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.


Tips For Starting A New Job While WFH

Starting a new job creates a lot of emotions: excitement, stress, curiosity, and anxiety. However, starting a new job while working from home (WFH) is a whole other ball game. It can be challenging to get a feel for the culture, your team dynamic, and your colleagues while starting a new job remotely. Here are a few tips for starting a new career while WFH to make you feel more comfortable with your team.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions

If you only worked for your new employer for a few weeks before COVID-19 or actually started your new job while working from home, it can be overwhelming. You may not understand company processes, procedures, and other details that you probably would learn working in the office. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or for help. It’s okay to seek the aid of your manager or a co-worker if you need clarification on something. It sounds cheesy, but there are seriously are no stupid questions when it comes to a new job!

Initiate “water cooler conversations”

A big part of building strong relationships with your co-workers is getting to know them on a more personal level. This can be a little more challenging when you don’t see each other in person every day. Thus, you have to initiate “water cooler conversations” from the comfort of your home. Reach out to your co-workers and ask them about their weekend, discuss evening plans, and other small talk. These are easy ways to make you feel more united with your new team and start building upon your working relationships.

Ask for feedback

A great way to gauge how you are doing and understand what you can do better is to ask for feedback. Reach out to your co-workers and ask for some advice to help you navigate this new job better. Your team should want to help you succeed; therefore, it shouldn’t be a problem for them to give some helpful input. Also, you can ask your manager or boss for a one-on-one to provide you with some constructive criticism. You can discuss what you are doing well and what you still need to work on. This is an excellent way to improve and show the initiative that you want to be a better employee.

Starting a new job while WFH is challenging, but these three tips should help guide you in the first few weeks of your new career journey!

what are the next steps

Post-Interview Question: What Are the Next Steps?

Why you should ask it

“What are the next steps in the interview process?” This question is great to ask as your job interview wraps up. Some interviewers will voluntarily share this information with you at the end of your meeting. However, if your interview is more conversational, this answer can sometimes slip away. As a candidate, you must know the next steps of the interview process, so you know what to expect moving forward.

When to ask it

The only appropriate time to ask this question is at the very end of your interview. Like we mentioned above, your interviewers may address this at some point in the interview. But if you are wrapping things up and it wasn’t discussed, now is the time to fire away.

Possible outcomes

Are they looking to fill this position immediately? Or are they taking their time to find the right candidate? These are answers you will likely get after you ask this question. You need to know when you can expect the next step in the process  – especially if you have multiple interviews lined up.

Your interviewers might even give you a detailed response that can help you prepare for the next step. For example, they may share that the next step in the interview process is a panel interview. This allows you to ask who will be a member of that panel. Then, you can do a little homework and get to know them before your next interview. This will help you get a better feel for your audience, possibly make you more comfortable the day of, and help you find things that you can relate to them.

Note: you can also ask about the next steps of the interview process in a follow-up email if you are still waiting to hear back from the hiring manager.

Looking for more interview questions you can ask?

If you are looking for more interview questions that you can ask at the end of your interview, we have a group of them ready to share with you. Good luck!

job interview killers

3 Common Job Interview Killers

With over 44 million Americans filing for unemployment benefits over the last 12 weeks, there will soon be literally millions of workers hitting the job boards. That means, if you’re on the job market, the competition will be heating up for the top positions in your industry. As a result, you cannot afford to make any interview mistakes while on the post-pandemic job market. Here are three common job interview killers that you must avoid at all costs to secure a job in today’s challenging economic climate.

Arriving late or not at all

This is one of the worst job interview killers. If you arrive late or completely ghost your interview completely, it will put a bad taste in the hiring manager or HR professional’s mouth. With so much competition right now, they might simply pass on you for your lack of prudence. We get it; things happen unexpectedly. However, to mitigate this, plan on arriving 15 minutes early. That way, if you run into some unexpected traffic or construction, you will have enough wiggle room to make it on time. And if you’re early, use that spare time to go over the job description, the company’s social media, or their website.

Because of the pandemic, there’s a good chance your interview will be in a virtual format. Ensure your equipment is ready to go, you have a strong internet connection, and that you are in a clean, quiet space. Startup the application early as your interviewers will likely be waiting for you a few minutes early.

If you, unfortunately, have to cancel your interview, call your contact who set up the interview immediately. The sooner you tell your interviewers, the better the outcome will be. Do your best to peg down a new date and do it as quickly as possible.

Failing to answer common interview questions

If you were laid off because of the Coronavirus, you might not have had a job interview in a while. Don’t fret – you just need to shake the rust off! Go over common interview questions and prepare an answer for them. Write your answers out as it will help you remember what you’d like to say (muscle memory!). Read your answers out loud, and it will help you answer these questions in person with confidence.

Here’s a collection of some of the most common interview questions with tips on answering them successfully!

Not armed with a few questions

At the end of almost every job interview, you will be asked, “So, what questions do you have for us?” If you really want to make a good impression, you must come with some questions to ask. Hopefully, as your interview goes on, you will be able to come up with some questions to ask later. However, if your meeting is more conversational, you may have already asked them. That’s why it’s imperative to have questions prepared beforehand.

These can be questions about the role, the company culture or team dynamic, the organization’s volunteering opportunities, or mentorship – the list goes on and on. The important thing is to ask thoughtful, relevant questions to show your interest in the role and the company.

Ready to put your skills to the test?

These are just a few common job interview killers; however, if you take the time to prepare for your interview and arrive punctually, you will be in good shape! If you’re ready to put your skills to the test, check out our job board! We have dozens of exciting job opportunities available across the country.

employment gap

How to Explain An Employment Gap

As of this Thursday, another 1.55 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits. That brings the current total to over 44 million workers that are unfortunately going through a rough employment patch. As a result, numerous workers are now going to have a gap in their employment history and resume. This circumstance can bring up a challenging interview question as these workers search for their next opportunities. If you are in this situation, this is how you can successfully answer any question that may come up regarding an employment gap.

Be straightforward and honest

The best thing you can do when this question arises is to be honest and upfront about your situation. If you were laid off because of the Coronavirus, don’t be ashamed. A significant chunk of American workers is in the same boat as you. And if you were laid off or fired for a completely different reason, you should still be honest. Your interviewers will likely check your references and with your last employer if you make it to the finish line of the hiring process. If you are caught in a lie, it won’t look good, and you may even have your candidacy pulled.

Whatever your reason, keep your answer positive.

Share what you have done with your free time

Speaking of positive, if you have been out of work and need to explain your employment gap, share the good things that you were able to accomplish in the meantime. If you completed a course to improve your knowledge on a subject or earned a certification, share that! It shows that your lapse in employment didn’t stop you from bettering yourself and enhancing your career.

Another way to approach your answer is to share your self-reflection. Did you take this time to reflect on your career and decide where you would like to be? That’s a great answer, too! There is nothing wrong with taking this hardship and using it to pivot your career in another direction.

Keep it short and sweet

Regardless of your situation or answer, less is more. Don’t get caught up in the details, especially if you were fired. Attack the question straight on and express what you learned because of the situation. That’s it. Too many candidates find themselves oversharing and getting lost in the details. Keep your answer honest, straightforward, and concise to master this awkward interview question!

June is National Safety Month

June is National Safety Month

The month of June is National Safety Month. Making safety a top priority, inside and outside the workplace, is imperative now more than ever. With the Coronavirus pandemic and everything else going on throughout the country, we all must have safety, both mental and physical, at the forefront of our minds.

We help our clients staff safety-minded professionals

At Johnson Search Group, we have the pleasure of working with numerous professionals that ensure the safety of their work environment and those around them. Two of our largest industries of expertise – healthcare and mining & heavy industrial – require candidates that are aware of their co-workers and customers’ safety.

We often directly place safety managers, EHS professionals, and even C-level safety officers. However, many of the search assignments we work on are still responsible for the safety of others; even if “safety” is not in their job title. We place healthcare professionals, such as infection control nurses, social workers, and production managers.

Safety starts with “s” but begins with “you.” We all play a role in ensuring a safe working environment. If you see something that doesn’t look right or poses a potential safety hazard, speak up. Tell your supervisor or your company’s safety manager and let your voice be heard. You may very well be saving a life or preventing a serious work-related injury. Remember, Safe Work is Great Work!

Red Flags To Look For During Your Job Search

Red Flags To Look For During Your Job Search

There are a few things you want to watch out when you’re on the hunt for a new job. While red flags don’t have to be deal-breakers, they are simply things you should pay attention to and thoughtfully consider throughout the hiring process. Take note of these three things as you search for your next position, and you’ll be more likely to end up in a fulfilling job that meets your expectations.

Bad Reviews

Please read this carefully. Just because a company has a few less than stellar reviews does not mean they are a bad company. However, sites like Glassdoor do offer a glimpse into what it may be like to work there. When you’re reading reviews, simply take everything with a grain of salt. Look for reviews that are fair and balanced and cover positives as well as negatives. Typically, the more in-depth the review, the more thoughtful it is.

If you do see reviews that are concerning, don’t be afraid to bring them up. If you’re working with a third-party recruiter, they can address it with their client. You can also mention it during your interview to gain further insight. Hopefully, the interviewer will address it head-on, including steps taken to either fix the issue or stop it from happening in the future.

A Mismatch In Priorities

Now, we understand that a perfect job situation doesn’t exist. You will more than likely have to compromise some of the items on your “dream job” wishlist. Thus, it is essential to understand your non-negotiables. What are the perks or company culture factors that you must have? Additionally, you want to have a grasp on your desires that aren’t necessarily deal-breakers but would be something you’d consider when taking a new job. If you find yourself having to compromise TOO much, you won’t be happy in the long run.

Your Interview Is Short

When it comes time to interview, your interviewer should want to know everything about you. Is your experience a good fit for the job? Would your personality be a good culture fit? A thorough list of thoughtful questions indicates that the interviewer is not only interested in you, but also finding the right person for this job. A disengaged interviewer is either not interested in hiring you, or merely trying to fill a spot with a body. Of course, there are exceptions. Sometimes an interview is simply to confirm what they already knew – you’re perfect for the job! Just be sure to pay attention to the tone and pick up on cues – both verbal and non-verbal – throughout your meeting.

job search must-knows during the pandemic

Job Search Must-Knows During The Pandemic

If you’re currently searching for a new job because you have been laid off or simply want to jump to the next step in your career, the job market right now is looking murky. Many employers are still hiring, but how you manage your job search may be a little different right now. Here are the job search must-knows during the pandemic and a few tips on how to secure your new opportunity.

Prepare for a video interview

If you’re actively searching for a new job during the pandemic, you must prepare for the possibility of a video interview. Even as states are beginning to open back up, video interviews are becoming the new norm. They are easier to schedule, allow for more flexibility for both parties, and are safer during the Coronavirus outbreak.

But just because your interviewers are becoming virtual doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare the same way! Do your due diligence on the company and have a good understanding of the job description. Write down some questions to ask your interviewers and dress for success. The only thing that changes is ensuring you have the right space and technology for your video interview. Here is a guide we created to help you ace any video interview.

Don’t forget to do a practice call beforehand! Technology is great when it works.

Don’t be afraid to follow up

We are still in unchartered territory. Companies are busy trying to shuffle their budgets, adjust their second-quarter goals, and address their staffing needs. All of which may be facilitated remotely. In other words, some companies are still trying to shift their processes, and communication might fall off sometimes. If you had an interview and haven’t heard back in a while, don’t be afraid to ask for an update. Send a brief follow-up email to the hiring manager or HR professional you interviewed with and give them a soft nudge.

Here is a template email you can use from career expert Professor Heather Austin:

Partner with a recruiter

If you really want to make a splash in your job search during the COVID-19 pandemic, partner with a recruiter. Working with a recruiting firm that specializes in your industry can dramatically boost your job search results. At Johnson Search Group, we are hard at work to help pair our clients with the best candidates on the market. Reach out to us today, and we can help you navigate this tricky job market.

Diverse and Inclusive A Recruitment Strategy

How to Implement A Diverse and Inclusive Recruitment Strategy

As a recruiter in the banking and finance industry, I speak to a lot of hiring managers and HR professionals about what types of candidates they are looking for and the makeup of their teams. One thing that’s clear, a lot of institutions hire with diversity and inclusion in mind. So, what are diversity and inclusion? According to Built In, diversity is the traits and characteristics that encompass the uniqueness of a person. On the other hand, inclusion is the behaviors and social norms that make people feel included within a group or structure. Here are four ways to successfully implement a diverse and inclusive recruitment strategy.

Writing job descriptions tailored towards your target audience

Keywords are proven to be effective in keeping job descriptions more inclusive when it comes to gender. A study from The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University shows that job descriptions contain more masculine terms, which tend to discourage women from applying to specific jobs. For example, the word “determined” is considered a masculine word, while “dedicated” is seen as a more feminine term. Be conscious of how you write your job descriptions to ensure you are inclusive.

Networking with diverse groups, colleges, or organizations

There are so many ways to virtually network via LinkedIn, as well as in-person networking events. Job fairs, connecting with local colleges who represent a lot of underrepresented groups, or joining organizations that celebrate diversity are a great way to meet people, get referrals, and network in person. Social media, like LinkedIn, is an excellent way to develop a more diverse recruitment strategy. An example would be joining a group on LinkedIn with your target audience and posting your job in that group. It’s a great way to have conversations or get referrals from people of different backgrounds to ensure you’re building a diverse team.

Create a workplace culture that celebrates diversity

Diversity training in the workplace is a great way to generate awareness of diversity issues while also promoting a cohesive workforce amongst employees. Companies can also identify certain cultural assumptions employees may feel towards others while improving the interpretation of other cultures.

You can also create a diversity club or group. For example, a previous employer of mine had a “Diversity Group” responsible for organizing events and giving information about other cultures to employees. It was a fun way for employees to celebrate and understand different cultures.

Creating diverse-friendly branding

My recruiting territory is primarily in the Pacific Northwest, and many of my candidates are looking for employers with diverse cultures. Moreover, these organizations tend to be more welcoming to change and innovation. Essentially, a diverse team is more open to new ideas and views from their diverse employees. Diversity creates creativity!

We can help you build a more diverse team

These are just a few ways to implement a diverse and inclusive recruitment strategy. If you’re interested in working with a recruiter, reach out to us today! Our team specializes in recruiting candidates that ‘check all your boxes’ and fit your organization’s culture! Reach out to Johnson Search Group today, and let’s work together.

Like the majority of professions, life as a recruiter has changed significantly due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Recruiting During a Pandemic

Like the majority of professions, life as a recruiter has changed significantly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I have had to make the personal adjustment from my regular schedule in the office to working remotely out of my home. However, this transition has been the least of my worries as I am genuinely grateful that I still have a job and get to continue helping people. Every day there are new stories of company furloughs, layoffs, shutdowns, and the future is certainly unclear. BUT it isn’t all doom and gloom! There is an extraordinary number of great things going on in the world; people helping each other and coming together (not physically), people and companies growing and adapting, and believe it or not, companies are hiring.

Manufacturers and miners are still hard at work

While most of my manufacturing clients have scaled back hiring, there are companies out there looking for talent. We have seen beverage manufacturers pivot and boost their manufacturing production of drinking water and have had an enormous push for contract employees. We are also seeing other manufacturing companies shifting their focus and resources to manufacturing equipment to support hospitals and healthcare workers.

Mining is a different story. Aside from my California clients, most of my mining clients are deemed essential businesses. As a result, they are still hiring but taking additional safety measures while interviewing candidates. With these new safety protocols, hiring processes have been significantly delayed. But at the end of the day, they are still hiring, which is undoubtedly a bright spot for everyone.

Good things are soon to come

It’s difficult for hiring managers to give a timeline on when hiring processes will get back to normal. However, as I connect with my clients, the general consensus is that things will pick up here in a few weeks. My advice to job seekers is to update that resume, stay positive, apply to jobs you fit for, and try and connect with a recruiter who specializes in your industry. Although companies and recruiters may be a little slower when it comes to hiring, we can still help you find a new role during these challenging times.

If you’re looking for a new opportunity during the pandemic, check out the JSG Talent Network. We have dozens of new jobs available and offer tons of helpful advice on navigating the current job market.

3 Common Resume Killers

3 Common Resume Killers

With an evolving modern job landscape, you may have some fierce competition when you decide to hit the job market. This means you’ll need to be on your A-game when it comes to your resume! While some missteps can be overlooked, these three resume killers will instantly squash your candidacy and chances and landing the job.


If you’re rolling your eyes at yet another article telling you not to have typos on your resume – STOP! We have seen mistakes from executive-level candidates on down. Go through your resume with a fine-tooth comb. Utilize a service like Grammarly, which might catch spelling or punctuation errors you wouldn’t notice. And after all of that, send your resume to a friend or family member. Tell them not to hold back in looking for mistakes – your career depends on it!

Wacky Formatting

Nothing says, “I don’t have it all together” like a misformatted resume. It’s something that will catch the hiring manager’s eye immediately. That bullet point that you have about being detail-oriented becomes completely irrelevant when it’s out of line with the rest of your points or in a different sized font. Once you have completed your resume and you think it looks perfect, print it out. There’s something about seeing a hard copy that brings formatting mistakes to light.

Incorrect Customization

You have probably read dozens of articles recommending that you customize your resume (and you definitely should!). However, this will require a little bit of that “attention to detail” skill you boast about. Be careful to save each resume with the correct title and/or company you are applying to! For example, as you customize, you are probably saving each resume under a different name to keep track of each version. For example, “John Smith ABC Compan.” If you are applying to multiple jobs and forget to change the name of your resume (sending John Smith ABC Company to DEF Company), chances are the hiring manager won’t even open it!

You may have identified a common theme between these three resume killers – attention to detail. It’s vital that you take your time to thoughtfully apply for each position; it shows that you have a genuine interest in the company and you take pride in your work.

Looking for more resume and interview advice? Browse the rest of our job search and interview advice blogs!