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.

3 Steps To Being Ready For A New Job At Any Moment

3 Steps To Being Ready For A New Job At Any Moment

3 Steps To Being Ready For A New Job At Any Moment

In today’s candidate-driven market, there are hundreds of great job opportunities out there. And while you may not be actively looking for a new position, you never know what may come across your desk. If a recruiter from Johnson Search Group contacts you about a new job that just might be too good to be true, you want to be ready! Here are just a few steps that will make it easier when that time comes.

Take Note Of What Your Next Step Might Look Like

Even if you’re not actively looking for a new job, it can be beneficial to understand what that next step might look like. Would you need a significant bump in pay? Are you focused on work-life balance? Do you want to relocate to be closer to your family? Knowing the answers to these questions ahead of time will make it much easier to make a decision when a recruiter reaches out about that next great opportunity.

Continually Update Your Resume

If you haven’t updated your resume in a while, it can be completely overwhelming. You may find your mind going totally blank when it comes to making updates. Instead of trying to come up with everything on the spot when that next job does come along, make a note of updates now! Keep a document with new skills you’ve acquired, awards you’ve earned, and major projects you’ve completed. That way, it will be a breeze to get your resume up to speed in the future.

Sign Up For The JSG Newsletter

The JSG Newsletter is chock-full of job market updates, helpful blog posts, and most importantly, exclusive job opportunities. Plus, you can stay up-to-date on what is happening in your industry, even if you’re happy in your current position. We won’t spam you; you only receive it once a month. Best of all, you’ll always have our contact information on hand. That way, when you are ready to take the next step in your career, we’re only a quick phone call away!

Interview, Interview Tips, Interview Advice

3 Things To Avoid During An Interview

Interview, Interview Tips, Interview Advice

When you go into an interview, it’s important to put your best foot forward. That being said, there are a few things you should try to avoid during this prime opportunity to make a first impression. And no, we don’t mean the more obvious stuff like no cursing or dressing unprofessionally. These mistakes are more subtle, but will still leave a strong impact on Hiring Managers.

Filler Words

We are all familiar with the typical “filler words” you are advised to avoid: um, uh, like, hm, etc. However, there are a few more phrases that candidates habitually use that are a turn-off for Hiring Managers. One filler phrase that we have noticed popping up more frequently is “you know what I mean?”

It’s often hard to self-evaluate and determine whether you use a filler word or phrase. The best way to discover whether you do or not is to record a mock interview and listen to your answers! Once you’re aware of what your go-to words are, it will be much easier to avoid them in a formal setting.

Negative Tone

You want to make a positive first impression, right? Well, using a negative tone throughout your interview will have the exact opposite effect. Avoid speaking about your former employers or jobs unfavorably, even if that’s the reason you’re hunting for a new position. Instead, focus on the positive aspects that you are looking for in your next role!

Casual Language

No matter what stage of the interview process you are in, you should never let your guard down. If you are in the office for an “informal meet-and-greet,” out to lunch with the team, or even negotiating the final details of your offer, it’s essential to remain professional. This extends from how you dress to your language choices, and even to topics of conversation. It’s best to avoid casual language such as “awesome,” “totally,” and “you guys.”

If you have an upcoming interview and need a little refresher, check out some of our top job interview prep advice. We have dozens of tips and tricks to set you up for success!

recruiter, recruiting, job search

How To Get Noticed By A Recruiter

recruiter, recruiting, job search

You’ve probably heard that the job market is pretty great right now. You may even be considering putting yourself out there to advance your career! However, if you don’t feel like blindly submitting your resume to a black hole of online applicant tracking systems, you should definitely consider partnering with a recruiter. So what’s the best way to get your resume in the hands of a recruiter that will connect you with a great company?

Overhaul Your Resume

First and foremost, you need to update your resume. No matter how long you’ve been off the job market, there are always changes and improvements you can make! (Check out some of our favorites here.) While you should always customize your resume to each job you apply to, there are some general updates you should make as well. Consider the next step in your career and what skills and experiences you have that will lead you there. Make sure to list measurable results that clearly demonstrate your value.

Get Your Name Out There

Once you have a fresh resume, it’s time to let recruiters know you’re available! Start with updating your LinkedIn with many of the same changes you made to your resume. You want to make sure it’s an accurate reflection of your career thus far. The more skills and experiences you have listed on your profile, the easier it will be for people to find you. While you’re at it, switch on that little setting that lets recruiters know you’re open to new opportunities.

If you’ve spoken with a recruiter in the past, reach out again and let them know you’re interested in making a move. If not, do a quick search on LinkedIn and Google for recruiters that specialize in your industry. At Johnson Search Group, we have teams that specialize in your industry throughout the United States. They established a large network of some of the best companies, and have managed to build solid relationships directly with hiring managers.

Communicate Consistently

The absolute best thing you can do to enhance your relationship with a recruiter is to be available, open, and honest. Keep them updated on your job search process. Check before you apply to jobs you find online because you never know if they already have a contact at that organization. Someone calls to schedule an interview? Congratulations, keep your recruiter in the loop! It’s essential to communicate with your recruiter throughout the entire hiring process.

Ready to start the job search process? Check out what it’s like to be a JSG candidate, and contact us today!

resume objective, resume summary, resume

Should You Include A Resume Summary Or Objective

resume objective, resume summary, resume

A highly contested topic in the world of recruiting and hiring is the use of an objective or summary on a resume. Should you include one with your job application or not? First of all, let’s breakdown what a resume summary is. Essentially, it’s an “elevator pitch” at the top of your resume. Consider it a place to highlight your most relevant experiences and skills to quickly prove value. Now, let’s consider the pros and cons of including one or not.

When you should forgo a summary statement or objective

In most cases, you should leave the summary statement or objective off of your resume. The primary reason being that it takes up valuable space! The first section of your resume is prime real estate, and you don’t want to fill it with unnecessary reiterations of your resume. In many cases, it can detract from what is most important. If your objective is too general or doesn’t include a clear call to action, it will distract from your qualified experience and skills.

When you should use a summary statement or objective

There are a few limited situations in which a resume objective or summary is necessary. One instance is if you are a seasoned professional with quite a few years of experience. If this is the case, a summary can be great for tying together multiple roles with a common theme.

Another instance in which you’d want to use an objective would be if you have a varied background. For example, if you’ve had jobs in multiple industries utilizing a wide variety of skill sets, a summary or objective can provide clarity about the direction you’d like to take your career. You can maximize this space by focusing solely on your work history.

How to write a great summary statement or objective

The key here is to keep it simple and straight to the point! Be as specific as possible and clearly state your goals and how they relate to the position to which you are applying. Here is a great example:

“Objective: To utilize my 15+ years of experience in Mechanical Engineering, along with my passion for Project Management in a leadership role at a growing industrial company committed to sustainability.”

And as always, keep in mind that your resume is your own. Focus on what works for your experience and future career goals!


The Best Way to Structure Your Resume


You, like many other candidates, have tons of great experiences, accomplishments, and skills that you want to highlight on your resume. However, there is often confusion regarding the order in which you should display all of these details. If you’re one of many candidates taking advantage of this tight labor market, here is the ultimate guide on how to structure your resume.

Contact information

First of all, you must include your contact information at the very top of your resume. Be sure to include your name, phone number, email address, and maybe even the link to your LinkedIn profile. Recruiters and hiring managers look at dozens of resumes each day. You want to ensure they can quickly identify you and find all your necessary contact details!

Resume objective/summary

If you feel so inclined to include a resume objective, this is where you should put one. Keep your objective or summary brief and to the point. An objective should illustrate what you wish to accomplish as a professional applying for the position. And if you include a summary, provide an overall summary of why you’re a strong candidate for this position. However, don’t get lost in the weeds! The rest of your resume should point out why you’re a great fit for the position.

Work Experience

Now, this is where the bulk of your resume’s content will be. You will want to display your work experience in reverse chronological order. In other words, you want to go in descending order, starting with your most current work experience. Some people argue that you should list your most relevant experience first. However, that can confuse a recruiter or hiring manager and make your work history look like a jumbled mess. Instead, list your work experience starting with your current position and only include details that are relevant for the job. That way, there is no confusion about your job history, and it will be evident to the reader that you are qualified for the job.


Now that you have all of your work history and accomplishments nicely displayed, your education goes next. Include the school you attended as well as the degree or certification you received. Don’t include your GPA unless you’re right out of school. Employers are more concerned with your work experience and degree than your grades.


After your education, list any certifications you have achieved. Whether it’s an SPHR or a Lean Six Sigma certification, this is where you’ll want to place those. All you need to include is a list of any certifications you’ve earned and the date you achieved them.

List of skills

Finally, you want to include a list of skills at the very end of your resume. This is optional, but we would highly recommend adding a concise list of your top hard and soft skills. The key here is to add skills that help you stand out as a great applicant for the position. With almost every employer or recruiting firm utilizing an applicant tracking system, it’s imperative that your skills are transparent.

Your resume is ultimately yours

Overall, this is an excellent guide for those looking to restructure their resume. Ultimately, your resume is your professional summary of your experience as an applicant. So you are, of course, free to create your resume as you please. However, if you follow the guidelines above, you will help position yourself as a professional applicant!

If you are looking for more resume advice, check out our list of resume recourses!

Man commuting to work

Why Your Commute is Not a Waste of Time

Man commuting to work

Many people dread the daily commute to work. They find it time consuming and boring, but we are here to tell you that commuting to work can be valuable and fun!

The average American commutes 200 hours (NINE DAYS!) per year. That’s enough time to fly around the world 4 times! So, why not turn those 9 days into something worthwhile?

First and foremost, implement this pro-tip: leave early. From the 8 Daily Habits of Naturally Productive People, we know that leaving early yields a better sense of calmness. Leaving late results in rushing, which directly increases stress. Giving yourself extra time by leaving early gives you time to breathe,  grab a coffee, or cushion time spent in unpredictable traffic.

Below, we’ve detailed 8 productive and exciting things to do on your commute to work.

1. Invest in Some You Time

Use this time for yourself. Everyone needs something different during their “you time.” Acknowledge what you need at that moment when you hop into the car.

Take a breath. Meditate. Reflect through your thoughts and spend a moment being grateful. Before or after work, taking a moment to do this will really benefit you in the long run.

Brainstorm and plan. Plan for the future, plan for the now, simply just plan! Daydream about your next vacation, your dreams, or the sweet treat you’re craving.

Make some goals. Check in that you are meeting your current goals while also setting some future goals. These goals can be career oriented goals, personal goals, or relationship goals. Goal setting increases motivation, organizes your thoughts, and creates long term visions.

Get list happy. Create a checklist. Make a to-do list. Lists are great for remembering things and organizing thoughts. Facilitated list making can be done through some awesome voice-activated productivity apps! Use productivity apps like ToDoist, Wunderlist, or Evernote to enhance your time in the car. Technology is making it too easy to spend our time wisely!

2. Tune into Podcasts

Spend some time learning. There are so many podcasts out there covering so many interests. You have your bases covered for whatever you want to learn about. Podcasts offer it all, whether that’s listening to a fun story or learning something new!

3. Discover Music

Listen to music and enjoy your alone time. Whether that be the radio or music apps like Spotify or Apple Music, the world offers a seemingly endless selection of music. Use your commute to discover tunes, both old and new. Jam out and sing in the car! Let go and have fun with it. This is your time, don’t let your commute be something dreadful that you have to do; make your commute something you look forward to.

4. Lose Yourself in Audiobooks

Train your mind and invest in a good audiobook. Listening to an interesting novel will make the time in the car go by quickly, while also working your brain.

5. Make Connections

Another productive way to spend your commuting time is by establishing and creating better or more frequent relationships. Give your mom a hands-free call on Bluetooth, make it a ritual to call her at a certain time to check in! She wants to hear from you, don’t forget that!

Sometimes the best forms of self-care and personal development are nurturing relationships. Show the people you care about that you care by giving them a call!

6. Learn a Language

Invest in a CD, app, or podcast that teaches you a language. Learning a language challenges your brain and opens you up to new job opportunities. What better way to spend your time than by learning a new skill to show off!

7. Exercise

You read that right! Surprisingly enough, there are many exercises you can do in the car to target all sorts of body parts. The Hearst Newspaper details isometric exercises you can do in your car ranging from abdominal targeted breathing exercises to seated muscle building glute movements.

8. Take a Free Class

The digital world offers free and discounted college-level classes that you can take. Apps like Coursera and Udemy offer courses in a variety of subject matters. Skills and knowledge gained through free courses can make your resume significantly more appealing to recruiters. Invest your time in being a lifelong learner and you will always succeed.

Enjoy the Commute!

There are so many ways to use your commute time wisely. The way you choose to use it is independent to you and your needs. However, we suggest taking this time worthwhile by investing in yourself. Take the time and effort to focus on personal development. Invest in yourself and your wellbeing. The commute to work should be something you look forward to. Use these productivity tips to generate a positive daily experience. Commuting is valuable!


How to Network Your Way to Your Next Job

NetworkingDepending on the industry you work in, networking can be your bread and butter to finding a new job. No matter where you’re at in your career, giving yourself the opportunity to meet new people and get out of your comfort zone can do so much for your future. Whether you love your job or are looking for a new one, networking your skills should always be a priority. Here are some steps you can take to network in fun and easy ways!


Your LinkedIn is one of the first steps you can take to network with like-minded professionals. It’s the one social platform solely focused on connecting career professionals and showing off your work skills in a fun and interactive way. If you’re looking for a new job or just wanting to connect, LinkedIn is the right tool for you. For every 3 people, one of those people is on LinkedIn, which means you’re going to find great professionals to connect with.

The most important use for LinkedIn is to grow your network and get involved. Not only will this help you connect with people who could have open positions, but people who will support your career growth.


Co-workers are a great way to expand your network. Everyone you meet will eventually go down different paths, but if you establish a connection with each person you work with it can build bridges that last a lifetime. No matter the career path you’re on, making sure you do your best to always make good impressions is important. The world is small after all, and you never know where a former connection may end up and the opportunities it may provide for you in the future.

Networking Events

If you’re in sales, networking events are a great place to mingle and find new clients or connect with industry experts that could maybe help you take your career to the next level. Not only are networking events about growing your community and your business, but they also help you feel more connected and appreciated within your space. Human connection is important for not only our personal lives but for our professional lives as well.

Networking your way to your next job may seem daunting, but it’s truly all about making genuine connections and seeing where those connections take you. These three steps above can help you grow in your career with a variety of different opportunities. Never doubt how far being genuine and just reaching out to people can get you when it comes to your career growth. Now have fun connecting and watch those exciting new opportunities come your way!

Timing Is Everything In Healthcare Hiring

Healthcare has an inherent nature of change. It is and always will be a huge platform for change, simply due to the basic tenants and morphology of disease. In addition, breakthroughs in research, population health concerns, new physiological discoveries, and battling terminal illnesses spark continuous change.

Qualified candidates are a huge part of this equation for success. The healthcare industry continues to grow. Growing shortages in trained and certified professionals and turnover rates still drive financial bottom lines significantly in one direction or the other. In the months of March and April alone, the turnover rate in healthcare exceeded 1.1 million! With an average cost of turnover of $50k, that number is a staggering $56,100,000,000 to healthcare organizations over a two-month time period.

What sparks changes in employment?

The most common reasons for a change in employment is often not even career advancement. I often hear it is company culture, new leadership, or changes in state regulations or community environment. The important aspect of all four of these reasons is that they are, for the most part, completely beyond one person’s control. If you experience any of these changes and they are to your liking, great! If not, it’s time to make a change in your career and/or location.

So, you made the decision to make a change. You update your resume and field the first call from a recruiter or hesitantly hit ‘apply’ on a job you see in a great location. The gauntlet has been thrown! The next steps are pretty predictable: First phone interview, second phone or video, and finally an onsite. This final step will determine fit – if you like them, they like you, and the location is ‘all it’s cracked up to be.’

What happens if a wrench gets thrown in your plans?

Unfortunately… life can get in the way. You get a call from a family member that there is a serious health issue, or you have put your house on the market and you don’t get five offers from the first showings as your realtor promised. Maybe you even find out you have an extra month or two on your lease that you did not figure into the cost factor of relocation. Or you have a family member that has a current issue that needs your support, and… Well, you can fill in the blanks.

Now don’t get me wrong, these are all valid concerns and issues that give pause for consideration; after all, family is everything in my book. However, how does that change the nature of the situation that caused you to look in the first place? Will putting off pursuing your career change provide any sort of solution? If you put off an interview or offer, will that change the atmosphere of your current employment situation or community conundrum?

There are some valid reasons to turn down an offer. Although situations outside of your control, that can be managed via telephone or travel on your time off, are not on the list. Bluntly, that’s what airports are for. Fearing change as a reason to postpone what is best for you and your future is not advisable. My advice is to do yourself a favor: When you make the decision that it’s time for a change, see it through. You owe it to yourself and the healthcare industry where you can make a difference. If you made the decision to make a career change, reach out to me or my healthcare team. We can help you make the change you deserve.

Relocating For A Job? Here’s What You Need To Know

Relocating For A Job? Here’s What You Need To Know

Relocating For A Job? Here’s What You Need To Know

In case you haven’t heard, the hiring market is hot right now. If you have been thinking about making a move, now is a perfect time! However, relocation always involves multiple factors. Here are a few things you should consider when approached with a relocation, from the interview process to the actual move!

Involve your family

Whenever you’re considering a relocation, before you make any official decisions it’s important to talk about it with everyone involved. Whether you will have people making the move with you, or just loved ones who would be affected by your move, discuss it with them during the interview process.

Understand relocation costs

If you are relocating for a job, it’s essential to understand costs. If your new employer is covering some or all of your moving costs, that will be discussed during the hiring process and explained in your offer letter. If they are not covering costs, you need to establish a personal budget to following during the move. We love this article that breaks down the true cost of relocating.

Do your research

Before you pack your bags, research the area you’ll be relocating to. Contact local realtors to inquire about school districts and the housing market. Local social media groups are also a great place to reach out and get some insider information on the location! The more you know about the area, the more it will feel like home once you settle in.

Get organized

Once you’ve talked with your family, figured out costs, and do your research on the area, it’s time to commit to the move and make a plan. Create a timeline and make lists of everything that will need to be done before you move. It’s a big decision for companies to hire a non-local candidate and they appreciate your dedication to starting the job on time and with minimal hiccups along the way.