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.

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!

How To Stand Out In A Competitive Job Market

How To Stand Out In A Competitive Job Market

The good news is companies are hiring! The hard part is, we are seeing more willing applicants than ever. 2020 significantly changed the hiring landscape, and we are seeing those effects play out in the hiring market now. In light of this competitive job market, I wanted to share some of the latest interviewing and hiring trends and best practices to navigate seeking employment.

2021 Job Market Trends 

First, we need to talk about the job market. More jobs open up every day, with states across the country reopening at an increasingly faster pace and mandates being rolled back or removed. Many of these jobs are backfilled with candidates laid off or furloughed in 2020 and are nearly filling themselves. However, there is a tremendous number of new jobs opening as well. This can result in candidates not returning to previous employers, changes in the companies hiring needs, and numerous other company-related factors. As a result, people are ready to get back to work and even confidently changing their careers. Overall, there is a sense of urgency and excitement amongst candidates and hiring managers.

Candidate Challenges

While a competitive job market is a good thing for employers, it can create challenges for candidates seeking employment. Finding a way to stand out is critical. First, you have to always assume you are in competition for the position you are pursuing. There are generally several strong candidates and many unqualified candidates applying for the same position as you. Just browsing LinkedIn, many of the job posts have hundreds of applicants in the first few days, resulting in a talent acquisition professional qualifying the resumes. The best and easiest way to stand out is having a recruiter represent you for the position.

The Benefits of Partnering With A Recruiter

Working with a recruiter to find your next job will do several things. A recruiter will have already done an initial screening with you to ensure your qualifications, experience, location, and desired compensation align with the company’s needs. Secondly and most importantly, a great recruiter will already have a relationship with the company. This essentially can result in you “skipping the line.” (The line being those other 100 applicants currently waiting for a response!) Suppose you are not working with a recruiter. In that case, I recommend connecting with some of the company’s hiring team on LinkedIn. Then, ensure your resume is incredibly clear and concise with directly related experience to the job listing.

Navigating the job market is tough for anyone. If you are a company looking to hire, I strongly recommend connecting with a recruiting agency specializing in your industry for the best and quickest result. If you’re on the job market, make sure to do significant due diligence on the company you are applying for. Partnering with a recruiter to represent you and share new opportunities with you may be your quickest way to landing new employment in a competitive job market. Reach out to me, let’s work together.

Contract Staffing in the Post-Pandemic Workforce

Contract Staffing in the Post-Pandemic Workforce

It is safe to say that the world has changed both in our personal and work lives. Being able to adapt to change is the key to surviving the unknown. So, as a career professional, what do you do when life throws you those lemons? That’s right! You make lemonade.

Old myths about contract staffing

Typically, there are two types of professionals: those that join a company for a full-time job – with benefits and perks, and contractors. For professionals who have never worked as a contractor, the thought could be daunting and may seem like a step backward. We are programmed by society to believe that the only way to get ahead is to find a company, settle in, and in the past, retire. But that mindset is dated. Retiring these days from a company after 30 years is not realistic, which brings us to the plethora of benefits from contract staffing.

Companies benefit, too!

Like job seekers, companies can benefit highly from partnering with a contract staffing agency, such as JSG. As a company, you can leverage talent in your Finance and IT Departments and more! Companies in the past have opted to hire people on a contract basis for short-term projects, interim situations, or to cover someone who may be on a leave of absence. Hiring an employee on a contract basis allows both the employer and the employee to decide if they are going to “click.” Contract staffing solutions are ideal for the company, especially as employers ramp up their hiring efforts.

Recently unemployed?

It is competitive out there! Johnson Search Group has put many people to work on a contract basis, and we can help you find a new opportunity. One of the best parts about contract opportunities is that they can transition into a full-time position! Don’t narrow your job search to just direct hire opportunities! Reach out to a JSG recruiter and let them know your situation. Contract positions can offer great pay, solid benefits, and can convert into a permanent role! If you ignore contract staffing, you may miss out on a fantastic job opportunity.

Ready to get started with contract staffing?

So whether you are a company needing a staffing solution or a job seeker, Johnson Search Group is the staffing firm to call! We cover many industries and have 30 offices across North America. Our professional recruiters will help you navigate your situation and suggest the best staffing scenario for your career.  

Put Some Spring Into Your Job Search!

Put Some Spring Into Your Job Search!

The snow is melting, the sun is making frequent appearances, and the job market has been on a strong growth trajectory for a few months now. This combination makes for a perfect catalyst for change! The market is extremely competitive right now, so even if you’re just considering making a move, it’s the perfect time to revamp your job search materials and brush up on your interviewing skills. Here are just a few of our recent blogs to assist in putting some spring into your job search!

Four Activities To Master During Your Job Search

Searching for a new job is much more than just scouring online job boards and refreshing your inbox every five minutes. There are many ways you can bolster your search in the background of your job hunting journey. If you are looking for better results, here are four activities to master during your job search.

Why You Should Partner With A Recruiter To Find Your Next Job

With bonus season upon us in the banking industry, many people are starting to evaluate their current positions. Additionally, managers are assessing the weaknesses of their teams and where they can add talent. This might land you in a position to look for the next step in your career. But, did you know there are advantages to utilizing a recruiter for your job search? Here’s why you should partner with a recruiter to find your next job.

Interview Questions For Every Stage Of The Interview Process

If you’ve spent any time on our blog at all, you know you need to ask questions during your interviews. However, it can be challenging to determine which questions to ask at which stage. Modern interviews feature anywhere from one to eight different interviews for one job. And the questions you ask during the initial phone screen should be different from the questions you ask at a final interview. Today, we’re breaking down the differences and laying out interview questions for every stage of the process.

How To Address Salary Requirements During An Interview

One of the most panic-inducing parts of an interview is addressing salary requirements. To best tackle this question, you need to prepare ahead of time! Here are three steps to take in order to share your salary requirements with confidence.

Transferrable Skills Will Help You Find A Job In 2021

I must say, I am feeling the optimism – things are moving along in the right direction. In my last blog wrapping up 2020, I left off explaining how I felt good momentum moving into the new year. Companies are hiring in Q1, not as much as I have seen in previous years, but certainly an uptick from the majority of last year. One of the trends I am currently experiencing as I continue my candidate searches is the emphasis on transferrable skills.

Five Video Interview Mistakes To Avoid This Year

As employers begin their return to the office or working onsite, virtual interviewing is here to stay. Even when the virus is in the rearview mirror, most employers will rely on video interviews to streamline the hiring process, cut hiring costs, and expand their talent pools. With this newly adopted interviewing format, here are five video interview mistakes to avoid this year.

How To Evaluate A Job Offer In 2021

Receiving a job offer is one of the most exciting feelings imaginable, especially if you have been unemployed for an extensive amount of time. However, before you sign your name on the dotted line, you must review the offer; this is a major decision, and you must understand if this is a good fit. Here are three aspects to consider when you evaluate a job offer in 2021.

Why You Should Partner With A Recruiter To Find Your Next Job

Why You Should Partner With A Recruiter To Find Your Next Job

With bonus season upon us in the banking industry, many people are starting to evaluate their current positions. Additionally, managers are assessing the weaknesses of their teams and where they can add talent. This might land you in a position to look for the next step in your career. But, did you know there are advantages to utilizing a recruiter for your job search? Here’s why you should partner with a recruiter to find your next job.

Employers are hiring again

If you are getting your bonus right now or are finding out that dividends won’t be paid this year due to the coronavirus, you are probably ready to look at potential job changes. I am here to tell you that after hiring restrictions prevalent throughout most of 2020 due to COVID-19, companies are now ready to grow their teams.

Hiring managers are looking for experienced professionals that can add immediate value to their team. You need to be able to articulate your passion and how your skills and experience will bring value. Sound intimidating? Working with a great recruiter can help you understand the value you bring and prepare you for grueling interviews.

Great recruiters can help you articulate in a way that speaks directly to a hiring manager’s needs. Sometimes just getting the interview isn’t enough to land the job you want, especially in today’s competitive market. You need someone to help you evaluate your skills and experience and coach you on how to sell them.

How A Recruiter Can Help You Pass The Interview Stage

So, you say you don’t need a recruiting team to help you in the interviewing stage. Let’s talk about that for a minute. You might be a strong interviewer. However, if you have been in the same company for the last 5-20 years, you’re out of practice and your interviewing skills are out of date. If you partner with Johnson Search Group to find your next position, we will help you prepare for the interview. We provide you insider company information, hiring manager backgrounds, and job descriptions. Additionally, we will help you thoroughly understand the job, walk you through the interviewing stage, and help you land the next best career move.

So, let’s have a conversation about your next step. Give me a call and let’s find out what your future has in store!

Top Three Soft Skills for HR Professionals

Top Three Soft Skills for HR Professionals

HR is an ever-changing role within the banking and financial services industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, HR jobs are “projected to grow 7% from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations.” I have seen a significant increase in the need for not only permanent, full-time roles, but clients have been asking for HR professionals on a short-term temp assignment to help get through different projects or overflow.

There are some soft skill commonalities amongst the HR jobs I’ve recently been recruiting on for my clients. This focus is due to today’s climate with COVID-19 and some because of the steady digital transformation of financial institutions. Here are the top three skills that HR candidates must possess in today’s world within the financial services industry.

Organizational change experience

As most companies have had to adjust their remote flexibility policies, it’s essential for HR professionals to understand how to navigate organizational changes; they need to understand the impact of the changes on the employees and the organization as a whole. This year will be huge for organizational change as many companies anticipate returning to the office later this year. Attrition, morale, and employee engagement will be the most significant organizational change factors as adjustments happen.

Takes a collaborative approach

Taking a collaborative approach decentralizes power and allows for shared knowledge, input, and expertise from others around. Having this sort of collective process can have a massive impact on how employees view their leaders, which can be detrimental to employee morale if it’s not done right.

Strong communicator

HR must align with the companies’ leadership and workforce to support the organization’s overall strategy and mission. According to HR Technologist, “57% of employees report not being given clear directions, and 69% of managers are not comfortable communicating with the employees in general.” HR plays an integral role within any organization, and if the communication is not clear, problems can begin to emerge later on down the road.

Are you an HR professional looking for a new job?

So, if you’re an HR professional that possesses qualities or know someone who does, I’d like to chat with you! I have HR roles I am recruiting on across the board, from an HR Coordinator all the way up to VP, Human Resources & Organizational Development. Reach out to me today, and let’s work together!

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, having a conversation with a recruiter offers many advantages, 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, the 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.

Networking

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, it’s 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?