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.

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Ghosting an Interview May Haunt You in the Future

Ghosting an Interview

Congratulations! You’ve landed the interview with a prospective employer. You should be excited, right? Typically, after nabbing that interview, nerves can start to settle in, assumptions about the position or company can get in the way, and ultimately, you skip the interview. This is a BAD idea.

As a recruiter, I am lucky enough to have a pretty good relationship with most of the candidates that I work with. We’re able to have transparent conversations about red flags, hesitations, or cold feet. Ghosting a recruiter or a company for an interview can not only prevent you from getting hired but can also hurt your career in the future. Here are a few reasons why you should never ghost an employer for an interview.

You Never Know Who You Will Meet

You never know who might be interviewing you. What if down the road you apply to another company, but the person set to interview you for your dream job is that person that you ghosted months or even years before?

You’ll most likely not receive an offer for the job. And leaving the interview feeling defeated as well as wondering why no one warned you about ghosting before. Well, here’s your warning! Trust me, people will remember you.

No Second Chances

You will probably never be considered again for another opportunity with that employer. And yes, I have had this happen in the past with one of my candidates. I found a great candidate for an opportunity that I was working on. After I had submitted her to my client, I got a message back saying that they do not wish to move forward with her because a year prior, she didn’t show up for her interview.

She didn’t even email or call. Companies log notes in their applicant tracking systems with your name and /or resume. When applying for a job with that same company in the future, they will search for you in their system and will have documentation of how you bailed on them in the past.

It’s Wasting People’s Time

It’s rude and wastes people’s time. You’re leaving someone to wonder if something bad happened to you or if you’re just running late. They’re taking time out of their busy schedule to speak with you and you’re inconsiderate of their time.

When it comes to filling critical positions, they just want to fill it with a candidate that cares and is going to be a good fit. But once you start wasting people’s time, that’s when you leave yourself up for vulnerability because remember, the world is small. Especially, in certain career fields or industries.

These are just a few reasons why you should never ghost a prospective employer for an interview. Your reputation is on the line and being careless about communication can come back to bite you in the future.

interview question

Stumped On An Interview Question? Here’s How to Tackle It

interview question

You’re ready to advance your career and send out your resume. Great! You get a call from one of the companies wanting to talk to you. You are excited but whoa, you haven’t had a job interview in while. The panic starts to set in. You start thinking, “What do I do if they ask me a question I do not know how to answer?”

The thought of not being able to answer any interview question is scary. Sure, you don’t want to be embarrassed by sitting there stumped in the interview. Here are a couple of tips to help to prepare yourself for your next interview.

Don’t panic and stay calm

If you start freaking out, your heart will start to race and your blood pressure will rise.  Once you start a stress response, you may not be thinking clearly. Maintaining a calm and confident posture may help convince the recruiter that your inability to answer is an unusual occurrence for you. Take a deep breath and answer the question to the best of your ability.

Ask for clarification

It’s possible that you didn’t understand the question. Ask them to clarify the question in hopes of them providing more details to help you answer confidentially. By the time they clarified the question, you may have had enough time to develop a response.

Don’t make up the answer or say “I don’t know”

If you make up the answer, your interview may see right through it. Take your time and acknowledge the question that was asked. Say something as simple as “That’s a great question. Let me think about that.” Saying something like this will create a natural filler to avoid any empty airspace and awkward silence. Take a few moments to gather your thoughts and make sure you don’t blurt out something that may be incorrect.

If you do not know the answer, be honest

Sometimes questions are posed to catch you off guard, not to embarrass you. Interviewers want to see your thought process, even if you don’t know how to exactly answer the question. If you do have some knowledge of the question, redirect to an area or skill that is close and tell them what you do know. By restating the question out loud, the wheels may start turning and you’ll have a better chance at providing an answer that the interviewers are looking for.

Still Stumped?

Turn it into a positive spin and tell them “That’s a great question. I don’t have the answer for you right now, but I will be thinking about it after the interview and will do some research to learn more about this topic.” Also, tell them what other steps you would take to figure out the answer.  They may just want to see your thought process and if you have the initiative and resources to find the answer. This will also show them that you are eager to learn more, persistent, and you’re honest.

Send a follow-up email to the hiring manager after you’ve done your research by the end of the day and it may give you a second chance to impress the hiring manager. Talk about the answer that you were stumped on by starting with something like “After completing thinking about the question and doing a little research on the issue, this is how I would approach the solution.”

Do your due diligence on the company and the people you will be interviewing with. And remember, practice makes perfect! Good luck!


Failures: How to Address Your Failures in Your Interview

FailuresWhen you think of failures you probably assume they are a negative thing to discuss, right? Well, when it comes to interviews discussing your failures, it’s all how you frame them! And here’s how you can address them in a way that puts your best foot forward.

Questions focusing on failure

When in an interview you’re normally a little nervous about what kind of questions they’re going to ask. But, if you prepare, it will be a lot easier. You can almost always count on a question about a past failure to be asked during an interview. Whether that’s, “why did you get fired?” “Why did you leave your last job?” Or “tell us about a failure?” You will need to be prepared to answer them honestly.

These questions help the employer get to know who you are and how you react to hard times. A failure can be looked at as a negative, but potential employers want to see how you have let your failures help you grow and become a better employee. It’s not just about the failure; it’s about how it helped you in the long run.

How to spin failures into achievements

When you answer these questions about your failures, take your time. Make sure that you’re thinking about what you learned, not how you felt. Because no one likes failure… But it’s what you take away from it that can make you either successful or not.

And in a job interview, you want to show that you’ve grown and become more successful because of your failures. If you spin your failures into achievements, such as a better job, a better outlook, becoming more successful, or anything that shows you’ve accomplished something due to failure, demonstrates that you’re adaptable and very hirable. Which of course, is what you want hiring manager’s to see you as.

Why talking about failures can help you land the job

When you get asked failure questions in an interview, it can be a moment where you show the interviewers you’re the perfect fit for the position. Your outlook on different complications is a huge soft skill that can either kill your chances of getting the job or get your hired. If you have a positive and optimistic outlook, as well as take responsibility for your faults, it shows them you can work well in any environment.

If you’re able, to be honest, and open about your faults, it will 100 percent help you land your dream job.

Failure questions will always be an important part of the interview process, and if you follow these tips it will help you be more prepared to rock these questions! And in turn, will show the prospective company you’re ready to fill their new position.


What to Do When the Smoke Clears In Your Career


For notorious reasons, this time of year is known as ‘Fire Season.’ There have been over 5.1 million acres burned thus far in 2018. In my lovely state of Washington, 891 fires have raged thus far, burning over 113,00 acres. Where I live (Spokane), the air quality has been entering in and out of the “Very Unhealthy” range for several weeks. And it’s also reached “Hazardous” levels according to the Air Quality Index. Thankfully, a combination of wind and rain has cleaned our air, allowing us to finally glimpse the clean and beautiful blue sky.

When it comes to the job market, the Third Quarter is a notorious time of the year for organizations to start moving and shaking. Much like the fires that have ravaged the country, employees are busy putting out fires in the workplace. And as a result, leading many to be seeking new opportunities, whether it be passively or actively.

You are your greatest asset

Prior to joining Johnson Search Group, I experienced a layoff during the holiday season. It was devastating. Rightfully so. It’s always a shock to hear that a company is moving on, even if you’re lucky enough to see it coming. Finding yourself without any irons in the fire or next career steps can be daunting. Keep calm, stay indoors, and breath deep.

The greatest tool you have in your box post-position is YOU and your network. Realizing this will quickly get you back onboard with another company that deserves to have your passion, experience, and knowledge. Once you’ve realized your own self-worth, dig deeper into your toolbox and utilize the myriad of job boards, references, and literal production tools to secure your next opportunity. LinkedIn is a fantastic outlet to help secure the next step in your career path.

Many candidates I come across are fortunate enough to have employment but are incredibly unhappy in their current role/position. This unhappiness happens because of burnout. Whether it’s a result of being overworked, company re-alignment, or the lack of fulfillment from one’s current role.

Let a recruiter reignite your career

For many job seekers, getting back on track and realizing one’s goals can be a daunting task. Sometimes it takes a team to smother the blaze and a timely wind to clear the haze. Utilizing a recruiter typically isn’t something that crosses the minds of most seeking new employment; however, working with a recruiter has immense benefits.

As this job market continues to heat up, its just as important for candidates to find the right role for them as it is for employers to land the right candidate. Having someone who is deeply entrenched in your market and profession, representing you to companies you may not even know are looking, maybe the exact thing that gets you to the next great opportunity.

Plenty of things are burning these months, days, sometimes at both ends. Keeping your head up is the only way you can guarantee you’ll land the next opportunity once the smoke clears.

Labor Day

What Does Labor Day Mean to JSG?

Labor Day

We all know that Labor Day is the unofficial end to summer; however, holidays generally have a significant historical meaning. As Labor Day Weekend approaches, I came to the realization that I am not as familiar with the historical significance of Labor Day as I’d like to be. Being in the recruiting and staffing industry, I wanted to take time to reflect on the importance of this holiday.

The significance of Labor Day

Labor Day became a federal holiday in 1894 and is celebrated the first Monday of September each year. This holiday is a celebration of workers and the hard work Americans have put in to provide for the families and boost their economy. In the height of the Industrial Revolution, the average American was working 12 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide for their family.

During this time, there wasn’t any OSHA, MSHA, or any federal regulations to ensure safe working conditions for employees. And documentation shows kids as young as six years old working in heavy industrial manufacturing environments for pennies.

As labor unions became prevalent and vocal employees began to protest the harsh and unsafe working conditions. As a result, workers began to protest these conditions, and some of these protests even turned into riots. On September 5th, 1882, over 10,000 workers walk out of work to march on City Hall in New York City. This march was promoted by the Knights of Labor and Central Labor Union and today is considered to be the first official Labor Day parade in U.S. History.

Becoming a federal holiday

And after this march, the idea of a holiday dedicated to the American laborers began and a new tradition was born. Workers started the historic tradition of walking out of work on the first Monday of every September. Eventually, this tradition gained traction as a real public issue. And five years later, Oregon became the first state to make Labor Day an official public Holiday in 1887. Finally, in 1894, it officially became a U.S. Federal holiday with thirty states celebrating the hard work of America laborers.

Therefore, Labor Day is the celebration of you, the hardworking American people. We here at Johnson Search want to thank all of our clients and candidates for all of their hard work. We appreciate you all and hope you have a fun and safe Labor Day weekend!

What Labor Day Means to JSG

We sat down with JSG’s divisional manages and talked about what Labor Day means to them and their industries.

applying for a job

Are You Considering Applying For A Job On Our Website?

applying for a job

First things first, I’m excited you found our website and are looking at our job openings. While you’re here, take some time and look at all the great candidate resources available to you. From CV letters to interviewing tips, we have you covered.

But for now, if I am lucky enough to have you apply for one of my mining or heavy industrial jobs, there will be certain things I want to see on your resume, as well as certain things I need to hear when talking with you on the phone.

On your resume


I want to see in your background that you’re qualified for this position. Ideally, that you’re currently in a similar role or the role that you’re applying for is the next natural progression in your career path.


In today’s candidate-driven market, clients want to see measurable results. Whatever the result (decreased downtime by x%, x number of days without a safety incident, increased production by x%, increased revenue by x%), make sure it’s on your resume.

Job specific certifications

Regardless of the role you’re applying for, there are job-specific certifications, especially in the mining industry, that help me show my clients that you’re the right person for the job.

On the phone


When we talk on the phone, I’m really going to dig in on why you’re looking to make a move. Why have you applied for this specific opportunity? What are you looking for in your next employer? There are many reasons and motivating factors for why people change companies, and my clients want to understand this before interviewing candidates.

Soft skills

I invest a great deal of my time with my clients, and therefore, understand what their organization wants and needs very well. With many of my clients, a candidate’s soft skills are just as important as the hard skills. You and I might not specifically talk about your soft skills, but I can guarantee I’m actively listening for them during our conversations.


Anybody can read a resume and I certainly will read yours before we talk. I want to hear from you about your previous work experience and day-to-day activity. I need to ensure it’s consistent with what I’m looking at on your resume. If I’m going to represent you to my client, we need to always be consistent.

Good luck with your job search, and I hope we can work together!


Excitement: How to Get Hiring Managers Excited About You


We’ve all been in this situation before. You found the perfect job opening. You apply and quickly get called back for the interview. As you talk to the interviewers, you get more and more excited for the position. But surprisingly, you get passed up after the final round of interviews.

What happened? You were sure you nailed it! Well, you may have been a perfect fit for the job, but if hiring managers aren’t excited about you, you may not make the cut. To ensure you get that dream job, you have to show your excitement! Here are three steps to get hiring managers excited about you.

Do your homework

If you really want to make a good impression with your interviewers, you must do your due diligence. And that doesn’t just mean on the company you’re are interviewing for; you need to also do some research on the interviewers.

Head over to the company’s website and do a little digging. Check out their “About” page to get some insight on their mission statement, vision, and what the company stands for. If they have a blog, you should check that out too to see what’s going on with the company. Maybe there was a recent product launch, or the organization received a prestigious award. All of these will provide great talking points during your interview and help you engage with the hiring managers.

Now to learn a little more about the interviewers, you can simply look them up on LinkedIn. Try and find some commonalities that can help you better relate to them during the interview. Not only with this make you feel more comfortable going into the interview, this will help you come across as more personable and make it easier for them to get excited about you!

Tell them you like what you hear

During the interview, if you like what you hear from the interviewers, you need to tell them! How are they supposed to get excited about you when you don’t show them you’re excited about the opportunity?

Don’t overthink this. If you like what you hear and see, show it in your demeanor! Have a big smile on your face, be more animated when you are speaking and listening throughout the interview. Just demonstrating that you are excited about the job and organization will help get the interviewers excited for you as a candidate. And please don’t be afraid to show your personality in your interview. Hiring managers want to see the real you because they also want to see if you’re a great culture fit.

Write a thoughtful thank you note

If you really want to make a great impression on your hiring manager, you have to write a stellar thank you note. You should send a thank you to every interviewer that met with you. And unfortunately, you can’t just send them the same note; you must make each thank you unique and personalized.

You can mention something interesting they said during the interview or reference a question they answered for you. Either way, personalizing your thank you note shows that you’re ecstatic about the position and will help each interviewer get excited about you. Sending a personal email will go a long way and will remind them what you’ll bring to the table.

If you follow these simple steps, every hiring manager will be just as excited as you are when you walk in the door for an interview!

Details: Why the Little Things Matter in the Job Process

Paying attention to details can make or break your chances of landing the position you’re applying for. So, making sure you’re detail-oriented during this process is super important. With these tips, we will help you learn how to show hiring managers you’re a great fit for their open position.

Tailor your resume and application

When applying for jobs, especially when you are desperately in need of one, you sometimes forget about the importance of making things unique. And this is a detail mistake everyone has made before. But now, it’s time to learn how paying attention to the small things will make a world of difference.

Tailoring your resume and application for every position you’re applying for will help managers see and want to look over your application. While these changes may seem like small unimportant details, they could be the difference between you landing the job or never being seen in the first place. We all sometimes forget how important the small things can be to achieving our goals.

And when it comes to applying for jobs, you need to ensure you’re paying attention and putting your best effort into everything you submit. Because your end goal is landing the job.

Do your Homework on the Company

This should just be common sense… But you can’t just skim over this part of the interview process. You will be asked questions about the company, and they won’t all be easy. If anything, they will be difficult because they want to ensure you’re a good company fit, but also that you care enough to ensure you did your research.

Taking the time to look over every detail of the company will help you tremendously. Like looking up recent awards they have won, who their CEO is, how their company culture is, all of these will prove you mean business and it will help you know if this is the right company for you, too.

Dress for Success

We always get a lot of questions about how you should dress for an interview. And the answer is, always dress for success. Being more dressed up is always better than being too dressed down. You look more professional and it shows your intentions. It proves that you’re wanting to give a good impression and that you really want the job.

Dressing up for interviews is simple: wear something you feel confident in that also makes you look professional. Short skirts or jeans probably aren’t the best route to go… But a nice dress with a blazer, or slacks, a button up shirt and tie, really show your initiative.

Send Thank You Notes

If there is one detail that many people always forget it’s this one. Sending thank you notes is an interview changer. And it can really set you apart from other candidates. Especially, if you all have a lot of the same great credentials. So, make sure that you help yourself stand out!

Do your due diligence after the interview and send each individual you met with a thank you note. Make sure you make them unique and thank them for something they specifically did in the interview or interview process. If you don’t have their emails you can always send a hand-written note to their office.

Paying attention to this detail will help you land that job because you went out of your way to thank those for their time, individually. It helps show what kind of person you are and again, reiterates how much you’d love the opportunity to work with them and their company.

Remembering that details are important during the job-hunting process will get you hired. And if you keep that in mind every time your prospecting for new positions you’ll have a lot more offers to choose from!

cover letter

Cover Letter: Four Steps to the Perfect CV Letter

cover letter

It’s a candidate-driven market. The unemployment rate has been hovering around 4.0% all year. Candidates have options (and lots of them!). However, if you don’t write an outstanding cover letter, you may still be faced with a turndown.

If you really want to nail that job interview, here are four steps to writing a killer cover letter.

Make it personal

If you want to start your cover letter off on the right foot, you must personalize it. That means “To whom it may concern” won’t cut it.

You need to do your due diligence and address your cover letter to the hiring manager. If you don’t know who the hiring manager is, jump on LinkedIn and do a quick search. Find the organization for the job you are applying for and look at their list of employees. You can filter them down to find the right person to address your letter.

For example, if you are applying for a Marketing Specialist position, you can find the marketing manager on LinkedIn and use them to address your letter. If you are still having troubles addressing your letter, give a quick call to the company’s HR department and just ask. They will be more than happy to help!

If you don’t address the cover letter to a specific person (or worse, address it to the wrong person), you might as well not even apply for the position.

Mirror the job description

The hiring manager, of course, wants to hear all of your accomplishments and skills. However, you must refer back to the job description as you are writing your cover letter.

Think of the job description as a checklist. Now, I am not saying you have to copy it verbatim, but you do want to ensure that you illustrate that you’re qualified to tackle the job. I would suggest going through the description and highlighting all of the key qualifications the organization is searching for.

If you can do this, you will prove that you are a perfect match for the job and will almost guarantee yourself a callback.

Tell them why you’re interested

Don’t just regurgitate the same old cover letter you use for every job application. You need to tell the hiring manager why you’re excited about the job and the organization if you want to impress them.

It’s one thing to be qualified for the job. It’s another to be excited about the opportunity and the potential of working for the employer. If you can do this while tying in some facts about the company, you’re in good shape.

Hiring managers want to see what you know about the company and how you will play into the bigger picture. You can reference recent accomplishments, awards, events, or other recognitions. Showing that you’re excited about the job will help the person reading your CV letter be excited about you as a candidate!

Be yourself

It may seem weird to let your personality shine through the cover letter, but employers want to see the real you. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Just make sure you keep it professional.

As company culture is becoming more and more important, employers are searching for candidates that will be a good fit for the organization. If a hiring manager can tell that you’re a good fit, your chances of landing an interview drastically increases! Good luck!

candidate-driven market

Today’s Candidate-Driven Market

candidate-driven market

Nowadays, the landscape of finding and bringing top talent to your company and team, as well as keeping that talent, has changed.

Today’s market has moved into a very tight candidate-driven market that has not been seen in decades. And it has every indication of continuing that trend for years to come. Just in June alone, over 600,000 workers re-entered the workforce. For the first time in decades, there are more job openings than there are available candidates to fill them.

Therefore, there has been a significant increase in candidates who are passively looking for that next significant role in their career path. This is because they know they can get an increase in wages, incentives, location, and work-life balance due to the current market.

And because of that, the companies who’ve not taken steps to bring and/or retain the talent they desperately need are becoming increasingly frustrated.

Why companies are frustrated in this tight job market

The time to fill those open roles continues to climb. On average, it takes 36 days to fill an open position, from the day the position opens to accepted offer. This is causing employers great amounts of stress and forcing them to be more aggressive when pursuing candidates.

The cost to leave a role vacant is increasing, especially those critical roles. Those that are left to cover the open roles are beginning to suffer from burn out; employees are being asked to do more with less and work longer hours. As a result, great employees are leaving to pursue other opportunities that offer better pay and work-life balance.

Companies are dealing with roles being open longer, some over a year. Hiring managers start seeing more resumes that don’t meet their qualifications for certain jobs. They often stop receiving resumes through the company portals at all. And because of these issues, the human resource departments are overwhelmed with the task of filling open roles as well as perform their day-to-day duties.

Get the help you need

Companies are starting to reach out to outside firms to assist in their candidate searches. We help them find and place highly skilled and qualified candidates. This way they can stop worrying about their open positions and start focusing on their own jobs.

We have seen an increase in candidates that are passively looking for a career change and want our help. We connect with skilled and great candidates every day and those relationships are something we pride ourselves with. If your company is having a tough time acquiring (and retaining) top talent, let’s have a conversation and see what we can do for you.

We can help with both. Let’s work together.