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Thursday, September 28, 2023

People say first impressions always stick, and while I do believe in second chances, there’s no denying that a bad first impression can haunt you in the interview process. A recruiter has a very limited amount of time to absorb your credentials, personality, potential and overall appearance, so you need to present yourself as the best package possible. Not only will a professional outfit make you feel more confident, but it instantly tells the recruiter you’re a serious candidate with high potential. Here are a few tips for choosing professional clothes to set you up for success:

  • It’s always better to overdress. You want to choose an outfit based on the position you want in the future, not the one you’re applying for now.
  • Go for a pantsuit (or skirt suit for the ladies) in a darker neutral color. Stay away from crazy colors or patterns.
  • Don’t wear excessive jewelry or other extravagant accessories (i.e. hats, crazy headbands, big earrings, obnoxious purses).
  • Per the note above, accessorize lightly. A nice watch, a light scarf, small earrings, etc.
  • Gentlemen, wear the appropriate footwear for your outfit. I know your all black converse are super comfy, but a suit requires dress shoes (if you have to walk to get to an interview or recruiting event, bring a change of shoes with you).
  • Ladies, save your hot new pumps for a night out. A more conservative shoe (that you can easily walk in) is a better choice in a professional setting.
  • This might seem obvious, but make sure your clothes fit. Wear a belt. Don’t let things hang off of you and don’t wear your favorite button down that’s two sizes too small.
  • If you wear glasses, consider contacts for the day of the interview or event. Some people say glasses interfere with making eye contact (which is one of the most important things to do while chatting).

If you’re stuck in a wardrobe crisis, just remember to keep it simple. Let your style show through without distracting and overwhelming people. Always err to the side of conservative and choose an outfit that compliments your most professional self.

For more tips on what to wear (or not to wear) visit

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