Recession Living 101: Resume aside, looking sharp is key

Raspina Jannesar

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Are you graduating soon?

Have you started looking for a job?

Being in the working world for many years, I’ve noticed a trend in successful job interviews. One of the main reasons why most individuals get hired for the positions they apply for is because of the way they are dressed. A large part of the perception that people have of us is based on how we look. This is even more true when we meet someone at a particular occasion. What if you met someone at a wedding for the first time and he or she was wearing jeans and tennis shoes? How would you judge that individual?

Going on a job interview is an occasion that requires the proper attire. If you’re not wearing the appropriate clothing, the chances of getting the job will be slim to none. Dressing for an interview is just as crucial as your resume. Whether you’re interviewing for a CEO position, or an entry-level position, the way you dress says a great deal about you. Wrinkled clothing, for example, will show a lack of attention to detail and a lazy attitude.

Here are a few basic rules that men and women should follow when preparing for an interview:

WOMEN

  1. Make sure to wear a solid-colored suit that is conservative (navy, black or dark grey).
  2. Always coordinate a blouse to go with your suit.
  3. You should wear low-heeled shoes that are darker than your slacks. It is always better to try and wear closed-toe shoes.
  4. If you are wearing a skirt suit, make sure to wear natural colored pantyhose.
  5. If you have long hair, it is best to tie it back so that the interviewer can focus on your face and what you have to say.
  6. If you are going to wear nail polish make sure to use a lighter or more natural shade.
  7. You should wear makeup, but try and use natural shades and do not overdo it.
  8. Do not wear a lot of jewelry and if you have any visible piercings on your face, it’s best to take them out. (Don’t let a nose ring derail you from your dream job.)
  9. Do not go overboard with perfume, but make sure that you are free of all foul odors.
  10. Make sure to check your outfit for holes, tears and/or stains. Avoid wearing miniskirts, tight sweaters, sandals or bright colors.

MEN

  1. You should also make sure to wear a solid-colored suit that is conservative (again, navy, black or dark grey).
  2. Try and stick to the old-fashioned white long-sleeved dress shirt that is free of any stains.
  3. It’s best to wear a solid-colored tie rather than your favorite Disney character tie, or one with a hypnotizing geometric pattern.
  4. Make sure to wear dark socks with your suit. Keep those white socks for your Michael Jackson impersonations.
  5. Men have to keep their jewelry as limited as they possibly can. Even if you wear many rings on a daily basis try to just wear a watch to an interview and your wedding band if you’re married. Again you don’t want to distract the interviewer with anything, but what you have to say.
  6. Do not overuse aftershave, but make sure to be free of all body odors.
  7. Make sure that your nails are neatly trimmed and clean.
  8. It’s best to shave before an interview, but if you do have facial hair (goatee) make sure that it’s neatly trimmed.
  9. If you have any visible tattoos try to cover them as much as you possibly can.
  10. Be sure to polish your shoes.

If you follow these rules, you will never have to worry about what a perfect job interview outfit should look like. All that’s left is tweaking your resume.