Candidate Resources

Here you will find a wealth of resources for candidates on the move.

We feature everything from submitting a resume to writing a post-interview thank you note. Let’s start the journey to the next step in your career.


on the job training

Degree or On the Job Training?

I have this debate every day. Every time I vet a job with one of my clients, I always ask what exactly “degree preferred” means on the job description. Does that actually mean the degree is required? Often it does, but there are still many companies and hiring managers who want someone who knows what they’re doing because they’ve done it.

I will tell you as someone who sources people for a living, if I could recommend a master combo, it would be a bachelor’s degree in your field with an appropriate amount of real-world experience. My ideal candidate for well over 50 percent of my salaried jobs is someone with a BS and 5+ years of experience in their field.

As a recruiter, people often ask me for career advice. My friends and family members ask me if they are wasting money, or if their children might be if they go take out a bunch of student loans to go to college.

A degree vs on the job training

I have placed new graduates with degrees in chemical engineering with base salaries above $70,000 annually and know their career paths have them on pace for $110-120k if they can continue to develop their skills over the next decade or so.

I know people who went to trade school with paid on the job training and are earning similar salaries. My advice is this, and it borrows from a time when my hands were a little dirtier from work: measure twice and cut once. Certainly, do the same thing with your career.

What is the degree you’re pursuing? What type of job do you hope to get? Run some searches for job postings and see if those are the types of degrees they are hiring. My experience shows that Chemical, Mechanical, and Electrical Engineering degrees, when pursuing a career in manufacturing, can help you achieve great career success. Essentially, before you rush into anything, spend some time researching potential career paths you want to pursue. Sometimes, a four-year degree will help with that transition. Other times, it may not be necessary. It just depends on what you want to do and where you want to go. But I will say this, there is a definite skills gap across the country, and employers are desperate for skilled trade labor.

Regardless, there are jobs galore in today’s market

So, if you have your degree or some experience under your belt, the companies I work with are hiring. If you are looking for a move or need to work with a recruiter who understands the kind of talent you’re working with, consider partnering with my team at Johnson Search Group. The market is tight, and we have dozens of exciting job opportunities available. Let’s work together to put your hard-earned experience to work.

before your interview

What to do the Night Before Your Interview

Congratulations, you’ve landed an interview! If you’re anything like the rest of us, you’ll probably have some pre-interview jitters the night before. However, there are a few things you can do to prepare ahead of time and help calm those nerves. Here are a few of our favorite “night before” routines!

Prepare Your Outfit

The last thing you want to do the morning of a big interview is run around trying to assemble your best outfit and make sure they are ready to go. Pick out what you’re going to wear, get everything ironed or steamed, and even select your accessories. Are you taking a purse or briefcase? Ensure that everything you need is packed. We recommend a pen and notebook, extra copies of your resume, and maybe a water bottle. That way, when you wake up, you can walk out the door with ease and confidence!

Research The Company

You may already know a lot about the company you’re interviewing with, but it’s still essential to brush up on recent news. On top of reviewing their website and the job description, do a quick Google Search. Have they been featured in the news recently? Check out their different social media pages for recent updates that you can mention during the interview. It may even inspire a great interview question!

Review Interview Questions

While there’s no way to tell precisely what the interviewer will ask, it can’t hurt to review common interview questions. There are a few questions like “why do you think you’d be a good fit for this job?” or “what’s your biggest weakness?” that come up frequently. Mull over these questions and strategize about how you would answer. Then, if they do come up, you won’t be completely caught off guard!

Take A Final Look At The Interview Details

On top of researching the company, review the final details of the interview. Make sure you know who you are meeting with, where you are going, and where you should park. If there’s anything you’re unsure about, make a note to call the receptionist in the morning! As a final step, type the address into your preferred Maps app and get an approximate travel time so you can plan ahead. We recommend getting there at least 15 minutes early to give yourself some wiggle room for the unknowns!

Last but not least, get a good night’s rest! You want to make sure you’re on, you’re A-game for every interview, and that starts with a restful night of sleep.

Relocation

4 Factors to Consider with a Relocation

Being a recruiter in this tight talent market has been a whirlwind! I am seeing a massive need for talent from my clients and other organizations in the market. The unemployment rate is currently sitting at 3.6 percent, and we are experiencing the longest economic expansion in U.S. history.

One of my most rewarding placements this year was my first-ever relocation. When I spoke to my candidate initially, who was in Oklahoma, I asked what his career goals were and if he would be interested in a relocation across the country.

I am not too familiar with the landscape, culture, or communities in Oklahoma; however, my candidate expressed a strong desire to be somewhere that offers a great work-life balance and in an area that provides an exciting outdoor lifestyle for his family.

We understand all the factors in a relocation

Identifying the initial drivers of WHY someone is currently looking to leave their current location is an excellent indication of whether it will be a good opportunity for them. At Johnson Search Group, we pride ourselves in knowing the clients we work with and the communities they operate within. It’s our responsibility to be familiar with the communities, schools in the area, housing market, and other factors that may attract a candidate to that area.

Over 7 million Americans willingly move to further their careers each year. With today’s severe talent shortage, it may be time for your team to consider relocating candidates to fill your open positions. There are four major factors we consider when working with candidates that require a relocation.

Time

Is the candidate willing to move within a reasonable amount of time? Is our client going to move our candidate through the process quickly? Time kills all deals! Relocations are not for everyone. Therefore, we must ensure both our candidates and clients are committed to a relocation to guarantee a successful placement.

Family/Spouse

Is the family of our candidate on-board with the move? Are there extended family members who would have a say in whether our candidate is going to move, and is the spouse on board as well? Will the spouse also need to find work in the new location? When relocating a candidate, you are often uprooting an entire family. There are countless hurdles due to family we must address before moving candidates through the relocation process.

Salary

Is our client willing to pay for a relocation? And is our candidate within the salary range our client is willing to pay? Salary is usually the most significant draw or deal-breaker in a relocation. It can be challenging to navigate the financial aspect of a relocation. The cost of living usually plays a BIG factor in a relocation. That’s why our recruiting team always communicates this with our candidates before we submit them to ensure they understand what they will be making and how much it costs to live in their new home.

Location

Speaking of home, we have to make sure our candidates are on board with the location. We do our due diligence with the information our candidates share to give them the pros and cons of the area. At Johnson Search Group, we always want our candidates to be able to make an educated decision on the opportunity. We never submit a candidate to a job without them being 100% sold on their potential new location.

Let us help with your relocation

At Johnson Search Group, our team of recruiters works with relocations every day. We understand the challenges associated with a relocation and have relocated candidates all across the country. So, if you’re struggling to find candidates in your local talent pool, give us a call. We can discuss what a relocation can look like for your organization and how to successfully recruit candidates outside of your market. Or if you are a candidate looking to make a move to a new location, check out our job board. We have hundreds of opportunities across the U.S. that may be a perfect fit for you!

Be thankful

The Glass is Always Half Full – Be Thankful

It is easy to focus on the negative and to let unfortunate circumstances overtake us. We have all been there. Strength, perseverance, and intestinal fortitude won’t show up as a requirement in a job description or as a skill set on a resume; however, we observe these traits daily (and quietly) by those who choose to see their glass half full. 

Life is a journey, and the paths we take are part of the adventure. As a recruiter, I have seen the challenges job seekers face. If you are having a bad day, just remember it won’t last forever.

Here are some bad days that had happy endings:

  • A candidate printed off their interview itinerary at work, and their manager saw it.
  • Someone confided in a coworker that they were interviewing.
  • Someone got a call from a recruiter and hung up. The next day, they were “downsized.”
  • Someone accepted a position, gave up their apartment, and hit the road to relocate, only to get a frantic call that the company rescinded the offer.

These individuals were having a bad day, but what set them apart is that they saw the glass as half full and showed strengthperseveranceintestinal fortitude, and humility.

Thank you to our clients and candidates

Johnson Search Group is thankful to every one of our clients and candidates with whom we have the privilege to work with. Yes, we all have challenges; but always remember that when the sun sets and darkness ensues, it will rise again and will embrace us in its light and warmth.

We have a lot to be thankful for this year, but one thing we can all appreciate is the booming labor market. The market is strong, and all signs indicate that it will only get tighter in 2020. If you interested in exploring a new opportunity, why not partner with a recruiter form Johnson Search Group?

For over 35 years, we have committed ourselves to our specialized staffing services. Our team will help you navigate the entire process, from start to finish. We’ll do everything in our power to ensure that you don’t have one of the bad days highlighted above.

The glass is always half full. It’s up to you how you want to perceive it. What are you thankful for?

interview

4 Things You Must Look at Before Every Interview

You’ve heard the news and seen all of the stats. The job market is holding firm as we prepare to round out the 4th Quarter of 2019. Many of you might be trying to take advantage of the 3.6 percent unemployment rate and start the new year with a fresh job opportunity. However, if it’s been a while since you were last a job seeker, it can be overwhelming when you do your due diligence before an interview. If you’re thinking of making a change, here are four things you must do before every interview.

Check out their website

Before an interview, the first thing you want to do is take a look at the company’s website. Check out their “about” page; see if they have a mission or vision statement. Many companies do a fantastic job providing insight into their passion and what it’s like to work for them. Check out their blog or news resources to see if they have anything on there that can give you some insight into what they do and why they do it.

During an interview, one of the first questions they’ll likely ask you is, “What do you know about our company?” A quick search on their site will help you start the interview off on the right foot!

Social Media

Another place you need to head to before an interview is the company’s social media. You should be able to easily find links to all their social media platforms on their website. Take a quick look at each of them as the content may differ from site to site. A prospective company’s social media is a great way to get insight into their company culture to see if the opportunity is the right fit for you. It’s also an easy way to find any recent updates, events, or product launches, all of which might be good talking points in your interview!

Reviews

If you want to get an unbiased opinion of a prospective employer, check out their reviews online. You can find reviews on Facebook, Google, and best of all, Glassdoor. These sites provide insight into both the interviewing process and what it’s like to work there. Current and former employees write these reviews, so they will give you a decent understanding of what you can expect before you even step foot into the building.

Prepare accordingly

Last but not least, you must review all the necessary material to prepare yourself! This includes the job description, your resume, and any instructions given to you by HR or the hiring manager. You don’t want to have any surprises during your interview by forgetting what the job is or what you told them on your resume. Believe it or not, it can be easy to forget every single detail on the job description or your resume. The best thing to do is review them before the night before, so they’re fresh on your mind.

If you want to take a look at more of our helpful interviewing advice and tips, check out our blog!

interview tips

Interview Tips and Mistakes to Avoid

As a mining and heavy industrial recruiter, I get a unique perspective of companies’ interviewing processes and procedures. While working with dozens of clients, I have seen a wide array of interview types. The most common interview process my candidates go through is the initial phone interview. After every interview, I get the opportunity to get feedback from both the candidate and the hiring manager. Even in today’s tight market, there are some things many candidates, unfortunately, do that can hurt their chances of securing a new job opportunity.

Even the most experienced job seekers are prone to interview mistakes. Here are several interview tips to be cognizant of during the initial screening.

Make a strong first impression

Making a good impression over the phone can be difficult. An excellent way to combat this is to prepare yourself for the phone interview properly. First of all, know your audience! Take some time to learn about whom you’ll be interviewing with and do your due diligence on the company. If you are working with one of my fellow recruiters at Johnson Search Group, we will prep you for your phone interview. We tell you who you’ll be speaking with and give you some guidelines to have a successful conversation.

We always recommend getting yourself in a quiet space if possible, with good reception and a fully charged phone. Have the job description and your resume in front of you. Also, when you answer the phone, be upbeat and start with a simple, “Hello, this is <state your name>.” This may seem like common knowledge, but it sure beats an awkward exchange at the beginning of the phone call.

Always be prepared

After you exchange some pleasantries, the actual interview will begin. You can generally expect this common question out the gate: “Why are you on the job market?” It can be helpful to have an answer already formulated, explaining why you are interested in the position. And if your working with one of our recruiters, we will help you devise an appropriate response. TIP: Never bad-mouth your employer!

After a few more follow up questions, the interviewer will ask about your experience and likely walk through your resume. This is why having your resume in front of you is helpful, as you discuss different jobs, qualifications, or accomplishments listed on there.

As the interview wraps up, they will ask if you have any questions. Here’s another tip: ALWAYS have questions prepared to ask the interviewer. Whether it’s a technical skill question, leadership question, or a question about the hiring process, try to have questions ready for your interviewer.

Questions to avoid

Avoid asking questions regarding time off, the benefits package, and the compensation. While these are essential questions, asking these questions during your initial phone interview is not the right time, unless they bring it up. If you are working with us, we will help you navigate these difficult conversations. If you have questions about compensation or the process, we can ask the hiring manager or human resources, so you don’t have to tiptoe around them.

At the end of the interview, be sure to tell them that you’re interested in the position, as well as ask for the next steps. This will let the interviewer know that you’re serious about the position and excited about the opportunity.

Partner with a recruiter

If you’re thinking about looking for a new opportunity, have you thought about partnering with a recruiter? My team and I will help you through the entire interviewing process, from start to finish. We will help prep you for each interview and ensure you’re ready for every single step of the way. Reach out to one of my talented colleagues or me if you’re ready to make your next career move.

things your should bring to your interview

5 Things You Should Bring To Your Interview

When you have a job interview, you want to show up prepared. However, you don’t need to bring so much stuff that you’re overwhelmed! Here are the five essential things you should bring to your next interview.

A Great Attitude

We know it’s cheesy, but if you bring only one thing to an interview – let it be a great attitude! Go into it with an open mind, and it can make all the difference. Don’t let your nerves get the best of you, because it can majorly affect how you perform during the interview. Take this opportunity to present your best self!

Copies Of Your Resume

No matter how many people you are meeting with, it’s always a good idea to bring extra copies of your resume. You never know if someone else might spontaneously join you, or if you’ll end up meeting other members of the team. If you submitted a cover letter or portfolio, bring those as well. The more information you can leave your interviewers with, the better!

Pen & Notebook

Whether or not you want to take notes throughout the interview, it’s still a great idea to have a pen and notebook with you. The interviewer may provide you with essential details you want to jot down, like their email address, a timeline for the next steps, or additional information they would like you to send. The last thing you want is to be caught off guard and have to ask to borrow a pen and paper, or even worse, try to remember off the top of your head later!

A List Of Questions

You should come to the interview armed with a few great questions you can ask. (These are some of our favorites!) Be sure to come up with a couple questions that are specific to the company, team, or position. We also encourage you to come up with some during the interview that reference conversations you’ve had throughout. Take the opportunity to show off your excellent listening skills while simultaneously learning more about the position!

References

No, you shouldn’t have your references listed on your resume. You should, however, have them ready and available at your interview. That way, if the hiring manager asks for them on the spot, you’ll have all of their information on hand. (And of course, you will have already informed them that they may be receiving a call, right?)

Looking for more interview prep tips? Check out our interviewing blog section, or partner with one of our recruiters to find your next position!

The Best Way to Take Time Off For Interviews

The Best Way To Take Time Off For Interviews

If you’ve been keeping up with our blog, you know that now is a wonderful time to put yourself on the job market. There are tons of great opportunities out there, and companies are looking to hire quickly! The market is so great, in fact, that you may find yourself juggling multiple interviews at a time for a few different positions. This can be a bit of a burden to your schedule if you are currently employed. Even though you are on the hunt for your next step, you don’t necessarily want to destroy your relationship with your current employer. There are a couple of different ways you can respectfully take time to interview while maintaining a reliable reputation.

Schedule your interview for off-hours

This method is undoubtedly preferred as you don’t have to make excuses for taking time off. However, it is not always possible to coordinate with a potential employer’s schedule. If you have a flexible working schedule, try to incorporate a time that will work for both of you. This may be before or after your typical working hours, or even during a lunch hour. Some less traditional employers (healthcare facilities, for example) can even accommodate weekend or evening interviews depending on when the hiring manager is in the office.

Use your paid time off (PTO)

This is the most common way to schedule time for interviews. We can all agree that it never feels good to flat out lie to your current employers about where you’re going. That’s why it is our recommendation to be as vague as possible. If you can request time off for “an appointment,” you give a valid excuse without being deceitful.

If you go this route, we do recommend trying to schedule your interview at the end of your workday, or better yet, take the whole day off. The more time you have to prepare ahead of your interview, the better. It’s also preferred not to have to go back to your current job after interviewing. That way, you can take the time to write a thoughtful thank you note, and you can typically dodge any questions about where you were.

Partner with a recruiter

One of the significant advantages of partnering with a recruiting firm to find your next position? Having someone on your side to help with scheduling! Recruiting firms are often working directly with the hiring manager and have the ability to schedule interviews based on what works best for both candidates and the companies they work with. Ready to start your search for the next big step? Contact us today!

Facebook Jobs

Could You Find Your Next Job Through Facebook?

If you’re ready to take the next step in your career, you may be overwhelmed with all of the options out there. With hundreds of job boards, company websites, and networking events, how do you find the right job for you? You may be surprised when we suggest that you might want to head over to Facebook! Keep reading to find out how your next opportunity may be lurking around on the popular social media site!

Follow Your Favorite Companies

Before you jump headfirst into your search, take a moment to think about your “dream companies.” If you could work anywhere, where would it be? Who are the leaders in your industry? Which companies have a huge presence in your local market? Go seek these organizations out on Facebook. Give them a “like,” and not only will you get notified about jobs, you’ll also get some insider information, perfect for interviews. Keep an eye out for updates about events, company culture, and features in the news.

Additionally, identify recruiting firms that specialize in your industry (like Johnson Search Group!). We post our hot new jobs to Facebook weekly. We also share resume and interview tips, links to subscribe to our monthly newsletters, and videos of our latest updates.

Join Local Facebook Groups

Facebook groups can be a wealth of untapped opportunities. If you live in a larger metro area, search for job-specific groups. For smaller communities, local groups will be your best bet for finding job listings. Often, companies and recruiters will utilize these groups to discover local candidates with specific qualifications.

Keep An Eye Out For Sponsored Posts

It may be human nature to simply scroll past any advertisements or sponsored posts on social media. However, you should keep an eye out for posts related to hiring. Companies have the ability to target exactly who they’re looking for with Facebook Ads and spoiler alert; it might just be you!

So, if you’re ready to take the next leap in your career, don’t discredit Facebook. There are dozens of ways to find employers in your industry and exciting new opportunities. Just be sure to keep your profile clean if you start engaging with prospective employers!

trick or treat

Trick or Treat: Don’t Be Fooled By Your Candidates

As a hiring manager, you may be surprised by the following statement: October is the busiest month for hiring. Don’t believe us? There are currently 7.1 million job openings across the nation, and according to LinkedIn, October is their highest volume month for new job postings. And with an all-time low unemployment rate, the job market is the busiest it’s been in decades. So, if you’re trying to fill your vacant positions before the end of the year, here are a few tips so you’re not left with a trick instead of a treat.

Improve your hiring process

We say this a lot, and it’s worth mentioning again. As an employer in today’s tight market, you MUST improve your hiring process. Identify inefficiencies in your process and try to mitigate them. Take a 10,000-foot view of your process and see if there is any room for improvements or areas where you can speed things up. You cannot afford to move slowly with an unemployment rate of 3.5 percent. If you take too long, your candidates will simply ghost you and pursue another opportunity.

Eighty-nine percent of hiring managers are currently filling their open positions in less than four weeks. So, if your hiring process (from the first interview to a candidate’s start date) is much longer than this, you will probably experience some hiring hiccups in the Fourth Quarter. Speed up your process and get the candidates you need, or else they’ll find other opportunities.

Set clear expectations for candidates

You never want to spook your candidates away. Be upfront with your candidates from the very beginning, as communication is vital for a successful hire. Let them know what the next steps are and what you need from them throughout your process. Essentially, provide them with a roadmap of what’s expected.

Enlist help from a recruiter

As a hiring manager, you’re busy. You’re trying to finish up ongoing projects before year-end, work on budgets, as well as perform your typical day-to-day job. Let us take some of that stress off of your plate this season by helping you find the talent you need. Partner with a recruiter from Johnson Search Group. We promise to satisfy your candidate sweet tooth and bring you the top talent your team has been craving.