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The Super Bowl is history and thankfully there was no malfunction re-run this year. I thought the entire half-time scene last year was pre-planned to create interest in the personalities and promote their careers. Based on the TV and talk show conversation that followed, it worked in both ways, positive and negative. The positive is that it’s not going to happen again. The result was mostly a negative PR malfunction.

A career wardrobe malfunction can cause a fumbled interview. Your wardrobe reflects your personality, self-confidence, and image. Most everyone knows to dress properly for an interview, but there are still wardrobe mistakes made everyday by well-intentioned candidates. I was involved in the following three real world malfunctions.

The first took place in Puerto Rico. My female candidate arrived for her interview in a short, nightclub-type, dress and spiked heels. The job opening was for a sales representative calling on established accounts. Client was very disappointed in her provocative image. Is this how she would dress for a sales call? The result was no job offer, no sale that day. She got sacked before the game even started.

The second was after a full day of in person interviews, a fortune 500 company passed on a candidate because her wardrobe didn’t convey the right image. "We wear nylons here", the HR Manager informed her recruiter.

The third was a MBA marketing candidate that flew to my client company’s world headquarters for a full day of interviews. He was scheduled to meet with senior management, vice presidents and directors. He did not pack his business suit. My client never got over the business casual dress code and assumed it reflected a casual attitude. The candidate explained that when interviewing at business school, he didn’t need to wear a suit and tie to the campus interviews. The result was his casual wardrobe created a career casualty.

The following is a list of wardrobe malfunctions to avoid. By following these tips your interviews will always be first and goal to score.

Always wear a suit and tie or business dress. Your wardrobe is a direct statement that you are serious about the interview. Conservative business attire will always score an extra point.

Always kick-off your interview dressed in current fashions. If your outfit is either out-of-style or too modern, it may give the wrong impression

Triple-check your wardrobe the night before your interview. Wrinkled, stained or sloppy clothes must be fixed or replaced. Do your overtime preparation the night before.

Do not wear flashy rings, bracelets, earrings, they can appear pretentious. They only distract during an interview, so leave your Rolex at home. The best defense is not to be offensive.

RECAP: We all understand that there is more to a person’s abilities than the exterior image. Image is only skin deep. The best tip is do not make it difficult for the employer to see the real you. Any of the listed malfunctions will get you called for interference and not march you to an interview touchdown.


The days of girls playing with dolls and crayons versus boys with bats and gloves are long gone. Today’s youth soccer and softball leagues abound for all children. The following survey statistics validate the notion that competitive sports will greatly benefit career women:

86% of female business leaders surveyed said sports increased their self-discipline.
81% said that sports helped them become better team players.
69% said sports helped them develop leadership skills that contributed to their professional success.
68% said that their athletic experiences prepared them to cope with failure.
60% believe that women who play sports are more productive employees.
59% said that playing sports has given them a competitive edge over others.

Source: From the Locker Room to the Boardroom: A Survey on Sports in the Lives of Women Business Executives, Oppenheimer Funds/Mutual Financial Group

When resumes have a list of athletic accomplishments and team leadership involvements, it gets my attention and my clients like to see that early commitment to team performance and individual accomplishments.


This year, the most in-demand jobs are in the health care field. Registered nurses are the powerhouse segment of the healthcare industry. Their category is the fastest growing segment among all jobs that require a post second degree. Their yearly wage can reach the $100,000 level. Excellent and generous sign-on bonuses are becoming common place.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that of the 30 fastest growing occupations, 17 are healthcare related. The healthcare segment is one of the largest industries in the country, with more than 11 million jobs. The competition is so fierce that states are in bidding war for healthcare professional. The nation’s healthcare bill is doubling almost every ten years with the greatest growth in private insurance on the payer side, and prescription drugs on the provider side. By 2012, the total bill amount will be 3.25 trillion. (Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services) Prevention is playing an important role in healthcare, with more jobs in nutrition and fitness sprouting up in hospitals, schools and retirement communities.

"A shortage of nurses threatens the quality of healthcare in communities across America," said Health Resources and Services Administration Director, Elizabeth James Duke. Health and Human Service Secretary, Tommy Thompson, in a prepared statement said, "If more people don’t choose careers in nursing, it will become more and more difficult for patients to get quality healthcare." Based on statistics and federal aid, it seems that the healthcare industry is very healthy and primed for significant growth.

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George Gurney has been a leader in the employment industry since 1976. He founded an executive search firm that conducts domestic and international assignments.  He has won numerous awards for recruiting excellence.  He has been a guest speaker at national conventions and seminars.