The New Rules of Dressing for Success

There are a few times in your life that your clothes will give you an added boost and a job interview is one of them. When you look good, you feel more confident and are able to project that during the meeting.

As a recruiter, it’s my job to make sure that candidates are well-prepared. This means that they know the job inside and out, and look the part. Below are a few tips that I like to share with candidates:

Be Prepared
When you are searching for a new position, it’s important to have the right clothes in your closet. A “go-to” outfit will ease some of the jitters that come with the interview process.

Show Some Personality
Once you are invited to interview, be sure to ask about the office dress code. If it’s a traditional corporate environment, you’ll most likely dress in a suit. However, that doesn’t mean that it needs to be boring! Men can wear a stylish tie and women can accessorize with a statement necklace.

Depending on the company, a suit is not always necessary. A tailored jacket with a dress or printed skirt works. You can also pair a printed pant with a solid blazer and blouse. When I interviewed at Messina Group, I wore a striped pencil skirt and navy blazer. It gave a little insight into who I am and made me comfortable. Which leads me to …

Be Comfortable
Think of sitting through a two-hour interview in clothes that either don’t fit right or are really stiff. It can be unpleasant! An interview is like a first date, you want to be yourself and answer questions in a way that is honest and makes you look like the perfect match. When you feel relaxed, you are more apt to present your true self.

Accessorize Appropriately
If you choose a statement piece, such as large earrings or necklace, it is the only piece of jewelry you should be wearing. Too much jewelry is distracting – and moves the attention from your skills to what you are wearing.

Piercings and Tattoos
Be safe – take out the piercings and cover the tattoos. The company is looking at you as potentially being a representative of their brand, and a nose ring could be what puts you in the “no” pile. Body art is fairly main stream these days, so once you get the job and notice that coworkers are sporting similar expressions, you should also feel free to do so.

Outwear
In areas like Chicago, there is a blurred line between fashion and staying warm. Women should have a knee-length pea coat or trench coat. At the end of the winter season, a professionally cleaned coat will hang well in your closet – or let you know that it’s time to get a new one.

Need more interview attire advice? I’m happy to help. Just send me an email at mrosenstein@messinagroupinc.com.

Courtney Clemmons

Courtney Clemmons

Courtney Clemmons is the Content Developer for both Messina Group Staffing and Messina Group Consulting. Before moving into her role on the Marketing team, Courtney began her career as a Recruiter working on contract, contract-to-hire and direct hire positions for Messina’s Engineering, Manufacturing, Laboratory, Marketing and Financial staffing divisions. Courtney is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Madison with a BA in Journalism.

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