Can I Wear My Nose Ring to the Interview?

A Crash Course in Finding, Landing, and Keeping Your First Real Job


By Ellen Gordon Reeves

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  1. Trade Paperback $13.95 $18.95 CAD
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This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around April 23, 2009. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

Writing with enormous authority and a compelling, lively voice, Ellen Reeves brings together her lifetime of experience of hiring, counseling, and résumé-doctoring into an essential guide for young job seekers.​

Can I Wear My Nose Ring to the Interview? takes readers step-by-step through a process that was always tough, but is today especially challenging.Yes, if you're wedded to your nose ring, wear it to the interview. No, you shouldn't be e-mailing out hundreds of résumés. Begin the search with a professional mind-set—get organized, and set yourself up with business cards, a respectable e-mail address, and a working cell phone. The importance of networking and the rule of three—try to make three e-mails or phone calls a day, but never more than that. The "elevator speech"—hone your pitch to the length of an elevator ride and be prepared to use it at the most unexpected times. The art of writing cringe-free cover letters and killer résumés—from timelines, hooks, and grammatical do's and don'ts to why you should never use the phrase "References available upon request," never include your GPA, and never, ever make a typo. How to dress for an interview, including why to put on your business clothes when interviewing at home, over the phone. Things to be honest about: citizenship and past salary range. And things not to say: "I want this job because I need health insurance."

Then once you're in, how to negotiate salary, what to expect in a review, and basic first job common sense: take initiative, be humble and helpful, never use your boss as a confidant, and always say "I'll find out" instead of "I don’t know." Now you're on your way.


  • Can I Wear My Nose Ring to the Interview? is designed to answer any and all real-life questions of the newly employable.”- Bookpage
  • “This short, witty paperback, a favorite of both Linda Spencer, career counselor at Harvard Extension School, and Maria Stein, career services director at Northeastern University, is an easy read. Stein says, ‘This is a book Millenials can relate to.’”
    - The Boston Globe
  • “Reeves’s book answers every question imaginable during a job hunt.” —Chicago Sun-Times
  • “Reeves, through her book, may become the best friend a college student (and hiring managers) could have. The first task on a job seeker’s to-do list should be to read this book.” —Asheville Citizen-Times
  • “Reeves’s book offers a plethora of job-seeking advice, from time-management tips to presentation skills.”
    - The Greenville News
  • “Whether you already think you’ve got the goods or are frantically attempting to join the five-year plan at school, Can I Wear My Nose Ring to the Interview? has something in its pages to make you breathe easier as you enter that dreaded real world.”
    - Campus Circle magazine

On Sale
Apr 23, 2009
Page Count
227 pages

Ellen Gordon Reeves

About the Author

Ellen Gordon Reeves is a workplace and career expert who has lent her expertise to a variety of media outlets, including CNN’s Your MoneyUS News and World Report, EXTRA, The CBS Early Show, ABC Money Matters, Fox News Edge,, NPR’s Morning Edition, and The Atlantic. Trained in comedy writing and improvisation by Second City, Reeves is a frequent public speaker, consulting to individuals and institutions. She is a graduate of Harvard College and holds an EdM from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Master of Arts in Writing and Teaching Writing from Northeastern University. Reeves is also a resident job-hunting expert at the Columbia Publishing Course with Columbia University in New York.

Learn more about this author