Tips For Being Successful

Weather you are attending a SkillsUSA event or a professional event in the future, there are a few key things to keep in mind so that you can represent yourself in the best way possible. How you dress is one of the most important, followed by how your resume looks and your behavior. Here are some tips on how to show yourself off to your future employers or the SkillsUSA judges. 

How To Dress

If you are at a SkillsUSA event and are wearing a red blazer, you are representing your school, chapter, and most importantly, yourself. While wearing the Red SkillsUSA Blazer, you should dress professionally just like you would if you were competing in your event. Members are encouraged to strictly follow the guidelines for official attire during ceremonies, visits with dignitaries, officer campaigns and similar occasions. It is possible for a judge to deduct points or even disqualify you if you are not in the correct uniform, which may vary by competition. Here are some of the requirements for attire while wearing your red blazer.

Official Uniform for Women:
  • Red SkillsUSA blazer, windbreaker, or black SkillsUSA jacket (is provided by your chapter).

  • Student provides (purchases):

    • White collarless or small-collared blouse or white turtleneck, collar not to extend over the blazer lapel or the sweater, windbreaker or jacket

    • Plain, solid white undershirt (if needed)

    • Black dress skirt (knee-length) or black dress slacks

    • Solid black dress belt (if needed)

    • Black sheer (not opaque) or skin-tone seamless hose (no solid)

    • Black shoes, closed toe

Official Uniform for Men:
  • Red SkillsUSA blazer, windbreaker, or black SkillsUSA jacket (is provided by your chapter).

  • Student provides (purchases):

    • White dress shirt - collared, long sleeve

    • Plain, solid black tie

    • Plain, solid white undershirt (short sleeve)

    • Black dress slacks (pants)

    • Solid black dress belt

    • Plain black socks

    • Black dress shoes

Some competitions require different attire. The requirements for those can be downloaded to the right. You can substitute the competition uniform (aka, buy from another source) but ensure that it has the official SkillsUSA patch.

Tips for uniform:
  • Your chapter will provide/purchase blazers, jacket only. They are inventory items and do not belong to students, you damage you buy!

  • You will need to have your uniform(s) ready before the first competition.

  • The official SkillsUSA uniform is required to be worn during all official SkillsUSA events for all students and most competitions.

  • Jackets and blazers are assigned to you during competitions and NEED to be turned in immediately when you return from competitions.

  • Dress items typically do not have brand logos on the outside.

  • Dress items typically are solid colors (no patterns at all).

  • Wear a white, plain undershirt (not a t-shirt, must be white, no inside out shirts to hide text).

  • Socks and pantyhose must be solid black with no patterns.

  • Where a belt, belt must also be a dress belt.

  • The tie also must be a solid color black with no patterns or logos.

  • When in doubt, simply ask your adviser. Take a photo before you buy.

  • Ensure that dress items fit you. This will be enforced if you compete at Nationals.

  • Buy at a local thrift store and save money instead of buying retail which could cost you $100's .

  • Uniform must be kept clean and ironed.

  • Women blazers do not have pockets and buttons are to the left.

  • Men blazers have pockets, buttons are to the right, and split in the back.

  • Ladies, during State / Nationals competitions it is recommended you bring comfortable black walking shoes (do not wear them during competition).

  • During the National competition - student are highly encouraged to bring double or even triple of everything!! - This is because one will be used for daily interactions and one for competition. It is normally hot and humid in June, so there is a high possibility that you will sweat through at least one of your outfits.

Resume Tips

When you had someone your resume, you want it to represent you in the best way possible. The way it looks is just as important as the information on it. These tips can either be used for SkillsUSA competitions or even later in life. There are also many sites that will give you further tips about how to represent your best self.

  • Make it simple and easy to read 

    • Resume samples are simple and straightforward. This is because employers have a minimal amount of time to review your resume, so readability is key. 

  • Make it brief

    • You’ll notice that each section of the resume sample is short and to-the-point, including the summary and experience descriptions. Including only the most key and relevant information means employers are able to consume more information about you.

  • Choose an easy to read font

    • You should use a basic, clean font like Arial or Times New Roman. Never use Comic Sans Keep your font size between 10 and 12 points. Selecting a clear, readable font will help make your resume appear more professional.

  • Include the most relevant information first

    • Try to include only work experience, achievements, education and skills most relevant to the employer or competition. If they ask for more information, then you can tell them more about each job more in depth.

  • Use active language

    • This means using words like “achieved”, “earned”, “completed” or “accomplished”. 

  • Call attention to achievements if they are relevant to your competition or the job you are applying for

    • Instead of listing your job duties under the experience section, select your top three or four most important achievements in each role you’ve held. You might also consider including a separate “Achievements” or “Skills” section to specifically highlight relevant achievements in your education, career, volunteer work or other experiences.

  • Only include subheadings and sections that you need

    • Whether you’re using a resume template or creating your own, you may find there are some recommended sections you do not need. For example, you may need a resume summary or a resume objective, but you should not include both. If you are just graduating from college or high school and have not yet held a professional position, do not include an empty work history section. Instead, you might replace the experience section with relevant coursework, academic achievements and other experiences like internships or extracurricular projects.

  • Proofread before turning in

    • Before sending your resume, you should undergo several rounds of proofreading to ensure there are no spelling or grammar errors. While there are several proofreading programs and tools you can use, it is also helpful to ask trusted friends, colleagues, or even parents to review your resume. It is helpful for an objective third party to look at your resume as an employer might to find ways you can correct or improve it. It might even help to read it out loud to catch sentences that are to long or hard to read.

  • Cater your resume to your job or competition

    • It is okay to cater a resume to the needs of the job you are applying for or the competition you are applying for. Make sure you include the most relevant information on your resume, organize it to highlight the most important information and carefully review for errors.

  • Keep it to one or two pages

    • While some people find it difficult to find enough positive things about themselves to fill one page, others have the opposite problem. For entry- and mid-level professionals, one page is the most common resume length. Two pages is fine if you have extensive experience or skills and really can’t cut things down further.

  • This is a way to show yourself and your accomplishments off so have a little bit of fun with it.

  • Look for more tips about writing a professional resume online. Some sites may contradict each other in the tips they give. In that case, go with what feels right to you and what fits the most with the reason that you are writing the resume.

*These tips come from indeed and resumegenius.com

General Behavior

At a SkillsUSA event, you are representing your school, your state if you attend nationals, and yourself. While these are geared more towards SkillsUSA events specifically, you could still apply the underlying aspects of them to life after school. 

  • Represent yourself in a positive way.

    • You don't want your behavior to come back and negatively effect you or your school

  • Act professionally

  • Treat everyone with respect

    • You never know who you could be talking to. It could be a future employer or the president of SkillsUSA.

  • Dress for Success

    • Don't wear sweats or clothes with stains. If you dress like you feel confident, you will feel confident. 

  • Things to not do at a SkillsUSA event

    • Drink alcohol or do drugs

    • Use profane language. This goes back to treating everyone with respect. While you may talk like that with your friends, it could come across as being offensive during a professional event like SkillsUSA.

When you are a member of SkillsUSA, you agree to follow their code of conduct which states some of the same things as above along with others. If you would like to read the full document, either find it of the national SkillsUSA website or download it below. If you don't follow the code of conduct, it could result in immediate disqualification as well as being sent home in some cases.

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