When coming in to any staffing agency seeking a job, there are certain things you should do to make sure you’re prepared. And there are also some things you should definitely try your best to avoid!
Dress to Impress
This doesn’t mean you have to come dressed in a suit, but don’t come in your favorite jeans from four years ago with holes, tears and stains. For men, dress slacks and a button-down shirt would be preferable. If you don’t have slacks, dark wash jeans would be a reasonable substitute. Definitely opt for closed toe shoes, particularly dress shoes, to look your best.
Ladies, a dress, skirt and blouse, or dress slacks and blouse are most fitting for the interview. Say yes to panty hose and be careful in your choice of shoes. Remember, you are coming in for an application and interview, not going to a party with girlfriends. To both the ladies and the fellas, make sure your clothing has the right fit. If your pants are baggy and loose, wear a belt, and if that dress hugs you too tight, go with something a little more professional.
Bring a Resume
An updated resume is a must for all job positions, no matter what level. With the job market as competitive as it is these days, clients are looking for resumes for all positions, ranging from top executives to janitors within their companies. Keep your resume simple and easy to follow, with no outrageous colors or formatting. Be sure to include your contact information, your most recent work history and your education. You should also include and specialized skills and certifications. Don’t worry about fancy fonts or paper, but do try and keep your copies in a folder or somewhere they will not be damaged.
You may not think that confidence is key, but during an interview, it can make or break you. From the moment you walk in the door, you should speak clearly in a firm, but friendly voice. Watch your posture, especially during the interview. You don’t want to be slumped in the chair in the lobby waiting on your interviewer, nor do you want to appear sloppy during your interview. Make steady eye contact with your recruiter, sit up straight, and don’t mumble. Most importantly of all, be confident in your skills and abilities and be ready to sell yourself.
Bring Your Children
Everybody knows daycare can be pricey, but bringing your children with you to fill out an application is very unprofessional. Not only do you disrupt the agency and its employees trying to conduct business, but you also disrupt the other candidates trying to concentrate on their own applications.
Even more trouble arises when it is time for your interview. Who is supposed to look after your little one while you are interviewing? The recruiters and their office staff are much too busy for that. Or do you plan on letting your child accompany you on your interview? This is also a big no-no; with you and your interviewer distracted by the child, disaster is bound to strike. In short, have someone watch your child if you plan to go fill out an application. Whether it is a grandparent, aunt or uncle, you will thank yourself for it in the long run.
Use Your Cell Phone
Unless you are using your cell phone to locate phone numbers and addresses for the work history portion on your application, please put it on silent and refrain from using it. Answering phone calls while filling out an application is very inappropriate and disrupts those around you. We understand that emergencies happen, but a phone call from a friend about what you’re doing later isn’t an emergency. Texting during your interview is another thing that will get you in hot water. This may seem like a no-brainer to most of us, but yes, this has happened before. All in all, applicants, please tuck your cell phone away and abstain from using it unless absolutely necessary.
Apply when Fatigued
Do not come in to fill out an application after a long night of partying or whatever else you may have been doing, because believe me, it will show. Whether it’s apparent in your looks, your attention span or your interview skills, this is just not the first impression you want to make. You also run the risk of dozing off while filling out your application or waiting for your interview. This happened just the other day in the lobby, and it was quite an embarrassing scene all around. When coming in to apply for a job, you should be as prepared as you would be on the first day of an assignment, and this begins with a good night’s sleep.
These are just a few of the DOs and DON’Ts for job seekers. While there are many more not listed here, these are the top tips from the mind of an Administrative Assistant.
P.S. Remember to be nice to the Receptionist or Administrative Assistant!