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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, everyone. I've finished my MFA in Writing last year, and I haven't been able to land a steady job in the meantime. Much of that time, however, I have been involved with things that would look good on my resume, such as a publishing internship, applying to various schools to pursue a PhD., attending a novel writer's conference in San Francisco, a Writer's Residency in Martha's Vineyard, and taking the GRE subject test in Literature. However, I'm to resume my job hunt at a more steady pace this time, while I continue to work on my writing.

Currently, my hair is long--past my shoulders. I comb and wash it every day, and I always tie it back into a ponytail during work, interviews or on occasions where I need to look slightly less than casual. Though I held supermarket job during the years in which it grew out, I was also been hired as a Writing Coach at my old college and a driver's assistant for UPS during the winter.

Additionally, I've grown a full beard in the meantime, so I'm sort of sporting a 'Jesus' look. He seems to think this is acceptable, but some other people feel it is more of a job killer (UPS, for example, required that I shave, though they didn't care about my hair length). Personally, I feel much better about my own appearance now than I ever have. I absolutely hate the way that I used to look whilst clean shaven and with short hair. I think this new look suits me as an artist, but my father is absolutely convinced that I won't be hired anywhere looking the way that I do (he seems to think it's the equivalent of a facial piercing or tattoo on the neck), and that I need to present myself as more 'saleable'. I think he's extremely narrow-minded and judgmental anyway (since he consistently ignores the stories I tell him about my male friends and peers who have always hair longer than mine and currently hold down professional jobs), and a bit out of touch with the job hunting process these days.

For instance, he seems to think that I should be getting up early every morning and going door-to-door to every local business and asking for a job. I have done this in the past, and it has very poor success rates. We live in a small town with a few local businesses that ignored me when I came to them with short hair. I doubt any of them would care about my MFA in Writing or the 4 years experience I have editing literary journals and reading submissions. Now I'm mostly conducting my job search online, through Higher Ed Jobs and similar venues, and only recently have I gotten any attention. I've come to understand that the days where you can just walk into an establishment and be hired on the spot are virtually over. The best job hunting strategy seems to be knowing where to apply, and persistence.

I think that my appearance and hair length, if it is maintained, should be fine for the sort of job niche that would actually hire me, but my father still won't get off my case about it. He says he's embarrassed that I wear T-shirts as well--as if I would go to any interview like this. Am I just delusional?

I guess I should ask if there is any official consensus that employers have about long hair on men. It is really an interview killer, or does it just depend on the job?
 
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I've had long hair (by conventional standards) for 15 years now and as far as I can tell it's never hampered me in finding a job. Since 2005 I've worked in corporate-ish office environments and my hair has been mid-back to waist length and it's never been an issue. As long as you're well groomed and present yourself properly in the interview (and I'm sure your resume is better than mine) no one is going to care.
 

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I dont think long hair matters. But definitely being well shaven matters. Once you're hired it may not matter I remember this guy I worked with once grew a big beard. Actually I also remember one with long hair in a ponytail lol.

My advice is be clean shaven for the interviews and once you're hired well do what you want. They can't fire you over growing a bit of a beard unless it's in their policy.
 

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I think the beard put things over the edge; as it may be too much for employers. I would stick with one or the other, but not both.
 

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Your appearance all depends upon the job you are applying for.

Some jobs it won't matter one bit; landscaping or construction worker are the first two that popped in my head.

Others will be more stringent. You should be able to figure that out. If you can't, return all your degrees and demand a refund.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
Here is the position I am being considered for:

The Proofer is accountable for the Quality Control aspect of all Member Communication mailing activity for products and clients. This position is responsible for reviewing clinical mailings to ensure accuracy. The team works within established deadlines so that we can exceed our client’s expectations. Handle multiple projects of varied complexity simultaneously. Provide feedback on and suggestions for improving quality assurance procedures. Changing standards and procedures necessitate the continued training throughout the team. The position is structured to work within a team concept yet still affords the autonomy to work independently on specific projects.

Primary Responsibilities:

Proof reading of standard communications for plan members/prescribers against internal applications and databases to confirm accuracy of targeting and display of printed information.

Document all activity in the department database.

Interface with the communication and processing team to review and resolve any issues or discrepancies.

Daily review of output pieces from internal/external processing equipment appearance and accuracy of computer merge fields and information.

Communicating with internal partners, customers and vendors to facilitate the timely handling of mailings.

Complete department projects and/or other tasks assigned by department leaders.

Supply feedback/updates to standard procedures.

Require continued simplex training throughout the team.

Daily meetings for process review, feedback, and issue management.
My resume and contacts are being given to CVS via a third party, so I don't yet have contact with these people, but once the information goes through, they will likely contact me for an interview.

Here's what I look like casually:



And what I would probably look like at an interview:



And what I looked like 5 years ago:



As you can see, I don't miss the old look.
 
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I have long hair. Some employers may profile you, but then again, some judge you based on their own personal standards that you never know anything about. If you're well-groomed, like showering and wearing a tie and combining your hair, for job interviews, then you should be fine. If you're in a kitchen, then maybe it would be good to cut your hair or tie it back, but writers/editors don't need to worry as much about that. I got a job writing for an online magazine and never had to worry about cutting my hair. But there are some businesses that are uptight about these standards. I don't think it's too much of a big deal, as long as you have a good resume and cover letter.
 
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Uncouth,

The interview look appears fine. I would still recommend that you do a little research, such as being somewhere that allows you to see a representative sampling of current employees as they either arrive in the AM or depart for the day.

One look is worth a thousand opinions.
 
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Its proof that you smoke weed, engage in sodomy, and worship satan. At least thats what HR tells me. *shrug*
 

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You look great. Anyone who wouldn't hire you is not worth working for.

With beards, it's pretty easy to keep them sharp and neat, as you've managed to pull off: neat cheeks and a sharp neck-line. But if you're going for broke and swear off shaving to go for a "natural" beard (as I'm currently doing), you may frighten a potential employee.
 

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Uncouth,

The interview look appears fine. I would still recommend that you do a little research, such as being somewhere that allows you to see a representative sampling of current employees as they either arrive in the AM or depart for the day.

One look is worth a thousand opinions.
Uncouth,

When I awoke this morning the first thought that occurred was the advice that I posted for you last evening. Obviously, my subconscious mind reviewed my activities and alerted me to an error.

I decided that I was wrong and gave you bad advice in that post.

Way back in my college years, 60's and 70's, I and many of my fellow students were long haired rebellous sorts. Early in our senior years, corporate recruiters started to appear on campus looking to hire candidates for their firms. One by one, usually a day or two prior to our first interview, we all cleaned up. The imaginative term used was "Wanna get a job haircut".

I do not recall a single one of us who failed to conform to the expectation, after all we all wanted jobs, that is why we were engineers. You could always spot the seniors going to grad school, they kept their unkempt look.

I reviewed your credentials; according to your post the only asset you are bringing to the table is an education. Last week I read that the current unemployment and underemployment rate for recent college graduates is almost 30%:

it’s a tough job market for recent college graduates « The Regional Economics Institute at Colorado State University

There are probably 10 or more other people interviewing for the same position. All with identical credentials to you. There is ZERO reason for anyone, including you, to do anything that might be considered a negative in an interview for their very first professional job. Nor do I get the impression that you are turning away job opportunities on a regular basis.

Basically, you do not have a lot of cards to play.

If you were an experienced person, an ideal match for the position, than you have considerably more leeway. As far as I could tell, you do not bring that to the interview. You will be just another person coming in. You have to impress CVS with you and there is no reason to even take any chance of a negative impression.

I apologize for my grevious prior error.

You are prefectly free to appear as you want. They are perfectly free to reject you.
 
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Discussion Starter #12
^ Thank you for getting back to me so candidly.

I do have a bit of relevant experience, though. The time I've spent working with The Bridge, Eleven Eleven, and with Small Beer Press, while not paying jobs, add up four years of editing experience. Plus, I've been published in The Bridge (and won awards in two places in the fourth volume long after I was an editor), published in Samizdat Literary Journal online, and attended the rigorous Algonkian Wharf Writer's Conference as well as a Writer's Residency in Martha's Vineyard last month, none of which are easy to get into.

But that may not be enough, if it would only be seen as 'education'. I don't know. I'll have to think about it.
 
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You look fine, I don't read unprofessional. However, why take the chance? I still think it'll be hard to find a job, because well, it's hard to find a job out of college at the moment.

Have you considered looking for work out of state?
 

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^ I started off out of state, actually, at San Francisco. The economy in California is even worse than the economy in New England, so I had to return home, though I'm betting this is at least partially because I didn't know where to look. I have applied to various individual jobs out of state, but I don't know if there's a more efficient means of doing that.

Of course, if I get admitted into any doctoral program, this would change things quite a bit.
 

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Ya I see professional, I'd hire you. Then again people have preferences, with some it may make you more hire-able, for others it may be less. Unless you can guess the preference of the person interviewing you ahead of time, no real reason to fret about it as far as I see it.
 

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Seriously, you're looking for an editing job? Nothing says liberal arts training like long hair and a short beard. Shaving down may actually work against you.
 

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when I was in uni I hung out with the long haired metal crowd, and afaik most of these lot found jobs just fine without having to cut their hair. There are a few who do, though, because they thought it'll make jobhunting easier, which I think is a bit of a shame.
 

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@Uncouth Angel , you look absolutely fine on the pictures, I would even say you're handsome xD But, my point is, when I read your first post I imagined you look like a Cast Away hero, but your beard is quite short in fact and neat, so I don't really see a problem. Maybe it's the hair+beard combo that irritates some people? If you don't want to go back to your shaven short-hair self (and I completely understand you), you might consider shaving or trimming some parts of your beard to make it more professional-looking. And as for hair, I suggest all man (not to look professional but to look attractive) wearing middle-length longish cute hair rather than long hair that you always have to wear in ponytail. Thing is, and some men don't get it, you can be a man AND have a hairstyle. There are far more options than "soldier short" and "full length untouched by nature". I'm a girl and I was wearing long hair untouched by nature for 22 years, so I know what I'm talking about. Now I have a hairstyle, it's shorter, but it's more fun and it suits me better. So try having fun with your beard and your hair, it's not all or nothing, either you cut it short or don't cut it at all.

What if you found yourself a stylist who would respect your need for personal style? I thought about it because I really hate the green tie with the violet shirt, unless you dress like that because of your company colours ^^ So maybe it's that don't want to look like a Wall Street worker, you have a need for personal style, but you have a very guyish style and end up looking unprofessional to some people? If it's true, a stylist who'd work on your hairstyle, beard and clothing style might be a good solution, because you could find a way to look like a dream of every hiring company while still being yourself.
 

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The only thing I would change would be the jacket and color combination of your interview outfit!

...Just trying to help. Q__Q *doesn't meant to sound bad* I think the hair and beard are fine though. :)
 
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