Posts

How To Get Hired In Today’s Job Market

How To Get Hired In Today’s Job Market

There’s no doubt that today’s job market is volatile. No one knows what to expect from day to day. And while that may be intimidating, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get hired. It does, however, require a bit of creativity when it comes to your job search. Follow our tips below, and you’ll be well on your way to your next position.

Give Your Resume A Major Boost

As employers start to reopen their doors to hiring, they will be on the lookout for self-starters. While millions of people were put in the same position during the economic shutdown, those who continued to work on their professional development will shine brighter than the rest. Take advantage of free online courses like the ones offered by LinkedIn, Microsoft, and Github.

Prepare To Pivot

The Coronavirus pandemic has permanently altered the way our world goes to work. Millions of jobs have been streamlined, and some won’t return at all. This means you may need to pivot your career path and try something completely different. The good news is that some industries are absolutely booming and are on the hunt for new employees. Explore LinkedIn’s Economic Graph for up to date data on which companies are hiring, the most in-demand job titles, and essential skills.

Put Yourself Out There

We have seen an extremely high number of people gaining employment from a simple post on social media. During challenging economic times, it’s incredible how people band together to lift one another up. Additionally, there are thousands of recruiters combing LinkedIn looking for qualified candidates. Chances are, you’ll be able to make a connection just from putting yourself out there. And the more connections you have, the more exposure you’ll have to opportunities.

Keep An Open Mind

The best thing you can do during uncertain times is to keep an open mind! Nothing is as we imagined it would be right now, and that’s okay. In the meantime, consider doing something totally out of your comfort zone to bring in income. Put your professional skills to use by freelancing. Squeeze your creative juices by opening an Etsy shop to make your favorite hobby profitable. Apply for a contract position to “test-drive” a new role before you dive in full time.

Can’t get enough job search tips? Check out more job search tips below!

Find a Job During the Pandemic

How to Find a Job During the Pandemic

Finding a job in 2020 is surprisingly not as easy as it was a few months ago. With social distancing, face mask requirements, and other safety procedures to mitigate the spreading of the Coronavirus, your job search and networking are looking a little different. So, how do you find a job if you can’t attend a career fair? How do you meet new professionals in your industry without networking events? Here are three ways to find a job during the pandemic.

Virtual career fairs

You may not be able to attend a job fair physically, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t job fairs hosted virtually by companies and organizations. Instead of heading to your local convention center, companies are hosting virtual career fairs. These virtual job fairs vary. Some are simply a list of employers hiring, and you can visit their “virtual booth” to learn more information about the company and their hiring needs. Others are hosting job fairs with online booths where job seekers can sit in on live presentations and schedule one-on-one conversations with hiring managers. This may seem like an odd format, but this could be a great avenue to find a job during the pandemic.

Shift your virtual networking into high drive

With the postponement and cancellation of dozens of networking events, tradeshows, and other events, it’s time to kick your virtual networking into high drive. Some of these events are going virtual, so there is still an opportunity to connect with other professionals. However, it can be challenging to facilitate conversations when you don’t have the chance to meet in person.

Join professional groups on LinkedIn or even Facebook to connect with others in your industry. In these groups, you will find hiring managers sharing job opportunities and people discussing industry trends. The best thing you can do is make yourself visible. Post meaningful content in these groups and engage with others. This allows you to demonstrate your expertise and connect with other professionals in your market. These groups are an excellent way to turn another member into a resourceful contact and possibly even someone that can help you find a job during the pandemic.

Working with a recruiter

If you’re really looking to make an impact on your job search, have you thought about partnering with a recruiter? Working with a recruiter is an excellent way to get a leg up on the competition and discover job opportunities that you may not have found on the traditional job boards. Reach out to our recruiting team at Johnson Service Group. We will work with you to find a job that matches your career goals, even during these challenging economic times.

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!

quarantine skills

How to Show Off Your Quarantine Skills

Millions of workers across the globe are taking their extra downtime to acquire new skill sets. If you have been unfortunately laid off or furloughed because of the pandemic, now is an excellent time to hone some new skills. Taking advantage of this time to improve your job search toolkit will make yourself more marketable and hopefully help get you more interview requests. But how do you display these newfound skills you just acquired? Here is how you can successfully show off your new quarantine skills.

Add them to your resume

If you spend hours working on securing a new skill or two during quarantine, you definitely want to add them to your resume. To do this, add a skills section to your resume. We recommend creating a section in your resume to display your skills. You don’t have to go into detail here; just make a nice list of all the relevant skills for the position you wish to apply for. Also, if you receive a certificate for a new skill or course you complete, be sure to add that certification, too! Letting hiring managers know you have achieved these skills is a great way to get a leg up on the competition.

Add them to your LinkedIn profile

After those new skills and courses have found a new home on your resume, it’s time to add them to your LinkedIn profile. Adding all your crucial skill sets, certifications, and accomplishments to your profile is absolutely critical, especially if you’re actively searching for a new job. LinkedIn has specific areas on your profile to add your skills, licenses, certifications, and accomplishments. It’s essential to put these new quarantine skills and achievements in the right area so recruiters can easily find you when running searches on LinkedIn Recruiter. If you display these accomplishments correctly, you are on your way to partnering with a recruiter that can help you find a new opportunity, even during these challenging times.

Here is a brief video tutorial on how to appropriately display LinkedIn skills on your profile.

Let your network know

Now that your resume and LinkedIn are freshly updated with those quarantine skills, share the news with your network! Make a nice little post and share the news with your LinkedIn connections. You will likely get a lot of engagement, words of encouragement, and support, which is nice to hear during these difficult times. Also, you never know who ends up seeing a post sharing your new skills. It may just lead you to a new connection that helps you land an exciting opportunity!

Should You Accept Any Job

Plan B: Should You Accept Any Job?

Due to several states indefinitely extending their stay at home orders, another 3.84 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits, according to the Department of Labor. That brings the total of unemployed workers to over 30 million in just six weeks. As a result, many Americans that are out of work are considering pursuing a side gig or temporary job with an essential employer. However, numerous workers contemplating this career shift are skeptical because they are worried about explaining it to a new employer down the road. And on the other foot, some workers are feeling obligated to accept an “odd job” because they are worried about having an employment gap on their resume. Here’s a brief overview discussing if you should accept any job during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Employers are less concerned with unemployment woes

Back twenty or thirty years ago, having an employment gap was a red flag to employers. If you were out of work for a few months, it drew concerns with hiring managers. Fast forward to today, employers are less worried if you have a gap in your work history, to an extent. We are all in this together. If you are out of work for a few months because of COVID-19, that is perfectly acceptable, and most employers will understand as they, too, were impacted by the virus. As long as you can explain your employment gap in an interview, you will be fine. If the question arises, keep your answer positive and honest. If you were laid off due to the coronavirus and decide to take a few months to hone a skill and think about a new career path, that’s great!

Don’t fail to pursue a temp job out of fear

Many Americans are paranoid about pursing a temp job at a grocery or hardware store during this time because they are concerned about explaining this shift in their career to a future employer. That’s just nonsense! Don’t let an old stigma prevent you from what’s doing what’s right for you and your family. If you need the money or want to lend a helping hand during this pandemic, pat yourself on the back. You should put yourself above what a prospective employer thinks. If you need a job to pay the bills, accepting a “plan b” job is 100% appropriate, given the global pandemic we are all going through. Again, we are all in this together. So, almost every employer will understand your decision to take on a new role temporarily to provide for your family.

If an employer is not cool with you doing what’s best for you, you probably don’t want to work for them anyway. And on a positive note, accepting a job out of your comfort zone to pay the bills will be a testament to your character. It illustrates resiliency, adaptability, and a solid work ethic. So, don’t be afraid to accept any job during this pandemic.

We can help during these difficult times

So, should you accept any job? That answer is completely up to you and your current situation. There is still a lot of uncertainty right now. Some states are beginning to open back up, but others are extending their closure indefinitely. If you are curious about pursuing a new role during these challenging times, check out our job board. We have hundreds of job opportunities with employers that will be grateful for your service!

How To Leverage Your Athletic Background To Land A Job

How To Leverage Your Athletic Background To Land A Job

Most athletes know that sports are about so much more than winning. When you participate in athletics, you acquire essential life skills and build relationships that last a lifetime. Being an athlete is part of who you are long after you are actively involved in a sport. However, have you ever considered how it can help you land a job? These are three areas in which having an athletic background can actually give you a huge advantage:

Networking

Your athletic background is a great way to meet people that can help advance your career. Often, it allows you to find common ground when connecting with others. You can network with professionals that played sports in college, whether that’s the same sport or different. Additionally, you can find an even deeper connection if you both played sports for the same university. Typically, in this situation, people will feel a deeper level of familiarity and relatability because they understand what it’s like to compete for the same team. They have been in your shoes, literally and figuratively! Find these networks by exploring the large number of groups on LinkedIn and Facebook that are made just for former and current athletes.  

Applicable Skills 

Participating in athletics requires many of the same skills that apply to the professional world. There is a great deal of cross over between the soft skills of athletes and the soft skills that hiring managers are looking for in candidates. Some applicable workplace skills that are acquired by being an athlete include:  

  • Dedication
  • Time Management
  • Grit
  • Commitment
  • Discipline
  • Collaboration 
  • Drive

Discussion Points

Due to your athletic background, you are bound to have plenty of stories of failure and success. These anecdotes can be a great way to demonstrate your growth and education. Focus on examples of your leadership and team-building skills when thinking of sports-related stories you can leverage to answer any interview question. Arrive at your interview armed with examples of persevering against all the odds, performance under pressure, and long-term commitments to which you stayed true. 

Your athletic experience can be a great selling point for you as a candidate.  Utilize your background and lessons learned to connect with hiring managers, impress during your interview, and show your true self throughout the hiring process.

Should I Stop My Jobs Search Because of COVID-19?

Should I Stop My Job Search Because of COVID-19?

There’s a lot of uncertainty around the country, thanks to the coronavirus. Nearly 158 million Americans in over 16 states are being forced to work from home, while millions of other workers are facing layoffs. So, if you were thinking about pursuing a new career path before the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be a little discouraging. However, don’t let this outbreak stop your job search altogether. Things may look a bit different, and your interviews may move from face-to-face to video formats, but many employers are still actively hiring.

Many employers are ramping up hiring efforts

Hundreds of employers in a few different industries are kicking their hiring efforts into high gear, including grocery stores, shipping centers, and the food services industry. For example, Amazon is looking to hire nearly 100,000 warehouse and delivery workers across the nation. They are even increasing hourly pay by $2 to accommodate those working amidst the COVID-19 outbreak. Big pizza chains are currently hiring thousands of permanent workers. Pizza Hut is attempting to hire 30,000 new employees, while Domino’s is aiming to increase its staff by at least 10,000. Grocery stores and pharmacies are in massive need of new employees to accommodate their surging customer base. CVS, for example, is estimating it will add 50,000 new staff members.

Obviously, there are thousands of small and large companies that are struggling at this time. However, that doesn’t mean hiring as a whole has halted due to the virus, and thus, you shouldn’t postpone your job search just yet.

There’s still competition out there

If you’re serious about your job search, now is definitely not the time to pump the brakes. According to SHRM’s President and CEO Johnny C. Taylor, JR, “There will be an end to this. If you take yourself out of the process, someone else may take that job you would get.”

There is no telling how long the effects of the virus will last, but President Trump is hopeful that the majority of “non-essential” businesses will be back up and running by Easter Sunday (April 12th). That may be an optimistic timeline for us to return to business as usual, but that’s only a couple weeks away. In other words, don’t let the virus stop you from submitting your application. If some states are only in lockdown for a couple more weeks, they will be looking to jumpstart their hiring efforts again. Therefore, if you try and wait out the storm, you may miss out on some great job opportunities.

There’s light at the end of the tunnel

This coronavirus is scary, and there is currently no telling of the economic or social impact of the virus. However, we will get through this together. Some positive news on the virus: Hubei, the Chinese province and the COVID-19’s “ground zero,” is preparing to lift most of its lockdown measure on Wednesday, March 25th. This is proof that we can and will overcome this together. Stay calm and stay healthy.

Video Interview Tips

Video Interview Tips to Know Amidst the Coronavirus Outbreak

Have you suddenly found yourself transitioning from an in-person interview to a video interview? If so, you’re not alone. Hundreds of companies are canceling face-to-face job interviews due to the growing concerns of the Coronavirus. As a result, more employers, such as Google and Microsoft, are moving their interviews to a virtual format. If you find yourself in this situation, it can be overwhelming; especially if it happened suddenly. However, here are a few video interview tips to ensure you pass it with flying colors.

Test your video equipment

The first thing you want to do is test your equipment and software. Be sure that your laptop or tablet is up to date to assure you don’t have any issues. Test out the video software that you will be using. Whether it’s Skype or Zoom, it’s essential to be familiar with the software to limit potential “operator errors.” Also, test your internet connection and ensure that it’s strong enough to video chat. You definitely don’t want your internet connection to time out and lose your connection mid-interview. Last but not least, make sure everything is charged up and ready to go!

Eliminate all distractions

When you’re sitting down to do your video interview, you want to ensure you eliminate any distractions around you. Get the kids out of the house, let the dog out in the backyard, and turn off anything that can and will make noise. Have a tidy desk and a clean space around you. Pick a nice area in your home to conduct your video interview with nothing incriminating or distracting in the background. The fewer distractions around you, the better you will be able to focus on the conversation and make a strong impression!

Treat it like any other interview

At the end of the day, the principles for a video interview are similar to any other interview. Do your due diligence on the company before your conversation, dress for success, have good posture and eye contact, and don’t forget that thank you note! Our friends over at Indeed produced a short video that does an excellent job summarizing how to prepare for a video interview:

Take advantage of the booming labor market

There are a lot of concerns about the Coronavirus’s impact on hiring as we approach the end of the first quarter. However, this media-crazed virus has yet to impact the job market. Thus, don’t let COVID-19 derail your job search. You may be doing more video interviews as a precaution, but at the end of the day, your job search will carry on as usual. Hopefully, these video interview tips will calm some of those job search jitters. Good luck!

Coronavirus may affect your job search

How the Coronavirus May Affect Your Job Search

You see headlines on the news and social media about the Coronavirus all day long. People are talking about how it’s affecting travel, school, annual events, sports, and many other things in our daily lives. But will this virus jeopardize your job search? Some people are worried that it will negatively impact hiring or even stall it. However, I am here to put your minds at ease. Yes, COVID-19 might change how companies hire over the next few months, but it’s not going to halt altogether. Here are a few ways the Coronavirus may affect your job search.

COVID-19 didn’t tank February’s Job Report

According to the February Jobs Report that was released last week, the U.S. economy added a mind-blowing 273,000 jobs! As a result of the push in hiring over the last couple of months, the unemployment rate also dipped back down to 3.5% (that’s a 50-year low!). So, as of now, the Coronavirus has yet to significantly impact hiring in the first quarter of 2020.

Others will keep looking for a job

Don’t let this virus discourage you from your job search. Yes, the virus can be scary, but your life and everything else around you are still proceeding as usual. If you let COVID-19 stop your job search, you’ll probably miss out on a fantastic job opportunity. According to Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., the President and CEO of SHRM, “There will be an end to this. If you take yourself out of the process, someone else may take that job you would get.”

Taylor also stressed the importance of not pulling your candidacy from the interviewing process. Unless you’re sick or don’t feel well, pulling out just because you are fearful of the virus will likely send the wrong message to recruiters or hiring managers. In other words, carry your job search on as normal.

The Coronavirus will increase video interviews

As a precaution, many employers are canceling in-person interviews in favor of video interviews. This shouldn’t alarm or frighten anyone. In fact, in many situations, this is probably easier for both hiring managers and candidates. Instead of having to take time off work and kill half of a day for an in-person interview, you now have the chance to have the same conversation over video. So, instead of burning through some sick time to attend a formal interview, you can now potentially schedule an hour-long video interview outside of your working day. It’s a win-win situation.

But if you need to brush up on your video interview skills, here are a few of our favorite tips to nail your virtual job interview.

The best thing you can do is keep calm

Sure, the Coronavirus is a scary situation with a lot of uncertainties. But as of now, uncertainties should not be enough to affect your job search. Yes, there are some reports about the virus hurting hiring for several employers, such as airline companies; however, the overall impact of the Coronavirus is still unknown. The best thing you can do is keep calm and proceed as normal. As of now, the hiring market is strong, and there are millions of job opportunities out there! If you’re now convinced that COVID-19 won’t halt your job search, take a look at our job board! We have great job openings across North America! Oh, and don’t forget to wash your hands!

cover letters

Do Cover Letters Still Matter?

In a world where we can apply to a job with a single click of a button, it’s becoming incredibly easy to apply for dozens of jobs in a matter of minutes. And today’s technology sparks an interesting question to many job seekers (especially the younger generations) – do cover letters still matter? Are they still important? The short answer is yes; they can still be an essential component of your job application and a great one-two punch with your resume.

Are cover letters still necessary?

Not too long ago, especially when the job market wasn’t as hot, cover letters were almost mandatory. In today’s market, they may not be necessary, but they are still a great addition to your application. A cover letter intends to introduce yourself as an applicant, highlight your skills, showcase some of your achievements, and briefly explain why you’re a good fit for the team and the position. And you may feel that this isn’t essential in today’s tight talent market, but a recent study illustrates that 26% of recruiters still read cover letters. Another survey revealed that 49% of hiring managers believe cover letters are a great way to bolster a job seeker’s application. So, regardless of what you think, recruiters and employers still value them.

Why are cover letters still important?

Cover letters are a great supplemental resource to reinforce your application. They are a great way to illustrate your soft skills that may be difficult to showcase on your resume. Your cover letter is also an opportunity to explain your passion for a particular industry or career path; it’s also a chance for you to describe situations like job gaps or lack of experience to your prospective employer. Essentially, a cover letter is a great way to highlight anything unique about you and your work experience.

What should they include?

Now that you’re convinced that a cover letter is an excellent asset to your job application, what should you include in it? Here is a brief overview of what they should incorporate:

  • Your contact information
  • Address the letter to the appropriate hiring manager
  • State which job you’re are applying for
  • Explain why you want the job and what you bring to the table
  • Demonstrate that you understand what the company does or stands for and how you fit into that picture

So, whether a job posting directly states a cover letter is mandatory or not, it is always a smart idea to include one. But if you’re going to submit one, ensure you do it right. Unfortunately, you cannot submit the same one over and over. You must tailor it to each position to really impress your future employer.

Ready to kick off your job search? Check out our available opportunities! JSG is ready to help you find that new job opportunity in 2020.