When Dress Isn’t Your Strongest Suit

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Let me start by admitting that I’m not particularly stylish. In fact, my mom still picks out a lot of my clothes – a fact I realize is moderately embarrassing. But with or without a natural eye for fashion, your wardrobe is much more than just fabric and zippers. It’s an essential component of your personal brand. The tailored suits and dresses Alicia Florrick (Juliana Marguiles) and Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres) don for The Good Wife and Suits are my personal muses. They miraculously exude both power and poise. But, cultivating that kind of closet can be a herculean task without the assistance of stylists and mega-budgets.

Don’t fret, there’s hope for us yet.

The first step in curating a killer wardrobe is deciding who you are and how you want to be perceived. There are no right or wrong answers. Your wardrobe gives people a hint about who you are before you even say a word. As Kanye West posits in Estelle’s American Boy, “Before he speak his suit bespoke.” Ah, the poetry. An easy way to clarify your image is to think of a celebrity you admire and observe their fashion choices. They have a professional doing it for them behind the scenes, so mooch off that a bit. Me? The Chanel and St. John suits from my TV fashion idols don’t really make sense for me or my budget, but the crisp clean lines with architectural details do.

No matter what image you’re portraying, it always looks better when it fits properly. As a six-foot-tall woman, I’m hypersensitive to fit because I can effortlessly channel Oliver Twist in most standard clothing. There are a few things to always check before you buy/wear something. For pants, make sure the length is appropriate for the type of pant and the shoe you’re wearing. (Check out this guide for easy answers and pictures here.) For both skirts and blouses, bend over and see what happens. If anything is compromised, it’s too short or too low-cut. Clothing needs to be moderately functional because even if you love something, you’ll never feel comfortable or confident if you’re exposed. Lastly, turn around. Sometimes it’s what we don’t see that really bites us in the butt…

The final step in dressing like a boss is to actually dress like your boss. More formal clothing changes the way your brain works according to a study in the journal Social Psychological & Personality Science. Researchers found that not only did dressing snazzy improve cognitive thinking, it made people feel better. If “formal” doesn’t align with your brand, pair your graphic tee with some clean sneaks and dark jeans. Same difference.

I know you aren’t supposed to judge a book by its cover, but your clothes tell a story. Make sure it’s the tale you want to be told.

Written by: Hannah Barfield Spellmeyer

Hannah Barfield Spellmeyer  spends her days matching exceptional candidates to their dream jobs at Godshall Professional Recruiting. A writer and speaker, Hannah provides witty and insightful perspectives on talent acquisition, sales, and personal development. She’s always on LinkedIn, so reach out anytime.

You can read more of Hannah’s blogs at https://www.linkedin.com/today/author/hannahbarfield.

Godshall’s Favorite Holiday Traditions

Traditions are important.  They give us something to look forward to, create bonds among family and friends, and provide a constant during stressful and difficult times.  Christmas sparks some of our favorite traditions!  Whether it’s a certain meal, family ornaments, Christmas Eve game night, or attending church with family, here are a few of our favorite traditions at the holidays:

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My favorite holiday tradition growing up was my mother’s annual Christmas Cookie Swap. Each person would bring a dozen cookies and leave with a dozen they chose from other’s selections. Inevitably, there was a lot of food leftover and so my friends would come over afterwards to “clean up.” – Hannah Spellmeyer

snowinmountains-630x423.pngMany of my Christmas memories are from our times in Montana with my dad’s family.  One of my favorite Christmas visits was the last year of my dad’s life.  It was an extra snowy and extra cold year.  My southern mom did her usual vow of “I am never leaving the house”– and she left the house only once on what we thought would be our week Christmas vacation.  My cruise director style aunt had every second planned, including a sunset horsedrawn sleigh ride.  We didn’t know that our sleigh was a huge flatbed that was usually used for feeding buffalo.  Quite shocking to realize a herd of buffalo was charging straight for you!  The week also included lighting fireworks in several feet of snow.  I loved watching my southern brother light the fireworks and then try to run away from them in over a foot of snow.  Then one foggy Christmas Eve – the fog wouldn’t leave….we were stuck in Montana for another week.  My dad got to spend an extra week with his family in his home state…..divine intervention – Christmas miracle! – Katherine Ericson

2014-12-11-5_PortlandPeacockLaneLights.jpgI am the oldest of three girls and traditions are very important to all of us.  I would have to say my most favorite family tradition is how we spend Christmas Eve. Every year, our family attends our church’s candlelight service then we proceed to drive the “long way” home, which means spiraling through several neighborhoods looking at Christmas lights. Once home, we have hors d’oeuvres for dinner, open one present each, and wrap up the night by watching the original “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” – Rebecca Faulk

sm_st_marks_candlelightNothing sets the stage like attending the Christmas Eve family service at First Presbyterian Church.  Christmas carols, nativity scene, and ends with Silent Night in the dark.  We’ve never missed a year, and even our 16 and 17 year-old boys still look forward to it every year.  A peaceful start to a busy evening! From church, we head over to Julie’s parent’s home.  Mrs. Godshall cooks a good ole’ country breakfast for dinner.  Apple cider is always brewing and we work hard to coax our son Alex to play Carol of the Bells on the living room piano.  Once dinner is complete, we look forward to opening a few early presents given from each other. When the kids were younger, we had to rush home to spread reindeer food on the lawn so that Santa did not miss us.- Drew and Julie Brown

Capture.PNGOne of my favorite holiday traditions is every year Santa leaves a letter in the tree which is the first clue for a Scavenger Hunt!  My kids have a great time running all over the house looking for the clues which will lead them to the first present they open. – Carol Tribby

board-gamesEvery year that we are in Bennettsville on Christmas night, we go over to my childhood best friend’s house and play games—board games, card games, etc.  Some of these games he and I have been playing since our teens–the boxes are in tatters.  Even my husband now looks forward to it.  There is always good competition, lots of laughs, and fun memories made.- Karen Truesdale

polar-express-3Since the birth of our son, Corey, each Christmas we have chosen a special ornament for our Christmas tree.  The ornament is engraved with his name and the year.  Each one is unique and represents something he has accomplished during that year (ex. his first Christmas, Tae-kwon-do black belt, silver bell for Polar Express adventure, etc.)  Corey is now twenty years old,  but he still looks forward to his shiny new ornament and is proud to show off his older gems to his friends when visiting.  It makes our tree even more special and brings back so many memories. – Machelle Simmons

cookie-santa-photo-1.jpgGrowing up, our tradition was to spend Christmas Eve with grandparents and cousins. We would have a full Christmas dinner and it always included chicken and dressing and butter beans. After dinner, we would open gifts, which always made it feel like we had two Christmas celebrations! The last thing we would do was put out cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer and try listening for the reindeer on the roof, while being forced to go to bed by our parents. – John Riddle

We hope you have a fantastic holiday season filled with your favorite family traditions and here’s to making more in 2017!

Let’s Put The GIVING Back In ThanksGIVING!

Thanksgiving has always been known as the holiday where we should give thanks for what we have. But what if we shifted the focus to the other half of the word for a change? What if we focused on the GIVING just as much as the thanks? Barbara Bush once said, “Giving frees us from the familiar territory of our own needs by opening our mind to the unexplained worlds occupied by the needs of others.”  We are beyond blessed to be surrounded by great organizations that are doing everything in their power to help those in need whether financially, physically, spiritually, or emotionally. Below are a few of the organizations that the Godshall staff are participating in to help build up the community of Greenville.

 
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The Meyer Center of Greenville – Carol Tribby
“I give and volunteer at The Meyer Center in Greenville.  Their vision is to help children living with disabilities reach their maximum potential.  For over sixty years, the Meyer Center has provided a one-of-a-kind environment that immerses their students in a world of learning. While my volunteer work there is year around, I am especially involved during their school year.  We had a Family Fun Night this year, which was a lot of fun for the families of the children who attend The Meyer Center.  I can’t go there without seeing the smiling, happy faces of the kids we serve, and our community is blessed by the work that is done there.”
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Brookwood Church – Feed the Homeless or Less Fortunate – Richard Heard
I am fortunate to lead a men’s bible study group at Brookwood Church every Monday night. Our group sponsors/leads a “feed the homeless or less fortunate” meal on the first Saturday of every month at 3:00pm off Hammett Rd just off Poinsett Hwy. It’s an outdoor event and we bring chairs, tables, and tents and feed between 85-200 people every meal. (Brookwood has this feeding on the other Saturday’s of each month as well.) We supplement the other group feedings as needed and likewise, they assist us as well. It’s a great way to show that we care, to spread God’s word/love, and bring some happiness to those less fortunate. In addition, we provide community service projects such as home repairs on an ongoing basis.
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The Family Effect – Hannah Spellmeyer
When I first moved to Greenville, I joined the Junior League to meet other women. The impact we’ve had as an organization and its subsequent impact on me over the last four years has been enormous. In addition to providing thousands of volunteer hours and countless grants to deserving organizations, the Junior League of Greenville stays true to its mission of developing the potential of women through our volunteer efforts. From parliamentary procedures to managing significant budgets to making fundraising asks to handling difficult conversations with poise, The Junior League is an organization that gives back to its community and its members. Although I had known about the Family Effect for some time, my first exposure to volunteering there was through the Junior League. I’m honored to have joined their Board of Directors this year. The Family Effect’s mission is to reduce addiction as a leading cause of family collapse through evidence-based programs. Their programs include a home for young men who are coping with addiction as well as an inpatient rehab facility for mothers where their young children can stay with them and receive early treatment for emotional and behavioral issues related to an addicted parent. At the Family Effect, we believe our community is stronger when families can heal together.
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The Salvation Army – Shawn Kinard
I was recently introduced to the Salvation Army and the amazing work they have been doing for people for over a hundred years. I used to think all the Salvation Army did was ring bells around Christmas time, but I quickly learned they do so much more! The campus here in Greenville has men and women’s shelters, adult rehabilitation programs, ministry programs, and so much more! I got to serve in their dining hall a couple of weeks ago and met some of the participants in their rehab and housing programs. The men and women there were so appreciative of all that The Salvation Army is doing for them and said they don’t know where they would be without it. I’m excited to get more involved and would encourage anyone looking for an organization to check out The Salvation Army!
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Read Up Greenville – Katherine Ericson
I was the Logistics Co-Chair for the inaugural year in 2016.  LOVE this charity – it is so important that Lee Yarborough brought this event to Greenville, SC.  It is a Young Adult Literature Festival that was held in August at the Peace Center.  Close to 30 authors came to talk to avid readers – ages 10 and up through adults.  These authors are like rock stars to young readers.  The passion and encouragement they gave for the youth of the Upstate to read and write was just amazing.  We had over 200 attendees in the first year from all over the southeast and plan to grow it even larger in October 2017.  Reading is so important to me.  When I was a child and my mom would say lights out, I would take a flashlight and continue reading under the covers!  I have seen children want more out of life because of the books they have read; I have seen children want to travel the world because of the books they have read; I have seen children want to invent and challenge themselves in their careers because of the books they have read; and most importantly, I have seen children become comfortable with their individuality because of the books they have read.
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Sponsor a Child – Cathy Boggs
Since baseball does not count as a charity, I have to give more money than time.  We sponsor an 8-year-old child named Diego in El Salvador and give monthly to help his family provide education, birthday presents, holiday gifts, etc.  We keep an ongoing “pen pal” relationship and will continue to sponsor him until he graduates.  I want my kids to appreciate all they have and realize we can make a difference in another part of the world.  We will eventually do a mission trip as a family to finally meet him in person and see first-hand the difference we made in a family’s life.
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United Way – Rebecca Faulk
Greenville is blessed to have many diverse and strong charitable organizations, so for me, it is hard to pick just one. I love giving to and being involved with the United Way of Greenville’s efforts in the Upstate. They have a strong team, a great support system, and fully vet the organizations they disburse funds to. It makes me feel confident that, since I do not have one organization I specifically donate to, my money and efforts are being spread to several organizations in need of assistance.  
 Loaves and Fishes – Ana Davis
I have been a volunteer board member for the last 7 years and this has been an eye opening experience for me and my family. I came from Colombia, South America almost 20 years ago and never thought that there were hunger issues in Greenville County or in this country. I was completely wrong! I have seen so many cases through my involvement with Loaves & Fishes. Childhood hunger is a real issue in Greenville County. 49.5% of our children are eligible for free or reduced lunches. I have been so blessed to be able to serve on this board and I highly encourage you to get involved in any capacity–as a volunteer rescuing food, coordinating a can food drive within your church, your community or your business, or just being aware of what we do.  When you see a situation of anyone ready to throw away food or anyone experiencing hunger, you can just give us a phone call and we will take care of it or refer you to the right organization. What Loaves & Fishes does is a beautiful thing. They not only feed the hungry, but they rescue food and put those two pieces together making a huge impact in this community. There are only 5 people on staff and what they do every day is incredible and a blessing to all of us!

 

Do you have any charities or organizations you like to give to or serve with?

4 Practical Tips To Help Master Your Next Phone Interview!

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In a world of job portals and hiring black holes, just getting an interview can feel like an impossible task. I’ve been there. Now that I’ve seen the other side of the curtain, I can disclose in our defense that HR departments and recruiters are parsing through hundreds of resumes on a regular basis. Those are intimidating odds where every interaction counts.

Phone interviews can be used to speak with candidates who are geographically unavailable, but more often than not they are merely the first hurdle in a hiring process. Phone screens allow employers to get a brief look into the personality and skill set a candidate brings to the table without blocking key decision-makers’ schedules, reserving conference rooms, and struggling through an hour-long interview that’s clearly not a fit. Phone interviews also allow employers to evaluate a larger number of candidates before narrowing down the talent pool.

If all goes well, you’ll get an interview with the hiring manager and team. If the phone call is botched, you’ll go back to canvasing LinkedIn and Indeed. Follow the tips below to dial-up success.

  1. Set the scene. A corner booth at a busy Starbucks is no place to have a phone interview. It’s loud. It’s distracting. And your interviewer won’t think you respect their time. Find a quiet place that allows you to hear and be heard.

Eliminate any and all distractions including cell phone notifications, televisions, pets, children, and computers. Some experts recommend keeping a laptop open in case you need to quickly research something. This is a terrible idea. Interviewers can hear you typing and there is no feasible way you can continue a conversation while Googling the answer to the last question.

  1. Talk the talk. During a phone interview, you and the other caller obviously aren’t able to read non-verbal cues. One of the most common mistakes candidates make during phone interviews is demonstrating very poor listening skills. Elaborate on all of your great experience, but make sure you’re leaving enough time for the interviewer to provide insight or follow-up questions.

Don’t forget that we’re relying solely on verbal communication. You must also use proper grammar and pronunciation.

  1. Don’t forget your body language. We can’t see you, but your non-verbal cues do influence how you sound. First, sit up straight. You should not conduct a phone interview on an overstuffed couch or comfy bed. Sitting at a table or desk will prevent you from sounding groggy.

Dress professionally. If you’re wearing your jammies, you’re definitely not going to feel confident and prepared.

Most importantly, smile. It changes the inflection in your voice and interviewers can hear the difference.

  1. Use a cheat sheet. Your interviewer can hear you typing on a laptop, but we surely cannot discern your pencil jotting notes. Have your resume and a blank sheet of paper available in order to take notes and write down questions along the way.

 

A phone interview is not the time to be nonchalant about your preparation. It can be even more difficult to impress someone without shaking their hand and looking them in the eye. Take a little effort with the suggestions above and you’ll have no problem standing out from the crowd – in a good way.

 

Written by: Hannah Spellmeyer