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Dress For Success

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Guidelines for Women

BUSINESS PROFESSIONAL

Suit

  • For the interview, ladies should wear a matching skirt or pant suit with a coordinating blouse.
  • College students on a budget may not own a suit, so we recommend putting together the best outfit you can with what you already own. Perhaps a friend or roommate of similar size owns a suit that can be borrowed.
  • In some instances, a skirt with a matching jacket or sweater and blouse will suffice.
  • To avoid wrinkles in the suit jacket, take it off while driving /riding in a car on the way to the interview and hang it on the hanger in the back seat of most vehicles. Laying your suit jacket on the floorboard or seat could result in unwanted lint and hair.
  • If your suit is dirty or wrinkled, plan to take it to the dry cleaners the week before the interview - not the day before the interview.
  • In general, darker suit colors are for more formal occasions. Dark gray, black, brown, or navy suits are appropriate for interviews.
  • If you are wearing your suit for the first time, remember to remove the tag on the sleeve and cut the tie between the flaps or vent on the back of the suit jacket.

Fit and Fabric

  • Make sure that blouses are not too tight, too low cut or too sheer. Choose a modest cut and fabric to complement your suit.
  • Avoid blouses with distracting patterns and designs.
  • Skirt length should be just above or at the knee. Pants should be full length, not Capri.
  • Wear appropriate undergarments that are not visible through clothing.

Shoes and Hosiery

  • Choose a closed-toe pump with a low or modest heel that matches your suit color. Black or navy are good choices.
  • Always wear pantyhose, preferably a neutral or nude color.
  • Never wear brightly colored tights or hosiery.
  • Opened toe or strappy sandals are never appropriate.

Jewelry and Accessories

  • When considering jewelry remember to keep your decisions conservative.
  • Avoid large and/or dangling earrings. Choose a small loop or stud. Avoid showing facial/body piercings.
  • A nice wrist-watch, pearls, or a simple gold chain are nice additions to interview attire. Refrain from noisy bangles or multiple bracelets that will be distracting.
  • Although cowbells are now legal at the football stadium, please refrain from bringing them with you during the interview.
  • Avoid resting sunglasses on your head.

Portfolio

  • A portfolio adds professionalism to your outfit during the interview. It is also a great place to store a writing utensil, questions for the employer, and resume packets.
  • Bring a dark colored leather briefcase or portfolio.
  • Avoid manila envelopes and three-pronged folders.

BUSINESS CASUAL

  • Wear business casual attire only when stated; otherwise, assume that business professional is the standard. Business casual is considered a step down from interview attire in professionalism. Consider wearing a nice blouse with a jacket or a sweater set.
  • Ironed dress pants or slacks can be worn with dress shoes (no sandals or athletic shoes).

PERSONAL HYGIENE

  • Fingernails. Keep fingernails well manicured, clean, and short. Polish should be clear or light colored.
  • Hair. Keep hair neat and clean for the interview day. Choose a modest hair style that is easy to maintain. Refrain from dying your hair before the interview. Avoid leaving sunglasses on top of your head during the interview.
  • Showering - for some this is automatic. Please take a shower and apply deodorant before you go to the interview.
  • Oral Hygiene. Brush teeth and use mouthwash to ensure fresh breath. Do not chew gum or mints during the interview. Avoid smoking and chewing tobacco prior to the interview.
  • Cologne. Wear little or no cologne to the interview. Too much cologne can easily distract the employer and prevent you from making a good impression.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

  • Lint - Use a lint roller to remove hair and lint from your clothes. Be aware of any animal hair you could attract from your car seat or other pieces of furniture before the interview.

Most importantly, give the employer the impression that you made a significant effort to present yourself professionally for the interview. The most expensive wardrobe will not gain any respect if not worn properly; do the best with what you have!