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Ellen Gordon Reeves

Bestselling Author of Can I Wear My Nose Ring to the Interview?

Ellen Gordon Reeves is undoubtedly the only career and workplace adviser to have studied at both Harvard and Second City, Saturday Night Live’s training ground. Author of the bestselling CAN I WEAR MY NOSE RING TO THE INTERVIEW? A Crash Course in Finding, Landing and Keeping Your First Real Job, she is also an expert on self-presentation, women in transition, changing careers, salary negotiation, and other aspects of individual professional development. She is a frequent guest on national TV and radio, and consults to individuals and institutions across the country, offering constructive advice from the employer’s point of view.

Reeves has been the resident job-hunting expert for programs including the Columbia Publishing Course and Baruch’s Master’s In Financial Engineering, editing thousands of résumés and cover letters and offering job hunters of all ages advice about how to present themselves. She has been Senior Editor of Jobs for Change at and a career expert for, a financial education/lifestyle site for women. Reeves has spoken and conducted customized workshops for audiences of all sizes at venues including corporations, conferences, colleges, universities, secondary schools, alumni associations, libraries, and not-for-profits.

A graduate of Harvard-Radcliffe, Reeves is now the President of the Harvard Alumni Association. When she finished college, she recalls, “I didn’t have a clue how to turn my goals and interests into a career. While many of my friends became investment bankers, I got a part-time, minimum-wage job in a toy store. (Me: I get 40 percent off all the toys! My parents: For this we sent you to Harvard?) I wish I’d had CAN I WEAR MY NOSE RING TO THE INTERVIEW?, but I hadn’t written it yet.”

She went on to get a Masters degree in writing and teaching writing from Northeastern University, and an M.A. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she studied irony and sarcasm with multiple-intelligence guru Howard Gardner. Then she studied comedy writing and improvisation at Second City. She is the creator, producer, and host of Talk Show, a nightly live performance in New York City. She has done lectures and workshop for clients as diverse as Columbia Law School, Harvard Office of Career Services, the Santa Monica Public Library, The Junior League of New York, and Sterling Investment Management.

Speaking Topics

  • CAN I WEAR MY NOSE RING TO THE INTERVIEW?: Finding, Landing and Keeping Your First Job
  • Turning Out-Placement into In-Placement: Simple Strategies for Success in Tough Times
  • The Interviewer's Hidden Agenda: What He or She Will Never Tell You
  • Women and Men in Transition: Getting Back Into the Marketplace
  • Women and Women of Color in the Workplace: Cultural Difference and Diversity in Career Advancement


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