If you are looking to get back in the workforce or feel now is the time to switch jobs, it is important to polish up your interviewing skills in order to put yourself in the best position possible to attain what job you want. When going on your interview, your appearance and means of communication with your interviewer are just as important if not more so as what resides on your resume. It is important for those interviewing for a position to focus in on their non-verbal means of communication so they don’t slip up. Remember, your non-verbal communications can actually kill or deliver the results you want.
LinkedIn just hosted their town hall meeting with President Obama and they released this interesting infographic on their blog. The findings are very intereesting and tells us that between 2009 and 2011, Americans on LinkedIn: - Changed jobs 7,433,307 times on LinkedIn - 4,724,372 Americans work for small businesses - There are 360,560 veterans on LinkedIn - 739,017 have attended community college. Here are the full stats:
This is a guest contribution, find out who you can submit your own at our guest post guidelines. True professionalism is an interesting phenomenon and seems to be vanishing as an office worker art. And it’s not just the fault of recent college graduates who are new to the workplace. If new workers don’t see professionalism in action it’s not likely that they’ll pick it up by accident or osmosis. Being professional doesn’t mean you acquire a façade of used car salesman falseness. It doesn’t require that you become an automatic yes-man or yes-woman either. Professionalism isn’t taught in university, but I’m starting to think it should be. Being professional at all times while still being willing to challenge the status quo requires nuance and subtlety. There is a fine line between innovation and insubordination.
A comeback for Brooks Brothers suits and wingtips?In lieu of Professionalism 101, companies might do well to consider instituting a formal mentoring plan that could include older individuals with a good track record of professionalism instilling their insights into new employees over time. Things that most people consider basic common sense such as appropriate workplace manners and clothing choices could be part of a continuing emphasis on professionalism. I know that the trend toward casualness in the workplace isn’t going to change anytime soon and I’m not advocating a return to Brooks Brothers suits and wingtips…necessarily. But casualness can quickly descend into coarseness and before you know it the tramp stamps on display lead to inappropriate conversation talking points and HR is getting a deluge of complaints. The corporate uniform of the 1950’s and early 1960’s sure seems safer in comparison. Even the casual wear of the era looks good today.
Dresscodes remind us of who we areThe corporate uniforms of the past may be relegated quickly to the same forgotten dustbin of history as slide rules and dinosaurs. And if you feel this way, you may be right. I’ve been accused of being stuffy and I’m closer to dinosaur status than I am to my undergraduate years. But one thing that dress codes did—even if they were unwritten—was to remind people of where they were. When you put on your suit and tie or dress and cardigan, it helped put you in a professional mindset. On a sub-conscious level, dressing professionally helped remind us that we weren’t in our living rooms. It helped us take ourselves seriously. And when you take yourself seriously you do good work.
Clothes, not even PJs, do not make the manYour speech and actions are different when you’re dressed in a professional way than they are when you’re wearing ripped jeans and a stained t-shirt. It’s a logical extension of your persona. Which is, incidentally, exactly why I never wore pajamas to class in college, even when it was the preferred clothing choice of undergraduates everywhere. I never met a student who wore pajamas to class who regularly made the Dean’s list. But I digress. Clothes may not make the man. But dressing professionally can sure help a person act more professionally in the workplace.
Mediocrity is the natural enemy of professionalismI would never argue that professionalism should require you to become a clotheshorse. But how many well-dressed individuals in your company do mediocre work? I bet not many. And mediocrity is seeping into corporate culture at an alarming rate. It may start with relaxed corporate clothing codes but it doesn’t stop there. It begins to infiltrate its way into water cooler conversation through ill-advised and inappropriate humor which has no place in a professional setting. Once on a roll, mediocrity — as the natural enemy of professionalism — can continue its march until positive professional attitudes devolve into defeatism and corporate culture corrodes from within.
Final thoughtsArguing for a return to the corporate clothing cues of long ago may seem anachronistic or quixotic. But try dressing up every day for a week and see if you notice a difference in your work. Clothing may be a small part of professionalism but I think it’s an important part. And while you’re at it, if you find that wearing a pair of polished wingtips helps you take yourself seriously, break out the shoe polish and horsehair brush and get to it. For more professional tips, check out 7 Little Known Tips to Jump-Start Your Career. Jesse Langley lives near Chicago. He divides his time among work, writing and family life. He writes on behalf of Colorado Technical University and has a keen interest in business blogging and social media. He also writes for www.professionalintern.com.
Modern day job hunting has changed completely, long gone are the days when everyone was pouring over the job section in the local newspaper. There are many new ways that you can both research a company and contact potential employers. You may already be on social networking sites, but may never have used them for your job search. In modern times a job hunt should always start by creating online profiles on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. These sites are a great place to start looking for a career. There are, however, several things that you need to do to make your profiles employer friendly. Make your profile look as professional as possible, no drunken photos or funny pictures. If you are already on these networking sites then you should take the time to customise your profile so that prospective employers get a good impression of you. Whether you are looking for a recruitment or marketing career social media will be an asset to your job search.