Career Report
November, 2012 — Issue 153


Dress for Success for Next Job Interview

It’s probably one of the most overused phrases in job-hunting, but also one of the most underutilized by job-seekers: dress for success. In job-hunting, first impressions are critical since you are making a product – yourself – to a potential employer, and the first thing the employer will see when greeting you is your attire. Therefore, you must make every effort to dress properly for the type of job you are seeking. Will this get you the job? Of course not, but it will give you a competitive edge and help you to make a positive first impression.

Here from a report carried by NBC are 10 tips for dressing for success on a job interview:

1. Opt for a conservative look, not an outlandish one. Whether you are seeking an executive or manager position or a job that will require you to roll up your sleeves and get dirty, attire that is distracting is a no-no. In most cases it makes sense to choose simple, understated styles and colors – blues and greys, for example. Black also could work, so long as you won’t be mistaken for an undertaker or a Johnny Cash wannabe. To avoid that fate, soften your look by wearing another color near your face.

2. When in doubt, ask. If you’re honestly not sure what kind of attire would be most appropriate for an interview with a particular employer, call the company and ask for some guidance. Don’t bother the hiring manager with this; instead, call the human resources department and say, “I have an interview with so-and-so in the such-and-such department. Could you let me know what would be appropriate attire for this interview?

3. Dress for the job you really want. Some hiring managers recommend dressing one or two levels up from the position you’re seeking. The point behind this would be to show that you’re a serious job candidate who cares about making a good impression.

4. Accessorize with great care. This isn’t the time to go with strong perfume or cologne, wild nail polish, face jewelry, opened toed-shoes or bare legs, or brightly colored briefcases or purses. All of your accessories should be understated, inconspicuous and professional.

5. Cleanliness is next to employability. Clean, pressed clothes are important, of course, but here are some other key areas to remember. Have clean, polished shoes in good repair; clean, groomed hair and fingernails; well-brushed teeth, fresh breath, and absolutely no body odor.

6. Stay up to date. For men, suits and tie patterns can look dated if you’ve been regularly wearing casual clothes to work. Even worse, your suit might be tight. The same goes for women’s suits and dress-shirt patterns. To find out whether you may be looking a little bit out-of-date, ask a trusted friend to help you assess your professional wardrobe.

7. Don’t wear these items! Just say no to: short skirts, Capri pants, leggings, leather jackets for men and women; or turtlenecks for men. Men should wear collard shirts on job interviews – and in almost every situation, a tie won’t hurt your cause.

8. Your common sense and good judgment should prevail. If you know for sure that wearing a tie on a particular interview wouldn’t be the right thing to do, then don’t do it. Same for a formal business suit. But don’t stubbornly think that this is the time to make a flashy fashion statement. Instead, this is the time to make sure your appearance doesn’t distract in any way from all the good information you have to share about yourself.

9. There’s no need to break the bank. Some of these tips might make you think you need to rush out and drop hundreds of dollars on fancy new suits and shoes. That’s not true. You can find professional clothes on sale at deep discounts at major department stores and discount retailers.

10. Set aside enough time for an initial once-over. Before you walk into the actual interview, slip into the restroom and look in the mirror. Is your tie flipped around? Do you have any food in your teeth? Is your hair standing straight up? If not, you’re good to go!

News from BLK

During this month of Thanksgiving and in the wake of Super Storm Sandy, we at Berman Larson Kane have much to be thankful for. Merely inconvenienced by the loss of power and phone service, we did not as a company, nor as individuals, suffer the amount of loss as our neighbors in South Jersey and areas of New York. Our hearts are heavy for those who have lost so much in this storm and we offer to them our support and encouragement during this difficult time of re-building.

On the technology front, the storm demonstrated to us the advantages of having moved our operations to a cloud environment. While we were without power at the office, our cloud servers were humming along allowing us remote access to data and email. Success!! We are currently working on the final step of the migration project and hope to have our phone system on the cloud by year’s end.