It’s true – your resume is the key to get you through the door to a potential employer. But what will you wear through that door?
There are no “do overs” when it comes to making a first impression and the first impression you make at a job interview is likely going to make or break you when it comes down to choosing you or another candidate.
By the time you reach the interviewer they already have an idea of your experience and skills set, at this point the next item of focus is what you’ll be wearing.
When you are vying for a job or a promotion and faced with competition – every part of the process that you can control has to be perfect. You’re not out to just make a good impression, you have to make a GREAT impression to propel your way to the top.
Some jobs may allow flexibility in what you wear – if you’re an artist, musician or even a hair stylist, for example. But most employers want to see someone they can be proud to have representing their company. So if your interviewer has to tell you to pull your pants up or your skirt down, it’s probably a good indication that you won’t be getting the job.
While not all office environments are conservative but it doesn’t hurt to put your best-dressed foot forward when going to an interview. Here are some good tips to follow when choosing the right outfit.
A pant or skirt suit is always a safe choice. Choose a suit that fits well and that the skirt is not too short. Safe colors are navy, black or grey.
Be sure your blouse coordinates properly with your suit.
Wear shoes that are clean and conservative. The stilettos you wore to the club over the weekend are probably not your best choice.
Jewelry is fine – but in an understated manner. Stay away from an armful of bracelets and an earful of earrings.
Light make up and perfume! Unless you’re applying for a job that involves a pole, conservative cosmetics is the only way to go. On the same note, be sure your nails are neat and clean. A manicure isn’t required – just don’t go in with broken, rough nails and chipped polish.
Carry a portfolio or briefcase with your resume, references and any other documents that you may be asked to present.
A solid-colored suit – navy or black is always a good choice.
Long-sleeved shirt is best, either white or a suit that coordinates well with your suit.
A coordinating tie is a must – novelty ties are a big no-no. Save the ties with your favorite football team or holiday theme for after you’re hired.
Dark socks with clean, leather shoes. Leave the high-tops for the basketball court.
Have your hair neat and clean. On a personal note, if you use your wife’s hairspray, make sure it really IS hairspray and not a bottle of perfume that LOOKS like hairspray – BIG mistake!
Go easy on the aftershave – remember people can have allergies to certain scents. You don’t want your interviewer sneezing through the entire
NOT To Do:
Let’s go back to middle school days: NO Gum!
Turn your cell phone off or kiss your chances of a job good bye if it rings during the interview. In fact, it’s a good idea to leave all of your electronics at home.
Unless you’re applying for a job in a tattoo/piercing parlor, cover all of your tattoos and piercings that aren’t in your ear.Whether you agree with the rules of the interview or not – if you want the job, you’re going to have to conform at least for awhile. Once you’ve landed the job and learn more about what your employer will and won’t put up with, you may have more flexibility with your appearance.