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.


How To Follow-Up During Your Job Search

How To Follow-Up During Your Job Search

When you’re on the hunt for your next opportunity, it can be trying waiting to hear back throughout the hiring process. You want to know what’s going on, but you don’t want to seem overly eager. There are ways you can follow-up that will be appropriate no matter how far along in the process you are, just follow our lead!

After Meeting Someone At A Networking Event

One of the best ways to follow up with someone after meeting them at an event is by sending a personalized LinkedIn invitation. Be sure to give context to the invite by including where you met them and any details you may have discussed.

Hi [Hiring Manager’s Name],

It was so nice meeting you at the [Event Name] yesterday. I really enjoyed getting to know you and learning more about your team. After speaking with you, I believe my experience and passion would make me an excellent fit for [Company Name]. I would love to talk further about joining the team at [Company Name], and I look forward to connecting with you!

Thank you!

[Your Name]

After You’ve Submitted An Application

Already applied to a job and have yet to hear anything? First things first, be patient. Recheck the job description to see if there is a time frame for applications listed. Sometimes, hiring managers won’t even review resumes until the application deadline has passed. If there isn’t a time frame included, and you feel it’s been a reasonable amount of time (we’d recommend about a week), send a quick follow-up email to the HR team. We love this template featured over on The Muse:

Subject: Following Up on [Position Title] Application

Hi [Hiring Manager’s Name],

 I know how busy you probably are, but I recently applied to the [position title] position and wanted to check in on your decision timeline. I am excited about the opportunity to join [company name] and help [bring in new clients/develop world-class content/anything else awesome you would be doing] with your team.

Please let me know if it would be helpful for me to provide any additional information as you move on to the next stage in the hiring process.

I look forward to hearing from you,

[Your Name]

After An Interview

Once you’ve had an interview, you have established a relationship with this company. Hopefully, during the interview, you asked about the next steps and were given a general timeline for their decision. If that timeline has officially gone out the window, it is perfectly acceptable to send a quick follow-up email.

Subject: Following Up On [Position Title] With [Company Name]

Hi [Hiring Manager’s Name],

We met last month regarding the [Position Title] role at [Company Name]. I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation and am really excited about the opportunity to join the team. Please let me know if I can provide any additional information as you make your hiring decision.

I look forward to hearing from you!

[Your Name]

The key to following up during your job search is to keep it polite and concise. Make sure you read and remember all of the details of the position (especially timelines) so that you abide by their directions. And unless you have been invited to contact the Hiring Manager by phone, we recommend you stick with email!

Perfecting The One-Page Resume

Perfecting The One-Page Resume

You may have heard that it’s ideal to keep your resume under one page. And while that’s not always the case, it is a good rule of thumb for a lot of candidates! In fact, 66% of employers say entry-level workers should have one-page resumes, while 77% of employers say seasoned workers shouldn’t use one-page resumes. If you fall into the first category or somewhere in between, it’s worth a shot to keep your work history on one page.

So, let’s say you’re putting together your application and your resume is just over a page. You may have only a couple of lines spilling over onto the next page, or maybe even a whole section. Before you go panicking, here are a couple of tips that can easily make all of your experience and accomplishments fit on a single page.

Tailor Your Resume

It should first be noted that you should be tailoring your resume no matter how long it is! Take a look at the job description and consider the company. Then, leave only your most relevant skills and accomplishments highlighted. Keep an eye out for specific keywords you can incorporate (it just may help fast-track your resume to the “yes” pile!)

Cut Out Unnecessary Sections

There’s still some debate on whether a summary or objective is necessary to include on your resume. It depends on several things, including industry, experience level, and the specific job. If you find yourself in the category of not needing one, cutting it will save you some valuable space! Additionally, you should not include references or even “references available upon request.” Lastly, unless you are fresh out of school, feel free to remove relevant coursework, your GPA, or any other academic achievements. For the most part, employers will focus on your work experience and skills! (And you can always elaborate in a cover letter!)

Check Your Formatting

You would be surprised at how much space a few minor formatting changes can add! Here are a few things to check:

  • Margins

Your margins should be narrow, meaning 0.5” all around. (We wouldn’t recommend going any less than that in case of printing issues)

  • Font

Please note, we are not encouraging you to make your font teeny-tiny in order to cram everything on one page. You can maybe get away with a 10 pt. body font, but we want you to check out those headings! Sometimes heading fonts can be as large as 24 pt., so you can get away with significantly reducing those to save some space.

  • Layout

If you’re reasonably familiar with manipulating documents, try a different layout than the more traditional setup. Multiple columns or added text boxes can fill what would otherwise be wasted white space.

Keep in mind, your resume might not fit on one page (and that’s okay!) However, when it comes to job applications, the simpler the better. Looking for more resume tips? Check out the rest of our blog!

Recruiter

How a Recruiter Can Help You Find Your Next Job

You likely know what a recruiter is and how they help people find new job opportunities. You may even know of a friend or colleague that has worked with a recruiter in the past. But have you ever considered working with one? Working with a recruiter can help you get a leg up on your competition and boost your career trajectory. Here are three ways a recruiter can help you find your next job.

They have strong relationships

Recruiters have a direct line to hiring managers and human resource professionals. Instead of just submitting your application or resume in an online portal (aka a black hole), recruiters will submit your resume directly to the decision-makers. We have strong relationships with our clients and will get your resume placed on the hiring managers desk instead of stuck in an applicant tracking system.

So instead of letting a piece of software sift through your resume and decide whether or not you’re a qualified candidate, we will have an actual conversation with those who have all of the hiring power. We let them know all about your education, skills, and certifications, and build a case for why you should move onto the next step of the hiring process.

They work on exclusive job opportunities

Recruiters, like ones at Johnson Search Group, often have exclusive job orders. That means you won’t find the jobs we are working on anywhere else. Not on job boards, social media groups, or listed on any website. Our clients trust us to find them the talent they need to grow. Thus, we have opportunities for you that you cannot find or apply to with any other firm or job board. And guess what? A lot of these opportunities are roles with robust compensation packages and within great communities.

They act as your advocate

Recruiters are your biggest advocate. Yes, the client pays our bill for placing you, but if you don’t get hired, we don’t get paid. Thus, your best interest is our best interest. We won’t try to fit a square peg into a round hole. At Johnson Search Group, we will help you find roles that are an excellent match for both you and the client. We want you to enjoy your new role and place you with a company that you’ll be proud to work with every single day. If you’re looking to make a big leap in your career, we can help facilitate that. Or if you are looking to move to a new location, we can help find you a new home and employer. We care about our candidates and want to find your new careers where you will be successful.

If you are interested in reaching out to a recruiter, contact us today. We have hundreds of job opportunities that might be the perfect fit for you and your career goals!

find a job

How to Find a Job in Today’s Labor Market

find a job

Summer is winding down, and as you start to settle down for the Fourth Quarter, you may be thinking it’s time for a career change. You’ve heard the reports and have seen all the updates on how hot the labor market is. If you’re ready to make the jump and join the 3.6 million people voluntarily quitting their jobs, here are three ways to find a job in today’s market.

Get your resume in order

If it’s been a while since you’ve updated your resume, the first thing you will want to do is brush the dust off. Take a few moments and review your latest copy and identify work experiences, accomplishments, certifications, or even volunteer experience you want to add. This will be a strong starting point for your job search because no matter what job you apply to, you’ll need an updated resume.

Keep in mind that you should be tailoring each resume for every application you submit. You can customize your resume to mirror the job description and pull out specific duties or responsibilities that will help sell yourself as a strong candidate. This may take you a little longer, but trust us, it will be worth it when you start receiving more callbacks.

Signup for our newsletter

Another easy way to stay up to date on hot jobs in your industry is to subscribe to the Johnson Search Group Talent Network. By signing up for our Talent Network, you will receive custom email notifications when there are open positions that match your criteria. Whether you’re looking for a relocation across the country or a new opportunity in your current market, we have hundreds of opportunities available.

By signing up, you will also receive our newsletter, which is full of hot, exclusive jobs you won’t find anywhere else, industry trends, and helpful tips and tricks (like the ones in this blog). The content we share will help you master your job search and show you exciting job opportunities.

Partner with a recruiter

If you’re serious about your job search, why not work with a professional? Our recruiters here at Johnson Search Group do one thing and one thing only: place talented candidates with fantastic organizations across the country. Our recruiters have strong connections with the hiring managers we work with. As a result, we can get your resume placed directly on their desk, not just in a virtual stack of resumes. Reach out to our recruiting team today, and let’s work together to find you your next opportunity.

productive

How to Be More Productive at Work

productive at work

Can you believe it’s already the end of August? Wow! Where has the time gone this year? As we approach the Fourth Quarter, many of us are already looking towards the new year. And for some, that can feel overwhelming. There’s a lot to get done between now and 2020, and our to-do list can be daunting. If you are feeling the pressure at work with that mountain of projects piling up, here are a few tips to be more productive at work.

Plan and execute

One of the quickest (and easiest!) ways to stay on track at work is to make a plan. Every day before you go home, create a plan or to-do list of what you need to accomplish the next day. The key is to prioritize what tasks or projects are the most important and tackle those first. You will feel much more accomplished if you take on the most critical or challenging tasks right off the bat. If you save the most essential or complicated tasks for the end of the day, they will loom over you all day long and distract you from actually getting your work done.

Stop multitasking

Many people claim they are great multitaskers and are perfectly capable of juggling multiple tasks at once. However, many studies, including one from Stanford University, debunks this. Simply summarized, our productivity is proven to diminish when trying to focus on too many tasks at once. Multitasking actually increases the number of mistakes you make, decreases your memory of essential details, and hurts creativity. In other words, we are far more productive when we focus on one activity or project at a time.

Establish goals

If you want to accomplish more at work, establish goals for yourself (and your team). Include both big goals and milestones and write them down on a calendar or piece of paper. As you accomplish these goals, cross them off. It may sound silly to some, but it feels great being able to check off accomplishments as you complete them! This will not only keep you on track in the short-term but will also help you prioritize your work goals in the long-term. Mainly, this will help keep your day-to-day activities on track for you to effectively accomplish those big, “scary” goals staring at you eye-to-eye.

Take care of yourself

This is arguably the most important thing you can do to remain productive day in and day out. Eat well, get enough sleep, and taking breaks from work are all essential to your physical and mental health. Use that time off as needed. After all, you’ve earned it, and that’s what it’s there for! Take small breaks throughout the day to regroup your thoughts. It will help you stay focused and productive, as well as reduce your work-induced stress. The bottom line is, if you’re not taking care of yourself, your work (and productivity) will suffer.

3 Steps To Being Ready For A New Job At Any Moment

3 Steps To Being Ready For A New Job At Any Moment

3 Steps To Being Ready For A New Job At Any Moment

In today’s candidate-driven market, there are hundreds of great job opportunities out there. And while you may not be actively looking for a new position, you never know what may come across your desk. If a recruiter from Johnson Search Group contacts you about a new job that just might be too good to be true, you want to be ready! Here are just a few steps that will make it easier when that time comes.

Take Note Of What Your Next Step Might Look Like

Even if you’re not actively looking for a new job, it can be beneficial to understand what that next step might look like. Would you need a significant bump in pay? Are you focused on work-life balance? Do you want to relocate to be closer to your family? Knowing the answers to these questions ahead of time will make it much easier to make a decision when a recruiter reaches out about that next great opportunity.

Continually Update Your Resume

If you haven’t updated your resume in a while, it can be completely overwhelming. You may find your mind going totally blank when it comes to making updates. Instead of trying to come up with everything on the spot when that next job does come along, make a note of updates now! Keep a document with new skills you’ve acquired, awards you’ve earned, and major projects you’ve completed. That way, it will be a breeze to get your resume up to speed in the future.

Sign Up For The JSG Newsletter

The JSG Newsletter is chock-full of job market updates, helpful blog posts, and most importantly, exclusive job opportunities. Plus, you can stay up-to-date on what is happening in your industry, even if you’re happy in your current position. We won’t spam you; you only receive it once a month. Best of all, you’ll always have our contact information on hand. That way, when you are ready to take the next step in your career, we’re only a quick phone call away!

Interview, Interview Tips, Interview Advice

3 Things To Avoid During An Interview

Interview, Interview Tips, Interview Advice

When you go into an interview, it’s important to put your best foot forward. That being said, there are a few things you should try to avoid during this prime opportunity to make a first impression. And no, we don’t mean the more obvious stuff like no cursing or dressing unprofessionally. These mistakes are more subtle, but will still leave a strong impact on Hiring Managers.

Filler Words

We are all familiar with the typical “filler words” you are advised to avoid: um, uh, like, hm, etc. However, there are a few more phrases that candidates habitually use that are a turn-off for Hiring Managers. One filler phrase that we have noticed popping up more frequently is “you know what I mean?”

It’s often hard to self-evaluate and determine whether you use a filler word or phrase. The best way to discover whether you do or not is to record a mock interview and listen to your answers! Once you’re aware of what your go-to words are, it will be much easier to avoid them in a formal setting.

Negative Tone

You want to make a positive first impression, right? Well, using a negative tone throughout your interview will have the exact opposite effect. Avoid speaking about your former employers or jobs unfavorably, even if that’s the reason you’re hunting for a new position. Instead, focus on the positive aspects that you are looking for in your next role!

Casual Language

No matter what stage of the interview process you are in, you should never let your guard down. If you are in the office for an “informal meet-and-greet,” out to lunch with the team, or even negotiating the final details of your offer, it’s essential to remain professional. This extends from how you dress to your language choices, and even to topics of conversation. It’s best to avoid casual language such as “awesome,” “totally,” and “you guys.”

If you have an upcoming interview and need a little refresher, check out some of our top job interview prep advice. We have dozens of tips and tricks to set you up for success!

recruiter, recruiting, job search

How To Get Noticed By A Recruiter

recruiter, recruiting, job search

You’ve probably heard that the job market is pretty great right now. You may even be considering putting yourself out there to advance your career! However, if you don’t feel like blindly submitting your resume to a black hole of online applicant tracking systems, you should definitely consider partnering with a recruiter. So what’s the best way to get your resume in the hands of a recruiter that will connect you with a great company?

Overhaul Your Resume

First and foremost, you need to update your resume. No matter how long you’ve been off the job market, there are always changes and improvements you can make! (Check out some of our favorites here.) While you should always customize your resume to each job you apply to, there are some general updates you should make as well. Consider the next step in your career and what skills and experiences you have that will lead you there. Make sure to list measurable results that clearly demonstrate your value.

Get Your Name Out There

Once you have a fresh resume, it’s time to let recruiters know you’re available! Start with updating your LinkedIn with many of the same changes you made to your resume. You want to make sure it’s an accurate reflection of your career thus far. The more skills and experiences you have listed on your profile, the easier it will be for people to find you. While you’re at it, switch on that little setting that lets recruiters know you’re open to new opportunities.

If you’ve spoken with a recruiter in the past, reach out again and let them know you’re interested in making a move. If not, do a quick search on LinkedIn and Google for recruiters that specialize in your industry. At Johnson Search Group, we have teams that specialize in your industry throughout the United States. They established a large network of some of the best companies, and have managed to build solid relationships directly with hiring managers.

Communicate Consistently

The absolute best thing you can do to enhance your relationship with a recruiter is to be available, open, and honest. Keep them updated on your job search process. Check before you apply to jobs you find online because you never know if they already have a contact at that organization. Someone calls to schedule an interview? Congratulations, keep your recruiter in the loop! It’s essential to communicate with your recruiter throughout the entire hiring process.

Ready to start the job search process? Check out what it’s like to be a JSG candidate, and contact us today!

resume objective, resume summary, resume

Should You Include A Resume Summary Or Objective

resume objective, resume summary, resume

A highly contested topic in the world of recruiting and hiring is the use of an objective or summary on a resume. Should you include one with your job application or not? First of all, let’s breakdown what a resume summary is. Essentially, it’s an “elevator pitch” at the top of your resume. Consider it a place to highlight your most relevant experiences and skills to quickly prove value. Now, let’s consider the pros and cons of including one or not.

When you should forgo a summary statement or objective

In most cases, you should leave the summary statement or objective off of your resume. The primary reason being that it takes up valuable space! The first section of your resume is prime real estate, and you don’t want to fill it with unnecessary reiterations of your resume. In many cases, it can detract from what is most important. If your objective is too general or doesn’t include a clear call to action, it will distract from your qualified experience and skills.

When you should use a summary statement or objective

There are a few limited situations in which a resume objective or summary is necessary. One instance is if you are a seasoned professional with quite a few years of experience. If this is the case, a summary can be great for tying together multiple roles with a common theme.

Another instance in which you’d want to use an objective would be if you have a varied background. For example, if you’ve had jobs in multiple industries utilizing a wide variety of skill sets, a summary or objective can provide clarity about the direction you’d like to take your career. You can maximize this space by focusing solely on your work history.

How to write a great summary statement or objective

The key here is to keep it simple and straight to the point! Be as specific as possible and clearly state your goals and how they relate to the position to which you are applying. Here is a great example:

“Objective: To utilize my 15+ years of experience in Mechanical Engineering, along with my passion for Project Management in a leadership role at a growing industrial company committed to sustainability.”

And as always, keep in mind that your resume is your own. Focus on what works for your experience and future career goals!

resume

The Best Way to Structure Your Resume

resume

You, like many other candidates, have tons of great experiences, accomplishments, and skills that you want to highlight on your resume. However, there is often confusion regarding the order in which you should display all of these details. If you’re one of many candidates taking advantage of this tight labor market, here is the ultimate guide on how to structure your resume.

Contact information

First of all, you must include your contact information at the very top of your resume. Be sure to include your name, phone number, email address, and maybe even the link to your LinkedIn profile. Recruiters and hiring managers look at dozens of resumes each day. You want to ensure they can quickly identify you and find all your necessary contact details!

Resume objective/summary

If you feel so inclined to include a resume objective, this is where you should put one. Keep your objective or summary brief and to the point. An objective should illustrate what you wish to accomplish as a professional applying for the position. And if you include a summary, provide an overall summary of why you’re a strong candidate for this position. However, don’t get lost in the weeds! The rest of your resume should point out why you’re a great fit for the position.

Work Experience

Now, this is where the bulk of your resume’s content will be. You will want to display your work experience in reverse chronological order. In other words, you want to go in descending order, starting with your most current work experience. Some people argue that you should list your most relevant experience first. However, that can confuse a recruiter or hiring manager and make your work history look like a jumbled mess. Instead, list your work experience starting with your current position and only include details that are relevant for the job. That way, there is no confusion about your job history, and it will be evident to the reader that you are qualified for the job.

Education

Now that you have all of your work history and accomplishments nicely displayed, your education goes next. Include the school you attended as well as the degree or certification you received. Don’t include your GPA unless you’re right out of school. Employers are more concerned with your work experience and degree than your grades.

Certifications

After your education, list any certifications you have achieved. Whether it’s an SPHR or a Lean Six Sigma certification, this is where you’ll want to place those. All you need to include is a list of any certifications you’ve earned and the date you achieved them.

List of skills

Finally, you want to include a list of skills at the very end of your resume. This is optional, but we would highly recommend adding a concise list of your top hard and soft skills. The key here is to add skills that help you stand out as a great applicant for the position. With almost every employer or recruiting firm utilizing an applicant tracking system, it’s imperative that your skills are transparent.

Your resume is ultimately yours

Overall, this is an excellent guide for those looking to restructure their resume. Ultimately, your resume is your professional summary of your experience as an applicant. So you are, of course, free to create your resume as you please. However, if you follow the guidelines above, you will help position yourself as a professional applicant!

If you are looking for more resume advice, check out our list of resume recourses!