We all know it, but we may not want to say it: first impressions make a difference. “Dress for Success” is not only a cliché. No matter how qualified you are for a position, if you don’t follow a few time-tested rules of “ensemble etiquette,” it could make the difference between looking like an average candidate … or like that unforgettable, “put-together,” professional that gets asked back for a second interview.
- Dress codes are there for a reason. Different industries, different regions, and different types of companies all have different “rulebooks” of dress. If you want to show a perfect fit for a company, show them an obvious understanding for appropriate attire.
- What job do you “ultimately” want? Don’t just think about today, but about your future. If you want to be corporate vice president, then dress like it. Dress up a notch from the position in which you are applying. Without saying it, you’re telling your interviewer “I’m on the way up!”
- Accessories are just that: accessories. Certainly, there are plenty of “attention getting” earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and so on, but this is one area where simpler is better. When in doubt, go with the classics … something tasteful, without drawing focus.
- A tasteful, practical bag. Back to the “keep it simple” rule. A “dress for success” safe choice is a gallery tote, professional looking, but big enough to carry a few extra resumes without getting crumpled – and any other typical daily necessities.
- Pointy pumps with a slight edge. It’s easy to go over the top with shoes. Don’t. Your shoes should give you confidence and comfort. Watching a woman “balancing” through the office in awkward high heels will certainly leave a first impression – but possibly a last one! Classy pointy pumps with a 2 1/2″ heel present a put-together woman who can walk the edge, but not over it.