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Bronxville Network Bridges Gap Between Jobs

For Jerry Sullivan, of Fleetwood, taking a ride to Bronxville every few weeks is not just about finding a job.

"I find it very helpful," said Sullivan, who has been out of work for two of the last three years."I feel like I am not the only one out of work and it helps me keep my focus."

Sullivan was one of about 20 people who attended The Bronxville Career Network meeting sponsored by the Congregational Life Council of The Reformed Church of Bronxville.

The group is headed by Pat Drew a life coach and employment coach.

"We were founded about two-and-a-half years ago and we meet the first and third Wednesday of the month," said Diane Walker, who acts as the group's spokesperson.

Last night's speaker was Daniel F. Johnson, a veteran recruiter in the financial services and consumer products field.

Johnson's first rule of finding a job is know your own resume, and be prepared for those questions you are hoping you won't get asked.

"Sit down with your resume, look at the gaps in employement, the times when you were let go and have a matter of fact, straight answer for all of those questions," Johnson advised.

Johnson said your resume gets you in the door, but your interview answers several key questions. "The interviewer wants to know what is this person going to be like to work with. Are you a flight risk? Will you leave shortly for a better job?" Johnson said.

Interviewers also want to know if the job seeker is a person that will fit in well with the company. "They don't want to hear that you are going to shake things up. They want to hear that you are qualified, dependable and will work hard for them," he said.

Over the years, Johnson said, he has heard the same responses from employers on why an obviously qualified job seeker was not hired.

"The reasons I get are that the person seemed tired, did not make eye contact, talked too much and had no idea what the job was," Johnson said. "I also get a lot of comments that people do not answer the questions the interviewer ask."

For Walker, who moved to New York a few years ago and has not worked since, the Bronxville Network fills a gap.

"When you are working, you have a work family, and when you lose that it can be very isolating," Walker said. "I try to keep in mind what Dan Johnson said last night: unemployment is a temporary state, not a lifestyle. Coming to the network helps me remember that."

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