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Newsletter Archives

Reality Check
What Gets You to Your New Job?

Dress to Impress
Dressing for Interview Success

Are You Ready . . .
For Your Job Winning Job Search?

Preparation for the Interview
Toughest Interview Questions

Resume Presentation
Tips to Look Good and Stand Out

Reinventing Your Workself
When Circumstances Change

Pep Yourself Up for the Interview
Getting Psyched for the Big Opportunity

Make the Most of the Interview
Interview Questions for You to Ask

Your Job Search Is Your New Job
Spending 8 Hours a Day on Your Job Search

Frequent Resume Missteps
What Does Your Resume Say About You?

Employment Testing & Assessments
How Do They Enhance the Interview Process?

Casual Interview Discussions & Informal Questions
Stay Conscious and Interview Focused

Handling Job Search Rejection
Another Networking Opportunity

Stay Positive During Your Job Search
“Best Practice” Tips for Remaining Optimistic

Salary Negotiations
Be Prepared, Positive and Open

Reference Checks
Detailed Assessments Are Now the Norm

Writing Thank You's
Make a Noteworthy Impression

Cover Letters
Make a Good First Impression

Working with Recruiters
What Recruiters Want You to Know

Common Resume Mistakes
Is Your Resume Promoting Your Talents?

Know the Company
Do Your Homework

Dress to Impress

Dressing for Interview Success

Whether you are interviewing for the top job of a Fortune 500 firm or a local company, what you wear to the interview will be judged equally with your background. When selecting your look for the interview, “Dress to Impress” is always the best practice.

When we talk about interview dress it is not our intent to be uncompromising. But whether you like it or not, your appearance and what you wear to an interview is a big part of the job search process. A significant part of any hiring decision is based on nonverbal elements in the interview — your handshake, eye contact, body language, posture, listening skills, clothing, grooming and accessories.

The Power of a Good First Impression

People make assumptions about professional credibility and potential performance based upon your appearance. Regardless of your knowledge or expertise, it is very difficult to overcome a poor first impression. Many employers interpret your appearance in terms of what you know about the world around you and the attention you give to detail. To be successful, research and practice for the interview and carefully plan the professional image you want to project. If you come to an interview dressed professionally, you will feel a sense of confidence and others will sense your self-assurance.

Fashion Basics

We at 1StopResume.com have heard about candidates who believe their personal flair is crucial to present to a potential employer. While chic is fun, during an interview it is important that you follow these basic standards.

What About Business Casual Work Environments?

While many work environments have shifted to business casual as the work standard, business suits are still the interview standard. When in doubt, it is almost always better to dress in formal business attire.

New to the Job Market or College Grad?

While the college campus or nightclubs may be the perfect forum in which to exhibit your flair for the latest in fashion style, the interview is not the place to do so. With very few unusual exceptions, sandals, jeans and sweatshirts are out. Oxfords and business suits are still the preferred dress. Even though many companies have relaxed their internal company dress codes, interviews still follow the traditional business standard.

Some candidates believe they can "get by" with what is already in their wardrobe. Usually this is not optimal. Remember that stylish is not conservative. You should be doing the talking, not your clothes.

Interview Style on a Limited Budget?

One or two well-chosen business suits will serve you all the way to the first day on the job and beyond. Then, when you are making some money (and have a chance to see what the standard "dress" is for the company), you can begin to round out your wardrobe. For now, no one will fault you for wearing alternating sharp outfits each time you interview. If you desire some variety within a limited budget, you might consider varying your shirt / blouse / tie / accessories as a simple way to change your look without breaking your wallet.

What Image Consultants Tell Us

During our research, we read an article written by Anna Soo Wildermuth, an image consultant and incoming president of the Association of Image Consultants International. She says, “Clothes should be a part of who you are and should not be noticed.” She cites 10 dressing faux pas to avoid when interview time comes around:

Wild Nail Polish: (For men or women). Extremely long or uncut nails are a real turnoff, too. Your nails should be groomed and neat.

Jewelry that Jangles: Don't wear more than one per hand or one earring per ear. No face (body) jewelry or ankle bracelets (allowed) at the interview.

Open-Toed or Backless Shoes: Mules are a definite no-no. Out-of-date shoes should be thrown out or kept for other occasions.

Bare Legs: Wear stockings, even in humid, summer weather. Stockings can be in neutral colors or a fashion color to match your shoes.

Out-of-Date Suits: Wear updated suits. A good tailor can alter the lapels of suits with lapels that are too wide (three inches or more) or too narrow (one inch or less). The style for men's jackets is full-body and looser rather than fitted or tight.

Short Skirts: Hemlines should not be more than two inches above the knee. Don't even think about wearing Capri pants or leggings to the interview.

Leather Jackets for Men or Women: Even leather blazers are not good for interviewing purposes. They look like outerwear.

Turtlenecks for Men: A tie is preferable, at least for the first round. At the very least, wear a collared shirt.

Printed or Trendy Handbags: Purses should be conservative and inconspicuous. Truly it is best to carry a briefcase.

Red Briefcases: Briefcases, purses and shoes should all be conservative in color and in good condition.

Conservative colors in various shades of blue and gray are the best. Wearing black to the interview could be viewed as too serious. If you do wear black, make sure that there is another color near your face to soften the look. Change your outfit's look for a second interview by wearing a different color blouse, shirt, scarf or tie.

There Are Exceptions

Granted, there are exceptions to almost every rule. While we have said that an interview is not the place to make a fashion statement, those in the artistic fields, music business and the very famous can be more adventurous. Everyone else should opt for a conservative look.

Of course there are other jobs that may be more casual in dress and men with facial hair. Website programmers and IT developers should talk to someone within the organization to learn about the dress. Sometimes it will be appropriate to dress business casual for these interviews. And, if you are in a trade where wearing a suit and tie would be impractical, make sure that your clothing and hands are clean and your hair is neatly trimmed.

In Summary . . .

Whatever you wear should accent the fact that you are a professional ready to get to work at a new job. Let conservative sense be your guide, and it should be easy to avoid fashion blunders that could damage your chances of getting to the next level in the process. In this market, it is essential that you look good and you Dress to Impress.


We wish you great success in your job search!

1StopResume.com utilizes several sources to bring you revolutionary and fundamental job search wisdom. While we would like to acknowledge individually those websites, books and articles, authors, and masters, this list would be extensive. We thank these sources for their contributions.