Deciding what to wear for a job interview can be nearly as stressful as the event itself. Beyond deciding what looks good on you, there's also determining what's appropriate dress for the employer who's looking to look you over.
The growing trend in recent decades toward more casual dress in offices and other workplaces means three-piece suits are out for the most part. But going too casual can send a signal to a potential employer that you're just not interested in working there.
So it's no wonder that many college graduates (and job applicants, generally) are unsure of how to dress for an interview these days.
Standards of appearance and conduct aren't as apparent as they used to be, says Tamryn Hennessy, national director of career development at Rasmussen College, which has campuses in five states and also offers courses online.
When advising on what to wear to an interview, she says, "You need to be very specific with students -- especially students who are changing industries."
More generally, Hennessy says, society has become so informal that "people really need the rules."
Dressing up shows that you have respect for the opportunity being offered, but she cautions not to overdo it. Wearing a blue pinstriped suit to interview at a company where most employees wear flip-flops could be a bit over the top.
Still, even within most casual workplaces, those making hiring decisions tend to dress more businesslike than others within the office. And even if they don't, they may still expect applicants to dress appropriately.
That's not to say that there aren't ways to express your creativity. A female applicant who wears a suitably conservative suit but accessorizes the outfit with a unique hairpin can send that message that she can both conform and express her individuality, Hennessy says, and that can be beneficial, depending upon the field of employment or the employer.
Looking for more specifics? Check out Rasmussen's guide to "What to Wear and What NOT to Wear to an Interview" below:
Source: Column Five Media
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