Red Flags To Look For During Your Job Search

Red Flags To Look For During Your Job Search

There are a few things you want to watch out when you’re on the hunt for a new job. While red flags don’t have to be deal-breakers, they are simply things you should pay attention to and thoughtfully consider throughout the hiring process. Take note of these three things as you search for your next position, and you’ll be more likely to end up in a fulfilling job that meets your expectations.

Bad Reviews

Please read this carefully. Just because a company has a few less than stellar reviews does not mean they are a bad company. However, sites like Glassdoor do offer a glimpse into what it may be like to work there. When you’re reading reviews, simply take everything with a grain of salt. Look for reviews that are fair and balanced and cover positives as well as negatives. Typically, the more in-depth the review, the more thoughtful it is.

If you do see reviews that are concerning, don’t be afraid to bring them up. If you’re working with a third-party recruiter, they can address it with their client. You can also mention it during your interview to gain further insight. Hopefully, the interviewer will address it head-on, including steps taken to either fix the issue or stop it from happening in the future.

A Mismatch In Priorities

Now, we understand that a perfect job situation doesn’t exist. You will more than likely have to compromise some of the items on your “dream job” wishlist. Thus, it is essential to understand your non-negotiables. What are the perks or company culture factors that you must have? Additionally, you want to have a grasp on your desires that aren’t necessarily deal-breakers but would be something you’d consider when taking a new job. If you find yourself having to compromise TOO much, you won’t be happy in the long run.

Your Interview Is Short

When it comes time to interview, your interviewer should want to know everything about you. Is your experience a good fit for the job? Would your personality be a good culture fit? A thorough list of thoughtful questions indicates that the interviewer is not only interested in you, but also finding the right person for this job. A disengaged interviewer is either not interested in hiring you, or merely trying to fill a spot with a body. Of course, there are exceptions. Sometimes an interview is simply to confirm what they already knew – you’re perfect for the job! Just be sure to pay attention to the tone and pick up on cues – both verbal and non-verbal – throughout your meeting.

ultimate guide to references

The Ultimate Guide to References

Believe it or not, there is a lot involved with crafting an excellent group of professional references. If you’re one of the 40+ million workers unfortunately out of work because of the coronavirus, you may be preparing to hit the job market as cities, counties, and even states begin to open back up. So, while you’re sprucing up your resume, updating your LinkedIn profile, and searching the job boards, don’t forget to rebuild your references! Here is the ultimate guide to references, so you have them ready to go when you need them most.

Who to add as a reference

When it comes to assembling your group of references, you must take your time and pick carefully. These are the people that are going to help you seal the deal and get that new job you’ve worked your tail off to get! You can’t just ask anyone – you want to ask professionals that will stick their necks out for you and give you a good recommendation.

Pick former managers, co-workers, colleagues, or even workers that reported to you as a professional reference. If you’re fresh out of school, you can list a professor that you worked with closely.

Always ask for permission

Whoever you decide to add, ensure you ask for their permission beforehand. It’s crucial to ask them for permission and give them a heads up before submitting their contact details to a potential employer. The last thing you want to do is catch a reference off guard when instead, they should be expecting a call or email from a hiring manager or HR professional. Don’t just notify them; give them a brief overview of the job you are applying for, so they know how to tailor their answers. Essentially, coach them a bit on how you would like them to answer any questions.

While you reach out to your contacts, ensure their contact details and titles/employers are current on your list to make sure you are providing the correct information!

What to include on your list of references

You cannot just throw a handful of professional references on a sheet of paper and submit them. You have to organize them neatly and add a little context to each reference. Include:

  • The references name
  • Current job and position
  • Company
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • And a brief description of the reference explaining your relationship and how you worked together in the past

Don’t forget to put your name and contact information at the top, too! You would be surprised by how many people forget to do that.

When to submit them

Typically, you only need to submit a reference list at the end of the interviewing process. If you are working with a recruiter from Johnson Search Group, we will take care of this for you. Send us your list of references, and we will do the rest. We will submit them on your behalf (with your permission, of course) at the appropriate time. We often even reach out to them on behalf of our clients to help the process move along seamlessly.

Hopefully, this ultimate guide to references is helpful in your job search. If you’re on the market for a new job, check out our job board. We have dozens of exciting opportunities across the nation with employers that are looking to hire great candidates like you quickly.

job search must-knows during the pandemic

Job Search Must-Knows During The Pandemic

If you’re currently searching for a new job because you have been laid off or simply want to jump to the next step in your career, the job market right now is looking murky. Many employers are still hiring, but how you manage your job search may be a little different right now. Here are the job search must-knows during the pandemic and a few tips on how to secure your new opportunity.

Prepare for a video interview

If you’re actively searching for a new job during the pandemic, you must prepare for the possibility of a video interview. Even as states are beginning to open back up, video interviews are becoming the new norm. They are easier to schedule, allow for more flexibility for both parties, and are safer during the Coronavirus outbreak.

But just because your interviewers are becoming virtual doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare the same way! Do your due diligence on the company and have a good understanding of the job description. Write down some questions to ask your interviewers and dress for success. The only thing that changes is ensuring you have the right space and technology for your video interview. Here is a guide we created to help you ace any video interview.

Don’t forget to do a practice call beforehand! Technology is great when it works.

Don’t be afraid to follow up

We are still in unchartered territory. Companies are busy trying to shuffle their budgets, adjust their second-quarter goals, and address their staffing needs. All of which may be facilitated remotely. In other words, some companies are still trying to shift their processes, and communication might fall off sometimes. If you had an interview and haven’t heard back in a while, don’t be afraid to ask for an update. Send a brief follow-up email to the hiring manager or HR professional you interviewed with and give them a soft nudge.

Here is a template email you can use from career expert Professor Heather Austin:

Partner with a recruiter

If you really want to make a splash in your job search during the COVID-19 pandemic, partner with a recruiter. Working with a recruiting firm that specializes in your industry can dramatically boost your job search results. At Johnson Search Group, we are hard at work to help pair our clients with the best candidates on the market. Reach out to us today, and we can help you navigate this tricky job market.

find a job during the pandemic

How to Find A Job During the Pandemic

If you are currently looking for a new job, it can be a daunting task. With many states still in disorder because of the coronavirus, your job search may not be the same as it once was. There are countless companies with hiring freezes while others scramble to find enough talented candidates during these challenging times. Here are a few tips on how to find a job during the pandemic.

Have a positive mindset

It’s a stressful time for us all, and some of us are in worse situations than others. Now more than ever, it’s essential to hold a positive mindset. We are all in this together, and having a good outlook on your circumstances will boost your motivation to find a new job opportunity. The most important thing for us all is to stay healthy and patient. Some states are beginning to open back up, which is a great sign. There is light at the end of the tunnel!

As these states get closer to opening, more job opportunities will begin to present themselves. It’s also imperative to keep an open mind. Don’t be afraid to accept a job opportunity that might feel like a side step in your career. If you need money to support your family, don’t let old stigmas about accepting a temp job get in your way. At the end of the day, you must do what’s best for you and your family. and accepting a job that may be starkly different from your last role will add some great skills to your tool belt.

Tailor your resume

Now more than ever, is it crucial to tailor your resume for each position. Unfortunately, you cannot submit the same old resume with each job application. If you really want to make a splash in today’s challenging job market, you want to customize your resume for each job. Carefully review the job description and ensure it matches all the required skills and qualities the hiring manager is looking for. If you take the time to tailor each resume, you will get more traction in your job search!

If you need some resume assistance, check out this foolproof guide for crafting the perfect resume.

Work with a recruiter

If you really want to find a job during the pandemic, try partnering up with a recruiter. We have close relationships with hiring managers and can help you find an opportunity that fits your career goals and skill sets. We have hundreds of opportunities available across the country. Reach out to us today, and let’s work together!

post-covid-19 job interview

The Post-COVID-19 Job Interview

The coronavirus is undoubtedly having a significant impact on the workplace. Millions of Americans are currently working from home and trying to adapt to their new working environment. And while some of these changes are only temporary, this worldwide pandemic is establishing a permanent impact on the interviewing and hiring processes of employers. Here are a few ways the post-COVID-19 job interview will change in the future.

More remote opportunities

Millions of us have been working from home over the last few weeks. Some of us might even continue to work remotely after the virus is no longer a concern. In fact, remote job postings are surging across the country. According to Indeed, searches for remote jobs have over doubled since February. LinkedIn job postings are also seeing this influx in remote opportunities and searches. This trend illustrates that people are currently searching for work from home options, and even after “stay at home” orders conclude, workers will continue to search for opportunities to work remotely. Therefore, if you’re a hiring manager and the position you’re hiring for can be done in a flexible environment, it’s time to start advertising that in your job descriptions.

More video interviews

And while we’re all getting used to hiring for more remote positions, video interviews will increase in popularity post-COVID-19 as well. It’s challenging to schedule group interviews with everyone, especially during the summer months, when many people are out on vacation. Well, now, with technologies like Microsoft Teams and Zoom, it’s no longer necessary to push interviews out weeks at a time to get everyone in the office. And for interviewees, you no longer have to take personal time or leave the office early to rush and make it to an onsite interview. Now, you can quickly jump on a video interview outside of work, or even on your lunch break. Video interviewing will allow companies to conduct interviews in a much more efficient manner.

The end of the handshake?

Handshakes have been a sign of respect and friendly greeting for centuries. But with people across the world being more conscious about their personal space, this customary greeting may be dead. In other words, when you walk into a job interview, the shaking of hands may no longer be the proper and respectful way to introduce yourself. Forgoing a handshake will make other non-verbal cues even more important when going in for an interview in the future.

Faster hiring decisions

Since we can facilitate interviews more efficiently now, hiring decisions will be much more effective. Instead of taking weeks or even months, hiring managers will be able to make decisions quickly because much of the slack will be removed from the hiring process. As an employer, this saves you tons of time and money because your department won’t have to worry as much about the cost of vacancies and loss in production while you wait to onboard new staff members. And as a job seeker, you’ll have the opportunity to start your new job quickly, which makes every worker happy! It’s a win-win situation.

There is no doubt that the post-COVID-19 job interview will look different than a typical interview in the past. But as you can see, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing! For more resources on how COVID-19 is shaping the workspace, check out our blog here.

Things You Can Safely Take Off Your Resume

3 Things You Can Safely Take Off Your Resume

There is no one way to craft an excellent resume effectively. Each resume is unique, just like you and your working experience! However, there are some items that you can remove to make room for more relevant experiences and achievements. If you are currently sprucing up your resume, here are three things you can safely take off your resume.

Your Address

Gone are the days of including your address on your resume. Back in the day, job seekers needed to include their addresses on their resume because people actually had to mail their resumes out to employers. I know that’s hard to believe in today’s world. So, thanks to the internet and email, we no longer need to include our addresses on our resumes. Hiring managers will call or email you if they have any questions or need to contact you. The only time an employer will need your address is if you receive an offer or if you must pass a background check.

Besides, including your address is a security concern in today’s world of job searching. Many job seekers upload their resumes to LinkedIn, CareerBuilder, and other job posting platforms. This allows pretty much anyone to find your resume and figure out where you live, which is obviously concerning. The best thing to do is to leave it off.

Your references

Stop including your references on your resume. If you are just applying for a job, there is no need to include them. Employers typically only check references when you are much further into the hiring process (like if you are about to receive a job offer!). The company will ask for references (if they want to) when you get to that point in the process. Including your references early is distracting and can be a mistake. What if the hiring manager, for some odd reason, actually does prematurely call your references? If one of your references is someone you currently work with, that can cause some issues with your employer. The safe bet is to keep them off your resume and submit them when the employer asks for them.

Too much education information

We see this all the time; job seekers still including too much education-related information on their resumes. We understand that you are a proud alum and worked hard for your degree; however, if you are well into your career, you can safely remove this information from your resume. I’m talking about your GPA, the courses you took, your extracurriculars, and so forth. If you were a student-athlete, you definitely want to keep that on there. But if you’re 3+ years into your career, employers honestly don’t care about your GPA. They want to know about your achievements, real working experiences, and skillsets, not what classes you took in school. All you need to include is your degree, the school you attended, and your graduation date.

However, if you are fresh out of school, these items are totally fine! This point is mostly for professionals well into their careers that continue to waste valuable resume space with course work from their college career.

These are just a few things you can safely take off your resume. If you are looking for more job-search advice, check out our blog for everything you need to know!

How To Make A Quarantine Work For Your Career

How To Make A Quarantine Work For Your Career

With everything going on in the world today, you may have found yourself with a bit of extra time on your hands. And while it’s not ideal to be cooped up in your home due to COVID-19, there is a silver lining. It’s a great time to check a few personal development items off your to-do list! Dedicate some of your quarantine time to these three career-enhancing activities, and you’ll be well on your way to productivity.

See What’s Out There

It may have been a while since you’ve let yourself surf the job boards or explore the depths of your industry. Use this time to feel out the market. There are a ton of opportunities out there! Job titles, responsibilities, and technologies are always evolving, and there may be some exciting advancements you hadn’t even considered before. While you’re snuggled up on the couch, browse your competitors’ websites. Ponder what you’d like your career trajectory to look like, and see if any companies speak to your values and vision.

Freshen Up Your Resume

Whether you’re inspired to apply to a position or not, a period of “social distancing” is the perfect time to spring clean your resume. Be sure to add recent projects and accomplishments, and don’t forget to include numbers! Additionally, check out some online templates for resumes and give yours a fresh look. Just changing up the organization can make a significant impact when it comes to making a great first impression!

Take Online Courses

This is the most valuable thing you can do for your career during uncertain times. There is a wealth of resources for online courses, and some are even free! It’s important not to feel pigeon-holed into taking classes only in your field. Have you always wondered what the heck was up with coding? Or dreamed of being able to edit your own memories in Photoshop? Even if they’re not perfectly aligned with your career goals, online courses are an incredible resume booster.

Haven't Heard Back About A Job

3 Reasons You Haven’t Heard Back About A Job

Waiting around to hear back about a job application isn’t fun for anyone. You’re left wondering what you did wrong and if there was anything else you could have done to grab the hiring manager’s attention. Well, there is a multitude of reasons why you haven’t heard back about a job. Here are three common ones we’re seeing in today’s job market.

You Applied Too Late

Yes, there is such a thing as applying to a job too late! In this candidate-driven market, companies are making hiring decisions quickly. Therefore, if a great candidate is the first to apply, they could be hired immediately. The days of months-long hiring processes are over. In-demand positions are receiving dozens of highly-qualified resumes within hours of going public. As a result, companies sometimes hire on the spot during an interview, or sometimes even over the phone!

To avoid this, make sure you closely follow the companies you’re interested in working for most. Set up a Google alert, subscribe to their newsletter, and follow them on LinkedIn. Speaking of LinkedIn, be sure to turn on job alerts in your area! You’ll receive an email with all of the latest jobs straight to your inbox.

You Didn’t Tailor Your Resume

Many companies today use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to sort through resumes. These programs rely on keywords to recommend candidates for certain positions. Thus, if your resume is missing a keyword, or you used an acronym instead of spelling out a certification, you could be passed up by a machine.

To avoid this, read the job description carefully. Tailor your resume to match the words used in the job description, as that’s most likely what the ATS will use to compare. So, include both acronyms and full spellings, and don’t be afraid to include a list of your hard and soft skills that fit well with the position!

You’re Not The Best Fit For The Job

Unfortunately, if you haven’t heard back about a job, sometimes it’s just as simple as that. In an ideal world, companies would reach out to each and every person that applied to every job. However, that’s just not realistic. Popular organizations are receiving hundreds of resumes every single day. As a result, they are not able to give everyone a yes or no. 

While there’s no avoiding this, you can be proactive about it. If it’s been a while since you’ve applied, (think two weeks or more), feel free to follow up with the HR department. Hopefully, they can provide a status update on the position, so at the very least, you won’t be waiting around for an answer. But it sadly may not be the best fit for you. However, don’t panic! We have hundreds of jobs that may be the right fit for you and your background! Have a look, and we look forward to helping you find your next opportunity.

job search tips

4 Job Search Tips You Must Know in 2020

Are you looking to reach new career heights this year? If so, you’re not alone. During the first of the year, there are more job openings than any other time of the year. According to a recent report from ZipRecruiter, job postings in January and February typically increase by nearly 15%. In other words, now is a great time to kick off your job search. If you want to get a leg up on the competition, here are four job search tips you must know in 2020.


Many job seekers underestimate the power of networking. The internet has made it so much easier to network with professionals worldwide and from all industries imaginable. Did you know that at least 60% of all jobs are found through networking? That’s right! More and more job seekers are finding opportunities via networking than by scouring traditional job boards. Therefore, if you’re not networking in 2020, you may be missing out on a great job opportunity!

Create a resume that beats the Application Tracking Systems

Another thing you can do to bolster your job search is to shake the dust off your resume. If it’s been a while since you last updated it, you will want to take a good look and add any new skills or achievements. There are some key things you want to do to your resume:

Tailor your resume

Unfortunately, you cannot submit the same resume with every job application. You must tailor your resume for each position at hand. Now, each variation of your resume will look similar, but you can easily find ways to tweak it to make it beat those pesky Application Tracking Systems (ATS). Add achievements that highlight you’re an excellent fit for the position. Make sure you quantify those achievements so hiring managers can quickly see how great you are!

And last but not least, ensure you are using keywords that are relevant to the job. Take a close look at the job description and pull out key phrases and add them to your resume.

Soft skills are key

Soft skills, especially in today’s tight market, are becoming more valuable to hiring managers. You can teach someone how to use a new program or learn a new process, but you can’t teach things like creativity or emotional intelligence. However, you’ll want to do more than simply list these essentials on your resume. You want to demonstrate that your posses these soft skills through concise, concrete examples.

Interview like a pro

Once your networking and resume are up to par, you can’t forget about the interview prep. Sure, your resume and a connection may get you in the door, but it’s up to you to secure the job by nailing the interview.

Do your due diligence beforehand

Whether it’s a phone interview or a final onsite, you must do your due diligence before your interview. Do some research on the company’s website and social media pages to help develop some talking points. Check to see if the company has any new product launches, press releases, or other important updates. Knowing these will help you shine through the competition by illustrating your interest in the position and your prospective employer.

Have questions prepared

Bring a list of questions to ask your interviewers. Remember, you are interviewing the company as much as they are interviewing you. If it’s easier for you, write them down on a notebook and bring them in with you. Just don’t sit down and stare at them the whole time. Here are some of our favorite questions you can ask to make a lasting impression.

Write a killer thank you note

After the interview is all said and done, you must write a thank you note to your interviewers. Thank them for their time, remind them what you enjoyed discussing, and don’t be afraid to ask for the next steps! This will set a lasting impression and remind them how interested you are in the position. Here’s our fool-proof thank you note guidelines.

Partner with a recruiter

Hopefully, these job search tips help you along your career path. If you really want to jumpstart your job hunt in 2020, team up with a recruiter. At Johnson Search Group, we have a team of recruiters ready to partner with you to help find you your next career. Reach out to our team of experts today, and let’s find you your next job opportunity.

3 Common Job Search Mistakes

3 Common Job Search Mistakes

If you’ve decided you’re ready to look for a new job, you’re not alone. The U.S. economy is experiencing 111 consecutive months of job gains, and unemployment is at a 50-year low. It’s a great time to put yourself out there and search for the next step in your career. Be careful, though, because there are a few common job search mistakes that trip up even the most seasoned job seekers.

Applying to everything

If you’re applying to jobs by searching “Electrical Engineer” or “Project Manager” and submitting your resume to every job that pops up, you’re making a huge mistake! It is essential to apply only to jobs that match your experience, skillset, and professional goals. Furthermore, your resume should be customized to each open position.

Not submitting a cover letter

Many applications state “cover letter optional.” However, if you don’t include a cover letter, you are missing a huge opportunity to sell yourself! Your cover letter allows you to give in-depth details on your skills and experiences and demonstrate your knowledge of the company and position. Be sure to do your research to highlight your most relevant qualities and catch the hiring manager’s eye right off the bat.

Searching solo

There is nothing wrong with seeking help to find your next position! Whether you utilize someone in your network or a professional recruiter, support in your job search is always a good thing. Even if you’re just toying with the idea of finding a new position, put some feelers out! Your network might have some insider information about positions that aren’t on the market yet. Recruiters, on the other hand, usually have direct contact with hiring managers. As a result, they could submit your resume before there’s even an opening!

Now that you know which job search mistakes to avoid, explore our jobs for more advice! Craving even more insight on the current job market? Contact one of our experienced recruiters today!