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Dressing the Part


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Dressing the Part

  1. 1. CAREER CENTER The DO’s and DON’Ts of Dressing the Part for Your Internship Search The following are basic guidelines to help you better understand employers’ expectations of professional appearance during the recruitment process (mock interviews, interviews, info sessions, meet-and-greets, etc). While these will apply to a broad range of employers, it’s important to recognize that standards vary across industries and organizations. Do your own research into the organizational values and culture, which informs recruiters’ expectations of candidates’ appearance. • Plan ahead of time - get your wardrobe ready in anticipation of landing an interview.Do… • Choose attire that enables you to walk and sit comfortably. • Research the culture of the organization(s) you hope to join – troll websites, ask alumni and recruiters. • Dress more formally than an employee in your chosen organization would dress on a typical workday. • Select clothing that fits your frame in all its dimensions, or have it tailored so it will. • For the most part, it’s wise to obscure tattoos and remove facial piercings when meeting employers. • Iron/press/dry clean your clothing according to garment label instructions. • Take the “sit test”: does skin show between pants & socks? Are your thighs too exposed in your skirt? • Polish/repair shoes that have scuffs or worn out heels and soles. • Use your attire to show you understand what it means to be a professional in your interviewer’s field. • Project a neat and put-together image, no matter which industry areas you are interviewing for. • Hold a “full dress rehearsal” a few days ahead of time to make sure everything is in place. • Carry your interview essentials (extra resumes, notepad, pen) in a neat looking folder or “padfoilio”. • Keep ear buds, Bluetooth devices, mobile phones, and other technology out of sight (and earshot). • Demonstrate your personal style when interviewing with a creative type of organization. • Assume one standard fits all industries or organizations Don’t… • Break the bank! See our smart wardrobe investment tips below! • Wear ill-fitting clothing. • Wait till the last minute to put together an interview outfit. • Wear fragrance. It can be distracting to interviewers and may even cause them an allergic reaction. When I see a student wearing a full You should look as if you were What Recruiters & Managers Have to SayIf you can wear the outfit out to a suit… I wonder 1. if this student going to a, movie, dinner with friends knows anything about Google and - Pat Skelly, IBM—then you shouldn’t wear it to an is therefore actually interested in interview. working for the company, and As a company in the fashion - Veronica Nolan, Urban Alliance 2. if they are a culture fit. industry, we also look for our - Kira Chappell, Google candidates to go outside of the ‘safe zone’ and assert or demon- The last thing you want to think strate a little more personality about are shoes hurting your feet with their attire without being Consider investing some money in or a skirt that you can’t sit down in! too extreme… Chosen attire may tailoring a suit (taking in the sides, I notice that the students that are also indicate whether their values shortening the sleeves). Good comfortable tend to exhibit more match ours company’s values (i.e. tailoring can make a relatively confidence. Confidence is key to cutting edge, risk taker).inexpensive suit look much more landing a job. - Darlette Hutchinson, pricey (and makes the candidate look - Linde Pusateri, INTERPOL Shawlsmith Londonmore polished and mature as a result). - David Ong,
  2. 2. More Tips …mostly for women …mostly for men • Hemline should fall just above or below the • Make sure all components of your suit or Fit/Cut: Fit/Cut: knee when you are standing. outfit fit appropriately: pants and sleeves • Avoid wearing anything too tight, short, the right length, shoulders the right width, low-cut, or otherwise revealing is jackets neither too loose nor too tight. inappropriate. • Avoid skirts/dresses with high a slit in back. • Choose a button-up dress shirt in solid, Color/Pattern: • Clothing should not restrict walking and sit- neutral, lighter color. ting. • Subtle stripes or plaid can also be appropriate. • Wear a camisole underneath a button down • Dark shirts and bold patterns can look Tops: shirt to prevent gaps between buttons. “clubby.” • With skirt/dress, rule of thumb is to wear • Avoid skinny ties for most settingsLegwear: Accessories: sheer pantyhose similar to your skin tone. • Remember that YOU want to be the focus, • With pants, thin trouser socks or knee-highs. not your accessories. Make sure they stay up and don’t reveal your • Avoid novelty ties or those with leg when sitting. busy patterns. • Coordinate your belt color with your • Closed-toe/-back shoes with a modest-sized shoe color.Shoes: heel; dressier flats may also be appropriate. • Wear shoes you can walk in comfortably. • Choose dark-colored dress socks and make Legwear: • Teetering on too-high heels is not flattering. sure they are high enough and elastic enough to keep your skin covered when you are • Avoid large, flashy accessories and other daz- sitting down. Accessories and Makeup: zling visual details. • Keep hair neat and avoid visible use of Grooming: • Consider pulling longer hair back in a style products.Grooming: that keeps it away from your face. • Keep nails short and filed. • Keep nails short, filed, and neutral in color. Smart wardrobe investments $ Iron and ironing board – share with a roommate in your budget $ Tailoring – good fit is essential, include tailoring $ Shoe repair – old shoes will look new again! clothing $ Upscale resale shops – always try on and inspect $ Dry cleaning – when instructions call for it about appropriate fit, so you can spend your $ Consultation at a department store to learn money wisely.