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.

3 Benefits of Connecting With A Recruiter

3 Benefits Of Connecting With A Recruiter

At some point in your career, you’ve probably been contacted by a recruiter. When I reach someone who is not open to new opportunities, I get shut down pretty quickly. However, if I speak to someone who is, I typically share the opportunity I am recruiting on, and we go from there.

However, there are many benefits to talking to a recruiter, even when you’re not open to new opportunities. Here are three benefits you can get from talking to a recruiter, even when you’re not immediately available for a new opportunity.

Understand your market value

As a recruiter in the banking and financial services industry, I need to know the market value for people within the industry. I have conversations with candidates all day long. We talk about compensation, incentive programs, and benefits. We can quickly look at your skill-set and tell you what you may be worth based upon your background. Sometimes candidates are shocked to find out that they are underpaid in their current situation. Alternatively, some are happy to discover that they are very well-compensated for someone in their position.

Recruiters tell you which institutions are desirable (and which are not)

I have a lot of conversations with people open to new opportunities in Washington. I hear about the ins & outs of teams, leadership turnover, and the culture of institutions. As a result, I can speak to which ones may not be the best to go work for and which are highly desirable based on certain factors. I enjoy having candid conversations with folks. It helps me understand why you’re ready to take the next step in your career. Additionally, I uncover what a good next step looks like for a candidate.


You may not be open to new opportunities now, but things can always change down the road. Speaking to a recruiter is a great way to build a networking relationship for future opportunities. They can be a wealth of knowledge in the industry and can even give job search, resume, and interviewing tips. Additionally, you can refer the recruiter to someone you know who may be looking. You never know; it may be the opportunity that they’re looking for, and you can make an enormous impact on their life!

These are just a few of the many benefits of talking to a recruiter, even if you may not be open to new opportunities. So, connect with us today and have a conversation!

What To Do When A JSG Recruiter Contacts You About A Job

What To Do When A JSG Recruiter Contacts You About A Job

So let’s say the phone starts ringing, a random number, and you wonder, “who could that possibly be?!” Well, if you’re lucky, it just might be a recruiter from Johnson Search Group! When we reach out about a potential job opportunity, know that we have exclusive relationships with companies and a proprietary process that results in getting great candidates hired at incredible companies! So, if you’re lucky enough to receive a JSG recruiter phone call, here are three things you should do.

Trust us to apply to the job for you

We have built great relationships with our clients, and when you partner with us, our clients are not just getting your resume but a background on YOU and why YOU want to come work for them. We also boast about how and why you fit their culture and values. If you try to apply directly with the company, we CANNOT represent you, and unfortunately, you lose credibility. Remember, we have exclusive relationships with these hiring managers. They trust us to bring them only the best, often bypassing a stack of online applications for the one or two resumes we present.

Keep the lines of communication open

Even if you’re not interested now, it doesn’t mean you won’t be soon due to unforeseeable circumstances (life is everchanging and crazy)! A quick phone call back says a lot about you as a candidate. And believe me, you want to build that relationship with us. Down the road, our partnership might just be something that benefits you and your future. When you blow us off, you may have missed out on a really great opportunity. Maybe even for an opportunity for a friend (referrals are great, and we are all in this together!) 

Be kind

This may seem like an obvious one. However, you would be surprised at the number of times we are hung up on, or even yelled at, for merely reaching out about a job opportunity! In a competitive job market like today’s, you must keep your options open. Even if it’s not the right fit for you, kindness goes a long way when it comes to future opportunities! I am passionate about putting people to work and helping my clients grow their businesses by hiring extraordinary employees.

So, the next time a recruiter calls you from Johnson Search Group about a job, remember: we work hard, we work together, we work for you. And if you’re ready to take the next step in your career, I’m here for you!

Redefining work-life balance during the pandemic

Redefining Work-Life Balance During The Pandemic

Working from home can make finding and keeping a healthy work-life balance more difficult. The COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing have made it harder for most of us to feel like we are actually taking a break from work after hours or on the weekends since we don’t have those outside interactions. But finding that healthy balance is not only good for your mental and physical health, but it is good for business too! Here are a few ways that can help you maintain a healthy work-life balance during these unprecedented times.

Create a Routine

  • Dress differently for work and time off. Different clothes can create different mindsets, which can lead to more production.
  • Seek out virtual interactions with your coworkers through Teams or Zoom. It helps you stay connected with your team and is a great way to swap ideas, solutions, and creative insights from others.
  • When the weekend hits, put work on pause. Enjoy your time off by not checking your work email as often unless it’s truly urgent. This is where that work-life balance really begins to take effect.
  • Spend time after work or on the weekends engaging in relaxing, fun activities or exercises. That way, you’ll feel energized and recharged when you jump back into the work week!

Establish Transition Times For Work-Life Balance

Working from home negates traditional work transition routines like waking up, packing up, and driving to and from work. So, it can help create reminders for yourself that will let you know when it’s time to begin work and when it is time to stop. Setting alarms for a few minutes before you start so you can get your desk ready, or reminders to take a quick coffee break, etc., can help break up your day. Some people have found it helpful to take a brisk walk in the morning and one after work to get fresh air and clear their minds. Set a reminder for when your workday is over, and make sure you shut your computer down so that you aren’t tempted to send just one more email.

Finally, remind yourself that working remotely won’t be forever. 

While things may change, and they may not go back to the normal that we were used to, many things will work out in the end. Take a few minutes to stretch in your home office and remind yourself that work-life balance is important. Enjoy the comfort or chaos of your home while we wait for things to open back up. And most importantly, make it count!

If you’re looking for a change of pace and a new position, contact me today! At Johnson Search Group, we have built exclusive relationships with Hiring Managers throughout the country looking for their next great candidate. Could it be you?

Why Job Seekers Should Utilize A Recruiter in 2021

Why Job Seekers Should Utilize A Recruiter in 2021

Will you be looking for a new career opportunity next year? The job market is in a weird position right now. Some industries are thriving, while others are just trying to keep afloat. If you are searching for a new job, the market is a little rocky, but employers are still hiring. As we edge closer to overcoming the coronavirus, the job market will continue to stabilize, and it may be helpful for you to seek the aid of a hiring professional. Here are three reasons why job seekers should utilize a recruiter in 2021.

Competition is going to be fierce

Let’s face it; there are millions of people out of work, and the competition on the job market will be fierce. Gone are the days of the candidate being in the driver’s seat with multiple job offers in the works. In 2021, employers will still be recovering from the virus but will have more options to choose from. If you partner with a recruiter, we can ensure your resume gets read by the hiring manager instead of getting added to a stack of other candidates. Working with a recruiter, like one from Johnson Search Group, will help your resume actually get reviewed instead of thrown to the side. Hiring managers will have hundreds of applications to sift through, and we can ensure yours gets the attention it deserves.

Elaborate on your transferrable skills

When you are applying for a new job, you may not have every skill listed on the job description. But that doesn’t mean you aren’t an excellent fit for the role. If you have transferable skills, you can take what you know and adapt to similar job-specific skills needed to perform the job. This might be difficult to identify on your resume, so a recruiter can help elaborate your skills. They can help bridge the gap between what you already know how to do and how you can quickly adapt to perform the job successfully.

Exclusive job opportunities

And finally, job seekers should utilize a recruiter in 2021 to have access to exclusive job opportunities. Most job seekers use job sites and company career pages to find jobs. But have you heard about the hidden job market? Millions of job postings are not on traditional platforms. Only about 40% of job postings are advertised online. So, where are all the other jobs? Many are exclusive opportunities from recruiters. Clients partner with us to find them the best candidates on the market. As a result, some of these roles are in our hands and not posted anywhere else. If you really want to elevate your job search, utilize a recruiting firm.

Ready to let a recruiter go to work for you?

So, these are just three of the reasons why job seekers should utilize a recruiter in 2021. If you are ready to get back to work or find a new opportunity, reach out to us today. We work hard, we work together, and we work for you. Please take a look at our available jobs and give us a call today.

You Were Fired – Now What?

You Were Fired – Now What?

Being fired is an experience no one wants to have, but during our careers, it does sometimes happen. Disbelief, anger, depression, and resolve are usually the feelings that occur during this unfortunate event. But there is another feeling that can surface, which you cannot share with friends, family, or work acquaintances: humiliation.  

Your confidence level is down

When you start your job search, the typical reaction is to hide the reason you left your last position. As a recruiter, I run into many individuals who struggle with how to answer this question. 

An unprepared candidate will inevitably stammer and struggle with an answer. This is a severe RED FLAG to recruiters and companies.

Don’t avoid the elephant in the room

If you are working with a recruiter, be honest about your situation. 

Being fired will not necessarily disqualify you for the opportunity. Sharing this information with your recruiter will allow them to access the facts and help you formulate a cohesive answer that should satisfy the interviewer, and thus, will enable you to advance through the hiring process. If you are not working with a recruiter, take the time to write out a brief explanation that makes sense. The key is to make the answer concise and coherent, which comes across as a valid explanation.  

Never lie on your resume or to the interviewer

If you lie, you might as well kiss your opportunity goodbye. Lies ultimately surface and are exposed, and whether it is before or after you are hired, it will tarnish your reputation. Humbleness goes a long way. If the situation was so severe that a generalized statement can’t overcome the concern, you might have no choice but to explain what happened. Never come across angry or as the victim when sharing your story – this will be a deal-breaker. 

Take ownership, acknowledge it is a learning experience, and move on.

 JSG is here to help

Johnson Search Group is a valued partner to many companies in the Mining, Banking, and Healthcare sectors. Whether you are a hiring manager in need of qualified candidates, or a job searcher looking for your next opportunity, we are here to help – give us a call.

Unique Interview Questions and Why Interviewers Ask Them

Unique Interview Questions and Why Interviewers Ask Them

Your interview is going great; you came prepared and have the questions you want to ask them in your mind. The interviewer has discussed the position, the company, benefits, and everything else in between. You could walk away right now, fully aware of the company’s goals and mission and how you can contribute to that. In short, you are confident and feel good. Then the interviewer throws you a curveball: One of the weirdest or most unique questions you’ve ever been asked… “If you could be any dog breed, what breed would you be and why?” So, why are hiring managers asking these unique interview questions?

What is the point of asking unique interview questions?

More and more companies are shifting their hiring strategies, and with that can come some curveballs for candidates. Asking strange or off-the-wall interview questions alongside more serious questions can reveal different things about a candidate; they allow hiring managers to see how candidates respond to unexpected situations, showcasing their creativity and flexibility. They are an excellent way to break the ice and help an employee relax at the beginning of an interview or ask them at the end to conclude the conversation on a positive note.

How to respond

When it comes to funny interview questions, the answer is usually not important. Hiring managers are not looking for the correct answer; they are looking at how you arrived there. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you prepare your response:

  • Take your time. Don’t feel pressured to come up with an answer right away. You want to show the interviewer that you are thinking about it thoroughly and not just saying the first thing that came to mind.
  • Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Opening the conversation allows you to better understand what is being asked.
  • Walk them through it. It is all about the process, after all! They want to hear how you solve it, not necessarily just your answer.
  • Engage with the interviewer. These out of the box questions are meant to be interactive, so it doesn’t have to be one-sided.

What now?

Wrapping up an interview successfully after you have made it past all the questions is pivotal. It is essential not to forget to:

Working with a team of recruiters that value your career as much as they value their own, like those from Johnson Search Group, is an excellent way to prepare for your next interview. Reach out to me at if you are ready to take your career to the next level.

Start Your Job Search Strong In 2021

Start Your Job Search Strong In 2021

If you’re one of the millions of North Americans that spent the greater part of 2020 searching for a new opportunity, you’re not alone. As you prepare for a new year and look forward to a fresh start, here are a few ways to start your job search strong in 2021.

Establish Productive Goals

There are a lot of factors affecting your job search that are totally out of your control, especially over the past year. So, to start this year on a productive note, focus on creating goals for things you can control. Whether it’s applying to a particular number of jobs per week, dedicating a certain number of hours towards free online courses per day, or even just reaching out to contacts at target daily. Achieving small goals will give you a sense of accomplishment and help you make solid steps towards progress.

Continue Expanding Your Network

Referrals are one of the most powerful tools you can have in your job search. It’s important to continue expanding your network of professional contacts during your downtime. Write personalized messages on LinkedIn to people at your target companies, join mastermind groups focused on your industry, and even put yourself out there with a social media post. No one can help you land a new job if they don’t know you’re looking!

Cultivate Your Online Presence

In today’s world of social distancing, your online presence is more important than ever. Do you have a personal website featuring your resume and highlighting your skills? It can be a great way for a potential employer to browse your portfolio. If your career is in sales, marketing, or customer service, it can even be beneficial to start a blog!

Take Some Time To Recharge

Yes, it’s okay to take some time off from actively job searching! It’s important that you recharge so that you’re able to fully commit yourself to find your next opportunity. Be sure to soak up time with your loved ones and reflect on what you really want in your next position.

Don’t be discouraged if you’re heading into 2021 without your dream job. Take this time to reset and prepare for a new year full of new opportunities. If one of your goals is to add more job search experience to your arsenal, explore our candidate resources!

Secure A Job by The End of the Year

How to Secure A Job by The End of the Year

With only a few short weeks left of 2020, you may be one of the many Americans looking to lock down a new job by year-end. But with the coronavirus still in full effect, landing a job before January 1 is much easier said than done. So, whether you are unemployed or just looking for greener pastures, here are a few tips to help you secure a job by the end of the year.

Resume must-have items

The first step to secure a job by the end of the year is to craft a top-notch resume. Take a good look at your current resume and analyze what is missing. Did you receive a new certification this past year that needs to be added? Or did you play a significant role in a successful product launch? These are simple items you can add to your resume to make it shine!

The easiest way to beef up your resume is to add a skills section. There, you can nicely display a list of skills that you have worked hard to hone over the years. A simple bulleted list is all you need to illustrate your skills to hiring managers or recruiters.

Writing a killer cover letter

A lot of job seekers underestimate the power of a cover letter. Yes, they can seem a bit dated, and yes, they can be time-consuming, but in this competitive job market, they are more than worth the time! Start with a strong introduction that draws the reader’s attention and expresses why you are interested in the opportunity. Highlight your relevant experiences that a hiring manager will find useful and finish with an enthusiastic closing.

Once you develop a solid template, you can save it and tweak it in the future to streamline the job application process. If you are looking for more help, here’s how to write an outstanding cover letter to help you secure a job by the end of the year.

Step up your virtual networking

If you are serious about securing a job in the next couple of weeks, you need to step up your virtual networking. There are so many benefits to networking; one, of course, is finding a new career opportunity. Tap into your existing network and let them know you are searching. Do you have a connection that works for one of your target companies? Then send them a friendly email on InMail. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to new connections on LinkedIn that may help you extend your job search reach. Join groups on social networking sites to help you learn new job search hacks or meet other professionals in your industry.

Regardless of how you choose to network, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Be confident, be professional, and be kind. There are a lot of other people in the same position, so don’t be shy. You will be surprised how helpful a stranger can be to your job search!

Partnering with a recruiter

The last tip we have for successfully receiving a job offer by the end of the year is to partner with a recruiter. Recruiters can be your secret job search weapon in challenging times like these. The job market is tight, and you have a lot of competition. By enlisting the support of a professional recruiting firm, you have someone who will go to bat for you. They will champion you to the hiring manager and ensure your resume actually gets read. If this sounds like what you need to boost your job search, reach out to us today!

Transparency With Your Recruiter Will Land You A Job

Transparency With Your Recruiter Will Land You A Job

In a competitive job market, one of the best tools you can have is a recruiter. We have established relationships with hiring managers at your dream companies, we negotiate on your behalf, and we have an accurate gauge of which positions are available. However, how you work with a recruiter is important. And in 2021, transparency with your recruiter will be key to landing you a job.

Be Honest With Your Recruiter About What’s Important To You

Too many times in my career have candidates talked about wanting a unique job or a different work environment than the average bank. However, when you bring them the perfect unique opportunity, they instead make a move to a bank doing the same thing for just a few dollars more. In the end, they were only interested in more money. If they had been transparent with me initially, I could have focused on finding them the right position that offered a higher salary and a better working environment.

Keep The Lines Of Communication Open

The second biggest issue we see is broken communication. At the beginning of your partnership with a recruiter, it’s similar to when you first start dating someone. You want to stay in almost constant contact with that person about everything that is going on. You call your recruiter to share the deals coming your way, your current bank’s ever-changing credit requirements, and other career updates. Then, as you get more comfortable and the new opportunity’s timing is slightly slower than everyone hoped for, you start communicating less and less. The “honeymoon phase” of the relationship is over. Suddenly, you send your recruiter one-word texts and return every second or third call or email with limited info. However, it’s essential to trust the process and stay the course. Open communication with your recruiter will allow them to keep your best interests at the forefront. 

Be Open To New Opportunities 

Some words of advice from one of the best bosses I had was always to take every interesting or promising interview that is sent your way within reason. If something comes your way that is different and unique that you could interview for, go for it! Going for an interview does not mean you have to take the job. However, you never know what opportunities lie ahead without putting yourself out there. Remember, the company you work for is not as loyal to you as you are to them. So, the next time we give you a call, at least hear us out. It could be the start of a great partnership! 

If you’re interested in pursuing your next opportunity, contact me today. We can discuss your goals, keep communication open, and explore the opportunities available to you on the market. Transparency with your recruiter will be key in landing you that next job. I look forward to our partnership! 

time to look for a new job

Three Signs It’s Time to Look for A New Job

It’s no secret; the workplace environment looks entirely different for most people these days; however, the reasons workers think about searching for new opportunities are the same as they were pre-pandemic. Looking for a new job in our current economic climate might sound scary, but there are plenty of exciting roles available – you just have to take the plunge and decide that it’s time for a career change. Here are the top three signs that it’s time to look for a new job.

 You feel underappreciated

There’s truly nothing worse than feeling undervalued or unseen within the workplace. If your colleagues don’t see your value and efforts, it can create self-doubt in your mind and fail to provide you with a sense of belonging. One thing you can do to remedy this is to praise others on your team or within the organization to shift the culture. Also, take a few moments each week to reflect on your accomplishments and work wins. When there is a lack of praise from your colleagues or boss, self-praise can help you fill that disparity and make you feel good about your accomplishments.

If you find yourself in this situation, you are not alone. As much as 82% of employees within the workforce would prefer praise to a gift. If you are still yearning for more appreciation, it may be time to check out other opportunities. After all, employee recognition boosts employee satisfaction, motivation, and productivity.

You no longer feel challenged

There’s a big issue if you’re feeling bored at work. This can lead to your skills being underutilized (or not used at all) and damper your workplace motivation. Or, maybe there is not a more significant end-goal in sight, such as growth or upward mobility. Not having a healthy challenge in the workplace can make you feel stuck in your career. To mitigate this, try taking on new projects or new tasks that will take you out of your comfort zone. If this doesn’t feel possible, or there isn’t an opportunity to sharpen those underutilized skills, it may be time to look for a new job.

You dread going to work

There are so many reasons why you might dread going to work every day. No matter what you do for a living, you will always have rough days here and there. But repetitive stress, anxiety, and apprehension about the workweek are signs it may be time to jump ship. Try to identify what you dread about your job so you can understand where it’s coming from. Once you recognize what it is about your job that isn’t favorable, ask yourself if there’s a way to change it. Don’t dwell on things you can’t change. Maybe it’s colleagues, your boss, a toxic work environment, or the fact that it’s just a stressful industry. If the reasons you dread work are things you cannot adapt to or change, it’s best to start looking for a new opportunity.

We can help you look for a new job

So, now that you’re ready to look for a new opportunity, what’s next? Consider talking to a recruiter about reasons you’re looking for a new job or what qualities you’re looking for in your next position. In my experience, I get to know my clients, the culture, and their teams to really vet out candidates for a skill-set fit and culture fit. A recruiter can tell you if you’re going to be a good fit for the organization based on the information you give them and pair you with a client of theirs that matches your career aspirations and goals. If you are ready to look for a new job, reach out to me today, and let’s work together to take your career to the next level.