All right, ladies, let’s hear it: what are your best tips and tricks for keeping your resume updated? I’ve read a lot about checking for typos (vital!!!), using action words, and targeting your resume for the job you’re applying for (some say you should even use keywords from the job description itself!). My one resume “trick” deals with the time before all of that — that sometimes dark, sometimes optimistic act of sitting down and figuring out what’s new to put on your resume. I’ve always found it to be a bit overwhelming and one of the key places I procrastinate when starting the job hunt process. So here’s my trick (which may be totally basic!):
Retirement – and retirement hobbies – are likely a long way off in your mind. But I like to be prepared, so I asked Lisa from Privilege what those of us who are still working should know. Can one prepare to pursue hobbies? Were there things she thought she’d love but hasn’t -— or hobbies that, once she got deeper into them, she realized she could have made the time for, earlier? Lisa has guest posted* with us before, pondering the things you might miss about a corporate job once you’re out, and — in one of our top posts — advice from the VP/hiring manager level. Welcome back, Lisa! -Kat
Many of us dream of retiring and finally having time for Anything But Work. I’ve taken a couple of stabs at retirement myself already, at 57. And, as it turns out, unsurprisingly for you smart folks, there’s more to it than romping around not working.
This is not to say that hobbies, travel, and sofa-intensive afternoons aren’t out there. They are. And they are good. The thing is, they’re even better when you’ve done a little advance research. And, it’s also true that many of us who’ve had jobs with responsibility and authority, despite the associated stress, don’t want to toss it all aside. We’d rather replicate what we love, add new pursuits, and get some autonomy over when we do what. (Pictured: Angela’s Garden Fabric-Back Leather Palm Garden Glove, $18.99 at Amazon.)
It’s worth planning to make that all happen.
When, if ever, must you wear heels? Must you wear heels for interviews — or can you interview in flats? Must you wear heels for law firm jobs? Reader L wonders:
I’m starting law school in August, and I’ve heard that heels (3-4″) are a MUST for interviewing and working at a law firm. However, I am a 6′ tall female. I never wear heels, since when I do, I tend to tower over everyone. Would it be appropriate to wear a nice pair of flats in my case?
Great question! We’ve talked about how to build a stylish, professional wardrobe with flats, how to wear heels (if you’re used to flats), and whether flats are professional enough for court. As far as shoe questions go, this is important, so even though we’ve talked about it a lot, I want to stress it again: you don’t need to wear heels to look professional. There are a number of reasons why you wouldn’t want to wear heels — from feeling too tall (although hey, I say rock it out if you have the height!), to having foot injuries or issues, to just I-don’t-wanna-itis. A few things that I would note about wearing flats for big events like interviews:
I just learned that I received a huge promotion at work, for which I’ve been working very hard for a very long time. I would like to do something special for myself to celebrate, and was thinking about splurging on something as a reward. Many of my male colleagues will do something like buy a very nice watch for such a promotion, but I’m not really interested in that. What other options would you suggest? For example, I thought investing in a really nice handbag might be an option, or I’m also considering going on a bucket list trip somewhere exotic. I would love to hear your suggestions and those of other readers, and while I know this is a very personal decision, I thought it could make for a great discussion.
Given Reader L’s particular question, though, I have to say: TAKE THE TRIP IF YOUR SCHEDULE WILL ALLOW! A lot of readers noted that I didn’t include trips on my list of “best splurges,” but my schedule back then was always way too busy to fit in a bucket list trip (ditto for my friends’ schedules at the time). Material goods like watches usually won out over experiences. (Even if you can’t go out of town, though, I suppose you can always schedule a pampering spa day at a fancier hotel in your city.)
Readers — do you reward yourselves with travel and materialistic splurges, or do you celebrate work successes by treating yourself in other ways?
N.B. PLEASE KEEP YOUR COMMENTS ON TOPIC; threadjacks will be deleted at our sole discretion and convenience. These substantive posts are intended to be a source of community comment on a particular topic, which readers can browse through without having to sift out a lot of unrelated comments. And so, although of course I highly value all comments by my readers, I’m going ask you to please respect some boundaries on substantive posts like this one. Thank you for your understanding!
Sure, we all know what basics professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.
A stylish interview tote is something that every woman needs — yet it can often be a hassle to find the perfect thing (at a price you like). For my money, a good interview tote:
- is black (and can be worn with any color, including navy)
- has structure to it and will stand up by itself if you set it down
- is big enough to hold at least a folder with your resume, as well as a small bag of makeup and a bottle of water
- has interior organization (pockets and the like) so you can find what you need, quickly and easily, without digging
In an ideal world, a good interview top would also zipper on top (so it’s secure and won’t accidentally spill out), and would be able to be carried by a shoulder strap so your hands can be free. We’ve gone on the hunt for these before (see our 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010 roundups here); also, guest poster Jean from Extra Petite recently shared her favorite tote bags with us. Some of the classics that we’ve included in previous roundups (and are still available) are Rebecca Minkoff MAB totes, the Kate Spade Maryanne line, most MZ Wallace bags, nylon Tory Burch totes, and Lo & Sons totes. Readers, what qualities do you look for in an interview tote bag? Are there any classics that we’re forgetting? Have you made any recent purchases of a great tote bag?
Record keeping — fun, right? But: it can really help you cover your butt at work when you need to. So how DO do you organize, file, and otherwise keep track of your meeting notes, emails, and phone calls? Today’s guest post brings you some excellent advice from Belle of Capitol Hill Style — CHS on CYA, so to speak. Thanks to Belle for passing along these tips (and welcome back to the blog)!
Working in politics taught me a number of valuable lessons, the most important of which was how to keep excellent records. I save emails, letters, memos, and meeting notes because you never know when you’re going to need a paper trail. So when Kat asked me to write a post detailing how to cover your ass at work, I was happy to oblige.
Let’s start with the foundation of CYA, keeping good records: