You’ve made it to the Career Showcase. Sure, it only took years of building your resume, weeks of planning and moments of panic — if you’re lucky enough to land an interview. With your killer GPA, jealousy-inducing involvement levels and an unrivaled passion for your field, you’re pretty much outfitted for success.
Except that you can’t really dress yourself in success, can you?
You’ll need an actual outfit for that, and this outfit needs to make you look like you know what you’re doing because you obviously do.
Ladies and gents, showing you can present yourself well is half the battle, and a lot of that comes from your ensemble. Sure, it’s what’s on the inside that counts, but these busy interviewers aren’t likely to pull out the Myers-Briggs test. That means you need to make a strong impression right off the bat.
For the women, this means dress slacks, appropriate-length skirts or dresses. Throw on a casual blazer to take things up a notch, and steer clear of too-tight items. Just because that body-con dress has a crew neck does not necessarily mean it’s job-interview appropriate.
Stand out instead with a brightly colored blouse or shirt, and keep it balanced with more reserved pants, skirts or slacks. And don’t be afraid of patterns! As long as you’re sticking to one statement print, you’ll be the polished, professional and stylin’ recruit of which these companies are dreaming.
Be wary of over-accessorizing. Personality is a good thing, but piling on every doodad you own is more of a distraction than an endearing quirk. A rule of thumb: If you sound like you’re hiding wind chimes in your hair or bells in your pocket, you need to take off some bangles.
For shoes, use your best judgement. Flats are always a safe bet — bonus points if they’re actually comfortable and fashion-forward. However, I believe heels are a step above (pun intended), and by keeping you on your toes, your posture will probably be much better in them than in their ground-level counterparts.
For the guys, nice slacks and dress shirts with ties are a good call here. You’re here to impress the recruiters, so why leave the blazer at home? Go ahead and add a tie to show you mean business. You’ll never regret looking sharp, plus, making a sloppy impression for the sake of it being“too hot outside to wear a jacket” could cost you that internship you had your eye on.
The career-driven guys and gals of the world can find on-trend business garments that won’t break the bank at stores like J.Crew Factory and H&M. Loft is also an excellent source for the ladies.
My personal mantra is that you can never be overdressed for an occasion — at the very least, everyone else is just underdressed. So when in doubt, get your Iggy on and choose fancy (but strictly in the spiritual sense; please do not channel Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy ft. Charli XCX” music video for Career Showcase inspiration).