Planning on attending the Spring Career Fair? Have you thought about what you are going to wear? If you are still wondering what to wear, look no further for your sound advice from a wise wardrobe sage. It is actually VERY important that you take some time to think about what to wear at the Career Fair. Although we have been told since childhood that one’s character is more important than one’s appearance, this is not an excuse to wear your everyday outfit to job search. In this competitive world, you need every advantage you can get. So as the saying goes “dress for success”; especially if you are actively seeking a job or internship. At the Career Fair you might meet someone who actually wants to interview you. Dressing appropriately demonstrates a serious commitment to landing a job. It shows that you took the time to do your homework and look nice. It also demonstrates that you are a professional, well-put together person, who knows how to dress appropriately. Dressing appropriately is not something that an employer wants to teach you. They expect you to know that already.
At this point, you might be asking yourself “But how do I know what is appropriate to wear?” First I shall give you my top five list of what NOT to wear.
- Yoga Pants, Yoga Pants, Yoga Pants! Maybe if I say it three times, they will disappear. Ladies, I understand what a genius invention yoga pants are. I wear my yoga pants whenever I can justify it. But you know where I don’t wear them? Work. School. Giving a presentation. And JOB SEARCHING. Although they are the most comfy-fantastic leg wear on the planet, they are not appropriate for a professional situation. This rule also applies to tights, leggings, and any other form of legwear which is basically just a second layer of skin. Also, pairing such outfits with long shirts, still not professional.
- Jeans. Again one of the most amazing clothing items known to the human race. But unfortunately not considered professional. No matter how dark the wash.
- Tennis Shoes/ sneakers. Guys, this one is for you. Even if you get every other part of your outfit right, your brightly colored sneakers stick out from your black slacks like a bull in a china shop. You can easily find a cheap pair of nice dress shoes at your local Payless Shoe Store. Make the investment, you will not regret it.
- Athletic wear. I know I already thoroughly covered yoga pants and tennis shoes, but basically all forms of athletic wear should not be worn in a professional setting. Including (but not limited to): Sweatpants, athletic shorts, t-shirts, etc.
- Any item which includes the following words: Top, spaghetti, mini, low-cut, v-neck, etc. Part of being professional is knowing that no matter how cute something is, it isn’t always appropriate. Just ask your grandmother. Your shirts should have collars and your bottoms should at least hit your fingertips at the hemline.
Did I mention yoga pants? But in all seriousness, these rules will help you grow in your journey towards becoming a professional. Now, you might be wondering what you should wear. I am not going to spend a whole lot of time in this area because I am afraid that my suggestions will be misconstrued without proper examples. For example: If I say “skirts” you might interpret this as “mini-skirt”. In case you were wondering, that is not what I meant. So instead, I will leave you with this tip: Go to a professional place of business and look at what they are wearing, for example a bank. I know that there will be some silly bank teller that will break my rules, but you should be able to identify who is dressed correctly and who is not. The people who dress correctly will look competent, professional, and let’s face it, powerful. You might also look to a cool older sibling or friends who is in a professional position for advice. The best way to learn what to wear is to observe others who have experience.
What will you be wearing to Spring Career Fair?
How do you dress for success and stay true to your own style?
Let us know!
posted by Rebecca Schaffeld, Career Services Graduate Assistant