The Northwest is notorious for casual office wear and work space, but if you’re in the throes of trying to find a new job, making a good first impression is your best bet for future success. Lisa Quast, author of Secrets of a Hiring Manager Turned Career Coach, gave us a few tips on making the most of the job search and how to prepare for landing that big interview.

Quast said creating well-written resumes and cover letters is the most important step, and don’t go overboard with the weird. “Too often, job seekers believe they just need to get noticed by a hiring manager – I’ve seen people auction themselves off on eBay, take out ads boasting their work skills, send cookie resumes (yes, really!) and more. This mindset is particularly common among millennials.”

If you’re at a loss when it comes to summer work attire, Quast breaks it down to three key elements; company culture, job type, and job level.  “For example, a computer programmer sitting at his or her desk can probably dress more casually than a sales representative who meets with customers each day. And company executives tend to wear more formal attire, even during summer months,” Quast said.

Let’s say you land that interview. Quast said doing your homework on what the job is and about the company is vital. “When walking into a job interview, be ready to showcase what you can do and how you can contribute to the company and to the hiring manager’s goals. Show the hiring manager why he or she should hire you over all the other candidates,” Quast said.