Issue 432: 9 / 17 / 2012

Students Get Job Hunting Tips on How to “Dress to Impress”

Lou Geater gave students basic ...

Lou Geater gave students basic guidelines of dressing for a job interview.

Though showing up on time may be the first "make it-or-break it" step in acing that big job interview, what you wear to the interview runs a close second. To help students properly prepare for Southwest’s annual Fall Career Fair to be held September 19 (Union Avenue Campus) and September 20 (Macon Cove Campus) and score a winning first impression, the Career Services Department recently sponsored "Dress to Impress.”

“After speaking with area hiring managers and human resource professionals regarding the inappropriate outfits being worn by job applicants in general, we wanted to make sure that Southwest students had the resources to make a great first impression. Area image and staffing professionals were invited to come on campus to provide information, answer questions and show examples of appropriate interview outfits for men and women. Representatives were asked to dress in appropriate interview attire so that students could see real people wearing actual outfits,” stated Southwest Career Services Director Brenda Williams.

Companies participating included Office Team Staffing Agency, Dress For Success, and Memphis Goodwill & Career Services.

Lou Geater was on hand representing Office Team, a subsidiary of Robert Half International, a recruiting and staffing firm. “We wanted to come out and share what some of the common do's and don'ts of the interview dress code are. We see a lot of people that come in all the time that are dressed very professionally. But then, we see people that commit some of those fashion faux pas. … A lot of people get confused on what to do and what not to do,” Geater stated.

He says guys never go wrong dressing in a business suit and that it is better to dress conservatively rather than take chances. For ladies, the Office Team representative recommends professional skirts or slacks and a professional coat, blouse or business suit as well. “Some of the faux pas that we see all of the time are people showing up in jeans for an interview or T-shirts. Tattoos are a big deal for some people. We always recommend that people wear a long-sleeved shirt to cover up any tattoos,” he commented.

Office Team set up a display featuring attire and accents both acceptable and unacceptable to wear to a job interview.

The overall response to the event was positive Williams stated, “Overall, we were pleased with the participation of image consultants and the interview attire resources they provided to Southwest students. Through events such as this, Career Services hopes to inform, empower and prepare Southwest students to be successful in a competitive job market.”

Career Services plans to expand the events in the future in order to increase awareness regarding appropriate interview attire and engage more students.

View Dress to Impress Photo Gallery.