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.

 

 

What Salary Should You Ask For?

August 26th, 2014

Salary is one of the most important factors determining if you will accept a job offer. Some employers will advertise specific salaries, but you should still do an initial assessment to make sure you are being paid fairly. If you aren’t, you should ask for a different salary. Here are some tips regarding what salary you should ask for:

Consider Your Experience. 

In your previous job, you made a certain amount of money every year. In most situations, you will ask for a salary that is equal to or higher than your previous salary. This also is dependent on how long you were at the job, what skills you learned, and how valuable you were as an employee. Use your previous salary as a baseline before considering other factors such as your future financial commitments and salary comparison. 

Assess Your Future Financial Commitments. 

Assess your future financial commitments, and consider these when determining a salary amount. You won’t necessarily be able to ask for a higher salary because you have more financial responsibilities, but you will be able to look for jobs and salaries that meet your financial need. 

Research and Compare with Other Jobs. 

Even though you need to take your past experiences and financial commitments into account, you also need to research and compare salaries for similar companies and positions. You can do this on websites such as Glassdoor or PayScale. Once you know what other candidates are earning in similar positions, you can ask for a similar salary.

If you know what salary you would like and are ready to find a new job, contact Olympic Staffing. We help candidates find employers who are offer salaries equitable to the position requirements and the potential candidate’s skills/experience.

 

How To Help Your Staffing Agency Help You

August 19th, 2014

Companies will use staffing agencies for a variety of reasons, such as convenience or efficiency. If your company is going to hire a staffing agency, there are steps you can take to make your experience as effective as possible. The first step you need to take is to discuss several factors pertaining to your company:

Hiring Process 

Let your staffing agency know what your typical hiring process is. Do you conduct phone interviews before bringing someone in for an in-person interview? Do you have the candidate perform a challenge-based interview or simply provide details about their experiences? 

Company Information 

This is your chance to give a detailed explanation of your company and how it operates. Make sure to include details about your mission statement and company culture. Your staffing agency will need to know as much background as possible to make sure the candidate will fit in with your company as well as perform well in the job. 

Job Needs 

You need to be very clear with what you need out of the candidate whom you are hiring. Job needs for that candidate could include distance from the office, education level, or niche skillsets. No matter how specific the needs are, don’t be afraid to tell your staffing agency, because it’s their job to find that perfect candidate for you. 

Staffing Agency Expectations 

Your staffing agency needs to know what you expect from them. If you need a job filled within forty-eight hours, let them know that. If you need your staffing agency to find you the top five engineers within a particular radius, let them know that as well.

After you have thoroughly delved into your company’s background, you will need to seek to understand the staffing agency. Here is what you will need to find out about your staffing agency:

Their Process 

In order to remain on the same page, you need to know the typical process your staffing agency uses to match you up with the right set of employees. This includes how they find the candidates and what screening methods they use. 

Their Past Experiences 

Does your staffing agency have experience with a similar situation? If not, how can their experiences help with this current situation? Make sure you understand how experienced they are and whether or not you will need to provide more insight into the staffing process for your company. 

Their Recommendations 

Even though you might have your reasons for doing things a certain way, ask your staffing agency what their recommendations are for your situation. You may find yourself thinking about different needs or looking at your situation differently. You have hired professionals, so it’s a good idea to keep your staffing agency’s recommendations in mind, regardless of the topic at hand.

With both of your needs and expectations on the table, you, and your staffing agency should be able to make the best decisions possible in the situation. Keep in mind that the more your staffing agency knows about your company, the more they will be able to help you and tailor your future employees to your company’s exact needs. If you feel like your company is ready to hire a staffing agency, contact Olympic Staffing. They will provide you with a tailored staffing experience that will meet your company’s needs and requirements.

How to Stay Relevant as a Potential Employee

August 12th, 2014

We live in a world that has an ever-changing job market. There are always new skills, techniques, and programs to learn in order to keep up with others who are applying to similar jobs. If you’re currently looking for a job, it’s your responsibility to make sure you stay relevant as a potential employee.

Tweak Your Resumé to Reflect Trends. 

If you’re applying for a job that deals with anything digital, you should tweak your resume to reflect what is currently trending. For example, if a new social network or computer program is extremely popular at the time of your application, you will want to list your experience with that current program or social network. Your potential employer will appreciate the fact that you know the latest trends and they won’t have to spend time training you or asking you to learn a new program. 

Apply for Jobs with Long-Lasting Potential. 

Only apply for jobs that have long-lasting potential in terms of relevancy. For example, if there’s a social media network that is almost obsolete, avoid applying for jobs where using that social network would be your primary skill. You always want to make sure the skills and tasks you perform on a regular basis at your current job can last and will be able to further your career when interviewing for future jobs. 

Make sure your Skills are not Obsolete. 

In order to stay relevant as a potential employee, your skills need to be relevant. This includes staying up-to-date on software and hardware updates and being informed about new methods of doing certain tasks. Potential employers don’t want to have to take the time to train you on new programs or ways of completing certain tasks. 

Phase out References to Dated Experiences. 

Before you send out your resume, make sure it doesn’t have any dated experiences. For example, if you are a college graduate, you shouldn’t have any mention of high school experiences. If you have been in the workforce for several years, you shouldn’t list any college extracurricular activities or internships. If you don’t keep your resume relevant, employers are going to assume that you haven’t been keeping yourself that busy since that past experience. 

If you make a concerted effort to stay relevant as a potential employee, you will be one-step ahead of other employees who are simply relying on their experiences to apply for a job. Stay updated with trends and you should be more than fine. If you’ve worked hard on staying relevant and need help finding a job, contact Olympic Staffing. They will help you find jobs that will utilize your most recent and relevant skillset.

 

 

How to Help Your Employees Feel Engaged

August 5th, 2014

When you hold a management position in a company, it’s important to make sure your employees are productive, efficient, and feel engaged on a regular basis. Employee engagement will ensure that your employees are happier within their positions and less likely to leave the company or lose productivity. Here are some ways employee engagement can be promoted:

Allow Employees to Provide Regular Input and Give Feedback. 

One of the biggest reasons why employees don’t feel engaged is because they feel they don’t have a say regarding what decisions the company makes or is currently facing. You can eliminate this feeling by allowing your employees to provide regular input and give feedback. You could do this a number of ways, such as holding weekly open-table meetings, or through hosting a feedback box in the kitchen area. It doesn’t matter how you choose to do this, but letting your employees feel like they’re a part of the company’s decisions is invaluable towards promoting employee engagement. 

Communicate With Your Employees. 

Keep your employees informed. If you communicate regularly with your employees about changes to procedures or the way the company operates, they will feel engaged. This can be as simple as sending out a weekly newsletter or daily e-mail with anything the employees need to know. Make sure to keep all of your employees informed about company decisions; don’t just limit your communication to certain departments or positions. 

Publicly Advertise Promotion Opportunities. 

Employees will feel engaged if you regularly advertise the fact that they can grow or advance within the company. Moreover, if you publicly advertise promotion opportunities, all employees will feel like they are being encouraged to apply or work for that promotion instead of simply targeting certain individuals. 

Incentivize Hard Work. 

One great way to promote employee engagement is to incentivize hard work. If an employee sees the benefit of his/her actions, he or she is more likely to feel engaged and perform more efficiently. If hard work is incentivized, the employee will also feel like he or she is contributing to the greater good of the company, which leads back to your employee being engaged. 

Employee engagement looks different for every employee and company, but it is very important that you reach out to your employees. Your employees will appreciate the effort you make with them, and will most likely repay the favor to the management level by working harder and more efficiently. If you are looking for more employees to add to your team, contact Olympic Staffing. They will provide you with many options for hard-working employees to add to your team.

Do Your E-Mails Portray a Positive Self-Image?

July 29th, 2014

Most workplaces utilize e-mail on a regular basis as a means of communication. As a professional, your e-mails should portray a positive self-image. Here are some ways you can ensure you’re promoting the most professional version of yourself via e-mail:

Avoid Abbreviations and Shorthand. 

Because e-mail is digital, many people seem to think it’s acceptable to use abbreviations or shorthand when corresponding with colleagues or clients. However, abbreviations and shorthand can often be seen as rude and dismissive. If someone uses shorthand or abbreviations with you, it’s probably okay to mirror those same words to that particular person. But, if you’re e-mailing someone who doesn’t use them or for the first time, you’ll want to stick with traditional writing to portray yourself as knowledgeable, educated, and not lazy. 

Correct Spelling and Grammatical Errors. 

When you send e-mails that have many spelling or grammatical errors, it relays the message that you are too lazy to put time into drafting that particular e-mail. Your computer or e-mail program has a spell check, so make sure you use it. Not everyone is a great speller or writer, but thanks to technology, you can minimize the amount of mistakes you make in an e-mail. 

Check What Time You’re Sending the E-Mail. 

If you’re regularly sending e-mails after or before work hours (8-6), you might want to rethink that strategy. First of all, it’s impolite to offload a task onto someone after work hours just to remove it from your task list. Second, sending an e-mail to someone before or after work hours gives the impression that you don’t respect his or her personal time. If you need to get the task or message off your list, you’re better off drafting the e-mail and waiting to send it until the morning.

Remove Smart Phone Conventions.

If you have a smart phone, it usually comes programmed with a convention such as: “Sent from my iPhone” or “Sent from my Android.” If you have your work e-mail synced to your smart phone account, you might want to remove that convention from your smart phone. When you send an e-mail from your smart phone, you could theoretically be anywhere. Even if you do choose to send e-mails from your smart phone for convenience reasons, it’s best not to let your colleagues and clients know that you’re not in the office to maintain a professional reputation.

As a professional, it’s your responsibility to make sure you’re always promoting the best version of yourself in order to increase your chances of receiving job offers and to promote networking. If you feel like you’ve built up a great professional reputation thus far and would like help finding a job that reflects your skills and experience, contact Olympic Staffing.