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How to go the Extra Mile in Your Job Search

How to go the Extra Mile in Your Job Search

The U.S. Labor Department recently reported that there are currently 10.9 million job openings – the highest mark since the recording of this metric in 2000. However, the department estimates that the number of unemployed Americans is over 8 million people. As this disparity continues to grow, so does the competitiveness of the labor market. If you are looking to make a career move during this time, you need to go the extra mile in your job search, and here’s how you can do that.

Add additional application materials

As you apply for jobs online, most companies have a web portal or third-party job hosting site to collect applications. These applications typically require your basic contact details, resume, EEOC information, and sometimes your references. But that’s not enough in today’s market. In the application process, there is often a space to include additional information. It may be tempting to skip this step to move on to the next job listing, but this area will help you go the extra mile in your job search. Add that “optional” cover letter, submit some certifications, writing samples, examples of work, or even a personal website. Adding these documents may be a little more work, but it’s almost guaranteed to help your stand out from your competition.

Connect with the hiring professional

If you are submitting resume after resume with no luck, it’s time to stick your next out a little bit. You can easily go the extra mile by reaching out to the hiring manager or recruiter working on the role you are applying for. After you submit your resume and fill out the job application, reach out to the hiring professional. Try connecting with them on LinkedIn or shoot them a brief email. In your message, introduce yourself, share the role you applied for, and attach your resume. By personally connecting with the hiring professional, you will increase the likelihood of your resume being seen by human eyes and not just stuck in an ATS.

Partner with a recruiter

Have you thought about working with a recruiter? Third-party recruiters, like the ones at JSG, have strong relationships without our clients. We receive exclusive job orders and can help match your qualifications and career goals with exciting opportunities. So, if you are ready to go the extra mile with your job search, reach out to us today! We have dozens of exciting opportunities across the country and will work with you to find the next step in your career.

How to Write A Perfect Thank-You Email

How to Write A Perfect Thank-You Email

You just finished up with an interview, and you think you crushed it. You’re telling your close friends and family all about it and letting them know how excited you are about this opportunity. But before you pop the bubbly, there is one more task at hand: sending a thank-you email. Here’s a brief overview of why thank-you notes are a powerful job search tool and how to write one after an interview effectively.

Why send a thank-you email?

So, why are thank-you emails so important during a job search? Many people make the mistake of overlooking their significance. They believe they are old school and don’t make an impact on the hiring manager’s decision. If this is how you feel, 13% of job seekers agree with you, according to a recent LinkedIn poll. However, another survey from Topresume reveals that 68% of hiring professionals believe thank-you notes make a difference, and 16% said they ruled out a candidate for not sending one.

So, in today’s competitive labor market, every small detail plays an integral part in your job search, and you cannot overlook the power of a thank-you email. Therefore, sending a brief email shortly after (within 24 hours) your interview is an excellent way to express your gratitude to the interviewers, remind them why you are a good fit for the role, and reiterate your excitement for this opportunity.

What to include in your thank-you email

So, now that you understand how vital a post-interview thank-you note is, what should you include in it?

Personalized greeting

The first thing you must include is a personalized greeting. “To whom it may concern” won’t cut it here. Address the email to your interviewers. If you had multiple interviewers, send each of them a personal, unique thank-you message. Keep the greeting as formal as the interview. Addressing the person with ‘dear’ is excellent for a formal interview, but a simple ‘hello’ will work if the position or meeting was more informal.

Show your gratitude

After your greeting, you want to show your appreciation. Hiring managers are busy, and it’s essential to thank them for their time. While thanking them, ensure you include the title of the position. Hiring managers are likely interviewing candidates for multiple roles, so it’s always wise to mention the job title.

Remind them of your experience and conversation

Next, you want to remind the interviewers about your experience and why you are a good fit for the job. This is where you want to reiterate a piece of your conversation or touch on an area that seemed essential when speaking with the hiring team. This section is also an opportunity to link to some work you mentioned in your meeting. For example, if you discussed your writing experience, you can link to some content or blogs you have recently written.

Hint at next steps

 Finally, it’s time to wrap up your email. This section is where you can reiterate your excitement for the opportunity to work for this company. Also, you can let the hiring team know that you are open to further conversations or to clarify any additional questions they may have about your experience. To conclude your email, thank them again and include your contact details to ensure a seamless response if they choose to reply.

Example of a post-interview thank-you note

“Dear [Hiring Manager Name],

Thank you for meeting with me today about the Project Manager position with [Company Name]. I appreciate you taking the time to interview me and further discuss this position.

I enjoyed talking about the team and think that my PM experience in commercial construction will allow me to be a great asset to the [Company Name] team.

Thank you again, and I look forward to hearing from you regarding the next steps in the hiring process. Please let me know if I can provide any additional information or if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

[Your Name & Contact Details]

How to Impress a Potential Employer

How to Impress a Potential Employer

Whenever you are applying for a job, there is always going to be some competition. Sometimes, to beat out your fellow job seekers, you may try different strategies to gain a potential employer’s attention when you submit your application. However, the best way to make yourself stand out is to give a hiring professional a reason to take a closer look at your application. Pretty simple, right? Well, this process can be a lot harder than you may think. Here are three ways to impress your potential employer and help you stand out from the competition!

Tailor your resume to the job

It’s not uncommon for a job posting to receive hundreds or even thousands of resumes. The bulk of these resumes loosely relate to the position (or are entirely irrelevant). Many job seekers struggle to get past this initial stage of the hiring process because they don’t incorporate anything from the job description in their application materials. The result is your resume may never reach the desk of a hiring manager. To overcome this hurdle, here are some tips on how to make your resume stand out:

  • Include the correct keywords from the job description
  • Have a clean format
  • Be clear and concise
  • Use bulleted lists
  • Incorporate relevant skills and duties

It is also important to note that ATS systems reject up to 75% of qualified applicants. So, you must tailor your resume to get the potential employer’s interest!

Be qualified for the job

This one may seem like a no-brainer, but many people apply for jobs without the necessary qualifications. Sometimes, people apply to these jobs because they match their new career goals but they don’t have much experience in this field or line of work. This strategy is becoming common in the post-pandemic market as people begin to shift to industries that have flourished during the pandemic. If you are missing some of the necessary qualifications, you must have transferable experience or skills related to the job. Otherwise, hiring managers will toss your application to the side. Most of the time, applications are only reviewed by hiring managers for less than thirty seconds. So, before you hit send on that application, make sure you are properly displaying your transferrable skills to avoid rejection.

Sharpen up your interviewing skills

One of the best ways to stand out to any potential employer is to hone your interviewing skills. You can prepare for an upcoming interview by practicing answers to common interview questionsshowing your personality, and doing your due diligence on the employer. Nailing your interview will undoubtfully leave a good impression among the hiring team, which will help you impress a potential employer.

Pro tip: An easy way to impress a prospective employer is to send a thank-you note after an interview. To get more interviewing advice, check out our blog resources for tons of helpful tips!

Check out our candidate resources

The next time you are on the job search and ready to apply for a job, keep these tips in mind to impress any potential employer. Remember, you are going up against stiff competition, so it is vital to prepare yourself to leave a lasting impression on the hiring team. If you are interested in more career advice, check out our candidate resources to help you land your next job!

How to Get a New Job During the Great Resignation

How to Get a New Job During the Great Resignation

You may have heard about the “Great Resignation,” and now you are questioning whether it is time to find a new job or not. Maybe it’s the aftermath of the pandemic, or you are taking advantage of the plethora of jobs currently available. Either way, many people are reshaping their careers during this unprecedented time. But before you quit your current job and go out searching, there are a few steps you must take to ensure this endeavor is successful. Here are four things you must do to get a new job during the Great Resignation.

Update that resume and cover letter

First of all, you must update your resume before you apply for any job. Sending a generic resume doesn’t work anymore, so it’s essential to tailor your resume for the job you are applying for. Tailoring your resume includes modifying your duties with your current and previous positions, adding relevant skills, and of course, including those well-earned certifications. Also, having an updated cover letter is just as important when getting ready to apply for a job. A cover letter explaining how the pandemic has changed your career goals and passions to the job you are applying to is an example of how you can make your application more memorable to hiring managers.

Be ready for video interviews

If you are not used to video interviews yet, it is time to get brought up to speed. Video interviews became the new norm during the pandemic, and for most employers, they are here to stay. To prepare for an interview over Zoom or Microsoft Teams, familiarizing yourself with the technology is imperative. You can do a brief mock interview with a friend, test your audio on the device you will be using, and select a clean, un-distracting background. Being comfortable with the technology will make your virtual interview go smoothly and help you land your next career opportunity!

Don’t settle

Because you are looking for a job in a candidate-driven market right now, there is no pressure to settle for a job you don’t want. If you get to the stage of interviews or get offered a job, ask yourself if this job is the best fit for you. If it is not the best fit, do not be shy to decline the job offer or withdraw your candidacy. As a job seeker, keep in mind that you have a lot more leeway to find the best job that fits your needs instead of settling for a job that doesn’t check off all your boxes. 

Networking 

While you are looking for a new job, networking can also be a great way to open the door for more job opportunities. Using websites like LinkedIn can be a great way to meet more people and tap into more job prospects that you won’t find on any job board. So, it is essential to keep up with your networking skills because you never know when a new opportunity might arise! If you are looking for advice on how to spruce up your LinkedIn profile, here’s how to write a killer LinkedIn summary.

Need more advice?

These four tips can help you secure a new job during the Great Resignation. If you are looking for more advice on how you can take your job search to the next level, take a look at our blog! We are always sharing helpful job search tips to guide you in this post-pandemic labor market.

Why You Should Make A Career Move Now

Why You Should Make A Career Move Now

Many people have been hesitant to make a move during the pandemic. And after speaking with thousands of people over the last year, I completely understand. However, with the uncertainty caused by COVID-19 waning, now is the time to make a career move.

Companies Are Hiring

Institutions are hiring, and many are desperately looking for people to fill the critical openings they have. Based on your skill set and career goals, you can decide where you want to go. Openings are abundant, yet many people are still hesitant to leave their current positions. We are once again in a candidate-driven market, and businesses recognize this. As a result, they are making the changes that people are looking for in a career move. We have never seen so much remote availability with roles today. Additionally, institutions are increasing salaries and making total compensation packages more enticing.

Compensation Packages Are Increasing

I just had a client call me and say they completely adjusted their compensation structure. So, if you were to be hired now, you would make 10-20% more than the same time last year. Businesses are getting the point. Candidates tend to think, “the longer I hold out, the better.” However, if you stay because you’re comfortable, you will miss out on these incredible compensation packages. We talk with hundreds of people that say they want more pay but are just too afraid to make a move. Now, as the pandemic is trending downward and jobs stabilize, it’s the perfect time to make a career move.

Make Your Career Move Today

Sure, it’s uncomfortable to start a new position. You have to make new work friends, establish bonds with new bosses and subordinates, and get your footing with a whole new employer. But life is an adventure, and making a move will ultimately be great for your career. Now is the time, so contact me today to discuss what’s on your horizon.

Relocating Candidates in the Post-Pandemic Market

Relocating Candidates in the Post-Pandemic Market

In the world of direct-hire staffing, relocating candidates is a common obstacle we all face. For the most part, candidates aren’t eager to relocate, and employers never prefer to relocate candidates if at all possible. Still, relocating candidates is a necessary part of staffing and recruiting. It’s an obstacle all candidates, clients, and recruiters face when building solid teams and workforces. Relocation is nearly inevitable when taking on some job requisites. For example, when recruiting at remote locations or looking for a particular skillset. Relocating candidates is an endeavor I have been very successful in and an area I take pride in my recruiting abilities. Recently I lost one… Not to say I haven’t before, because I definitely have, but it had been a while. I wanted to take a few moments to share why relocating candidates in the post-pandemic labor market is more challenging.

Interviewing and hiring strategies evolved

Throughout the majority of 2020, many of my senior-level positions came to a screeching halt due to the pandemic. As a result, most of my positions requiring a relocation were put on hold or eliminated for the time being as traveling became more complex. As the year progressed and hiring and interviewing practices evolved, these job openings started to come back. But candidates were uncertain about pursuing new opportunities requiring relocation due to the uncertainty of the job market. When working with candidates during this time, companies and recruiters had to be extra vigilant, detail-oriented, and safety-minded in helping to facilitate these relocations. I still successfully filled these job orders, but it became increasingly challenging working with a much smaller talent pool.

Candidates are going fast

With the competitiveness of the job market and one of the most competitive housing markets in decades, we see different obstacles facing relocation opportunities. Companies are hiring across the board, and we are experiencing a massive uptick in hiring with all our clients. Candidates are ready to make a move and are going fast. Many of my candidates are interviewing with multiple companies, creating a great sense of urgency with employers. If your hiring process is too slow, you will surely miss out.

And with a competitive housing market, you have to be three steps ahead to get the right candidate to relocate. While this is a daunting task, one thing remains true: you must be transparent with candidates on all relocation details as soon as you they enter the interviewing process. Your candidates have to understand everything from the housing market, cost of living, schools in the area, moving expenses, onboarding, and countless other details. As long as everyone is on the same page, we at JSG have still successfully relocated candidates in this market.

We can assist with relocating candidates

As I learned early this month, you can’t win them all; however, with the right relocation strategy, recruiting firms like Johnson Search Group can help bring you the right candidate regardless of the current hiring obstacles. Reach out to us today, and let’s work together to solve your hiring dilemmas!

How to Attract and Retain Candidates in Today’s Chaotic Market

How to Attract and Retain Candidates in Today’s Chaotic Market

It’s no secret that COVID-19 has changed the landscape for many organizations over the past year. Throughout the last 18+ months, employers transitioned to a remote workforce, laid off or furloughed staff, and some even were forced to close their doors for good. Now that many areas are beginning to reopen, the job market is hot, people are hiring, and candidates are starting to make career changes.

People are quitting their jobs at record rates

According to JOLTS Report, 4 million quit their jobs in April with a renewed confidence in their career prospects. As the labor market continues to strengthen become competitive again, employed job seekers feel good about pursuing other opportunities. The industries where workers are quitting their jobs at record rates are retail trade; professional and business services; and transportation, warehousing, and utilities.”

Employers are struggling to retain their staff

April showed a record 9.3 million job openings – which means employers will need to work harder to retain their current employees. Employees are beginning to see that they have the upper hand; they continue to have negotiating power while they’re in the process of getting a new job. Also, the best candidates on the market are seeing an increase in counteroffers and retaining bonuses.

Not only are candidates quitting their jobs to go to other companies, but many people have had to become creative to generate income. Side hustles have been on the rise over the last couple of years, with more than 2 million people entering the freelance game in 2020.

What can your team do to attract candidates?

My clients have recently had to become creative in how they attract and retain talent. Retention bonuses, especially within mortgage positions, have increased significantly. Companies are also starting to offer sign-on bonuses to attract new talent.

If you’re having trouble attracting or retaining talent in today’s job market, reach out to me. I’ve helped several of my clients come up with solutions to fill positions and retain their best workers. We talk to candidates all day, every day, asking them the questions of what it would take for them to consider a career change. Partner with us, and let’s work together to create a plan that will help you attract and retain candidates, even in today’s chaotic market.

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!

Bonus Time Means It’s Time to Move On

Bonus Time Means It’s Time to Move On

With bonus season upon us for those in the banking industry, now is the time to start exploring other opportunities. Maybe you have been satisfied with your job, but the job has lost its excitement over the years. It might have been a leadership change, a merger, or just the organization’s lack of upward mobility that drove you to read this blog. Let’s jump into why bonus time is the perfect time to move on.

Changes caused by mergers & acquisitions

With the Merger & Acquisition activity increasing over the last few years, you might be affected by this. You have been with the bank for years, and you were happy, but now the new company is entirely different. They are changing everything about how you do your job and maybe even changing the areas that drive your passion. Or your new employer that acquired your company is putting their own people in your role. 

That can be so frustrating and discouraging. Keep in mind, I am not saying don’t be flexible and open to change, but sometimes that change is just too much. But now that you know what the new organization looks like, it’s time to take a serious look at the opportunities a headhunter is trying to discuss with you.

No upward trajectory

Lack of upward mobility is a real killer. This situation is one of the top reasons people are interested in making a move. Maybe you work with a strong company with a good leadership team. However, you have been in the same role for the last 5+ years (may be shorter or longer, depending on the role) and have been asking about moving up, but there is just never room. You got passed up for the promotion early on in your career because you just didn’t have enough time in the role, and now you are getting a little frustrated that you can’t move up (there are only so many leadership slots within a company after all).  

But you just had your review, and maybe a smaller bonus due to Covid, and the frustrations are heavier than they have been in the past. Now is the time to call that recruiter back that reached out to you over the last three months and talked with them about their current job orders. A good recruiter will be honest with you about what they have available and how they can help you. They might not have something today, but the squeaky wheel gets the grease, so keep checking back, and something will pop up sooner rather than later. Keep in mind that a good recruiter talks to 20-40 potential candidates per day, and a great recruiter talks to 60+ people per day. So they don’t always remember every detail about you and your background, but a little patience and good communication will go a long way.

Changes in leadership

Leadership changes are always challenging. You really understand your current boss and their direct line of leadership and what they expect from you. Now, someone gets replaced or leaves, and the company brings in a new leader that is not in line with you. Leadership can be a motivation killer or driver. We all want to work with the best leaders in the world, but we don’t always have this luxury. The new leader is probably excellent, but they just don’t mesh with you, which is typical. However, this is your opportunity to move on and find the leader that fits your needs.  

Your compensation

We all need money and want more of it, and sometimes, it drives our decisions. Either way, it’s bonus season, and the frustrations have mounted. This is the time to make that change. You have probably seen all the LinkedIn updates of professionals in your network changing jobs over the past couple of months. As recruiters, we have tons of companies looking for people right now, and they are looking for solid performers like you. So, when a recruiter, like me, gives you a call or sends you an InMail, let’s discuss what a change looks like for you.