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.


Do You Have The Most In-Demand Soft Skills of 2020?

Do You Have The Most In-Demand Soft Skills of 2020?

LinkedIn has released its list of the most in-demand skills for 2020. This is a comprehensive list created by “identifying the skills listed on the LinkedIn profiles of people who are getting hired at the highest rates.” So if you want to secure a new role in 2020, you’re going to want to highlight your soft skills just as much as your other qualifications. However, you’ll want to do more than simply list these essentials on your resume. Here are the top 5 soft skills you’ll need to tout this year, and how to best demonstrate them to a hiring manager.

1. Creativity

Creativity is best explained through examples. It’s one thing to say you’re creative, but it makes much more of an impact to show it. Throughout the hiring process, take the opportunity to tell a story about a time when you used creativity to solve a problem at work. Or, if appropriate with your field of work, include a portfolio with your application that showcases your creative works.

2. Persuasion

The best way to show off your persuasion skills during your job search is by selling yourself! From the moment you apply to when you have that offer letter in hand, you need to be persuading the hiring manager that you’re the right person for the job. One of our favorite ways to do this is through your post-interview thank-you note. Use this opportunity to recap your interview and reiterate why you’re a great candidate.

3. Collaboration

Collaboration is so important to employers because they want to ensure you are capable of working on a team. List collaborative team projects on your resume to highlight your teamwork skills. Even better, include people you have collaborated with on your references list so they can speak directly to your abilities!

4. Adaptability

Adaptability can be tricky to demonstrate during the application process. Many employers are using behavioral interview questions to determine if candidates have the soft skills they’re looking for. Wait for a question like “tell us about a time when things didn’t go as planned and how you handled it.” This is your chance to show your adaptability!

5. Emotional Intelligence

This is the only new soft skill to appear on the list this year. Emotional intelligence is a rather complicated skill, comprised of a mix of “self-awareness, self-regulation, social skills, empathy, and motivation.” There will be multiple times throughout a hiring process for you to highlight this subtle art. Take every chance you can to show your emotional intelligence. Most importantly, actively listen and don’t be afraid to show vulnerability. Employers value honesty!

Now that you’ve mastered the top soft-skills of 2020, check out our post on the top hard-skills of the year!

In-Demand Skills

These Are The Most In-Demand Skills In 2020

LinkedIn has released its list of the most in-demand skills for 2020, and technology remains king. They develop this comprehensive list by “identifying the skills listed on the LinkedIn profiles of people who are getting hired at the highest rates.” While the skills featured on this list are tech-heavy, they may prove valuable in a variety of positions. Keep reading to learn more about this year’s list and why you need to consider honing them in 2020!

1. Blockchain

Blockchain is the record-keeping technology behind bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. With the rise in popularity of online payments, blockchain experience has become incredibly valuable to employers.

2. Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is the delivery of computing services—including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence—over the Internet (“the cloud”) to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale.” Almost every single company today is utilizing cloud computing in one way or another; therefore, experience in this area is an asset no matter what field you’re in!

3. Analytical Reasoning

Analytical reasoning refers to the ability to look at information, be it qualitative or quantitative in nature, and discern patterns within the information.” Analytical Reasoning is particularly helpful in STEM jobs, but this essential skill can be used in problem-solving across all industries and roles.

4. Artificial Intelligence

As companies seek to automate processes and become more efficient throughout every department, artificial intelligence plays an integral role in advancement. Artificial Intelligence is when computers adapt human characteristics in order to achieve tasks. If you have experience in developing AI, Hiring Managers will find value in your ability to take their business to the next level.

5. UX Design

The term “UX” stands for user experience. “User experience encompasses all aspects of the end-users interaction with the company, its services, and its products.” Today’s customers are all about easy to use products, so UX design is absolutely integral to a company’s foundation and how they do business. However, even if you aren’t involved with actually designing the product or service, being able to speak to user experience at any level is extremely valuable!

6. Business Analysis

Business Analysis is the practice of enabling change in an organizational context, by defining needs and recommending solutions that deliver value to stakeholders.” So, in other words, business analysis helps companies do business better. Someone who is successful in business analysis is able to take a 360-degree view of a business and see opportunities for growth and improvement.

7. Affiliate Marketing

When you see your favorite influencers or celebrities promoting products, that’s affiliate marketing. By definition, it’s “an advertising model in which a company compensates third-party publishers to generate traffic or leads to the company’s products and services.” This has become a huge part of many businesses’ strategies. In fact, companies are expected to spend $6.8 billion on their affiliate marketing efforts in 2020.

8. Sales

It may sound old-school, but sales are skill king. This profit-making skill will not be going anywhere and is beneficial no matter what area of business you’re in! Additionally, it’s fairly easy to pick up sales to add to your resume. For example, take a free online class or read a highly-rated book!

9. Scientific Computing

Scientific Computing is an extremely specialized field. “It is mainly the idea of the development of mathematical models, the use of quantitative analysis techniques, and the use of computers for solving scientific problems.” While not an easy skill to pick up on the side, hiring managers will be looking for scientific computing for any of their open STEM roles.

10. Video Production

According to Statista, 85% of internet users in the United States watched online video content monthly in 2018, and it is safe to assume that number is even higher today. Video production is absolutely essential to any company’s marketing strategy in 2020. Additionally, there are tons of online tutorials about video production that can help boost your resume!

So, which one of these valuable skills will you be adding to your arsenal in 2020? It’s not too late for a resolution to improve your career! And if you’re looking to hone your soft skills, check out our blog of 2020’s most in-demand soft skills here!

3 Common Job Search Mistakes

3 Common Job Search Mistakes

If you’ve decided you’re ready to look for a new job, you’re not alone. The U.S. economy is experiencing the 111th straight month of job gains, and unemployment is at a 50-year low. It’s a great time to put yourself out there and search for the next step in your career. Be careful, though, because there are a few common job search mistakes that trip up even the most seasoned job seeker.

Applying to everything

If you’re applying to jobs by searching “Electrical Engineer” or “Project Manager” and submitting your resume to every job that pops up, you’re making a huge mistake! It is essential to apply only to jobs that match your experience, skillset, and professional goals. Furthermore, your resume should be customized to each open position.

Not submitting a cover letter

Many applications state “cover letter optional.” However, if you don’t include a cover letter, you are missing a huge opportunity to sell yourself! Your cover letter allows you to give in-depth details on your skills and experiences and demonstrate your knowledge of the company and position. Be sure to do your research to highlight your most relevant qualities and catch the hiring manager’s eye right off the bat.

Searching solo

There is nothing wrong with seeking help to find your next position! Whether you utilize someone in your network or a professional recruiter, support in your job search is always a good thing. Even if you’re just toying with the idea of finding a new position, put some feelers out! Your network might have some insider information about positions that aren’t on the market yet. Recruiters, on the other hand, usually have direct contact with hiring managers. As a result, they could submit your resume before there’s even an opening!

Now that you know which job search mistakes to avoid, explore our jobs for more advice! Craving even more insight on the current job market? Contact one of our experienced recruiters today!

contract staffing

Contract Staffing: The Benefits for Employers and Job Seekers

2019 was very much a candidate-driven market, and it’s no surprise that this remains true as we enter the new year. The unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in 50 years, there are more job openings than there are people to fill them and, if you’re like most hiring managers today, you’ve felt the frustration and stress this can add to the workplace. While permanent, full-time roles are a majority of the job openings today, contract staffing can bring so many benefits to both job seekers and your teams. Here are some of those benefits and how your organization can capitalize on them in 2020.

Benefits to the client

Quick hiring process

If you’re looking to fill a position immediately, contract staffing is the way to go! Time to fill ratios for these positions is substantially lower than permanent roles. According to HireVue, the average time to fill a permanent position is 42 days. This is a huge problem because candidates are only on the job market for 17 days, so chances are you’re missing out on great talent!

“Try before you buy”

Hiring a contract worker is a great way to ensure the candidate has the right skill-set and fits well with your company culture. If the candidate isn’t working out, you can end the contract, or if they’re a great asset to the team, you can convert them into a permanent employee!

Cheaper than hiring a full-time employee (FTE)

As most employers are aware, employees are the most expensive asset to organizations with the highest risk. By hiring a contract worker, you reduce your costs associated with vacant positions, as well as the costs related to onboarding a permanent, full-time employee.

Staffing flexibility for projects and overflow

Hiring a contractor for a short-term project is a great way to get the work you need to be accomplished while not having to worry about headcount once the project is over. If you need workers with a unique skill-set or knowledge, this is a great way to tap that resource without having to invest in a full-time hire.

Benefits to the contractor

Contract workers can be a tremendous asset for your organization; however, contract assignments also benefit you as a job seeker. Here are a few reasons why a contract assignment is attractive to job seekers as well.

Quick hiring process

Yes, this is also a benefit to the temp employee. If you need a job immediately, contract positions are the way to go. You can typically start working as soon as you complete all necessary onboarding procedures. Essentially, you get to jump right into your next opportunity!

Try something new

This is an excellent way for a worker to see if the organization is a fit for them. In my experience, if candidates go in and do a great job for the organization they’re working for, they’ll often keep them on-board and convert them into FTE.

Adds diversity to your skill-set

Permanent positions, while great for the long-term, can hinder skill-set if you’re not continually taking on new challenges or responsibilities. Contract jobs are a great way to expand your skill-set and get exposure to other areas in the workforce. These skills can be great resume boosters and help make you a more valuable employee in the future.

Fills your income gap while searching for FT position

A contract job is a great way to earn income while you search for a full-time job. Searching for a full-time position can be a daunting task and usually takes much longer to get through the interviewing and onboarding process.

Want to discuss the possibility of contract staffing?

This isn’t an all-inclusive list for all of the benefits contract jobs have to offer. If you’re currently in need of a contract employee, contract job, or just would like to discuss the additional benefits of contract staffing, I can help! I have added contract employees to numerous banks and credit unions in the Pacific Northwest; I would love the opportunity to partner with more organizations and make an impact in 2020.

career change

2020 Vision: Put Your Career in Perspective

You’ve heard the stereotypical adage “new year, new me.” And while some might roll their eyes at this cliched idea of transformation in January, it’s actually the perfect time to reevaluate your career goals. If you have even briefly considered making a career change in 2020, here are a few steps you should take this month to kick off the new year.

Evaluate your current position

Are you happy where you are now? Consider your role, level, company, and how your employer is currently utilizing your skills. If there’s any room for improvement, now is the time to consider a change. The labor market is as tight as it ever has been, and there are more job openings than there are available workers to fill them. So, whether you’re looking for an increase in salary, better benefits, or a challenge to push you to new heights, there are opportunities out there! 

Think about where you’d like to be

Make a list of goals. Jot down your target companies, and don’t be afraid to DREAM BIG! With how competitive the market is, the world is your oyster. Companies that may have seemed out of reach are now looking for team members just like you. Do your research! Compare mission statements, comb through social media, and talk to a recruiter. Your perfect opportunity is probably out there; you just don’t know it yet!  

Define what’s important to you 

Make a list of what you’d like in your next position. Include the obvious benefits such as salary, health insurance, and bonus structure, of course. However, you should also think outside the box. Many companies are looking for remote employees, allow flexible working schedules, and even offer additional perks like gym memberships. Keep in mind you might not be able to find a position that includes ALL of your dream benefits, but knowing what’s most important will help guide you in your job search.  

Now, are you ready to make a career change? Connect with a Johnson Search Group recruiter today to discover what could be on the horizon for your career in 2020.

Find Your Passion

Find Your Passion

What is the differentiator of those who love their jobs and those who don’t? Passion! Nothing is perfect, and everyone can have a bad day at work. I think everyone at some point will admit they feel that they are on the hamster wheel known as “life.” Getting up, going to work, running errands, going home – repeat; day in and day out. Your profession usually encompasses a lot of your time, and if you are not feeling the love, it can cause resentment, fatigue, and even depression.

Think about it. Starting in high school, everyone constantly asks, “What University are you going to?” or “What are you going to major in?” And so, it begins. You must try and figure out at 18 years of age what you want to do as a career, FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE! It’s like buying a lottery ticket! Only a lucky few will get the winning numbers and identify their career path right out of the gate. 

As you seek to establish your career, understand that your passion doesn’t necessarily have to be only for your job! Here are some thoughts that might shed light on the bigger picture.

The glass is half full, and life is short

A positive attitude will make for a brighter life and help make everyone want to be around you. People gravitate towards positive attitudes, not negative ones. Look for the good in life and on the job – no matter how small it may seem. A study done in 2019 found that a positive attitude may even increase your lifespan by up to 15 percent!

Take pride in your work

Anyone can make a shallow effort at something. How boring! Your reputation is at stake, and people are watching. Why wouldn’t you put your best effort forward and take pride in what you do? It isn’t about the job; it’s about YOU. You may not love what you’re doing every second of every day, but you can still be proud of the work you do!

Be confident in your life

Confidence in knowing who you are is essential to success. Stand firm, and don’t compromise your values! You can’t be passionate about life if you are like a blade of grass swaying in the wind. If you can’t make a decision or stand your ground, it will make for a very dissatisfying life.

Your job or career can’t make you happy, confident, or instill a positive attitude; that is on you! Find your passion! 

Johnson Search Group is passionate about what we do! If you are looking for a new job or if you are a company in the Mining, Banking, or Healthcare industry who needs hiring assistance, reach out to our talented recruiters today. Let us help you kickstart your hiring efforts in 2020!

Golden Rule

The Golden Rule of Recruiting

You’ve heard of the Golden Rule, right? Treat others the way you would like to be treated. It’s a simple concept to grasp. Treat people with respect because you also want to be treated with respect. However, this rule doesn’t often appear in the world of recruiting. In today’s candidate-driven market, job seekers have tons of opportunities to pick and choose (7.3 million openings to be exact). With so many job openings, job seekers have plenty of options, and thus, often drop out of the interviewing process to pursue another opportunity.

And that’s not a big deal. We understand. At Johnson Search Group, we are always rooting for the candidates we represent. If you are presented with a better opportunity, we don’t blame you for pursuing it! We want what’s best for you, and if that’s another opportunity, then that’s fine. All we ask is if you be honest with us.

Just be honest with your recruiter

Recruiting is hard. We spend hours upon hours to ensure you’re adequately prepared for the entire interviewing process and are fully committed to your success. So please, if something else comes up, just be honest. Yeah, we might be bummed that we no longer get to place you with an excellent job opportunity, but we’ll be excited for you and wish for the best. So, you can stop the ghosting and the lies and just be upfront about it – we’ll respect your decision!

At Johnson Search Group, we’ve heard some crazy stories from our candidates when they decide to drop out of the hiring process. Medical emergencies, family incidents, car issues, or worse, we just randomly stop hearing back from you. And while some of these are definitely true, we know some of these are lies. We get it; it’s hard to tell someone no or turn them away. You are afraid of how a recruiter may react to your decision. However, we talk to thousands of job seekers each week and can pretty much always tell when a candidate is being dishonest. And if you are dishonest with us, we unfortunately probably won’t work with you in the future, no matter how skilled, educated, or qualified you are.

Remember the Golden Rule

So please, be honest with us because we promise always to be honest with you and communicate with you each step of the way.

Interviewers

The Top 10 Things Interviewers Are Looking For

There’s no arguing that interviews can be stressful. However, they are the perfect opportunity for a company to evaluate whether or not you will be a good fit for their needs. Sometimes it can be challenging to understand what exactly interviewers are looking for when they ask specific questions or conduct an interview a certain way. In an attempt to demystify it a bit, here are ten things that interviewers are looking for throughout your meeting. 

Do you want this job? 

Okay, this first one may seem obvious. However, it’s not always as simple as it looks! When an interviewer asks you what you know about the company, or what interests you most about the position, they are trying to determine how serious you are. Make sure you do your due diligence on the company and the job before the interview! 

Can you think on your feet? 

You know those crazy situational interview questions like “how many quarters would you need to reach the height of the Empire State building?” These questions don’t necessarily require a “right” answer. Instead, interviewers are looking to see how well you think on your feet. Feel free to walk through your thought process out loud! 

Do you listen well? 

Interviewers will pick up on thoughtful answers and follow up questions that link back to previously mentioned topics. Try to take mental notes throughout the interview of anything that you can refer to later on! 

Do you have the necessary experience? 

Of course, this is the baseline of any interview, right? When interviewers are asking questions regarding your experience, go beyond the basics. The more examples and numbers you can use, the better! 

Are you trainable? 

You may be an expert in your field, but employers still want team members that are coachable! Use the interview as an opportunity to demonstrate that you are willing to jump into an unknown situation and learn as you go. 

Are you in it for the long haul? 

Companies are on the hunt for committed employees. Unless it’s a contract position, they are not interested in hiring someone “for now.” Convince your interviewers that you’re in it for the long haul by referring back to your knowledge about the organization and position and speaking to future related goals. 

Is your working style compatible? 

Are you a team player, or would you prefer to work independently? Do you desire lots of direction, or would you rather experiment and figure things out on your own? No matter what the answer is, your interviewer wants to know how you’ll work within their team dynamic. Try to determine what the team structure is like and formulate your response to fit accordingly. 

Will you be a culture fit? 

This is a big one! Hiring managers are all about culture these days. Often, employers would rather hire someone who is a culture fit but needs a little training over someone who won’t fit but checks every skill box. Again, the more you know about the company, the better! 

How do you measure and celebrate accomplishments? 

It’s common for interviewers to ask about your favorite project or something that makes you feel especially proud. For this answer, consider every aspect, including giving team members credit, precisely what made it a success, and how you wish to replicate such wins in the future!

How do you handle stressful situations? 

As we mentioned in the beginning, interviews are stressful! How you react throughout the meeting will say a lot about you as a candidate. Keep in mind that your body language, interactions with support staff, and the ability to be flexible will all contribute to this impression.

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.