How to Dress for a Job Interview

In the years that I have been putting on job fairs and volunteering for job fairs, one thing really stands out, and that’s how people dress for a job fair. A job fair should be treated exactly like a job interview. It’s the first impression anyone who will be hiring you for a job will get and it should be a good one.

Before you bring out your resume, before you have a conversation about salary or why you want the job, you will be judged on your appearance. No matter how much money you have or don’t have, you can always put yourself together in a way that will impress a hiring rep.

The first thing to think about is what kind of dress is appropriate for the job you’re applying for. A job in accounting, finance, law, etc. would dictate a more conservative, traditional type of outfit. Colors like navy or grey work well, as well as medium heeled pumps for women and oxford shoes or dress slip-ons for men. Natural looking makeup and simple jewelry like pearls for women is also a good choice.

Creative jobs in the entertainment industry and advertising can be bolder with bright colors and accessories. Originality is important, so show off your own style. Be creative with jewelry that can be a conversation starter.

No matter what job you’re interviewing for, you should always wear clothes that fit and flatter your body type. Camouflage your flaws and play up your best assets. No matter how much money you have, you should always have shoes that are polished and clothes that are in good shape. I’ve found very nice, affordable outfits at consignment shops or at discount outlet stores.

Also, no matter what kind of job you’re applying for, some things are out of the question, like flip flops, sandals, sweatpants, huge gold chains, miniskirts, and too much cleavage. Believe it or not, I’ve seen all of these at job fairs.

Body language is very important, so make sure you wear clothes you’re comfortable in. Nothing is worse that squirming in your chair during an interview because your clothes don’t fit. Popping a button on your shirt or accidentally leaving a zipper down could cost you the job. Also, any kind of jewelry or accessory that makes noise, like bangle bracelets should be left at home.

You don’t want anything to distract a hiring manager. You’re there to show your sparkling personality and your top level skills for the job.



Telecommuting Pros and Cons


Telecommuting is on the rise. In fact, according to a Gallup poll, the number of Americans who have telecommuted is four times greater than in 1995. But, it’s still more of an exception than the norm.

Here are some of the plusses and minuses of telecommuting for a company.


  • Productivity – According to a study by Jennifer Glass at the University of Texas and Mary Noonan at the University of Iowa, “telecommuters are almost twice as likely to work more than 40 hours a week”. I would agree with that one. I had a great PR job once where I started off commuting at least an hour just to get to my job. By the time I got there after battling with traffic it usually put me in a bad mood and zapped my energy. Once I started telecommuting I ended up actually working more hours, getting more done, and being happier about my job. Because I had more energy, I tended to be more creative. Seems I may be on to something. Studies show that 10-20% of telecommuters are more creatively productive.
  • Cost savings – Employers save by being able to have smaller office space and pay less in office equipment, along with less expensive things like coffee, furniture, office equipment, etc. The employee who telecommutes saves money in gas, wear and tear on their car, business clothes, etc.


  • Distractions – Employees who telecommute face the same kind of issues that entrepreneurs face. One is that there are many things to distract you when you work from home. It’s easy to fall into a habit of getting up late, taking too many breaks, and having the TV on in the background. One company I worked with had most of their employees working remotely. And one thing they mentioned was that, although they loved being home with their kids, they became a distraction when they tried to get work done. So the company opted to foot the bill for child care.
  • Social isolation – Working from home can get lonely. Yes, you do have email and the phone to keep in touch with your co-workers, but it’s not the same as having lunch with them and hanging out after hours. You can have a teleconference, but it’s still not the same as having a face to face meeting.

All in all, most employees would rather telecommute given the choice.

Do you telecommute? What do you like or dislike about it?


3 Ways to Get Ahead in Your Job by Being a Hard Worker

I’ve always known that I would have to work hard in life. I had no choice. There was no trust fund at the end of the rainbow, and I couldn’t count on winning the lottery. So, I had to learn to love hard work and learned how to prove myself in the workplace.

Now that I run my own business I expect that same work ethic from the people I hire. I’m guessing most small (and large) businesses do too. So, whether you’re working your first job or on your first day of a new job, there are some ways to prove right off the bat that you’re a hard worker.

  • Get to work early – Getting to work early shows your dedication to the job. It also shows you’re excited to work there and ready to hit the ground running. This also includes staying late sometimes, especially if the boss is working late. I have a friend who was working in a low level position in a company who always made sure he worked at least as late as his boss. She didn’t forget that when it came time for promotions, and he ended up running the whole department.
  • Be curious – This is an especially important trait for me as a business owner. It shows that an employee is eager to learn. It also shows me that they are a problem solver, which is extremely important to a small business. I don’t hire based on resumes, but having curiosity and being a problem solver is paramount. I like to hear new ideas, even if they don’t end up being used. I like employees to speak their minds, because that’s where you get new innovation.
  • Follow through on your promises – If you agree to take on extra work or go out of your way to make sure a project is done on time, make sure you are able to do what you say you’re going to do. It goes without saying that you should be accountable for the regular tasks you were hired to do. Make sure things are clear between you and your manager as to exactly what those tasks are, and re-evaluate them from time to time to make sure you’re on track according to what your manager expects. If you commit to it, make sure you are able to follow up. This includes making sure your co-workers know they can count on you.

Make sure that hard work is seen by your bosses and your co-workers. It won’t do you as much good if no one sees your hard work, so go out of your way to say hello to your boss when you get there early, leave late, and do extra tasks. It worked for my friend. And it can work for you.


Why Do Employers Go to Job Fairs?

In the Internet age, job fairs may seem like an old fashioned way of getting a job. It’s also still a buyers market as far as hiring goes. So why do employers still go to job fairs?

As someone who has been on the hiring end, I would say that you can’t tell someone’s personality from a resume. There are so many nuances that won’t show through from a piece of paper. And one of the best ways to analyze that first impression is by meeting a prospective employee face to face at a job fair. It’s a good way to prescreen applicants.

Another reason employers go to job fairs is to meet a large group of potential employees all at once. It saves a lot of time. You get to meet people who might not find you online or from your website.

Also, employers can convey more information than they could in an online ad. For employers who are actively hiring several positions, those can be talked about at the job fair. It’s much easier to customize your conversation when you are talking to someone face to face. Maybe there are certain qualifications that they are looking for in an employee that haven’t been listed online. Those can be explained in more detail when an employee is sitting there in person.

Meeting someone face to face is much more memorable than just looking through a stack of resumes. This is the time for a potential employee to impress the employer by doing their homework and coming in prepared and dressed as a professional. The employer wants to see that level of enthusiasm and professionalism that can only be done in a face to face meeting like a job fair.

If you’re looking for a job, make it an all of the above approach. And make sure you include job fairs in that approach because employers still value them.

Dealing With Difficult People at Work

I’ve never really worked a typical nine to five job in my life, but I have worked with some difficult people. My experience has been for limited amounts of time, like for several weeks while shooting a movie. But for those people who are stuck in an office dealing with difficult people at work, there needs to be a way to handle it.

For many people, half of your life is spent at work, or in work-related situations. So, dealing with difficult people is something you have to get under control or risk the stress that comes with it. Sometimes simply ignoring the difficult person is enough. If you don’t confront them, they usually move on to picking on someone else in the office. And that person may be the one who challenges them to stop their behavior, saving you and everyone else in the office from their tirades.

If the bullying is completely focused on you, you will eventually need to confront it or it will just keep getting worse. Let the bully know that you will take the case to someone higher up on the food chain if it doesn’t stop. Sometimes this is enough to get them to back off. Take the high road and don’t stoop to their level.

It’s tempting to want to lash out and do something immature, but if you do, you just fall into their trap and end up looking like an idiot yourself. Stay calm and go straight to the top if all other attempts at civility fail.

This one is really hard, but try to put yourself in their shoes and figure out what the real root of the problem is. Maybe that person is under tremendous stress in their personal life or maybe they feel inferior at work, or any number of other issues. There’s usually a reason why someone resorts to bullying. Try to figure out what it is, and if you can help resolve it that way, it’s best to try it first. If not, get management involved quietly and return to focusing on your own job.

How to Handle Job References for Employers

These days I’m on both sides of the job fence. As a business owner I\’m in the position to hire, and as a freelancer, I\’m always looking for the next job. I’m not really sure which one is easier, but I do know that job references are always important.

In the entertainment industry approximately 80% of all jobs are filled through referrals. That’s the reason it seems like you have to know someone to get a job, but the truth is, you really do. Payroll is one of the most costly things a business owner has to contend with and you have to make sure you get it right. That’s why job references are so important.

Here are some things to consider when it comes to your own references:

  • Always ask if you can use someone\’s name – You want the most enthusiastic references you can find and they should all be genuine. By calling a reference beforehand you can get an idea about where they stand. They might not be as enthusiastic about you as you think they are, for whatever reason. Or they might be in the middle of their own personal crisis and not up to jumping for joy to help you out. If you don\’t get that warm and fuzzy feeling from them you need, don\’t add them to your list.
  • Choose the right mix of references – Don\’t just put down your previous boss, pick a mixture of different people in different job titles. Sometimes a co-worker can explain a side of your personality that a boss would never see. A community leader with klout or someone with a high profile who could vouch for you might be a good choice.
  • Be prepared – Give your reference a copy of your resume and a list of possible questions that might be asked. Let them know the job you\’re applying for and the person who will be calling. Make sure your previous experience matches up with the job you\’re applying for.

What has been your experience with job references?



Be Prepared for a Company Layoff

Nobody ever goes into a job thinking they’re going to be the victim in a company layoff. But it happens every day, and most people are totally blindsided by it. I’m not saying you need to be paranoid, but it’s better to be prepared in case it does happen, and there are some simple things you can do to keep you ahead of the game.

  • Build up your social media profile – The more contacts you have, the easier it will be to look for a job if you happen to lose the one you have. Post often and let people get to know you and what you do for a living.
  • Keep your resume up to date – You never know when a better job will come along, or simply an opportunity to give someone your resume who may be in a position to hire you. Keep all certifications and skills current.
  • Have business cards handy at all times – Even if you have a job, there’s no harm in giving out your business card. This helps you build up your network in case you ever need it. Stay in touch with people who give you their card.
  • Make friends with vendors – Vendors can be a good resource if you need them. They know what’s going on in other companies and who will be hiring and firing. Keep this contact info on your own computer or phone, so if you are locked out of your office due to a lay off in the future you will have it handy.
  • Keep association memberships up to date – This could be a rich source of contacts to know if you ever lose your job. Make sure you stay in touch with these people and attend meetings and conferences as often as you can.
  • Keep up your network of friends outside of the industry – Your best referral usually doesn’t come from the person at the top, but from someone’s neighbor, hairdresser, or mechanic.

Have you ever been blindsided by a company layoff?


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<![CDATA[Julie Austin
Inventing the Future

Julie Austin is an award-winning author, inventor, futurist, innovation speaker, and member of the World Future Society. She’s an internationally known thought leader on the topic of innovation, and CEO of the consulting firm Creative Innovation Group. She’s been a keynote innovation speaker for corporations such as Procter & Gamble, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Northrop Grumman, and Cognizant Technology Solutions. She’s also been featured in the books “Patently Female” and “Girls Think of Everything”.

Her patented product, swiggies, wrist water bottles, have been a NASDAQ product of the year semi finalist and are currently sold in 24 countries. Julie and her products have appeared on The Today Show, The Queen Latifa Show, HGTV, Lifetime, ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX News, Inc. magazine, Fast Company, and the Wall Street Journal, along with dozens of TV shows, magazines and radio shows around the world.

Her new book “The Money Garden: How to Plant the Seeds for a Lifetime of Income” is currently available on Amazon.


Julie comes from a background in the TV & film industry and has had jobs as diverse as commercial actor and TV host to TV/film distributor/writer, so she knows the creative, as well as the business side, and customizes her speeches for the audience she’s speaking to.


She will deliver a dynamic, inspiring, and entertaining speech that is customized for your audience. Corporations will benefit from her knowledge of innovation and entrepreneurial thinking to expand their markets and grow sales. 



“Sparking Innovation”

How to Turn Your Employees Into Problem Solvers

All innovation starts with great ideas. You may be number one now, but if you’re not innovating, your competition is, and they will knock you out of the lead. To stay ahead you need to constantly reinvent and have new ideas ready to go. 

Some of the most important innovations in history were discovered by accident, such as penicillin. But there is a deliberate way to discover innovative ideas, whether it’s a new drug, a new product, new delivery systems, or new ways of doing business. 

These are simple ideas and ways of thinking that will turn your whole staff into problem solvers. It doesn’t take any extra time away from their jobs, but instead is a problem solving mindset that will greatly improve your bottom line and employee morale.

Your attendees will learn:

* How to generate new ideas

* How to think like an innovator

* Where you need to look for radical, game-changing innovation

* How to build an innovation culture into your company

* Where to look outside of your industry for new ideas your competition will never think of

Julie Austin has trained scientists, engineers, and executives from around the world. As an inventor,  patent owner, and international manufacturer, she knows how to instill the innovation mindset that will have your employees generating new ideas quickly. 

Attendees will be excited about innovation, and will come back with hands-on knowledge they can use to solve problems, create new products & services, and learn new ways of doing business that will boost your company’s bottom line.

\”The Street Smart Job Search\”

How to Get a Job, Keep a Job, and Create a Job

(3 hour seminar)

Competition for jobs is stiff. I knew there was a problem when I realized that almost all of my friends and family members were out of a job. I knew I could teach them the secrets that I learned about staying employed for life, no matter how bad the economy was. I\’ve never used a resume to get a job, but have gotten some great, high paying jobs like these without one:

*$600 a night working in a fancy restaurant

*$200 a day reading scripts

*$40 an hour transcribing ads from home

*$100 an hour as a shoe model

None of them were online or on a job board. And I didn\’t have any experience or training for any of them. I got them all using the techniques in my 3 hour seminar. This is NOT a resume/interview seminar. I teach you how to jump to the head of the line without them. Here\’s what your attendees will learn:


*Where 71% of jobs really come from

*Why typical job searches don\’t work

*Creative job search techniques you\’ll never hear about from HR

*How to find great, flexible, high-paying jobs you never knew existed

*How to get paid to learn on the job


*The one person in the office you need to have on your side (it\’s not who you think)

*Why you need to find your niche and become an expert at it

*How to blend in with the \”herd\” without losing your originality

*The two things that you need to say every day


*How to create an endless stream of income from one idea

*How to get more by giving more

*Why a pink slip is the best thing that could happen to you

*How to do all the things you love to do and get paid for them

*How to guarantee you will never be unemployed again

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