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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : special coverage : projects May 24, 2016

3/22/2013 8:05:00 AM
First impressions: How to dress for success
By Andrea Harless
Business Service Representative Business Assistance Center

This year’s Job Fair on April 3rd, can be your chance to find that new job or career you’ve been searching for if you’re willing to put forth the effort. Dressing appropriately plays a key role in determining whether or not employers are going to consider you for a position with their company.

Many attendees may be competing with you for the same position, which is why it is important for you to take this event seriously.

This is your opportunity to make a great first impression on a potential employer. Dressing appropriately is a very important part of this. If you’re wondering what to wear, the most important thing to keep in mind is that you must appear professional. While your attire may depend on the type of job you’re applying for, no matter what the position you’re seeking, you need to arrive looking neat, tidy and well-dressed.

Your image matters because it shows your attentiveness to detail and gives employers an idea of how you’ll represent their company. The visual message you send makes a huge impact on how you’re perceived and, ultimately, whether or not you get the job.

Employers are looking for a professional, neat, clean, well- groomed appearance. If you arrive at this event looking unkempt or dressed in extremely casual clothing, you may appear to potential employers as being unprepared, irresponsible, under qualified or possessing poor work habits.

On the other hand, if you dress formally, you will most likely come across as capable, well-educated, intelligent, trustworthy and responsible - the type of person employers want to hire.  

It isn’t always necessary to wear a suit to a job fair, but you should leave the jeans, t-shirts and flip-flops at home. Business Casual is usually most appropriate at a job fair – nice slacks and a collared shirt for men and nice slacks or skirt and a blouse for women. Try to wear conservative colors and moderate shoes. Make sure your clothes are clean and pressed.

Avoid wearing excessive jewelry or clothing that is too short or revealing. Go easy on the makeup, perfume or cologne. Make sure your hair is well groomed and neat. Remove any face piercings. Nails should be neat and clean.

Not everyone may have appropriate attire and some cannot afford to purchase clothing for this event. There are several organizations within our community that can help with this. Here are a few local resources that can help with clothing, hygiene and haircuts at no cost, so that you can look and feel your best when looking for employment:

Old Town Mission – Located at 116 E Pinal St. in Old Town Cottonwood. Free clothing is available at the Mission for those searching for jobs. If they do not have the clothing you need, they will provide you with a voucher for their newly relocated thrift store at 810 W Mingus Ave., near the Maverick gas station.

The Mission also provides free haircuts every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. It is best to call and make an appointment for this service, however, time permitting, they may accept walk-ins. Hygiene products are offered and showers are also available. The shower service is available during the work week, 9-11:30 a.m. except for Tuesdays when they are closed for services.

The Mission also offers help to those who need to learn basic computer skills or learn more about Microsoft programs. They also offer help with job searching. For more info, call 634-7869.

Goodwill – Located at 1500 E Mingus Ave. in Cottonwood. Goodwill’s Dress for Success program will provide you with haircut vouchers to a local hair salon or barber shop as well as vouchers to the local Goodwill store for job or interview clothing.

They offer hygiene products at no cost. Goodwill’s One Stop Job Connection can also help with job related skills, resumes, cover letters and computer training. They have computers available and they can provide you with a mailing address and phone number with an answering system and you can come in and retrieve your messages. For more info, call 634-5942.

Catholic Charities – Located at 736 N Main St. in Cottonwood. Catholic Charities has clothing, showers and laundry services available to the homeless. They provide internet for job searchers. Catholic Charities’ The Loft, assists families and individuals without a home who need a place to wash their clothes, bathe, cook a meal, apply for work and maintain social connections. The volunteer aides help clients write resumes, set up e-mail and voicemail accounts, look for jobs and receive services. For more info, call 634-4254.

Now you have no excuses! Get ready to attend the Job, Career and Education Fair on April 3rd! Pick out a professional looking outfit, some businesslike shoes, get your hair trimmed and go for it! We look forward to seeing you there!

The organizations mentioned above, rely heavily on donations or sales of donated items to be able to provide these services and items to the public. If you would like to contribute by donating or volunteering, please contact the organizations at the numbers listed above.

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