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4 Communication Skills to Showcase in the Interview Process

4 Communication Skills to Showcase in the Interview Process

Everybody knows that showcasing particular skill sets to a hiring manager is crucial to landing your next job. Having the right skills can be extremely useful in conveying to a potential employer why you would make an excellent fit for a job. That is why it is crucial to illustrate these skill sets in your resume and throughout the interviewing process. But what skills should you be trying to emphasize, you may ask? One of the best ones to have is communication skills. Here are four communication skills you should embellish to help you secure your next job opportunity. 

Verbal Skills

The first skill set you should showcase is your verbal skills. No matter what industry you end up in, having excellent verbal skills is critical. Verbal skills show that you are great at communicating and interacting with others. Having this skill set allows you to demonstrate leadership skills, ask great questions, and positively impact any team setting. The best way to flaunt these skills is by thoroughly answering interview questions as well as asking your own.

If you are looking for some inspiration, try asking one of these interview questions.

Listening Skills

Job seekers often overlook this skill. One of the best communication skills comes from active listening. Active listening is when you listen to someone speak and respond thoroughly after absorbing all the information gathered. This skill ultimately makes others you are listening to feel valued and shows that you are a great learner from listening. By taking in this information, you better prepare yourself for presenting thoughtful responses to interview questions (and help you form your own!).

Written Communication Skills

Having written communication skills is a significant advantage that you can show off on your resume. Examples of written communication skills can be evident in editing, blogging, thank-you notes, emailing, or even your cover letters. These skills are essential to employers because it shows that you can effectively convey your thoughts and ideas. Your cover letter and writing samples are an excellent spotlight for these skills and provide more freedom than your resume.

Non-Verbal Communication Skills

Last but certainly not least is non-verbal communication skills. This skill is essentially the way you communicate without using any language. We are talking about your body language, tone of your voice, and facial expressions. The most significant factor of non-verbal communication skills is that they determine people’s impressions of you. Having positive non-verbal cues is the easiest way to illustrate your excitement for a job without saying anything at all! Non-verbal communication skills also portray trust by showing engagement and sincerity in your conversations. Overall, non-verbal skills are excellent for interview settings, networking events, and even phone conversations. Having this skill can increase your success at attaining job opportunities and being able to network effectively. 

Need more job search advice?

These four skills are beneficial for excelling through any interview process. However, there are so many other valuable skills you should showcase during the interviewing process. If you are looking for more resume tips or skill sets employers are looking for, check out our candidate resources! We have hundreds of blogs and other helpful tips to help you secure the job you deserve.

Secure A Job by The End of the Year

How to Secure A Job by The End of the Year

With only a few short weeks left of 2020, you may be one of the many Americans looking to lock down a new job by year-end. But with the coronavirus still in full effect, landing a job before January 1 is much easier said than done. So, whether you are unemployed or just looking for greener pastures, here are a few tips to help you secure a job by the end of the year.

Resume must-have items

The first step to secure a job by the end of the year is to craft a top-notch resume. Take a good look at your current resume and analyze what is missing. Did you receive a new certification this past year that needs to be added? Or did you play a significant role in a successful product launch? These are simple items you can add to your resume to make it shine!

The easiest way to beef up your resume is to add a skills section. There, you can nicely display a list of skills that you have worked hard to hone over the years. A simple bulleted list is all you need to illustrate your skills to hiring managers or recruiters.

Writing a killer cover letter

A lot of job seekers underestimate the power of a cover letter. Yes, they can seem a bit dated, and yes, they can be time-consuming, but in this competitive job market, they are more than worth the time! Start with a strong introduction that draws the reader’s attention and expresses why you are interested in the opportunity. Highlight your relevant experiences that a hiring manager will find useful and finish with an enthusiastic closing.

Once you develop a solid template, you can save it and tweak it in the future to streamline the job application process. If you are looking for more help, here’s how to write an outstanding cover letter to help you secure a job by the end of the year.

Step up your virtual networking

If you are serious about securing a job in the next couple of weeks, you need to step up your virtual networking. There are so many benefits to networking; one, of course, is finding a new career opportunity. Tap into your existing network and let them know you are searching. Do you have a connection that works for one of your target companies? Then send them a friendly email on InMail. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to new connections on LinkedIn that may help you extend your job search reach. Join groups on social networking sites to help you learn new job search hacks or meet other professionals in your industry.

Regardless of how you choose to network, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Be confident, be professional, and be kind. There are a lot of other people in the same position, so don’t be shy. You will be surprised how helpful a stranger can be to your job search!

Partnering with a recruiter

The last tip we have for successfully receiving a job offer by the end of the year is to partner with a recruiter. Recruiters can be your secret job search weapon in challenging times like these. The job market is tight, and you have a lot of competition. By enlisting the support of a professional recruiting firm, you have someone who will go to bat for you. They will champion you to the hiring manager and ensure your resume actually gets read. If this sounds like what you need to boost your job search, reach out to us today!

Sell your achievements on your resume

How to Sell Your Achievements on Your Resume

Are you sick of sending your resumes to hiring managers or submitting them on job boards and never hearing back? One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a candidate is failing to sell your achievements on your resume. Hiring managers and HR professionals have a lot on their plates right now. If you want to stand out, you need to quantify your wins to your prospective employer. Here are a few tips for selling yourself on your resume to secure a job before the end of the year.

Quantify your results

Hiring managers are swamped juggling their day-to-day responsibilities and sifting through dozens of resumes. There is a ton of competition out there for job seekers, with over 12 million unemployed Americans. As a result, you need to stand out by quantifying your results. Adding metrics will help you demonstrate the scale and context of your contributions to your past and former employers.

Utilize metrics like click-through rates, average sales figures, cost reductions, time savings, and other measurements. To really give context to these achievements, use percentage changes over a certain period to paint a clear picture of your accomplishments. Here is an example that puts all of these pieces together:

  • Created new employee engagement programs that helped improve the company’s employee retention rate by 9 percent over the last five months.

This is an excellent example because it shares an achievement that is scalable and provides a specific time range to create a greater context for this accomplishment.

Use your daily tasks to sell your achievements

It is easier to quantify your achievements when your role directly affects the company’s bottom line. However, if you are struggling to quantify your results, Rework Work CEO Stacey Gordon recommends that you pay attention to your less conventional work outcomes. For example, did you help save your department money? Or did you create a device that saved your team time or reduced waste?

Choose a particular outcome from your daily workday and quantify it. For example, say you write three articles a week for your company’s website. You can quickly multiply that number by an appropriate timeframe, say a month or a quarter, to make an ordinary task sound more like an achievement.

Need more resume resources?

Those are two easy ways you can better sell your achievements on your resume by quantifying them. If you are searching for more resume advice, take a look at our candidate resources. We have dozens of helpful resume resources to help you succeed in your job search!

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.