Dress for Success

When you are getting dressed for your next college lecture, it may be fine to sport the universal college uniform of flip-flops, a hoodie and pajama bottoms, but that definitely will not work when you are embarking on your career search. If you are a recent college graduate about to enter the professional workplace then it is important to make sure that you are dressing in order to make a positive impression during your upcoming job interviews.

Whether it is fair or not, appearances really can have a tremendous impact on a hiring manager’s first impression of a job candidate. When you take the time to dress professionally, it shows that you have good judgment as well as an understanding of the importance of the situation. It will also demonstrate your interest in the position as well.

Not sure exactly what constitutes business professional? Read on for style tips to help you get started dressing appropriately for your career search.

First, remember that it is always better to be overdressed for the interview than underdressed. Think about what you would wear to visit your grandmother or someone else of that same generation. If you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see you in it, then you shouldn’t wear it to an interview. Avoid any clothing that is suggestive or revealing.

When it comes to accessories, be aware that they can be wonderful for accenting your clothing, but they can also destroy your chances for landing the job if you overdo it. Keep your accessories to a minimum and when in doubt, keep your accessories conservative.

It can definitely pay off to do some research regarding the office culture of the company where you will be interviewing. If you know someone who works there or who has interviewed there previously, you might even think about asking them about the office dress code.

In addition, be aware that there are some items of clothing that should be avoided regardless where you will be interviewing. These items include mini-skirts, flip-flops, jeans, sneakers and t-shirts. Along those same lines, make sure that your grooming and hygiene are impeccable. Your hair should be clean and well groomed, as should your nails. Also, avoid strong aftershave or perfume that could be overpowering to someone with allergies or asthma. The general rule of thumb is that you need to be presentable and polished when you arrive for your interview.

Keep in mind that you need not spend money you do not have for clothing in order to dress appropriately for an interview. Even if you are on a budget, you can purchase a few pieces that can be mixed and matched along with what you may already own for great professional results. Look for timeless and classic pieces such as button-down shirts, pants and simple black dresses.