Here you will find a wealth of resources in the recruiting world. With a new topic every week, we introduce tips and tricks on how to nail your next interview and land your dream job!

unemployment

Unemployment: How to Address A Lapse in Your Work History

unemployment

Whether you’re currently unemployed and looking for a new opportunity or you have a gap in your work history on your resume, this can be a tough topic to navigate. If you have a lapse in your work history, you will likely be asked about it during your job interview. However, how you respond to this topic will make or break your chances of nailing the interview. Here’s how to discuss this issue if it comes up.

Come prepared with an answer

First of all, if you find yourself in this situation, prepare an answer ahead of time. The interviewers will likely notice if you have a lapse in your resume. Especially if it’s a significant gap. If it’s only a few weeks or a month, the question probably won’t even come up. However, if you were out of work for several months at a time, it will likely raise some red flags.

But don’t panic! If you find yourself in this boat, take a few minutes to prepare your answer beforehand so you can answer it briefly and move on to the next question.

Keep it positive

Regardless of why you were/are unemployed, keep your answer positive. If you were laid off or fired, don’t start badmouthing your previous employer. That never reflects well on you. Instead, try to keep it positive. If you talk poorly about a past employer, what will you say about the organization interviewing you for their open position?

And if it was a voluntary unemployment, the hiring manager will wonder why you left. Again, keep it positive. Did you take a break to focus on your health? Did you use your time off of work to hone a new skill or earn a certification? By focusing on the positive, you will reassure the interviewers that you’re a strong candidate and won’t bring any drama to the company.

Less is more

This is probably the most important point. The more information you offer, the bigger the hole you may be digging for yourself. Don’t sit there and blather on. Instead, keep your answer short and sweet. Answer the question concisely, positively, and spare any details that aren’t necessary. It can be easy to simply keep offering up unnecessary information to try and justify your absence from the workforce.

Nonetheless, if you come prepared and follow the advice outlined above, the interviewers will likely move on to the next question without putting you through the wringer.

social media

Social Media: How to Clean up Your Social Media for a Job Search

social media

Social media sites are a great way to stay connected with others. You can connect with friends, family, and co-workers. Some of which may not even be in the same country as you. But, with that being said, it’s also a dangerous place that can hurt your future job prospects. If you’re not careful about what’s posted on your social media, you may be hurting your job search. Here’s how to clean up your social media to avoid scaring hiring managers.

Why cleaning your social accounts are important

We have a lot of transitions in life. Whether it’s from high school to college or college to our first real job, these leaps are big and make a tremendous impact on our futures. But the maturity and differences in these milestones do impact your future, especially when social media is involved.

Everyone at times forgets that our private lives aren’t so private anymore. Anyone can look you up. And if you’re between the ages of 18-55, a hiring manager probably will find some sort of social media account that is yours… So, you want to ensure you keep your accounts clean of anything that would get you in trouble with a prospective employer.

As we have seen a lot in the headlines lately, past mistakes will come and bite you so trying to avoid making them is essential.

What should go and what can stay

Social media is there to keep you connected and engage with friends and family. However, if a post is controversial you probably shouldn’t engage with it. If you are having a difficult time with this, ask yourself this question: if an employer you really wanted to work with saw this, would they be okay with it? Or would they want to run to find someone else?

Even though our personal social accounts are supposed to be private, that’s not always the case. So being safe and proactive instead of reactive is smart.

Would you want to hire you?

Like I mentioned above, your presence on social media can make or break your chances, especially on LinkedIn. LinkedIn gives you the power to show your professional self and really make a case for who you are as an employee. If you aren’t being professional or lack the knowledge of making yourself shine on LinkedIn, you could miss the opportunity you’ve been searching for.

Which leads to the question: “Would you want to hire you?” If not, make the changes needed on your social media.

Social media is a great space to stay connected but remembering to go through it and clean it up before you head onto your next job search will never hurt. Happy hunting!

Tailor your Resume

Resume: How to Tailor Your Resume to Each Job

Tailor your Resume

When it comes to writing a resume, it can sometimes feel cumbersome but, it gives every person we hand it to a first impression of who we are as a future employee. A resume is not something you want to rush to do; it’s certainly not something that is cookie cutter and can be done once and used forever. In this blog, I’ll discuss how to tailor your resume for every job you apply to, so you not only get in for an interview but hopefully get the job as well.

Be Specific

When you tailor a resume for the specific job you’re applying for, it’s imperative to ensure that you’re specific in what you’re looking for. Whether that is calling out the name of the position you want in your resume objective or why you’re the perfect fit, this will make your resume stand out. Again, it shows them that you’ve specifically created this resume just for this position and illustrates your interest. Being specific is the one sure way to tailor your resume and help you get the job.

Use Keywords from the job description

Any job description is your best friend when it comes to making a resume specific. Every job description has the keywords and skills they are looking for in a great candidate. So, if you have what they’re looking for and you use those words and skills in your resume, you can almost guarantee you will get through an ATS system and land on a hiring manager’s desk. Which let’s be honest, that’s the biggest hurdle when applying for positions you want.

Tailor your work history

When you’ve decided to apply for a new job, your work history is everything. It can get your foot in the door or illustrate that you may not have enough experience. So, to ensure you show the correct experience, make sure to tailor your work history to the job you’re applying for. The way to do this is by only adding relevant positions that pertain to the experience they want you to have. Pointing out how your jobs are connected and how it makes you a perfect fit for this new position will be a big win on your resume.

If you’re well into your career, you no longer need to add that pizza delivery postion you had for a summer during college. Only include positions that are relevant to the job you’re applyif for if you truly want to stand out.

Quantify your achievements

You want to include your achievements on your resume. However, it’s important to only include achievements that are essential to the position. These accomplishments should support your experience and match up well with the job description. And you need to ensure to quantify these skills. Putting how many of these projects you completed or how much money you saved your department makes your achievements stand out to hiring managers.

Design

Simple designs on resumes make it easy to read. It’s good to be creative and maybe adding some color can make it pop. But doing your best to not make it “too much” is necessary. You must remember that a resume should be easy to skim through and find your experience and skills quickly. This way, hiring managers don’t lose interest or get lost reading your resume.

Tailoring your resume for the specific job you’re applying for is critical to you successfully landing a job interview. Good luck and happy hunting!

Quality Resume

Quality: How to Build A Quality Resume

Quality Resume

When you’re constructing your resume, it’s imperative to remember this is the first impression an employer will see. It’s the first opportunity they have to make their own conclusion of your skills and if you will be a good fit for their team. So, making sure you leave a good impression without spelling mistakes, lies, a hard-to-read resume, or skills that are not fully quantified is needed.

Here are some tips to help you build a custom, quality resume that’ll make hiring managers fight over you.

Marketing Tool

Sometimes it’s best to wipe the slate clean. With so many different resume templates online, you have the opportunity to find a format that you like and really get to the good stuff. The first thing you should think of though is that your resume is the marketing tool that will get you the job you want. It will get your foot in the door and could really help make you stand out from the crowd. With that being said, you need to know how to make it to really impress those hiring managers.

Use Keywords

When writing a resume, you want to ensure you customize each one to the job you’re applying for. This may seem repetitive and a waste of time but in the end, it helps you share your passion and qualifications within every resume. Which in turn will help you get your resume seen, and hopefully, get you called in for an interview!

Keywords are a great way to customize every resume to a specific job. And the best way to find these keywords is to look through the job description and pick out the skills they are really looking for. These words will be easy to find because they will pertain to the job and the skill sets the employer is looking for. So, making sure you use them throughout your resume will get it through any company’s ATS and help get your resume on the desk of the people who matter.

Quantify

Always quantify your skills and experience! If you think about when someone tells you they have experience doing something, which statement is more impactful? Them saying they have a lot of experience or them saying they have 15 years of experience? That right there is the main reason why you want to quantify everything you can.

It helps you put more facts behind your skills and proves that you know what you’re doing. You can quantify cost savings on a project, or revenue generated for your department. Any numbers like these will help you get your point across about your knowledge as well as make it easy to illustrate that you have the right experience for the position.

Bullets & Sections

Splitting up your resume into sections is a great way to keep it organized and easy to read. And when you make each section concise by adding bullet points, it makes your resume stand out and helps you not bog it down with big chunks of text that take away from your skills and experience. Including these visually appealing aspects will tremendously add value to your resume.

Focus on Positive

Always focus on the positive. Your resume is your opportunity to share your accomplishments and successes. In an interview, they can ask you about the hard times. But on your resume, making everything about the positive things you’ve done is the right way to showcase yourself. We’ve all made mistakes and had struggles in our careers but thankfully our quality resume doesn’t have to be a tell-all story about them!

Easy to Read

If you look at your resume and question if it is easy to read, it probably isn’t. One of the most important things every resume needs to be is quickly readable. If it’s not, you may miss out on the job even though you have the perfect qualifications. So, remember that before you make it too fancy! Easy and simple to read will always be your best friend when it comes to crafting a quality resume.

Review

And finally, the last thing you must do before submitting your resume is review it. The last thing you want in your resume is grammatical or spelling errors. It can really set the tone of how people think of you and the interest they believe you have in the job. Don’t let minor issues that can be fixed before you apply to a job call the shots on whether you get an interview or not!

Overall, there are a ton of things you can do to build a quality resume. It may seem like a lot to consider for just a piece of paper; however, these tips are a make-it-or-a-break-it chance for you to get the job you’re applying for. So, spending some time and effort when crafting your resume is definitely time well spent!

offer letter

Offer Letter: 8 Things to Consider Before Accepting a Job Offer

offer letter

It’s very exciting when you receive an offer letter! Especially after all the hard work you’ve done to get to this point. But… The stress isn’t over with yet. Before accepting a job offer, you want to ensure it’s something that’s good for you and your family, as well as the one you deserve. You worked extremely hard to find a new job that you love and that rewards you. By considering these eight things before you accept an offer, it’ll help you ensure that this is the right move for you!

Job responsibilities and expectations

Make sure you read over what is expected of you. Do you have to work odd hours? Is overtime required? Will your schedule vary? These are all important things to know before accepting an offer that looks great but may end up being more than you bargained for.

Relocation

Do they have a relocation package? If you must relocate, you may receive some sort of a relocation package. If you don’t, that may be a huge decider on whether this is the right position for you. But if they are willing to give you one, this can be a big sigh of relief and help make the transition to a new town a lot easier. This especially comes into play when you have a family. Relocating can be hard. But if you have a great company that is willing to help you through it because they want you as part of their team, it makes it easier.

Employee benefits

Employee benefits are crucial but can also be a place to negotiate if they can’t budge on the salary. Knowing how many days you have off, whether they have sick leave, and what kind of insurance they offer are all important to know before saying yes. This position may have seemed perfect while interviewing but checking it on paper will really prove if it is or not. Good benefits will keep good employees at the company and not make them look for a better one after only a couple of years.

Retirement

Do they have a retirement package? A 401(k) or stocks can be a great advantage to you as an employee because having your company support your retirement during your tenure with them shows their appreciation. If retirement is a needed thing for you, you’ll need to look at this section carefully.

Salary

You can always try and negotiate. Nothing is set in stone until you sign the offer letter. So, if you feel your experience and skills deserve more, ask. The worst thing they can say is no but they most likely will try and work with you to see what else they can do to make you 100 percent on board with their offer.

Counteroffer?

What to do when you receive a counteroffer from your current employer can sometimes be difficult. If it’s only about the money for you then you’ll probably take it. But if you were looking for a job for genuine reasons, it will be an easy decision. You started looking because you wanted a change. The reason for that may be amicable or not, but now is your time to choose what you really want to do. Look deep into why you started to look for a new job in the first place. It’s important to be respectful, but if you’re looking for something different than your current company, a counteroffer won’t change that.

Culture Fit

Before diving in and signing your offer letter, think back to your interview. Did you feel good there? Was it an experience that may have been hard, but you felt accepted and a part of the team? Culture fit is essential when considering an offer letter. If you don’t like the people, the atmosphere, or your higher-ups, you may not be the right fit for the job, even if you like the position.

Now it’s time to accept or decline the offer

Depending on these topics we discussed above, it’s now time to determine whether you’re ready to accept or decline. After going through these points, it will be clearer on which route you’re ready to take. In other words, this will help you not regret your decision later. Again, receiving a job offer is amazing, but make sure you’re taking the right one for you.

You’ll always be able to find another position, even if that means you must be on the job market a little longer than you’d like. Don’t accept an offer that you aren’t fully on board with because you’ll only end up back on the job market sooner than later. And by going through these steps, you’ll be able to ensure if accepting this offer is the right career move!

Marketing Yourself

Marketing: How to Market Yourself in a Tight Job Market

Marketing Yourself

When you think about looking for a new job, there can be so much more to it than just sitting down and finding one. At times you may not be “searching” for one, but you may be open to new opportunities. And if you are, it’s imperative that you market yourself in the right way! This way recruiters and new career opportunities can find you, instead of you having to search for them.

Use LinkedIn

When it comes to great opportunities and finding a network that not only can endorse you but help you find your next career, LinkedIn is a must-have! You’re able to connect with like-minded people and others who could help you find your next move.

Even though LinkedIn is a social media platform, it allows you to grow and market your skills in a network that is all about careers! And what better way to showcase your skills than on a platform that can help you grow your professional network.

Updated Resume

Even if you aren’t actively looking for a new position, it’s still important to ensure you keep your resume as updated as possible. This way if you end up finding an amazing position that you can’t pass up, you have a resume that’s ready to go and doesn’t take a whole day to update. Because as you know, in this tight market, a day could be the difference between you getting a job or not.

Market Your Skills

Another thing to do is to remember to market your skills. Being on LinkedIn is important but utilizing it to its full potential will only give you a greater chance to showcase your skills and experience. It’s also a great idea to write blogs/articles about your career, trends you’re seeing, and anything career related. This helps you market yourself as an expert in your field and gives you a chance to reach more people and expand your network.

Networking is so important nowadays because you never know who could help you make your next career move. And like they always say, sometimes who you know can get you further than what you know.

Use Recruiters

When it comes to marketing yourself in today’s tight job market, you have to remember recruiters can help. And they are hoping to find the perfect career fit for you! So, if a recruiter reaches out to you and you’re looking for a change, talk to them!

One, it means you’ve marketed yourself great and they think you’re a perfect fit for a position they are trying to fill. Two, recruiters help you through the whole process of getting landing a new job. They prep you for interviews, help the company get excited about you, and increase your chance of getting an offer!

If you’re looking for a new opportunity and would like to work with an awesome recruiter, check out Johnson Search Group! We are here to help you find the perfect career fit.

illustrate your leadership

Leadership: How to Illustrate Your Leadership Skills in a Job Interview

illustrate your leadership

Leadership is a huge soft skill that employers are looking for. And in today’s candidate-driven market, it can make up for someone not having as many of the hard skills an employer may want… But having this great soft skill means you could get the job just because of your leadership skills. And to help you illustrate your leadership, here are a few key things you can say and do in an interview.

Write it in Your Resume

Sometimes you can look over your own leadership experience, especially if you’re not a manager. But managing a product launch, a new project, or a team within your company all show compelling leadership skills that could help you more than you think. When you take on a leadership role without it being a part of your job title, it shows initiative and that you want to be a leader.

In a job interview, this is one of the best things you could include in your resume. Companies are looking for someone who isn’t just waiting to be told what to do and tries their best to come up with new ideas and is willing to put them into action. So, make sure to put your best foot forward and add these experiences even if you think they aren’t that big of a deal.

Give Examples

When in the interview, give examples of your leadership experience. When they ask you to talk about yourself and your past accomplishments, bringing up your leadership successes shows you are someone who not only thinks about their own success but is also a team player. Giving examples isn’t boasting about your success. It’s proving that you can not only do the job but that you’re ready to be a leader as well! Give yourself the credit you deserve.

Answer Questions by Incorporating your Leadership Experience

When you can lead back to it, make sure you do so. Interviewers are trying to get to know you and all aspects you bring to the table. There may be a few hard skills that you don’t have tons of experience in but if you can explain that your soft skills can make up for that, you’ll nail the interview.

Use this Soft Skill to Sell your Other Skills

Out of all the skills you have, soft skills like leadership and attitude will help you attain goals and hopefully jobs over any other hard skills you have. Having a leadership mindset and attitude can help a company sometimes so much more than having the required technical skills. So never downgrade the advantages your soft skills can give you.

If you’re in an interview and want to make sure you take advantage of your soft skills this is the way to do it. Reminding those you’re interviewing with that you’re there to be a leader and help the company grow will only help you when it comes to getting a job offer!

Keywords

Keywords: How to Determine Which Keywords are Relevant

Keywords

When you’re wanting to apply for a new job, the first thing that pops into your head probably isn’t what keywords you should use in your resume to get noticed. And that’s normal! But when it comes to customizing your resume before you apply to a job, focusing on keywords can be the reason you get a job!

This action is looked over often, but with so many Application Tracking Systems (ATS) being used to screen resumes before they land on a hiring managers desk, it’s important you take the time to ensure you explain your skills in a way that will get you on their desks. And well, hopefully, hired.

Why Keywords?

When you think about it, keywords are normally the skills and experience companies are looking for you to have. So, finding the right keywords is not as complicated as it may sound. If you focus on mirroring the job description, you will get past the ATS in a breeze. In the job description, there will be great words that you can pull from to help fill your resume.

All of these are specific keywords that an ATS will be looking for before your resume gets passed on to the next level. So, make sure you do your due diligence and see what skills and experience they are really wanting and put them into your resume.

What Keywords are relevant

Depending on the position you’re applying for keywords will vary. But like mentioned above, mirroring the job description will be one sure way to ensure your resume gets seen. You want to use words that explain your experience and include the skills they are looking for. If they need you to have multiple certifications, make sure to include them as well.

The one thing you always need to do though is spelling out acronyms. Because even though an ATS is smart, not spelling out everything could filter out your resume, even if you have the necessary skills. And therefore, knowing the right keywords to put into your resume is essential.

What Keywords you should not use

There are also, of course, keywords you should avoid. When you think about revising your resume, you obviously want to make it the best it can be! Sometimes though, we forget how certain things may seem like a good idea to write down, but in turn, are not. Stay away from negative words and overly used phrases. Avoid lying.

If you aren’t an expert in something, don’t say you are. In this tight market, employers aren’t looking for someone who is an expert in all the skills they would like a candidate to have. They are looking for someone who is trainable, a good fit, and honest about what they can and cannot do. And finally, avoid overcomplicating things with big keywords that you think will make you seem smarter and better for the role.

If you’re applying for a role, it’s most likely because you’re interested in it. Overall, keyword “stuffing” will only hurt your chances of landing the job. Keywords are an important part of applying for new and exciting positions but there is a method to the madness! And hopefully, you have a better understanding of their importance and how to use them properly.

 

Kick off your job search

Job Search: How to Kick off your Job Search

Kick off your job search

This is one of the best job markets we’ve seen in decades. And when it comes down to it, that means it’s one of the perfect times to find your dream job or move up in the workforce! So, if you’re ready to kick off your job search, we have some great tips. And they will hopefully help you find a new position that makes you more excited to go to work every morning!

Update Your Resume & Cover Letter

When it comes to applying for new jobs, it’s important to update your resume and cover letter. Obviously, this is to ensure all of your recent experiences are included. However, the main reason you want to update them is to ensure you are catering them to the jobs you’re applying for. Yes, this does mean more work, but it could help you get multiple job offers and allow you to pick the job and place you’ve been wanting!

Gather Great References

When you know you’re looking for a new job, updating your reference list is always a great idea. You don’t want to add them to your resume but it’s wise to have them in your back pocket to hand over to hiring managers when requested. This will help you stay ahead of the game.

Use LinkedIn

LinkedIn will be your best friend during a job search. Not only can you apply to jobs straight from LinkedIn, but you can also say on your profile you’re actively looking for a new position AND do so in private. This way your current company can’t see you’re open to new opportunities. It helps allow recruiters with relevant jobs reach out to you with new jobs you may fall in love with. And LinkedIn allows you to get notifications when companies have an open position that matches what you’re looking for so you can apply.

This is a great tool that makes it a lot easier to find relevant jobs and that makes it easy to apply to them.

Start Applying to Jobs

And of course, you must start applying to the positions. Once you’ve customized your resume for the position, all you need to do next is apply. This can sometimes be the hardest part because the waiting game can be a struggle. But try and do some research. This way, if a recruiter is working on the job, you can reach them sooner and they can get you seen by the company quickly

Be Open to Recruiters

Recruiters are here to try and find the best candidates for their clients. And here at Johnson Search Group, we take great pride in knowing how important active and passive candidates, like you, are. We want to help you find the best position. And if we have the perfect job for you, we’d love to have the opportunity to help you.

So being open to recruiters reaching out to you can be a huge benefit for you. It allows you to not have to do all the hard work and you have someone in your corner rooting for you to nail the job and get the position you’ve been wanting to get. It’s a win, win for everyone!

Prepare for Interviews

After you have landed a few interviews, make sure you prepare for them! You should never think of yourself as a shoo-in for the position. So, making sure you do your due diligence on the company and having some solid questions prepared to ask them will really make you stand out. And hopefully, your interview performance and due diligence will help you get an offer!

Take that Job Offer

Congratulations! Now you get the opportunity to decide that this is the right choice for you and take a new position. This should be an exciting time, so make sure to enjoy it.

These tips should help you kick off your job search with flying colors. And hopefully following them will result in an offer that you won’t be able to refuse!

Google

Google: Why Google is Your Best Friend During Your Job Search

Google

We all know that feeling. The moment where you realize you just need something more in your career. So what does that mean? You’re onto searching for a new position! It’s easy to get overwhelmed and stressed out when looking for a new job. Especially, when you’re trying to keep it secret from your current employer! But there are some secret tips that help you get through this new journey and one of them is using Google to its full potential.

Why should you use Google?

When you’re on the hunt for your next position, ensuring that you use all the available resources you have makes things easier. And that’s important. Google is one of the best resources for your search because it gives you the opportunity to check out multiple job boards and reach job openings you wouldn’t have seen without it.

Google allows you to define your search and helps you find exactly what you’re looking for. And let’s be honest, when you’re looking for a new job, you want it to be the right one. One where you enjoy the company and what you’re doing! So, having a resource that helps you narrow down the positions and companies you will enjoy helps you not be as stressed when it’s time to find “the one.”

What should you search for when job hunting?

Like you read above, it’s important to use keywords and define what you’re looking for specifically. This will help you find jobs that pertain exactly to your skills and experience, as well as weeding out those that don’t. The more detailed you are, the better the search results you will get and the better job fits you will find.

You can also use Google to find good recruiting firms, like Johnson Search Group, that specialize in your field of work. This way, they can do most of the work for you and will bring you the opportunities! Then you’re not the one doing all the searching and you’ll feel more confident that you’ll find a great new position.

Once you secure an interview, Google becomes irreplaceable

Google becomes irreplaceable once you land interviews. The amount of preparation and interview tips Google provides is spectacular. Once you’ve locked down an interview, you’ll be excited! But having information on how to best polish up your interview skills will be needed and keep you relaxed. Being prepared for an interview is something you will always hear us preach. And if you’re working with a recruiter, you know this first-hand because of how we help you prepare!

But remembering the tools, like Google, that you have at your disposal will only help you excel in your job search, find the right position for you, and hopefully help you land the job! Never forget how helpful Google can be for your next job search. You never know how much it could help you from receiving the job offer or staying on the job market longer than you’d like.