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Dress for Success!

  1. Buy several dark colored, good-quality suits. Darker colors are more authoritative and make you look older.
  2. Add to your wardrobe with simple shirts and blouses and pants and skirts that can be worn as business casual attire with or without a jacket.
  3. Make sure your clothing fits well. Tight or low-cut blouses, tight, hip-hugging pants, and short skirts all send a decidedly unprofessional message.
  4. Make sure shoes, hosiery, and belts coordinate with your clothing. Black does not go well with brown or navy blue.
  5. Accessorize sparingly.
    • Less is more for both makeup and jewelry
    • Use cologne/perfume sparingly or not at all.
  6. Hang up your clothing and put away your shoes everyday. You will save time and money on dry-cleaning and ironing.
  7. Wear appropriate underwear and make sure it can’t be seen.
  8. Make sure your hair is always cut or styled in a way that makes you look neat and
  9. If you have a pierced tongue or nose, remove your rings or studs. If you have a tattoo,
    make sure it’s covered.
    • Better safe then sorry. You can assert your individuality after you have established yourself on the job.
  10. Add one final accessory - a well-mannered, positive attitude.

Some advice straight from the employers:

Carolyn Wilke, University Relations Lead at Aetna Inc. in Hartford Connecticut says:

  • “Dress for the job you want, not for the job you’re in. Look at what senior management is wearing.”
  • “Looking great isn’t just about the clothes you wear, it’s about your total image”

Marianne Green, Assistant Director of Career Services at the University of Delaware says:

  • “Start out by wearing a suit. It’s better to err on the side of the conservative, when you’re just starting out you’ve got to hold on to your dignity and your authority for dear life. One of the ways to do that is by how you dress.”
  • “Even if the company culture screams “casual,” make sure you’re always neat.”
  • “You’ll meet many new people in your first weeks on the job, and their first impression may well shape their view of you for years to come.”
  • “You want people to remember what you do and say, not what you wear.” Try to blend in.
  • “Study a little bit of etiquette.”

For more information, please refer to National Association of Colleges and Employers, Job Choices: For Business & Liberal Arts Students, 2007