5 Ways To Refresh Your LinkedIn In Less Than 5 Minutes

LinkedIn has experienced steady growth since its establishment, with over 590 million users by the end of 2018. So, not only are a lot of people using LinkedIn, but many of them are in upper management, exactly 45 percent, making it the perfect platform to make yourself seen in the professional world. Chances are, however, that your LinkedIn profile is in need of a refresh. We’ve pulled together 5 quick updates you can make to your profile, which will take less than 5 minutes each!

Update your LinkedIn profile picture

Put on your favorite work outfit and have a coworker snap a photo of you in front of a blank wall! A fancy camera is great if you have one on hand, but today’s smartphones have some pretty incredible photo capabilities as well. An updated profile picture is the fastest way to give your whole professional persona a facelift.

Choose a new cover photo

See if your company has any branded cover photos. Are you feeling extra creative? You can always head to a free stock photo site like Unsplash and download something related to your industry. Ultimately, you want your cover photo to be a reflection of your personality and or profession, giving people who view your profile an inside look at what it’s like to work with you.

Rethink your headline

If you’re like most people on LinkedIn, your headline is just a copy of your current job title and company. While this is fine, there’s definitely an opportunity for improvement! Try including a few of your key skills, or expanding upon your job title. Also, don’t forget to include any special certifications or designations. After all, you’ve earned them!

Give a LinkedIn recommendation

Giving a colleague a recommendation services a few great purposes. First, it allows you to give them a professional boost. It also prompts the recipient to reciprocate the favor! One benefit you may not have considered is that you will also be featured on their profile next to a sincere compliment. (And with your standout new headshot, you’ll be sure to catch everyone’s eye!)

Share an article

The best way to continuously establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry is to share articles, blogs, and other posts on LinkedIn. In an ideal world, you would share something every single day. Make sure to go beyond “liking” or other reactions to posts, or even just quickly sharing. It’s worth the extra minute to add an insightful comment that will help others understand what compelled you to share this content. And if you are really trying to make a good impression with your network, publish your very own article! Publishing your own articles on LinkedIn helps demonstrate your industry knowledge to your peers.

references

The Ultimate Guide To Job Application References

references

It’s rare these days to encounter a hiring process that doesn’t include a reference check. However, providing great job application references can be a little trickier than you initially think! Follow these guidelines to painlessly check this job search item off your to-do list.

Choose your references wisely

It’s a good idea to have three go-to job application references on hand. Typically, you’ll want to include a mix of current or previous managers and coworkers. Obviously, you’ll want to choose people with whom you had a strong working relationship. Make sure to choose references that will not only speak of you in glowing terms, but will also be able to speak in-depth about your work experience, performance, and work ethic.

Get permission to list people as references

It is absolutely essential to gain permission before listing anyone as a reference. The last thing you want is to catch them off guard, and as a result, receive a less-than-stellar reference. It’s also a great opportunity to network with your professional connections and stay in touch!

Don’t list your references on your resume

This is a big recruiting no-no. Listing job application references uses valuable space on your resume, hiring managers may contact them without your permission, and it takes the focus away from you. There’s also no need to include “references available upon request.” It is automatically implied and not necessary.

Provide your references with information

Make sure your references know what to expect. Sometimes it may be a simple employment verification, sometimes employers may ask them to submit a full letter of recommendation. If you must submit a letter of recommendation, ensure that your contact has all of the details including what to cover, where to send it, and when it’s due.

Provide them with the title of the role you’re applying for and a copy of your resume. The more information they have about your background and goals, the better!

Follow up

Don’t forget to follow up with your references once your job search is complete! Whether you were offered the job or not, your references are now invested in your career journey and deserve an update. Always include a quick note of gratitude for taking the time to speak on your behalf. You never know when you may need to use them as a reference again!

How To Navigate Tricky Interview Questions

How To Navigate Tricky Interview Questions

How To Navigate Tricky Interview Questions

Sometimes interview questions aim to reveal more than a simple answer. Interviewers might be analyzing your thought process, your confidence in your answer, or even further discussions your answer may spark. Feel free to take time to think before you answer. Hiring managers appreciate a well-thought-out answer with a pause over something rushed. Also, never be afraid to ask for further clarification! The better you understand what is being asked, the better you can answer. Here are a few common interview questions and a few tips on how to answer them.

Tell me about a time…

These behavioral questions are designed to see how you’ve handled situations in the past. Typically, the best way to format your answer is as follows: the issue at hand, how you solved it, and what you learned from the experience.

What’s your biggest weakness?

We beg you, please don’t answer with a strength disguised as a weakness, Michael Scott style: “I work too hard, I care too much, and sometimes I can be too invested in my job.” Instead, give a thoughtful example of something you struggle with and how you’re working to improve it. For example, “It can be hard for me to prioritize multiple projects at once, but I have started keeping a planner and utilizing my calendar to stay on track which helps a lot.”

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

This interview question can stump even the most seasoned candidates. How do you find a balance between showing ambition but not being overeager? Generally, it’s best to speak in broad terms. Reference the type of work you’d like to be doing (ideally aligned with the job you’re currently interviewing for), and the team you most desire to be a part of.

Why are you leaving your current position?

Don’t fall for this trap question! It is NOT an opportunity to bash your current/past employers or boss. The best way to answer this one is by focusing on future growth. Explain that you’re looking for a position that is more challenging or better aligns with your values.

Do you have any questions for us?

Your answer to this question should always be yes. Come in with a couple prepared (you can read our favorites here.) And try to come up with a few during the interview related to your conversation. This is where it comes in handy to take notes during your interview!

resume

How to Rejuvenate Your Resume

resume

Has it been a few years since you were last on the job market? Even if you have a great job, it can be tempting to see what else is out there in this candidate-driven labor market. If you haven’t had to think about your resume in a while, here are a few tips to breathe some life back into it.

Remove your resume objective

Most resumes don’t really say anything meaningful. “Experienced mechanical engineer looking for a new position to challenge…” Just stop right there. What is the ultimate goal of every resume? To help you get called in for an interview, and hopefully, receive a job offer. You don’t need to tell the hiring manager or HR that you’re looking for a new opportunity. Instead, get right into the meat of your resume, which is your work experience.

Bump your education towards the bottom

After your contact information, get right into your work history. Unless you are fresh out of school, you should move your education farther down your resume. I know you are proud of your alma mater, but recruiters, hiring managers, and HR want to see your work accomplishments and experiences.

And while you’re at it, you can remove your graduation date and GPA off your resume. Again, if you’re a recent graduate, then your GPA and graduation date are fine. However, if you’ve been out of school for a few years, employers do not really care about your grades. And by adding your graduation date, you may be doing yourself an injustice by letting a recruiter or your future employer know your age. Age discrimination is illegal when considering a candidate, but it’s better to play it safe and leave it off.

Add a skills section

Employers and recruiters commonly use application tracking systems (ATS). Essentially, ATS are automatic systems that recruiters and HR use to organize, track, and, automate the recruiting process. It also helps them search for resumes with certain criteria, experiences, and skill sets. In other words, if your resume doesn’t have the right keywords or skills on it, you may find yourself not receiving a call for an interview.

A quick solution to mitigate this is to add a skills section to your resume. After your work experience, add a skills section that neatly displays some key skills that you bring to the table. We recommend keeping it a list of eight to twelve skills. You don’t want to bog your resume down with every single software or skill that you know. Instead, read over the job description carefully and highlight the skills essential for this role. If you have these skills, this is where you want to list them. A skills section is also great for recruiters and HR who may be too busy to read your entire resume. Employers only spend an average of six seconds reading a resume, so the more skimmable you make it, the better.

These are just a couple of quick tips to jump-start your job search. If you need more help crafting the perfect resume, JSG has dozens of resources to help you land your next position. Good luck!

resume tips

Resume Tips to Start Your Job Search on the Right Foot

resume tips

A resume is like a snowflake – each and every one is unique. However, there are several things each resume should incorporate to ensure you’re setting your job search up for success. Here are four resume tips to get you started off on the right foot.

Appropriate file names

When you apply for a job or send your resume to a recruiter, the file must be named appropriately. Human Resources professionals and recruiters look at hundreds of resumes each week. If yours isn’t easily identifiable, it may be lost in the weeds. In other words, don’t submit a resume titled “resume” or “copy of resume.” Instead, make you, as the candidate, identifiable without anyone even having to open your resume. Name it something like “First Name Last Name 2019 Resume.”

Proper file type

You also must be conscious of the file type of your resume. It’s always advised to submit your resume as a PDF. Microsoft Word or Pages documents don’t always open up in certain software applications. For example, if you send your resume in a Pages document, it can’t be opened or read in Microsoft Word. However, every device and computer can read a PDF document, so be sure to export your resume as one before you submit it!

Formatting

Keep the formatting clean and simple. Don’t try to overcomplicate your resume with colors, graphics, and any other design elements. Hiring managers and recruiters are BUSY. The more basic the formatting and layout of your resume, the easier it is to read. Have nice margins, plenty of white space, and utilize a legible font.

Gone are the days of the one-page resume. Don’t try to cram your years’ worth of experience onto one page. It’s perfectly acceptable to have your resume on a couple of pages, especially if you are well into your career. Don’t do yourself an injustice by weeding out experiences to try and fit everything onto one page.

Tailor your resume

Unfortunately, you cannot just submit the same old resume to every job posting. You must tailor your resume to each position you apply to. Yes, that can be exhausting, especially if you’re actively searching for a new job. However, if you spend some time reviewing the job description, it’s not as bad as it sounds. The job description is actually detailing exactly what the hiring manager is looking for in an employee. If your resume reflects the job description, you’re in good shape for receiving an interview!

Keep these four resume tips in mind the next time you decide to hit the job market. And if you feel that your resume is looking great and you’re ready for a new opportunity, check out JSG’s job board!

recruiter

Here’s Why You Want Resume Advice From A Recruiter

recruiter

Recruiters like myself with over 20 years’ of experience have seen thousands of resumes throughout our careers. I have seen the good, bad, and the downright ugly over my years. I have even blogged about how to write a great resume. But you might still find yourself needing some help. One of the best things you can do for your career is to make the most of your relationship with a recruiter. We want to invest in your success and help you land your dream job.

We’re your biggest advocate

Recruiters have one goal: to fill an open position with the right person. Whether they are working for an agency or in a corporate recruiting role, their job is to source great talent. If we think you’re the best person to fill our opening, we can be an asset in getting your resume to the top of the hiring manager’s pile.

When you partner with a recruiter, they may make suggestions on how to improve upon what you have already written. This might include fundamentals such as formatting, highlighting your skills and strengths, or even pointing out grammatical errors. A recruiter will help you fine-tune the details. Good recruiters will talk you through their process and what changes they are proposing. If you don’t agree or if you have questions, let them know! This is your resume and should be a reflection of you!

Resume formats are both an art and a science. There are parsing techniques, keywords, and current trends that are proven to be effective. And good recruiters keep up with changes in the market so you can focus on job hunting.

Proofread, proofread, proofread

Now, some of the biggest mistakes made by candidates are minor spelling and grammar issues. Talented recruiters who can format resumes in their sleep can easily spot these. Margins and formatting are other areas that can be tricky. Managers often glance over resumes while running to their next meeting, so it’s important to make your skills pop off the screen. This improves your ability to earn that important interview where you can shine with your skills.

Honest recruiters don’t want to misrepresent your skills, but they do want to help you put your best foot forward. Thus, listening to us can be a great benefit for you. If a recruiter offers you resume writing assistance, make sure you are clear about your skills and expectations! If they offer to completely re-write your resume, run.

Make sure to ask to see the resume before it goes out to ensure it is a good representation of you and what you can offer the company! Recruiters want to find and showcase the best talent which could be YOU!

organization

2 Easy Ways to be More Organized in the Office

organization

Good organization is one of the areas that almost all of us could improve in. Obviously, some people are messier than others. However, your organization extends past manila folders and to-do lists. We see people working to be more organized in their homes (think the Marie Kondo craze on Netflix), but what can you do to increase work-based organization, and as a result, be more productive?

Your calendar is your friend

Your calendar represents your life, or at least your life at work. It also serves a dual purpose as it reminds you of obligations, but it also alerts others in your organization to when you’re busy, where you’re located, or what you are working on. Keeping an organized, up-to-date calendar helps ease lines of communication in the office when a supervisor or boss can quickly find what you are up to, without having to call or send an email. Whether you (or your company) uses Outlook, Google Calendar, iCal or others, you have the ability to send meeting invitations, set reminders, and even color-code specific event types.

But like anything, if you utilize it in the wrong way you may find that your work-based organization suffers. With your calendar, ensure that you are scheduling relevant items. If a meeting is canceled be sure to remove it from the day. Or, if a recurring event ends duration, ensure it isn’t taking up space on your calendar just because. Like an email inbox, calendars can quickly become cluttered if not attended to or maintained. If you miss a scheduled phone call because you had to take extra time to search through a jumbled calendar, the tool that is designed to help you could actually be hurting you. Keep your calendar organized and remain as productive as possible!

Declutter your workspace

I am sure you can think of at least one person who is that person in your office. That person may even be you. Their desk is piled high with papers and documents, nothing is filed, but they swear they know where everything is. This is just how they work best. Well, science says this is wrong. More specifically, neuroscientists from Princeton University say this is wrong.

In their 2011 study titled, Interactions of Top-Down and Bottom-Up Mechanisms in Human Visual Cortex, they found that when there is too much “stuff,” he or she had a significantly harder time being productive. To put it simply, anything not directly related to the task at hand is distracting. Your productivity drains every time something unrelated catches your attention and takes time away from the task at hand. A clear desk minimizes these distractions and as a result, drives productivity.

Keep these tips in mind and see how your new-found organization skills help you be more productive at work.

job search

4 Sites You Need to Use in Your Job Search

job search

If you are currently unemployed or unhappy in your current role, you’re probably looking to make a career move. But this is often easier said than done, and individuals are often less than excited about the thought of a job search. It brings a sense of vulnerability and stress, as we try to sell an employer on the idea of hiring us, while your skills, experience, and personality are picked apart by resume-sorting algorithms or hiring managers.

There are several resources at your disposal when looking to navigate these processes and uncertainty; however, the ones we’ll focus on today live online and are available to you, free of charge.

Google

Everyone knows what Google is and what it can do. But when searching for a job, are you ensuring you’re getting the most out of this search engine as you could be? Google provides us the information (or entertainment) on just about anything. So, why would careers be any different?

At its base, Google is a functioning (and free) job board. Searching “engineering jobs” yields 100+ results for related jobs, automatically filtering to openings near your location. You also have the option to filter the results, find related openings, or apply right there.

Maybe you have applied for a job and are scheduled for an interview. To adequately prepare, use Google to research the company you are applying for and the industry they operate in. Background information like this is one of the basics that a hiring manager will look for, as it shows initiative and interest in the company, versus viewing it as just another job.

Google is also a great way to find an awesome recruiter, like the ones at Johnson Service Group, connecting you with a professional job searcher to ensure you find the opportunities best fit for you.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is commonly known as the professional social network, and for good reason. It operates in a similar fashion to sites like Twitter, where users post updates, images, and videos, driving communication and connecting people around the world. But it also comes with a number of features you need to be taking advantage of during your job search.

LinkedIn has its own job board (and so does JSG!) you can use to find open roles based on several criteria, like skills or company preference. Perusing a company’s LinkedIn page can also give great insights into a company’s culture. This will allow you to get a better idea of what it would be like to work there. LinkedIn is also a great place to house your digital resume; you can link past roles, experiences, and have others vouch for skills you claim to have in the form of online endorsements.

With so many people on LinkedIn, it’s a great way to grow your network and expand the opportunities available to you. This is especially true of recruiters who use LinkedIn to source professionals for open jobs they are looking to fill. LinkedIn is an easy way to let a recruiter know you are open to new opportunities!

Glassdoor

Glassdoor is a fitting name as it provides insights into a company based on the first-hand experiences of others. This site hosts its own job board like the other sites discussed in this article, but it provides other services as well. In-depth company reviews listing both pros and cons are of great use when assessing the employer. You can also find descriptions of job interviews for various companies; information you can use to prepare yourself when you interview with that company.

JSG’s Job Board

Johnson Service Group hosts our own job board, filled with hundreds of different opportunities. Whether you’re looking for your very first role or another opportunity to advance your career, we have job opportunities across the U.S. and Canada. Check out our job board and work with a recruiter today to find the opportunity you’ve been searching for!

art of listening

The Art of Listening (Getting Back to Basics)

art of listening

Throughout my career, every so often I need to reflect on an old skill and “get back to basics” as I am now in the Staffing Industry, I am constantly speaking to clients, candidates, and communicating with my team. Regardless of your line of work or industry, getting back to the basics of active listening is essential.

As we get busy in our daily work lives, we can sometimes forget to listen. I have found listening is one of the hardest selling skills or general skillsets to master, yet it reaps the biggest benefit. Tendencies are to want to “sell, sell, sell” and talk about our product or service and how great it is without “listening” to what the customer wants and needs. Customers can be people you work with on a daily basis or even with your family and friends.

Some quick tips to getting back to basics:

  • Always take notes when someone is speaking. Note taking is a great way to force you to actively listen and be able to reflect on your conversation in the future.
  • Allow them to finish their thought. Don’t interrupt someone before they even finish speaking. It’s rude and disrespectful.
  • Use phrases to respond like “I understand” and “I see.” Show the speaker that you are actively listening and understanding what they are saying to you.
  • To be sure you understand what they are saying and ask questions to clarify, if necessary. Say something like: “So what you are saying is…” and refer back to what they said to ensure you understood correctly.
  • DO NOT have distractions while you are listening and look at the person to show interest. If you are speaking in person, make eye contact and have appropriate non-verbal cues to illustrate you are listening to what they have to say.
  • PUT DOWN THAT CELL PHONE. Put down your phone when someone is speaking to you. This is a sign of respect and demonstrates that you value what the person you’re speaking with has to say.

Getting back to basics reminds me of the skills that I learned years and years ago, but sometimes it’s easy to forget to focus on this in my daily life. As a Director of Business Development at JSG, I have to be attentive to the needs of my clients and candidates. I must ensure that my team and I are finding candidates that fit their company, their culture, and have the skill sets necessary to successfully perform the job.

Regardless if it’s a customer, co-worker, or your boss, getting back to the basics and being a good listener will go a long way in your career. Happy Listening!

turned down

Why Do I Keep Getting Turned Down?

turned down

In a perfect world, you come across an opportunity that you love, you apply, and you get hired! But more often than not, the job search is not this simple. Often, our search consists of applying to dozens of jobs with the hopes of securing an interview. If your search doesn’t yield the results you anticipated, it can be quite a blow to your self-esteem and motivation. To make matters even gloomier, constructive feedback as to why you were turned down is not always shared. Without insight that creates a meaningful, positive change, a candidate can be left in the dark, not knowing what they’re doing wrong.

If you find yourself passed on for the job opportunity you really wanted, don’t get down on yourself. Instead, control the things you can control; try to make small improvements in these two areas to create a lasting impression and transition from candidate to employee.

Your Resume

You could be the perfect fit for a position; however, if your resume doesn’t communicate this, you probably won’t get the chance to demonstrate this. If you aren’t specifically tailoring your resume to fit each position you apply for, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Different companies and roles will stress different requirements and skills. It has become more common to preliminarily filter resumes with an ATS before they’re even viewed by a hiring manager. If you failed to include the information the software has been set to identify, you’re robbing yourself of an interview. Instead, analyze a job description and be able to highlight the key skills or experiences desired and ensure they are reflected in your resume. Never lie about your experiences, but make sure you don’t sell yourself short by leaving off key information.

The Interview

Even if you make it passed the resume stage, you still have a long way to go before officially being hired. The next step is an interview, often with the hiring manager or a panel of individuals who collectively make hiring decisions. Failing to answer a certain question or demonstrate that you’re a fit for their culture are examples of when an interview heads south. While companies won’t try to trick you, they want to create a setting that forces you to demonstrate the abilities you claim to have. We acknowledge that even the most qualified of candidates can feel nervous. Combat this with practice and research well ahead of your interview. Prepare answers to commonly asked questions like, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” or “Why do you want to work here?”