Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A Little Individuality is Nice

Recently I prepared a series on Job Exploration for Clarksburg-Harrison Public Library.  The workshop was to take place over the course of three consecutive Saturdays and was to focus on three topics:

  1. Writing a Resume
  2. Interview Skills
  3. Dressing Appropriately
I found many wonderful resources and put together what I feel is a decent subject guide on the library website. Yet what I found, despite how wonderful it was, left a bad taste in my mouth on a number of levels.  Here are my reflections.

The books on resumes did a nice job of addressing all levels in the workforce, including kids looking for their first jobs, entry level white collar and college graduates, moms going back to work after raising a family.  What was really hard to find was job information for felons, but after switching search engines from the one that came with my browser back to the one I love, I found several good sites offering help for that service group.

Almost all colleges and universities have wonderful job search sites that were easily accessible by both search engines. Therein lies the problem.  These sites tend to clog the pipe of information for those looking for blue collar and unskilled employment advice.  Assuming that those unskilled workers would have more difficulty generating key words, this could be a real handicap.  (Of course, that statement may not be accurate; my basis is that those with less formal education might have fewer searching skills.  This may be horribly incorrect.)

At any rate, my big pet peeve came from the part about professional dress.  Seriously?  I watched one expert assemble five matching pieces for business travel.  They matched so well I couldn't tell them apart.  All professional dress advice talked about the three piece - black or navy, the long sleeve shirt and the conservative tie.

This led me to two conclusions:

First, I would never make it in the "business" world, and second, I would be bored to death if I did.  Don't get me wrong:  I think you should put an effort into your appearance. (Okay, some days I don't.) I just think we should show some personality as well. 

(FYI: the suggestion of personalizing your appearance with your fraternity pin elicited a major eye roll.)

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