Tuesday, August 13, 2013

How To get Ahead With THAT Head of Hair Pt.2

How to get ahead with that head of hair

My first Installment Focused on “Out” Natural hairstyles for interviews  like buns, and wash n go’s and up do’s.  This installment will focus on the changing corporate environment, Locked hair, and finding a job Fast.  
The economy is in bad shape. My elders constantly remind me of the “good old days”. Days when you can quit a job on Friday, and have a new role by Monday.  In this tough market, Job seekers can expect to look for work for a Minimum of 7 months.  I don’t know too many people who have 7months of savings.   Here are a few tips to make your job search easier

1.       Build A Brand- Looking for a job, is a full time job. Many positions are snagged through connections, and networking. Sites like LinkedIn, and BullHorn Reach are great resources for job seekers, as well as recruiters. These sites act like a “live” resume, listing your past roles, accomplishments,  co-workers, professional recommendations, and  who’s in your network . When you build a personal  brand, your reputation precedes you,  &  you are already a step ahead of other candidates, and job spammers.  For profile sites, be sure to have a professional looking picture displayed. No bathroom shots, no pictures of you holding your camera. I recommend a simple Professional headshot, in a button up blouse.  And of course interview ready hair. Buns, Wash n Go’s, Pin Tuck & Rolls, finger coils, palm coils are a few options.
2.       Don’t Spam- In the First installment, I stressed that you should for research each role you apply. Sending out 1,000 resumes, without tailoring the resume, cover letter, and approach is not a good used of time. You efforts to tailor your cover letter, and properly research each role will pay off quickly. You will notice more call backs, and eventually land a role. 10 well written, tailored resumes will yield more results, than 50 general applications. A recruiter will give a maximum of 30 seconds to review a resume, make it count!  
3.       The Interview begins Before the Interview-  From the moment a recruiter dials your number, your being interviewed, and assessed.  Don’t play  Music on your voice mail, Don’t used ring back tones,  Don’t answer if you’re in a noisy place.  Don’t have the recruiter call you more than twice to schedule an interview.  Do answer professionally.  Do express your interest, and key skills. Do Ask the name and title of who you are meeting with. Do your research!! Be prepared.  
4.       Interview is not over, until its over-  I can’t tell you how many times I've watch a candidate shine during the initial interview, only to bomb the 2nd round of interviews, or fail during negotiations.  From the initial contact, until you compete your new hire paperwork,  stay on your toes.  Follow up with any document requested. Follow up with thank you notes or emails even if you did not get the position.  Remain personable, and friendly during sticky salary negotiations.  And don’t forget to Smile!
Using these tips can drastically shorten your job search.  In the first installment, I discussed recommended natural hair styles for interviews. I didn't forget about Locks, and job hunting.

What about my Locks?
Sid Credle
Hampton University MBA Dean

Mr Credle has instituted a No Locks, No Corn Braids Policy for their MBA Program since 2001

||Dean Credle says when people criticize the ban for denying cultural aspects of style, he believes cornrows and dreadlocks have not been a historically professional look.
"I said, when was it that cornrows and dreadlocks were a part of African American history?"
Credle added, "I mean Charles Drew didn't wear it, Muhammad Ali didn't wear it. Martin Luther King didn't wear it." ||

I cringe at policy’s like this. Especially when enforced at a historically Black University. I would think that Bob Marley is historic,  locks and all. I looked further into his reasons for banning a natural hairstyle. He notes that 90% of grads from his program are employed. And the programs main goal is to prepare you for the corporate working environment. With Unemployment for Black 2x that of our white counterparts, I can understand why you would want to limit anything that will put you at a disadvantage. I don't believe  tidy, locks will hinder anyone's career. Unless you want to work at six flags, or other employers who choose to limit natural hair styles. 

The reality is, all employers have a code of conduct, and dress code.  Your Industry dictates what’s professional, and what’s acceptable at work. I have worked across various industries, and recruited for many roles, I have come across quite a few established professional with locks.

 I have seen more Dreadlocks  in decision making positions, than BBA’a (Big Beautiful afros).  Slowly but surely, the corporate environment is changing, as a new wave of young professionals hit the market, and older professional begin to retire. In the Board Room, Locks are more acceptable today, than they were 20 years ago. Today, they can be seen as a neat, tidy, natural hairstyle. Once again, I recommend that you research the role, and company, to see your a good fit. Do they have policies that go against your lifestyle, or values? If so, that company is not for you. If you're a job seeker with locks, don’t fear! I recommend the classic bun, or a low ponytail. If your hair is too short, for a bun or pony, make sure it is neat, clean, and away from your face. A thin headband, or hair clip is fine.

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