Pandemic Unemployment and Thanksgiving

We must be grateful for our health, family and our jobs as unemployment continues to rise in numerous sectors of our economy.

During this Thanksgiving Holiday let us remember the millions of good folks who are adversely affected by our unemployment numbers as this pandemic spreads wildly across our country and the world.

Over the past decades the personal painful histories that I have witnessed, due to no job or meaningful work, continues to be heart wrenching and today with the health crises all around us this pain is experienced by way to many good people.

During this day of thanks, I encourage each of you as HR professionals to lend a hand, take a phone call, review a resume, coach an interview or pass on some advice to a challenged job-seeker.  We all have a special gift of knowledge and compassion that can only help the unemployed.

As president of our organization I assure you that we continue our community out-reach program to assist all job-seekers with their efforts to gain solid employment. Our programs during the past 12 years have assisted numerous individuals.  My wish is by Thanksgiving 2021 that we are all be healthy and the need for unemployment  service will return to more acceptable levels.

We at Berman Larson Kane, thank each of you for your business support during our forty year history.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and take a moment to please be thankful for your job and take a moment to coach a less fortunate job-seeker.

Tips for Telephone Interviews

Bob Larson, CPC

Career Report

July 2019 – Issue 233

Tips for Telephone Interviews

A telephone interview is usually short — allowing just enough time for a recruiter to form a general impression of a job candidate — so the focus is on questions that help to evaluate someone quickly. The candidate’s goal is to turn the phone call into a face-to-face meeting, so answers to questions need to be concise. As a rule of thumb, keep answers to less than two minutes; if an interviewer wants to know more, he or she will ask.

Here are some are typical questions/discussion topics covered in telephone interviews, along with guidance and insight on making the interview successful:

  1. Tell me a little about yourself. Interviewers often pose this first. They don’t want your life story, but rather want to know if meeting you would be a good use of their time. Answer with a brief work history showing how each project and job helped prepare you for this job; then give a profile of the “professional you,” addressing your skills as they relate to doing this job well.
  2. What experience do you have?Make any discussion of your experience relevant to this job, and the specific skills you will bring to executing it well. At its core, everything you do professionally is concerned with the identification, prevention and solution of problems within your area of responsibility.

Your answers can show this awareness by saying that this is always part of your thinking and, by giving examples, of preventing or solving problems common to your area of responsibility.

  1. What are your strengths? Slant your answer toward the specific skill requirements of the job, your problem prevention and solution headset, and your possession of the transferable professional skills such as multi-tasking, critical thinking, and some key communication skills that can underlie success in every job.
  2. What are your weaknesses? You can safely, and honestly, say that your greatest weakness is finding time to stay current with all the new technologies/skills required in your work, because it’s a challenge everyone experiences. Then you can give an example(s) of how you have made time to develop an in-demand new skill.
  3. How much do you want? If the interviewer asks about money, say that at this point you don’t know enough about the company or the job to answer accurately, “I have no real understanding of the job, your company or the different benefits that could come from joining your team, so obviously my discussion of salary without this knowledge can’t be entirely accurate.

However, you can add that after an analysis of employment sites, salary calculators and talking with colleagues, you would be looking at a salary in a particular range (which you would provide).

The telephone interview comes to an end when you are asked whether you have any questions. The article pointed out that if you have not already been invited to meet the interviewer, now is the time to take the initiative by asking: “The most pressing question I have is when we can meet?”

In closing your conversation, take care to find out the correct spelling and pronunciation of the interviewer’s name for your follow-up email, which should ideally be sent the same day as the interview.


We are pleased to announce that our new phone systems has been implemented allowing for seamless communications for remote workers.  We thank all for your support during this transition.

As the stock market continues to lead in a positive direction, as international trade gyrates and as the job market continues to expand.  We are Berman Larson Kane continue to move positively as the market continues to improve for job-seekers.

We thank all for your support and having the confidence to allow us to assist wit h your hiring challenges and career enhancement programs.  Enjoy the Sumer Months.




Stephen Covey Wonderful 2019 Principles

Bob Larson, CPC

Career Report
January, 2019 — Issue 227

Stephen Covey Wonderful 2019 Principles 

Author and self-help pioneer Stephen Covey left us with a wealth of ideas and resources for changing and improving behaviors. As we begin a new year and look forward to the days and months ahead, we would be wise to regularly keep in mind Covey’s timeless principles such as “Be proactive,” “Think win-win,” and “Begin with an end in mind,” to name a few.

All part of his groundbreaking book, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” these concepts still sound so simple, yet they made Covey a force of human nature and have been woven into the emotional well-being of millions in almost any walk of life, from self-help to corner offices of Corporate America. Former President Bill Clinton once cited “7 Habits” as one of the three books every worker should read to help boost productivity and Chief Executive magazine chose it as the most influential book of the 20th Century.

Covey once told USA Today that he developed the “7 Habits” after studying hundreds of books and essays on success written since 1776. He said he noticed that the literature of the 20th century was dominated by gimmicks or “social Band-Aids” to improve the personality. In contrast, the writings of Abraham Lincoln and Benjamin Franklin, for example, were based on character and principles such as integrity, courage and patience.

Here from an article published by is a summary of Covey’s “7 Habits,” presented with the hope that they contribute not only to improving your success in the workplace but in your personal life as well:

Be Proactive — As human beings, we are responsible for our own lives. We have the independent will to make our own choices and decisions, and the responsibility to make the right choices. You have the freedom to choose your own fate and path, so having the independent will, imagination and self-awareness to make the right move make you a proactive, and not a reactive, person.

Begin With The End In Mind – Mental visualization is extremely important. Covey said that all things are created twice: first, the mental conceptualization and visualization and then the physical actual creation. Becoming your own creator means to plan and visualize what you’re going to do and what you’re setting out to accomplish and then go out and creating it. Identifying your personal statement and your principles will help.

Put First Things First — With your power of independent will, you can create the ending you want to have. Part of that comes with effective time management, starting with matters of importance. Then tasks should be completed based on urgency after you deal with all of the important matters. If you deal with crisis, pressing problems and deadline-driven projects first, your life will be a lot easier.

Think Win/Win – If you believe in a better way to accomplish goals that are mutually beneficial to all sides, that’s a win/win situation. “All parties feel good about the decision and feel committed to the action plan,” Covey wrote. “One person’s success is not achieved at the expense or exclusion of the success of others.” If you have integrity and maturity, there’s no reason win/win situations can’t happen all the time.

Seek First To Understand, Then To Be Understood – If you’re a good listener and you take the time to understand a concept, it will help you convey your opinions, plans and goals to others. It starts with communication and strong listening skills, followed by diagnosing the situation and then communicating your solution to others.

Synergize – Synergistic communication, according to Covey, is “opening your mind and heart to new possibilities, new alternatives, new options.” This applies to the classroom, the business world and wherever you could apply openness and communication. It’s all about building cooperation and trust.

Sharpen The Saw – Last but not least, sometimes you’re working so hard on the other six habits that you forget about re-energizing and renewing yourself to sharpen yourself for the tasks in front of you. Some sharpening techniques can include exercise and nutrition, reading, planning and writing, service and empathy, and study and meditation. Indeed, taking the time to focus on some of them can be a big help as you plan for achieving future goals and objectives.

News from BLK

As we enter into 2019, we would like to wish everyone a very Happy and Prosperous New Year. We are pleased to report that our office is buzzing with activity and we are busy matching qualified candidates with new job orders. We are optimistic that the activity level will continue at this fast pace throughout the year.


Career Report October 2016 Issue 200

Best Staffing Options
Best Staffing Options


Career Report

October 2016



Feature Story


Despite struggling with debt, recession, and the jobs crisis, millennials—who will account for 75% of the workforce in 2025— are not motivated by money. Rather, according to an article in Fast Company, they aim to make the world more compassionate, innovative, and sustainable.

In fact, more than 50 percent of millennials say they would take a pay cut to find work that matches their values, while 90 percent want to use their skills for good.

Clearly, the future of work lies in empowering millennial talent, points out the article’s author Adam Smiley Poswolsky, who wrote the book The Quarter-Life Breakthrough: A Guide For Millennials To Fined Meaningful Work. From interviews with numerous millennial entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, and leaders with both for-profit, social enterprise, and nonprofit backgrounds, millennials want to work with purpose, and they want their workplace to be aligned with their values.

So how can companies deliver on meaningful employee engagement? Here are a number of ideas offered by the author on ways to attract, retain, and empower top millennial talent.

  1. Don’t Just Talk About Impact, Make An Impact – Many companies use words such as impact and purpose without seriously moving the needle on major social and environmental problems. Millennials want to work for organizations that are transparent on how they’re using their technology, resources, and talent. They also want to create shared value, make positive social and environmental changes, and increase opportunities for disadvantaged populations. Recruiting the top talent of tomorrow begins with making a difference today.
  1. Create Opportunities for Mentorship, Skills Acquisition, and Co-leadership – A common critique of millennials in the workplace is they are impatient, entitled, and not willing to put in the time and hard work needed to succeed. “Delayed gratification” doesn’t apply to them; they want change to happen fast.

This doesn’t mean millennials aren’t hard workers. On the contrary, millennials will work hard when you get serious about investing in their skills development. Young talent wants the opportunity to learn from someone with expertise; they want that on-the-ground experience to happen today, not tomorrow—and certainly not in five years.

Companies need to empower millennials by offering co-leadership opportunities, offering young talent a chance to manage and develop a new project—preferably of strategic importance—that excites them. They need to be paired as project-lead with a senior executive, or someone with 15-plus years of experience, giving them an opportunity to learn from a mentor. It also builds on the assumption that millennials can teach something to their more senior colleagues. For example, when it comes to technology and social media, the person with the most innovative idea in the room may happen to be the youngest.

  1. Give Young Talent A Voice – Everyone wants to feel valued at work, especially millennials. There is nothing worse for a millennial than feeling as if your supervisor thinks you have nothing to offer because of your age or inexperience.

In their new book, When Millennials Take Over: Preparing For The Ridiculous Optimistic Future Of Business, authors Maddie Grant and Jamie Notter recommend creating fluid decision-making and organizational structures. They highlight companies such as Medium and Zappos, which have embraced Holocracy, a new organizational and management system that spreads decision-making responsibilities among a set of roles and teams, rather than a hierarchy of people.

A fluid structure empowers more staff—especially new staff—to make decisions and take ownership of solutions. It’s hard to value your employees if you don’t listen to their voice, or give them a seat at the table.

  1. Make HR the New Life Coach – The average millennial is staying at their job less than three years. This might be shocking to corporate America, but the truth is the average American of any age is staying at their job for about four years.

Due in part to rapid changes in technology and a volatile economy, millennials aren’t the only ones job-hopping. How do human resources departments invest in their talent if much of that talent is going to leave the company in several years? Embrace that the workforce of the future is going to be in flux. Currently, some 53 million Americans—or 34% of the workforce—are freelance, and the number of remote and part-time workers is expected to increase.

Companies can no longer expect their employees to be loyal enough to stay for 10 or 20 years, and maybe that’s a good thing. HR departments should design training programs that invest in skills development, while helping their employees prepare for whatever is next in their career two, three, or five years down the line. A future HR professional will look less like Toby Flenderson’s drab character from the TV show The Office, and more like a beloved life coach, who will design personal learning plans for each young staffer based on what they want to accomplish during their stint at the company, and understand their values and interests enough to ensure a smooth landing at their next job.

Looking forward, to remain innovative, impactful, and financially competitive, the Fast Company article points out, companies will most definitely need to go outside their corporate comfort zone to design roles for a purpose-driven millennial workforce.


Proud to report that having attended the National Association of Personnel Services  annual convention in September that  the over view is that hiring will continue to increase over the next 12 months. Many NAPS members complained of the lack to quality candidates in many niches.  With overall competition for this talent increasing daily.

We at Berman Larson Kane continue to also witness shortages in numerous niches and our talent discovery staff find challenges in discovery of top talent.

As we enter the final quarter of 2016 we look forward to assisting our client s with on-boarding the best talent that the market has to offer.  Thanks for your support we so greatly appreciate it as we celebrate the 200 addition of our employment  newsletter.



Bob Larson, CPC
Bob Larson, CPC

April 2016 Issue # 194

 Feature Story


Cultural fit is a concept that can be hard to define but, when it’s missing, everyone in an organization can clearly recognize it, an article in Business News Daily points out.

 For example, imagine a company founder who believes that an open-office plan and team projects promote creativity and progress, but whose employees are overwhelming introverts. Or think about the ambitious employee stuck in an organization that offers no training, tuition reimbursement or room for advancement.

According to the article, at its core, cultural fit means that employees’ beliefs and behaviors are in alignment with their employer’s core values and company culture. Many employers understand the importance of hiring for cultural fit, and research shows that people who fit well into their companies express greater job satisfaction, perform better and are more likely to remain with the same organization for a longer period of time.

In fact, a 2015 survey of international employers found that more than 80 percent of managers named cultural fit a top priority when hiring new staff.

“We can teach someone to do a job. We can’t teach someone to love the way we operate,” said Lauren Kolbe, a founder of brand media agency KolbeCo. “An employee who is not aligned with the culture and is not committed to living it can wreak havoc pretty quickly, even if they bring a great deal of skill and experience to their craft.”

The first step in hiring for cultural fit is to be able to articulate what values, norms and practices define your business. Once that’s in place, it should be clearly expressed in all of your communication materials, including your website and recruiting tools.

Your job ads, in particular, must reflect your business culture and connect back to your core values, said Ian Cluroe, director of global brand and marketing at Alexander Mann Solutions, which helps organizations attract, engage and retain talent.  “You can do this by emphasizing some of the qualitative things you want in a candidate,” Cluroe told Business News Daily, the publication that aims to provide solutions and inspiration to entrepreneurs and small businesses.

Any members of your organization involved in interviewing potential employees also must have a good grasp of your business culture and refer back to it throughout the hiring process, Cluroe noted. It is not sufficient to ask candidates if they will fit into the corporate culture because “a smart candidate will know what you want to hear and give you the right answer,” he added.

To dig deeper, Barnes-Hogg recommended that interviewers ask probing questions that move applicants beyond canned answers and require them to demonstrate how they deal with uncertainty, solve problems and approach new challenges. Then, interviewers must determine how a candidate’s responses align with company culture and business goals.

Additionally, the article, by contributor Paula Fernandes, pointed out that employers can assess candidates for cultural fit by asking them to take personality tests like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and arranging for them to meet with team members from a range of levels across the organization. A potential employer may even ask prospective hires to spend a day in the office to learn about the inner workings and culture of the business or invite them to join the organization for a trial period.

However, employers should avoid confusing personal similarities with cultural fit. “When cultural fit is used to hire a homogenous workforce, the resulting lack of diversity will often manifest in poor creativity and undermine a company’s competitiveness,” said Pavneet Uppal, a managing partner with law firm Fisher & Phillips that represents employers in labor and employment matters.

“Focusing on hiring based on shared background or experiences may also lead to discriminatory practices,” Uppal added. “Refusing to hire someone because of an alleged lack of cultural fit will not save an employer from legal liability if the real reason for the employment decision is that an individual is perceived to be too old, too black, or too disabled.”

Asking candidates about personal issues — such as age, citizenship status, health, family history or ethnic background — can never be justified on the basis of cultural fit, Uppal stressed in the article.

The end goal, according to the article, is to identify and hire the very best candidates whose skills and attributes match the organization’s core values. Cluroe said this objective is achievable when organizations have a “culture that’s based on positive values that are open enough to enable a diverse selection of people to embody them in their own way.”

News from BLK

The second quarter of 2016 has seen a continuing increase in competition for top talent in numerous sectors.  Leading specialties s experiencing the most competition include scientific, digital media, healthcare and engineering.

Although recent data suggests a small increase in the unemployment rate and a decrease in New Jersey job creation numbers.  The overall direction of our clients continuous with planned additions to staff.

A sign that competition is increasing are the number of counter offers has increased greatly over the past few months. Employers using VORP models are sweetening the compensation as employees resignations trigger their current market value.




Holiday Season for Thanksgiving & Job Networking

Bob Larson, CPC
Bob Larson, CPC

November 2015 Feature Story Issue 189

Holiday Season for Thanksgiving &  Job Networking

Forget the popular misconception that the holidays are a dead time for job seekers. In fact, the season offers plenty of ways to keep your job search moving forward—especially some of the best chances to network you will find all year, according to a recent workplace column in The Wall Street Journal. And with the nation’s unemployment rate 5.1% it’s no wonder more career experts are telling job seekers to treat November / December like any other month, when it comes to job hunting.

One of our candidates is taking the advice very seriously. She’s scheduled to go to three parties, thus far, this month—one with friends from the gym, another Thanksgiving celebration with former colleagues, and a third at her financial planner’s home. A former senior systems analyst, she plans to tell people she meets that she’s out of work and looking for any help they can offer. On New Year’s Day, she will attend a holiday recovery parties that in the past she always skipped and make her pitch there as well.

“I’ve got to try to get out there and meet some different people to find work,” says another 45-year old job-seeker, who hopes to take further advantage of the holidays by adding even more events to her social calendar before the year is out. Clearly, she recognizes that networking is a powerful and important job-hunting technique.

At this point of the year, though, job seekers need to take a cautiously aggressive approach when networking. At holiday parties, for example, it’s best to act casual, since the setting is meant to be informal and festive, experts say. Most advise against bringing a resume, for instance.

“The holiday party is the perfect time to build rapport, and the pressure is off,” says Diane Darling, chief executive of Effective Networking Inc., a networking-consulting firm in Boston. Her primary piece of advice is to maintain a professional image while keeping the conversation informational. “It seems like small talk, but that’s how you get to know someone,” she told The Wall Street Journal. “And that’s how people get hired. She also recommended sending holiday cards to keep personal and business contacts fresh.

Kate Wendelton, president of Five O’Clock Club, a New York career-counseling and outplacement company, said it’s okay to ask for someone’s card at a holiday party, but you don’t want to start having a meeting with them right then. “If you give them a card, write on it something memorable from the conversation that you can reference in a follow-up letter,” she said.

Wendelton added that it is totally irrelevant to ask if someone has a job opening right now. But, she said, you will have an advantage if you meet a hiring manager in December, when many hiring budgets are being approved, prior to when jobs are even advertised.

During the holidays, people are also apt to be “smitten by the tone of the season” and to give more freely of their time, added Herb Rappaport, a professor of psychology at Temple University and author of the book Holiday Blues: Rediscovering the Art of Celebration.

A.J. Lawrence, for one, is hoping the holiday spirit will make his new networking scheme a success. He told the newspaper that on behalf of himself and about 100 other unemployed people who are friends and contacts, including many he has met online, he is sending out an electronic letter that begins, “Dear Santa, help me find a job….” It will be sent via online networking groups to several thousand other contacts, who can in turn click on an Internet link to provide industry resources or offer other assistance.

The 33-year old Lawrence, a former business development director at a New York consulting company, says he got the idea when he was joking with his girlfriend and asked, “Am I too old to send a ‘Dear Santa” letter?” The answer: obviously not.

To help job seekers further in their December networking activities, here are some other tips on how to make contacts at holiday parties, according to The Wall Street Journal article:

  • Dress appropriately. No flashing holiday ties or novelty antlers. Remembering that some events are formal, find out what’s appropriate to wear so you can make a good impression.
  • Don’t drink too much. Is there alcohol in that eggnog? Just to be sure, go easy. Maintain a professional presence at all times, despite the temptation to cut loose at a holiday party.
  • Know how to introduce yourself. Even if you’re having a blue Christmas, depict your situation in an upbeat manner that’s in keeping with the holiday cheer.
  • Keep the conversation casual. You’re not going to cut a deal at a holiday party. Instead, offer to exchange business cards and continue the conversation later.

Good luck and happy holidays!

News from BLK

During this Thanksgiving Holiday let us remember the millions of good folks who continue to be adversely affected by our unemployment numbers.

Over the past decades the personal painful histories that we have witnessed, due to no job or meaningful work, continues to be heart wrenching for all of us in the employment profession.

As president of our organization I assure you that we will continue our free community out-reach programs to assist all “job-seekers” with their efforts to gain solid employment. Since beginning these program 7 years ago over 40,000 individuals have participated. My wish is by Thanksgiving 2016 that the need for this service will decrease to zero.

During this month of thanks, I encourage each of you as professionals to lend a hand, take a phone call, review a resume, coach an interview or pass on some advice to a challenged “job-seeker”.

We at Berman Larson Kane continue to thank each of you for your business support during our thirty-five year history.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and take a moment to please be thankful for your job.



May 2015 Career Report Issue # 183


Career Report

May 2015

 Feature Story

Bob Larson, CPC President Berman Larson Kane
Bob Larson, CPC President Berman Larson Kane


Finding a new job can be a lot of work for many, but it can be especially challenging for anyone in their 50s and 60s. And while the unemployment rate for older workers is lower than that of younger workers, once out of work older workers seem to have greater difficulties landing a new position than others. In fact, according to an AARP data analysis cited in a U.S. News & World Report article, the average duration of unemployment for job seekers was 55 weeks as of December 2014, compared with 28.2 weeks for younger workers.

To help older workers in their quest to find a new position, here from the U.S. News & World Report article are seven strategies to consider:

Start your job search right away. Don’t wait until your unemployment runs out to start looking for a new position. “It does seem like prospects are best for the unemployed as soon as they leave their jobs, so it might be a good idea to start job searching in earnest right at the beginning, rather than easing into job searching while on unemployment,” said Joanna Lahey, an associate professor at Texas A&M University, who studies age discrimination. A large gap on your résumé and a growing sense of frustration with the job search process can make it even more difficult to get hired aging.

Work you network. Although there are certainly many modern ways to find jobs online and through social media, having contacts at the company you would like to work for is still one of the best ways to find out about openings and get hired. “The number one way to find a job is through personal contacts,” Lahey pointed out. “You can avoid a lot of implicit discrimination if someone who knows you is willing to vouch for you.”

Reassure a younger manager. Some managers may feel uncomfortable supervising someone who is more experienced than they are. “The big thing to keep in mind is that the person supervising you or making the hiring decision may well be younger than you are, and insecure about supervising someone with more experience,” said Peter Cappelli, a management professor and director of the Center for Human Resources at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. “So it is important to let them know you are OK with the role you’re applying for, that you don’t want their job and that you are expecting to take direction from them.”

Don’t mention your age or the interviewer’s age. You don’t want to call attention to your age by listing jobs you held over 20 years ago on your résumé or mentioning age during the interview process. Equally as important, don’t comment on the age of a younger manager. “Even if the person interviewing you is no older than your children, never make any reference to their age thinly veiled or otherwise,” said Nancy Collamer, a career coach and author of  “Second-Act Careers: 50+ Ways to Profit from Your Passions During Semi-Retirement.”

Shorten your résumé. You don’t need to include every position you have ever held on your résumé. “Don’t make your résumé a history lesson. Highlight your most recent achievements and the new talents you’re acquiring,” Collander said. “In general, you should keep the spotlight on the last 10 years of relevant experience.”

Explain why you’re not overqualified. Having 20 or 30 years of work experience can make you seem overqualified for many positions. “Make sure your cover letter explains why you’re right for the job you’re applying to,” Lahey said. “Explain any gaps or why you’re applying for something for which it seems like you’re overqualified.”

Demonstrate your fluency with technology. Older workers are often perceived as being unable to effectively use technology. Make it clear to potential employers that you are tech-savvy and continuing to keep up with new developments. “I think the single most important thing you can do to overcome age bias is to demonstrate your comfort with technology and social media during the interview process,” Collamer said. “There are lots of different ways to subtly let potential employers know you’re tech-friendly: [For example] include your LinkedIn URL on your résumé, mention an interesting article you found on the employer’s Twitter feed or be a regular contributor to industry-related groups on LinkedIn.”

News from BLK:

National job creation numbers continue to disappoint analysts during March and April.  We at Berman Larson Kane continue to add contract-to-hire professionals in various disciplines.  From our limited sample clients’ seem to prefer this hiring model to allow for maximum flexibility. On the direct hire side we have witnessed an increase in engineering hiring in both the scientific and pharma specialties.

If you would like to discuss your talent acquisition requirements or have a need to fill a position with a contractor or temporary employee I welcome the opportunity to listen to your challenge and see if we at Berman Larson Kane can recommended a cost effective solution.  Bob Larson, CPC,  President Berman Larson Kane 201-556-2887 or email .  Thank you for your past support.












Common Sense Job Looking Tips

So you are totally involved in the interview cycle….my best advice is to always be yourself…it makes for a wonderful job landing experience and a great hire for your new employer… below are links to a few of my favorite getting the job tip  articles …. you can also download our FREE BLK e-book at “Get Hired”   … happy job hunting…


Interview Advice Articles

Strategies for Phone Interviews

Answering the Technical Question You Don’t Know

Dressing for the Interview at a Business Casual Environment

Listen Closely–And Get Ahead

How to Succeed in a Job Interview

Always Send a Thank You Note!

How to Resign from a Job

Working with a New Boss

April 2015 Career Report Issue # 182

Feature Story

Bob Larson, CPC President Berman Larson Kane
Bob Larson, CPC President Berman Larson Kane


When it comes to social networking in your job search, without question, every serious professional is expected to have a well-composed LinkedIn profile. But, according to an article published by U.S. News & World Report, using LinkedIn without the benefit of additional social networks can be self-limiting.

The problem is that using LinkedIn these days is considered “in-the-box” thinking. Because everyone is there, you have less of a chance of standing out from your competition.

That said, for multiple reasons, if you want to really get a jump on your competition, your job search should include active Twitter engagement. Indeed, with a professional sounding Twitter handle, such as @[your_location]engineer or @[your_occupation]expert, you can expand your online branding and begin to be noticed by people who you would otherwise never encounter.

Here, according to the U.S. News & World Report article, are five ways to incorporate Twitter into your overall job search strategy:

  1. Shepherd people to your online content. Twitter is a great tool for driving traffic to your website or blog, helping you get discovered by people who might have otherwise never heard of you. To do this, create a tweet around a link, writing a message that encourages people to click to learn more, such as reading an interesting blog post or an article you authored. Use a short URL along with an appropriate hashtag.


  1. Share things you find professionally interesting. Tweet a line about an article of interest to you, along with a link to the article and a couple relevant hashtags. This way, you show you’re up to date and following and sharing the latest in your field. You gain visibility for yourself with minimum effort. 
  1. Find the latest live job openings. Many companies and recruiters flash their latest high-priority openings on Twitter. Make a point of following recruiters who specialize in your industry and job type, as well as target companies where you would like to work.


Moreover, you can do a simple search within Twitter for something like, “HR generalist” and “jobs NY.” Try playing around with any combination of job field, title, location and so on, and then save a set of results you like as a stream in HootSuite (


Another way of finding job opportunities is through the popular TweetMyJobs ( On this website, you can easily fill in a few fields to find jobs of interest to you and have them sent to you as more are posted. 

  1. Stay up to date with your industry and profession. Chances are good that any professional organization in your field will tweet notices of upcoming meetings, symposia and conferences. You can follow the relevant organizations to learn about these bonanza networking opportunities.


These organizations will also create hashtags specific to a given conference or convention. Organizers and participants will live tweet what speakers are saying, program topics and much more. You can easily build your network by simply following those people who have something interesting to say now, because these are the kind of people who will likely share insights and other things of note going forward. Plus, you learn from their tweets what people are attending. 

  1. Follow key leaders at companies of interest. Every business leader has his or her own Twitter account these days. These professionals use Twitter to promote their company’s key initiatives and comment on issues of concern. It’s an open invitation to see what’s important to them and their company when you follow those who lead the kinds of companies you seek to join.


Clearly, in today’s competitive marketplace, your key to success can be stretching your comfort zone to include Twitter activity. If you’re one of the many adults without an account, it’s important to establish one now. Happy hunting!




Several Job-Seekers have expressed concern about the low job creation numbers reported for March.   Our experience here at BLK has not seen a slow down in new opportunities and continue to see increase competition from clients in the IT, Sales, Marketing and Scientific niches.


We continue to witness an increase in long term contracting assignments as clients ramp up for major  projects


As for social media we share with you Bob Larson, CPC President of Berman Larson Kane featured video by Firesshaper upon completion of his 1000th hot yoga class.  You can view the link .  Well done Bob!



Sending Right Signals in Interviews

Bob Larson, CPC
Bob Larson, CPC

When hiring managers are asked about boneheaded mistakes they have seen job-seekers make during an interview, the most common, they say, are the subtle mistakes or omissions that can cause one candidate to lose out to another, according to an article in The New York Times. But if one person is sending out the right signals and behaving in the right way through each step of the process, the article noted, he or she has a much better chance to land the job.

Keep in mind, though, that there is no single set of rules in the hiring process. While certain standards of courtesy always apply (be punctual, treat everyone you meet with respect), your success may indeed depend on the company’s culture and the preferences of the people doing the hiring. Your ability to sense, and to act on, these factors could make a big difference, the article pointed out.

When Susan L. Hodas, director of talent management at NERA Economic Consulting, is hiring, for example, she looks for the right cultural fit as much as the right experience. To some degree she goes with her instincts, but she can also identify certain preferences. Here is one: “They should come in a suit,” she said.

Body language is also important, Hodas told the newspaper. She looks for an assured but not overly casual demeanor, along with good eye contact. She also looks for people who can enunciate their words (mumblers beware) and who can communicate their thoughts and ideas clearly. Overall, she said, she looks for people who are “confident, but not cocky.”

She added that she and her colleagues also typically apply “the airport test” to candidates. They ask themselves: “Would I want to be stuck in the airport for 12 hours with this person if my flight was delayed?”

It seems that just being yourself—albeit a formal, polite, alert and attentive version of yourself—is the best way to behave during interviews. You don’t want to do such a great job of faking it that when the company discovers the real you, it comes to regret ever hiring you. That said, there are certain things you can do—both during the interview and afterward—to give yourself an advantage, according to the article.

First and foremost, you should always research the company thoroughly (easy to do on the Internet), and be prepared to give specific examples of how your experience relates to the job. Also be able to describe as concretely as possible how you made a difference in your previous jobs.

Researching the company will also help when the interviewer asks whether you have any questions, said David Santos, executive director of human resources for Interbrand, a brand management firm. Not having any shows lack of interest and preparation, he added.

You should also make sure your questions show knowledge of the company and your interest in contributing to its success, the article pointed out. You’d be surprised how many people focus on themselves, not the company, by asking right off about things like salary, benefits and bonuses, said Annie Shanklin Jones, who manages United States recruitment for I.B.M.

Try to establish common ground with your interviewer so you stand out, Shanklin Jones added. Maybe you went to the same college or you pull for the same sports team. During the interview, “leverage your referrals,” she said, finding ways to highlight the people you know within the company.

Depending on the job you apply for, you may be called back for an interview several times. How you follow up after each interview is crucial. Not following up at all shows a lack of interest. Following up too much, or in the wrong way, could take you out of the running.

Santos told the newspaper that she looks for prompt follow-up by e-mail that shows the applicant was listening attentively, that mentions names of people the candidate met, and that reaffirms the candidate’s work experience and understanding of the company. Much less impressive is a generic e-mail that could be sent to any company, he said.

Should you use paper or e-mail in correspondence? Santos’ preference shows how tricky this can be. He said that for a company like his, which is more digitally focused, it would show a lack of awareness to send a traditional thank you note through the mail. On the other hand, he does expect candidates to show up for interviews with printed copies of their résumés.

Indeed, given that all companies and hiring managers are different, getting through the interview process can seem like walking a tightrope, the article pointed out. But common courtesy, combined with common sense, plenty of research and a dose of intuition can go along way toward bringing you safely to the other side.

News from BLK

Happy New Year….special thanks to all the job-seekers and hiring clients that added to our 2014 success…we can’t thank you enough.

As we gear-up for 2015 we are confident in continuous improvements for the job market.  Talent shortages in key skill sets will increase as demand will out weigh supply.  We are also predicting 2015  a rising tide of salary increases across all industries.

One of our key initiatives for 2015 is increasing Berman Larson Kane’s  community service programs for job-seekers through a series of free webinars and community out-reach programs.

Thanks to all for allowing us to continue our 35 year of offering the “Best Staffing Options” we so appreciate your support.