Review: ‘Nose Ring’ prepares college students for job search

By Cynthia Mungaray


   One of the most feared words for college students is “interview.”

There are many reasons for this fear but most often it boils down to preparedness. The perfect interviewee would have impeccable language usage, have the best wardrobe and speaking ability, and know everything there is to know about anything.

Unfortunately, college students are lost at the most basic aspect of an interview: how to get one or more specifically how to look for one.

Ellen Gordon Reeves’ “Can I Wear My Nose Ring to the Interview?” shares the golden rules to job hunting, interview do’s-and-don’ts, and how to keep the job in a lighthearted, yet-mother-knows-best approach.

Reeves begins by sharing the cardinal rules to searching for a job. She goes beyond the expected route of sharing her own stories or giving a general explanation to truly providing the golden/hidden rules to becoming an expert job hunter, networker and résumé writer.

Reeves mentions the most minute yet significant aspects of job-searching which include Googling oneself before an interview, having a healthy sleep schedule and even using one’s family as a tool for success. The big picture, as mentioned by Reeves, is to embrace the search while being your own first employer. If one can sell themselves successfully, the job search will not be as painful.

To some, getting out of the house may not be the obvious starter advice but Reeves shows how this detail is highly significant to foolproofing the interview and résumé.

Rather than stay at home during a job search, Reeves suggests getting out and doing something. She sets up the scenario in which the interviewee is asked what they did in the past month or so. Instead of answering “nothing,” the interviewee may answer by providing an extensive list of volunteer opportunities, internships, or fun and healthy activities.

What makes this book so successful is Reeves’ ability to motivate. In less than a page, Reeves is able to get the reader motivated to get off the couch and work for themselves to better their chances in the real world.

The most important but daunting tasks in job-searching is creating a flawless résumé and cover letter. Reeves provides thorough advice on each element of a résumé and cover letter. Details such as knowing when and where to put specific information such as working in a family business or how to order school and job information are provided. These details are expected but some unexpected points Reeves makes is knowing when and how to provide information regarding studying abroad, or how to maneuver out of a “why-were-you-fired” scenario.

How to properly send a résumé/cover letter and what paper or file to use were also explained. Reeves recalls several instances in which she received a résumé via e-mail with an inappropriate subject line and document title. She provides the sample “GoodVersionWithDan’sEdits” as a don’t-do. It’s an easily overlooked detail, but one that is so graciously provided by Reeves.

The final sections of this book pertain to the actual interview, what to do before saying yes to the job and what happens after one is hired. The “Getting Through the Interview” section is self-explanatory in that it provides the expected advice that Reeves would only think of, meaning one is sure to identify new and overlooked points as well as a thorough explanation of the usual interview faux pas and strategic maneuvers to use to avoid an unsuccessful interview.

The section regarding what to do before saying yes is very insightful as it provides interesting solutions to spur-of-the-moment situations. A situation may occur in which one has been hired but there are questions floating around on salary due to unexpected circumstances. Reeves mentions weighing options and how to approach the situation by providing solutions to “the don’ts.” The don’ts provided include “don’t price yourself out of a job or don’t undersell yourself.”

Reeves also provides tips on knowing when it is appropriate to ask for sick days, or how to use lunch time successfully. An impressive element in this book is the last section in which she informs the reader on tips regarding leaving a job by providing a “departure checklist.” This checklist, again, offers details that are often overlooked by other authors or professors.

Can I Wear My Nose Ring to the Interview?” provides a friendly approach to teaching readers the untold truths to attaining an interview and keeping a job/leaving a job. Reeves is able to express her expertise on this subject without being too subjective or harsh but rather kind and honest enough to make the reader learn.

This book is ideal for any college student — young or experienced — as well as anyone in the job market.


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