Monthly Archives: March 2014

The Words You Need to Know

The Words You Need to Know

In light of Women’s History Month, our office teamed up with two other departments on campus to hold a panel discussion on leadership qualities in women. During our planning stages, our main focus was simple: how do we empower women to feel confident in the workplace? As this article from Women For Hire points out, women need to exude confidence right from the very beginning- their interview. More often than not, women struggle with the interview because they don’t want to seem pushy, or they don’t feel confident that they are the best candidate for the job. So, to help women feel more prepared, the article lists five statements everyone should make in order to feel more confident in themselves and in presenting their previous experiences. These phrases aren’t limited to just the interview, but they will help you answer questions by serving as a lead-off point. For example, when an employer asks “why should we hire you?” you can always start your answer with “I am an excellent candidate for your job because…” It gives a boost of confidence to use “excellent” instead of “good fit” because it’s more assertive and excellent is always better than good. The article also includes five phrases no one should ever use in an interview, particularly because the interview isn’t meant to bash a previous employer or negotiate salary. By having these phrases in mind, women and men alike can have an outstanding interview and feel more confident in their job search.

Christina Daniels-Upcoming College Graduate

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So I have definitely been lacking on my posts lately! I have been so caught up on my own blog (click here to check it out!) and with graduation “things”!  So what have I been up to? Well, I got some great tips on interviews from the ELCDC “Interview Skills” workshop! I have always been nervous for interviews but told that I interview well, but I had no idea what I did right or wrong.  But I got some great pointers that I had never really thought about.  For example, knowing yourself is just as important as knowing the company you are interviewing with.  We all know that we need to do our background research on the company and our interviewer (you can always check them out on LinkedIn, don’t be nervous that they can see you viewing their profile, it shows initiative!).  But we also need to know our own strengths and weaknesses. Look to outside sources like professors, friends and family and ask them what they believe are your strengths and why you would be an asset to a company.  It can give you a third party perspective and allow you to really emphasize your strengths to your interviewer.  I have more notes from the workshop back at school, but seeing as I am still on spring break, you’ll have to wait for “part two” for this one!

I have also signed up for a Capstone Weekend sponsored by the company Rent the Runway.  The company rents out designer dresses for a more affordable price tag.  My friend saw info on the Capstone Weekend and sent me the link and I thought it looked awesome.  The agenda includes a party and makeover courtesy of L’Oreal and Rent the Runway, industry talks from guest speakers and interviews!  Even if I don’t end up getting a job offer, it will be some great practice! I am really excited for the industry speakers as they have the CEO and co-founder of Rent the Runway, and Editor-in-Chief of Seventeen Magazine, the founder of  Lulu Frost, and the head of business development for Rent the Runway speaking!  I think it will give me some awesome insight and advice from people that really know what they are talking about.

I have to admit, one of the hardest things is probably the wardrobe.  I think fashion majors have it much harder when it comes to dressing professionally because we also need to look fashionable.  Luckily my mom was nice enough to lend me some money for interview/professional clothes.  I am a firm believer in never wearing the business suit.  It is just not me.  I never want to compromise my style for any reason so one really important thing for me, was that I still felt like myself in my professional clothes.  I was able to find some great pieces and most of them were on sale!  One staple is a skirt. I chose a white skirt from The Limited that hits just at the knee.  

Shoes are probably the next most controversial piece.  For interviews, you definitely want a closed toe, but that doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice style!  Check out this pair here that I bought in both colors!  

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Work appropriate heels from Forever 21

They add some flair, while still keeping the look professional.  For tops, I have never been a blazer girl, so just make sure there is not too much cleavage and that shoulders are covered, whether it be with a blazer or a cardigan.  I picked up a silver short sleeved top, similar to the silhouette seen below.  This quilted sweatshirt is easy on the budget and would look super chic with the white pencil skirt and cream heels. I can tell you one thing, but this interviewer will not be questioning your style with this outfit.

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Quilted sweatshirt at H&M for $34.95

Hope I could help you out with some outfit inspiration!  Check back next week for some more interview tips!

 

LinkedIn: Taking the Stress Out of Networking Since 2003

LinkedIn: Taking the Stress Out of Networking Since 2003

The link is from our friends over at Education Week, and I love the article because it addresses two concerns that many students- regardless of whether they are education majors or not- face: the stress of networking, and understanding the value of LinkedIn. I think it’s important to reiterate that the value of LinkedIn is it  can reduce the stress that comes with networking. LinkedIn has many ways to find information about employers and companies, which can help you feel better prepared as you walk into a job fair or other networking events. For example, if you can see a list in advance of which companies will be at a job fair, you can search for them on LinkedIn to get a better idea of what their company represents, who some of their recruiters are, and what job listings they may have posted already. Or, if you know the specific person who will be available for questions at a networking event, you can search for them individually, look through their profile, and determine if you have any connections with them- maybe a shared hometown or you have mutual acquaintances. By finding similarities, you’ll feel more comfortable and confident approaching them. Another positive aspect of LinkedIn is the fact that can connect with professionals through groups.  For example, you can join alumni groups or groups for people with similar interests just as a service organization or fraternity. Additionally, many professional organizations, such as Teachers Networking Group or Creative Design Pros-Creative Forum, will help you connect with others in your field, again, finding a common bond and making it easier to reach out to new connections. Networking doesn’t have to be stressful as long as you do your research ahead of time, and LinkedIn will be a great resource for you!