Job-Hunt Tips for the Nose-Ring Crowd

DFN: Book reveiw of "Can I Wear My Nose Ring to the Interview", good pointers of what to do / not to do in an interview. The only thing I somewhat disagree with is the concept of altering your resume for a specific job. Unfortunately, while it positions you better for a particular job, it can create an impression of trying to ‘game’ the system, or ‘lie’, it an employer should happen to get hold of different version of the resume for a person. Will the real person, please stand up; should this happen, in today’s market, it will quickly lead to ‘your’ being discarded as a candidate.

Author gives job-hunt tips for nose-ring crowd
Janet Ford WCU Book Review • October 18, 2009 12:15 AM

Ellen Gordon Reeves drew upon experience on both sides of the job interview desk in writing “Can I Wear My Nose Ring to the Interview?”

Although her target audience is recent or soon-to-be college graduates looking for their first professional jobs, she offers solid advice to anyone looking for a job.

Although much of her advice is standard, Reeves presents her material in a humorous manner that encourages and reassures the entry-level job seekers who are most desperately in need of her help.

Like most career counselors, she instructs job seekers to approach the task as if the search itself is a full-time job.

She notes, however, that college students often have little or no professional experience and consequently do not know how to go about the “business” of finding a job.

Reeves advises ways to make up for this deficiency: Set up a home office, develop a reasonable schedule, identify networking possibilities and pursue job leads.

Her advice is common sense: Use a professional e-mail address for your job search instead of the clever “hotchick” or “partyguy” moniker from your college years. She also advises job seekers to use professional-sounding messages and musical selections on their voice mail service.

And they should be realistic about their goals. Her “Rule of Three,” for example, suggests that job seekers make three job contacts per day.

It’s also important to be strategic: Rather than sending out generic résumés in an electronic mass mailing, focus on the jobs, companies or fields in which you have a genuine interest, carefully adapting and tailoring your résumé and cover letter for each position sought.

Reeves also shares the currently accepted protocol concerning references, an element of job seeking that is often addressed only superficially. Perhaps most helpfully, Reeves provides both good and bad examples of résumés and cover letters.

For the job seeker who has followed her advice and landed an interview, Reeves provides additional instructions on how to prepare for and engage in a successful interview and what to do in the event of an interviewing faux pas.

An applicant who receives a job offer should carefully evaluate the offer, negotiate the terms if that is appropriate and reach a rational decision about a job that could very well set the tone for his or her professional career.

Reeves, through her book, may become the best friend a college student (and hiring managers) could have. The first task on a job seeker’s to-do list should be to read this book.

Janet Ford is an assistant professor of business law in the College of Business at Western Carolina University. For previously reviewed books, visit the Web site at



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