Land a Job with Style

If you’re on the prowl for a job, you know just how important it is to nail that first interview. For one, there’s the substance — you need to know about the background of the company, the technical skills for the job, and your personal qualifications. But perhaps more importantly, you hAlan Rasof Land a Job with Styleave one split second to make a good first impression with the way you look. From your hair to your outfit to your shoes, making sure you look the part is crucial to setting the tone for the rest of the interview.

Firstly, as the old saying goes, cleanliness is next to godliness. If you show up with wrinkled, stained, or otherwise unkempt clothing, the interviewer will make assumptions about your work ethic and your ability to prepare for important meetings. Ensure that your clothing smells fresh and is properly ironed. Completely avoid clothing with stains, runs, or frays on the edges. You may also want to take your shoes to a shoe shine or shine them up yourself. Attention to details is key here.

Make sure your clothing fits your comfortably. If you haven’t been on a job interview in a while, you may break out an old outfits that may be a little to snug, gap at the buttons, and simply don’t fit the way they once did. Interviewers will be able to zero in on people who haven’t given the interview 100% of their effort, so it’s important to make sure your clothes fit your body the way it is now. Oversized blazers or tough-to-button pants demonstrate that you haven’t properly prepared for this appointment.

You’ll also not want to overwhelm with your wardrobe palette. As important as it is to have fun and be yourself, consider the context of your interviews. It’s usually a safe bet to choose greys, navys, blacks, and creams. Naturally, if you’re applying to be a graphic designer, you could opt for something a little more creative with a pop of color or some fashionable statement pieces of jewelry, but for the vast majority of jobs, opt for something sleek and subtle.

Make sure you feel good. If you’re in tight shoes or your blazer is scratchy, you’ll be distracted during the interview and fail to put your best foot forward. As important as aesthetics are, your personal comfort goes a long way in making you feel your best.

The overall goal of all these tips and tricks is to demonstrate engagement and interest. A recent CNBC article noted that of all the things that can derail and ruin an interview, the number one way to sabotage an interview is to display low energy. Interviewers sift through hundreds of resumes and chose you as one of the finalists, and for them not to see you excited about learning about the job can turn them off quickly. In addition to practicing good posture and manners, your outfit needs to demonstrate that you’re eager to engage with the interviewer and take this appointment seriously.  

How To Become A Master of Networking

Be Open And Genuine
You want people to like you and connect with you because you’re being genuine. Develop a curiosity for others and be open to new relationships where value can be found without letting your ego get in the way. Let people know the impact they’ve had on you.

Forget The Elevator Pitch
Don’t try to impress someone with your title or expertise. Instead, enter into conversation, ask questions and listen. The things you might have in common help to establish a connection that could blossom over time. Elevator pitches are easy to forget but making a genuine connection with someone sticks.

Organize A Happy Hour
Hosting your own small event is a great way to meet new people as well as to be helpful to the people you already know. You never know what opportunities could come from meeting new people and discussing your career in a casual setting. Always important to remember — the more open doors the better!

Network Up, Down, Sideways
Don’t just create a network at your level or industry – diversify! Be intentional about bringing in those above and below you and from a variety of sectors. Every new contact opens up a whole new network to you.

Swap Cards Later
Your business card is only as powerful as the impression you leave behind. By handing someone your card right off the bat, you are providing them with more room to forget about it. So get to know the person first and gauge if there’s a connection, and then end the conversation by offering your card, or even reach out days later via email with your information.

Remember – It’s Not All About You
Don’t ask about job opportunities and favors without offering anything valuable in return. Networking is a two way street.

Be Memorable
You should strive to be memorable when you’re meeting new people, and the best way to do so is through good storytelling. When you tell a story, make sure it has a clear point and a punch line, where a takeaway or a joke.

Quality, Not Quantity
Meeting the right people is most important. The right people are those that can help reach your career goal and speak up for you. You need to focus on people with whom you can build strong mutually beneficial relationships.

Leave Your Comfort Zone
Even if you’re shy, you just have to engage with people. Try to emulate someone you admire in these situations until it becomes more natural for you. After all, everyone was a stranger before you met them.

Keep In Touch
The more you invest in your network, the more valuable your network is. Taking calls, responding to emails, offering to help people creates a strong bond. It’s important to network proactively so you have these relationships when you need help.