Have you seen what people look like when they apply for jobs these days? I don’t care if you are applying to serve burgers in a place where they wear Hawaiian shirts and cargo shorts, don’t wear that to the interview. You may love your tattoo, cover it anyway. That cool nose ring, take it out. The same can be said if you are meeting with your kid’s teacher, the minister of the church and so on. You get the picture. People really do notice how you present yourself. Wouldn’t it be nice if people only noticed what was on the inside? If people would just listen to your qualifications and not judge you by the fact that you are wearing jeans and flip-flops, you would get that job. Blah, blah, blah…welcome to the real world. First impressions still mean everything when it comes to getting jobs or developing other professional relationships. I may sound old-fashioned, but remember that it is someone just like me, hiring someone like you.
A few simple basics should be found in everyone’s closet. Women should all own a black skirt that isn’t too short, black dress pants, a white blouse, a blazer or cardigan that can go with either the pants or skirt and a pair of low heels. Boring…but, necessary. You can dress it up or dress it down. You can add a glittery top and go out for the night or wear the skirt and jacket to a funeral. Throw in a pair of khaki pants, jeans, casual sandals, some fun tops and you can take off for a week. For that job interview-don’t forget to wear hose. I know, we all hate them.
The same really holds true for the men. Black or Gray dress pants, a white shirt, a sport coat in either gray or navy (to match the dress pants) a conservative tie, dark socks and a pair of dress shoes in black. Once again, a pair of khakis, some casual shirts, jeans and you are good to go for a week. The khakis and a nice shirt are fine to apply for a fast food job, anything more wear the sport coat and tie. Don't forget to wear dark socks. I’ll assume that anyone, male or female, applying for a job on Wall Street or a law office, would know to wear a suit.
A local business owner tells the story about the guy who came in to apply for a job. He was very qualified for the position. He didn’t get the job. He brought his Pit Bull to the interview. Need I say more?
*Mom hint-Buy a few quality basics, and less expensive trendy pieces to go with them. That little black skirt will last for years. The one in the photo is available at Talbots.