What Is A “Business Casual” Dress Code?

Congratulations! You got the job! Your new boss tells you to dress “business casual” on your first day…and the confusion sets in. The phrase business casual has become difficult to define in recent years. Typically, business casual means a type of attire worn by business people that is less formal than a business suit. A simple enough definition, but with a struggling economy many people have been forced to change career paths or re-enter the workforce after many years out of work. Brushing up on business casual basics can help prepare you for your new job.

Why is this issue of what to wear or what not to wear so important? When you come to work each day, you are not only presenting yourself as a competent, professional, and reliable worker. You are also representing the company you work for. Understanding your company’s culture, or core values and image, is essential in knowing how to come to work dressed appropriately.

man with clipboard

DO: wear clothes that are tidy, clean, and conservative.

DON’T: Wear flip flops, jeans, or revealing attire (spaghetti straps, low pants, and plunging necklines).

Ladies, the following attire would be considered business casual:  a collared shirt, blouse or sweater, paired with dress slacks or a knee length skirt. Always wear knee highs with slacks and hose with skirts. Gentleman:  try a button down or polo paired with slacks or khaki pants. Business casual shoes should always be close toed.

Your 30-Second Commercial

 

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” Seneca (3 BC – 65 AD)

elevatorThe term “30-second commercial” can be used to describe the brief sales pitch someone gives about their company when they bump into a prospective customer. Also referred to as an “elevator speech,” a 30-second commercial is intended to provide all of the key information about something in a short period of time, while also piquing the interest of the listener. If you are searching for a job, you need to make sure you have your 30-second commercial prepared. You never want to miss an opportunity to sell your product—yourself!

Content

Make sure that you include all of the key information about yourself. Your experience, your strengths and key accomplishments can easily be fit into 30 seconds. If you’ve worked for some large, well-known companies, mention them. Don’t forget to include anything unique about you or your career.

Qualities

The most effective 30-second commercials use short, declarative sentences. Be careful not to use any jargon specific to your career field unless you are certain that your audience will understand it. You want to try to grab the person’s attention, so be passionate and engaging. Even if your job search has you feeling bitter or frustrated, don’t let those emotions come through. Ideally when you deliver your commercial it will be part of a dialogue, so it’s good to end with a call to action or a question. For example, if you are speaking to someone about your IT experience you could end with: “How does your company handle software development?”

Key Points to Remember

The delivery of your commercial is crucial to its success. Speaking with confidence will convey credibility and will impact the listener. Remember your audience and tailor your message so that it has the most impact. Most importantly, keep your commercial to 30 seconds. Use the first 15 seconds to engage your audience and the last 15 seconds for wrap up. Don’t forget to practice so that you are comfortable with the material. You don’t want it to sound overly rehearsed or memorized, but it needs to flow easily.

 

A polished, professional 30-second commercial is an invaluable tool when you are looking for a job. You never know where the next opportunity is going to come from, and you never know where you might meet someone who can help you. In the next few weeks we’ll share some more hints on how to structure your job search and some of the other tools you need to make it successful.

 

Allied Personnel Services Wins Best Employment Agency Award

Readers Choice Logo 2015

The 2015 Morning Call Reader’s Choice Award winners were recently revealed and for the 9th time Allied has won for Best Employment Agency.

We take special pride in this award because it comes from the votes of our clients and our dedicated field employees. We will continue to work hard to provide exceptional service to our clients and to provide our employees with the best employment opportunities.

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Why Apply with a Staffing Firm?

Have you ever experienced the frustration that comes with job searching? Sending out dozens of resumes, scouring the internet, going to interview after interview without ever getting a second call. It can be overwhelming and discouraging. As a recruiter in the staffing industry, I’ve met many candidates who’ve had these experiences before hearing about the opportunities available through staffing firms. Working with a staffing firm can offer job seekers many benefits, especially when it comes to finding jobs that can’t be found elsewhere. Staffing firms have the unique advantage of offering opportunities job seekers would not be able to find on their own. Here are a few examples why a position might only be available through a staffing firm. Continue reading