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.

How To Get Hired In Today’s Job Market

How To Get Hired In Today’s Job Market

There’s no doubt that today’s job market is volatile. No one knows what to expect from day to day. And while that may be intimidating, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get hired. It does, however, require a bit of creativity when it comes to your job search. Follow our tips below, and you’ll be well on your way to your next position.

Give Your Resume A Major Boost

As employers start to reopen their doors to hiring, they will be on the lookout for self-starters. While millions of people were put in the same position during the economic shutdown, those who continued to work on their professional development will shine brighter than the rest. Take advantage of free online courses like the ones offered by LinkedIn, Microsoft, and Github.

Prepare To Pivot

The Coronavirus pandemic has permanently altered the way our world goes to work. Millions of jobs have been streamlined, and some won’t return at all. This means you may need to pivot your career path and try something completely different. The good news is that some industries are absolutely booming and are on the hunt for new employees. Explore LinkedIn’s Economic Graph for up to date data on which companies are hiring, the most in-demand job titles, and essential skills.

Put Yourself Out There

We have seen an extremely high number of people gaining employment from a simple post on social media. During challenging economic times, it’s incredible how people band together to lift one another up. Additionally, there are thousands of recruiters combing LinkedIn looking for qualified candidates. Chances are, you’ll be able to make a connection just from putting yourself out there. And the more connections you have, the more exposure you’ll have to opportunities.

Keep An Open Mind

The best thing you can do during uncertain times is to keep an open mind! Nothing is as we imagined it would be right now, and that’s okay. In the meantime, consider doing something totally out of your comfort zone to bring in income. Put your professional skills to use by freelancing. Squeeze your creative juices by opening an Etsy shop to make your favorite hobby profitable. Apply for a contract position to “test-drive” a new role before you dive in full time.

Can’t get enough job search tips? Check out more job search tips below!

Why Should We Hire You

Interview Question: Why Should We Hire You?

What they want to know

A lot of interviewers trip themselves up over the question, “Why should we hire you?” Your interviewers are essentially asking you, “Why should we hire you over the other candidates? What makes you the best candidate?” Interviewers typically ask this question at the end of a job interview. This question is your final sales pitch. It’s your time to shine and summarize for your audience why you would be a great fit for this position and the company. Use this as an opportunity to address your experience, background, and skills and why they make you an excellent fit.

Bonus points: if you can quantify your answer in any way, that is the icing on the cake. Using numbers to illustrate your success or accomplishments is an excellent way to show your value and stand out above the competition. Also, be sure to tie your answer back into the job description to ensure your interviewers that you are a great fit for this role.

Example answering why should we hire you

“I have a passion for helping others and pride myself on using my customer service and recruiting background to match talented candidates with excellent employers. My interview-to-offer ratio of 86% over the last three years illustrates my consistency and track record for success. Additionally, last year I earned our annual ‘Recruiter of the Year’ award, which demonstrates my expertise in the recruiting world. I think my personal career goals align with your company’s mission of simply putting people to work, and I believe I am a great fit for this Recruiting Manager position.”

Final comments

Answering the question, “Why should we hire you” can be challenging. However. this example works well because it touches on the candidate’s background, their skills, and quantifies their accomplishments. The answer addressed the company’s mission statement and expressed their passion for helping others, which can help show why they are a culture fit. Overall, this example answers the questions well (and with confidence!).

Need help answering more common interview questions?

Don’t worry; at JSG, we have an arsenal of interview prep advice to help you nail your upcoming job interview. Good luck!

How To Highlight Your Skills & Experience On Your Resume

How To Highlight Your Skills & Experience On Your Resume

With the recent executive order regarding the government’s hiring process, skills are taking the forefront. In an effort to hire a more diverse workforce, the U.S. government will be giving a candidate’s skills and experience priority over a college degree. And while this is only being implemented at the federal level for now, you can expect companies throughout the country to follow suit. So, how can you put your skills & experiences at the forefront of your resume to get noticed?

Carve out a spot just for relevant skills

This means, you guessed it, that you need to customize your resume to each job you apply to! In this section, you should specifically highlight your skills that match the job description. Here’s a great example from The Balance Careers:

Key skills include:

Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube

Content Editing: Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook), WordPress

Graphic Design: Adobe Creative Cloud (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Premiere Pro)

Be sure to write out any abbreviations, just in case your resume gets run through an ATS first! We recommend putting this section right at the top so it catches the hiring manager’s eye right away.

Use action words

It will be more important than ever to utilize action words on your resume. Instead of just listing out things you’ve done, explain your role in each project and achievement. This will give you ownership of your accomplishments. It also gives the hiring manager a first-hand look at what kind of an employee you will be. Here are some of our favorite active verbs to use when writing your resume:

Highlight courses or certifications

Just because college degrees may not be the primary factor in whether you get hired, doesn’t mean that what you’ve achieved thus far is irrelevant. Still include your education, and detail the coursework that was relevant to this position. Additionally, feel free to add any courses you’ve taken online, as long as they contribute to your career. And of course, list out any certifications you’ve earned. Some jobs require certifications, and for others, they add to your credibility and self-motivation. Again, be sure to spell out your certifications and include dates of achievement. 

Navigating the current job market alone is tough. Luckily, you have JSG on your side. Once you’ve crafted a great resume, check out more of our job search tips here!

Find a Job During the Pandemic

How to Find a Job During the Pandemic

Finding a job in 2020 is surprisingly not as easy as it was a few months ago. With social distancing, face mask requirements, and other safety procedures to mitigate the spreading of the Coronavirus, your job search and networking are looking a little different. So, how do you find a job if you can’t attend a career fair? How do you meet new professionals in your industry without networking events? Here are three ways to find a job during the pandemic.

Virtual career fairs

You may not be able to attend a job fair physically, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t job fairs hosted virtually by companies and organizations. Instead of heading to your local convention center, companies are hosting virtual career fairs. These virtual job fairs vary. Some are simply a list of employers hiring, and you can visit their “virtual booth” to learn more information about the company and their hiring needs. Others are hosting job fairs with online booths where job seekers can sit in on live presentations and schedule one-on-one conversations with hiring managers. This may seem like an odd format, but this could be a great avenue to find a job during the pandemic.

Shift your virtual networking into high drive

With the postponement and cancellation of dozens of networking events, tradeshows, and other events, it’s time to kick your virtual networking into high drive. Some of these events are going virtual, so there is still an opportunity to connect with other professionals. However, it can be challenging to facilitate conversations when you don’t have the chance to meet in person.

Join professional groups on LinkedIn or even Facebook to connect with others in your industry. In these groups, you will find hiring managers sharing job opportunities and people discussing industry trends. The best thing you can do is make yourself visible. Post meaningful content in these groups and engage with others. This allows you to demonstrate your expertise and connect with other professionals in your market. These groups are an excellent way to turn another member into a resourceful contact and possibly even someone that can help you find a job during the pandemic.

Working with a recruiter

If you’re really looking to make an impact on your job search, have you thought about partnering with a recruiter? Working with a recruiter is an excellent way to get a leg up on the competition and discover job opportunities that you may not have found on the traditional job boards. Reach out to our recruiting team at Johnson Service Group. We will work with you to find a job that matches your career goals, even during these challenging economic times.

Midwest Becomes Increasingly Attractive To Job Seekers

The Midwest Becomes Increasingly Attractive To Job Seekers

With millions of Americans rethinking their careers, many are looking to relocate for the right opportunity. Could the Midwest be the next hot spot for jobs? Here are the reasons you may want to consider a move to the Heartland for your next job opportunity.

Wide Open Spaces

Thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic, many professionals are ditching big cities for small-town living. While the hustle and bustle of a “city that never sleeps” was once appealing for many, crowded streets and demanding schedules are less so now. Instead of living on top of one another, people crave those wide-open spaces (thanks to social distancing!). Additionally, more and more companies are open to having employees work remotely, causing people to rethink the necessity of living close to the office.

Job Satisfaction Ratings

Glassdoor’s annual “Best Cities For Jobs” lists incorporated job satisfaction ratings as one of the main components. Midwest cities frequently top lists of job satisfaction for a couple of reasons. Three main contributors to job satisfaction rankings are typically coworkers, supervisors, and commute. The commute is an obvious plus factor for the Midwest. Unlike big coastal hubs like New York, San Francisco, and Seattle, you won’t need outrageous commuting schedules or wacky public transportation routes to get to work. And if you consider the typical lifestyle of the Midwest, it’s often touted as being slower-paced and friendly. These stereotypes likely reinforce good relationships between coworkers and managers.

Affordability

According to a recent LinkedIn analysis, Midwest cities offer a good combination of affordable rent and generous median salaries, particularly for recent grads.

Midwest Cities For Job Seekers

While traditional big cities such as Los Angeles, New York, and Washington D.C. offer high salaries, the cost of living rises significantly along with them. For example, rent in New York City can consume up to 39.6% of new graduates ’ starting salaries. Whereas, in the Midwest city of St. Louis, rent can be a much more affordable 19.7% of gross income.

If you’re interested in relocating to the Midwest, talk to a JSG Recruiter. We have thousands of openings throughout the country with hundreds of different companies. We can help you in finding the next step in your career. Start a conversation today!

What Is An On-Demand Interivew

What Is An On-Demand Video Interview And How Can You Nail It?

There’s no doubt that the Coronavirus pandemic has changed many things about how we do business forever. One process that has been completely turned upside down is that of hiring. As companies open themselves up to hiring, not only will they be flooded with resumes from those who were laid off or furloughed, they are also facing the challenge of how to interview safely. And with many departments juggling more obstacles than ever, time is precious. Enter on-demand interviewing.

What is an on-demand interview?

According to Interview Stream, a popular video interviewing software, “in an on-demand video interview, the candidate is usually asked to respond to preset questions that are recorded by the recruiter or hiring manager, and the answers are reviewed later.” So that means it will just be you on camera; no one there to respond to your answers, ask you follow up questions, or give hints to how well you’re doing.

What kinds of questions will you be answering?

Because this is a truncated interview, hiring managers will want to get as much information as possible. This means they’ll focus on behavioral questions. Your answers should be detailed accounts of situations you’ve experienced at work or in school. Below are some examples of popular behavioral interview questions:

  • Discuss a time when you faced a conflict while working on a team.
  • Tell us about a time when you faced a lot of pressure at work. What happened, and how did you handle it?
  • Describe a time when you managed a project. Walk us through your project management strategy from start to finish.
  • Tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment.

How should you answer on-demand interview questions?

Because there’s no interaction with an interviewer, it can be particularly challenging to get your personality through during an on-demand interview. Your answers must be enthusiastic, professional, and thorough. It’s essential that your answers give a glimpse into who you are as an employee. Hiring managers will be looking for a positive attitude, self-motivation, and flexibility.

While recording answers, it will feel awkward. But the lack of response doesn’t mean you need to fill dead space with rambling! While your answers should be thorough, keep them concise. Describe your past experiences in detail but come to a clean and confident end. Try your best to avoid filler words and endings such as, “so… yeah!” or “and stuff.”

How can you prepare ahead of time?

Your appearance will be more critical than ever during an on-demand interview. Make sure you have a plain, uncluttered backdrop with no noise in the background. Pick out a simple but professional outfit. Make sure your hair is combed and tidy, and your face bright and refreshed!

If you’re lucky enough to have access to the interview questions prior to your on-demand interview, this is an incredible opportunity! Write your answers down multiple times and practice reading them aloud to friends or family. As you’re recording your answers, you don’t want to come off stiff, so avoid reading right off a page. Repeated practice will build up your “muscle memory” and help the answers roll right off your tongue! You can even practice recording on your laptop and watching your answers back. While uncomfortable, it can be a great way to expose your body language and any answers that may be slightly off.

For more video or general interview tips, be sure to explore our candidate resources.

3 Ways To Sell Yourself For A Remote Position

3 Ways To Sell Yourself For A Remote Position

With more and more companies extending their work from home policies every day, we expect to see a massive increase in hiring for remote positions. The coronavirus pandemic has opened managers’ eyes to streamlining their teams while allowing for a greater work-life balance. In March alone, job postings for remote positions were up over 42% on LinkedIn. If you are hoping to take advantage of this workplace evolution, try using these three tactics to sell yourself for a remote position.

Set the stage by nailing a remote interview

Spoiler alert: if you flub a virtual interview, you will not be hired for a remote position. This includes everything from scheduling and set up to following up with a thoughtful thank you note. Be sure to brush up on your video interview skills – including testing your equipment, assessing your surroundings, and putting together a professional outfit.

Throughout the interview, it’s essential to remain fully engaged in the interviewer(s). Close all other windows and limit outside distractions. Ask questions that explicitly reference the remote nature of the position. As soon as you hang up, craft a thoughtful thank you note and fire it off to all people involved. Executing these practices flawlessly will cue the Hiring Manager into your efficiency, excellent communication skills, and self-motivation to accomplish tasks when left to your own devices.

Do your research

Yes, we recommend this for every job search. But when you’re in the running for a remote position, you need to take it up a notch! If the hiring process is 100% remote (which many are for remote positions), you won’t have the advantage of seeing the company in person. You won’t get a feel for the company culture by checking out what employees are wearing or how they interact with one another.

However, you can still gain these insights; you’ll just have to work a little harder! Do a deep dive into the company’s social media, keeping an eye out for any team pictures or posts specifically referencing the company culture. Scour their Glassdoor profile to read first-hand accounts for current and ex-employees. (But remember to take reviews with a grain of salt!)

Highlight your soft skills

While, of course, your qualifications are important for snagging an interview, soft skills will seal the deal and get you an offer in hand for a remote position. Hiring Managers prioritize those who will be self-sufficient, communicate effectively, and crush it in the time-management department. Be sure to utilize the STAR method to answer interview questions and demonstrate your soft skills. This will give your interviewer an in-depth understanding of your skills and how you put them to work.

Next Step: Brush Up On Common Interview Questions

Don’t worry; at JSG, we have an arsenal of interview prep advice to help you nail your upcoming job interview. Good luck!

Job Market Outlook For The Second Half Of 2020

So far, the 2020 job market has been a wild roller coaster ride. It kicked off as one of the strongest job markets in our nation’s history. Sustained job creation, healthy earnings gains, and record-low unemployment rates had both employers and candidates feeling stable and optimistic. However, after just two months, we experienced a complete shock as the Coronavirus Pandemic led our economy to a screeching halt. Now, as states start to open back up, companies resume normal business activities, and as infection rates continue to decline, we begin to wonder about the future. Here are some of the trends you’ll see in the job market throughout the second half of 2020.

Hiring Steady Or Increasing In These Industries

As gloomy as the job market may seem, there are a few bright spots. Tech companies that have been able to transition to working remotely have largely remained unaffected. Some that focus on further enabling online connections such as Microsoft and Zoom have experienced considerable boosts in revenue. Online retailers and delivery companies have watched their business boom hand-in-hand as more consumers get more comfortable ordering online.

Additionally, industries that have been on the front lines of the pandemic have been hiring to keep up with demand. Healthcare providers, pharmaceutical companies, and supermarket chains have been scrambling to staff their workforce. Businesses that provide entertainment such as video streaming, online games, and traditional games and puzzles have been thriving as people spend more time at home.

Networking Will Be More Important Than Ever

You’ve probably heard that landing a job is “all about who you know.” And that statement will ring true now more than ever! Even prior to the pandemic, it had been estimated that as many as 70% of open positions are never even posted to job boards. One of the most lucrative forms of networking is via your alumni network.

Take Colby College, a small liberal arts college in Maine, for example. Amidst the rocky labor market, they implemented a “Pay It Northward” program, a promise to all 500 graduates to use the alumni network to find them jobs. After only ten days, the graduates had received over 500 offers, about half of them for full-time positions.

An Increase In Remote Work

As most companies throughout the nation scrambled to shift to working from home in March, the stigma and uneasiness about lack of control started to melt away. Now, many are extending remote work orders or offering it as a permanent option. Employees and Managers alike are reaping benefits from working from home. A report from USA Today found that 54% of workers are more productive than working in the office. Additionally, as many as 40% of workers would prefer to work remotely full-time in the future.

Lasting Impacts To These Industries

Some industries, such as travel and tourism and traditional retail, will likely feel the effects of this pandemic for years to come. Even as states slowly start to open up, people remain cautious. With unemployment currently hovering around 13%, many have been forced to change their spending habits. This trend will probably last well beyond the lingering threat of the virus as, unfortunately, millions of people have felt the effects of living off of little to no savings.

Economists aren’t optimistic about a fast-approaching recovery. “There’s just been too much damage to come back that quickly. People will self-regulate. Just because your governor says you can go out, doesn’t mean you will do it,” said Ethan Harris, Head of Global Economics Research at Bank of America.

If you need help navigating this unpredictable job market, whether you’re a candidate or a client, we’re here. At Johnson Service Group – we work hard, we work together, we work for you. Contact us today to get started!

Is Now The Time For A Career Change?

Is Now The Time For A Career Change?

Recent events may have rocked your career. Maybe you were laid off or furloughed, or a global pandemic put things into perspective, and you realized you just aren’t happy where you are now. Could now be the time for a career change? Even though the job market may be rocky, it could actually be a great time to switch things up. Here are just a few things you can do to get started.

Invest time in passion projects

If you’re unsure about your next step, spend some quality time just doing the things you love. Even if you don’t plan on launching a knitting career, it’s a great way to clear your mind and spark your creative side. On the other hand, you just may discover that your passion for puzzles inspires you to pivot towards a career in engineering.

Make a list

This needs to be more than the usual pros and cons list. Think about your future career. What are your must-haves for a career change? Work-life balance, a competitive salary, opportunities for advancement? Then, dream even bigger! If you could design your dream job from scratch, what would it entail? Rooftop goat yoga, ice cream Fridays, being your own boss? Don’t be afraid to get creative and silly with it! An exercise like this can help you realize what is really most important to you and help guide your decision making during the hiring process.

Browse the job boards

When you’re looking for a fresh start and career change, the world is your oyster. New job titles are gracing the internet every day, some of which you may never have heard of before! Search your area’s job listings, then expand your search to virtual positions. After all, job postings for remote positions were up 42% in March! Check out anything and everything that sounds interesting or different; you never know what you may find.

Ramp up your networking

It can feel incredibly vulnerable to post your career aspirations on social media, but it is also one of the best ways to expose yourself to new opportunities. Did you know that as many as 70% of open positions are never even posted? Instead, they’re filled via networking! Let your contacts know that you are looking for a new job and a total career makeover. And bonus, you’ll usually get a great reference or two out of it as well!

As you prep to make a major career change, keep yourself up to date with all things related to job searching via our Job Search Tips & Tricks Newsletter!

How To Ease Back Into Office Life After Working From Home

How To Ease Back Into Office Life After Working From Home

As many states start to ease back into a semi-normal routine, many workers throughout the country are returning to the office. After over two months of working from home, this may be quite a shell-shock. Not to mention, so many things have changed! As you begin to establish your new normal, be sure to take these three things into consideration.

Be Flexible

In a post-pandemic world, flexibility is going to be key. Companies and employees alike are trying to navigate totally uncharted waters. Your workplace has been working around the clock to implement safe and sanitary procedures. Please have patience and practice being flexible! It will take some time to get used to foregoing handshakes, practicing social distancing, and sanitizing everything constantly.

Take Time To Check In With Your Coworkers & Partners

It has been a whirlwind couple of months. As you step foot back in the office, take the time to check in with everyone. This is an excellent opportunity to spark meaningful conversations that go beyond the current weather. Ask people how they spent their time working from home – did they binge-watch anything great? Catch up on a fantastic book? How was balancing homeschooling with work? It won’t do any good to jump straight to business. Your coworkers and business contacts will appreciate the chance to socialize and catch up!

Give Yourself Some Grace

It can be tempting just to jump right back into your old way of working. However, don’t forget that things are very different now. It may take a little while to get back into the swing of things (and that’s okay!). Ask for support from your team or leaders if you need it. Most importantly, if you feel sick or rundown at any point, STAY HOME.

Heading back into the office is probably stirring up a large variety of emotions. Be sure to check in with yourself and take advantage of the resources at hand both at your workplace and online!