My daughter is between her junior and senior years in college and has several office job interviews scheduled for summer employment. Ihave been working in offices for a number of years and hear criticism about how some of the young women dress when they come in looking for employment. Can you back me up? — T.A.L.
Best-selling career development author Vicky Oliver (vickyoliver.com) can help you out. Oliver says you’re spot on, Mom. The New York-based image consultant and career coach spotlights five forget-me-fast fashion goofs when dressing for summer job interviews:
— TONE DOWN NAILS. For a summer position, your nails don’t belong in the Museum of Modern Art. Four nails on one hand in turquoise and one nail in rose adorned with sparkles are too creative for most office environments. You don’t want your interviewer mesmerized more by your fingertips than by what comes out of your mouth.
— COVER UP. Women should avoid tiny tank tops, sheer blouses with lacy underwear and hemlines that show leg and more leg. For men, leave muscle tees, unbuttoned shirts and shorts at home. Cleavage, arm muscles, chest hair or midriffs work for a tiki bar, but not for a job interview.
— LOOK COOL. If it’s Hades hot and you’re walking or riding on public transportation to your job meeting, bring a fresh shirt to change into before you make an appearance. And don’t forget to keep a tissue handy to dab beads of perspiration from your nose and brow — the sweaty look translates to nervous and sloppy.
— SKIP BEACH SANDLES. “Wearing open-toed shoes or sandals gives a bad impression,” Oliver says. You look too casual for an office and you could come across as seeming disrespectful toward the corporate culture. Why take that chance?
— CHOOSE OFFICE GARB. Don’t try to make a summertime fashion statement with a Hawaiian shirt, indoor sunglasses, a backwards baseball cap or bangles up to your elbows. Avoid dressing as though you’re heading to the sea shore.
DEAR JOYCE: Would you advise my fiance who is getting out of the U.S. Navy in a few months to sign up for LinkedIn.com or for RallyPoint.com to get connected with a good civilian career? — F.A.B.
What’s wrong with a double-header? Your fiance can sign up for both of these social networking websites — one is well established, and the other is going wheels up.
The value for job seekers in joining the world’s most popular general social networking website, LinkedIn.com, is by now old news. And LinkedIn continues on its roll with a reported 200 million members around the planet.
But smaller can be smarter for job seekers who are bonded by shared experiences. RallyPoint.com is a niche professional social network startup for active military — exclusively the military community. Membership is free.
The new kid on the social networking block, RallyPoint’s latest move is the opening of its membership to veterans who are working at civilian companies, connecting those who are still in the military with those who have already transitioned to civilian life.
RallyPoint, still in beta but expected to go gold by the end of this year, is positioned to become the most comprehensive employer-to-service-member skill matching network in the nation.
Founded by two Iraq War veterans who met in Baghdad and reunited at Harvard Business School, RallyPoint launched late last year and is based in Boston.
RallyPoint, like LinkedIn, is funded by private angel investors. Although LinkedIn started a decade ago and struggled for three years to show a profit, the social behemoth clearly has the numbers today.
But RallyPoint is well conceptualized to become a super nexus for military people past and present. Its members may not be foxhole buddies, but because they’ve been where your fiance is now, RallyPointers are more likely to watch his back and “pay it forward” than are those who haven’t the foggiest idea of what it means to wear a U.S. military uniform.
Fortunately, your fiance need not choose; he/she can have the best of both worlds.