Keep Your Resume Current and Give it a Facelift


The job market can be a volatile place at times with many acquisitions of companies and layoffs. It’s hard to predict when these things can happen. The transition from employment to job search comes as a surprise. If your resume is up to date, you can quickly kickoff your much-needed job search.

Update your resume when you start a new job (keeping it current). Even if it’s a new position with the same employer. Your responsibilities may have changed or have completed a class and received a certification. Or maybe you went back to college and earned another degree. Regardless of the changes, it’s essential to always keep your resume up to date.

Give your resume a lookover before starting to make edits

  • Update your education, if you received a degree with a title, add that behind your name. You earned it!
  • Update your work history and responsibilities
  • Revise your summary since your career goal may have changed
  • Update any new skills – bullet point your most important accomplishments

Always start with your most current work history

Be sure to include these key details for each position on your resume:

  • Your position title
  • Employer’s name
  • Dates worked for that employer (i.e. Jan 2010 – March 2018)
  • A short summary of job duties and bullet points of your specific skills
  • Provide relevant statistics, such as increasing efficiencies or decreasing defects

Be concise, including too much information is a typical mistake and employers are generally interested in the last 10-15 years. And speaking of adding too much information, never include your salary details. By doing so, you may be filtering yourself out of consideration if you’re too expensive.

Use easy-to-read font and don’t use italics as they are hard to read. However, bolding your job title and employer is acceptable. Print out a copy of your resume first to see how it looks before you send it out.

Beat the ATS

Larger companies do not have time to read every resume, so they use an applicant tracking system ATS to do it for them. They scan for keywords, so most resumes are eliminated if they are missing vital words or phrases. Normally, about 75% of resumes are eliminated even before a human sees them.

Have someone else proofread it for you for spelling errors and grammar. Having a bunch of typos and misspellings is an easy way to rule yourself out of consideration.

Work with a recruiter

If you want to ensure your resume gets into the hands of a hiring manager, work with a Johnson Search Group recruiter. We have great relationships with our clients’ hiring managers and human resources professionals. When we submit you for a job opportunity, we always do a write up on you highlighting your background, skills, and experiences that the employer is looking for. We will get them excited about you and help them schedule your interview.

Good Luck and remember when a recruiter gives you a call, hear them out! They may have the opportunity you’ve just been looking for!

Marketing Yourself

Marketing: How to Market Yourself in a Tight Job Market

Marketing Yourself

When you think about looking for a new job, there can be so much more to it than just sitting down and finding one. At times you may not be “searching” for one, but you may be open to new opportunities. And if you are, it’s imperative that you market yourself in the right way! This way recruiters and new career opportunities can find you, instead of you having to search for them.

Use LinkedIn

When it comes to great opportunities and finding a network that not only can endorse you but help you find your next career, LinkedIn is a must-have! You’re able to connect with like-minded people and others who could help you find your next move.

Even though LinkedIn is a social media platform, it allows you to grow and market your skills in a network that is all about careers! And what better way to showcase your skills than on a platform that can help you grow your professional network.

Updated Resume

Even if you aren’t actively looking for a new position, it’s still important to ensure you keep your resume as updated as possible. This way if you end up finding an amazing position that you can’t pass up, you have a resume that’s ready to go and doesn’t take a whole day to update. Because as you know, in this tight market, a day could be the difference between you getting a job or not.

Market Your Skills

Another thing to do is to remember to market your skills. Being on LinkedIn is important but utilizing it to its full potential will only give you a greater chance to showcase your skills and experience. It’s also a great idea to write blogs/articles about your career, trends you’re seeing, and anything career related. This helps you market yourself as an expert in your field and gives you a chance to reach more people and expand your network.

Networking is so important nowadays because you never know who could help you make your next career move. And like they always say, sometimes who you know can get you further than what you know.

Use Recruiters

When it comes to marketing yourself in today’s tight job market, you have to remember recruiters can help. And they are hoping to find the perfect career fit for you! So, if a recruiter reaches out to you and you’re looking for a change, talk to them!

One, it means you’ve marketed yourself great and they think you’re a perfect fit for a position they are trying to fill. Two, recruiters help you through the whole process of getting landing a new job. They prep you for interviews, help the company get excited about you, and increase your chance of getting an offer!

If you’re looking for a new opportunity and would like to work with an awesome recruiter, check out Johnson Search Group! We are here to help you find the perfect career fit.

illustrate your leadership

Leadership: How to Illustrate Your Leadership Skills in a Job Interview

illustrate your leadership

Leadership is a huge soft skill that employers are looking for. And in today’s candidate-driven market, it can make up for someone not having as many of the hard skills an employer may want… But having this great soft skill means you could get the job just because of your leadership skills. And to help you illustrate your leadership, here are a few key things you can say and do in an interview.

Write it in Your Resume

Sometimes you can look over your own leadership experience, especially if you’re not a manager. But managing a product launch, a new project, or a team within your company all show compelling leadership skills that could help you more than you think. When you take on a leadership role without it being a part of your job title, it shows initiative and that you want to be a leader.

In a job interview, this is one of the best things you could include in your resume. Companies are looking for someone who isn’t just waiting to be told what to do and tries their best to come up with new ideas and is willing to put them into action. So, make sure to put your best foot forward and add these experiences even if you think they aren’t that big of a deal.

Give Examples

When in the interview, give examples of your leadership experience. When they ask you to talk about yourself and your past accomplishments, bringing up your leadership successes shows you are someone who not only thinks about their own success but is also a team player. Giving examples isn’t boasting about your success. It’s proving that you can not only do the job but that you’re ready to be a leader as well! Give yourself the credit you deserve.

Answer Questions by Incorporating your Leadership Experience

When you can lead back to it, make sure you do so. Interviewers are trying to get to know you and all aspects you bring to the table. There may be a few hard skills that you don’t have tons of experience in but if you can explain that your soft skills can make up for that, you’ll nail the interview.

Use this Soft Skill to Sell your Other Skills

Out of all the skills you have, soft skills like leadership and attitude will help you attain goals and hopefully jobs over any other hard skills you have. Having a leadership mindset and attitude can help a company sometimes so much more than having the required technical skills. So never downgrade the advantages your soft skills can give you.

If you’re in an interview and want to make sure you take advantage of your soft skills this is the way to do it. Reminding those you’re interviewing with that you’re there to be a leader and help the company grow will only help you when it comes to getting a job offer!


Keywords: How to Determine Which Keywords are Relevant


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

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

Why Keywords?

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

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

What Keywords are relevant

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

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

What Keywords you should not use

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

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

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



Resumes: It’s All in the Presentation


Resume writing has evolved significantly over the years. There was a time when you could put just enough information on your resume to get some interest from HR or the hiring manager and get that phone interview or onsite to elaborate further, and hopefully, seal the deal.

Now, you need to have a much more detailed resume sharing all your experience and having the proper “buzz” words to catch their eye; or in most cases, the software doing the scanning for them. Here are some facts you need to know when updating your resume.

Your resume is your first interview

Seriously. Slapping that puppy together in a rush to get it out, is going to stop you dead in your tracks. You should understand what position you are applying for, what the position entails, how your experience fits in, and customize your resume accordingly. One size fits all = a BIG FAT lie!

Chopping it down to 10 years

To all my more experienced professionals out there: be careful how much you chop. Going back to my first point, you will need to customize your experience. Leaving off years of experience can put a kibosh on any chance at getting a callback. I understand that you are trying to stay fresh and competitive, but in doing so, you could be selling yourself short. I suggest customizing and making sure that if the experience they are looking for was 15 or 20 years ago – ensure your resume reflects that 20 years’ experience. If they don’t see what they are looking for on the paper; you won’t get a call or a chance to defend your experience that is not reflected on your resume.

Presentation, presentation, presentation!

Spend some time on your resumes. Bad formatting, misspellings, and poor grammar will get you every time. I’ve seen some creative and interesting resumes but remember that sometimes overdoing it in the opposite direction can be just as bad as not doing enough. Present a clean, well formatted, detailed, grammatically correct resume and you won’t go wrong. If your resume is scanned and you’ve got some crazy graphics and formatting, it could alter your resume, potentially dropping important information.


No! Don’t do it!! Never put your references on your resume. If an employer would like to check your references, they will ask for them. References get stale; they can develop grudges; references can change phone numbers. You may think all is good, but it just takes one call and a disgruntled reference to put an end to everything. Another reason not to add references? You are giving leads to employers and even recruiters to scour through. Your references may even be called to interview against you! It has happened.

One-page resumes

Really? That might be great for someone who has had one job and held it for 5 years, but this is the real world. Trying to squeeze 5 or even 15 years onto one page isn’t going to benefit you. I hear this all the time: “my career counselor or the resume service said it should really be one page – no more than 10 years’ experience.” Why would you do yourself a disservice by censoring your career experience and accomplishments? It just doesn’t make sense.

Job hunting typically isn’t fun; it can be stressful and tiresome. A resume that properly represents your experiences and accomplishments and that is complete, clean and neat looking will help alleviate some of that stress. Wonder why you aren’t getting any calls? Look at your resume. Then call your references and ask how their job hunting is going.

applying for a job

Are You Considering Applying For A Job On Our Website?

applying for a job

First things first, I’m excited you found our website and are looking at our job openings. While you’re here, take some time and look at all the great candidate resources available to you. From CV letters to interviewing tips, we have you covered.

But for now, if I am lucky enough to have you apply for one of my mining or heavy industrial jobs, there will be certain things I want to see on your resume, as well as certain things I need to hear when talking with you on the phone.

On your resume


I want to see in your background that you’re qualified for this position. Ideally, that you’re currently in a similar role or the role that you’re applying for is the next natural progression in your career path.


In today’s candidate-driven market, clients want to see measurable results. Whatever the result (decreased downtime by x%, x number of days without a safety incident, increased production by x%, increased revenue by x%), make sure it’s on your resume.

Job specific certifications

Regardless of the role you’re applying for, there are job-specific certifications, especially in the mining industry, that help me show my clients that you’re the right person for the job.

On the phone


When we talk on the phone, I’m really going to dig in on why you’re looking to make a move. Why have you applied for this specific opportunity? What are you looking for in your next employer? There are many reasons and motivating factors for why people change companies, and my clients want to understand this before interviewing candidates.

Soft skills

I invest a great deal of my time with my clients, and therefore, understand what their organization wants and needs very well. With many of my clients, a candidate’s soft skills are just as important as the hard skills. You and I might not specifically talk about your soft skills, but I can guarantee I’m actively listening for them during our conversations.


Anybody can read a resume and I certainly will read yours before we talk. I want to hear from you about your previous work experience and day-to-day activity. I need to ensure it’s consistent with what I’m looking at on your resume. If I’m going to represent you to my client, we need to always be consistent.

Good luck with your job search, and I hope we can work together!

Details: Why the Little Things Matter in the Job Process

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

Tailor your resume and application

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

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

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

Do your Homework on the Company

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

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

Dress for Success

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

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

Send Thank You Notes

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

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

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

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

candidate-driven market

It’s a Candidate-Driven Market, But I Still Don’t Have a Job

candidate-driven market

With the current employment reports showing that there are more job openings than available bodies to fill them, why haven’t you gotten any offers? You feel that the interviews have gone well, or you believe that you have a great resume. However, you’re getting no calls for interviews. Are the analysts out of their minds?!

Let’s tackle the resume subject first. With the current candidate-driven market, many organizations are moving to software for the initial resume screening. If you don’t have the proper keywords or if your keywords are listed only as acronyms, you could be getting passed over because of alphabet soup.

Beating the bots

For example, using the terms “patient care” and “healthcare” interchangeably on your resume. Why take up valuable real estate on a resume with redundant verbiage? Application tracking systems don’t always know how to translate. The program is simply looking for the keywords, not the acronym designations. If you don’t have the right keywords, you may simply be filtered out of consideration.

Another common misconception is that if the summary at the top of the resume states that you have, say, 20 years in IT Compliance, but in the ‘duties’ outlined in your detailed work history, it doesn’t show where you acquired that experience. Even if you are an IT Director, you will probably get a pass.

Other ideas on resume writing are spelled out in articles by Luc MacKenzie and Krista Portolesi that you may find helpful.

Unsuccessful interview results or none at all

For no interviews at all, some possible reasons to consider:

  • Are you a job hopper? If this is the case, you may want to stay put for a little longer to add some longevity to your background.
  • Are you aiming too high? Do you think that because a position has been open for quite some time, they will hire anyone?
  • The job description says one thing, they may be looking for something else entirely.

For no offers post-interview:

  • Could it not be the right fit for the team?
  • Is it an attitude that you portray during interviews?
  • Did you come in with giving the impression that you think you’re ‘all that and a bag of chips?’ There is a fine line between “I got this” and “You will be lucky to have me.”
  • Are you all about the money?
  • Do you cross the line between confident and arrogant?
  • Is the employer all about community and you don’t get involved?
  • Did you make it all about you, and not about them in the interview?
  • Are you fully prepared with all the latest interview tools?

These are all common reasons we hear from hiring managers who pass on talented candidates. And while there is a labor shortage, the current tight market also means they don’t want to hire someone and then replace them shortly after they start because it was the wrong fit. There are many resources available today, and one of them is certainly using a highly skilled recruiting and staffing firm to submit you for the right position and prepare you with the latest in interview trends. Whatever the reason, maybe it’s time to talk to a professional.


Opportunity is Calling – Where Are You?


As recruiters, when we are conducting searches for top candidates for our clients, we virtually make thousands of calls. Some of those calls lead to messages like: “You have reached a number that is no longer in service” or “the subscriber you are calling has a voicemail that is not set up or the mailbox is full.” You’d be surprised with how many numbers end up being incorrect on resumes. Or when they are correct, I often hear “The subscriber you are calling is not accepting calls at this time.” The list goes on and on.

Everyone knows the old saying, “Opportunity only knocks twice in a lifetime.” So how many times does it ring, and how many people are missing out on that one significant role that could change your life or the lives of others? If you want to be offered the next big thing in your career, you must be prepared to answer the door.

Tips for not missing that ring:

  • Have the correct phone number and email address on your resume. Not a day goes by that we don’t see this one. I can’t even tell you how many wrong numbers I’ve called trying to get ahold of a candidate for a stealer job opportunity.
  • Add a contact number when you leave a message. This has become a lost art. Leave a callback number so I can quickly get in touch with you if I miss your call.
  • Set up your voicemail. If you put your contact number on your resume, WHY would you not set up your voicemail? If I can’t leave you a voicemail, how can I tell you about this amazing opportunity?
  • Empty your voice mailbox. What else can we say about this one? If your voicemail is full, I can’t leave you a message.
  • Always have an updated resume. It is easier to update your resume periodically than to always have to rewrite it.
  • If you can’t answer your phone, set it up so it will go to your voicemail or forward it to a message phone. Have someone that is reliable and willing to answer the call and take a message on your behalf.
  • When you only have an email on your resume to contact you, reply back. I understand that some candidates do not want to receive calls. It is common courtesy to reply, even if you are not interested or available for the role. Trust me, I will stop bugging you sooner if you let me know you’re not interested!

These are a few ideas that should help the next time you are wondering why you are missing out on that next missed opportunity.

recruiter contacts you

What To Do When A Recruiter Contacts You

recruiter contacts you

The day has finally come – a recruiter found you contacted you on LinkedIn, sent you an email, or called you directly. They have a position that is a perfect match for your skill set. So what should you do now? We’re breaking down the first 5 things you should do once a recruiter contacts you.

Think about it

Before you respond, take a moment to think about where you are in your career. Yes, you may be perfectly happy where you are now, but what will that look like a year from now? Can you see yourself growing in your current position? No matter how comfortable you are right now, it’s always worth further conversation. In today’s candidate-driven market, it’s a great opportunity to explore your options and potentially take the next step in your career or secure yourself a raise.

Look up the company

Whether you were contacted by a recruiter that works directly for the company or a third-party recruiter, the first thing you need to do is research. If someone who works for the company itself contacted you, you need to do some due diligence! Visit the company’s website to get a feel for their culture and vision. While you’re there, see if you can find a description of the job you have been recruited for. It’s always a good idea to venture out and check out some of their social media as well – right off the bat, is this somewhere you could imagine yourself working?

If it was a third-party that reached out, you may not know the actual company’s name yet. Instead, check out the recruiter’s LinkedIn profile. Do they have good recommendations? Do they share relevant news to your industry? Quickly browse the recruiting company’s website – they may have even written some blogs that will help you prep for the next few steps.

Refresh your resume

It probably goes without saying, but the recruiter is going to want a copy of your updated resume. Whether you updated it a few months ago, a year ago, or you can’t remember the last time, you will need to look at it with a fresh set of eyes. Are all of your recent achievements listed? Is it tailored to highlight your experience most relevant to the position you’re being recruited for? If you need some help in this department, visit our resume archive for advice on everything from whether you should list your address or not to the most important things to include.

It can be really exciting to be recruited. The best thing you can do as a candidate is prepared!