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4 Basic Job Search Mistakes To Fix Immediately

4 Basic Job Search Mistakes To Fix Immediately

Searching for a new job can be overwhelming, especially if you have been on the hunt for a while. If you are one of the millions of people gaining confidence in your career prospects and you’re ready to make a move, it’s time to brush off those cobwebs. Here are four job search mistakes you must fix immediately to secure your next job opportunity.

Your LinkedIn profile is MIA

Did you know that 90% of recruiters use LinkedIn as their primary recruiting tool? With over 6 million jobs currently available in the United States, and over 180 million users, LinkedIn has a plethora to offer. Even if you are not a “social media person,” LinkedIn is a must-have job searching tool! You can create job search alerts, connect with hiring managers, and filter job search results to find the exact opportunity you are looking for.

If you are not on LinkedIn, how do you expect hiring managers to find you? Sometimes the best opportunities are the ones you don’t even have to look for.

Furthermore, you must update and optimize your LinkedIn to make the most of this powerful tool. Update all your work experience, add your skills and certifications, and craft an eye-catching summary. If you want to attract hiring managers, you must get your LinkedIn up to date before starting your search.

Your resume and application materials are stale

Secondly, if you’re applying for jobs with stale application materials, you’re guilty of one of the biggest job search mistakes. Spend some time tailoring your resumetweaking your cover letter, and refreshing your references. Even if you are working in the same position since you last updated your materials, it’s essential to include your most relevant and newest qualifications. So, take an evening to add your quarantine skills, latest accomplishments, or projects, and ensure your references are accurate and ready to vouch for your candidacy.

You aren’t showing off your personality

Your experiences and your qualifications are vital when searching for a new job. However, if you fail to inject your personality into your candidacy and application materials, you likely won’t get far in the hiring process. Hiring managers are looking for more than just your skills; most hiring professionals want to see a glimpse of your personality. Of course, you have an opportunity to do that during an interview. But if you can give hiring managers an idea of who you are outside of work before your interview, it may help you get over the hump. You can easily do this by sharing your hobbies on your resume or having a little fun with your LinkedIn profile.

Thank you notes are lackluster (or non-existence)

Are you one of the 13% of job seekers that never send thank-you notes after your interviews? If so, this is one of the biggest job search mistakes you can make. Sending a brief thank-you note is an effective way to showcase your gratitude, reiterate how excited you are about the position, and remind the interviewers how well you align with the role. If you do send thank-you notes, make sure you are making the most out of them to really leave a strong impression.

Here are some thank-you note best practices to help you seal the deal after your next job interview.

Looking to avoid more job search mistakes?

So, if you are ready to make a career move, avoid these four job search mistakes. If you are interested in reviewing more advice to take your search to the next level, take a look at our blog! We have tons of helpful job search, interviewing, and resume advice to help you stand out from the competition. Or, if you are ready to get started, review our jobs here! We have hundreds of exciting opportunities across North America.

Five Video Interview Mistakes to Avoid this Year

Five Video Interview Mistakes to Avoid this Year

As employers begin their return to the office or working onsite, virtual interviewing is here to stay. Even when the virus is in the rearview mirror, most employers will rely on video interviews to streamline the hiring process, cut hiring costs, and expand their talent pools. With this newly adopted interviewing format, here are five video interview mistakes to avoid this year.

Joining the video interview late

Like a traditional face-to-face interview, the last thing you want to do is arrive late. Being tardy for your meeting is one of the biggest video interview mistakes you can make. If you are interviewing at home, you have no excuses to be punctual. You don’t have to drive or take public transportation to the meeting, find the right office, and arrive on time. Launch the video interview application a few minutes before your meeting to ensure you are on time. Starting your interview a few minutes late will create some unnecessary stress and derail your entire interview.

Not familiarizing yourself with the technology

Familiarizing yourself with the technology is as important as logging into the video application early. Logging on early does you no good if you have no idea how to navigate the technology. You don’t want to be fumbling around on your computer trying to fix your audio, turn on your camera, or remove a silly video filter. Many mainstream video technologies like Zoom or Microsoft Teams are similar; however, if you never used the application before, it’s wise to familiarize yourself with it before your interview.

Surrounding yourself with distractions

Another video interview mistake to avoid is not eliminating distractions. You must eliminate things that will distract you from performing your best and remove anything that may distract your interviewers. That means interviewing in a quiet, well-lit room with a clean background. Keep your kids and pets distracted for the meeting with their favorite show or a new treat, and clean the space around you. Practicing with the technology beforehand will help you identify anything you need to remove from your interviewing area that might cause an unwanted distraction.

Showcasing poor communication skills

If you want your interview to result in a job offer, you must showcase excellent communication skills (especially if this is for a remote opportunity). Sometimes, it can be challenging to facilitate a conversation over a video call. The key to ensuring strong communication skills is listening. Instead of jumping at every chance to speak, listen to your interviewer. Listen intently to understand their questions, wait a few seconds after they finish talking to avoid any interruptions, and ask follow-up questions. It is essential to be engaging, ask thoughtful questions, and answer their questions in detail.

Not sending a thank-you email

Finally, one of the most common video interview mistakes is failing to send a thank you email afterward. Just like a traditional interview, you must always send a thank you note. Bonus points if you can send one to everyone on the video call. Since you are at home, you have the luxury of quickly jotting down the names of each interviewer to send them a personalized thank you message.

Here is a guide on how to craft the perfect virtual interview thank-you note.

The Perfect Thank You Note For A Virtual Interview

The Perfect Thank You Note For A Virtual Interview

The thank you note is a tradition as old as time. However, things have changed recently. As more and more companies are doing virtual interviews, your entire job search process may be online. So, as you navigate a remote interview, you still need to send a thoughtful thank you note. Keep reading for a few important tips and an example template to get you started!

Things To Keep In Mind

Be Timely

It is most effective to send your thank you note within 24 hours of your interview. Preferably, the same day. Hiring managers want to get people in as quickly as possible, and they are making decisions fast. You don’t want to miss the opportunity to make a lasting impression through your thank you note.

Keep It Short

Hiring managers have full plates. They are juggling tons of different tasks, and on top of that, they are trying to fill a critical position on their team. Thus, it’s essential to keep your thank you note short and sweet.

Refer Back To Specific Points

Whatever you do, don’t send a generic thank you email. It’s okay to have a template, but you must customize it for each interview. The easiest way to do this is by referring back to specific points that were brought up during an interview. Pick out a few moments that stood out to you.

Focus On The Future

Towards the end, mention the next steps. Show your enthusiasm for the position, and don’t be afraid to say how excited you are. Your interviewer wants to know that you actually want the job!

Customize Each Note

If you had the pleasure of interviewing with multiple people, send individual thank you notes. Customize each thank you note with a personalized reference. Try to remember a specific question that the interviewer asked or something that they described.

Virtual Interview Thank You Note Example

“Hi {Interviewer Name,}

Thank you so much for taking the time to virtually meet with me today. I am incredibly interested in the (Job Title) role, and I loved getting to hear more about (Company) and your team. I’m excited about the opportunity to (how you would add value in this role – be sure to list specific things you talked about during your interview!)

Please let me know if there’s any additional information I can provide. Thank you again for the opportunity; I look forward to hearing from you about the next steps!”

No matter what, don’t fall into the 76% of interviewees that don’t send a thank you note. This one small detail could be the thing that sets you apart from the rest!

Interested in more interview tips? Explore the rest of our candidate blogs here.

didn't receive a job offer

Three Simple Reasons You Didn’t Receive A Job Offer

Have you ever walked into an interview, thought you nailed it, only to be stunned a few days later when you didn’t receive a job offer? That is one of the most gut-wrenching feelings, especially in this economic climate. Not receiving that job offer can fill you with self-doubt and throw your entire job search off. It can leave you asking questions like, “what’s wrong with me?”

The good news is that you are receiving job interviews, which is one of the most challenging steps in any job search! In other words, there is nothing wrong with you or your qualifications. However, it means there is something during the interviewing process that can be improved upon to secure that elusive job offer! Here are three simple reasons you didn’t receive a job offer after a solid interview.

You didn’t do your homework before your interview

No matter how qualified you are for a job, you have to do your homework before your interview. You must do some research on the employer’s website, social media, or a quick Google search. Hiring managers will ask you a variety of interview questions to test your knowledge of the company or to assess your fit with the team. These questions are challenging to answer if you don’t do your due diligence. You could be the most qualified applicant for the role but fail to receive an offer because you didn’t connect the dots between you and the company.

You didn’t portray confidence throughout the process

It is crucial to portray confidence throughout the hiring process. From your first interaction to your last, you have to prove that you can succeed in the role. If you are uncertain about your fit with the position, hiring managers will notice. Illustrating confidence in your background and abilities is even more crucial if you switch industries or career paths altogether. If you can’t trust yourself, how is your new employer supposed to trust that you are the right applicant for the job?

Doing your research will help you confidently answer interview questions. Body language and appearance also play a significant role in how your confidence is illustrated. If you are slouching in your chair, not making eye contact, or underdressed, these will all show a lack of focus and confidence. It is even more challenging to show off your confidence over a video interview, so be sure that you are prepared if you haven’t had one in a while.

Here are a few tips to help you ace your next video interview.

You didn’t follow up with a thank-you note

Many candidates believe a thank you note is an outdated or unnecessary step in the interviewing process. Unfortunately, these job seekers could not be more mistaken. A thoughtful, personal thank note is like a big red ribbon on a present. It will help you stand out in a sea of applicants in today’s competitive job market. A thank-you note is your final elevator pitch; it gives you the ability to concisely thank your interviews while reminding them of your skills, background, and culture fit. Too many candidates fail to send a genuine thank you note. By spending a few minutes after your interview to thank each of your interviewers, you could separate yourself from the competition.

Here are some of our favorite templates for post-interview thank-you notes that will leave a lasting impression.

Need more job search tips?

These are just a few simple reasons why you may not have received a job offer, even if you are a strong candidate. If you are looking for more helpful job search resources, we have you covered. Johnson Service Group has hundreds of useful tips and tricks to help your job search excel. Check out our candidate resources today and rise above the competition!

phone interview

How to Pull Off Your Next Phone Interview

If you’re hunting for a new job, chances are you’re going to have an upcoming phone interview. Many job seekers tend to brush off the phone interview and think it’s just a simple screening process. That may be partially true, but a phone interview is nothing to take lightly. It’s often your first impression with a hiring manager (aka your potential boss), and you must prepare accordingly. Here are four simple tips to help you successfully pull off your next phone interview.

Have your resume and job description in front of you

Even after doing some thorough research, you want to ensure you have a copy of your resume and the job description in front of you. You obviously know what’s on your resume, but it’s always a good idea to have it next to you so you can answer any questions the interviewer may have. Sometimes, in the heat of the moment, things can slip your mind, so be sure to have it by your side! Also, having the job description in front of you will help guide you through any interview questions to ensure you communicate that you are capable of the key functions of the position.

Be next to your computer or tablet

Additionally, it’s a great idea to be near your computer or laptop. Have a couple of internet tabs open before the phone interview: the company’s website, their “about” page, their social media pages, and any blogs or news releases. You want to have as much information as possible to help you answer (as well as ask) questions intelligently.

A typical phone interview question is, “What do you know about our company?” Having these resources at your hand will help you navigate this question successfully!

Communicate professionally and clearly

This goes for every type of interview, but you always want to ensure you are communicating professionally and clearly on the phone. Now, some of these may be common sense, but it’s still good to remind yourself of these before the interview nerves start kicking in:

  • Don’t chew gum or have anything else in your mouth
  • Speak slowly and clearly
  • Never interrupt your interviewer
  • And speak professionally (no slang)

And don’t forget to smile! It may sound weird, but you can typically tell if an interview is bored or disinterested during a phone interview. So, put on your best smile and let the interviewer hear some of your personality and excitement!

Don’t forget the thank you!             

A lot of candidates brush off a thank you note for a phone interview. However, sending a nice thank you note can really make a difference when employers are discussing each of the candidates. Send a nice thank you note shortly after your phone conversation. Thank them for their time and highlight a few of the things you enjoyed discussing. And if you like what you hear, don’t be afraid to let them know that in your thank you!

Need some help crafting your thank you note? Here are some helpful tips that might help!

Thank-You Note Templates For Any Type Of Interview

Thank-You Note Templates For Any Type Of Interview

Thank-You Note Templates For Any Type Of Interview

As a professional job seeker, you certainly know how important it is to send a great thank-you note after an interview. However, not every interview is the same, and neither should your thank you notes! We’re breaking down each type of interview you may encounter during the hiring process and what the corresponding thank you should include (with examples!)

Phone Interview

The note you send after a phone interview should be brief and focus on the next steps. If you discussed any additional documents such as a portfolio or references, be sure to include them with your thank-you note.

Example:

Hi John,

Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me today. I really enjoyed getting to know more about ABC Company and the Project Manager position.

I look forward to hearing from you regarding the next steps! Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

Sincerely, 

Jane

Video Interview

A video interview is slightly more personal than a phone. However, your thank-you note should still be concise. Use the same general tone of your phone interview thank-you, but add a little more detail about getting some “face time” with the hiring manager.

Hi John,

Thank you so much for virtually meeting with me today! It was great to put a face to the name, and I am really looking forward to meeting the rest of the team. Please let me know if there’s any additional information I can provide between now and then.

Sincerely,

Jane

In-Person Interview

This is where your thank-you note can get a little more personal. Typically an in-person interview will go much more in-depth, and you will learn further details about the position, team, and company. It’s important to reiterate some of those details and really cement the rapport you established during the interview.

Example:

Hi John,

Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me today. I especially enjoyed learning more about the Process Improvement that your team has been implementing over the past few months. I really look forward to continuing that initiative and assisting in helping ABC Company achieve it’s growth goals.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you regarding the next steps!

Thank you again,

Jane

Panel Interview

Panel interviews can be a bit tricky. If you have every individuals’ email address, you’ll want to send them a separate message. In each message, follow the format of the in-person interview thank-you note, addressing a specific topic you discussed with each person, if possible! If you coordinated the interview with a single contact, it’s totally appropriate to write a group thank-you and request that they forward it on. In the single email, feel free to address each individual still.

Example:

Hi John, Jim, and Jackie,

Thank you all for taking the time to meet with me today! I thoroughly enjoyed getting to speak with each of you regarding the Project Manager position with ABC Company. 

John, I appreciated you sharing more insight into the leadership structure within the Project team. My experience working with large teams would definitely be an asset in that environment.

Jim, thank you so much for discussing the Project Manager’s role in working with the IT department. In my last position, I enjoyed worked very closely with our IT Director and found it made a significant impact on achieving company goals.

Jackie, I loved hearing more about the team dynamics from you. Thank you for sharing some insight into the day-to-day tasks and culture of the Project Management team.

Again, thank you, everyone! Please let me know if you have any additional questions. I look forward to hearing from you!

Sincerely,

Jane

So, whether you’re upcoming interview is on the phone, virtual, or face-to-face, these guidelines will help you leave a lasting impression on your prospective employer. Good luck!

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!

thank you

How to Write the Perfect Post-Interview Thank You Note

thank you note

Congratulations! You’ve navigated your way through the job interview and you’re excited about the opportunity. The company is everything that you are looking for and you feel like you nailed the interview. But wait! Now is not the time to sit back and wait to hear back from HR. You must send a thank you note to seal the deal.

Here’s how to write the perfect thank you note that’ll leave a lasting impression on the interviewers.

Highlight why you are the best candidate

Now, I’m not saying you should actually state that you are the best candidate in your thank you note. However, this is your opportunity to remind them why you are a perfect fit for the position. Remember, your goal is to express your gratitude, not make another pitch. Subtly remind them why you are a good fit for not only the position but also for the organization!

Send a thank you to each interviewer

This is crucial. You must send a thank you note to each person you interviewed with. And you can’t just send the same thank you note to each interviewer. You must make each email unique. The easiest way to do this is to bring a notebook with you for an interview.

To be polite, you can ask the interviewers if it’s okay to jot down some notes during the interview. Write down everyone’s name on a notebook so you remember their names. When crafting your notes, reflect on something each interviewer said and mention that in your interview. For example, if an interviewer brings up a new product launch, you can say something like “I enjoyed discussing ABC company’s recent product launch and how it…” By mentioning a certain talking point in your thank you, it proves that you mean business about the job.

Send it promptly

This is key. Sending a thank you note is important. But sending it promptly can make or break your chances of progressing through the interviewing process. If you wait until the end of the day to send it, chances are, the employer has interviewed another candidate. Think about it: If they have interviewed another candidate and they promptly send their well-crafted thank you, you instantly become an afterthought.

If you want to leave a lasting impression, it’s best to send a thank you note within the hour. What happens after a job interview? Everyone that sat in on the interviewer starts talking about you and how well you did. The best possible scenario that could happen is them sitting around the office talking about how much they liked you and boom! They get a notification on their phone from the thank you note you just sent. Pretty impactful, right?

Let your personality shine through

Yes, hiring managers are concerned with your hard skills and qualifications. But they are also interested in learning your soft skills. Employers can train you to learn hard skills, such as using Excel spreadsheets, understanding a new CRM, or blogging. However, they can’t teach you soft skills like critical thinking or certain personality traits.

With this tight market, employers want to know the real you and ensure that you’re a good fit for the organization as well as the role. Showing your personality is a great way to prove that you’ll be a successful addition to the team.

If you follow these steps, you’ll surely get a call back from the hiring manager. Good luck!