Tips for Dressing Business Professional

“Please remember to dress business professional for this event…” Who knew so few words could cause such anxiety? Business professional can be tricky, but we’ve got you covered.

Here are five easy do’s and don’ts to follow next time you need to look sharp and at the top of your game.

Do…
  1.     Wear a blazer
  2.     Wear a buttoned shirt with a tie, a nice blouse, or a dress
  3.     Wear polished shoes (loafers and heels are preferred)
  4.     Wear ironed slacks or skirt (Trust me, ironing makes all the difference)
  5.     Wear dark, neutral colors

 

Bonus Pro Tip: run a lint brush over your outfit to make sure you have all dust and hair off your suit.

Don’t…
  1.     Wear jeans of any kind
  2.     Wear bold patterns or bright colors
  3.     Wear athletic clothing (this includes tennis shoes)
  4.     Wear large amounts of jewelry or big watches (you’re shooting for subtlety here)
  5.     Wear too tight, low-cut, or loose clothing (make sure your pieces fit properly and keep everything covered)

 

Whether you’re trying to dress for an interview, dinner reception, or networking event, it is important to put your best foot forward. If you don’t have all the essentials in your closet, try borrowing from a dorm/house mate or friend. Hopefully following these tips will help you know what to wear next time you need to dress up and will allow you to feel confident as you work towards finding your place in the real world.

How to Handle Stress Well

College is like one giant boiling pot of stress and busyness. From day one you’re told you need to study hard, be in a variety of clubs, and maintain a rocking social life. Let me tell you, if you try to do all of these things at the same time, you’ll get burnt out fast.

Sometimes, however, life gets busy by no fault of our own. In these situations, it’s all about how to handle stress well.

Here are five simple tips everyone can do to help ease the internal tension we all feel:

  1.     Call Home, Call a Friend, Call Someone

Sometimes we all just need to hear our mom’s voice. Maybe for you it’s your dad, best-friend, significant other, or grandma—but, talking with someone removed from your day to day schedule can do wonders to improve your emotional tension. This doesn’t have to be a long chat, but it will give your brain a chance to slow down and focus on something new for a change. Another bonus, if you call your mom, they typically have awesome advice and can help you put your stress into perspective.

  1.     Read a book, article, or blog-post

Taking time to let your brain focus on something besides school work or your to-do list will help you feel less anxious and stressed out. You don’t have to spend forever reading, rather take 15 minutes or so to let your brain escape and read something interesting to you. It will definitely help put the day in perspective.

  1.    Exercise

It’s been proven over and over that exercise releases endorphins, which help you to control your stress. If you don’t believe me, check out this article from the Mayo Clinic. Even if you’re out of shape or pressed for time, any sort of motion can benefit you and help manage your feelings of anxiety. Walk outside, sign up for an exercise class, or even clean up a bit around the house to get yourself moving. 

  1.     Meditate

I will be the first person to tell you this isn’t something I regularly practice. I’m really not great at sitting still, but I do know that the few times I’ve done it, it was really helpful. Some people focus on breathing, other mediate on a passage of scripture, and others just sit in silence. If you’re like me and don’t know where to start, don’t worry there’s an app for that! Check out Simple Habit- Meditation or Calm: Meditation.

  1.     Journal

Journaling lets you take time to process what you are thinking and feeling by forcing you to put words on paper. This doesn’t have to be an hour long session or an every day thing, but taking five minutes to process your day may help you realize positive experiences in the midst of your crazy schedule. One idea to get you started could be writing down the things that you’re most thankful for from your day. 

 

So as the semester ramps up, please take time to take care of yourself. The world isn’t going to catch fire if you pause to do a little stress check. College is hard and crazy, but it doesn’t last forever. Making memories with friends is going have a bigger impact on your life than the B you may receive in a class.

Preparing for a Career Fair

Okay, you’ve heard it a million times career fairs are important. You really need an internship for next summer, but you just aren’t sure how to get ready for the big day. Don’t worry we’ve got you covered! Here are 5 easy tips on how to put your best foot forward at the next career fair.

  1.     Review the List of Employers

The Career Development Center always posts a list of the companies coming to a recruiting event. Make sure you check handshake and figure out what companies will be here so you can prepare to talk with the recruiters. Check their websites, know their values, and be able to speak into the type of position you are seeking.

  1.     Get your Resume Ready

Your resume is your introduction on paper. Make sure this is in tip-top shape and carefully crafted for each firm you want to meet with (bonus points if you print it out on nice cardstock). Bring 9-12 copies of your resume to handout at the event. If you have time, also prepare a cover letter to go with each resume that is tailored the companies you plan to speak with. This will help you stand out and give you a leg up over other students.

  1.     Practice your Elevator Pitch

This can be daunting, trust me. But, it’s vitally important that you can share with an employer who you are in a few brief sentences. Click these links find some awesome tips on how to craft yours: here, here, and here.

  1.     Find a Padfolio

No that isn’t a typo, a padfolio is a nice folder that you can carry with you to house your resume, cover letter, business cards (if you have them), a notebook, and pen. This awesome tool will keep you organized and looking sharp. Here are some of our favorites: Brown leather, Royce Black Leather, and the Hope College padfolio sold in the campus bookstore. BUT don’t worry if you don’t have one, a simple, plain folder will do the trick.

  1.    Iron Your Suit

Part of putting your best foot forward is your personal presentation. Make sure you lay out your clothes the night before, iron them, and use a lint roller to get any dust off. As silly as it is, we judge with our eyes first. If you don’t look put together, recruiters will take notice. So please, just take a few minutes to help yourself out.

Always remember, career fairs are just one step on a long journey to landing an internship or scoring a job. Hopefully following these tips will make you feel confident and well-prepared for the next career fair!

(Side note: the STEM Fair, Economics and Business Fair, and The Gap Year & Non-Profit Fair are all coming soon to Hope’s Campus!)

How to Rock Interview Questions

So tell me about yourself…All interviews seem to start the same way, but they don’t have to end the same way. Internship/Job Search season is upon us once again, so check out these easy tips on how to stand out as you go through the interview process:

  1.     Have a fun story about yourself that relates to why you chose the company or position you are applying for.

The whole point of an interview is for you to get to know a company and for them to get to know you. Stay professional, but let your personality shine through.

  1.     Have two strengths you are comfortable speaking about (same goes for weaknesses!).

A strengths and weaknesses question is bound to come up in an interview. Be prepared to talk about yourself in a positive way and relate your examples to the position you’re applying for. Not only will this help you relax for the interview, but it’s a great life skill to have no matter what field you’re going into.

  1.     Have engaging questions to ask the interviewer at the end of the interview.

Most interviewers will leave time at the end of an interview for questions, and nothing is worse than awkward silence at this point. This is your time to ask for candid information about a company and get to know you’re the culture of your potential employer. Come prepared with 3-5 questions, ones you can’t find the answer to on the company website. Click here for some question tips.

  1.     Be up to date on current issues and be ready to talk about them.

This might sound a little strange, but you never know what you’ll be asked in an interview. Especially if you are going into an industry like finance or public policy, make sure you are reading the news frequently and can articulate how market trends may affect your future employer. Personally, I like the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. Not only will this help for an interview, but it can help to improve your global awareness.

  1.     Be able to talk about what you’re learning about in school and how it relates to the position you’re applying for.

We’re in college for a reason, but I know sometimes it feels like what we are reading can’t possibly apply to the real world. But you’d be surprised that yes, even Cultural Heritage has connections in the workforce!

Interviewing can seem intimidating. You know you’re being scrutinized and that they’ll be talking about your performance afterwards. With these tips, you’ll walk out of your next interview feeling confident in your abilities, knowing you expressed yourself best!

The Power of Waking Up Early

College is all about staying up late and procrastination, right? At least to some, spending your days running from classes to extracurricular activities leaves only the late night hours to get work done.

What if there was a better way to handle this? Over the years, several respectable organizations including Entrepreneur and Forbes have conducted research that proves waking up early and at a consistent time every day is better for your health and overall productivity.

This doesn’t mean that you can never stay up late again, but rather focus on trying to develop a routine during the week. If you give it a try, you might find you’re doing better in class, have more energy, and have more free time to hang with friends or do other activities you like.

Here are some tips on how to start:

  1.     Set your alarm for 7am (or any morning time)

Once you pick your time, set that alarm on repeat for every day. I know this may sound crazy, but your body will adjust and the new early morning will soon become routine.

  1.     Plan to eat breakfast

I know you’ve heard it a million times before, but breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. It will help jumpstart your metabolism and help your brain get ready for the day.

  1.     Set out your clothes the night before

If you have your clothes ready to go, then you’ll have one less thing to think about in the morning. This will also help trick your brain into thinking it has already accomplished something first thing in the morning.

  1.     Have a something you want to get done when you wake up

If have a task that you want or need to accomplish, you will be more likely to get up in the morning. Try typing up that English paper you’ve been putting off or plan to cook yourself breakfast. No matter if the task is large or small, when you complete it, you’ll feel relief, you’ll start your day productively, and you’ll feel empowered. This will set the tone for the rest of the day. You might just find that you have more time in the evening to relax.

  1.     Go to bed 20 minutes earlier than you normally would

You don’t need to tackle the world at once, so start small. Gradually let your body adjust to your new routine. Consider turning off your electronics 30 minutes before hitting the pillow—this will help you sleep better in the long-run. Overtime, you’ll find it easier and easier to fall asleep.

Whether you view waking up earlier as a life hack or a begrudging task, the act itself can empower you to be a better student, worker, and friend.