Looking for a job can be a chore, but with our new helpful job search advice you’ll be back to
work in no time. Get your foot in the door by reading our resume and interview tips.
HOW TO EXPLAIN A JOB LOSS
Downsized, restructured, displaced,
canned, terminated - any way you put it, you’re still out of a job and it’s still not the easiest subject to talk about in an interview. Recognize that there is life after
termination and take some time to reflect and recharge your attitude. Think about what you could have done differently, and what you will do going forward.
Don’t lie. Be prepared to be upfront and honest about your dismissal. Don’t lie. If you
fail to disclose that you were dismissed for cause, it is likely to come out when the employer checks references and your perceived dishonest for not sharing this information may cost you that
job. When interviewing, be brief in discussing the situation, show what you’ve learned or what you are doing to change and then move on to what you accomplished and how you can contribute
to the new company.
Right job, wrong boss. If your dismissal resulted from a change in management and you didn’t get
along with a new boss due to bad chemistry or a difference of opinion, acknowledge that you recognize some people just don’t click, then share references of other supervisors you previously
worked for and other colleagues. You might say, “my new supervisor and I, unfortunately, had very different personalities and management styles. I made a strong attempt to create an
amicable relationship. I had very good relationships with previous supervisors and was well thought of by my colleagues.” Whatever you do, don’t bad mouth the boss.
You’ll be the one who looks bad. Have a list of other supervisors and coworkers readily available to share with the interviewer. Most people have had a difficult boss at some point
in their career and will likely understand.
Change in strategy. Briefly acknowledge that there was a change in company strategy that you didn’t
fully agree with, then move on to what you learned from the situation. Saying something like, “After the merger, my new boss had a different strategy in mind for our product group and I
didn’t fully agree with it. Looking back, I realize that I should have tried to find out more about the rationale for the change and find ways to support it.” Don’t
trash the company. Don’t blame the company for not following your direction. Every company will change. Show that you are willing to adapt to change.
Lack of skills. If your job moved forward, but you didn’t, it’s probably time to acquire the
necessary skills to succeed. If you haven’t yet embraced technology, use your time off to take a few beginner computer classes and learn common office software. In addition to local
colleges, many industry associations offer courses and workshops to keep your skills up to date. Take a refresher accounting course, attend a workshop to recharge your creativity, improve you
management skills or learn to write for the web. Share your new found skills with prospective employers and show how these skills will add value at the new employer.
Poor Reviews. If you receive a series of poor performance reviews, you need to truly assess why.
First, if you can muster the courage, consider calling your old boss and ask for advice. You may find the conversation easier than you think, now that the ties of employment have been
broken. Call or meet with a former colleague or two and ask them for their honest opinion of how you could improve. Don’t be defensive. Listen openly. If you made
repeated mistakes, if you weren’t thorough enough in your reports, or missed your sales quota, consider what you could do to improve. You may find that the job you had wasn’t really
right for you. If you were a great sales administrator who was promoted to an outside sales position but lost your job because you couldn’t make the quotas, perhaps you need to seek an
administrative position. If you were a great sales person who was promoted to manage the sales force then let go due to your poor management skills, maybe you’d be happier and more
successful if you were back in front of customers instead of behind a desk.
Misdeeds or dishonesty. If the reason for your dismissal was for something more egregious, like misusing
company funds, sexual harassment, substance use of falsifying company information, you may need to accept that companies could be reluctant to hire you. Whatever the reason always be honest,
say only what you need to say, share what you learned and how you’ve changed and focus on the more positive aspects of your performance and accomplishments.
Finally, back up your explanation with solid and legitimate references. Ideally, your former employer will agree
to just give the facts, by verifying your dates of employment and your titles. Secure references from other supervisors and colleagues who will give you a positive review and vouch for your
integrity and ability. It’s best to have two to three business references as well as a couple of personal references.
HOW TO DRESS FOR AN INTERVIEW
Well, your resume worked and now you have an appointment for an important job interview. You have done your homework. You are confident that you can answer anything the
interviewer throws at you. Finally the big day arrives and the final important choice must be made. What should you wear?
It is no secret that how you look has everything to do with the first impression you make. A first impression is made in the first few seconds. If you are too formal in your
appearance, you might give the impression of being rigid and stuffy. If you are too casual, you may send the signal that you do not take the interview or the job very seriously.
Begin by talking to employees of your potential new employer and find out what the dress code is and how seriously management takes it. If you can’t find out this
information, you should choose clothing that is professional in the impression it gives.
If you do not already own clothing that will work on an interview, you should go to a store where you can get good advice from the sales person. Be prepared to have the
clothes tailored. No human being completely fits in clothes that are off the rack. To make the best impression the clothes must be altered to fit and accent your best features
THE FOLLOWING IDEAS CAN NEVER BE NEGLECTED:
Look clean and neat. Make sure that your hair is done appropriately. Women - do not wear wild hair-do’s and keep it out of your face. Men – get your head and
facial hair trimmed.
Do not wear a perfume or cologne as many people are allergic. Bathing with good quality bath soap will leave a light scent. You will be nervous and a gentle scent can mask
the perspiring you may be doing. An unscented antiperspirant can be used.
Cover any tattoos and avoid gaudy jewelry. Definitely limit pierced jewelry to ears only. Do not wear nose or tongue jewelry.
- Wear a suit or sport jacket with color coordinated trousers.
- The color should be neutral or dark - blue, black or gray is best.
- Wear a tie - even if you will never wear one after you get the job.
- Shoes should be leather - clean and polished - black is best.
- Make sure your nails are trimmed and that they are clean.
- Wear a classic suit or a simple dress with a jacket. This is not a time to be provocative or sexy. Some appropriate colors are navy blue, black, dark green, dark red,
burgundy, or gray.
- Dress in a higher style that the position calls for but do not attempt to out dress everyone there.
- Avoid wearing clothes that are tight, revealing or trendy. It may be the very latest fashion but it will not impress the interviewer.
- Fingernails should be trimmed to a length that doesn’t leave an observer wondering how you keep from stabbing yourself. The polish should be closer to a color your
mom might wear than to a color that your kid sister would go for.
Even after you are successful in getting the job, you should continue to pay attention to your wardrobe. Interviewing for that first job is only the beginning in the role
clothing will play in your career.
You should regularly add pieces made of high quality, long wearing fabrics. It is best to buy separates that you can mix and match with the pieces that
you already own. Each piece you buy adds to the variety of looks you can achieve. You may ask why this is important? The reason is that even after you have the job you sought, you might like to be
considered for advancement and promotion. The impression you leave on the job every day will be added to your performance when the boss looks around for someone to promote.