Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Surviving College: The Professional Look

'Sup guys!

It was Monday yesterday, but there was no Media to it. I weighed quantity against quality and quality won. Surviving College it is then. But before you  get to whining, Media Monday will be back with killer bands, maybe solo artistes, Youtube channels; basically the usual, whatever tickles my fancy and has a shot at tickling yours.

So, you are probably packing up for college you Freshman you. You have got your shower caddy on you, some cleaning supplies, school spirit merchandise, a back pack you will be hauling around campus, the list goes on and on. Guess what? It gets longer.

Little story for you here. No one told me, "Your career starts in college," "You may just be in need of a business suit there honey," "Don't forget to whip out that resume". Career starting in college? Business suit? Resume!? Yeah, right. Yeah. Right.

Boys and girls it is time to put our business looks in the front and party/chill/slounge (sleep+lounge) looks in the back, just for a while at least.

Exhibit A: The business/power suit
Didn't think you needed it this soon huh? Chances are during your first year of college or at the end of freshman year you will be out there looking for an internship or a job, heck maybe both. When going in for the interview, there is a need to be looking sharper than a knife's edge. This is where the suit comes in. Let your future superiors know you mean business. Come in with a clean, crisp, white collared shirt with a well tailored fitting suit and you will be the candidate etched in their mind. You might want to store this in one of those suit bags, keep it in it's prime condition.

Exhibit B: The shoes
You may be scanned from head to toe so do not let anyone tell you any different that the shoes department does not really matter. Black is usually the classic option and also the safest. Don't shy away from the status quo, go get yourself a pair , who am I kidding? Get yourself a couple. The professional world is calling and more than a pair is preferable. Ladies, those chunky heeled, closed black shoes is the better option, strappy heels not so much.

Exhibit C: Office wear
So you nailed the interview and now you are a member of the workforce. You got the part, now you need to look the part. Long-sleeved dress shirts, neckties, dress pants, blouses, you get the picture, around these parts are all the rage. This trend depending on your career is here to stay. I suggest you get on it. Cheer up, this is a legitimate excuse for a shopping spree.

Exhibit D: Cover letter
Most of the time or at least in my opinion this is the major seller. In a paragraph or three, summarize why you are the most deserving of the position together with your qualifications and experiences. Put some major effort into one,which will be your template and when that job pops up, you make the relevant edits and Ka-pow! Jut wait for that interview call.

Exhibit E: Resume
If you prefer, curriculum vitae. This answers the question,  Who are you? on paper. Talk about yourself in the most clear and precise way possible in no longer than 2-3 pages. The internet has some templates on how to write one if your completely lost on this one. Your work experience may not be exactly up there given that it's only freshman year but if you've job shadowed or even worked for your parents, put it down, it may just be the reason that earns you a callback.

Exhibit F: Portfolio
So you are an aspiring writer, photographer, artist. Then show me. Put together some of your best and most diverse work you have ever done because as the saying goes the proof is in the pudding.

Exhibit G: Letter of recommendation
So what do other people think about you and your work ethic? The age old recommendation letter. Wer you a teacher's pet? Well here is your chance to use it to your advantage. Ask for them to write you a letter. Ever volunteered/worked/interned? Ask your supervisor to do the deed. 2-3 letters is a safe number.

Exhibit H: Resume Holder
Something to carry it all in. Bold and professional. One of those faux leather folders that keeps all your papers crumple free plus you look organized. Win-win situation anyone.

Go forth and conquer the professional world!

Have a good one!

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