Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Job Fair or Sideshow?

After almost 10 months of being unemployed I've yet to hit the lottery or be discovered by a talent scout, so, like most out-of-work people in our country, I am actively looking for work. I scour the job sites, scroll through company web postings for openings and occasionally I hear of a job fair being held near by that I plan on attending. Most job fairs are well publicized so they draw people from all backgrounds looking for various types of employment which can prove to be interesting. The job fair I attended today was no different. It had been advertised in the local paper and was held in the mall atrium so of course it was open to the public.
Now don't get me wrong, I understand that there are people from all walks of life currently looking for employment thus the demographic of people attending these events can vary. I am by no means looking down on anyone but I will say this: You don't get a second chance at a first impression!
I know times and fashions have changed but when you're going to look for employment you should put a little effort into your appearance and behavior. This is not about being superficial, materialistic, or trendy, it's about being decent and in order. It's like when some people hear "fair" they automatically think "circus".
I have compiled a list of things that should never be seen at a job fair or interview*, but I yet I witnessed them today. (and trust me I'm not creative enough to make this stuff up)
  1.  Tattoos are a touchy subject. Some work places are liberal in this area, but please don't show up seeking employment with a sleeveless blouse on if you're tatted from the elbow up to your neck.
  2. A blouse and slacks is a nice business wear choice, but not when the blouse is one shouldered and certainly not when you're going to wear it with a regular bra thus the strap is showing on the bare shoulder.
  3. And to add:  if you are wearing anything out of order that might show your bra (low back, halter,etc.) make sure the plastic security tag isn't showing on your bra. Note I didn't say price tag. Hard plastic security tag as in "Ma'am did you steal your bra???" (yep... I actually saw this!!!)
  4. Guys, a dress shirt and slacks can be acceptable, but not a dress shirt with jeans and certainly not jeans with the namebrand (i.e. Rockawear, FUBU, etc.) and stitching in bright purple thread going down the front and back legs.
  5. Lest it's for a religious purpose, a head scarf or bonnet is not an option!!!
  6. Sexual preference is none of my business but I do know you can be androgynous and still be appropriate. A nice button up shirt and slacks works much better on a woman than a men's shiny 2 piece club outfit.
  7. If you and your boo are both out of work, or your boo had to bring you to the job fair cause you didn't have a way there, hand holding, necking and other public displays of affection while greeting the recruiters isn't going to get you hired. The recruiter probably doesn't even want to shake your hand. Ewww!
  8. Comb your hair. I'm not saying you have to be fresh out of a salon chair, but to look like you rolled out of bed after being chased by Freddy Krueger in your dream isn't a good look either.
  9. Filling out an application on your homeboy's back... Really though??? Find a table or a clipboard for goodness sake.
  10. Walking up to a booth and saying "Ayye, what y'all do?" #FAIL
I know it's hard out here for a pimp, but please don't make it easier for employers to pimp slap your resume or application straight into file 13 by looking or acting foolish.
Hey...maybe I should start a seminar or organization that stands outside of job fairs with a mirror and tells people to do better! If I can help somebody as a pass along the way...

*Note: This list isn't just for job fairs. Some of these things simply shouldn't happen no matter where you are going.

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