Thursday, December 2, 2010

Event Recap: Building a Brand Through Sustainability

When the Holiday Season approaches, retailers get their chance for a second birth: stores get crowded with holiday shoppers, USPS and Fedex deliveries triple in size, and monthly sales of clothes skyrocket. Nordstrom, Macys, Saks Fifth Avenue, and other big department stores bring thousands of new inventory items that will be sold during Black Friday only. Then the Holidays come to an end, stores get new inventories, and in two months it all goes on seasonal clearance again…and the cycle goes on…

The question is: after being sold, where do all of these clothes end up? It turns out they either pile up in closets or end up in landfills. Poor quality clothing that wears out after the fist hand-wash become abandoned by the owners since it's no longer considered valuable. The numbers behind the scene of retails are completely devastating: the amount of clothes used by individuals increases by 21% each year and majority of these clothes are made from fabrics that are not biodegradable.

This is when the sustainable fashion steps up. Connie Ulasewicz, the keynote speaker of EFACTOR's event Building a Brand Through Sustainability, described sustainable fashion as the one that meets the needs of present without compromising the needs of the future generations. Sustainable fashion is more than just using recyclable, organic fabrics for clothing: it's about creating social change on a global scale. Connie's model is built upon 3 interconnected elements: people, process, and environment.

San Francisco, as a center of green movement and a pioneer of sustainable practices, is home to many local organizations that have started embracing sustainability as a part of the global change (PeopleWearSF, Global Action Through Fashion, SFFAMA, Fashion Group International Inc, The Innovative Fashion Council). These organizations and alliances support change on the local level and inspire the movement of sustainable fashion in economical, social, and environmental levels.

Creativity is a must for a sustainable fashion. That's why individual designers inspired by new ideas also step up to support the change. Have you ever thought that the leather from your old car's interior can be transformed into a fashionable vintage jacket? Guess what, Dustin Page turned this dream into reality with his Platinum Dirt jacket collection.

Never imagined that you could be wearing a designer hat from the real fish skin? Well, Jasmin Zorlu employed a variety of innovative materials that include fish skin, abalone shells, and crinoline with fruit gas to create her futuristic headwear.
Another great example of local sustainable brand is EcoCitizen, owned by Joslin Van Arsdale, and exclusive boutique on Polk Street in San Francisco. Joslin's business philosophy is to keep it simple, keep it clean, keep it green.

All of these young and extremely talented designers shared their thoughts on how to build the brand through sustainable practice of making a high-quality non-toxic recyclable clothes.

So if you're in love with fashion, live in San Francisco, or just planning to visit it someday - make sure to stop by and see what other creative and sustainable solutions these designers came up with!

To learn more about this event please go to

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Event Recap - "Recruiters' Guide to Getting A Job"

We all can use a little help on getting a job, and what better way to do so than by getting tips from recruiters! In case you missed Office of Career Services' "Recruiters' Guide to Getting A Job" event last Monday, here's a summary of the event and some job-hunting tips!

  • For job-seekers, Recruiters spend between 10-30 seconds on each resume. That's it. They get hundreds, sometimes thousands of resume a day. If you don't impress them within the first 10 seconds, your resume will go directly to the "toss" pile.
  • Recruiters rely on the top half of the resume to determine whether they want to continue reading. This means you better make sure everything at the top is very important as recruiters might not get through the whole resume.
  • Cover letters are important, so you should always include one regardless of whether it is required or not.
  • Recruiters know you're trying to get a job. Therefore, having an "Objective" section is not always necessary. If you run out of room on your resume, cut the "Objective" and use that space for
    qualifications instead.
  • Resume style is industry-dependent.
  • After seeing thousands and thousands of resumes, recruiters can tell generic resumes from tailored resumes. Take the time to think about what each job wants!

  • Go for it - even if you feel like you might not be the exact fit.
  • Let people know that you are looking. Anyone from your professors to church members. You never know when someone might have a connection somewhere.
  • Make assumptions that:
    • The actual hiring manager is the person who looks at your resume. Hiring managers sometimes use computer programs, or even unqualified subordinates, to screen through incoming resumes.

    • Craft your resume to fit the desired job role.
    • Include buzzwords.
    • Be creative with how you describe your qualifications.
    • Use bullet points to summarize qualifications.
      • Use action-oriented words.
      • Describe achievements in quantitative figures.
      • Demonstrate results!
    • Stand out from the crowd!
    • Craft your resume in a way that highlights "intangible skills."
      • Management skills
      • Leadership
      • Advanced communication skills
    • Include relevant significant job experiences/qualifications at the top.
    • ALWAYS write a cover letter.
      • Use your cover letter to enhance your resume, but don't repeat the same information. 
    • SELL your experiences; write persuasively.
    • Tailor your resume to each job. Recruiters can spot a generic resume, and they don't want that.
    • Highlight hard skills and technical skills (language or program proficiencies, strong presentation skills).
    • Include everything you've done in your life. Only include relevant information, something applicable to the desired job position.
    • Send the same resume out to every employer. Tailor your resume, always!

    • Prepare before every interview. Go beyond just researching the company. Develop a good understanding of the professional environment you're trying to enter.
    • Know yourself (your skills) and be confident in what you can bring to the table.
    • Treat your interview like telling a story:
      • There's a beginning, middle, and end.
      • Get your point across in full sentences.
    • Beware of behavioral interview questions, which is when hiring managers ask if you've been in a particular situation and how you dealt with it.
    • Ramble during your interview.
    • Figit.
    • Come unprepared.
    • Try applying for internships or temporary positions. This is a great way of getting yourself through the door. Once you're in, it'll be your chance to show them what you're capable of. Impress them during your temp/internship and you might just land yourself a long-term job!
    • Scan through the job description and identify the qualifications desired by the company. If you're 80% qualified, GO FOR IT!
    • Look at job boards everyday to stay current on what's available out in the field.
    • Talk to someone with experience in the field.
    • Be proactive in targeting your network:
      1. Zoom in on the type of jobs you WANT.
      2. Determine the companies you want to work for.
      3. Network with people in these companies!
    • Utilize your "student status" and request for an informational interview with a professional within your desired field.
      • This shows your resourcefulness and willingness to stick your neck out on the line.
    • Use "STAR": Frame your answer into a "Situation - Task - Action - Result" format!
    • Ask yourself: "How can I add value to this organization?" and be sure to demonstrate this in your resume and during your interview.