Post Classifieds

The Book Is Judged By Its Cover

By Amirah Ward
On September 27, 2011

Rihanna or Lil Wayne may be amongst artists favored by many, but their wardrobes fall short of the expectations for dressing for an interview. While their styles are attention-grabbing and trendy, unfortunately they are not yet acceptable for Corporate America. Let's leave the short skirts, low-cut tops, zebra print skinny jeans, and the cheerfully colored high-top sneakers for your local watering hole (aka bar/club).

Not everyone will find themselves working in a conventional office, but the expectation of an appropriate interview appearance is usually standard. It's better to be overdressed than to be underdressed.  According to Scott Reeves of Forbes.com, the rule of thumb is as follows;

Men's attire should include:

-          Button-down shirt (can play with different colors if you know what you're doing, otherwise stick with white or blue)

-          Polished black shoes

-          Blue, black, or gray jacket with complimenting slacks & socks

-          Conservative tie

Women's attire should include:

-          Skirt hitting just above the knee, slacks, & maybe pantsuits

-          Simple jewelry

-          Just a hint of makeup & skip the perfume

-          Polished flats or moderate heels

-          Sweaters

-          Pantyhose (if the office standard)

Although the above lists are considered the rule of thumb, don't feel restricted to the options given. You can be noticeable for the right reasons, without being an office distraction. For example, men can accessorize with suspenders to add a stylish flare. Urban Outfitters' Suspender Factory of San Francisco solid skinny suspender, priced at $18.00, is perfect for the suspender virgin. Simple is definitely the safe approach, but young stylish women like to take chances. Wearing one statement piece, paired with one simple, adds a personal touch to the normal drab office garb. Nicole Richie's House of Harlow 1960 Leather Station Necklace should satisfy the bold college graduate and the old government office stiffs.

Kim Zoller of Image Dynamics says fifty-five percent of another person's perception of you is based on how you look.

"Students should know the culture of the company prior to the interview," says Dr. Kandace Harris, Mass Communications Department Chair. She emphasizes the importance of research prior to the interview, which will provide vital information to help with the interviewing process.

The first impression is a very important component to landing a job. But don't throw the basic rules out the window once you land the job. Recent graduate, Jasmine Frazier, landed her dream job with CBS Radio in Washington, DC. Being unsure of the company's dress code, she played Trivial Pursuit- Interview Attire edition days prior to her interview. She says knowing what to wear after she landed the job was much easier than deciding what to wear for her interview.  "Dress for the job you want, not the job you have." says Frazier.

Your attire is like the cover to your autobiography; make the interviewer want to buy your book. You want to be seen as serious, professional, and upward-bound. You never get a second chance to make a first impression.


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