, so you might as well be prepared. Before your interview, compose a list of your legitimate weaknesses, both professional and personal. Then, make a list of specific skills and strengths needed for the position. Do not choose a weakness that will bring up an instant red flag. For example, someone interviewing for a management role should not talk about issues with delegating, but he/she could mention that sometimes they are not strong with details. You can ask family and friends for help if you are having a hard time thinking of weaknesses. 

Be Honest. 

Don’t make up a weakness that actually makes you sound great. Be honest with your employers and give them a genuine weakness you have. Your potential employer wants to hear that you’re human and can recognize your own faults. Once you describe an honest weakness, you will want to follow the next step listed below. 

Detail How You’ve Overcome That Weakness. 

Focus on what you have done and are doing to overcome the weakness. Make sure to detail how you’ve overcome that weakness so it isn’t counted against you in the overall scope of your interview. Balance it with strength. For example, the interviewee who was applying for a management position and has trouble with details, can talk about the chart system he/she developed to keep them attune to details, and then point out that as a manager, he/she sees the “big picture” vision and is adept at delegating wisely, making sure he/she is covering the details through his/her team. 

Explain That Your Awareness of the Weakness is Helpful for Self-Improvement. 

After you’ve explained how you’ve overcome your weakness, mention that you are try to remain keenly aware of weaknesses in general and are always working to better yourself. This will give employers who have any resting doubt more peace of mind. Even though the employers asked the question and want to know the answer, they also want to know that you’re working on self-improvement as much as possible. 

Contact Olympic Staffing. We will help you secure an interview and place you with companies that are well suited to your needs and skills.

 

 

Why You Should Hire Interns for Your Company

September 16th, 2014

 Internships are slowly becoming the backbone of the workforce. Many colleges and universities require students to participate in at least one internship, pertinent to their course of study, throughout their academic careers. Hiring these interns may benefit to your company in multiple ways.

Train Potential Employees with Low Risk. 

When you hire an intern, you are essentially training a potential employee with low risk. Hiring an intern is low risk because it’s a seasonal commitment. If the intern doesn’t fit well with your company, you don’t have to hire him or her after graduation. If the intern does fit well with your company, however, you have already trained him or her on the inner workings of your company. Though specific job training might be required later, you are still exposing the intern to your company culture, expectations, and responsibilities. This will eliminate the need for some training if the intern is hired after the end of the internship. 

Increase Awareness of your Company. 

When you hire an intern, you are increasing awareness of your company. Even if the intern isn’t hired after graduating, she/he will still bring awareness to your company through word of mouth, references, and future job interviews. Your intern might talk about your company’s services or product to friends, family, and even job-seeking candidates. This exposure will be good for your company, and it will encourage more interns to apply to work with you. 

Enjoy the Benefits of Being an Educator. 

Educating young adults in a workplace is an incredibly rewarding experience. If you hire an intern, you can enjoy the privilege of teaching him or her how your office operates on a daily basis. You also get to explain different concepts, programs, and workflows. Your interns will be grateful that you taught them so much, and you will enjoy seeing the interns take on more responsibility as the internship evolves. Eventually, you will be able to see the interns take new jobs or start jobs at your company because of your teaching.

If you would like help hiring interns for your company, contact Olympic Staffing. They will find well-qualified interns who are eager and ready to work in and learn more about your industry.

How to Give the Best References Possible

September 9th, 2014

Many employers use references as a way to verify your experience, credibility, and attitude. As a potential employee, you will want to give your interviewer the best references possible to increase your chances of being hired. Here are some tips on giving references.

Think Back to Previous Jobs. 

When you are brainstorming ideas of whom your references should be, think back to previous jobs you have held over the years. If you have maintained positive relationships with your former bosses or coworkers, list these people as your references. By listing former bosses and coworkers, you are letting your new employer know you performed your skills well in previous jobs and left on positive terms. 

Give References Talking Points. 

Each job you apply for will have a specific skillset and list of experiences you want to highlight. Let your references know what specific skillsets, experiences, and personality traits you want highlighted for each job. This will make the task much easier for your references when they respond to a reference check request.

Ask First 

Your references won’t be able to speak as highly of you if they aren’t expecting a call from a potential employer. Ask their permission before using them. Give your reference a notice that you’re interviewing for jobs as well as a window of time when he or she could be called. By doing this, they can be prepared for the call and you are eliminating any potential surprises that could weaken your references.

If you have an impressive list of references compiled and are ready to begin the job search, contact Olympic Staffing. They will match you up with a company that is well suited to your needs and strengths and will make good use of your references.

How to Improve Office Communication

September 2nd, 2014

One of the biggest components behind a successful office is how well the employees communicate with one another. Some employees might be better at communicating than others, but it’s your job as the employer to make sure that everyone in the office is communicating effectively. Here’s how to improve office communication in your company: 

Hold Staff Meetings Regularly. 

Many issues surrounding miscommunication arise simply because change is happening too fast for the employees to remain updated. This can be remedied by holding staff meetings on a regular basis. Whether you decide to meet once a week, every other week, or once a month, you need to make sure your employees are regularly being updated on any pertinent events or changes the company is experiencing. 

Hold Smaller Department Meetings. 

While it’s important to keep your entire office informed, it’s equally as important to ensure communication is effective within individual departments. Departments are often extremely diversified within companies and have individual issues. Hold small department meetings on a regular basis in addition to company meetings to allow your various departments and teams to discuss issues and events that are relevant to them. 

Implement an Open Door Policy. 

If you want office communication to be improved, try implementing an open door policy. This means that employees are free to talk to each other as well as their superiors, without fear of reprisal, if an issue arises. Often, employees feel prohibited from bringing up issues to their superiors. Implementing an open door policy will give your employees an increased sense of communication because their ideas and comments are welcomed.

If you are ready to hire more employees for your company, contact Olympic Staffing. They will find great employees who are effective communicators and are able to contribute to the overall office communication.