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EMPLOYER'S EXPECTATIONS:  MEASURING UP

Expectation #1: Appearance

Do you look like the right person for the job?

Four aspects of your appearance concern employers. Employers are concerned about your appearance as shown by the way you look, behave, write, and speak. Each type of appearance is just as important as all of the others. If you meet these expectations, your first impression will be a good and lasting one.

The Way You Look

It may seem obvious, but good personal appearance and hygiene are extremely important when you are looking for a job. Many people suffering from extended unemployment stop paying attention to their physical selves. You should realize, however, that 40 percent of those remaining unemployed do so because of poor personal appearance. Don't be one of these people!

When you go to an interview, look like the right person for the job. In the first few seconds the employer will probably decide not to hire you if you have neglected your personal appearance. It makes no difference how skilled you are. The employer will usually hire someone with a pleasing appearance.

Three factors determine the way you look. These factors are dress, grooming, and hygiene.

Hygiene

Hygiene is a third important factor in your personal appearance. Practice the following basic rules for good personal hygiene.

bullet Keep your body clean. Good personal hygiene begins with a clean body.
bullet Wash your hair regularly.
bullet Brush and floss your teeth every day.
bullet Use deodorants.
bullet Clean your fingernails.

Dress, grooming, and hygiene are closely related. Neglect of one hurts the others. Even if you are well-dressed and well-groomed, you will not have a good personal appearance if you have overlooked your hygiene.

Remember

Forty percent of the people who stay unemployed do so, in part, because their personal appearance does not meet employer expectations.

The Way You Write

The third aspect of appearance is the paperwork that you must do to make your job-search successful. For example, almost all employers require applicants to fill out application forms. You must do your paperwork in a way that shows employers you are neat, complete, and accurate.

The Way You Speak

Another part of your appearance is the way you speak. Your manner of speaking is most important during the interview and during your phone contacts. Making a good appearance with your speaking means doing the following:

bullet thinking and organizing your thoughts before talking

Expectation # 2: Dependability

Can you be counted on to do the job?

Employers hire people who show the most promise of being at work on time every day. Most companies operate on the idea that time is money. In turn, workers are usually paid the amount of time they give the company. Employees who often miss work entirely, or frequently arrive late, cannot contribute fully. A highly skilled worker who is often absent will not produce as much as a more dependable worker with fewer skills. Nonproductive employees do not stay employed for long. Such workers often cost the company money rather that help it make a profit.

The second important employer expectation, then, is dependability. Dependability includes two specific qualities attendance and punctuality. It also includes a general quality reliability. During all parts of your joy-search, you must convince employers that you meet their expectations in these areas.

Attendance

Employers want to hire people who will maintain good attendance. Employers expect all workers to be on the job as scheduled. Employees who are at work every day produce more. In this way they make more money for the company and for themselves.

During an interview your task is to give the interviewer specific and concrete examples of when and how you've shown good attendance in the past. You can do this with examples from any of your life, work, or educational experiences.

When you give employers specific examples of your skills, you show employers your ability to do good work. This also shows employers that you invested time and energy in preparing for your job-search and that you have the communication skills they want their workers to have. A specific example tells a story by describing some of the who, what, where, when, why, and how of that example.

There are a few basic ways for you to show the employer during an interview that you meet his or her expectations of attendance. Show the employer that you've not missed many days at work or at school. If you did miss a few days and made up the work, say so! As a rule of thumb, six missed days a year, without serious illness. are considered acceptable to most employers ... but not all.