EXPECTATIONS: MEASURING UP
Expectation #1: Appearance
Do you look like the right person for
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 is a third important factor in
your personal appearance. Practice the following basic rules for good
your body clean. Good personal hygiene begins with a clean body.
your hair regularly.
and floss your teeth every day.
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.
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:
||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.
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
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