Resume & Career Advice

August 23, 2010

What to Wear to a Job Interview

Dressing for a Job Interview is Crucial to Getting Hired

First impressions last… so wear it right the first time.

First impressions are lasting impressions. This is particularly true in job interviews where the first judgment of an interviewer will be based on how you look and what you are wearing. Therefore, your appearance is vital to making a good “first impression.”

For both men and women, it is better to dress too formally than too casually on an interview. Although the job industry has been more casual these days, interviewers would expect you to wear formally on interviews. Casual clothes like khaki pants and button-down tops must be reserved when you already landed the job. Remember, it is better to be overdressed than underdressed especially that you don’t want your outfit to get in your way of getting the job of your life.

For women, dress modestly and use cosmetics sparingly. Wear hose and dress shoes that would complement a conservative outfit. Job interviewees are advised to go for neutral than colored clothing as they are easier to mix and match with other outfits, especially if one is doing multiple interviews but do not have a whole wardrobe of suits.

Keep your accessories minimal and wear a hairstyle that stays in place. Your hair must not distract you or the employer during the interview. If you are still not sure what to wear, why not visit the office a day or two before the interview and observe what the employees are wearing.

If a clothing guideline has been given prior the interview, make sure you also take note of it. There are some cases that companies would ask interviewees to wear comfortable, casual clothes as the interview process might run the whole day. If this is the case, wear appropriately based on the guideline.

Lastly, avoid bringing coffee or soda, your Ipod and your other techy gadgets to the interview. If you can’t help bringing your cell phone, make sure you turn it into silent mode.


August 16, 2010

Five Things You Should Never Include In Your Resume

In Resume Writing, Less Could Mean More

What points should you leave out so that your resume gets noticed?

Writing a resume would seem pretty straightforward: Who you are, what school you went to, what you’ve done.  Still, there are certain details that would seem like a bed in the living room if they appeared in your resume.  Here is a quick list to distinguish the clothes cabinets from the couches.

1.    Your resume is your marketing tool, and just like any other tool, it can function without the word “Tool” inscribed on it.  Your potential employers know that it is a resume.  You don’t have to put the word “Resume” on top.  Would you want your F-150 with “This is a truck” painted on its doors?  I thought so.

2.    In writing a resume, avoid including information that is too personal.  Details such as your date of birth, marital status, religious or political affiliation, race or ethnic group, and number of children are better left out.  Putting your Social Security number is also a bad idea, while your vital statistics–including your height, weight, and health information–are not too vital when applying for that management job.  The bottom line is, whether or not discrimination still exists, those just don’t belong in your resume.  Further, unless you’re applying for a modeling, movie or TV gig, your resume should not include your picture.  In fact, even in those cases, it would be better to put your photos in a separate portfolio.

3.    While it might be interesting to know that you’ve once caught a White Sturgeon while on vacation or that you can play Flight of the Bumblebee in your spare time, don’t let your hobbies occupy the precious real estate that your resume is.  They’re better suited for small talk during the interview

4.    Salary information is another thing that is best discussed during or after the job interview.  This includes your previous and preferred salary.  Instead of placing salary information on your resume, you can talk about it in person, where you can use it as a bargaining chip.  By the way, detailing in your resume why you quit your previous jobs is also a no-no.

5.    Lastly, it is no longer required to insert the address and phone numbers of your references in your resume.  However, neither is there a need to put “References available upon request” at the bottom.  It’s taken for granted that you will provide your references if and when the hiring manager asks for them.  You may, however, want to print your references on a separate sheet of paper, so that you can easily hand it out when asked.

In the end, the clincher in determining what to put in resumes can be summed up in one word: relevance.

July 12, 2010

How to Prepare for a Job Interview

Preparedness in job interviews translate to better chances to getting hired.

How ready are you to respond to career interview questions?

After days of waiting since you first submitted your resume, you finally got a callback from the company for an initial job interview. You initially feel excited but this is however cut short as the thoughts of screwing up fills your head. For first timers and seasoned job hunters, any job interview is mentally exhausting because it elicits both positive and negative thoughts arising from the anticipation of the unknown. The best way to deal with this is to be prepared nevertheless.

Imagine yourself as a stage actor/actress and the upcoming job interview as a performance. As a performer, you are tasked to delight your audience and leave a positive impression. This would not be possible if you failed to do your rehearsals. It should be noted that preparing for a job interview is never easy since it requires a lot of work.

First things first, plan on what to wear. In every performance, wardrobe matters and it should always be appropriate on the character you are playing. What you are is what you wear as they say and proper clothing speaks a lot about how you carry yourself. Before heading to an interview, make sure that you have already tried out the clothes you will be wearing. Such dress rehearsal would help you be “in the zone” thereto adding up to your confidence.

Being a stage performer, you should instill unto your mind the flow of the program. Having an idea of how a job interview goes would help you anticipate the questions that might be raised. Most interviews begin with introductions followed by job interview questions that might revolve around your your work experience, skills, and capabilities. With this, you could come up with predefined answers. Keep in mind however that answering questions should always sound natural; you wouldn’t want to sound as if you are “scripted”, right?

The last preparation would involve you to plan on how you’ll arrive in the meeting place. Think of anything that might cause you delays such as heavy traffic, bad weather condition, or even an upset stomach. It is a no-no for a show to start late and what’s even worse is for a performer to be a no-show.

These aforementioned job interview tips all speak off preparation as something that yields favorable outcomes. As the saying goes, success comes when preparation and opportunity meet.

Create a free website or blog at