What's inside yours?
If you emptied your briefcase right now, what would you find? An old pack of gum? Stacks of random papers?
In today’s economy, that’s not going to cut it. And since the recently approved Fiscal Cliff deal doesn’t address the persistent unemployment, now, more than ever, you need to be interview-ready at a moment’s notice. Whether you’re searching for employment, looking for a new gig, or finally hoping to seal that promotion, keep these five items close by to always look and act your best.
Chapped lips are distracting—and they hurt. With all eyes on your mouth when you speak during an interview, you want hydrated and healthy, not cracked and dry. Luckily, your girlfriend probably already has half a dozen tubes stashed in her purse. Grab one from her, or pick up Jack Black’s trusty shea butter lip balm. ($7.50, getjackblack.com)
You never know when you’ll get a call for a last-minute interview. Keep a flash drive, like this leather one from Restoration Hardware, in your bag at all times with an updated copy of your resume on it. That way, you can run to Kinkos and print off a fresh copy in minutes before racing to the meeting. ($24.50, restorationhardware.com)
You don’t want to be the candidate that smells, whether that means B.O. or too much cologne. Keep a travel size fragrance handy for a last-minute spritz, but don’t overdo it. Less is always more. The key is to look—not to smell—the part. This L’Occitane en Provence option will fit perfectly in any briefcase, and with a softer citrus scent, it won’t overwhelm. ($27, loccitane.com)
Keep a comb, like Acca Kappa’s Bioceta, in the side pocket of your bag. Combing is the simplest way to look groomed and put together. Coiffed locks combed to the side frame your face and make you appear sophisticated and polished because of the lack of stray hairs—ideal for impressing on an interview. ($16, beauty.com)
While this may be a splurge, a leather document holder looks unbelievably sharp—and a flimsy manila folder is a one-way ticket to the exit sign. Pull out this one from Coach with your resume inside. An item like this shows that you’re invested in your career—and will be invested in the company you’re interviewing at, too. ($168, coach.com)
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