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Straight from the Source: Berks & Beyond Employee Testimonials

January 10th, 2013

At Berks & Beyond, we constantly strive to match candidates with leading employers throughout Central and Southern Pennsylvania.  We take great pride in what we do and want to share a few recent success stories, in our employees’ own words:

They Gave Me a New Start

“When I first moved here from Puerto Rico I had a difficult time finding steady work that would allow for me to provide for my family.  After working for a couple of different staffing companies I went and signed up with Berks and Beyond.  As soon as I completed my application I felt right at home.  The staff was very helpful and found me a steady job at a good company in no time!  Since signing up with Berks and Beyond I have been at the same job for almost three months now, I am very glad that I made the decision to join the team.”

–Daniel Pena

They Placed Me in the Right Position

“This company has the best work environment.  I have made so many different new friends.  I even got back in touch with some people from my high school.  I enjoy my job; it’s simple yet serves a purpose since we work as a group.  Everyone is helpful and this helps make every day go smoothly.  After spending months looking for a job on my own with no luck, I received a call from Berks & Beyond.  I’m glad I picked up the phone!  They worked around my schedule and placed me in the right position.”

–Oscar Sandoval

They Stuck by Me

“My time at Berks and Beyond has been great . They have helped me find many jobs in the past year including the one I’m at now.  It takes some time to find the right one for each person but they stuck by me until it was done . I just wanna say thanks for everything.”

–Jonathan Feltman

Put your success story here.

Are you between jobs?  Returning to the workforce?  Looking to gain experience or greater job flexibility?  Call Berks & Beyond today.  We’ll listen to your needs, match you with a great temporary, contract or direct opportunity in Central or Southern PA, and make you our next staffing success story.

C’mon, Get Happy! How and why to be happier at work

October 4th, 2012

I know I’m dating myself with this sugary-sweet Partridge Family theme-song reference.  But while the song is outdated, the notion is not.  You really should make an effort to be happy at work!

Why?  Happy people work better with others.  They’re more creative, learn faster and make better decisions on the job.  Bottom line, if you’re happy at work, you’re going to be more productive (and ultimately more successful).

Like many things in life, happiness is a choice – and something you have to work at to maintain.  So if you are going through a rough patch, lack job satisfaction or are generally an ogre on the job, use these tips from Berks & Beyond to get happy at work:

Surround yourself with things that make you smile.  Photos of the kids are great, but you probably start looking past them after a period of time.  Switch up your pictures of family and friends every few months.  Add other pictures, decorative items or even a live plant – anything that makes you feel upbeat and energized.

Schedule a treat during each work day.  It could be as big as going out to lunch at a new restaurant with your favorite co-workers, or as small as spending 15 minutes reading a great new book.  Whatever you choose, find some way to reward yourself on the job every day.

Organize your work space.  If you find yourself feeling stressed and overwhelmed at work, it could be because you’re not organized enough.  Use these tips to get yourself more organized at work and make yourself more focused, productive and happy.

Snack on happy foods.  Energy drinks may seem like a good option if you’re feeling cranky or drained, but when it comes to boosting your happiness, nothing beats sound nutrition.  Certain nutrients in food can affect how we feel, so stock up on well-known “happiness-inducing” foods like walnuts (for Omega-3 fatty acids), bananas (for relaxing magnesium and serotonin-producing tryptophan) and whole grains (for mood-enhancing B vitamins).

Give yourself something to look forward to.  If you know you’re facing a tough week ahead, create a weekend that will rejuvenate and satisfy you.  Consider how you’d like to spend your time.  Make a plan to enjoy the things that truly make you happy – whether it’s socializing, traveling, dining out, spiritual activities, exercise or pursuing hobbies.  If you have something fantastic planned for yourself at week’s end, it will help motivate you to work hard between now and then.

Finally, appreciate the fact that you have a job!  Even if it’s not the ideal one for you, try to make the best of your circumstances.  Consider the positives of your work situation, while working to improve it.  If you want to find a great job in Berks, York, Lehigh, Montgomery or Dauphin county, Berks & Beyond can help you conduct a confidential search while you’re employed.

College Graduates Face a Grueling Job Hunt

July 3rd, 2012

Despite a 10 percent uptick in hiring by on-campus recruiters, recent college grads face a mixed job market in 2012.  According to The Wall Street Journal, most of this year’s graduates have left school without a job offer in hand.

Here are a few stats about the mixed employment market these new job seekers have entered:

  • It’s taking longer to find a full-time job.  Only 49 percent of graduates from the classes of 2009 to 2011 had found a full-time job within a year of finishing school, compared with 73 percent of students who graduated in the three years prior.
  • Unemployment for this demographic is slightly lower than the national average.  According to the Labor Department, the unemployment rate among 20- to 24-year-olds with bachelor’s degrees was 6.4 percent in April, compared with 8.1 percent for the overall population.
  • Our job market is far from “booming.”  In May, our nation added just 69,000 jobs – the fewest in a year.  Disappointing numbers like this show just how fragile our recovery is.
  • Despite persistently high unemployment, more Americans are voluntarily quitting their jobs.  These vacancies create openings for which new graduates can apply.  On the whole, this “churn” is a sign of slowly improving economic confidence – and it’s great news for first-time job seekers.
  • Even when new grads do find jobs, starting salaries tend to be lower than a decade ago, after adjusting for inflation.  According to the Economic Policy Institute, hourly wages for college-educated men age 23 – 29 fell 7.6 percent from 2000, while the corresponding figure for women fell 6 percent.

Simply put, it’s tough out there – especially for the recent grad who’s considering tackling his job search alone.

Thankfully there’s a smarter way.  Berks & Beyond can make finding that first job out of college easier, quicker and less stressful.  Our recruiters work with the area’s best employers, allowing you to tap into Pennsylvania’s hidden job market!  We can also provide useful feedback on your résumé and interviewing skills.  Our ultimate goal is to match you with the ideal first career opportunity or a promising temporary assignment that could lead to direct employment.

So why go it alone?  Contact a Berks & Beyond recruiter today, or search Central and Southern Pennsylvania jobs here.

Your Online Job Search in Pennsylvania: Avoid these Rookie Mistakes

June 12th, 2012

A friend complained to me yesterday about having to log in each day to his company’s portal.  He works as a freelance background investigator and uses the portal to find case work.

I had to laugh, because his complaining made me realize how truly spoiled the Internet has made us.  No longer must we strap on a suit and “pound the pavement” to find jobs in Pennsylvania.  These days, the Internet allows you to:

  • conduct your search from the comfort of your own home;
  • actively look for a job while you’re still working;
  • apply for jobs with just a click of the mouse.

While all this sounds great, an online job search is still not without its potential pitfalls.  Privacy concerns and issues with technology can complicate matters and jeopardize your chances of success.

So before you start surfing the job boards, make sure your online job search is safe, comprehensive and productive by avoiding these rookie mistakes:

Overlooking privacy issues.

If you’re currently employed, the last thing you want to do is lose your job because your boss finds out you’re looking for another one!  Many employers actively search for their employees’ résumés online using search engines or job boards, so be smart.  Protect your identity (and your existing job) by limiting access to your essential contact information (i.e., name, address, phone).  Set-up an anonymous personal e-mail account for recruiters to use to contact you.

Waiting for opportunities to come to you.

If you think the perfect position will appear in your Inbox, you may be deluding yourself.  Instead of waiting for online opportunities to come to you, go out and find them by leveraging Internet research sources.  Spend time reading through company websites to identify potential employers.  Then, customize your résumé and cover letter based on what you find out about them, their competition, their products and services, etc.

Blasting your résumé all over the Internet.

When it comes to applying for a job the right way, you can’t take a “one size fits all” approach.  Merely posting your résumé to hundreds of job sites will not be as effective as you might think, because you won’t be able to customize it for a particular position or company.  You will get better results if you apply for far fewer positions, but take the time to tailor your application so that it stands out from the crowd.

Limiting your efforts to the Internet.

While it’s easy to apply for jobs online, you’ll be much more successful if you cast a wider net.  Make sure to network, leverage social media, attend job fairs and register with a reputable employment agency like Berks & Beyond, who understands the Central and Southern Pennsylvania job market.

As a leading staffing and employment agency in Southeastern PA, Berks & Beyond works with the area’s best employers.  We work hard to match you with the ideal assignment or position and ensure confidentiality throughout the entire process.  What’s more, because several of our clients choose to work with us exclusively, we fill many career openings that may not be found elsewhere!

Getting started with Berks & Beyond is as easy as applying for a job online.  Why not give it a try?

What Kind of Resume is Best for Finding a Job?

May 15th, 2012

Your résumé is a critical job-hunting tool.  Its primary purpose is to help potential employers understand the unique blend of accomplishments, experience and education that make you the ideal choice for their job openings.

On its own, your résumé will not get you the job; it is a marketing tool to get you in the employer’s door.  Still, the type of résumé format you choose can rule you in or out of consideration for an available position.  Here are the most common types, courtesy of

  • Chronological.  This type of résumé starts by listing your work history, beginning with your most recent position and working backward.  Employers prefer this type of résumé because it’s easy to see what jobs you have held and when you have worked at them.
  • Functional.  This résumé type highlights your skills and experience, as opposed to your work history.
  • Combination or Hybrid.  The combination résumé lists your skills and experience first, but also includes your work history, listed in reverse chronological order.  It allows you to highlight your relevant skills, but also provide the chronological work history many employers prefer.
  • Targeted.  A targeted résumé is highly customized and specifically highlights your experience and skills that are relevant to the individual job for which you are applying.

So what kind of résumé format is right for you?  The answer is: it depends.  Consider the following questions to decide which type of résumé will help you put your best foot forward:

  • Do you have significant gaps in your work history? If so, a functional résumé may be best, because it focuses on your abilities – not the chronological timeline of your employment history.  One caveat:  many internet job boards will not accept this format.
  • Are you changing direction in your career? Again, a functional résumé may be the right choice.  It allows you to present the skills and experience you possess that will transfer well into a different line of employment.
  • Have you been promoted several times or taken jobs with increasing responsibility? A chronological résumé is well-suited to showcasing your growth and career advancement over time.
  • Are your qualifications and experience a great match for the available position? In this case, a targeted résumé is the way to go.  While it requires significantly more work to create a new résumé specifically tailored to the available job, it’s usually well worth the effort.  The targeted résumé will highlight the ways in which you are a perfect match for the job and help you stand out from the crowd.
  • Still not sure which way to go? While the majority of employers tend to prefer the chronological format (because it’s easy to read and clearly presents your job history over time) the best modern résumés are combination or hybrid.  This résumé format provides the best of both worlds – a paragraph or list that summarizes your main areas of accomplishment and experience, as well as a detailed reverse-chronology work history with information about your achievements in each position.

If you’re looking for jobs in Central and Southern Pennsylvania and could use some advice on preparing your résumé, give Berks & Beyond a call.  Whether you’re searching for temporary employment, a permanent position or some extra money on the weekend, Berks & Beyond has the career opportunities you need!

Jobs in PA: Why it May (Finally) Be Time to Make a Job Change

April 17th, 2012

Finally, some good news in the job market.  Across the country, a growing number of employees are quitting their jobs.

Why is this such a good sign?

According to a recent survey of recruiters, 28 percent of the job openings employers had in January were due to employee resignations – up from 21 percent in July of 2011.  To boot, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced in February that the number of workers quitting has been on a steady incline since its low point in December of 2009:

Life Inc. Graphic: Quits and layoffs and discharges

This is actually a sign that the labor market is improving.  During a  recession, people are inclined to hold onto their jobs, because employment prospects are so dim.

Conversely, an increase in “quits” is a sign of returning economic optimism.  Those who are dissatisfied with their current work situation are becoming more confident about their job prospects – so much so that they’re willing to leave their current job to search full-time.

Admittedly, unemployment rates are still high.  Walking away from a job that’s paying the bills always carries some risk.  But if you’re underemployed, in a dead-end job or otherwise unhappy with your current work situation, Berks & Beyond can help.

As a leading staffing service in Central & Southern Pennsylvania, we have a wide variety of office and clerical jobs, light industrial jobs, accounting and finance jobs, engineering jobs (and more) available in Reading, Carlisle, Allentown, Pottstown, York and Harrisburg.

When you register with us, we can help you conduct a confidential search for the perfect direct employment opportunity.  We work for you, allowing you to stay employed during your job hunt.  Best of all, our services are free!  Contact a Berks & Beyond recruiter today to learn more.


April 12th, 2012

Berks and Beyond’s 2012 Open Enrollment for Field Employees Runs April 4th – May 3rd

Wyomissing, PABerks and Beyond Employment Services, Inc. is pleased to announce its annual open enrollment for health benefits offerings to temporary employees.   The leading Central and Southern Pennsylvania staffing service is holding open enrollment now through May 3, 2012, for their comprehensive benefits package that includes:

  • Special low group rates
  • Single and family coverage
  • Dental and Vision plan options
  • Coverage for doctors’ visits
  • Inpatient benefits
  • No pre-existing condition limitations
  • No health questions asked
  • No waiting period on medical benefits

While offering health benefits is not mandatory, Berks and Beyond goes beyond the call of duty to create a win-win situation for everyone involved.  For staffing clients, benefits are a perk that helps Berks and Beyond attract the best and brightest talent.

On the flip side, health benefits come at time when Berks & Beyond field employees need them most. “Offering medical benefits to our employees gives them peace of mind that their families are covered and protected, be it routine or unexpected,” says Chris Garner, President of Berks and Beyond Employment Services, Inc.  “Due to the economic downturn, many former full-time employees find themselves working temporary or temp-to-perm jobs again, usually without benefits.  That’s not the case with Berks and Beyond employees.  Our employees are offered health benefits with no waiting period.  We are finding that by offering these benefits, we are able to attract a more diversified and skilled work force.  Berks and Beyond has had this program in place for over a year, and it has been a positive experience for everyone involved.”

In addition to health benefits, Berks and Beyond also offers Direct Deposit, to simplify banking and ensure field employees are paid in a timely manner.  New enrollment employees should contact their Branch Managers for more information.

The Behavioral Interview: FAQs and Tips for Success

March 13th, 2012

Q:  What are behavioral interview questions?

A:  Behavioral questions are designed to reveal more than just skills or experience.  They operate on the premise that understanding past behavior is the best way to predict future success.  Questions may be casually inserted into a typical interview, or you may be formally required to answer a set list.

Behavioral interview questions will require you to describe situations from your past, as well as your feelings and observations about them.  Depending upon your answers, the interviewer may have follow-up probing questions.  The interviewer will look for evidence of desired behavioral traits in your responses, to assess your proficiency in certain job-related areas.

Q:  What are some examples of behavioral interview questions?

A:  Unlike standard questions, which are designed to gain more information about your skills and experience, behavioral questions focus on revealing behavioral traits.  Here are a few examples:

“What is the most creative idea you’ve implemented to solve a problem?”

“Can you describe a time when you tried to persuade another person to do something that he was not very willing to do?”

“What is the most difficult project you’ve worked on – and how did it help you develop professionally?”

Q:  How can I perform well in a behavioral interview?

A:  As with all interview questions, preparing for behavioral questions is essential to success.  While you cannot predict the specific questions you will be asked, you can use these tips to ace your next behavioral interview – no matter what type of job you’re seeking:

  • Learn about the company.  Do your homework before the interview to learn about the company, its core values and the available position.  Use the job description to determine the most essential behaviors needed to succeed in the position, then research potential behavioral interview questions that are associated with these traits.
  • Create your behavioral interview arsenal.  Create a list of key accomplishments that exemplify the traits necessary to succeed in the available position.  If you lack work experience, draw upon your school experiences (challenging courses/tests, group projects, research papers, etc.).  Select experiences that reflect well on you, even if the outcome of the situation itself was not favorable.  With a bit of work, you can develop a repertoire of a small number of workplace experiences that you can use to answer a wide range of behavioral questions.
  • Flesh out each experience.  Make sure each of your examples has a beginning, middle and end.  Experts recommend using the STAR technique to communicate your ideas logically and concisely:  the beginning should describe a Situation you were in or the Task you needed to accomplish; the middle should recount the Action that you took; the end should review the measurable Results you achieved.
  • Practice with a friend.  Behavioral interviews can be grueling.  Boost your confidence by rehearsing your workplace stories ahead of time with a friend or relative.  Aim for vivid, concise answers that are one to three minutes long.

Looking for more interview help?  Searching for jobs in Harrisburg, Allentown, Reading, Pottstown, York or CarlisleBerks & Beyond is here to help.  As one of Southern Pennsylvania’s largest staffing companies, we can help you take the next step in your career.

Job Seekers: Beat Unemployment Discrimination – Before it Beats You

January 17th, 2012

Fact:  the best time to find a job is while you still have a job.

Unfortunately, however, a large portion of the job-hunting population is unemployed – and has been for awhile.  For these job seekers, jobless discrimination is a major, and seemingly unfair, obstacle on the path to employment.

Despite numerous EEO laws and safeguards, some employers ignore the résumés sent to them by job seekers who aren’t working.  These employers believe that requiring that a candidate be gainfully employed is just “smart business” – helping them control the flood of applications and filter out “damaged goods” before spending valuable time and resources on screening and interviewing.

If you’re unemployed and looking for work, it’s hard to see the logic in these hiring practices.

Now is a time to stay strong.  Here is some sound advice for beating jobless discrimination – before it beats you:

  • Forgive yourself – and move on.  Losing a job is nothing unusual, especially these days.  Mergers, cost-cutting measures and total shutdowns have forced countless people out of their jobs over the past few years.  Whatever your reason for being unemployed, you need a positive mindset to tackle what may be a tough job search.  The best thing you can do is forgive yourself for being out of work, and then move on.
  • If you’ve only been out of work for a short time (a few weeks or months), invest a lot of time and energy into networking and informational interviews.  This will help you get past the initial human resources screening that would eliminate you from consideration.  Use networking as a tool to demonstrate your willingness to work hard, and your drive to find a job may overcome the bias against you as a person out of work.
  • Ignore the verbiage in job posts that suggests an employer intends to discriminate based on recent employment status.  Just because the discriminatory language is present in a job listing doesn’t mean you have to adhere to the request!  If your job skills and experience are a good fit for the posting, by all means apply for that position – regardless of your employment situation.
  • Consider adjusting your résumé.  If you’ve been out of work for awhile, you may want to switch from a chronological to functional résumé format.  This will allow you to lead with your skills and qualifications, outside the context of your employment history.  Additionally, you may want to omit dates from your employment history section.  Once your skills have an employer’s attention, he can inquire about the dates.
  • Solidify references from previous employer(s).  When you’re unemployed, a strong endorsement from an employer – even one who let you go – may outweigh the length of your unemployment.

Temporary and Contract Work – Your Best Bet for Beating Jobless Discrimination

Looking for a sure-fire way to overcome your jobless stigma?  Go to work for a staffing service like Berks & Beyond – as soon as possible!  It’s easiest to find a job while you’re working, so stack the deck in your favor.  Beyond merely changing your employment status, temporary and contract work can help you:

  • Earn valuable income – at a time when you really need it.
  • Keep your spirits up – by being productive and engaged.
  • Build your résumé and keep your skills sharp – the variety inherent in temporary assignments presents you with new challenges, allowing you to grow and gain experience.
  • Find direct employment – if you prove yourself on the job, your temporary or contract position may convert to a direct opportunity.  Additionally, while you’re on assignment, Berks & Beyond can actively search for direct positions that match your skills, experience and interests.

Contact your local Berks & Beyond office today to learn more about jobs in Reading, Harrisburg, Allentown, Pottstown, York and Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Berks & Beyond: In Our Employees’ Words…

January 5th, 2012

Still on the fence about temporary work?  Wondering what it’s like to work with Berks & Beyond?  These employee testimonials should help:

From the Berks & Beyond Carlisle, PA office:

“Dear Sabrina,

I want to sincerely thank you for all the efforts you made to help me find employment these past few weeks. The follow-ups you made and the willingness to allow me to call at anytime was helpful in finding out where we stood. 

So many other staffing agencies left me in the cold…just waiting and with no further contact on the status of my application. Kayla and Ed were also helpful when you were busy. I would recommend Berks & Beyond to anyone looking for employment.”

–Tom Martin

From the Berks & Beyond Pottstown, PA office:

“While working on assignment for Berks & Beyond, I have enjoyed working on a wide variety of projects.  It is a great place to work and I’m happy that you are flexible with my hours, giving me time to travel to Ohio to see my family when possible.  

I have never been to an employment agency other than yours, and I find the people very pleasant and friendly.  I am happy to be a part of the Berks & Beyond team.”

–Karl Snyder

At Berks & Beyond, we offer our employees freedom, flexibility and a wide variety of job opportunities with Central and Southern Pennsylvania’s best employers.  We truly listen to your needs, provide the follow-up you expect and pride ourselves in matching you with the right position.  Contact a Berks & Beyond Recruiter today, and jump start your job search in 2012!

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