By Debbie Lechtman Fachler > Syracuse University > Sophomore > Magazine Journalism, Photo by Best Interview Strategies.com
They warn never to judge a book by its cover, but reality can be a little more complicated. The truth is that as a college student and future employee, you will often be judged by your appearance. A sloppy outfit could make all the difference between a promotion and getting fired.
Kim Zoller, president and founder of Image Dynamics, a training group that helps clients with career performance, says that 55 percent of people’s perception of you is based on your appearance.
Here are a few tips on how to dress to impress in three different scenarios:
For An Interview
Even if you are interviewing for a job or internship in a casual environment, it is always better to dress with caution. An employer likes to think that his or her interviewees will show up dressed fancier to an interview than they will to the actual job. If you look sloppy during your interview, that speaks volumes on how you will look once you actually start working there, and that could reflect badly on the company.
Marquette University’s Career Services Center advises students to always wear a conservative suit to a job or internship interview. Even if you are interviewing at a more creative company like a magazine or an advertising firm, it is smart to always go with business casual and add just a few small personal touches to your outfit (such as a colorful ring).
Both girls and guys should wear two piece suits to interviews, according to Marquette University’s Career Services Center. Girls should never wear bare legs, but rather, wear pants or cover them up with black or skin-colored tights. You should cover visible tattoos, remove facial piercings and wear very little perfume or cologne in case anyone in the office is allergic. Subtle makeup and a conservative hairstyle are also best.
While going to class in your pajamas often seems like the most comfortable choice, it is never the most sensible one. According to Gretchen Rubin, author of best-selling book The Happiness Project, feeling more attractive can not only make you feel happier but can also help you be more productive as well.
Also, keep in mind that your professors might help you with letters of recommendation or to network in the future. And if you are going to a trade school, such as the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, your professors might even be your colleagues in the future.
By dressing well to class, you can give off a good impression. Jeans and other casual clothing should be fine, but leave the sweats at home (or the gym) – where they belong.
Clearly, what you wear to work largely depends on where you work. However, you should always adhere to the dress code. As an employee, you are representing the company, and breaking the dress code could reflect badly on your employer.
“Since I work at a specialty retail store for ‘tweens,’ I’m required to set an example for our customers with the way I dress,” says Shannon Woodward, a junior at Syracuse University. “I will usually wear something that resembles the trends that the ‘tweens’ are wearing, only make them more appropriate for my age.