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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!

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.”

interview

Don’t Forget This Prep Before Your Next Interview

interview

You submitted your resume and cover letter and were fortunate enough to secure an interview. You’ve actively been performing due diligence, trying to get a feel for what it’s like to work there. You’ve selected the perfect outfit, and are practicing responses to commonly asked questions you’ve found online. While these are essential in your preparedness for your interview, many candidates forget these preparation steps that make them stand out from the competition.

Soften Up

Your hard skills are likely what moved you from the resume to the interview stage. But now that you’re here, your soft skills and character will also play a part in the hiring decision. Soft skills are a mixture of your social, people, and communication skills that, combined with your personality traits, allow you to understand an environment and work well with those around you.

A recent survey of over 5,000 talent professionals reveals that 91% felt that soft skills will be important to the future of the workplace. Soft skills topped this list that also included work flexibility (72%) and anti-harassment (71%). 45% of those interviewed indicated that bad hires often lacked soft skills, with another 44% claiming it was a lack of a combination of soft and hard skills. As you can tell from these numbers, employers want to hire people who have soft skills. So how do you showcase yours and what can you do to prepare this information?

Tell Your Story (Then Prove It)

Leading up to the interview, practice is key. While researching common interview questions can be helpful, it’s key to practice talking about yourself because it’s harder than you think. Make a list of your top three to five soft skills. They should be clear and specific, as you aren’t hinting at being adaptable, you are telling them you are adaptable. While apprehension is common because this can feel like bragging, it is exactly what this time has been allotted for. This is your chance to talk about yourself, rather than counting on the hiring manager to connect the dots on their own once the interview has concluded.

Now that you’ve shared your soft skills, you need to back it up. Words mean nothing without evidence. A statement about being adaptable will be much more powerful with proof behind it. So, make sure to back this claim up with a quick but relevant example. Try to showcase a situation when you demonstrated the soft skills discussed.

Sticking with the adaptability example, one could share a story about taking on more responsibility in a previous role. Just be prepared to explain any example you give. The best way to ensure that your story proves your point is to practice ahead of time.

thank you note

Sealing the Deal with a Thank-You Note

thank you note

So, you have just returned from a job interview, and you feel it went exceptionally well. Time to sit back and wait for someone to call with an offer, right? Wrong, your job isn’t quite done yet! You need to take advantage of this opportunity to further their belief that you are the best fit for this position or company. How can you do this post-interview though? A simple thank-you note can work wonders when it comes to creating a lasting impression. Don’t believe us? One in five interviewers completely dismiss candidates that don’t send a thank-you note or email. So, when you craft yours, make sure it encompasses the following:

Highlight Yourself

This does not mean you should pen a note bluntly stating, “I am the best.” A thank-you note is not another chance to pitch yourself. Instead, it’s a subtle opportunity to reiterate what you learned during the interview process and how you will make an impact in this role. Convey gratitude for the interviewer’s time and make a meaningful connection between yourself and the company.

It’s Timely

While sending a thank-you note is important, timing is key. The whole purpose of this note is to reinforce the idea that you are the best person this company could hire. However, chances are, you are one of many individuals vying for this job. To avoid becoming lost amongst a crowded pool of candidates, send a thank-you note an hour or two following your interview. Why so soon? Because following most interviews, everyone who was present often discusses you and your interview. That thank-you note elevates this conversation, reiterates why you are the best choice, and displays promptness.

Showoff those Soft Skills

There’s no doubt that hiring managers care about your hard skills. Often, they are what gets you from the resume stage into an actual interview. However, soft skills are not to be overlooked! While an employer could teach you things like how to use their CRM software, certain personality traits like critical thinking are challenging to learn. Employers look for hard workers; candidates who fit their company culture and provide value to a team. Your thank-you note is just another opportunity to showcase your soft skills and prove you will be a positive addition to their team!

soft skills

What Are Soft Skills and Why Are They Important?

soft skills

If you are on the market for a new job, you are not alone. With roughly 7.6 million job openings across the US, people are leaving their jobs for better opportunities every single day. If you’ve been browsing potential new careers, there’s no doubt you’ve seen employers express interest in “soft skills.” So what are soft skills are why do employers care about them so much?

What Are Soft Skills?

Soft skills are a mixture of social, people, and communication skills. Combined with your personality traits, they allow you to understand an environment and work well with those around you. They contrast with “hard skills,” which are typically more technical, specifically teachable, and can be defined or measured. Think of a person’s writing ability or familiarity with a software program.

Soft skills are intangible and usually unteachable, meaning you can’t sign up for a class to acquire them. Common examples include:

  • Critical Thinking
  • Leadership
  • Time Management
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Problem-Solving
  • Adaptability

Why Are They So Important?

Soft skills are important because of their rarity. Not everyone has the ability to think critically, the same way not everyone knows how to create websites. But it is often easier to teach someone to use a program than it is to change the way they interpret a problem. For this reason, managers are sometimes forced to pick between candidates who possess hard skills or soft skills, but not both.

One person may be gifted in the technical areas of a job but isn’t a strong communicator. Another may lack experience in the technical disciplines, but has a track record for creative problem-solving and leadership experience. Often, the latter candidate is more attractive, as hiring either person comes with the expectation of them learning the skills they lack. Because hard skills are easier to teach, employers look to hire those who will ultimately be successful with the right training from leadership.

To illustrate this point, LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends 2019 report, 92% of talent professionals reported that soft skills are equally or more important to hire for than hard skills.

How Do I Showcase Them?

The challenging thing about soft skills is demonstrating you possess them. Anyone can say they are a good problem solver and adaptable on their resume, but how do you prove this? The best opportunity you may get is in your cover letter. Use the cover letter to tell a story that lets these intangibles shine through your background and experiences. Give specific examples of a project that was a success and connect it to a solution you devised.

This strategy is the same if you find yourself in an interview. List relevant experiences and connect your soft skills to why you were successful. If you can prove you have attained these skills, most hiring managers will be thrilled to speak with you!

soft skills

Why Soft Skills Are Becoming More Important in This Tight Market

soft skills

If you have ever searched for a new job, you’ve probably seen soft skills included on a job description. Whether they were weaved into different qualifications or literally just listed out, almost every job description is asking for candidates with certain soft skills. But what exactly are soft skills? And why are they so important? Let’s break it down and illustrate why hiring managers are quickly becoming more and more concerned with them.

What are soft skills?

Soft skills are a mixture of social skills, people skills, communication skills, and personality traits that enable people to navigate their environment and work well with others. Essentially, soft skills complement your more technical hard skills.

Soft skills are more intangible skillsets that are unteachable. You cannot acquire these skills; they are inherent traits. Some common examples:

  • Common sense
  • Leadership
  • Problem-solving
  • Time management
  • Adaptability
  • Resilience
  • Critical thinking

Why are they so desired?

More and more companies are shifting their focus on soft skills. Hiring managers and HR professionals are realizing that hard skills, such as web development or writing, are teachable. On the other hand, you cannot teach someone how to be an excellent problem solver.

In this tight job market, the candidate pool is getting slim. Employers are forced to be less choosy when recruiting candidates. In some cases, hiring managers are forced to hire underqualified candidates or candidates who don’t possess all of the ‘necessary’ qualifications.

In other words, employers are hiring candidates that lack the hard skills for the job. They are choosing to make sacrifices for those who have the necessary soft skills to be successful. Hard skills can be taught, so if employers hire candidates with the right skills, candidates will ultimately be successful with the right training and leadership.

Hiring for soft skills improves retention

Hiring managers are emphasizing soft skills when recruiting new candidates because they help improve retention. If you have an employee with a great personality and all the intrapersonal skills necessary to be successful, they will ultimately become a great culture fit. If an employee is a good match for their role (and the company), they’re more likely to stay put.

How to demonstrate those skills

Now that you know why soft skills are so important, let’s discuss how to demonstrate them when you’re applying for a job. Before you even get called in for an interview, the best place to show them off is your cover letter.

When trying to show off those soft skills, you can’t just list them on your resume, So, weaving them into your cover letter is a great way to show that you have the right skills to become a successful member of the team. When writing your cover letter, you don’t have to directly state what those skills are; however, you can illustrate your unique skill set when talking about your background and work experiences.

Even if you aren’t a perfect fit for the job, if you can illustrate that you have all the soft skills necessary to perform the job, you will probably get offered an interview. And once you get that opportunity, it’s essential to demonstrate them throughout the interviewing process. From your first conversation to your thank you note, you must show you have what it takes to perform the job. If you can prove that you have those skills, most hiring managers would be thrilled to speak with you about the job.

soft skills

Top 5 Soft Skills Managers Look For When Hiring

soft skills

If you’re on the job market, you’ve probably heard about the importance of “soft-skills.” In today’s day and age, they can be the difference between you landing the job or getting yet another turn down. So hone in on these five soft skills to impress next time you put yourself out there.

1.     Work Ethic

This should be a no-brainer, but companies want to hire employees who will work hard – period. To highlight this on your resume, emphasize major projects and how you were involved from beginning to end. Include any “outside the job description” tasks you tackled. Also, mention any volunteer opportunities or personal development you’ve done outside the office. Managers love someone who can take initiative!

2.     Dependability

If a manager has been burned by an employee once, they’ve been burned a thousand times. Companies look for people who will stick around for awhile and be someone they can rely on. To demonstrate your dependability during an interview, mention times where you went above and beyond what was asked of you.

3.     Positivity

Positivity is contagious and employers want to create a team full of people who constantly build each other up. The best opportunities to highlight your positivity are when an interviewer asks you to share a time you were challenged, asks why you’re leaving your current position, or how your coworkers would describe you. Always keep your tone positive, and even if your current position is making you miserable, don’t give in and complain!

4.     Self-Motivation

Are you the type of person to jump right into a project and get your hands dirty? Managers are always looking for employees who take initiative and don’t need to be micro-managed. You can bring this up during your interview by explaining a time when you set your own goals and then went after them. Whether they were achieved or not, share how you either celebrated or strategized how to do better next time.

5.     Teamwork

With companies putting such an emphasis on creating a strong company culture lately, it’s absolutely essential that you show them you can get along with a team! No matter if you’re a leader or more of a collaborative employee, explain in detail how you have worked on teams before. Be sure to include what was most essential to the teams’ success – things such as communication, honesty, and enthusiasm.

 

Focus on these five things to differentiate yourself from the competition.

Focus on These Five Things to Differentiate Yourself from the Competition

Focus on these five things to differentiate yourself from the competition.

There are a variety of different things that employers look for when they are hiring new talent. One of them, which often goes overlooked by candidates, is soft skills. Although not known by many, soft skills have a chance to make or break your chance to move on in the job process.

Soft skills are qualities that are important for a well-rounded employee, and it’s important that you highlight them early and often throughout the hiring process. Whether it be conveying them through your resume or showcasing them in an interview, showing a company that you’re capable of more than just “data analytics” or “project management” is extremely important.

Soft skills can be a variety of things; and it’s important that you highlight the right ones that are necessary for the specific job you’re applying for. However, these five soft skills are universal and will definitely help you differentiate yourself from the other candidates no matter what the position is.

1.Leadership

Leadership is one of those soft skills that is easier to include in a resume than in an interview. In fact, many resumes feature a “Leadership” section specifically for highlighting this soft skill. Including leadership skills on your resume will show the company what you’re capable of and will allow you to easily elaborate on in your interview.

Leadership is something that every employer is looking for out of its employees. It’s a necessary skill for collaboration and it also shows the employer that the candidate has accountability. Being a leader means taking responsibility for your actions, and admitting when you have done wrong. When you share your great leadership skills, your interviewer will be able to see what kind of character you have and how you’ll fit in on a team.

2.Respect

Respect is a soft skill that is almost specifically designed for the interview. Now, there are some ways to show respect in a resume, but for the most part you want your respect to shine in the interview. Be polite, say please and thank you, and always make sure you talk in a tone of voice that conveys the respect you have for your interviewer.

If you show respect to those around you during (and before) your interview, you’ll definitely stand out to the company. Managers want respectful employees, and showing you’re respectful in an interview will go a long way.

3.Enthusiasm

Employers love enthusiasm, especially in the hiring process. No company wants to hire someone who isn’t excited about the position, so this one is crucial. This is easy to do during the interview as well as after the interview. All you have to do is show your passion for what you’re applying for. Enthusiasm isn’t anything extra you have to do – it should just come naturally, which makes it easy to convey.

By showing you have enthusiasm, you’re showing the company that you’re all in. You’re showing them that you’re ready to give it 110%. This can be conveyed in a variety of ways, but the easiest way is by saying it. Whether it’s at the end of the interview or in the thank you that you send after, let the company know that you’re excited about the future with them, and it’ll pay off in the end.

4.Confidence

As Willy Wonka said it best, “Well you do seem confident and confidence is key.” The last three words of that quote could not be more true. No matter what you do in life, it is important to be confident in your ability to complete any task. This can be conveyed through resume bullets, as well as in an interview.

When you show a future employer that you have confidence, you show them that you are fully competent for the job you have to complete. They will trust you to out your all into something if you are confident in your ability to perform. If you’re confident in yourself, then that makes it easier for a company to have confidence in you.

5.Work Ethic

This is your meat and potatoes right here, your catch-all. The best part about this one is that you can convey it in your resume AND in any interview setting. When writing bullets for past jobs, talk about how hard you worked and prove it with numbers. When asked about past projects, talked about how much you focused to get the job done. Because this is so important, highlight at every opportunity possible.

Your work ethic can go a very long way for you. After all, you would be getting hired for a job in which you will have to work. If you can explain your past work ethic and how those experiences will help you in the future, then any interviewer will know you are capable of doing what is listed on the job description (and more!)s

The Best Soft Skills To Include On Your Resume, Johnson Service Group, Johnson Search Group, jobs, hire, soft skills, resume, resume building, resume help, resume bullets, teamwork, communication, motivation, problem solving, innovate

The Best Soft Skills To Include On Your Resume

The Best Soft Skills To Include On Your Resume, Johnson Service Group, Johnson Search Group, jobs, hire, soft skills, resume, resume building, resume help, resume bullets, teamwork, communication, motivation, problem solving, innovate

There has been a lot of talk about “soft skills” recently. They are the newest trend in must-haves during your job search, and many employers are putting a strong emphasis on employees who possess well-developed soft skills. But what exactly are they? And which ones are important? And how do you showcase them on your resume?

Well, first of all:

Soft skills are character traits and interpersonal skills that characterize a person’s relationships with other people. In the workplace, soft skills are considered a complement to hard skills, which refer to a person’s knowledge and occupational skills.”

So now that we have a clear definition, how do we know which ones to feature? I’ll give you everyone’s favorite answer: it depends. Depending on which industry you are in, your position, and your career goals, you should highlight different soft skills on your resume. HOWEVER, there are a few soft skills that are universal and beneficial to pretty much anyone, no matter where you are at in your career.

  1. Teamwork

Everybody likes a team player. Whether you’re going to be working in a collaborative environment or not, companies do not want to hire someone that doesn’t get along with others and is going to bring down the morale. This does not mean that you need to sit in a circle and sing kumbaya all the time, just that you can working with others throughout the company to accomplish common goals.

  1. Communication

Communication may seem basic, but employers are looking for more than just “can he write an email?” They need to know that you can resolve conflicts, be persuasive, and get the company branding message across effectively no matter what position you’re in.

  1. Motivation

Employers want to see a drive. They want to know that you are going to show up and go to work with them on their passion every single day. What gets you up in the morning? Why did you choose this line of work? Being able to show your passion and your willingness to advance and grow within that space will mean a lot to hiring managers.

  1. Problem Solving

Problem-solving is more about the process you use to get to a solution than the actual solution. Yes, it’s great to solve problems efficiently, but it’s even better when you’re able to show your strategic plan for solving a problem. Actually mastering this soft skills tells a lot about who you are as an employee and what you’ll contribute to a company if they hire you.

  1. Ability To Innovate

This is what you’ll commonly hear referred to as “thinking outside the box.” The best employers are always looking for a new employee to come in and offer new insights that will ultimately improve the team and the bottom line. No matter if you’re a janitor or a Senior Software Developer, offering innovative strategies to do something better will make you an invaluable asset in no time.

As for how to showcase these on your resume? Tell stories. Instead of saying “I’m extremely motivated,” share the story of a time when you went above and beyond to serve a customer or solve a problem. Try explaining in detail the last project you worked on in a group environment and how you contributed, rather than listing “team player.” Paint a picture for the reader so that they can visualize how you would fit in their organization and make an immediate impact.