You & Me BC
Dressing For Success
Dress for Success is there for women seeking employment
You & Me BC
February 19th, 2023
Dress for Success Vancouver helps women look professional and perform the part. I talked with Dress for Success’s Tasneem Damji about their work, as well as some of the most important tips for jobseekers.
LEARN MORE: DRESS FOR SUCCESS VANCOUVER
How does Dress for Success help women find employment?
Tasneem: We offer many services to help women find work, including professional outfits (including jewelry, shoes, purses, and makeup) for interviews, workshops to help women thrive in work and life, and one-on-one career support with resumes, cover letters, and practice interviews.
When women are surrounded by a supportive community like Dress for Success Vancouver, they leave feeling confident and empowered to tackle the job search.
We also support women in their career growth through our Professional Women's Group, a program that incorporates community, a professional speakers series, and one-on-one mentorship to help women achieve their goals.
All our services are free and we work with women whenever they need our support.
What are the keys to making a good impression on an employer?
Tasneem: Tailor your resume to each job. Employers can tell whether you've applied specifically to their job. Use words they use on their website and words relevant to the area of work you’re applying for.
Pay attention to detail, since spelling and grammar mistakes don't look good, and follow instructions. If they say to submit your application in PDF format, do that. It shows you're likely to follow instructions at work.
How can someone with limited experience make a resume stand out?
Tasneem: Many people think you should only talk about work experience, but we do so much more. Most organizations want to see you as a person too – whether you got paid or not isn’t all that matters.
Being a mother, for example, is like being a project manager. You've got to have communication skills, speak to doctors, teachers, and manage budgets. Highlight those in a ‘relevant experience’ section.
What are the keys to a successful job interview?
Tasneem: The first thing’s to prepare. Read the website about the work they do and be able to explain why you want to work there.
Also be ready to answer ‘Tell me about yourself?’ with something relevant to the position, and ask good questions at the end like ‘What are some challenges the company’s facing that you’d like this role to address?' or ‘How do you define company culture?’
You could also ask the interviewer why they work there and what keeps them there, and afterward send a thank you email mentioning something that came up in an interview.
What else should job seekers keep in mind?
Tasneem: Look at each interview as a learning experience for the next one. When you're looking for work, tell everyone you know you're looking for a job, as you never know who they may know.
And be kind to yourself. Don't put unrealistic expectations on yourself, and always celebrate the wins, like putting together a resume or sending out an application.
Learn more about Dress for Success
Spencer van Vloten is the editor of You & Me BC. To get in touch, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!