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Keywords

Keywords: How to Determine Which Keywords are Relevant

Keywords

When you’re wanting to apply for a new job, the first thing that pops into your head probably isn’t what keywords you should use in your resume to get noticed. And that’s normal! But when it comes to customizing your resume before you apply to a job, focusing on keywords can be the reason you get a job!

This action is looked over often, but with so many Application Tracking Systems (ATS) being used to screen resumes before they land on a hiring managers desk, it’s important you take the time to ensure you explain your skills in a way that will get you on their desks. And well, hopefully, hired.

Why Keywords?

When you think about it, keywords are normally the skills and experience companies are looking for you to have. So, finding the right keywords is not as complicated as it may sound. If you focus on mirroring the job description, you will get past the ATS in a breeze. In the job description, there will be great words that you can pull from to help fill your resume.

All of these are specific keywords that an ATS will be looking for before your resume gets passed on to the next level. So, make sure you do your due diligence and see what skills and experience they are really wanting and put them into your resume.

What Keywords are relevant

Depending on the position you’re applying for keywords will vary. But like mentioned above, mirroring the job description will be one sure way to ensure your resume gets seen. You want to use words that explain your experience and include the skills they are looking for. If they need you to have multiple certifications, make sure to include them as well.

The one thing you always need to do though is spelling out acronyms. Because even though an ATS is smart, not spelling out everything could filter out your resume, even if you have the necessary skills. And therefore, knowing the right keywords to put into your resume is essential.

What Keywords you should not use

There are also, of course, keywords you should avoid. When you think about revising your resume, you obviously want to make it the best it can be! Sometimes though, we forget how certain things may seem like a good idea to write down, but in turn, are not. Stay away from negative words and overly used phrases. Avoid lying.

If you aren’t an expert in something, don’t say you are. In this tight market, employers aren’t looking for someone who is an expert in all the skills they would like a candidate to have. They are looking for someone who is trainable, a good fit, and honest about what they can and cannot do. And finally, avoid overcomplicating things with big keywords that you think will make you seem smarter and better for the role.

If you’re applying for a role, it’s most likely because you’re interested in it. Overall, keyword “stuffing” will only hurt your chances of landing the job. Keywords are an important part of applying for new and exciting positions but there is a method to the madness! And hopefully, you have a better understanding of their importance and how to use them properly.

 

Details: Why the Little Things Matter in the Job Process

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

Tailor your resume and application

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

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

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

Do your Homework on the Company

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

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

Dress for Success

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

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

Send Thank You Notes

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

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

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

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

traditional recruiting

Why Aren’t Traditional Recruiting Methods Working for Me?

traditional recruiting

Whether you’re a hiring manager or a candidate looking to land your dream job, you’ve probably been impacted by today’s surging job market. More than 600,000 workers re-entered the job market last month. And the low unemployment rate has been hovering around 4% all year. With this tight market, traditional recruiting methods may not be as effective for both candidates and clients.

Candidates

The stars have aligned, perhaps you are actively looking, or have a search alert, and the job you’ve been searching for is available. Maybe it’s the company’s reputation, the location, or a combination of the two. You’re directed to apply to a portal on a job board and you receive your confirmation email. Time goes by and you never hear another word. They must have filled the role or didn’t think you were a good fit, right? Not necessarily.

Companies are so busy with growth that they are struggling to find the time to review every submitted resume.

Picture this vicious cycle a contact in an underground mine recently told me: Due to a long-standing vacancy, he and his crew are working overtime. Because of the lost time at home, everyone’s tired, and there’s a risk of losing more good employees. The hiring manager has to do his own job and now has had even more added to his plate by the vacancy. Somehow he has to spare some time to filter through mostly underqualified applicants. The result of this situation could net even more open positions. People are falling through the cracks.

HR departments and hiring managers are swamped. Many of them need help filling their most critical positions. If you, as a candidate, just submit your application on a job board, there’s a good chance you may never hear back.

Companies

More companies are reaching out to recruiters directly for help because traditional recruiting methods are no longer netting the results they desperately need. Companies are opening and reopening closed locations. With more job openings than available workers to fill them, there’s more demand for talent and less talent to be had. Finding qualified individuals willing to make a transition from the job they already have, just isn’t exciting enough to beat the drum to get resumes rolling in. There has to be something going on outside of just trading companies to facilitate this. A catalyst, if you will.

We are always managing our pool of qualified candidates. We here at JSG’s use our proprietary talent network, to have real-life conversations with real-life people. Understanding what excites candidates makes a big difference. Especially, when it comes to relocation.

Building strong relationships with our skilled candidates and having more in-depth conversations with them is key. It allows us to bring qualified candidates directly to the hiring manager’s desk. As well as, freeing up a lot of time for our client’s HR departments and hiring managers by doing the heavy lifting for them.

Partner with a recruiter

The job market isn’t the same anymore. Traditional recruiting techniques aren’t as effective. So, it may be time to look at streamlining your recruiting process by partnering with a recruiter.

cover letter

Is an Optional Cover Letter Really Optional?

cover letter

We’ve all been scrolling through a job board and see the infamous “cover letter optional” on a job application. Many candidates jump for joy at the sight of this. Other begin to worry about whether they should include a cover letter or not.

Should I send one anyway to earn some brownie points with the hiring manager or recruiter? Is this just a cruel trick to weed out those who don’t include one? Here is some inside on whether optional cover letters are really optional.

Should I invest time in writing a cover letter?

The quick answer is yes, you should always submit a cover letter, even if it’s optional. Your cover letter is your sales pitch; it’s your opportunity to sell yourself! If you take the time to write a thoughtful, tailored cover letter, you will make a great impression with your prospective employer.

Taking the initiative to write an optional cover letter will tell hiring managers that you are excited about the position and organization. In fact, according to job search expert Hannah Morgan, “When the majority of people take the easy way out and don’t submit a cover letter, then writing one can make a difference if it gets read.”

Thus, spending the time to write a cover letter can mean the difference between you getting an interview. If you’re one of the only candidates to actually writes one, it may just propel you to the top of the lists of candidates.

They make you stand out

A cover letter is your opportunity to illustrate to the hiring manager that you’re a great fit for the job (and the organization). Sure, your resume shows if you are qualified for a particular job. It illustrates if you possess the necessary education and working experiences to perform the job. However, being qualified for the job doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a good fit for the role.

Your cover letter provides the hiring manager with valuable insight. It demonstrates your personality and allows them to get a better idea of who you truly are. This is your chance to show that you’re excited about the role. Demonstrate your passion for the role and tell a good story. Stories help bring your background to life and allows your personality to shine through the letter.

The bottom line is, if you write a killer cover letter, it can only improve your chances of getting a call back for an interview!

Job Application

This One Thing Is Even More Important Than Your Resume And Cover Letter

Job Application

We all know that resumes (and sometimes cover letters) are an essential part of getting a new job. But have you ever applied for a job where you sent your job application materials directly to the hiring manager or recruiter via email? This method is growing in popularity as companies try to insert more of the human element back into the hiring process. When this is the case, what you write in your email suddenly becomes the most important part of your job application. (No pressure, right?) Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

First and foremost, keep it brief

You already wrote a whole page about yourself in your cover letter; there is no need to do this in the email! Keep your voice professional yet personal and don’t go into a lot of detail. Here are the basics you need to cover:

Don’t forget about the subject line

It is IMPERATIVE that you include your full name and the job you are applying for in the subject line. This will allow the hiring manager/recruiter/intern that is vetting and organizing the hundreds of job applications they receive to make sure your information goes in the right pile and is easily accessible.

Example: Marketing Manager – John Smith

How should you address the email?

We’ve all seen (or even sent) emails that start with “To Whom It May Concern,” or “Dear Sir Or Madame.” Please don’t. People do not talk like this in real life. Do a deep LinkedIn or internet dive to find the hiring manager’s name OR if you really don’t know who it will be ultimately going to, stick with someone professional yet personable, like “Dear Hiring Team,” or “Hi JSG Marketing Team.”

Let them know how you heard about the position

If it was a referral, you definitely want to name drop in the email! If you found it online, list the specific site (Indeed, LinkedIn, CareerBuilder). You wouldn’t believe how much recruiters and hiring managers appreciate knowing where their best candidates came from!

Include a strong closer

Assuming you have a strong closing statement in your cover letter, you should use the same style and tone for your email. Keep it short, impactful, and confident. Something like “I look forward to learning more about this opportunity and the Marketing Team at JSG.”

Remember to list your contact information

This may seem obvious, but you would be surprised. Yes, your contact info is often included on your job application, but you MUST reiterate it in your email signature. Include your full name, email address, and phone number in your email.

Show your excitement

If you are really excited about this opportunity, don’t be afraid to let them know! Hiring managers appreciate a little bit of genuine enthusiasm. Throw it in with how you heard about the job, “When I came across this opportunity on CareerBuilder, I was extremely excited because it seems to be a great match with my skill set.” Or include it in your closing statement, “I can’t wait to learn more about this opportunity and what I can do to make an immediate impact on your team.”

If you stick to these guidelines when emailing your next job application, I can almost guarantee you’ll hear back from the hiring manager!

3 Things You MUST Do Before Applying for A Job

applying for a job

So, you’re sick and tired of your current job and decide to start searching for other opportunities. You hop online and start scrolling through dozens of job openings. After a few hours of searching (and a couple cups of coffee later), you find your absolute dream job. But WAIT – before you even think about submitting your application, there are a few things you need to review to ensure you’re not impulsively hitting the ‘send’ button.

Check Review Sites

Before you get your heart set on that dream job you think you’ve found, it’s a good idea to jump on your computer or phone and check online reviews on the employer. You can go to sites like Glassdoor or Vault and get tons of information on prospective employers before you even apply.

These sites have a wealth of knowledge, including employee reviews, reviews on the interviewing process, salary information, and much more. These review sites can give you an idea what the culture is like of the organization, how tough the interviewing process is, and what current and former employers think of the organization.

This may help you gain some valuable insight on some tough questions that may be asked during an interview, spark some inspiration for questions to ask during an interview, or depending on the reviews, persuade you not to apply for the job altogether.

Check Out The Employer’s Website

Another source to check out is the company’s website. I know this seems obvious, but it’s shocking how many candidates fail to do a deep dive on a potential employer’s website before applying for a job.

Most employers have tons of information on their website that will help you tailor your resume and cover letter for the position. You can find things like the company’s mission and vision statements, news and events, and insights into the company culture.

Almost every employer has an ‘About’ page with all the information you need to write a masterpiece of a resume to impress the hiring manager, and ultimately, help yourself standout in the sea of applicants.

Do A Social Media Audit

Before you apply for ANY job, take a peek at the employer’s social media accounts. This will give you a better understanding of what the company culture is like. You will likely find things like press releases, new product launches, company events, and much more. Social media is a great outlet to find the latest news about the organization you are interested in. And sometimes, you may even learn more about a company from their social media than from their website.

You can also do a little digging on the hiring manager on LinkedIn. Head over to LinkedIn and search the employer in the search bar at the top of the page. Then, filter the search results by ‘People.’ This will allow you to see current employees of the organization and find the people you’ll likely be working with. Also, this will provide insight on the makeup of the team and help you decide if you really want to apply for the position or not.

Audit Your Own Social Media, Too

While you’re at it, this is a great opportunity to do a little research on your own social media. Before you hit the job market, it’s a good idea to run a social media audit on yourself. Go to your profiles and double-check what you’ve published and what you’re tagged in. If you wouldn’t want an employer to see it, it’s best to delete it from your profile. And at the very least, you can change your profiles privacy settings so others cannot see your content without your permission.

To kick your online cleansing up a notch, do a quick Google search on yourself. Google your first and last name and the city you live in. You’ll be surprised what will appear! There may be an old embarrassing MySpace account or another social media profile that you almost forgot about. Again, if you find something that you don’t want prospective employers to see, it’s best to delete or hide it.

You best believe employers will do a quick search on you before they call you in for an interview!

4 questions to ask yourself before submitting your resume

4 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Submitting Your Resume

4 questions to ask yourself before submitting resume

Believe it or not, almost nobody enjoys writing a resume. And if you are customizing your resume for every single job that you are applying for (which you should), it can be easy to overlook a simple mistake.

Even the tiniest of mistakes can leave a lasting impression on a hiring manager, and unfortunately, cost you a job interview. So, how do you prevent yourself from making silly mistakes on your resume? Ask yourself these four questions before you submit your resume to a job vacancy.

Is it free of grammatical errors?

Obviously, everyone knows that it’s important to ensure your resume is free of typos and grammatical errors. However, it’s nearly impossible to eliminate your biases and catch your own mistakes. Even professional writers use editors to review their work!

Ask a friend or family member to take a few minutes to go over your resume. Even if they don’t catch a grammatical error, they may offer other suggestions to help improve a certain bullet point or statement to kick it up a notch.

After you have someone review your resume, print it out and read it out loud. You’d be surprised at how many typos or funky wording you’ll catch when reading your resume out loud to yourself.

Should I add my address to my resume?

Even in the year 2018, many candidates still include their address on their resumes. However, it is perfectly acceptable to leave it off our resume.

If the job you are applying for is out of town, we recommend leaving your address off. An employer may or may not offer relocation, yet oftentimes, local candidates can take precedent. By forgoing your location on your resume, you eliminate any local biases and you’re judged on your qualifications and experiences alone!

Besides, people no longer communicate via snail mail when applying to or responding to job applications. It’s the 21st Century. Everyone communicates via email or using a smartphone, so it’s no longer essential to include your address on your resume. We are all connected and if your address is needed later in the recruiting process, it can easily be sent to the appropriate hiring manager in seconds.

Is it in a professional format?

Nothing is a bigger turnoff to recruiters than a poorly formatted resume. Whether it’s the use of an unusual font or inconsistent margins, formatting mistakes generate the impression that you are not a very detail-oriented person. This may seem obvious, but it’s crazy how many resumes we’ve seen with silly formatting issues that ruin the appearance of the resume.

More often than not, formatting issues are caused by sending your resume in an improper file format. When submitting your resume to an Application Tracking System (ATS) or emailing it to a recruiter, the formatting may get messed up. Margins can look funky or fonts may look different on another device. To avoid these issues, you must submit it as a PDF to ensure recruiters see your resume the way it was meant to appear.

Is my resume written in the proper verb tense?

This is one of the biggest mistakes we see when candidates submit their resumes. Except when discussing your current position, resumes should be written in the past tense. We often see the wrong tense being used when using action verbs at the beginning of each bullet point.

For example, for an old position on your resume, you should say “Develop marketing plans to…” instead of “Developed marketing plans to…” Not only is this issue an easy fix for you to make, it is also obvious for recruiters to notice. Make sure you doublecheck it for proper verb tense before you send it off to a recruiter!

Having trouble choosing the right verb tense? Here is a helpful guide to get you started.

Should You Include Your Address On Your Resume Or Not?

Should You Include Your Address On Your Resume Or Not?

Should You Include Your Address On Your Resume Or Not?

It seems that since the dawn of time, resumes haven’t changed that much. You start with your name gracing the top, front and center, then right below you include your address, phone number, and email in the header. Lately, however, we’ve been reading a lot of recommendations that say you should remove that address from your resume. So, today we’re diving into the pros and cons of having your address listed on your resume so that next time you do a refresh, you can make an informed decision about what’s best for you.

YES include it!
The pros for leaving your address on your resume are largely situational. If you are applying to a job that is local to your area, it can be a bonus to leave it on there. Companies like to know that you could easily make it in for an in-person interview and they wouldn’t have to pay to relocate you.
If you’re submitting an application along with your resume that specifies address as a required field, you must fill it out, fully and truthfully. Having your resume match this information can provide cohesiveness.

Nah, leave it off…
As mentioned before, privacy is becoming an increasing concern in today’s day and age. It is perfectly acceptable to leave your address off of your resume if you are concerned about privacy.
If you are applying to a job that is not local, we recommend leaving your address off. The employer may or may not offer relocation, however, oftentimes local candidates can get first preference. This eliminates any location-related bias and lets your qualifications shine!

For the most part, we recommend leaving your address off. People don’t correspond via “snail mail” anymore regarding jobs, so it’s not as essential as it once was! One popular compromise you can make is to include just the city and state. That way, you can still protect your privacy while still being transparent. However, always be sure to include your phone number and email and triple-check to make sure you typed them correctly!

The Absolute Best Way To Submit Your Resume If You Want To Get Hired,

The Absolute Best Way To Submit Your Resume If You Want To Get Hired

The Absolute Best Way To Submit Your Resume If You Want To Get Hired

I’m guessing that if you’re submitting your resume, you’d like to get hired, right? Many people spend hours honing their resume to perfection, only to forget the last-minute details that make a significant impact when actually submitting it to the hiring manager. There are three important things to keep in mind when you are submitting that all-important document that just may be the ticket to your dream job:

  1. Format

In almost* all situations, it’s best to submit your resume in PDF format. It attaches well, it’s usually not a large file size, and most importantly, the formatting will remain the same. Most resumes contain some sort of goofy formatting whether it’s precise margins, unique fonts, or creative spacing. If you leave your resume in a Word (or any other editable) format, these will end up looking completely different on the hiring manager’s end.

*There is an exception to this rule – if you are working with a third-party recruiter (like us!), ask your contact which format you should send. We prefer to receive resumes in Word. It is our policy to never edit or alter the content in any way, we simply add our logo to fast-track your resume to our contact within the company. Because we work hard to establish a trusted relationship with our clients, our logo signals a pre-qualified and outstanding candidate.

  1. Title

Naming your resume is more important than you may think. So many candidates simply name their resume “Resume” or “Resume 2017”. Think for a moment about how many resumes that recruiter or hiring manager is receiving. If they save your resume to a folder, it will be impossible to find you among the thousands of other “Resume”s. Instead, title your document “First Name Last Name Resume” (ex: Patrice Sutton Resume). Then, title all accompanying documents similarly (cover letter, portfolio, references, etc.)

  1. Message

This one depends on how you’re submitting, but if you’re given the opportunity to add a note (either through email or through an online submittal system), ALWAYS do it! Even just a brief, “Thank you for taking the time to review my application, I look forward to discussing this opportunity further” will make a significant impact compared to blank space. This can also be a good opportunity for you to reiterate your qualifications, highlight your personality, or add on any last-minute details. Just remember to keep it brief!