Candidate Resources

This is your one-stop-shop for resources to help you prevail through your job search. Whether you’re looking for interview advice, job search tips, or an outlook on the labor market, Johnson Search Group has you covered. We have tons of resources to help guide you to a successful job search. We work hard, we work together, and we work for you.

How to Write A Perfect Thank-You Email

How to Write A Perfect Thank-You Email

You just finished up with an interview, and you think you crushed it. You’re telling your close friends and family all about it and letting them know how excited you are about this opportunity. But before you pop the bubbly, there is one more task at hand: sending a thank-you email. Here’s a brief overview of why thank-you notes are a powerful job search tool and how to write one after an interview effectively.

Why send a thank-you email?

So, why are thank-you emails so important during a job search? Many people make the mistake of overlooking their significance. They believe they are old school and don’t make an impact on the hiring manager’s decision. If this is how you feel, 13% of job seekers agree with you, according to a recent LinkedIn poll. However, another survey from Topresume reveals that 68% of hiring professionals believe thank-you notes make a difference, and 16% said they ruled out a candidate for not sending one.

So, in today’s competitive labor market, every small detail plays an integral part in your job search, and you cannot overlook the power of a thank-you email. Therefore, sending a brief email shortly after (within 24 hours) your interview is an excellent way to express your gratitude to the interviewers, remind them why you are a good fit for the role, and reiterate your excitement for this opportunity.

What to include in your thank-you email

So, now that you understand how vital a post-interview thank-you note is, what should you include in it?

Personalized greeting

The first thing you must include is a personalized greeting. “To whom it may concern” won’t cut it here. Address the email to your interviewers. If you had multiple interviewers, send each of them a personal, unique thank-you message. Keep the greeting as formal as the interview. Addressing the person with ‘dear’ is excellent for a formal interview, but a simple ‘hello’ will work if the position or meeting was more informal.

Show your gratitude

After your greeting, you want to show your appreciation. Hiring managers are busy, and it’s essential to thank them for their time. While thanking them, ensure you include the title of the position. Hiring managers are likely interviewing candidates for multiple roles, so it’s always wise to mention the job title.

Remind them of your experience and conversation

Next, you want to remind the interviewers about your experience and why you are a good fit for the job. This is where you want to reiterate a piece of your conversation or touch on an area that seemed essential when speaking with the hiring team. This section is also an opportunity to link to some work you mentioned in your meeting. For example, if you discussed your writing experience, you can link to some content or blogs you have recently written.

Hint at next steps

 Finally, it’s time to wrap up your email. This section is where you can reiterate your excitement for the opportunity to work for this company. Also, you can let the hiring team know that you are open to further conversations or to clarify any additional questions they may have about your experience. To conclude your email, thank them again and include your contact details to ensure a seamless response if they choose to reply.

Example of a post-interview thank-you note

“Dear [Hiring Manager Name],

Thank you for meeting with me today about the Project Manager position with [Company Name]. I appreciate you taking the time to interview me and further discuss this position.

I enjoyed talking about the team and think that my PM experience in commercial construction will allow me to be a great asset to the [Company Name] team.

Thank you again, and I look forward to hearing from you regarding the next steps in the hiring process. Please let me know if I can provide any additional information or if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

[Your Name & Contact Details]

How to Impress a Potential Employer

How to Impress a Potential Employer

Whenever you are applying for a job, there is always going to be some competition. Sometimes, to beat out your fellow job seekers, you may try different strategies to gain a potential employer’s attention when you submit your application. However, the best way to make yourself stand out is to give a hiring professional a reason to take a closer look at your application. Pretty simple, right? Well, this process can be a lot harder than you may think. Here are three ways to impress your potential employer and help you stand out from the competition!

Tailor your resume to the job

It’s not uncommon for a job posting to receive hundreds or even thousands of resumes. The bulk of these resumes loosely relate to the position (or are entirely irrelevant). Many job seekers struggle to get past this initial stage of the hiring process because they don’t incorporate anything from the job description in their application materials. The result is your resume may never reach the desk of a hiring manager. To overcome this hurdle, here are some tips on how to make your resume stand out:

  • Include the correct keywords from the job description
  • Have a clean format
  • Be clear and concise
  • Use bulleted lists
  • Incorporate relevant skills and duties

It is also important to note that ATS systems reject up to 75% of qualified applicants. So, you must tailor your resume to get the potential employer’s interest!

Be qualified for the job

This one may seem like a no-brainer, but many people apply for jobs without the necessary qualifications. Sometimes, people apply to these jobs because they match their new career goals but they don’t have much experience in this field or line of work. This strategy is becoming common in the post-pandemic market as people begin to shift to industries that have flourished during the pandemic. If you are missing some of the necessary qualifications, you must have transferable experience or skills related to the job. Otherwise, hiring managers will toss your application to the side. Most of the time, applications are only reviewed by hiring managers for less than thirty seconds. So, before you hit send on that application, make sure you are properly displaying your transferrable skills to avoid rejection.

Sharpen up your interviewing skills

One of the best ways to stand out to any potential employer is to hone your interviewing skills. You can prepare for an upcoming interview by practicing answers to common interview questionsshowing your personality, and doing your due diligence on the employer. Nailing your interview will undoubtfully leave a good impression among the hiring team, which will help you impress a potential employer.

Pro tip: An easy way to impress a prospective employer is to send a thank-you note after an interview. To get more interviewing advice, check out our blog resources for tons of helpful tips!

Check out our candidate resources

The next time you are on the job search and ready to apply for a job, keep these tips in mind to impress any potential employer. Remember, you are going up against stiff competition, so it is vital to prepare yourself to leave a lasting impression on the hiring team. If you are interested in more career advice, check out our candidate resources to help you land your next job!

How to Get a New Job During the Great Resignation

How to Get a New Job During the Great Resignation

You may have heard about the “Great Resignation,” and now you are questioning whether it is time to find a new job or not. Maybe it’s the aftermath of the pandemic, or you are taking advantage of the plethora of jobs currently available. Either way, many people are reshaping their careers during this unprecedented time. But before you quit your current job and go out searching, there are a few steps you must take to ensure this endeavor is successful. Here are four things you must do to get a new job during the Great Resignation.

Update that resume and cover letter

First of all, you must update your resume before you apply for any job. Sending a generic resume doesn’t work anymore, so it’s essential to tailor your resume for the job you are applying for. Tailoring your resume includes modifying your duties with your current and previous positions, adding relevant skills, and of course, including those well-earned certifications. Also, having an updated cover letter is just as important when getting ready to apply for a job. A cover letter explaining how the pandemic has changed your career goals and passions to the job you are applying to is an example of how you can make your application more memorable to hiring managers.

Be ready for video interviews

If you are not used to video interviews yet, it is time to get brought up to speed. Video interviews became the new norm during the pandemic, and for most employers, they are here to stay. To prepare for an interview over Zoom or Microsoft Teams, familiarizing yourself with the technology is imperative. You can do a brief mock interview with a friend, test your audio on the device you will be using, and select a clean, un-distracting background. Being comfortable with the technology will make your virtual interview go smoothly and help you land your next career opportunity!

Don’t settle

Because you are looking for a job in a candidate-driven market right now, there is no pressure to settle for a job you don’t want. If you get to the stage of interviews or get offered a job, ask yourself if this job is the best fit for you. If it is not the best fit, do not be shy to decline the job offer or withdraw your candidacy. As a job seeker, keep in mind that you have a lot more leeway to find the best job that fits your needs instead of settling for a job that doesn’t check off all your boxes. 

Networking 

While you are looking for a new job, networking can also be a great way to open the door for more job opportunities. Using websites like LinkedIn can be a great way to meet more people and tap into more job prospects that you won’t find on any job board. So, it is essential to keep up with your networking skills because you never know when a new opportunity might arise! If you are looking for advice on how to spruce up your LinkedIn profile, here’s how to write a killer LinkedIn summary.

Need more advice?

These four tips can help you secure a new job during the Great Resignation. If you are looking for more advice on how you can take your job search to the next level, take a look at our blog! We are always sharing helpful job search tips to guide you in this post-pandemic labor market.

4 Communication Skills to Showcase in the Interview Process

4 Communication Skills to Showcase in the Interview Process

Everybody knows that showcasing particular skill sets to a hiring manager is crucial to landing your next job. Having the right skills can be extremely useful in conveying to a potential employer why you would make an excellent fit for a job. That is why it is crucial to illustrate these skill sets in your resume and throughout the interviewing process. But what skills should you be trying to emphasize, you may ask? One of the best ones to have is communication skills. Here are four communication skills you should embellish to help you secure your next job opportunity. 

Verbal Skills

The first skill set you should showcase is your verbal skills. No matter what industry you end up in, having excellent verbal skills is critical. Verbal skills show that you are great at communicating and interacting with others. Having this skill set allows you to demonstrate leadership skills, ask great questions, and positively impact any team setting. The best way to flaunt these skills is by thoroughly answering interview questions as well as asking your own.

If you are looking for some inspiration, try asking one of these interview questions.

Listening Skills

Job seekers often overlook this skill. One of the best communication skills comes from active listening. Active listening is when you listen to someone speak and respond thoroughly after absorbing all the information gathered. This skill ultimately makes others you are listening to feel valued and shows that you are a great learner from listening. By taking in this information, you better prepare yourself for presenting thoughtful responses to interview questions (and help you form your own!).

Written Communication Skills

Having written communication skills is a significant advantage that you can show off on your resume. Examples of written communication skills can be evident in editing, blogging, thank-you notes, emailing, or even your cover letters. These skills are essential to employers because it shows that you can effectively convey your thoughts and ideas. Your cover letter and writing samples are an excellent spotlight for these skills and provide more freedom than your resume.

Non-Verbal Communication Skills

Last but certainly not least is non-verbal communication skills. This skill is essentially the way you communicate without using any language. We are talking about your body language, tone of your voice, and facial expressions. The most significant factor of non-verbal communication skills is that they determine people’s impressions of you. Having positive non-verbal cues is the easiest way to illustrate your excitement for a job without saying anything at all! Non-verbal communication skills also portray trust by showing engagement and sincerity in your conversations. Overall, non-verbal skills are excellent for interview settings, networking events, and even phone conversations. Having this skill can increase your success at attaining job opportunities and being able to network effectively. 

Need more job search advice?

These four skills are beneficial for excelling through any interview process. However, there are so many other valuable skills you should showcase during the interviewing process. If you are looking for more resume tips or skill sets employers are looking for, check out our candidate resources! We have hundreds of blogs and other helpful tips to help you secure the job you deserve.

3 Tips to Take Your Networking to the Next Level

3 Tips to Take Your Networking to the Next Level

When is the last time you thought about networking? If you have not thought about it recently, it is crucial to brush up on your networking skills as it is a great tool to meet new people and find the best job opportunities. Networking, however, has changed so much due to the impacts of COVID-19. That is why it is essential to understand the basic networking fundamentals through in-person interactions and an online format. So, here are three tips to help you take your networking to the next level.

Attend Events 

The best way to meet new people is to go to any networking events that start to present themselves. Whether this is going to dinner or attending an online event, this is the easiest way to spark conversations with professionals you would otherwise never have met. Before you head into any networking event, you should always think about having an objective. Come up with outcomes you want to accomplish to ensure these networking events are meaningful. This can be as simple as meeting new people or going to these events to discover new job opportunities. Either way, it is crucial to have goals in mind going into any occasion to help you be successful in networking.

Make Your Voice Heard 

If you decide to network in-person or online, you must make your voice heard, so others remember who you are. Especially in an online setting, you must be active and consistent with presenting who you are. The best way to do this online is to reach out to people through LinkedIn, Facebook groups, or invite people from a platform of choice to have a virtual conversation with you. If you ever meet someone in an in-person or online setting, always follow up with them after turning those conversations into a real connection. This strategy can turn that initial networking goal into reality by keeping in touch with the people you met. It also shows that you care about the other person, which helps strengthen your connection even more.

Effectively Engage and Listen

Another important networking tip is actively listening to those you are connecting with. You do this by asking good questions to enable the person to let them tell you more about themselves. Especially in an online setting, there are tons of distractions, even in a direct message chat. Asking good questions can help you get the best conversation, whether it is in-person or online.

Asking engaging questions is where active listening becomes essential. When asking questions that promote the person you are talking to speak, you must hear them out and listen to what they are saying. Active listening will provide important details about your new connection and will help later on when reaching out after the networking event. It also shows that you care about following up with the person in getting to know them more. Taking in as much information by listening can ultimately set you up with valuable information and lead to establishing deep, more meaningful connections.

Looking For Networking Advice?

The impacts of COVID-19 have changed the way we network and build professional relationships. If you follow these three networking tips, you will be prepared to take your game to the next level this year. If you are looking for more job search or networking tips, explore our candidate resources! We have hundreds of helpful tips and tricks to help you propel your career, even in this wild job market.

Why You Should Make A Career Move Now

Why You Should Make A Career Move Now

Many people have been hesitant to make a move during the pandemic. And after speaking with thousands of people over the last year, I completely understand. However, with the uncertainty caused by COVID-19 waning, now is the time to make a career move.

Companies Are Hiring

Institutions are hiring, and many are desperately looking for people to fill the critical openings they have. Based on your skill set and career goals, you can decide where you want to go. Openings are abundant, yet many people are still hesitant to leave their current positions. We are once again in a candidate-driven market, and businesses recognize this. As a result, they are making the changes that people are looking for in a career move. We have never seen so much remote availability with roles today. Additionally, institutions are increasing salaries and making total compensation packages more enticing.

Compensation Packages Are Increasing

I just had a client call me and say they completely adjusted their compensation structure. So, if you were to be hired now, you would make 10-20% more than the same time last year. Businesses are getting the point. Candidates tend to think, “the longer I hold out, the better.” However, if you stay because you’re comfortable, you will miss out on these incredible compensation packages. We talk with hundreds of people that say they want more pay but are just too afraid to make a move. Now, as the pandemic is trending downward and jobs stabilize, it’s the perfect time to make a career move.

Make Your Career Move Today

Sure, it’s uncomfortable to start a new position. You have to make new work friends, establish bonds with new bosses and subordinates, and get your footing with a whole new employer. But life is an adventure, and making a move will ultimately be great for your career. Now is the time, so contact me today to discuss what’s on your horizon.

How To Make Your Resume Stand Out In The Banking Industry

How To Make Your Resume Stand Out In The Banking Industry

Creating a great resume in the banking industry can be just as stressful as trying to find a great one (with a great person attached to it). There is so much to think about, and it can quickly get overwhelming. It is the first impression a prospective employer gets of you, and it’s so important to make sure that you set the right tone. Here are a few tips and hints that will help set your banking resume apart from the crowd.

Awards & Special Achievements

Be sure to include any awards or notable achievements on your resume. It’s easy to think to yourself, “they will make my resume too long,” or “why do they care if I earned an award for my volunteerism?” I’m here to tell you, whatever that negative talk looks like in your head, stop it. This is one of the biggest keys a potential boss gets into finding out who you really are, so don’t hold back! Celebrate your accomplishments while giving a little insight into who you are along the way.

Objective

This is your mission statement of sorts. If you could sum up your passion for your career into just a sentence or two, make it count here. The objective is your opportunity to truly grab your audience quickly and make the best first impression. Did you know that many hiring managers read through only objective lines before deciding to proceed further or not? (Click here for some great objective statement examples!)

Education

Banks love to see relevant degree/certification information on a resume. Be specific, and remember to add any additional courses or certificates you have earned. Education is often used as the tiebreaker if it comes down to a bank having to choose between two very evenly matched candidates.

In the end, write your resume with the intention of making yourself stand out from the crowd. Put genuine thought and effort into this, and it will shine through. In the end, it may just end up being what gets you that interview you have been hoping for!

If you’ve got your resume in hand, ready to take the next step in your banking career, contact me! Let’s get you out on the market and on your way to your next position.

How Healthcare Careers Offer Long-Term Growth & Stability

How Healthcare Careers Offer Long-Term Growth & Stability

Many industries are leading the way to a swift recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and the recession that came with it. However, healthcare will always be a stable and predictable industry that offers long-term growth and stability.

Why join the healthcare industry?

Job Security

The healthcare industry is expected to grow 14% in the next ten years, which means you will have an easier time finding a job as a professional in this field. So, whether you have 13 years of specialized education or two years of a community college education, there will be opportunities available.

Location Options and Competitive Salaries

Healthcare professionals are in high demand worldwide, meaning you have the option to work in many locations. Additionally, healthcare facilities tend to offer high pay, thus, even entry-level salaries will be competitive. Plus, the more experience, training, and education you receive, the more lucrative your career can be.

Career Advancement

There are many opportunities to grow in your career within healthcare. You can further your education and acquire certification. (Some employers even may reimburse you!) Additionally, there are plenty of opportunities for advancement once you start a career in healthcare. Employers often prefer to promote a trusted employee instead of finding someone new for a higher-paying role, especially in healthcare.

Opportunities in High Demand

Medical Coding and Billing Specialists

Jobs in this field are plentiful because every healthcare provider uses coded documentation and records. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that demand for medical billing and coding specialists will rise by 8% in the next decade. Those who have completed a Medical Coding Certification program will be in particular demand.

Registered Nurses

According to the American Nurses Association, there’s a shortage of nurses, and their demand is only expected to go up. Nursing careers offer valuable benefits such as strong salaries, numerous opportunities, and a feeling of fulfillment and accomplishment. Additionally, there are many nursing specialties to choose from, and the expected growth for this field is 15% in the next decade.

Information Technology Specialists

Growing telemedicine needs, emerging technologies, and potential security threats create an even greater demand for talent. As healthcare continues to evolve, more jobs are developing that combine the skills of both IT workers and healthcare workers, which means IT is here to stay.

How to find your next career move…

When you look for a job in the healthcare industry, it is crucial to find a position you’re interested in with steady growth that you will enjoy for many years to come. If you could use a hand with updating your resume or finding your next opportunity with a reputable healthcare organization, please reach out to Ivonne Garcia at JSG. I will consult with you and discuss your options thoroughly to find you your next career move.

It’s Time to Spring Clean Your Career

It’s Time to Spring Clean Your Career

This time of year is always known for spring cleaning. We clean out our garages, organize the storage sheds, and bring out the spring/summer stuff. It always feels great when we are all geared up for spring (even though we’re never a fan of starting it). We clean out the closets and work through last year’s clothes and donate anything we no longer need. Spring is also a time to check in on our careers by cleaning up those areas that we need to work on.

This time of year is an excellent opportunity to really focus our efforts on re-shifting our focus on our careers. That also means looking at our current employer. Do you still love your boss, or have things changed? Maybe a change in leadership or a shift in your leader’s attitude towards you or work. Sometimes it is just time to say enough of the same old stuff that we have been “putting up with” for years. As employers begin to shift their hiring into high gear, now might be the right time to make a career move.

Letting your career bloom

Spring is also a time of renewal. The flowers and plants start to re-grow and sprout up from the earth. The weather is warmer, and we all want to have some change in our lives from winter. Sometimes that is just needing to spend some time outside. Use this time to reflect on your career and decide whether you are growing and sprouting or stagnant and wilting. There is nothing more devastating to a person than a stagnant or wilting career. Now is the time to determine if your current employer and position complement your career goals or if you need to make a change. If you are not content where you are, you may need to consider transitioning in a new direction.

Picking up the slack

Springtime is also your cue to pick up the pine needles and leaves that we didn’t get to before winter arrived. Pulling up your sleeves and working in the yard is also symbolic of picking up the slack at work. In other words, we don’t always need a new career opportunity to spring clean your career. Frequently it’s a change in our work ethics and a mindset adjustment. Just like putting off your yardwork to the spring, it’s easy to procrastinate things at work. So, spring is the time to re-evaluate our careers and identify areas to improve our work lives. Whether that’s seeking an internal move, learning a new skill, putting yourself out there, or contributing more, this is the chance to make these career adjustments.

Need help spring cleaning your career?

So, get out there this spring and start cleaning up your career. If you evaluate your job and need a hand finding your next move, reach out to us today. We can help you find a new position with a fantastic employer that will allow you to achieve your work goals.

Impressions Are Everything During A Job Search

Impressions Are Everything During Your Job Search

Job searching can be a stressful endeavor, especially if you are unemployed and need to get back to work ASAP. Many candidates just focus on their resume on a job search, but that’s not always what leaves a lasting impression. Here are five other factors that affect your impressions during a job search.

Voicemail Greetings

One would think a professional voicemail greeting is standard practice. However, as a recruiter, I hear an astonishing amount of unprofessional greetings. When job hunting, make sure your voicemail message is professional and reflects well on your professional persona. Impressions are everything. Whether it is a third-party recruiting firm, such as Johnson Search Group, or a corporate recruiter reaching out, you want to make the best second impression possible (your resume is your first). Joking messages are great for friends but not for potential employers. Leaving a voicemail greeting where you pretend to be unable to hear the caller might be funny, but I am 99% sure that it won’t help you in your job search. Another message I often hear – believe it or not – is: “Hey, this is John Doe, you know what to do.”   

Yes – hang up.

References

If you are actively searching for your next job, make sure you have at least three professional references ready. References should be relatively fresh, and you should make sure that you have spoken with them to let them know that you are actively job searching. Always get their permission to use them as a reference – and above all else – make sure that you know they will go to bat for you. Having a reference with a grudge that throws you under the bus is the fastest way to lose an opportunity. And yes – it does happen.

Drug Testing

Our world has changed in the past ten years, and while many states have either decriminalized certain drugs or have made them legal for medical use, they may still be illegal under federal guidelines. Many have the misconception that because a State may consider a certain drug legal, companies cannot or will not consider it in a drug test. Companies can and do rescind job offers due to a positive drug test, whether “legal” at a state level or not.   

Response Time

Communication makes the world go around. Effectively communicating and responding in a timely manner can leave a great impression and help you land that job! Nothing more sends a red flag to recruiters than an unresponsive candidate. 

If you are serious about pursuing an opportunity, then you need to be available.  

Being a Diva

Every job seeker wants to get the best opportunity and salary available. Working with Johnson Search Group helps bring this to fruition. We discuss what you are looking for ahead of time and make sure that our clients are aware of your requirements. No one likes surprises! A candidate might be all that – but only to a point. If you have communicated your needs to your recruiter, rest assured, it will be passed on to the HR Manager.  

Another quick way to lose out on a job offer is to keep coming back with more and more demands. This can be a significant red flag, and your offer may even be rescinded. No matter how good you think you are – there could always be someone else making a better impression.

If you are searching for a new opportunity, Johnson Search Group can help.

We will be with you every step of the way and help you put your best foot forward. Give us a call and let us help you land your next job!