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Become An Expert, Get Hired

Become An Expert And Get Hired

Have you ever heard people sing the praises of being a “jack of all trades?” Well, when it comes to your career, this might not be the best advice. In fact, some professionals claim it makes you much more marketable to become an expert in one or two topics. To get hired for your next position, try following these three steps to become a subject matter expert while enhancing your career along the way.

Pick Something You’re Passionate About

If you’re going to become an expert in something, it might as well be something you’re passionate about! Dig deep inside yourself to find a facet of your professional skillset that you love. Whatever you choose, make sure it adds to your marketability. Think of skills that will take your career to the next level while simultaneously fueling your fire.

Find Where You Can Add Value

Now that you’ve chosen your topic of expertise, assess how it fits into your career. How can you utilize this skill set to add value to companies and specific teams? Once you have realized your value, find where you can apply it on the job market. It may be a job similar to your past experiences, or it may be a whole new path. Mapping out your expertise allows you to develop a strong elevator pitch for job interviews.

Do Your Research

According to BJ Fogg, author of the book “Tiny Habits,” it takes approximately 40-60 hours to become a subject-matter expert. So, now that you’ve chosen your area of expertise and how you want to apply it, it’s time to go to work. Stock up on literature, find a mentor, and completely immerse yourself in this topic.

Honing your expertise to one or two topics you are passionate about will help you get hired for the job you want. Not only will you be more marketable, but you’ll also have more fun! Looking for more ways to take your career to the next level? Explore our candidate resources!

Should You Make A TikTok Resume?

Should You Make A TikTok Resume?

In September, the social media giant TikTok announced it surpassed 1 billion global monthly users. Over the last few years, this social platform has been surging, and thanks to the pandemic, more users are signing up to watch funny videos and keep up to date with social media trends. One of these trends is a new job search strategy: making a TikTok resume. But is creating a video resume and posting it on TikTok a suitable strategy for your job search?

Why TikTok resumes?

Besides the massive user base, TikTok recently launched a new program called TikTok Resumes. This new tool encourages users to create and post video resumes and helps employers find new talent. A video resume is a short recording highlighting your skill sets, background, and what you can bring to the table. However, TikTok provides a platform to insert fun visuals, music, and other effects to make your video resume stand out in the masses. Plus, with 130+ million users using #careertok and another 445+ million using #jobsearch, you have plenty of ways to be discovered. Nevertheless, this job search strategy may not be for everyone.

When is it appropriate to make a TikTok resume?

Making a TikTok resume can be an effective and fun strategy to catch the eyes of hiring managers or recruiters. But is this strategy appropriate for everyone? The short answer is no. If you are a marketing professional or recent graduate, this can be an effective strategy to get your resume out there. Creating a TikTok resume is an excellent way to highlight your strengths, illustrate your personality, and can be relevant to specific roles you are applying for. Big companies like Target and Shopify are leveraging this social media to tap into new talent pools. So, if an employer is openly using TikTok as a recruiting tool, it may be wise to consider creating one. But if you are unfamiliar with this platform or you are applying for a senior-level role, this may not be the strategy for you.

Regular social media job search rules still apply

TikTok can be a creative tool for your job search; however, regular social media rules still apply as they affect your job search. Review your privacy settings and ensure they are what you want. Of course, if you are making a resume on TikTok, you want it to be discovered. Therefore, you must have your privacy settings set up accordingly. But remember that with a public social media account, hiring professionals can see other content, such as the videos you like and share, the people you follow, and your personal posts. Be mindful of the accounts and content you engage with, as it can impact your chances of receiving an interview (or even a job offer!).

Here’s an example of a TikTok Resume if you are ready to make your own!

@coop.cm

Tiktok do your thing! Check out ➡️ #TikTokResumes #TikTokPartner #productmanagment #jobsearch #graduated

♬ original sound – Christian 🚀

Resume 101: Back to the Basics

Resume 101: Back to the Basics

Writing a resume is both intimidating and overwhelming. It’s challenging to sum up your background, work history, skill sets, and education in a concise document that you then submit to a complete stranger. Your resume is often your first impression during your job search, so it must be bulletproof. However, that’s easier said than done. As your career changes, so does your resume, so it can be tricky to craft a perfect document for your job application. So, we are bringing you back to the basics to help you construct a winning CV!

Avoid overcomplicated resume templates

When you go to create or redesign your resume, stick to simple and clean templates. Services like Canva or Microsoft Word offer creative and colorful templates. Some of these templates and designs are fair game, but it’s best to pass on overly complicated templates. Unless you are a graphic designer, keep your format simple. Use nice, easy-to-read fonts, use clear section headings to organize the different content on your resume, and avoid adding a headshot to eliminate any unconscious biases. Plus, “fancy” resume formats can confuse application tracking systems, and thus, filter your application out before a human can even review it.

Don’t forget your contact details!

This may seem like common sense, but you would be surprised with how many people forget to include part or all of their contact information. The best location for your contact details is right at the top, so hiring managers and recruiters can quickly reach out to you about the positions you are applying for. Also, now is a great time to review your contact details. Is your email address one you check often? Is it professional? If it’s a goofy or inappropriate email you made back in high school, it might be time to create a new email address.

resume contact details

Work history, in reverse chronological order

After your contact details, it’s time to add your work history. Display your work history in reverse chronological order and include your job title, company name, time frames you worked there, and the location. For each role, add key responsibilities and duties and tailor them for each position. Use concise bullet points and include action verbs, specific numbers to illustrate your achievements, and use keywords that tie back into the job description.

Education section

After your work experience, you can display your education. Include the school’s name or program’s title, your degree or certification, relevant course work, and attendance dates. Unless you are fresh out of school, it’s best not to include your GPA (if you include it, don’t add it if it’s under a 3.5 GPA). If you are applying for mid-level positions or higher, you can forgo everything except the school, program, and degrees or certifications. If you are well into your career, you can save some space by removing your graduation dates and relevant coursework.

Skills section

Adding a skills section may be new to many job seekers, but it’s one of the most important areas on your resume. This section is your opportunity to illustrate how well you fit for the position you are applying for. Carefully review the job description and reflect on your hard and soft skills that are relevant for this position. For this section, all you have to do is list your skills to show the hiring professional that you are a solid match for the position. This area is also an excellent place to insert your transferrable skills. Transferable skills are vital for job seekers transitioning to new industries or career paths because they allow you to demonstrate your fit for the role, even if you don’t have direct experience.

Certifications

Your certifications section is straightforward. All you need to do is nicely list out any certifications you have earned, the issuer of that cert, and the date the cert was achieved. List out all your certifications, with your most relevant ones at the top of the list.

Looking for more resume assistance?

So, there you have it. This is a concise overview of crafting a bulletproof resume. If you are looking for more resume advice to take your job search to the next level, check out our candidate resources. We have dozens of articles with helpful resume guidance to help you find your next career opportunity!

Will a New Job Pay You More?

Will A New Job Pay You More?

It has long been rumored that in order to “get what you’re worth,” you need to be constantly on the move. In fact, it was recommended that you change jobs as often as every two or three years to get the most bang for your buck. However, this might not be the case anymore. According to the ADP’s latest Workforce Vitality Report, employees who stayed at their jobs in 2020 garnered an average pay raise of 4%, while those who landed new jobs averaged a raise of 5%. So, the question remains, is that 1% worth a switch? Here are four instances in which a new job that pays more would be worth it.

You are being paid below-market-rate

This is an instance in which you may be able to secure more than a 5% raise when switching jobs. Do your research on sites like LinkedInsalary.com, or Payscale to discover the market rate for someone with the same amount of experience in your role. Additionally, search job boards or talk to a recruiter to see what people hiring are willing to pay. Employers that are satisfied with paying employees less than they are worth will have difficulty retaining talent in today’s modern job market.

You are not happy in your current work environment

This may seem obvious, but it is notoriously easy to stay in a role that pays well but drains your happiness. If you are unhappy at your current job, even a lateral move can make an enormous difference in total value. Certainly, it’s worth investigating and having a conversation to see what else is out there.

You are receiving interest from other employers

It’s no secret that companies are hiring right now. In fact, many are desperate to add to their teams. If recruiters are contacting you, it is absolutely worth having a conversation. Likewise, have an updated resume and cover letter template ready to go. That way, if a job pops up on your LinkedIn feed, you can be ready to apply quickly. You might just be surprised to discover how much interest you receive!

If you feel that it’s time to make a move, follow your gut! Explore our open positions here, or contact us to speak with a recruiter in your area.

Look Out For These Job Search Red Flags

Look Out For These Job Search Red Flags 🚩

There are millions of open jobs right now, with thousands of companies desperate to add to their teams. So, how do you sift through this abundance to find the job that is right for you? In addition to finding a position that matches your skillset, experience, and target benefits, there are a few things you’ll want to avoid. Here are three major job search red flags you should dodge at all costs.

High Turnover Rate

According to a LinkedIn poll, this was the most glaring job search red flag. A high turnover rate implies that there is a reason employees keep leaving. This trend could be due to several factors such as low salaries, overworking, or poor leadership. No matter what, it’s worth further investigation. Don’t be afraid to address this observation during an interview to understand the company culture better.

Lack of Salary Transparency

While lack of salary transparency was the norm for many years, it is now becoming unacceptable. (In California, it’s even illegal!) A company or recruiter should be open to discussing a salary range for the position throughout the interview process. That way, both parties can ensure that they aren’t wasting time. “Depends on experience” isn’t a satisfactory answer, either.

Saying “We’re Like A Family”

This job search red flag is a little more obscure but still important to note. While it may not seem negative at first, consider what a “family” atmosphere at work is like. Oftentimes, this means the boundaries of professionalism are blurred. Personal drama may be the norm in this work atmosphere, and you could potentially find yourself immersed in a culture of overwork and unhealthy expectations. If someone mentions this during an interview, ask them to clarify further what makes the culture feel “like a family.”

Lack of Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion

The biggest “other” red flag that people mentioned in the comments of the LinkedIn poll was a lack of commitment to diversity and inclusion. While this has been a hot-button issue over the last few years, few companies are acting on it appropriately. Look for a company that commits to diversity and inclusion and the programs and resources to back it up. No one wants to feel like a pawn, hired solely to help fulfill a diversity quota. Dig deep during your job search and interview process to understand the full spectrum of steps a company takes to improve diversity and inclusion on their teams.

Remember, a red flag isn’t a conclusive decision about whether a company or job is good or not. Instead, it is a sign that you should investigate further. Looking for more job search and interview advice? Explore our candidate resources here.

Trick or Treat Yourself to a New Job

Trick Or Treat Yourself To A New Job

If you are one of the millions of Americans considering joining “The Great Resignation,” you are certainly not alone. Approximately four million people quit their jobs in July 2021, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Additionally, LinkedIn noted that 176 million U.S. members added new employers to their profiles in September alone. Due to job uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, many people stayed put throughout 2020, drastically decreasing quit rates. But now that hiring has increased, employees are recognizing burnout and seizing new opportunities. If this sounds like you, October is a great month to kick off your job search. But you don’t want to run into any tricks along the way! We’re breaking down of few of the tricks and treats you might encounter if you’re looking for a new job this fall.

Trick: COVID-Related Questions

No matter what you have encountered in your professional life over the last two years, you will be asked COVID-related interview questions. These questions can range from addressing layoffs or why you’re leaving your current position, to skills you added during lockdowns, to how you think your company handled the pandemic.

When these questions come up, try to avoid getting bogged down in negativity. Give a brief and direct answer, and then pivot the question into your excitement for this opportunity. Highlight the skills you gained, the lessons you learned, and the goals you established for your next job.

Treat: More Remote Openings

One of the few upsides to the pandemic is that it forced companies to get familiar with flexible work environments. On LinkedIn alone, there are over 480,000 remote job openings currently. This is in stark comparison to a mere 7,000 remote job opportunities listed online in March of 2020.

While these openings are remote, it can give you a leg up to look for companies hiring remote positions in your city. Eventually, these companies may go back to in-person or a hybrid work model. Thus, they will see value in having someone local who can join meetings face-to-face or even meet for the occasional happy hour.

Trick: Navigating Virtual Interviews

No matter how many tools we have at our disposal, virtual interviews will always be tricky. They are challenging to navigate between connection issues, missed social cues, background distractions, and the inevitable “what do I do with my hands?” they are challenging to navigate.

When preparing for a virtual interview, it’s essential to do a trial run (or two.) Make sure your background is clean and clutter-free, your notes don’t make too much rustling noise, and your wifi connection is strong. Right as you kick off the interview, share any potential distractions with your interviewer. Luckily, most employers are understanding of a pup warding off the mailman or a toddler looking for an extra hug.

Treat: Flexible Interview Situations

One of the upsides of interviewing in a virtual professional world is that it’s typically easier to squeeze an interview into your schedule. If you’re currently working remotely, you can avoid the awkward excuses or sneaking around that usually accompany interviewing for a new role.

Even though it’s easier to schedule an interview, remember to stay respectful of your current employer. Take a late lunch and block it off on your calendar or let your manager know you will have to step out for an appointment.

Trick: Competitive Market

With so many remote openings, lots of people are putting feelers out there. This is especially true for mid-career employees between the ages of 30 and 45. If you’re in one of the more competitive age groups or industries, you could be going up against dozens of highly qualified applicants.

To stand out from the crowd, do something that goes above and beyond. If the job requests an optional cover letter, submit one! Create a mockup of what you could do for the company. Highlight a personal connection to the mission. To top it off, send a thank you note immediately after your interview. These little things will make a big difference when it comes to landing a job during a uniquely competitive market.

Treat: A Renewed Focus On Diversity & Inclusion

Many companies have experienced tremendous growth over the past two years, and we aren’t talking about headcount. As a result of major social movements and leaderships committed to change, organizations are boosting their diversity and inclusion programs.

Don’t be afraid to ask about diversity and inclusion during the interview. In a candidate’s market, you should feel empowered to hold companies accountable. And ultimately, you want to work for a team that shares the same values as you!

Hopefully, your job search is more treats than tricks! But for all the advice you need to make it through, explore our candidate resources here.

Should You Apply To A Job For Which You Are Underqualified?

Should You Apply to A Job For Which You Are Underqualified?

When you’re job searching, it can be overwhelming. Reading description after description, looking for that “perfect fit.” But what if you stopped trying to fit yourself into a hypothetical mold? Instead, teach yourself to read between the lines of a job description to determine what’s most important. A popular saying in the career space is, “you should apply to roles even if you only meet ~80% of the requirements.” Keep reading to find out when (and how) you should apply for a job for which you are underqualified.

You Have All The Skills, But Not The Years Of Experience

Think about it, years of experience is just an arbitrary number. There is no hard and fast rule stating that the more years of experience you have, the better you will be at your job. Someone who has been in the field for only 1 or 2 years in a fast-paced role with a great mentor might be significantly more qualified than someone who has worked for 5 to 7 years for a mediocre company. So, focus on the skills you bring to the table and be sure to emphasize these in your cover letter or application email.

You’re A Fast Learner

If you tend you pick things up quickly, you can be a great underqualified candidate. Now, this doesn’t mean going from zero to 60. If you have absolutely no experience in a field or skillset, the learning curve is probably too steep. Instead, determine if you have parallel skills or minimal experience with a particular requirement. For example, maybe you’re well versed in Photoshop, but the position requires experience with InDesign. Because they are both Adobe products with similar infrastructure, you’ll probably be able to learn InDesign pretty quickly.

You Have Something Else To Bring To The Table

Just because you don’t meet 100% of the qualifications doesn’t mean that you can’t add value. If you can add value in other ways, apply away! Just be sure to convey that somewhere in your application so the recruiter or Hiring Manager doesn’t immediately count you out.

So, the general answer is yes; you should apply for a job for which you are underqualified. However, you do need to meet basic requirements (especially with so many companies utilizing ATS.) Companies are willing to look past hard and fast lines in order to find the best person for the job. Just be sure to make it clear that person is you!

If you are ready to put your skills and experience to the test, check out our job board! We have hundreds of exciting opportunities all across North America.

Why You Aren’t Getting Job Interviews

Why You Aren’t Getting Job Interviews

It was recently reported that there are approximately 10.9 million job openings in the United States currently. Yet, some candidates are still submitting resume after resume only to be met with radio silence. If you’re one of these candidates, it can be highly discouraging. But not to worry, there are a few areas you can address in order to increase your chances. Here are three reasons why you aren’t getting job interviews and how you can change that.

Your Resume Is Stale

Yes, we realize you probably already refreshed your resume. But the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. So go ahead and give it another shot. Some things to look for: organization, relevance, and length. One good way to think outside the box is to share your resume with a friend, family member, or mentor. Have them give unfiltered feedback and ask if they would hire you. 

You Don’t Go The Extra Mile

While there are many open positions, there is also an influx of candidates making a move. We are in the midst of what some experts refer to as “The Great Resignation.” After staying put during periods of uncertainty, people are ready for change. So, for competitive jobs, there may be dozens of highly qualified applicants. This means you need to find a way to stand out. If there is a role you are really gunning for, go the extra mile. Be sure to submit an “optional” cover letter, seek out the hiring manager on LinkedIn, or craft a personal email to the HR team to accompany your application. The littlest bit of effort can leave a lasting impression during a competitive hiring process.

You’re Applying Too Late

With an influx of great candidates, companies aren’t having to wait long to hire. Jobs are filled mere days after being posted. After over a year of uncertainty and underemployment, management is eager to fill gaps on their teams. This means it’s essentially first-come, first-serve. The sooner you can apply for a job, the better. Which is all the more reason to have a refreshed resume ready to go!

Unfortunately, sometimes there are just better candidates. That’s why it’s in your best interest to keep looking, keep applying, and seek out jobs that are truly a great fit for your skillset and experience. 

Why (and how) You Should Always Respond to A Recruiter

Why (and how) You Should Always Respond to A Recruiter

If you have a LinkedIn profile, you have probably received a message from a recruiter inquiring about a position they are working hard to fill. Sometimes, this opportunity can be your next career move. Other times, the job can miss the mark and not align with your career goals. These recruitment messages either come from an internal recruiter or a third-party recruitment specialist from a staffing firm. Regardless of your interest in the position, it is crucial to respond to the recruiter, and here is why.

They can put your resume in their CRM

First of all, if a recruiter reaches out to you and you want to learn more about the job opportunity, they will ask you for your resume. Once they have your resume, they will upload it to their company’s CRM system, where they keep all of their candidate records. This system helps them keep track of candidates’ qualifications, notes, contact details, and other important information. However, if you have no interest in the position, don’t just leave the recruiter left on read. Reach back out to them, thank them for thinking of you, and send them your resume. The first place most experienced recruiters look for potential candidates for a new opportunity is the CRM system.

If you are not in their system, you could miss out on other opportunities in the future! Here’s an example of how to respond to a recruiter in this situation:

“Hi [Recruiter’s Name],

Thank you for reaching out to me about this position. This sounds like an exciting opportunity, but I am not currently exploring new jobs at this time. However, can I send you my resume if you have another opportunity in the future?

Thank you, and I look forward to connecting with you.”

You can build a relationship with the recruiter

If you don’t respond to a recruiter when one reaches out to you, it’s challenging to build a relationship with them. Recruiters are no strangers to low response rates. Thus, if you take the time to reply to them, they will likely remember you when another opportunity comes up that better matches your skillset and career goals. Also, you should connect with them on LinkedIn so you can remain on their radar as they work on other requisitions. Plus, recruiters often work on exclusive job orders that you won’t find anywhere else, so fostering a relationship with them can open new doors!

Your job situation may change one day

As we all learned throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, your job situation can change in the blink of an eye. Whether that’s restructuring, department changes, mergers/acquisitions, or even your company suddenly shutting its doors, your employment situation today may look a lot different in the not-so-distance future. Therefore, we always recommend responding to a recruiter and connect with them if your job situation shifts.

Looking to connect with a recruiter?

So, you hopefully understand the value of responding to a recruiter when they reach out to you. Even if you don’t have an interest in that particular position, you never know what roles they may have available in the future. If you are interested in keeping a recruiter in your back pocket, review our job board and signup for our Talent Network! You can upload your resume and create job alerts that match your skills, career interests, and location to find the next step in your career. We look forward to connecting with you!

How to Combat Ageism During the Pandemic

How to Combat Ageism During the Pandemic

Recently, conversations around ageism have surfaced as we continue to learn how the pandemic affects generations differently. The last year-and-a-half has been challenging for most workers as we all navigate this unforeseen job market. Some people are thriving while working remotely, while others are anxious to get back to the office. And others are taking a different approach. According to The New School’s Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis, more than 2 million people retired than what was expected (from March 2020-2021). Although some of these early retirements were voluntary, many were due to older workers struggling to find new opportunities.

In fact, 63% of unemployed people aged 45 or older have been out of work for longer than a year. That’s compared with 52% of job seekers ages 35 to 44 and 36% of those ages 18 to 34. So, what can you do to combat ageism during the pandemic? Here are a few tips to help you secure a new job during these challenging times and overcome age-related stereotypes.

Overcoming ageism stereotypes and perceptions

Every generation has certain stereotypes; however, Baby Boomers, roughly aged 57-75 years old, have two bitter (and often inaccurate) stereotypes.

  • Older workers are technologically inept
  • They are unwilling to learn and won’t get along well with younger workers

Of course, these are just stereotypes and don’t apply to most older workers. However, you can leverage your application materials to help combat these ageism stereotypes.

Beef up your resume

If you are an older job seeker, you can overcome these stereotypes by beefing up your resume. First of all, you can add a skills section to your resume to showcase all the technologies you know how to use. In the pandemic-era job market, employers are placing a significant emphasis on technologies that we embraced while working from home. Also, if you have any certifications that prove your knowledge of particular technologies or tools, make sure you add those to your resume, too. If you don’t have any certifications, there are plenty of inexpensive or free courses you can take online to beef up your resume.

Make yourself more discoverable

Secondly, it’s essential to make yourself more discoverable online so hiring professionals can easily find you. The best platform to accomplish this is LinkedIn! Job seekers in younger generations have the advantage of learning about new roles because they are more likely to be active on LinkedIn. Sure, most of you have a LinkedIn profile, but that’s not good enough. If you just make one and let it sit there, you cannot expect recruiters to find you and reach out to you about potential opportunities. Just like your resume, you have to regularly update your profile to reflect your latest skills, experiences, and certifications.

Additionally, LinkedIn has some great features to help you let recruiters know you are open to new opportunities. Turning on LinkedIn’s “open to work” feature will trigger that you are open to learning about new jobs and encourage hiring professionals to reach out to you.

If you want to take your LinkedIn to the next level, here’s how to craft a perfect LinkedIn summary to snag a new job.

Partner with a recruiter

If you feel that you are struggling to combat ageism during the pandemic, try reaching out to a recruiter. Recruiters can be your job search’s best weapon. We take the time to understand your background and skills to match you with opportunities that fit your career goals. If you are interested in learning more about how a professional recruiting firm can take your job search to the next level, reach out to us today! At JSG, we work hard, we work together, and we work for you.