Category Archives: Grooming

Dress for Success for Less

DC BAC Dress for Sucess flyer


Want to see what to wear and what not to wear?  Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina’s Davidson County Business Advisory Council will be hosting “Dress for Success for Less” on Wednesday, April, 2nd from 11:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M.  This event includes a fashion show to make the public aware of the type of attire most suitable for job interviews and work settings, as well as the availability of the items at Goodwill stores.

In addition, employers and community partners will be on site to advise those in attendance how to navigate a job search and a successful job interview based on a set of criteria.  Corporate representatives scheduled to participate include:

•      Atrium

•      Temporary Resources

•      Lowes Hardware

•      The ARC of Davidson County

•      Carolina House

•      Goodwill Retail Store

•      Manpower Staffing, and

•      Lexington Parks & Recreation

A light lunch will be served, and door prizes awarded.  The event is free and open to the public.

For more information call Rhonda Wagner at (336) 236-8020.

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Hey Guys, Here’s how to go about wearing a suit


If you don’t wear suits all the time, knowing all the little style rules you need to follow is a daunting task. Many of them are unspoken, and you’re only clued into them if you’re an expert, so we took some time to round up the most important suit rules and put them in a simple, condensed cheat sheet that you can easily refer to whenever you find yourself neck-deep in a three-piece.


♦ Your belt should be fairly thin and the same color as your shoes
♦ Your tie should always be darker than your dress shirt
♦ Your tie bar should never be wider than your tie
♦ Never fasten the bottom button of a double-breasted jacket (unless it has only a single row of buttons)
♦ If you’re wearing a vest, always keep the bottom button unbuttoned
♦ Always unbutton your suit before sitting down, or you risk ruining it
♦ Save yourself some embarrassment: Always remove the stitching on the vents and the label on the left sleeve before wearing a new suit


♦ The width of the tie should match the width of the lapel
♦ Your tie should just reach the waistband of your trousers, or be slightly shorter
♦ The suit jacket should be just long enough to cover your pants zipper and butt
♦ The top button of a two-button (or the middle button of a three-button) should fall at or above the navel
♦ Sleeve cuffs should be exposed about half an inch
♦ Make sure that your socks are long enough that there’s no exposed leg when sitting down
♦ You should match your shoes to the color of your suit using this guide


♦ A pocket square adds an extra level of polish, but make sure it doesn’t match your tie in either pattern or fabric choice
♦ In general, thin lapels are more modern, whereas wide lapels are more old-school
♦ Opt for a charcoal or gray suit over black, unless you’re attending a funeral
♦ For a more fashion-forward look, the pant hem should hit right at the top of your shoe
♦ When you go without a tie, it’s best to keep your shirt collar on the smaller side
♦ Double vents in the back are more modern and fashionable
♦ Avoid over-accessorizing. If you’re already wearing a pocket square and a tie bar, you’ll want to reconsider that clever lapel pin.


♦ Choose fabric according to how often you’ll wear the suit. The most versatile option is a soft but durable wool like super 120 (a measure of yarn fineness; any higher is too delicate for daily use)
♦ When buying an off-the-rack suit, the number one thing to check is how the shoulders fit
♦ A collar gap between your jacket’s lapels and your shirt’s collar can signify an ill-fitting jacket
♦ If you’re going for more formal business attire, opt for a double-button, notched lapel jacket
♦ For a more casual, trendy look, opt for a single-button peak-lapel jacket
♦ You should be able to slip your hand between your chest and your buttoned jacket such that it feels snug, but with room to move
♦ Visible stitches around the edges of your lapels (called pick-stitching) aren’t necessarily a sign of a well-made garment anymore. However, they can be an attractive decorative flourish—as long as they’re subtle. No contrast stitching!

cross posted from The Manual

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Should Be Common Sense, but…10 Job Interview Dress Code Faux Pas

Did you know that showing up to a job interview with a questionable outfit can be enough to cost you the job? It doesn’t seem fair, but the truth of the matter is employers really do care that you show up to their office dressed appropriately.

When you think of inappropriate interview dress codes, the first things that come to mind are walking into the office wearing cut-up jeans, a tee-shirt, and a baseball cap. While these clothes are obviously wildly inappropriate for an interview, you can also make a bad impression simply by mismatching outfits. With that in mind, here are the top 10 things you should never wear to a job interview:

  • Should you decide to wear a tie, make sure that it is silk and no less than a quarter inches wide with patterns and colors that are not distracting. In other words, leave you “Garfield” tie at home.
  • Have nose or other facial piercings? Take them out before you head in for your interview.
  • Along the same lines, cover up any tattoos you have.
  • Sneakers, stilettos, open-toed shoes, or sandals.
  • Strong aftershaves, perfumes, or colognes should be avoided. The hiring manager might not like the smell or, even worse, could be allergic to it.
  • Heavy make-up.
  • Women: Avoid fishnet stockings, patterned hosiery, or bare legs.
  • Overly bright or large-patterned clothing.
  • Rumpled or stained clothing.
  • Suits that still have price tags on them.

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What You Wish You’d Known Before Your Job Interview – INFOGRAPHIC

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10 Ways to Get a Better Job

So your job is a drag. You could resign yourself to a life of dull (or even miserable) days in the office or you could set aside some time and get a better job. Here are ten great tips to help you put together a great application, ace the interview, and ultimately work for a company you’ll love rather than hate.

10. Put Together a Resume That’s Actually Compelling

While I’m no fan of the resume—as they’re often documents skimmed rather than read—they’re still requested by the majority of jobs you’ll come across. You don’t want to reinvent the wheel, but a little creativity can set you apart and help you stand out from the pool. Online tools can be of great help when it comes to creating something a little less ordinary. can create an attractive infographic. Sites like and Zerply help you create professional landing pages that can serve as digital resumes. and can be tailored to do the same. Use the tool that suits you best and make sure your page or resume stands out. Often times it is just as simple as choosing the right font and color. It doesn’t take much to make a resume look nice, so put in that little additional effort to keep yours from ending up in the generic pile.

9. Ensure Your Resume Isn’t Filled with Common Words and Redundant Phrasing

When writing your resume, you don’t want to use the sort of language that’ll make you sound like everyone else. That means avoiding overused terms (e.g motivated, innovative, dynamic) and cliche phrases (e.g. detail oriented, team player, excellent communication skills). Also, terms like “references available upon request” are implied statements, waste space, and do not need to be on your resume. It helps to read your resume from bottom to top to help catch errors, and when you’re done you can run it through RezScore to find out where you can still improve.

8. Search Unconventional and Career-Specific Job Sites

If you don’t know where you want to work you’re obviously going to have to search for some options., but you’ll be looking for a needle in a haystack if you go to popular sites like and Craigslist. That isn’t to say they won’t have a great job here and there, but you’ll find yourself wading through a lot of undesirable positions just to find the ones you want. Instead of going the traditional route, try an unconventional job site like, which sends opportunities to your email inbox every day. SimplyHired is a seemingly standard job search, but it aggregates listings directly from company web sites and other locations so you’re not just pulling directly from one big pool. TweetMyJobs will handle the searching for you. Just tell it what kind of job you want and it’ll text, tweet, and email options to you as they’re discovered. Even if you’re several years out of college, you may also want to look at any job listings provided to alumni. Even if overqualified for the jobs being offered, you’ll learn about companies that are friendly to graduates of your school. You can look on the company’s site for more suitable positions and apply for those.

Alternatively, you can focus on sites that target the specific kind of job you want. For example, is a good option for tech-related jobs and Authentic Jobs is a great option for designers and developers. Conduct a web search for the type of job you’re looking for and the term “job search site” and you may find a tool that’s more focused on your specific needs.

7. Find a Better Job by Searching for a Great Company Rather Than a Position

Getting a great job isn’t just about doing something you enjoy, but also about working in a good environment. That means you want to seek out companies who have a reputation for treating their employees well. You don’t have to apply to Google or Zappos—companies well-known for their great benefits—but just seek out companies that interest you and do a little research. All you have to do is call them up and talk to pretty much anybody. Just tell them this: “I’m thinking about applying for a job at your company but I wanted to know what it’s like to work there. Would you mind telling me how you like it?” Most people will be happy to share their opinion, and if they’re busy you can always schedule a call later. If the company sounds good, you’ve likely just made a friend who you can call back when you’re ready to apply and get some additional help. It’s a double win. In the event this doesn’t work as planned, however, Glassdoor is an online resource that can help you learn about a specific company from people who definitely want to share.

6. Learn to Make Even Your Irrelevant Experience Seem Relevant

I’ve never gotten a job because my previous work experience was particularly relevant, but rather because I learned how to spin my past experience to make it seem relevant. This doesn’t mean I lied, but instead concentrated on tasks in previous positions that were applicable to the job I wanted to get. If your current job is much different from the one you want, think about anything and everything you’ve done at your current job that’s out of the ordinary. Often times you’ll find examples of things that relate to the job you want because you were always excited to do that kind of work if it presented itself where you are now. If not, you can always start creating relevant experience now so you can use it when you’re on your interview. For example, if you work in a non-creative field but want to become a designer you would have plenty of opportunities. If you make lots of graphs and flow charts, finds ways to make them more attractive. If your company is having an outing, ask to design the flyer. When I worked in customer support, I used to create posters about inside jokes in the office or images based on funny things customers said. Sometimes I’d show these at interviews if I needed to demonstrate my Photoshop skills. As silly as that sounds, it not only demonstrated my capabilities but also showed how close I was with my team. When you put yourself into you work, you’ll find that your seemingly irrelevant experience can easily be tailored to most of the jobs you’ll apply for. You may have to start lower than you’d like, but if you work hard you’ll work your way up pretty quickly.

5. Dress Well for the Interview

Dressing for the interview doesn’t necessarily mean putting on crisply-ironed formalwear. Depending on the company, they may prefer you came in your everyday attire or just wore something that shows you can look nice without overdoing it. If you’re not sure what you should wear to an interview, just call the company and ask to speak with the human resources department. Let them know you’re coming in for an interview and that you want to know the expected dress code. In most cases, they’ll be happy to help you out. If you have to go in uninformed, however, business casual is generally a good bet. While nobody really knows what business casual actually is, you’ll generally be safe in a nice pair of pants and a button down shirt or sweater. Your goal is really to show that you’re capable of grooming yourself and looking presentable. If your clothing fits, is well-ironed, and isn’t something you’d wear around the house you’re probably in good shape. For some extra assistance, the Dress Code Guide can help you figure out the proper attire.

4. Learn to Read Body Language for a More Successful Interview

Learning to read body language is helpful in a lot of situations, but understanding the cues you send out and reading cues from others can be immensely helpful in a job interview. It’s especially important that you come of as pleasant and charming right off the bat because many decisions are made on the basis of a first impression. The most important thing is to avoid negative body language. For the most part you just want to avoid nervous ticks like touching your face and letting your leg become restless. You also don’t want to slouch or sit to rigidly. Basically, your goal is to appear comfortable but professional. If you can do that, you’ll be in good shape.

3. Know How to Give Great Answers to Common Job Interview Questions

What’s your greatest weakness? It’s an obnoxious question but you’ll hear it on the majority of job interviews in your life, and there are many others where it came from. (There’s plenty of debate on how to answer this question. I’ve always found the best strategy is to pick a skill you are actually bad at that sounds relevant to the job but really isn’t. Then you come across as honest but your weakness won’t hurt you.) You have to answer the questions if you want to get the job, so there are two things you want to do: understand the motivation behind the questions and prepare your answers in advance. Understanding the motivation is generally as simple as putting yourself in the company’s shoes. Why would they want to know your greatest weakness? Probably more to know how you respond to a question that asks you to be vulnerable than to actually find out where you can improve. They may also ask because they want to know if you can realistically gauge your abilities accurately. Once you consider the motivation behind these common questions it’ll be easier to tailor the answers you want to give. You don’t want to script them out and memorize them in advance, of course, but developing a list of sound bites can help you go in prepared while still being able to provide natural responses.

2. Ask for a Signing Bonus

Congratulations, you got the job! But you might be throwing away an extra month’s salary if you don’t ask for a signing bonus before accepting the position. If apply for a competitive job, chances are the company will really want to hire you if you’re chosen and they may be willing to pay you a little bit extra to get you on board. All you have to do is ask if they offer a bonus. You’re not demanding one, but simply asking the question. Whether you’re considering other options or not, asking this question will make it seem that way and they’ll be more inclined to offer you that bonus if they really want you. If they can’t, they’ll tell you no and there’s likely no harm done. It’s one of those low-risk questions that can often yield a high reward.

1. Leave Your Current Job Without Burning Any Bridges

If you hate your current job, it can be tempting to let everyone know it when you leave. As cathartic as that may seem, it’ll cause you trouble down the line. You want to leave your current company on good terms. You never know when you may encounter a coworker again or need to call that company for information or a favor. Burning bridges simply isn’t in your best interest. If you hate your job so much that you’re afraid of saying the wrong thing, however, you can reference these sample resignation letters and read tips on how to resign gracefully. Before you quit for real, run your plan by a friend or two to gauge their reaction. It always helps to have a few outside opinions to help ensure you don’t make a mistake you’ll regret.


Original post found here

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Find a Job by Sharpening Your Soft Skills

Many qualified workers find themselves competing for a small number of jobs as the economy continues its slow recovery. In the wake of the recession, how will you stand out amongst the crowd of people applying for your job of choice?

Demonstrating your soft skills – your positive attitude, flexibility and ability to interact with other people – can help give you an edge when looking for a job. Potential employers want to see that you not only have the skills and knowledge to perform the technical requirements of the position, but also that you will be an energetic and motivated team player.

Soft Skills that Lead to Job Success

Ready to give yourself an edge in the employment hunt? Employers are looking for individuals who can demonstrate the following skills:

    • Teamwork and collaboration skills: While your job is unique to you, don’t forget that you’re also part of a larger team. Close relationships with coworkers can improve productivity and morale. Make sure that the workload is being shared and avoid unnecessary conflict whenever possible.


    • Enthusiasm: Showing excitement about your job shouldn’t end once you’ve aced the interviewed and landed the position. Demonstrate initiative and show your passion for your job by pursuing new and challenging work. Perform tasks before being asked and volunteer to take on additional responsibilities when possible.


    • Oral and written communication skills: Ideal employees know how and when to share their ideas and concerns with their supervisor. Instead of complaining about a stressful situation, explain what is happening and offer suggestions on how you could do your job more efficiently. And don’t forget to listen – employers report entry-level candidates often struggle with listening carefully. Ask questions and take notes to ensure you understand what is being said.


  • Professionalism: When you went on your interview, you made sure that you dressed to impress and were on your best behavior. Carry that attitude into your work life by wearing the appropriate attire for your work setting, arriving on time, turning off your cell phone and speaking in a respectful manner with everyone with whom you interact.

Learn more about improving your soft skills by checking out AOL’s “Top 10 Soft Skills for Job Seekers” and the DOL’s report, “Soft Skills: The Competitive Edge.”


By Jenni Baker
GII Sr. Communications Specialist

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There Is No Such Thing As Being Overdressed For An Interview!

It is imperative that one dress appropriately for a job interview.   First impressions can last a lifetime so making the right one can make all the difference in how a future employer perceives your  attitude and work ethic.  If one takes the time to properly groom and dress, then it should be inferred that their time spent on the job will also be spent diligently.

What to wear for men:

-Suit (solid color – navy or dark gray)

-Long sleeve shirt (white or coordinated with the suit)


-Tie without bold designs or loud colors

-Dark socks

-Conservative leather shoes

-Little or no jewelry

-Neat, professional hairstyle

-Limited aftershave

-Neatly trimmed nails

-Fresh Breath

-Portfolio or briefcase

What to wear for women:

-Suit (navy, black or dark grey) – The suit skirt should be long enough so you can sit down comfortably

-Coordinated blouse

-Conservative shoes

-Limited jewelry (no dangling earrings or arms full of bracelets) – No jewelry is better than cheap jewelry

-Professional hairstyle

-Neutral pantyhose

-Light make-up and perfume

-Neatly manicured clean nails

-Fresh Breath

-Portfolio or briefcase

Things to avoid During an Interview

(you would be amazed at how often interviewees arrive for an interview with the following items):

Revealing Clothing, Too Much Jewelry,  Flip Flops or Sneakers, Visible Underwear, baggy clothes, Poor Footwear, Hats, anything Denim, Stained Clothing, Excessive Jewelry (no nose, tongue, or eyebrow rings), Baggy Pants w/out a belt to hold in place at WAISTLINE, Midriff, Mesh, Halter, Tank Tops, or Spaghetti Straps, Remnants of a Late Night Out, Graphic T-Shirts and cover large or offensive tattoos.  Do not bring in portable electronics (ipods), turn your cell phone off, do not chew gum or suck on a mint, do not carry large bags or backpacks into the interview.

Dressing for success is crucial to landing a job.  Even if the job you are interviewing for requires a uniform or casual clothing, be sure to dress your best and follow the above guidelines.  There is no such thing as being overdressed for a job interview!

Fredrina Pinkney

Employment Retention Specialist

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