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Why Your Job Search Isn’t Producing Results

Why Your Job Search Isn’t Producing Results

Do you feel like you are stuck in a rut with your job search? If so, you may be one of the 25% of Americans who believe there are no suitable employment opportunities. If you are sitting there scratching your head and wondering why your job search isn’t producing results, it may be time to rethink your strategy. Here are four reasons why your search is not generating the results you are working hard to achieve.

Your job search is too vague

Is your job search broad enough? Many job seekers make the mistake of looking for a similar role with a different company in the same industry. In the post-pandemic labor market, this strategy is not as effective as it once was. Sure, it’s easy and comfortable to transition to a very similar role with a new company. However, some industries are performing better than others in today’s market. In other words, you may need to broaden your job search and tap into industries and employers that are thriving. Use your transferrable skills and apply them to a new position. If your job search isn’t producing results, it’s time to look at expanding your career pursuit.

You are not tailoring your resume

When was the last time you took a deep look at your resume? In today’s market, you cannot simply update your work experience and fire it off for every application. You must tailor your resume for every application. We get it; that sounds like a ton of work. But truthfully, it’s not as challenging as you may think. First, craft an updated resume with all of your latest experiences, achievements, certifications, and skills. Once you have a solid foundation, it’s pretty easy to tailor your resume.

Carefully review the job description and note the most important qualifications or skill sets the employer is looking for. Once you have identified the crucial qualifications, you want to reflect them in your resume. Tweak how you phrase your responsibilities and other details to beat the resume bots (aka an ATS) and land on a hiring manager’s desk. If you aren’t investing in the time to tailor your resume, you likely won’t yield the results you want.

Your networking isn’t effective

If your job search results are a little lackluster, it’s time to kick your networking into high gear. With the lack of in-person networking events, it’s time to turn to LinkedIn and other social media platforms to build your professional network. First of all, head to LinkedIn and let recruiters know you are open to new opportunities. (Work smarter, not harder!) Next, start building connections with those in your desired companies. Connect with people at your targeted companies on LinkedIn by sending them a personalized connection request. Briefly introduce yourself and explain why you wish to connect with them. They are more likely to accept your invitation if you send them a personal message introducing yourself.

You are not tapping into the hidden job market

The hidden job market is essentially all of the jobs that employers are not advertising online. In fact, only 40% of jobs are estimated to be advertised online. You can tap into the other 60% by networking or partnering with a professional recruiting firm, like JSG. Employers often give recruiters exclusive job orders, and thus, you won’t find these jobs on the employer’s website or anywhere else. If you are tired of your job search not producing results, let’s work together. We have hundreds of exciting opportunities across North America. If you are ready to take the next step in your career path, explore our jobs or reach out to us today.

What Happens To Your Resume After You Submit It

What Happens To Your Resume After You Submit It

If you’re in the throes of a job search, you might find yourself wondering what happens to your resume after it has been submitted. Sometimes it feels like it goes into a black hole of despair – never to be seen again. Other times you’re left wondering if you just missed something, and the recruiter looked right over it. The truth is, there are a few different things that could happen to your resume after you submit it. We’re breaking down each scenario and what you can do to increase your chances of getting your resume seen by the right people.

It Goes Through An ATS

Most large companies utilize an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). This is essentially a database that houses all of the information about candidates, including resumes, cover letters, application history, and even interview schedules. There is a lot of talk about “beating the ATS,” but it’s really nothing to be intimidated by. In actuality, it’s just a method for organizing information.

That being said, there are a few ways that you can help your information rise to the top in an ATS. Keywords are essential. The internal hiring team will most likely be using keywords from the job description to sort through resumes and float some to the top. (Especially in this candidate-saturated market when they are receiving hundreds of applications for each position!) However, loading your resume up with keywords doesn’t guarantee you’ll get the job or even the interview. Further demonstrating your knowledge of such keywords and putting them into context with your real-world experience will.

Additionally, be sure to keep formatting simple. There are a lot of cool visual templates out there today. Unfortunately, these could actually cost you when it comes to an ATS. Because it’s a computer program, it has a tough time reading images and graphics. So, stick to something simple – created in a text format using Word, Pages, or Google Docs. (We recommend converting to PDF for ease of reading across different systems. Just make sure to create the original in a simple text format!)

It Joins A Pile In The HR Department

If companies don’t utilize an ATS system, their internal HR department is probably in charge of screening, scheduling, and potentially even hiring new employees. This is common with smaller companies that don’t hire hundreds of people every year. There actually isn’t a massive difference between this process and a company that utilizes an ATS.

The biggest thing to note is that you’ll want to make your qualifications clear right off the bat. The HR department might not be as familiar with acronyms or abbreviations, so you need to spell everything out. Again, a clean format with bold headings will help your resume stand out and rise to the top of the list.

Your Resume Gets Delivered Directly To The Hiring Manager

Does this option sound too good to be true? Well, it’s not. When you partner with a recruiting firm like Johnson Service Group to take the next step in your career, your resume will be delivered directly to the hiring manager. What’s more, it will be accompanied by a quick summary of why you’re the best candidate for the job. And because we have an established relationship with our clients, they trust us to deliver someone qualified, in the correct salary range, and willing to work in that location.

Don’t believe me? Browse our open positions for one that fits your future, or contact the office closest to you directly! You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to have a recruiter go to bat for you.

How to Overcome Job Search Burnout

How to Overcome Job Search Burnout

There are thousands of articles online discussing employee burnout during the pandemic. The average American is working longer hours, and the lines between work and home are getting blurry. Although many people are feeling the pain of working from home, not enough people are talking about job search burnout. As of the February 2021 Jobs Report, there are still over 10 million unemployed persons due to the coronavirus outbreak. If you are feeling overwhelmed and anxious, here are three ways to overcome job search burnout.

Create a realistic routine or schedule

Many people make the mistake of treating a job search like a full-time job. You wake up, spend all day searching the web and connecting with people online, and rarely give yourself a break. Avoiding this strategy is the easiest way to overcome job search burnout. Instead of staring at your computer all day, create job search alerts on your go-to job boards. Many job search sites (like JSG’s Talent Network) allow you to create notifications when a new job matches your skills and career goals. Say goodbye to strained eyes and hello to a refreshed optimism for your job search!

Creating a routine or schedule is good, but don’t let it turn into a 9 to 5 job. You want to give your best self to your job search to have more success, and ultimately, secure a new job opportunity.

Be more selective

It’s true what they say – less is more. If you want to avoid job search burnout, you must be more selective with your applications. If you are sitting there and applying for every single job that you stumble upon, you are setting yourself up for failure. Before applying for any job, you should carefully review the job description, visit the company website, and spend some time to see if this position and company is a good fit for you. If you use the “spray and pray” method, you will not receive very many interview requests. It’s better to focus your efforts on applying for jobs that better fit your professional experiences.

Also, if you are more selective with your search, you will have more time to tailor your resume. If you fail to customize your resume for every application, your resume will get caught up in an ATS, and a hiring manager may never see your resume. Tailoring your resume will make you stand out to hiring managers, beat the resume bots, and improve your response rate.

Expand your job search

The last way you can mitigate job search burnout is to expand your search. Job seekers often get stuck in the cycle of searching for new opportunities in the same field or industry. However, this may be a bad strategy as some sectors are performing better than others as we edge closer to the end of the pandemic. If the virus impacted your current industry particularly hard, you may want to expand your search to another field. You can take your experiences and transferrable skills you have worked so hard to hone and enter a new career path. According to LinkedIn’s latest Workforce Confidence index, women are much more likely to switch industries or functions. 82% of unemployed women are willing to pivot their careers and go into another field of work, while 58% are also willing to start their own line of work.

Are you looking for more job-search advice?

These are three new strategies you can implement today to overcome job search burnout. If you are looking for more job search resources, visit our Candidate Resources for tips, tricks, and strategies to elevate your search.

How to Get Noticed By A Prospective Employer

How to Get Noticed By A Prospective Employer

Do you feel like you are failing to get noticed by your target companies during your job search? It can be challenging to earn the attention of competitive companies when the job market is so tight. If you are looking to make a splash with your job search this year, here is how to get noticed by a prospective employer.

Start building connections

The first thing you can do to start gaining a prospective employer’s attention is build some connections within the company. If you know someone who works there, this will be much easier. Reach out to your network and ask them to introduce you to the hiring manager of a job that interests you. If you don’t have a connection, you will have to stick your neck out a little more. Find people that are in similar fields with you at this company and start introducing yourself. Send them a LinkedIn connection request with a custom message. Introduce yourself and share (very briefly) why you are connecting with them.

Apply directly to the hiring manager

Once you start building these connections with employers you wish to work for, it’s time to start applying. Of course, you will want to submit your resume through the company’s career portal. However, if you know who the hiring manager is, you can submit your application directly to them. Competitive companies receive hundreds or even thousands of applications for a single position. So, instead of getting your resume thrown into the pile in an applicant tracking system, get your resume right to the source. A hiring manager or recruiter is much more likely to review your resume if you stick it right in front of them instead of letting an ATS do the work for them. Bypass the competition by sending your resume directly to the hiring manager, and you will start to get noticed by a prospective employer.

Go above and beyond with your application

If you are just blindly submitting your resume to every position in your field, you won’t experience much success. Due to the pandemic, we are in a competitive job market. You have to put in more effort to beat your competition and receive a callback. Tailor your resume to each position you apply for to ensure it illustrates that you are a strong fit. Write a custom cover letter for each application, even if one is not required. A thoughtfully crafted cover letter will help you stand out and connect the dots between your transferable skills and the position. Also, an excellent way to showcase all your skills and qualifications is an online portfolio. Submitting a link to your portfolio with your other application materials is a great way to show off your work examples, experience, and other things that make you a fantastic candidate. They are easy to make and often free to build on certain websites.

Need more help?

These three things will drastically help you get noticed by a prospective employer. But if you are looking to take your job search up a notch, consider working with a recruiter. JSG’s recruiting team can work with you to find the career that matches your skill sets and career goals. We have opportunities across North America and are ready to get you back to work. Reach out to us today!

The Difference Between A Resume and Curriculum Vitae (CV)

The Difference Between A Resume and Curriculum Vitae (CV)

The differences between a resume and curriculum vitae (CV) are often misunderstood. Some employers use the two interchangeably, but there is a definitive difference between the two regarding both length and the content included. Here is the difference between a resume and a CV, so you know which one is appropriate when submitting your job application.

What is a resume?

In the United States, resumes are the dominant application document that most candidates must submit while applying for a job. A resume is a competency-based document that illustrates a candidate’s experiences, skillsets, and education. Resumes briefly (one of two pages in length) provide an overview of a candidate’s qualifications. A resume typically includes:

  • Work experience
  • Achievements
  • Soft and hard skills
  • Certifications
  • Education
  • Professional affiliations or memberships

A resume accompanied by a cover letter will be the most common documents requested by employers in the United States.

Resumes are pretty cut and dry with the information you will provide. However, some optional sections, such as a resume objective or hobbies, may be included if they bolster your application and are relevant to the position.

What is a curriculum vitae (CV)?

On the other hand, a curriculum vitae is more applicable for academic positions, scientific research, and medical fields in the United States. These are more comprehensive documents containing research experience, publications, awards, extensive education backgrounds, projects, and everything else a resume includes.

CVs are lengthier than a resume and can be as long as three pages for an entry-level position and much longer for a mid-level role. But like a resume,  you must tailor the contents you provide in your CV to the role. You want to include any of the above information that is relevant to the program or position to improve your chances of receiving an interview.

When to use a CV or a resume?

Resumes are the staple job application material in the United States unless you apply to academia or medical positions. However, CVs are much more common in other countries. In Europe, the Middle East, Africa, or Asia, employers may expect a CV instead of a resume. If you are applying for an international job, you will likely submit a CV instead of a resume, but the job posting will probably tell you what documents the employer expects.

Do you need more job search advice?

As remote work becomes the new normal, it will be easier for Americans to apply for international positions. Thus, it is essential to understand the difference between a resume and a CV. If you are looking for more job-search advice, review our candidate resources to soar above the competition!

Should You Include References on Your Resume

Should You Include References on Your Resume?

If you are currently searching for a new job, you may be wondering if you should include references on your resume. Should you put your references directly on your resume, submit them as a separate file, or not have any at all? The answer depends, and here is what you need to understand about including references on your resume.

Employers don’t use references right away

When deciding whether you should include references on your resume, think about how an employer will use them. In almost every hiring scenario, a hiring manager or recruiter won’t check references until the end of the interview process. Checking your references is typically the last step before making a final hiring decision or deciding between two candidates. Hiring professionals won’t check references as they sift through references. Instead, they will likely ask you to submit them after a final interview to help them make a decision. So, the answer to this question is only to include them if it explicitly requests them in the job description or application.

References take up valuable resume space

If you need to submit references, don’t include them on your resume (unless instructed in the job description). If you are displaying references the correct way, you will have several lines of text for each reference. Thus, including references on your resume takes up valuable space. If you typically have your contacts on your resume, this is an easy way to shorten your resume if you think it’s a little too long; it also helps keeps the focus on your experience, achievements, and other valuable qualifications.

How to send references

Instead of including your references on your resume, you can create a note at the end of it that says, “references attached” and have them on a separate document. By creating a separate reference document, you can keep your application more organized. The easier you make your application materials to follow, the better results you will receive. You want to keep your reference document’s format similar to your resume – use the same layout, fonts, headings, and other formatting styles. For each reference, you will want to include the following:

  • Full name
  • Job title
  • Company name
  • Location
  • Contact information
  • A brief description of your relationship

Include this information for each contact, and you are on your way to creating the ultimate references sheet.

If you are searching for more job-search guidance, JSG has precisely what you need! We have job search advice, interview insights, and more resume tips on our blog.

What to Prioritize in Your Job Search

What to Prioritize in Your Job Search

Have you been searching for a new job for a few months and feel stuck in a rut? It is easy to get lost in your search after striking out over and over again. You start to over-analyze things and either become a little lazy in your search or start treating it like a full-time job. Regardless of how your search is going, there are a few things you should prioritize in your job search. Here are four tips to optimize your time and experience better results.

Quality Over Quantity

Many job seekers make the mistake of applying for virtually every job they come across. That is a massive waste of your time and can be demoralizing after gaining zero traction because you didn’t put enough effort into each application. Instead, focus on quality over quantity. Be more selective in your search and focus on jobs that match your skill sets and career goals. Spend the time you were wasting on submitting countless applications to tailor your resume for each position. Customizing your resume will help you get past those pesky resume bots and land your resume in the hands of a hiring manager.

Actively Networking

It is essential to network during and after your job search. You want to keep engaging with your professional network on LinkedIn, Facebook Groups, and other networking platforms. Join professional organizations to grow your network and potentially discover new opportunities. Ask your network for interviewing tips, introductions to hiring managers, and share your good news with them when you finally land a job. They will want to celebrate this victory with you and know your hard work paid off!

Here are a few tips if you are new to the virtual networking scene.

Self-Education

Throughout your job search, it is crucial to self-educate. There are thousands of free courses and certifications you can earn to bolster your resume and hone new skills that make you more marketable. These can be courses related to your industry or field of work; they can also be diversity and inclusion training, programs that are a high priority for employers. So whether you earn a certification, pass a free online course, or attend a DEI training seminar, be sure to share these accomplishments on your resume!

Your Mental Health

Kindling your mental health is arguably the most important thing you should prioritize in your job search. It is easy to get overwhelmed, stressed, and anxious while searching for your next career move. Add a pandemic to the mix, and your job search can really bring you down. It is essential to take care of yourself. Get plenty of sleep, (safely) spend time with your family, and take time away from your job search. There is a myth that you should treat your job search like a job, working on it all day, every day. It is crucial to step away from your search so you can take care of yourself.

Take breaks in between applications, set up job alerts, so you are not scouring job boards all day, and if you need more assistance, partner with a recruiter. Recruiters can aid you in your job search and take some of the stress off of your shoulders. We can introduce you to new opportunities, champion you to the hiring manager, and offer interviewing advice. If this sounds like a good fit for you, reach out to us today, and let’s find you your next job!

Soft Skills with the Most Demand in 2021

Soft Skills with the Most Demand in 2021

Over the last few years, soft skills have been at the forefront of hiring professionals’ minds. Throughout the pandemic, these skills are becoming even more essential. With millions of people working from home and many others transitioning into a new career journey, soft skills are highly sought after. But what are the skills that employers are in the most need of during these challenging, unpredictable times? Here are the soft skills with the most demand in 2021.

Communication and collaboration

Employers are always looking for prospective employees with solid communication skills, but with remote work becoming normalized, communication skills will be in high demand in 2021. Communication skills come in different shapes and sizes – meeting with clients, working with colleagues, and speaking to various stakeholders. With so many different avenues to convey your thoughts (email, phone, video, chat tools, etc.), strong communications skills will be crucial. You must convey your communication skills in your resume and you can expect to be asked questions regarding your communication capabilities.

Adaptability

Adaptability is another soft skill in high demand this year (and beyond). When the pandemic first hit, companies scrambled to stay afloat and keep work operations running. Many people began working from home while others returned to the office with new rules and safety protocols. The workers who stood out from the rest were flexible and adaptable to what was going on around us. Employers are looking for candidates that can roll with the punches and improvise as needed. Whether that’s a sudden adoption of new tools or a unique working environment, adaptability will be key moving forward.

Self-motivation

It’s easier for employers to motivate their teams when everyone is working onsite. However, with millions of people working from home for the foreseeable future, hiring managers are looking for candidates with drive and self-motivation. Employers will be looking for candidates that can illustrate their enthusiasm, know their purpose, and work hard. These hiring professionals are looking for go-getters that have the determination to get work done and step in to help others when needed. Instead of waiting around being asked to work on something, employers want to see you move on to another task or project.

Time Management

Finally, employers are looking for candidates was excellent time management skills. You won’t have your manager breathing down your neck or walking into your office to check in with you. You will be expected to manage your day and efficiently use your time to complete your work assignments. Hiring managers will be looking for job seekers that can manage their working schedules and complete tasks on time. If you are working from home, there are distractions around every corner. It’s up to you to establish a schedule that works for both you and your team.

Are you looking for tips to demonstrate these soft skills?

Now that you know the soft skill with the most demand, it’s time to illustrate them to the hiring manager. You can do this in both your resume and during your interview. If you are looking for some advice on how to show a prospective employer that you possess these four skills, review our job search resources today!

How to Beat the Resume Bots

How to Beat the Resume Bots

Did you know that 75% of job applications are rejected before a pair of eyes even lay on it? Now more than ever, employers will be utilizing application tracking systems (ATS) to filter out candidates’ resumes. Millions of people looking for new employment opportunities and an ATS helps hiring professionals to weed out resumes to make the hiring process more manageable. So, how can you optimize your resume to get past the resume bots and into the hands of the hiring manager?

What is an application tracking system?

An ATS is essentially a software hiring professionals use to collect, sort, scan, and rank the job applications they receive. They are basically a gatekeeper for employers and recruiters to efficiently filter out or find candidates for open positions. ATS software was initially designed for larger corporations that receive thousands of applications each week but are commonly used by many employers to streamline their hiring processes.

So, how can job seekers get past these resume bots and get their resumes seen by a human being?

Clean formatting and layout

ATS is a piece of software – it can’t use logic to analyze unique resumes with fancy designs. In other words, your resume should have a clean format and layout. Don’t try and cram everything on a single page (your resume can be longer), don’t hide your contact details, omit any graphics or headshots, and use a standard font and headings. Also, be sure to save your resume as a Word document or PDF file because 43% of resumes are submitted in an incompatible file type. Keep it simple and easy to read if you want to get past the resume bots.

Use keywords from the job description

If you want your resume to enter a hiring manager’s hands, you must tailor your resume. Gone are the days of submitting the same resume over and over and hoping your get a call to schedule an interview. To get past an ATS, you need to include keywords and phrases that match the job description. The ATS is looking for specific skill sets, experiences, certifications, and other essential qualifications. Take time to review the job description and tweak your resume carefully so it matches it (without lying about your qualifications, of course). If you don’t tailor your resume for each position, the ATS will filter you out no matter how strong of a candidate you are.

Use bulleted lists

Bulleted lists are easy for both bots and humans to read. You can use lists for your accomplishments, skills section, and job duties. However, it’s best to keep it simple. Don’t use fancy bullet points or other indications for your bullets. Stick to classic bullet points like solid circles, squares, or dashes to ensure your resume is compatible with an ATS. We often see elaborate bullet points that you might think make your resume stand out but, in reality, are impossible for an ATS to scan and comprehend.

Need more resume advice?

These are three simple ways you can optimize your resume to beat the bots. If you are looking for more resume advice, check out our resume resources page. We have dozens of helpful tips, tricks, and insight to help your job search end with an offer letter.

How to Shorten Your Resume

How to Shorten Your Resume

Have you ever spent a decent chunk of time updating your resume only to review it and ask yourself, “Is my resume too long?” Most of us have been in this position before; it can be challenging to shorten your resume without removing crucial skillsets, achievements, or working experience. Here are a few easy tips to trim down your resume.

Keep your resume objective short

More and more job seekers are including a resume objective, and that’s great. We encourage it, especially if you have been unemployed due to the pandemic. A resume objective is an excellent means to express your career goals, share what you are looking for in a new job, and explain why you may be out of work or transitioning into a new career path. However, an objective should be brief, just a sentence or two in length. If you feel the need to explain anything else, you can easily do so in your cover letter. Keeping your resume objective concise will help you shorten your resume without trimming any of your work experience.

Reduce your education section

Another easy way to shorten your resume is to slim down your education section. Your education is essential, and you should be proud of it, but you can keep it relatively short if you are an experienced job seeker. If you are 5+ years into your career, you can safely remove your GPA, course work, and other details. In most cases, all you need is your university or program’s name, the degree or certificate you received, and the date you completed your education. That’s it! Hiring managers and recruiters don’t care that you took a Macro Economics class if you are applying for a leadership role that has nothing to do with econ.

The only exception here is if you are fresh out of school. If you recently graduated, then you can leave some more details about your education.

Cutback irrelevant working experience

If you still need to shorten your resume, try cutting back some of your more irrelevant working experience. Many job seekers feel obligated to put every single job they have ever had on their resume. Instead, only include relevant work history if you are further into your career. A great example of this is internships or summer jobs. If you are 15 years into your career, you don’t need to put your four-month job at Dairy Queen on there. Remove any unnecessary work experience to make your resume more concise, giving you more room to elaborate on your more relevant work experience.

Remove your headshot

If you are one of those who have a headshot on the top of your resume, you can eliminate that to save some space. Your headshot has no place on your resume, and it can actually hurt your chances of advancing through the interview process. Also, with an increased emphasis on diversity, equality, and inclusion efforts, a picture of yourself can hinder your chances of securing an interview. Plus, it frees up some valuable real estate on your resume!

Does my resume have to be one page long?

So, those are four easy ways to shorten your resume. If you are trying to shorten because you feel your resume needs to be on a single page, stop right there. It is acceptable to have a resume longer than a single page in most circumstances. By keeping it under a page, you can be leaving off valuable skills and experiences. For more details on the one-page resume, check out our blog here.