Build A Career Blog

October 21, 2006

Dress to Impress in Your Professional Best

Filed under: Job Fairs — tjmj2006 @ 1:24 pm

 Why didn’t the human resources recruiter call me back for an interview? Why didn’t I get the job?

As a Career Advisor, I hear the above questions on a regular basis. Conducting follow ups with recruiter or hiring managers reveal some interesting facts.

One of the recruiters I spoke to mentioned that the applicant did an exceptional job in the interview but their professional appearance and hygiene were an issue. 

Our society is judgemental. Someone dressed in jeans may be just as intelligent as the person dressed in a suit, but the person wearing the suit will be taken more seriously.

Below are a few things you should do before going on an interview or job fair to insure you will be perceived as a serious candidate: 

1. Hygiene – Shower, bathe, floss, gargle, brush your teeth. Use deoderant. Use minimal  or no cologne. If you want fresh breath pop a mint in your mouth 10-15 minutes before speaking with the recruiter or going on the interview. No gum. Your nails should be cleaned and trimmed. Women: no chipped nail polish. Wear a neutral nail color or simply wear no color on you nails. Makeup should also be worn in neutral colors.

2. Cloths – The desheveled look is out. What you wear is just as important as what is on your resume. Men: wear a dark suit with a shirt and tie and dark socks. Make sure the suit has been dry cleaned if needed. Women: a dark skirt suit or pants suit is perferred. Hoisery should match skin tone with no runs. Wear comfortable dark shoes. No sandals. You should wear minimal accessories (no long, bold earring or gaudy bracelets and rings). You want the attention to be focused on you, not your accessories.

3. Hair – Be conservative with your hairstyle. Make sure you hair is clean, combed/brushed.

4. Portfolio/Brief Case – I had a discussion with a job fair attendee who carries a plastic bag full of his personal belonging (MP3 Player, pens, wallet, resumes).  As he visited companies at the job fair he pulled resumes out of his plastic bag. While he was professionally dressed, carrying a plastic bag full of personal items doesn’t send the right message to a potential employer.  How will this individual represent our company?  You want to look professional so carry a portfolio or briefcase.

View more interview tips and resources at our website  


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