What to Wear to an Interview, 10 Tips

Ten tips on dressing for your interview

We’ve all heard the phrase, “first impressions matter.” They really do, especially when it comes to what you wear to a job interview. Hiring managers are going to look at you and try to image you in the position they’re trying to fill. The way you dress and present yourself can really influence your likelihood of getting the job. You want to give them reasons to hire you, not reject you. Here are ten tips to help get your ready for the big interview:

1. You aren’t going to school. You are bringing the knowledge, right? Don’t bring a backpack. We know, they are easy and many of us use them daily. For an interview, however, it is better to carry a satchel, notepad or purse instead.

2. Dress up. You don’t have to wear a suit (though it never hurts) but do dress one or two positions up the chain. Show the hiring manager you’ve got ambition. Polish your shoes, trim your nails, and don’t pack your pockets with change.

3. Keep it simple. Don’t let your outfit be a distraction from all the great experience and information you bring. Sticking to neutral colors and fewer patterns is always a good, safe bet.

4. Sexy is for the dance floor. An interview isn’t the place for plunging necklines, unbuttoned shirts or short skirts. Again, it’s about avoiding distraction. Your brains are more attractive to hiring managers.

5. Think similar to staging your house. Be mindful of personal accessories and keep them to a minimum. The last thing you want is your tongue piercing clinking when you are explaining the most successful thing you have done in your career. Such a distraction! You want them engaged with your story, not trying to read your tattoo. Remember, the interviewer is imagining you in the role keep them engaged with your experience and expertise.

6. Fake it til you make it. Haven’t been in the industry long? That is okay – dress like you have been. Think of what you’ll wear when you are in the position five to ten years from now.

7. Don’t be sent away because of your scent. Smell good, but not too strong. You might offend the hiring manager with strong cologne. Many people are actually allergic to perfumes and cologne. Wouldn’t it be terrible if your interview got cancelled because the interviewer had an allergy attack? Stay on the safe side. A little dab with do you.

8. Let your only wrinkles be from laughs. Nothing looks messier than a wrinkly shirt or pants. Try to wear something that is wrinkle resistant and make sure to iron well. Looking neat will go a long way on your first impression.

9. Look at yourself in the mirror. Your whole self. It sounds simple, but the truth is you may be used to getting ready, doing a quick face and hair check and running out the door. Make sure to look at yourself in a full-length mirror. Are your pants stuck in your socks? Is your belt crooked? Did you take off all the tags (if your clothes are new)?

10. Be comfortable. There is nothing worse than feeling pinched here or there while you’re in an interview. Make sure to try on your interview outfit and do all the moves; sit, stand and walk around before the big day. Being comfortable in your outfit will allow you to be more comfortable delivering your job-landing answers.

Be your best self. Feel good about what you are wearing and don’t be distracted by your own outfit. Comfort is the key. You’ll be at ease, and be perceived more confident if you are comfortable in what you are wearing. Let your knowledge and experience shine more than your buttons. Make sure that first impression is on point and get that job offer.

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Five Tips to Rock Your Telephone Interview

Five Tips to Rock your Telephone Interview

So, you’ve made it to the phone interview stage of the job hunt. This means you master creating a resume, and likely worked your network. You’ve got a hiring manager interested in learning more about you. The phone interview is a gateway to the big one, the face-to-face meeting. Nail the phone interview and you’ll take a step closer to landing the job. Our biggest tip, prepare. You’ve got to take time and ensure you’re ready when your phone rings. Here are five tips to rock your next phone interview:

1. Double up. Have all of the basic information at your fingertips: your resume, cover letter, job posting, and job description if you have it. Have it digitally and in an old school paper version. Most of us are more comfortable with using technology, but they could fail. Having a back up ensures there will be no fumbling on the basic questions.

2. Write it down. Take the time to highlight important points you want to hit on, or create a list. Having the most important topics you want to discuss and what is important for them to know about you and your experience in front of you will help you get the information you want as well as present yourself in the best light. You’ll sound organized, clear-minded and like you have been thoughtful about the time you are spending with them on the call.

3. Don’t rush. Make sure you have plenty of time allotted for your call. Don’t try to fit it in on your lunch hour (especially sitting in your car). Take a couple of hours of PTO if needed. Be in a comfortable setting and ready to take all the time you need. The longer the phone call, the better your chances of getting the in-person interview!

4. Be connected. Have Internet access just in case you need to reference the company website, your LinkedIn page, or your calendar. Make sure your Internet access is reliable too. Use your best phone line. If you only have a cell phone, make sure you are physically in the spot that will give you the best reception. Don’t take any chances on losing the call or your momentum. Make sure to turn off all other features on your phone to avoid interruptions.

5. Be your best self. Smile while you are on the phone. It will come through in your discussions. Be confident. Does a certain outfit make you feel good? Wear it. Your confidence will shine through the phone line. Answer the phone professionally and identify yourself when you do. Summarize your understanding as you feel the discussion is wrapping up and push for the face-to-face interview. Be gracious when the call ends and thank them for their time.

The typical phone interview lasts about 15 minutes. Ending can often feel abrupt. There isn’t time to wind down in the elevator or walk to your car. You just hang up and jump back in your own world. Take some time before your phone interview to plan for follow-up. It will help you through the process. Decide how you are going to follow-up, when and what the next job search action is. Being proactive and having a plan will ease the transition. Before you know it, you will have that face time with the company and land the job you want.

Be ready for a job interview.

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5 Ways to Stay Calm for a Job Interview


It’s normal to be nervous about a job interview, especially when it’s a position you really want. Imagining a face-to-face meeting with a potential boss and thinking about the questions they might ask can wreak havoc on your nerves and lead to anxiety. It is often the unknown that takes you down the path of uncertainty. But there are simple ways to control your stress and keep your nervousness at a manageable level. Going into an interview fully prepared and as relaxed as you can be shows an employer that you’ve got what it takes to do the job.

Below are five tips to help you calm down and decrease anxiety before you take the hot seat.

1. Rest Up
Get a good night’s rest the night before your interview. Don’t eat too late, avoid alcohol and get to bed early to get a full night’s sleep. You want to be fully rested and engaged when you walk through the doors for the interview.

2. Practice
Visualize the interview. What questions could they ask? How will you respond? How many people will be in the room? What if you don’t have an answer? Thinking through different scenarios will help you process how the interview may go, and allow you to think through answers.

3. Deep Breaths
Breathe. It sounds so simple. When you are nervous, this isn’t as easy as it sounds. Your heart rate may be increasing and your breathing may not be consistent. Try a short breathing exercise to relax you before entering the interview.

4. Plan Ahead
Arrive early to the interview. You don’t have to walk in the building too early but leaving for the interview with plenty of time to spare helps avoid anxiety if you are to hit traffic, have to stop to fill up your gas tank or experience any unexpected issues.

5. Believe In Yourself
Remember they saw something great in your resume and want to learn more. They’re looking for the best candidate and are hoping it’s you. Have confidence in yourself. Give yourself a pep talk, listen to music that pumps you up and smile. You’ve got an interview and a lot of others didn’t make it this far.

Extra Tip: Be yourself. The interview is a two-way conversation. You want to learn more about the position and the company culture to better gauge if you would enjoy the position. And, they want to learn more about you as they try to identify the next great addition to their team. Good luck!

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Four Steps to a Professional Online Presence – A MUST for Job Seekers


Have you searched your name online recently? Have you reviewed your social media accounts to ensure all posts and images are professional? Your LinkedIn and other social media accounts will be one of the first places hiring managers and companies visit in order to learn more about you.

Facebook. Take time to read through your Facebook page. Have you made any unprofessional comments on your page or in response to friends’ posts? Do you have any questionable photographs that you are tagged in or that you have uploaded to your page?

Twitter. Review your Twitter page for any tweets that could be concerning to a potential employer. Have you retweeted anything unprofessional? Have you kept all of your tweets positive?

Instagram. What type of photographs do you post? What are your comments and hashtags? These are things to think about when you are reviewing your photo history. Hiring managers will be looking at all of it.

LinkedIn. This is an opportunity for you to shine. Not only is the biography information and experience on your own page helpful for you to stand out, but it is also the articles and valuable professional information that you share and comment on.

Make the time to review all of your social media activity. Check your privacy settings. Know that employers will be checking it, and may even monitor activity after you become an employee.

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6 Steps to a Flawless Resume, How to Get Hired


Your resume is often the first way a potential employer will judge whether you are a top candidate for a job. A resume is a valuable tool to highlight your employment history, training and the skills you bring to a new position. But a poorly written resume, or one that contains even the slightest error, can give a hiring manager a reason to discard you from consideration. It’s crucial not to give hiring managers any reason to toss your resume out of the stack, especially when you’re going after a position that several other candidates want. Think about it, if you’re reviewing 30, 40 or 50 resumes you’ll be looking for anyway to thin the pile. So don’t give them an easy rejection.

Crafting the perfect resume isn’t a difficult task, especially if you follow our steps. We’ll assume that you’ve found a good design.

Below are six steps to ensure your resume is flawless:

1. Update
Make sure your job history is updated and correct. Be sure to list what you’ve actually done for an employer and how you’ve helped solve problems or take ownership of a task.

2. Spell Check
This may seem like an easy one but it is crucial. Read back through your resume carefully, and look for any spelling errors. Double-check the spelling of company names and titles. Do not rely solely on the spell checker to catch any errors.

3. Check for Consistency
You need to make sure that you’ve followed a pattern when it comes to things putting words in bold and italics. Have you bolded the first and second company names but not the third? Pay attention to the places you have used italics, underlines or bold font and make sure you are consistent throughout your resume.

4. Keywords
Look for keywords in resume that match the job description. Have you reviewed the job description looking for keywords that they use that you should incorporate in your resume? Many companies will use a search function to filter through resumes quickly for candidates that match what they are looking for.

5. Check Punctuation and Grammar
Review all uses of contractions and apostrophes. These can easily be confused (you’re and your as an example). Also, don’t use exclamation points! No hiring manager wants to read a sentence as if you’re screaming at them. Check to make sure you’ve placed periods and commas where they should actually go, or if you even need them. Be sure you’re used consistent capitalization and not capitalized words that don’t need to be.

6. Ask for Help
Finally, have someone else proof your resume. By the time you’re ready to submit it, you’ve should have reviewed it many times. Having a fresh set of eyes read through the entire document, looking for any errors, consistency and overall flow will pay off. It’s almost a guarantee that there’s going to be something you missed or thought you changed.

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Do These Things to Make Work Fun


There are jobs where the words “work” and “fun” would never be used in the same sentence. But what if there were things you could do to make work more enjoyable, and maybe even more productive? Does this sound familiar? You grab a cup of coffee, greet co-workers then before you know it emails start coming in. New meetings are scheduled and items not already on your to-do list pop up. Incorporating team-building activities into your workplace might be the last thing you are thinking when things get busy.

Although it would be nice, very few companies and departments can take a half or full day for a fun outing or event. But, you don’t need this much time to bring a little fun to your week. A few simple activities can help with overall morale in the office, provide something to look forward to, let you get to know your co-workers better, and boost productivity.

Here are a few ideas to get you thinking:

1. Acknowledge staff milestones
If you have a large staff, maybe identify one day a month to celebrate all of the birthdays and work anniversaries for the month. Add the team birthdays to everyone’s calendar so that it is a reminder for colleagues to wish staff a happy birthday.

2. Casual day
Is your office business casual? What about incorporating a jeans day on Fridays? At Brookdale’s Corporate office associates can wear jeans for an entire month if they donate to the Alzheimer’s Association.

3. Play games
As an example, you could find holiday BINGO cards online that you can print and distribute to staff. Then once an hour, you can email out a bingo word to all staff. The first person to email the contact with BINGO wins a prize.

4. Celebrate goals
Did your team meet or exceed a goal? Surprise the team and order pizza to celebrate.

5. Hold an Outdoor Meeting
Need to meet with people to bounce ideas around? Change things up by holding a meeting outside. If it’s just a few people you could walk and talk. If it’s a larger group find a place to sit like a few benches or under a tree.

There are many ways to formally and informally have fun in the workplace. Think of your colleagues and come up with a few ideas for your own team.

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Five No-Fail Fall Focus Tips While Job Hunting


Fall is upon us, schedules are getting busier and the holidays are right around the corner. It’s an easy time of year to lose focus in your job as well as on your goal of a new, satisfying and fulfilling job. Don’t let this time slip by you. Stay focused on your end goal while also continuing to excel in your current position with these five no-fail fall focus tips.

1. Get plenty of sleep. Feeling rested from a good night’s sleep is the key to having a successful, productive day. If you are having difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep or wake up tired, take time to identify ways to help you get a more restful night’s sleep.

2. Practice mindfulness and meditation. The moment you wake up, you probably are immediately thinking of your busy day ahead and everything that needs to be done. Taking just a couple moments in the morning before you even start your day to meditate, relax and focus. This is also beneficial throughout your day to boost your effectiveness and focus.

3. Don’t overwork. Take short breaks during the workday. Taking breaks allows you to step back from your work and evaluate if you are being productive. It also provides a break from a possibly boring or mundane task, ultimately refocusing you. Working longer hours and not taking breaks is not a good solution to checking off your punch list. You need breaks to give yourself time to stretch, breathe and focus.

4. Don’t let work interfere with your personal life. In today’s connected environment, it is nearly impossible to completely disengage from work. This makes it even more important for you to be mindful of your time and to enjoy your personal time without checking your email or bringing work home.

5. Eliminate distractions. This applies at work and home. At work, be mindful of the activities that distract you (non-work related emails, internet searches or daydreaming). You must eliminate the distractions to increase your productivity and keep you focused. When you are at home, if you are considering a job change, use this time wisely. After a long, busy day, you may just want to sit down for a few minutes and watch your favorite program or read a book. You can still do this but open up your laptop up while you are sitting there and take a few minutes to research possibly job opportunities. Need a new book to read? Look for a book that provides career direction, motivation and keys to finding your personal success. It is easy to get distracted – eliminate them, focus and you will be rewarded.

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Considering a Career Change?


Are you at a crossroads with your current career path? Many people enter a professional field after college following a plan that’s based on their major and internships. You may have found your career choice rewarding for many years and thought that climbing the ladder was going to continue to be your professional path until you reach a comfortable level. Are you evaluating your next move? Do you feel that you are defined by your career over the last decade as well as your college major and you aren’t sure what else you could possibly do?

The first step is to know and believe that you can make a career change at any time. If you are beginning to evaluate your talents and what jobs you may enjoy, you may not be sure where to start.

Start with the people around you.
What do your friends do? What jobs excite you? What energizes you? Build an awareness of what draws your attention. Find out what subjects you’re drawn to when reading articles, watching television, traveling or just running errands. There are so many industries and careers out there, and when you take time to look around you realize the magnitude of your opportunities.

Utilize the internet and social media.
If you have careers that you are interested in learning more about, research to identify the industry leaders and businesses. Follow them on LinkedIn and Twitter. Utilizing these social media channels will allow you to see the articles they post, the topics that they find interesting, and industry trends. Monitoring the industry through the eyes of industry leaders and companies will help you learn more about the industry.

Reach out.
Is there someone in a position that you are interested in? Contact them and ask if you can interview them to learn more about the position, the company and the industry. Ask them how they entered the field. Conversations with people in the roles and departments that you are interested in will also provide you with insight to ensure this is the path you want to continue to follow.

Finding a new career path is exciting and ultimately rewarding. Good luck!

P.S. We always think checking out the open jobs at Brookdale is a good place to start!

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The Difference Making Culture at Brookdale Communities


We’re constantly amazed, notice I didn’t say surprised, by the ways our associates make a difference in the lives of the seniors they care for. There’s Rogerio, who got an otherwise quiet resident to sing with him. There’s Emily, who puts smiles on the faces of dementia care residents every morning by asking them to fill in the punchline of jokes. And there’s Shane, a bus driver who keeps his passengers entertained during rides with stories and jazz music.

While Brookdale is focused on the single mission of enriching the lives of our residents, we know there are many ways this can be achieved. We place great value on having a diverse team of people united by a passion to serve. There are literally thousands of opportunities for you to make a difference at Brookdale.

[Find the right position for you on the Brookdale Careers Job Search Page.]

You can see for yourself. Just take a look at these videos to see what Brookdale associates have to say about their jobs and the difference they are making.


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Four Signs You Need a Career Change


Today people are often looking for a meaningful, fulfilling career that provides a feeling of purpose and positive return on their company and society. They have the opportunity to read, research and observe other companies, industries and experiences world-wide and see other careers that may be more enjoyable than their current position. Making a career change does not happen overnight, and you may be in a routine and unaware just how unhappy you are in your current job. Here are four indications you need a career change:

Trust: If you are in a work environment where you do not fully trust your boss or your employer, this can negatively impact your job performance, daily office life and how you interact with your boss and colleagues. Trust, transparency and open communication is a critical component to a healthy work culture and ultimately, to your happiness in the office as well as at home.

Stress: Do you wake up thinking about work? Do you feel anxious or exhausted? Have your eating habits changed? Stress will affect your current and long-term health, and it is imperative to keep your stress level in check. Stress can also affect your outlook on life and your interactions with friends and family. If you find yourself complaining about work and not feeling like an end to the stress is in sight, it is time to be proactive and make a change.

Boredom: If you are not excited about your position and leave each day feeling unfulfilled, it is time for a change. If you lack passion for your position, you will not be giving it your all, and you need to consider what will ignite that passion again. Are you in a job where there is no room to advance? What are you passionate about? Has your passion been placed on the back-burner because you do not have time to follow it with your current job responsibilities?

Staying for financial reasons: You may be staying in a position because the money is great, you are just a couple years away from being fully vested in your 401(k) and you have banked your personal time off (PTO) hours. Yes, these are important and you have worked hard to get to this point. However, don’t let this keep you in your job. Once you are happier and doing what you enjoy, these benefits will fall into place. Finding a career where you feel purpose and find fulfilling is important to decrease the stress and unhappiness in your life and for you to enjoy life.

Don’t stay in a career that makes you unhappy. Start self-evaluation today. Identify what makes you happy, what you are passionate about, and engage with friends, family and mentors to support you in taking this leap. You can do it!

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