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Dressing for Success

No matter how cliche it may sound, you never do get a second chance to make a first impression. What you wear to an interview tells the person you are speaking with a lot about you. It demonstrates your decision making, and it helps them see how you will fit in amongst the rest of their team. The hiring manager knows that during an interview you are presenting your best version of yourself – so while there is some understanding for small faux pas, there are some generally accepted style expectations.

Here are some things to consider when deciding what to wear to your interview.

Casual & General Labor

Whether you are interviewing for a dishwashing job, general labor position, or a job in a warehouse, you still need to put your best foot forward. You want an employer to be focused entirely on what you say and your skills, not the wrinkly shirt, torn up pants, or unkempt hair and hygiene.

Business Casual

The most predominant style across the workforce would be described as business casual. This classification of attire creates a professional yet approachable image which is why it is commonly used in businesses. As long as you avoid jeans, tee-shirts, sneakers, and overdressing, you are likely hitting the mark.


There are still many industries that expect their team members to step-up their appearance by wearing the more traditional suit. This style conveys confidence, professionalism, and power. This is most popular in sales, finance, and executive positions.


There are times when the best approach is to show more of your creative side. Think of positions like marketing, high-tech firms, or innovative start-ups. These companies are looking for ingenuity, flair, excitement, creativity, and style. Forward-looking organizations want their teams to present a trendy vibe that matches the overall organizational image.

Don’t Overthink It

While we may have outlined some common acceptable style choices, it is important to not overthink it. Obsessing over how to dress may only cause you more anxiety about the process, and what matters most of all are the skills and qualifications you will bring to the job. If trying to paint yourself into a box is overwhelming, perhaps your best course of action is to focus on what things you should always avoid.

No matter how casual a position is, or how many amazing skills you bring to the table, there are some style choices that should always be avoided. Heavy make-up and cologne are two things we see regularly. You want to make sure all the attention is on what you say, not your appearance or smell. You also want to avoid coming across as if you don’t take the process seriously by being underdressed or not practicing proper hygiene.

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Health Benefits Work Brings to Your Life

While most people primarily view work as an income generator, have you considered the overall health benefits that the act of working brings to your life? So much of who we are and how we spend our time is wrapped into our profession that it stands to reason that it has an impact on overall well-being.

Here are some of the great benefits working brings to your life.

Physical Wellbeing

Just being able to get out of the house and participate in the act of working provides tremendous health benefits. Even if you have a job that puts you behind a desk or standing in the same place for long periods, you are still getting physical benefits you may not get otherwise. If you want to increase those benefits, consider parking further away from the entrance, getting some additional steps throughout the day by taking a walk, or finding other creative ways to stay active.

Emotional Wellness

A key to emotional wellness is feeling secure both financially and socially. When you work, you are not only contributing to your financial security; often times you are also socially interacting with co-workers, clients, or patrons. This interaction helps you emotionally by fulfilling the natural and instinctive need to be connected to others.

Increased Self Esteem

Everyone wants to feel successful – success and confidence help to build an individual’s self-esteem. An honest day’s work is undoubtedly an esteemable activity that will help you recognize that you have unique and valuable skills, are capable of delivering positive results, and are working to meet your own personal needs.

Social Acceptance

How many times have you been asked what you do for work? It is a natural icebreaker when meeting someone new. Work is such a big part of people’s lives and often a good portion of their identity is wrapped into their work. In addition to that, in developed countries having employment is considered a social norm which leads to acceptance. When you build positive and healthy relationships at work and are a contributing member of a team, you are gaining social acceptance which provides psychosocial benefits.

Financial Security

At the end of the day we all need to be able to put food on the table, pay our bills, and hopefully have enough left over to enjoy other luxuries in life, such as going to a movie or buying that new car you have had your eyes on. By having a steady paycheck, you are working towards financial stability. Knowing where your next paycheck is coming from will alleviate a good deal of stress from your life. Reducing stress is shown to have a great impact on your overall health.

But What If Your Current Job Isn’t Working Out

The truth is not every job is right for every person. This means you could find yourself unhappy, disengaged, burned out, and potentially even finding yourself physically ill more often. If that is the case you should consider making a change. Change can be scary, but you must weigh the benefits of making a career shift. If your work is suffering because you are unhappy, is it helping you build a strong professional reputation? If all your vacation time is going to sick days, is that allowing you to get the mental break you need? Is your homelife suffering because you aren’t able to check your stress at the door? If so, the benefits of making a change will likely outweigh sticking it out.

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Make Your Resume Work For You

Resumes are to job seeking as tires are to cars. They are a core component to helping move you forward. They need regular updating and maintenance, and there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all. Knowing this, what can you do to ensure that your resume is working for you?

Less is More

One of the most common misconceptions about resumes is that they should be an exhaustive list of all your accomplishments and professional history. In actuality, a resume should be a brief advertisement that creates just enough intrigue for the reader to call you in for an interview. When preparing a resume you want to be clear, succinct, and focus on the past 10 years of work experience. Naturally, you want to highlight all of your accomplishments to help you showcase all that you bring to the table, but the reality is that less is more, and paring your resume down to no more than two pages is going to help ensure that your resume is more likely to be well-received.

Formatting Matters

You may wonder how you can stand out in a stack of 8.5 x 11in sheets of paper that all look the same – well, it is important to note that gimmicks are unlikely to help. When developing your resume, it is best to stick with traditional formatting. While you want to be noticed, stand out, and be remembered – you want that to happen for all the right reasons. Avoid using flashy fonts, colors, and images, and have trust that the content is what makes a difference.

Keep it Relevant

When preparing your resume, you should always design it for the reader. While you want to showcase your talents and skills, you must consider which of your many talents is most relevant to the job you are applying to, and the person reviewing your resume. Due to the sheer volume of resumes that an employer receives for any given position, chances are they are quickly scanning through them, seeking out certain keywords to narrow the stack down to just a couple that they are interested in speaking with. By focusing only on your relevant skills, you are greatly increasing the likelihood of being moved into the ‘yes’ pile.

Qualification Summary

It used to be that all resumes contained a section at the top called the objective. This was a simple section where an applicant would describe their career interests and goals. While a feel-good section, ultimately it never really spoke to the employer. It is said that you need to capture the reader’s attention in the first 3rd of your resume – and the best way to do that is by including a brief qualifications summary. This is where you can immediately call attention to why they should read on and consider you for the job.


It seems that something so simple shouldn’t need to be said, but proofreading is a critical step in the resume process. Not only should you be reviewing your resume for spelling, grammar, punctuation, and relevancy – you should also rely on a trusted friend to proofread for you as well. Having that second set of eyes can make a world of difference. When someone proofreads their own writing it is easy to miss something important because you are prone to focus more on what your thoughts are versus the actual mechanics of what was written. In addition to proofreading for traditional errors, you also want to double-check that you have provided accurate and appropriate contact information.

Would You Call Yourself To Interview?

In closing, before you hit send, ask yourself – “would I call myself in for an interview?” If for any reason you are hesitant to say yes, that may signal that you need to make some adjustments to the content of your resume or possibly consider if this job is even a good fit. Remember, not every job is right for every person. Your goal is to seek out and apply to jobs that you can be successful in.