Know Anyone Needing a Job or Wanting to Advance in their Career?

February 27th, 2013


Salvatore Balistreri, Executive Search Consultant of Balistreri Consulting and I will be co-hosting a job seminar.  Great tips on getting your foot into the door, how to network.  Plus looking great for your interview from clothing tips to non-verbal tips. Salvatore will be guiding a mock interview with a seminar participant.  

Check it out below and register by March 8, 2013 for a chance to win prizes. Only $99.00!  

   Job Search Seminar-Cracking The Code





Playing “The Game”

February 6th, 2013

John Harbaugh & Jim Harbaugh


Football is my passion when it comes to game parties and understanding the back-story of players and coaches.  My husband, who’s a sports fan, kept me up-to-date on this year’s Super Bowl.  As many of you are aware, brother coaches, John and Jim Harbaugh, met up with their respectful teams the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers for the big game recently.

Prior to the game they held a joint media conference.

John the eldest, wore a suit, exuded confidence, and dominated the stage based on first impressions.  On the other hand, Jim the younger brother, appeared on stage donned in a 49ers hat, sweat shirt, khaki pants and running shoes.  Now if I didn’t know the back-story and walked into the room while my hubby was watching this television conference, I would have thought it were a coach or GM and his player.

I loved the fact that Jim was who he was and yes he was and continues to be a respected coach.  However, most of us don’t get that chance to show who we are because we are judged first by how we appear.

How trivial this may seem, appearance matters as we all have to “play the game” when we are applying for a job or are working in the job.   You can bring your personality into your work clothing but look in the mirror and ask yourself if you look professional and how would you treat someone dressed like you.

I have intelligent clients who understand they have to “look the part” either for their employees or clients to gain respect.  Hooray for them!

I didn’t write the rules, but the choice is yours to look like a coach or a player for your peers and clients.












She just threw $100.00 down the drain!

February 29th, 2012


Once again I presented my “Dress for Success” to the women soldiers of Fort Hood.

They have the choice to attend the presentation dressed how they would for an interview.  One woman sat in the front row dressed in a simple black suit.  I welcomed her one-on-one.  She in turn acknowledged me with a half smile and stiffness yet underneath I could see her warmth.  I couldn’t help notice throughout my presentation she wore a frown on her face, listened intensely, and sat uneasily.  About 45 minutes into the presentation I posed a question and she stood stiff and expressionless, yet answered graciously.  The conversation focused on the suit she was wearing.  I asked her if she liked what she was wearing.  She distinctly answered “absolutely not.”  The other women gasped.  She said “it’s going in the Goodwill pile after my interviews; I would never wear this outfit it’s not me.  BINGO, my eyes, and brain picked up on this, as many interviewers might.  The next question why she purchased the outfit.  Her response, “the rules say we’re to wear a conservative dark suit, black patent leather shoes etc.”  GREAT POINTS!  First, she bought the suit for a bargain price.  I explained it wasn’t a bargain if she wears it once.  Yet if she’d invested the money toward an outfit she would wear and be professional yet interchangeable with other clothes in her wardrobe she would have saved money.  I always use my calculator when buying clothes for others and myself.  I think of it this way:  $100.00 divided by one outfit wearing equals $100.00 per wear.  Whereas,  $100 divided by 10 outfit wearings equals $10.00 per wear.

Secondly, I told the group if they wear what the “rules” say they may as well wear their uniforms.  They’ll all look the same as if they’re still in the army.  Yes, I believe you need to dress in a professional manner, yet I believe you need to bring your style into your dress.  There are so many different outfits one can wear for different types of jobs and the interview to dress professionally yet comfortably and be who they are.  Rule number one, dress professionally.  Rule number two buy an outfit you can wear at least three different ways.  Rule number three, bring your personality into your wardrobe then you can be the natural you and it will show.



Your “Street Appeal”

February 8th, 2012

Some people think updating their image (whether for an interview or dressing in the work place) is not that important.  Comments I’ve heard include,  “I need to be comfortable and no one should tell me how to dress” and “if they don’t like how I look then I don’t want to work for them” or “they should like me for my skills, not my appearance” and lastly,  “I don’t judge others on their appearance so they dare not judge me.”

What people don’t realize is they are selling themselves each time they meet with someone whether peers or clients.Most of us use sight first to make judgments in our everyday life.  Consider what you do when buying a home.  The house must have “street appeal.”  If people see a well groomed home finely landscaped it can encourage them to take a look on the inside.  Or look at two cupcakes on a plate, same flavor but one is frosted beautifully and the other is smashed.  Even if the smashed one tastes better most people will likely choose the nicest looking cupcake (unless they’re really hungry and decide to eat both).

How can you assure you are sellable?  Look at yourself in the mirror before heading off to work or going to an interview.  Be totally honest with yourself and ask if you look professional from head to toe?  What would others say about your look i.e. sloppy, too sexy, too young, too frumpy?  People may treat you as they perceived you, it’s generally a given.

Consider your “street appeal” when developing and creating your image.  What does your image communicate to others that are judging you at first sight?



Be the Unique Tree in the Forest

January 11th, 2012

Good Question from one of my clients:

“I’ve been told I should wear a navy suit with a white shirt for my interview.  I don’t want to buy one because I’ll never wear it and I don’t feel it’s who I am.  Help!”

In speaking with a number of Human Resource Representatives, they want to see your personality.  If everyone wore a navy suit for an interview it’s like seeing all the same trees in the forest and not viewing the different ones.  Set yourself apart with even the slightest changes.  Add a scarf or a colorful blouse but don’t overdo it.

Consider the type of job you are applying for and in what part of the country when deciding the type of outfit you should wear.  For example, Austin can be very casual interview wear and New York many times requires a very tailored style.  An internet gaming company may require casual wear since that is what their normal attire is verses a more conservative banking company.  Many times the interviewers will offer a heads up on dressing for the company interview.  If not, call the company receptionist and ask how formal or informal the office culture is related to dress.  If all else fails, dress “up” rather than dress “down” for the job interview as that is the smartest way to prepare.





August 3rd, 2011

Men:  Keep the pen out of your shirt pocket and in your leather portfolio.

Women:  If a purse is not your thing buy a leather portfolioleather portfolio

Both sexes:  Turn your cell phone off….not muted….OFF.



Guest Blogger Salvatore “Ted” Balistreri of Salvatore Balistreri Consulting

June 15th, 2011

Since today is my husband’s and my wedding anniversary and our business’s can work hand-in-hand I asked him to give me his “male” view on  interview wear.

As a retained executive search consultant, I have been involved with thousands of face-to-face interviews. With that kind of “apprenticeship,” I can describe a sense of what kind of interview dress is great to see:

1)  I like it when the candidate seems to be dressing one-level up from the company culture they are interviewing for. This indicates to me that they have done their homework and have dressed appropriately for the interview event.

2)  I enjoy seeing an outfit with the appropriate shoes/belt that makes the entire outfit seem to flow. Many times I have seen good outfits bogged down by shoes that are not polished or do not go with the rest of the outfit.

3)  I like to see a tie that makes the candidate seem unique. This can be tricky as a “too loud” tie can be a turn off but a tie that seems cool and fashionable tells me something about the confidence level of the candidate.

4)  When I see a suit that is tailored to the body it makes me feel that the candidate pays attention to details and that they feel good about whom they are.

5)  On the intangible side of things, I think energy and enthusiasm play a great deal in the hiring decision. I strongly suggest to candidates to exercise before the interview. This becomes of greater importance as people age. You want to be seen as the “best you.” If I sense that the candidate is tired during the interview, it speaks volumes about the person and their ability to handle the opportunity if they are hired.

Be proactive and strategize about what to wear at an important interview event. Your skills and talent are crucial but your interview dress plays an important role too.

Executive Coaching, Outplacement, Executive Recruiting Interview wear

Salvatore Balistreri

Salvatore Balistreri Consulting












Presentation at St. Edwards University Austin, Texas

October 4th, 2010

Last night my husband Ted & I did a presentation to top students of the business colleges at St. Edwards University. Ted discussed Strategic Job Search & I discussed Image and first impressions. Great questions, Great Students!


Resume Only Part of the Recipe

September 8th, 2010

Add all the Ingredients

Have you ever baked a cake using one ingredient?  Even if you’ve never stepped foot in a kitchen you know it wouldn’t be a cake.  People talk to my husband Ted about developing a strategic job search plan. They are so intent on having their resume look good some don’t realize other factors are also involved.  The resume gets you in the door of your hoped-for employer; however, it still doesn’t get you the job.  It’s only part of the recipe.  Your talents may be very unique, and like it or not, your appearance can make or break an interview.



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