Dress for success and land your first job

Ivan Martinez, who graduated with a degree in International Affairs in May 2015 and will acquire his Masters in Public Administration, helped host a seminar Tuesday night for MNSU students. The purpose was to offer professional development tips to students who are preparing for their job interviews or internship opportunities.

Martinez made it clear that attire plays a more important role in being successful than what most may think. He advised students to treat their interviews like they would a first date.

“Would you actually show up to your first date in sweatpants in a t-shirt?” Martinez asked, posing a hypothetical question. “It’s not a professional setting, but the person who you are going to meet is somebody that you care [about] or that you really want to impress.”

Martinez has seen too many situations where students often feel intimidated by their interviews when instead they should make it fun. This changes their perspective and may result in a different outcome than what they may expect.

Martinez saw a need for students to improve their wardrobe options. This need is what got him started in hosting these types of events. Martinez and his brother, Jerry, enjoyed dressing up, so together they started a blog a year and a half ago. His image consulting has really taken off within the last several months, from a wardrobe analysis to a complete look at an individual’s overall style. As emphasized then and in the workshop later, while a person should dress with a professional sense, they should also be comfortable.

After Martinez helps his clients cleanse their wardrobe and donate their clothes, he will take them shopping.

“We’re in an era where image means a lot to people in the way they are perceived,” Martinez said. “I believe that people who are looking to be more professional want to look more professional. They will take that opportunity to spend a little bit of money to have someone help them, especially if they don’t have the knowledge.”

Another reason why Martinez became a professional wardrobe consultant is because he felt he could add something to the Career Development Center services that would enhance students’ opportunities for a professional appearance.

His expertise lies within men’s clothes, since he has also seen they do not often have the same online resources that women do. Carina Aguilar, a junior who is studying human resources management and works with Maverick Software Consulting for her internship, added her touch at the event on the female side of dressing professionally.

She encouraged women in the audience to look sharp with no crazy makeup, wear what they are most comfortable in since it shows a presence of confidence, and if they wear flats, ensure that their pants are hemmed so they do not drag. She also said to exercise caution on low-cut shirts and to wear them just below the neckline, as well as dress for the season.

In the resume section of the workshop, Aguilar also recommended not going over a page. Since she interns at Maverick Software Consulting, she said she takes no more than three minutes for each resume.

Aguilar added not to include references in the resume because if your future employer is interested, they will ask. What they are more interested in at that point are what classes you have taken and your perception in how they will play a part in your job.

As a side note, Mai Xee Vang from the Multicultural Center informed students in attendance about an opportunity for a free professional photo shoot on Saturday from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. in CSU 253/4. Because of the lighting, she advised wearing neutral colors and against any bright colors, like yellow or orange, which might tinge the skin tone. The 15-minute session will include an edited photo and five to ten originals. If interested, you can sign up by calling her at (507)389-2799 or email her at mai-xee.vang@mnsu.edu.

In closing, Martinez advised students to get a haircut a week before their interview, as well as shaving or shaping your beard. He also said you should buy your attire at least three weeks in advance so if it needs any tailoring, it will be done in time and you will feel confident in what you’re wearing.

“There’s a lot of preparation that some might not think about,” Martinez said. “Always lay out your stuff beforehand.”

If anyone has any questions for him, he invites them to contact him on his Instagram at @andjstyle or through his Facebook page, “I & J Style & Advice”.

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