Career Report
April, 2012 — Issue 146


In a Job Search, the Small Things Count

In many cases, sweating the small stuff can clearly be the difference between landing a job and remaining on the sidelines. But, according to an article published by, many people fail to realize that the seemingly little things you do — or don’t do — can make a big impression on potential employers. Here are some important points, adapted from the article, which jobseekers would be wise to keep top-of-mind:

1. Pay attention to detail. Regardless of the job you seek, demonstrating attention to detail is critical. A single typo in a résumé, cover letter or follow-up note can knock you out of contention. So proofread diligently, run spell-check and ask a friend with and eagle-eye to review your work.


2. Stick to the facts. The smallest of half-truths in a résumé can prove costly if it’s discovered during a background and reference check, which more employers are doing. So make honesty your policy and don’t give a hiring manager any reason to question your integrity.

3. Avoid ambiguity. When describing your work history and expertise, be as specific as possible. Review your résumé and cover letter to make sure you are presenting the clearest picture of yourself possible. Phrases such as “participated in” can be considered red flags since vague language can be perceived as lacking in-depth knowledge or experience.

4. Be ready from the start. Be friendly and courteous to everyone you encounter during your entire time visiting a company; you never know who has the boss’s ear. Help your cause by displaying excellent etiquette and making small talk, as appropriate.

5. Keep it real. While it’s critical to prepare for a job interview, you don’t want to come across as overly rehearsed. Employers are seeking insights into the real you, not a series of canned responses.

6. Be flexible. Be adaptable and take your conversational cues from the interviewer. Some hiring managers are all business, but others enjoy some chitchat.

7. Watch more than your words. It’s not just what you say in an interview but also how you say it. Demonstrate your confidence and engagement by smiling, maintaining eye contact, projecting your voice and having good posture. By nervously tapping your foot or rocking in your seat, you can signal discomfort, disinterest or both.

8. Show Enthusiasm. If a hiring manager takes you on a tour of the office and introduces you to would-be colleagues, greet each individual by name and with enthusiasm. It’s a great way to quickly establish rapport with potential fellow-employees.

9. Express Appreciation. Send a thank-you note to the hiring manager within a day or two of your interview. An email is appropriate, but there’s nothing like a handwritten note. Express your appreciation for the opportunity, reassert your interest in the job and recap your top selling points.

10. Stay in touch with references. The more notice and information you give a reference, the more help they’ll be. That’s why it’s important to keep them apprised of the jobs for which you’re applying. If you know a particular employer is likely to make contact, give your references a heads up. Also offer an updated résumé and mention the skills and attributes the job requires.

News from BLK

Bob Larson, CPC, President of Berman Larson Kane will be speaking at the dinner meeting of the MIS Networking Group on the 24th of April. Bob has spoken at this event in the past and is pleased to be able to share his experience with the group.

As we celebrate our 32nd anniversary on April 1st, we are reminded of the many challenges and rewards we have experienced over the more than three decades we have been in business. More importantly, we are reminded of the many people whose lives we have been fortunate enough to be a part of, either through permanent job placement, temporary employment or simply providing resources such as our Free Webinar Series.