Are Your References Saying Good Things About You?

December 27th, 2018

Often, you’ll be asked to provide references when you look for work. In these situations, it’s important to make sure that you ask the right people to vouch for you. Otherwise, you take the risk of someone actually giving you a bad reference – or an indifferent one – and hurting your job prospects.

So, how can you know who to ask to serve as your reference? Just follow these tips:

  • Ask someone you know professionally: References who know you personally aren’t going to give you the type of praise that you need to impress a potential employer. You want someone you’ve worked with recently, ideally in the field where you’re currently applying to work.
  • Choose people who you’ve had good experiences with: You need to make sure that your reference isn’t going to have anything negative to say about you based on your professional relationship. Think back over your behavior with a potential reference to spot any red flags you may not want a prospective employer to know about. If you were late on a big project at one of your jobs, for example, you definitely don’t want to ask that boss to be a reference when you’re looking for new work.
  • Make sure whomever you ask is familiar with your work: Anyone who is going to be a good reference will be intimately familiar with how you perform and will be able to attest to specific accomplishments. Don’t choose a department manager who you never had contact with just because they’re higher up in the company – the manager you worked with every day is much more likely to have specific accolades to share.
  • Provide your resume when you make the request: You want to make it as easy as possible for someone to serve as a reference for you. So, provide them with your resume and a little bit of information about the accomplishments you want to highlight so you can maximize the chance they’ll say the right things to bolster your application.

By making sure you find the right people who can vouch for your talent, you can maximize your chances of getting hired. SmartTalent can also help you to boost your career prospects by matching you with companies looking for people like you. To find out how our staffing professionals can help you find work in Kirkland, Fife, Renton, Lacey, Lynwood, Everett, and surrounding areas, give our staffing service a call today.

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Is Your Boss Babying You?

December 18th, 2018

Is your boss micromanaging everything you do and not letting you perform your work independently? It can be frustrating to feel your boss doesn’t trust you and worrisome to work with your boss constantly looking over your shoulder. If you find yourself in this situation, some of the steps you can take include:

  • Understanding their insecurities: If your boss is micromanaging you, there’s probably a reason for it. Your boss may be worried you’ll make a mistake that reflects poorly on them or that you’ll fall behind and affect the department’s performance. Try to understand what concerns your boss has so you can look for ways to assuage them, such as handing in error-free work or turning in assignments before the deadline.
  • Finding ways to prove your worth: If your boss doesn’t trust you to complete projects on your own, it can be hard to show you’ll perform up-to-par without intense supervision. But, there are always ways to take on extra projects or assume some additional responsibilities where your boss may not be so hands-on. If you can show you’re able to succeed in one area without strong supervision, you may be able to get your boss to give you more freedom in other areas.
  • Encouraging your boss to delegate to you: If you want more independent responsibilities, sometimes you just need to ask. You can encourage your boss to delegate by watching for the jobs your boss doesn’t like doing or for situations where your boss seems overworked. Offer to take additional responsibilities on your own shoulders. When your boss sees that he can count on you to take initiative – and you relieve your boss of some tasks he doesn’t like doing – you can build trust and your boss may decide to give you more independent responsibilities.

If you’ve tried everything and still find yourself frustrated because your boss won’t stop babying you, it may be time to explore new opportunities. SmartTalent can help you to explore open positions in Kirkland, Fife, Renton, Lacey, Lynwood, Everett, and surrounding areas so you can find a job where you’re trusted to perform your job independently. Give our staffing service a call today to find out more.

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Asking Your Boss About Work From Home Options

December 11th, 2018

Working from home is great. You can cut your commute down to zero, be more available to your family, and potentially even get a lot more done. Plus, you don’t have to buy a bunch of business clothes and you can cook at home, saving money on food.

Unfortunately, not every company allows its employees to work from home. If the business you work for doesn’t already permit you to work out of your house, here are some tips for talking with your boss about work-from-home options:

  • Suggest a trial period: Often, employers are worried about saying yes to a stay-at-home arrangement because they aren’t sure how it will work out and they don’t want to feel locked in once they’ve said yes. You can increase the chances of your employer being open to allowing you to work from home if you suggest trying it out only for a limited time before re-evaluating whether it’s working.
  • Come prepared with a plan: You shouldn’t just ask your employer to work from home. You should paint a picture for your employer of what this would look like. Provide details on how often you want to work from home, how often you’d come back into the office, how you’d handle deliverables, and what meetings you’d need to attend. The easier it is for your employer to visualize a successful work-at-home arrangement, the more likely it is the employer will accede to your request.
  • Show how working-from-home can help the company: Working from home undoubtedly would be good for you, but your employer isn’t going to say yes just because you want them to and think working at home would make your life better. You need to explain what benefits the company would get from allowing you to work at home. If you think you’d be more productive in a quieter environment, for example, you can explain why.

If you’re looking for work-from-home opportunities, or for in-office jobs, SmartTalent can help you to find opportunities in Kirkland, Fife, Renton, Lacey, Lynwood, Everett, and surrounding areas. Give our staffing service a call today to find out how we can help you to find work you’ll love that you may even be able to do from the comfort of your own home.

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Does Your Company Culture Attract Great Candidates?

December 6th, 2018

You want to hire the very best people to come and work at your organization. To do that, you need a company culture that’s attractive to the most talented people in your field. Company culture matters a lot when people are deciding where they want to work, and you need to make sure your company culture increases the chance that good people will apply and accept your offers.

So, how can you tell if your company culture is going to help you in your hiring process?  You should:

  • Conduct stay and exit interviews with current and departing employees: The best way to find out how employees view your culture is to ask them. Many companies wait until employees leave to find out how their experience with the organization has been. These exit interviews can provide invaluable insight. But, you also want to talk with people who are currently at your organization to find out what they like and what can be improved. By asking specific questions about company culture, you can find out how your employees view your organization and what changes you may need to make.
  • Read online reviews of your organization on career websites: There are a number of websites online where employees rate the organizations they work for. You can find out the unbiased opinions of people who you employ by visiting these sites where workers leave anonymous reviews. If you spot trends, you can make changes to the things many people complain about when it comes to your culture.
  • Observe interactions between your employees: You can also get an idea of your company culture by observing the way employees work and interact. Do coworkers step in to help each other out? Do managers recognize when an employee has a win? These are important indicators of whether you’ve created a collaborative environment where employees are motivated and are rewarded for their efforts.

SmartTalent can help you to find talented people in Kirkland, Fife, Renton, Lacey, Lynwood, Everett, and surrounding areas who will help your business to succeed – and who will help you to build a strong, positive company culture. Reach out to our staffing service today to learn more about the assistance we can offer.

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Finding the Motivation to Get Back to Work

November 15th, 2018

When you’ve taken some time off from work, it can be hard to get back into the routine of going to a job and performing your best every day. You’ll want to hit the ground running, so you can impress your new employer, which means you need to get yourself motivated. These tips can help:

  • Brush up on your skills. You’ll feel much more motivated about doing your job well if you are confident that you know how to do the work. Being nervous about whether you’ll remember how to perform can zap your motivation, so don’t put yourself in that position. Instead, refresh your memory by studying up on the tasks you’ll be doing and even considering taking a course to learn about anything you may have missed while you were out of the workforce.
  • Get into a routine at work. One of the hardest things about going back to work after a long absence is getting back into the professional mindset. You can transition your focus to your job by developing a new work routine. This routine could focus on a big breakfast or listening to motivational tapes on your commute or doing whatever else you need to help you get back into professional mode.
  • Think about what you love about your job. To help you stay motivated, think about why you wanted to take on this role. Think about the things you most look forward to and about your favorite part of each workday. By concentrating on everything great about your job, you’ll be excited to get up and go to work every morning.

 It helps your motivation when returning to the workforce if you like the work you’re doing and if you work for a company that’s a good fit for you. If you live in Kirkland, Fife, Renton, Lacey, Lynwood, Everett and surrounding areas, SmartTalent can help you find a great job you’ll be excited to go to every day. Give our staffing professionals a call today to find out more.

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How to Deal With Your Good Employee Leaving

November 13th, 2018

Every company has some employees who stand out from the crowd because of their knowledge and their skills. These talented workers are likely the lifeblood of your organization, and it can be a major problem when they decide to move on.

If one of your star staff members decides to leave your organization, here are some steps you should take:

  • Looking to promote from within. Although you may have lost one skilled worker, chances are good you have other people on your team who also have a lot of knowledge and talent. If you can move one of your existing staff members into the position, you won’t lose institutional memory or have to start all over with bringing someone new up to speed. Promoting from within can be the fastest and best way to get the perfect person into a position vacated by one of your most talented workers.
  • Getting help from a staffing service to find a replacement. If you don’t have anyone on your current team that’s a perfect fit, don’t be afraid to turn to staffing professionals. You can explain exactly what you’re looking for in a candidate – using your departing worker as your model – and the staffing service can help you quickly and effectively hire a new person who will fill your previous staffer’s shoes very well.
  • Leveraging your star worker’s talent and knowledge to train your new employee. Most people don’t leave without giving notice. When your staff member tells you they are leaving, take time to learn how and why that staff member does their job so well. You can have someone in your office – ideally the person who will be moving into the position – shadow your current worker. And, ask your departing staff member to provide some tips and advice on how the new person can do just as well in the job as they did.

 SmartTalent can help you find skilled professionals to join your team, so you can find another star if your talented staff members leave. Give our staffing service a call to get help finding a great new hire in Kirkland, Fife, Renton, Lacey, Lynwood, Everett and surrounding areas.

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What Should You Look for in Your Next Assignment?

October 25th, 2018

When you’re a temp worker, thinking ahead about your next assignment is always important. Finding the right jobs is essential to advancing your career path and staying happy with your work – and you can only do this with some forethought and advanced planning.

If you find yourself uncertain about how to decide what you want in your next assignment, here are a few key steps to take:

  • Evaluate what you like and dislike about your current job. When deciding what your next assignment should be, it’s helpful to think about what’s currently working well and what you wish would change. For example, if you find yourself too isolated in your current position and miss having more interactions with others, you may want your next assignment to put you in a more people-oriented position.
  • Consider your future career plans. It’s also important to think about where you want your career to go and what professional objectives you hope to achieve. By considering your career trajectory, you can look for temp work that will allow you to develop skills that will enhance your resume in your desired field. You can also find work at companies where you can make solid connections within your chosen industry.
  • Talk with your recruiter regularly. Your recruiter needs to know where your mind is and what you’re looking for in a new position. By keeping in regular contact with your recruiter and sharing your thoughts about what you hope your next assignment will involve, your recruiter can be on the lookout for positions that appear to fit the bill. Your recruiter can use the information you provide to match you with the most appropriate future employer, so your next assignment will be even better than your current one.

SmartTalent will keep in regular contact with you as you explore new opportunities for temporary work. We can place you in temp jobs that are the ideal fit for what you’re looking for as the next step in your career, so give us a call today to find out about the ways in which our staffing service can help 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 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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