Candidate Resources

This is your one-stop-shop for resources to help you prevail through your job search. Whether you’re looking for interview advice, job search tips, or an outlook on the labor market, JSG has you covered. We have tons of resources to help guide you to a successful job search. We work hard, we work together, and we work for you.

maintain motivation during a job search

How to Maintain Motivation During a Job Search

The path of any job search has obstacles and challenges to navigate. Even seasoned professionals can struggle to find motivation while searching for a new opportunity. This lack of motivation, especially with everything going on in the world today, can be detrimental. If you have been looking for a new job for months, it is easy to lose focus and feel defeated. As a result, the process tends to linger on. If the outcome is looking a little foggy, here are three ways you can maintain motivation during a job search.

Develop a search strategy

The most efficient way to tackle your job search is to develop a strategy. You will likely find yourself stuck in the mud if you are just aimlessly applying for jobs. Instead, create a plan that will help elevate your search. Take a hard look at your skills, experience, and industry background to mindfully apply for jobs. Your strategy will help you identify positions that are a good fit for your background and career goals; it will also assist with weeding out jobs that may not be a good use of your time and energy.

Be sure to regularly reassess your strategy as your job search continues. If you have been looking for months with no luck, it may be time to rethink it.

Take care of yourself

There is an old myth that your job search should be your top priority, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This belief is absolutely incorrect – YOU should be the top priority at all times. That means your mental and physical health, as well as your family, should take precedent. If you are not your best self, your job search will suffer, so be sure to make yourself a priority. Schedule breaks, (safely) socialize with friends and family, get some exercise, and ensure you are getting enough rest. If you hit a brick wall with your search, don’t be afraid to take some time off. Like with work, you have to separate yourself so you can maintain motivation during a job search and come back feeling refreshed.

Continue to leverage your network

Throughout your search, you must consistently leverage your network. That means you cannot just reach out to a few people initially and call it good. To be effective, you must engage with your network and reach out and introduce yourself to new professionals in your desired fields. LinkedIn is your best bet for building up your network.

Make a post sharing that you are open to new opportunities and ask connections for introductions to hiring managers. You never know who someone else knows until you ask. Also, if you don’t share that you are out of work, how can your network support you? Continue to leverage your network through every step of your job search (and be sure to share with them when you finally succeed!). Talking with your network will help you maintain motivation during a job search and unlock doors you didn’t know existed.

These are just a few ways to maintain motivation during a job search. Please take care of yourself, take time to separate yourself from a stressful search, and use your connections to help you succeed!

How To Address A Layoff Throughout Your Job Search

How To Address A Layoff Throughout Your Job Search

Unfortunately, layoffs have been an all-too-common occurrence recently. As companies try to adjust to a volatile market and ever-changing circumstances, millions of people are suddenly without a job. As you jump back into the job seeker pool, it can be uncomfortable to discuss your layoff. Keep reading for some tips on navigating a layoff, and even making it work in your favor when taking the next step in your career.

Leave On A Positive Note

Your job search starts the moment you receive notice of being laid off. As unfortunate of a situation as it is, handling it gracefully at the moment can pay off in spades. Leaving on a positive note opens the door for a favorable recommendation and the ability for a future employer to confirm that you were indeed laid off rather than fired. So, keep an upbeat attitude and vow to continue a business relationship with your peers and leaders. 

Note It In Your Job Application Materials

Every piece of material you submit should note your layoff. You can include it in your resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, and actual application. Keep the mention of it brief and as simple as possible. Seeing it in your materials explains a short stint of employment and gives the hiring manager context surrounding your past employment. Additionally, it will likely spark further conversation during an interview.

Briefly Discuss It During Your Interview

“Why did you leave your last position?” is an extremely common interview question. Knowing that it will probably be addressed allows you to prepare ahead of time. Write a quick pitch explaining the layoff. Most importantly, keep it simple. Your interviewer doesn’t need to know the details, only that you were laid off, when, and why. Leave any personal feelings out of it! Then, you can pivot into your future career.

Use It As An Opportunity

While it’s easy to get bogged down in the negative details of being laid off, there can actually be plus sides! Craft your narrative to explain what you’ve been doing since your last position to further your career. Maybe you’ve taken an online course, attended a training, freelanced, volunteered, or even took the time to refresh and redefine your career goals. Employers love to see a candidate that makes lemonade out of lemons!

Need more job search tips?

Addressing a layoff is only one piece of the job search puzzle. If you are looking for more helpful job search resources, we have you covered. Johnson Service Group has hundreds of useful tips and tricks to help you take the next step in your career. Check out our candidate resources today and rise above the competition!

didn't receive a job offer

Three Simple Reasons You Didn’t Receive A Job Offer

Have you ever walked into an interview, thought you nailed it, only to be stunned a few days later when you didn’t receive a job offer? That is one of the most gut-wrenching feelings, especially in this economic climate. Not receiving that job offer can fill you with self-doubt and throw your entire job search off. It can leave you asking questions like, “what’s wrong with me?”

The good news is that you are receiving job interviews, which is one of the most challenging steps in any job search! In other words, there is nothing wrong with you or your qualifications. However, it means there is something during the interviewing process that can be improved upon to secure that elusive job offer! Here are three simple reasons you didn’t receive a job offer after a solid interview.

You didn’t do your homework before your interview

No matter how qualified you are for a job, you have to do your homework before your interview. You must do some research on the employer’s website, social media, or a quick Google search. Hiring managers will ask you a variety of interview questions to test your knowledge of the company or to assess your fit with the team. These questions are challenging to answer if you don’t do your due diligence. You could be the most qualified applicant for the role but fail to receive an offer because you didn’t connect the dots between you and the company.

You didn’t portray confidence throughout the process

It is crucial to portray confidence throughout the hiring process. From your first interaction to your last, you have to prove that you can succeed in the role. If you are uncertain about your fit with the position, hiring managers will notice. Illustrating confidence in your background and abilities is even more crucial if you switch industries or career paths altogether. If you can’t trust yourself, how is your new employer supposed to trust that you are the right applicant for the job?

Doing your research will help you confidently answer interview questions. Body language and appearance also play a significant role in how your confidence is illustrated. If you are slouching in your chair, not making eye contact, or underdressed, these will all show a lack of focus and confidence. It is even more challenging to show off your confidence over a video interview, so be sure that you are prepared if you haven’t had one in a while.

Here are a few tips to help you ace your next video interview.

You didn’t follow up with a thank-you note

Many candidates believe a thank you note is an outdated or unnecessary step in the interviewing process. Unfortunately, these job seekers could not be more mistaken. A thoughtful, personal thank note is like a big red ribbon on a present. It will help you stand out in a sea of applicants in today’s competitive job market. A thank-you note is your final elevator pitch; it gives you the ability to concisely thank your interviews while reminding them of your skills, background, and culture fit. Too many candidates fail to send a genuine thank you note. By spending a few minutes after your interview to thank each of your interviewers, you could separate yourself from the competition.

Here are some of our favorite templates for post-interview thank-you notes that will leave a lasting impression.

Need more job search tips?

These are just a few simple reasons why you may not have received a job offer, even if you are a strong candidate. If you are looking for more helpful job search resources, we have you covered. Johnson Service Group has hundreds of useful tips and tricks to help your job search excel. Check out our candidate resources today and rise above the competition!

3 Ways To Ensure You Get The Salary You Deserve

3 Ways To Ensure You Get The Salary You Deserve

It may seem like an odd time to talk about salary with everything else going on. However, we believe that there is no wrong time to broach this subject and pursue your true value. That doesn’t mean that salary conversations are all smooth-sailing, though! You need to prepare ahead of time, and these three steps will give you the confidence to ask for the salary you deserve.

1. Know Your Worth

Whenever you’re searching for a new job, you should first and foremost know your worth. This is based on a variety of metrics, including your past salaries and experiences. Additionally, you need to do your research. Estimate and compare your salaries on sites such as PayscaleLinkedIn, and salary.com. Once you have collected a few different numbers, choose a range in which you’re comfortable. What is your preferred number? What is the absolute lowest you will accept?

Also, you should have a big picture view of your desired benefits. Sometimes, you may accept a lower salary for full health insurance, additional vacation time, or a matching 401k. Understanding what’s most important to you will allow you to make an informed decision when the time comes.

2. Be Prepared To Negotiate

There are few times that salary will be offered without room for negotiation. If the offer comes in a little less than you expected, don’t be afraid to ask for the salary you deserve. As mentioned above, make sure you have a solid list of non-negotiables and minimum requirements. If the employer is unwilling to budge or meet you halfway, and you feel that you have accurately estimated your worth, you can turn the offer down. Even in today’s tumultuous market, your work is still valuable!

3. Partner With A Recruiter

One of the best ways to ensure that you’re getting the pay you deserve is to partner with a recruiter. We have been trained to go to bat for you. We understand market trends and have built relationships with hiring managers. A recruiter literally lifts these burdens off your shoulders.

Are you ready to take the next step in your career and get the salary you deserve? Explore our open positions or collect more job search tips here.

Jobs with the Most Demand in September

Jobs with the Most Demand in September

As the economy and job market continue to recover, jobless claims are finally declining. Last week (ending September 11th), new jobless claims fell by 33,000 to 860,000. Employers have replaced nearly half of the 22 million jobs lost this spring due to the pandemic. However, some industries are rebounding faster than others, resulting in robust demand for numerous positions. Here are the jobs with the most demand in September.

Industries with the most growth

Retail, accounting, and cloud computing are three of the industries with the largest month-over-month growth. According to LinkedIn, retail positions make up five of the top ten fastest-growing jobs, from August to September. The demand for retail associates (+790%), service associates (+190%), sales advisors (+150%), retail specialists (+140%), and sales specialists (+140%) are all in high demand right now. Many stores and brands are on a hiring spree right now to accommodate the new waves of customers generated by the pandemic.

The demand for tax associates is up 600%, as many organizations are preparing for a messy and confusing post-COVID tax season. And cloud engineers are up 220% as companies expand their work from home capabilities.

The most in-demand jobs in September

Below are the jobs that are currently in high demand:

 

jobs with the most demand in September

As you can see, salespersons and software engineers are the jobs with the highest demand. These positions were already in strong demand, and the pandemic hasn’t changed that one bit, especially since these professionals can more readily work remotely. Also, RNs, cashiers, and other essential workers are still in high demand, and probably will continue to top the charts throughout 2020. Tax associates made a massive jump in August (up 69 spots) as companies and individuals prepare their taxes in this tough economy.

Do you need help securing a new opportunity?

If you are currently on the job market, it can be a little daunting. The market is competitive, and companies are now in the driver’s seat. We have gathered a fantastic group of resources for job seekers across the U.S. and Canada. Check out our blog for interview advice, job searching tips, and resume pointers. If you are ready to take the plunge into your next opportunity, we have hundreds of attractive jobs available. Review or job board today, and let’s work together.

If You Want A Work From Home Job, Master These 5 Skills

If You Want A Work From Home Job, Master These 5 Skills

In today’s climate, millions of people around the world are working from home. Additionally, more companies are hiring remote positions than ever before. This is excellent news if you are a job seeker looking for a little flexibility. However, it is important to note that hiring managers are looking for very specific things when hiring remote workers. According to Yunita Ong, an Editor at LinkedIn Asia, these are the five skills you need to master to snag a work from home job.

Time Management

When you work from home, you are often charged with managing your own schedule. Hiring managers will want to know that you can take a task list, prioritize it, and accomplish everything within deadlines. To draw attention to your time management skills, highlight them on your resume. Include time-specific accomplishments and even detail project timelines.

Tech & Data Mastery

Working remotely can be akin to working on a deserted island at times. You do not have a mentor over your shoulder, walking you through new technologies or an on-site IT team to help you when something goes awry. Advanced knowledge of popular professional technology such as Microsoft 365, databases, and the internet will definitely give you a leg up for a work from home job. Put a spotlight on these skills by listing your proficiency on your resume. You can even include a specific list of relevant skills, covering your experience with any technology listed in the job description.

Adaptability

If we’ve learned anything this year, it’s the value of being adaptable. In today’s world, circumstances can change in an instant. Hiring managers want to know that you can think on your feet, adapt to ever-changing environments, and pivot when needed. To show your adaptability, tell a story in your cover letter or interview. Discuss a time when something didn’t go as planned and how you handled it. This will demonstrate your ability to adapt, no matter the situation.

The Ability to Balance

Having your home and office in the same space creates a battle for your attention. Many managers are still hesitant to let their employees work from home, with concerns about their dedication and ability to balance at the forefront. They expect that you can accomplish just as much at home as you would in the office. (And in some cases, even more!) It can be hard to highlight this skill without prior remote work experience, but you can establish boundaries as early as the interview. Ask about the work from home culture so you can have a clear understanding of expectations.

Remote Work Experience

Hands down, the most valuable thing you can bring to the table as a candidate vying for a remote job is previous experience working remotely. Even if it was just temporary during the stay at home orders, having worked from home in the past gives you an upper hand. It means you know typical work from home etiquette, and you’ll most likely be a master at the other four essential skills.

Are you looking for a remote job? Explore our open positions here!

4 Easy Ways To Set Work From Home Boundaries

4 Easy Ways To Set Work From Home Boundaries

Now that so many professionals are working from home for the inevitable future, it’s essential to draw boundaries. Just because your home and workspaces are now the same, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have clear boundaries between the two. Since the Coronavirus pandemic, over 69% of employees are experiencing burnout symptoms while working from home. In order to avoid this burnout, you must draw a line between your work duties and home sanctuary. Keep reading for four easy ways to set work from home boundaries to keep your productivity and relaxation at a maximum.

Create A Schedule

The best way to set boundaries for yourself is to create a strict schedule. More importantly, stick to it! We recommend actually scheduling your breaks to ensure that you step away from work consistently. You can even go as far as setting an alarm to signify the end of the workday. This will really help you avoid burnout by drawing a line in the sand between work and home life.

Establish A Defined Workspace

It can be tempting to lounge on the couch all day when you work from home. However, that does blur the line a bit between your two worlds. Not only can it affect your productivity for work, but it can also make you feel obligated to work when you should be relaxing. Choose a designated spot in your home, whether it’s a spare bedroom, a corner of your kitchen table, or even an impromptu card table. Then, use that space for work and only work!

Turn Off Notifications

Most professionals don’t need to be available 24/7. So, when you’re off the clock, make sure to turn off the notifications on your phone! This doesn’t mean you can’t occasionally check email in case an emergency pops up, but it will avoid messages from night owl coworkers disrupting your personal time.

Get Outside

During your scheduled breaks, or even if you just get overwhelmed during the workday, step outside! Take a few moments to soak in the sun, get some fresh air, and clear your mind. You will be amazed at how much better you’ll feel after just a quick jaunt outside.

When you work from home, it’s in everyone’s best interest for your to establish clear boundaries. Ultimately, it will boost your productivity, allow you to stay on top of your home life, and help you avoid burnout. Looking for more work from home tips? Explore our collection of articles!

How To Navigate A Lengthy Job Application Process

How To Navigate A Lengthy Job Application Process

There’s nothing worse than uploading your resume during a job application, only to be met with a request to fill out all of the same details that were included on your resume. We know it’s frustrating! However, there are a few things you can do to make the process a bit less arduous. We’re diving into the reasons why some job applications are so complicated and how you can make it a bit easier for you.

Copy And Paste From Your Resume

While it is annoying, having to fill out the job application is practically inevitable. Having to fill out hundreds of separate boxes is a recipe for spelling errors. To avoid making any mistakes or typing inconsistencies, simply copy and paste from your resume! This will ensure everything is correct and in line with the information you have on your resume.

Save Your Answers To Any Additional Questions

Often, job application forms will include additional questions such as “Detail your experience with XYZ,” or “Provide any additional reasons why we should hire you.” Just in case you come across these questions again, it’s helpful to have an answer ready to go! As a bonus, if you save them in a Word document, you’ll get the added benefit of a spelling and grammar check.

Skip A Traditional Job Application Process Altogether

That’s right; it IS possible to skip the full job application process altogether! When you partner with a recruiting firm to find your next position, they champion you straight to the hiring manager. You will still need to complete a customized resume, but you can skip filling out never-ending forms. Contact us today if you’re ready to launch your career to the next level!

We understand it’s frustrating to have to deal with a lengthy job application process. However, sometimes they are necessary to help sort through thousands of resumes! Change your thinking to this being an opportunity to show your strengths and stand out from the competition.

Resume Mistakes

This is One of the Biggest Resume Mistakes

With over 14.5 million Americans receiving unemployment benefits right now, many people around the country are working hard to update their resumes. Whether it’s been a few years or just a few months, updating your resume can be a daunting task. It’s very easy to update it once and submit your “masterpiece” with every job application you complete. However, not tailoring it is one of the biggest resume mistakes you can make. If you want to elevate your job search in today’s competitive job market, you must tailor each resume you submit.

You don’t have to rewrite your entire resume

Let us clear something up when we say you should be tailoring your resume for each position; we don’t mean you need to completely overhaul it. Rather, you must customize it to match each position. Chris Villanueva, Founder and CEO of resume writing company Let’s Eat, Grandma, articulated this well. In a recent interview on LinkedIn’s #GetHired Live, he suggests having a universal resume with all your basic information and positions but making “micro tweaks” for each job.

In other words, build a basic copy of your resume with your contact information, education, experience, and all of your other essential responsibilities. That will be your template. Then, before you apply for a new position, make these small tweaks to better match your resume to the position. Tailoring it will help you attract the eyes of hiring managers and recruiters, helping you avoid one of the biggest resume mistakes out there!

How to tailor your resume

Tailoring your resume to each new position may sound cumbersome. But with a resume template that you have thoughtfully crafted, it’s actually pretty easy. If you find a job that you would like to apply for, carefully review the job description and highlight the most critical skill sets, needs, or qualifications. Then, take a look at your resume and see what you need to add, remove, or tweak to make it better fit this position. It’s hard to customize a resume if you don’t understand what the hiring manager or recruiter is looking for in a potential candidate!

Looking to avoid more resume mistakes?

If you are looking for more resources for crafting the perfect resume, check out our candidate resources. We have dozens of blogs with helpful resume advice to help you secure your next opportunity!

Should You Include Hobbies On Your Resume?

Should You Include Hobbies On Your Resume?

Career Coach Sonal Bahl recently shared a controversial opinion: that you should absolutely include hobbies on your resume! While she was undoubtedly met with the expected backlash, such as “this is not Facebook,” there were also many people who were open to setting yourself apart by highlighting your passions. In fact, according to a LinkedIn poll, 45% of respondents think you should always include your hobbies on your resume, and 33% believe you should add them if they are relevant to the job. Our opinion? It depends!

When You Shouldn’t Include Hobbies On Your Resume

If you work in a straight-laced industry such as banking, law, or professional services, you want to exercise discretion. Typically, these industries will be looking for a more professional overview of your career. If you choose to include hobbies, keep them achievement-focused. Feature hobbies such as marathons, interest in languages, or business-related podcasts you follow.

When You Should Include Hobbies On Your Resume

If you are in a more sales-oriented or creative role, it can be extremely beneficial to highlight a few of your hobbies. Let your personality shine to set you apart from the competition. Choose something that speaks to your identity and how you will perform on the job. Sonal mentioned clients who included “enjoy baking. Probably bake the world’s most delicious brownie,” or “Absolutely devoted to my daily 10k run since 2006. Come rain, shine, or snow.” Those candidates both got called for interviews, and the hiring manager specifically mentioned the hobbies that they had included.

Things To Keep In Mind

Now, just because hiring managers are interested in hearing about your hobbies doesn’t mean you should include everything that interests you. Carefully select the hobbies you want to include. Do not list things that won’t add to your marketability like binge-watching Netflix, hanging out at clubs, or expert nap-taker. Also, be sure that the activities you include are things you’re actually passionate about! The purpose of adding hobbies to your resume is to stand out and establish a connection with the hiring manager. So, chances are that they will mention it during your interview with the expectation that you will speak thoughtfully on the topic.

In the end, it’s entirely up to you and what you feel comfortable with. Don’t feel pressured to include hobbies on your resume if it doesn’t feel natural to you. And on the other side, make sure the hobbies you do list contribute to your professional persona.

Interested in more resume tips? Click here to get your resume up to par.