Real-life advice from a real-life recruiter

Posts tagged ‘working while in college’

Believe It or Not…

Believe it or not, some job seekers show up to career fairs and interviews in leggings with Uggs, miniskirts and flannels. However, as a job seeker you need to forget the fact that you’re in a college gymnasium and dress for success.

Appearance isn’t everything-But it’s enough to reduce your chances of being hired.

According to Kim Zoller at Image Dynamics, 55% of another person’s perception of you is based on how you look.  Now this maybe sounds unjust and unfair- to judge a book by its cover, but we all do it because it is human nature. A person in jeans or leggings may be just as competent and intelligent as the one wearing the formal suit, or more so- but as a recruiter we assess these attributes based on appearance. Now this doesn’t mean you can forget about being prepared for a presentation or interview, put on a nice suit and then you’ll wow ‘us.

Instead it means we look at the total package- knowledge, preparation, and appearance. These are all necessary to make a good impression. I’ll give you a visual, your mother or father has to have an emergency surgery on the brain and the doctor arrives late and is wearing a hoodie and wrinkled jeans.  It’s suitable to think-“This guy won’t be operating on my parents”! Though he could be the best neurosurgeon around.

 Some Companies don’t require conservative dress

This is true. Not all companies require conservative dress and when you work from home or in an office where casual attire is the norm, it’s difficult to get out of that role and into the professional role. So if you’re uncertain about how to dress for an interview, it is best to make a mistake on the side of conservatism. It is much better to be overdressed than underdressed (or undressed). Also if you’re not sure, check with the person who scheduled the interview and ask.

How to dress for success

Invest in yourself purchase a nice tailored suit. Should you go out and purchase a suit for the one or two times a year you’ll have to make a presentation or interview? It’s probably a good idea and here are a few tips on how to dress

Women’s Interview Attire

  • Solid color, conservative suit
  •  Coordinated blouse
  •  Moderate shoes
  •  Limited jewelry
  •  Neat, professional hairstyle
  •  Sparse make-up & perfume
  •  Manicured nails
  •  Portfolio

Men’s Interview Attire

  • Solid color, conservative suit
  •  White long sleeve shirt
  •  Conservative tie
  •  Dark socks, professional shoes
  •  Very limited jewelry
  •  Neat, professional hairstyle
  •  Go easy on the aftershave
  •  Neatly trimmed nails
  •  Portfolio or briefcase

It’s key to dress for career fairs as if it’s a job interview in the company’s headquarters. So remember, your appearance can go a long way toward the impression you make and how recruiters recall you.