Ten Ways Job-Seekers Bomb Job Interviews

Dr. Randall Hansen posted a great article on the Quintessential Careers Blog in regards to various ways job-seeks can bomb job interviews.Quint Careers

Below is the article:

10 Ways to Bomb Your Job Interview

1. Late to the interview. Repeat this mantra: I will ALWAYS be on time for job interviews. There’s no excuse for being late to an interview, and even if by some amazing chance the employer finds the time to interview, you have dug a hole that very few job-seekers ever recover from. Plan ahead, take a test run, and leave early enough for contingencies (accident, road construction, weather). And if it’s a Webcam, Skype, Google Hangout interview, there is NO excuse for not being online for the start of the interview.

2. Bad attire/grooming. I will never forget the time a graduating college student arrived to an interview dressed in a beautiful and expensive suit, crisp white shirt, and power tie… until he got closer and we saw he was wearing sandals. The rest of the interview, the interviewer kept dropping snarky sandal comments; the interview was over before it started. You should ALWAYS dress the part and be well-groomed — even for Webcam interviews.

3. Limited eye contact. Making eye contact is a sign of confidence — and employers want to hire confident job-seekers. Don’t start at the interviewer, but practice making frequent eye contact. In a panel interview, make eye contact with every person. If you have a hard time looking directly into someone else’s eyes, focus on looking at the bridge of each person’s nose.

4. Weak knowledge of employer. Nothing turns off an employer faster than a job applicant who appears to know little of the organization — or the job itself. One of the most important things you should do upon obtaining an interview is to research the employer — both for your own knowledge, but also so you can speak intelligently of the organization — as well as ask intelligent questions.

5. Bland, weak, or boring interview responses. Find the middle ground between providing too little detail — and not providing enough. Your interview responses should be crisp, short, and to-the-point. Know your accomplishments and practice answering typical job interview questions. If you are relatively inexperienced (or it’s been a long time since you have been on an interview), conduct at least one mock interview.

6. Lack of enthusiasm. Do not interview when you’re tired — and do not overcompensate with one too many energy drinks. Try and maintain a strong, but not over-the-top energy level throughout the interview so that the employer knows you are definitely interested in the job.

7. Appearing desperate. Even if you NEED the job, if you appear too eager, too willing, too desperate, many employers will see this as a weakness — just as they see someone who is currently unemployed as a weakness. Express your interest in the job, but don’t cross the line.

8. Willing to take any job. You MUST know the job you seek — and then SHOW the employer why you are qualified for it. If you appear unfocused — or willing to take any job “just so you can work for such a great employer” — you will likely NOT be asked back for another interview. Employers hire job specialists these days.

9. Complaining about past jobs/bosses. Never — NEVER — talk negatively about an employer or manager… even if you hate your current (or last) job, you MUST put a positive spin on it. Focus on yourself, not the negatives of the job.

10. Failing to ask questions. We actually had a job-seeker recently tell us that she thought it was rude to ask questions in a job interview! Quite the opposite. Many hiring managers will make the assumption you do not really care about the job if you don’t ask questions in the interview. But do NOT ask obvious questions you could have learned from doing the proper research. And — if not discussed in the interview — your last question should always be about the next steps in the hiring process.

 

To read the full article, please visit the Quintessential Careers Blog: http://blog.quintcareers.com/ways-job-seekers-bomb-job-interviews/

 

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Employer Feedback from the Industry/Career Expo

Expo pic

The Daytona Beach Industry/Career Expo was another success this year.  There were 87 companies in attendance with 16 companies conducting interviews the day after the Expo.

Below is some of the feedback from the employers:

What qualities did those candidates that you favored most possess?

-“Communications, encourage candidates to relax and be confident”

-“Many presented themselves in a confident manner with great speaking skills.  The ability to speak to questions of technical nature set apart from others.  For those who have some work experience a great attribute (campus work is considered in this)”

-“Direct communication, willing to share/talk about themselves, calm/collected, comprehensive/thorough”

-“Excellent technical skills, understand job responsibilities and objectives, analytic skills, resume”

-“Strong analytical skills, good communication skills, knowledge of industry and company”

-“Honesty.  Our company values honesty and a strong worth ethic.  When candidates were talking about resumes you could quickly tell if they were honest.  This is because we are all ERAU graduate recruiters”

-“Maturity, preparedness/knowledge of company”

-“Practical experience, well-rounded, multitask”

Do you have any advice for our students to help make them stronger candidates?

-“Obtain more co-ops and internships and get involved in on-campus groups and program”

-“Projects, leadership, organized resume, list GPA if impressive”

-“Research company and know history.  Read job responsibilities and functions”

-“Be honest about your background.  Do not be afraid to say ‘no, I do not know.”

-“Research website and understand company, prepare specific questions and always be positive when asked about future education opportunities”

-“Students should be encouraged to look at local businesses. It was our impression that many students did not realize the opportunities that presented themselves locally. Also, we found that many of the engineering students liked the area and enjoyed water activities in their spare time, but had not thought of using their degrees with regards to boat-building.

-“Be sure to do homework before interviews; Check out company website understand their services and initiatives

-“It is great for Freshmen to come to this event, I would highly encourage it. They gain a lot of experience in the environment and from absorbing the whole process. They should meet with companies they want to work for and at least make introductions to themselves, and each year afterward.”

-“I followed the 3 rules stated by all recruiters:
1. Take on a leadership role within an organization
2. Keep GPA above 3.0
3. Complete one internship before graduation

 

2013 Expo Success Story: Daniel Castrillo

Daniel Castrillo is currently a senior pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering at Embry-Riddle Daniel CastrilloAeronautical University and recently begin a co-op rotation with Gulfstream.

Below is his first-hand experience at the Industry/Career Expo 2013 held in Daytona Beach, FL.

I walked into the 2013 Career Expo week not expecting much; little did I know that by the time that week ended I would have set up my future with the world’s largest leading business aviation company. I had prepared weeks in advance for the events to come that week. In order to properly prepare myself, I attended as many of the Career Services events as my schedule allowed. Getting to know the Career Services staff is very helpful in preparing for the Career Expo due to their wealth in knowledge of obtaining a job at the career expo. Luckily for me, I had Sandi Ohman and Lisa Kollar as my UNIV 101 professors during my first semester at Riddle, and I will never forget how they inspired me to work hard for my dreams and obtain a co-op.

My first introduction to Gulfstream came in the fall of 2011 when they came on campus for the 2011 Career Expo, I immediately fell in love with the company and after sitting through their information session I decided to go up and talk to the Campus Relations Consultant, Cassie Batayias. After talking for a few minutes she invited me to interview with her and her team the next day. Although I could not receive an offer since I had just started as a freshman, it was an opportunity for me to network with some professional engineers and get familiar with Gulfstream’s interviewing process. The following fall of 2012 I applied for the Co-Op position with Gulfstream, I attended the Meet and Greet event they held on campus but mostly kept to myself and then attended the information session. I interviewed the next day with two of Gulfstream’s engineers for the position. Unfortunately I did not get the position and I was heartbroken. Being rejected from your dream job hurts and I almost didn’t bother applying the next year. Fortunately I decided not to give up on my dreams and applied again for the position the following year. I attended the Meet and Greet event that Gulfstream held in the Fall of 2013 and this time I tried to talk to everyone from Gulfstream that I could. I believe it is important to show them your face and engage them in an intelligent conversation so they can put your face to your name later on when they’re deciding who gets the job. I then attended the information session and stayed after to talk to Mrs. Batayias to once again introduce myself and converse with her.

The next day was the interview and I made sure to dress my absolute best. It is crucial to come into the interview with plenty of resumes, a list of intelligent questions to ask the interviewers, a notepad, and a pen. To help myself stand out from the other students being interviewed, I brought thank you cards but did not fill them out till after the interview. After the interview was over, I sat down in a chair and wrote out my thank you cards, placing personal thoughts and ideas that stemmed from the interview. Make sure to thank the person for interviewing you and try to sell yourself in the card by repeating your strengths and what you can bring to the table for them. After finishing with the interview, it was time to wait. I attended the Industry/Career Ex[p the next day and went up to the Gulfstream booth to show my face one last time so that they could remember me, I talked to a few more people and left. After 3 of the longest weeks of my life, I was called by Mrs. Batayias with an offer to take my talents to Gulfstream. It was honestly one of the happiest moments of my life because with the Co-Op position there is a 95% chance of obtaining a full-time position with Gulfstream as soon as I graduate.  Not only because of that but because of all the exciting work I will get to be doing here at Gulfstream.

Overall I recommend preparing weeks in advance before the career expo, and talking to and listening to what the career services staff has to say. It was Sandi Ohman’s idea to use the thank you cards and I honestly believe they played a big role in obtaining the position. The best thing you can do is to make yourself stand out from the rest of the competition by any means possible.

 

 

 

Alumni Spotlight: Leland C Shanle

Leland C Shanle is a graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Shanle is a pilot, award winning author, and military/aviation technical adviser for the movie industry. His consulting projects include Pearl Harbor, Behind Enemy Lines, xXx, The Day After Tomorrow and Stealth. His production company–Broken Wing Productions–has worked on several aviation-based movies and series including the Discovery Curiosity Series; Plane Crash.

Shanle is the author of three books; Project Seven Alpha, Vengeance at Midway and Guadalcanal, and ENDGAME in the Pacific–with the fourth slated for release in 2014. He has also written for Aerospace Testing International Magazine and is a Contributing Editor to Airways Magazine. Shanle has adapted his book, Project 7 Alpha as a screenplay for a major motion picture studio.

Shanle’s lifelong interest in Aviation is a family legacy. His Grandfather was in the airline industry in the 1920s and two uncles (Bob USAF, Larry USN) were combat military aviators. Shanle flew naval aircraft in 10 squadrons; including the F-4 Phantom II, EA-6B Prowler and TA-4 Skyhawk. Attached to CAG 5, 11 and 1 cruising on the USS Midway, America and Lincoln; Leland flew 80 missions over the war torn skies of Bosnia, Somalia, and Iraq.

He got into the flight test world when transferred to VX-30, Naval Weapons Test Center Point Mugu. He flew as a Project Officer on various test programs and was the Squadron Operations Officer. Shanle also attended the Project Officer/Engineers and the Out of Control Flight courses at National Test Pilot School. He was inducted as a Full Member in the Society of Experimental Test Pilots (SETP) in 1998.

Closing out his Naval Aviation career with 600 carrier landings (200 night) on 11 different carriers; he continues his Aviation career as a Boeing 777 pilot with American Airlines.

Can you please discuss your experience working with UAVs?

I was attached to VX-30 and was the head of the QF-4 program. I had the unique perspective of actually riding in drones. Yes; I was a drone pilot…or Spam, as we called it. We would have to test the system, a UHF data link system, fairly archaic technology by today’s standards; by flying the pattern and doing touch and goes on San Nicholas Island off the coast of LA. Being in an F-4 Phantom while someone flew it from 75 miles away could be quite a ride. The runway on San Nic was on a 500 foot cliff; more than once I looked up to see it before crying uncle and taking control. We also had to test new software loads for controls/self protect modes; which also was quite a ride at times: stalls, straight up departures from controlled flight, etc. Being a UCC controller was a very perishable skill; it is the only thing I’ve done in my career as hard or harder than a night carrier landing. We used what looked like a simulator with a 5X5 TV screen; we landed on San Nic with just that little picture. At the time San Nic was a 5,000 foot runway due to construction, so we dropped the hook and took the wire like on the ship.

The drone was controlled from Naval Test Center Point Mugu with a range of 300 miles. It was an all aspect, fully functional aerial target. We could launch weapons or other drones and dog fight from the NOLO (No On-board Live Operator) QF-4. Our mission was to test new weapons systems and provide Fleet readiness. We normally used telemetry heads instead of war heads to save the assets.

We also launched and remotely or pre-programmed controlled other drones pictured here:

AS 16 launch

A QF-4N launching an MA-31. The MA-31 was a converted Soviet AS-17 Krypton missile. After failing to duplicate the performance of the Soviet system, when the Wall came down we bought a few.

aqm 37

An AQM-37 Super Sonic drone. We would launch the AQM-37 from a QF-4 Phantom at 1.5 Mach and 50,000 feet and then turn 90 degrees out and run like hell. Because the Fleet ships would then start shooting Surface to Air Missiles at it (had an old bud shot down by a CIWS once, he didn’t like it much).

c 130 with drones

A BQM-74 Chukar on a LC-130 wing station with another LC-130 in background. With this drone system we could launch raids against the Fleet.

NOLO F 4

QF-4N NOLO; (look close no pilot) over San Nic Island.

DSC00594

QB-727 and a chase C-337.

My most recent experience was as the CEO of Broken Wing LLC and droning a Boeing-727 for the Discovery Channel Documentary on aircraft survivability. We put together the old Point Mugu Team for that.

In your opinion, what do you think the future of UAVs will be in the United States?

So where is the Drone Industry going? There is one little problem with drones…they crash, a lot. Broken Wing is working on a project that shows some of the vulnerabilities of mixing manned/un-manned flight. Putting aside loose cannons who are flying drones illegally there is still massive vulnerabilities. Companies that are jumping into delivering products via drones will have a serious decision to ponder when the law suits start flying. Imagine a drone with a pizza and 6 pack dropping over LA like a stone; or one that has gone rogue getting sucked up an intake of an airliner on short final. Real threats.

That having been said; in low density or military applications I think the future is bright for UAVs. They will continue to be in great demand for border protection, observation for police/FBI applications and as a Strike/INTEL platform for all of the military services. From hand held airborne cameras for the Infantry to carrier launched Strike aircraft they will continue to multiply. The up side of unmanned flight in those arenas cannot be overstated.

Now for the 500 pound gorilla in the room: passenger aircraft applications. Personally, I would never get in one. From my perspective, having been one of the few people on earth to have actually ridden in one, no way! In the QF-4 I could take control when things got bad. Has your computer and/or IPhone ever just frozen up or done things you didn’t want it to? You see my point. Redundant systems? Google QF-72 (Qantas Flight 72) a bad system locked out two good systems and almost killed everyone on board.

Practically? Hugely expensive, drones have a very long tech-tail. Operationally? It would reduce the air traffic like a bad weather day. Airports like San Diego, Washington DC and LaGuardia could not be used due to the visual requirements on a normal day. Pilots make the air traffic flow in spite of how over loaded the system is. And on windy days? Simply they would have to shut down the airport. Even the most modern auto-land systems have wind restrictions that are half what the aircraft is capable of landing in (with a pilot).

In summary: imagine a QB-777 dropping on downtown USA some night? The company operating it would be out of business and Congress would out-law the systems immediately. Risk vs. Reward.

For more discussion about the developing unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) industry, tune-in online at 7 p.m. on Sept. 18 for the inaugural Lift, Off the Page roundtable event, featuring Embry-Riddle faculty experts and alumni working in the UAS field. Register to attend: http://alumni.erau.edu/LiftEvent. And, read the fall edition of Lift http://alumni.erau.edu/lift

Tips For Your Next Video Interview

By: Emily Ferraro

video interviewingWhen seeking an internship or job opportunity, candidates seeking the position are hopeful for an in-person interview. More often than not, companies will conduct quite a few rounds of different interviews before bringing candidates to the company for a meeting. A popular choice for recruiters to begin the screening process is to call candidates for a phone interview. Additionally, with the ease of virtual interactions, video interviewing has become a prevalent form of screening as well. Here are some things to consider when you are asked to participate in a video interview:

First and foremost, ask the right questions:

And be prepared! In order to get ready for the interview, you will want to know what platform the company is using. Skype and Google Hangout are most commonly used, but there are so many other programs or apps that the company could use to conduct the interview. Ask for confirmation details if it is unclear as to what program they are using. Two things are crucial:

  1. Make sure that you have the correct application/program information as well as the username of the contact with whom you will be in touch with.
  2. Be sure to download and add the program well in advance. Also, add the user’s information to your contact list to prevent any missed or blocked calls. Practice using the software and make a call to a friend to make sure it works on your end.

Next, work out the logistics to set-up proper surroundings for the interview by:

  • Finding an area with strong Wi-Fi connection (or accessible Ethernet outlet)
  • Selecting a room with good and consistent lighting, non-cluttered walls, and distanced from noisy and distracting areas
  • Making a practice call and checking on the sound quality. Tip: Use headphones with a microphone to reduce echo noise
  • Preparing your outfit in advance. This is just like an in-person interview so make sure that you are dressed to impress. On camera, it’s best to avoid bright colors and patterns. Stick with the black/neutrals and look polished.

Last-minute reminders:

  • Turn-off all web browsers and open pages on your computer so there are no pop-ups or sounds
  • Leave phone off or put on airplane mode/silence
  • Remind your surrounding friends or family that you are busy and ask to not be disturbed
  • Make a sign for the door to let others know not to disturb you during the interview
  • Keep your portfolio in front of you with your resume, job description, and prepared questions to ask the interviewer(s)

For more information on interviewing, please visit the Career Services website at www.careers.erau.edu.

Emily Ferraro is new to the Career Services Office at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and serves as the Program Manager for undergraduate Aerospace Engineering students. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies as well as her Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction specializing in College Student Affairs at the University of South Florida in Tampa, FL. Emily enjoys working with students to help them achieve their personal and professional career goals and specializes in topics such as personal branding and resume writing.

Industry/Career Expo Success Story: John Lobdell

By John Lobdell

John is a First Year student in the Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering program at Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach campus

DSC_2692The Industry/Career Expo is one of the most publicized events on campus. Starting from the time you arrive in early fall, you are constantly reminded of it through e-mail, posters, teachers, and even certain organizations. And for good reason–some of the top aerospace companies in the world attend, looking for students to hire as interns or full-time employees. It’s an amazing opportunity–but one that is highly competitive, as hundreds of students are contending for the same positions. It’s really quite frightening to think about the odds of actually obtaining one of these positions; because of this, many students–especially freshmen–feel as though it’s pointless to even try. I was one of those freshmen for a while.

It didn’t take long from the time I arrived on campus to realize how big of an event the Expo was going to be, from all the advertising. Fairly early on, I knew that I wanted to attend, but actually getting an interview–much less a position–with one of these companies was far from my mind. I was a freshman after all, and freshmen don’t get internships. The idea of getting an internship for the summer after my freshman year didn’t even cross my mind until I actually met an upperclassman who had gotten one his freshman year. At first it was just a small thought; I figured it would be a great experience to get an internship my freshman year, but I also thought it highly unfeasible. Then I met several more upperclassman who had gotten internships their freshmen years, and I started to think that maybe it was possible.

At that point, the idea really started to sink in. Rather than just a thought, it became a goal. I realized how unfeasible it was, but I was determined to at least try. That way, even if I failed, I would still have a much better idea of what I needed to do for next year. But I really didn’t know what to expect at the Expo, and had no idea how I should prepare. I decided that the best thing would be to go to one of the Expo preparation sessions, hoping that it would give me at least an idea of what to expect. Little did I realize just how helpful one of these sessions would be. They went over everything from what to expect from the recruiters, to how to format your resume, to what to wear, and everything in between. By the time the Expo came, I had gone to several of the different sessions and was feeling quite prepared. And then, after weeks of waiting and preparation, it was time for the Industry/Career Expo.

On the day of the Expo, I was feeling quite confident. My resume had been polished several times over, I had a nice suit that looked professional, I knew exactly who I wanted to talk to, and I had a general idea what to expect from them. I arrived at the ICI Center, walked in, and suddenly… lost all confidence. How could I honestly have thought that I could get an internship? I hadn’t built up my resume nearly enough to be competitive. I began walking around, eying out the different companies. Finally, I got up the courage to go up to one. Figuring that I was ready, I decided to go to one of the companies that I had researched before the Expo. I got in line and waited until it was finally my turn to talk to one of the recruiters. I walked up, shook his hand, handed him my resume, and got so nervous I couldn’t remember what I was going to say. I mumbled and stuttered every time he asked me a question and am fairly sure that my words were not completely coherent. It was a disaster.

I felt pretty unconfident after I finished talking to that first recruiter. I lost all hope of getting an internship. I was just too nervous to be able to accurately display myself to recruiters. So I decided to just go to various companies and practice talking with them. I went to several companies, but although I was slowly growing more used to talking to the recruiters, I was still nervous, and it was obvious. Soon it came time for me to leave for my first class, so I decided that I would visit one more booth before I left. I had noticed General Electric‘s booth earlier in the day and decided that I would talk to them. As I began walking to the booth, I started to think about some advice that a friend of mine had given me before the Expo. “Be yourself,” he said.  So I decided to go up and talk to the recruiter not as a recruiter, but as a friend…someone I knew. When I got to the booth, I walked up to the recruiter and just had a normal conversation with him. By treating him as a friend, I was able to dispel the nervousness. He asked me a few questions about my resume, and at the end, he pointed to the top of my resume where my phone number was, and asked, “Is this where we can reach you?”

Later that day, I got a phone call asking if I could come in for an interview the following afternoon. I, of course, accepted. That night, I did as much research on GE as I could in order to prepare for the interview. I wanted to know exactly what to expect. Going into the interview the next day, I was prepared with not only as much information as possible, but also the same mindset that I had when I had talked to the recruiter the previous day. Treating the interviewer as just another person that I can have a normal conversation with helped once again calm my nerves and allow me to accurately represent myself. The interview went well, and I left feeling quite confident. And about a week later, I got the e-mail offering me a summer internship with GE.

It is not impossible for a freshman to get an internship, as I can attest to. If you want one, you will be able to get one; you just need to put in the effort. Many freshmen feel that they don’t have enough experience to get an internship, but the truth of the matter is that companies that hire freshmen interns realize that they won’t have experience. What these companies are looking for is not a vast amount of experience, but passion…passion about what you do and about what they do. And they are also looking for people who can just be themselves. So when you talk to either a recruiter or interviewer, just be yourself, and show off all of your skills and talents. Find a way to weave in what you’re passionate about, in particular if it has to do with the job position. When all you have to go with is a resume, it’s a little more difficult, but the same concept applies. Get involved with clubs and activities that correspond to your major or your desired career. Not only will these things provide invaluable experience, if you are truly passionate about your major, they will also be enjoyable. And having them on your resume will show that passion.

Finally, one of the keys to getting an internship is being prepared. Do your research on whatever companies you may be interested in. And take advantage of Career Services and all that it offers. The sessions on what to expect at the Expo were invaluable to me; I doubt I would have gotten the internship had I not gone to them. They tell you exactly what to expect, and they give you many useful tips to help you get an interview. Make sure your resume has been polished several times over as well; a poorly formatted resume can give a bad impression to recruiters and may keep you from getting the opportunity to express yourself more fully through an interview. I encourage everyone, especially freshmen, to aim for an internship because as long as you are willing to put in the effort, there is nothing stopping you from obtaining one.

CareerSpots Video Highlight: Interview the Interviewer

Embry-Riddle Career Services wants you to review CareerSpots videos, a series of visual resources to help with your internship/job search and career development.

Typically during an interview, a candidate is given an opportunity to ask questions.  Use this time to solidify your insight into the position and company, to show your research and knowledge, to express genuine interest in the opening and more.  Always take advantage of the question, “Do you have any questions for us?

Review interview information on the Career Services website, including sample questions to ask during your interview.

WATCH Interview the Interviewer

Interview the Interviewer

CareerSpots Video Highlight: Behavioral Interviewing

Embry-Riddle Career Services wants you to review CareerSpots videos, a series of visual resources to help with your internship/job search and career development.

Behavioral-based interviewing is just one of the types of interviews you may encounter as you search for opportunities.  Behavioral interviewing allows an employer to hear, through concrete examples provided by you, how you handled things in the past to best determine how you might handle future situations.

Behavioral interviewing information, including sample questions, can be found on the Career Services website.

WATCH Behavioral Interviewing

behave

Dress Professionally for Interview Success

by Kristy Amburgey

You have researched the company with which you will be interviewing.  You Job-Interview-Dressing-for-Successhave practiced your answers to interview questions.  You have printed out your resume.  You have thank you cards for after the interview.  You are ready to conquer that interview!  But did you think about what you will wear during the interview process?  What you wear makes a distinct first impression, so you want to dress in the most professional and fitting attire for your interview situation.  For many of the career fields within aviation and aerospace, conservative attire is key.  For other career fields, you may find that less formal business dress is appropriate.

Suit

A business suit is the most appropriate attire for an interview.  For both men and women, a suit conveys authority, power and professionalism.  Suits should fit well and be altered or tailored as needed.  Ladies can wear either pant or skirt suits, but the skirt must hit at or below the knee.  Suit colors can vary, but the most conservative color palettes are navy, grey and soft black; dark colors are best when selecting a suit.

Shirt

The shirt you wear under your suit should also be subdued in color and fit.  Gentlemen should wear a long-sleeved, button down shirt.  Ladies can wear button down shirts as well; other choices include knit, rayon, silk or other smooth fabric shirts with a neckline appropriate for an office setting.  The recommended colors of the shirts are white, off white or light blue.  Other shirt colors can be considered, but it is best to be conservative in your choice.  Fit is just as important in a shirt as in a suit.  Ensure that the neckline, sleeves and length fit well and select shirts that do not pull or gap down the front.

Tie

Gentlemen should wear ties with their suits and long-sleeved shirts.  The tie should be in a restrained pattern or a solid that complements the colors of the shirt and suit.

Shoes and Socks/Stockings

Shoes are also an important piece of an interview outfit and can convey a distinct message about how you present yourself.  Always wear clean, polished, un-scuffed shoes that are for a professional work environment.  Gentlemen, wing-tips and lace-ups are common dress shoes and considered professional.  Ladies, closed-toe flats and heels are appropriate; keep the heel height to no more than two to three inches.  If wearing socks, the color should match your pants or shoes.  Ladies, it is recommended that you wear pantyhose when wearing a skirt suit.

Accessories

Gentlemen, a belt, braces, tie bar, cuff links, jewelry, a watch and other accessories can be appropriate.  Just limit the number of pieces you wear to avoid distracting the interviewers.  Ladies can also wear accessories like jewelry and a watch; ensure that the jewelry enhances your look without overwhelming you.

Grooming

Good hygiene and grooming are just as imperative as what you wear.  Pay attention to the small details that can make you look and feel ready for the interview. Ensure that your nails are clean and you are showered and fresh.  Ladies, get touch ups on any outgrown hair color or highlights and select hair styles that will prevent you from playing with strands during the interview.  Makeup should be muted but enhance your look, if you choose to wear it.  Gentlemen, trim facial hair if applicable and ensure your hair has been recently cut and is neat.

There are certain things to avoid when dressing for an interview.  Avoid wearing clothes that are too revealing or too ill-fitting.  Don’t wear pieces with stains, rips, missing buttons or other issues that convey you don’t care about your appearance.  Avoid strong colognes, perfumes and other smells that not everyone appreciates.  Fresh breath is always a benefit; avoid drinking strong beverages or smoking right before an interview.

For the ladies and gentlemen, there are some alternatives to interview dress.  Ladies, you can wear a dress and suit jacket combination.  Gentlemen, for certain industries, you can wear a pair of slacks with a navy blazer and button-down shirt with tie.  At times, certain career fields will find a pressed polo shirt and ironed khaki pants appropriate.

It is important to always research the industry, field and company to identify their standards for interview attire.  For an interview, it is best to dress above the standard of what your future employer would consider professional dress.

Please visit the Career Services Pinterest group and peruse the What to Wear – Men, What to Wear – Women and What Not to Wear – Men and Women boards for ideas on professional dress.

For both the Prescott, AZ  (October 3) and Daytona Beach, FL (October 9) Industry/Career Expos, professional dress is required.  Over the summer, plan your Expo event attire.

Kristy Amburgey is the Associate Director of Career Services – Daytona Beach campus and currently manages marketing and employer relations for the department.  She has been with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University for approximately 10 years and with Career Services for nine years.

Your Guide to a Job Search

by Kristy Amburgey

Jobs

Your job search begins as soon as you select a degree program to pursue, a new career path or an expanded role within your current realm of expertise.  Your job search should encompass a variety of activities, including research and preparation, self-evaluation, networking, etc. until you actually have a job in hand.  Even then, you should continue to grow your professional knowledge and connections to further your career until you reach your ultimate goal.

Identify Career Paths and Options

Any job search begins with an understanding of what you hope to do professionally in your life.   As you make decisions about your future, consider various career paths and options that match your personal and professional goals and personality.  Opportunities can range from positions directly related to your courses of study or not related to your degree but that use the skills you learned in college.   You can have one career path in mind, or you might be open to several different options.

Research Jobs and Companies of Interest

After you have determined the job type you want to pursue, you now want to find out the various job titles that encompass your career path, and you need to identify the companies that offer these roles.  In addition, you want to learn about the companies’ expectations, what the job requires of candidates (at a minimum) and what the job would entail, matching it to your preferences.  Be sure to get a realistic picture of who the company typically hires for your desired role and how both your background and your personality fit that job.  Make informed career decisions based on accurate research you have conducted.

Create a Targeted Company List

Any job search should be focused (avoid the “I will take anything” approach).  One way you can focus your search and help yourself down the road is to develop a targeted company list.  The list can be as long or as short as you want, but it should be focused on the companies that offer the job or an iteration of the job you want.  Your company list should evolve as you continue through school, find new companies and gain new interests; routinely monitor your list.  Don’t be afraid to go outside of your targeted companies to find opportunities, but you should do your due diligence on the company before applying to jobs.

 Prepare Job Search Documentation

Using your resume, cover letter and other documentation, your goal is to prove you can not only do the job but positively impact the company’s bottom line.  Focus your resume and cover letter on one job type at a time, customizing the resume using the job description as you apply for positions.  Ensure that each part of your resume is focused on showcasing your accomplishments by listing outcomes and results of your experiences (from work to academic to project).  Quantify your accomplishments as often as possible using dollar amounts, numbers and percentages.  Avoid using terminology (i.e. fluff) that gives employers no real useful information upon which to make a decision about you as a candidate.  As always, proper grammar, accurate information, consistency, clean formatting and ease of reading are all important factors in your job search documents.

Consider Additional Skills, Trainings and/or Certifications

Going back to the career path research you completed, you should have an understanding of what a company expects from their candidates.  If you are not sure, check out a variety of job descriptions or ask your professors or people in your network.  If you are missing a requirement, take the time to complete it before graduating, if possible.  If you must wait to obtain additional skills or trainings, have a timeline for when you hope to accomplish them.

Gain Relevant Experience and Skills

Relevant experience can come in a variety of forms, including co-op/internship positions, projects, research, job/summer jobs/part-time positions, on-campus clubs or organizations, volunteer work, conferences and professional organizations, to name a few.  Through any experience, you should work to further develop your leadership, communication, initiative, analysis and other skills that apply to any job type (also called transferable skills).

Maintain a List of Achievements and Accomplishments

In order to accurately communicate your accomplishments, you need to keep track of them.  Maintain a list of things you achieved in any academic, work, group or other experience.

Network

In reality, networking is an action that you began early in your life.  Now it is time to build your network into a more formal support system for your job search and professional growth.  You can build relationships in any number of ways, but you want to place yourself in situations where you can make a positive impression on a future employer or future advocate.  Brainstorm about ways you can connect with others; do not fall into the trap of assuming you know no one.  Your network may fall outside of the job type you are pursuing, but keep an open mind about building relationships with people from all professional backgrounds.

Apply for Positions

Approximately six months to one year before graduation, begin to apply for positions, especially for entry-level candidates.  Some career types are more likely to hire as needed, so you may need to wait closer until you are degree complete to pursue a job.   As you apply for positions, you must gain insight into how the company selects candidates to interview, always following directions.  Many companies use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), where the system scans your resume for key words before being viewed by a hiring manager.  In these cases, you must reverse engineer or integrate key words from the job description and your knowledge of the company into your resume and cover letter.  Another important reminder is to keep track of the positions for which you applied.

Interview

Interviewing skills need to be developed and practiced.  Prepare for an interview situation by researching the company, understanding the position, having stories to relay during the interview and giving evidence of how you can help solve the company’s problems.  Practice your interview skills by reviewing and answering sample questions, either with a partner or by planning out your answers.  Ensure you have questions to ask the employer and always put your most professional self forward, from your dress to how you present yourself.

Follow-up

After an interview, networking event or other activity where a person helps you, follow up.  A thank you note or email is appropriate, and a phone call or other act of kindness can be nice as well.  Avoid contacting a person too often as they will soon lose their desire to help you, or you may even lose out on the job after an interview if you are too persistent.

Understand the Salary Process

Once you are offered a job, you will also be extended a salary and benefits package.  Typically, you want to avoid talking about salary until you have been offered the job; only if a company requests the information should you provide an expected salary, preferably as a range.  Once you have been extended the job with salary, you can decide to accept, negotiate or decline the offer.  Understand that factors such as your negotiation strategies, your worth, the cost of living, the company’s salary standards and more impact your offer.  Ensure you understand what you bring to the negotiation table if you decide to ask for more money or benefits and always thoroughly research the typical salary ranges for your industry, for the company and for your job type.

And Network More

Networking should be an ongoing activity in any professional career.  Never stop meeting new people and growing current relationships.  Most employers prefer to hire someone who has been recommended to them, so make sure you continue to place yourself in a position to be the recommended candidate.

A job search is a personal journey, but there are some common steps that you should take to put yourself in the best situation for job search success.

Kristy Amburgey is the Associate Director of Career Services – Daytona Beach campus and currently manages marketing and employer relations for the department.  She has been with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University for approximately 10 years and with Career Services for nine years.

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