The Essentials

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Want some tips on how to study for a test? Need advice on how to balance a checkbook?

Each week, The Essentials offers practical advice on life for teens.


Looking for a job? You need to know proper work-force dress, grooming and decorum. Tammy Hodges, the family and consumer science instructor at Jefferson County High School, offers tips on looking the part during any interview or in any professional setting.

- Solid colors are a must. Loud colors are a big no-no. You want your outfit to complement you rather than draw attention to you. Navy blue, black and gray are always safe.

Avoid bright or pastel colors and gaudy or flamboyant patterns.

- Don't reveal too much. Although it might seem to apply just to girls, it's important that guys have their shirts buttoned, or even wear a necktie.

Remember the three-B rule: No bosoms, no bellies and no behinds.

- Never wear too many accessories. It's good to wear things that will bring your outfit out, but avoid overly flashy necklaces, chains, rings and bracelets.

- Clothes should be neat and clean. Make sure your clothes are pressed, you shirttail is tucked in and your shoes are clean.

- Be a professional. Think like an employer, especially when making decisions on how much makeup you need, or what to wear.

Take a pen (blue or black ink) and arrive at the interview 10 to 15 minutes early. Greet the interviewer cordially, with a friendly handshake.

- William Fleming

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