Optimizing your Career Fair Experience #3 To Stand Out, Dress the Part!
One of my clients was preparing for an interview. This was interview #3 but the first in-person interview. He was an IT Project Manager facing a team of 12 in the interview.
He asked me to clarify dress. What do you wear in today’s business environments for an interview?
He checked the corporate dress policy — business casual and had someone at the company define that as Dockers and polo shirts. But he knew that didn’t mean he should dress business casual for the interview.
I knew I could trust this career savvy group of colleagues for cutting edge opinions.
Jason Alba: “Just because the environment is business casual doesn’t mean he’s “in” yet. I remember an interview where only ONE person wore a suit… the rest were business casual. It was not too much, and it left a very favorable impression.”
Dawn Bugni: “I’m with Jason. Err on the side of caution. It’s easy to take a tie off and “get casual” if need be. Not so easy to add a tie to a polo shirt.”
Gayle Howard: “I always think of business casual as nice trousers, well pressed, and a shirt with no tie. Maybe (if it’s cold) a sports jacket, but not a suit jacket. Something that tones in but doesn’t look as formal as a suit. Something like you’d wear to a nice dinner out. Shoes wouldn’t necessarily be suit/black leather, but instead maybe a comfortable brown shoe that goes with the rest of the outfit.”
Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter: “If I were to err, I’d err on the side of ‘too-dressy.’ Many suit/tie looks, it seems, don’t look stuffy; they can still be a bit hip/biz casual but still include the closed-button shirt with tie <–that’d be my initial recommendation, based on what I’m hearing.”
Barb Poole: “I missed getting in on the dress comments. You got sage advice from great minds!”
- Dress more conservatively than corporate culture.
- Know the culture going in.
- Determine that you need to go up a notch from the reported dress style.
What to wear to a career fair? — same concept.
Do you want to make an impression and leave an impression?
- Dress up!
- Leave the blue jeans and t-shirts at home.
- Cut the hair, trim facial hair, dress the part.
Job search is challenging enough. Make sure your clothes leave the right impression. Don’t let your fashion statement leave you out of the running for your new job.
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