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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!

college grad toolkit

The College Grad Toolkit

Graduating college is a monumental step that’s full of exciting and daunting unknowns. If you’ve chosen to enter the professional workforce after school, there are some things that you absolutely need to have in your toolkit if you want to secure a job after college, or simply, give off a more professional vibe. Here are six things you must have in your college grad toolkit to successfully kickoff your career.

Easy Means of Contact

Have your phone and email visible and available! Make sure you have an easy way for recruiters, hiring managers, and potential references to communicate with you. Your contact information must be front and center on your resume as well as in the signature of every email. Also, make sure you have a professional email. Now that you’re graduating college, it’s time to stop using that cute email address you made in middle school.

A Fantastic Resume

Crafting a perfect resume has such an important role in landing the job you want. Your resume should include all the resume essentials, like your contact information, hard and soft skills, work experience, education, and certifications! Once you’ve edited and reviewed your post-college resume, show it to someone you trust to gather even more feedback! Getting extra eyes on a resume will always get you a step closer to an outstanding perfect resume.

An Excellent LinkedIn

Update your LinkedIn to show that you are now a college grad! Then start making connections with students you went to school with, professors you learned a lot from, and others that have connections with your university. But don’t stop there! Start connecting and making conversations with professionals in your field or someone that has your dream job.

However, before you start making those connections, check off some other post-grad LinkedIn essentials like:

  • Uploading a great profile picture
  • Receive endorsements from your peers
  • Adding valid and applicable skills
  • A great summary of who you are

At-The-Ready References

Contrary to popular belief, references do matter. In research done by TLNT, they found that 21% of hiring managers remove candidates from the running after they speak with their professional references. This means that your references must be legit and always on deck. So, speak to your professors, bosses, or coaches about leaving you a good reference, if needed.

Cleaned-Up Social Media

Start cleaning up your social media accounts! More than half of hiring managers check out your social media as an act of screening you for a job. Additionally, if they find a red flag, you could be immediately dismissed for a job. Double-check that there’s nothing from college on your social media that may hinder your chances of landing a job. This might include a provocative photo, profanity, or speaking poorly of others online. If this content exists on any of your social media accounts either delete it or adjust your privacy settings.

Professional Outfit

You need at least one professional outfit that you can wear to interviews. Dress to impress your potential employers, no matter what industry you’re entering. For more tips on what to wear to an interview, check out our  ‘How to Dress for Your Next Interview’ blog.

Graduating from college is an exciting time and may look different than expected due to the coronavirus. However, this college grad toolkit will hopefully help guide you through these next stages of your career. And if you’re looking for more assistance, JSG has compiled a group of resources to help you successfully kickoff your career. Check it out!

secure a job

Graduating During the Pandemic? Here’s How to Secure A Job

Two months ago, everything was looking pretty rosy for all the soon-to-be grads. However, there is a lot of uncertainty about the labor market for all college seniors looking for jobs. In fact, 6.6 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week. There is a lot of negative news out there, and that can be discouraging for all your college students looking to transition into their first real job out of school.

Don’t let all the negativity get to you. Yes, employers are still hiring, and there are opportunities out there. It’s crucial now more than ever to ensure you’re ready to take the next steps in your career. Here’s how to secure a job during (and after) the COVID-19 outbreak.

Spruce up your LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a powerful job search and networking tool. You probably have an account, but are you maximizing this social platform’s full potential? First off, add a professional headshot to your profile. Having a professional photo makes your profile 14 times more likely to be viewed by others. If you don’t have a good headshot, grab a collared shirt, pick a nice background, and have a friend take a picture of you from the chest up. Sounds pretty easy, right?

Be sure to build up your network by reaching out to your classmates, professors, and alumnus from your school. This is a great way to enhance your network and see what opportunities are out there. Make sure you’re also following companies and industry professionals you admire to stay in touch with what’s happening in your industry. Oh! And most importantly, there are millions of great job opportunities posted right onto LinkedIn’s platform. If you really want to secure a job right outside of school, utilize LinkedIn.

Acquire some new skills

The majority of seniors are finishing up their final semester of school online. As a result, you may find a little extra time on your hands. This is a perfect opportunity to acquire some new skills that will make you more marketable. There are dozens of online resources (both free and paid) that you can complete to learn something new and make yourself stand out from your competition. For example, LinkedIn Premium gives you access to thousands of online courses to hone new skills. You can learn anything from Adobe Premiere Pro to HTML with easy-to-watch videos and course documents to follow along. And the best part? There is a free trial! What do you have to lose? In 30 days, you can quickly learn several skills to add to your resume and make your job applications shine!

Spice up your resume

If you really want to land a post-college job, you need to craft an excellent resume. Your resume is often your first impression with a hiring manager or HR professional. Therefore, you must have a resume that looks and sounds great if you want to impress a prospective employer. Here is a solid overview of how to build a great resume from JSG.

Keep calm and keep applying

Graduating from college is a massive step in your life and the first step of your professional career.  Trying to secure a job can be overwhelming, especially during a viral outbreak that has thrown your world upside down. All I can suggest is to keep calm and keep applying. These are uncertain times for everyone, but everything will be okay in the long-run. Good luck, and remember never to give up! There are opportunities out there; you just need to find them!

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.

overhaul your resume

How to Overhaul Your Resume for 2020

The labor market has been tight all year, and with a current 50-year low unemployment rate, the state of the market doesn’t look to be changing in 2020. If you’re interested in taking advantage of this candidate-driven market, here are three ways to overhaul your resume before 2020.

Quantify your accomplishments

To stand out to recruiters and hiring managers, you must quantify your resume. Instead of just listing out your job duties, add numbers to beef it up. Which sounds better to you?

· Improved engagement and followers on corporate social media platforms

OR

· Improved engagement on our company’s LinkedIn page by 73% and increased our number of followers on Twitter by 208% over the last six months

Anytime you can quantify your accomplishments, do so. You will make a better impression on those reading your resume and sell yourself as an A-level candidate.

Illustrate your soft skills

Soft skills are becoming more and more important for hiring managers. You can teach almost anyone how to use a new computer program or learn how to utilize a new tool in the workplace. However, you cannot teach someone a soft skill. Including soft skills can really set you apart from your competition and show that you are teachable and ready to learn. Here are three of the best top skills to display on your resume.

Forget the one-page myth

Many job seekers still believe that your resume must be trimmed down to one page. However, that’s only true is you are fresh out of school with little experience, and you’re applying for your first job. Don’t be afraid to go beyond the first page. We look at thousands of resumes each week, and the best ones are typically over one page. If you are well into your career and have numerous awards, certificates, or degrees, you will more than likely need more than one page to display all of your greatness. So, don’t fall for this myth; I encourage you to go past the first page if you need more room for those hard-earned qualifications!

If you follow these three tips to overhaul your resume, you’ll be ready to start your job search off on the right foot! And if you’re looking for a job before the end of the year, we have hundreds of great opportunities on our job board. Check them out here!

find a job

How to Find a Job Before 2020

As many of you know, the labor market is extremely tight. That’s great news for all you job seekers out there! There are millions of opportunities available across the nation. So, if you’re ready to take on a new role before the end of the year, here are a few tips to help you find a job before 2020.

Update your resume

Before you even start your job search, you must update your resume. Review your most recent copy of your resume and start filling in any changes. Have a new job? Add it. Completed a successful project or gained some additional responsibilities at work? Make sure you add those, as well. The last thing you want is feeling rushed to completely overhaul your resume right as you found what appears to be the job of your dreams! However, don’t forget to tailor your resume for each position you apply for to beat those pesky ATS.

Take a look at your LinkedIn

Did you know that LinkedIn has over 165 million members in the United States alone? And employers have over 20 million job postings on the platform across the globe. That’s a lot of jobs! But what’s even more notable for job seekers is that over 95 percent of recruiters utilize LinkedIn as a sourcing tool. In other words, if you aren’t on LinkedIn, you’re missing out on some great career opportunities! So, if you have a LinkedIn, make sure it’s up to date. Have your most current position on there, any relevant skills, list any achievements or certificates, and update your profile picture to stand out in the crowd! Essentially, LinkedIn is your digital resume.

Partner with a recruiter

If you really want to accelerate your job search, we recommend partnering with a recruiter. Recruiting firms, like Johnson Service Group, have great relationships with hiring managers and HR professionals. If you work with us, we will help facilitate the interview and onboarding processes to find that exciting new opportunity before the end of the year. So, if you want to find a job before 2020, let’s work together!

numbers on resume

How to Include Numbers on Your Resume

You may have heard that you need to include numbers on your resume to set benchmarks and establish credibility. But how in the world do you do this? Depending on your position and which industry you work in, this can be challenging. No matter your circumstances, there are numbers you can include that will leave a lasting impression on the hiring manager. Here are three easy ways to incorporate numbers on your resume.

Track Accomplishments

There are ways you can quantify your accomplishments. Instead of simply stating what you do, put numbers to it! For example, if you currently have “Managed Project team” as a bullet point, update it to include the number of employees you supervised. Here’s an example: “Managed Project team of six team members.” Which one sounds more impactful? You can also add a timeframe or percentages that demonstrate your achievements throughout the project.

Think Bigger

Don’t forget that you are part of a larger team! If a company achieved significant growth goals during your time there, be sure to mention it. Include any ways you contributed, directly or indirectly. For example, “Assisting in achieving $450m growth goal over three years through organic Marketing efforts.”

Quantify Your Daily Tasks

Sometimes the things we do every day start to get lost in the shuffle. However, you probably accomplish some pretty significant tasks once you think about it! Assign numbers to your daily tasks so that hiring managers can understand your level of commitment and productivity. For example, “Oversaw care for 40 patients daily” or “Managed billing activities for over 150 clients.” By quantifying these, you’re substantiating your achievements in a way that allows a potential employer to picture you doing for their company.

Providing numbers on your resume not only proves your credibility, but it is also a great conversation starter. Giving a little background on your achievements opens the door for hiring managers to ask thoughtful questions that will steer conversations in the right direction.

resume stand out

How To Make Your Resume Stand Out

It’s a candidate-driven market, meaning it’s a wonderful time to apply for a new job. The only downside? You’re not the only one who thinks so! In a sea of qualified job seekers, how do you make your resume stand out? We’re breaking down a few of our favorite ways to make a stellar first impression.

 Clean Formatting

Before they read a word, the very first thing a hiring manager will notice about your resume is the formatting. Ensure your format is clean, uncluttered, and organized properly. Don’t try to cram too much text onto one page, and utilize have easy-to-read headings throughout. Utilize bullet points under each section to make it easy for employers to skim your accomplishments.

 Tailor Your Resume For Every Job 

This is absolutely essential to make your resume stand out among the rest. First of all, if you’re applying online, including relevant keywords will help your resume get through any ATS system. Once it’s reached the hiring manager, they will keep an eye out for the specific qualifications they detailed in the job description. So if you’re serious about the job, be sure to submit a custom resume that matches the highlights of the job description.

 Include Numbers 

Including statistics and measurable achievements on your resume will make a huge difference. Before a hiring manager even meets you, they’ll get an in-depth understanding of your accomplishments. It will immediately set benchmarks and establish credibility for you as a candidate.

Proofread!

Unfortunately, even one little mistake or typo can distract the hiring manager from your qualifications. There’s something about our brains that will automatically draw our eye to something that isn’t quite right! Once you’ve proofread, send it to a family member or friend to look over as well. The more eyes on it, the better!

For more resume advice, read our resume blogs, or partner with one of our recruiters to find your next role!

Haunt Your Job Search

Five Things That Will Haunt Your Job Search

Did you know that October is the hottest month for hiring? If you’re interested in taking advantage of today’s 3.5 percent unemployment rate, there are millions of opportunities across the country. However, regardless of the condition of today’s labor market, you still have to be conscious of how you pursue your job search. Here are five things that will haunt your job search, even in today’s tight market.

Not doing your homework

Whether it’s writing your resume or preparing for an interview, you must do your homework on the company. When drafting your resume, take a close look at what’s on the job description. You essentially want your resume to mirror their job description to demonstrate that you’re qualified for the position. And for an interview, you want to take a deep dive online to prepare. Check out their website, social media accounts, and do a quick Google search. Try to gather an idea of their company culture, mission and values, and recent news about the company. These will all help you create talking points during your interview. More and more companies are beginning to ask candidates what they know about their company to see if they came prepared and to evaluate how serious they are about the position.

Apply for too many jobs at the same company

Be careful where you apply. It’s never a good idea to apply for numerous positions at the same company during the same period. It comes across as desperate to hiring managers and human resources professionals. Sure, applying for a couple of jobs is fine if you’re qualified for each of them. However, if you go down the list of open positions and apply for a handful of them, it can spook the company. And if you’re applying for a bunch of jobs, be cautious; it’s easier than you think to apply to the same company multiple times without realizing it. So, don’t scare away your chances of receiving a job before you even get a shot at an interview.

Not dressing appropriately for your interview

If you’re heading into an interview, make sure you dress appropriately. And that doesn’t always mean wearing a suit and tie. If it’s an onsite interview at a manufacturing plant or mining facility, bring your steel-toed boots. If it’s an office setting, you’ll want to dress at least business casual. The key is to dress one step above the company’s typical office attire. If you’re not sure what to wear, ask HR. But when in doubt, always dress for success.

Poor communication

In this candidate-driven market, hiring managers are struggling with being ghosted – candidates who suddenly drop out of the interviewing process. If you stop communicating with hiring managers or HR, they’ll probably assume you’re no longer interested. Strong and clear communication is vital throughout the entire process. If you have any questions, don’t be afraid to ask them. But when a hiring manager reaches out to you, respond appropriately, or they may assume you’re dropping your name out of the race.

Not working with a recruiter

Have you worked with a recruiter before? If you really want to step up your job search game, then team up with a professional recruiter, like one from JSG. We have a talented team of recruiters that specialize in a wide array of industries. We build strong relationships with hiring managers and will help get your resume on the top of their desks instead of it just sitting in a pile on their computer. We’ll walk you through every step to ensure your job search isn’t haunted. Ready to take your career to the next level? Reach out to us today, and we’ll help you find your next opportunity!

The Top Soft Skills You Need on Your Resume

The Top Soft Skills You Need on Your Resume

There’s been a lot of buzz about soft skills over the last couple of years. Employers are starting to pay more attention to them as it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find strong candidates in today’s market. Candidates with some of the hard skills hiring managers are looking for may not be available in this tight market. Thus, illustrating soft skills on your resume will help you stand out to employers.

Here are the top three soft skills and an example of how to demonstrate them in your resume.

Leadership

Even if the role you are applying for isn’t a leadership role, it’s essential to show examples of your leadership skills throughout your resume. Hiring managers want candidates that know how to take initiative, make tough decisions, and when necessary, navigate difficult situations. Showing off your leadership skills can also make you look attractive if this role has advancement where these skills will come in handy one day.

Example:

“Mentored my project management team on how to successfully adopt and utilize our new project scheduling software.”

Communication

Hiring managers are always looking through a resume to find candidates who possess great communication skills. And no, that doesn’t necessarily mean public speaking experience. Hiring managers want to ensure their next employee can clearly and effectively communicate with stakeholders, team members, and customers. Strong communication skills translate into excellent listening skills, attention to detail, and so many other desirable soft skills.

Example:

“Facilitated conversations between senior leadership and the quality control team to ensure everyone involved in our project was on the same page and aware of any potential quality issues.”

Adaptability

Adaptability is a soft skill that will be a HUGE asset to any team. Hiring managers want to find employees that are flexible and capable of successfully performing under changing environments. Just like in life, things happen in the workplace, and hiring managers want employees who can “roll with the punches.” This is especially true in fast-paced working environments when you have to think on your feet and adjust as challenges surface.

Example:

“Quickly learned how to proficiently use Adobe InDesign to help our marketing team develop brochures for our annual board meeting.”