Looking the part

February 3, 2008 at 1:41 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

Professional dress code

Everyone says that a first impression goes a long way. It’s true, and part of it is looking the part. Penelope Trunk gives some great tips in her Brazen Careerist blog. Whether it is an interview or your first few months at a new job, what you wear is a huge part of how people view you.

 Although I’ve only had a few internships, couple jobs and probably double the interviews, here are a few tips of things I’ve found to go by:     

Interview:

  • Always dress formally, conservatively and professionally. You don’t usually know the dress code of the company. If you are dressed accordingly, chances are the interviewers know you are serious about getting a job there.
  • Make sure everything is ironed. A wrinkled shirt can show the interviewer that you are not detail-oriented. I’ve found that “detail-oriented” is a great characteristic to have, and if you say you are, then you must show that you are.
  • Trunk advises to find a good tailor. This is another example of showing how detail-oriented you are. Plus, it decreases the number of distractions the interviewers may notice. You don’t want them to watch your slacks drag on the floor.

 First few months at a new job:

  • Get to know the dress code, and follow it. A good way to show the company that you know what you are doing there is following all of its guidelines. It leaves one less thing for your managers to worry about for a new employee.
  • Limit the amount of flashy jewelry. Some of these things can sparkle under light and become a distraction. Remember – you want them to look at your capabilities, not your accessories. Trunk gave some good tips for girls that work for both looking older and decreasing distractions.

Whether or not you feel qualified for a position, looking the part is important to gaining the respect of your colleagues and interviewers.    

** Photo collage courtesy of Flickr user: waldrup_2000 

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