1998 Career Guidance Pamphlet for Prospective Employees
Chananya Weissman
December 22, 1998, Yeshiva University Commentator

The job market is highly competitive and students can spend many commercial breaks fretting over their futures. The Yeshiva University Harry Metzenberg and Sheila Gugenplast Office of Placement and Career Services (YUHMSGOPCS) has therefore prepared a comprehensive pamphlet of tips and advice for students about to enter the workforce.

Appearance is absolutely critical to securing any job worth talking about during Chazaras haShatz. When interviewing for a job, you must wear professional attire. Men are strongly urged to wear a tie. Not wearing one conveys insecurity about your ability to fashionably complement the rest of your wardrobe. If you can't even do that, how will you fit into a company?

The tie you choose should be conservative, but not dull. It should be unusual, but not flashy. Engaging, but not distracting. Bold, but not reckless. The tie makes the man, so choose it carefully. Your very future may hang in the balance. (We will be scheduling seminars on this, so don't worry.)

Shoes should be polished, non-squeaky, and should at least appear to be uncomfortable. Ostensibly comfortable shoes portray laxness.

Don't get any crazy ideas about your hair. Keep it simple. A minimal amount of gel is acceptable. If you don't have any hair, you don't stand a chance. Unless you have one hell of a tie.

Cologne is acceptable, and for some people mandatory. Some Calvin Klein fragrances have come to be known as “sexual harassment scents”, so beware.

Wearing a kippah is optional, but, quite frankly, not a very good idea. Your new God is the green guy. If you need help rationalizing, see a YUHMSGOPCS advisor as soon as possible. Rabbis don't generally make a lot of money, so you shouldn't take advice in these matters from them, anyway.

Women should take between two and four hours to dress for an interview. Whatever's in is out and whatever's out is career-suicide. Make that four to six hours.

A firm handshake is fundamental. It shows confidence, energy, and attitude. Even rabbis need firm handshakes to be successful. A wimpy handshake immediately disqualifies anything else you might bring to the table. However, be careful not to be too firm. A squeezer demonstrates lack of proportion, and is likely to scare off your interviewer. Mastering the handshake is critical to your success in life.

Make sure to look your interviewer in the eye when performing the handshake. Your glance should be friendly, but not too emotional. Display confidence and self-esteem, but don't appear arrogant. You're still nothing.

Appear relaxed when speaking to your interviewer. Both of you know that you're on trial, so what's the sense in showing it? Mention the highlights of your resume, speak about your accomplishments and goals, and crack an occasional joke (no Seinfeld, no Dilbert, no corny stuff, no racial stuff, no stories, nothing long, nothing original).

If you once dumped a stack of The Commentator on some security desk, say you were an associate manager of distribution. It doesn't matter who you are or what you've done, but what you can make it seem like you've done. Internalizing this concept can be the single most important thing you ever do.

When wrapping up the interview, thank the interviewer for spending his time with you, and ask for information on how to stay in touch with the company. If the interviewer declines to give it to you, beg. They like to feel in control.

Wait no longer than a week before sending a thank-you note to your interviewer. Don't tell them that you passed up seats at a Yankees game to attend the interview, but make it seem as if you enjoyed the experience. Again, the key is making it seem.

Your interviewer will evaluate your performance based on the above qualifications. In the event of a tie between you and another prospective employee, the winner of the job is chosen by actual ability.

If you have any questions, feel free to set up an appointment at the YUHMSGOPCS.

Also, be on the lookout for our upcoming pamphlet on dating and marriage.