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  • Writer's pictureJames Johnson

Getting Your Ducks in a Row for a New Role

As you’re looking for a new role, there can be a lot of down time — particularly if you’ve already left your last one. This is an excellent time to get yours “ducks in a row,” so to speak, before they, er, fly south for the winter.

Take the time to look at your CV, upgrade your cover letter template, and maybe even go out and buy a new tie!

In this month’s newsletter, how we’re dressing for work in these post-pandemic days, red flags to look out for during job interviews, and how NOT to impress a recruiter. Read on.

What Are We Wearing to Work These Days?

As Casual Friday morphed into Pantless Pandemic, a lot of people lost sight of how to dress for work in person. Now, as many people find their way back into the office, it can be tough to figure out what the right dress code is.

A recent Harvard Business Review article on the matter caught my eye, and can be summed up in a few decent points:

  • Traditional business dress is always a safe bet

  • But “showing up as your authentic self” is a new, important mandate for a lot of workplaces — meaning, be yourself in the way you dress and otherwise

  • In general, things tend to be heading in a more casual direction when it comes to dressing for work

My opinion as a Executive Recruiter working with both hiring managers and job seekers every day? Be comfortable, confident in your appearance, and always aware of how you are received. Your presentation has a lot more to do with you attitude than your shoes.

Red Flags During Job Interviews

If you’re looking for a job, and you hear any of the following things, RUN, do not walk, away.

  • “What’s the bottom line for you salary-wise?” In other words, what’s the lowest amount you’ll agree to work for? We don’t want to pay you a penny more.

  • “You buy your computer equipment and we will reimburse you.” This is almost definitely a scam, or just a really terrible company.

  • “The salary in the job listing is incorrect; the real one is actually lower.”

All of these things should be considered massive red flags in an interview, and there are plenty more I hear about from my conversations with job seekers every day. As a recruiter for 12+ years, I can spot the red flags a mile away.

How Not to Impress a Recruiter

If your goal is to best position yourself with recruiters so you’re prioritized for the best jobs, here are a few things to avoid.

  1. A bad cadence of contact — Bug a recruiter incessantly, and you send a signal that you’re not going to be an easy employee to work with. Ghost on them, and you get zero stars for responsibility. Find the sweet spot.

  2. Big ego — If you flub an interview or make a misstep in the job-searching process, own up to it. Humility and accountability are attractive traits in a future employee.

  3. Inarticulacy — Communication is important in any role, and it’s one of the first things recruiters gauge when face to face with a job seeker. If you can’t properly explain where you’ve been or what you’re looking for, they can’t help you.

I am just one recruiter, but this is common sentiment among those I know, both here at Johnson Recruiting Group and beyond.

This Month’s Recommended Reading

What are YOU reading these days? If you come across anything good, I’d love to hear about it! Always feel free to hit “reply” to this email to start a conversation. Otherwise, you’ll hear from me again next month.

James Johnson

Johnson Recruiting Group

Quantum Hires

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