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Today’s bonus tracks: Looking for a job? You’d better own a suit and wear it

2 min read


“Clothing trends seem to have changed dramatically for hired workers, but they haven’t budged much for job seekers,” writes Susan Kreimer for The Washington Post. “No matter how casual the culture is where you’re interviewing, the safest bet is to dress more formally than the rest.”

As devoted SmartBlog on Workforce readers know from my post a couple of weeks ago, I fancy myself an unofficial member of the fashion police. So I couldn’t resist sharing Kreimer’s article and expanding on it.

If it’s important to dress well when you come to work, it’s vital to dress well when you are trying to get a new job. As unfair as it may seem to some, we live in a society where we are judged by our appearance and if we want to be judged worthy of being hired by an employer, we need to dress to impress.

If that concept scares you, it shouldn’t. Dressing well and appropriately for a job interview is one of the simplest things you can do. It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman or if you’re a Boomer or a member of Gen Y — you just need to start with a classic, conservative suit — just one. You can change your shirt and accessories each time you wear it.

Still worried? Kreimer’s article has more detailed tips, and there are countless sources online that can provide additional advice. Just remember: It’s always best to err on the conservative side.

So far in my career I haven’t been on the interviewing side very often, but I know some of you out there have plenty of experience in that area. I’d love to hear your stories about badly dressed job candidates! Share them here along with other advice for job seekers.

Image credit, jaroon via iStock