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.


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.

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!

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!

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! 

How To Write An Outstanding Cover Letter

How To Write An Outstanding Cover Letter

In an uber-competitive job market, cover letters are more important than ever. Even though the tradition may be outdated, it can help you stand out in a sea of applicants. Here are four guidelines to follow to craft an outstanding cover letter that will leave a lasting impression and land you the job.

Customize A Base Template For Each Job

When you’re in the throes of a job search, you don’t have time to write a completely custom cover letter for each job to which you apply. However, your application materials should feature custom elements throughout. Enter a great cover letter template. Put together the general structure and include your career highlights. Then, as you move through the application process, fill in the blanks, elaborate on what is most relevant to each job, and pepper in actual words used throughout the job description.

Start Strong

Kicking off your cover letter on a strong note will set the tone for your entire hiring process. If you can, search LinkedIn and utilize the hiring manager’s name. If you can’t find a specific person to address your cover letter to, still be as direct as possible. For example, say “Dear Marketing Team” or “Hello Hiring Committee.” This will add an air of familiarity that will open the door for a stable relationship.

Highlight Your Relevant Experiences

As we mentioned above, this is an opportunity to customize your cover letter to each position. Read the job description thoroughly and assess which of your past experiences are most relevant. Then, make sure to go beyond your resume. Include important details like deadlines, goals, and successes. Use this opportunity to paint a picture for the hiring manager. You want them to visualize what it would be like to have you on their team!

Finish With The Future

The closing of your cover letter should reinforce your enthusiasm for the position. This is a great time to mention that you are looking forward to further steps. Include any important details like your availability, willingness to relocate, and any specific notes that the cover letter requested.

Interested in more job search advice? Head over to our blog to explore our wealth of resources.

Land Your Next Job Through Virtual Networking

Land Your Next Job Through Virtual Networking

Have you heard the rumor that “at least 70% of jobs are not even listed online?” This could be a gross underestimate in today’s market where there are millions of qualified candidates actively looking for a new position. If you are trying to land a job in the near future and networking is not a part of your strategy, you’re doing yourself a huge disservice. Here are a few strategies you can use to brush up on your virtual networking skills and secure your next job.

Tap Into Your Existing Network

You may have more powerful connections than you ever realized! You never know who has an open position or a connection who is currently hiring. Head to social media to share that you’re looking. Turn on the “open to work” feature on LinkedIn. Upload and share your resume on LinkedIn and Facebook. We understand that putting yourself out there can be awkward, so here’s a template for what to say based on LinkedIn’s #OpenToWork campaign:

Hi everyone – I am looking for a new role related to UX/UI specialties and would appreciate your support. Thank you in advance for any connections, advice, or opportunities you can offer. #OpenToWork

Reach Out To Potential Connections

It can be intimidating to try and grow your connections during a time like this. Additionally, there is a right and wrong way to do reach out to new professionals via virtual networking. Do not cold-contact someone and ask for something right off the bat. It’s most important to establish a connection based on mutual interests. Here’s a great initial message:

Hi {name},

I read the blog you shared on professional networking, and it really resonated with me. It was perfect timing as I am currently working on expanding my network. I’d love to connect so we can stay in touch.

Join A Group

The world of social media is full of networking opportunities. Particularly with the growth of Facebook groups, there are tons of opportunities to grow your professional circles. Do a quick search for your job title or skills on Facebook and filter by groups. Then, do a little browsing to find one that piques your interest. Generally, you want one large enough to foster engagement, but small enough to have meaningful conversations. Only you can decide your sweet spot.

Just because contact is limited doesn’t mean connection has to be. There is no better time to grow and nurture your professional connections through virtual networking. Interested in more job search advice? Explore our blogs here.

The One Job Search Strategy That Is Bound To Fail

The One Job Search Strategy That Is Bound To Fail

There is a lot of job search advice out there, mostly full of conflicting opinions. This will guarantee you will land a job! That is the perfect job search strategy! How in the world are you supposed to discern what actually works? Unfortunately, there is not a “one size fits all” ticket to secure a job. On the other hand, however, there is one job search strategy that is destined to fail (and it’s a big one!) Keep reading to learn more about this inadequate approach and what you can do instead.

Why Mass Applying Is A Terrible Job Search Strategy

There are millions of people throughout the world who are unemployed right now. As a result, you may find yourself thinking, “The more, the better! I’ll take anything I can get!” While we certainly understand this sentiment, it will most likely not result in a successful job search. Here’s why:

It Takes Time Away From Applying Mindfully To The Right Jobs

No matter what, applying to jobs takes time! You must customize your attachment documents, fill out never-ending applications, and contact your references with each new submittal. If you’re spending all of your time applying to hundreds of jobs, the quality of each application will go down. As a result, you won’t speak to the hiring manager, compelling them to hire you! Additionally, it’s essential that you apply to the right jobs that are in your targeted career path. 

You’re More Likely To Make Mistakes

On that same note, applying to hundreds of jobs is a ripe opportunity for mistakes. Spelling errors, incorrect information, and even mixing up application materials are bound to happen. It’s nearly impossible to keep track of all of these different opportunities with perfect precision. As a result, you will come off as unprofessional and someone who doesn’t pay attention to detail. 

Many Of The Jobs You’re Applying For Probably Don’t Fit Your Skillset

And now for the hard truth. Most of those jobs you’re mass applying for are not a fit. As a result, you will probably not get hired. Which really means it’s all a big waste of your time! You could be overqualified, underqualified, or even just totally off base. Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to be perfectly qualified for every job you apply to, but it does mean you have to be prepared to pitch your qualifications!

Final Comments

In conclusion, be wise about how you invest time in your job search. Apply only to jobs that match your experience and skillsets, and that fit the desired trajectory of your career. It will save you a lot of headaches and heartaches in the end. Elena Sabry, a Career Coach, explained it perfectly: “I would recommend assessing your experience, skills, job market, and if there is a good fit, apply mindfully. Mindful application is knowing a company, industry, and writing to a certain hiring manager or recruiter.”

So, if you’re ready to start your mindful job search, Johnson Search Group is the partner for you. Explore our open jobs, contact a recruiter, and read more job search tips

How To Nail Your Online Interview

How To Nail Your Online Interview

There’s a good chance that you have an online interview in your future. Employers are utilizing these virtual assessments as they try to streamline their hiring process and practice safe social distancing. However, it’s not the same as an in-person interview, and you shouldn’t treat it as such. Follow this guide to ensure that you nail your next online interview!

Do Your Research

Just like a traditional interview, you need to do your research on the company and your interviewer. However, you have an added advantage when you’re doing an online interview. You can keep some of the most important notes, right next to you available to reference anytime. Just make sure you don’t read off of them, they’re only there as a reminder!

Style Your Setup

When interviewing online, you’re not in the interviewer’s space. This means you are responsible for your own professional setting. Find a spot that has zero background noise, and use wireless headphones if you can! The background of your video should be simple and clean without any distractions. You want the camera to be facing you straight on, with about a palms width distance between the top of your head and the screen. If necessary, grab a few items from around the house to create the perfect setup.

Practice, Practice, Practice

We’re not going to sugar coat it; there are a lot of things that can go wrong with an online interview. In addition to traditional interview pressure, you have to deal with connection issues, sound technologies, and numerous other obstacles. You cannot practice enough! Do a dry run with a friend or family member, asking them to check for things like sound quality, a lag in Wi-Fi, and even run through some typical interview questions.

Dress For Success

We’ve all heard the horror stories about people who only dress professionally from the waist up for video interviews. You never know what could happen, so it’s non-negotiable that you FULLY dress for success for your virtual meetings. Choose neutral colors and clean lines so as not to distract from you and your thoughtfully prepared answers.

Show Your Personality

With a virtual interview, you miss the opportunity to interact in person, losing some of that chemistry. However, there are ways to show your personality! Be sure to use engaging body language throughout the whole meeting. Sit up straight, smile, and nod. You can use hand gestures, but try to keep them at minimum as they can be distracting. Don’t let the pressure of being on camera intimidate you! Answer every question with enthusiasm while being true to your personality.

If you’re still craving more job search tips, explore our candidate resources!