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Job seekers: Make a better impression

STATEPOINT — First impressions matter, particularly when you’re in the market for a new job. While a top notch resume and cover letter can get you an initial interview, only you can seal the deal.

Now is the perfect time to revamp your look for a smooth job search. Make a strong first impression at your next interview or networking event with these tips:

• Be a good listener. What you say is just as important as being engaged when others are talking. Make good eye contact and ask questions to show you are interested in what is being said.

• Anticipate the questions you will be asked in an interview so you are prepared with intelligent, confident, and articulate answers. Define your strengths and weaknesses ahead of time to answer every hard question with ease.

• Get a good night’s sleep the night before an interview or convention. Not only will you look fresher and more alert in the morning, you’ll be thinking more clearly as well.

• Know how to explain any gaps in your resume. If you have taken time off from your field to pursue a passion for travel, be ready to discuss this time off and explain how it has helped you professionally.

• Prepare your 30-second elevator pitch to communicate your strengths and goals. You never know where a conversation with a hiring manager may lead, so be sure to tailor it to each person you speak with so it does not sound over-rehearsed or unnatural.

• The maxim often holds true that “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Be sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date, showcasing all of your recent work. Connect with headhunters, friends, family, or even old classmates and coworkers to learn about opportunities you may not have heard about otherwise.

• Dress to impress to be taken seriously. Denis Daly Wood, founder of Dalys1895.com, a century-old men’s luxury designer and online retailer, recommends standing out with a unique accessory for your suit, such as a stylish tie clip, tie, pocket square, or pair of cufflinks that can break the ice and start a conversation. “A unique pocket square can finish off the look of a suit or blazer, while also helping convey that you are someone who is stylish and put together. What you wear communicates a lot about your personality and who you are,” says Wood.

JobSearchSeek quality accessories, such as the limited edition Caravaggio Italian silk pocket squares, which are handmade or the Dalys 1895 Alligator Belts, which are measured to each inch for a perfect fit. Wood also reminds job seekers that outerwear and a bag may often make or break the first impression. A sophisticated briefcase, coat and winter scarf, such as the Caravaggio wool and silk scarf, can give you a polished look when you’re making your entrance. More style inspiration for briefcases, cufflinks, and more can be found at http://www.Dalys1895.com.

In the professional realm, presentation matters from your social media profile to your suit and tie. For a successful job search, resolve to showcase the best version of yourself.

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