Time Saving Tip: Cover Letters

We all dread it: THE REQUIRED COVERLETTER. You are happily plotting along, applying for a job, then you see the red “REQUIRED” asterisk next to a small box prompting you to browse your files for a cover letter. Raise your hand if you automatically close your laptop to “finish later,” secretly knowing you will never write that cover letter, let alone submit the whole application. Wow. That is a lot of hands. Keep reading to save yourself from this deadly cycle. 

Create a template

The key to tackling cover letters is a catch-all template! Just like your resume, you should have a base that you use for almost all job applications. Each time you apply for a job, make a copy of this template and tweak it to fit well with the job you are applying for. This way, you have something to pull quickly, accompanied by only minimal intimidation. Cover letters are quite a bit easier to complete when you already have a few paragraphs written for them. 

Bonus Pro Tip: DO NOT accidentally attach your template document with “[INSERT COMPANY NAME HERE]” or “[SAY GOOD THINGS ABOUT YOURSELF HERE]” included in the text. Yours Truly certainly has not done this before, nor does she speak from experience. It just seems like it may be bad idea and will probably not get you an interview. Again, not speaking from experience. At all. It may be helpful to include a lovely bold, “TEMPLATE ONLY” in the title of your template document to avoid this mistake. 

Highlight YOU

Instead of focusing on how great you think their company is and how you would fit into their team, focus on your strengths! Show them what you bring to the table. Choose two or three significant strengths to focus on and write a short paragraph on each. With each separate application, you can add a sentence or two about why each strength can benefit their company or fit with their mission. The meat of your paragraphs will remain the same across applications, but individual cover letters will have little blurbs, applying your skills to each specific company. 

Share why you are applying

Start and finish your cover letter by letting the company know (and reminding them) why you are applying for this position at their company. This is the time to mention that you have always dreamed of working there, strongly believe in the company’s mission, or have a passion for the work they do (only if these statements are true, of course). This can be a few sentences sandwiching your strengths paragraphs. 

Sign off with a simple “I am looking forward to hearing from you!”-type statement and your name/contact information. With a simple template, cover letters will be a BREEZE. Apply for those jobs, feeling slightly less intimidated! You’ve got this!

July Employee Highlight: Austin McKeever

This month, JSG would like to highlight an employee who has gone above and beyond recently—Austin McKeever! Each month, JSG’s employees have the opportunity to nominate one of their coworkers to be highlighted on our social media accounts. Austin’s coworkers sung his praises, noting his contribution to their branch’s recent growth.

To kick things off, Austin onboarded over 80 consultants over the past two months. He will be onboarding ANOTHER 80+ consultants in July! He has assisted them in learning our client’s new timekeeping system—something that Austin quickly picked up in order to help our consultants understand. In addition to all of this, Austin processes all of the weekly timesheets for a branch that started the year with a 220 headcount that will almost certainly be above 300 by August.

Outside of work, Austin does not slow down. His alma mater is the University of North Florida, not too far from the Jacksonville JSG location where he currently works. He spends his free time surfing and has some good stories to tell. Just ask him about the scar on his arm. (Hint: it is from a shark bite!)

We are so grateful to have someone as dedicated and motivated as Austin on our team. Thank you for all of your hard work! JSG thinks you are great.

JSG Happenings: Bullhorn Engage Conference

This past month, a few of our wonderful employees attended the Bullhorn Engage conference in Boston. This was the first Bullhorn in-person conference since 2019— Nicole, Juan, and Uma were glad to be back and networking with other great people in staffing!

Addressing Business in a Post-pandemic World

Business is changing faster than ever, and JSG wants to keep up with the latest business practices and hiring trends. This conference discussed what has been happening and what we should expect in the near future when it comes to hiring. Bullhorn scheduled space for attendees to speak about their hiring experience and how they have learned from it. This allowed different companies to work together to give and receive advice from each other.

Using and Improving Technology

Speakers spent a large part of the conference discussing how we can use technology to amplify our hiring processes. They stressed the benefits of automated systems and combining this tech with very intentional personal contact. JSG sees GREAT importance in having good relationships with our candidates. We genuinely care for those we are walking alongside through the hiring process. We are rooting for their success—it is key that we communicate our willingness to invest to all of those we work with.

“Meet[ing] the Moment”

Our representatives joined over a thousand attendees in listening to 44 different speakers brought in by Bullhorn. All of these staffing attendees came together to act on the conference’s theme, “Meet the Moment,” and learn the best ways to reach candidates while keeping up with the latest in hiring. JSG is committed to providing the best experience for both candidates and clients throughout the hiring process!

Stay tuned to hear more of what Johnson Service Group does to give YOU the best experience!

JSG Happenings: Midwest Staffing Conference

Here at JSG, we like to keep everyone updated on what our employees are up to in our different offices across North America. This week, we had a couple of recruiters from our Westmont, IL location attend the Midwest Staffing Conference, hosted by ASA (American Staffing Association) and ISSA (Illinois Search & Staffing Association) in Rosemont, Illinois.

Client Interactions

Our recruiters went through an exercise highlighting the five phases of relationship and how those relate to our clients. This allowed our recruiters to analyze our client relationships and look for ways to improve communication and connection. We want our relationships with our clients to be mutually beneficial. Each party should feel like they have something to gain from the other. We want to ensure that our client companies see us as a positive help and relief, not just a necessary step in hiring.

Candidate Interactions

Our recruiters were reminded that talking to candidates is all about building trust in their partnership. Candidates are looking first to trust their recruiter. We want to build credibility with them, so they trust that we submit them to solid jobs. Creating a positive relationship with our candidates (turned employees) makes for a supportive partnership between contractor and recruiter. We want to find out what our candidates need and be able to provide and support them through it.

Key Takeaway: Partnership

Staffing and Recruiting should be a PARTNERSHIP between the Salesperson and Clients, as well as the Recruiter and the Candidate. These relationships are mutually beneficial. Everyone must work together to see success. JSG wants to ensure that both clients and candidates are happy. We recognize that most candidates and clients are looking to grow, and we want to be a great support throughout the growth process.

JSG is always looking to grow and improve. This is why we put effort into learning and shifting with hiring trends. JSG cares about you and your success!




*photo courtesy of Illinois recruiter Hayley Kancius

Keeping your Workplace Safe

June is National Safety Month! While safety should be a priority all year, we thought it might be beneficial to highlight a few basic ways to keep your workplace safe. Safety in the workplace can look wildly diverse and require many different precautions depending on the field. 

Bodily Awareness

Listen to your body cues! Being in tune with how your body reacts to your environment and its physical demands can save you (and those around you) from many health and safety problems. If something feels off, take the necessary measures to either fix it or bring it to the attention of your HR or Safety team. See someone who is unlicensed operating machinery? Tell your manager. Experiencing pain from the items you are lifting? Check in with Safety. If something feels off, it most likely means that something is off. Make sure to speak up!

Rules and Regulations

HUGE part of staying safe this month (and the rest of the year) is following all rules, regulations, and laws meant to keep you safe in the workplace. Not only are these guidelines in place to protect you, but they are also meant to protect those around you. You know what they say: “better safe than sorry!” Those holding leadership positions in a company should be especially conscious of following guidelines to set a precedent for others.


Do some research on what you may be at risk for in your workplace, whether it be carpal tunnel syndrome or getting your arm stuck in a baler. It is essential to be aware so that you can take preventative measures to protect yourself and perhaps those around you. Refresh yourself on what your company procedures are when it comes to safety. Ensure that you are following guidelines closely.

A safe workplace is a cornerstone to having a happy and healthy work environment

What is Recruiting, and Why Should You Consider It?

Here at JSG, we work with a lot of recruiters. We ARE a lot of recruiters. Our physical makeup is 45% recruiter! Anyway, you get the point. WE LOVE RECRUITING! Let’s take a look into what exactly goes into recruiting and why you may want to consider joining us as a recruiter here at JSG.

Newbie Friendly

Recruiting is a great job for someone coming right out of school or looking for a change of pace. We look for people who show motivation and communicate well. Recruiting is a teachable skill that can easily be picked up by someone ambitious. Not only is it rewarding, but it can also be exciting.

Room for Growth

There is plenty of room for growth in the recruiting world. Because recruiting allows for commission on top of your salary, you can control your growth. The more you recruit, the more you earn. This opens opportunities to specialize in recruiting for certain types of jobs. You can identify what positions you succeed in hiring for and hone in on those skills.

Team Dynamic

In recruiting, you are naturally working with a team. You must work alongside the salesperson to review candidates and send them to your client company. Working with your fellow recruiters can help you to refine your recruiting techniques. You can share candidates you come across that may be perfect for their open position. At JSG, we work with each other; we don’t compete against each other. This fosters a great community dynamic that leads to success for all.

Recruiting is an exciting career path that can lead to great success. It allows you to work alongside other ambitious coworkers to achieve your mutual goals. If you are interested in recruiting, check out our open positions here at JSG!

Staying Safe at JSG

Here at JSG, safety is of the utmost importance to us. Because of this, our Safety Team (led by Amanda Walton) is constantly seeking ways to keep our employees safe and learn how to best support them if an accident happens on the job. Read on to hear about what our safety team has been up to recently.

Best Practices Training

Over the past month, Safety has attended some events to stay updated on the latest safe work practices. At the end of April, the entire Safety Team attended the Illinois Chamber of Conference training class for Best Practices for Post-Accident Procedures from a Legal Perspective at the Connor Gallagher office. This training covered how to best investigate claims and support workers through legal documentation and communication. The Safety Team will continue to use their processes to maintain a safe and productive work environment for all JSG employees.

Occupational Safety and Health Training

The entire Safety Team also completed the worker occupational safety and health specialist training with the Berkley Labor Occupational Health Program. This four-part training highlighted promoting effective safety programs, as well as identifying and controlling workplace hazards. The program also focused on health & safety rights and responsibilities and workers’ compensation/OSHA.

JSG cares about health and safety!

Safety Team

Safety Team at Illinois Chamber of Conference training

May Employee Highlight: Welcome Back, Linnea!

Our HR department welcomed back a familiar face this past month—Linnea Rummage! For the past year and a half that we were without Linnea, JSG was always in the back of her mind. Dare we say, she missed us. Linnea says that she loves the people at JSG, as well as the opportunities for growth and making an impact. Her passion for service and people is what drew her to Human Resources. We are so grateful to have her back on the team!

Some fun facts about Linnea:
– She loves to read and is currently participating in a book club.
– Linnea is the proud parent of two cats, Harry and PJ (see below).
– She is a college football fan—most Saturdays in the Fall, you will find her watching and rooting for her favorite team (“Go Hawks” – Linnea Rummage).
– Linnea likes to spend her free time with the people she loves, her friends and family. Bonus points if they are going to a concert together.
– She likes to travel. She recently went to Mexico, and you will find her in St. Maarten in early 2023.
– Linnea originally wanted a Fashion Merchandising and Marketing degree but realized she wanted to pursue a degree in Human Resources.
– *EXTRA Fun Fact*: The president of the Society for Human Resources Management club at the University of Iowa (her alma mater) worked at JSG in HR and helped her get a job here in 2016.


Check out our Employee Highlight from April–Frank Pytel!

June Employee Highlight: Gabriella Hoeflich

This month’s Employee Highlight is. . .GABRIELLA HOEFLICH! She is our Senior HR Generalist and has been working with JSG since July of 2019–almost 3 years! Gabriella was nominated for the outstanding work has done during the transition between HR managers. She handled the transition with grace, ready and willing to take on what she needed to in order to keep everything running smoothly. Gabriella’s manager, Linnea, describes her as “quick to respond and kind to everyone!” Thank you for all the hard work you do, Gabriella!

Gabriella spends her weeks working out of our corporate headquarters in Illinois, but she does other exciting things outside of work too. She mothers a two year old cat named Bella and is engaged to be married in June of 2023! Gabriella spends her free time with friends and family, preferably going on walks or seeing musicals and live music! She loves to travel, especially when visiting a new place.

Gabriella—thank you so much for all the hard work you do for the HR department here at JSG. Your efforts do not go unnoticed. Thank you for being such a valuable member of our team!



Check out last month’s post to see our May Highlight.

3 Reasons You are Not Hearing Back about Your Application

You have applied to plenty of jobs, but you have yet to hear back from any recruiters. Is there something wrong with your resume? What could you have done wrong? Read below for a few reasons you may not be hearing back about your application.

Bad Resume Formatting/Content

Having a readable resume can be the difference between getting a job and being unemployed. When filling a highly sought-after position, resumes that are difficult to read or understand may be skipped. Always put relevant experience at the top of your resume and add any other experience you deem necessary to still include under an “addition experience” section after it. In each section, put your most recent experience first. Keep things plain and easy to read with a clear font and simple formatting. Check out our previous article about creating an appealing resume.


You may be shooting a little too high for what you are truly qualified to do. Be sure you are applying for jobs that you have met the experience and education requirements for (or have at least come close to). If a job is looking for “{1-2} years of experience in {marketing}” and you have absolutely no experience, chances are that you will not get a call back. If you do not have experience in the field that you are trying to get a job in, it may be beneficial to take some classes or get a certificate in that field. This shows the recruiter that you are serious about pursuing that career and have some fresh experience with the kind of work you would be doing.  

Need for Credibility

Some companies put a lot of weight on references and personal connections. Recruiters want to know that you are a reliable person and employee. Even if it may not be required in the application, it may be helpful to send along a reference from a past employer. It may be beneficial to make a personal connection by phone or email after sending in your resume. Remind them that there is a real person behind that job application!

Job hunting can be exhausting. Don’t let the lack of responses get you down. Use the tips above to send your applications in with confidence and get the job you want!