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Wardrobe question! - Interview update, went well!

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  • Wardrobe question! - Interview update, went well!

    So I'm interviewing for a WS/assistant trainer position in a few days, and have NO idea what to wear.

    Trainer is a VERY skilled dressage rider. I've never been to the farm, but I have spoken with her over the phone and one of my good friends is a student of hers.

    I don't want to show up looking ridiculous, especially because I REALLY want this position. Advice is MUCH appreciated!!

    ETA - I asked if I was to bring anything specific and she told me to bring a horse experience resume if I had one and that we would schedule a work/riding day early next week due to schedule conflicts on her end.

    She was SO down-to-earth, and a lot more relaxed than I anticipated. Facility was small but spotless and she was very upfront about what she's looking for. It was very informal as I actually accompanied a friend to her lesson and chatted with the trainer before, during, and afterward. Not so much during, but you get the idea!

    Resume ended up being 2 pages of summarized experience, with most recent and significant standing out at the beginning. I also had three letters of recommendation, one being from a local boarding barn owner.

    I'm nervous! We seemed to hit it off pretty well, and this opportunity would be AMAZING. So any and all jingles would be much appreciated!!!
    Last edited by runNjump86; Jul. 18, 2012, 01:47 AM.
    runnjump86 Instagram

    Horse Junkies United guest blogger

  • #2
    Nice breeches, belt, tall boots, polo, professional hair(ponytail, braid, whatever, just pulled back in some way.) Everything tidy and workmanlike. NO JEWLERY. Small studs are ok, but nothing dangly. A watch is good!

    I'd also bring helmet and gloves. Be ready to ride more or less.

    Good Luck!


    • #3
      Polo shirt, tucked in with a belt. I would wear chinos/khakis rather than breeches or jeans.

      Paddock boots. Bring gloves, helmet and breeches but leave them in the car. Be ready to go do/demonstrate the work you will be doing when you get the job.

      Then you can ask about the dress code.


      • #4
        A nice pair of khakis or casual pants, simple blouse or nice polo with a belt, sensible shoes, sparkling clean everything. Make sure you have breeches, boots, helmet and gloves with you but I wouldn't presume you are going to be getting on a horse right away.

        Bring your resume', names and addresses of personal references, a firm handshake, a smile, and be yourself. If you come across as someone you're not and get the job on those grounds, the rider will have hired the wrong person. Good luck!
        Click here before you buy.


        • Original Poster

          I knew I'd have to go shopping! My wardrobe is embarrassingly lacking, mostly because I have a hard time finding pants that fit that aren't from expensive stores. I do have a super comfy, well-fitting pair of camel dress pants...too dressy?

          I was definitely thinking of bringing riding attire, but was leery of showing up in it because I didn't want to come across as presuming I would immediately be placed on a horse.

          Would recommendation letters/references be enough in place of a full-out resume? My resume is lacking in horse JOBS. I have two letters of rec from people I met/rode with in VA, and have a couple of friends from college who could also write ones based on our experience on the equestrian team, but as far as working at a barn, I have no references. The BO I worked for in college and I parted on bad terms.

          This is nerve-wracking!
          runnjump86 Instagram

          Horse Junkies United guest blogger


          • #6
            Not working student related, but as far as khaki's that look well and hold up, Dickies Girl makes a Bull pant that is perfect for this type of job I live in them in the sumer!. Inexpensive, durable, and look good. Good Luck getting the position!!


            • #7
              No camel dress pants. Too dressy for sure! You want to look like you are the type that is ready to do the barnwork but should be spit polished to show that you standards for cleanliness are high. I agree that khakis and a nice, well-fitting polo are probably the best solution and with polished and clean paddock boots. They will look clean (if they are) and pressed (do this!) but also are not so dressy or precious as to suggest that you will present like a fashion plate rather than a hard working team player. Don't worry too much about fit. This is not about your fashion sense. You need to look like you are ready to work but like she would be proud to say that you work for her.

              Do take your riding gear just in case. Tall boots (polished), helmet, gloves, britches (your show pair) and spurs. Wear with the polo if asked to ride.

              I would take a resume and references. The refs will give her a sense of your horse experience but your resume could make a big impact - even without horse jobs - because work experiences of many sorts show good ethic and can be a good point of reference. After all, you are coming to her to get started with a horse "job."

              Good luck!
              "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals" Immanuel Kant


              • #8
                You can snap out a basic resume' in 10 minutes with a word processor. There are innumerable websites that will give you a good basic template. It need not be 10 pages long nor terribly elaborate, but you should indicate your education, your horse experience (just the facts, all business), your goals for the WS position in the form of a brief goal statement near the top, your contact information, and whatever specific non-riding factors you think might make you stand out. (class C driver's license, mad body clipping skills, accounting background, web design skills, whatever) Do not include fluff like the fact that you were reserve champion at a barn show in 2008 or whatever. It is OK to accurately and honestly list what level you are riding at (First level dressage, whatever) if you are genuinely competent with the movements at that level.
                Click here before you buy.


                • #9
                  I've interviewed for and gotten a couple different positions with BNTs. I go in polo shirt - without a logo. For example: not your high school golf team's shirts. And I wear dark khakis or corduroys. For the interviews I've had, I arrived, made introductions, and was then shuffled out to work in the barn for several hours. My actual interview usually came in the afternoon. Wearing dark pants, and a medium to dark color polo looks much cleaner after a few hours barn work (and sweating) then light khakis with a pastel shirt. I agree with the no jewelry suggestion also.

                  I've also been on the other end as the one conducting the interview. I've seen people come in all sorts of things, including high heels! Though I certainly would have opinions of people's choice of wardrobe, I never made a hiring decision based off of it. The only thing that was a must is that whatever they chose to wear, it was clean and generally conservative (no overtly visible boobs or butt please).

                  Definitely bring a current, accurate resume along with a couple letters of recommendation. You don't want to appear unprepared or as if you're trying to hide anything. The interview will consist primarily of them asking and discussing your work history and your horse history. You will make things difficult and a bit awkward for the both of you if you don't provide a typed up resume.


                  • #10
                    Polo or neat button down shirt with jeans or khakis. Don't forget your belt. Paddock boots (cleaned and shiny), possibly clean tennis shoes (this is iffy. I wear tennis shoes all the time around the barn, but some pros frown on this). Bring your riding gear (plan on your nicest britches, clean boots, gloves, hair net, etc). I say all this and years ago, when I interviewed with the trainer I worked for for 9 years, he chucked me up on his UL horse to cool it out in my jeans and clogs (silly me, didn't have paddock boots- always wore tall boots at the barn- so I thought THOSE were the best option Oh well...obviously, I impressed ).

                    Do a real resume. Horsey jobs or no, showing that you have a work history and are capable of holding down a job with responsibilities is a big point of a resume. Bring your letters. You can even bring a few photos of you riding if you have nice ones (I've done this). When I was job searching last fall, Yard and Groom gave you the option to link to a Youtube video to show your riding...you're probably past this, but another option for future reference.

                    Be just as professional as you would be for a real world job. Dress and act to impress. Be honest about your experience, ask lots of questions, and be honest about what you are expecting from the position.

                    Good luck.


                    • #11

                      Would recommendation letters/references be enough in place of a full-out resume? My resume is lacking in horse JOBS. I have two letters of rec from people I met/rode with in VA, and have a couple of friends from college who could also write ones based on our experience on the equestrian team, but as far as working at a barn, I have no references. The BO I worked for in college and I parted on bad terms.

                      Write a resume. I wrote resumes when I was a freelance writer and I've hired about one squillion interns and coworkers through my career. A resume means:
                      --you are a professional;
                      --you prepared for this interview;
                      --you know something about the job for which you're applying.

                      You don't really have references or experience exactly on point, so this piece of paper needs to tell a plausible story about how your work/ study history leads logically to this working student position. Consider all of the things that happen at a barn: organizing the rider's competition stuff; communicating with students and clinic participants; showing up early and being responsible. A job at Dairy Queen has more in common with that than schooling your own horse up a couple of levels. She's going to see you ride and can assess that herself.

                      Here's the recipe for a resume:

                      Penelope Q. Dressage
                      1430 Piaffe Lane, Hooterville, West Dakota 00000
                      (555) 555-5555 wannagettajob@pleaseplease.com

                      One-clause description of you, as in:

                      Rider with -- years riding experience, including training young horses and competing to ---- level.

                      Job you did most recently (Organization, title, dates)
                      description of those responsibilities

                      Job second most recently, as above

                      If you are just out of school or still in school, put education first.

                      List every skill you have that is on point INCLUDING ORGANIZING STUFF. She probably won't ask you to school her top competition horse but she could ask you to organize a clinic either on-site or away.
                      Shut up! You look fine! --Judybigredpony
                      Ms. Brazil


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                        It need not be 10 pages long nor terribly elaborate, but you should indicate your education, your horse experience (just the facts, all business), your goals for the WS position in the form of a brief goal statement near the top, your contact information, and whatever specific non-riding factors you think might make you stand out.
                        Lastest advice in resumes is 1 page without references... have them but on a separate sheet. If you have a ton of experience/jobs, no need to list all of them, but rather pick the ones that show SOMETHING beneficial to the current position being applied for. Also, no goal statement.
                        "Of course it's hard. It's supposed to be hard. It's the Hard that makes it great."

                        "Get up... Get out... Get Drunk. Repeat as needed." -- Spike


                        • #13
                          Also, no goal statement.

                          Double this this this with sprinkles.

                          Your goal is to be useful to her. You know that you will be an asset to this barn and that by contributing to her team you will become an even better horsewoman than you are.
                          Shut up! You look fine! --Judybigredpony
                          Ms. Brazil


                          • #14
                            I highly recommend you reach out to Liv at Pro Equine Grooms: http://www.proequinegrooms.com/ (she's on facebook too). She's worked for some of the top pros in the business and will be a great resource and mentor.