What You Wear Does Matter

Nancy Anderson
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What you wear is a reflection of your personality and can affect people's perception of you, for better or for worse. If you just landed that coveted job interview, you want to make sure your attire sends the right message and doesn't make you stand out in the wrong way. Consider these four tips for what not to wear to your next job interview.

Avoid Too-Revealing Clothes

You may look great in a tight shirt, short skirt or low-cut blouse, but clothes that are too revealing may send the wrong impression. You were offered a job interview because of your top-notch cover letter, resume and qualifications; don't detract from those great qualities with clothes that end up being the focal point rather than your exceptional skills. Make an impact with something you said that resonates with the hiring team, not the clothes you wore to the job interview that day.

Watch Out for Accessories and Makeup

Don't overdo it with the jewelry, makeup, nail color and hair style. Manicured, well-kept fingernails in a neutral tone are ideal. Ear, nose or lip piercings are better left out, and jewelry should be kept to a minimum. A ring on each hand, subdued necklace or bracelet and watch are fine, but avoid the ring-on-every-finger look or multiple necklaces. You want to send a simple, understated and elegant message about how you accessorize.

Casual Doesn't Cut It and Neither Do Flashy Patterns or Colors

In almost every case, a casual look isn't going to work for a job interview. This means no T-shirt or jeans and probably no khakis either. Men should wear a suit with a conservative shirt and subtle tie, and women should wear a dress, suit or elegant pair of slacks and a blouse. It's also all for naught if your clothes are wrinkly or dirty-looking, so make sure to iron or steam them the night before. You want to watch out for flashy colors or bright colors or patterns, too. Just like revealing clothes can end up being a focal point, so too can clothes that stand out in a garish manner. If you have doubts about what you plan to wear, try modeling the outfit in front of friends or family to see what they think.

The Industry Matters

Pay attention to the industry in which you want to work. If you're? interviewing for a job in fashion, then some of these tips might not apply. Try looking at industry magazines and pictures of professional events on social media or the company website to see how others in the industry are dressing. There's also a big difference in dress code between creative careers, such as artists, photographers and designers, and more business-related fields such as management or finance.

When you go to a job interview, your attire needs to reflect your professionalism. The wrong outfit or accessories can give a bad impression and signal to the hiring team that you may not fit in with the company culture.

Photo courtesy of UW-Superior at Flickr.com


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  • Patricia R.
    Patricia R.

    Very true

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