restart your career

Best Places to Restart Your Career After the Pandemic

With over 45 million Americans filing for unemployment benefits, many workers across the country are looking to restart their careers. As a result, many are searching elsewhere for the right job opportunity. Over one-third of Americans are considering relocating to a less densely populated area. Others are looking to different metropolitan areas with more opportunities and better commutes. So, where are all the jobs located? Here are the best places to restart your career after the pandemic.

The Midwest

We recently discussed why the Midwest is such a hotspot for those looking to leave the “hustle and bustle” of the big cities. After the pandemic, many Americans are reconsidering the appeal of the busy city life; they are looking for a new home that is a little more remote and quiet. Job satisfaction and the cost of living are two significant factors for the new flock of people. Cities in Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, and Wisconsin are all hitting Business Insider’s list of 30 best American cities to live in after the pandemic. These locations have affordable housing options and lower unemployment rates (even before the outbreak).

The West Coast

If you are looking for a new home that’s a little less rural, there are some markets on the West Coast that look like strong prospects. A recent study from Bloomberg illustrates that the San Jose and the San Francisco markets have actually benefited from the pandemic. Companies like Netflix and Zoom saw massive revenue boosts because of the Coronavirus. Other tech companies weren’t hit hard by the virus because their workforce was able to pivot from the office to working from home. And although Western Washington was hit early on in the pandemic, The Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue market is a great place to restart your career. The cost of living is cheaper than the big cities on the east or in California, and companies like Amazon and Microsoft are thriving right now.

The East Coast

Some areas on the east coast, like New York, were hit pretty hard by the Coronavirus. However, some of the largest cities in the eastern part of the country are doing well. Cities like Boston and Worcester are inelastic to the recent economic impacts. These two metropolitan areas are home to a couple of dozen hospitals and roughly 40 different universities, both of which are industries that are flexible even during the worst economic climates. So if you are searching for a new career in healthcare or higher education, these are excellent markets in which to look!

We can help restart your career

So, these are some of the best places to restart your career. Whether you are looking to relocate to a more rural area or for a different metropolitan scene, Johnson Service Group can help. We have hundreds of jobs across the country and are here to help you get back to work! Visit our job board below and launch your career in a new market!

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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!

Make A Great Impression on Your First Day

How to Make A Great Impression on Your First Day

Starting a new job is both exciting and stressful. Change is difficult, and it can make you feel a little uneasy about your first day of a new job. However, it’s essential to set a good first impression with all your new colleagues and come ready to make an impact on the team. Here are three ways you can make a great first impression on your first day of a new job.

Arrive early and come prepared

It’s imperative to show up on your first day prepared. You may be feeling a lot of new job jitters the night before your first day, which is perfectly normal! To combat these nerves, get everything ready the night before to make your morning as smooth as possible. Prepare your outfit, have your lunch prepped, and try to get a good night’s sleep. Being prepared for your first day will help you feel good and eliminate little stressors. But most importantly, arrive early and come ready to learn. Nothing makes a worse impression on your first day, like showing up 10 minutes late or being entirely unprepared to start working.

Keep an open mind and have a good attitude

Starting a new job can cause you to be full of emotions. Therefore, it’s essential to keep an open mind and have a good attitude. Your new employer may not do things as you did at your last job, but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong! Having a good attitude will completely change your perspective and make you happier in your new role. After all, the wise Winston Churchill once said, “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”

Ask lots of questions

Don’t be afraid to ask tons of questions. If you’re not sure about something in your new role or who to reach out to for assistance with something, don’t be discouraged from seeking out help. Asking questions will help you clarify any concerns you may have and will ultimately allow you to be more successful in your new role. Even the most experienced professionals should ask questions if you are uncertain about a particular step in a new process or how to handle an unfamiliar situation. Asking for help will look a lot better than you making an assumption that ultimately ends up being incorrect.

You can do it!

Whether you are fresh out of school or a 30-year vet, starting a new job can be overwhelming. But if you want to make a great impression on your first day, follow these three easy steps and you will be sure to impress your new co-workers. Good luck, and make your first day great! If you need more advice to set yourself up for success in your new role, check out our blog.

why are you looking for a new job

How to Explain Why Are You Looking for A New Job

At the beginning of almost every job interview, you will likely be asked something on the lines of, “Why are you looking for a new job?” Now, there is a multitude of reasons why you may be looking for a new job opportunity. However, successfully answering this question will make or break your interview. Here are three common scenarios of why you may be looking for a new job and how to respond to this tricky subject.

Prepare your answer beforehand

First of all, prepare an answer to this question before your interview. Whether you quit you’re your job, you were let go, or you are just simply looking for a better opportunity, your answer to this question should focus on the position at hand. Don’t focus on the negatives regarding your past or current employer. Instead, your response should focus on why you’re an excellent fit for the position and the company.

Stay positive

This is a difficult interview question to answer. If you’re looking for a new job, you are probably unsatisfied with some aspect of your job: your compensation, your day-to-day duties, your manager, etc. But the absolute last thing you want to do is badmouth your employer. No matter how bad your job or manager is, never speak ill of them. It creates a wrong impression and will put a dark shadow over your candidacy.

Why were you were let go, fired, or laid off?

It happens to the best of us. Being laid off or fired from your position stinks, but lying about it makes it worse. When formulating your answer, honesty is the best policy. But don’t be honest to a fault. The best way to answer this question in this situation is to be direct but not divulge too much information. Essentially, you want to give a straight answer that is truthful and one that doesn’t sound bitter.

Here’s a good example explaining why you were fired:

“Unfortunately, I was let go from my previous position. However, I have learned a lot from the experience, and I am confident this will not happen again. I am a hard-working employee, and I am ready to prove that my skillset is a great match for this position.”

Why did you quit?

There could be dozens of reasons why you quit your job and are currently looking for new opportunities. However, you once again want to stay positive and forgo giving away too much information. Have your answer focus on the job that’s in front of you, not the one you left. Here’s a great example from Indeed on how to answer why you quit your job:

“Ultimately, I’ve learned a lot from my previous role, but I’m looking for the next step where I can continue to grow and use the skills I’ve honed to contribute to a company I love, and this opportunity seems to be the perfect fit.”

Why do you want to leave your current position?

If you are still employed and interviewing for a new position, this is probably the easiest of the three scenarios. As long as you don’t badmouth your current employer or talk about better compensation, you can easily generate an answer to this question. Focus on your skill set and why you would be a great match for this position.

Here’s an example:

“At my current position, I don’t believe I am being challenged anymore and want to find a new position that better fits my growing skillset. I saw the job description for this position, and was really excited about this opportunity because I believe my background and passion for [insert role/industry/field/etc.] will allow me to be a successful addition to the team.”

Regardless of why you are looking for a new job, your best bet is, to be honest, positive, and tie in your excitement for the position. And if you want some leads on exciting job opportunities, check out our job board! Good luck!

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 online with the hopes of securing an interview. If your search results in being turned down, it can be quite a blow to your self-esteem and motivation.

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 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. Large companies sometimes utilize an ATS to filter through online resumes before they’re even viewed by a hiring manager. If you failed to include the information the software has been set to identify, you could be robbing yourself of an interview. Instead, analyze a job description and highlight the key skills or experiences desired in your resume. Make sure you don’t sell yourself short by leaving off key information!

The Interview

Even if you make it past the resume stage, you probably still have a few steps 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 can result in being turned down. 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. Interviews can make even the most qualified of candidates 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?”

Partner With A Recruiter

Make all the difference in your career by partnering with a recruiter to find your next position. Not only do we have a pulse on the market, but we also have direct connections to hiring managers. This allows us to skip any ATS systems or job application black holes and fast track your resume straight to the people making hiring decisions. Additionally, we hustle to receive constructive feedback at every stage of the hiring process. Ready to take the next step in your career? Contact us today!

why do you want to work here

How to Answer “Why Do You Want to Work Here?” In An Interview

why do you want to work here

If you find yourself in a job interview in the near future, there is a high chance your interviewer asks something along the lines of, “Why do you want to work here?” We live in an age where technology connects us in more ways than ever. However, interviewers still like to ask this question to gain an understanding of the motivations behind your job search. The good news is, you can use the web to your advantage and arm yourself with a great answer to this question.

Answers To Avoid In An Interview

First and foremost, you want to avoid giving a completely one-sided answer. It’s important to stay away from anything that focuses only on how the job will serve you. Your prospective interviewer is well aware of the perks and benefits offered at their company. Next, do no say you just want this job to pay the bills. Highlighting these things only comes across as self-serving in a setting where you are trying to show the value you will provide to them, not the value you will receive as a result.

Finally, don’t use this as an opportunity to bash your former employer. You may be unhappy with your current role, but it isn’t appropriate to focus on negatives while trying to improve your situation with a new company.

What to Focus on Instead

Instead, focus on how you identify with the company. Are you a lifelong user of their service or product? Do they have a mission or cause that resonates with you? Do you have a lot in common with their employees? Use the information you’ve gathered online to form a solid opinion about the company. We also recommend that you reference comments made by the interviewer throughout your meeting. Did they mention that the team is extremely collaborative? Or that you’ll have the independence to run your own desk? This serves a dual purpose in both answering the question and showing that you’re listening. And most importantly, don’t forget to mention how well you envision yourself fitting within their company culture.


Your Best Friend in a Job Search is Your Recruiter


Whether you are passively searching or are actively searching while unemployed, there is no better person to assist you on your job search than a recruiter. They may contact you through social media on sites like LinkedIn or through email. (And don’t forget, you can always reach out to them!) While you may be hesitant to put your career in the hands of someone you may not personally know, there are tons of reasons why working with a recruiter is in your best interest.

They Save You Time

Finding a new position can be extremely time-consuming. Between keeping your resume updated, finding openings that fit your skillset, and scheduling interviews, it’s basically a full-time job. And while you may have to balance several things including your current position and personal obligations, it’s a recruiter’s job to fill open positions with qualified candidates. Sharing this responsibility with them ensures you have time to focus on what’s most important.

They Cast A Larger Net

Even the best networkers or relationship builders can benefit from a recruiter’s connections. By connecting you directly with hiring managers and exclusive job opportunity, a recruiter can add exponential value to your job search.

It’s Their Job!

Recruiters will do everything in their power to place you in a job. First of all, they love their careers helping to place qualified candidates with great companies. Additionally, this is their job and they get paid for it! (And at no cost to you!) Our recruiters do this quickly, honestly, and work with you through the entire process to find you a situation that you will love. Keep in mind that they are just as invested in finding you a job as you are!

So, are you ready to work with a recruiter to find your next opportunity?

panel interview

5 Tips on How to Prepare For a Panel Interview

panel interview

Interviewing isn’t always everyone’s cup of tea, for me though, it’s the best part of the job hunt. But, there are tons of different interview styles. And the panel interview, in my opinion, is the one most people are least prepared for.

A panel interview can be extremely nerve-wracking. Especially when you have 3 – 12 people from different departments deciding if they could work with you. Most of them are more focused on what you bring to the table and what working with you will be like.

Will you be easy going, or someone that causes problems? Will you have good ideas that help move, not only your department forward but others as well?

A panel interview is a totally different style and it’s important you’re prepared, or the nerves will take over. So here are a few steps that’ll help you be ready to impress everyone on the panel.

Do your research about the people on the panel

LinkedIn will be your best friend! Using it to see their titles and what content they interact with will help you know a little bit more about them. You may even find that you went to the same college or are from the same town. These little details may not seem like a big deal… But familiarizing yourself with their names and who they are, will help you feel more comfortable in the interview. It will also help you interact with them and their questions on a more personal basis.

Interact with each person

They may not all ask you a question. But it is pertinent you include them with body language and eye contact. This way they feel like you’re still including them. And it helps them know that if you get the job, you’d be easy and comfortable to work with.

Body language and eye contact speak volumes. And it can show that you’re a person who wants to be involved and is ready to take on a new role. But it also can go the opposite way showing that you’re a person who will need a lot of coaxing and training. The good thing is, body language and eye contact can be practiced!

Memorize the Job Description

Memorizing the job description is a must! This will help you prepare for questions and give you time to really tailor your answers to the keywords and responsibilities that the position is looking for. The more you demonstrate that you’re the perfect candidate, the more likely you’re going to get the job!

Come up with questions to ask

In a panel interview, it’s very important to have questions ready to ask as well as jot some down during the interview. With there being so many people it’s important you take the opportunity to really ask questions you’re wanting to know. It gives you a chance to ask questions you may not have been able to if you were in a different interview.

Having questions prepared only shows the interviewers that you’re very interested in the position and that you came prepared to learn more about the job you’re wanting.

What to Bring to the interview

In a panel interview, you’re most likely going to be asked more questions and be there longer. So, bringing a pad to write down notes is essential. But you also want to remember to bring extra resumes too! The more prepared you are to help your interviewers get to know you, the better off you’ll be when it comes to getting that offer letter.

If you follow these steps you’ll be able to rock the interview with the confidence and knowledge you need to land the job you’ve been working so hard to get!


How to Make Your Resume Stand Out


As a Sr. Recruiter with over 20 years of experience, I have seen thousands of resumes.  Some have stood out and others fell flat. Your resume creates the first impression for recruiters and hiring managers. Sending a sharp, well-written resume that describes your technical skills and reflects experience relevant to an opening is key to getting noticed. And most importantly, you must include proper grammar and punctuation. Especially when it comes to making sure there are no typos.

Taking the time to really review and clean up your resume is worth doing before you start a job search. A good habit is finding time once a year to update and fine-tune your listed skills and accomplishments. This keeps your resume relevant and ready for a new opportunity.

As a recruiter, I am guilty of resume scanning to identify keywords, skills, and relevant job histories. So here are a few ideas to make your resume stand out to people like me who are scanning them:

Keep the Design Clean and Sharp

  • Say no to Photos and Graphics – They distract from your skills
  • When submitting a resume online via a portal (such as Indeed), the formatting and visuals get lost and can impact the recruiter’s ability to see your skills
  • Don’t use Tables/Columns – They create a distraction for the recruiters
  • Use a readable font and avoid using multiple fonts; it makes the resume hard to follow

Delete the Resume Objective

  • Make yourself stand out! “I am a hard working professional who wants to work in your industry” is old school. Highlight what you bring to the table rather than telling them how hard you work

Replace your Objective with your Skills – Make your Talent Stand Out

  • The days of a “One Page” resume is behind us; sharing your career history and relevant skills makes you more marketable
  • The skills section of your resume includes your abilities that are relevant. Recruiters want to see abilities and expertise that are applicable to the position you are applying for, such as computer skills, software skills, and/or language skills. Specialized or hard-to-find skills are especially important to make you stand out
  • Make sure the skills section of your resume not only highlights the skills for the job you are applying for but also emphasizes how you utilized those skills under your previous positions
    • The closer a match your skills are to the job requirements and how you previously used those skills, the better your chances are for being called for an interview
  • I’m primarily a Technical Recruiter. And I recruit for Information Technology professionals. So if you are a Software Developer, state the programming languages, software, platforms and other Information Technology proficiencies you have
  • In the Digital Age, most employers utilize automated applicant tracking systems and searchable sites such as LinkedIn, Monster, CareerBuilder and Dice to search for specific keywords that match the jobs they are looking to fill. The more skills you share, the more likely it is that your resume will be selected for consideration

Delete Personal Data

  • Omit any reference to your birthdate, marital status or religion. It’s illegal for employers to consider this when looking at your resume
  • If you’re more than a few years out of college, don’t include your graduation dates or GPA. You don’t want recruiters to inadvertently discriminate based on your age
    • Move your degree to the end of the resume; your skills and most recent positions are more relevant to you getting noticed

Spell Check

  • Grammatical and spelling errors can mean your application is more likely to be overlooked. It is critical for you to make sure your resume has no spelling or grammatical errors before you submit it to a recruiter or hiring manager

Following this advice will help get you noticed in your next job application! Remember, the old adage is true in the world of recruiting: You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Happy Job Hunting!