During your job search, you want to stand out and be memorable, but do so with good judgment.
Seattle’s employers enjoy a reputation of having a pretty relaxed dress code, particularly in the summer. (See www.SeattleJobs.com article: tiny.cc/khs1w).
So if you have an upcoming job interview, congratulations on moving up the ladder from “applicant” to “candidate”.
A word of caution: don’t let Seattle’s sunlight and casual style go to your head; since you are not hired yet and you are on stage, it is important to display good clothing judgment.
An unfortunate story: A recruiter working for an old, conservative, low-tech unionized metal-cutting company had a successful phone interview an entry-level engineering applicant. The position for which he was interviewing required significant face-time on the floor with seasoned machinists. While waiting for the candidate’s arrival for a day-long round of interviews, he recalled that one of the primary reasons he went to the expense of flying the candidate in was because he was impressed by the judgment and maturity of his answers.
The moment he saw how the candidate was dressed (shiny black jacket cut in the Zoot Suit style popular in the 1940’s, white pants, crisp black dress shirt, white necktie, red, white and blue socks and red patent leather shoes) he reversed his opinion and immediately knew he would not hire him.
On one hand, the preliminary phone screen showed the candidate to be articulate, personable, and possessed of the basic educational skills to do the entry-level job.
On the other hand, what his attire said about his judgment and awareness of the factory’s environment and culture, was fatal.
Five interviews later, he was history. Articulate, well-educated, and absolutely no critical judgment.
What’s the nugget? Be memorable, but for the right reasons.
~~~ If recruiters are not calling you for interviews, chances are it is because you using a generic cover letter and résumé to apply for specific opportunities. To make yourself memorable and to stand out, like a meatball stands out on a plate of spaghetti, customize both your résumé and cover letter to the requirements of each position for which you apply.
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