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3 Red Flags To Avoid In Your Job Hunt

3 Red Flags To Avoid In Your Job Hunt

Whether you are actively looking for a new position, or passively keeping your options open, now is a perfect time. The job market is booming, and hundreds of companies are on the hunt for their next great employee. But how do you sort through dozens of opportunities to find that ideal next step? Employers want to ensure that candidates will be a good fit for their teams and organizations, and candidates should absolutely do the same! Keep an eye out for these red flags throughout your job search journey, and you’ll find yourself a great position in no time!

Less Than Stellar Job Descriptions

A job description’s purpose is to describe what the job entails. That way, a candidate can decide whether they’re qualified or not. Lack of details in a job description can indicate a role with an unclear definition. The company could potentially be putting out feelers for what kind of talent is on the market and then base the job around the type of candidate they hire. Or, in a worst-case scenario, the department may be unorganized, signaling that the job may be chaotic.

Asking for bizarre requirements in a job description could indicate a potential scam. Online scams centered around jobs are becoming increasingly more common. If you come across a help wanted ad on Craigslist asking only for date of birth, and if you have a bank account, chances are it’s not real. Most employers will ask for education and experiences – not for your banking information to set up a direct deposit before you’ve even interviewed.

Off-Kilter Titles

Job titles can be a major red flag. If a description includes a mash-up title, they may be trying to cram too many responsibilities under one person’s umbrella.

Additionally, if a title is confusing, it can indicate confusion in the role itself. For example, an “entry-level” position that requires 5-8 years of experience. A mismatch of skill sets could indicate disorganization or simply that a company is trying to hire someone with expert-level skill at an entry-level price.

Last, but certainly not least, you may want to think twice about a job listing with a “fun and clever” title. While “Super Marketing Ninja” may catch your attention, it could be vague to distract from the actual level of seniority. Just be sure to take a more in-depth look into what the job entails and if it’s a good match. (And if you are hired, see if you can change your title to something more universal!)

Long Drawn-Out Interview Process

While a long, drawn-out interview process may be a red flag, it’s unfortunately very common. Companies may take weeks to schedule interviews, which may be an indication that hiring for this role is not a priority at the moment. At every step of the interview process, be sure to ask about what to expect next. That way, you know when it’s appropriate to follow up!

The best way to avoid these red flags throughout your job hunt? Partner with a JSG recruiter! We have personal relationships with the hiring managers, work with outstanding companies, and walk you through each step of the process. We also serve as a guide if you have any questions that may come up along the way. Contact us today to start the search for your next great position!

job description

How to Write a Great Job Description

job description

Whether you’re a seasoned recruiter or new to the recruiting world, it’s essential that your job description is dynamic and informative. The JSG Marketing Team has outlined some pro tips on how to write a killer job description that’ll make candidates want to apply for your jobs.

Relevant job title

The first thing you want to ensure that your job description has is a relevant job title. And by a relevant job title, we mean a title that is concise and an accurate description of the position. You want to include a title that makes sense to prospective applicants. Additionally, your title should make it easy for the job to be found on Google, CareerBuilder, or other job hosting sites.

The more specific and relevant your job title, the more engagement it will receive!

Dynamic introduction

When writing a job description, you must include a dynamic introduction. You cannot just jump right into the desired qualifications or job duties. To entice people to keep reading the job description, you need an introduction that’s engaging and makes someone want to apply for your position.

To do this, include a brief overview of the company, some fun facts about the location, why a candidate would want to apply for the job, and a call to action.

Add the necessary requirements and qualifications

This is where you will list out the duties, qualifications, and requirements of the position. You do not need to include every single duty or qualification. The longer the list, the more likely someone will stop reading and move on to the next job. Try just listing the important, high-level criteria that are absolutely necessary for someone to be successful in the position.

This is where you should include things like education requirements, certifications, and other critical requirements needed to perform the job.

Include contact information

This is crucial to writing a great job description! Obviously, applicants can just click the apply button and submit their resume. However, it’s important to include your contact information in the job description so prospective candidates know how to contact you if they have questions about the position.

Adding your contact information gives the job description a more personal touch; it can help make candidates feel more comfortable with working with you. Furthermore, by adding your contact info, you can make candidates feel that their resume will be going into the hands of a recruiter rather than just in a large database full of applicants.

Writing a great job description tutorial

For more details on how to write a killer job description, please watch the video below.

rockstar resume

R is for Resume: How to Write a Rockstar Resume

rockstar resume

When was the last time you updated your resume? Do you even have a copy of your resume on hand? In this candidate-driven market, it’s important to have a recent copy of your resume available. You never know what opportunities might come up!

Here are five tips to write a rockstar resume that gets you a callback.

Contact information

This is often overlooked when writing your resume. Your contact information must be prominently placed on your resume. We always recommend placing it at the very top of the page. Your name should obviously be the first and largest part of your contact information. Directly after that, you should list your email address, phone number, and in some cases your address.

Remove the resume objective

Let’s face it: resume summaries and objectives are outdated. They are unnecessary and often redundant to your cover letter. As a candidate, your objective is (obviously) that you are looking for a new job opportunity. Since you should be explaining in your cover letter why you are interested in the position/industry/company that you are applying to, you don’t need to repeat yourself in your resume.

Your resume is about your work experience, accomplishments, and unique skill set, so get right to the point and start listing off your qualifications.

Edit it down

Go through your resume carefully and analyze what you’ve included. Now depending on what stage you are in your career, you do not need to list every single job you’ve ever had. If you are 20+ years in your career, you don’t have to list that part-time job you had in school on your resume.

Weed out unnecessary working experience or other qualifications that are not fitting for this position. If you are unsure whether you should include something, ask a mentor or friend for their input.

Formatting

Have you heard the expression “keep it simple, stupid?” You’ve probably seen elaborate resume templates online that are full of fancy fonts and formatting. However, unless you are applying for a creative or artsy field, it’s best to keep formatting simplistic.

Use bullet points and headings to break up your resume into sections. Make different sections of your work experience and education easy to find. The simpler the formatting of your resume is, the easier it is for Application Tracking Systems ATS) to analyze your resume. If they struggle to scan your resume, it will likely never reach the desk of the hiring manager.

Also, make sure you submit your resume as a PDF! Formatting for PDFs often gets screwed up on other computers like a Word document or other programs. Plus, PDFs are easier for ATS to read, giving you a better chance of landing an interview.

Keywords and phrases

This is extremely important. You must tailor your resume for every single job you are applying for. The more specific your resume is, the better the odds your resume gets passed the ATS.

Mirror the job description. Use the same language and keywords that are used in the job description. Yes, this means you must customize your resume for every application. But trust me, customizing your job application can be a pain in the neck, but if you want to make it through those pesky application tracking systems, it’s well worth your time!

how to write a perfect job description

D is for Description: How to Write a Perfect Job Description

how to write a perfect job description
It’s a candidate-driven market. Job seekers have tons of options when searching for a new career. You need a job description that both catches the attention of potential candidates and provides an excellent summary of the position, without sounding like a robot.

I understand this is challenging for busy hiring managers and HR employees. It can be tempting to recycle one of the same old job descriptions that, unfortunately, fail to illustrate the value of your company. And this invites less qualified candidates to apply.

Your job description is your first interaction prospective candidates have when on the job hunt. You must make it count! Follow these ingredients for crafting the perfect job description.

Keep the job description short

Please, do both you and your prospective applicants a favor: cut the fluff. There is absolutely no need to start your job description with a lengthy overview of your company. That’s why you have an ‘About’ page on your website and an overview of your company on your LinkedIn company page.

Rather, (briefly) talk about your company’s mission, the achievements your company has won, and/or the culture of your organization. It’s best to keep your company overview to about two or three sentences.

So, quit copying and pasting your company’s ‘About’ page and try and write something that makes potential candidates excited about the possibility of working for your company!

Keep it conversational

Remember, you are talking to a human being. So, write as if you are speaking to one! You can lighten up the job description by replacing phrases like “the ideal candidate” with “you.” Try writing the description as though you are speaking directly to the candidate.

You can also swap out sub-headings in the description to give it a little more personality. Try replacing “Qualifications” with “You’re Good At.” Writing your job description with some enthusiasm will help it stand out in the sea of job openings and it will make candidates excited to apply for your position.

If you want to take your job description to the next level, add projects and issues the candidate will tackle within the position. Ideal candidates will want to come in and instantly make a positive impact on the organization. Painting a vivid picture of the position will help ensure there is a good culture fit between the candidate and your company.

Be realistic with job requirements

Take a close look at the qualifications or requirements in your job description. Adding too many specifications scares away potentially great candidates. Having strict requirements is also a good way to limit your candidate pool. There is no need to have a laundry list of skills or super specific details that will likely discourage great candidates from applying.

It’s best to settle on a handful of “preferred” and “minimum” qualifications. If it’s not a must-have, it’s just a preferred qualification, and you keep in mind, candidates can safely assume “preferred” qualifications are a non-requirement. If you don’t have a clear idea of what are absolute musts, you may be inviting lower-quality candidates to apply.

Don’t forget to list the requirements that are the most essential to the position first. Those qualifications will be perceived as the most important to the job and will help attract quality candidates. Also, there is no need to include basic skillsets that nearly every potential candidate will have. Leave off qualifications like “proficient at Microsoft Office” and soft skills like “excellent multitasker.” These are not worthy of space in your job description and are honestly just a waste of both the candidates’ and employer’s time.

If you follow these tips when drafting your next job description, you’ll set your company up for success! If you are still struggling to write a job description, check out our simple guideline.

Write A Better Job Description

Four Simple Guidelines to Writing the Best Job Description

Write A Better Job Description

Job descriptions are an unavoidable evil – and can be the bane of existence for a Hiring Manager or HR employee. Most of the time, you need to hire someone yesterday, so a job description gets thrown together haphazardly in order to get it posted ASAP. But… have you ever considered that this could be the sole reason that you are not able to hire the candidates you want and need? The job description is the first interaction your prospective talent has with your job, and in many cases, your company. If it doesn’t get their attention or speak to them on a personal level, it’s on to the next one! When you break it down, there are 4 basic parts to the job description, and there is a trick to optimizing each one:

1. Engaging Introduction

This is where so many companies miss the mark. This is your opportunity to grab the attention of your reader and highlight why they should want to work in this position at your company. Instead of giving a straight forward overview of the duties and the history of the company, think outside the box! Candidates are all about transparency and authenticity these days. According to the LinkedIn Global Talent Trends Report, 66% of candidates care most about a company’s culture and values when considering a job change. And they don’t just want a canned answer – but an honest perspective. “Give a real picture of the company’s working environment, not the usual made-in-heaven company profile.”

Some of the things you can include in your introduction are the team makeup, current exciting projects, volunteer opportunities, and fun quirks about the position or company. Do you do donut meetings every Friday morning? Head out to Habitat for Humanity once a year? Maybe you just finished a big design project and are looking for some hands-on implementation. Talk about your company’s journey – the hurdles you’ve overcome, your major accomplishments, and your big-picture dreams and goals.

2. In-Depth Description of Job

Seems pretty self-explanatory that a job description should include a description of the job – right? Well, you don’t want to include just any checklist of duties. You want your candidates to imagine what it would be like to affect change in your organization, not just “run daily reports, participate in weekly meetings, and utilize company software.”

Use the meat of the job description to not only explain what they’ll be doing, but how it will affect the company as a whole. How do their day-to-day actions tie into the success of their team? Essentially – explain why this job is important. For example, upgrade “participate in weekly meetings,” to “participate in weekly strategy sessions to determine program effectiveness and develop new ideas and solutions.

3. Qualifications

Controversial opinion time – don’t include too many qualifications or requirements that are too strict. You don’t want to limit your candidate pool just because you said the ideal candidate needs 6 years of experience when there are hundreds of impressive candidates that have 5 years of experience. More and more, companies are adopting the philosophy “hire for attitude, train for skill.” There are so many candidates that could make a huge impact at your company that you might be missing out on due to a long laundry list of requirements.

Of course, include the absolute must-haves for the job. Then, include the skills and experience that you desire; (it helps candidates find your job!) But consider leaving out limiting numbers or super specific details.

4. Contact Information And Next Steps

I understand that not every company or hiring manager can include their direct contact information. But it can be a very powerful tool! When a candidate sees an actual name/phone number/email tied to a job description – it creates an instant connection. It makes the job description feel more tangible when there is an actual human behind it!

Another option is to give a brief overview of the interviewing and hiring process. We will be calling prospective candidates on this date, conducting interviews during this week, and hiring our newest team member by this date. You can even give them tips on preparing for the interview. Knowing what to expect will give your candidates more confidence in applying – and they will have something to look forward to!

How To Write A Better Job Description, Johnson Service Group, Johnson Search Group, jobs, hire, interview, client resources,

How To Write A Better Job Description

How To Write A Better Job Description

Job descriptions are an unavoidable evil. These can be the bane of existence for a Hiring Manager or HR employee. Most of the time, you need to hire someone yesterday, so a job description gets thrown together haphazardly in order to get it posted ASAP. But, have you ever considered that this could be the sole reason that you are not able to hire the candidates you want and need? The job description is the first interaction your prospective talent has with your job, and in many cases, your company. If it doesn’t get their attention or speak to them on a personal level, it’s on to the next one! When you break it down, there are 4 basic parts to the job description, and there is a trick to optimizing each one:

  1. Engaging Introduction

This is where so many companies miss the mark. This is your opportunity to grab the attention of your reader and highlight why they should want to work in this position at your company. Instead of giving a straight forward overview of the duties and the history of the company, think outside the box! Candidates are all about transparency and authenticity these days. According to the LinkedIn Global Talent Trends Report, 66 percent of candidates care most about a company’s culture and values when considering a job change. And they don’t just want a canned answer – but an honest perspective. “Give a real picture of the company’s working environment, not the usual made-in-heaven company profile.”

Some of the things you can include in your introduction are the team makeup, current exciting projects, volunteer opportunities, and fun quirks about the position or company. Do you do donut meetings every Friday morning? Head out to Habitat for Humanity once a year? Maybe you just finished a big design project and are looking for some hands-on implementation. Talk about your company’s journey – the hurdles you’ve overcome, your major accomplishments, and your big-picture dreams and goals.

  1. In-Depth Description of Job

Seems pretty self-explanatory that a job description should include a description of the job – right? Well, you don’t want to include just any checklist of duties. You want your candidates to imagine what it would be like to affect change in your organization, not just “run daily reports, participate in weekly meetings, and utilize company software.”

Use the meat of the job description to not only explain what they’ll be doing, but how it will affect the company as a whole. How do their day-to-day actions tie into the success of their team? Essentially – explain why this job is important. For example, upgrade “participate in weekly meetings,” to “participate in weekly strategy sessions to determine program effectiveness and develop new ideas and solutions.”

  1. Qualifications

Controversial opinion time – don’t include too many qualifications or requirements that are too strict. You don’t want to limit your candidate pool just because you said the ideal candidate needs 6 years of experience when there are hundreds of impressive candidates that have 5 years of experience. More and more, companies are adopting the philosophy “hire for attitude, train for skill.” There are so many candidates that could make a huge impact at your company that you might be missing out on due to a long laundry list of requirements.

Of course, include the absolute must-haves for the job. Then, include the skills and experience that you desire; (it helps candidates find your job!) But consider leaving out limiting numbers or super-specific details.

  1. Contact Information And Next Steps

I understand that not every company or hiring manager can include their direct contact information. But it can be a very powerful tool! When a candidate sees an actual name/phone number/email tied to a job description – it creates an instant connection. It makes the job description feel more tangible when there is an actual human behind it!

Another option is to give a brief overview of the interviewing and hiring process. We will be calling prospective candidates on this date, conducting interviews during this week, and hiring our newest team member by this date. You can even give them tips on preparing for the interview. Knowing what to expect will give your candidates more confidence in applying – and they will have something to look forward to!

5 Secrets of Job Qualifications, Johnson Service Group, Johnson Search Group, jobs, hire, job search, hiring

5 Secrets of Job Qualifications

5 Secrets of Job Qualifications

 

The biggest secret to job qualifications is that hiring is up for interpretation and your career has prepared you more than you realize. When searching for a job, pay attention to how you evaluate your skills against a job and give yourself a fair shake. It is easy to discount yourself when you don’t meet all the requirements. Review each position from a full 360-degree point-of-view before you decide your level of qualification. Consider these secrets the next time you review a job description and determine if you are the right fit.

 

1.       Skills Gap

Hiring someone fully qualified is more difficult than ever and often requires top dollar salaries and benefits. The skills gap has created more opportunity for those without all the skills. Supply and demand has forced hiring managers to prioritize some of the skills while sacrificing others. This my friend, is a concession and hiring managers and HR professionals make them all the time.

2.       Job Description Evaluation

Take the time to evaluate the job description with a fine-tooth comb looking for top priority duties and how the required skills apply. It is easy to fall into the habit of focusing too much on technical skills, specifically when your experience does not meet the expectation. Soft skills are not considered well enough, leaving some much-needed reflection necessary to accurately evaluate opportunities. Imagine for a second if you had five candidates, none of them had all the skills required. What skills would you seek to ensure they could eventually meet the requirements?   

3.       Research Job

Take it a step further and compare the opportunity to other companies hiring for the same position. Start by performing a job search using the title (include any other variations) and review other company’s descriptions to determine the most valuable skills. You may also identify skills important to other companies which you could introduce as a benefit to the employer. In addition, use LinkedIn to see how professionals already in this space share their success.

4.       Presenting Your Skills

After you have identified all the primary responsibilities and skills, look back to your experiences and determine what could be valuable to this employer. Present your skillset in way that will increase your odds of getting hired. The best way to sell yourself is to quantify your results. It’s not good enough to simply list you know a skill, but necessary to also draw conclusions to the results obtained using the skill. If a job description requires “Excellent Communication” (which most of them do) think beyond the practical and not only demonstrate your great communication skills but also share how it added value in previous experience.       

5.       Unique Experience

Make sure you share your unique talents, even if the job description doesn’t prefer or require them. This includes fluent bilingual, certifications, awards and recognition (recommendations), and strong soft skills, preferably demonstrated and quantified. These skills help paint a picture of who you are and can communicate who you will be professionally.

 

Experienced hiring managers understand their ideal hiring goal will be the exception and not the rule. Given the circumstances, the hiring manager can be swayed. Think outside of the box, it’s your uniqueness that will make you memorable.