Should You Show Weakness on the Job?

October 19th, 2018

Most employees want to come across as strong and capable, and expressing this type of attitude is usually in your best interests. However, that doesn’t mean you never can – or should – show weakness on the job. In fact, there are certain circumstances where you and your employer may be better off when you don’t try to pretend you’ve got it all under control.

So, when should you ask for help, even if you’re afraid it may make you seem weak?

  • When you don’t understand the work you’ve been asked to perform. While you may not want to show weakness when it comes to job tasks, it is far better to admit you need help than to make major mistakes that impede productivity or hurt the company’s bottom line. Asking for advice up front when you aren’t sure how to approach something could give you the tools necessary for success.
  • When you want to take steps to show how you’ve improved. Many employers want to see workers grow on the job. If you have a skill or ability you struggle with, don’t be afraid to let your employer know about the steps you are taking to overcome the weakness and improve. Your manager should appreciate your perseverance and your successful efforts at improving won’t go unnoticed.
  • When co-workers are behaving inappropriately. If you are not being treated properly in the workplace, there is nothing weak about speaking up even though you may feel weak about asking for help. In fact, it can show a lot of courage to say that something is not right at your work. Not only can speaking up help you to hopefully put an end to unpleasant behavior, but you may also spare others from being treated improperly if those people are afraid to speak out about what’s happening on the job.

It’s important you have a position where you’re able to ask for help and support when you need it. If your current job isn’t that position, SmartTalent could help you to find a company that’s a better fit. Give our staffing service a call today to find out how we can work with you to find a job that’s right for you.

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Five Things That Don’t Belong on Your Resume

October 17th, 2018

Your resume is a chance to show a potential employer who you are, so you must include key information relevant to determining if you’d be a good fit for the position. But, you also don’t want to put details on the resume that are inappropriate or unnecessary.

While it can be hard to know what to include and what to leave off, here are five things you don’t want on any resume you send to employers:

  • Your photo. You don’t want to include a picture for several reasons. First, it’s considered unprofessional. You don’t want to be judged on your appearance or create an impression based on the way you look. Instead, let the hiring manager get to know your skills from the resume before seeing your face.
  • Personal information. This includes details about your marital status, race, religion, gender, height or weight. Employers don’t want to know these things because this could set the stage of a lawsuit based on discriminatory hiring. And, none of these demographic issues should be considered by an employer deciding whether to hire you, so there’s no reason to include them.
  • Grammatical mistakes. Since your resume is your chance to show you’re a talented worker who is right for the job, silly mistakes will only undermine your efforts. Most hiring managers will disregard resumes with errors because they’ll assume you’d only make more mistakes going forward if they brought you on board.
  • Irrelevant job descriptions. You want the hiring manager to easily see you have the relevant skills, so focus on jobs you’ve held in the past that have made you qualified for the position. Don’t make the employer weed through a long list of work that isn’t relevant to what you’re hoping to do.
  • A long list of references. It’s best to provide references only on request so you can talk with your references in advance and give them the heads-up that they’ll be contacted.

 With the right resume, you can impress any hiring manager and maximize your chances of landing an interview. SmartTalent can help you get your resume in front of companies hiring people with your skills and abilities, so give us a call today to find out how our staffing professionals can jumpstart your job search.

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Preventing Workplace Bullying and Violence

October 12th, 2018

Workplace bullying and violence are no laughing matter. Bullies can be just as damaging to adults as they can to children, and violence is a major cause of death and serious injury in the workplace. You need to make certain your company is doing everything possible to discourage bad behaviors and foster a supportive, inclusive environment.

While it can be hard to know where to start in your efforts to curb bullying and prevent violence, some of the key steps you can take include:

  • Establishing formal anti-bullying policies. One of the most important things your company can do to prevent bullying and violence is to clarify exactly what behavioral standards apply in the office. You should have a handbook that clearly sets forth expectations for appropriate workplace conduct. This handbook should also provide insight into the swift consequences that could result from behaviors considered unacceptable at work.
  • Setting a good example. If you want to create an environment of respect, it’s imperative every one of the higher-ups set an example. This means senior staff should treat every employee courteously and should avoid behaviors that could be construed as bullying behaviors.
  • Establishing a safe way for employees to report problems. The only way you can nip bullying in the bud is to make sure employees who are being victimized have a way to speak up. All too often, the bad behavior goes on behind the backs of those in charge and no one knows the extent of the problems. Make sure there’s a safe way for staff members to talk about what’s occurring – and there are multiple avenues for reporting in case one of the people who is supposed to take the report is the bully. And, when bullying is reported, show you’ll follow through by investigating the incident and taking the necessary actions to resolve the problem.

Hiring the right team can also help you reduce the likelihood of bullying or violence. SmartTalent will work closely with you to help ensure you can find employees who will work well together and who will treat each other with respect. Contact our staffing professionals today to learn more about how we can help you build a great team.

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How Can I Be a Better Employee?

October 10th, 2018

In today’s competitive job market, employees have tremendous opportunities for career growth. But, if you’re currently working at a company and you want to advance – or at least make sure your job is as secure as possible – it’s important to make sure you’re doing your very best work.

While it can be challenging to figure out if you’re performing up to par or exceeding expectations, one thing you have control over is your efforts to be the best employee you can be. The good news is, there are steps you can take at work to try to become a better employee, so you’ll maximize your chances of professional success. Some of those steps include:

  • Asking for more responsibility. If you want to become more invaluable to your boss, you should look for ways to do work that’s outside of your basic job description. By volunteering to lead a project or taking ownership of key tasks in the office, you’ll make yourself indispensable while expanding your abilities at the same time.
  • Continuing to learn and improve your skills. Valuable employees don’t get complacent and let their skills stay stagnant. They take steps to always learn more and be better. If you want to be the best employee you can be, find ways to enhance your knowledge and explore ways to learn that will help your organization succeed. This could be as simple as reading books or blogs, watching podcasts, or attending seminars.
  • Pushing yourself to do work outside of your comfort zone. The only way to improve your skills and expand your knowledge base is to do things that seem hard and you don’t already know how to do. Always push yourself to take on tasks that seem a little daunting, and you may just surprise yourself – and your boss – with how you grow into the job.

When you’re doing your best to be a great employee and you’re struggling anyway, you may not be in the right position to meet your needs. SmartTalent can help you find the job of your dreams that you’re ideally suited for, so you can thrive. Contact our recruiting professionals today to find out more about the ways in which our team can help you to advance your career.

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How to Build Loyalty Among Temporary Employees

October 5th, 2018

Temporary employees are, by nature, not likely to stick around your company over the long term. Because these employees may see themselves as transient, rather than as members of the team, not all temp employees are loyal and committed to ensuring the company’s success.

Of course, your business benefits if temp employees do have some measure of loyalty to your organization. The good news is, there are ways to build that type of loyalty even if workers aren’t full time. To help make your temp workers more dedicated and loyal:

  • Make your expectations clear. Most temporary employees want to perform up to the expectations their managers have but may not be certain how to do that. If you make it clear from the start what a temp worker needs to do to be successful, your employee will be much more likely to work hard to satisfy you.
  • Let temp employees in on company goals. Temporary employees are more likely to be dedicated and loyal if they understand why they’re doing the work they do and how it fits into the big picture. Don’t just hand a temp employee work without explaining its broader purpose, because the work product won’t be as strong as it would’ve been if the employee knew the why beyond the work.
  • Make your temp workers feel like they’re part of the team. It’s important that temp workers don’t feel left out or like they’re on the outside looking in. If you want them to be loyal, include them in activities you do with your full-time staff. Invite them to meetings, include them in your lunch crowd, and do whatever else is necessary to help them feel like they’re one of the group, even if they will only be with your business for a short time.

It’s also vital to find high-quality temp employees who have the skills necessary for success and the passion to the job right. SmartTalent can help you to find employees that fit the bill, so give our staffing service a call today to find out how we can help you.

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How to Request and Embrace Constructive Criticism

October 3rd, 2018

You want to be good at your job and impress your managers – but sometimes it can be hard to tell what your weaknesses are and how to improve. Constructive criticism can be invaluable in helping you to become a better employee, but you may need more of this feedback than you’re currently getting.

If you find yourself feeling adrift and you want more input on how you can improve, consider following these simple tips from Harvard Business Review to help you request and embrace constructive criticism:

  • Know what you’re looking for. It’s important to understand your objectives in asking for feedback so you can tailor your approach. For example, if you want an evaluation of how you’re performing on a project, you can go to your boss with a specific request. If you want more general feedback or more acknowledgment, you’d need to take a different approach by asking for more general advice on how you’re doing.
  • Ask for real-time feedback. The sooner you ask for advice on how you’re doing after completing a task, the more likely it is you’ll get the direct feedback you’re looking for. It can be much easier for your boss to make time to give you immediate feedback in the aftermath of a project than to have a long conversation, and the project will be fresh in their memory.
  • Ask specific questions. When you simply ask if someone has feedback, the answer may be no, and you’ll likely learn little or nothing. Instead, phrase your questions in a more direct way, such as asking “What’s one way I could have improved my presentation.”

You deserve to work for a company where you can grow professionally, and getting the right feedback is an important part of that. If you aren’t sure your current job will provide you with the support and training you need, reach out to SmartTalent to find out how our staffing service can help you to find a position that will offer you what you’re looking for. Give us a call today to get started on your search.

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Why is a Temporary Assignment Good for You?

September 26th, 2018

If you are looking for work, you should strongly consider taking a temporary assignment for your next job. While many people aren’t sure if temp work is right for them, there are some significant benefits to working as a temp, at least for a period of time. Some of the big benefits of taking on a temporary assignment include:

  • Getting your foot in the door. Many companies are reluctant to bring on untested full-time workers. If these businesses hire you as a temp, they may decide you’re a good fit for their organization and want to bring you on full time. Your temp job could help you get in at a great company where you might otherwise have a hard time getting hired.
  • Getting experience for your resume. Temp jobs are a great way to build up your skills, so you’ll be a more attractive candidate for companies. You can enhance your resume greatly by showing you’ve held positions for top companies and you’ve completed lots of projects to help businesses succeed.
  • Making industry connections. Working a temp job can give you a chance to meet people in your industry who may know of other opportunities or may be willing to help advance your career in other ways. The bigger your professional network, the more likely it is you will be able to find rewarding work.
  • Avoiding gaps in employment. Some employers are reluctant to hire people who have taken extended time off. If you are having trouble finding a full-time position, it may be easier to take on some temp work to fill gaps in your resume than to explain later why you took so much time off.

If you are looking for temp work that could help you improve your skills and be beneficial in landing a full-time job in the future, SmartTalent can help you find a position that is right for you. Our staffing professionals help qualified candidates find temp work in Kirkland, Fife, Renton, Lacey, Lynwood, Everett and surrounding areas, so give us a call today to learn more.

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Questions to Impress

September 20th, 2018

When you have an interview, you not only must answer questions, you also have the opportunity to ask them. It’s important when you’re given the chance to ask interview questions, you have queries ready to impress the hiring manger.

While it can be hard to know exactly what to ask, some good questions you may wish to consider include:

  • How will you measure the success of the person in this role? This question shows you are interested in learning what the company wants you to contribute if you are hired. It demonstrates you aren’t just focused on what the organization could do to help your career, but your primary goal is to meet or exceed the employer’s expectations. It also helps you determine if you’re well qualified for the job and if you feel you’d be able to excel based on their established ideas of what a successful candidate brings to the table.
  • What are the biggest challenges faced by the person in this role? By asking this question, you can show how you can add value to the organization. If you have skills or abilities that can help you succeed at overcoming these challenges, you can share this with the employer.
  • Why is the position vacant? This can give you insight into their hiring process and help you tailor your answers to other interview questions showing how you can fulfill specific responsibilities.

These are just a few interview questions likely to convince a hiring manager you are serious about being successful in the position. Of course, before you can get the chance to ask smart questions, you need an opportunity to be interviewed for the job of your dreams. SmartTalent can help you to land an interview with great companies hiring in Kirkland, Fife, Renton, Lacey, Lynwood, Everett and surrounding areas. To find out more about how our firm can help you find work, give us a call today.

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How Can I Ace a Phone Interview?

September 18th, 2018

Today, more companies than ever conduct phone interviews to screen candidates before advancing to in-person interviews. If you are asked to do a phone interview, you’ll need to impress the hiring manager during the call in order to have a chance at landing the job.

This can be easier said than done, but following a few key tips can help you to excel in the phone interview:

  • Create the right environment. When you undergo a phone interview, it’s important to present yourself as a professional. This means you need a quiet place to conduct the interview; somewhere you won’t be distracted. Stay away from pets, children and other sources of household noise and be ready to get in the right mindset to focus on the interview.
  • Research the company before the interview. You want to be as prepared as possible to both ask and answer questions during the phone interview. You should also know what the company is looking for, so you can tailor your answers accordingly and make sure you present yourself as the ideal candidate. To prepare for the interview, take the time to review the job ad and learn as much as you can about the company. Then, be ready to ask informed questions and give answers that show you have the desired skills.
  • Practice answers to common interview questions. During phone interviews, just like in-person interviews, you must be prepared to answer tough questions. For example, you may be asked about your greatest weaknesses or why you’re leaving your current position. Be ready with replies so you won’t struggle with the answers.

These are just a few things you should consider doing to prepare for your phone interview. Of course, you need to land a phone interview in the first place to show off your skills. SmartTalent can get your resume in front of the right people in Kirkland, Fife, Renton, Lacey, Lynwood, Everett and surrounding areas, so you can get an interview for the job of your dreams. Give our staffing service a call today to find out more.

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Why Communication With Temporary Employees is Critical

September 13th, 2018

If your company has hired temp employees, it’s imperative you communicate with these workers properly from day one. While they may not be sticking around the business long term, they can provide your company with invaluable services during the time they’re employed – provided you give them the tools to succeed.

Communicating regularly and openly with temp workers is critical because:

  • Temp workers need to know your policies on safety. Avoiding workplace injuries should be a top priority for every business, regardless of the field. When you bring on temp workers, it’s imperative you make sure they are well-versed in safety protocols and procedures, so they do not put themselves or other workers at risk. Talking to temp workers about safety and providing adequate training could literally save lives.
  • It’s important temp workers understand your procedures. You want temp workers to complete their tasks properly to your specifications. They can only do that if they know the processes used to accomplish their work tasks. Providing them with this training can get them off on the right foot and can ensure your entire workforce is as productive as possible.
  • Temp workers need to know what is expected of them. Most temp workers want to be an asset to your organization and they hope to succeed in the position they’ve been hired for. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to know how to live up to your company’s expectations if you don’t lay out the metrics for success. Temp workers will be much more productive and likely to meet, or exceed your expectations for doing quality work, if they know what you want from them. Taking a little time to explain how you define success could save you a lot of time later in correcting mistakes and could help to ensure you get high-quality work product.

While communication is key, you also need to make certain the temp workers you bring on board are qualified. SmartTalent can help you to find skilled temp employees in Kirkland, Fife, Renton, Lacey, Lynwood, Everett and surrounding areas, so give us a call today to learn how we can help your business to hire the best people.

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