This spring we published Can I Wear My Nose Ring to the Interview?, an essential guide for young job-seekers by Ellen Gordon Reeves, and what an adventure it has been. One could never have guessed from Ellen’s stellar performance on the Early Show this morning that just a few short months ago she had never been on television before.
An author’s readiness for the national spotlight is the source of anxiety for every publicist. Many new authors come in with a belief they could face anyone from Oprah to Charlie Rose at a moment’s notice, but very few manage to project the confident smooth-talking expert you’re used to seeing on your screen without many hours of lengthy (and expensive) media training and multiple Advils ingested by yours truly.
Thankfully Ellen Reeves’s training was capped off with a few easy-going conference calls and a small iced coffee at the Time Warner Center. Ever since Can I Wear My Nose Ring to the Interview? launched in May, Ellen has taken her new-grad advice to such venues as CNN, NPR, ABC News Now, Fox News, EXTRA, and just this morning, the Early Show. Her natural eloquence and bullet-proof expertise have impressed producers around the country and she received the highest compliment an author can get from quite a few of them—an invitation to come back.
With all of this media success, one wonders if maybe Ellen’s new book should be “How to Ace an Interview.” But that might be a chapter in Can I Wear My Nose Ring to the Interview? already.
The author of Can I Wear My Nose Ring to the Interview? dishes out 10 great tips to jump-start your job hunt.
1. Stop looking for a job and start looking for a person. The right person will lead you to the right job. 2. Stop sending your résumés into cyberspace. It’s a black hole. 3. Get your parents and relatives off your back and on your side—they’re in your network, too. 4. Get a business card—looking for a job is your job now. 5. Don’t waste valuable résumé real estate on useless conventions like an objective, a GPA, a summary of qualifications, or lines like “References Available Upon Request.” 6. Always dress for a phone interview. If you feel more professional, you’ll sound it. 7. Never say yes to a job offer right off the bat; accept the offer of employment, then negotiate the terms. 8. Create more than one résumé. Tailor each one to the job at hand, with specific categories correlated to the stated requirements. 9. If you want help, be specific. Don’t say “I’ll do anything”—people won’t know where to start. 10. Being young and inexperienced doesn’t have to be a liability: You’re flexible, relatively cheap, and willing to work hard to get ahead.
For more job-hunting tips, click here to listen to Ellen on NPR’s “Morning Edition.”
Ellen Gordon Reeves started helping her friends with their résumés in high school and now consults to individuals and institutions in the U.S. and abroad. She currently serves as the résumé and job-hunting expert at the Columbia Publishing Course. More about Ellen Gordon Reeves