By Ida Brown / firstname.lastname@example.org
The Meridian Star
As the saying goes, "You never get a second chance to make a first impression."
And in today's tough job market, that first impression can make or break your chances of a great career opportunity.
"That first impression is very important. Many times people won't even begin a conversation with you if you don't look a certain way," said Dr. Natasha Randle, associate professor of management at MSU-Meridian.
"People often draw conclusions about the way we look, the way we're dressed – whether it's consistent with the norms for the particular industry or it's something that looks very different or inappropriate for the type of job or position that your are interviewing for."
Randle noted that sometimes people are often unaware of what is acceptable. To help potential job seekers be more informed on the dos and donts of career dress as well as social etiquette, MSU-Meridian and Students for the Advancement of Management (S.A.M.) will host their Annual Etiquette Workshop and Dress for Success Fashion Show. Randle serves as faculty advisor for S.A.M.
In today’s job market, it is imperative to stand out in the crowd. Not only do you want to be noticed and remembered by prospective employers for the right reasons, but also how you appear to others is a reflection of your self-confidence and poise. Savvy employers notice and evaluate every applicant’s behavior.
Cassandra Latimer from The Career Center at Mississippi State University-Starkville will be the facilitator for the workshop. She will guide everyone through the First Impressions seminar, which will help attendees improve that "first impression’" by demonstrating the correct approaches to making introductions, establishing a rapport with a person you’ve just met, and expressing appreciation to your interviewer or host.
Participants will also have the opportunity through this workshop to learn to be very comfortable in a formal dining environment such as banquet or business lunch or an interview.
“We will eat our way through a delicious five-course meal and Cassandra will show them how to utilize each piece of glass or stemware on the table plus the various plates and utensils,” Randle said.
"We hope this will allow people to not be bogged down or uncomfortable with the logistics of meal and therefore be unable to share about themselves and network with those they are trying to impress to either land a job, a promotion, or close a deal.”
Latimer will also facilitate a Dress for Success Fashion Show, helping job seekers not only to make the right clothing choices for an interview and accessorize appropriately but also point out what "not to wear."
“The workshop is geared toward a wide variety of audiences including high school or college graduates getting ready to transition to the workplace as well as those currently in the workplace who need these skills to advance within their business or organization,” Randle said.