What Your Clothes Say: Dressing for the Job You Want

Posted December 11, 2014 by
Businesswoman with hands on hips

Businesswoman with hands on hips. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Clothes make the man or woman. This is the premise behind Dress for Success, a group that helps disadvantaged women get jobs by giving them appropriate interviewing clothes. The most common feedback they get from their clients is that the professional outfits made them feel confident in their interviewing skills. This holds true across all socioeconomic classes. Appropriate, professional clothing increases our faith in ourselves and the feeling that we can land that job. When selecting your interview outfit, keep these essentials in mind.

Dress the Part

A Walden University study showed that an interviewer will mentally assign a social perception to an interviewee based on the clothes he or she wears. Not every job requires a suit, but they all demand that you dress up nicer than you would normally. If you are interviewing in the finance sector, a well-tailored and pressed business suit is mandatory, and both men and women should carry a briefcase. If you are interviewing in a more casual and artistic field, then opt for your best jeans and a nice but artistic top. Women should carry a classic crossbody bag and men need not carry anything. Don’t let your appearance stand between you and your potential employer.

Show You Did Your Research

In our Internet age, there is no excuse for being ill-prepared. Most companies have a website and social media accounts, and large companies have their financials, history and corporate vision for all to see. Your job is to become an expert on your potential employer and its business culture. One way to demonstrate your research is with appropriate clothing. Lifeguards do not wear suits and financial consultants do not wear flip-flops. Use your time before the interview to get a grasp of the business culture and dress appropriately, but a little nicer, than everyone else.

Reflect Your Offering

“The Naked Ape” author Desmond Morris said that it is impossible to wear outfits without conveying social signals. Calling them costumes, he said they always tell a story about the wearer. Since this is an interview, you want to wear your resume and the positive things that you will be bringing to the company. If you are artistic then let your outfit show your nature. This is especially true if you are interviewing for a position that requires you to be creative. For jobs in the fashion industry, it seems obvious to be fashionable. What this means is completely up to your creativity.

Be Comfortable

One of the purposes of a job interview is to judge how well you handle pressure. The illusion of being comfortable and in control, even if you are panicking on the inside, is essential for a good job interview. This is nearly impossible to pull off when you look like a monkey in a tuxedo. Your suit should not wear like a suit of armor. If you are not comfortable in heels, then do not wear them. Putting on business attire for the interview is supposed to relay that you can wear this anytime that’s necessary. Looking comfortable at the interview tells the employer that you will look comfortable every other day of the week.

Source: SocialMonsters

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