Friday, July 21, 2006

The Job Interview Part II - Best ‘Suited’ for the Job

You’ve spent many hours completing job applications, making phone calls, refining and distributing your resume, and then one day it finally happens…you are granted an interview! Congratulations!

Now it’s up to you to present yourself as both competent and confident.

Whether you are a male or female, one of your first thoughts is “What should I wear?” Other details are important, but they all center around your clothes.

A good rule of thumb is to dress one step more professional than the job you are pursing. A nice business suit is the best choice for pursing some jobs, but a statement of over qualification for other positions. If the dress code of your target job is jeans and t-shirts, then one step more professional would be dress slacks and a polo shirt for either a male or female, or a casual dress for a female. If the dress code is ‘business casual,’ then you might try to find a suit.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money, and it doesn’t have to be a brand new suit. Remember, the second time you wore a new outfit, you were wearing used clothing because it was used - by you! Yard sales, thrift shops, and newspaper ads are good sources to consider. But shop wisely, and look for low prices on items that are in good condition.

If you are still unsure, do some research. Go to a different company in the same field. Sit in the lobby, or outside and watch the employees entering and leaving the building. Most of them would be following the company’s dress code.

Another option is to visit your city’s Employment Services Office. Not only can they help you search for a job, but they can usually advise you in prepare for the interview.

So take this information, don the right clothes, and go on your pursuit!

The Job Interview Part I - Putting Your Best Foot Forward

They’re called ‘accessories’ - those little bumps that skim the floor. They’re down so low you would think no one sees them, but they make a statement about what you are bringing to a prospective employer. Take heed, because in a job interview they are more important than you think!

Shoes. They are available in all different styles, textures and colors. Choose them carefully because their voice is easily heard.

What would you like to say about yourself? Say it with your shoes.

The high heeled shoe may make you feel confident, but let’s find another way to portray confidence. This pretty baby is a hit on dates or parties, but is not appropriate for a job interview.

The same is true for color and textures. A shoe that matches your suit shows that you are coordinated and organized, that you “have it all together.” The second choice could be a basic color that blends with your suit, like black, brown, navy. Dark colors, simple patterns and basic styles show that you are serious.

You should inspect your shoes the day before your job interview. Clean them, polish them, replace them if worn. Worn shoes convey either poverty or a lack of self-respect. Being seen as either is a negative statement.

The best choice is a flat shoe in good condition, like a loafer or pump, and is stable as you walk on the floor. It states that you, like the shoe, are a dependable, safe, stable choice. Stick with the simple classics, and your job search will start on the right foot!

Making Your Resume Stand Out

You can have an attractive resume, but without good content, it won’t get a second look. Employers get hundreds of resumes—you have to catch their attention in the first few seconds. Let’s assume that you have already customized your resume by researching the employer, and have used action verbs where possible.

An additional way to attract notice is by including as many specifics as possible and attaching numbers to what you’ve done.

Another way to attract attention is to use a superlative in reporting your accomplishments, Anytime you can use words like first, only, most, best, and highest, your reader will be more impressed. Here are some examples using superlatives:

Examples include:

  • First undergraduate to serve as research assistant to dean
  • Highest-selling Sales Associate in the fastest growing unit in the chain.