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beef up your resume

3 Ways to Beef Up Your Resume

Are you actively updating your resume or thinking about updating it soon? If so, you’re not alone with 13.6 million people currently unemployed, as of August 2020. If you are out of work and need a new job or just browsing for a better opportunity, now is the time to get that resume in tip-top shape. There is a ton of competition in today’s labor market, and you must ensure your CV is sublime. Here are three different ways to beef up your resume.

Add your achievements and certifications

Many displaced workers have been honing new skills and earning certifications over the last several months. Have you taken any new courses or achieved a certification? If so, add those to your resume! Don’t be afraid to list out all of our skills and achievements in a nice bulleted list on your resume. Most job descriptions tell you what software you need to know or what skill sets they require. So, if you possess those attributes, spell that out right on your resume. It’s one of the easiest and most effective ways to tailor it to each position.

Quantify your accomplishments

Sure, you probably have a bunch of accomplishments displayed on your resume. However, are you quantifying them? You should try to quantify almost every aspect possible on your resume to really hit home your achievements and experiences. Which one of these examples sounds better to you?

  • Responsible for organizing an annual charity event
  • Led a group of eight committee members to promote, plan, and execute our company’s annual charity event that generated $157,000

Clearly, the second statement is much more impactful. Sift through your resume and find points that need to be quantified or ones that could be improved. This process is an excellent way to beef up your resume and make it stand out to hiring managers.

Add your volunteer experience

Another underappreciated addition to your resume is including volunteer experience. Millions of Americans volunteer their time for various causes every year. But during the pandemic, volunteering is up as people have more time on their hands and recognize that non-profits and other organizations are struggling as well. According to LinkedIn, U.S. members have been adding over 110,000 volunteering experiences and activities per month to their profiles over the last year.

However you choose to volunteer your time, be sure to add these experiences to your resume. It speaks truth to your character and illustrates that you decided to give back during a challenging time. Plus, you never know what kind of a bond or conversation you can have with a hiring manager over a similar volunteering experience. This is especially true if you identify that a company you apply to is big on volunteering. This can help demonstrate that you are a culture fit and kick your interview off on the right foot.

boost your resume

How To Boost Your Resume And Lend A Helping Hand

As the country continues to recover from the pandemic’s economic toll, initial jobless claims are (once again) beginning to decline. On Thursday, August 27th, jobless claims tallied to 1.006 million, over 100,000 fewer claims than the week prior. However, there are still 14.5 million total claims as of the week ending August 15th. As a result, job seekers are looking for productive activities that utilize their talents and beef up their resumes to better stand out in the sea of applicants. If this sounds like your current situation, here are three things you can do to offer a helping hand, improve your career trajectory, and boost your resume.

Volunteer your time

Volunteering is on the rise during the pandemic. Since millions of Americans have more free time right now, people are putting their time to good use by volunteering. According to LinkedIn, U.S. members have been adding over 110,000 volunteering experiences and activities per month throughout the year. That’s 2.5x the monthly amount recorded in 2017. Volunteering is a great way to spend your free time and help out an organization in need. Here are the top 10 volunteering organizations in 2020:

Volunteering Organizations LinkedIn

Most of these organizations are recognizable to you. If you are thinking about volunteering, think about donating your time to some local organizations that may be struggling right now. That could be a local food bank, community center, or animal shelter. You can even offer your professional services to aid them, such as web design or social media assistance, for example, to put your skills to work and aid an organization in need. Either way, volunteering is an excellent resume booster and fulfilling activity!

Earn free certifications

Many bloggers and companies are suggesting to enroll in some online courses or earn certifications to advance your marketability and skillsets. We have actually been suggesting this for months! Earning a certificate is a great way to hone a talent, acquire a new skill, and make you a more valuable employee. Plus, there are tons of free options out there for pretty much every profession. Here are a few examples:

  • The Google Skill Shop offers free courses and certifications to help you master Google products such as AdWords or Analytics
  • SEMrush offers free SEO and content marketing courses to give your business an online boost
  • The Codecademy has a free option that gives you access to basic coding classes to teach you HTML, CSS, and other programming skills
  • LinkedIn Learning offers courses and podcasts to help you learn new business, tech, and creative skills from industry experts

Work as a freelancer

Another activity you can do to give your resume a boost is freelance work. There are dozens of websites like fivver and UpWork, where you can post your services and expertise. Whether you’re a marketing professional, blogger, graphic designer, engineer, or IT professional, you can use these sites to be hired for your talents. The cool part? You may have the opportunity to work with some of the biggest companies out there! Dozens of organizations utilize talent from these freelancing sites to tap the best talent on the market.

These are just a few things you can do to boost your resume if you are currently out of work. They are a great use of your time, will make you feel valued, and give you some confidence to get through this rough patch. You got this!

The #1 Soft Skill That Will Get You Ahead During This Time

The #1 Soft Skill That Will Get You Ahead During This Time

You probably know by now that soft skills are crucial to gaining traction in your career. Traits like communication, honesty, and leadership will undoubtedly help boost your marketability and resume. However, there is one soft skill, in particular, that will get you ahead of your competition: GRIT.

Why Grit Is Important

Grit is so essential that psychologist Angela Duckworth has built a career on preaching it’s importance. Through her studies and experiences, she has found this soft skill to be a significant predictor for success. Angela shares in her TED Talk that, “Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. It is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

How To Put It To Use

Carol Dweck, a pioneering researcher in the field of motivation, developed the idea of a “growth mindset,” which is believing that the ability to learn is not fixed, though can change with your effort. In other words, challenges should push you to grow and persevere, rather than slow you down and lead to failure. If you feel burdened by obstacles in your way, implement a little grit to grind through it and come out the other side a better professional.

For example, let’s say you’re interested in coding and know that it would help you earn a pay bump. However, it seems daunting to learn, and you don’t have the experience, so you’d be starting from scratch. Guess what? Your current talent and skills don’t matter. You have to start somewhere, and long-term effort and commitment will get you surprisingly far! So just start. Take an online course or enroll in your local community college.

One Important Caveat

Now, it must be noted that the soft skill of grit isn’t always the only answer. Yes, committing to a goal and putting in the consistent effort will get you far. Nevertheless, you must choose your goal wisely. As James Clear explains in his book Atomic Habits, “The secret to maximizing your odds of success is to choose the right field of competition.” He goes on to describe Michael Phelps and his incredible physical predisposition for swimming. Phelps demonstrates a fantastic example of grit and how it can be used to succeed; however, he is also genetically primed for that sport. He could put the same effort into becoming a distance runner, and because of his genetic makeup, he likely wouldn’t develop into an Olympic-worthy competitor.

In reference to your career, you are predisposed to excel in certain areas. Don’t choose a skill or career that you are not passionate about. If you do, the development process will be slow, arduous, and you likely won’t excel into a master no matter how much grit you deploy. “Habits are easier to do and more satisfying to stick with when they align with your natural inclinations and abilities,” notes Clear.

During uncertain economic times, career transitions, and personal development phases, grit is a soft skill that will continue to persevere. Wondering what other soft skills you should add to your arsenal? Read more about the most in-demand soft skills this year.

Post-Pandemic Resume

The Post-Pandemic Resume

With millions of unemployed Americans, many people are diligently working on your resume to prepare for their next career move. This is a stressful situation, and with so many Americans unemployed, competition is going to be tough. Lucky for you, we have a few pointers to help you craft the perfect post-pandemic resume.

Don’t include that you were laid off

If you were laid off because of the COVID-19 pandemic, don’t say so on your resume. If you do, it ruins the flow of a good resume. Although you are trying to be upfront and honest, there is no need to include that information on there. Instead, you can share this information in your cover letter that you submit with your job application.

So, instead of mentioning your layoff on your resume, write down the time frame you worked for that position. For example, have the time frame be something like “February 2017 – March 2020.” It’s unnecessary to create a bullet that says something like, “I was laid off in March 2020 because of mandatory company layoffs due to the Coronavirus.” This is taking the attention away from all of your accomplishments, skillsets, and experience! It’s great that you want to be transparent, but you can explain your current employment situation in a cover letter and again during an interview )if it comes up).

Display those quarantine skills

If you are currently out of work, you probably have acquired a few skills to your toolbelt. Many furloughed or unemployed workers are acquiring new skills to make good use of their time and make themselves more marketable. Whether you took a course online, taught yourself a new skill, or earned a new certification, it’s crucial to add these hard-earned skills to your resume. Our best advice is to make a skills section towards the bottom of your resume and put all your skills in a nice, organized list. You can do the same with any achievements or awards you have earned, too! This format makes it easy for a hiring manager and an ATS system to skim through your resume.

Tailor your resume

Instead of just slapping your latest work experience on your resume, ensure you are tailoring your resume to each job. This is time well spent if you want to get a leg up on the competition. Plus, it will guarantee you more success when you start applying. Carefully go through each job description and highlight the essential things needed. Then, do your best to mirror those critical points in your resume before you submit it. Obviously, don’t exaggerate the truth or flat out lie about your experience. However, if it’s on the job description and you meet those requirements, you must add those to your post-pandemic resume if you want an interview.

If you’re ready to put that new resume to the test, check out our job opportunities. We will work with you to pair your skills and background with a job that meets your career goals. Take a look, and let’s work together!

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!

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!

What to Do If You’ve Been Laid Off

What to Do If You’ve Been Laid Off

The BLS reported today that another 5.2 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance in the week that ended April 11. So, since mid-March, over 22 million Americans have filed for initial unemployment benefits, shattering the previous record from 2009. If you’re unfortunately one of these millions of hardworking professionals out of work due to COVID-19, it can be discouraging. However, we have a few easy suggestions for you to make the best of a rough situation. Here’s what to do if you’ve been laid off because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Take a few days to reflect

This can be a tough reality to face. Don’t feel the need to rush right into your job search. It’s perfectly acceptable (and recommended) to take some time to reflect on your current situation. Evaluate where you are in your career and where you would like to be. This is an excellent opportunity to reflect on your career and develop a game plan. Take some time to relax, decompress, and enjoy time with your family. This will help you commence your job search with the right mindset and will ultimately set you up for success.

Give your resume facelift

After you’ve taken some time to reflect, the first thing you should do if you’ve been laid off is to give your resume a facelift. Take some time to review the most recent copy of your resume and identify areas that you need to bolster. Make sure your work experience is up to date with your most recent position and accomplishments. Add any certifications or skills that you have recently honed to your arsenal. Go through your accolades and ensure nothing is missing. But most importantly, be sure you tailor your resume to whichever job you are applying for to ensure you get past an ATS and on the (virtual) desk of a hiring manager.

Here’s a great overview we designed to help you build a jaw-dropping resume.

Network your heart out

Now that your resume is looking sharp, you can kickoff your virtual networking efforts. Due to COVID-19, it will probably be challenging to network in person, so you will have to rely on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a great professional networking and relationship building tool. Connect with old classmates, former and current co-workers, and industry leaders you admire. Join groups related to your industry, and start conversations with like-minded professionals. These are easy ways to make new connections that you can leverage on your job search. LinkedIn also has thousands of jobs posted on its site that you won’t want to miss!

Overall, LinkedIn is a wonderful platform to network with other professionals in your field. If you’re new to the platform, here’s an excellent guide our team has provided.

Sign up for our Talent Network

If you really want to start your job search off on the right foot, join our Talent Network. Our Talent Network is filled with exclusive job opportunities across the country. You can create email alerts that match your background and interests, so you never miss an opportunity again. Sign up today to partner with one of our recruiters here at Johnson Search Group. We work hard, we work together, and we work for you.

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.

Networking

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.

Do You Have The Most In-Demand Soft Skills of 2020?

Do You Have The Most In-Demand Soft Skills of 2020?

LinkedIn has released its list of the most in-demand skills for 2020. This is a comprehensive list created by “identifying the skills listed on the LinkedIn profiles of people who are getting hired at the highest rates.” So if you want to secure a new role in 2020, you’re going to want to highlight your soft skills just as much as your other qualifications. However, you’ll want to do more than simply list these essentials on your resume. Here are the top 5 soft skills you’ll need to tout this year, and how to best demonstrate them to a hiring manager.

1. Creativity

Creativity is best explained through examples. It’s one thing to say you’re creative, but it makes much more of an impact to show it. Throughout the hiring process, take the opportunity to tell a story about a time when you used creativity to solve a problem at work. Or, if appropriate with your field of work, include a portfolio with your application that showcases your creative works.

2. Persuasion

The best way to show off your persuasion skills during your job search is by selling yourself! From the moment you apply to when you have that offer letter in hand, you need to be persuading the hiring manager that you’re the right person for the job. One of our favorite ways to do this is through your post-interview thank-you note. Use this opportunity to recap your interview and reiterate why you’re a great candidate.

3. Collaboration

Collaboration is so important to employers because they want to ensure you are capable of working on a team. List collaborative team projects on your resume to highlight your teamwork skills. Even better, include people you have collaborated with on your references list so they can speak directly to your abilities!

4. Adaptability

Adaptability can be tricky to demonstrate during the application process. Many employers are using behavioral interview questions to determine if candidates have the soft skills they’re looking for. Wait for a question like “tell us about a time when things didn’t go as planned and how you handled it.” This is your chance to show your adaptability!

5. Emotional Intelligence

This is the only new soft skill to appear on the list this year. Emotional intelligence is a rather complicated skill, comprised of a mix of “self-awareness, self-regulation, social skills, empathy, and motivation.” There will be multiple times throughout a hiring process for you to highlight this subtle art. Take every chance you can to show your emotional intelligence. Most importantly, actively listen and don’t be afraid to show vulnerability. Employers value honesty!

Now that you’ve mastered the top soft-skills of 2020, check out our post on the top hard-skills of the year!

In-Demand Skills

These Are The Most In-Demand Skills In 2020

LinkedIn has released its list of the most in-demand skills for 2020, and technology remains king. They develop this comprehensive list by “identifying the skills listed on the LinkedIn profiles of people who are getting hired at the highest rates.” While the skills featured on this list are tech-heavy, they may prove valuable in a variety of positions. Keep reading to learn more about this year’s list and why you need to consider honing them in 2020!

1. Blockchain

Blockchain is the record-keeping technology behind bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. With the rise in popularity of online payments, blockchain experience has become incredibly valuable to employers.

2. Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is the delivery of computing services—including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence—over the Internet (“the cloud”) to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale.” Almost every single company today is utilizing cloud computing in one way or another; therefore, experience in this area is an asset no matter what field you’re in!

3. Analytical Reasoning

Analytical reasoning refers to the ability to look at information, be it qualitative or quantitative in nature, and discern patterns within the information.” Analytical Reasoning is particularly helpful in STEM jobs, but this essential skill can be used in problem-solving across all industries and roles.

4. Artificial Intelligence

As companies seek to automate processes and become more efficient throughout every department, artificial intelligence plays an integral role in advancement. Artificial Intelligence is when computers adapt human characteristics in order to achieve tasks. If you have experience in developing AI, Hiring Managers will find value in your ability to take their business to the next level.

5. UX Design

The term “UX” stands for user experience. “User experience encompasses all aspects of the end-users interaction with the company, its services, and its products.” Today’s customers are all about easy to use products, so UX design is absolutely integral to a company’s foundation and how they do business. However, even if you aren’t involved with actually designing the product or service, being able to speak to user experience at any level is extremely valuable!

6. Business Analysis

Business Analysis is the practice of enabling change in an organizational context, by defining needs and recommending solutions that deliver value to stakeholders.” So, in other words, business analysis helps companies do business better. Someone who is successful in business analysis is able to take a 360-degree view of a business and see opportunities for growth and improvement.

7. Affiliate Marketing

When you see your favorite influencers or celebrities promoting products, that’s affiliate marketing. By definition, it’s “an advertising model in which a company compensates third-party publishers to generate traffic or leads to the company’s products and services.” This has become a huge part of many businesses’ strategies. In fact, companies are expected to spend $6.8 billion on their affiliate marketing efforts in 2020.

8. Sales

It may sound old-school, but sales are skill king. This profit-making skill will not be going anywhere and is beneficial no matter what area of business you’re in! Additionally, it’s fairly easy to pick up sales to add to your resume. For example, take a free online class or read a highly-rated book!

9. Scientific Computing

Scientific Computing is an extremely specialized field. “It is mainly the idea of the development of mathematical models, the use of quantitative analysis techniques, and the use of computers for solving scientific problems.” While not an easy skill to pick up on the side, hiring managers will be looking for scientific computing for any of their open STEM roles.

10. Video Production

According to Statista, 85% of internet users in the United States watched online video content monthly in 2018, and it is safe to assume that number is even higher today. Video production is absolutely essential to any company’s marketing strategy in 2020. Additionally, there are tons of online tutorials about video production that can help boost your resume!

So, which one of these valuable skills will you be adding to your arsenal in 2020? It’s not too late for a resolution to improve your career! And if you’re looking to hone your soft skills, check out our blog of 2020’s most in-demand soft skills here!