Tag Archives: professional

Tidy Up Your Work Wardrobe

Pile of clothes_blog1When spring arrives, the urge to purge unwanted clutter hits, and homes everywhere get a thorough dose of spring cleaning. Though we may organize and clean out our closets, tossing a few pieces of clothing out along the way, we sometimes keep outdated, ill-fitting work clothes, or just add more to our wardrobes without assessing what looks sharp and professional.

Before purchasing new clothes or wearing outdated looks, try these simple tips to tidy up your work wardrobe without spending much money.

Minimize What You Have
Most people have too many items in their closets that they don’t wear, don’t feel comfortable in, or don’t even remember having.

Take an afternoon to go through every piece of clothing and purge what you haven’t worn in a year. Consider donating those pieces to charity, especially charities that help individuals who may need a little extra help when searching for jobs.

Keep only those pieces you feel good wearing and identify which cuts and colors of clothes compliment your skin tone and body type.

When you’re finished tidying up your work wardrobe, clean the clothes you have left, and iron them so they are sharp and ready to impress.

Add Color
Adding color to business suits and dresses can make old outfits seem brand new, and help you avoid wardrobe monotony.

Identify which colors work for you, and choose simple pieces like a nice button-down shirt, a tie, or an undershirt to pop with color. Women can use accessories like purses, shoes, and jewelry to brighten up the classic black suit or dress.

Hot colors for men and women in 2016, according to InStyle.com, are rose, buttercup, fiesta red, and blue.

Don’t Do Trendy
Trends in work fashion may be cute and exciting, but they do not last and you could end up spending too much money on clothing that will be out of style before the end of the year. Stick with classic cuts, traditional suits, and basic skirts for your wardrobe foundation.

Invest in Quality Pieces
Quality over quantity is the name of the game for a sharp work wardrobe. You can make your clothing budget go further by investing in quality clothing, especially staple pieces like dress pants, blazers, suits, or black skirts.

Invest in a pair of shoes that can last for years. Find a suit that goes with most things in your closet. Buy quality clothes that promise not only fashion, but long-term comfort as well.

By investing in a few key pieces, you’ll avoid having to replace them yearly and will not have to worry about the look going out of style.

When in Doubt, Accessorize
Don’t underestimate the power of a colorful scarf, statement jewelry, or different handbag to transform an ensemble with the smallest of effort. Oversized necklaces and bracelets add a pop of style to a work outfit, and most of these accessories can be found on sales racks or in clearance bins.

For guys looking to accessorize, try experimenting with colorful ties, fun socks, or a bright-colored shirt. Adding these little touches freshens up stale fashions by transforming an old look into a new one.

How do you tidy up your work wardrobe? Share your best tips with us in the comments section below.

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

How To Tie a Simple Knot

windsor_knotLooking professional both in interviews and on the job is an important element of your professional life. To help add a professional look to your wardrobe, we want to share easy how-to instructions for wearing common tie knots.

Recently, we shared instructions for completing the Windsor knotKelvin knot, and bow tie. This month, check out how to tie a Simple knot below.

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Step One: Start with the wide end of the tie on your right side and the narrow end on your left.

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Step Two: Cross the wide end over the narrow end.

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Step Three: Bring the wide end under the narrow end.

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Step Four: Cross the wide end over the narrow end again.

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Step Five: Bring the wide end through the loop you’ve created.

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Step Six: Pull the wide end through.

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Step Seven: Making sure the wide end is on top, begin to straighten out the tie.

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Step Eight: Before you head out the door, check out your new tie in the mirror and make sure it’s ready to go!

Were you able to conquer the Simple knot? Share these how-to instructions with friends or on social media by sending them this article or by using the image below. Keep watching Movin’ On Up for more tie tricks!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

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Make a Cool Impression at Your Summer Job

cool_impression_summer_job_webEvery summer, many students look for temporary work while they take a break from school. Summer jobs are a great way to make money, meet new people, and enhance your resume. They’re also an important stepping stone in your career path, whether the job you choose is part of your overall career goals or not. According to Nicole Williams, a business owner in New York City, “You want to impress your boss. You want to do everything in your power to make this job a great opportunity for you.”

So, how do you impress your boss and make sure your summer job leads to bigger and better opportunities? Check out the tips below to stand out from the competition this summer.

Adjust your routine.
Staying healthy and rested makes you a better employee. Instead of staying up late or spending hours watching television before the lights go out, create a bedtime routine that will allow you to get the sleep you need for better job performance. If you like to unwind before bed, consider reading a book instead of spending time in front of the screen. According to Reuters, using a technological device before bed dramatically increases the likelihood that you’ll need more than 60 minutes to fall asleep. Getting better sleep can make you less drowsy, which in turn can up your creativity and efficiency. Plus, walking in the door on time or a few minutes early helps show your boss that you take the job seriously.

Go above and beyond.
While your current role may be perfect for you, if you have plans to move up in the company, you may want to consider taking on additional projects to show your initiative. According to career author Dan Schawbel, “If all you do is what is listed in your job description, it’s impossible to get ahead.” So, keep an open mind when you’re asked to take on additional projects or roles and see if your can-do attitude helps you get noticed.

Learn from your mistakes.
It’s impossible to be perfect all the time. Once you accept this fact, you can learn to embrace any mistakes or failures you experience on the job. If you receive a performance review or other feedback that is less than perfect, try to recognize the constructive criticism as a way to improve. Look for the lessons in your mistakes and use them as a chance to grow both personally and professionally. “If you aren’t afraid to learn, then you’re going to be in a position for more success in your second, third, and fourth jobs,” Williams said.

Network, network, network.
We talk a lot about networking on this blog, and for good reason. Networking is an important way to connect with people who can help you land a job, find a new opportunity, or expand your list of references. Even if you only plan to work at your summer job for a few months, you can use the opportunity to meet as many people as possible. You never know what connections they may have or how they can help you with your future career goals.

Pay attention to your wardrobe.
If your summer job requires a professional wardrobe, don’t skimp on quality. Looking professional is important in the workplace and can make a positive impression on your boss, co-workers, and customers. Luckily, there are cost-effective ways to achieve a professional look. Check out clearance sections at department stores, or consider looking at local second-hand stores for professional attire without breaking the bank. If your job requires a uniform, always keep yours clean, ironed if necessary, and professional. Showing up to the job with a uniform that isn’t up to par can make you seem uninterested or unmotivated–two qualities you don’t want a potential reference to mention with your name.

Whether your summer job is part of your career path or just a way to work while taking a break from classes, your workplace performance matters. Make connections, learn new skills, and use learning opportunities as a chance to grow and be better prepared for your next job.

How do you plan to make a great impression at your summer job? Let us know in the comments section below!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

Moving On After a Job Break Up

movin_on_after_job_breakup_webGetting fired, laid off, or quitting a job can be a very rough time. If this happens to you, chances are you’ll be faced with some negative emotions and anxiety about your future. Starting a new job search while you’re under so much stress can be difficult, but there are steps you can take to lessen the blow. Check out these tips to help you move on after a job break up.

Give yourself time to let it sink in.
Often, leaving a job comes with negative emotions. These emotions are normal, but you can’t bounce back and find a new job if you’re still focusing on negative thoughts and memories. You need to be positive and enthusiastic about new opportunities in order to land your next job, so make sure you allow yourself time to work through the feelings that come with being let go. Go for a walk, take up a new hobby, or lean on family or friends to help you cope before you take the next step.

Learn from your mistakes.
If you were let go from a job because of something you did – or didn’t do – take some time to think about what went wrong and how you can stop it from happening again. Try to find lessons you can learn from the situation. If you were let go because of company problems, like financial troubles or a change in management, those lessons can be harder to find. But, there are always things you can do to improve your future employability. Remember to think of the positives this change may bring. Perhaps now you can explore a new career path, reassess your strengths and weaknesses, go back to school, or find a company that will allow you to move up in your career.

Start planning.
Starting a new job search can be intimidating, and you may not be sure where to begin. According to Amy Shouse from LearnVest, a financial planning company, start by writing down every place you’d like to work. Regardless of where these companies are located or if you have the education or experience to work there, put them on your list of dream jobs. Then, do at least five things every day that will work toward landing one of those dream jobs. Research companies, make calls, submit applications, and find places to network.

Be ready to talk about the job in interviews.
Although it’s not always easy to talk about former employers, you need to be prepared when an interviewer asks the inevitable question: “Why did you leave your last job?” Remember to avoid badmouthing your previous boss, always remain honest and open with your answer, and try to show your strengths to the interviewer. For more tips on answering this question, check out this Movin’ On Up article.

Remain professional.
Regardless of why you are leaving the company, remember to exit gracefully. Since networking and references are an important part of the workplace, you don’t want to burn any bridges you may need down the road. And don’t broadcast your feelings on social media either. While it may be tempting to let your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn friends know how upset you are, it’s best to avoid saying anything negative about your previous job. These social accounts are easily searchable by potential employers, and you don’t want to air any dirty laundry that could prevent you from landing an interview. If you have to get all of your negative emotions out, rely on a friend you can trust instead of social media.

Consider volunteering.
Looking for your next job may take longer than you expected. Since you don’t want long gaps on your resume that show you were out of work, consider volunteering to an organization in your community during your job search. In addition to giving back and feeling good about your part in the community, volunteering also offers many benefits to your job search. When you volunteer, you have the opportunity to network and meet new people, learn new skills, and gain experience to add to your resume.

Although moving on from a job break up can be tough, it doesn’t have to be. How have you bounced back from losing a job? Let us know in the comments section below!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

Keep Your Cool: Job Interview Prep Guide

keep_your_cool_webYou’ve scored the big job interview you’ve been waiting for, and now all you have to do is ace all those questions, make a good impression, wow the hiring managers, and keep your cool. No pressure.

Okay, let’s be real. While getting a job interview is good news, it can also be a stressful time. You’re worried you’ll mess it up. The questions might throw you for a loop. You might end up looking like you aren’t a good fit for the job.

Everyone has those fears from time to time, but with a few tips and tricks, you can alleviate those doubts and lessen the stress of going to a job interview.

When Preparation and Opportunity Meet
Great preparation prevents poor performance. Lessen your stress by analyzing the job posting and description. Be clear in your own mind about what the company wants in a potential employee. Make a list of which skills and qualities you have that match the job description.

Why is this important? Preparing beforehand ensures that you’ll be able to discuss your skills confidently, and it also reminds you that you’re a pretty impressive candidate.

Assimilate Your Assets
While you’re at it, create a list of 10 assets and qualities you have that could benefit the company. Include certifications, computer skills, professional accomplishments, and unique abilities. Making this list again reminds you why you’re pretty awesome, but it also helps you prepare to discuss those skills during an interview.

You’ll be ready to answer specific job questions with confidence and flair.

Reconnaissance
Like a spy, gather as much information as you can about the company before the interview. Look to your professional network to see if someone knows a little more about the business and can give you a competitive edge over the other candidates.

Being able to confidently discuss the company shows you are prepared, thorough, and engaged.

Practice Makes Perfect
Take some time to practice common interview questions. When you practice interviewing with a friend or family member, the actual interview becomes a little easier. Think about each question and how you will respond before you even get to the interview.

Practicing a job interview helps calm your nerves and prepares you for tough questions so you aren’t left scrambling and fumbling for a response during the real interview.

Dress It Up
The night before your big interview, pick out what you’ll wear. Put on the outfit and then lay out the clothes so they are readily available. By doing this, you won’t be rushing around trying to find the right clothes and stressing out about how you look. You want to be well groomed and professional in order to project a positive image to the employer, so make sure your clothes are clean and ironed before the big day. Now that you’re looking ready for the interview, your stress level should be decreasing.

Early Bird Gets the Worm
Whatever you do, don’t be late! Be sure to leave early enough for your interview to account for unexpected delays like traffic or construction. Hurrying and worrying about being late can cause your stress level to skyrocket, so be sure to look up the directions to the office and give yourself an extra 30 minutes to get there.

Now, you can relax and practice your interview answers on the way!

Do Your Best
Right before you walk into your interview, take a few deep calming breaths. Smile, pull your shoulders back, and give a confident handshake. You’ve researched, you’ve practiced, you look great, and you arrived on time – you have this in the bag! Be honest, open, engaging, and bright.

By preparing ahead of time and taking these steps, you’ll reduce the stress associated with interviewing. Now, all you need to do is show the interviewer why you’re the best person for the job.

Do you have any tips and tricks for not stressing out before a job interview? Share your best tips in the comments section below!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

5 Tips to Communicate with Hiring Managers

communicate_with_hiring_managersSome job seekers think a top-notch resume is everything they need to seal the deal on a new career opportunity. It’s definitely part of the process, serving as your go to tool to help get your foot in the door at a company and hopefully land an interview with a hiring manager. But, once you land the interview, the real pressure begins. An interview usually means that you’re a top candidate for a job but are still in competition with a few other equally qualified individuals.

So, how do you become the standout applicant who gets the offer? Here are a few top tips on what hiring managers are looking for and how to communicate with them to increase your chances for success.

1. Be professional.
From your very first email or phone call with a hiring manager to the end of your interview process, you are being observed for your professionalism. In all communication, respond in a timely manner, check your spelling on emails, and keep your tone kind and business focused rather than personal. Once you have been asked to come in for an interview, brush up beforehand on your business etiquette tips and ways to dress to impress. Remember to arrive 10 minutes early with extra copies of your resume and a notepad in hand. Your goal should be to make a great first impression and then continue impressing those you meet.

2. Be genuine and show your personality.
Hiring managers are going to work with you if you get the job and are also going to be held responsible for hiring you, too. So they want to make sure you’re a good fit for the company’s culture and the team you’d be working with. Being in competition with other applicants who are also trying to make a great impression, you need to show the hiring manager why you’re the best fit. Connect with their personality during the interview and the odds will be more in your favor.

3. Know your motivations.
A hiring manager is curious about your motivations. Why are you looking for a new job? Why are you applying for this job? Why do you want to work for this company? What are your biggest career motivators? Be ready to speak to these questions honestly, positively, and professionally. A hiring manager will also check to make sure what you say matches up with the research they’ve done on you and what your references say about you.

4. Do your homework.
The interviewer wants to test your knowledge about the company and the job you’re interested in. You should be prepared to talk about what they do, know how long the company has been in business, if there are multiple locations, and what types of programs they offer. You’ll also want to be ready to explain how your skills fit the position and duties of the job. Do your homework in advance and know why you’re the best candidate for the company.

5. Follow-up after your interview.
If you really want the job you applied for, don’t forget to send a thank you to the hiring manager. They took time out of their day to meet with you, so the least you can do is thank them. Although it’s great to write a thank you and mail it, that takes a little time. A nice email sent a few hours after your interview will accomplish the same objective of letting them know you appreciate the time they took to interview you.

Share some key points you learned about the position and the organization, re-emphasize why your abilities are a great fit, and communicate your excitement about potentially joining the team. Hiring managers are waiting for this information to see if you’re seriously interested.

Hiring managers want what’s best for their company so keep these tips in mind and you’ll be well prepared to ace the interview.

Do you have any other advice on how to communicate with hiring managers? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

How To Tie a Windsor Knot

windsor_knotLooking professional both in interviews and on the job is an important element of your career life. To help you add a professional look to your wardrobe, we want to share easy how-to instructions for wearing common tie knots. In the first of our series, check out how to tie the Windsor knot below.

 

 

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Step One: Start with the wide end of your necktie on the right. The wide end should extend a few inches below the narrow end.

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Step Two: Cross the wide end over the narrow end.

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Steps Three and Four: Bring the wide end through the loop created between your collar and tie.

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Step Five: Pull the wide end back down.

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Step Six: Pull the wide end underneath the narrow end. Pull to the right.

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Step Seven: Then bring the wide end back to the left.

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Step Eight: Pull the wide end through the loop again.

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Step Nine: Pull the wide end all the way up through the loop.

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Step 10: Then, pull the wide end down through the knot in the front of the tie.

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Step 11: Using both hands, tighten the knot.

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Step 12: Carefully draw the knot up closer to your collar.

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Step 13: Give the finished product a look over before you head out the door.

Were you able to conquer the Windsor knot? Share these how-to instructions with friends or on social media by sending them this article or by using the image below. And, keep watching Movin’ On Up for more tie tricks!

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Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.