8 Ways Your Contact Details May Be Turning Off Employers

Writing a resume is no small task, but one part that seems like a no-brainer is the contact information section. Unless you are suffering from amnesia, you know your name, where you live, and what your own phone number is.However, it’s not quite that simple. Your contact information is arguably the most important part of your resume, as this is the only means employers have to reach you for an interview!Many job seekers commit major blunders in their contact information, however, that can turn off employers before the first paragraph is read. Be sure to avoid the following eight pitfalls to maximize this simple — yet vital — section of your resume:

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1. Listing current work phone or email address

Though rarely enforced, most companies implement policies barring use of office equipment and internet services for personal use. Your job search certainly qualifies as personal, so keep it out of the office. Keeping your job search a secret from your current boss is only one of the pitfalls. Listing a work-related email address or phone number on your resume sends a negative message about your professionalism. A prospective employer could infer that you are abusing company time and resources, and that’s certainly not a good first impression.

2. Including your name and email only on the first page.

Envision how many pieces of paper must cover the desk of a hiring manager shortly after he or she publicly posts an open position. Now picture him or her sifting through dozens (if not hundreds) of resumes and misplacing a page. If no name is on that page, it may as well be in the garbage.

Don’t risk being discounted from consideration because a portion of your resume was lost. Be sure to put your name and contact information on each and every page of your resume to avoid this preventable scenario.

3. Providing a phone number that’s not caller-friendly.

Giving only phone numbers that make it easy to contact you may sound like common-sense advice, but unfortunately it isn’t always obvious. Without realizing it, job seekers who block lines from private calls or forget to clean out a full voicemail box for three weeks sabotage themselves. Making it easy for a busy employer to contact you is crucial, because rather than track you down, he or she is more likely to just move on to the next candidate.

Additionally, be cautious if you share the telephone line with your family or roommates. For example, if your teenage daughter uses the phone constantly but never answers call waiting or you live with your sister who is terrible at taking messages, perhaps your home phone line is not the best number to provide. A cell phone is usually the phone number of choice, but with newer technology offerings such as free Internet-based voicemail boxes, the modern-day job seeker has plenty of options.

4. Not verifying that the outgoing voicemail message sounds professional.

Using funny recordings or having small children as the voice a caller hears telling them to leave a message may be amusing or adorable to your family and friends, but it’s not going to make a professional impression on a prospective employer. Even though it’s your home and your right to do whatever you like with your own voicemail, the best message is brief and generic. Start making your first impression in person during the interview rather than through an insignificant message that could make you seem silly.

5. Listing an email address that’s a bit too personal.

If you chose an email address that refers to personal information, it’s typically not advisable to use it when applying for a job. Furthermore, using your birth year as part of an email moniker could lead an employer to figure out your age, which subjects you to age discrimination. (Though it’s obviously illegal, age discrimination is still alive and well in today’s job market, not to mention difficult to prove.) Be sure to let your qualifications speak for themselves.

Even if your hobbies are wholesome, they won’t put you in a professional light. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with “DogLover23” or “SailingAceJohn,” but such names don’t support a professional image. A simple solution is choosing an email address that contains your first and last name. This not only presents a polished image, but makes a sender’s identity clear. Seeing an email from “SailingAceJohn” in my inbox won’t tell me immediately which candidate it is, especially if I received 12 resumes from people named John! With such an abundance of free and reliable email providers, it’s easy to set up an account you can use exclusively for your job search.

6. Omitting a city / state.

Posting a resume online can be a scary thought for many, since contact information is out there in cyberspace. Nevertheless, an address is ideal to show the reader where you are located. Most job boards offer a job seeker the option of keeping contact information private. A good compromise, however, is to at least include your city and state so employers know whether you are a local candidate.

7. Opting for a nickname over a formal name.

Your birth certificate says your full name is Michael, but your friends call you Mickey. That’s fine, but remember, a prospective job lead is not your friend. Your resume is a formal marketing document, and as such should contain your full legal name. Once you interview for the position, feel free to tell the person or persons interviewing you to call you whatever you prefer, but until that time, it’s best to maintain a formal and professional tone.

8. Not hyperlinking an email address.

Hyperlinking your email address gives hiring managers the option of contacting you with one simple click! Why would anyone pass up this type of opportunity?

There may be more to the contact section of a resume than meets the eye, but optimizing this information for a successful job search is easy if you know the impression each detail makes on employers. (Now if only creating the rest of the resume was this simple!)

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Milestones for a Successful Job Search

Manage your job search just as you would a well-organized project and you will be able to place yourself in a new position! By meeting milestones you will feel more in control of your job search.

1.  Identify Target Companies

Use traditional and Internet strategies to identify companies of interest. Network with professional and community organizations to gather information about potential openings, new projects, and names of key personnel. The hiring manager may be the gatekeeper, but isn’t the only contact who may be helpful in the organization. Use Internet sites to expand beyond your geographic area and get a sense of the current market for positions of interest to you.

2.  Tailor Your Resume and Cover Letter

Apply the research gathered about companies, key personnel, and positions to revise your resume and cover letter for each position if possible.  Although this may sound daunting, a complete overhaul is not required for each position. Emphasize skills and accomplishments in your resume that align with corporate needs. A slight adjustment may be all that is necessary to present yourself as the perfect candidate. Don’t rely on references to float your resume to the top of the pile. The cover letter and resume must stand on the merits of your experience, skills, and potential for contributions to the company’s bottom-line.

3.  Follow-up

When you follow up, remember to use a number of different strategies. Traditional thank-you letters and e-mails can both be appropriate. When managing group interview situations, you may prefer to use email and a brief phone message to keep your name and credentials fresh in the mind of each interviewer. You will also want to follow up with the initial contact person for your cover letter. That individual may become an important point-person in keeping you apprised of the interview process and keeping your name at the top of the list!

4.  Keep Going

Even after the interview, keep in contact with your network and maintain your job search efforts. Part of the challenge in current job searches is how protracted the process has become in a tight job market. Think of the process as a marathon and pace yourself. Rejuvenate yourself to keep up a positive energy.

5.  Maintain Good Records

Set up an organizational system to record your progress and include all the details! Keeping a comprehensive record of all names, dates of contacts, and outcome will prevent following up with the same person twice when you did not plan to do so. The record can also give you a sense of accomplishment and control as you monitor milestones in your job search project. Good organization leads to good results and helps you present a positive image in all your contacts.

Monitor job search milestones just as you would for a complex project. Exercising those skills keeps you on your game and moves you toward a new position. Use the milestones to maintain your focus and a positive energy to stay on track to a timely delivery in your job search project!

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The 6 Lessons of Job Interviewing

Whether you have been in the job market for some time or you’re just starting out, job interviews are always an essential part of the recruiting process. An interview is effectively a screening process that companies use to differentiate between individuals who look promising on paper. Making it to an interview already demonstrates that you have the background skills your employer is looking for. Now it’s up to you to make that first impression last.

#1: It’s not just about how smart you are

Many times you will be competing against candidates with very similar accomplishments, and there is only one way to stand out from the crowd. Show your employer why you want to be there. Do your research on the company and its particular culture and know ahead of time what you can bring to the table to help them grow. Anyone they interview will be qualified, intelligent, and driven – but employers want someone who will bring something more exciting to the table. What can you do for them? Be concrete, be creative, and show that you are more than just smart.

#2: NEVER open a sentence with an excuse or apology

Interviewers hear things like this constantly: “I know I don’t have a finance degree, I know I didn’t have an internship with your company”, etc. These are the kind of things you want to say at home around family and friends when you are secretly freaking out about your interview the next day – NOT to your employer! Work with what you have and highlight your redeeming qualities. Relate non job-specific experiences to your new employer in creative ways. So you worked for a summer as an ambulance driver and now you’re applying for a position in finance? Great! That experience shows that you can handle stress.

#3: Be succinct and do not ramble

Interviewers are people too, and like all people, they can get bored.

  • Don’t take 5 minutes to answer a question
  • Don’t give one word answers
  • Don’t drone; keep the interviewer interested

Remember, you are selling yourself to this individual. Think of other examples of sales. It’s often the personality – the excitement – the way the product is presented, that keeps us coming back for more.  Sell yourself effectively, and your interviewer won’t be able to let you go.

#4: Explain Yourself

Interviewers love to give brainteasers.

  • How many passengers leave JFK airport on a given day?
  • If this table was full of pennies, do you think they could stack up to measure this building?

If you get stuck, explain how you would approach the problem if you don’t know the answer. Interviewing is less about getting answers right and more about showing the interviewer that you are an effective problem solver. Companies want to know that you are capable of taking complex problems and breaking them down to find an answer. They are more concerned with how you think than with what you know.

#5: Count. If you are asked for 3 examples, don’t give 2

This blunder is made more often than should be allowed. It’s a no-brainer kind of mistake that you can easily watch out for and avoid – (please do!) It will make your interviewer’s job a lot easier if you mess something like this up, and by that I mean that you will probably be overlooked on the spot. You’re smarter than that – don’t let happen to you!

#6: Be able to explain everything in your resume

Your resume has been your stand-in until this point, and your employer is very likely to refer to it for clarification and explanation, especially if something you have done stands out. Be prepared with answers to any question about your past internship or work experience. Have examples ready to show your impact and what you personally accomplished during your time there.

 

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The 7 Words that Sabotage Your Resume

The wrong words can sabotage your resume, and nearly all of us have at least a few of these words on our resumes.  Learn the 7 types of words that can have a severe impact on your chances of getting an interview.

1. Generic Attributes

These words are on everyone’s resume.  They are so common that hiring managers simply don’t even read them. Do not bore the reader to tears with these trite, overused and tired phrases.

  • Hard worker
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Goal-driven
  • Strong work ethic
  • Multi-tasker
  • Personable presenter
  • Goal-oriented
  • Detail-oriented

It is much more effective to write description that is action-based and demonstrates these abilities rather than just laying claim to them. For example, rather than just stating you are an “excellent presenter,” you could say something like “Developed and presented 50+ multi-media presentations to C-level prospects resulting in 35 new accounts totaling $300,000 in new revenues.”

2.  Age Attributes

Under qualified candidates often try to look more mature.  Over qualified candidates sometimes try to look more youthful.  Hiring managers know these tricks.   Candidates near retirement are often the worst offenders.  Words to avoid:

  • Young
  • Youthful
  • Developing
  • Professional Appearance
  • Mature

3. Health Attributes

Candidates who claim to be “healthy” are telling hiring managers they feel they fear getting to0 sick to do the job.  Candidates with past medical issues are the worst offenders here.  Words to avoid.

  • Healthy
  • Fit
  • Energetic
  • Active
  • Able-bodied
  • Athletic

4. Appearance Attributes

Candidates who claim to be “attractive” are telling the hiring manager they get by on their looks instead of their skills.   Let the hiring manager see how attractive you are at the interview, but don’t expect to get that interview because you are attractive.

Age, health, appearance phrases to avoid:

  • Pretty
  • Attractive
  • Handsome
  • Cute
  • Adorable
  • Masculine
  • Powerful

Let the hiring manager see how healthy and fit you are when you come for an interview.  Don’t expect claiming to be as such will get you an interview in the first place.

5. Passive Voice Words

Forget what you learned in school and don’t write in passive voice.  Many people write in passive voice because that is how we’ve been taught to write “formally” in high school composition and then in freshman college English.  Its wrong for resumes.

Indicators of the passive voice:

  • Responsible for
  • Duties included
  • Served as
  • Actions encompassed

Rather than saying “Responsible for management of three direct reports” change it up to “Managed 3 direct reports.” It is a shorter, more direct mode of writing and adds impact to the way the resume reads.

6. Hyper-Active Words

Hyper-active words are verbs that are too violent or aggressive to be used on a resume.  They’re usually verbs better suited to a comic book than a resume.

  • Smashed numbers through the roof
  • Electrified sales team to produce
  • Pushed close rate by 10%
  • Destroyed sales competition
  • Blew away sales goals

7.  Profile Words

These are Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or the DISC Profile. While the results from these evaluations can be invaluable to the job seeker for evaluating an opportunity in terms of “fit”, employers and recruiters are more interested in performance results. Do not inadvertently “pigeon-hole” yourself by including your profile results in the resume.  Words to avoid:

  • A-type Personality
  • D Profile
  • Alpha Male

Consider your word choice in a resume. A resume is a marketing document for your career just as a brochure is a marketing document for a product or service. Companies put careful thought and consideration into each and every word that goes into marketing copy and you should do the same in your resume.

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6 Factors of Career Success

Finance – Investment Analyst, Boston, MA

Investment Banking – Corporate Finance Analyst, New York, NY

Finance – Investment Banking Analyst Intern , New York, NY

Senior Research Analyst, San Francisco, CA

Sales Trader, New York, NY

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What skills do employers value and seek in potential employees? That was the question posted to hiring managers, and the feedback might surprise you! Below are the most common skills mentioned, whether the employee happens to be a manager, network engineer, or a cook.


1. BASIC SKILLS

Employers are seeking employees who can read well, can write coherently, and who can calculate mathematics in a business environment (fractions, percentages, etc.) Add to that the ability to use computer tools to round out the basic skill sets needed for employment success.

2. PERSONAL SKILLS

Can a potential employee speak well? Can he/she answer questions of customers in a positive, informative manner? While not everyone has an outgoing sales personality, successful employees can communicate in a non-confrontational, positive manner with their coworkers, subordinates, managers, and customers. Being able to work well with others is a vital skill for success in all jobs.

3. JOB ATTAINMENT

Job search is a process that requires a great deal of dedication and attention to be conducted successfully. If you put in little effort, you will receive little results. Employers are seeking employees who know how to present themselves in a positive manner and who display enthusiasm and knowledge about the companies they approach. Not only do candidates get evaluated on their skills and experience, but also on how they are approaching the job search. Enthusiastic candidates that follow up and show true interest will win success above equally qualified candidates.

4. JOB SURVIVAL

Now there’s a hot topic in this period of layoffs! True, who gets the ax and who doesn’t is often a matter of numbers, but it is also often a matter of performance. Employees who have consistently demonstrated their worth and made themselves a valuable asset have lower incidences of being downsized than employees who put forth average effort. Surviving in a company during layoffs is a skill that makes a candidate stand out among peers.

5. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Successful individuals are constantly attending seminars, taking classes, attaining training, and otherwise learning new skills that will keep them marketable in their careers. Successful people are lifelong learners. Employers are looking for people who understand this.

6. CAREER DEVELOPMENT

Career Development differs from Professional Development. Professional Development is learning while Career Development is a planning and goal setting process. Successful individuals design a career plan with written goals for short term and long term. They lay out the steps needed to move their careers from Point A to Point B within Time Frame C and plan how they are going to achieve those steps. Employers seek individuals who (believe it or not) wish to commit to the company for a long period of time. Good career progression is a high selling point of candidates to prospective employers.

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5 Essentials for a Great Cover Letter

Research Associate, Specialty Retail, New York, NY

Senior Associate (Finance) , San Francisco, CA

Data / MIS Analyst positions, Richmond, VA

Investment Communications Manager, Boston, MA

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cover-letter
Sending good cover letter is how employers know you really want the job.   A great cover letter will get you an interview.  A bad cover letter says you are a spammer sending your resume to every job under the sun.  Learn the 5 things you need to know to do it right!

1. Tell them what job you want

Establish the focus and purpose of the communication right from the start. The reader will know you are interested in employment, but be specific about the type of job you are targeting. If replying to a specific advertisement, mention that at the beginning. Push your brand right from the beginning. A cover letter is not a social correspondence but a business communication with the dual purposes of introduction and persuasion.

2. Tell why you’re special

What makes you unique? What do you have to offer that is an added bonus? The cover letter is where you establish your image as the expert in your field. Many people think they are average and as a result, they write about themselves in an average way. Employers do not hire average candidates in a tight market. They hire above average candidates. Not only must you show you are a good candidate, but you have to believe you are a great candidate! When you believe it, others will to. That enthusiasm and confidence must come through in the cover letter.

3. Tell them how you add value

Have you ever purchased one brand of product over another simply because you received more for your money with the selected product? Companies try very hard to “bundle” services or market added value benefits in order to persuade you to purchase their products. For example, you may purchase one car over a comparable vehicle because it has a longer warranty. This marketing concept works in job search, too. What do you to offer that is extra? Perhaps you are multilingual or you have depth of insight into the industry that other candidates do not possess. Maybe you win sales based on your unique approach or that you are very good at saving endangered accounts. All of these things are “added value” and can play a powerful role when highlighted in a cover letter.

4. Tell them about your past success

It is important for the cover letter to bring attention to some of your achievements to spur the reader to read the resume. Allude to specific accomplishments you have brought into your resume but only give the reader a taste or a tease. If you can select these statements to match up with the needs of the employer, all the better! For example, if a job ad states “Experience selling into Fortune 100 IT departments” and you have that experience, make sure you mention it in the cover letter!

5. Tell them you will follow-up

So many people make the mistake of ending the cover letter on an “I’ll wait to hear from you” note. Take charge of the situation and state when you will follow up on your communication. State the day you will be in contact and by what method (phone, email, etc.). By being proactive, you give the impression of being positive, confident, and professional. Of course, you have to do what you promise and follow up! Don’t let that drop through the cracks or you waste the entire effort!

Research Associate, Specialty Retail, New York, NY

Senior Associate (Finance) , San Francisco, CA

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Investment Communications Manager, Boston, MA

Managing Director of Investment Banking, New York, NY

Consultant, New York, NY

Engagement Manager, Chicago, IL

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7 Tips to Resume Success

Corporate Finance/Investment Banking AnalystNew York, NY

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Director Strategic Development For Technology Services – Nationwide

===============

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1. Select the best format

While most resumes are written in a history chronological format, often a better technique is to evenly balance between skill set description, achievements, and employment.

2. Don’t Write Too Much

Employers need to see details about your work history and experience, but they don’t need to know everything. Keep information germane to the goal of attaining an interview. Eliminate information that is not related and will not have direct impact on winning the interview.

3. Do not use personal pronouns.

“I”, “me”, “my”, “mine”, “our” should not be on a resume. Resumes are written in first person (implied). Example: For your prior job description, instead of writing: “I hired, trained and supervised a team of assistant managers and sales associates” you would instead state that you “Hired, trained and supervised a team of assistant managers and sales associates.” Fragment sentences are perfectly acceptable on a resume and actually preferred.

4. Use numerical symbols for numbers

While we are taught in school to spell out numbers less than ten, in resume writing, numerical symbols serve as “eye stops” and are a much better method. Instead of writing “Developed a dynamic team of eight consultants.” it would be much more advantageous to state “Developed a dynamic team of 8 consultants.”

5. Highlight Success

What makes you stand out from the crowd? How did you come up with a way to do things better, more efficiently, or for less cost? What won honors for you? Information such as this is vital, will grab attention, and put your resume at the top of the list.

6. Keep it positive

Reason for leaving a job and setbacks do not have a place on a resume. Employers are seeking people who can contribute and have successfully performed in the past. Concentrate on communicating these issues and avoid any detracting information.

7. Be phone savvy

Many first time job interviews are conducted via telephone rather than in person. Make sure you are prepared for that telephone call when it arrives … and make sure you have a resume that will make the phone ring!

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Corporate Finance/Investment Banking AnalystNew York, NY

Financial Analyst – Los Angeles, CA

Analyst – Intern - New York, NY

Strategic Analysts – San Francisco, CA

Senior Corporate Development Analyst – Chelmsford, MA

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Director Strategic Development For Technology Services – Nationwide

===============

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2 Professional Resume Formats – Are You Using the Right One?

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What Resume Format is Right for You?

The two types of resume formats are very different. Chronological format details the job history in reverse time order, starting with the most recent position and working backwards. This format is the one that most recruiters and hiring managers prefer.

1. Chronological Format

Employers need to see details about your work history and experience, but they don’t need to know everything. Keep information germane to the goal of attaining an interview. Eliminate information that is not related and will not have direct impact on winning the interview.

Benefits to using a chronological resume include:

  • Shows your results. The reader can specifically see when and where a candidate achieved results. The guess work is eliminated.
  • Shows your range. A chronological format highlights flexibility. Many job seekers have held varying positions over their careers, often in different functions and roles. A good strategy is to showcase that diversity.
  • Shows your record of success. The progression of a candidate’s career, records of promotion, and increases in responsibility are shown clearly. These attest to a candidate’s performance record and drive to succeed.

Some job seekers worry about employment. Small gaps in employment (a year or less) are common these days. Lay-offs, mergers, acquisitions impact nearly everyone’s lives. Handled strategically, they can be minimized in a chronological resume.

2. Functional Format

Also known as a “skills resume” it has the content arranged according to performance type and function. A human resource professional for example, might divide his/her skills into categories such as Employee Training, Benefits Management, and Workforce Development. Under each category, the relevant information would be listed or described.

A brief work history listing comes at the end of the document listing job title, employer, and dates. I’ve seen some functional resumes with no employment dates at all. That is a big mistake.

A functional format is generally chosen when attempting to make a career change or to minimize a career blemish. Often, the functional format is used when a large span of time is missing from the work history.

Problems associated with the functional resume:

  • Where’s the information? Recruiters and hiring managers dislike hunting for information. They want to see past performance, and understand your background.
  • What’s the context? The functional format takes away all frames of reference. A candidate might claim attaining a record breaking sales contract but the reader is unable to place that in context in terms of time and employer. Was that success in sales recent or ten years ago? It’s difficult to tell in a functional resume.
  • What’s the problem? Recruiters and hiring managers know that the functional format is often used to try to cover something up. The functional format serves as a red flag — “What is this candidate trying to hide?” The use of the format to overcome a detriment actually serves to draw attention to it.

Today’s job seeker is wise to stick with the chronological format as it provides the necessary information to urge the reader to contact the candidate for an interview.

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How to Dress for an Interview – 5 Job Search Dress Code Must-Haves

Investment Banking: Analyst, Foster City, CA

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For many of us students and recent graduates who gladly roamed campus in yesterday’s sweats, fashion is a foreign world tread only when absolutely necessary.  So, in order to make things easier: here are a few staple items that every job seeker should have in the closet.  The great thing about staple items is that they never really go out of style.  Invest in quality pieces now, and you will be able to wear them for years to come.

1. Conservative suit

A nice, conservative suit is an absolute must-have.  If you have the money, get it tailored to fit. The fabric should be a neutral or solid color – black and navy are the most common, but there’s no reason why you can’t have a little fun and go with a nice taupe or pinstripe.  When considering different types of ties, appliqués, or lapels, remember that the simpler the better.  Once you’re hired, you will have all the time in the world to impress your coworkers with your amazing sense of style.  Stick to the basics during your interview to convey a professional, polished look.  Women can wear a pant or skirt suit and should always wear sheer, neutral hosiery underneath – keep an extra pair in your purse in case you run the hosiery in transit.  It never hurts to be prepared!

2. Neatly pressed blouse or shirt

If you’re a man, a white, long-sleeved 100% cotton shirt with button cuffs is always acceptable.  For women, blouses or shirts should be white or ivory and conservative.  The neckline should coordinate with the lines of your jacket lapel.  Stay away from shirts that are too tight or revealing – while it might land you a date, it won’t land you a job!

3. A simple, professional watch

A watch is a great piece of flair that you can wear without worrying about committing a fashion faux pas.  Be sure to disable any functions that would cause the watch to beep during an interview.  While watches are by no means necessary as a means of telling time (now that everyone and their grandmother has a cell phone), watches are still an important part of an interview wardrobe.  Foregoing a watch can effectively say “I am never on time, ever.”  This writer recommends eco-drive watches: they’re solar powered and can run for years without having to change the battery!

4. Dress shoes

You should invest in a nice pair of interview shoes in a dark solid color that coordinates with your suit.  For women, shoes should always be closed toed with a heel of 2.5” or less.  Avoid anything shiny or textured – try for leather or synthetic fabrics that will not draw attention.   For men, just stay away from loafers!  Classic, tie-up dress shoes are always in style.  Your belt should match your shoes.

5. A simple bag or briefcase

One thing about briefcases: if you don’t have a reason to carry one, don’t.  But you should have some kind of bag with you to hold your resume, your phone, extra hosiery and everything else necessary or superfluous that you will want to carry with you on interview day.  Stick with neutral colors – a dark leather is always best.  Stay away from anything ridiculously large or small, and from messenger bags that sling across your body.  Over or undersized bags can make your entire outfit look unprofessional, and a slung-over bag will wrinkle your nicely pressed suit.  For women, if you’re not looking to invest in a bag specifically for interviewing and professional purposes, try getting something that will work for both work and play – like a neutral color Longchamp bag.

Beyond these basic items, there are a wide range of things you can do to to spruce up your look for an interview and make you look and feel your very best.  Be sure that your hair is neatly cut and styled and your nails are clean and cut short.  Always err on the side of caution when it comes to accessories, but the great thing about many of these staple items is that they can also be paired with fun, colorful pieces during the work week to add some professional excitement to your wardrobe.  These are working items that you can continue to wear and enjoy for years.

If there’s one thing I learned from years of watching What Not to Wear, it’s that fashion does make a difference in the way we look, feel, and present ourselves.  Dress for Success, and your confidence will reflect that effort!

Farewell, fashionistas -

Your interview style gurus,

The Doostang Team

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5 Tips to Enhance Your Job Search

Autumn is finally settling in again, but before you start laughing and pointing fingers at all those young children who still have years of school and torment ahead of them, just think about what YOU get to do.  That’s right, school may be out forever, baby, but check out what’s in store now:  the job search.  So tighten those backpack straps, throw on a bicycle helmet, and off we go!

Don’t Even Think About Cutting Class

Make sure to hold yourself to a schedule.  Wake up at a reasonable hour and park yourself at your desk for a generous period of time, giving yourself an opportunity to really focus on your job search.  You may feel inclined to soak up these last few weeks of sunshine, but make it a priority to devote a good chunk of your day to researching opportunities, sending out resumes, and networking.

Keep Your Homework Out of the Dog’s Reach

While you’re looking for a job, it’s important to set goals for yourself.  Assign yourself tasks such as applying for a minimum of five jobs a day, reading one book a week that will educate you in an industry that interests you, or perhaps creating an updated draft of your resume.  Homework is almost never fun, but it’s where we make a lot of our progress – so no slacking!

Get There Before the Final Bell

No one likes getting marked off for tardiness, so avoid the hassle altogether and get there early!  Be mindful of any application deadlines you have coming up, and plan your schedule accordingly.  And instead of sliding into your seat right as the bell rings, try to show up a few minutes ahead of time.  Hiring managers often look favorably upon candidates who turn in their materials promptly – and it’s also quite possible that they’ll make a decision before they close off the position, so stay on top of things and apply as early as you can.

Don’t Forget Your Friends

The best part about school is getting to suffer through it with all your best buds.  So find a few pals who are also treading along in this perilous world of job hunting, and share your woes, tips, and contacts with each other.  Having a support group while you look for a job can invigorate you when you’re down, expose you to new opportunities, and make you realize that you’re not alone.

RECESS

Sometimes when you’re starting to fidget in your seat and can’t peel your eyes off the clock, the best thing to do is to throw open the classroom door, fling your arms out into the air, and just run around outside.  Few of us can sit through an entire day pounding out a bunch of work, so don’t feel shy about taking a break every once in a while to de-stress.  Ultimately, it’ll help your productivity when you get back to the grind with a clear mind and a fresh outlook.

Happy job hunting!

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